Simple Unique Entertaining Tips

Unique entertaining tips I think entertaining friends is a great way to share yourself with them. Through your home decor choices to what you serve, when you invite people in, you are letting them get to know you more intimately. Here are some simple, unique entertaining tips to let your personal style shine through while having a great time with friends.

Use modpodge and fabric to dress up a store-bought succulent container. I love succulents as much as the next person. But I have a black thumb plus I don’t like to be dirty. I don’t know how to replant plants in to decorative pots and every time I decide I’m going to do it, I buy a huge bag of dirt (why don’t the home improvement stores sells a half bag???) that just sits there for a year before I throw it out. What I’ve started doing instead is just adding a little pizzaz to the pots the plants are sold in. I make sure to leave the bottom free so the water can still drain out. Here, just a little bit of Mod Podge and some bright fabric make these pots a little more fun. I have these all around my house and it not only makes the house feel more lived in (plants really are miracle workers) but I can show a bit of my design style in the colors and fabric patterns that I choose.

Upcycle a tray from the top of a box of candy. Just use a little modpodge and cool wrapping paper. I don’t know about you but I am NOT made of money. I love to shop but shouldn’t. So I try to look at things that are around the house and figure out how I can use them in a new way. This “tray” was actually part of a plastic box that held candies at Christmas. I used a little Mod Podge and some cool wrapping paper to make it a custom tray. And I love leopard so this was another great way to show a little of myself. It’s not heirloom quality by any means, but it totally passes as a tray and when I think it has done its job, I can throw it out and not feel like I’ve wasted money.

Unique candy for more creative entertaining.I love candy. My husband and I don’t take ourselves to seriously so I love to have candy to put out when friends drop by. Candy makes people happy. And even when someone is on a diet, they will still reach for one piece of candy. Pretty much any candy will work but I like to use the opportunity to pull out some unique candy that you can’t find everywhere. These cinnamon milk dreams are pretty and delicious and were picked up on my recent trip to Portland. Not only am I sharing something new with my friends, but I’m sharing a little bit about myself and my love of traveling and finding new things.

Serve a delicious sparkling wine  even if your get together isn't fancy.And even at the most casual of gatherings, you should serve sparkling wine. Don’t save it for a fancy occasion. Serve it on a Tuesday afternoon. Because most people don’t. You don’t have to spend a ton on a great bottle. Find one that you like and share it with your pals. A lot of people like to play it safe and serve what they think most people like or what they know they like. But I like to take that risk of serving something new. Sure, there have been flops. Which has made for some pretty fun memories.

Use a drop of essential oils in your sparkling wine! This wild orange is like a refreshing mimosa.I’ve recently become obsessed with essential oils and have been wanting to try them out in all different ways. YOU GUYS! The wild orange oil in sparkling wine???? AMAZING! The lavender was thumbs up emoji too. Do things different. (Just be careful ingesting the oils and always follow directions on the bottle! And only ingest pure oils like those from DoTerra). The oils paired perfectly with this sparkling wine from Kim Crawford.

Use a drop of essential oils in your sparkling wine! This wild orange is like a refreshing mimosa.Kim Crawford is one of my favorite wine brands. If I could only drink their Sauvignon Blanc for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy lady. But this sparkling wine is definately a new favorite. It’s crisp and dry with a vibrant fizz. If you see it in the store, pick up a bottle and try it for yourself! Their motto is “Undo Ordinary” which I adore and is how I try to do things in my own life. Ordinary is fine. It’s just so much more fun to color outside the lines once in a while. For me, it’s next to impossible to not be creative. Sometimes I think my personal motto should be, “Can’t leave well enough alone.” But that makes me, me. And my guests know this. And embrace it. (I think.) How do you entertain differently and let your personal style come through?

*Kim Crawford sent me a bottle of their Fizz Methode Traditionnelle to try.

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Cool Sweatshirts

Cool geometric Adidas sweatshirt.I’m super in to sweatshirts right now. Crew neck. No hoods. Hoods just make your hair all dumb in the back. And being in California, we don’t really need heavy winter coats. And although I still wear some cardigans, my husband hates them. So sweatshirts it is!

Cool SweatshirtsHere are a few of my favorites. I’m totally a hermit when it’s cold outside. Heart of Gold is my husband’s fave Neil Young song so this totally reminds me of him. And not only do I love the custom capabilities of Bow and Drape, I love this play on Gold Digger. Especially since I’m totally in a goal setting mood right now.

