Six Staples for Surviving a Summer Wedding

With June on our heels, wedding season kicking off and hot Southern weather rolling in there is a lot happening in the South. What isn’t to love about a summer wedding below the Mason-Dixon line? Well, there is one thing I believe we’d all agree on and that’s the thick, humid, scorching heat that takes over the outdoors come late spring. Since your weekends will be filled with wedding festivities I thought I’d share some tips and tricks to staying cool and comfortable during summer those hot summer nuptials. From spritzers to sunscreen, here are a few of my go-to suggestions for surviving a summer wedding!

Wear Sunscreen. But, seriously…wear sunscreen! Any part of your skin that will be exposed the blaring sun should be slathered in a coat of at least 15 SPF sunscreen. Whether you’re just outside for the cocktail hour or spending the entire afternoon celebrating outside, pack a small bottle in your clutch and reapply between cocktails.

Up-do Your Hair. While an up-do may not be your best look, trust me, you’ll thank me for this suggestion later. The last thing you want is to see the next day are  pictures of your hair looking a hot mess. Make a spa day of it and plan to have your hair done professionally before the big “I do’s.”

Hydrate. Without a doubt, water should be your best friend on the big day! There’s nothing wrong with indulging in the bride and groom’s signature cocktails, but to avoid dehydration and becoming “that girl” at your friend’s wedding be sure to toss back plenty of H2O.

Pack Your Shades. Making sure to wear your sunglasses should be a given, but I can’t even count the number of times I’ve left them at home! Save your beautiful eyes (and eye makeup) and please, please remember to bring your stylish shades. I always keep a backup pair in my car just in case too!

Spritzers. No, I am not referring to white wine spritzers! I’m talking about those precious petite Evian Facial Sprays. These gems are a true lifesavers and are one of my favorite go-tos for warm weather, from beach to wedding days.

Dress Appropriately. Normally I would say that beauty is pain, but when it comes to the humid air I raise the white flag! Keep it cool with a seersuckers sundress or your favorite lightweight Lilly dress; because there is nothing worse then wearing a tight dress or anything silk to a summer wedding!!

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32 Things That Make Me Happy

I thought that I would spice up my usual blog post with something a little personal! What better way to know someone than having a list of 32 things that make them happy? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything either! Hopefully y’all will find this as interesting as my regular posts! Enjoy!

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  1. Living My Dreams
  2. Every Little Thing About My Boyfriend
  3. My Family
  4. Sitting on the Porch Drinking a Bud Light
  5. Summer Nights with Good Friends
  6. Red, Red Wine
  7. Weddings!
  8. My Planner! {Can’t live without it!}
  9. Puppies
  10. Nike Shorts – Otherwise Known as Norts
  11. Sushi
  12. Crisp Fall Weather
  13. Pinterest
  14. Nail Polish
  15. Graduation is in LESS Than a Month! Eek!
  16. Alabama Football
  17. Reading on the Beach
  18. True Friends
  19. Sunday Brunch
  20. Happy Hour
  21. Being Southern
  22. Date Nights with My Love
  23. Wine tours in Charlottesville, Virginia
  24. Shopping
  25. Lilly Pulitzer
  26. Freshly Made Guacamole
  27. Christmas!
  28. Cowboy Boots
  29. Adventures with My Sister
  30. Icing!
  31. Candles
  32. Party Planning

 

Five Mimosas for Easter Brunch

Every year I do the same thing for Easter. We spend the early part of the day at church and then head to Nana’s to gorge in homemade butter rolls, spiral ham, pound cake, and just about every Southern goodness you can imagine! While it’s not likely that I will be partaking in today’s blog topic, I couldn’t help but share a little brunch inspiration for those of you who can. Because champagne goes with everything for every occasion, here are my top five favorite mimosas that are perfect for this year’s Easter brunch.

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Carrot Mimosa. Naturally delicious and nutritious, pair carrot juice with Prosecco and a sprig of parsley. This is one of my favorite new twists on the traditional mimosa! And wouldn’t you know, it even resembles a carrot! {Image from The Kitchn}

Grapefruit Mimosa. I’m not a big fan of grapefruit, but I will be for this pretty-in-pink mimosa. Select a sweet champagne to cut out the super sourness of the juice and top it off with your favorite colored bunny peep! {Image from Celebrations At Home}

Strawberry, Lemon and Basil Mimosa. Looking for lots of color?! This is the perfect mimosa for you! Packed with fresh basil, frozen strawberries and zesty lemon this recipe screams Springtime. Toss those goodies into a honey, champagne, and sparkling water concoction to relish in this refreshing cocktail.  {Image from Food Network}

Rhubarb Mimosa. Boil four stalks of rhubarb, one cup of sugar and two cups of water to set the base for this modern mimosa. Add a bit of mint, strain and cool the syrupy sweetness, and add plenty of Prosecco to indulge in a glass of pure happiness. {Image from Food Network}

