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Tag Archives: cocktail

pucker up

30 Jul

I was driving home the other day and saw sweet young girls selling lemonade on the corner. It brought me back to my childhood when my sisters and I would set-up a makeshift lemonade stand in front of our house in hopes cars would stop and we could add $10 to our piggy banks. For me, lemonade stands represent happiness, youth, optimism and summertime.

Take time to make yourself a glass of lemonade today…or stop by your corner lemonade stand and reminisce on your childhood summers.

Vintage Lemonade Stand by Reverie and photography by Work of Heart Photography

Lil Luna Yellow Vintage Lemonade Stand
{full DIY tutorial by Lil Luna found here}

Even weddings are not excluded from lemonade stands…how adorable is this wood lemonade stand featured on Wedding Chicks

We LOVE wine barrels {and have some serious wine barrel love when we feature Jodi’s wedding}, so we swooned when we saw a lemonade stand made with wine barrels on Ruffled Blog

So, now that you have lemonade stand inspiration and a DIY tutorial, you might as well spread the lemonade love and throw a lemonade themed party…here are some party tips for you.

DRINK
Obviously, I would serve lemonade…both pink and regular. Make both and serve in a large pitcher like this one from Pottery Barn.
Next to the pitcher, line up mason jars set with pink and yellow striped paper party straws.
For the adults, serve their mason jars with lemonade cocktails spiked with vodka

DÉCOR
Lemons in containers of all kinds – glass jars, hurricanes and galvanized buckets.
A lemonade burlap banner
Glass jars or mason jars filled with change and labeled with a vintage .25 cents sign
Lemons hanging from the ceiling or trees outside; hung with yellow and white twine, of course.
Lemonade and Vodka framed sign on the bar for adults
Single bud vases with a pink peony or yellow daisy, or canned good cans wrapped in a festive yellow and white or yellow and pink decorative paper and ribbon filled with a single {or several} flower buds.
Pink and yellow pinwheels
Signs bought at etsy or diy on wood like Poppies at Play

DESSERT
Lemon, blueberry yogurt loaf by sweet pea’s kitchen {this is yummy, I’ve made it}
Pink lemonade cupcakes using this recipe by real mom kitchen
Pink and yellow striped lemonade flavored hard candy sticks

FOOD
Picnic style food served in individual packages

FAVORS
Mason jar filled with ingredients for lemonade or lemonade cookies
Bottles filled with pink lemonade and a custom label from I Do It Yourself on Etsy
For the adults, make a lemon gift bag with a recipe and ingredients for a lemon, lavender martini like these from A Subtle Revelry

And, last but not least, you can’t have a party without the perfect invite. So, Jenna at Fleur de Lis, a paperie, has created this adorable invite for you. Click here to order from our etsy shop for $15.

 {images via Reverie photographed by Work of Heart Photography, Lil Luna photographed by Jacquilyn Avery Photography, Wedding Chicks, Ruffled Blog and Tutto Bella}

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surf’s up, dude

23 Jul

Looking at this Tiki Surfer party makes me wish I in Hawaii, or at least a guest at the tropical paradise Sheena {talented party planning mom} created in her backyard for her son’s 1st birthday!

Sheena and her husband went above and beyond to make their son’s birthday memorable and fun! And, a bonus for them, they get to keep the Tiki bar! Keshia of Photos by Keshia captures all the lei’s and tiki’s in action.

With great enthusiasm, Sheena shares more of the party details below…

Sheena used her husband’s handy skills {she said he can build or make just about anything…you lucky lady} for party props. He made the realistic life-size surfboards {10 of them} they placed around the party, 2 tiki totem poles that greeted guests on both sides of the driveway, and he built the fantastic Tiki Bar.


I had 2 signature cocktails that I had served from the Tiki Bar in plastic tiki cocktail glasses that I found at the dollar store. For the kids I had them drinking out of plastic coconut cups.

We found an antique wood highchair and painted it to match the party so we would have an awesome cake smash setting!

