Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Red, White and Blue Round Up!

Hi everyone! Hope everyone is getting through the week smoothly...its always hard when there's a 3 day weekend ahead! Plus, 4th of July is so festive and summery. And, remember those cousins I told you about in my last post? They're coming here for their annual 4th of July trip to Charlotte. I am counting the days! In the meantime, here are some droolworthy red white and blue dessert tables and party ideas to get you in the mood!

Make your own shortcakes? Love it!!! From the always creative and super sweet Chris from Celebrations at Home.

I adore this backdrop. 

An absolutely adorable nautical themed table featured on Amy Atlas. Ahoy Matey! (Although I am pretty sure that's pirates, not sailing....)

Here's a whimsical pinwheel party...I love the hanging lanterns!!

This cake is fabulous too!

I LOVE this vintage party...the suitcases are perfect!

 These faded flags are too pretty to eat!

Remember these firecracker popsicles? How about a cupcake version?! 

Here's another nautical themed party, this time from Courtney of Pizzzerie! I love the dessert skewers!!

For more fabulous decorating ideas, check out JC's Loft for tons of other ideas for your 4th of July bash!

My cousins and I will be baking up a storm for my sister in law's 4th of July party, and I can't wait to show you the results!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday!! I am especially happy because I am taking my yearly trip to NJ to visit the fam, including my favorite ladies Cousins Lauren and Theresa. Here they are in all their gorgeous glory at my wedding a few years back. And guess what? They come back for their annual summer trip to Charlotte for the 4th of July. Double Dose of cousin time!

I'm looking forward to family time, great belly laughs, amazing Italian food and meeting my cousin Dave's new baby girl Serina!
While I'm gone, check out my new Tablespoon article about arranging flowers. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Tablescapes

To celebrate the Summer Solstice (the official beginning of summer for those of you that are ill informed) I did a search for some beautiful, fresh summer tablescapes. 

Without further adieu...
Let summer officially begin!

Simple and vintage

Sunflowers are so cheerful!

Cherry Pie for the 4th of July....

Gorgeous and dreamy - on a budget!

Beautiful peaches and florals

Fresh farmers market veggies

Orange Citrus 

Sweet strawberry table (this might be my favorite!)

Simple outdoor BBQ

Classic white table

I hope these provided some inspiration for your parties this summer!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mango Salsa with Avocado

Lately I've been OBSESSED with avocado. I mean, I always hold avocado in a place close to my heart (or stomach), but lately, it's like my BFF. I put it in or on everything...salads, sandwiches, mixed with black beans and a little lime juice for a quick side dish, and of course, guacamole - I.Love.Avocado. and I don't care who knows it! So when I found this mango salsa recipe online, I knew the only thing that could make it complete would be my beloved avocado...and lots of it! This salsa would be perfect on top of fish or chicken too!

Here are some tips for a mango and avocado salsa that will knock your friends socks off...

1) Peel your mango - I hate peeling things. Call me lazy, but I'm just not a fan. But alas, this salsa is worth it. To know when a mango is ripe, make sure it gives a little when you press it but you don't want it mushy. Thanks super nice Harris Teeter produce guy for the tip!

2) Avocado - Unlike my guacamole where I like my avocado to be soft and totally mash-able, for a salsa I like my avocado to be a bit firm so it dices nicely. I also add a LOT of avocado to this, the more the better...but you don't have to!

3) Jalapeno - You don't have to use this if you are scared of the spice (ahem, Mr. Fo), but I find that if I remove all the seeds and chop up the pepper it adds the perfect amount of spice!

4) Mini Sunflower pictured below - don't include people...it's for decoration ONLY!

Chopped up - this just screams summer to me...

Mix all ingredients together with lime juice and salt and pepper. Keep adding and tasting until it's perfect!

Dip with your favorite chip - I like Lime Tostitos, but regular works too!