Blood Orange Mimosa. Simply squeeze blood oranges to make one to two ounces of juice, pour into your best flute, and top it off with ice cold champagne. To make it even fancier, add a slice of an orange peel and a sprig of fresh thyme! {Image from Spoon Fork Bacon}

Enjoy! XO

DIY Darling: Tassle Garland

With graduation on my heels you would assume that I would be concerned with finding a job, but that isn’t the case. Instead,  decorations for my graduation party is what’s truly consuming me! Playing off the theme of my announcements I’ve decided to have a little do-it-yourself fun and design tassel garland to deck the porch during the celebration. While it’s no secret that everyone is just smitten with this darling decor accent, I couldn’t help but share HGTV’s easy as pie how-to.

 

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1/2 Sheet of 20″ X 20″ Tissue Paper {this is per tassel!}
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or Cord

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Step One: Fringe. Fold a piece of tissue paper in half and in half the other way. Cut strips towards the fold to create fringe, leaving about 1 inch uncut at the fold line. Once all strips are cut, unfold the tissue and cut in half so you have 2 sheets with fringe (to make 2 tassels).

Step Two: Twist. Unfold tissue paper. Begin rolling tightly down the middle crease. 

Step Three: Loop. Continue rolling, fold in half and then twist to create a loop for hanging.

To read more on HGTV’s Make Your Own Tissue Paper Tassel Garland browse here! Happy Crafting!

Five Hostess Gifts For Any Occasion

By now you should know that I adore hosting parties, but I also really love attending them too! When I am invited to a friendly gathering whether it’s a bridesmaid’s luncheon or weekly wine night, I always try to bring a gift for the hostess. Over the past few years I’ve selected five go-to gifts that are perfect for all of those occasions, even if they are last minute!  Hopefully, you’ll be able to find these items at your disposal when gearing up to attend your next party.

  1. Wine. Without a doubt, wine is the easiest hostess gift you could possibly purchase. Don’t be cheap, but don’t over do it either. Go with what would be considered a house red or white, IF you don’t know their personal preference. Put it in a cutesy bag and you’re ready to go!
  2. Candles. Not too sweet or not too strong, candles rank among the top of my hostess gift selection. Purchase a staple candle that would go great in their kitchen or living space. If you aren’t sure that they may have an allergy to certain scents, select a candle that’s has elegant detail and is scent free.
  3. Coasters. Paper coasters are super cute and typically not too pricey. If you have the time to spare, head over to Etsy and place your order (personal favorite – Haute Paper Collections). No time at all? Of course try to shop locally, but if that isn’t possible over night these adorable Kate Spade Glitter Coasters.
  4. Tea Towels. The darling tea towels of today are not something you’d find at your grandmother’s house. Printed with quotes/sayings of anything from racy and humorous to sweet and uplifting, you cannot have enough of these gems. Per usual, Etsy always has a great selection and a few of my favorites has to be “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck,” the Crab and Sand Dollar tea towel, and the “Here in the South” tea towel.
  5. Flowers. My last hostess go-to is and always will be flowers. Who doesn’t love a fresh bouquet of seasonal floral, even if they are from Kroger?! While I know you can be a little more creative then flowers, this is perfect for the last minute invite or if you don’t know the hostess that well.

I hope this sweet and simple go-to list gives you inspiration and ideas for the next party you attend! Just remember that when in doubt, always bright a little something rather then showing up empty handed!

Fab Find: Oh Joy! for Target!

The rumors are true! Every party planners dream just became a reality. Joy Cho, mastermind behind the madly popular blog Oh Joy!, is launching a product line at Target!! With all of the cute, colorful, budget friendly decor details that will be offered I see LOTS of summer get-to-togethers in my future. If the fact that Joy is THE most followed person in Pinterest isn’t a testament to my excitement, then you’ll just have to view her products for yourself!

Since this collection is only available for a short time, head over to Target’s website or your local Target to scoop up all over these amazing decor details! Happy Planning!

A Kentucky Derby Celebration

All Southern ladies know the best part of Spring (besides the warmer weather!) is heading to the horse races! Whether it’s the Carolina Cup, Kentucky Derby or the Foxfield Races – who doesn’t love an excuse to purchase a new Lilly dress and show-stopping hat??

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If you’re like me this year, the only race you’ll see is the Derby on television, but why let that stop you from partaking in the festivities. Hosting a Derby party is a great way to bring your best gals together, put on your Sunday best and  indulge in one to many Mint Juleps!

