Garden Party Inspiration: Booze & Berries

While browsing one of my favorite blogs, The Sweetest Occasion– I stumbled upon a fabulously styled wedding shoot. The theme was “Al Fresco California Bohemian Wedding” though I instantly felt that this would make perfect inspiration for a garden party. Now that my garden is really beginning to blossom and produce yummy treats– I can’t stop thinking about hosting a garden party at my home.

This shoot gave me great inspiration. Take a look- you’ll see why!

I can see this table set up in our back yard right outside of the garden gate.

Fresh cut blooms from the yard would make simple and fragrant centerpieces.

Booze & Berries, LOVE this as the theme! I could see darling invites sent out to all my girl friends… perfect!

Here is a decanter of blood orange punch, I am thinking sangria would be a great option as well. You could do lemonade or any other citrus you have in your garden.

I love the use of votive to illuminate the table at night. The glow totally transforms the garden party feel. I can imaging sitting out in the evening in good company, on a warm summer’s night.

For more amazing photos of this shoot- stop by The Sweetest Occasion and check out this Bohemian Wedding.

Credits: Courtney Cole of White Flower Boutique, Jenna Kageyama of flutter glass Photography, Emilia Keene-Kendrick of Sweet Emilia Jane and Erin Lepperd of Erin Ever After.

DIY favor bags: Snack Time!

Here is a sneak peek at some favors I whipped up today. These are for a high school graduation party— where everything will have a “school” feel. Think chalkboards, old yearbooks, etc. The event will be for all ages- so I thought cookies were perfect. From toddlers, to teens, to grandparents– who doesn’t love a good cookie?!

The supplies:

Assemble:

Ready to give!

DIY Mini Lunch Sac Favors

Supplies

  • Mini Paper Sacs (I used 3 1/2″ x 2″ x 6 3/4″ found at Michaels Craft Store)
  • Printer Paper/Ink
  • Paper Clips
  • Cookies or Treat of Choice

DIY Instructions

  • Print Message (I chose “School” in School Script Dashed font and “SNACKS” in Octin Sports Free font)
  • Place treats in paper sac
  • Cut printed paper to size, attach to sac using paper clip (closing the sac while attaching the paper).

*School Script Dashed font and Octin Sports Free font are free to download from http://www.dafont.com/.

Donuts for Dessert, Brilliant!

Today is National Donut Day, and in honor as such a sweet calendar event- I thought I would share some great donut inspiration with you. The next time you are planning a party- consider swapping your traditional cake out and serve donuts instead.

From top- left to right: Tray passed mini donuts, a simple stack of sweet potato donuts, homemade donuts via Bakerella, double chocolate donut, create a donut dipping station, glazed honey donut atop a hot white latte.

I also love the idea of serving guest warm donuts near the end of your party. Or even, sending them home as favors. Check out these donut hole bags, they would be prefect.

You can make these yourself. Check out the DIY template from Hello Lucky. You can download here.

A must have book for the Modern Hostess

I recently received a copy of Lulu Powers’ new book Food To Flowers, and to be honest, I had no expectations about this book. However, once I starting flipping through the pages, I very was pleasantly surprised.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lulu Powers, she is a chef to the stars, catering parties for a cache of A-list celebrities. At first it was this vibrant and stunning photographed cookbook that had my attention- but soon I realized Lulu’s recipes and tips for simple entertaining at home were the shining star. Her ability to guide you through the party planning process, with loads of information about entertaining and hosting in a fun, relaxed manner- is impressive.

The cookbook is brilliantly separated by time of day- morning, afternoon and evening. With delightful (but not intimidating) recipes for each time slot… Lulu’s recipes really make sense. From Sticky Buns and Lulu’s Blood Mary recipe (morning) to Lavender-Glazed Roasted Chicken (evenings), you will find a recipe sure to tickle your culinary fancy.

Great recipes? Check. But this book is SO much more than a cookbook. A complete guide for any party hostess, Lulu offers tips for planning the perfect party, setting the perfect bar, and even provided a list of resources and vendors she likes to use.

From (my FAV) a Coffee and Newspaper Party, to a Pup Party (complete with dog-friendly recipes)- she has covered it all.

For your next party appetizer, try: Burger Bites with Lulu’s Special Sauce
Makes 30 to 35

For the Burgers
1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon Lindberg-Snider Porterhouse and Roast Seasoning
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 loaf sliced potato bread

For the Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/4 cup chopped cornichons
2 tablespoons chopped peperoncini
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallion, both white and green parts (optional)
In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, ketchup, barbecue sauce, porterhouse seasoning, cumin, and pepper together until well incorporated. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch patties.

Roll out the bread with a rolling pin. Using a 1-inch cookie cutter, cut 4 rounds out of each slice of bread and set aside.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, sear the patties for 1 to 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.

Serve the burgers between 2 potato bread rounds, with a dollop of sauce on each patty.

For all the other recipes and party planning tips, check out Lulu Powers Food To Flowers.

Happy BEE Birthday!

Throw a Happy “Bee” Birthday! This bumble bee party was submitted by Nancy from A to Zebra Celebrations. She designed this black and yellow party for her little honey bee and shared it with us. Thrilled she did, it is darling!

Bumble Bee invitations from TomKat Studios.

The bee antenna are such a great touch!

Nancy did a such a great job on this party. From the black and yellow “sweets” table to all the other buzz worthy details- I love it! Oh- and those adorable banners? She makes those! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop. Thanks for sharing Nancy!

For more photos of this bumble bee party, head on over to Nancy’s blog.

Cherry Party Ideas

I was recently asked for some ideas for a cherry themed party. This particular event happens to be a girlfriend gathering, but these cherry party ideas would work great for any occasion- a summer gathering, bridal shower, you name it. I decided to pair aqua and red for this party theme. I think the aqua adds a vintage twist that is just darling.

Red & aqua table scape, vintage inspired cherry invitations, cherry tea towels to use as decor or as a hostess gift, cherry mojito, red dot luncheon napkin and pale blue 10″ plate via Plates and Napkins.

Let cherries inspire your menu. Look for salad recipes that incorporate cherries (like this cherry-arugula salad) or other ways to use cherries in your more typical recipes. For the sweet stuff try chocolate cherry mousse shots, mini cherry pies, cherry vanilla cupcakes, or chocolate cherry cakes. You can also pick up some coordinate fabric (like this aqua dot) and make simple runners for your dessert table, drink area, or even main tables.

For refreshments, try cherry lemonade to keep guest cool. For favors, why not send guests home with a bag of fresh cherries that they can enjoy later? These cherry tags would be darling to tie the bags closed with. And I am loving these cherry thank you cards. Complete your cherry theme by writing each guest a nice thank you note after the party.

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