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How To Throw a Galentine’s Day Party

February 13, 2017

I’ve become a little obsessed with Galentine’s Day, now that I know what it’s all about.

I had no idea! I thought it was “a lonely-hearts club for single ladies” on Valentine’s Day! As it turns out, I have been celebrating Galentine’s Day basically my whole life!!

What is Galentine’s Day? In the words of the holiday’s creator, Parks and Recreations’ Leslie Knope, “Oh it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas.”

If you haven’t started celebrating Galentine’s Day yet, I would say 2017 would be the year to start! As a matter of fact, I think we should declare February Galentine’s Month. And make it a monthly celebration the rest of the year!  Any day of the month that you want, just do it and keep doing it. Celebrate each other, learn from each other, support each other, and in honor of Leslie Knope, let’s start by laughing with each other!

Now Let’s Get This Party Started!

 “Ladies Celebrating Ladies”

For inspiration, look no further then reruns of Parks and Recreation or a quick Google search of Leslie Knope quotes. Pick a quote to be your main theme or use them all and incorporate them into your decorations and games.

Galentine's Day Sunflower Quote

Of course, this one spoke to me immediately! Just one more reason to fill my house with sunflowers! I think that the sunflower should be the official flower of Galentine’s Day, don’t you?!  Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Galentine’s Day: Ladies Celebrating Ladies

February 12, 2017

You can make your “Ladies Celebrating Ladies” gatherings even more meaningful by adding an element of giving back. There are so many ways to do this, in big ways or small. It’s all up to you. If you are gathering with a group of friends monthly, set a dollar amount that each person will contribute per month and vote on an organization to donate to at the end of a year. In honor of the creator of Galentine’s Day, you could contribute to or get involved with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls or another organization that is committed to supporting girls’ and women’s causes.

Or you and your friends could organize a larger special event. Each planning meeting is another excuse to get together with the girls! I recently helped organize a Paint & Wine event that raised money for Smile Farms, an organization that is near and dear to my family and me.

A larger scale event requires more work and attention to detail, but it is worth it. Here are some tips and ideas from this event if you are thinking of giving something like this a try.

Before hiring professional instructors, see if there are people within your circle who have the necessary skills and would be willing to volunteer their time or offer a deep discount off their regular fee. Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Galentine’s Day Fun With Friends

February 10, 2017

I’m a doer, a creator, a lover of learning!  So, I think having an activity planned for your Galentine’s party is a must.  You can have someone come and teach a class or you can set up an online class.  You can also take it as serious as you want or just have fun with it.

One of my passions is hand lettering, so I planned chalk lettering activities, as well as a bounce lettering online tutorial.

Chalk Lettering

I incorporated chalk lettering into my party décor, which provided lots of inspiration for my guests!  And, once again, I turned to Leslie Knope’s own words for inspiration!!  I used an oversized glass canister with chalkboard label to display this fresh and fabulous arrangement of sunflowers, free spirit roses, asters, and tulips.

Flower Arrangement with Chalkboard Lettering Label Hoes over Bros Continue Reading…

Entertainment

The Perfect Galentine Cocktail

February 2, 2017

Setting up a Mimosa and/or Bloody Mary bar is a no-brainer, especially when serving breakfast food. That said, you have to try this waffle jello shot recipe that I found on the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen blog!

They have the classic recipe and a nice blueberry version on their site. I made the classic, and it was quite good.

The Wilton 12 Cavity Round Ice Cream Sandwich pan is the magic behind the waffle shape and look of the shots. I ordered mine from Bed Bath & Beyond.

The Recipe (with my shortcuts/substitutions)

Yield: 12 jelly shots

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, strained to remove solids (I used store bought, no pulp)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Grade B maple juice (I used Harry & David Maple Syrup)
  • 2 envelopes plain Know gelatin
  • 1 cup cake flavored vodka or vanilla vodka with 2 tsp amaretto (I used plain vodka, because that’s what I had in the house!)

Galentine's Day Jello Shots

Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Food for a Galentine’s Party

January 31, 2017

What’s on my menu for Galentine’s Day? Waffles, of course! But just because breakfast food is the official food of Galentine’s Day, that doesn’t mean you must have a brunch. Why not take your waffles in a different direction?

It’s so easy to make these fun chicken and waffle appetizers. Start with frozen mini waffles and fresh chicken tenders. You can make your own chicken tenders, but I bought these from my favorite neighborhood deli. I chose both regular tenders and buffalo style.

Heat the waffles according to package directions. Cut the pre-made tenders into smaller pieces that will fit onto the mini waffles and heat as well. Place one piece of chicken on each waffle, and drizzle with maple syrup.

Continue Reading…

Entertainment

The Art of the Picnic

June 1, 2016

Packing up a picnic basket for a leisurely lunch in a local park, or putting together a delicious mix of cheeses and some crusty bread with your favorite wine to enjoy at an outdoor concert are some of the true joys of summer. Here are a few tips that will guarantee that your picnic is as pretty and enjoyable as it can be!

French Country Picnic Sunflowers and Wine

Start by choosing your picnic basket or whatever container you will use to pack everything in. I have a collection of both old and new baskets that I have picked up through the years. Using a real basket sets the mood right from the start.