For a more tropical setting, we bought many fake tropical flowers and placed them in existing greenery and plants. I made a dress-up station located at the entrance where party goers could pick various items to complete their luau look! There were beachcomber hats, tiki masks, flower hair clips, sunglasses, flower anklets/bracelets, and of course grass skirts for the girls.

I found tiki head pots and used them for my centerpieces with tropical flowers placed in them. I hot glued more of the flowers around the tabletop tiki torches to add more color. Different color tablecloths on all the tables really brightened everything up too. For the chairs I simply put a lei on the back of each and told the guests as they got there to make sure they picked one to put on.

As far as food, no luau would be complete without a pig with hat and sunglasses! We simply ordered that from a local town. We also had chicken and shrimp kabobs with pineapple, small ears of corn, coconut rice, and lots of veggies. For dessert, I put blue jello in individual cups with spoon and a gummy shark in it and called it shark infested water. Those were a big hit. I made cake balls to look like a pina colada drink in coconuts. I also made pretzel totem poles by using icing to glue tiki head sugar dec-ons to a pretzel rods and standing  them in crushed graham crackers. I had made surfboard cookies also, but that was the one thing I forgot unfortunately. I had the cake and cupcakes done by a local baker but I did design them all.

As far as activities, in the pool I got shark and surfboard inflatables and the kids absolutely loved them. I had music from the beach boys and any other surfer songs playing throughout the party. And, we had a limbo set that the kids had a lot of fun playing.

You thought of everything adorable for this party Sheena. And, from the looks of it…you had one happy boy!

We can’t wait to see what you come up with when Ryker turns 2!

VENDOR LOVE
Cupcakes and Cake: Cakes by Cathy Weems and Lacy Leonard
Photography: Photos by Keshia

{images via Photos by Keshia}

mojito mania

5 Jul

One of my BFF’s just recently asked me for some ideas for a mojito-themed bridal shower. The fabulous bride-to-be didn’t want a typical bridal shower, but loves mojito’s and accessorizing with jewelry, so the hostess {my friend} wanted mojito’s and accessories to serve as the inspiration.

So, here’s some ideas I came up with…{I’m not even a mojito-loving woman, but I wanted a refreshing mojito after doing a little party research for the mint flavored drink}.

BAR
Nothing seems more fitting than a Mix N’ Muddle Mojito Bar with these fixin’s suggested from Bon Appetit.
Create a sign for the Mix N’ Muddle Mojito Bar like this bride and groom did {found at Martha Stewart}, and fill old crates with bunches and bunches of limes….LOVE THIS!
Don’t forget to have a bucket or glass filled with green and white striped straws for your guests to decorate their cocktails.
DESSERT
Serve delicious mojito popsicles like these found at Sugar and Charm Blog.
Guests will be totally impressed with green and yellow jello shots like Loralee Lewis created for her recent party.
Mojito cupcakes topped off with a slice of lime.
DECOR
Fill vases at varying heights with limes and flowers.
Use a three-tiered centerpiece and fill with all things green, including limes and mint.
Hang green lanterns in a row above tables, or hang lanterns from trees throughout the backyard party space.
{If you’re creating family style seating, I love a long row of short centerpieces with hydrangea or white flowers. If you don’t have a cabinet full of empty vases, you could improvise and use mason jars, wine bottles or tin cans spray painted green or covered in decorative fabric/paper} to hold bunches or single bud flowers}.
Dress up the table and food/drink stations with lime green votives and acrylic lime glassware from Pier 1.
In addition to topping off drinks with a parasol, carry the parasol look over with an adorable parasol topiary.
Use vases, martini glasses and other forms of glassware for a chic jewelry display.
If you opt not to spend money on flower arrangements, a cheap and cute ‘green’ centerpiece is wheat grass. You can even grow it yourself a couple weeks before the party.
PLACECARDS/LABELS
Use limes for the base of a placecard, and insert a toothpick and flag to write the guest’s name. You can use green patterned washi tape for a festive toothpick flag found here.
Or, if you opt to use the limes as food labels, a great free placecard option is a paint chip card {with party coordinating colors} with the guest’s name typed on it. {I think this idea is so cute…I’m using it for an upcoming party of my own}.
FAVORS
Treat guests to a mojito muddler.
Candy rings and jewelry that will double as decor and a sweet favor.
Hope to have some pictures from the party soon.
If you plan to have, or have had or attended a mojito party…or any cocktail themed party…please send the pics our way. We love a good cocktail-inspired party!

mini bar

11 Jun

When I saw Camille Styles bar cart on Pinterest

it made me happy.

