Entertaining with Mason Jars from Aladdin

*I was sent product by Aladdin, via Mom Trends, to show how entertaining with mason jars can be easy and fun.  They weren’t wrong.  Plus, I had a blast.  All opinions are mine. Throw a pajama picnic for your best gals with gossip mags, drinks and yummy food. I think I am about to commit blogger blasphemy.  Are you ready for this?  I am not a fan of Mason jars.  What?!  I know.  I can hardly believe it myself.  There is nothing wrong with mason jars.  They just aren’t my cup of tea.  I was apprehensive, to say the least, when I opened up a big box from Aladdin filled with their newest Mason jar entertaining collection.  But as I started to peruse all their products, I found myself excited.  For the most part, these jars are plastic (which is huge considering we are currently building an outdoor space for my family to hang out this summer) and the colors are bright and fantastic.  Aladdin wants people to know that they can entertain with ease with this new collection, found at Wal-Mart.  So I decided to gather some girlfriends for a relaxing girl’s night in.  A pajama picnic is what we would have.  What the heck is that?  We all wear pajamas, we order in dinner, and the host provides yummy drinks and a dessert.  Easy.

A super simple girl's night in: pajama party picnic.I can certainly get carried away when it comes to entertaining.  But I made sure to keep it simple this time.  I set up the one table I would need early on in the day so that I wouldn’t be rushing during homework and bath time for my kids before my friends arrived.  I didn’t leave that fruit water out all day but wanted to take a photo in better light for the purposes of showing the set up to you.  From this shot you can see three of the different products Aladdin has out right now.  The beverage dispenser is SO fantastic!  The jar on this one is glass, which I really prefer in a dispenser.  And that teal color is going to be perfect for all my summer entertaining.  You can see the mason jar drinking glasses and reusable acrylic straws and then the extra-large, hot pink mason jar that I decided to use for flowers.  There were a ton of other great products but in an effort to keep it simple, I decided to not use them all.  My favorite product, however is a double walled mason jar cup with a handle and lid.  It is now my cup of choice for my ever-present ice water.  It doesn’t leave water rings!  Its genius.

Entertaining doesn't have to be hard.  But it should be colorful. As you can tell, I like to mix colors.  So I loved that there wasn’t a set of matched jars in the box.  Mixing colors keeps it feeling relaxed and casual.

#spon I love a good beverage dispenser.  Don't you?  For me it HAS to be a glass jar like this one from @aladdinpmiAs I said, I didn’t want to get carried away but I did add some strawberries to the water.  Crazy, I know!  It really took so little effort but I felt like it was a nice touch and would make my guests feel like I really put some thought in to the preparation.

Put our a super simple beverage bar so your guests can serve themselves. For the drinks, I wanted to make sure we had all our bases covered.  This was a weeknight so I knew some of us wouldn’t want a drink.  But you never know what kind of day people have had.  I’m a people pleaser so it is just as easy to set out some fun options and let the guests have exactly what they want.  I’d been dying to try the Nekter cocktail mixers so I thought this was the perfect time.  They are perfect to mix with alcohol, but you can also just drink straight or mix with club soda.  It was delicious!  It was so fresh tasting and vibrant.  I will be getting that again!

Use scrap leather to cut out drink markers.I used some leather scraps that I had to cut out some quick drink tags.  We could have gone by the color of the cup but who wants to have to remember that? :) I just tied them on with some scrap fabric and I was done.  Super quick and totally in keeping with the theme of easy entertaining.

Add fresh flowers for a pop of color.Since Trader Joe’s has the BEST prices on flowers I picked these up to add another color and some height to the table.  I used one of the super sized Aladdin mason jars as a super easy vase.  I think the bright pink of that jar goes perfectly with the bright yellow of the flowers.

Colorful plastic mason jars make for fun entertainingWith that little bit of prep work done ahead of time, all that was left was to relax with my friends.  We poured our drinks, Erika picked up some dinner on her way over and we were set.  They either arrived in pajamas or put them on once they got here and we enjoyed each other’s company and some reality TV.  I can’t think of an easier way to entertain your girlfriends.

