This past weekend we went to the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. The party was organized by Boston Swing Central. We went with friends and brought along our own picnic. If you haven’t been to the Crane Estate yet, GO! Castle Hill on the 2,100 acre Crane Estate is located on Boston’s North Shore in Ipswich, MA.
As summer is winding down to an end (and since we have deck renovations on our brains) it’s time to start thinking about squeezing in as many summer BBQs as possible before it’s time to make apple pie and eat Halloween candy! We love to host parties, and when you can add in a little summertime weather and food on the grill – well, that’s just perfection.
If there is any “rule” in my book to hosting a dinner party, it’s don’t make it too complicated!
What’s the point of preparing and hosting a get-together if you’re going to miss it all?
We started a new New Year’s Eve tradition last year.
I write down six questions.
Questions about what we are proud of in the year that is ending and what we look forward to in the year to come.
A few weekends ago my lovely friend Eva, who blogs at La Vie Urbane, and I threw our friend Johanna a baby shower.
Our friend, the mom-to-be, just finished getting her Nutrition degree and is a vegetarian/mostly vegan, and cooks the most delicious and unique dishes! The vegetable theme started as a joke… and it stuck!
I am protesting the end of summer.
While grocery shopping this week the stockboys were putting out Halloween candy. HALLOWEEN candy.
Then, I get home and start going through my (shamelessly overstocked) Google Reader. Bloggers are already blogging about fall projects.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s been far too long since I’ve done a Top 9. Today my Top 9 is based on a theme for a Goodbye Summer party. 🙁 Wahh.
The theme is sunset-based, because summer should be an eternal sunset. (So poetic. I know.) Why? Well, I only get to see sunsets during the summer. Otherwise I leave work when it’s dark. Sunsets happen at the end of the day, this party it happening at the end of summer. And if you want to get real scientific, the days are starting to get short again, thus a sunset theme.
I’m nothing if not well thought-out. Either that, or I am a champion of meager excuses for a party…
1. First you’d need awesome, summery invitations like these to invite your favorite peeps over.
2. I think it would be fun to decorate my deck with some of these lovely sunset-colored mobiles from LilSproutCreation. With the goldenrod, coral and tangerine hues of this beauty, I think you could even sneak this into your fall decor.
3. I would serve this refreshingly tasty looking Creamsicle trifile by Amy Atlas. The colors are beautiful! Is there anything more classically summer than a creamsicle popsicle?
4. This beautiful necklace by Alyssa’s Gems and Jewels would adorn my neck and add instant “summer celebration” to any outfit. (How is it that I’ve never heard of Maple Turquoise before? It’s lovely.)
5. Ahhh, the quintessential summer activity. Friendship bracelets. I’d love to sit around a campfire and make some chevron bracelets like these babies by LARaised. (I think it’s hilarious that these are a “style trend” right now. I think people just want to dress like they are 12 again and call it a “trend”. Not that I am opposed. I still have one.)
6. A kitschy patchwork tablecloth with hues of goldenrod and pink, like this one from CakeforBreakfast, would help set the tone.
7. I would also serve this Taste-a-Rainbow cupcakes from Family Fun magazine.
8. A pretty orange dress, like one this from AmandaArcher, would help soften the wardrobe blow in the transition from summer to fall.
9. Lastly, I’d thank my friends for coming with these “Cheerio” cards from TheDesignConspiracy. I love the yellow printing and custom screenprinted type.
Around this time of year I am grateful to live in New England. The leaves start turning and we can still go to the beach for at least another six weeks. (Yes! I have swam in the ocean in October before!)
Three cheers for an Indian Summer!
Today was the Kentucky Derby. A big congratulations to Animal Kingdom, this year’s winner!
Q: Animal Kingdom, how do you feel about your horse name?
A: Nayyyy. Isn’t it a Disney Safari theme park? Unfortunately I don’t get much of a sayyyy in these things.
Q: So, are you tired?
A: Are you crazy?
*The above conversation never actually happened.
Did you think you’d had your fill of weird hats for the year? Well, you were wrong. Royal weddings aren’t the only time we crazy Americans get to bring out some awesome hatware. Perhaps one of the only American celebrations that provides this excuse is the Kentucky Derby.
I’ve always wanted to have a Derby Day party, but for some reason the rainy Boston weather never seems to invite cute dresses and mint juleps. Watching it on TV also erases a lot of the appeal. That is probably why this has remained a Southern tradition. I digress.
