Thursday, May 31

[ individual sangria with sharon ]



I'm super excited to be guest posting (again!) for Lauren while she is on her honeymoon!  I'm sure she is having a blast!  I'm a white wine lover and the idea of sangria is so appealing to me.  White wine mixed with fruits and juices.  Doesn't that sound so refreshing and tropical?  And you can totally have ice in your glass of wine and it's not considered trashy.  Yeah!  But sometimes I want the flavors without having to prepare a full pitcher hours ahead of time.  So I decided to see if I could work out a delicious recipe with smaller quantities that doesn't need to sit for hours.  Sangria, as it is traditionally made, allows you to get a few extra servings out of the wine bottle because of adding the extra juices.  Although I used a single serving sized bottle of wine for this, is might not all fit in to one wine glass.  But this should still be considered 1 serving.  Don't you dare try to share.  You can do anything you put your mind to.  Drink up. 


Most sangrias are made up of fruit, citrus and a sweet wine.  This is no different.  You will need a few types of citrus fruits, a small can of pineapple juice and a bottle of wine (I used a Moscato.  Most often the tiny wine bottles only come in champagne or chardonnay so I was happy to find a sweeter option).  The recipe is as follows but really can be made to your tastes and liking.  If you have leftover lemon juice from a recipe feel free to use that.  Similarly, if you have guava nectar in the fridge, super yummy!  Be creative.  I really wanted this to have passion fruit juice in it because it is my fave, but they don't sell that in small quantities so I didn't use it.   

1 bottle single serving sized sweet wine (Moscato or Reisling if you can find it)
3 TBSP fresh squeezed OJ
2 TBSP fresh squeezed lime juice
1 TBSP pineapple juice
1-2 strawberries, chopped. 


Cut up the strawberries and add them to whatever glass you are using.  Add the juices to the strawberries and muddle them together.  You don't want to totally beat the crap out of them, just get them to release some flavor but keep them as little bites.  Add the wine and give a gentle stir.  Add ice if you want the drink extra cold and refreshing but if all your ingredients had been prechilled, you can probably skip the ice (and keep your dignity in tact.  Kidding!).

Sangria is usually made hours in advance to help the flavors meld together.  If you use some flavorful ingredients with the strawberries, which seem to soak up the wine in a lovely way, and some bright citrus flavors, then you can make a really tasty drink in no time at all.  


One time I made a pitcher of sangria and then our dinner guests cancelled.  What a waste.  For them!!  I had the entire pitcher to myself.  But we can't always be that gluttonous and that is why the recipe above is the perfect solution.


thanks sharon! i plan on sharing a FEW of these with you when i get back!

Wednesday, May 30

[ your summer centerpiece ]


in usual fashion. i over bought, over prepared, and over stocked everything for the wedding. nothing is worse than running out.. of anything.. when you are entertaining. this also means lots of extra awesome stuff lying around the house now. including air plants and chardonnay {2 things i love;)}
we made small terrariums as our favors and had tons of this sea glass and these air plants lying around after.


i found some small containers including candle holders, filled them up and displayed around the house.


easy. inexpensive and pretty classy looking if you ask me.
these are the perfect solution for saving some cash while you are doing lots of entertaining through the summer. it's pretty hard to kill these little guys (but totally possible, i've had my fair share of air plant funerals), so buy a few and they'll last you through the summer months. change your sea glass to different materials for each of your different shindigs. even change your containers. you won't spend a boat load buying fresh blooms every time you have the girls over for wine (although it's very tempting and nothing can really replace the charm of a fresh flower).


happy entertaining!
xo. lauren

Tuesday, May 29

being a fabulous hostess by carol..

well hey! today i have some lovely advice from carol over at oh yei! concept factory. i'll admit, i can't read her blog, but it really doesn't matter because her work, creativity, and photography is pretty amazing and i can look the crap out of it. i'm a sucker for inspiration and pretty pictures;) here are carol's tips for being fabulous entertainer!

Summer is here and its perfect for outdoor entertaining. Here are some essentials to be the prettiest summer host.

Entertaining goods:
To add an elegance touch to a simple outdoor grill you could mix golden elements like napkins and cutlery in gold polka dots to bright color palette.

To be a charming host:
A fresh maxi dress in aqua and blue ombre with gold accesories can turn on the vibe, but most important dont forget to smile. 



Where to buy:

1. Wide Brim Hat - Forever 21
2. Bangles - Forever 21 3. Plates - Ticker tape tidbit by Kate Spade NY 4. Studded Flip-flops - Valentino 5. Maxi Dress - Addirsi by MaxMara vía matchesfashion.com 6. Dotted Nakpin - Anthropologie 7. Gold polka dot tumblers by Darbie Angell Monaco vía Bed Bath & beyond 8. Retromodern mini grill - Anthropologie 9. Airy Outdoor furniture vía apartmenttherapy.com 10. Checkered spoons - Anthropologie 


thanks for sharing your tips carol! now to get my hands on those tumblers..

one more for ya with jenni. honeydew melon.



