For more spring party inspiration read my column in this month's issue of AY magazine. You can find it online here. Read the entire article here.
The equinox on March 20th is the official beginning of spring, which is cause for celebration don't you think?
Hosting a get-together doesn't need to be a lot of work, especially during this gentle season. You can make your fete memorable and keep it simple by following these helpful tips.
Use both indoor and outdoor spaces. To accommodate spring's unpredictable weather set up the dining indoors and the pre-meal gathering outdoors. Your guests can enjoy some time in the garden, but you won't have to scramble if the day turns out dreary.
Be old-fashioned and send a written invitation. This extra step makes even small gatherings more special.
Luncheons are tailor-made for fresh spring ingredients like salad greens, English peas and asparagus so stick to dishes that feature the flavors of the season.
Spring is the most ethereal season; set a special table to reflect this feeling. Use spring-centric colors or delicate tableware to set the tone. You can't go wrong with a white table cloth, but bright hues are a fun way to create a lively mood.
Every year I pick a Christmas decorating theme drawing inspiration from everyday items or materials from the garden. For instance, in 2010 I went all orange and chartreuse using tons of clementines and this year old fashioned tin ornaments will be my guide. One of my favorite muses was a magnolia leaf. The glossy green top and velvety brown underside sparked the idea to decorate in chocolate browns, white and silver.
How do you decorate for the holidays? Do you stick with a time honored theme or do you change it up every year?
Who doesn't love a wacky Halloween party? Last Monday I blogged about how I was getting ready for the annual Halloween fest by making floating Jack-o-lanterns. Today I'll show you pictures from this weekend's celebration.
I'm out of town this week so I asked my digital manager Mary Ellen Pyle to write this guest blog about a Girls Night Out at the Garden Home Retreat.
When Allen goes out of town everyone in the office breathes a collective sigh. Not that we don't love the guy, it's just nice to have him out of the way sometimes so we can get things done. Brilliant as he is, he's not one for detail work and there's a lot of that around here. Last week we shipped Allen off to Merry Olde England where he is visiting a few estate gardens in Norfolk and Suffolk. He's sure to return full of new ideas he wants to try out.
Before Allen left he set the ladies up with a Girls Night Out at the Garden Home Retreat. The theme was red wine and chocolate. He gave us some tips for dressing up the space without expending a lot of energy. After all, Girls Night Out is about having a good time without a whole lot of effort.
Girl's Night Out Sangria
- 1 bottle red wine (Pinot Noir works well)
- 1/4 cup Cointreau liqueur
- 1/4 cup Lombardi limonata
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 thin orange slices, cut in half
- 1/2 peach or other seasonal fruit, cut in thin wedges
- 1/2 bottle Mountain Valley Sparkling Water or to taste (1 liter bottle)
Combine all ingredients in a covered container and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or serve over ice.
Sur La Table La Rochere Glassware
Mountain Valley Water