ENTERTAINING: Outdoor Fall Dinner Party Inspiration

With thanksgiving right around the corner, I have been obsessing over tablescapes and the idea of a fall dinner party! Being in Texas and loving the mild weather here I love the idea of an outdoor fall dinner party, here are some of my favorite entertaining inspirations.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

Love this idea!

Love this idea!

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME. LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.
LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.
LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

Outdoor wine and cheese night. OBSESSED.

Outdoor wine and cheese night. OBSESSED.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

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ENTERTAINING: Holiday Tablescape

I am so excited to be hosting the FIRST ANNUAL STEPHENSON FAMILY CHRISTMAS PARTY tonight! We are all getting together before David and I leave on Monday for Puerto Rico. There will be dinner, drinks, gifts, and so much more and I am so excited! In honor of this momentous occasion, here are some of my favorite holiday table-scapes for Holiday Parties and Christmas Eve dinners!

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

I am obsessed with this drink party set! I definitely need one for my Egg Nog loving boyfriend!

I am obsessed with this drink party set! I definitely need one for my Egg Nog loving boyfriend!

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

ENTERTAINING: Wine Tasting 101

Well we all know I love vineyards, wines, and wine tastings! I can not wait to one day have a wine tasting with all of my friend! To follow up on my wine and cheese pairing posts, here are a few tips and pointers on how to throw an amazing wine tasting for you and your friends!

A wine flight party is a quick and easy way to make a fun wine night! Pick a variety of wines (whites, reds, sparklings... whatever the crowd enjoys) and pour everyone a taste, have cards set up to explain the different wines, and always have extra bottles on hand so people have pick their favorite and a full glass (... or two!)

A wine flight party is a quick and easy way to make a fun wine night! Pick a variety of wines (whites, reds, sparklings… whatever the crowd enjoys) and pour everyone a taste, have cards set up to explain the different wines, and always have extra bottles on hand so people have pick their favorite and a full glass (… or two!)

A wine and cheese buffet is perfect for a casual get together, book club night, or appetizers before a dinner party! Set out a variety of wines and pair them up with different cheeses, chocolates, and olives. Add some great crackers and crusty baguette and you have yourself a great happy hour!

A wine and cheese buffet is perfect for a casual get together, book club night, or appetizers before a dinner party! Set out a variety of wines and pair them up with different cheeses, chocolates, and olives. Add some great crackers and crusty baguette and you have yourself a great happy hour!

This is my favorite idea for a wine tasting party! If you have friends that really know their wines try this out! Take a few of your favorite bottles of wine and cover the labels, and number them. Then have corresponding cards describing the wine and mark those with letters. Have your guests try all the wines and guess which one is which! Definitely a great way to start a night full of wine drinking! I am going to try this soon!

This is my favorite idea for a wine tasting party! If you have friends that really know their wines try this out! Take a few of your favorite bottles of wine and cover the labels, and number them. Then have corresponding cards describing the wine and mark those with letters. Have your guests try all the wines and guess which one is which! Definitely a great way to start a night full of wine drinking! I am going to try this soon!

Dinner and wine party is always a great idea! I love the idea of having cutting boards full of cheese as center pieces (of course edible center pieces!) It might take a little bit of extra work but you can create a menu and pair wines with each course! Have notes or a menu prepared for each guest so they know more about the dish and the wine being served! Love.

Dinner and wine party is always a great idea! I love the idea of having cutting boards full of cheese as center pieces (of course edible center pieces!) It might take a little bit of extra work but you can create a menu and pair wines with each course! Have notes or a menu prepared for each guest so they know more about the dish and the wine being served! Love.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING: St. Patrick’s Day Festive Food

So of course the best part about holidays is the excuse to eat a drink and gather with friends! Here are a few great ideas on how to make St. Patricks Day themed food…

Start the day off right with just a little food coloring in your pancakes to make them green! How cute! St. Patty's Day brunch anyone?!

Start the day off right with just a little food coloring in your pancakes to make them green! How cute! St. Patty’s Day brunch anyone?!

Perfect for lunch! Four leaf clover pizza bagels! Love these!

Perfect for lunch! Four leaf clover pizza bagels! Love these!

LOVE! Lucky Charms Crispies!

LOVE! Lucky Charms Crispies!

