My entertaining style is all about creating a beautiful and thoughtful event but all while keeping things as simple as possible. When I was in middle school, I was addicted to two day time TV shows (I used to record them on VHS every day to watch them when I got home. Sad? Maybe. But totally true). They were Martha Stewart and Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee. Martha was all about details and making things perfect and pretty, while Sandra was all about starting with store bought and elevating it a little to make it impressive and “your own.” My style is definitely a combo of these! So, if you’re looking for pretty (but simple) engagement party ideas, this post is for you! The four parts to the perfect engagement party are: Desserts, appetizers, a themed cocktail, and a couple of thoughtful details. Desserts When it comes to creating beautiful desserts for any party, my secret is to start with store bought. Yep, head to the grocery store or local bakery. You can then dress up these pre-packaged good and re-plate them and no one will know the difference. Plus, you’ll save yourself time and stress if baking isn’t your thing. I picked up this chocolate cake and these eclairs from my local grocery store. Then, I simply put them on a serving platter and added some fresh flowers (also from the grocery store). These blooms are not edible so you would just remove them before eating. If you’e worried about it, you can always pick up some edible flowers. I made this “congrats” cake topper using my new Cricut Explorer Air Machine which totally dressed up the cake. It only took a few minutes to make this vinyl decal that I added to a piece of crafting wood I had. I loved how it turned out! Don’t the desserts look pretty? And there was no baking required! Appetizers Another engagement party idea I love is to serve one appetizer that guests can eat while holding a cocktail. If you want to serve two to offer variety, go for it. But don’t do more than that. This simple appetizer took me a few minutes to put together but looked gorgeous on a plate. Just skewer: watermelon, basil, feta cheese, and a blackberry. Such a unique flavor combo! Themed Cocktail Every great party needs a themed cocktail. I created this “love punch” which would be so fun at an engagement party. The grapefruit gave it the perfect peachy-pink color which was so pretty. I think I’m in love with this grapefruit cocktail actually. (Grab the recipe, here.) Isn’t just so perfect? And it tasted delicious! Thoughtful Details Like the cake topper above, I used my Cricut machine to make a couple more thoughtful details for the party. I made these vinyl heart decals for my punch glasses, and also a decal that said “love punch” that I added to a acrylic sign holder which I placed next to the punch bowl. The glasses might be my favorite element! You can let guests take them home as a party favor. Or, if you want to keep them, remove the decal before washing. They come off very easily and leave no residue on your glass. I also love how the white heart pops from the color of the punch when the glasses are filled. If you’re looking for engagement party ideas that look great but won’t cost a fortune (or require you to turn into Martha Stewart), these ideas are perfect. Start with store bought, dress things up, and add a few details, and you’re ready to entertain! Be sure to check back next week, I’ll show you how to create these thoughtful details. I’ll show you the step-by-step one how I used my Cricut to make the vinyl decals.You can also browse the Cricut Design Space–there are so many great projects to make!
Be sure to enter to WIN your own Cricut machine here.
I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.
This experience is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
Summer is speeding our way. I want to say “bring it on” but honestly, I start thinking of how much time I have left to “get ready.” You know all of those boxes that need checking before you can fully embrace summer and “check out” a bit yourself? For me it’s things like making sure I’ve planned summer trips (have you ever tried booking a beach campsite in southern California? You have to plan six months ahead–no joke), get kids’ activities and camps ironed out, coordinate dates for a family vacation, find bathing suits for yourself + two growing daughters, uh-hem… get into shape. The list goes on. But boy do I LOVE summertime. This summer should be extra special because I’ll be taking some extended time off of work to hang with my girls. I. Cannot. Wait.
Here’s a few things I’m currently dreaming of for this summer.
Wait for it…..boozy pops!
Can you even believe these boozy popsicles? I am ALL about the frozen drinks when it’s 100+ degrees outside. I recently discovered these pops and got super giddy. Looks like they are not yet available in the US (can we petition or something?!) so I might have to try my hand at a DIY version. Don’t they just sound wonderful? Boozy pops sound like the perfect summer cocktail to me! (more…)
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Have you thought about gift ideas yet? When coming up with gift ideas, I like to keep them as personal as possible. And the truth is, sometimes that means the gifts take more of a practical vibe. I’m sharing three practical and personal gift ideas plus sharing Mother’s Day gift tags that you can print out to give them that thoughtful touch.
Here’s a looks at some personal items to gift her this Mother’s Day. I’d be happy to receive each of these. I loved trying them out recently and think they make great personal gifts.