Honeydew Melon Mojito

While the classic Mojito works all summer long, sometimes I like to change things up. During the late days of summer Honeydew Melons are in season and taste amazing. A note of a sweet, ripe melon really kicks the classic Mojito into high gear. 


Ingredients/Tools:
1 Shaker (or two cups that will substitute)
1 Measuring tool (a shot glass works great)
1 1/4 oz Simple Syrup*
1 1/4 oz White Rum
4-6 Mint Leaves
1/2 lime sliced into wedges
3-4 medium sized chunks of ripe Honeydew Melon
Ice
Soda Water (4 oz)

*Make an easy and tasty simple syrup with just sugar and water. It is much more cost effective than purchasing! Simple Syrup recipe from about.com


Directions:
Fill the shaker with ice. Add mint leaves, squeezed lime wedges of 1/2 lime, Honeydew Melon, simple syrup, and rum to shaker. Shake like crazy. Pour all into a glass and top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig or maybe a melon ball or two. 


For a non-alcoholic Honeydew Melon Mojito double the simple syrup and leave out the rum. It makes an amazing melon soda! 


I hope you enjoyed the recipes and that they inspire you to kick back with a refreshing beverage and enjoy the summer. Thank you to Lauren for letting me take over her blog for a few days. I’d love to see you over at my blog, A Well Crafted Party. Check it out for DIY party projects, cocktail recipes, real party inspiration and more! 

Friday, May 25

{ombre garland diy with emily}


Hey, Emily here, from Could Be Interesting. I'm here filling in a blog post while Lauren is living it up on her honeymoon! Have a cocktail for me L!

I've created a fun crepe paper garland in an Ombré pattern to share with you all today.


Materials:

3 Varying Colors of Crepe Paper
Washi Tape, I used Black & Gold
Two White Lollipop Sticks
White Thread
Large Sewing Needle
String or Bakers Twine
Scissors



First garland tuturial

1. Cut out strips of crepe paper about 16 inches long. Four or more strips of each color.
2. Starting at the end of the first strip, gently fold the paper around and around to form a flower like pattern. Holding tight on to one end, the flower will expand the more folds you wrap around.
3. Cut a 2 inch piece of tape to wrap around the end of the flower you just made. 
4. Follow these steps until you have the desired amount of flowers in each color.
5. For this garland I took a needle and thread, made a knot at one end and threaded a white flower, followed by a light pink flower, and finally the dark pink flower. I made four rows.
6. Taking your tape and candy sticks tightly attach a 6 inch long piece of bakers twine to the sticks using tape. Then take each threaded set of flowers and tightly tie them to the the string so they gently hang. 
7. Use this to decorate a cake or a plate of food of your choosing. 


Second garland tutorial

1. Cut out strips of crepe paper about 16 inches long. Four or more strips of each color.
2. Starting at the end of the first strip, gently fold the paper around and around to form a flower like pattern. Holding tight on to one end, the flower will expand the more folds you wrap around.
3. Cut a 2 inch piece of tape to wrap around the end of the flower you just made. 
4. Follow these steps until you have the desired amount of flowers in each color.
5. For this garland I took a needle and thread, made a knot at one end and threaded four white flowers. Then four light pink, and then four dark pink flowers. Making sure to leave some room on each end.
6. Taking your candy sticks tie both ends of the strands to each stick. I tied them in a bow, but decided to wrap some gold tape around to make sure it was tight enough.

I got inspiration for this after creating a fun little decoration for a Cinco De Mayo brunch. So when Lauren asked me to do a guest post, I immediately thought of her wedding and something fun that could have gone along with her theme. I know she was going for more of a peach color rather than pink, but I went with what I had on hand. Her colors being black, white, peach/pink, and gold (if I recall correctly). 

I had a blast working with this crepe paper and was surprised at how simple it was to put together! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Thanks, Lauren for the opportunity! Congratulations on your wedding. I can only imagine what a beautiful bride you made! Hope you are having a blast on your honeymoon!

xoxo,

Thursday, May 24

part two. blackberry mojito with jenni


today i have jenni from a well crafted party back posting another delicious cocktail! she graciously created 3 yummy versions, so you still have another one coming.. luckies.
scroll on down a bit to catch the original. always a winner.


Blackberry Mojito
Ripe blackberries and mint make one of the most amazing combinations. So, adding a nice blackberry syrup to a Mojito just makes sense. It especially makes sense when blackberries are in season at the peak of summer. 


