Monthly Archives: August 2016

Entertaining On A Budget

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Plates & Bowls (in-store only at Christmas Tree Shops), Tablecloth, Napkins (similar), Flatware, Placemats

Would you guys believe me if I told you this whole table setting was under $100? Well, spoiler alert… it was! Let me start off by saying, I simply adore entertaining. You know, coming up with a delicious menu, creating a fun guest list, deciding on a theme with a tablescape to match. I even enjoy cleaning the house before a party! The problem is, all those dinner parties can rack up quite a bill and you never want to skimp on your guests!

That’s why I’m sharing this little secret with you… you don’t have to take out another mortgage to set your table. You simply just need to know where to find style on a dime and get creative. Here are some of my favorite places to catch a steal before I entertain:

  • Christmas Tree Shops- get your linens here, colorful plates and even basic white serving dishes and displays as most stuff is under $20
  • Walmart- seriously, they have an array of flatware in different colors and motifs for a fraction of the price
  • Homegoods & TJMaxx- designer goods on sale, this is where I find my Kate Spade placemats and Ralph Lauren vases
  • Target- a huge selection of classic, well-made serving ware that you’ll use for every party
  • Habitat for Humanity- I always stop by local thrift store for unique vases and mis-matched sets of glasses that add character to a table

Do you have any places that you shop for budget finds when entertaining?

Serving Up Style

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Who’s ready for fall? This girl is! Fall is my favorite season, I love chunky knits, cozy scarves, cute riding boots and chic tweed dresses. This one from Sail to Sable is sure to be on repeat as the temperatures drop. I’ll layer it over a button down with boots for a casual work look and then with patterned heels and fun accessories for entertaining… it’s the ideal hostess dress!

I’ve always been a fan of Sail to Sable since they launched a few years ago and have amassed quiet the collection of their tunics and party dresses. They’re perfectly preppy but in a modern way and always have superb attention to detail like an exposed chunky zipper on the back of this dress.

What’s your favorite piece to wear when entertaining?

Tips for Antiquing

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One of my favorite things to do with my family is to go thrift stores and antiquing. It’s a tradition we do every time we visit my Aunt and Grandparents in South Carolina. I’ve grown up antiquing because my Dad collects old wood planes and appreciates well made furniture. And my Mom, well she’s the best bargain hunter I’ve ever met.

I started collecting vintage jewelry during these antiquing trips but more recently since owning a home have started hunting for unique decor accents. My favorite finds to date? A pair of gold Chanel clip on earrings I scooped off a table in Chestnut Hill, a set off brass pineapple tumblers that I now see all over the internet but I scored for $10 at a Aiken thrift store so crowded with treasures (and some trash) that you could barely move and finally at Chadds Ford antique mall I discovered a glass paperweight already with my PM monogram. If that wasn’t meant to be I don’t know what is!

I’m no Antique Roadshow winner but I’d say I have some experience in finding hidden treasures like these so I thought I’d share some of my tips:

  1. Go in with a plan. Antique stores are typically not organized in particular order, making it hard to focus and not feel overwhelmed. By having a plan of what you hope to find you can keep your eyes peeled and not get distracted. For example: recently I went looking for a bowl to hold my fruit, with the specifics of being blue and white in color
  2. Go with a friend. Most of the time I prefer shopping alone but if you go antiquing with friends or family you have the double the eyes to search through merchandise.
  3. Don’t be afraid to bargain. Leverage buying two or pieces if interested in getting a discount. Most of the times sellers are open to this and willing to meet somewhere in the middle.
  4. Don’t be afraid of a little DIY. Keep in mind paint, fabric and new drawer pulls can really make a difference when looking at furniture. My dining room set is second hand. It was a classic piece but just needed new fabric on the cushions for an update.
  5. If you like a piece carry it around, you can always put it back but if you don’t carry it around someone else might snatch it up.
  6. The most important piece of advice is look for pieces with personality that speak to you and make you happy. Maybe not everyone would like a glass dish that says Betty hanging on their gallery with a goofy abstract person, but if it makes your happy it will give your home character and be a great conversation starter.

