Category: Celebrate

S’more Fun with Watermelons!

July 24

Is there a particular fruit or sweet dessert that just reminds you of summer?  For me it has to be the watermelon!  When I see them I can’t help but think of backyard BBQs where they’re assuredly served up…and they can also be a source of family entertainment if you get a good seed-spiting contest going!  This roly-poly fruit just seems to make people smile so it stands to reason that it’s a popular theme for parties!  I served up some watermelon fun for an afternoon treat…but in ways that might not be exactly what you’d think!  Let me share them with you and celebrate the watermelon…

serve up a watermelon slice of happiness!

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

July 13

Summer heat is easily beat with that sweet little treat called ice cream!  Today I’d like to share a fun way to whip up an easy ice cream bar with simple decorations and simple ingredients!  If you’ve got an ice cream maker you can churn up a icy recipe or equally as enjoyable, just grab your favorite brand from the freezer!  Set out some festive and yummy toppings, cones or dishes & spoons and call all your favorite peeps in out of the heat for a screamin’ good time!  Take a peek…

ice cream dream!

Let’s Flamingle!

July 10

So now that summer is in full swing there’s a tradition I love to do as often as I can…host an outdoor movie night!  Several years ago we invested in an outdoor projector and let me tell you that it’s one of the best purchases we’ve ever made!  Often times throughout the summer we’ll hook that thing up and camp outside with some popcorn, snacks, and my hubby and I might partake in an adult beverage or two!  It’s really a fun, family activity that’s still appealing to the boys…even though the quality of the projector can’t come close to what the digital TVs are like today!  But for me, that’s part of the nostalgic appeal, it reminds me of the drive-in theater days…back when that quality wasn’t comparable to today’s either!  So when I decided to host some girlfriends for one of our semi-regular movie-night gatherings I knew we needed to do it outside!  And with the collaborative help from a talented designer friend of mine, we chose a popular summertime theme and ran with it!  A “flamingle” outdoor movie party is such a fun and whimsical way to celebrate summer…whether it’s a grown-up girl’s night out or a teen or tween party, a flamingo-inspired celebration is the perfect way to create a festive event for a flock of your friends!  Let me share some pink party inspiration…

flocktails and friendship!

Pineapples on the Patio

June 26

I was completely thrilled when I was asked earlier this spring if I would contribute a party idea for the summer issue of Everyday Party Magazine!  Summer parties give us many opportunities to use fun decor…sea shells or beaches, pool time & flip flops, nautical designs, drive in movies…the list goes on!  But another favorite of mine is a little tropical fruit we know and love…the pineapple!  Not only does it evoke thoughts of the tropics but the color of the fruit itself reminds me of sunshine, so it’s a perfect summertime theme!  It has been so busy around here that even though the publication came out some time ago, I haven’t yet shared the fun here…so today I’d like to give you some sunny inspiration for a simple gathering!

have a pineapple picnic!

Oh My Stars!

June 16

So, I hate to mention this fact but it is now beyond the halfway point in June!  What?  It seems like school just got out yesterday and now it’s already time to gear up for all those Fourth of July festivities!  I hear that some people believe when the 4th arrives the summer is half over…and some believe that the holiday is the official celebration to the beginning of the summer season…I think I’d like to go with the latter!  It is true, as vacation standards go, the summer CAN be half over when you consider early start-dates or school activities that begin well before the first day of classes.  But I’m not going to concentrate on that fact…I’m here to share some inspiration for summer fun and celebrations that have really JUST begun!  So today I’m seeing stars…a fun theme for a patriotic or ANY type of party!

star-spangled snacks!

Graduation, Moroccan Style!

June 12

It’s been a fun conclusion to a long couple of weeks filled with all the normal end-of-school activities combined with graduation ceremonies, university orientation, and grad parties…including our own!  My son requested a smaller gathering for his graduation celebration, more like a large dinner party.  And the food request?  A traditional Moroccan meal…lucky my hubby just happened to live in Morocco as a child!  And though he didn’t know how to cook back then, he’s a wonderful at-home chef now and specializes in Moroccan delicacies!  We were lucky to have received a Moroccan cookbook as a wedding gift from my in-laws and what makes it extra special was what was written inside.  Within the pages of this book were the personal recipes of the cook who worked for my husband’s family  while they lived in Morocco.  My Father-in-law worked for the State Department and enjoyed the benefits of a staff while stationed in certain countries…they weren’t royalty or crazy rich, in case you’re wondering!  But we ultimately reaped those benefits too when we received all those wonderful and completely authentic recipes!  I do feel fortunate that my family has enjoyed these delicious and unique meals as the boys have grown throughout the years…and on special occasions they think nothing of eating without utensils, digging into a community pot, while seated on the floor!  So this very experience was my son’s request…to treat a small group of friends to a taste of something we hoped would be special!  Let me share with you our wonderful celebration for our son and some of his friends…

