Memorial Day Party Ideas

Memorial Day is finally here! Take the time to remember and honor the brave soldiers who have sacrificed so much to fight for America’s freedom, and celebrate that freedom with some long awaited, quality time with friends and family. Continue reading for tons of Memorial Day ideas, decorations and party supplies, plus plenty of menu ideas with recipes for creative cocktails, BBQ must-haves, delicious desserts, and even a free, downloadable grocery list to keep all that shopping streamlined and simplified. This blog post is your complete guide to hosting an unforgettable Memorial Day party!

❤️ 🤍 💙

Memorial Day Decorations

When it comes to Memorial Day themed décor, there’s no better symbol than the American flag. You’ve got a few different options here!

Pick up a bundle of small American flags and strategically stick them into the ground to create a path. This path can guide your guests where to park their cars or lead them towards your backyard. It’s a very simple way to make a statement, while also serving a purpose, seeing as how you won’t have to worry about greeting guests at the front door or ushering them out. If it’s an outdoor communal space, such as a park, consider using flags to mark the perimeter of the party. This will help keep your guests together and define the designated party area.

Want to go big? Invest in some medium to large sized American flags to hang around your property. Think: fence, front and back doors, and on the railings of your deck or patio. American flags are widely available and pretty inexpensive. You can also maximize their lifespan by using them again for Independence Day and Labor Day weekend.

Looking for something a little more subtle, but still patriotic? Use linens and florals in a simple red, white and blue color scheme, and add pops of stars and stripes on other design elements, such as lawn games, cocktail napkins, straws or beach balls.


Memorial Day Party Supplies

Let’s go basic to the basics here.

One of the most commonly forgotten but biggest must-haves for a Memorial Day party is ice-ice, baby. If you’re planning on inviting lots of friends and family, be sure to buy plenty of ice ahead of time. If your party is on the smaller side, and you want to dazzle your guests with a little something special, freeze your own ice with berries, edible herbs or flowers in them. It’s a simple way to impress guests, and a cool surprise and delight moment when you catch them glancing down into their drink mid-sip and discovering raspberries, lavender, or rose petals inside their ice cubes!

Other party essentials include: disposable cups, plates, utensils, and straws. Try to go with a sustainable option, like bamboo, or another compostable form of disposable tableware. You can always use non-disposables too!

Now it’s time for the random bits and bobs that folks always want, often ask for, and very much appreciate. Create a little station for outdoor supplies like sunscreen, bug spray, and towels. If you’re planning to party well into the evening, consider keeping a basket of blankets indoors until sunset, and bring it outside to keep guests comfy and cozy when it gets chilly. Depending on where you live and how the temperature typically falls, it could also be worth investing in an outdoor space heater or two.


Memorial Day Menu

Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or a picturesque pool party, the menu is KEY. Don’t try your luck at ordering a last minute pizza – those delivery delays can be frustrating to endure on holiday weekends! Instead, go for a traditional BBQ vibe. Yes, it’s a little expected, but trust when I say guests really do appreciate keeping this tradition alive! Stay tuned for the end of this blog post for a free, downloadable grocery shopping checklist fit for your Memorial Day weekend party.


Memorial Day Drink Ideas

Want a drink that combines the coming fruit-filled summer with Memorial Day? Try out this recipe for red, white, and blue Sangria Sparklers! This white wine based sangria is a great choice that’s sure to refresh your guests while spending a day out in the sun. Or, if you’re more of a red wine kind of person, this recipe for an easily customizable Spanish Sangria is sure to delight you and your guests as well! Plus, both sangria recipes come with a video tutorial to guide you through the mixing process.

Pitchers and drink dispensers are perfect for larger parties. This will give you more time to sit back and enjoy yourself! Try this thirst-quenching Paloma Pitcher recipe of tequila mixed with grapefruit juice and soda. Keep the ice separate, by including an ice bin with tongs on the side, to ensure these drinks won’t get watered down.

If you’re looking to really dazzle your guests with your mixology skills, margarita’s are the way to go! This recipe for a Mango Margarita goes the extra fruity mile by adding a mango puree to this powerful, yet refreshing drink. More of a strawberry fan? What’s great about drinks like this is you can easily substitute the suggested fruit for whatever your preference is!

Of course, nonalcoholic drinks are also important to offer at your Memorial Day party. Whether they’re to help wind down the night or to give younger guests something more exciting to drink than water, here are some yummy ideas for alcohol-free drinks to serve.  

Bubbles make every drink more fun! Plenty of people love the bubbly sensation of seltzers and sodas, so why not add some to your fruity beverages? If you’re a fan of oranges, limes, and lemons, you’ll love this Citrus Chiller recipe. Not into citruses? Not a problem. This Grape Cherry Soda recipe could be the perfect drink to add to your party menu!

Lemonade is the quintessential summer drink. That tantalizing combination of sweet and sour is hard to resist, and homemade lemonade can hit that sweet spot of balance if done right. If you don’t already have a trusted lemonade recipe, here’s one that I highly recommend.


Memorial Day Appetizers

It’s more than your typical veggie or charcuterie board, it’s delicious BBQ inspired appetizers to kick off your party on the right note!

Scrumptious Salads

This Corn and Blueberry Salad recipe has an intriguing combination of corn, blueberries, cilantro, lime, cucumbers, and onions. If you like a little extra kick in your salad, not only does this recipe suggest adding cumin, but jalapeño peppers too!

Fruit salads are a classic summery dish to serve at a Memorial Day party. Liven yours up a bit with this Summer Fruit Salad with Ginger-Strawberry Dressing recipe! Or put a spin on the traditional salad by adding grilled fruit or vegetables. This Grilled Wedge Salad recipe has some tasty suggestions that you can try out.

It’s nice to offer guests a more substantial salad option as well. This yummy recipe for a Greek Penne Salad will tide your guests over before dinner, and give you plenty of time to get the main course ready.

Chips & Dip, But Better

What’s a more crowd-pleasing appetizer than chips and dip? I’d argue the kind of dip that’s homemade. Chop up some grilled fruit and make your own salsa with this tangy and tasty Grilled Watermelon Salsa recipe.

If you’re looking for a good veggie option, you can’t go wrong with this Caramelized Onion Dip. If you’re feeling fancy, try making the chips yourself with this Roasted Garlic Dip and Baked Sweet Potato Chips recipe.

You can’t go wrong with nachos either, especially not these Super Macho Nachos. Imagine that satisfying crunch while warm, melty cheese fills your mouth. Hungry yet? I’m just getting started!


Memorial Day Entrees that Guests Will Love

When it comes to backyard BBQs, I think it’s safe to say that this meal, be it lunch or dinner, is the main event. The grill is hot, the meats have been marinating for hours, if not overnight, and you’re ready to hear that sweet sizzling sound!

You can’t go wrong with burgers, hotdogs, sausages, chicken skewers and steak. Include a fun presentation of toppings and condiments, to be prepped and ready with all the goods for guests to customize their dish to their liking!

Spices and Sauces

As with any spice or rub, the longer it has to sit on the meat, the stronger the flavors will be. There’s some important factors to consider. How much spiciness can you and your guests handle? Do you want to buy the BBQ sauce and rubs, or make them yourself? Do you want to pack some variety in?!

If sweet is your style, then this Smokin’ Hoggz Honey Barbecue Sauce recipe is right for you! Packed with flavor and requiring less than 30 minutes to make, this sweet and simple sauce will have your guests running back for seconds.

It can be hard to find the right balance of spice, but this Amazing Glaze recipe makes it easy! It’s the chili powder in this recipe that kicks it up a notch from “sweet” to “mildly spicy,” so be careful with how much you add if you’ve got guests with sensitive palates.

Sometimes there isn’t as much time as you thought there would be to prepare, or maybe you goofed and forgot to buy BBQ sauces at the store. If you still want to turn up the heat, these recipes for BBQ Seasoning and Mighty Fine Swine Rub will do the trick in no time!

Beef Alternatives

But if you’re really looking to start a fire in your guests’ mouths, definitely try out this recipe for Korean Gochujang BBQ Chicken. Fair warning: gochujang — a Korean chili paste — can be extremely spicy depending on which brand you buy. It’s known to have a subtle sweetness, plus a meaty saltiness to it, which sounds delicious if you ask me.

Believe it or not… Not everyone enjoys the sweet sound of something sizzling on the grill. If you’ve got pickier guests, and the right kind of pizza stone, grilled pizza is another great main course option. Go simple with a Grilled Pizza Margherita recipe, or add something meatier with a Grilled Steak and Tomato Pizza. Or if you’re hosting vegan guests, try out this Tomato-Herb Focaccia.

But we both know, at the end of the day, practically any kind of pizza will be warmly welcomed by your guests.


Delicious Desserts for Memorial Day

There are so many options when it comes to desserts. Is it better to go light or decadent? Big or small? Fruity or chocolatey? I say, why pick just one when you can have them all? 😋

The best way to cool down is with something cold of course, so ice cream, sorbet, and Italian ice are ideal desserts to offer up to your guests. You can make this boozy, too. Use your favorite fruit juice or try out this recipe for zesty and sweet Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet Ice Pops and add in a flavored vodka for some fun 😉 Spiked Italian ice is refreshingly chill too. Try out this classic lemon-flavored Italian ice recipe, or this recipe for Italian ice with a strawberry, blueberry, or pineapple flavor to guide you through the process (just don’t forget the liquor!).

