Category Archives: parties

Wine and Cheese

wine and cheese party via delphine

 

Chilly weather is the perfect time for casual get togethers with neighbors and friends. My parents are the ultimate hosts, and they taught me to always have some cheese, wine and crackers in the kitchen, so as to be prepared for guests at any time. The tip has served me well, and I’m looking forward to lots of impromptu happy hours at my place with my neighbors this winter.

Right now I use an old wood cutting board for serving, but it’s old in a scary did-you-find-that-in-a-dumpster way, not in a that-must-be-from-a-turn-of-the-century-estate-sale kind of way. I’d love to have a fancy slate board or a pretty wood serving paddle so I can serve in style (holiday elves, are you listening?). Also on my wish list is the darling juice glass caddy from Bixby & Ball — I’d use it for dips, cornichons, and olives.

Entertaining wish list, clockwise from Crate & Barrel Slate Board / Crate & Barrel Cheese Tool Set / Northern Natives Numbered Wood Coasters via Etsy / Yummy Saxelby Cheesmongers Choice / Orange & Pear Rams Head Knife Set / Crate & Barrel Acacia tree slice serving platter / West Elm Raw Wood Board /Bixby & Ball Juice Glass Caddy

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Party Details | Custom Wedding Match Boxes

custom match boxes for wedding party by delphineI love the simplicity of these sweet custom “a perfect match” wedding match boxes we did for Lindsay and Derek. It’s the little details that really make the look and feel of an event come together.

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Beach Scavenger Hunt Birthday Party

beach party scavenger hunt birthday party invitationseaside beach in cardiff by the sea california8 year old birthday beach party carfiff californiabeach party scavenger hunt tide poolsfootball at sunset on the beach in cardiff by the sea californiafavorite gift home made birthday cardIt’s hard to believe my little one is already eight years old! This year for his birthday he requested a beach party scavenger hunt at Seaside Beach in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

The kids got “a little” wet (some of them actually went swimming!) and had a blast searching for treasures like sea anemones, feathers, shells, lobster, surfers, swimming dogs, and whales. We spotted nearly everything on the list (including swimming dogs, excluding whales).

We celebrated with pizza, cupcakes and lemonade for the kiddos … and yummy cheese, warm coffee and cupcakes for the parents. One of the best parts of the party for me is the crazy easy setup and break down … all I brought was snacks, a drink bucket, a rollup portable table and some picnic blankets. I let Mother Nature do ALL the decorating! I did put together some goodie bags for the kids, with custom stickers, candy and a whoopie cushion. They are 8 year olds, after all. What could be better than sugar and a whoopie cushion?!

Happy birthday to my little guppy!

 

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Blue and Silver Holiday Dessert Bar

Holiday Dessert Bar Buffet Styling by DelphineI had so much fun styling Jessica Davis‘s holiday party dessert bar. She thought I was crazy when I asked her to empty out her hutch so I could use it for displaying the dessert goodies (usually it’s full of baby blankets and other kids photography photo shoot props).

The candy bar had a pale blue, white and silver theme. Of course there aren’t too many foods out there that are blue, so most everything was white. We made an exception to the color palette rule for chocolate! I used lots of white candy dishes, bowls and plates to create different heights and layers. Then I threw in some turquoise, white and silver Christmas ornaments and glittery props. Everything shown is from Jessica, her fiancé, or my personal collection.

The party was a great success. Jessica raised well over $1,000 for OMO CHILD, and I am so happy to say that the raffle prizes were a hit. My son won the iPad! He hasn’t put it down since!

//photos: Erika Firm

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Neighborhood S’mores Party

S'mores Party Invitation

S'mores Party Napkins

S'mores Party marshmallow on fire

S'mores Family Erika Firm John ArquetteS'mores Party FireA few weeks ago, just before school started, John and I invited the neighborhood kids (and their parents) over for a S’mores Party. It was a hot sticky mess, but also a ridiculous amount of fun.

I designed fun brown and white S’mores party invitations, as well as a few party accessories like brown cocktail napkins, but that’s as fancy as it got — overall the party was super low key. My dad made brats and we had a wagon full of beer, the kids ran around the yard playing tag, and patiently waited for dark so we could make s’mores. One of our neighbors brought over homemade marshmallows drizzled with caramel (we ate most of them before the fire was hot!).