I’m not a big booze hound {I do admit to LOVING red vino}, so I didn’t go to a happy intoxicated state, but I think it’s just so pretty and charming…and how fun would it be to have a mini bar like that and have girlfriends over for some cocktails and good times?!

It got me to thinking – with my limited space, what kind of cart would I buy for a mini bar in my home?

First, I found some inspiration…

Mini Bar on a Mirrored Tray, Such Pretty Things
{you can find several budget-friendly priced tray mirrors at Target, like this one here for less than $20.}

Vintage Bar Cart, My Scandinavian Home

Bar Cart, My Scandinavian Home

Triple Trolley Bar Cart, Glitter Guide

Antique Dresser Bar, Honestly…WTF

Wall Mount Cabinet/Bar, Plow & Hearth

Then, I found some pieces to add to my wish list.

Bar Cart, Pottery Barn {$549}

DIY Chevron Bar Cart, The Swede Records

Mirrored Top Tray Table, Horchow {$700}

Formosa Tray Table, CB2 {$39.99}

Ebony Finish Square Tray Table, Overstock {$137.99}

Ernest White Bar Cart, CB2 {$149}

Nickel-plated Antique Butterfly Cocktail Table Tray, Overstock {$115.44}

Tool/Bar/Garden Cart, Harbor Freight Tools {$75}
{for a more industrial look…and multipurpose}

 Lachlan Tray Bedside Table, Pottery Barn {$199}

Caneel Bay Bar Cart, Furbish {$800}

OK, so I want THIS ONE {of course I would want one of the most expensive ones from Pottery Barn…}. That, or I will have to scour flea markets/antique markets for a lovely vintage bar cart find!

What one do you want?

Next, stock my bar cart. Thank God for Martha Stewart…she shares bar essentials with us here so your bar can be freshly stocked for your party.

Cheers!

{images via Such Pretty ThingsMy Scandinavian HomeGlitter GuideHorchowCB2, Overstock, Pottery Barn, Honestly…WTFThe Swede Records, Harbor Freight Tools, Furbish}

nye place to be

9 Jan

Talented designer and a bestie of mine, Kimi Hansen, Sales, Marketing & Design Specialist for Après Party and Tent Rental, and her wonderful boyfriend Tim, hosted a gorgeous soiree for 30 of their closest friends to ring in 2012.

This couple is the best host and hostess – their level of taste is exquisite and they plan nothing but the best for their loved ones. Plus, with both of them being in the event industry {Tim Geisler, General Manager of EMI Audio, a lighting, sound and video company in Minnesota}, they have a party planner’s dream access to decor pieces.

The pink and purple lighting blended perfectly with their white and silver decor and table setting. The party was potluck style. The signature drink of the evening was made with vodka, champagne and Kinky {blood orange liqueur}. And guests were treated with ALL homemade desserts including 2012 cookies, drizzled pretzels, puff corn, cake balls and adorable melted snowmen cookies. Kimi and Tim even used a couple of Tutto Bella NYE party tips – a shiny 2012 display on the wall, along with “bubbly” balloons and countdown numbers on their cocktail glasses. They added snowflake sticks to each drink so people could personalize…very cute! And we love the bling and candlelight on the table!


Thanks for sharing your party with us Kimi and Tim! We wish you all the best in 2012.

We love to receive party submissions…so if  you or someone you know have hosted a fabulous party, please send photos our way…we would love to feature it.

