May 30, 2008

Delicious Appetizers

Today's post is for those of you looking for a good appetizer for your next gathering. Here is a collection of ideas from Food Network:

- Chicken Empanadas
- Carmelized Onion Quesadilla with Apple Chutney
- Chicken Quesadilla Pinwheels
- Jumbo Shrimp Wrapped with Arugula and Prosciutto
- Potato Focaccia
- Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki
-Fingerling Potatoes Aioli
- Strawberries Stuffed with Purple Haze Goat Cheese
- Sesame Chicken Strips

May 29, 2008

Pale Yellow Summer Wedding

Today's post was inspired by the stephanotis flower. Simple, delicate and elegant, this bloom is frequently used as an extraneous flower in wedding bouquets but why not use it as your main flower inspiration. One of my first finds for today's post was this yellow wedding cake which features white stephanotis flowers so I decided to go with a very pale yellow and white color scheme.

I love this hair style that features stephanotis flowers around a classic bun. Incorporating flowers definitely makes your updo unique and personalized. Carry the flower through into your bridal bouquet as well and mix with pale yellow flowers such as orchids and carnations. Have the groom wear a boutonniere made of similar flowers.

For your invitation, select this yellow floral letterpress invitation by Dauphine Press.

At the reception, opt for simple clear vases that put the focus on the beauty of the stephanotis flower [photo from Brides]. Set a white favor box decorated with white paper flowers above each place setting. Hang simple white chandeliers from the ceiling to help set the sweet yellow and white mood.

Lastly, serve a signature cocktail such as this limoncello cooler cocktail. Cheers!

May 28, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - A Green, Black & White Wedding

Welcome to the next installment in the Wedding Wednesday series, where Kati of The Finer Things and I chose one invitation and present two unique inspiration boards. This week we've chosen to design a wedding theme around this preppy kate spade invitation from Featuring a square shape, a black border with white polka dots and a kelly green envelope liner, this invitation is sure to impress.

My first find for today's theme was this picture featuring tables draped in black and white striped tableclothes. The photo shows yellow flowers but I would switch them out to green flowers to add a touch of the kelly green from the envelope liner. In the back of the picture is a black and white striped cake which I absolutely love! For tabletop consider using kate spade black and white dot china.

Next, for some ceiling decor try the ever popular white paper lanterns mixed with elegant white crystal chandeliers. I think the combination of the casual lantern with the formal chandelier really plays up the invitation. The actual invitation is more formal but the green liner gives it a little pop of what I am calling 'Andy Warhol pop culture color'. (haha)

Next, for your bouquet consider one such as this blending of stephanotis, lilacs, phalaenopsis ochids, cosmos and fiddlehear ferns. Lastly, as a favor tuck you treat inside a white bag tied gathered at the top by a leaf on wire.

Make sure to head over to The Finer Things to see what Kati has come up with this week! I know I'm always excited to see her picks! Here's a little sneak peak:

May 27, 2008

Father's Day Dinner Party

Today's post features a naturalistic dinner for Dad. Celebrate this Father's Day with a dinner party packed with natural elements and dark, elegant hues. My inspiration for today's theme was this stunning tabletop decor. Combining slate board place mats, marble slab table runners, clear hurricane vases, marble stones and deep green palm leaves this collection seriously refines natural elements.

For your meal consider serving something hearty and delicious. This menu consists of cornish game hens, mashed potatoes with pancetta and roasted asparagus. Also serve whipped feta and pepper dip and a green salad with manchego.
For an invitation, select something simple that ties in your rich green and brown color palette such as this houndstooth invitation from
For dessert, set up a table of jars filled with your family's favorite cookies and treats. Make sure to include all of Dad's favorites as well as some new ones to try.
When Dad arrives, show that he's the guest of honor by presenting him with a handmade boutonneire such as this one made of a green dendrobium orchid and green kermit mums.
Send all guests home with a little brown favor packet that matches your decor.

May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Hello and happy Memorial Day! I'll be back tomorrow with regular posts but in the meantime, check out some of the following links for your Memorial Day events:

- Memorial Day party decor
- A Memorial Day grilling menu
- More Memorial Day recipes
- Grilling gear
- Summertime drinks and cocktails

May 22, 2008

Great Table Settings

There's not really a theme to today's post other than a collection of interesting and attractive table settings and centerpieces. Hopefully one will inspire your next gathering.

