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The Importance of Toasting

25 Apr

The celebratory tradition of a toast transverses virtually all backgrounds and cultures.

My husband and I hosted a small brunch at our house this Sunday. We made Mimosas – always brunch favorite. When make a toast, we not only express the jubilant spirit of the season, but can do it in a way that includes everyone. Our small family gatherings include several diverse beliefs – Atheists, devout Catholics and Pagans and so I have especially come to enjoy our holiday toasts, when we all take a moment together, raise our glasses and pause to acknowledge this special occasion – for which ever reason we find it special!

Spring Celebration Mimosas
Mimosas on the deck, Sunday morning

The fun stuff – Mimosas!

Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Prosecco or Cava, select around a $10-12 bottle. You want something that you won’t feel bad about mixing, but something that is still tasty enough for those who prefer to for go the juice and just sip the bubbly. Skip the Brut and try a Blanc de Noirs or something of a similar style. The slightly less tart profile mixes better with the acidic orange juice.

For the juice, when you can go for fresh squeezed orange juice. Fresh juice has more flavor than juice from the carton, so you may want to use a smaller amount. We are fortunate enough to have two orange trees, loaded with sweet fruit and used this occasion to break out our juicer. Also try juice blends like Santa Cruz Organic orange-mango or orange-pineapple, for a slight twist.

For the presentation, a rimmed metal tray is an excellent choice. It makes for easy clean-up and prevents soaked table cloths if your bubbly happens to bubble over!

Our Orange Tree

The Importance of Toasting

24 Apr

The celebratory tradition of a toast transverses virtually all backgrounds and cultures.

My husband and I hosted a small brunch at our house this Sunday. We made Mimosas – always brunch favorite. When make a toast, we not only express the jubilant spirit of the season, but can do it in a way that includes everyone. Our small family gatherings include several diverse beliefs – Atheists, devout Catholics and Pagans and so I have especially come to enjoy our holiday toasts, when we all take a moment together, raise our glasses and pause to acknowledge this special occasion – for which ever reason we find it special!

Spring Celebration Mimosas

Mimosas on the deck, Sunday morning

The fun stuff – Mimosas!

Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Prosecco or Cava, select around a $10-12 bottle. You want something that you won’t feel bad about mixing, but something that is still tasty enough for those who prefer to for go the juice and just sip the bubbly. Skip the Brut and try a Blanc de Noirs or something of a similar style. The slightly less tart profile mixes better with the acidic orange juice.

For the juice, when you can go for fresh squeezed orange juice. Fresh juice has more flavor than juice from the carton, so you may want to use a smaller amount. We are fortunate enough to have two orange trees, loaded with sweet fruit and used this occasion to break out our juicer. Also try juice blends like Santa Cruz Organic orange-mango or orange-pineapple, for a slight twist.

For the presentation, a rimmed metal tray is an excellent choice. It makes for easy clean-up and prevents soaked table cloths if your bubbly happens to bubble over!

Our Orange Tree

So Much Happenin’

21 Apr

April 22, which is tomorrow is a CRAZY busy day.  It is earth day, national jelly bean day and easter party for us a school.  With that being said here is a combination of ideas for all that we will be celebrating. 

Love the jelly bean necklace.  It can double for easter and national jelly bean day. Check out the tutorial at Bubbly Nature Creations.

nofussfabulousgoldfishcarro1

I was also looking for a healthier alternative to take to our easter party and came across this cute idea.  I scored some carrot bags at Michael’s so that makes it super easy (don’t forget to print a coupon off the web before going).  Even though I am taking something some what healthy you can’t have a party without cupcakes.  So I’ll be using these darling cupcake toppers, from Skip to my Lou.

 

And last but certainly not least if your festivities tomorrow are for Earth day here are some great printables and ideas for the kids.

Love this printable from Embellish.

Printable and Coloring activities.

activities for kids 28 Earth Day Activies for Kids and Printable Crafts

Snack Ideas

 

I know it’s a lot to take in but it is a busy time of year.  What ever your celebration this weekend may be I hope it is a fun one.

Happy Partying!

