Summer Dinner Party

IMG_4041Summer entertaining should be easy and breezy, not overly stressful. Yet, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a little dressed up.

Since setting the table happens before any party, you can take your time and embellish up to a day or two ahead. For a recent dinner, I started with matching hot pink chargers from Marie Daage with my wedding china, Wedgewood Crown Sapphire. It’s one of those patterns that I loved, then tired of and having spent years in the drawer as I rotated a number of other patterns, finally seemed new again. Pulling in the hot pink napkins and glasses gave a little punch to each table setting.

As I have mentioned before, it has been a banner year for the hydrangeas, so I was thrilled to just use what was in the garden for my centerpieces. Using a mix of containers…some gifts, some recycled, some simple water glasses, I was able to create a landscape of high and low down the center of the table.

Perhaps my favorite touch was using hydrangea leaves for placecards.IMG_4038 IMG_4034 IMG_4055 (1) IMG_4046 IMG_4033IMG_4036Using what you have and have accumlated over time, mixing it together and sharing it with friends…that makes entertaining easy and breezy.

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Simple Summer Entertaining Tips

DSC_0352Simple summer entertaining…is that a misnomer? I don’t think so. The first thing that comes to mind for summer is being outside. In the Northeast, winter seems like a season that lasts half a year, so on any decent day, you’ll find me outside in the backyard.

The other thing that comes to mind is…use what you have. Finding a favorite “go to” color is an easy way to always have things on hand that can be used for an impromptu gathering. Obviously, mine is pink, but yours could be navy, citron or persimmon. Don’t be afraid to use basic pantry items, too….you can elevate them by how you present them. Presentation is everything!

This is a simple set up that I pulled together to welcome my mom to New York. Isn’t that reason enough for a celebration? The base is my potting table, which is meant for growing herbs. When I’m not growing herbs in it, I put the top on and use it as a “bar cart” and serving station. It’s the perfect height and I love the look of the weathered wood.DSC_0344 DSC_0355 DSC_0345Next, I needed to dress it up a bit, so I used a garland that I saved from a birthday celebration. It says “party”! Additionally, I use the “good stuff”. That means ditching the plastic for crystal and silver. I’m not setting an entire table, so it’s as easy as loading up a silver tray and bringing it outside. Don’t have a wine or champagne cooler? No problem. Use a basic glass vase and cut some hosta leaves out of the garden to dress it up.DSC_0349 DSC_0356DSC_0346Some people like salty. Some like sweet. I’m the former, but I always love to have a little dessert for those who love them. Store bought cupcakes are dressed up with one of my favorite sprinkle mixes by Amy Sedaris for Fishes Eddy. The little white candies say “I Like You”.DSC_0341 DSC_0342DSC_0340 DSC_0343The key to simple entertaining in summer, or any season for that matter, is to have an arsenal of entertaining basics on hand and to find a formula that works for you. Happy Summer!!

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Sources: Drink More Champagne napkins (Shop Lettermade), Hot Pink monogrammed napkins (Emily McCarthy), Silver bowl & similar (Watson Kennedy), Rosé All Day pillow (Nest Inspired Home), Garland (BlushBazaar)

Find more Simple Summer Entertaining Tips from these lovely bloggers: ShabbyFuFu, Megan Pflug Designs, Classic Casual Home, Hello Lovely, Rough Luxe Lifestyle

Dads and Denim

IMG_7187I don’t know about your dad, but most men I know don’t want to dress up on their “day off”, much less a day dedicated to them. Jeans (or shorts) are probably their outfit of choice on Father’s Day. So, I’m pulling some photos from the archives that would make for a quick and easy table setting for your favorite dad.

Especially fun to involve the kids with this one. If you’ve got some old jeans (the ones with holes in them that you can’t bear to toss), consider cutting of the back pockets to use for utensils and incoproate them into your table setting.

This also works well for a barbecue or 4th of July. Same color scheme, just change up your accessories.  For Father’s Day….consider tucking in a note that says, “thanks for always having a solution (or money)  in your back pocket“. Instead of tucking in a flower, tuck in tickets to a favorite sporting event.IMG_7188 IMG_7189 IMG_7194After all….it’s a day where he really can wear the pants in the family! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

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