Picnic BasketsTip: Line the bottom of the basket with a plastic garbage bag before packing. It provides an extra layer of protection should anything leak, and then you can use it when it’s time to clean up. Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Make Summer Entertaining Fancy
with These Tea Party Ideas

July 14, 2015

Have all those images of the Royal Family’s celebrations—like Princess Charlotte’s recent christening—got you wishing you had a reason to wear a pretty straw hat and a flowing floral dress? Don’t sit around waiting for an invitation to Kensington Palace—throw a Victorian-style tea party of your own! You don’t need any reason other than getting a few girlfriends together to sip tea and eat cucumber sandwiches. But “tea party” is also a great theme for a shower, a little girl’s birthday party or a pre-wedding luncheon!

Tea Party Table Decorations

Continue Reading…

Entertainment

Kentucky Derby Party Tips

April 1, 2015

Run for the Roses!

Did you know that the rose has been the official flower of the Kentucky Derby since 1904? And in 1925 the president of Churchill Downs dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses.”

Each year the winning horse is draped in a garland made from more than 400 red roses. The winning jockey is presented with a bouquet of 60 long stem red roses!

The Derby is truly steeped in tradition. If you are planning to have a few friends over to celebrate the Kentucky Derby here are some easy ways to include a few Derby traditions into your party.

The Infield

“The Infield” is the flat grassy area inside of the track where one of the biggest parties is held each year! Think Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras and you have a pretty good idea of how crazy this party gets. Set the mood with your own replica of the infield.

infield-kentucky-derby-centerpiece

Start with a flat of wheat grass. Cover the bottom of the tray with moss and insert red roses that have been cut short directly into the base of the wheat grass. It’s that easy to create this fabulous Kentucky Derby Infield centerpiece!

Mint Julep

Another Derby tradition dating back almost a century is the very southern Mint Julep cocktail. It is a mix of crushed ice, sugar, water, fresh mint, and bourbon. The traditional silver julep cup also makes a great vase for a petite bouquet. 1-800 Flowers.com has a few to choose from including Julep Treasures Petite Bouquet™.

mint-julep-bouquet

For this arrangement I used 6 short stem red roses, a few stems of fresh waxflower, and a few sprigs of fresh spearmint. These small, festive bouquets can be placed throughout your party to really set the mood. Put one on the bar, another in the bathroom, and a few on the buffet table, and you’ll be all set to place your bets!!

Entertainment, Julie's Blog

The Moscow Mule: A Delicious & Inspirational Drink

November 11, 2014

There are a few themes that you will see weaving throughout my latest posts – what’s trending now, everything old is new again, my recent vacation in California, and California grown flowers.

moscow-mule-copper-mug Here’s one that covers them all – The Moscow Mule. A drink that was first created back in the 1940’s. Legend has it that it was first created in the Cock ‘n’ Bull bar located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. As with any legendary story there are a few slightly different versions, but to sum it up – vodka was just being introduced to the U.S. market and the salesman was struggling. He stopped in to see his bartender friend at the Cock ‘n’ Bull who was frustrated by his efforts to sell his homemade ginger beer. Get where we’re going here? The two beverages were mixed together with a little lime and a new drink was born! To market the new drink, the two turned to a friend with a copper factory who happened to have too many copper mugs in inventory and they engraved the mugs with the names of famous celebrities who frequented the Cock ‘n’ Bull. It didn’t take long for word to spread and everyone wanted to drink what the celebrities were drinking! Sound familiar? Everything old is new again!!

I had my first Moscow Mule at my sister’s suggestion who just had her first in Austin, Texas, at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch in Carmel, California. Perfection – the setting, the company, and the drink! Needless to say I had one in every town we stopped in along the coast on our way down to San Diego. I am personally responsible for the growing popularity since I’ve been back in New York. Just working on this post created quite a few fans.

Where did you have your first Moscow Mule?

Moscow Mule Drink Recipe: Mix It Up!

The Moscow Mule is very simple to make!

moscow-mule-drink-ingredients
Drink Ingredients:

* Copper Mug

* Vodka

* Ginger Beer

* Limes

* Ice

* Mint Leaves

How to Mix It Up:
Step 1. Fill your mug with ice.
Step 2. Add 2 oz. of vodka.
Step 3. Fill the rest of the mugs with ginger beer.
Step 4. Squeeze the lime wedge in to the drink before adding it to the drink.
Step 5. Garnish with mint.
Step 6. Enjoy!

Moscow Mule Drink Recipe with Vodka, Lime, and Mint

Flower Inspiration from the Moscow Mule’s Copper Mug

Of course I see the copper mug as a perfect vessel for flowers or a plant. Here are a few photos to inspire you to create beauty in your life everyday.

Coffee break roses, sprigs of bittersweet, and liquid amber.
copper-mug-rose-arrangement

Peony – Red Kansas – imported from Chile. Simply beautiful. Limited availability and expensive but I couldn’t resist.
copper-mug-peony-arrangement

I love succulents. They look good anywhere and are so easy to care for whether as a potted plant or as a cut flower.
copper-mug-succulent

Entertainment

How to Host a Luau Party

January 2, 2013

Tips on Creating the Perfect Hawaiian Luau from Leis to Exotic Cocktails

Luau Themed Party

How to Host a Luau Party

Nothing breaks up the monotony of a long, cold winter like a fun and unexpected “theme” party! When the temperature outside is dropping, why not turn up the heat inside and invite your friends to spend a few hours on the island of Bali Hai. There are so many easy ways to set the mood—from the décor, to the food, and of course, the music!

Hawaiian Luau Décor

Transport your guests to the tropics with bamboo (placemats, shades used as wall panels, platters), tropical/island themed fabric (I prefer swatches of vintage fabrics), tropical scented candles, large tropical leaves like monstera and cordyline, and of course, orchids. Continue Reading…