mini champagne bottles hand painted with flamingos and pineapples for galentine's day
Let’s Flamin-GAL! A Flamingo-Inspired Galentine’s Day

This year, I am hosting a virtual Galentine’s Day celebration with all of you! I wish we could gather together in real life for a party, but this will work for now! Please consider this adorable card by Dixie Designs your Valentine card from me…

valentine card that reads we flamingo together

I am so excited to greet you with these incredible cake pops made by Pop Pedler. I can’t get over how beautiful they are. The flower details are so perfect.

cakepops made to look like flamingos

To set the mood for the party, flamin-gals directed your path for you as you arrived…

flamingos lining the sidewalk into a party

With this spritely lady busying herself right by the front door!

doorway entrance decorated with plants watermelon and flamingo

This bashful beauty welcomes you to fill your drink with choices of pink lemonade or a pink grapefruit cocktail…

flamingo bottle topper with straw on glass bottle

And, of course, sparkling water is always available…choose your glass bottle with these whimsically wonderful fondant flamingos made by Sachiko at Mimi Cafe Union

glass drink bottles with fondant flamingos on top tied with blue bow

OR, help yourself to one of these adorable hand-painted mini bottles of champagne. I ordered these just for us for our Flamingal- and Sarah T. Moore Designs painted them just like I was hoping! So cute and fun!!

hand painted mini champagne bottles with flamingos and pineapples
mini champagne bottles hand painted with flamingos and pineapples for galentine's day

I’m passing around caprese appetizers made by Courtney at Pizzazzerie...how delicious! And, that mozzarella heart on each one is the perfect touch!

caprese appetizers with mozzerrella hearts

We are serving Strawberry Grilled Chicken Avocado Spinach Salad from Cooking Classy for lunch. Dig in!

strawberry grilled chicken avacado spinach salad

For dessert (because none of us could bear to actually eat the beautiful flamingo cake pop and saved it to take home), we have chocolate cake and vanilla cake…decorated in shades of pink!

pink tulle ruffled table skirt with desserts displayed on top
pink dessert table with pink cake chocolate cake with pink roses and pink cake pops

We all like to flamingle, and so why not host a Flamin-GAL for your next Galentine’s Day theme? I think the theme adds a little sun to February – and you can re-use your decorations in the spring and summer. Not to mention, flamingo pink works perfectly for Galentine’s Day!

supper club love you pho real galentines day cookies
Supper Club ~ I Love You Pho Real ~ Galentine’s Day

My daughter and I love Pho and have had some funny experiences on our mission to find the best. From being offered forks to use to eat our soup (we stuck with the chop sticks) to watching well-prepared mamas use tiny food scissors to cut the noodles for their toddlers, we have learned a lot about the art of eating Pho. We have endless ways of making ourselves laugh as we substitute the word “pho” for “for”. It felt only fitting to host a Galentine’s Day Supper Club with her friends with a pho theme…

supper club love you pho real galentines day cookies

“I love you pho real” was a fun way to tie in Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day- and introduce friends to pho who may not have tried it yet. If you are unfamiliar with pho, it is a Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, broth, herbs. You can add a choice of protein like chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu, etc.

supper club love you pho real blue and white ginger jars with tulips on table

To decorate for the dinner, I found the most perfect designs from Susan on Etsy…her shop is called When I Was Your Age. Susan was so kind to send placemats and cups as a gift to us to use for Supper Club.

supper club asian inspired love you pho real chinoiserie cups

The red and pink chinoiserie patterns in her shop were the inspiration for the table setting. I wanted it to be casual but really beautiful.

supper club love you pho real table setting

Adding blue and white to create the table centerpiece was an easy decision to pull in Asian accents. Tulips and orchids were the flowers that I chose for the colors and look. And, then I contacted Tara at Bambella Cookies and asked if she could make a set of cookies to match our theme… needless to say, Bambella Cookies made each one an edible work of art!

