Classy Christmas Dinner Party

Merry Christmas!

 

I hosted a classy dinner party this year, and what better way to start than with a classic black and white invite? I absolutely love these ornaments, and the delicate little snowflakes.

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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

Snowy white, this precious feather tree was a pretty addition to our miniature Christmas forest. I’ve been loving how beautiful this little tree is and think it would be perfect for any festive occasion, don’t you agree?

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BundleAndBatch Please enjoy 10% off your purchase from Bundle + Batch now though January 31st! Use the coupon code TOENTERTAIN when checking out =)

 

The First Noel the angels did say…

This lovely hand-written picture was created by MoonShadowPress. I love how it’s like a smudge-proof chalkboard. In fact, I wouldn’t mind having this up year ’round! :)

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Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing, Ring ting tingle-ing too…

A glittery sleigh and slick black reindeer, oh so cute! And I love Rudolph’s glittery little nose =) Aww! The pieces are easily slid along the twine to accommodate any length.
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Though I didn’t get a chance to photograph it before we dug in, one of the guests brought this amazing salad only made better by the amazing dressing! It was delicious, click on the photo for the recipe >>

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We also enjoyed a couple of light cocktails, and dined on honey-baked ham and sweet chocolate peppermint pie!

The pie was made with only these few easy ingredients :

Chocolate Truffle Pie

  • 1 (12 oz) bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can Light Coconut Milk
  • Melt chocolate on stovetop or in microwave. (Microwave for 1 minute and then in 30 second increments, stirring well in between until completely smooth and melted. Do not scorch.)
  • Pour coconut milk into a blender and add melted chocolate. Immediately, blend until completely smooth (about 20-30 seconds).
  • Pour filling into crust and chill for 4 hours or overnight in fridge.

If so desired add a few drops of peppermint extract for a delicious holiday dessert.

That’s it =)

I hope you have a happy New Year!


Tuscan Wedding & Invitations

Love is in the air… adorned with soft notes of crisp apples, the taste of red wine, and the perfect ambiance of string globe lighting.

My dear sister’s Special Day was announced with these beautifully handcrafted wedding invitations.

_MG_0007 I sat down with the bride-to-be and began looking for the perfect invitation. This one was the first to catch our eye and even after looking through dozens of others, we couldn’t deny how perfect this collection was! _MG_0010 Thanks again, Wendy, for creating the perfect set of invitations for this special day!IMG_9993

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Bride & Groom decided on a Backyard Tuscan theme and aimed to keep their wedding small and intimate. With fifty close friends and family members, the couple celebrated into the evening in the perfect setting with the perfect company.

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A chalkboard sign replaced programs for this intimate wedding.Lesperance_Wedding_108Lesperance_Wedding_068

Guests could sign this heart-painted placard. The happy couple have this hanging in their new home. This happened to be a piece of my own creation.

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Taking wedding vows <3Lesperance_Wedding_195

A wide variety of drinks and appetizers kept guests happy while the couple took photos in the sunset.
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Prelude to a fabulous buffet of Italian food
Lesperance_Wedding_071Even a warm corner to accommodate the little guests

Lesperance_Wedding_072Dinner is served! Globe lighting was essential for setting a romantic mood. =)

Lesperance_Wedding_297 Lesperance_Wedding_298 A view from upstairsLesperance_Wedding_299 Delicious naked cake garnished with roses and grapesLesperance_Wedding_327Their first dance. Congratulations, Sis!

May the two of you enjoy many happy years together. =)Lesperance_Wedding_421


Christmas DIYs

A couple Christmas crafts from years gone by…

Miniature Forest:

IMG_6198 IMG_6211To create this classy miniature forest I rolled stiff packing paper into various sized cones, painted two with a rusty gold, and, after peeling the scales from large pine cones, attached them with a hot glue gun, starting from the bottom and moving up. The white fir trees are made with soft fuzzy yarn from a craft store, using a paintbrush and Mod Podge. I slowly worked my way upwards layering the soft yarn… I then used a small piece of wire, added beads onto it, looped it, and pushed it through the top of the cone for the finishing touch!

Ornaments:

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After printing sheets of vintage Christmas carol tunes and lyrics I went to work tearing them into thin strips and, using our trusty Mod Podge and paint brush, glued them onto large ornaments, covering the entire project with a thin layer of glue and sprinkling glitter on them to add a touch of festive charm.IMG_6248

 

If you look closely this year you’ll see I even added our names and the date as a fun heirloom to keep for the years to come =)

 

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Merry Christmas to you all!

 


Mini Shoot Prop & Home Decor

This Autumn I had the pleasure of assisting and experiencing my friend’s start-up photography business with a mini-shoot in the grass =)

We decided to try out some props for her business and are pleased to say it was a success!
This little black “hello” pumpkin was the perfect piece for our holiday cards, and not only that, but a wonderful little token to greet guests arriving for the holidays.