I mentioned earlier that you can use your grill to give extra flavor to your fruit, which doesn’t just work well for salads, but as an ice cream topping too! Give this a Tropical Grilled Fruit Sundaes recipe a go, but know that you can grill basically any fruit to create a deliciously elevated ice cream.

And, have you ever thought about grilling cake? You read that right! That’s what makes this recipe for Grilled Pound Cake Double Chocolate Sundaes so interesting and creative. Yummy of course, too!

If you have access to a fire pit, definitely grab all of the essentials for s’mores. Add some variety here by offering guests different flavors of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. If you don’t have a fire pit, you can still bring the ooey-gooey yumminess of s’mores to your party with this S’mores Ice Cream Pie recipe.

Other Exceptional Dessert Options…

Strawberry-Rhubarb pie is a delectable dessert option for those who love a bit of tartness among all the sweetness.

If you’re throwing a large party, brownies or cookies are the way to go, but keep it creative with this Oreo Brownie Cups recipe!

Cupcakes are an excellent choice too when it comes to hosting larger parties. Try these Red Devil’s Food Cupcakes if you’ve got a hankering for something chocolatey. The frosting is quick and easy to make in less than ten minutes!

If I had to pick a favorite among the desserts I’m recommending, it would have to be this Blueberry Buckle recipe. It’s got the satisfying crunch of almond slices sprinkled on top, plus the unique, runny but tasty flavor of cooked blueberries. I love having baked fruits on top of cakes, because those sweet juices sink and soak into the top of the soft cake underneath. The lightness of the cake and the blueberry flavor compliment each other deliciously in this recipe, and paired with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream?! Pure perfection.


❤️ 🤍 💙

Don’t miss out on the fun you can have and memories you can make with your loved ones this Memorial Day weekend! Now that the vaccine is available to most, it’s finally possible to feel safe gathering with loved ones to enjoy the beautiful weather and make unforgettable, heartwarming memories together again.

Even if there’s bad weather on the day of your Memorial Day party, have no fear! The majority of these ideas can easily be translated into an indoor party, so plenty of fun with friends and family can still be had inside your home!

Download this freebie to keep the grocery shopping streamlined! Simply click on the name of each drink or dish for a direct link to the recipe 🥳


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Easter Egg Decorations

Easter egg decorating season is upon us! The bees are buzzing, birds are chirping, and the sun is… well, peeking out behind those April showers. It’s about that time to start stocking up on cartons of eggs, decorating kits and food coloring. BUT, before you go crazy at Target, pump the breaks and gather some inspiration with these Easter egg decoration ideas.


Easter Egg Decorations ft. Sophie Landry

Let it be known, that while I may be an event planner and subsequent fan of all things hosting and entertaining, I am not a very skilled crafter. Which is why I’ve tapped on design expert Sophie Landry, Founder of Egg in Hand, to share Easter egg decorating essentials, design ideas, and DIY tips to help you create a very special Easter celebration.

I first met Sophie Landry while pursuing an internship with Colin Cowie, a luxury wedding and event planner, where Sophie was an Event Designer. Sophie and I have crossed paths many times since, and keep up with the latest and greatest in one another’s lives on Instagram.

A few months ago, Sophie shared a post of her bespoke Pysanky eggs. I couldn’t believe the level of detail involved, and was immediately intrigued! I’m now an avid follower and fan of her account, Egg in Hand. I 10/10 recommend letting these gorgeous beauties grace your timeline.

What is Pysanky, you ask? It’s a Ukrainian Easter egg that celebrates folklore traditional to the Ukrainian culture. What’s even more interesting about Pysanky, is that the designs aren’t actually painted on, but instead inscribed upon the eggs. Mind = blown.

Sophie explained, “Pysanky writing (called “writing” because you literally write on the egg with wax using a tool called a kitska – think a small metal reservoir on the end of a stick that you fill with melted beeswax) is deeply traditional in Eastern Europe and dates back thousands of years.”

I was seriously amazed how someone could create a masterpiece like this on such a delicate object! I don’t know about you, but I grew up dipping eggs into food coloring dye. Those eggs rarely made it out of our family mugs without a crack on them. Sophie, on the other hand, had a different experience that blossomed far past childhood.

“When I was about 8 years old, my family started setting up an egg dyeing table the week before Easter each year. We would invite family and friends over and teach them how to dye eggs in the traditional Ukrainian wax-resist method, called Pysanky. Starting with the lockdown last spring, it became more of a year-round pastime for me.”


Unique Ways to Decorate with Eggs

When I asked Sophie about what she’s doing differently to decorate with eggs, she shared that, “Decorating with eggs can be a lot more versatile than you think. They make excellent place cards, tablescapes, or brightly colored treats; they can be neutral, pastel, bright or even patterned.”

As a planner, I love the idea of utilizing Easter eggs as place cards to elevate a formal dinner table. It feels super chic, playful, edgy and just fun. I’m also inspired by non-traditional approaches to Easter tablescape designs. If eggs can be incorporated into a tablescape in an architectural way, that decor becomes a major focal point.

Naturally, I wanted to know where Sophie finds inspiration for her egg designs.

“My phone is filled with photos of tiled floors and screenshots of color combinations I want to try. Basically anything can be inspiration. If you want to go more traditional in style, there are a lot of resources online that share traditional patterns and symbolism. Instagram is a huge source of inspiration as well – I follow many screen printers and illustrators whose styles are bold and graphic, which lend themselves well to egg dyeing.”


DIY Easter Eggs Tips

Ok, so all of this is wonderful, but actually… how do you make Pysanky eggs?

“The basics are simple – dip your egg in a color, cover what you want to STAY that color with wax, dip it in a new color, wax it again… on and on until your egg is a blackened mess covered in globs of wax. Then, when you melt the wax off, the magic happens. All your bright colors reveal themselves exactly as you first dyed them. Depending how detailed you make things, each egg takes about 3-5 hours to make.”

“For me, especially during the pandemic, each egg is a respite from what is going on around me. The process can be quite meditative, though at times quite frustrating. You are, of course, working with something very fragile, and accidents can happen! However, it’s all worth it when you wipe the wax away and reveal the vibrant colors and patterns beneath,” Sophie shared.

If you want to DIY eggs at home that are more specialty than the average dip-your-egg-in-dyed-water approach, but aren’t yet ready to try Pysanky eggs yourself, Sophie recommends following these steps from FirstPalette to create tie-dye Easter eggs, or these instructions to draw on your eggs and create fun patterns!


Can’t get enough of Sophie Landry’s Pysanky eggs?! View more amazing designs by Egg in Hand.


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101 Dinner Party Themes

You read that title correctly! This is the long awaited reveal of 101 Dinner Party Themes, with a FREE downloadable guide that you can save for future festivities. What I love about this guide, is that it encompasses both classic and non-traditional themes, for a fresh take on entertaining at home. Discover unique dinner party themes for adults that are sophisticated, edgy, whimsical, trendy, and even nostalgic. Not sure what I mean? Think: Coachella, Modern Minimalist, Bridgerton, Brooklyn Backyard, Summer Camp, or Dîner en Blanc. This guide is packed with ideas, descriptions and even photos to help paint a picture of the possibilities for each dinner theme. Get the guide now, or keep reading to reveal how the 101 Dinner Party Themes guide came to life.

Confetti

The Best Dinner Party Themes

I love hosting dinner parties. I’ll be the first to throw my hand in the air and extend an invitation to practically anyone that wants to come over for a meal. Friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, you name it.

When I’m preparing to host, no matter the size, style or formality of the gathering, I search on Pinterest and Google for theme suggestions first before starting to plan anything else. I won’t even think about the invitations, menu, or decor before I settle on a theme.

I’d like to think of myself as a very thorough planner. I’m Type A, anal retentive, organized, and extremely particular about event production… perhaps that’s why my planning clients are usually very happy 🙃

Dinner Party Themes

But in the past, when it came time to explore theme options for upcoming dinner parties, even my extensive research habits couldn’t escape the same basic themes that were littered across every website.

If you’ve ever researched “best dinner party themes” or even “unique dinner party themes,” you know exactly what I mean. I’m talking about Alice in Wonderland, Masquerade, Luau… need I list more?

The worst part is, all of the articles that I was drawn to had descriptions like, “10 dinner party themes to impress your guests,” and then proceeded to share the same themes I found everywhere else!

How can a host impress their guests with a theme that’s been done over and over again?

Rose Drinks, 101 Dinner Party Themes

Say Goodbye to Boring Dinner Parties

As a host, we want our dinner parties to feel fresh and original.

We want our guests to walk into our home and pause to take a look around, feel the warmth of the environment we created, and walk away remembering how gracious we were to have planned such a special and memorable gathering.

We want them to enjoy a delicious meal over a beautifully set table that fosters great conversations, sparks boisterous laughs, and inspires our guests to linger for one more slice of cake or an after dinner drink.

Picnic, 101 Dinner Party Themes

As an event planner, dinner party enthusiast, and general happy hostess, I decided to take it upon myself to find a way to say goodbye to boring dinner parties. NO MORE overplayed themes that lend to predictable menu items and stale decor.

After all, we want to ACTUALLY impress our guests, and give them the gift of great entertaining.

101 Dinner Party Themes Picnic

Queue: 101 Dinner Party Themes

I searched high and low, across mixed media, hundreds of Pinterest pins, and dozens of online articles, to weed through the all of the common themes that came my way. I dug deep, and started an excel spreadsheet full of theme ideas.

It started small, with one, two, three themes that felt new, exciting, foreign and adventurous.

Then it grew to four, five, six themes that were a twist on the classics, with a fresh approach.