supper club love you pho real galentines day cookies

My daughter and I also hung icicle lights on the dining room walls so give the room a warm glow. It created a nice little ambiance- I think we kept them up long after the party! 🙂

supper club i love you pho real table set with red and pink chinoiserie and tulips

I set the tables with a plate and a napkin on top- just like the restaurants do when they serve pho. Instead of making the soup, I left it to the professionals and ordered from a Vietnamese restaurant in town called “Just Pho”. I had the tables ready so that we could serve it directly to the girls as soon as it arrived at the house. I had the girls choose chicken, beef, or veggie before the party, and my husband picked up the order from the restaurant.

supper club love you pho real table set with tulips and galentines day

I also ordered several dozen egg rolls- and should have ordered several dozen more. The girls loved the egg rolls! I wasn’t even able to get a photo of them before they were gone.

supper club i love you pho real cup with straw and orchids

The miniature orchids and the cut tulips came from Trader Joe’s. They were perfect for the party!

supper club love you pho real table centerpiece with ginger jars tulips and orchids

I took lots and lots of photos of the cookies…they were amazingly detailed and so pretty.

supper club love you pho real set of cookies in pink and red

We added helium-filled balloons to the dining room and let them float randomly on the ceiling. It was an easy and really pretty way to add some color to the room.

supper club love you pho real dining room with red balloons on ceiling

For drinks, we served water and also offered sparkling Welch’s apple cider. I found it in pink and so was happy to have it match the party! I added it to my drink bucket with ice and hung a party garland behind the drink bucket.

supper club love you pho real sparkling cider and glasses

I really love the red, pink, green, and blue together. The patterns are so pretty together, too!

supper club love you pho real blue and white ginger jars and tulips overhead shot

Here is a quick picture of the pho that we served. If you would like to try making it yourself, I recommend this pho recipe from Homemade and Yummy.

supper club love you pho real soup

As usual, I loved taking photos of the cookies. I am always amazed at the precision of Bambella Cookies. That chinoiserie pattern is stunning. The pagodas are gorgeous, and the trees and figures are perfect!

supper club love you pho real chinoiserie cookies

I think an Asian-inspired Galentine’s Day is a really fun way to try something new and enjoy food and conversation. I could happily host this theme every month!

supper club centerpiece from above ginger jars and tulips

“I love you, pho real” is a fun sentiment and a fun party theme! I hope you are inspired to create a Galentine’s gathering. I am always happy to answer questions or offer tips! I turned my comments back on after having them off for a long time. You are welcome to leave me a message below in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

Have a great week!

supper club love you pho real three cookies

Cheers xo,

Lydia

Valentine Barbie Heart Shaped Wreath by Parker Kennedy Living
Lydia Loves ~ A Special Edition for Valentine’s Day

Here are my “Six Picks” for the week- I have loved finding several unique and beautiful ideas to share with you in time for Valentine’s Day!

  1. Cuddle + Kind Dolls~ for years, I have loved gifting Cuddle and Kind to children and newborns. I love the personalities of each doll, and I love the mission of the company. They are heirloom-quality dolls, hand-crafted, and full of cuteness! Visit their site to see all of the different animals.
cuddle and kind fawn stuffed animal dolls

2. Sweet Bella’s Cookies Holiday Shop ~ Martha, of Sweet Bella’s, offers holiday cookies that are so fun and beautiful. They can be shipped or picked-up locally (Atlanta, GA or Columbus, GA). Martha is so talented! I love her selection of Valentine cookies!

valentine cookies by sweet bella

3. Condor Chocolate– Condor is an authentic chocolate destination in Athens, GA. I love their hot chocolate gift sets, their chocolate sauce, their baked goods, and their candy! Their drinking chocolate is something to sip, too! You can order from their online shop.

condor chocolate bar with georgia pecans

4. Valentine Barbie Wreath by Parker Kennedy Living ~ I’ve never seen a Valentine quite like this! Lance of Parker Kennedy Living outdid himself on this gorgeous heart-shaped Barbie Valentine’s Day wreath. His signature wreath style adorned with vintage jewelry ready for gifting. I would love it if the wreath would, “Be Mine”! What a fun and whimsical way to celebrate February and all through the year. Love and Barbie are never out of season, right?

