I am always looking for inspiration for beautiful tablescapes. This one, featured in Southern Living and designed by Elizabeth Demos, is absolutely beautiful. I love the punch that the orange napkins provide; the bare, exposed rustic table contrasted with elegant upholstered chairs; and the tiered, multi-level centerpiece. What inspiration for a beautiful Fall tablescape!
Though I do not use them often, there are occasions when I need to set out toothpicks for appetizers or hors d’oeuvres at a party. Then there is always the matter of what guests should do with the used toothpicks. I thought this idea from Real Simple was very clever. Use a lemon (marked with a little sign) for guests to “dispose” of their used toothpicks. If the lemon does not stay upright on its own, you may want to slice off a bit of the bottom.
I recently helped on a team of women who worked on decorations for a women’s luncheon at church. We were inspired by this idea from Better Homes & Gardens which is perfect for fall.
We first cut off the top of the squash and then used a melon baller to scoop out a portion of the inside. Supermarket flowers were perfect to make the arrangements. In addition to butternut squash, we used acorn squash, as well. The whole process was actually very easy and the result beautiful!
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of entertaining. Most of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that everything is perfect which often deters us from entertaining at all. Never let expectations keep you from extending gracious hospitality to those that you care about. Instead, find ways to make entertaining even easier and efficient.
One way to make entertaining easier is to rely on faithful appliances and let them do the work. Here are three appliances that can transform your entertaining from intimidating to quick and easy.
An automatic ice cream maker is a nice way to put a special touch on your gathering with a homemade treat. You can find lots of great recipes for ice cream online, or you can choose to purchase an ice cream starter from a store like Williams-Sonoma. Either way, making your own ice cream is super easy and is always impressive to guests.
Similarly, a bread maker is a great way to offer that homemade touch. Homemade bread is not only delicious, but it is super easy to make. Simply dump the ingredients in the bowl and turn on the machine. You can time the bread so that it comes out at the exact time you plan on serving it. There is nothing better than warm bread and butter!
Lastly, a slow cooker is a tried and true easy entertaining trick. Again, pile in the ingredients and turn on the timer. Done! I am really fond of the recipes that Williams-Sonoma has online, especially their slow-cooker lasagna (great as leftovers, too!) and Thomas Keller’s slow-cooker cassoulet. The latter has a few more steps than a traditional slow cooker recipe, but it is worth it and is one of my favorite recipes of all time. Great for winter.
So next time you entertain, let the appliances do the work for you. Set the timer, and voila!
The 2012 election is just around the corner. Are you hosting an election results party? If so, these silverware holders via Kate’s Paperie are absolutely adorable. Just download the template, print on blue and red card stock, cut out the states (that part might be time-intensive!), cut two slits, and assemble with the silverware. I think the end result would be worth the work.
Don’t forget to vote! It counts!
I am anxious to try some of the cool candies offered by a brand new online candy shop called Sugarfina. Their offerings are really original and would make for great favors at a wedding, shower, or other event. In honor of the latest addition to the National Zoo family, these chocolate licorice pandas would be particularly fun! Also fun is their cocktail party sampler which includes a tasting alcohol-inspired candies.
Labor Day has come and gone. School is back in session and Fall is now upon us. This harvest, autumn-themed color palette from Perfect Palette is a beautiful inspiration for a Fall wedding. It reflects Fall without being overtly “autumnal.” Let the colors inspire you — you don’t necessarily need to incorporate the details like acorns and pumpkins.
The 2012 Olympics are in full swing and can’t you feel all the patriotic energy as we all cheer “Go USA!”? Why not host an Olympic viewing party to gather friends and family and watch your favorite events? Daily Candy has some great ideas for entertaining with Olympic spirit, including these adorable DIY pom poms featured on Make & Takes Blog.