Seven, eight, nine themes evoked my imagination, were completely unique, and pushed the boundaries of my spreadsheet.

Fries

Dinner party theme ideas all went up from there, with romantic themes, effortless themes, trendy themes, Netflix-inspired themes, and other themes that made my heart skip a beat.

I also added fun dinner party themes that were inspired by specific seasons, like Après Ski for the Winter months, Rosé All Day for Summer, Oktoberfest which is quintessentially Fall, and Spring in the Garden for… well, Spring.

Before I knew it, there were one hundred and one dinner party themes in my spreadsheet, just waiting to hit publish.

But, I’m a little extra 😏

Burger

It’s the Vibe for Me

When I plan anything; a wedding, milestone birthday party, or backyard summer soirée, I like to set the mood. Ok, not the mood, but a mood. What I’m trying to say, is it’s all about the vibe for me.

Atmosphere is everything, so the vibe of a dinner party (or any event, really) is of the utmost importance.

Which is why I’ve included between 3 – 10 ideas below each theme to help you bring the concept to life. I’ve also incorporated a curated selection of imagery for all 101 themes, to help you envision what the finished product might look like.

Dinner Party Themes, Avocado

I know what you’re thinking… 101 Dinner Party Themes is A LOT of pages to scroll through. But like I said, I’m all about the vibe. So once you scroll past the cover page, the first thing you’ll see is a table of contents, with direct hyperlinks to each theme in the guide.

Lastly, I know the struggle of setting the right tone for your dinner party through music. Click the Spotify icon on the first page of the guide to access the All the Best Moments Spotify account, which is in the process of being populated with a playlist for each dinner party theme in the guide!

Find playlists for themes like New York, New York, Spring Equinox, and Tequila & Taco Tasting ready to use now, with a minimum of 3 hours of music each.

You could say I’ve put a lot of love into this thing!

Dinner Party Themes, Tacos

What Are You Waiting For?

At this time, I’d like to extend a personal invitation for you to get the guide. Download 101 Dinner Party Themes, filter through your favorites, and watch your next dinner party flourish with great food, great times, and great vibes.

Did I mention it’s free?

Click the button below to get the guide delivered directly to your inbox!


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Bring the NYC Experience Home this St. Patrick’s Day

Before 2020, NYC natives, visiting tourists, and East Coasters alike practiced the long-held tradition of venturing into the heart of Manhattan on St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy the festivities. What festivities, you may ask? Well of course, there was the late morning parade, but before, during, and after that parade, folks celebrated in Irish pubs drinking proper pints. New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is sadly cancelled again this year and instead going virtual. BUT, just because we can’t celebrate in the manner we’re accustomed to, doesn’t mean we should forgo the rowdy Saint Paddy’s Day traditions that are typically found along 5th Ave or in NYC’s Luck of the Irish Pub Crawl. Bring the NYC experience home this St. Patrick’s Day with this list of festive activities!

All the Best Moments, St. Patrick's Day fashion illustration
Illustrated by Sarah Ditterline

At Home Pub Crawl

Picture this: infamous NYC St. Patrick’s Day bars like Blarney Stone, Bar None and Plug Uglies meets your living room. Stay with me here.

It’s casual, it’s rowdy, and it’s a bit grimy, but that’s the true experience. Deck out your living room and kitchen with dive bar decor and dim the lighting. Think: chalkboard menus, wooden serving platters, and plenty of pint glasses. Prepare to play some rather loud, traditional St. Patrick’s Day bar music that’s folk style, yet eclectic.

Need help with a playlist? Try this custom St. Patrick’s Day Playlist on my All the Best Moments Spotify Account.

Invite that punchy green color into your home with pennants, four leaf clovers, shamrocks and ivy garlands. Green yourself out, and accessorize your friends with green wigs, leprechaun hats and beaded necklaces with shot glasses attached.

Play bar games like darts, pool, Jenga, beer pong, and flip cup, or go all out with karaoke. Stream the virtual parade in the background.

St. Patrick's Day themed solo cups and gold coins

Serve shots of Jameson, Irish car bombs, and classic pub food. If you want to take the NYC St. Patrick’s Day experience to the next level, serve a signature Irish drink, like a Massey cocktail with Irish whiskey, out of individual flasks.

Keep the drinks flowing and the folk music on high, and you’ll have yourself an at home pub crawl atmosphere in no time!


Floor is Lava: Pot of Gold Edition

NYC on Saint Patrick’s Day involves drinks around every corner, and the luck of the Irish calls for a quintessential pot of gold. So why not combine the two? Thus I bring you, Floor is Lava: Pot of Gold Edition.

Fair warning, this game is best played at the beginning of your gathering, before the festivities get carried away. It’s a GREAT icebreaker, and is sure to jump start those rowdy NYC St. Paddy’s Day vibes.

Four leaf clover table decorations

Gather as many throw pillows and blankets as you can, and spread them out strategically around your living room furniture. The goal is to leave enough space to create a bit of a challenge between safe spots (if you’re competitive, you know what I mean).

Pick up between 3-5 nips (tiny bottles of booze) per person, but don’t be the host that makes people drink the whole thing straight. Instead, empty out the different kinds of liquor into their own respective glasses. Create mini mixed drinks that pair well with each liquor (try these Shamrocked Shooters or these Irish Margaritas), then pour those mixtures back into the nip bottles. Make sure to use the right nip bottle for the liquor you used in the mixed drink, because some people don’t tolerate (insert liquor here) very well.

St. Patrick's Day bar

Disperse the nips around all of the “lava” areas that are in-between your pillows and blankets. Ask your guests to start at one end of the room, standing on a shared blanket, and make their way across the room to the pot of gold, without stepping on the lava. When someone lands on a pillow or blanket, they’re safe. If they fall into the lava, they need to drink the nip that’s closest to them!

St. Patrick's Day gold chocolate coins

Don’t forget the key rule: only one player can make a move at any given time. This way, folks will have to hold their awkward positions a bit longer than usual (perhaps I’m the competitive one 😉).

As the host, you get to decide what’s in the pot of gold. I’d recommend picking up some chocolate coins, because… nostalgia.

St. Patrick's Day pot of gold with chocolate coins

St. Patrick’s Day… But Make it Classy

If you’re the kind of person that likes to indulge in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but without all of the drinks to imbibe, I’m here for you. Your lowkey, but still festive, St. Paddy’s Day at home calls for another form of indulgence; baking.

There are endless recipes for authentic Irish comfort food to host a seated dinner with (think of it like Thanksgiving, but swap the turkey for corned beef and cabbage). Although, I personally prefer to satisfy my sweet tooth, and if you’re reading this, I think you might too!

St. Patrick's Day dessert and Irish coffee

Your baked goods don’t need to be authentic, or complex, to be celebratory. Pick up a four leaf clover shaped cookie cutter, bake a batch of sugar cookies, and frost them in varying hues of green to create an aesthetically pleasing (and very Instagrammable) ombré pattern.

St. Patrick's Day four leaf clover cookies

If you do want to dabble with a dessert drink, try an Irish coffee, or make it a milkshake!


🍀Disclaimer: this blog post is intended for readers 21+. Please drink responsibly!🍀

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5 Ways to Spice Up Your Coffee

I’m a coffee fiend, there’s no doubt about it. It’s the first thing I reach for (ok, second) after I get out of bed. Then it’s another mid-morning coffee and a third cup around 3:00pm to push me through the rest of the day. If you’re also a coffee fanatic, you’ll love these quick, easy ways to upgrade your morning coffee game. You can find most of these ingredients in your pantry, but the fancier ones may need to be tacked onto your next grocery list. Do what it takes to get on Starbucks’ level, and be your own barista at home with these 5 ways to spice up your coffee.


Spices

Spices are uncomplicated, pure, and beneficial to your mental health and physical wellbeing.

A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice works wonders in a coffee cup, and in your body. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces the risk of heart disease, speeds up your metabolism and it’s high in antioxidants. Nutmeg (in small amounts) can aid in digestion, boost your immune system, sharpen your cognitive function, and increase blood circulation. Allspice can help to prevent infections, reduce inflammation, and even improve dental hygiene.

What’s even better? These pantry-staples are widely accessible and highly cost effective as far as bang-for-your-buck goes. You could conceivably make one hundred cups of coffee (or more) with just one jar of spice.


Essential Oils

If you haven’t already jumped on this train, it’s not too late. While it may sound a strange, essential oils can fuel your body the same way caffeine fuels us all. Some studies have shown that essential oils can lessen anxiety, help alleviate symptoms of depression, and improve your mood. It only takes one or two small drops to elevate your coffee experience. Think: peppermint oil for a peppermint mocha coffee, or an iced lavender latte.

Disclaimer: essential oils are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The absolute KEY to using essential oils is to check (and triple check) that the oils you purchase are food grade, non-toxic to ingest, and safe for human consumption. NEVER consume essential oils that are labeled “not for internal use.” Make sure the oil is pure, with zero artificial substances, and ensure that you don’t have any allergies to the particular type of oil you intend to use. Do your research thoroughly, and only buy from reputable brands that meet the above criteria.

If you like the idea of the enjoying the perks of essential oils that I mentioned earlier (hello, all of my anxiety-ridden friends), but don’t want to take the risk, consider trying herbal coffee. It’s caffeine-free, but the nutritional value and health benefits may replace your caffeine addiction entirely.


Flavored Syrup

This may be straying away from the health-conscious angle I took in the last two ways to spice up your coffee. BUT it is a delicious and indulgent way to achieve that $5.45 Starbucks worthy taste.

