Filed In: entertaining

Ode to Summer on Fox29

Mixer, Large Plate, Salad Plate, Napkins, Dress

Did you catch me on FOX29 this morning? I’ll post the video shortly but in the meantime, here you can find links to everything I mentioned on hosting an ode to summer party!

First off, you have to check out Bar Spoon Beverage. They’re a local business that produces handmade beverage mixers and syrups. I like the idea of bringing them to a party as a hostess gift, instead of the usual bottle of wine. They are delicious and so easy to use… just fill a glass with ice, some tonic, a little Bar Spoon Beverage and then your liquor of choice (gin, vodka, tequila, etc.). Garnish with fresh fruit, mint and a fancy little straw! Bar Spoon Beverage is based on the Main Line and only does business locally (as of right now), so if you’re interested in buying some bottles then contact them through their website to inquire.

While we are on the subject of food and drinks, I also suggest a DIY hot dog bar where you pick your toppings. Include shredded cheese, onions, pickle spears and tomatoes (for a Chicago style dog), chili, coleslaw (for a Carolina dog) and of course the usual like mustard, ketchup and relish. And don’t forget watermelon on a stick… it’s not summer without the melon!

A good summer party should include everyone’s favorite treats like a DIY s’mores kit with a little strawberry container packed full of everything you need. I used a bandana in mine to serve as a napkin or a little take home gift!

I believe a good table setting is just as important as yummy food and drinks so I paired this traditional picnic check blanket that everyone has lying around with Coton Colors plates. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns on your table, it adds interest, I mixed in greek key and ikat patterns here.

Nothing makes a table more personalized than a monogram. I worked with Lumina Embroidery to create these adorable monogrammed napkins with ants. Could it be more summer-y?

Watch the clip here!

 

LIT Cocktail

Cocktail Napkins, Glass

Over here at #PatriciasPalace our MDW was a rainy and chilly one. No pool time for me to work on my summer tan. So when life gives you lemons (or unfavorable weather), what do you do? Make a fun cocktail, of course!

This cocktail was inspired by the mint I’m growing in my garden. I’m not going to lie… I might have also wanted to make a red drink that coordinated with these super fun August Morgan cocktail napkins. I’ve built quite a collection of her whimsy napkins that put a twist on tradition.

Anyways, back to the cocktails. Here’s what’s in it:

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa
  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 6 Strawberries
  • 3 Fresh Mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Muddle strawberries, mint and sugar in shaker
  2. Add gin to shaker and shake
  3. Pour mixture over glass filled with ice
  4. Top with Sanpellegrino
  5. Garnish with extra mint

Erica B Jefferson

Stationary c/o Erica B Jefferson

Call me old fashioned but I still believe in snail mail. Specifically the importance of handwriting thank you notes to show gratitude. A text or email might be easier but there’s something special about opening the mailbox and finding a note instead of junk advertisements.

I write thank you notes for presents, dinners and just the occasional “hey, I though of you”.  Whenever I find cute stationary I stock up, I have a drawer in my office just dedicated to stationary and cards. The latest to my drawer? Erica B Jefferson stationary! Her designs are preppy yet classic and can be customized with a name or monogram. Literally all of her designs I love and had such a hard time picking which one to get. You truly can’t go wrong!

#27AndHavanaGoodTime

Wall Decals c/o Look Sugar, Cake Candles, Candles, Tea Light Candles, Plates, Custom Napkins, Shirt, Earrings

Celebrations are what I live for… if you’ve read my Instagram bio you’d know I believe in month long birthdays too. Each year I go all out and have a themed birthday party. It’s something I look forward to and start thinking about months in advance. Now it has become a tradition where my friends even try to guess what the theme will be from year to year. We’ll see if after 30 I change my tune and no longer look forward to celebrating another year older…

This year’s theme was Cuban flair with my hashtag being #27AndHavanaGoodTime. Clever, right? Decorations included pineapples aplenty, lots of palm leaves and bright colors. I setup a mojito bar with this recipe and a cigar bar which included both faux (gum) cigars and real cigars, which let’s be honest were really for the boys to enjoy.

Usually I get an extravagant cake for the party but this year decided to tone down the actual cake and focus more on the adorable pineapple cake pops. Plus, the cake got jazzed up with some fun pineapple birthday candles. Speaking of pineapples, they were everywhere… including on the wall! Party hack: I think wall decal stickers (I get mine from Look Sugar) are a perfect party option as they are cheaper than a Photo Booth backdrop, go up in seconds and come off the walls without any residue. Instantly making any room feel festive!