Valentine Barbie Heart Shaped Wreath by Parker Kennedy Living

5. Dixie Designs Valentine Cards and Invitations ~ Dixie Designs has you covered for Valentine cards, invitations, multi-card sets, and more! There are so many beautiful and/or cute designs, you may have a hard time choosing! I love them all! Here is an example- stop by their shop linked above to see the full collection of designs.

dixie designs dalmatian valentines day card

6. Pretentious Glass Handblown Bourbon or Beer Glasses– These glasses make great gifts for the hard-to-buy-for-guy! I love the unique shapes and I also like the glasses that look like they are leaning or wobbling. Don’t let the name of the company fool you- that is tongue-in-cheek! I have bought these for my husband and love their quality and style.

pretentious glass bourbon leaning glass

I hope you find some fun gift ideas in this list! The last Lydia Loves edition had several ideas for Valentine’s Day, too! Be sure to check the always-growing list of gift ideas and fun finds in Lydia Loves. Thanks, Friends!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

supper club conversation heart balloons above pink sofa
Supper Club ~ Candy Hearts and Conversation

Supper Club ideas are always fun for Valentine’s Day- and Galentine’s Day! Host your girlfriends for a fun night of conversation- and what could be a better theme than candy conversation hearts? This is the fun we put together for my daughter and her friends…

supper club conversation heart balloons above pink sofa
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

My grandmother’s sofa, that I had recovered in hot pink fabric, served as the focal point- and the perfect place to attach conversation heart balloons. The girls love to have a place to take photos, and this turned out to be a comfy and creative photo booth.

supper club flowers on dinner table
Photo and Flowers by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For the color scheme, I used the colors that you find in bags and boxes of Candy Conversation Hearts and added red like the lettering on the candy. I bought flowers in coordinating colors at the grocery store (Trader Joe’s, Publix, and Kroger are my go-to grocery store flowers). I used clear vases to arrange the flowers and lined them down the tables. I also used lots of candles on the tables in between the flowers. When I host parties with lots of young people, I typically only use battery-operated candles for safety reasons.

supper club conversation hearts candy on table centerpiece
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I sprinkled candy hearts down the middle of each table to tie in the theme- and I also ordered cookies shaped like conversation heart candy. The cookies are from Bambella Cookies, and they always exceed my expectations. Tara is so talented and so dependable.

supper club conversation hearts candy decorated cookies
Cookies by Tara of Bambella Cookies/ Photo & Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I loved having pastels and brights mixed at this party. They complemented each other well, and it was nice to brighten up a February day and night with pops of color.

supper club conversation hearts candy valentines day flowers
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

Because we were celebrating Galentine’s Day, I hung balloon letters that spelled out “Gal Pals” in the dining room. I used string lights to light the room and then attached the balloon letters to the cord of the lights.

supper club conversation hearts candy galentines day gal pal balloons
BTS photo and styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

My daughter has always liked gum ball machines, and so I asked Tara if she could design a gum ball machine cookie with candy hearts inside instead of gum balls. She added the cute “I Chews You” to top it off! I love how they turned out (as you will see because I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them) :).

supper club galentines day conversation candy hearts in gumball machine
Cookie by Bambella Cookies for The Party Wagon

I love it when the theme also makes a great part of the decorations!

supper club conversation hearts in pile on dinner table
Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

More cookie designs from Bambella Cookies- the candy conversation heart balloon bouquets are so cute!

supper club cookies conversation hearts candy galentines day
Cookies by Bambella Cookies for The Party Wagon

