Whether it’s a large formal soiree or a more causal dinner party – the best events are the ones that are put on by cool, calm, and collected hostesses. I talk a lot here about ways to simplify your gatherings and I’m always striving to share tips to keep you organized, stress-free, and excited about your event. Today, I’m sharing a must-have book that completely falls in line with these goals — it’s called The Dinner Party Diary by Deborah Greenspan.
This book is perfect for the seasoned hostess or those just getting their feet wet and curious about how to plan a dinner party. Here’s a little peek:
This book is going to be your go-to resource/planner for several reasons. From keeping track of your guests lists, to planning your meal, designing your table settings, to providing ample room for notes and reflection on each event — I am sold on it’s usefulness. Now, you can keep track of everything in one place, which for me is key! No more trying to remember what I served last time I invited so and so over for cocktails or trying to remember the name of that appetizer I prepared for last year’s Mother’s Day get-together. It’s all there, right in my new party planning journal (love that!).
Get your own copy of The Dinner Party Diary on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble for $25.00 (bonus: this would make a thoughtful hostess gift too!).
To learn more about The Dinner Party Diary, be sure to check their blog, and follow them on Facebook & Twitter too.
What do you think? Do you think you could put this new book to good use? What is the next event you are planning? We’d love to hear about it!
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this engagement party, the entire concept of this party was created around the Bride-to-be’s mention that she was envisioning a party that was “classy with a touch of whimsical” and “black with a pop of color.”
Designed by the very talented Kori of Paper and Pigtails, the invite was the source of inspiration for the rest of the event details.
If you missed Part 1 be sure to take a look. We shared lots of bright florals and details. Here’s a peek back:
And at last … more of the event:
In addition to the fully stocked bar, we served up two signature cocktails. We took classic traditional drinks and gave them a twist by using some fun candy. More details on those below! The tray-passed appetizers were classy but a little playful.
Throughout the night, servers passed trays of veggies and hummus, dirty martini skewers (recipe coming!), caprese turkey meatballs, crackers with pesto tapenade, spinach & feta puff pastries, spicy stuffed mushrooms, chipotle mayo beef sliders and french fries served in a cup with spicy ketchup. The food was a hit!
The two signature drinks were both inspired by candy from CandyWarehouse.com — a Rock Candy Champagne Cocktail and a Vodka and Orange Cream Club. Both recipes to come soon!
Paper cones were filled with gourmet cotton candy adult could appreciate. The flavor? Strawberry Jalapeno (it was GOOD!).
The dessert table could not have been more perfect, really. Not over the top — but SPOT ON with the design (just how I like it). Custom cookies by Allyson Jane were a perfect match. She incorporated the logo I designed with a pop of orange and the custom print from the invitaions. She hand decorated our “chevron with a twist” pattern and they were perfect!
Matching custom cupcake toppers were made by the talented Edibtal Details. The monogram and custom pattern showed off beautifully here.
Also, designed by Edible Details were the GORGEOUS sugar flowers that adorned our cake — just so lovely. They mimicked the fresh florals we used throughout the party.
Thank you to all the very talented and helpful vendors who helped me pull this party off. And thank you to the darling couple (Courtney & Dave) who gave me the honor of coordinating this amazing evening for them! Now, let’s plan a wedding shall we? :)
It’s right around the corner — Thanksgiving. Actually, it’s in less than a week. What have I done to prepare you ask? Nothing. Nope, nada. The good thing about sticking to simple entertaining and hostessing ideas is that (when needed) you can pull it all together last minute (yep, literally).
I thought I’d keep it real and share with you all that I am lagging in my planning, but that I’m okay with that. I’ll turn to some of my favorite past ideas like these:
And I’ll throw in some new Thanksgiving ideas like the ones Chris shared here. How about you? Are all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted? How is your Thanksgiving planning coming together?
If you could use a little help pulling your thoughts and ideas together, join me and several other entertaining, design, food, and craft bloggers on Twitter Monday night the @DailyGrommet #HolidayHelp chat. More details here.
Since sharing this engagement party invitation with you, we’ve been super busy gathering all of the fabulous photos from this classy + whimsy engagement party we hosted. We had so many wonderful vendors help us pull off this amazing night to celebrate a very special couple (hello Courtney & Dave!) that we are going to break the party feature into 2 parts. So, let’s just jump in to some eye candy, shall we?
The entire concept of this party was created around the Bride-to-be’s mention that she was envisioning a party that was “classy with a touch of whimsical” and “black with a pop of color.” I took her wishes and ran with them. I knew I wanted to use one original pattern throughout the party (think invite, decor, desserts) and that bright pink and orange would be perfect for an end-of-summer cocktail soiree. I turned to my go-to girl Kori from Paper and Pigtails and together we brainstormed the PERFECT invite!
The reverse side of the invite was printed with a custom pattern – I’m calling it “chevron with a twist.” You’ll see much more of the pattern in Part 2!
The event took place at the home of dear friends of the couple in Old Town Murrieta, CA. The property offered a gorgeous backdrop for cocktails, appetizers, friends and family. We strung market lights which transformed the yard once the sun set.
All the linens and chairs (from Allie’s Party) were black which looked really chic in the bright and vibrant outdoor space. The Blumebox vases used to create the centerpieces were also black and were meant to blend in to the table top. Then each was filled with vibrant flowers that “popped” right off of the tables.
Photos and flowers were used throughout the party space.
The main decor for this party were the pink and orange flowers — stunning flowers.
Roses, baby Dalias and Gerber Daisies in shades of oranges and pinks. They were all grown and picked by my favorite grower at our local farmers’ market (more on him soon!).
We have much more to show you in Part 2 including food, cocktails and amazing desserts. See Part 2 here.
I was brainstorming 30th birthday party ideas last month when I began planning a very special party for by best friend, Sarah. Nothing was jumping out to me so I decided to start with her favorite color (purple) and pair it with a bright yellow. Yellow just screams Spring and well, I am ready for warm weather and bright sunshine! Hope you like!
A simple invitation. I designed the invitations, printed at home and then finished off by rounding the corners.
A spring wreath welcomed guests (it only cost $5 to make and really adds a nice touch!). White candle holders (a HomeGoods find) were topped with mini yellow plant pots and tucked inside were purple candles. An eclectic group of purple and yellow flowers were put together for centerpieces. Bright yellows and shades of purple worked well together.
I ended up tucking a few faux flowers (disclaimer: I sort of despise faux flowers) into the fresh arrangements. It ended up being an inexpensive way to get that deep-purple color I was looking for. Plus, the centerpieces still smelt good because of the fresh blooms!
Purple damask (paper) placemats and yellow linen napkins added the vibrant color to the table. I created these placemats with scrapbook paper (remember when I showed you how to make placemats?). I also tied several shades of purple ribbons to the back of the birthday girl’s chair. Even 30 year old birthday girls want to feel special, right?
To complement our Italian dinner, we had some great wine (of course!). Here is a fun sign I created (more to come on that soon!).
So what do you think? Are you a fan of the purple & yellow color combo? What other color combos are you loving for Spring?