I was super excited to get my hands on the new issue of Mingle Magazine to see not one, but two (!) articles featuring my writing and styling work. The first article was a holiday party where my girlfriends and I DIY’ed holiday crafts and sipped on seasonal cocktails — with flowers by Little Flower Cottage and photography by Bring to Light Photography. The other article was a gals get together with the awesome team at Urban Grape where we tested whiskey cocktails and whiskey-infused foods; all of the gorgeous imagery in that story was shot by Brian Samuels. A few of my favorites from each article are below, but grab the magazine to check out  the full articles! Mingle Magazine 1Mingle Magazine 2Mingle Magazine 3Mingle Magazine 4

I left one little detail out of recap yesterday of Alison’s baby shower — the food! And for an important reason: this topic deserves its own post. For the shower I tried out Kitchensurfing for the first time, which is an awesome service where you book a private chef to prepare a meal customized to your event, cooked right in your own home. Now, I was excited to try out Kitchensurfing because I mean, the bulk of the work that comes with throwing a party revolves around prepping, cooking, and serving food, and having someone else take care of all the handwork really frees up time for things like … taking the curlers out of your hair more than 8 seconds before you guests arrive while pulling appetizers out of the oven.

2014-10-26 13.04.49So, Kitchensurfing matched me up with a great chef named Tim, who worked with me to customize a gourmet brunch men full of bite-sized treats including: mini biscuits and maple sausage bacon, crispy potato cakes with roasted corn, individual caramelized onion and goat cheese quiches, and candied bacon – YUM! And for a real show stopper – Tim made individual bowls filled with crispy bacon and onions, butter brioche toasts, and a cracked to order sous-vide egg on top. I was a little nervous before the event that I’d be anxious about giving up control of my kitchen, but the truth is that Tim such a great job that I was really able to enjoy the party instead of being stuck in the kitchen, and what’s better than that?Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Want to try Kitchensurfing? Sign up here and receive $50 off your booking!

Please note: Kitchensurfing provided their serves free of charge, all opinions are my own. 

 

This weekend I hosted a baby shower with the help of  my friend Lindsay  for one of our blogger besties — Alison of Long Distance Loving. It’s funny, I’ll always refer to Alison as my ‘blogger friend’ because that’s how we met, and we continue to work together on Boston Bloggers. But since meeting through the blogging world we’ve become great friends outside of the blogosphere, and I was so delighted to be able to celebrate her and her little baby-to-be! Alison is keeping the baby’s gender a surprise, so we went with a gender-neutral theme – bright yellows that we used in garlands, sunflowers, and cheery striped straws. We also made little yellow flags out of washi tape that we used for cupcake toppers and in potted succulents for favors. Oh and the food was pretty tasty too! More on that tomorrow…

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Can I brag a little bit? Yours truly is featured in the November issue of Family Circle magazine that hits stands this week. I’m sharing tons of tips  in their “happy to host” feature to make your holiday entertaining a little less stressful and a little more festive. Grab a copy, check out the article, and let me know what you think!

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When it comes to planning a bridal shower, it’s the little extra details that make all the difference in creating a special experience. When my fellow bridesmaids landed on a mimosa bar for the shower, I decided it would be fun to jazz up the rented champagne flutes with a little extra flair. Using embroidery floss and an easy-to-find tutorial from Pinterest, I made tassels in coordinating corals, peaches, and lilacs. Using wine charm findings I attached the tassels with an extra piece of embroidery floss. The result was a bright pop of festive color on the champagne flutes, and an easy way for guests to locate their drinks!
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I shared a few sneak peeks of a bridal shower for one of my best buds this weekend if you follow me over on instagram, and I have loads more to share here today! I had so much fun planning details for this shower because there are few people in this world that would appreciate them more than this bride-to-be. It was also so much fun because of the all-star bridesmaids involved — these girls pulled out all the stops: from stocking a candy buffet fit for Willy Wonka, to hand-making favor boxes out of coordinating cardstock, to arranging gorgeous blooms brimming with bright pink peonies (this gang was so on top of things that we all showed up in coordinating outfits without even planning!). My favorite detail was the mimosa bar, stocked with Pop-Fizz-Clink drink stirrers and signage from Laura Hooper Calligraphy and a wall of cascading tissue bursts in peaches and pinks and lilacs from Shop Sweet Lulu. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day, it was a sun-shining, mimosa drinking kind of a celebration!

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I had the pleasure of working with some really creative folks a few weeks ago on a rosé wine tasting party held by The Urban Grape. Helping to style a shoot like this really doesn’t count as work because I got to hang out all day with amazing company, eat a tasty lunch al fresco on a gorgeous wrap around porch, and learn all about (and taste!) delicious rosé wines on a warm summer day. I shared a few of my favorite outtakes from the day here, but click over to Boston.com to read the full article with smart tips from Hadley & TJ of The Urban Grape  to throw your own rosé party.

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Wine: The Urban Grape

Photography: Brian Samuels Photography

Flowers: Boston Pollen

Glassware: Farm & Fable

 

It was a very festive weekend — we celebrated my little brother’s high school graduation with a big backyard fiesta! I think my sister and I started planning this party almost a year ago when we realized our baby brother’s graduation was impending — we love to throw a good party and this was a big reason to celebrate. The theme was inspired by some mexican blankets that we found at a thrift store for a few bucks a piece, and thought they would make awesome table linens for a summer fiesta. We had a taco bar for dinner and a make your own margarita station with festive drink stirrers. For decorations I ordered tons of papel picado and we strung the banners all along the backyard fence and above the bar. Of course it wouldn’t be a fiesta without a few piñatas too (and I brought some confetti cannons which were a hit!). It was a perfect day of food, family, and fun.
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If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen my little brother graduated from high school this week (cue the tears!). He’s the baby in the family, and is lucky to have two big sisters and a mom that L-O-V-E -love throwing parties, so you better believe we’re going to be throwing the biggest and best graduation party for him to celebrate. He requested a taco bar which lead to an obvious theme of fiesta! —  so I’ve been busy crafting up piñata-inspired details this week to make sure it’s a fiesta to remember. Using tissue paper, I cut 1.5 inch strips in different colors and used fringe scissors to create the piñata-like texture. Next, I used a glue-stick to coat the non-fringed edge, and began to wrap it around the party horn whistle (I got these at a party store and removed the paper wrappers that came on them). Keep wrapping until you get to the end and add a little extra glue to ensure it’s sealed, then repeat with additional colors layered on top. I replicated the same process for drink stirrers, just wrapping a bit tighter around a small skewer, and used a few extra tiny scraps to make some tooth-pick flags for garnishes; can’t wait to use these at the party this weekend!

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Nothing says “it’s time to party!” like a handful of confetti — which is what inspired today’s DIY project! To get that festive look I used Chinet’s Cut Crystal to make confetti plates and cups. To start, I cut my own confetti using several colors of tissue paper. Then I spread a thin layer of clear-drying glue on the plates and for the cups, I painted a think layer about half way up the cup walls. Next comes the fun part — tossing the confetti over the plates, and into the cups. Using a second plate and cup, lightly coated with the glue, I pressed the plate down to seal the confetti in between the two plate layers, and repeated with the cups, stacking them to tightly seal the confetti between the cup walls. Finally, let them dry before using. I paired the cups with my confetti cocktail stirrers and was ready to party!

(Psst! Enter to win a $100 Amex Gift Card and Chinet Cut Crystal Party Pack so you can throw your own party!)

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Please note, this post and giveaway is sponsored by Chinet, and all opinions are my own.