Where do you go antiquing? Any tips of your own? Share yours in the comments below.

Gifting with Hello Dobson

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Earrings (c/o)

Have you heard of the 5 love languages? While words of affirmation might be the language I respond to best, I have to admit that gifting is the language I speak to others. I pride myself on thinking of creative and thoughtful gifts and putting together themed gift baskets and going overboard with wrapping paper and ribbon. I recently discovered Hello Dobson, an adorable online boutique with lifestyle pieces created by the super cute Blair Dobson. The shop includes art, decor and accessories ranging in prices from $38 to $136… making it perfect for gifting all the gals in your life.

These silk tassel earrings come in just about every color you can think of and are so glam. They’d make an ideal gift for my besties (just call us the Tassel Team!). Not only are the products well made but the packaging is a gift in itself.

Who would you give these tassels to and what color? Stay tuned for more Hello Dobson pieces in #patriciaspalace

Welcome Friends

 DSC_0307DSC_0314DSC_0305DSC_0303Book, Magazine, Soap, Mug, Matches, Towels

It’s stupid, I know, but those little freebie soap and shampoo samples that are waiting in your hotel room for you when you check in are one of my favorite things about traveling. Even though the housekeepers are required to put them out, the act still seems thoughtful. It’s like a welcome package. My mom-mom actually does the same thing and has inspired me to start the tradition of a little DIY welcome package for guests of #patriciaspalace

Whenever I visit my grandparents in South Carolina my mom-mom always leaves a welcome note, fresh towels, a little present and my favorite treat (Swedish Fish, Milky Ways and apple juice) on the bed. It’s something I look forward to and the thoughtfulness is recognized.

In my #patriciaspalace version of the welcome package I like to include:

  • Fresh towel set… monogramed, of course
  • Scented pretty packaged toiletries such as my favorites from Coastal Salt & Soul and Currie
  • Some good reads like the local magazine Main Line Today and a good page turner I just finished up
  • Quirky coffee mug or glass accompanied by a pretty bottle of water and tea
  • My guests favorite snacks for late night cravings
  • Seasonal smelling candle with an adorable set of matches

Going For The Gold

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Plates, Cups, Mini Cups, Tablecloth (similar)

Has anyone else caught the Olympic spirit? These past two weeks I’ve spent all of my free time watching swimming, horseback riding and gymnastics while cheering on the good ol’ US of A! Instead of viewing alone this past weekend I decided to cease the excitement and host an Olympic themed cookout. While red, white and blue would have been an obvious color scheme for such an event, I decided to mix it up and use gold instead, as in “going for the gold”.

I set the table with an old Kate Spade tablecloth with gold stripes and decorated with vases and containers that had gold accents. As for the GOLD letters? $1 wooden figures from Target that I simply painted gold and paired with mini toy trophies. The food for the evening I kept ‘Merican with hot dogs, cheeseburgers, crockpot mac and cheese, followed by s’mores for dessert.

All that aside, the true hit of the party was really the Polaroid camera. Who doesn’t love an old school selfie?

Party Pad Inspo

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First of let me apologize for the random image sizes. That’s the problem when you Google and pin images though… none of them are the same size and resolution! It’s enough to drive your OCD crazy. Regardless, today I wanted to share some inspiration for my #patriciapartypad design.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going for a sort of Ralph Lauren lodge-like feel. I plan to mix plaids with velvet textures and animal prints, for a cozy layered effect. I’m obsessing over this Cotton and Quill fabric and hoping to incorporate it into the design somehow. It’s a plaid composed of horse bits. I’ve been scouting antique stores for mounted antlers, old decorative canes, artwork featuring hunting dogs or fox chases and some more brass objects.

As far as furniture goes I’m hoping to have make a rustic table and find a small sofa if the space allows for such. I love the idea of using old steamer trunks and luggage as a coffee or end table. I have been on the lookout for an antler chandelier that isn’t too cheesy or aggressive but it’s a challenge. What do you think?