Showing posts with label entertaining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entertaining. Show all posts
Simple and Rustic St. Patrick's Day Tablescape

Simple and Rustic St. Patrick's Day Tablescape


I love celebrating St. Patrick's Day! Maybe it's all the green, all the good food, all the beer...who knows! It's just such a fun holiday, and I love that there are so many totally different ways you can celebrate it! I have really fond memories of my mom making traditional Irish dishes and my aunt and uncle throwing fun parties. It's just all around good!

This year I decides on a really neutral, simple and rustic St. Patrick's Day dinner inspiration. I wanted it to feel like the kind of dinner you might enjoy in an Irish countryside pub. Delicious, homey and simple.

On The Table: 



For the table itself I chose to use really neutral colors, sticking with my everyday tablecloth and a burlap table runner. Then I added little pops of sage green with the napkins and these adorable faux boxwood planters!

Keeping with the neutral theme, I used plain white plates on top of larger glass dinner plates, so the glass plates kind of look like chargers.


And of course, what's a St. Patrick's Day party without Guinness! I've shared my Guinness Cupcakes and Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies with you already (and Guinness beef stew coming next week!), but had to include it in the tablescape too. I love these Guinness pint glasses, which I actually borrowed from my parents! The shape of them is supposed to be "ideal" for Guinness consumption, which I really know nothing about, but I just think they're cute!



I almost skipped anything gold on the table, but then I saw these Frans Chocolates Coconut Gold Bars and changed my mind! They look so cute on each place setting, and still keep with the neutral feel of the whole table. And I spy a little Leprechaun stealing the gold! Charlotte was so obsessed with these chocolates and kept stealing them off each place setting. It was so funny!

However you plan to celebrate the holiday, I hope you have a great time! Slainte!




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Kirsten Bell
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Special Party Invitations From Basic Invite

Special Party Invitations From Basic Invite


If you've known me for a while, you know that I'm a total paper nerd. When I got engaged, the first thing I was excited to plan was my invitations! I'm all about the quality of paper, customization options, and don't get me started on accessories like envelope liners!

Maybe it's because of my love of good paper, or my love of a good party, but I love real paper invitations. They help set the mood of the event, get guests excited for the party, and with a physical invitation guests are more likely to remember important details.

I'm always looking for new stationary companies, and recently came across Basic Invite. I honestly can't believe I hadn't discovered them before! With a champagne tasting party around the corner, and hopefully many baby showers to plan for friends in the near future, I decided to order some invitations to check them out. After gushing about them to my friend the other day at coffee, I decided to write up a quick blog post on the experience! If you're planning a birthday, baby shower, wedding - really any type of special event, you definitely should check them out! Especially because on their site right now, they're offering 15% off with code 15FF51.


A few things stood out to me about Basic Invite:

1) I almost always have a specific color palette to my event, and I loved that I was able to completely customize the colors of the invitation! Usually when you order invitations you get a few limited choices, but with Basic Invite they literally gave me a color wheel. How amazing is that? You can even choose from over 40 colors of coordinating envelopes. For a self-proclaimed paper nerd like myself, this is pretty exciting! They also have coordinating thank you notes for a lot of their invitations, and I am ALL about that!

2) When I decided on the invitation, I was able to order an actual printed sample. That's important, because all computer monitors are different and one computer's teal could be another computer's bright green. If you're planning a Breakfast at Tiffany's party, that's a pretty important distinction. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I admit! So having the option to double check everything from color to wording and spacing is amazing.


3) Ok this might be the coolest part - Basic Invite provides an address capturing system. If you're planning to send out Christmas cards, for example, you can post a link to your Facebook, Twitter - whatever platform you like, and your friends can enter their addresses there. That would have been so handy when I was planning our wedding and my friend's recent baby shower - I swear it took me weeks to track down addresses!


They offer all sorts of invitations from the champagne party ones I chose, to wedding invites, to baby shower invitations. Having just planned a baby shower for a friend, and hoping to plan many more in the near future, I got totally lost in this section!

They have so many adorable options, even a special section for baby shower invites for twins! Or these sea themed baby shower invitations! Now I'm dying to host an under the sea themed party. Wouldn't that also be a cute theme for Charlotte's second birthday party?? I'm already planning the cake in my mind haha! Since they're so customizable, I might just do that! Ok and last one: look at these butterfly baby shower invitations. Totally in love!

I seriously can't wait to order invitations from Basic Invite again!
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Kirsten Bell
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Bright and Happy Galentine's Day Party Inspiration

Bright and Happy Galentine's Day Party Inspiration


Happy Friday and first day of February everyone! I've spent the last few weeks baking and prepping all things Valentine's Day, and I'm so excited to share this Galentine's Day party table inspiration with you. Last year I had a few girlfriends over to celebrate with a fun, casual brunch. That's what I had in mind as I put this table together. I wanted it to be happy, comfortable and inviting!

