Grassy party backdrops…

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A design trend I’ve noticed this year is greenery as a backdrop for photobooths or dessert tables. I love this classy elegant look to an outdoor summer wedding or party…

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Having a lit marquee sign or uplights will be perfect for an evening affair…

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This is one of my all time favorite reception lounge designs. I really like the mirrored pedastals and tables with the different mirrors. This is a great way to reflect light in a space while the sparkles of the lighting and candles bounce around…

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What a cool July 4th backdrop….

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{Images via colin cowie, kristi murphy, hostess blog, CFD NY, karas party ideas, style me pretty, Wildflower Linens, & Katie Vowels for Annie McElwain}


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Secret Garden themed parties…

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Enchanted forests and secret garden themes are wonderful to celebrate nuptials or babies. You can have dinner parties or early brunches in this theme as long as you decorate with some key elements. The super large mirrors is very dramatic for a cocktail hour or reception.

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Ever since I seen rapper Ludacris’ wife’s baby shower set in a secret garden theme, I’ve been wanting to blog about it. They had lit birdcages adorned with flowers, donuts hung from ribbon and a lot of the guest, like singers Monica & Letoya Luckett, wore floral dresses. How beautiful.

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Creating intimate elaborate tables for the wedding party or bride and groom while having simpler centerpieces on the remaining tables can save money…

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Key elements: string leafy garland. Get them bulk or buy from places like Michael’s and use 40% off coupons. If it’s for a kid’s party, use Dollar Tree garland and save coins for other things.

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Use string lights and electric candles to create ambience…

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String together flowers or floral garland for drama. You might want to only do this behind a gift or cake table as this can get quite costly…

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Use mason jars and mismatched china as well as rustic decor like burlap, branches, bark pieces, faux tree stumps, rope and wicker…

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You have to incorporate moss somewhere and covering giant letters or making a grassy centerpiece is a start…

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Adorn a cupcake stand or cake table with flower heads. Just grab a bouquet from the grocery store to jazz up the presentation…

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Lanterns, wood crates, old dressers and empty frames are other decorating options. You want to have a “just thrown together” look without being too matchy. It should feel relaxed but polished. Remember the more you layer the better so play with height and make sure different foods are at different levels. You want to build your food table upward…

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{Images via Moxie Sox Photography Amanda O’Shannessy Creative Lynette Boyle Photography Amy Burke Designs Page Bertelsen Photographyceremony blog, 100 layer cake, celebrations at home, southern weddings, oui oui}


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Happy Mama’s Day…

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Hope you mothers out there are enjoying your day. Here is an absolutely gorgeous tablescape and party by Lillian Hope Designs. See more of the deets and free printables over on Karas Party Ideas.

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Don’t forget to enter the flamingo pool float giveaway simply by telling me your pool party must have in this post. Picking the winner tomorrow.

{Photos by Heather Carpenter Photography}


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My Tablescape Using New Spring Designs from Hen House Linens…

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Hen House Linens has some great Spring designs perfect for upcoming wedding & bridal showers, garden and tea parties and Mother’s Day brunches. In case you missed it, I used their linen before in my Valentine’s post. This time I opted for the bargello citron pattern which is their take on the quatrefoil pattern I love. It’s a boldly modern with a retro vibe that is sure to make some tablescapes festive and fun. I opted for a black and white with turquoise color scheme.

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I wanted to create an affordable tablescape using things around the home and mix matching real linen with paper products for a cost effective way to jazz up a place setting. Using a graphic black and white wrapping paper, I created a runner to contrast between the lime green color of the place mat. I used turquoise to add another pop of color that would work really well for anything Spring related. 

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The vase was a previously owned item that happened to match perfectly so I put my Ikea sticks from another vase into that one and used napkins to create bows tied and secured with bag ties. The elephant book ends were also something I owned and I used them to hold smaller plates. I figured if this were a real place setting, lightweight foods like bread or mini cupcakes could stay at the table. Always use things you have like candle holders, bowls or drinking glasses turned upside down to hold platters. Whenever you can elevate platters of food at different heights, you create visual interest.

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Monday Morning Inspiration 3.31.14

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You know how that voice in your head sometimes makes you feel inadequate? It may tell you you’re not good enough, smart enough, cannot and will not get that done. “That” thing you want to get done may be a short term, long term or life changing goal or accomplishment. Sometimes it’s not the people around you that makes us feel insecure. It may very well be ourselves.

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We can be our biggest hater (I hate that overused word), our biggest blocker. Often times we believe our own hype. All hype aint good hype though. Don’t allow yourself to feel as if you will lose before you even get started. We have nothing but time and all we can do is try. You’d rather try than be old and wrinkly rocking away in someone’s chair mad at the things you didn’t do or attempt, right? So do them. Set those goals. Do something daily to achieve them.

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Happy Valentine’s Day…

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{Photo by Natalie Franke via Style Me Pretty}

Better late than never :-). You can still create some of these ideas for anniversaries as well.

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Bow & arrow balloons {via}
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Love messages in a box {via. How fun to add trinkets and small randoms for nieces, nephews, kids, parents and friends. Hope your day was filled with some love from someone special.

My Valentine’s Breakfast styling using Hen House Linens….