To make your own Lucky Charms Crispies here is the recipe:

3 Tbsp. butter

4 cups mini marshmallows

5 cups Lucky Charms cereal

for garnish: reserve about 1/2 cup of Lucky Charms marshmallows

optional: green food coloring

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and mini marshmallows, stirring constantly.

2. Once melted, pour in cereal and mix until well-coated. (If using food coloring, add it to the melted marshmallows and stir well before adding the cereal)

3. Press cereal mixture into a greased 9 x 9 pan. Sprinkle with reserved Lucky Charms marshmallows.

4. Once set, cut into 12 squares and serve.

ENTERTAINING: Setting a Place

There is nothing I love more than celebrating the ordinary… making what would be an ordinary night and turning it in to something special. Pulling out the special occasion candles or the nice china on a Wednesday night while eating pizza with your boyfriend. It just makes life more fun! I guess this is why I love any excuse to entertain company! Having a beautifully decorated table is one of the best ways to turn a dinner with friends in to a special dinner party. And besides entertaining company, simple and cost effective are two more of my favorite things! The most simple way to up the ante of your dinner is to have beautiful place settings! Here are a few great (and VERY SIMPLE) ideas for your next dinner party…

These beautiful things are just single tiles from a home improvement store! How simple and chic!

These beautiful things are just single tiles from a home improvement store! How simple and chic!

more tiles... and just as perfect! You can really find different types of tile for any occasion

more tiles… and just as perfect! You can really find different types of tile for any occasion

simple placemats like these can be found at any home good store.. and they are usually on sale!

simple placemats like these can be found at any home good store.. and they are usually on sale!

brilliant idea! these are paper placemats... you can make your own or buy pads of them! easy to clean up and not expensive at all!

brilliant idea! these are paper placemats… you can make your own or buy pads of them! easy to clean up and not expensive at all!

I found my solution to recreate these looks at WEST ELM. Of course one of my favorites… and the bonus is that all these items are currently on sale right now!…

Abaca Chunky Square Placemat (Set of 2) currently on sale for $11 in West Elm’s Market section

Abaca Chunky Square Placemat (Set of 2) currently on sale for $11 in West Elm’s Market section

Wood Tile Placemat (Set of 2) currently on sale for $19 in West Elm’s Market section

Wood Tile Placemat (Set of 2) currently on sale for $19 in West Elm’s Market section

Cake Kitchen Paper Placement- Blue Print currently on sale for $23.00 (for 50 one time use placemats) in West Elm’s Market section

Cake Kitchen Paper Placement- Blue Print currently on sale for $23.00 (for 50 one time use placemats) in West Elm’s Market section

ENTERTAINING: Coffee Bar

If you’re a coffee and tea drinker like me (I try to stay away from coffee… but its just too great), you can definitely see yourself having a little coffee bar/breakfast area in your home or kitchen. A place to keep all the coffee mess in one place, and making your at home coffee experience just as fun as making a trip to a coffee shop. Plus this is a great (and casual) way to entertain surprise (or even invited) guests!

I did a small stint as a coffee barista a year ago and fell in love with espresso. I've always told myself I'll feel as though I've "made it" when I can afford an espresso machine of my very own!

I did a small stint as a coffee barista a year ago and fell in love with espresso. I’ve always told myself I’ll feel as though I’ve “made it” when I can afford an espresso machine of my very own!

Here is my coffee bar inspiration:

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

So what do you need?….

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

Stock up your new COFFEE BAR with…

this Classic Chambord French Press from Anthropologie for $70. Making coffee the old fashioned way never looked so good!

this Classic Chambord French Press from Anthropologie for $70. Making coffee the old fashioned way never looked so good!

the Biscotti Trio from Dean and Deluca (YUM) for $55

the Biscotti Trio from Dean and Deluca (YUM) for $55

house those biscotti in this AMAZE Wide Eyed Cookie Jar from Anthropologie for $88.

house those biscotti in this AMAZE Wide Eyed Cookie Jar from Anthropologie for $88.

My ALL TIME favorite flavor of coffee!  Dunkin' Donuts FRENCH VANILLA! yum!

My ALL TIME favorite flavor of coffee! Dunkin’ Donuts FRENCH VANILLA! yum!

for the tea lovers this Paula Dean 2Q Tea Kettle is perfect at $54.99!

for the tea lovers this Paula Dean 2Q Tea Kettle is perfect at $54.99!

and Monogrammed Mugs from Anthropologie for only $6 each!

and Monogrammed Mugs from Anthropologie for only $6 each!