Effortless Entertaining: A Modern Spring Shower

Happy Spring! Erin from Fig & Cotton here with some fantastic spring entertaining inspiration for you today. While perusing the web recently, I stumbled upon this gorgeous birthday party for a very special 12-year-old on 100 Layer Cake-let. I was immediately smitten.

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Although this soiree was designed with a tween in mind, I couldn’t get over how beautiful — and effortless — a small, spring shower could be with the same color palette of robins’ egg blue, soft coral, and white…and some splashes of gold. Here are your ingredients for a soft, yet modern spring shower. I also threw in a fun printable menu to make things just a bit more special!

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1 / You can’t go wrong with a pink cocktail in a mason jar. This recipe is definitely one to try!

2 / Flowers are my favorite ingredient to any party. These are especially gorgeous; they are the perfect combination of polished and easy-going. Think outside the box when choosing your vase. Beautiful pitchers, ginger jars, and vintage compotes are the perfect personalized touch.

3 / I adore white dishes and serving pieces, but I love to mix it up too. These robin’s egg blue dishes are the perfect hue to balance out the soft coral and splashed of gold.

4 / A fun customizable menu is the perfect touch for a gathering like this. To print the menu, please click here for the downloadable PDF!

5 / Edible gold glitter? Seriously. That is all that is needed to be said about this one.

6 / As I always say, food doesn’t need to be fussy to be delicious. These prosciutto-wrapped asparagus are always a crowd pleaser!

7 / For intimate gatherings, I always encourage lots of candle light. These brass candlesticks with tall tapered candles are the perfect solution.

Have a wonderful week, and I will see you next time!
Erin
www.figandcotton.com

Effortless Entertaining: St. Patrick’s Day with Style

Hello, La Dolce Vita readers!  Erin from Fig + Cotton here with your roadmap to a chic, nontraditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.  If you are like me, having a few wonderful friends over for a beautiful dinner beats fighting the crowds of drunken faux Irishmen on St. Paddy’s Day.  I love the idea of the holiday, and I think it can definitely translate into an elegant and modern affair…all effortlessly, of course!
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1/ A dinner party is only as successful as the fun its guests are having, but the food is a close second.  Here is a great menu for your soiree.

 

2/ What is St. Paddy’s Day without whiskey?  Well, I think that is what my husband would ask, at least.  To keep the men happy, put together a quick whiskey bar.  This does NOT need to be elaborate; they are dudes, after all. All you need is 3-4 different whiskey varietals (at least one Irish!), multiple highball or larger shot glasses, and some cute signs giving them a little information on each.  Here is some great inspiration.

 

3/ Ah, flowers.  While I love a white palette for dishes and linens (see #5 below), flowers are where then fun is for me.  For this dinner, think lots of greens (obviously).  I love this modern take on a centerpiece using items you can find in your backyard or in the greenery “filler” section of the supermarket floral department.  If you are thinking you want something a bit more classic, look here for inspiration.

 

4/ Now, so you won’t get pinched (who thought of that anyhow??), you need some green in your party hostess outfit.  Since I like to keep my wardrobe simple and comfortable when I am entertaining, I would throw on some comfortable flats in a perfect hue and pair them with a black shift or distressed skinny jeans.  I adore these flats from Nordstrom.

 

5/ I usually entertain with white dishes and linens, but I do like to throw in a pop of color when I can. This place setting inspiration is an easy way to keep your table clean and elegant while bringing in the color of the holiday.

 

6/ For another easy pop of green, try simple green place cards.  These are precious and very easy to recreate.  All you need is some green card stock and a white pen!

 

7/ For dessert, you don’t need to go green. This indulgent Irish cream bread pudding will be the perfect finishing touch to your evening!

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Erin

Effortless Entertaining: Beautiful Blooms

Hello!  It is Erin from Fig + Cotton, and I am here today to share my recipe for gorgeous floral arrangements on a budget. Beautiful arrangements — for your home or for your soirees — need not be fussy or expensive.   I tend to lean towards shades of white and green, but your choices are endless. A quick trip to your local supermarket — everywhere from Costco to Whole Foods — can easily provide you with drool-worthy arrangements in no time.  This post will give you five no-fail tips on how to do just that.

When perusing the floral department in your local supermarket, look for blooms that are in a similar color palette.  You can use flowers ranging in price, but keeping them in the same hue will give your arrangements a look of luxury.

Think outside the box when choosing what to arrange your blooms in once you get them home.  I love using my collection of mercury glass candle holders (below), burlap-wrapped vases, mint julep cups, or vintage milk glass.  Think silver tea pots, colorful canisters, pretty bowls, compotes, your favorite stemware, and even candle holders of all sizes and shapes.  This simple tip can add a lot of interest to your simpler budget blooms.

Choosing blooms in varying sizes, heights, and shapes helps keep it interesting.  Try a non-traditional flower — such as a billy ball or spider mum — or an unfamiliar flower that is locally grown.  Or choose just one high-dollar bloom — such as a peony — among some less expensive flowers to get more bang for your buck.  Flowers of all shapes and sizes grow right along side each other in beautiful gardens and landscapes, so keep that in mind when making your selections.

I love starting with big hydrangeas.  I often begin with white hydrangeas then add in white roses inside and around the hydrangeas.  Beginning with the largest blooms, grounds your arrangement.  From there, keep moving on to the next bloom until you are ready for your small greenery and “filler.”