Create a decadent seasonal beverage using a pump (or two…) of salted caramel, hazelnut, butter toffee, mocha or vanilla bean flavored syrup. Search for a bundle of syrups to conduct some proper taste testing experiments, like this Classic Syrup Sampler with 6 flavors for $29.99.

What I love about this coffee addition, is that it’s a very easy way to upgrade a drink for yourself, but an even simpler way to impress your guests. I’ve used flavored syrups on hot cocoa bars, in late-night espresso shots, and even in cocktails. I once packed mini flavored syrups with me for a new years trip a few years back, and friends used them the entire weekend.


Vanilla Extract

This method to spice up your coffee is actually going to put us back on the health kick. Are you surprised? Let me explain.

Vanilla bean, a main ingredient in vanilla extract, has anti-inflammatory properties, can aid with stress relief, and reduce anxiety (holla, holla). Vanilla extract is also a great replacement for sugar and coffee creamers because it contains less carbs and calories, while still providing a sweetening effect on your cup of joe. Start with a teaspoon, and add more to taste.


Cocoa Powder

I like chocolate a latte (see what I did there?). The rich flavor blends perfectly with coffee, hence all of the mocha coffee creations out there. A tablespoon or two will dissolve relatively quickly in a hot cup. Add a bit of milk to balance out the thickness of the cocoa and give the coffee a smoother consistency.

Are you ready for the health benefits of this one? They include: better blood flow, rich in antioxidants, improved mental focus and increased attention span, anti-inflammatory, and it also helps with disease prevention. Remember, we’re basically talking about chocolate here. MAGIC!


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Hosting Essentials

Think of this blog post as a beginner’s guide to entertaining; it shares must-have items that every host will need (and want!) when hosting a party at home. If you’re shopping for any of these pieces for the first time, keep in mind that the more versatile, the better. These hosting essentials will see a lot of love for years to come, so you’ll want to invest in items that are both timeless and durable. Follow this checklist for the supplies you’ll want handy for future festivities!


Checklist of Hosting Essentials

Serving Boards

think: agate trays, wooden boards, marble slabs
Hosting essentials: serving boards

Vessels for Fresh Flowers

think: various sizes of glass, ceramic or stone
Hosting essentials: vessels

Unscented Candles

think: tapers, votives, tea lights
Hosting essentials: unscented candles

Nice Serving Utensils

think: cheese knives, serving spoons, mini tongs
Hosting essentials: serving utensils

Champagne Bucket

think: stainless steel, antique brass, acrylic
Hosting essentials: champagne bucket

Drink Dispensers

think: double dispensers, dispenser stands… guests love easy access to batch cocktails or fruit infused water
fruit infused ice in glass

Bar Tools

think: cocktail shaker, muddler, strainer
Hosting essentials: bar tools

Linen Napkins

think: eco-friendly, reusable, elegant
linen napkins

Stemware

think: red, white, champagne, water
Hosting essentials: stemware

Flatware

think: five piece set, butter knives, steak knives
Hosting essentials: flatware

Dinnerware

think: charger, dinner plate, side plate, salad plate, dessert plate
dinnerware

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Tips for Hosting in a Small Space

Hosting a party, or even a small gathering, can feel overwhelming when your home is tight on space. Perhaps you’re living in a tiny apartment, working around roommates, or you’re planning to invite more bodies than your place can hold comfortably. In any scenario, don’t let your small space prevent you from thinking big. It’s taken me a few tries and a few different living situations, but I’ve come to establish a bit of a routine for hosting in a small space. In this blog post, I’ll share a list of tips that I follow to maximize space, reduce clutter, reinvent and repurpose the use of everyday furniture to create an open environment for guests to flow freely. Welcome friends, family and neighbors into your home with confidence, by implementing these tips for hosting in a small space.


Tip No. 1

Establish party zones. Chances are, you aren’t planning to open up your bedroom to guests. Or your linen closet, or any other storage areas that are tucked away behind closed doors. Think of these spaces as the crown jewels of your party. They offer entirely open and usable space to conceal any clunky home furnishings, hide personal belongings, and temporarily store unneeded items that take up too much surface area or floor space.

Determine which rooms you’ll invite guests into, and which rooms will be the main areas dedicated to the party, AKA, the party zones. The majority of house parties tend to rely on kitchens and living rooms as dedicated party zones, especially when hosting in a small space.

Apartment Decor

Tip No. 2

Walk into your party zone with a fresh perspective, as if you’re seeing that space for the first time. What impression do you get from your home? Consider how it makes you feel, where your eyes are drawn to, and what words you would use to describe it.

Pay extra attention to any clutter, piles of empty boxes, overstuffed shelves, unused dinnerware / kitchenware / home decor. You don’t need to tackle these areas right away, but do make a mental (or physical) note of the obvious stuff.

Decor

Allow yourself a healthy dose of criticism, and identify any spaces that aren’t serving their full potential. Untapped potential is going to be your biggest waste of space, so don’t let it rob your party of that coveted square footage!

Evaluate how you could better capitalize on those areas. Do a massive clean out, donate unused or unwanted items, or rearrange any sections of your home that stand out as an eye-sore. Remember, the changes you make don’t have to be permanent. You could always rely on those crown jewels spaces to temporarily store your things.

Apartment Decor

Tip No. 3

Reconfigure the floor plan. Before you roll your eyes at this tip, consider the possibilities. The way you use your space to live your day-to-day life isn’t very harmonious with the way your space is used during a party.

The top changes that will make the biggest difference in opening up your space include:

Relocating furniture to the perimeter of the room to develop an open floor plan.

Remove extra seating, especially if you’re planning a cocktail style event. Leave enough seats for guests to rest comfortably, but not enough for the same guests to remain seated the entire time. You want to encourage a version of musical chairs 🙂

Shift chairs and ottomans around to create vignettes. In a small space, you could use two ottomans and a side table, two chairs, or a couch and coffee table to make your vignettes. These furniture pairings will give guests a designated space to have a more intimate conversation.

Pro-Tip: Use software like AllSeated or Merri to generate a floorplan of your space that’s completely to scale. Or use the Houzz app to upload photos of your space and test out different remodeling options.

Stools

Tip No. 4

Get granular about the dinnerware, platters and glassware that you intend to use. The more that you limit these items, the more minimalistic and streamlined it will feel when guests are actually in the room.

Take your food and beverage presentation for a test run, by setting aside some time to put together a mock table sample. In events, we call call this a design presentation. Though, it doesn’t need to be as elaborate to be as effective.

Plates

Pull all of the items that you plan to use and arrange them strategically on your kitchen table, island, or countertop. Play around with the placement until it’s as concise as possible. Remember that less is more, because once your gathering rolls around, each of those dishes will have food on them and will look much more abundant than empty serving trays.

When your final few trays are left standing, use post-it notes to label those trays with how you plan to use them (i.e. “Crudités,” or “Petit Fours”). Take a photo of the full set up and revert back to it on the event day. This will reduce clutter by keeping you from grabbing more dishes than you need.

Plates with cards ontop

Tip No. 5

Use vertical space!

Consider your closet, for example. If you’re hosting an event in the winter, folks will likely arrive at your home wearing heavy coats, hats, gloves and scarves, and will inevitably leave them all over the place. If you can clear out any seasonal items from your closet (either in your entryway or bedroom) and temporarily lay those clothes under your bed, you can use the closet space as a coat check of sorts.

Woman holding fur coat

Get that recognition as hostess with the mostess by offering to take your guests’ jackets when they first arrive. Stuff the scarf into the sleeve, the hat into one pocket and the gloves into the other pocket, and hang up the coat in your closet. It’ll stay out of sight during the event, and mitigate one major reason why small spaces fill up so quickly.

More vertical space hacks:

Tiered serving trays and risers to optimize food stations.

Decorative ceiling or wall installations to maximize standing room.

Eliminate curtains or open blinds entirely to draw the eye up and create a sense of more space.

Vanilla frosted donuts with gold sprinkles on tiered stand

Tip No. 6

Don’t go crazy with decor. Negative space is important at any gathering, but especially when hosted in a small space.

Clean, untouched areas give the eye a place to rest. These open areas will help your guests feel calmer, less confined, and eager to keep the party going rather than feel overstimulated and uncomfortable.

Champagne glasses against neutral background

Choose a neutral color palette that evokes a fresh, light and airy vibe. Try to stay away from patterns and stick with solids.

Utilize pre-existing decor in your home, instead of bringing more materials. Think: greenery, white candles, and transparent materials like glass instead of heavy materials like gold. Again, bear in mind that less is more. The perk to this tip, is that it’s really budget friendly!


Tip No. 7

Make friends with the neighbors, but do it authentically! Relationships with your neighbors are everything, and if you buddy up early on, you can often lean on them for a helping hand when you’re hosting.

The favor could be as simple as storing a few bottles of wine in their fridge, or keeping desserts on their table until after dinner. A note on etiquette; if the gathering lends itself to it, invite your neighbor as a guest. It’s the polite thing to do, especially if you’re hosting a more casual affair.

Women popping champagne bottle

Tip No. 8

Do away with the conventional bar or buffet. Instead, disperse drinks, appetizers and desserts throughout the home to prevent heavy foot traffic in the kitchen. Serve a charcuterie board from a coffee table, or a coffee station from the entry table, to help alleviate congestion caused by serving all of the food and beverage from one central location.

Coffee on table near flowers

There you have it! Now go own that tiny space and make something beautiful.