Mango Salsa with Avocado 

1 mango - peeled and diced
1 large avocado or 2 small avocados - diced
1/2 red onion - finely chopped
1 small cucumber - finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper - seeds removed, finely diced
Juice from 2 limes
Cilantro - chopped and to taste
Salt and Pepper - to taste

Instructions: Mix together and enjoy! Let flavors blend together in the fridge for a few hours if possible.

Bring this to your next BBQ and you will be a star, I PROMISE!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wedding Reception Preview Pics!

This past weekend I coordinated a wedding reception for a truly lovely family that I am so glad I got to know. Not only are they sweet, they are hilarious and they're wine drinkers....my kind of people!! The super cool, laid-back couple, Jennie Ann & Derek, got married the weekend before in a small, beautiful ceremony in Charleston, right on The Battery. To celebrate their wedding, they had a blow out bash in Charlotte the following weekend. Here are some preview pics until I get the professional photos from the super sweet photog Meredith Jones.

Hope you enjoyed the pics! More to come on the blog this week :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Budget Tiki Party

Quick post this evening...I have a wedding reception to coordinate this weekend, and I LOVE this family! I'll be sad when it's over, but happy to show the pictures next week. While I am a bit preoccupied, check out a few pictures of a "faux" Tiki Party I planned and read my Tablespoon article for more ideas on how to throw a Budget Tiki Party! When I say budget, I mean BUDGET - I bought all of  these items at the Dollar Store. Aloha for the weekend, I'll be back next week!!

Wish me luck this weekend :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dental School Graduation Party - It's toothtastic :)

Has it been awhile since you've visited the dentist? Not after these pictures. Check out the dental school graduation party I did this past weekend, and you will see enough teeth and toothbrushes to claim a visit to the dentist this year!

Mr. Fo's cousin, Nathanael, had a career way before he had a future with teeth. He was what you call a male model. Those closest to him called him "Fabio." Fabio posed with beach balls at a young age to model swimwear and other summer gear for the local catalogs. He was somewhat of a celebrity, if you will, and when I came into the family 10 years ago (10!!!), I had no clue that young Fabio would give up his head shots for a set of dental tools. But alas, sometimes child models CAN become dentists, and when they do, a tooth-themed party MUST occur. It's truly a fairy-tale, isn't it?

Aunt Caran, Nathanael's mom, approached me about planning her son's graduation party, and we had SO much fun! We even got tattoos at the end of it all to celebrate, but more on that later.

After months of planning, the party ended up being a whimsical and fun tooth-themed extravaganza....let's take a look!

Signs pointed to "Dr. Nate's office" so his patients wouldn't get lost.

Patients signed in at "Reception."

Then they got their "x-rays" (aka glow-sticks)

Stopped by the "Numbing Station" ...

before they got "filled"...

Guests treated themselves to the "sweet tooth" station at the end of the evening. (According to Dr. Nate, sugar "demineralizes" the tooth, hence the reference to demineralization)

The final stop was to grab the "goody bags" on the way out. The bags had your typical toothbrush and floss, and also included sugar free lollipops.

Unlike a visit to the dentist's office, there were lots of fun touches throughout the party.

The flower arrangements had toothbrush accents.


 See those rubber duckies? They were dental duckies found at Oriental Trading, complete with toothbrushes and lab coats...they have duckies in every profession you can imagine!

Napkins were tied with tooth necklaces (Note: All napkins tied by Mr. Fo. He demanded credit) ...

There were molar vases...

Clever signs...

And tooth food labels!

Fluoride was at work, even when wine drinking...

The sweet tooth demineralization station had cupcakes and cake galore.

You aren't going to believe this, but even the Tooth Fairy showed up! (If you're guessing this looks an awful lot like my niece Brookie, it's just a total coincidence.) Check out her special shirt!

 The tooth fairy is a very healthy eater - look at all that avocado!

After all the excitement, Aunt Caran and I had to get matching tattoos - what can we say, "We love to brush!"

Congratulations to Dr. Nathanael Shaw (aka Fabio)...I guess dreams can come true for a former beach ball model.