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 oldÂ 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.
One of the many joys of being back in the South is access to one of my favorite snacks: boiled peanuts. Pair it with a cane sugar Coke and I’m a very happy girl. I snapped this pic at Butcher & Bee the other day because I just loved the traditional color palette: coca cola red, peanut brown, a bit of green: an old school classic color palette that would be a great jumping off point for planning a fall party.
It’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?!
I 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).
A 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. Â 2. Keep a box of wet wipes nearby to help little ones get “unsticky.” Â 3. Put each ingredient in its own big jar with wide mouth, for easy access. Â 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.
Earlier 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. Â 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.
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.
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 beforeÂ 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, andÂ summertime:
Delphine intern, MarissaÂ Cool, and her sweetie enjoy blueberry coconut cocktails between shots and lounge on cute pillows from Bixby & Ball.
Friday already. Again. It was a rough week â€” full of impossible deadlines, last minute changes, sleepless nights, and illness. Many thanks to my dear friend Dr. Fhwy for getting me through these last few days.
Iâ€™m taking the afternoon off to go to a Goonieâ€™s themed birthday party (one of our sonâ€™s classmates). Then tomorrow itâ€™s back to work (yes, on a Saturday). Iâ€™m on antibiotics, so sitting poolside with an adult beverage is out of the question. Instead Iâ€™m hoping the fog in my head and the pain in my side/back/body/head will go away so I can focus on catching up on everything I let slide this week: proposals, proofs, and photoshoots.
//ABOVE our new FLUTTER wedding coaster and straw pennant flags shown in marine blue. Available in stores now. Â //Photo: Delphine
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.