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They are all so cute! Even if sister can’t sit still, the pictures turned out perfectly =)

Happy Holidays

Season’s greetings at your front door <3


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Thank you TheAnchoredNest for your beautiful handiwork and Dwell Richly Photography for the stellar photos!


Christmas Soirée

Reflections of a Christmas Soirée

Last year I hosted an intimate family dinner party complete with deep-fried appetizers, sparkling fruit drinks and a white elephant gift exchange.

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The highlight of the evening was most definitely the adorable chalkboard wine charms by CharlieChalkDesigns. Selfies taken by glamorous cousins graced Instagram and Pinterest.

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Evergreen tree lit with memories and DIY Ornaments from years gone by.

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A touch of etiquette that I would like to adopt in the coming year is the giving of a gift for the hostess. Knowing how much work goes into making a memorable event for everyone makes even the smallest token of appreciation a generous way of letting those you love know how much they are appreciated. CharlieChalkDesigns graciously gave us this beautiful wooden “joy” ornament that will be treasured throughout the years to come.

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We hope you had a Very Merry Christmas!


Peter Pan 1st Birthday Party

DSC_0238DSC_0244DSC_0290DSC_0194Peter Pan.
Peter Pan was a dream party theme of mine. One I’ve been planning for a long long time. What, you don’t plan your children’s birthday parties while they are in utero? Or sometimes before they are even conceived? Oh that’s just crazy me, huh?
This was the kind of plan you secretly and quietly put together little by little in the back of your mind all the while questioning whether you could ever pull off that super magnificent kind of magic–we are talking pixie dust here! Flying children! Pirates! Mermaids! But the idea of it is altogether too delicious and so one night you gather the courage and reverently whisper to your husband, “wouldn’t it be so cool if we could turn our backyard into Neverland?” Luckily he’s the kind of guy who loves big ideas (& big eyed girls) so we jumped right into planning & I have to tell you…we had so much fun. So so much fun. We were humming “You Can Fly” for months as we plotted how to deliver Neverland and one heck of a 1st birthday party for our little Huck.
P.S. Doesn’t it seem like just a minute ago we were celebrating this?

I have to give complete invitation credit to Bry-Man as he took just a few pointers and ideas I’d been thinking of and then completely ran with it. Barley (or Pero) soaked sheets of his own design featured a map of Neverland on one side and the party details on the other.
“Whether Pirate, Mermaid, or Fairy ye be, whether Indian, Lost Child, or Croc…come in your best Never-Wear, on past the stars to Skull Rock”
Invites were folded & tied with gold bakers twine & fastened with a glittery gold wax seal. Oh we’re Fancy Huh. Our hope was that our smallest guests would get a little taste of Never-magic in an envelope & start to get excited about playing along right away.
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We borrowed Grandma’s back yard…a pretty perfect Neverland canvas to begin playing with, and set up Mermaid Lagoon, The Indian Village, Hangman’s Tree (Lost Boy’s Hideout), Pixie Hollow, & Skull Rock.
DSC_0251DSC_0205DSC_0229DSC_0231DSC_0278It really wouldn’t have been complete without this sign & one of my very favorite parts of the party to boot. Thank you to my talented amazing brother & sister-in-law (Mine For The Making) for executing it so perfectly.
DSC_0236DSC_0237love. love. love.

The grown up hang out area was more classically Peter Pan themed. We used his signature colors of green & red with touches of shimmery gold and red feathers…magic baby. Speaking of babies…the party area was also completely “Huck-ified”. A first year banner with a picture for each sweet little month, A 1st birthday chalkboard poster featuring all of his stats & faves (a little hope designs), a picture of him dressed like “Michael” during the Indian Village Celebration scene in the Disney movie, and a big fat chocolate cupcake with his special number on top.
DSC_0218That awesome green & gold tassel garland is from Silverlake Sisters. Loved it.

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DSC_0227DSC_0225DSC_0194Enough with the decorating and on to the festivities, yeah?

We asked guests to use the side entrance…where they were met by this:
DSC_0286World’s best uncle. 
I mean, he put on green tights for us…right?
He stood ready with his little burlap pouch of fairy dust (gold glitter) to sprinkle on the costume clad kids and asked them what their happy thoughts were, at which point they got to enter/fly through our “starry sky” (a tunnel Bry made from PVC pipes, black tarp & gold stars-no picture! Oops!) wiiiith the music from the movie playing (think of a wonderful thiiiiing…) and ended up in our little Neverland. Magic. Magic. Magic.

