Saturday, June 28, 2008
I'm a firm believer that everyone can benefit from Martha Stewart and her creative team's design ideas. If you're planning a wedding or if you're just looking for some beautiful inspiration (think centerpieces, Hors d'Oeuvres, decorations, stationery and gorgeous photography) for your next event, pick up a copy of Martha Stewart Weddings, Collector's Edition.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Cooking Light June 2005
Here's a fun drink just in time for the 4th of July, the Kiwi Colada. I love that it is served in a shot glass. Imagine offering your guests one of these when they arrive for your outdoor soiree! Very Savvy!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
· Select centerpieces that can be transplanted from the table to the garden. Instead of fresh cut flower centerpieces, consider purchasing topiaries or ferns for dramatic flair.
· To conserve paper, write your menu on small chalk tablets that can be placed at each table or strategically distribute large chalk boards around the room near clusters of tables.
· Print your invitation on plantable paper.
· Try organic wines as an earth-friendly alternative to traditional alcoholic beverages.
· Hosting a large event and concerned about all the excess trash? Encourage your guests to recycle by offering contains for all recyclable products.
· Consider having a composting bin for food scraps and coffee grounds. If you don’t personally compost, there are many organizations such as garden clubs and organic farmers that will happily take the items off your hands.
· Consider the energy used for lighting, entertainment, and food prep. Opt to host your event by candle or LED lamp light, have the entertainment perform “unplugged” or purchase your food locally to avoid extra carbon emissions caused by long transports.
· Use cloth napkins (make sure they're 100% organic cotton) as well as reusable place settings.
· Eliminate excess packaging by buying in bulk when possible. Think of all the items you will need including beverages, condiments and any items that would normally be wrapped individually.
· Buffets are a great way to eliminate excess and offer a good opportunity to use refillable or reusable containers.
· Need a cool “green” party favor? Try giving your guests a subscription to Green Dimes. This organizations helps you stop junk mail and plants 10 trees in your honor. Other options include a copy of The Lazy Environmentalist by Josh Dorfman or It’s Easy Being Green by Crissy Trask.
· Go for the “green” clean sweep and use environmentally friendly dish soaps and detergents for your party cleanup.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to fold napkins into beautiful shapes? If so, check out David Stark's newest book, Napkins With A Twist, an educational and visually stunning piece. The book features over 40 different napkin folds. My two favorites are the Ripple and the Gift Roll. Use this book to learn a new fold for Wowing! guests at your next dinner party
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
If traditional “Stars and Stripes” aren’t your thing, stay true to the Red, White and Blue by using modern elements in your décor. When you’re planning your table décor, add some sass by using blue and white zebra striped plates from West Elm atop a “Snap-A-Party” plastic ware.
Don’t limit your creativity to just the place settings. Branch out with modern DIY floral centerpieces in monochromatic colors.
You can always spruce up inexpensive cloth napkins by having catchy words embroidered on the corner such as: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, etc.
Name each table after one of the Founding Fathers or frame patriotic quotes on each table to remind your guests of the reason we celebrate the 4th of July.
The 4th of July is a time for celebration so bring your “good stuff” outside by using your crystal, silver and china.
Champagne Toasts are a great way to kickoff any party! For the 4th of July, read a passage from the Declaration of Independence and then offer a toast. This is a great opportunity to tell your guests how much you appreciate their friendship and their coming to your home.
Place baskets of “city approved” fireworks around the yard so your guests can enjoy them when the mood strikes. Roman candles, sparklers, smoke bombs, and growing snakes are always good options. Be sure to provide plenty of lighters as well as buckets of sand so guests can easily extinguish fireworks. (It also makes the cleanup easy!)
Commemorate the occasion by giving guests a star-shaped ornament as a party favor. (Craft stores carry generic ornaments all year long.) Using a Sharpie pen, write the guests name as well as the date on the bottom of the ornament.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
• Start by setting a masculine table with a few of his favorite things.
• Use luxe linens in dark masculine colors such as a navy satin table cloth and accent the place settings with manly napkin rings such as a metal link alligators.
• For the centerpiece focus on an outdoor theme using such rustic items as branches, twigs, and feathers.
• Keeps dad’s favorite drink choices close at hand by placing them around the centerpiece. Doing so keeps everyone seated and provides more time with the guest of honor.
• Men like to use the good china too! Make sure you pull out the heavy weighted crystal and more masculine china pattern. Anything too delicate with take away from the theme.
• To pull the look together use bamboo chairs and rustic menu cards.
Gift Ideas Dad Will Love
For the Hunter
• A monogrammed hunting bag from King Ranch
For the Big Hearted
• “Hidden Message” collar stays from Red Envelop
For the King of the Grill
• Monogrammed stainless steel grill set from Williams-Sonoma
For the Foodie
• Gourmet biscotti from Dunkluv
For the Gadget Guru
• A Slingbox from Slingbox Media
For the Adventurer
• Texas Driving Experience from Texas Motor Speedway
For the Athlete
• Nike+ Sports Band from Nike
For the Preppy Dresser
• Brown Crocodile Driver from Prada
For the Golf Lover
• Trophy Club Ticket to the 2008 Senior Open at The Broadmoor
For the Traveler
• Box set of City Travel Guides by LUXE City Guides
Thursday, June 12, 2008
• For a backyard soiree rent small fans with misters. Place them behind shrubs and potted plants to reduce their visibility and add a soft “wind in the trees” effect.
• Offer plenty of nonalcoholic to guests. Bottled water and lemonade are very refreshing in the summer. Set up a drink station with festive garnishes such as lemons, limes, mint, and frozen berries. Don’t forget the drink umbrellas!
• Ask your guests to arrive at dusk/sunset. Everyone looks gorgeous in that light and it starts to cool down.
• Few things are more refreshing than homemade ice cream. Offer guests liquors as an alternative to traditional toppings. Serve in chilled antique brandy glasses.
• For BBQ party favors, give each guest the recipe for your homemade ice cream as well as the main ingredients needed, so they can make it for themselves at home.