Some s’mores party tips: 1. Buy cheap wood dowels at the hardware store for disposable s’mores sticks.   2. Keep a box of wet wipes nearby to help little ones get “unsticky.”   3. Put each ingredient in its own big jar with wide mouth, for easy access.   4. If you want to try something a little fancy: replace the Hershey’s bar with a Reese’s Cup. Trust me on this one.

//Top 3 photos by Erika Firm; bottom photos by Jessica Davis Photography

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Behind the Scenes at our Chevron Picnic Photo Shoot

blue and white backyard picnic ideaEarlier this summer my dear friend Cyd came to visit. Technically, her visit was supposed to be purely vacation, but we managed to sneak in a quick photo shoot/picnic. You can see the Backyard Picnic photos on her blog.

A lot of styled photo shoots you see on blogs are just for show, but we wanted to actually have a little picnic party to introduce Cyd to my SoCal friends. The second Jennifer Dery was done snapping photos we all dug into the yummy food.  When it got dark we moved the party over to the fire pit and made s’mores. The evening was truly one of the biggest highlights of my summer.

Orange salad with mint and onions

One of my favorite things to serve for summer picnics is Orange Salad. We’re super lucky to have orange trees in our backyard, so we make it a lot. It’s refreshing and delicious for summer get togethers.

RECIPE: ORANGE SALAD. Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS: 12 fresh oranges, 1/2 onion, 1 tsp. sea salt, fresh mint

DIRECTIONS: Slice oranges into small wedges (use a paring knife to remove all rind and membrane). Slice onion into very thin ribbons. Put in bowl and add salt. Toss gently. Sprinkle fresh mint leaves on top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Some behind the scenes shots from the Backyard Picnic photo shoot, which was inspired by one of our newest wedding invitation designs, Chevron, the color blue, Bixby & Ball, and summertime:

Delphine intern, Marissa Cool, and her sweetie enjoy blueberry coconut cocktails between shots and lounge on cute pillows from Bixby & Ball.

Stylist Cyd Converse of The Sweetest OccasionStylist Cyd Converse of The Sweetest Occasion, the brains and inspiring force behind the scenes.

Delphine and Bekka Palmer behind the scenesMémé Delphine and Bekka Palmer share a giggle.

Chevron wedding invitation design in navy blue and white chevron patternThe Delphine Chevron wedding invitation design, which inspired the look of the shoot.

MANY THANKS to the team behind this shoot, especially to Cyd for making it all happen. Event design + styling: Sweet Occasions Studio + Delphine / Stationery + paper goods: Delphine (Featured design: Chevron) / Floral design: Adrianne Smith Floral Design / Photography: Jennifer Dery / Decor + tablewares: Bixby & Ball / Styling assistance: Marissa Cool (Delphine intern extraordinaire) + Bekka Palmer of Minted Condition

 //photos in this post by Erika Firm

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summer plan: a s’mores party

// photo: Jennifer Dery

We’re planning a little backyard get together this Saturday for the neighborhood kids … just ‘cause. S’mores will be the star ingredient to the shindig. When I told my 7yo he got so excited he started clapping his hands and jumping up and down with pure joy in his eyes.

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impromptu celebration: surprise 7th birthday boys party

A few months ago my son’s (twin) friends turned seven but didn’t have a party (they had a private family weekend getaway instead). My son still wanted to celebrate his best buddies’ birthday, so he asked me if it was okay to have a surprise party after school one day. I picked up yummy cupcakes from Cupcake Love in the morning, then COMPLETELY FORGOT about the big plan. Whoops. While John went out to pick up the kids from school I dashed around the house and pulled together the party.

After they finished the cupcakes, the kids actually ate the healthy snacks I put out! 

I used markers to decorate “place mats” on kraft paper with each child’s name & a big “7,” put the cupcakes on a stand, fished some colorful striped napkins out of our party drawer, threw some stripy straws in a cup, tossed some colorful carrots and apple slices in bright bowls, and voila: instant party. The boys were TOTALLY surprised, then devoured two giant cupcakes each. 

