Archive of ‘Featured’ category

(Single serve) summer salads

Single serve summer salads. Say that twice.

It’s barely spring but the warmer weather just makes me even more anxious for summer to arrive. One thing I love to do in the warmer months is to entertain outdoors (who’s with me?). One thing that is always tricky to dish out at a casual backyard gathering are salads. Rather than having guests pile up the leafy greens on their way through the potluck line, why not have individual serving sizes ready for them to grab and go?

I also really like this idea because it opens up to the possibility of serving salad as an appetizer! Small portions in a simple to grab and eat basket would make salad  a perfect appetizer at your next party.

Salads, the new party appetizer? Who’s with me?

Single Serve Salads | Thoughtfully Simple

What you’ll need:

Cardboard berry baskets (I got mine here).

Wooden forks

Parchment paper or other food-safe craft paper

Your favorite summer salad recipe (you could serve up a pasta salad this way as well)

What summer salad would you serve up? I’ve been pinning some favorites to try on my Pinterest board but would love to hear your favorite recipes! Tell me about it or leave a link below!

 

 

 

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Simple Easter Brunch

If your Easter morning is anything like ours, it’s full of giggles and kiddos running around collecting eggs in their Pajamas and slippers. Some years we have Grandma and Grandpa over in the morning and other years it’s just us. One constant is that we are busy — very early in the morning.

I wanted to share with you some simple ideas for your Easter breakfast or Easter brunch that won’t require you to be stuck in the kitchen (missing all the fun). My advice is to make it easy on yourself. You can create an impressive morning spread without all the hassle, check it out:

Easter Brunch

Gather  items you already have in your home to create a central display. Adding different elements and  displaying your breakfast items in a unique way will give your Easter brunch a more pulled together look. Here, I’ve simply moved this hutch out on our patio and set up all of our breakfast items on it. I grabbed an Easter bunny decoration and chalkboard from inside to give it a more “Easter themed” feel.

Easter Brunch Ideas

Nothing I am showing here is homemade — I’ve simply taken store bought treats and gave them a little makeover. Above we have mini cookies in a strawberry basket and donut holes on lollipop sticks!

Simple Easter Brunch

Above:

  • Champagne served with frozen blueberries
  • A cake stand displaying store bought donuts
  • More donut holes adorned with festive lollipop sticks
  • A store bought bundt cake on cake stand
  • A chalkboard welcoming hungry guests

Easter Brunch

There you have it, a simple Easter brunch display featuring all store-bought treats. Simple, right?

Be sure to also check out this Easter breakfast idea I shared (plus free printable!).

*Cute lollipop sticks from Sweet Shop LuLu

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Want more Easter and Passover ideas? Join me and a group of other fabulous party hostesses as we share ideas, recipes + more! Visit the links below AND follow us on Twitter using #HolidayHQ. We’ll be hosting a live chat this Wednesday, the 4th at 8pm EST -join in the fun!

#HolidayHQ Twitter Chat

Valley & Co.   | Table Top Elements for Marvelous Easter Brunch
Housewife Bliss  |  Easter Brunch for Chocolate Lovers
Celebrations At Home | Spring Garden Tablescape
SkimbacoLifestyle.com |  European Easter Traditions Galore
The Partybluprints Blog   |  “Little Peeps” Easter Table Centerpiece
Second City Soiree   |  Cocktails that say Spring
PaperandPigtails.com   |  Polka Dots & Pastels – Free Printables 
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Cute Easter Breakfast Idea

Today I’m sharing the perfect easy + cute Easter breakfast idea with you.

Easter breakfast

My girls will LOVE coming downstairs to this on Easter weekend. I think I’ll surprise them on Saturday because I can’t stand waiting until Sunday to dish this up for breakfast!

Easter Breakfast for kids

This really couldn’t be more simple. Orange Juice, a donut hole (plus a cute patterned lollipop stick of course) and a bowl of yogurt topped with fun sprinkles. Plus, check out the darling wooden spoon – so cute!