I put the cookies on a layer of candy hearts to serve them…

supper club candy conversation heart cookies on top of candy
Cookies by Bambella Cookies/ Styling and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I also ordered candy kabobs with tiny hearts on them for the girls. They were cute lollipops that I grouped together in a clear candy jar…

supper club candy conversation hearts galentines day candy pops
Candy Kabobs by Sweets Indeed / Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

These were definitely a hit- and they make perfect take-home treats!

supper club lollipops with hearts
Candy Kabobs by Sweets Indeed / Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon
supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts
Flowers and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For other cookie designs, Bambella Cookies and I came up with cute sayings that would be fun for Galentine’s Day.

supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts decorated cookies
Cookies by Bambella Cookies/ Styling and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For dinner, my daughter wanted to have fried chicken…and so we served fried chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and fruit. To make it really simple, I ordered the fried chicken from Publix and put it in our oven to keep it warm.

supper club candy heart conversation-flowers-kitchen
Flowers and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon
supper club galentines day gal pal balloon letters
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

The girls love sparkling apple cider, and so I bought disposable champagne flutes from Hobby Lobby to use for serving. Before the party, my daughter and a friend dipped the rims of each glass in vanilla frosting and then dipped them into sprinkles. This was definitely a fun little bonus and looked so pretty and colorful.

supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts glasses with sprinkles
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

My daughter also wanted to make and serve her Edible Cookie Dough. There was no shortage of sweets at the dessert table for this Galentine’s Day Supper Club!

supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts cookie dough
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

In order to make the cookie dough as pretty as possible when we served it, we scooped it into printed candy cups and added a gold mini spoon tied with a ribbon.

supper club galentines day gold spoons with ribbon
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

You can find the recipe for Camille’s Edible Cookie Dough here.

Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

Here is another look at some of the cookies made by Bambella Cookies because I just loved each one! 🙂

supper club conversation candy hearts decorated cookies
Cookies by Bambella Cookies/ Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For decorations, I re-used the white balloon garland that I made for the Winter Supper Club and added heart balloons…

supper club conversation hearts galentines day theme balloon garland
Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

And, for party favors, I couldn’t resist the cutest Conversation Candy Heart Soaps from Sun Basil Soap… I tied bows in colors to coordinate with the party and stacked them on a cupcake stand for a pretty presentation.

supper club conversation heart soap by sun basil
Soaps by Sun Basil Soap/ Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

It was such a fun night of watching these girls enjoy themselves. Supper Clubs for teens are a joy to me- I love seeing each girl and always look forward to the next time they are all together!

supper club galentines day group
Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I hope you find ideas that encourage you to host a dinner or create a Supper Club! I am happy to help if you ever have questions!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

chocolate pecan candy three heart platter
Chocolate Pecan Candy- My Aunt’s Recipe

My aunt and uncle had a huge pecan tree in their yard- which was always nice for those of us who love pecans! Even better, my aunt would take those pecans and make a really simple but delicious pecan candy for us.

chocolate pecan candy my aunts recipe
chocolate pecan candy on heart platter

My kids and their cousins always loved climbing the tree, picking the pecans, and using the fancy rolling pecan picker that completely fascinated them. We all loved it that the kids would enjoy playing outside and picking what felt like a million pecans! The payment for their work was often chocolate pecan candy.

chocolate pecan candy three heart platter

This recipe is easy and makes a perfect candy for gifting or for serving. I hope you enjoy this simple treat that my aunt always made for us!

Chocolate Pecan Candy Recipe

1 lb. (16 oz.) coarsely chopped pecans

2 cups of Ghirardelli chocolate chips (I use half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate chips)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

2 teaspoons vegetable oil (optional)

Coarse Sea Salt

Instructions:

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Spread pecan pieces evenly across baking sheet.

Slice butter and add pats of butter scattered around the pecans.

Heat oven to 250 degrees (F).

Place pecans and butter in oven and toast for 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, turn pecans and the melted butter, being sure to coat the pecans.

Bake for 5 minutes and then carefully stir pecans, turning them so that they are evenly toasted.