With such classic blooms like roses and hydrangeas, adding a bit of whimsy to your arrangements can be done through filler greenery.  In the arrangement below, Bells of Ireland fit the bill beautifully.  In addition, hydrangeas have large, dark green leaves that were a perfect contrast to the white petals.  Eucalyptus, aspidistra leaves, heather, holly, banana leaves, myrtle, hypericum, and ferns are great fillers as well.  Herbs such as rosemary and lavender can also add something very special for a low cost.

  • Change out your water in your vase regularly.  When the water becomes cloudy, switch it out.
  • Add a few drops of bleach in each vase to keep the bacteria from taking over.
  • Don’t be afraid to “clean up” your arrangements so that they last longer.  I frequently go through a pull out blooms that are not holding up well and rearrange the existing blooms.
  • Make sure you trim all your stems before placing them in the vase.
  • In a pinch, use all identical blooms.  Sometimes the most beautiful arrangements are the simplest.
  • Strip off all leaves that will fall below the water line.  This helps keeps the water fresher longer as well.
  • Use odd numbers in your arrangements.
  • Look around your yard.  Magnolia branches and wildflowers can make the most inspiring arrangements.

xo,

erin

Effortless Entertaining: An Ideal Holiday Meal

Hello, La Dolce Vita readers! Erin from Fig + Cotton here today for your holiday dinner edition of Effortless Entertaining!

I don’t know about you, but with all the gift shopping, card mailing, and party going, sometimes the holiday meal can be left to the wayside for me.  Even though I truly love nothing more than cooking for my friends and family, the stress of putting it all together can be somewhat daunting!  I am here to help.

1/ The best way (well at least in my family) to de-stress is with a yummy cocktail.  I LOVE this simple white sangria from from dear friend, Katie of Spray Paint and Chardonnay.  And, it is quite beautiful to boot!

2/ I love an appetizer that I can place on the counter or coffee table and leave unattended for a while.  Holiday gatherings can be stressful for a hostess, and placing a delicious meat and cheese platter out when your guests start to arrive is the perfect solution.

3/ Holiday tables need not be fussy.  I adore a perfectly set table just as much as the next gal, but there is something so comforting for my guests when the table decor is minimum and casual.  Now, this doesn’t mean that my table won’t be beautiful and memorable.  I love these rolled napkins donned with fragrant rosemary and cinnamon.  I will bet your guests will too!

4/ Start your meal with a gorgeous winter salad.  This beet beauty is the perfect start to any meal.

5/ Ah, beef tenderloin.  Even though this cut of meat is fairly pricey, it could not be easier to cook.  Coat it with a simple rub and stick it in the oven.  Seriously, that is it. Do yourself – and your family – a favor and make this the star of your holiday dinner!

6/ Roasted vegetables are my favorite side, especially during colder months.  This roasted asparagus recipe is definitely a winner.

7/ What is a holiday meal without something just sinfully delicious.  This creamy Potato Gratin fits the bill, and it is even better the next day.

8/ Now onto dessert.  Since this is for a special occasion, a souffle always makes everyone feel like you went the extra mile.  However, it can be our little secret on how easy this Chocolate Souffle really is.  I won’t tell anyone.

9/ Finally, send your guests home with a little treat.  Keep it simple.  No need to bake, package, or DIY…give them something they will use…mini bottles of bubbly!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter!  See you in 2015!

Erin

 

Effortless Entertaining: Thanksgiving Edition

Hello, La Dolce Vita readers and happy fall!  Erin of Fig + Cotton here with a recipe for an effortless — but also gorgeous and memorable — Thanksgiving.

This is the first year for Mat and me to host Thanksgiving in our home, and I could not be more excited.  I hope these tips help you transform your holiday into one for the memory books…without being completely overwhelmed!

1 /  The centerpiece for most Thanksgiving dinners is the bird.  This will be my very first time to cook a turkey, and this recipe looks like a winner.

2 / Never forget the kids table.  I can’t wait to make some fun (and simple) personalized place mats for Rex and his cousins.  Here is some fun inspiration!

3 / Our Thanksgiving holiday is always pretty casual, as far as attire.  I think this outfit of skinny jeans (a little stretch never hurt anyone), a button down, and a comfy cardigan is a winning combination.  For more fashion inspiration, visit Fig + Cotton’s Pinterest page.

4 / For your centerpiece, chose uncomplicated florals in neutral colors.  This photo is actually from a Thanksgiving post coming soon on Fig + Cotton, and I simply cut some pretty magnolia leaves from the neighborhood and placed them in a big jar for a gorgeous — and free — centerpiece.

5 / Elegant and rustic table settings are my favorite.  Since we are no-fuss family, I love the simple white linens, rosemary, and twine-wrapped flatware for this year.

6 / Oh, the sides.  I do love a turkey, but I really think the sides are my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.  Try this Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash recipe, my aunt’s savory cornbread dressing, and this decadent macaroni and cheese to round out your meal.

7 / Last Thanksgiving, I wrote about some last minute holiday ideas.  These artichoke place cards are still some of my favorite.

8 / I don’t know about you, but in the Sanders/Hodges household, but we do like a good bottle of wine with dinner.  I am a Rose fan, and I love the way a dry rose pairs with turkey.  Here are some fun suggestions.

9 / Oh, and how can we forget dessert.  Williams Sonoma lays out their pics for the perfect Thanksgiving pies.  You can find some winners here.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and I will see you next month!