Easter printable

 

Don’t forget the cute Easter printable to tie it all together: “Some Bunny loves you!”

Feel free to print out a copy for your little ones! You can download it for free here.

Who would you make this simple Easter breakfast for?

Patterned straw, spoon and lollipop stick from Sweet Shop Lulu.

 

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Thoughts :: Cheers to a new year

DIY Party Hat

 

It’s a new year which means many resolutions will be made (and many more broken). After ringing in a festive but low-key 2013 with close friends, the Mr. and I are enjoying a late morning of breakfast, movies, and a warm fire. Instead of making resolutions we’ve decided to make a 2013 bucket list.  We know we want to do more as a family while our girls are young and we want to live life more … be present. To accomplish this we are starting our bucket list with several “must do” and “must see” goals. So far we have volunteering together and surf lessons. A of couple amusement parks and natural wonders have also made our top 10.

So friends, cheers to a NEW year. For us 2012 was a roller coaster and we’re looking forward to a more purposeful 2013.

What’s on your list for the new year?
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Thoughts :: A trip and a life-changer

A few weeks back I had a “first” (and a pretty exciting one I might add). I visited New York for the first time! I was invited to be a judge in the Sterling Wine Ultimate Host Challenge and was flown in (with 2 other guest judges) to New York for the finale event — which I was pretty excited about!

Here’s a quick photo recap of the highlights. I only had a day and half to explore, but thanks to a friend for a “must see” list, my feet covered a lot of ground!

Sterling Ultimate Host 2012

The event itself was great! Here I am above (left) with judges Kristen of Dine and Dish (center) and Aryka of The Fab Femme. Kristen was a great pal to explore the city with! She led me to the best pizza in town and was a fabulous walking companion :). On the right is the main host and judge, Padma from Top Chef.

The first morning I was there, I woke up and decided to go explore in search of coffee and breakfast. I came across this Christmas tree in the middle of Madison Square Park. I sat there and just took it in.

Then I found breakfast. What? These can be breakfast in my book. I had to bring some home too, so good!

Next I discovered the best prop-shop I have ever seen; Fishs Eddys. If I lived in NYC I would be broke. This store has all of the vintage and unique kitchen finds a girl could dream about.

I was able to quickly spend a small fortune and have the goods shipped back home. I just wish I would have grabbed some of these vintage linens (ah, well next time!).

 

After much more exploring and a great dinner, we had to see “The Tree.” It was stunning!

 

The next morning I was on my own and I walked my little heart out. I headed to this young designer’s market to see if I could find any unique treasures or gifts (there was plenty of both).

Perhaps one of my favorite spots was Eataly. I only managed to grab only this one photo because I was immersed and taking it all in. I cannot wait to go back.

I couldn’t leave the city without stopping at Shake Shack. As I sat devouring  enjoying my burger and shake I watched this woman filming an exercise video in the park. On a workout bike. Go figure!

 

On my route back to my hotel I grabbed a few souvenirs for my girls and a cupcake from this adorable sweets truck.

And then it was time to head home. After a whirlwind day and a half I looked out my car window to catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty. I felt so in the moment and grateful for the experiences I had just enjoyed.

Eager to get home to my family and share my awesome trip with them, I landed on the west coast only to get life shattering news (I’m okay). The kind that grabs a hold of your gut and threatens to never let go. I almost did not share these photos as I felt the trip was “tainted.” However, I realized that would do nothing to change things. I am thankful I was able to enjoy the trip and look forward to the future when I feel that same joy and gratefulness.

I hope you enjoyed these photos and I hope to share more travel pictures soon. xoxo

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DIY: Jingle Drink Stirrers

 

Looking for a quick way to add some festivness to your holiday drinks and cocktails? These Jingle drink stirrers are super simple to make. Your guests will love the little “jingle” when you serve them up a beverage :).

 

 

See the full DIY steps over on DietPepsi.com today!

For festive holiday drinks to serve, try one of these or these. Cheers!

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