Here’s a few simple ways to celebrate the Derby:

  • Send the Invites. The best way to set the tone for your Derby party is through the invitations. Whether your theme is a “Run for the Roses” or “Down and Derby,” you’ll want to set the stage for your guests from atmosphere to attire. Honestly – it’s better to be upfront with your guests so they know if they should put their drinking cap on or remain poised to perfection. {Remember the Kentucky Derby is May 3!}
  • Set the Dress Code. Okay, let me be frank – if you aren’t prepared for your backyard or home to be full of seersucker and pastels, then don’t throw a party themed around a horse race. It’s all about the bow ties, dress blazers, Lilly dresses, and big hats! Be sure to include this fine print on your invites to bypass any confusion.
  • Crafting the Perfect Mint Julep. If bar-tending isn’t your forte, find a friend who can craft the perfect mint julep! Southern Living has the perfect recipe (in my opinion) to making this must-have cocktail. To view this recipe, browse here!
  • Taking Bets. Because who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Create a pool and have your guests bet on their favorite horse – even if it’s chosen because of the horse’s unique name! Remember, it doesn’t have to be pricey but if it does, oh well 🙂
  • Quick Bites. I was brought up with the hostess mentality that no Southern gathering is complete without pimento cheese or cheese straws! Make (or order!) both or only one – you can’t go wrong either way. Some of my other favorite quick bits are single servings of Shrimp and Grits, Petite Fried Chicken and Waffles, and Mini Kentucky Hot Browns! {Click on the quick bits to be linked to the recipe!}
  • Décor. Whatever your theme maybe let the décor do the talking. Keep it simple with red roses and mini trophys or go all out with DIY crafts to personalize your decorations. Don’t forget – taking the party outside for lawn games is always a fun option, horseshoes anyone?

Happy Planning!

Get Lucky: Plan the Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Soirée

The best test in finding out if you are a true party planner? Whether or not you can throw together a last minute party! I adore hosting parties and love finding inspiration through holidays to invite friends over to celebrate any occasion! Besides that fact that St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner {2 weeks!!} and is one  holiday everyone enjoys, it also makes for a super fun party to plan!

Who doesn’t love gold and green?! From table decor, to sweet snacks and stellar cocktails, I am loving every aspect of throwing a party fit for an Irishman himself! Whether you want to have a midnight soiree or just invite a few of your friends over before the annual parade, take some inspiration away from these photos and plan your perfect St. Patty’s Day party!

Okay, since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday, you have literally have two weekends to plan the perfect party! Invite your friends and plan the best last-mintue party that will be the talk of the town for months! Happy planning!

Why I’m Watching the Superbowl

The South and college football go together like peas and carrots, like pearls and monograms, like Mint Juleps and the Kentucky Derby…but the NFL? Well, that’s where I draw the line. I will certainly cheer on the Dallas Cowboys whenever they are conveniently on, but I would never say that I am a true fan of any NFL team. It has always been my opinion that there is more heart and passion in college football. That’s why on any given Saturday, during football season, you’ll catching me cheering on the Tide with a Yellow Hammer in tow. With that being said, I will never turn down an opportunity to host a Superbowl party or attend one. What better excuse to drink on Sunday, sneak in a few bites of Buffalo Chicken Dip and invite a bunch of your friends over (who probably don’t even know who is playing)??

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In all honestly, I am an absolute sucker for Superbowl commercials. It amazes me all of the work that goes into creating one 30 second ad for a whopping $4 million. Whether is comical hysteria or a true tear-jerker I haven’t met a Superbowl commercial I haven’t liked. I truly try not to look at the commercial spoilers, but when I heard about Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercials I went to YouTube immediately! Don’t worry, it is posted below 🙂

Whatever you’re reason may be for watching Superbowl 2014, I hope you enjoy it!

Planning a Dazzling New Years Eve Bash

With my birthday on New Years Day, I love hosting New Years Eve celebration! Everyone in attendance is usually ready to say avior to the current year and start over with a fresh, clean slate! And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a party that revolves itself around glitter and champagne?!

This will be one of  the first years that I have decided to brave the crowd and take my celebrations into the city! Honestly, it is because this will be one of the first years I will spend New Years Eve without my boyfriend so I have made the decision to surround myself with family and friends!!

For those of you planning a New Years Eve bash keep it simple and chic with this few tips:

  1. Splurge on Champagne.  This is one of the times of year where over-priced bubbly is acceptable! Everyone is attendance of your soirée will likely choose set their Budweiser or Pinot Gris aside to sip this celebratory drink into midnight. When in doubt? Over purchase!
  2. Keep Décor Simple. Save your money for the champagne and keep all of your New Years Even party décor chic and simple! Whether it be a DIY banner or tossing glitter everywhere don’t let spending your time decorating hurt your bank account or your pre-game!
  3. Go Out With a Bang. Don’t let the party stop once the clock strikes midnight! Pull out those extra fireworks and sparklers left over from July 4th to sparkle into the night. To many hostess let their guest fade around this time so it’s important to keep the party going! Don’t have either of the above? Turn up the music and have your own dance party!