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Thanksgiving is only 10 days away, which is totally boggling my mind! Over the weekend I started to write down a quick list of recipe ideas, items I need to stock up on from the grocery store, and a handful of my favorite entertaining pieces I plan to pack up and take with me when we head to my family’s house! My siblings and parents give me a hard time because I arrive for the holidays as though I needed to bring my entire kitchen with me – but I’m loyal to my favorite cooking tools, and have some go-to entertaining pieces that always make prep and serving easier. I ‘ve done a post before on my cooking essentials, and thought it would be fun this year to share my all-time favorite entertaining pieces to expand my list!entertaining
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It feels like the holidays are so far away, but Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, and Christmas is creeping up right behind that! I’m feeling a bit of that holiday spirit today as I flipped open the holiday issue of Family Circle and saw an entertaining piece I worked on with them sharing some easy tips for hosting during the holiday season. Check out the new issue to catch all of the tips and start getting ready for your own holiday hosting plans! img_5954

I had a celebration-packed weekend as some of my closest friends and family showered Baby B with gifts and treats at our baby shower!  It was such a special event, and I loved that so many people who are close to me were involved in contributing to making it an awesome day — my two friends Navya and Taz hosted it with the help of my mom and sister, and lots of girlfriends and family lending a hand to help! Everyone added their own special touch from handmade gifts and party favors, baked treats and my favorite sweet snacks as far as the eye could see, and darling pink decorations and bright colorful flower arrangements that a party-fanatic like me really appreciates!  I feel so grateful for all of the work that these ladies put into making the event special, and for all of the amazing gifts that everyone brought (this baby will likely never have to wear the same outfit twice!), but at the end of the day what I was most grateful for is that our baby girl is going to have so many awesome, thoughtful women (and men!) in her life growing up!  baby-shower-1 read more

This post was created in partnership with Keurig Green Mountain®. All opinions, images, and ideas are my own.

Earlier this year I threw a little blogger potluck party with some of my blogging-buddies from Boston Bloggers. We always bump into each other out at events in the city, but rarely get time to really hang out and catch up. With the cool weather creeping in this time of year in New England, I decided to host another potluck get-together – this time with a seasonal theme featuring everyone’s two favorite fall flavors: pumpkin and apple! pumpkinsandapples5 read more

We’ve still got a few more hours until the official first day of fall, but I’m jumping in head first while planning for a little autumnal get together this weekend! I had so much fun with my potluck dip party earlier in the year, that I decided to revive the idea and invite a few friends over for a pumpkin-spice themed potluck. Everyone is bringing pumpkin or apple themed recipes and I’m serving up some treats of my own, along with warm apple cider and pumpkin spice coffee from my pretty new white Keurig Brewer! For my party preparations I got a chance to visit the new World Market near us and stocked up on the prettiest palette of fall tabletop decor, and some classic white serve ware pieces. I’m planning on coupling these pieces with lots of pretty white pumpkins for a soft, serene fall tablescape. Can’t wait to share more after the party! pumpkin-spice-party_edited-1

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I’m having a little bit of trouble coming to grips with the fact that summer is coming to a close this week, I’m not quite ready for the warm weather, and beach days, and patio cocktails (and mocktails!) to end. This weekend I had a girl’s night with some my girlfriends and we enjoyed the fading summer with some al fresco dining and porch swinging and all around warm-weather merriment. In preparation for our hang out I set up a make-your-own style margarita bar with all of the essentials, and thought I’d share a few of my tips for setting up a margarita bar of your own. Once you have the tools, the garnishes, and ingredients in place, it’s super fun to let your guests mix up their own cocktail creations.Margarita Bar 1 read more

Last weekend was a multi-day celebration of my husband’s birthday; I am a firm believer in the “birthday week” over just one night of festivities. We planned to kick off the weekend with friends heading out to a concert (Huey Lewis and the News played, and yes they were awesome). To me, one of the best parts of outdoor summer concerts is the tailgating before the show. We were heading to the event with friends, and we own a tiny car that isn’t ideal for this type of pre-concert picnicking. Luckily Enterprise CarShare reached out me about trying their car-sharing program in Boston and it was the perfect opportunity to borrow an SUV that would hold our friends and concert tailgating spread!IMG_4313 read more

We are officially in that stretch of summer where you have to escape to the porch to keep cool! A few steamy days in a row and our house has warmed up enough that we were lying in front of fans while watching TV last night. In this day of Netflix and Tivo apps, I realized that it’s pretty easy for me to grab my laptop and enjoy a relaxing night on the porch watching an old flick while enjoying the cool evening breezes. Of course I like to take any good idea and turn it into a great one with a little bit of creativity and some themed snacks for a DIY outdoor movie night! IMG_4014 read more

Please note: This post was created in paid partnership with Time Inc. and Chinet.

A few weeks back I got the chance to work with MyRecipes.com and Chinet to film a little video sharing some of my favorite tips for throwing festive summer BBQs — using everyday items like bandanas and mason jars and Chinet products. We tackled everything from the table decor (a DIY no-sew table runner!) to setting up your BBQ buffet (with a festive plate weight and bandana napkins) to creating a no-bake, red white and blue dessert perfect for the Fourth of July (because who wants to turn on the oven on a hot summer day?). Check out the full video below, and read more summer BBQ tips on myrecipes.com.

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I am long overdue on posting a few highlights from a baby shower I threw last month — so overdue in fact, my guest-of-honor has had her baby girl since the party already! There’s a due-date pun in there somewhere, but let’s get to the decorations and the menu already. It was a brunch, so we set up a champagne bar with several different kinds of homemade simple syrups to mix-up self-serve cocktails. I added a few bottles of sparkling water too so mocktails could be made with the same flavors. There were tons of baked breakfast treats, and one of my favorite parts of the menu was mini yogurt, berry and granola parfaits that I chilled in tiny mason jars — they flew off the table! For decorations I went with a palette of pool blue, mint and peach for paper fans and garlands — all fresh, bright pastels that complimented the Liberty print paper goods I found for the table and pieces from my vintage jadeite collection. I couldn’t host the shower without a few DIY elements, and crafted up some mini “party-animals” out of plastic kids toys, gold spray paint, and party hats made from paper and pom-poms. I used them to decorate cupcakes and nestle in between the food and bar tables — the perfect little details for a festive baby shower! Colleens Baby Shower

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