A few times over the summer I’ve eluded to the fact that I had some big projects in the works and today I am so excited to share one of those with you! A while back the folks at Sutter Home reached out to me and asked if I wanted to team up with them to throw the ultimate backyard party. Because I can never turn down a reason to throw a good party, I had to yes, naturally. Then they asked if they could bring in live music, have a bunch of our friends and neighbors show up and film the whole thing. And again, my answer was an enthusiastic yes! Today is the day it’s all going down so you can follow along with me on Instagram Stories all day long to see how it’s all coming together and witness the fun for yourself. In a few weeks we’ll be sharing all the details right here, but in the meantime I wanted to share a bit of my planning process including some really gorgeous printables and a fun DIY project I incorporated into the mix!
Over the last few years I’ve been really into arranging a bunch of food on a board and serving it up as a casual weeknight dinner, a great party appetizer or a delicious mid-afternoon snack on a weekend. Something about food on a board is just so damn enjoyable, and people naturally seem to love food that’s interactive, which is why this one would make such a good addition to your next party. People love a great cheese board, but this is spin on the classic is even better with an excess of good fresh mozzarella and burrata, loaded up with a variety of tomatoes. Drizzle everything with a good olive oil, max out on fresh basil, then sprinkle the whole mess with yummy coarse grain sea salt and you’re in business.
Since first announcing way back in February that we’re getting married, I have updated you precisely zero times on the details. In short that’s simply because we changed our minds approximately 427 times over the last several months about what we’re doing, how large our guest list is going to be and how everything is going to play out. Budget is a major factor (since we have a kids who always come first and a house we’re constantly working on), and stress is also a major player, too. Between my time as an event planner and helping friends and family with their weddings, I’ve planned and executed something like 100 weddings. So while I’m certainly no novice at organizing the details, I also know how stressful big lavish affairs can be and I just don’t want any of that excess emotion and pressure clouding the experience for us. So we’re skipping the formal dinner in lieu of an extended cocktail hour followed by a pub crawl. (More details on that soon!) We’re planning a ceremony that will be really, deeply personal and probably a tear jerker. And it all starts with the perfect invitations!
We had a whirlwind of a weekend, hosting two parties and inviting a combined total of over 60 people through the house over the last two days. This morning it is dark and stormy, and I rolled out of bed a solid hour later than usual. I guess 48 hours of intense back-to-back entertaining will do that to you! When we’re throwing parties my rule of thumb is to keep the food simple, but also a touch unexpected and fun. It makes people feel special and gets them really excited to try something new. This strawberry feta bruschetta recipe perfectly fits that bill! It’s a departure from the tomato-based classic, but it’s equally, if not more, delicious. Plus, strawberries and feta always taste amazing together. In terms of prep, it’s also very easy! If you can dice up berries, you can feel confident serving this bruschetta at your next get together.
A few years ago Bob and I made our maiden voyage to Key West, which sparked a completely unexpected love affair with the Keys. I’ve been back since and have only fall more in love with the carefree, Cuban meets Caribbean vibe each time I go. This frozen tropical cocktail is entirely inspired by that same salt air in your hair, Jimmy Buffet music playing in the background experience that makes you never want to leave the Keys. In essence, this cocktail is a vacation in a glass. Because it’s sweetened with Truvia Nectar, it’s also a reduced sugar alternative to the typical sugar laden frozen drinks that seem to make the rounds ad nauseum in the summer months. Take it next level with a garnish of fresh pineapple and you’re ready for vacation mode.
Over the weekend I made a whirlwind 62 hour trip to Round Top, Texas and back. I’ve been working on a couple of really huge projects behind the scenes, I haven’t washed my hair in at least three days (dry shampoo, I love you), and my feet are still slightly swollen from traveling and lack of sleep over the last week. All of this to say, these peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwiches are delicious and exactly what you need when you’re exhausted and missing a few of the usually prominent bones on the tops of your feet. An instant pick-me-up! To keep things simple, you can use a cookie mix here. To keep things delicious, I highly suggest making the strawberry jam homemade. Then just smash cookies and ice cream together and eat them right away, or wrap them and stash them in the freezer where they’ll keep for a few days.
I remember on my inaugural trip to Europe as a young teenager being completely confused by Europeans and their penchant for room temperature beverages. Or rather, being confused by their confusion with our love for icy cold beverages. I have a serious love affair with ice. The frostier the drink the better! The fancy ice cube craze running wild these days? I am so completely into it. Not only does it look so incredibly pretty, but you’re also left with a million or more flavor combinations for taking your summer lemonade and your favorite fruity cocktails to the next level. I personally like my ice cubes with fruit and herbs for even just sipping water throughout the day, but latte ice cubes and flower ice cubes and anything else you can freeze into a cube sounds pretty amazing, too! Here are 10 ideas to get you started…