She’s one of kind, literally. This gift idea is really all about her and her mom genes. Ha! See what I did there? Help her find out where her DNA comes from with this DNA test. Would she geek out over learning her ancestry timeline that is traced through the generations? This kit looks at 31 populations worldwide, and we will continue to refine results as their database grows. This gift really is SO HER. (more…)
I’ve teamed up with Megan Media and Tropicana for this post as part of their #BelieveInYourGut campaign. Of course, all opinions are my own.
For the past year I’ve really been focused on trying to eat a healthier diet as a part of living a more healthy lifestyle. As a busy, working mom, I often put my nutrition on the back burner (can you relate?). I mean, one can only survive off of coffee for so long. I realized it was time to make some swaps in my daily diet that would really fuel my body.
I decided making small daily swaps was much less intimidating than a complete overhaul. (Let’s be honest, I’m not giving up coffee or wine on the weekends.) And I wanted to share a few things I’ve added to my routine that have me feeling refreshed, focused, and energized. Also, I’ve found if I make things a little more fun, I’m more likely to stay motivated. This shouldn’t surprise you though. :)
Adding daily probiotics to my diet. I recently learned just how much my gut affects my overall health and wellness, so I’m looking for ways to get good bacteria into my system more often. Tropicana Probiotics makes getting more probiotics into your diet delicious, accessible, nutritious and convenient–which means “doable” in my book. It’s 100% juice with no added sugar or artificial flavors and delivers over one billion live and active cultures to your gut. It can’t get much easier than swapping out your morning juice for one of these delicious flavors: Strawberry Banana, Pineapple Mango, and Peach Passion Fruit They were each so good that I couldn’t even choose a favorite.
Fresh fruit garnishes, on everything. Your morning glass of juice or water might not be a cocktail, but adding a fun, fresh, fruit garnish will certainly up the fun level! I’ve found myself grabbing fruit more often as a snack later in the day when I add it into my morning beverages. I like to make up a few mini skewers to grab as snacks (my girls love them too!).(more…)
Here is Southern California, it’s basically summer (I mean it was 95 degrees last weekend). So, whether I’m ready or not (my pale skin says, not), it’s time to start thinking about bikinis, beach days, and fun summer activities. During the summer, we like to plan several long weekend trips that are within an hour or two drive. This makes us feel like we are constantly going on vacation! We’ll camp (we have many nearby state parks), definitely head to Palm Springs (my favorite place to mini vaca), and do as many beach trips as we can fit it. Our summer itinerary will also include more mellow things like lazy pool days and backyard dinner parties (with a summer dinner party play list of course). I like the laid back vibe that comes along with summer entertaining.
I do a little pre-summer shopping around this time of year because retailers have all of their new summer accessories and clothes out now and if I wait until we really need it, everything will be gone. Have you ever tried to buy a new bathing suit or cover up in July? Impossible I tell you. I pick up a few things for my daughters and also for myself. This year I am loving all things super bright and also loving the colorful pom poms and tassels that I am seeing on just about everything. The bright colors work so great for summer and can easily go from beach to resort, to a vibrant backyard fiesta. Here’s a few summer essentials that I’m snagging up this week!
I’m not sure what screams “SUMMER” more, bright colors or tassels. I’m thinking this wooden beaded tassel necklaces would look adorable for a summer night out paired with a white or chambray sun dress or shirt. And I’m pretty sure these tassel bracelets will be on my wrist all summer. I love wearing fun bracelets with my bathing suits when I’m hanging out by the pool. I never really could pull of the big earring/bathing suit thing so my go-to are fun bracelets. (more…)
It’s almost May which means it’s almost time to fiesta! I recently got together with Sauza® Tequila to plan this simple Cinco de Mayo backyard celebration for a few of my friends. If you’ve read my past entertaining posts, you know I am a huge fan of keeping things SIMPLE–and that’s just what I did for this party. I’m sharing all the Cinco de Mayo party food, drinks, and easy fiesta-inspired decor ideas with you. You’ll want to pin these simple ideas to your “Fiesta” Pinterest board for later!
The setting was simply my back patio. How easy is that? I pulled my patio table over to a nice shady spot in the yard and it was the perfect spot to set up our fiesta dinner.
I’m a huge fan of incorporating fresh flowers into every tablescape but I never put the pressure on myself to make perfectly arranged centerpieces (simple is key, remember). I picked up some colorful flowers from my local grocery store, trimmed off the stems, and just grouped them together in the center of the table. SO EASY. I mixed in a couple fresh oranges and limes to bring in that citrusy-fiesta vibe.
An easy way to add to a basic table is to layer on textures. I used a burlap runner, wicker chargers, and linen placemats. Not everything matched either–I just used what I had already and ended up with an eclectic, yet festive look. (more…)