Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lemon Place Card

So I have a confession to make....I'm kind of a copycat. I want to say that this idea is totally, completely, original but it's just ... not. When I saw fellow blogger Melissa from Melissa Creates using lemons for a place card holder, I knew I had to straight up copy her.  It was too cute - I was inspired and I had to have it!

I confessed to her, and the rest is citrus tablescape history.

I guess in the era of Pinterest, using inspiration from others is sort of a given, right? Copying or not, I was making my mom a lemony birthday dinner and Melissa's super cute lemon place card idea totally fit the bill! 

 Speaking of my moms birthday, you may remember last years spring brunch surprise party. I wish I could top that surprise soiree, but for this year I settled on a simple menu. I made Pork Tenderloin, my Lemon Orzo Salad and homemade Lemon Squares. I'm going to do a separate post about the lemon squares because they were THAT good! Let's just say they had lots of butter... 

The directions for the lemon place card are super simple! Cut or punch out a circle in paper and write your guest's name on it.  Tape the circle to a toothpick and stick it in your lemon. Done!  

For the table I chose yellow and red because they are my moms favorite colors. I used my trusty white square plates and found yellow and white chevron striped napkins from the absolute treasure trove that is HomeGoods. I also hit the jackpot while perusing Crate and Barrel. As per usual I was looking for nothing in particular when I came cross these individual cupcake pedestals. I repurposed them to hold the lemon place cards and loved the way it turned out! I also happily bought their red trimmed, circular place mats that are perfect for outdoor living this summer.

We had a lovely, low-key birthday celebration with Mr. Fo, my mom and my mother-in-law at our casa. If you want to celebrate your mom, you can do that very soon since Mothers Day is coming up in less than 2 weeks! The official date is Sunday, May 11th - don't miss it! In the spirit of Mothers Day, I made this beautiful Tomato, Basil and Feta Tart that was featured over on BonBonRoseGirls - check out the post for the full recipe.

Here I am with my mama and the tart.

 In the effort of full disclosure I don't love the way I look in this photo (my arms...ugh) but I love the image of my mom and I together so I'm posting it for all to see. There's nothing more special than a relationship between a mom and daughter, especially when I have a sweet mom like mine. Thanks to Kristen LeQuire for the beautiful tart photos! 

Here's to lemons, finding inspiration and beautiful moms. XOXO! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pink Lemonade Cocktail

My latest project with is a deliciously pretty pink cocktail perfect for lounging outside. Whip up a batch of my Pink Lemonade Cocktail for a girls night or better yet - just because! 

You can find the super simple recipe HERE!

Photos by Kristen LeQuire


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Red, White, and Mason Jars - A Southern rehearsal dinner

If you've ever wondered how to pull off a rehearsal dinner fit for a Southern belle, I've got just the event for you! This weekend I coordinated both the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception of an absolutely lovely couple, Mark and Laura-Nelle. They had a Southern BBQ themed rehearsal dinner and a monogram-heavy preppy Southern wedding complete with a biscuit bar! Can't wait to show you both events! First up is the red and white rehearsal dinner complete with sunflowers and mason jars. 

The mother of the groom, Kathy, had every detail meticulously planned out and it ended up being such a fun celebration to kick off the wedding weekend. 

The dinner was held at the Charlotte Trolley Museum, which fit the theme perfectly. My favorite part of the event was the mason jar favors. Guests drank their beer, wine or non-alcoholic beverage out of a mason jar. I loved the red and white gingham stickers on top of the mason jars that matched the invitation and tablecloths.

Guests wrote their name on the chalkboard tags tied around the mason jars and took a jar home as a party favor. I love this idea and so did the guests!

Here's the happy bride and groom with their mason jars! How cute are they?!

So. Lets talk food. Because isn't that what makes or breaks a party? The catering was done by Plate Perfect, one of my favorite caterers in Charlotte. They are part of the restaurant group that owns Mama Ricottas, Midwood Smokehouse, Pacos Tacos & Bad Daddys. They always do a great job with presentation, taking extra care with details on the buffet table and food displays. 

I wrote the menu on a chalkboard with chalkboard markers. When you're writing in chalk, definitely get the markers, it's much easier to write in the marker than regular chalk. And it even made my handwriting not look as terrible as normal! 

On the menu was BBQ sliders, mac and cheese, veggies and yummy appetizers too - all from Midwood Smokehouse. My favorite app is the Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno which is as good as it sounds - a little spicy if you can take the heat!

There was a beautiful salad...

...and of course BBQ sliders.

I loved the galvanized serving pieces Plate Perfect brought, including the candle holders and the 3 tiered tray for the buns.

I also loved these pig napkin holders.

Silverware was rolled in white linen and tied with burlap ribbon.

Desserts were from Amelies and were to die for. The different colored macarons were beautiful...

