February 25, 2014

Planning a Summer Party...in February

I would be lying if I said that planning parties was easy for me. While I love the process, I'm more often than not left scrambling and cutting, pasting, gluing, sewing, and baking until all hours of the night before the party. I'm going to jump out on a limb and say that I'm not the only one who goes through this. While we might have that ever-elusive vision of that perfect party, it takes lots of planning and sometimes a small village to see that vision become a reality. I've started a party calendar (I know, I know) and let me tell you...I love it! Planning out even the simplest of parties months in advance really helps to keep me focused and actually follow through with my plans. I stay up late once a week and arrange all the ideas I have swirling in my head, create detailed menus, and then scour the internet to find inspiration and track sources. I'm always mindful to pull from my hoard, I mean collection, first, but it's always fun to add a few newbies to the mix. Since everything is already planned out, all that's left to do is invite the guests and set the table!

Here is an example of a summer outdoor dinner party that I'm planning. I firmly believe that dinner parties should be simple, fuss-free and have a menu that will leave them talking for months. Throw in some bistro lights, margaritas, fajitas, tres leches cake and some homemade pineapple empanadas to-go and you are one step closer to hosting your own stunner of a party! Hope you'll enjoy a few of my tricks and go-to items that are sure to make the night special.

1. Crate and Barrel, Gabriel Candleholder: Can we talk about how beautiful this is? It's clean, modern lines are perfect for the table or the drink station, really it's great anywhere. I'll be sure to balance out the scale of the candleholder with flowers and a few other small lit votives.

2. AnthropologieFondant Marble Cake Stand: This is my latest obsession and will be the perfect way to present the night's dessert. It's not like any other cake stand I've ever seen (and I've seen many!) and really worth the $$$ if you want a quality piece that makes a statement.

3. Calico Corners, Swaying Palms Fabric: I purchased this punchy fabric months back hoping to make pillows but the last thing I need around the house are more pillows! So I plan on making a runner for the table that I'm sure will come in handy all summer long.

4. Target, Carlisle Copper Metal Counter Stools: I'm planning on scooping up a pair to tuck in near the drinks to encourage lingering about and offer extra seating before dinner. I just love the copper color, too.

5. Anthropologie, Catacomb Mixing Bowls: These are perfect for everyday use and do double duty as servingware for big salads and pasta. Their color simply can't be beat.

6. West Elm, Organic Shaped Dinnerware: Over the last year I collected a full set of 8 of these and LOVE them! They are beautiful, sleek, and who am I kidding...look awesome on instagram :)


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