First stop? Indian Village.
DSC_0216Another special thank you to a pretty incredible niece who personified “Tiger Lilly” for some fun Indian games at the end of which, each little brave received a warrior title (my favorite? Adilyn’s ‘Little Red’) complete with a feather in their hair.
DSC_0215The feather bunting below was from Lynn’s Mix and we rather liked it on our teepee.DSC_0206Next the boys & girls were divided for more Neverland adventures. The boys were whisked away to Hangman’s Tree where they made their own swords (paint sticks cut & glued together, colored with markers) and had pirate fighting lessons.
The girls journeyed to Mermaid Lagoon where they got to meet a real mermaid (squeal!), get their faces painted, & made little Mermaid dolls.
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When the little Mermaids were nearly done, and the lost boys had just finished their pirate fighting lessons, a real pirate appeared Arrgh! (Thanks Grandpa!) The lost boys & girls fought bravely and in the end when they had that codfish pirate by his throat, he gave up the location of the first clue to a pirate treasure hunt…the first clue was behind his pirate flag at Skull Rock!
All of our Never-kids excitedly raced around the yard reading clues & hunting for treasure!
DSC_0277The clues…DSC_0331“I provide water, skinny and long, find a clue here & you can’t go wrong”

The final clue led them to a treasure chest full of gold or errr gold candy that is.
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DSC_0298DSC_0296DSC_0295Again, magic I tell you.

About this time, we sang Happy Birthday to the guest of honor, watched him stuff his face with cake (SO cute-really he devoured it. Without any help. Way to go Champ!) & settled in for our feature film. Guests filled their plates with yummy sandwiches, fruit, & cake and then set up “picnic” areas while Bry had some quick help putting up the movie screen (a white shower curtain really does the job quite perfectly).
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DSC_0204Kids grabbed sack dinners (juice box, cheese stick, clementine orange, & a defrosting uncrustable to keep it all cool) and made their own little front row up close to the screen.
Watching my little Wendy, Tinkerbell & their sweet little cousins fly around with their arms outstretched right along with the movie? You guessed it…maaaagic.
DSC_0199(popcorn & red vines…movie staples)

Oh! And because I didn’t know where to fit it in up top…we had a few fun things for the grown ups while the kid festivities were going on…
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DSC_0220Plenty of snacks & drinks.
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And a little Peter Pan/Huck trivia quiz, winners of which received Peter Pan Peanut Butter.

My top 3 “Happy Thoughts” from this magical day?
3. My very awesome, very in character helpers. Mary was THE coolest Mermaid I have ever seen-so talented! She does parties you guys! Among other things she is a pretty darn awesome Anna (Frozen)! Check out her FB page HERE. Thank you Michael for donning tights on your last free day before boot camp! And thank you Tori for sharing your 18th birthday with Huckleman! Thanks for being a grumpy pirate grumpy grandpa! You guys were incredible!
2. All of you wonderful friends & family we got to share the magic with!
DSC_0284DSC_0303DSC_0283Tinkerbell costume from Zibdi

DSC_0266DSC_0193DSC_0198Including this goober…aka “little red”
DSC_0264aaaand my number one favorite part was the special little man we celebrated. Love you Huck-a-roo! Happy 1st Birthday!
DSC_0289Huck’s Peter Pan costume is from Lucinda Fabrics.
Stay tuned for a post highlighting party details & sponsors!


Witchs’ Brew Soup, a halloween recipe

witchs' brewHang on to your black pointy hats! This yummy little brew will please big witches and little witches alike! We had a magical time making it–and you will too! To make this work you have to be a little bewitching…gather any odd shaped glass bottles/jars and fill them up with the ingredients below. After I set the set the stage, I invited my excited little witches in, tea-aged piece of paper (ancient recipe) in hand, and we started spelling. They were tickled by the ghoulish ingredients and by the rhymes I kept making up before each step as I “read” from the recipe:
“black cats, mummies, & zombie stitch, the next ingredient must be added by the littlest witch”
“In the sky is a great full moon, now we each stir the soup with a big wooden spoon”
“when we’re done with this soup we’ll all share, bat wings must be added by the witch with dark hair”
Oh they gobbled it up! And the soup too :) We cozied up and watched Hocus Pocus while we filled our bellies!

Witchs’ Brew Soup Recipe:
Mouse Bones
Spooky Pumpkin
Frog Bellies
Crushed Spiders & Spiderwebs
Bat Wings
Mummy Juice
Crushed Bugs
Blood & Guts
Zombie Eyeballs

Or you know….

Witchs’ Brew Soup Recipe:
Mouse Bones (1/2 onion diced+4 cloves garlic minced)
Spooky Pumpkin (1-2 carrot sticks diced)
Frog Bellies (1 can kidney beans-drained)
Crushed Spiderwebs & Spiders (Salt & Pepper)
Bat Wings (1 box Farfalle “bow tie” pasta)
Mummy Juice (6 cups chicken broth)
Crushed Bugs (1 tsp dried oregano & 2 tsps dried basil)
Blood & Guts (1-28oz + 1-14oz cans diced tomatoes–AKA 1 BIG+1 LITTLE)
Zombie Eyeballs (1 bag frozen cocktail meatballs)
2 tbsps Olive Oil
*Parmesan Cheese for topping

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions & carrots and saute until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften-about 5 minutes. Add garlic, dried seasonings, salt, pepper, and cook 3 more minutes. Add the chicken broth & diced tomatoes then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the bow tie pasta & kidney beans. Continue to simmer until pasta & vegetables are soft. Serve & top with Parmesan cheese (I like tons! And a little garlic knot on the side too!)
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