{images via Kimi Hansen}

party like it’s 2012

29 Dec

Reflection of 2011 and resolutions for 2012 is upon us with the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration. It’s been a wonderful year for my family and me and I can only hope 2012 is filled with as much laughter, joy and good memories as 2011 blessed us with.

Start the year off with a fabulous party…with shades of pink and gold. Here are some fun ideas to add to your New Year’s Eve shindig. Now you just have to decide…who’s the lucky lad {or lady} you’re gonna kiss at midnight?

DIY Gold Mason Jars: We have serious mason jar love. These DIY spray painted gold mason jars are the perfect vase for pink flowers or pink-and-white-striped straw holder for your New Year’s Eve bash. Directions for how to spray paint can be found at 100 Layer Cake.

Strawberry Champagne Sparkler Cupcakes: When I saw these on Oprah several years ago, I just knew I had to include them on my next New Year’s Eve menu. So festive with the indoor-safe sparkler candle, and who doesn’t love the combination of cupcakes, champagne, strawberries and chocolate! Sign me up for one {or two of these}. Recipe and directions found here.

2012 Sign: Love the idea of adding a 2012 sign at your party made of wooden numbers covered in gold or pink coins or sequins like the LOVE sign above. It can be a DIY project that is sure to impress. 

Shiny Centerpiece: Crate a glimmering centerpiece by sprinkling pink or gold oversized sequins between two cylinders and nestle a votive candle inside. Visit Martha Stewart to see where her team found the products to create this shimmering look. Or, add gold ornaments to glass vases and flutes in varying styles, and cluster them on a cake stand to craft a truly stunning and effortless centerpiece just like Martha Stewart did here.

Wall Decor: Use shimmering gold paper {leftover from Christmas would make this a budget-friendly project} to make streamers like this. Or, hang pink accordion circles above your dessert table and modify them by turning them into New Year’s Eve clocks. This great idea and how-to details can be found at Fiskars. For champagne-like wall decor, add different sized gold and clear balloons to the wall above the champagne table to create the bubbly effect on the wall.

Champagne: You must have champagne when you throw a New Year’s Eve party, but spruce it up a bit this year with fun and cold {just like the air outside} popsicles to serve up fancy frozen fruit pops. Don’t forget a splash of Prosecco for a colorful and unique drink display. Add sticker numbers to each glass for an official countdown beginning with 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1!

Dessert: In addition to the Strawberry Champagne Sparkler Cupcakes, make smore’s with a dusting of gold edible sprinkles. More gold inspiration found at The Cake Blog. And, you will really wow your guests with homemade fortunes. Give your guests something to talk about and look forward to with homemade fortunes {all positive of course} using your favorite quotes. For directions on how to make the fortune cookies and how to insert the fortune, visit Alisa Burke.

Favors: Give your guests a mini bottle of champagne in a bucket with a straw so it can be iced all night and passed out before midnight. Chris from Celebrations at Home has some great ideas to decorate the bucket.

I gotta feeling…2012 is gonna be a good, good year.

 {images via 100 Layer Cake, TLC, Justine Smith, Martha Stewart, Southern Living, Alisa Burke, Fiskars, The Cake Blog and Celebrations at Home}

lauren + greg

16 Nov

Every girl dreams of her wedding day and beautiful Lauren was no exception. As a girl growing up, Lauren attended the sanctuary of Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado and dreamt of the day she would say I do to her prince charming below the vaulted ceilings and in the light streaming through the beautiful stained glass windows.

So, she found herself a handsome groom {the love of her life}, Greg, and Lauren made her way down the long aisle to the sound of a graceful organ on August 14, 2010…just like she always imagined.

The bride was stunning in her ivory organza, overlaid with Alençon lace gown. In Lauren’s words: I wanted to look romantic, so I wore side-swept bangs and a pinned low-chignon. My mom found a custom-made flower comb and I also wore a cathedral-length veil.

