Friday, January 29, 2016

Baby Shower for a Baby Girl

My friend, Mariterese, lives in Apalachicola, Florida.   It is a romantic waterside town with quaint docks, shops and restaurants.  And some of the best biscuits are girl can eat are made in that little town!

Sunsets are spectacular, fishing is great, and her old Victorian home is gorgeous.  But when it comes to having stores to purchase party goods, the selection in Apalachicola  is pretty limited!  However, that big brown delivery truck goes everywhere and the internet is a shopper's paradise!

Last weekend, she hosted a baby shower in her beautiful old turn of the century home. And as usual, everything was stunning.

Entering the foyer, a fairy statue was graced with pink ribbon, fairy lights and pink roses.

This home's original woodwork has been meticulously maintained over the past 125 years and is a show stopper!  So elegant.  The foyer is long and can accommodate dining tables for additional seating at parties.

Mariterese purchased the wide pink ribbon on Etsy!

The Tobacco leaf china pattern tied all the colors together in the home.
The pink pin tuck tablecloth is from  Table Cloth factory- an online shop with wonderful affordable table linens.

A local florist ordered the pink  roses for Mariterese, who arranged them herself.

She mixed in sweet vintage plates with the Tobacco Leaf pattern- love it!

Dining room table was graced with pink roses, shells and silver rhinestone coral from Romancing the Home's last Christmas!

Beautifully wrapped favors of OPI Pink nail polish and spirit rattles in the shape of a heart.

Everyone was seated in the grand foyer for a lunch of Chicken Marbella and  Salad.

The sugar cookies and cakes were purchased and decorated with sugared and fresh roses.
You can purchase sugared edible roses on line in a variety of choices.  I order them from FancyFlours.
The cakes was a key lime pound cake from a store in Tallahassee- Food Glorious Food.  It was
served with Graeters Ice Cream-the famous artisan ice cream from Ohio-  now available at many grocery stores.

Sugared roses sit on top of iced sugar cookies- so pretty.
What a beautiful and inspiring party. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Birthday Celebrations at Maple and Ash in Chicago

Last night, we dined at a fabulous restaurant in Chicago to celebrate the birthdays of my son and daughter.  What a delightful place to celebrate with family and friends. 
First of all, the d├ęcor was amazing.  Venetian plaster walls, gray and chartreuse color scheme, reclaimed oak floors, and opulent lighting created a sumptuous atmosphere.

 Dramatic lighting fixture in the center of the dining room.
When first seated at the table,  French radishes with butter and black sea salt, olives, and cubes of cheese await your tasting.  Then a small martini- compliment of the chef is poured for each adult at the table.

There are many artisanal cocktails on the menu.

Their specialty entrees are steaks and this incredible seafood tower .

Mia enjoyed a starter plate of meatballs and sauce.
The rest of us enjoyed rib eyes, lamb and fish entrees.  The sides- mac and cheese- loaded mashed potatoes -  were decadent and large enough to share. 

My daughter ordered a wedge salad  with fried onion rings, big chunks of bacon and tomatoes.
But the finale was my favorite- an ice cream service to finish the meal.
A two tiered tray arrives filled with fancy toppings to create your own individual sundae.
Home made ice cream is served in crystal compotes for each guest.
The birthday guest get candles-----


Caramel and chocolate sauce, pineapple, bananas, cherries, salted caramel chips, coconut , nuts are filled in small crystal glasses.

Kayleigh enjoying her ice cream.
I love this ice cream service concept for an easy to prepare dessert at home.  With the huge choice of artisanal ice creams in the grocery store today, the combinations are endless.  I can already envision Purple Doors Salted Caramel ice cream with bananas, smoked chocolate chips, whipped cream and hot fudge sauce, along with toasted pecans.  Yummy! Put all those items in vintage glasses on a tiered silver tray and you have a glorious dessert!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Valentines Inspiration from the Past

This morning I was looking back at some old pictures and came across one of my favorite party tables.   Romancing the Home was asked to create a table scape for a home tour in our town.  We had so much fun creating this fantasy party and I thought it provided some great ideas for Valentines Day.

We set up a sweets shop on the center island in the kitchen. Sawing the legs off a coffee table, we then painted it black and gold. It would make the perfect large riser for the center of  the island.
The large marshmallow lollipops were from World Market- we loved the colors and added silk ribbons to the stems.

We purchased plain cakes from the grocery store bakery and embellished them with handmade sugar flowers.   ETSY provided a great selection of handmade sugar flowers. We ordered from several vendors and all of them were beautiful.
A birdcage cloche was sprayed gold and used over the cake.

 The beautifully decorated cookies were from another artist on ETSY.
ETSY has a great selection of beautiful cookies that you can order.

Individual silver vegetable containers from the 60's and 70's were used as individual "box lunches" for the guests.
We downloaded cupcake graphics from artists on ETSY and embellished store bought cupcakes.
for the source antoinette cupcake topper&ref=sr_gallery_3

We couldn't resist the whipped cream and fluffy marshmallow vodkas.

The rim of one flute was sugared with gold sugar- ready for a champagne cocktail.

Hostess cupcakes covered in coconut were the perfect place card holder.

Dolfin candy bars were embellished with rhinestone stickers and gold doilies and then
tucked into the fold of the napkin.  We found the candy bars at World Market and the rhinestone stickers at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

Individual miniature cakes were placed at each place setting.

A piece of rhinestone embellished fabric was swooshed in the center of the table to add
a little sparkle.

A single pink rose petal was placed in the glass of rose wine.

I love Valentines Day. 
 It is such a dreary time of the year in Chicago and this holiday just helps to lift your spirits! 
So gather a group of friends and throw your own soiree!