Tiffany

 

Brunch Menu

19 Apr

My friend Caroline recently hosted a bridal shower a few weeks ago. I managed to sneak over to snap some pics of the party spread. The food was fabulous! I thought this would be a great menu for Easter Sunday.

~Brunch Menu~

Zucchini Frittata @ Williams Sonoma

Fruit Salad

Garden Salad w/hearts of palm, avocado, cherry tomatoes & Trader Joes Brianna Ceasar Salad Dressing

Pasta Salad

Shrimp Cocktail

Lox & Bagels

Danish Assortment

The sister of the bride, Christa made these delicious cupcakes: Meyer Lemon Raspberry Cupcake @ Martha Stewart, with Lemon Curd @ the food network. The frosting was a cream cheese frosting. See the recipe below. These cupcakes were SO good!

Coffee & Mimosa

Great job Caroline on your Bridal Shower. I can’t wait to use these recipes for Easter Brunch.

Cheers!

~Steph~

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

For the frosting, it is just a cream cheese frosting.  So, one package cream cheese, one stick of butter and one tablespoon of lemon juice and about a pound and a quarter of powdered sugar.  Beat room temp cream cheese and room temp butter in mixer until blended.  Add the lemon juice and blend.  And then add the powdered sugar; about a cup at a time.  The more powdered sugar you add the stiffer the frosting so you can determine how stiff you want it by the amt of powdered sugar you add to it.
Frittata Picture by Williams Sonoma

Inspiration ~ Easter Eggs

19 Apr

Is Easter Sunday really this weekend?! Where did the time go? I need to get cracking on my egg dying this week with the kids. I found some great egg dying inspiration that I thought I would share with you. Enjoy!

I LOVE these fabric eggs @ Retro Mama, she even has a DIY tutorial available. Perfect for using up your fabric scraps.

Love these too! You can find the easy to follow DIY tutorial at Barefoot Kitchen Witch.

DIY egg project @ Readers Digest

These I MUST make. They are made using silk ties! Check out the tutorial @ Animal Head Vintage.

These egg decorating ideas are both from Delish. Love the creativity.

With all this fun inspiration, I’m ready to get started with my egg creations. Happy Egg Decorating my friends!

Cheers!

~Steph~

Modern Parties ~ ‘Feather the Nest’ Baby Shower

18 Apr

Sadie from Clementine Cupcakes hosted a baby shower for her sister-in-law this past weekend. She is expecting fraternal twins, a boy and a girl! I love the symbolic theme of birds & nests.

Blessing Tree: All the guests wrote quotes or special notes or advice on the tags and then hung them on the tree. A great keepsake. Juli (mom to be) picked one out and the person who wrote the note received a prize.

Gift Area: Sadie used a birdcage to hold the cards/gift cards.

Party Favor: Homemade tea (my mother in law owns a company called Nana’s Remeteas and blends all her own tea). I put the tea bags in “nests” that I found at the dollar store. (they are actually coconut fiber planting liners that you put your flowers in when you plant to hold moisture and keeps gophers away)

Centerpieces: Simple glass vases from the dollar store with rocks and a tree branch from the tree in my yard, mini wood birdhouses ($1 at michael’s), and green bird condiment bowls with chocolate eggs.

And of course she used the signature “modern hostess pompom” she loaded up a huge birdcage outside with them. Our Modern Hostess, Ari made the bunting and table runners.

Great work Sadie, you make me proud! 😉

Cheers!

Steph

S’mores Party

17 Apr Smores Party invitation design

I really enjoyed designing the invitation for our backyard S’mores Party. Yum!

Smores Party invitation design

50's style S'mores Party invitation

The sun is shining, and my family and I are starting to plan our camping trips for the summer. It reminded me of our S’mores Party we had at the end of the season last year. This was a simple yet fun party. We had a bonfire in the back yard, bundled up, roasted marshmallows and drank hot chocolate. My favorite s’more was definitely the Nutella-banana s’more! Check out a similar recipe at Sunset Magazine

nutella banana smores from Sunset

New twist on an old favorite

This will definitely become an annual tradition at our house. A desert-only party made for easy prep and clean-up, and fun for the whole family.

Cheers,
Chris at Graphic Bungalow