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Valentine’s Day is around the corner and what better way than to kick off their work day by setting up a small breakfast display. If you have kids, you may want to add even more food like small bowls of cereal or parfaits in mason jars. For my set up, I wanted a “Sweets for my Sweetie”menu so everything was pretty much like dessert for breakfast ir something sweet. You can add kringle or chocolate covered croissants for good measure. I repurposed several things from my house like the candle holder used here for cupcakes…

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I bought some adhesive hearts from Michael’s and stuck them to the ends of toothpicks for cupcake toppers. Craft paper and glittered peelable letters were used to create signs. Always provide signage so people know what they are eating. It’s another detail that makes it all look festive…

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The heart garland was bought from Michael’s as well. The circular quilted placemats were from Hen House Linens. I love the chain link as it can be used for a cheesy Valentine’s metaphor “hooked on you” but it’s also chic enough for a nautical themed shower or July 4th bash. It’s thick which is great if you’re styling on glass survices. The thickness will prevent platters and stands from scratching the glass. I already owned the milk jar vase which were both thrifted from the Goodwill. The roses came from Aldi. They were the only grocery store that didn’t have inflated prices for roses.

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Festive straws is another way to carry on the color scheme…

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I took red vases from this burlesque 30th bday bash that I styled and used them to elevate a small plate. Giving your food display various heights is key. Use boxes or anything sturdy to give height to the food at the back of the table….

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I made blueberry muffins….

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I placed the butter for muffins in a crystal serving cup which I found at the Goodwill…

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I think it’s an easy set up to make a routine breakfast a bit more festive…

Hen House Linens provided me with complimentary linen however the review is my honest opinion.

iWant it all! Complete random wants from fashion to decor…

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A company reached out to me for a product review of my choice and I opted for a chocolate fountain. It took so much for me not to select the disco balls though. I just love them in decor…

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…iWant this range hood. The reason is self explanatory…

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I have some black velvet necklace stands from Michael’s but iWant more so I can place them in a modular shelving unit and display each bauble as bedroom bling…

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…iWant a few more statement necklaces to go on the stands from above….

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.. iWant whatever camera or Android app that takes great pictures at night. This one above is amazing. Last night I tried to capture the moon over Lake Michigan here in Milwaukee as it’s probably going to be my last time there until Spring. (I LOVE THE WATER!!) but my photo was a fail. Even on the night option it didn’t nearly look like real life.

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…iwant an ornate mirror….frame….and chalkboard. Even if I only use it for clients that hire me to style their events. Eventually I want to have core items on deck so when hired…I can tap into my personal stash of party goodies. This one could be used for so many things: a welcome sign…seating chart….menu board. It’s gorgeous…

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…iWant some cheetah print heels. Not pumps but a mary jane or strappy heel. I find this pattern so sexy, on trend & a fun neutral…

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…iWant….actually iNeed some black over the knee boots. Forget the fact that I am 5’3″. It’s all how you rock it to ensure you’re not swallowed whole. Some boots that stop right above my knee would be perfect. I have some but the rubber soles are worn down. I may get them repaired because they are perfect over jeans and leggings and great under a wider leg work slack to stay warm during the brutal Wisconsin winters…

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…iReeallyWant herringbone wooden floors. No other flooring does it for me like herringone…

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..iWant to master a black smokey eye. I nail brown smokeys but I’ve only nailed a black smokey once…and I had the nerve to not even go anywhere significant. Nothing worse than wasting good face…

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Lastly, iWant to dine somewhere high in the sky. Actually I want to just live in the sky…a high rise somewhere. That is the goal…that is the life!

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*sigh* back to reality.

{All images via my Pinterest}

A Pink Grapefruit Vodka Cocktail Recipe for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Sparkling ICE has created a specialty “Sip Pink for the Cure” Cocktail using its Pink Grapefruit Sparkling ICE flavor. From October 1-31st, Sparkling ICE donates 1¢ per bottle of its Pink Grapefruit Sparkling ICE to help find a cure for Breast Cancer and the proceeds go directly back to the community where the product was sold.

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They were kind enough to send me some free samples so Saturday I tried the recipe below…

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Ingredients

3 oz.  Grapefruit Sparkling ICE
1 ½ oz.  vodka
1 oz. lime juice
Lime wedge
Sliced fresh jalapeño
Chili salt for rim of glass (Kosher salt mixed with chili powder)

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Directions

Use a lime wedge to rub the entire rim of a chilled martini glass, and dip into chili salt mixture. 

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Combine vodka and jalapeno slices with ice in a shaker.

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Strain and pour into the chilled martini glass.

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Top with Grapefruit Sparkling ICE. 

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Garnish with a few Jalapeno slices

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And viola! It was a light tasting drink perfect for afternoon showers and parties but….I’d add more vodka for a night shindig ;-). Sidenote: my martini glasses pretty slick huh? Scored ’em at the Goodwill. BOOM!

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The chili salted rim gave it a kick that would pair well with Mexican foods. This would also be great as an alternative to a margarita. It’ll save you some calories. A pink drink that’s for a good cause without the guilt?….

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….I’ll drink to that!

{All images by me…..I don’t have a really good camera so don’t judge my phone and filter apps}