Ingredients/Tools:
1 Shaker (or two cups that will substitute)
1 Measuring tool (a shot glass works great)
1 1/4 oz Fresh Blackberry Syrup
1 1/4 oz White Rum
4-6 Mint Leaves
1/2 lime sliced into wedges
A few blackberries for garnish
Ice
Soda Water (4 oz)

*To make fresh blackberry syrup simmer 1 pint of fresh, clean blackberries over medium heat with 1 cup water and 2 cups of sugar. Simmer, while occasionally stirring mixture, until sugar is dissolved and berries are extremely soft. Strain using a fine sieve (this way no seeds seep through). Then let cool. Will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. 


Directions:
Fill the shaker with ice. Add mint leaves, squeezed lime wedges of 1/2 lime, blackberry syrup, and rum to shaker. Shake like crazy. Pour all into a glass and top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig and a blackberry. 


For a non-alcoholic blackberry Mojito double the blackberry syrup and leave out the rum. It makes a tasty blackberry-mint soda!

thanks again jenni! she has one last cocktail on the way, so check back soon..

Wednesday, May 23

[ revamp your memorial day with jenny ]

today we have the diy queen, jenny batt from hank and hunt, showing us how you NEED to be entertaining this weekend.

Mrs. Lauren is off basking away in the sunshine on her honeymoon. She asked if I would guest post while she was off and I heartily said YES! Of course I had to do something that reminds me of Lauren, so I used her pretty little cake stand as inspiration. Let's revamp Memorial Day a bit, can't we? A bolder, more modern color palette of deep sea blue/navy and coral reds and pinks strike my fancy.  You could still use red, white and blue as your base notes, but bringing in these poppy colors richen it. I am also on a match your fete kick for the hostess, because why shouldn't she? 



thanks jenny! you've just made my next summer fete so much easier:) and i already have a head start with the cake stand..

Tuesday, May 22

.. fruit salsa with sharon ..


today i have sharon from cupcakes and cutlery [you've heard of her before right ;)] sharing the most amazing salsa i have ever seen.. fruit salsa. pretty sure you'll need to quadruple this recipe since it'll be gone as soon as you set it on your perfectly set dining table!


I did not create this recipe.  It is from Pampered Chef and I had it for the first time right around my wedding (almost 9 years ago!)  This fruit salsa has been served at many a shower and dinner party and also as a delightful summer snack.  I promise you, once you make this, you are going to want to keep it in the house at all times.  And you can.  It's fruit right?!  Never mind the added brown sugar and apricot jelly or the cinnamon and sugar chips you eat with it...


Recipe:

2 medium Granny Smith apples
1 pint strawberries (diced) about 1 1/2 cups
2 kiwi, peeled and diced
1 small orange
2 TBSP packed brown sugar
2 TBSP apple jelly or apricot jam
Serve with Cinnamon Sugar Chips (recipe to make them or store bought cinnamon sugar pita chips) 


The recipe is simple but does require a little bit of chopping.

Peel, core and slice the apples.  Coarsely chop them in a food processor.  Dice strawberries and kiwi and add all three fruits to a medium bowl.

Zest orange to measure 1 tsp of the zest.  Juice orange to measure 2 TBSP (about half of the orange that I had).  Add zest, juice, brown sugar and jelly to the fruit mixture; mix gently.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with cinnamon sugar chips.  


The original recipes calls for you to make your own cinnamon and sugar tortilla chips.  I have done it that way, they are certainly quite tasty.  But why would you go to all that trouble when Stacy's (and even Trader Joe's) makes the most scrumptious cinnamon sugar pita chips?  So grab a bag and get to dipping!



Let me know what you think after you try this!  This is perfect for all your summer entertaining!

thanks sharon! i'm drooling in anticipation for fruit salsa and mojitos when i get home. anyone else?

Monday, May 21

see you in 2 weeks..


so i got married saturday. it was freaking amazing. mostly because i had a fabulous staff of family and friends making sure the day was everything i wanted it to be (spoiled).
i have a full 2 weeks of guests posts. one of which you already saw below! oh ya, mojitos.
enjoy. will be back soon with photos of sun, sun, ocean, drinks, and sun.

ps. my super duper pal sharon (who really did make the wedding go smoothly) took this pic of my dress. thanks my dear:) check out her instagram for lots of other pretties!

oh, and if you want to see all of the guest posts in one place, just click here!

