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!
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I recently shared part one of my oldest daughter’s sweet sixteen succulent party theme and I’m back to share more of the pretty details! This party really reflected her personal style which is laid back and outdoorsy. This boho themed party incorporated her love of sunset colors and succulents. I especially love how all the desserts turned out! I worked with some seriously talented dessert pros and they nailed it.
This was the dessert table that I set up in our outdoor tent area. Here’s what it looked like from the outside.
The color palette was a play off of Taylor’s love for desert sunsets. Personally, I feel like the colors really brought this boho dessert table together.
The handmade sign above the table read “oh how sweet sixteen.”
Let’s start with this cake. Because, WOW. It was a “semi-naked” cake because she loved the look of a naked cake but also really enjoys eating the icing. :) I can’t blame her! The color was a sunset-y peach color and it was adorned with real succulents.
The topper was laser cut from wood and added such a nice finishing touch to the cake. (The flavor was snickerdoodle and it was delicious!).
The cake was really a show stopper.
The cupcakes were topped with the most creative fondant toppers. They looked just like mini succulents! There were also some flat toppers with boho-inspired patterns on them. No one could believe they were edible. (You might remember the cute toppers we had at my London’s 5th birthday breakfast party? Same talented source, more on that below.) (more…)
I’m finally sharing pics from the recent Sweet Sixteen party I planned for my oldest daughter, Taylor. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you may remember her 9th Sweet Shoppe party, her 10th Zebra party, 11th Baking and Craft party–to name a few! Sixteen is BIG and I wanted to make sure the party reflected her personal style. It was desert meets succulent party theme. She picked everything, from the colors (peach and cornflower blue), to the theme (succulents), to the patterns we used throughout. It was a nice experience working with her to make the vision come to life. I also kept thinking, wow, I’m so lucky she has great style (because I LOVED her ideas)! :)
An invitation always sets the stage for a party and I was thrilled how this turned out. I designed them myself and printed them on high-quality paper. The succulents were incorporated on the front and we chose a peach and cornflower blue boho pattern for the back. I also designed coordinating stamps and thank you cards.
The guest list was pretty large since we included both family and her friends. We knew our home wasn’t big enough to host everyone inside, and since it was mid December with temps in the 50’s, we knew outside would be too chilly. We opted for renting a 20×30 tent for our backyard and it worked out better than imagined. It had a heater inside which made it completely toasty (it could get up to 75 degrees!). I loved the clear plastic vs the traditional all-white because it gave the space a nice indoor-outdoor feel. We had market lights strung inside which lit the space at night. It looked amazing! Let’s go inside to look at some of the details, shall we?
There were three hand-painted wooden signs throughout the party: above the dessert table, next to the favors, and at the entrance. I picked up the wood from Lowe’s and gave it a quick stain. Then, I used water based Sharpie paint pens to write on them. (more…)
The minute the weather warms up and the evenings get longer, I start dreaming up the first summer party of the year. I absolutely love to entertain in our backyard but our space really needed an update. In fact, our old outdoor dining table had all but fallen apart so we had to build our entertaining space back up, from scratch. Working with a blank slate is always exciting to me. A must-have for us was well made outdoor furniture.
Before we could set the stage for summer entertaining, we had to lay the foundation –and this dining collection was the perfect choice!
Today I’m sharing with you how we took this foundation, added a few of my go-to summer party essentials, and transformed our space to one fit for guests. These pieces will help you create an inviting (and functional) space to gather with family and friends –this summer and beyond.
Outdoor furniture: Create an inviting space to dine and relax. A nice outdoor dining table can be used regularly by your family and also when entertaining. My tip is to invest in a good quality table and chairs (I am loving these outdoor stacking chairs) to be sure they stand up against the sun and weather. Be sure to grab a couple colorful pillows to add a pop of color!
This book themed baby shower is full of sweet details. I hope you enjoy them!
Baby showers are a special occasion. Baby shower honoring family? EXTRA special. Here’s a look at the book themed baby shower I hosted to help celebrate the arrival of a new baby niece; she’ll be here soon and we are over the moon about it!
The theme just sort of happened. The mom-to-be loves reading and knew she wanted to incorporate children’s books into the shower somehow. I know her personal style of romantic with a touch of vintage and just put it all together. Baby Love Story was born.
[update: printable “SIP SIP hooray” now linked for free download at the end of the post!]
I don’t know if you’re like me, but summertime somehow stresses me out. In my head it’s full of days lounging on the beach, picnics with the kids and drinks with umbrellas–but reality? It’s still the daily grind but with the added longing to be outside soaking up the sun. In an effort to take a moment to pause and just ENJOY the moment, I invited a few of my closest girls over for a much needed cocktail hour. An easy summer sangria and chatting were our only two agenda items. Pure. Summer. Bliss.
I didn’t fuss much over setting up an extravagant table since the whole point was to relax and unwind. I planned to serve only one cocktail (Yellow Tail Sangria) so I drew from the sangria for color inspiration. Peach and plum flowers accompanied by actual fresh peaches and plums added the perfect summer touch to my backyard patio table.