Valentine's Day often revolves around love and romance, and I'm all about that! But I think it's also fun to use the holiday to celebrate the other kinds of love we have in our lives too, whether it's love for friends or our families. I wanted this table to be light and bright, steering clear of traditional Valentine's Day colors like pinks and reds. And you'll notice there's not a single heart on the table, either! As I was photographing this, I couldn't help thinking this would also be a perfect setup for a Mother's Day brunch or a cute baby shower!

On The Table: 
XO Table Runner, Pink Water Glasses, Floral Plates (Limited stock - I also love these), Light Orange/Coral Napkins, Faux Mini Flower Pots in Yellow and Red


Whenever I'm putting a table together, I always choose one thing to inspire the overall look. Sometimes it starts with a type of food I want to serve, like Greek food leading to an island theme. Sometimes it's the location of the event. For this brunch, my inspiration started with the Pantone color of the year, which happens to be coral!




I instantly fell in love with these adorable mini faux potted ranunculus in yellow and red! I knew that I wanted a bright floral arrangement since the table runner is a perfect backdrop. These work perfectly, because they spread color all across the table and also tie into the color of the napkins. I also like the price point of these faux flowers, because achieving a similar look with live flowers would have been a lot pricier. Plus now I get to enjoy them forever!


I also really loved these floral plates, because they tie into the overall coral color scheme without being overly matchy. Especially next to the orange napkins and pink water glasses, the colors of the plates compliment the rest of the table and create a more cohesive feel.   


Questions? Comments?  Leave me a note below!

I hope this post helps inspire you to put together a bright and fun Galentine's Day party!

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Kirsten Bell
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3 Perfect Wines For Valentine's Day

3 Perfect Wines For Valentine's Day


There's only one more week of January - can you believe that?? We're almost one month down of 2019. I should probably start working on my resolutions haha! And that also means that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and will be here before we know it! Now you guys know me, and you know that I love wine. So I put together a list of some of my favorites that would be perfect for a romantic dinner, girls night, glass after the kids go down and you eat thai takeout - whatever the evening looks like for you, it will look better with a glass of one of these delicious wines in your hand!


Maryhill Winery, 2012 Serendipity

I've loved Maryhill's wines for a long time - we finally joined their wine club about a year ago (we should have joined sooner!) and always look forward to those shipments! They have tasting rooms in Goldendale, Spokane, and are just about to open a new tasting room in Vancouver this April! Definitely pay them a visit if you're in the area. I really love all of their wines, and the Serendipity is no exception. It's really smooth, and would pair well with whatever your Valentine's Day meal looks like! We drank it while eating my White Wine and Parmesan Risotto, and it was soooo delicious! It would also be amazing with a steak or pork. (When you order this wine, also grab a bottle of their rosé! It's my favorite!!)

Merry Cellars, 2016 Dolce Vita

Merry Cellars is our local winery in town - you probably see me mention them all the time on Instagram stories! We love their wine and hanging out in their tasting room in Pullman. I'm not usually a fan of dessert wines, but I looooove Dolce Vita. It's made from merlot that's co-fermented with blackberries, which makes for a really deep, jammy and fruity wine. Dolce Vita is really special, and would be the perfect Valentine's Day treat!

Yarden, 2008 Blanc de Blancs

No Valentine's Day wine list would be complete without a sparkling wine, am I right? This sparkling wine is so good - I love how bright, fresh and fruity it is! It would be perfect with light appetizers like a cheese plate or these smoked salmon appetizers, and would also be amazing for a brunch! If you're looking to pair this with your Valentine's Day dinner, I'd recommend it with my Lemon and Garlic Salmon, or a light chicken. And grab another bottle while you're at it, because I know you'll love the Blanc de Blancs as much as I do!

I hope you all find a new wine to love on this list - be sure to let me know if you try one and report back! And if you love wine, check out this recipe for Merlot Chocolate Truffles - they will blow your mind!!

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Kirsten Bell
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How To Host An Easy And Beautiful Christmas Tea

How To Host An Easy And Beautiful Christmas Tea


There's really nothing better than a beautiful tea party! It's such a fun occasion to put on a cute dress and serve all the tiny bite-sized things! And champagne, of course! Oh and tea.

I've seen ideas for Christmas teas for years, and always thought it would be so fun! So this year I decided to begin an annual Christmas tea tradition, and I won't lie - I already have next year's all planned out! Today I'm so excited to share pictures and details from this year's Christmas tea party.