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Valentine’s Day 2021 Ideas

If you’re searching for some low-key things to do at home this Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone. I too have been looking for unique ideas to make Valentine’s Day 2021 special, without needing to leave the house. The good news is, I’ve compiled this list of 5 ways to celebrate love, that don’t require dining outdoors, travel or too much effort. AKA – Valentine’s Day, the quarantine edition.


Breakfast in Bed

Luckily for us, Valentine’s Day 2021 falls on a Sunday, which means that no one needs to be anywhere in a hurry. Take your time getting out of bed, and start the day off with your SO’s favorite breakfast in bed.

Or, cook up everything under the sun and create an abundant breakfast spread with a short stack of pancakes, fruit, eggs, avocado toast, turkey bacon, and mimosas.

While you’re cooking, ask your significant other to search for a new show, or that movie that you’ve been wanting to watch. The best part is, you can get back into bed once the cooking is done, and relax together with this simple but special twist on your typical morning routine.

Valentine's Day 2021 Ideas, breakfast in bed

Comedy Club for Two

One of my favorite NYC experiences (back when COVID wasn’t a thing), was attending comedy shows. The communal experience of boisterous laughing and carefree energy was tangible. 2020 was undoubtably a crazy year, and we could all use the wave of positivity that follows a much needed laugh. While comedy clubs might be closed, all it takes is a little time and resourcefulness to recreate this experience at home.

Chat amongst yourselves, and zone in on a standup comedy act that the two of you have never seen before. Queue it up on Netflix, Hulu, or your go-to streaming platform. Dress up a bit; I’m not saying to throw on a dress or suit, but put a bit of going-out vibes into your outfit. Trust me, dressing the part can go a long way!

Dim the lights, and add a subtle ambience to your space. Visit the website of your favorite comedy club, and browse their menu for meal inspiration. Once you land on something you like, see if you can recreate the dish at home, or find a restaurant that offers the dish and order take out. Let loose, and enjoy a few cocktails.

Channel that positive and fun loving aura you exude right before a comedian takes the stage. Then hit play on your standup special, sit back, relax, and enjoy your dinner and a show!


Wine & Dessert Pairings

You might be thinking, why not wine and cheese? Don’t let me hold you back from that classic pairing, but let’s get a little more adventurous, shall we?

Wine and dessert pairings are such an indulgent tasting experience. Think: flourless chocolate torte with a glass of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, classic white cake with Moscato, or homemade cheesecake with a glass of Riesling. Or, prepare a sampling of petit fours, pastries like cream puffs and eclairs, and assorted chocolate truffles with various wines. It would be an idyllic night cap to your Valentine’s Day at home.

Valentine's Day 2021 ideas, wine and dessert pairing

If you happen to be an iconic baker, show off your skills and prepare these desserts a day beforehand, so that you can relax and enjoy the company of your significant other on Valentine’s Day. Though, there’s no pressure to bake homemade desserts. Skip this step by venturing to your local bakery for your favorite baked goods, or order dessert for delivery.


Indoor Campfire

This is one of the coziest Valentine’s Day ideas on my list. If you’ve been rocking the sweatpants and a hoodie look ever since March, and have zero plans to change that, then an indoor campfire may be the best choice for you and your SO this Valentine’s Day.

Find a comfortable, warm and relaxing spot in your home. Family rooms work well, but so do reading nooks, studies, or any other quaint spaces in your house or apartment. You don’t need to have a fireplace, but if you do, this Valentine’s Day theme certainly lends itself to that location! If you don’t have a fireplace, you have a few options…

Option 1

Gather a bunch of pillar candles and some newspaper. Place the candles on top of the newspaper in a cluster, about an inch apart from one another. I’d recommend placing this arrangement about 6-inches or a foot away from a wall, to avoid tripping over it and causing a potential disaster 🙂 It’s a very romantic aesthetic, but cheap and easy to do!

Option 2

Stay with me here, search online for the Sterno S’mores Heat 2-Pack, which is specifically designed to burn bio-derived ethanol fuel and it’s composed of non-toxic ingredients. This will give you an open flame that’s safe to use for roasting marshmallows, without generating harmful emissions.

Option 3

Purchase an indoor s’mores roaster. This is the most expensive option, with miniature personal fireplaces retailing between $95-$425, but that’s the cost of instant ambiance.

One might ask, “What’s the plan for this indoor campfire?” This cozy Valentine’s Day excursion is exactly like it sounds. Prepare some cheese and chocolate fondue (check out my 101 Dinner Party Themes Guide for the full run down of toppings), S’mores, and storytelling. Grab some blankets, get comfortable, and snuggle up together by your own indoor campfire.


Fancy Dinner x Takeout

This is your quintessential Valentine’s Day experience, but pandemic style. Think: insanely gorgeous tablescape, floral arrangements in abundance, several bottles of bubbly, and a candlelit dinner brought to you by Seamless, Uber Eats, DoorDash, or whatever food delivery service you fancy.

Dress up in an outfit that makes you feel your best (now’s the time to break out that fancier attire). Need some inspiration? Check out this TikTok with a step by step voiceover on how to create a romantic candlelit dinner at home.

Valentine's Day 2021 ideas, romantic candlelit dinner

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Galentine’s Day Brunch

Ladies, let’s chat brunch. How many group chats have you been a part of where brunch is mentioned like clockwork? You plan a weekend getaway – Brunch. You’re hosting after a big night out – Brunch. You need an excuse to order a pitcher of champagne with a splash of orange juice and pair it with some Belgian waffles? The answer, ladies, is brunch. So, while I was brainstorming about what to do #forthegirls this Valentine’s Day, I knew right away that brunch was the move. Here’s a list of everything that you need to host a killer Galentine’s Day brunch in celebration of the amazing ladies in your life. Plus, some ideas from the Galentine’s Day brunch that I planned at home!


Color Scheme

Color scheme is super important to the look and feel of your home. It’s also a major factor to keep in mind when transforming your space into a Galentine’s Day brunch aesthetic.

When I think of Galentine’s Day, I’m here for shades of pink, but I find that red can read very serious, romantic, and bold. Even though it’s the predominant color in a Valentine’s Day palette, I tried to lean away from incorporating reds into my Galentine’s Day brunch, and instead, I used it minimally as a secondary accent color.

Exploring other colors, less traditional to Valentine’s Day, can suggest a brighter, more cheerful and feminine ambience. Hues of pink, shades of purple, and champagne tones like glossy golds and coppers embody a chic and joyful vibe. It also makes for an inviting and warm atmosphere, which is why I chose this color scheme to create my Galentine’s Day Brunch.

Remember that this brunch is your version of Galentine’s Day, and you know your group best! Don’t be afraid to mix in other non-traditional Valentine’s Day colors. Your friends are sure to appreciate your own unique spin and color interpretation of the holiday.


Decorations

Is it even Valentine’s Day if flowers aren’t involved? These are a no-brainer for your Galentine’s Day brunch decor. But, just because we love flower arrangements in abundance, doesn’t mean that we want to spend a lot to get that high impact look of overflowing floral. There’s a ton of local florists out there, as well as bodegas and farmers’ markets that carry gorgeous bundles of flowers.

My recommendation, is to buy a handful of assorted bouquets from one of those locations (I worked with Freyer’s Florist & Greenhouses) that vary in type of flower and color. Once you’re home, spread out all of the flowers across a wide surface, and create your own whimsical and organic shaped arrangements.

If you have bud vases on hand (which typically hold between one to five stems), consider using these in clusters to create a heavily concentrated row of floral arrangements. These look très chic without requiring too many stems. A singular row of bud vases compliments a narrow surface, like a mantle, entry table, or shelf. If you don’t have bud vases, you can recreate the same effect by repurposing highball water glasses or short round glasses (think: rocks or double old fashioned).

Aside from flowers, consider incorporating some festive balloons in your Galentine’s Day decor. I purchased heart and star shaped balloons as well as XO balloon letters. If you can get your hands on those cute lip shaped balloons, they would look awesome too.

Add depth to the balloons by requesting various hues of a certain color. Then, choose one or two balloons that you want to pop against the rest (I chose these XO letters). Purchase those balloons in a metallic color to create a contrasting effect that draws the eye in.

Your Galentine’s Day brunch decor is almost complete between the flowers and balloons. Next, source a few other finishing touches to really pull the look together. Anything thematic, like heart shaped dishes, miniature glass heart paperweights or lip shaped sprinkles can go a long way!


Waffle Bar

I love a food installation that doubles as an activity. It gives your guests something to do, and tends to be a big talking point that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Waffles are my go-to order at brunch (chicken and waffles if I’m feeling fancy), but you can use just about any brunch dish as the focal point of your DIY bar. Here a few other options to consider: omelet bar, açaí bowl bar, avocado toast bar, the list goes on!

Now, back to my waffle bar. A couple years back, I purchased this white miniature waffle maker from Urban Outfitters, which made its official debut at this Galentine’s Day brunch. I kept the toppings minimal with four main ingredients: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and chocolate chips. The ingredients were served out of these heart shaped dishes that I placed next to the waffles.

I also offered maple syrup, Nutella and whipped cream that were served from their original jars. Guests made their own mini waffles, added their favorite ingredients, and topped it off with something sweet. Again, this is super easy to do and really low maintenance, given that each guest does the cooking themselves!

If you want to take this one step further, double the ingredients to include other options like peaches, honey, caramel syrup, or strawberry jam. Create some simple signage (using a chalkboard or card stock) that lists different waffle recipes. Think: s’mores waffle, peaches and honey waffle, ice cream and chopped nuts waffle… the options are seriously endless.