SUPPLIES: kraft paper on a roll from our shipping department, markers, cupcake stand (my most recent cake stand purchase is a wire one from Target, which I spray painted pink), colorful stripy straws, a couple of candles, and cupcakes

TIP: Keep a drawer in your kitchen for party supplies. We keep one stocked with birthday candles, cute napkins, sprinkles for cake and cookie decorating, and doilies. One can never have too many doilies ; )

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root beer kegger part 6: 7th birthday party!

Our son just turned 7 and we had a Root Beer Kegger! See part 1 for the inspiration; part 2 for the color palette; part 3 for party decorations/inspiration; part 4 for root beer kegger food ideas; and part 5 for root beer party prep.

The Root Beer Kegger was super fun! The kids got all sugared up, played Legos until the entire city was destroyed (all in good fun), ran around the house like maniacs and had a great time. Of course I did the typical party host thing, and totally forgot to take photos. Many thanks to all our guests, who picked up my camera and snapped nearly all of these shots for me!

I know it sounds a little nutso, but we made two cakes. The chocolate frosted one at left is a gluten free vanilla cake with fresh strawberry filling (several of the guests have wheat allergies); the Bûche de Noël at right is my mom’s masterpiece. She used Grand Marnier to flavor the mascarpone frosting. Delicious!

 

 

The buffet table. The big empty plate at front is where the Paninis were placed. It’s crazy, but all of these props (the wood stump boxes, the cardboard 3-d stars, the owl, the acorns, the faux moss) I already had in my collection, props from my trade show days.

 

Favors for the kids: I found cute glass mugs, filled them with root beer barrel candies, and also gave each kid a bottle of root beer to take home. I tied a green and white striped paper straw, with their initial on the tag. Tip when preparing candy bags for kids: make sure each bag has EXACTLY the same number of candies in each bag, or tears may ensue. Photo at right is my breakfast treat day after the party: a root beer float. I was so busy chatting at the party I forgot to make myself one!

 

I created these custom root beer kegger birthday party invitations, along with the matching coasters, tags, place cards, flags, cake toppers, stickers, favor bag labels, etc. Lets just say I get carried away with paper stuff. Of course I forgot to take photos of most of these things! Whoopsie!

 

The kids, getting a heavy dose of sugar with root beer floats, before tackling the cake.

 

Morning after the kegger, he had the breakfast of champions: leftover root beer from the keg, and day old cake.

Overall, it was a great party. A few problems: invites got lost in the mail, took us a while to figure out how to operate the keg (stop snickering… it’s different from the ones we had in college. I swear), and I totally forgot to take photos. But everyone had a good time, especially the birthday boy, so this root beer kegger was a smashing success!

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root beer kegger part 5: party preparation

Our son is turning 7 and we’re having a Root Beer Kegger! See part 1 for the inspiration; part 2 for the color palette; part 3 for party decorations/inspiration; and part 4 for root beer kegger food ideas.

Tomorrow is the big party! Last night I freaked out a little because I realized that only people who live out of town rsvpd (no) to the party but nobody local had responded. After a few calls I found out that most locals had not received their invitations!!! I have no idea what happened, because I sent them all on the same day. I’m glad I sent email save the dates, so most everyone is able to come even though they didn’t receive invitations. 

To keep the stress level down, and to make it easy for friends and family to help set up, today I began the party preparation. 1. I made a shopping list for the food I need to pick up this afternoon   2. I pulled out all the dishes and serving bowls that match the décor and stacked them in one spot to make it easier when I start setting the buffet   3. I bought all the party favors (tiny root beer barrel candies) and will package them up for favors later tonight while I watch tv  4. I assembled the “fancy” party favors for the kids   5. I stacked up extra invitations so I can use the paper to cut up and use for display tags   6. I set out all the glasses and paper straws (I had some green and white paper straws left over from an old photo shoot!)   7. I pulled out all the fancy cheese knives   8/9. I put sticky notes on all the serving pieces I plan to use tomorrow with the name of the food item that goes on it. Then I placed everything on the table in the correct spot. This will really help out tomorrow, so I a. remember what food item goes where and b. other people can help without too much supervision. Later today I will go out to pick up the food, bake a cake, and make the goodie bags. Tomorrow I’ll just have to assemble the sandwiches, salad, put out the cheese, pick up ice and party!

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