Read on, or scroll to the bottom for my quick tips on hosting your own easy and beautiful tea party!


I had so much fun putting the table together for our Christmas tea. My inspiration started with the beautiful Teleflora floral arrangement. I love how traditional it is with the winter greenery, red roses and even a few pine cones! I always have such a fun time perusing the Teleflora website, knowing that I'll get exactly what I order.

I also picked up some super fun decorated sugar cookies, and no tea party would be complete without macarons, am I right?? I got an assortment, and we had so much fun trying the different flavors and sharing what our favorites were (for those curious, the winner was the peppermint candy cane)!


I put a small bottle of La Marca champagne at each place setting, for mimosas of course, and tied each of them with a little red ribbon. I loved that guests could pour their own drinks, as much or little as they wanted, or even take them home for later!

For favors, I opted for small boxes of Frans Chocolates salted caramels. If you haven't tried Fran's salted caramels, do yourself a favor (ha, get it?) and order them right. now. They are by far the best salted caramels ever, and I loved gifting each of my friends such a fun and delicious favor!




Since I hosted this party around lunch time, I knew we wouldn't survive off of cookies and champagne alone. So I put together some quick and easy tea sandwiches for us. I made them all open faced, and served them on my favorite tiered stand I've had for years. I did traditional egg salad sandwiches topped with sprouts, cream cheese and smoked salmon sandwiches garnished with fresh dill, and little cheese sandwiches that were a slice of parmesan cheese and a small dollop of my favorite peach jalapeno jelly! All really simple, all really easy, and all really delicious! 

 

Tips For An Easy and Beautiful Christmas Tea

1. Decide on the color scheme/inspiration. I got my inspiration from the beautiful Teleflora floral arrangement I found online, and fashioned all the other decor around that. 

2. Keep it simple silly! Don't try to do everything at once - you'll drive yourself insane. I opted to order the sugar cookies and macarons instead of make them myself, because I wanted to focus on setting the table instead. Especially now that I have a toddler running around I definitely know I can't do it all, and that's totally ok! 

3. Use what you have! I didn't buy a single new dish. My tiered serving dish was perfect for sandwiches, I used my favorite cake stand for the macarons, and the cute polka dot Kate Spade dishes I received as a bridal shower gift. 

4. Use favors to help decorate the table! I love how adorable the little Fran's chocolate boxes are, especially wrapped in their beautiful red ribbon. Everyone was so excited to sit down to a little gift at their place. They have so many box and ribbon options on their website, so whatever your color scheme is, you'll find a favor to match! 

5. Serve drinks at the table. The cute mini champagne bottles were a perfect addition to the table decor (see tip #4!), but they also made my job as hostess a lot easier! Instead of getting up to refill everyone's glasses, I could pour drinks while enjoying the event and my friends' company, and they were happy to mix their own drinks at the table as well! 

6. Have fun! We joked at the tea about the etiquette of tea cup holding and all practiced holding out our pinkies haha! But just remember that you invited your friends over to have a good time, and nobody expects your event to be absolutely perfect. They came for you!





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Kirsten Bell
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A Warm Burgundy & Gold Thanksgiving Tablescape

A Warm Burgundy & Gold Thanksgiving Tablescape


This weekend we hosted our first Friendsgiving at our house, and I had so much fun setting the table for the event! Growing up my mom and aunt would always set beautiful tables for Thanksgiving (we alternated between households), and I love how it makes the dinner feel that much more special. Even though it took a little extra time to take out the china, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy a nice table is to create!

Funny story - you might notice that the flatware is reversed. Forks are supposed to go on the left, and knife on the right. I didn't realize that I had made an oops until our guests had already left and we were cleaning up! In a past life I would have been horrified, but you know what? We had a wonderful and fun dinner, and that's all that really matters at the end of the day! 

Decor Details: 
 Burgundy napkins, Our tablecloth was a gift, but similar here

I absolutely love these gold votives, which add so much warmth to the table! I also use them for our advent candles in Christmas, or really any time I want the table to feel a little special! Since my color scheme was gold and burgundy, I also pulled out our gold flatware, and gold chargers to help the lace china really pop (My china is currently on sale!). For this event I used these gold chargers, but oh my gosh I'm majorly obsessing over these gold lace chargers too! 





Call me old school, but I love everything about crystal. I love the look of it of course, but I also love the weight of it! For our dinner I used our Waterford wine glasses and vase. We definitely don't use our china and crystal every day, but it really elevates the table, and transforms a dinner into an event.


I hope everyone has fun planning fun and festive Thanksgivings over the next week!


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Kirsten Bell
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