Repeat this step until pecans are toasted- this takes about 20 minutes total. Watch pecans carefully, as ovens vary, and remember to turn the pecans every 5 minutes.

After pecans are toasted, remove from oven and let cool.

After pecans have cooled enough to handle, melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. I typically melt chocolate chips for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

(Optional step) If you prefer, add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the melted chocolate and stir until well mixed. The oil helps the chocolate have a smoother finish, but I usually leave out this step.

Stir toasted pecans and melted chocolate together in bowl and mix until pecans are well-coated.

Using a tablespoon, spoon out individual servings of the pecan mixture onto waxed paper.

Sprinkle salt onto the candy. I usually leave some unsalted for those who prefer no salt (such as my children).

Let set.

Transfer to a serving dish or box/bag for gifting.

So simple and so tasty!

I hope you enoy!

chocolate pecan candy being picked up from plate

ENJOY!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

easy disco ball decorations for new years eve chandelier decoration
Quick & Easy New Year’s Eve Party Ideas
new year's eve party ideas disco ball decorations hanging from chandelier with ribbon

Starting fresh in a new year always feels exciting and worth celebrating, right? There is something special about the end of one moment in time and the immediate beginning of something all new. Although I love a big party, I also love quick and easy ideas to mark a special occasion! Here are some of my favorite quick and easy New Year’s Eve party ideas that I enjoy putting together for my family…

easy disco ball decorations for new years eve chandelier decoration

Set the scene with disco ball ornaments. This is an easy New Year’s Eve party idea that can also be used for other parties (such as dance party ideas and pop-star party ideas) or re-used from year to year. The ornaments shown differ in size and have mirrored glass around them-but sequined versions are lighter and may be easier to find. Either way, they are festive and fun!

easy new years eve party ideas with disco ball chandelier

Group them together for impact and hang them from a chandelier with your choice of ribbon. Simply tie each individual ornament with a measured amount of ribbon so that the disco balls hang where you would like for them to hang (being sure not to go too low and risk being bumped constantly). The color of ribbon can coordinate with your party colors or you can opt for a monochromatic look and hang with silver or white ribbon.

new years eve party ideas disco ball chandelier with ribbon

New Year’s Eve Party Food Ideas

It is always fun to add a little sparkle everywhere on New Year’s Eve, and the drink and food ideas for your party are no exception! 🙂 When you are ready to pour the bubbly for your guests, treat them to a star-shaped cookie decorating the glass…

easy new years eve party ideas star cookie on champagne glass

To keep this New Year’s Eve party idea easy, only decorate the points of the star cookies. This also keeps it from being too sweet with the champagne. I used a sugar cookie recipe from Jenny Cookies, a dot of frosting on each tip, and a pink pearl sprinkle. The small star cookie cutter has been in my collection for awhile and so I don’t remember where I found it. If the sugar cookie is too large for the champagne flute, lay the cookie flat on top of the glass instead. Your guests will still love the thought!

new years eve party ideas star cookies on champagne glasses

If you are like I am and often have kids (or teens) around on New Year’s Eve, remember to have some kid-friendly items to serve as you celebrate the new year. This party idea is a hit throughout the year and works well for birthday parties and celebrations, too! It is so easy but so fun! Buy your favorite mini doughnuts and stack them on a cake stand. Add party hat picks to the doughnuts in random places and you are all ready to serve!

easy new years eve party ideas doughnuts with party hats and disco balls

Another of my favorite party ideas for easy kids’ party food is dipped pretzel rods. We name these “Sparklers” at New Year’s Eve parties- in honor of the only fireworks my parents would let us use as kids! 🙂

easy new years eve party ideas pretzel sparklers

See below for a quick video of how I make them…

I hope these simple, quick New Year’s Eve party ideas are helpful for making your celebrations a little more fun! If you are looking for a few more ideas to add to your list, see this disco party for more!

new year's eve disco ball drinks with blue straws

And, I wish you the best in the coming year!

Cheers xo,

Lydia