a sample of Morocco…

Nautical Twist

May 30

Often times when I think about summertime parties I envision the crisp colors of red, white, and blue!  Perfect for patriotic celebrations and ALL summer long with clean stripes, polka dots, and nautical images that remind us of the sea!  Clam bakes, barbecues, ice cream and s’mores are just a few of the summer food favorites that also come to mind when I’m dreaming of outdoor entertaining and gatherings with my family and friends!  So today I’d like to share with you some nautical inspired party ideas that you can use at your next backyard celebration…and when I say nautical, I guess I use the term a little loosely because it might not be exactly what you think!  But that’s the fun of party styling…letting your creativity flow with no rules to follow!  When I come across decorating items that I love, I just have to share them…in hopes that you can find lots of inspiration for your festivities!  I also love sharing ways to use these items outside of what they were intended for…that’s what can make your event (big OR small) unique to you AND let you get lots of bang for your buck by having loads of options for your goodies!  Let’s get started on summer fun now that the unofficial beginning of the season has come and gone!  Check out this backyard gathering with understated nautical touches!

lobster-up your nautical!

Eat Cake for Breakfast!

May 25

Yesterday I co-hosted the final Breakfast Club gathering for the school year.  My sweet friend helped me to dish up some morning goodies to some of the ladies who make up this really fun and wonderful group!  I have to sing praises for this group which began several years ago when many of our littlest kiddos went to school full time.  It was such a wonderful way to stay connected to moms who no longer had little ones to take to playgroups anymore.  The only new “rule”…all grownup time!  I miss those playgroup days but I do have to admit that it’s so wonderful to have uninterrupted conversations with old and new friends…the group is open to all newcomers as long as they don’t have kids in tow!  And once in a while, a new mom with kids at home might actually have a second without her littles and pop in for a cup of joe and a “mommies only” moment!  I just love the way this group offers the opportunity to meet women we might not cross paths with due to the different stages of our kids or working schedules!  So since this is one of my favorite things and being the last gathering until fall comes around, I wanted to do something a little special on my buffet…without going crazy–this is supposed to be easy fun after all!  But with a little recycling, I could make a pretty food station with simple treats to celebrate friendships!

breakfast club season finale!

A Taste of New Orleans!

May 15

During our Christmas break my family traveled to New Orleans for the first time!  You may remember me sharing some of the fun from that wonderful vacation in a city that was so much more than we ever expected!  We were so taken back by the wonderful citizens who dwell in that colorful town, the music was amazingly incredible, and equally wonderful…the food!  We were so fortunate to have some of our friends tell us all their favorite places to sample the flavors of Nola…so as a little “thank you” we decided to treat them to a meal, New Orleans style!  Our original intent was to replicate the  muffuletta sandwiches from Central Grocery…a most favored little store that made these delicious and ginormous sandwiches in the back of the shop!  But when we began to research how to make a sandwich that was as similar as possible…we discovered that we could actually have the real deal shipped directly to our doorstep!  Needless to say, we decided to throw out the idea of making them ourselves and treat our friends to an authentic taste of the city!  If you’ve not heard of Goldbely, you really should check them out!  They can bring to your door some of the most wonderful eats and sweets from all across the country!  From steaks to cupcakes, deli sandwiches to cookies & ice cream…if you have a favorite from somewhere you’ve visited check to see if they’ve got you covered!  And if not, I can guarantee you’ll see something that looks delicious!  So over the weekend we enjoyed good company and good food…made simple!  And even though I really didn’t prepare anything myself, I’d still like to share how I set up some simple munchies for our “thank you” meal!

nibble, munch, and celebrate NOLA!

Mother’s Day Brunch

May 8

Mother’s Day is coming soon…and that means it’s time for special breakfasts, brunches, or dinners to celebrate mom!  Today I’d like to share an almost effortless way to dress up your table no matter what you might serve up!  I love the idea of a simple breakfast dished out on a pretty tabletop…but that doesn’t mean it requires a lot of work to make it look festive.  Let me share these easy ideas with you…

set a springtime table…