White Gourd Placesetting DIY

fall dinner party name card diy

When it comes to dinner parties, I like to think outside the dining room sometimes to create a more magical experience for our friends.  I’ve always wanted to do a big outdoor sit-down dinner, but various technicalities have gotten in the way.  This year, it’s happening.  I built a table (more on that later) and have been starting the planning process.

outdoor dinner party fall fall tablescape

One thing I knew I wanted to include were some white name card holders.  Although actual white pumpkins can be used, they’re fairly pricey and don’t last super long once cut.  I made a very sleek, modern version using some run-of-the-mill foam pumpkins from the Home Depot.

fall dinner party outside fall name card

The result is a beautiful, serene tablescape that isn’t a cacophony of color (which you know isn’t my thing). The white gourds lend themselves well to the other colors incorporated in the table and won’t compete with any of the other decor.  The best part is that since they’re faux, they’ll last throughout the whole season and I can use them all of the way through Thanksgiving.

It’s a super easy project that I’m almost embarrassed to call a ‘DIY’ but sometimes it’s the little things, right?  Let’s go!  [Read more…]

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Pumpkin Spice Kahlúa Ice Cream

pumpkin spice ice cream copy

Fall is in full swing, which means pumpkin everything. I take every opportunity I humanly can to incorporate fall flavors into everything this time of year and no food or drink is off limits! In Ohio, it’s still pretty warm during the days which makes ice cream a perfect treat for basking in the weekend harvest sunlight.

You guys might remember my method for ‘making’ ice cream and how I don’t really make it at all.  I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I take a fabulous short-cut that allows for infinite customizations.  As I plan out the menu for an upcoming harvest party I’m planning, I wanted to stay away from pies and cakes since I’ll make those later in the fall season (just wait!).  I really wanted to incorporate something sweet, light, and cool – the perfect treat for after a hearty dinner.  Adding in the coffee and rum flavors of Kahlúa is perfect for our crowd too.  Who doesn’t love a little after dinner liqueur?

kahlua pumpkin spice icecream pumpkin ice cream

What’s even better is that this recipe has a whopping four ingredients.  Roll up your sleeves and let’s make some fall ice cream!  [Read more…]

‘That’s My Jam’ Canning Party – Pt 1

fall farmers market

I think one of the things I love so much about fall is that it’s the season we seem to mingle so well with nature.  People revel in apple picking, pumpkin patches, and farmer’s markets.  I wanted to take advantage of this festive time, so I’m planning a JAM party for my girls!  I’ve divided the ‘party’ into two steps since I know canning can be pretty time consuming and tedious.

Step one is farmer’s market shopping.  Each friend lives on a different side of town and has their preferred market.  Everyone also has different preferences on food!  I armed each friend with a custom tote that reads, ‘That’s my JAM” (haha).  I made the totes last week on the iPhone app, Makr, and they arrived just in time to give one out to each girl with the challenge to return this weekend with a bag full of fall produce.

fall apple picking

I set out on the same assignment and picked up some Jonathon apples, pears, green beans, and tomatoes.

Step two will be this weekend! [Read more…]

A Whimsical Berry Wedding

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I am so excited to share last weekend’s wedding with you all today!  You can see from my pre-planning post, we were going toward levels of berry mixed together with tons of silvery green eucalyptus for a woodsy, whimsical look.  It was the perfect mix of moody and bright hues for an August wedding.  There was an earthiness to color palette even through we included a lot of purple and pink.  The wedding and reception were held at an old train station which has since been repurposed as an event space.

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Not only did we do the traditional bouquets and table arrangements, but we also constructed two thirty foot garlands for the altar area, which we then moved to the tuscan style head table for the reception.  All of the photos were done by Brad Young. Keep on reading for more and more photos of the event!

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[Read more…]

Sunday Brunch with Sangria Bar

sunday sangria bar

Everyone loves a good Sunday Funday, right? For me, there is something about a sunny sunday that makes me want to lounge around with friends and indulge a little.  Indulging a bit means letting the food and drink be easy, but good with a little help from the store. I’m a big fan of using bought items to ease the stress of a get together, especially one of this sort.

To create an easy, but still stunning fete, create one (all you need is one) focal point that creates a memorable and interactive feeling. Here, I’ve created a little sangria bar to be the main attraction.  Since we’re keeping things easy here, I used store-bought Yellow Tail Sangria and posted a handwritten sign encouraging everyone to try the sangria a few different ways!  Juices, sparkling water, fresh herbs, and champagne are all wonderful elements to mix and match, enabling each person to find their favorite way to enjoy a custom sangria.

Since sangria isn’t too heavy in alcohol, it can be enjoyed throughout the afternoon without a full hearty meal, but instead with a few brunch favorites to nibble on.

sangria brunch

easy bruch menu

I’m a big believer in serving just a few things and serving them in large amounts to people feel like they can really dig in.  I think that unless you’re having a potluck, there shouldn’t be a gazillion choices. Too many items increases the work you have to do and creates the same anxiety for guests as being in a restaurant with too big of a menu.

One big, savory quiche was the only thing I made at home, but I made it a big one!  All of the other treats were purchased, but presented on pretty platters and in abundant quantities.  Fresh fruit, bakery pastries, and a full cheese plate are enough to create a big meal for anyone.

sangria bar brunch

sangria party

sunday bruch with sangria

You should enjoy your own gathering!  Planning a quick, easy, but still polished event can be done with a little planning, a narrow menu, and the help of a few purchased goodies.

Savor every element of your next brunch!

 

Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.