- Hyacinth bulbs and rocks in a large circular vase (inexpensive, sweet and simplistic)
- Sunset candlelight and coral (my favorite...romantic, elegant and relaxing)
- Floral heart (simple, cute and practical)
- Large fruit bouquet (so colorful and textured)
- Mini bouquet favor centerpiece (affordable, creative and pretty)
- Table length fruit display (rustic, bright and sophisticated)

May 21, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Teal & Lime Bridal Shower

It's time for the next edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I select one invitation and create two event interpretation. Today we're planning a summertime bridal shower based on this teal palm tree invitation with green envelope from

To start I found this lovely green and teal table decor. It features multiple low, square teal vases filled with white and green floral arrangements combined with a striking white coral centerpiece. For each place setting choose a teal charger to make the standard white plate pop.

For dessert keep it simple with a white cake served atop a bright teal cake stand. Add some green leaves or flowers as a garnish to tie in the green from the color scheme. Toast to the happy couple with a brilliant blue cocktail made of vodka, blue curacao, pineapple juice and a lemon twist.

As a favor send guests home with a summer bag filled with green and blue accessories such as flip flops, a beach blanket and a sun hat. Top with a white calla lily for an elegant finishing touch.

That's it for my edition of Wedding Wednesday but make sure to check out Kati's post for some wonderful inspiration! I love all the unique ideas she includes this week. Here are two of my favorites...

May 20, 2008

Memorial Day Grilling Menu

As the weather gets warmer I am longing to get outside to do some grilling. So much so that my husband and I invested in a new charcoal grill last evening. For those of you heading outdoors to do some grilling today or maybe for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, here is a great menu to get you started.

- Farro Salad with Grilled Eggplant, Tomatoes and Onion
- Grilled Asparagus with Green Peppercorn Vinaigrette
- Marinated Grilled Shrimp Cocktail
- Hamburger with Double Chedder Cheese, Grilled Vidalia Onion and Horseradish Mustard
- Grilled Bananas with Maple Creme Fraiche
- Mint Iced Tea

May 19, 2008

All White Bridal Shower

Here is some great inspiration from Martha Stewart for an all-white bridal shower:

May 16, 2008

Initial Sip and See

Today's post is brought to you by the letter ___. (haha) But seriously, today's post is all about letters or initials, rather. What better time to throw an initial or monogram themed party than when there's a newborn to be oohed and ahhed over. Here are some ideas for an initial themed sip and see:

- Initial decor, cupcakes, soda bottle labels and customized tablecloth - all DIY ideas from Martha Stewart
- Initial favors- again a DIY project that can be altered to fit any color scheme or party idea
- Pearl monogram decoration- Made with wire and pearl beads; use any style of bead to fit your aesthetics
- Monogrammed lollipops
- Initial invitations- there are so many options I couldn't pick just one- brown & blue; green & pink; tangerine & white; and green & blue (all from

May 15, 2008

Birthday Dinner in Teal

Every month I put together an inspiration board for a birthday dinner in a specific color scheme. Here is the May installment for a teal themed dinner party.

- Stunning table design via At Home with Kim Vallee
- Teal and brown invitation from
- Teal dress
- Fiber wrapped ceramic napkin rings
- Stainless steel candelabra
- Teal and brown cake

May 14, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Brown & White Wedding

Hello and welcome to another edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I take one invitation and develop two unique event interpretations. Today's wedding is based on this Crane & Co. brown and white monogram invitation from

I'm going to start with dessert first today because it is my favorite part of this post. Who can resist such an elegant, color-coordinated and delicious buffet of desserts?

Seat your guests at tables covered in deep brown tableclothes with white plates. For a centerpiece consider a mix of rustic branches and stark white tulips. I love the juxtaposition of basic branches with modern and stylish tulips. Set a favor, such as this brown box with a personalized button, above each place setting.

Have your attendants wear this beautiful brown silk dupioni dress and carry this earthy brown and white bouquet.

Make sure to check out Kati's edition of Wedding Wednesday! She has some great ideas, as always!

May 13, 2008

Memorial Day Party Decor

Memorial Day is right around the corner so here is some decor inspiration for your upcoming patriotic event. - Red, white and blue paper lanterns
- Red, white and blue parfaits
- Patriotic napkin rings
- Patriotic votives
- Red, white and blue star garland
- Star glasses

May 12, 2008

Pink & Black Cameo Wedding

Today's post features a black and pink cameo or silhouette wedding. This would also be excellent for a couples' shower or for a sip and see featuring the baby's silhouette.