The final component of my waffle bar featured assorted truffles, heart shaped chocolate lollipops, and chocolate caramel pretzels from Hudson Valley Chocolates (which were insanely delicious that I 10/10 recommend). Some guests chose to eat these alongside their waffle creations, while others enjoyed the chocolates as dessert. This special touch elevated the look and feel of the waffle bar, by bringing in a luxe element that also gave a nod to traditional Valentine’s Day sweets.


Bevi’s

Keep this category sweet and simple by offering classic breakfast beverages like water, coffee and tea, as well as boozy brunch classics like Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, Bellinis, or Sangria (if that’s your groups thing).

If you want to jazz it up, scoop up some mini bottles of rosé and matching straws for folks to drink straight out of their own bottle. These also double as great props for Instagram-able moments.

If you’re feeling really festive, create a mimosa bar and invite your guests to enjoy mixing and muddling ingredients like pineapple, watermelon or strawberries for a fresh take on a traditional mimosa. Offer these flavors in fresh squeezed juices as well as whole pieces of fruit to use as garnishes.


Vibe

Despite the fact that I’m type-A and usually want to plan out every last detail of an event, this type of gathering is different. Celebrating Galentine’s Day lends itself to having great conversations, reminiscing and catching up on the latest and greatest.

If you’re looking for a scandalous spin on those conversations, check out For the Girls. Fair warning, this is a drinking game, which some would say is pretty fitting for a boozy brunch but its contents are definitely not for everyone. Think: truth or dare, never have I ever, and rapid fire questions.


Dollar Signs

Galentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive to plan! All of these ideas can be toned down or built up, depending on how many guests you plan to entertain and the vibe that you’re after. Take a look at this TikTok of my Galentine’s Day Brunch, which showcases everything I’ve shared in this blog post. To give you an honest glimpse at pricing, here’s what I spent:

Flowers: Compliments of Freyer’s Florist & Greenhouses (but I typically budget between $10-25+ per bundle of 12 stems)

Balloons: XO letters, two heart shaped and two star shaped from Party City: $35

Waffle Mix, Fruit, Mini Cupcakes, Orange Juice, Whipped Cream, Nutella, Syrup: $64

Champagne & Mini Bottles of Rosé: $83

Chocolates: Compliments of Hudson Valley Chocolates (but I typically budget $20 for 16 pieces)

Decorative Items (Heart Dishes, Glass Hearts, Paper Plates, Napkins, To-Go Coffee Cups, Place Cards): $0 (repurpose whatever you can from home!)


X O

I hope this post gives you all of the details that you need to plan your own Galentine’s Day at home! This brunch is such a simple yet special way to spend Valentine’s Day and celebrate the friends in your life.

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Most Loved Websites (for Valentine’s Day)

The Most Loved Websites Series lands among my favorite blog topics to write about. It’s essentially a brain dump of staple sites that I bookmark, frequent, and purchase from time and time again, because they’re just that good! Next up in this series, are my top website recommendations for all-things Valentine’s Day. Well, except for floral (shameless plug for NY Florists to Support this Valentine’s Day). What you will find in this roundup of Most Loved Websites (for Valentine’s Day) are chocolatiers, silky pajama sets, CBD sweets, and loads of other goodies.


Hudson Valley Chocolates

Bespoke, wholesome, and decadent chocolates (need I say more?). Hudson Valley Chocolates makes all of their truffles, chocolates, buttery caramels and confections by hand using the highest quality of ingredients that never include any artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

My personal favorites are their chocolate covered strawberries (try them in dark, milk and white chocolate!), their chocolate dipped Oreos (I’m sensing a pattern here), and their truffles.

I ordered all of my chocolate desserts from Hudson Valley Chocolates for my 25th Birthday Bash. They were hands down some of the best chocolates I’ve ever tasted. An absolute must-try this Valentine’s Day!


Maude

If you’re a fan of bubble baths and oil-based massage candles, Maude is the store for you. It’s a forward thinking brand that’s founded on principals of inclusivity and simplicity. Their emphasis on modern design and quality, fuss-free products has attracted rave reviews from Vogue, GQ, InStyle, Refinery29 and tons more.

What I’m trying to say, is that Maude is easy to love, and their products are beyond ideal to help you create an effortlessly romantic evening this Valentine’s Day.


Stick With Me Sweets

I never knew that I could love bonbons as much as I do, until I tried Stick With Me Sweets. Literally, where do I start? The words chic, magical, and #aesthetic come to mind.

Based in lower Manhattan, Stick With Me Sweets is a premiere chocolatier whose specialty is hand-shelled bonbons that take three full days to create before they’re packaged up into cheerful little storybook boxes, shown below. If you’re gifting their bonbons this Valentine’s Day, recipients may think they’re receiving an actual book, because that’s how realistic the exterior of the box looks (except much more enchanting and whimsical). Their smallest storybook box comes with 6 bonbons, and is priced at $25.

PS: Stick With Me Sweets carries more than just bon bons, so if you’re a truffle, caramel or general confections fan, you’re in luck.


Summersalt

Couples and singles alike; let’s chat breakfast in bed. This is a total vibe for Valentine’s Day – just those three words sound super indulgent. While it may seem simple, it’s all I’ve ever wanted out of a Sunday, and coincidentally, Valentine’s Day 2021 falls on a Sunday, so you know it’s the right move.

If you’re planning this sweet moment for yourself or for bae, turn to Summersalt for silky pajamas that will elevate your breakie in bed. The Cloud 9 Pajama Set looks like a literal dream, unless the Cloud 9 Boyfriend Sleep Shirt is more your style. Slip into something silky to treat yourself or your SO this Valentine’s Day.


Mello

Two words: CBD caramels. And they’re d e l i c i o u s.

Mello is everything you’ve ever wanted out of your caramel, and more. It’s non-GMO, kosher, gluten free and all natural. I love this for Valentine’s Day because it’s such a fresh take on traditional candy, plus the added perk of becoming, well, Mello(w). Each individually wrapped caramel contains 15mg of active CBD, and you can get a box of 20 for only $50. Thank me later!


If you liked this post, view more of my go-to’s on the Most Loved Websites Series.


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New York Florists to Support this Valentine’s Day

I’d like to preface this post by saying that if you’re not in New York, this one (sadly) might not be for you. Another preface… I have a LOT of local florists on my favorites list, ranging from boujee boutiques, to mom & pop shops, to Brooklyn-based floral wonderlands. And while I’d love to list every single one of them, we would be here all day. So, I’ve narrowed it down to a handful of New York based florists, each with their own unique style. If you plan to buy your significant other a bouquet this Valentine’s Day, shop these local gems and help support small businesses!


Stems Brooklyn

Organic shaped bouquets with a true Brooklyn feel. Stems Brooklyn carries wildflower arrangements in mason jars, flower crowns, and sweet little plants that are potted in stone vessels. Their floral arrangement style is artistic, cheerful, bright, and airy, with an emphasis on sustainability.

Stems Brooklyn is perfect for the person with a sense of whimsy that embraces a mid century modern vibe. I’m obsessed with this Brass Love Arrangement for Valentine’s Day, as well as their Hand Tied Bouquets.

New York Florist, Stems Brooklyn, to Support this Valentine's Day

Rosehip Social

I used to pass by Rosehip Social each Sunday while running errands. I’d wander into the store aimlessly, and walk around the rustic wooden table in the center of the quaint space to admire the latest arrangements on display. I remember the hanging vines, small soil spills, and overgrown plants… it was a quintessential kid-in-a-candy-store experience.

While the original shop in Brooklyn is under renovation, Rosehip Social is temporarily based in Ridgewood. Their florals are stylish and chic with an eclectic, yet timeless, twist. They carry vibrant stems in bud vases, dried lavender and bunny tail grass, and striking arrangements like this Five Dozen Rose Bouquet; an absolutely breathtaking gift for Valentine’s Day.

New York Florist, Rosehip Social, to Support this Valentine's Day

Freyer’s Florist & Greenhouses

If you’re located outside of Manhattan in the suburbs of Westchester, Freyer’s Florist & Greenhouses is a local gem based in Yorktown Heights along Route 202. Their family owned operation has been in business for over sixty years, with a focus on local weddings, house floral, and holiday arrangements. Fun fact, this is where my family goes to buy our flower arrangements each Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Freyer’s bouquets embody a classic and traditional style that feels both timeless and romantic. They offer tiered pricing options to build upon the size of each bouquet, ranging from Standard, to Deluxe, and Premium. Their Long Stemmed Red Roses are a must for Valentine’s Day. Though, I also love this Say Something Sweet bouquet of two dozen ballet pink roses. Mainly because of how elevated, feminine and luxe it looks, but also because pink is my favorite color!

New York Florist, Freyer's, to Support this Valentine's Day

Designs by Ahn

Designs by Ahn is a NYC based florist that’s located on 5th Avenue and East 28th Street. The owner, Victoria Ahn, was a professionally trained ballet dancer, and her experience is embedded into the unique design approach she takes with her floral arrangements.

While they all have a lush and luxurious appearance, Designs by Ahn offers quite a wide range of bouquets. Some are more rustic and organic, while others have a super chic and modern style. One of my personal favorites is Jubilee (I know, you’re probably so surprised), but I also find this Arabesque arrangement to be insanely beautiful, with just the right balance of edge and grace.

