Crafting A Summer Cocktail Party with OKL!

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This weekend we were out planting and cleaning up our back patio and garden and it made me think about having a summer cocktail party to celebrate the fact that winter actually left!  I think we here in New England are finding this spring especially sweet, so I suspect there are a lot of folks planning and scheming to do some outdoor entertaining this summer.

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So I pulled together some items that I think make for an awesome summer cocktail party from One Kings Lane, my favorite source for fun tabletop goods (I bought those striped plates a few weeks ago!)  I kept the theme to blue and green but wanted to try mixing tons of patterns to create a loose but cohesive look. When throwing a casual outdoor party don’t worry too much about matchy-matchy things and focus more on color, texture and FUN.

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What I’ve Been Missing In My Life

I didn’t even know it until I saw this article, but a cocktail tower may be the secret to happiness. :)

Yup, there are people in this world who have gorgeous structures on their property expressly for drinking cocktails while watching the sun go down.  I can’t even wrap my brain around this awesomeness, so I’ll just let you take a look:

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Summer In A Bottle

Last summer I spent some time in the Hamptons with a client and she served me a fantastic rose- turns out it was local, from the Hampton’s own Wolffer Estates Vineyard. Since then I’ve been on their e-mail list and when I saw the new release from them, a rose called “Summer in a Bottle” I about flipped. Over the bottle itself! While I’m sure the dry blush wine is delightful, that bottle is insanely great! And I love the name too.  It’s the perfect thing to bring to any summer dinner parties or events.

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It inspired me to design a little tabletop scheme based on this fun, flirty bottle design. A mix of graphic black and white with bold floral melamine plates, acrylic glassware and hints of gold it’s cheery and bold, setting the perfect mood for a patio dinner party. (Hint: when using bold plates or tablecloths always keep your flowers one single color to avoid an overpowering look!)

Now how do I find a way to change Massachusetts law to allow the shipping of booze into our state?

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1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11.  (and I forgot to label the woven ice bucket)

Holiday Entertaining!

You’ve all seen how I’ve decorated for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean were done discussing it! I love the variations of decor people use in their homes- just take a peek at a few of these inspirational images that show some fabulous ideas in all sorts of styles:

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I am sure so many of you are hosting parties or gatherings this season, so here are some fun things I love you can pick up to help make your them festive and fun!

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1. Spoonflower has a HUGE selection of unique prints you can have made into wrapping paper!

2. & 3. Black and white or even leopard ribbon dresses up even the simplest paper.

4. HILARIOUS ugly Christmas sweaters dress up a bottle of wine.

5. Equally hilarious is this wine tote.

6. My favorite champagne coupes (I treated myself to a set this fall!)

7. A set of these stag print cocktail glasses would look great on a bar (and totally affordable too at under $4 a glass!).

8. A slate cheeseboard lets you mark which cheese is what- and also is a KILLER gift for a hostess.

9. Love these string light pillars!

10. Peppermint Bark is my major holiday weakness. I cannot say no.

11. Oh, and it comes in hot chocolate form too??? I’m in trouble.

12. Malachite print paper cocktail napkins are glam.

13. ADORE these antler stocking hangers. Andrew says I can;t have any more antlers but…..

14. A fux fur tree skirt– my dogs would prbably think this was their new dog bed!

15. A sweet little gold dish!

16. Faux mistletoe (because real mistletoe is DEADLY to pets and children- do not hang it in your house! I learned the hard way with a $1,200 vet bill!)

17. These otomi print stockings are so great!

18. These Nest holiday candles are a fantastic scent to fill the house with!

19. You can’t have a holiday party without a cozy fire- this log holder is chic an anything!

20. A square boxwood wreath looks great on your door or inside the house!

 

In Your Place.

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I just wrapped up a quick Christmas shoot yesterday so my house seems to have skipped Thanksgiving entirely this year. But not so for most of you, I’m sure.  Crazy, complicated tablescapes are gorgeous and fun but most of us don’t have time for that (plus, when your table is full of gourds and wheat bundles, where does the food go? Stuffing and other various carbs is more important to me than a basket full of miniature pumpkins covered in gold glitter). So my advice? A simple flower arrangement (cabbages and dahlias look lovely) and some cool place cards add just enough cheer without overwhelming your table.  Here are some fun place card ideas:

Get some gold spray paint, a few fallen dried leaves and a paint pen and whip these up!

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Or skip the gold spray paint and use a white paint pen on darker dried leaves:

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How SWEET are these rosemary wreaths??? Simple too– and they’ll work great for Christmas tables!

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Write down what you are thankful for about each person at your table along with their name on these great letterpress cards.

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OK, seriously? Who has the time and the hand/ eye coordination to do these? But they are SO SO COOL. If you can pull this off, a tip of my hat to you.

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Simple wheat stalks tied with metal frames paper tags.

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Hire a calligrapher to do some for you on Etsy!

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How friggin’ ADORABLE is this for the kids table?? Just a small paper bag wrapped around some candy, apparently.

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A single sprig of rosemary wrapped with a small banner shaped name tag.

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A die cut paper leaf and green wire added to a small white pumpkin. (Reminds me of this hysterical McSweeney’s article. A classic.)

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Blank wood leaves are simple but substantial. Practice your best handwriting!

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This is also amazing for the kids table- use big maps as tablecloths and little ships as place cards. How to HERE.

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I used miniature pears and gold tipped tacks as the place cards for my wedding! Also great for Thanksgiving tables, as is the idea of clustering old family photos as a centerpiece.

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Little walnuts with tiny banners! Also cute when spray painted gold (but what isn’t?)

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Rustic but modern wood and air plant place cards make a KILLER take home!

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Here are some favorite Thanksgiving entertaining finds!