1. This horse trot wooden sign would be very cute tacked up outside your house. I love the weathered look of it.
2. Mint Juleps. Yum. Not only are Mint Juleps absolutely delicious and the quintessential Derby Day drink, but using this stirring spoon would make them even more of a speciality.
3. Rusty horseshoes remind me of my childhood home. We had a horse hanging above our doorway. It had been found in our yard by a previous owner because the land had once been a horse farm. You are supposed to hang them like a “U” so they “catch” all the luck pouring in.
4. Every winner needs a prize ribbon. And this one is made out of old maps! Kentucky maps, perhaps?
5. I love this hat! I need to get this hat. For next year’s Derby Day… and also for when Prince William and Duchess Catherine renew their vows.
6. Bow ties make me happy. They are like a little smile around your neck.
7. This necklace is beautiful! I love the rustic pewter quality of it.
8. This sweet wooden pin is a great way to show some Kentucky luuuuv.
9. This vintage hunting scarf is lovely. Pair this with a pretty white sundress and a swanky hat and I think I’m ready to go!
Maybe you haven’t heard, but cupcakes are the new black.
You must be living under a rock if you haven’t experienced the cupcake fad explosion over the last few years. There are now whole stores devotes to selling cupcakes (Read about some tasty cupcakes I got for my birthday here) and The Food Network even has a new show, Cupcake Wars, devoted to the trend.
However, it’s “trend” status is morphing into “tried and true staple”. Many have questioned when the cupcake fad would end, but lately I’ve been reading how many event and catering specialists are now thinking it is here to stay. (Which I am personally quite glad to hear.)
Brides have been trading in the classic tiered wedding cake for trays of cupcakes in all colors and flavors. One wedding I went to this summer even had a “Cupcake Bar” (E – they were delicious by the way!).
Then the cupcake flag was birthed. See this beautiful example from (Hostess with the Mostess) below.
How did this begin? Perhaps hostesses wanted to combat the informality of the cupcake? Perhaps brides who had foregone the traditional “cake topper” wanted something special?
Just like “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop,” the world may never know.
Martha Stewart has downloadable templates for these flags, which are fine and dandy if you find one that works for you. But, what if you want your name on it? Certain colors? A theme? You might get some strange looks if the cupcakes at Cindy’s baby shower have wedding rings on them.
What’s a gal to do? Custom flags of course!
Many vendors on Etsy can create custom beautiful flags for you. BUT, I would recommend trying to make your own.
I made my own flags for our wedding. Moose wasn’t feeling the cupcake suggestion, so we ended up serving cheesecake. But visions of wedding cupcake flags had already infiltrated my crazy bride brain, so I invented…. cheesecake flags!
The best part about making your own is that you can have as many different kinds as you want. An Etsy vendor will likely charge you per design. With color and text variations, I had about 27 different kinds of flags. (Overkill? Yeah. I know.)
The other, and probably more enticing, reason to make your own is the fact they they are very inexpensive!
I made 150 of these flags. Can you guess how much I spent?
Toothpicks = $3
Hot Glue = $3
Printing Costs = $5 (This is if you go to Staples and not print them yourself.)
TOTAL COST = $11
I was able to fit 27 flags on a sheet by flipping half of the triangles around to create square shapes.
I used Adobe Illustrator. If you don’t have that you could probably use Microsoft PowerPoint or Publisher (it’s just triangles people! There are also lots of nice rectangle flags, like the one I posted above if triangles scare you.)
After that, I cut them out and hot glued a toothpick to the back. Bada boom. Three episodes of Smallville later, I had 150 cupcake (er, cheesecake) flags ready to go.
No one noticed that the back was blank. (*Seriously, wedding guests. Did you notice?) Heck, I wouldn’t have noticed. After I pulled that puppy out I would be eating that dessert with glee.
I hope this helps you make your cupcake involved event a little more celebratory and a little less expensive.
Cheers : )
One of my best friends, Abs, celebrated her Princess Birthday recently (Princess birthday = turning the number of years as the day you were born, ex: 24 years old on the 24th.) Neither of us believe you’re ever too old for birthday parties, so we celebrated.
1. “Tiara” cake – Funfetti with caramel frosting
2. Royal Jewels candy
3. “Scepter” wands – Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
4. Polka Dot Dessert plates (from my Mom, Dot)
5. “Fairy Cocoamother”
6. “Who’s the fairest one of all?”
7. “Enchanted” Fudge
8. Golden Spun Ribbon
9. These marshmallows were DELICIOUS!