Go check out the rest of the Aladdin Mason jar entertaining products at Wal-Mart.  They will be perfect for all your summer and everyday entertaining.

*Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to keep Cupcakes and Cutlery going.  These gals would have been drinking out of plain old glasses if not for Aladdin.  Boring.

Paint it Black : Press Play and Party

summer night party inspired by The Rolling Stones 'Paint it Black'I’m SO ready for summer!!  I mean, we really didn’t have a winter this year but still.  Don’t long, warm days sound fantastic?  There is something about a warm, sunny day that makes me immediately turn on classic rock.  I think I grew up in the wrong time period.    Gah, the music and fashion?!  LOVE!  So as I was sitting on the computer the other day, as close to a window as I could without actually being outside so I could still see the computer screen, The Rolling Stones ‘Paint it Black’ came on.  Boom.  Such a good song (is that a sitar?  One of my kids is probably going to have to learn how to play that).  A little dark maybe but perfect for outdoor entertaining at dusk.  All you need is a rustic wood table, some great vintage glassware, simple flowers and candles and pretty girls in hippie clothes.  I think my summer entertaining is going to be all about ease and going with the flow.  No stress.  Last minute invites to keep myself from over thinking everything.  Maybe trying out new cocktails or recipes but not getting worked up if they don’t work out.  Anyone think I can pull that off?  Maybe with a lot of rose…

Gorg lowball glass  .  pretty white flowers  .  rustic wood table  .  candles and flowers  .  girl in the desert

Guest Post : Playlist for Late Summer Vacations

frends-headphones-look-bookI did a guest post for Lauren last week while she was away on vacation.  Go check it out.  It has some of my favorite songs right now.  These are perfect for the last warm weekends of summer.  The songs were chosen for their chill vibe but upbeat tempos.  I hope you enjoy!    Playlist Fit for Vacation

photo credit:  Frends

A Dreamy Summer Afternoon with Friends

*From time to time Pottery Barn sends me product to check out. This is not a sponsored post. The colors of the rug inspired me to create a simple tablescape.
end of summer entertainingHere is what my dream afternoon with girlfriends would look like.  I am usually drawn to really bright colors, but there is something about the Gianna rug that I just love.  The colors remind me of late summer, in the twilight hours, feel really earthy to me.  Nothing relaxes me more than spending time with good friends.  So for my perfect afternoon, I would keep it simple, keep it tasty and keep it refreshing.

cheese-and-crackers-on-woodWho doesn’t love cheese with something crispy?  Super easy.

thin addictives by nonniFor a little sweet, because you know I love me some sweets, I’d put out these ThinAddictives.  The crunch is perfect and snacky with the perfect amount of sweetness.

snacks with friendsIced tea is one of my favorite beverages of all time.  Adding a hint of fresh herbs like mint or basil makes it so summery.  By clapping the herb in your palm a few times and adding to the top of your tea, each sip is scented and makes for a sensory treat.

grapefruit chamomile and cardamom sodaI’m a sucker for cardamom so when I saw this Joia Soda I had to try it.  It was perfection in a bottle.  Not too sweet, not to spice-y.  And it is always fun to having something new for your girlfriends to try.

late-summer-colors-and-iced-teaThe perfect summer afternoon.  If we are lucky it would be overcast and stormy without being humid and cold.  This is a dream scenario after all right?

iced tea and cardamom sodaWhat is does your dream afternoon with friends look like?

Rug c/o Pottery Barn.

The Summer of Classic Rock

classic-rock-summerWhen the weather starts to heat up, nothing gets me more excited for summer than a little classic rock.  In my opinion, there is nothing better than sitting with friends out by a pool, cocktail in hand with a little rock blaring from the speakers.  It makes me wish I was a teenager in the 70′s instead of born then.  But I know I wouldn’t have appreciated all the greatness if I was living it.  You know, like the scrunchie from our youth…

Photo Credits:

Bathing Beauty  .  cut offs  .  cars on the beach  .  skateboard  .  rock t-shirt

 

 
Classic Rock Summer by Cupcakes and Cutlery on Grooveshark