Here are some more faves I found.

Sweatshirt, jeans and Birkenstocks. My fave uniform.Jeans, a sweatshirt and Birkenstocks are the perfect uniform.

You can see more of  “My Style” on Pinterest!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here.

How to Host an Awards Show Viewing Party

Easy Award Show Viewing Party Tips.Do you love awards show season as much as I do? I LOVE pop culture and one of my majors in college was TV/Film so you know I love my celebrities and all that goes with it. Today I’m going to show you How to Host an Awards Show Viewing Party. I keep it really simple because I like to enjoy my get togethers too. If you focus on a few details ahead of time, you can show your guests a great time and get to be part of the party fun.

Tips for throwing an Awards Show Viewing Party.To start, I know that baking is NOT my specialty. I’d like to blame my oven (which does run hot, btw) but I know that some of the fault lies with me. I always pick up a few store-bought cupcakes, because who doesn’t love cupcakes? Then I just use some edible gold stars to make these feel a little more “Hollywood.”

Keep food simple at an awards show viewing partyI serve SUPER simple recipes, that can be made ahead of time, and I choose things that aren’t fussy. This Sweet and Salty Movie Mix snack took about 2 minutes to make. And this delicious King’s Hawaiian Bread crostini snacks couldn’t be easier and can be made in savory versions too. I had never thought about using half a Sweet Roll in this way before, but it is SUCH a great idea! Don’t forget to check out all the award show recipes over on the King’s Hawaiian’s special award show party planning site!

Red tulips in a unique vase are a great focal point for your table.Awards shows are usually all about glamour. And to me, red is a must have color. I picked up a few bunches of red tulips at the market and created these pretty arrangements. One of my weaknesses, in the whole realm of entertaining, is flower arranging. What works for me is using really interesting vases and one type of bloom. On the flip side, using drinking glasses or jars and splitting up a bouquet of flowers works wonders as well. You can place these smaller arrangements around the table to add pops of color where you need it.

Cocktail themed candy for an Awards Viewing Party.I have kids so they are usually included in most of the things I do. But awards shows do not interest my kids. They love a football party. But don’t understand why anyone would watch an awards show. They usually go play at the neighbor’s house when I have people over for awards shows. So that means I don’t really have to include them in the party food. Which means that I get to go a little more adult-friendly with my spread. Cocktail themed candy is a great thing and perfect for an awards show party. These colorful, sophisticated lollipops by Quin come in standard fruity flavors but also in wine flavors, like the one with Pinot Gris, shown on the right. And champagne flavored Jelly Belly’s just make sense.

Edible confetti for cocktails.Of course you should keep the champagne flowing through out your shindig, but also serve a signature cocktail like this Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail. People love to try new cocktails but sometimes don’t take the time to make them for themselves at home. Now is your chance to be creative and share your favorites with your guests.

Award show viewing party tip: Edible confetti for cocktails.To make it extra fun, add edible confetti! Edible confetti is super versatile and you can use themed hole punches or even cut out letters to write your own messages.

How to throw an Awards Show Viewing Party.Watching the awards show is the main activity of your party, of course! But you simply HAVE to play awards show bingo (which you can find around the web) or have people guess the winners on their own ballots. The prizes can be super easy and inexpensive. Here I picked up a small succulent and used a paint pen to write “winner” on one of the leaves. Pick up a tray of delicious gold candies to send home with the winner. Or let them take a tiny party home with them by gifting this confetti pop.

Do you host awards show viewing parties? Or do you watch them alone on your couch with popcorn and booze? There’s no judging. There is no wrong answer.

Host an awards show viewing party, share the details with King’s Hawaiian and you can win prizes! See the official rules and read more about it over at StarringRoll.com.

This post was sponsored by King’s Hawaiian. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me help you solve problems and plan fun events. 