New York Florist, Flowers by Ahn, to Support this Valentine's Day

Ovando

If someone asked me to describe Ovando in 3 words, they’d be modern, dynamic and elegant. Ovando is a bit more widely available; servicing Manhattan and Southhampton, as well as Palm Beach & Miami. The owner, Sandra de Ovando, is a seasoned traveler that brings an exotic flare to her ultra-luxe arrangements.

If you’re looking for the perfect Orchid, search no further (some would even say these are Ovando’s specialty). This Romantic Orchid is an exquisite and striking arrangement to make a statement this Valentine’s Day.

New York Florist, Ovando, to Support this Valentine's Day

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2021

Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other can prove to be quite the challenge. Either your boyfriend or girlfriend already has everything, they don’t drop hints, or (let’s get real) you’ve run out of options for him or her. I’ve always loved turning to Valentine’s Day Gift Guides to help me brainstorm creative and unique gift ideas. This guide will help take the guessing game out of gifting! Simply follow the list below to discover which Valentine’s Day gift is best for your sweetheart.

This post contains affiliate links.


For the Jetsetter

If you’re planning a getaway together, or if your significant other travels often, this Mini Duffle is a dream weekender bag that comes in beige or black. It has four interior zip pockets, a side pocket and laptop sleeve, so it’s perfect for someone that’s always on the go – $98.

Want to make it a set? Pair it with this Carry All Tote – $78.

Is your SO’s style more sophisticated and adventurous? Try this Logan Overnight – $598.

Pair it with this Logan Travel Case that keeps toiletries organized while traveling, and at home. Or just snatch that travel case up, it stands out on its own – $178.


For the Knowledge Craver

If your SO has mentioned wanting to develop a new skillset, level up at work, or find another quarantine hobby, it’s almost guaranteed that Masterclass offers a course for them. There’s over 100 classes in 9 categories, and new classes are added every month.

With class categories like Sports and Gaming, Food, Business, Music, Home & Lifestyle, Writing, and Wellness, they’re bound to find a topic (or several) of interest. Are you ready for the best part? Masterclass is only $15 per month.


For the Earring Junkie

This simple and chic Earring Ladder comes in Rose Gold, Antique Silver and Antique Brass, and holds up to 12 pairs of earrings – $90.

If your significant other is equally as into bracelets, the matching T-Bar Jewelry Stand is the perfect pairing – $85. 


For the Gamer

This subscription service is a gamers paradise, and the gift that keeps on giving. Rent new and used video games for PS5, XBOX Series X, Nintendo Switch, PS4, XBOX Series One (and more) with a subscription to GameFly. There’s thousands of game options to choose from; your SO can search by Most Popular, Used Bestsellers, Coming Soon and New Releases.

Rush shipping is free, there’s no late fees on returns, and they can swap games anytime. Your SO can also keep the games they love with an awesome discount. Plus GameFly subscribers get early sale access and coupon rewards. Subscriptions start at $15.95 per month.

Signup for GameFly today to get the latest PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch games!

For the Trend Watcher

Hoop earrings have made a comeback, and I’m here for it. These Jack Huggie Earrings come in Vintage Gold, Rose Gold, Gold and Silver – $48.


For the Skincare Obsessed

If you hear the phrase “skincare routine” on a daily basis, this Luxe Skincare Fridge is the gift for your SO – $150.

Bonus points to the gift giver that packs this fridge with mini products, like this Jewel Box Kit with three different best selling skincare treatments from Sunday Riley – $36. It will leave them feeling überpampered.


For the Sunglass Stealer

Two birds… one stone. Take your sunglasses back by gifting your sunglass stealing SO their own pair. You can’t go wrong with a timeless style, like these Classic Aviators or Black Aviators by Ray Ban – both $154.


For the Crossbody Queen

This black leather Belay Mini Saddle Crossbody Bag with gold hardware by Zac Posen is super chic and edgy, yet still so classic. Bae can dress this up or down with other accessories, and since it’s black, it will compliment basically any attire – $295.


For… “Your Wallet Is Falling Apart”

We’ve all been there. Upgrade your SO’s wallet to something actually usable, that you know will last far past its purchase date. Try the Royce Personalized Men’s Trifold With Double ID Wallet that comes in black or cocoa. Add a special touch to this sleek leather wallet by personalizing it with your SO’s initials – $89.99.


For the Shoe Collector

Timberlands, but make it fashion. If your man talks about Chelsea boots but hasn’t treated himself, this is your moment to shine. Frye carries these leather Bowery Lace Up Boots, which are currently on sale for $249. They’re lightweight yet durable, and ideal for Fall and Winter.


For the Runner

Thinking shoes, but more along the lines of sporty spice?

The new Reebok Nano X1’s are dropping in two different colors on February 3rd, right in time for Valentine’s Day. Don’t want to wait? Try the Nano X Shoes that are designed for “functional fitness” with 6 color varieties – $130.

These Allbirds Women’s Tree Dashers are everything. It’s their “most technical shoe yet,” made from natural materials and engineered for high performance. Choose from 12 colors to find the best match (Blizzard is my personal favorite) – $125.


For the Couple

When life inherently gets busy, as it tends to do, it can be difficult to brainstorm ways to spend quality time together. Remove the step of planning out date night, by gifting yourselves some well deserved wine delivered to your doorstep each month, every other month, or even quarterly.

Join the California Wine Club, and subscribe to one of their membership levels, starting with their Premier Series at $41.95 per month for two bottles of wine. You can choose whether those two bottles are white, red, or a mix of both. They partner with small, family owned wineries, which is how you know you’ll be drinking the good stuff.

I love the idea of eagerly anticipating this surprise. Imagine setting aside one night each month to cook a meal together that compliments the wines you’ll indulge in? It’s about the experience, which is why I really appreciate this gift in particular.

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Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes

Expert mixologist Yusef Austin, AKA The Cocktail Architect, graced us once with three fabulous cocktail recipes (check out The Best Christmas Cocktails), and you liked it so much that we had to bring him back for more. Indulge in these three cocktail recipes designed to delight your senses this Valentine’s Day. Hopeless romantics, lovebirds and cocktail connoisseurs, this one’s for you.


Sweet Nothings

Sugar, spice and everything nice.


Ingredients: 2 oz. Gin, 1 oz. Fig Jam, 1/2 oz. Black Pepper + Star Anise Enhancer, 3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

Garnish: Edible Flower

Add ice to your cocktail shaker, shake and double strain into a coupe glass.

Illustrated by Sarah Ditterline

Tall, Dark and Handsome

The perfect night cap.


Ingredients: 2 oz. Tequila Blanco Infused with Saffron Threads, 1 oz. Chilled Espresso, 1 oz. Dark Chocolate Enhancer, Pinch of Sea Salt

Garnish: Shaved Chocolate

Add ice to your cocktail shaker, shake and strain into a martini glass.

Illustrated by Sarah Ditterline

Matchmaker

Cupid’s Cocktail.


Ingredients: 2 oz. Bourbon, 1 oz. Fresh Apple Juice, 1/2 oz. Fresh Ginger Juice, 3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz. Szechuan Pepper Enhancer

Garnish: Dehydrated Lemon Wheel

Add ice to your cocktail shaker, shake and strain into a rocks glass.

Illustrated by Sarah Ditterline

Thank you Yusef Austin for sharing these Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes! To learn more about The Cocktail Architect, click here or click here to learn about his virtual mixology classes.


Have a question about something specific? Ask it on my Q&A page!

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The Best Christmas Cocktails

Christmas cocktails are arguably the best cocktails. Alas, mixology is not my strong suit. So I asked an expert for his advice! Yusef Austin, AKA The Cocktail Architect, is a Brooklyn-based beverage genius. His emphasis on seasonal ingredients, quality, creativity, and taste generates sophisticated cocktails with a multi-sensory experience. Craft three of his staple Christmas cocktails at home by following the recipes below.


Merry and Bright

Cheerful with a zing.


Ingredients: 2 oz. Local Gin, Hibiscus Tea Mixer (Dried Hibiscus, Cinnamon Stick, Orange Zest, Crushed Cardamom, Cloves) and 3/4 oz. Meyer Lemon Juice

Garnish: Dehydrated Lemon Wheel

Shake and strain into a martini or coupe glass.

The Best Cocktail Recipes for Christmas

Santa, Baby

Christmas spice classic.


Ingredients: 2 oz. Local Whiskey, 1 oz. Chili Infused Honey, 1 oz. Orange + Lemon Juice Mix

Garnish: Orange Flamed Twist & Sphere Ice Cube

Shake and strain into a double rocks glass.

The Best Cocktail Recipes for Christmas

White Christmas

The perfect dessert cocktail.


Ingredients: 2 oz. Vodka, 1/2 oz. Tonka Bean + Vanilla Bean Mixer/Syrup, 1 oz. Chilled Espresso

Garnish: Whipped Cream, Grated Cinnamon

Shake and strain into a vintage cocktail glass.

The Best Cocktail Recipes for Christmas

A massive thank you to Yusef Austin for sharing these Christmas Cocktail Recipes! To learn more about The Cocktail Architect, click here or click here to learn about his virtual mixology classes.


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Socially Distanced Holiday Ideas

Holiday season festivities, but make it COVID friendly.

This post contains affiliate links.


Christmas Tree Tailgate

Gather up a group of your core friends (you know, those folks that you’ve been spending all of quarantine with) and head to a Christmas tree farm with an open parking lot. Some farms are super tailgate friendly, while others will not embrace this idea, so make sure to scout for a solid location before packing up the car. If you’re living on the East Coast, Maple Row Farm in Easton, Connecticut is a great option. Just be sure to arrive no later than 10:30am, because the lot will fill up well before noon on weekends.