- Cameo place setting
- Pink and black wedding attire and bouquet
- Silhouette individual wedding cake
- Silhouette programs or favors

- Silhouette wall decor (would be great above where the bride and groom chairs)
- Silhouette thank you note
- Silhouette jewelry roll (great for bridesmaid gift)
- Pink and black floral centerpiece
- Silhouette tags (could be used as favor tags, coasters, etc)

May 8, 2008

Lime & Strawberry Wedding

Today's post features a lime and strawberry wedding! I was inspired by a post on Faye and Greer, one of my favorite blogs even though it is no longer updated. The post, Preppy Polka Dots, features one couples' strawberry and lime wedding and the custom work created for their special day. The invitation, place cards and table cards (plus a bunch of other stuff not shown here) was designed by Ceci New York.

Forgo a traditional guest book for these strawberry-colored cards with envelopes. Have guests write a little note to the bride and groom and place inside a clear container. You could even ask guests to write a note for different parts in the couples' life. For instance, a guest would put 'When having a baby' on the envelope and put a tip or advice on the card inside for when the couple approaches that situation. The couple will enjoy opening these long after the wedding.

For a cute detailed touch, add lime and strawberry ribbon to the couples' toasting glasses. This is a simple DIY trick to customize the glasses if you don't want to invest in a pre-done set.

Lastly, for the wedding cake, try lime ribbon at the base of each layer combined with strawberry polka dots.

May 7, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Blue & Green Couples' Shower

Welcome to another edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I take one invitation and create two unique event interpretations. This week we're planning a couples' shower based on this fresh green and blue invitation from

After we picked this week's invitation, I immediately went to Rebecca Thuss' portfolio to find this lovely blue and green table decor. I had seen the image before when browsing through her site and knew I'd have to wait until just the right event to use it. I love the mixture of size, color and shape presented by the vases. It plays up multiple shades of blue and green and doesn't come off too feminine (a challenge when incorporating males into a wedding shower.)

I wanted to include a cocktail for this event and decided to suggest serving mojitos. Yes, the mint leaves are green and match our color scheme, but more importantly the mojito is a universally loved drink (by men and women.) Mojitos make me think of warm weather, happy times and relaxing outside - just the feel I want for a summer couples' shower.

For a unique activity I recommend asking guests to bring a memento (a photo, a written note, a ticket, a souvenir, etc) that will help them tell a story about the bride, groom or the couple as a pair. Have guests place their memento on a metal board with magnets for all to see prior to and after the activity. Gather everyone together and ask guests to tell their story or explain their chosen memento. This is sure to provide some fun as everyone takes a collective trip down memory lane.

Choose a simple cake for dessert such as this white cake with blue and green ribbon topped with a blue paper flower. For favors, set up a blue and green candy buffet with take out boxes for guests to take some sweets along home.

Make sure to check out Kati's Wedding Wednesday post too! Here is a sneak peek snapshot of a few of my favorite things from her event interpretation! I just love the cupcakes she included!!

May 6, 2008

Mother's Day Lunch

This Mother's Day treat your mom to a light and delicious lunch. Here is my suggested menu:
- Deep-Dish Ham Quiche with Herb and Asparagus
- Lemon Balsamic Rosemare Skewered Vegetables
- Lump Blue Crab Salad
- Pecorino Crackers
- Champagne Lemonade
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart

Looking for decor ideas in addition to a menu? Try my Pretty in Pink Mother's Day post for inspiration!

May 5, 2008

Pet Party

Pets are members of the family so why not throw a party to celebrate their birthday or throw a sip and see when you adopt a new one into your family? I've been to several such events and they have always been a ton of fun!

My inspiration for doing a pet party today in particular came because the beginning of May means cat birthdays in my house! Happy birthday to Darcy, who will be 4, and Bingley, who will be 1! (Bonus point to those who know what the names come from!)

So for those of you who want to celebrate your cat or dog look below for some inspiration. I found a few images that can help you create the perfect pet party:

- Personalized pet photo invitation or announcement from
- Dog cupcakes (could do cat faces instead)
- Autograph dog - Another option would be to get a dog/cat toy to have guests sign, just make sure your pet doesn't get his paws on it!
- Gourmet dog treats as favors (could substitute cat treats)

May 2, 2008

Blue & Brown Circle Baby Shower

Today's blue and brown circles party inspiraton is meant specifically for a baby shower but could really be used for any type of party. I started with this Oh Baby! circle invitation from and built upon the colors and shapes.

Set your table with a light blue tablecloth. Top with clear vases wrapped with brown ribbon and filled with your favorite blue flowers. Use blue and brown patterned dinnerware such as this circle and stripe set. On a side table set up a blue and brown candy buffet along with your blue and brown circles cake. Lastly, send guests home with a personalized candy bar favor featuring a blue and brown circle design.


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