entertaining inspiration and design

What better way to enjoy good food, drinks and the company of great friends but under the stars? This fall I had the pleasure of co-hosting a Farm-to-Table dinner party with a dear friend. While we did this dinner party just because, this would work beautifully for a Thanksgiving Dinner, Birthday Celebration or even a Rehearsal Dinner. Lots of photos and tips below, and as always the invitations and paper goods are available in my Etsy Shop.

For the dinner table, we had seating for 30 around one long farm table (okay, actually 4 tables placed together). It immediately created a cozy feeling and even though it was 22-feet long, it was nice to have everyone together at one table. My co-host and I visited the farmer’s market the morning of to pick out an assortment of flowers, which she later used to create beautiful arrangements for the table – with candles and votives mixed between.

But before we all grabbed our seats for dinner, we sipped on delicious craft cocktails mixed up by our lovely bartender. Guest could choose from four fall-inspired craft cocktails using fresh herbs and fruits – surprisingly the most popular was the Bourbon Bomber. To keep everyone mingling, we had individual bags of kettle corn for the bar snack and as the sun went down our caterer hand-passed butternut squash soup shooters.

At the table, mismatched Vintage China dishes in whites and golds were used at each place-setting, along with beautiful gold flatware and white vintage napkins – all rented from Dish Wish. The farm tables and chairs were rented from Classic Party, along with the gold-rimmed wine glasses and mason jars. We had individual baguettes at each person’s seat, which was also used to hold the placecards. In keeping with the food-focused theme, the favors were French Gray Sea Salts packaged into Weck Jars for each guest.

For evening lighting, our husbands strung 175-feet of globe lights across the backyard. It beautifully lit up the backyard along with the 30+ candles adorning the table.

Resources // Table, Chair and Glass Rentals from Classic Party | Vintage China, Gold Flatware and Napkins from Dish Wish | Catering by Chris Green Catering | Globe Lights from PartyLights.com | French Grey Sea Salts from Penzey Spices | Weck Jars from Weck | Invitations and Paper Goods by Le Partie Sugar Etsy Shop | Visit the Pinterest Board for the inspiration behind this party |

Sharing the invitation I designed for a fall farm-to-table dinner party I co-hosted with a dear friend a couple of weeks ago. I’m always a fan of entertaining and getting our friends together to share in good food and good conversation – especially for no reason at all. But this invite works even if you do have a reason to gather…like Thanksgiving or really any party this season. The invite is available on my Etsy Shop and the coordinating party kit available soon – check back next week for party photos. Happy November!

Halloween is just a few short days away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to whip up one of these easy-to-make Halloween Treats. Whether hosting a Trick or Treat party with kiddos, or just wanting to be bring something festive into the office, these semi-homemade sweet treats will make you look like a pro without too much work in the kitchen. Recipe Sources below the photo. Happy Halloween!

Sources and Recipes, from top-left to bottom-right // 1. Chocolate-Covered Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops, epicurious.com | 2. Itsy-Bitsy Spider Web Cupcakes, countryliving.com | 3. Spider Web Cookies (note: a little more involved, recipe for homemade icing), epicurious.com  | 4. Devilish Delight Cupcake, photo source, recipe not included. Recommend using boxed Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake, White Icing with Red Food Coloring.

Now that October is in full swing, sharing a a few of my favorite No-Carve Pumpkins ideas for fall. I love the Chalkboard Pumpkin {1} and Tangled Yarn Pumpkins {5} to get in the Halloween Spirit without the messiness of carving a jack-o-latern. Or if you’re looking to get longer use out of your pumpkin decor, the Gold Pen Pumpkins {2}, Painted Gold-Stemmed Pumpkins {3} or Painted Address Pumpkins {6} are great options that can be displayed until Thanksgiving as part of your fall harvest decor. Or mix things up entirely and use the pumpkin as your vase, loving the contrast of the white fall pumpkin with the bright pink florals {4}.All these options are easy diy projects, in fact the glam Painted Address Pumpkin just uses gold spraypaint and vinyl address letters available at any home improvement store – but quite a statement piece, right? Resource links to all the pumpkins featured below the image. Happy October!

{Sources} 1. Chalkboard Pumpkins, source and photocredit rachelraymag.com, | 2. Gold Pen Pumpkins, lovelyindeed.com | 3. Painted Gold-Stemmed Pumpkins, chatelaine.com, photo credit Robert Caruso | 4. Vase Pumpkin, chatelaine.com, photo credit Robert Caruso | 5. Tangled Yarn Pumpkins, source and photo credit womansday.com | 6. Address Pumpkin, twigandthistle.com

In anticipation of the last “official” weekend of summer (a.k.a., Labor Day), I wanted to share one of my favorite summertime appetizers – the Grilled Peach + Prosciutto Crostini. Not only do these babies look pretty, but they taste pretty amazing…which shouldn’t be too surprising considering it layers sweet peaches with the salty prosciutto, creamy ricotta and peppery arugula. YUM, right? It’s been my summer staple when entertaining, and this past weekend I finally took photos of the process. Below is the recipe and step-by-step photos. Enjoy!

First things first — get the goods. For 12 servings, you’ll need the following: 1 small French baguette, 2 peaches sliced, 1 cup of ricotta, 12 thin slices of prosciutto, 1/2 cup wild arugula, 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar (reduced), 1 tablespoon olive oil and finishing salt (I like the Gray Sea Salts from Penzy Spices, you can also use a sprinkle of kosher or sea salt).

In small saucepan over medium heat, bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes – remove from heat and let cool. Next you’ll move onto the grilling – you can use a grill, or I found it much easier to use my panini pan – either way heat up your pan (or grill) to a medium-high heat. Next brush a little olive oil on both sides of your bread, place on panini pan and let sear for 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Repeat with the peaches. Once the bread and peaches are grilled, start assembling. Place a ricotta on the bread first, then add the prosciutto, peaches and arugula. Drizzle with reduced balsamic glaze, sprinkle with the finishing salt.

Serve and enjoy immediately!

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