My sister and Maid of Honor picked out black, cap sleeve cocktail dresses for the bridesmaids that coordinated really well with the details and colors of the day. Since the wedding was black tie, I wanted everything to be black and white and champagne colored. In keeping with the white floral, I wanted them to carry bouquets of white hydrangea and roses. There are so many details we love about this wedding and one of them is Lauren’s bouquet. We L.O.V.E. her peony bouquet. Lauren carried a hand-tied monochromatic bouquet of blush peonies {her favorite flower}, which are rare and usually not available in August. But, she received a special delivery on her special day. “It was a huge special day-of surprise that my florist was able to get peonies in. I wanted the blush pink to be the only splash of color among all the other white flowers and decorations,” said Lauren.

Jenna McKinlay {yours truly} helped Lauren with the invites and additional paper products on their wedding day. The beautiful invitations were traditional and simple, yet elegant. From Lauren: I love the feel of letterpress on ecru paper, and the fonts and design of our invitations really appealed to us. We sealed each invitation with hand-dripped wax and a custom postage stamp. The ceremony programs, cocktail napkins, menus and other wedding materials showcased our wedding logo, designed by my friend, Sara. It was inspired by the theme of keys and “locking in love” – like the traditional {we all love and believe in} on Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence, Italy.

Oh and let’s not forget the DIY details and unique touches that we all love! In Lauren’s words: Our guests’ names were hand written in calligraphy and attached to antique skeleton keys, which went along with the logo and the idea of the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence where I studied and Greg visited. I really wanted to give our guests a better sense of who we were as a couple. So we named the 20+ tables with places and things that were important to us and our relationship. For example, where we met, where Greg first said “I love you,” our favorite restaurant, how we wrote our vows, etc. We had our calligrapher draft paper that featured our wedding logo, wedding date, and fun phrases such as “cake,” “kiss,” “toast,” “dance,” “I do,” “happily ever after,” and others so we could fold and make “cootie catchers” at each place setting.

My mom and I spent many nights on DIY projects like signs that sprinkled the event, fashioned out of ribbon and lace. We also hand crafted heart-shaped confetti out of old Italian novels.

And for a late night treat, our guests were given paper cones made of music sheets and filled with Greg’s favorite snack: kettle corn.

A special moment of the day Lauren loved was her gift for Greg: For my letter to Greg, I knew I couldn’t say everything I wanted in just one note. So, instead I wrote him eight poems and 14 memories to coincide with our wedding date, 8.14.11. Then I sealed each note with the wax and stamp we used for the wedding invitations. With his groom’s gift, I enclosed the stamp saying, “Here’s to making many more wonderful memories in the years to come.”

Another highlight of the day was the married couple’s getaway car. As they exited the church they were showered with white rose petals and stepped into a classic…an antique Rolls Royce. Then, the couple made their way to their beautiful reception at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, Colorado.



During cocktail hour, Lauren and Greg wanted their guests to be greeted at the Ritz-Carlton with a signature drink, “Strawberry Kiss,” made of champagne, vodka, and strawberry purée. The drink is one of my favorites and I think provided a pop of color for the evening.

Our first dance was to Pat Green’s “Crazy,” performed by the seven-piece band. The song is especially important to us because it is the song we fell in love to. Also, the year of our engagement, we had the absolute privilege of having Pat Green dedicate the song to us at his local concert!

I wanted the cake to kind of mirror my dress features. It was all-white, four-tier, and was adorned with white fondant and decorated with ivory satin ribbon, little sugar buttons, and sugar lace appliqué to match the dress. The cake alternated between red velvet and almond with toffee filling layers and was topped with fresh, white hydrangeas.

VENDOR LOVE:
Photographer: Lindsay B Photography
Reception Venue: Ritz-Carlton, Denver; Elizabeth Brady
Band: Moments Notice/Jerry Barnett Entertainment, Marla Gifford
Florist: Kimball Floral
Bridal gown: anna bé
Makeup: Laura Mercier, Mindy Waite, 303.990.2466
Ceremony Music: Doris Merritt, Pianist, 303.761.6242
Ministers: Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, Cindy Cearley and Angelic Healing Associates, Gina Fenske

{images via Lindsay B Photography}