...and the salted caramel brownies might just be the best dessert I've eaten in literally forever.

The tables had red and white gingham cloths with mason jar arrangements filled with daisies and sunflowers. 

Of course no good Southern style rehearsal dinner would be complete without Sweet Tea...

...or a monogram, like the one on this DIY sandwich board created by the bride and groom to direct guests. 

It was a busy working weekend, but always fun when you work with good people and fun families. Congratulations to Mark and Laura-Nelle and I can't wait to feature their gorgeous wedding reception soon! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lemon Orzo Salad

Today I'm pumped to share an awesome recipe with you that's perfect for dining al fresco with a glass of crisp white wine. Or something other than wine, if that exists.  I'm not sure. 

I created this Lemon Orzo Salad based off a combination of a few salads I've had in the past for a new project I'm working on with

If you don't know about orzo, you totes should. It's a rice shaped pasta that is super light and perfect to be tossed with fresh flavors like lemon, veggies and olive oil. 

Beautiful ingredient shot 

At the end, add your olive oil to coat and combine all the ingredients.

For a cute presentation, serve in individual mason jars with colorful washi tape taping the fork to the side of the jar.

Alternatively, leave in the bowl and eat standing over your counter like a hungry animal with a fork. Your choice!

You may have noticed I didn't give you the full recipe. Yup, you'll have to hit up the article on for the full deets! I'm thrilled to be working with to share my latest and greatest articles and recipes perfect for entertaining in your home! All photos by Kristen LeQuire

This weekend I'm super busy with a rehearsal dinner Friday night and a wedding Saturday night (both for the same couple). I'm excited to see how everything turns out and will be back with a full report next week! Hope you're weekend is chock full of fun, food and wine. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Refashioned Cocktail: Local Restaurant Feature

Without further ado, it's time for another edition of Jackie and Kristen do cocktails! Check out our last feature - a delightfully prickly margarita from Bricktops. 

This time we visited one of the newest hotspots in Charlotte, Nan and Byron's. Serving up hearty comfort food with a twist, Nan and Byron's is owned by the same group that is responsible for the uber popular uptown restaurant 5 Church.  Nan and Byron's cocktail list is extensive and creative, so picking only one drink to feature was a challenge - challenge accepted. 

(All photos by Kristen LeQuire)

After taste-testing a few (tough job, but somebody's got to do it) we decided on the Refashioned, which has bourbon, peach and orange bitters and muddled strawberry, orange and cherries. 

The drink has a kick to it, but it's unusual and delicious all at the same time. Here's my friend Stephanie enjoying a sip.

I brought a few friends to Nan and Byron's where we had a lovely time having mid-afternoon cocktails.
Hey, it's 5 o'clock somewhere right?!

The restaurant has a gorgeous interior with tons of textured wood and galvanized metal. I simply adore the chairs at the bar.

Our waiter Bob was a great sport about being photographed and was an absolute pleasure - thanks Bob!

If you go to Nan and Byron's (and you totally should) you HAVE to get the Train Wreck Fries. Covered and smothered in deliciousness, these are absolutely to die for. The train wreck name is completely appropriate as I immediately spilled a meat and cheese covered fry on my white jeans. It was totes worth it. 

I heart this photo taken by Kristen as she showed her true photog chops by standing on a chair. Anything for the perfect shot!

If you're looking for a fresh, new cocktail and a plate o' fries that will blow your mind, hit up Nan and Byron's!

That concludes another edition of Jackie and Kristen do cocktails. Thanks again to Kristen for her beautiful photography and to Nan and Byron's for their hospitality. We'll most definitely be back! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flower Friday: Easter Edition

In case you hadn't heard or seen the explosion of chocolate bunnies everywhere, Easter is this weekend. To celebrate, I decided to do an Easter edition of Flower Friday. In case you're new to Flower Friday, you can check out my first installment HERE.

If you're like me, you've been hoarding Easter baskets and Easter grass for years. So lucky for me, I already had the perfect vessel for an Easter arrangement - an Easter basket, of course! I purchased purple tulips since they are the official flower of spring and got to work.

Here's what you need: 

Easter grass
Easter basket
glass vases small enough to fit in the basket (I used mason jars because I have one million of them laying around)

Place your glass vases in the bottom of the basket and fill them with water.

Cut your flowers and arrange them in the vases. Let the tulips do their thang and go every which way. 
The more natural the better. Some people like to take the leaves off tulips, I like to take some off but leave a couple for some girth. Yup, I just said girth. 

Use your Easter grass to cover the tops of the vases. It's a covert operation you see, we want the tulips to look like they are growing out of the Easter basket.

Voila! Easter Basket arrangement complete and it took me all of 10 minutes! I hope you have a great Easter filled with family, fun and of course, chocolate bunnies.