Last but not least, the birthday girl’s look! Every girl should be pampered and feel beautiful for her special day so I always indulge in some pre-party beauty treatments. Since it’s the dead of winter and I’m a shade of ghostly pale come January 17th I always book a spray tan with my girl Marla of And So It Glows. She comes right to your home and takes your 50 shades darker. Next up, I visited Blown Away in Kennett Square. Their super talented stylist Jessica gave me a luxurious blowout and waves with a deep part for the retro Cuban ‘do I was after. Last up, Houpette for makeup. The store not only stocks some amazing lines but also has some super talented artist who helped me achieve a glowy bronzed look with a golden smokey eye and orangish-red bold lip.

With my birthday look and party decorations it was almost like we were in Cuba!

Give On The Go

August Morgan Cocktail Napkins & Glasses c/o, Matches

Christmas is just a few days away. Crazy right? If you’re like me and still have a few gifts left to get, then let me share with you this easy one for any hostess. I love putting together gifts that go together, sort of like a package. For this one I combined a set of cocktail napkins with stemless glasses, a set of matches and a mini bottle of bubbly. The hostess can you use this gift for a date night, girls night in or any excuse for a mini celebration.

August Morgan is my favorite brand for cocktail napkins as they are classic linen sets that are updated with cheeky sayings for the modern host or hostess. I have a collection of her designs and always gift them to my friends.

Decorating with Nature

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Placemats (c/o Emily McCarthy Shop)

Need some Christmas table setting inspiration? Look no further than the great outdoors! Seriously. The inspiration for me came when I saw these feather placemats from the Emily McCarthy Shop.  From there I obviously added more feathers, because YOLO. Next I remembered the pinecones I had collected from South Carolina, they’re seriously jumbo sized! I spray painted some and left the others their natural color. You could do the same with acorns in glass vases if you can’t find pinecones

When it came to place cards I went to my local antique mall (which randomly has a rock booth, who knew?) and bought the prettiest agates I could find in varies colors. I used wineglass markers to write the names as they can be wiped off simply with a moist rag and used again. For the antlers, since I only had one actual real antler I found faux antler candleholders at Homegoods and paired with stick looking candles to keep things authentic and rustic.

I finished the table with plaid napkins and plates with ducks that I scored months ago for $1, I knew they’d find their home eventually and boy was I right!

What do you think? How are you seating your table for the holidays?

Fall Chai-der

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To Go Tumbler

I know cupcake stores are a dime a dozen, especially in big cities. If you ever find yourself in DC though, you need to go to Baked and Wired. However, not for the cupcakes, but instead for the “chai-der”. I can’t even begin to describe how delicious it is and once fall rolls around I crave it even from states away.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own version for all to enjoy. It’s super easy and gives the PSL a run for its money!

Ingredients

  • Chai tea bags
  • Apple Cider
  • Cinnamon Sugar

Directions

  1. Heat up 1.5 cups of apple cider
  2. Place chai tea bag in cup with warmed apple cider
  3. Let tea steep
  4. Finish with a dash of cinnamon sugar

What’s your favorite fall drink?

Caramel Apple Moscow Mule

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Mug

My answer still stands that an Elizabethtini is still my favorite drink but you can’t beat a good moscow mule. It’s refreshing and not overly sweet. Plus, there’s something about those little copper mugs! The moscow mule was the drink of summer 2016 for me and I plan to transition it into fall with this little recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Apple Cider
  • 2 oz Ginger Beer
  • 1.5 oz Caramel Flavored Vodka

Directions:

  1. Fill copper Moscow Mule mug to the brim with crushed ice.
  2. Measure and pour ingredients starting with the vodka.
  3. Garnish with an apple slice for extra flair.

Hey Pumpkin

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Mug c/o

Pumpkin season is upon us and this recipe is my favorite fall treat. It’s a little pumpkin-y, a little, chilly and optionally booze-y!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin pie space creamer
  • 1/2 canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin flavored vodka (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Recipe:

  1. Mix all the ingredients with a blender
  2. Top with whipped cream, another dash of cinnamon and decorate with sprinkles!

DIY Hostess Gift

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Just wanted to let you guys know I’m sharing this super fun and easy DIY Halloween hostess gift on A Blissful Nest today. I’m one of their holiday contributors so throughout the season I’ll be occasionally posting there. Click here to learn how to make this and check out Rebekah’s blog.