The Refreshing Summer Cocktail


Hello, I’m Jenni from  A Well Crafted Party. I'm so very excited to be guest posting for Lauren today. I've been reading A Fabulous Fete for party inspiration for ages now. I was honored, excited, and a little flummoxed when Lauren asked if I wanted to hop on over here while she was enjoying her honeymoon. (Congrats by the way!) The first thing that popped into my head when she asked was, “YES.” The second was, "What will I post about!?!" The third thing that popped into my head was, "I need a drink." And, that is how I decided on this topic. 

Well, not really, but, I am going to teach you how to make three of my favorite summer cocktails and their non-alcoholic relatives. 

When looking for great summer drinks I like to find drinks that are refreshing and that use fresh, in-season herbs, vegetables, and/or fruit. The Mojito, to me, screams summer. 


The Classic Mojito

Ingredients/Tools:
1 Shaker (or two cups that will substitute)
1 Measuring tool (a shot glass works great)
1 1/4 oz Simple Syrup*
1 1/4 oz White Rum
4-6 Mint Leaves
1/2 lime sliced into wedges
Ice
Soda Water (4 oz)

*Make an easy and tasty simple syrup with just sugar and water. It is much more cost effective than purchasing! Simple Syrup recipe from about.com


Directions:
Fill the shaker with ice. Add mint leaves, squeezed lime wedges of 1/2 lime, Simple Syrup, and Rum to shaker. Shake like crazy. Pour all into a glass and top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig and lime if you so please. And, sit back and sip in a little bit of summer. 



For a non-alcoholic Mojito double the simple syrup and leave out the rum. It will be a deliciously sweet, mint-lime soda.



check back later this week for a few more mojito recipes jenni whipped up for you!
xo. lauren

Friday, May 18

this is happening.


well. i'm marrying this guy tomorrow. and that's pretty awesome:)

see you in 2 sun, cocktail, relaxation filled weeks!
i have lots of fun people popping in with inspiring posts dedicated to summer entertaining. so check back and be ready to take notes on what to wear, what to eat, what to drink and how to decorate!
xo.

Friday, May 11

[ golden ]

well hello there. i cannot believe it's friday already!
as you know, wedding projects have taken over my life (and my house) so i thought i'd share one with you that i am pretty much head over heels for.
we needed a little plaque for our guest book, so of course i headed to etsy. i found a shop called anandi's laboratory. a few days later, i had this simple and gorgeous gold plaque that's gonna look great on our book.


one thing she makes that is SUCH a great and thoughtful idea is wallet vows. your vows, hand stamped, forever in your wallet. i love it. you must check it out if you are planning your wedding as well.
back to work i go. i hope you all have a splendid weekend!

Wednesday, May 9

crunch time.


well. happy wednesday! i just wanted to take a moment and give you all a heads up on whats going on over here. in 10 short days i will be getting married. woo hoo! and if you've been a reader for a while, you know that i am the diy queen and must make every little detail myself. this means less time for the blog, lots and lots of time sewing paper and making ridiculous props like pipe cleaner crowns;)
i have some fun posts lined up for while i am away and even a few fabulously crafty and talented guest posters. come june, we'll be back to normal with backyard styled shoots and crafts and inspiration, blah blah! so stick with me, although posts will be less often, i still have lots to share. xo.

Tuesday, May 8

{ backdrop inspo }

um. omg. i hate typing those three letters together. but that is pretty much all i have to say about this.


i found this image while searching for backdrop ideas.
pretty sure they used fresh roses... not really in my budget.
i also think ryan would kill me if we had this many faux flowers left over in our house.
i just can't get over hour gorgeous this is! one day, i WILL have a client that let's me re-create this at their event.

Friday, May 4

{ sequin napkin ring / diy }


it's time for color and sparkle people. spring is upon us and summer is almost here. so here is a little diy to add some fun to your next dinner party. with cinco de mayo just one day away, you could whip these up for your shin dig as well! I promise, you can make these in the time it takes you to catch up on your fave show tonight.


grab a bag of sequins, a needle, and thread.
thread a handful of sequins on your thread. tie the ends together and you're finished. easy.
told ya.
leave some space between the sequins when you tie the ends of the thread together. that way the sequins can lay flat on your napkins and you get to see all of the color and sparkle. tie too tight, they'll be stacked tightly, and you won't get that effect.


add a white napkin and a fabulous plate and have some friends over to admire your work.


have a fabulous weekend friends!

Tuesday, May 1

// emergency goods //

last weekend some of the girls planned a little night out to celebrate my last weeks as a bachelorette!
with the obvious high heel wearing, cocktail drinking and constant makeup sprucing that was about to happen, i figured we could use a little kit.. just in case.


i found these fun little purses at target and filled them up with emergency goods.


i mean. this is all the obvious things you would need for a night out, right? ;)



and us, pre-night out!


we had a blast. and i'm pretty sure everyone broke into their bag and used at least one thing in there.