Friday, July 31, 2009

White Party

Tonight is the 2nd Annual White Party in Birmingham that benefits The Hope Lodge (a place that provides lodging for "in need" cancer patients and their families). This year the party is being held at Old Car Heaven, which is a new venue in town that I am eager to check out! Unfortunately for me, I will be out of town this weekend. But, here are a few white party images I am loving right now...

Photos via Martha Stewart

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Wedding Shower" Dinner Party, Part Two

I hope you aren't tired of my "wedding shower" dinner party, but just in case, I'm keeping today's post short! I love to incorporate a "signature" drink into events I host so I made Tyler Florence's Champagne Lemonade and it was delicious...and easy to make, which is even better!! I have to give my roommate Stacey credit for coming up with the adorable idea to make the Champagne Lemonade name card.

I served my guests their dinner on Juliska's white berry and thread dinner plates, accompanied with Pomegranate Inc.'s lemon provence napkins and Libeco Lagae white linen napkins.

For the main course I served Herbed Shrimp and Feta Casserole out of the Jackson, MS Junior League cookbook Come On In. It was delicious!! And of course I used another cute lemon name card!

"Wedding Shower" Dinner, Part One

The "wedding shower" dinner party I hosted last night honoring Lauren was a lot of fun! My group of girlfriends in Birmingham always love an excuse to get together and drink wine, so thanks for giving us a great excuse Lauren! I (of course) had to include a picture of Lauren (in the middle) and its so perfect that my two favorite bloggers, Brooke (left) and Marianne (right), are standing next to her!

If you read my post yesterday, I included some photos that were a source of inspiration for me when I was planning my flower arrangements. I decided to thread lemons throughout the party, which you will see in several of my photos. The arrangement below is on my dining room table, and I think the yellow and white were a great contrast to my dark wood dining table. It turned out a bit more simplistic than the photos I posted yesterday, but I think it has an understated elegance that was perfect for the party.

Ok, so I tried to tackle the orange slice arrangment(substituting lemons of course) that I saw on BHG's web site and it definitely wasn't easy! I think I needed a few more lemons to make this work, but I had to make do with what I had left. I first filled the vase(yes, its juliska my FAV) with water and realized this wouldn't work because the lemon slices started to float...duh, right!? To improvise I stuck a shot glass in the center of the vase with water and arranged the daises in there. I wish I had added a few more flowers in there to give it a fuller look, but I was of course in a rush/mad dash(which I get from my mother) to get everything organized before my guests arrived.

My ever so creative roommate Stacey showed me the idea below she had cut out from a magazine, and I immediately got excited about trying this out! I placed these lemons on the "peep through" window ledge into my kitchen. All you need for this project is a couple of lemons, daisies and straws. You just poke a hole in the lemon and cut the straws and daisies to similar lengths. To finish the look you slip the daisy into the straw and stick it into the lemon. Super easy and such a fun creative look! The straws are white with yellow stripes...much cuter in person than in this photo.

I think my favorite arrangement for the party was the one I put together for the table on my back deck. It's a combo of hydrangeas, daisies and queen anne's lace. I was hoping to use the hydranges in the vase with the lemons on the dining room table, but the shape of the hydrangeas just didn't look right in that arrangement, so I threw it together with some leftover daisies and queen anne's lace in a large square vase and it came out great... thank goodness!!

Stay tuned tomorrow for more details on the menu and dinnerware!

Make an Entrance

Here is a little preview on the dinner party I hosted last night for my friend Lauren. I will try to get the rest of the photos up today...unfortunately work gets in the way of my blogging!! I wanted to make a festive entrance for the party, so I borrowed the hurricane lamps you see in the photos from my cousin who lives around the corner. I added a tulle bow and set them on either side of the entrance to the sidewalk that leads to my front door. They looked great!

Stay tuned for more details later...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dinner Party Inspiration

I'm having a dinner party tonight to celebrate my friend Lauren's engagement (she got engaged in March so this party is much overdue!). Lauren is a very close friend so I really want to make tonight special for her! I saw this image on Beach Bungalow 8 and loved the combination of hydrageas and roses. Hydrangeas are Lauren's favorite flower so my plan is to incorporate them into my flower arrangements. I think the limes are a fun twist, but after seeing the next image on Blue Orchid Designs, I am in the mood for lemons!

I love a table with tons of vases of all different sizes and the lemons are a great way to decorate without breaking the bank! The napkins I have in mind to use are yellow, blue and white. My color scheme is coming together quite nicely!

How neat is the vase full of orange slices. Should I dare try this tonight? It is so unique, but looks tough to pull off!

I'm a huge fan of silver and since this is somewhat of a "wedding shower" dinner party, I think using silver would be a special touch.

I have such a large vision for this party in my head...I hope I can accomplish it on my budget! I will post photos tomorrow...stay tuned.

Monday, July 27, 2009

To Toss or Not to Toss...

I had a wonderful time at the wedding this weekend in Selma!  After I left the reception, I got to thinking about the tradition of "tossing the bride's bouquet," and I started to wonder if its on the way out? Brides are becoming more and more modern with their weddings that old traditions may just be getting left behind. Or if you are from the South, especially Alabama, it may just be the case that the older we get the fewer single ladies there are to catch the bouquet! I haven't decided on my opinion of whether a bride should toss her bouquet or not. I've been to weddings where they've been tossed and where they haven't, and usually I end up dreading the tosses, and not really missing the toss when it doesn't happen. Wait...maybe that means I have made up my mind? I love traditions so its hard for me to break away from this one. What's your opinion --- definitely toss? or skip the toss? To toss or not to toss...that is the question! For all you orchid is a gorgeous bouquet for you to feast your eyes on...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Speaking of...