 

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeI usually don’t like using odd ingredients. I won’t even make a recipe if it requires some off the wall thing that I’ve never seen at the store. But there is one exception to this rule. Cocktails. I LOVE using unique ingredients in cocktail recipes. So when I saw this Hibiscus Liqueur I knew I had to try it. I also knew that it wouldn’t be overly sweet and would have a bit of an herbal note, which are two of my favorite qualities in cocktails. And grapefruit juice. I’ve grown to love it. So I knew it would be the right pairing to create a Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipePlus I really like the branding on the liqueur bottle. And even though using the label has never lead me to a good wine, which I always hope it will, I decided to give this a shot anyway. This time, I was not disappointed. All the other ingredients are straightforward and fresh. It’s almost ridiculous how simple this cocktail is to make.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail RecipeSqueeze your fresh juices (grapefruit and lime – if you don’t have fresh grapefruits use Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice. It’s my fave) in to a shaker. Add your vodka, hibiscus liqueur and agave syrup. Shake, shake, shake it up.  With ice.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeAnd here is where my crazy comes out. Usually I would strain this into a glass with ice. But on this day, I didn’t like how my ice looked…The drink is chilled from shaking it with ice so it really doesn’t need more, but if you’d like to drink this over ice, please be my guest. Top with soda.

Hibiscus LiqueurThis just opened up a whole new world for me. I think I’m just going to add this to all my favorite cocktails. The deep color adds a nice tone to the cocktail. And it adds flavor without being BAM, in your face.

Grapefruit and lime cocktail idea. I know it’s still winter. Although today was 75 degrees (California, I don’t hate you). But fresh citrus makes it taste like summer in your glass no matter what time of year you use it.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeSo simple. Pretty. Delicious. Make these.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail
 
This super simple cocktail recipe has a fun twist of an unusual liqueur.
Recipe type: Cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed or Trader Joe's)
  • ½ oz. lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 oz. vodka (or more if you like it on the strong side)
  • ½ oz. Hibiscus Liqueur
  • ½ oz. agave syrup
  • 2 oz. club soda
Instructions
  1. To a cocktail shaker add grapefruit juice, lime juice, vodka, hibiscus liqueur, and agave syrup.
  2. Add ice to cocktail shaker and shake you heart out.
  3. Strain in to a low ball glass (with or without ice).
  4. Top with soda water.
  5. Drink up.

 

 

Bash Conference: A Recap

My Bash Conference 2015 recapEarly in January I attended a brand new conference called Bash. It was held in Arizona at The Wigwam Resort (beautiful!) and it was two days of sessions, speakers, networking and fun. A fantastic party planner and blogger, that I met years ago at my very first Operation Shower, Michelle of Maddycakes Muse, decided to put on this conference for the party planner/blogger community to learn and grow and lift each other up. Yup, that was a total run on sentence. I’m sure it was no easy task to put on a conference of any size and THIS was awesome. She nailed it. I was super impressed with every aspect of it. I apologize for the iphone photos. Although I took my DSLR, it never left the hotel room. When you go to a conference full of party planners, you kind of just want to party. I wanted to do a Bash Conference recap in case any of you are wondering if you should attend next year. In short, the answer is yes.

Palm trees and blue skiesI want to be super honest. I wasn’t expecting to get a ton out of it. When I started this blog I was strictly party focused and my first real blog friends are all from that world. I wanted the chance to spend time with these gals and at the last-minute was able to attend (side note: Tickets were about $400. BUT there were several opportunities leading up to the conference to win a free ticket. Also, they did a black Friday sale which is where I was able to buy my ticket for $200! Oh! And they offered a VIP option, for an extra $50, which got you preferred seating at the sessions, one on one time with the keynotes and speakers, transportation to and from the hotel to the resort plus some extra special goodies at check in. It was a great feature that I haven’t seen at any other conference.) And it was held in Arizona. I love Arizona. Any who. When the conference was initially announced, it seemed like the sessions were geared towards to party planners. But then they announced another track of sessions and those were more business focused. I wasn’t sure how they would bridge the gap between the attendees who wanted to learn about party planning as a business and building a business from a party blog. I strongly believe, however, that any time you attend a conference you learn somethings, especially if you keep yourself open to it.

My Bash Conference RecapI arrived on Thursday afternoon and had a little time to relax before the first evening’s party. It’s always nice to ease in to a conference. The first night they held a welcome party that included gaming tables (which I sucked at) and craft stations (which after a few glasses of wine, I sucked at). The volunteers for the conference were SO welcoming and made everyone feel right at home. Although I had a bunch of friends with me, I would have had a great time even if I had gone on my own. [Read more…]