Then, delegate your traditional tailgate essentials amongst friends. Here are a few ideas for folks to bring along:

Cornhole – The more festive, the better. This Christmas Tree Cornhole Set is a little pricey, but one of those investments you probably won’t have to make again and can enjoy for years to come.

Cooler – Full of holiday bevi essentials. I like this Sagebrush Green Yeti Cooler, especially for its wine friendly packaging. Pack a bottle of bubbly to make some mimosas with; the perfect pairing for your morning Christmas tree tailgate.

Snacks – Individually packaged options are the best way to stay COVID friendly. Keep it super simple by purchasing a bulk variety snack pack, like this 50-count Ultimate Snacks Care Package from Amazon.


Movie Marathon

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is watch the staple movies of the season. Every year on Thanksgiving night, my family kicks off the countdown to Christmas by watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We also watch the classics like A Christmas Story and Christmas with the Kranks.

Virtual movie marathons are a great way to safely enjoy the company of friends and family, and create a virtual spin on holiday traditions. If you have a streaming service that offers multi-viewer options like Netflix, Hulu, Disney + or HBO, you can easily plan a holiday movie marathon from multiple locations using Teleparty.

I’m still surprised that not everyone knows about this!

All the Best Moments Socially Distanced Holiday Ideas - Movie Marathon

Download this extension, and follow these steps to set up the application. Then ask everyone to sign into their own individual Netflix accounts. Select a movie, then look for the Teleparty icon. This will sync movie playback across all accounts, and create a group chat feature.

Upgrade everyone’s night in, by sending care packages of classic concession-stand snacks, like Movie Theater Candy or a Variety Pack of Popcorn Seasonings. This pack is the gift that keeps on giving!


Virtual Wine Tasting

Virtual wine tastings have been all-the-rage since the start of the pandemic, but they’re especially convenient for this time of year. They offer a chance to gather with a group of friends, couples or neighbors, and celebrate the joy of the season without risking an in-person get together.

All the Best Moments Socially Distanced Holiday Ideas - Virtual Wine Tasting

There’s tons of virtual wine tasting options to choose from, ranging from free classes (try Coursera’s Course by UC Davis), to just $10 per person (try Corkbuzz), up to $250 (try Matthiasson) and more. The price depends on a few factors:

Exclusivity: If the tasting is limited to your private group of friends, or open to anyone who signs up.

Inclusions: If the tasting includes a bottle of wine, two bottles of wine, or none at all. Some wineries will ship the wine directly to your doorstep, right on time for the tasting, while others will ask that you go out and purchase them on your own.

Vineyard: If the tasting is hosted by a top-end winery, their classes will tend to be more expensive.

All the Best Moments Socially Distanced Holiday Ideas - Virtual Wine Tasting

If you choose a virtual tasting from a winery that doesn’t include any bottles of bubbly, try sourcing wine from Drizly. Order liquor, beer, wine and hard seltzers from the website, or download the application to your phone, and have the drinks delivered directly to you.

Pro-Tip: To easily elevate the experience, research which cheeses pair well with the variety of wine on the menu, and curate a cheeseboard to enjoy during the tasting.

Prop your laptop up at the dining table, bring along the wine and cheeseboard, and raise a glass to this special tasting experience!

All the Best Moments Socially Distanced Holiday Ideas - Virtual Wine Tasting

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Sunset at the Beach

If you’re like me, it can be hard to stay in one place for long. When you’re eager for a change of scenery, find the nearest beach, and plan a few special touches to elevate an evening away from home. Celebrate life over a glass of rose and good conversation, watching the sunset at the beach.


Sunset Vibes

Sunset at the beach is quite possibly one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. I don’t get to the beach as often as I’d like, so it feels really special when I can block out an evening to getaway.


Beach Moment

Plan to arrive to the beach a few hours before sunset. Typically, two to three hours is the perfect amount of time for me. Though, if you want to spend the latter half of the day at the beach, be my guest!

When I go to the beach for a day trip, chairs are definitely my forte. But when I head to the beach for an evening away, I like to keep it as simple and lightweight as possible. I pack a blanket to cozy up on, and set up a little vignette of the following things.

Lifeguard deck at beach

Bubbles & Bites

Wine, rose, and champagne always taste better at the beach! Chill the bottles beforehand, and add them to a little cooler or insulated bag with ice right before leaving. Always opt to bring acrylic wine glasses or plastic cups over glass.

Wine glasses at beach with beach hat, flip flops and sunglasses, on a blanket

I’m a big fan of a charcuterie board. It feels super indulgent, but it’s relatively low maintenance to compose. Plus, what goes better with wine than cheese?

In the morning, prepare the board with a few cheeses, prosciutto, bread or crackers, and jam. Cover the board with tin foil, pop it in the fridge, and take it out right before heading to the beach.

Don’t forget: plates, napkins, cheese knives, hand sanitizer, and garbage bags for trash.

Pro-Tip: Don’t go overboard; less is more for an evening at the beach. Think: easy in, easy out. The simpler, the better!

Cheese board at the beach

Games & Activities

If you’re going to the beach with family or friends, consider packing a few lightweight games to play when you first arrive. It’s an easy way to break the ice, kick off the evening and keep people entertained. Especially if little ones are involved!

A deck of cards, kite, or a game like ring toss are perfect options.

ocean waves crashing on shore during sunset
Photo by Jess Vide on Pexels.com

Music

Most beaches are pretty lenient on allowing visitors to play music, especially in the evening when it’s less crowded. Charge up your portable speaker, and find a few good playlists to set the tone for the evening.

Music is such a simple way to completely transform the vibe of a space. Plus, it can inspire off-the-cuff moments of singing and dancing, spark a new conversation, or give a little background when the conversation falls as you watch the sunset.


Relax and Enjoy

It’s so important to build in time to recharge and celebrate the small things that life has to offer. What better way to do that than with your feet in the sand, and sunset on the horizon?

For more ideas to elevate special moments, see my blog posts under Happy Hostess.

birds flying under orange clouds
Photo by Jess Vide on Pexels.com

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How-To: Make A Self Serve Bar

When gatherings at home feel too intimate for a bartender, self serve bars are the name of the game. They’re an ideal option for guests to help themselves to their beverage of choice, without overwhelming the host with drink orders. Follow these steps on how-to make a self serve bar that’s just as aesthetically pleasing as it is convenient.


Select Beverages

The best piece of advice I could give to determine which beverages to include on a bar, is to think in terms of “knowing your audience.” I pose that phrase to clients and myself all the time, because it’s true!

As a host, you can recount occasions with your specific group of guests that remind you how popular Aperol Spritz’s are, or inform a decision to purchase one pack of beer because you know only two people will drink it.

Consider the guests, their go-to drink orders, and your favorite recipes to share and introduce via a welcome drink or signature beverages at the bar.


Standard Bar Guide

Spirits: Vodka, Tequila (I prefer Blanco), Bourbon, Gin, Cognac, White Rum

Mixers: Club Soda, Seltzer, Lime Juice, Cointreau, Bitters, Vermouth

Garnishes: Lime Wedges, Lemon Wedges, Orange Slices, Maraschino Cherries, Mint, Salt & Sugar

Barware: Ice Bucket & Scoop, Bar Spoon, Cocktail Shaker, Strainer, Muddler, Jigger

Glassware: Rocks, Highball, Red Stem, White Stem, Champagne, Martini

There’s a method to the madness! There are about five, five-ounce glasses of wine in one bottle… A 750 ml bottle of liquor will account for about twenty-five, one-ounce shots… And so on and so forth. Pro-Tip: When in doubt, plan for three drinks and three glasses per person for a two hour event.


Create Mini Vignettes

Once your beverages and barware accounted for, the next step on how-to make a self serve bar is all about organizing.

Group like items together that compliment one another in color, texture, and most importantly, use. Functionality is key for a self serve bar to operate like it’s intended to. Guests will be more inclined to ask the host for assistance, or skip the drink altogether, if beverages and barware are too far out of reach.

Choose tableware that coincides well with the event theme and color scheme. My list of Most Loved Sites for Party Supplies is a great resource for unique finds.


Prepare Cocktail Recipe Cards

Everyone appreciates drink recommendations! Even self-proclaimed bartenders.

There are dozens of vehicles for presenting drink recipes to guests. A picnic might call for a chalkboard, while a cocktail party might opt for acrylic signs in stands. Either option would double as decor on a self serve bar.

Here’s a cheap and cheerful way to create cocktail recipe cards...

Format a Word document to a 4×6 layout

Add the drink name, along with a photo, to the first page, and list the ingredients and instructions on the next page

Design each cocktail card with the font and colors of your choice

Save as a PDF

Email the file to Staples to print each cocktail recipe double sided (picture on the front, ingredients and instructions on the back), on a high-gloss cardstock. Request they laminate each card to protect them from inevitable spills.

I created three cocktail recipe cards for just under $14. Click the Download button below to view some pretty stellar recipes.


Form a Back Bar

The last thing that any host wants to do is restock a bar, especially in the middle of a party.

Use a ledge, table or shelf as a back bar to house extra bottles of club soda, seltzers and mixers. Keep like items together by grouping beverages according to brand, flavor and use. Juices in one spot, sodas in another!

Rattan Tableware Organizer with Flamingo Plates, Napkins, and Colorful Wooden Disposable Cutlery and Back Bar Shelf with Drink Mixers for Self Serve Bar