...brides who like to take a risk, you've got to watch this video! It has been all over the news this morning, so you may have already caught a glimpse. I just couldn't resist posting it!

Decisions Decisions

I'm headed to Selma, Alabama this weekend for a wedding, so I thought I would leave you with some images of wedding shoes. I have never really thought about brides wearing anything other than the traditional white shoe...

but there are some pretty trendy brides out there who like to show their personality through color...

and style...

What shoe fits you??

Photos via Shoe Crazed, Elements of Style, Just Chic Events, Kelly Oshiro Events, Southern Weddings, The Brides Cafe, The Studio Nouveau, 100 Layer Cake, Coco+Kelley, Heidi Mitchell Photography, B&G Photography, Katy Regnier, A Bryan Photo

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sweet Endings

I stumbled upon these mini cakes or "baby bites" as they are cleverly named about a year ago and I'm so glad that I did. Pastry Arts in Homewood, AL whips up these fabulous treats, which is conveniently located right near my office (very dangerous for the waistline). They are delicious bitesize cakes in many different flavors that melt in your mouth, and leave you wanting more. They are the perfect sweet ending to any event! For all the Birmingham locals, what's your favorite flavor?? Mine? Caramel!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Backyard Cookout, Part 2

I dug out a few past issues of Southern Living magazine from my closet last night to try to find the article on Nectar and Company that I read a few months ago. If you have not heard about Nectar and Company, I'm so excited to introduce them to you today. This company is a great source for floral design, containers, and garden elements... so if you need to spruce up your home/yard for a party, you've got to give them a call! I love putting a face with a name, so here are the people who make Nectar and Company work...
Tommy Johnston; Carmen Johnston, owner of Nectar and Company; Jani McDaniel; Corinne Johnston; and Angelic Dawson.

Now, let's take a look at their fabulous work! This is the image I saw in the April 2009 issue of Southern Living and instantly I fell in love with this company. How cool is that table below?? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have that set up for my next party...wouldn't you?!! (Sorry for all the "LOVEs" and exclamation points, but I just get so excited over creative ideas.)

I always enjoy a good before and after picture, so when I found this one I had to include it.

Before: Drab Backyard/Driveway

After: Chic Lounge Area for Backyard Entertaining

What is so great about this company is that if you can't afford to buy, you can rent! Nectar will deliver and stage your event with plants, flowers, furniture and accessories and pick them up when the party is through. The potted plant below is one of the many examples of items you can rent.

I couldn't resist throwing in one last picture that is a twist on the traditional window box. Simple perfection!

"I like to create spaces that are fun for people to explore. Let me plant your next party and I'll turn you into a gardener before you know what happened." - Carmen Johnston

Photos via Southern Living and Nectar and Company

Backyard Cookout, Part 1

My last post got me thinking about some "must haves" for a backyard cookout. I love the casual table setting below. Its modern and classic at the same time, and perfect for an outdoor party. I think my favorite part might just be the wooden utensils! Check out this site for more plate designs and this site for more picnic cutlery.
If you live in the South like me you can't have a party outdoors without at least "trying" to fend off the mosquitos. I'm not so sure these citronella candles actually work, so if anyone has a better suggestion, please leave me a comment!

Decorating for a backyard cookout is easy. Plant your yard/pots at the beginning of the season and you are ready for parties all summer long.

And of course, you can't forget a yard game, right?

Photos via Southern Living and Amazon

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farmer's Market

The weather in Birmingham this weekend was absolutely beautiful! And, when the weather is nice (especially in the summertime), all I want to do is be outside. On Saturday morning my boyfriend, Matt, and I ventured down to Pepper Place where there is a Farmer's Market every Saturday in the summer. We decided since the weather was so nice that we should have an impromptu cookout. We picked up some tomatoes, potatoes and peaches, and transformed them into tomato pie, potato salad and peach cobbler. Matt fired up the grill and made beer can chicken as the main course. Some friends brought over conecuh sausage (my absolute favorite!!) and a delicious green salad. It was the perfect summer menu for a casual cookout with close friends. Not only is the Farmer's Market great for fresh fruit and vegetables, but if you are throwing a party, you can also pick up fresh flowers. It can be your one-stop shop for entertaining! Below are a few pictures I snapped during our outing. If you haven't been to the Farmer's Market this summer you must go and check it out!

I was hoping to paste a copy of the recipes I used for the cookout in this post, but I am having some serious formatting issues. I need a lesson on blogging!! You can find the tomato pie and potato salad recipes I used here and here.

The peach cobbler recipe I borrowed from a friend and it is SO easy!!

1 stick of butter

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of flour

5 peeled and sliced peaches

1/4 tsp of cinammon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer peaches on the bottom of a baking dish. Combine butter, sugar and flour and mix until crumbly. Pour mixture on top and sprinkle with cinammon. Bake in the oven until brown, approximately 45 minutes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Art on the Rocks

This year marks the fifth season for one of Birmingham’s most popular social gatherings – Art on the Rocks. This social/cultural event takes place at the Birmingham Museum of Art once a month during the summer. At Art on the Rocks you will find scavenger hunts through the Museum’s galleries (prizes from Bromberg’s Fine Jewelers), live music from the best up and comers (heard on 100.5), adult art activities, specialty drinks, and delicious food from one of my favorite caterers in town, Kathy G. I remember when this event first started five years ago, and I am so glad to see it is still going strong. This event is the perfect way to start your weekend! If I were able to go tonight I would be drinking this….

And wearing this…..

Have a Happy Weekend!