Sunday, January 26, 2014

....a DINNER PARTY for a dear friend....!

One of my favorite parts of throwing any type of party is the decor.  I'm not a great cook, so making things pretty is what I am all about! I love to build a theme (usually a color scheme to kick it off) and go off of that for my inspiration and decor.  A few of my dear girlfriends and I got together to throw a belated surprise dinner party for our friend Christopher...and it was a ton of fun. A few tricks I have found over the years can help take the inevitable pressure and stress of hosting a party down a few notches.

First and foremost, set up your table as much beforehand as possible.  For this party I went to the SF Flower Mart the day before and actually set my entire table the night before - complete with flower arrangements and all.  The more you can do beforehand the more time you have for running out and getting that last minute item(s) you may have forgotten.  If you're anything like me that happens every. single. time.

I'm a huge fan of personalized menus and cocktails.  It is a fun and easy way to add a personal touch for your guest of honor and give them something to hold onto as a memento.

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For this dinner we did lemon cocktails to start with that used a Buddha's Hand Lemon infused vodka my friends (and guests) Kara and Brandon made.

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I like to go with a color scheme - for this table I went with purple, gray, burnt yellow, gold and white.  We are having such amazing winter weather right now that I had to keep reminding myself to stick with florals that aren't too summer or spring.

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I like to mix up new and vintage place setttings, flatware and glassware as much as possible.  I have scoured so much beautiful items on Etsy and at flea markets over the years and I love to use these items whenever possible.

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To help divide the dinner and dessert duties up, we split up the menu duties....Kimmy and I prepped all salads (again beforehand so as not to spend time in the kitchen but rather with guests), she busted out a kick-ass cannoli bean soup, Kara made an incredible homemade pasta dish (recipe here) and I made a coconut cake....everything was super yummy, and I didn't poison anyone with my cooking - win, win!

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I watched a video on how to make the lemon curls.....I love the internet.

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of course, lots of good wine...!

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my handsome guy

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even more amazing wine....this one from Angelo Garro that I have been holding onto for awhile...

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and ending with deep belly laughs with this naughty game....such a fun eve!  

happy birthday, dear christopher!! xx

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Vintage Vegas....!

Las Vegas is like this old, kinda looney distant uncle you catch him on a good day/night and he's the MOST fun....his stories of adventure, hanging with glamorous ladies, watching all the crooners perform (as well as share a jack on the rocks with said crooners) keep you endlessly fascinated and intrigued with his past life.  Little evidence speaks of this....his glittery horseshoe pinky ring, the fact that he can shuffle cards faster than anyone you have ever seen.  But then there is the other side.  The one that loves a buffet almost as much as he loves drinking a little too early in the day.  And when he does drink he mixes cheap booze in a large to-go cup of soda from 7-11.  It starts to cancel out those fanciful stories and you have to make a quick exit...shaking the shame as you do.  So, yeah, that is Vegas for me.

So WTH was I thinking booking another trip here....?! I actually usually have the MOST fun times ever and this year I am going to meet up with my dear Secret Servix scooter girl sisters for laughs, laughs and more laughs.  I am hitting up the Neon Museum, taking a few early morning photo-op walks with my girls and doing a few more traditional old-school Vegas activites.  Because really in its day (much like that uncle) it was exciting, fun, adventurous, stylish, original and campy.  That is the Vegas I'm after this year.  As well as spending as much time with my ladies and all my scooter friends that will be there at the same time.  Enjoy some favorite images I dug up to inspire me this trip, as well as a few Las Vegas inspired items I wouldn't mind adding into my mix!

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1. Elvis Presley sunglasses - 'natch
2. a glittery LBD
4. super glammy gold playing cards
5. your own amazing fab bar by Jonathan Adler
6. black, lucky dice
7. perfect low heels to take you into the wee hours
8. harken the Vintage Vegas with this Faye Mell purse
9. a campy swan pool float