Strolling Nantucket in Draper James

Giving you guys a tour around Nantucket is one of my favorite things to do, and so I combined two more of my favorites and set out around town in Draper James clothes with Rebecca Love Photography. I am happy to have you here with me on Main Street!

Photo by Rebecca Love Photography

Two questions I am asked many times is, “What should I pack to wear when I visit Nantucket?” and “Which shops do you recommend the most?” First of all, I recommend packing a few Draper James pieces in your suitcase. The dresses are my favorites because they are perfect for looking nice and feeling comfortable. For me, they are a perfect mix of stylish, polished, and comfortable. I suggest taking a look at all of the different styles and patterns that they offer and finding what you feel like suits your tastes. Here are the ones I chose for my trip…

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The navy gingham love circle dress was one of my first choices when I was getting ready to head to Nantucket for summer. I especially like how easy it is to layer a sweater over it for the cooler mornings and evenings that are typical to a Nantucket summer. Navy and white always seem like the right feel for anywhere, but especially a coastal town.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The circle dress has a great fit to it and is casual enough to wear around town and dressy enough to go to brunch. I wore it several times and I love how you can add different necklaces, earrings, handbags to the the dress for a different look each time. Here -walking down Main Street- I kept it simple (but I can never resist picking up a bouquet of flowers that are grown on Nantucket). As a side note, when I was in college, I would stop by Flowers on Chestnut and bring home a bundle of their flowers for my house. Back then, the flower shop was simply called “Flowers” and it was on Federal Street. I can’t resist the flower finds on Nantucket- and there are flower trucks that park on Main Street on select days so that you can get your flower fix. I always love the variety of what you can find. And so, I always grab a bouquet when I can! As another interesting side note, so many people smile at you or say hello when you are carrying flowers. I swear by it and the flower trucks and shops are always on my suggestions of shops to visit! 🙂

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Speaking of flowers…there is no shortage of gorgeous flowers growing on Nantucket in the summer. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw all of the beautiful gardens and hydrangea hedges that I shared. The flowers are part of the charm of the island- they are always so picturesque. Knowing how much I love the hydrangeas spilling over everywhere, Rebecca suggested that we stop and shoot some pics at this pretty little spot in town.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

As I mentioned, Draper James navy blue circle dress definitely transitions easily from shopping for Nantucket treasures to stopping for lunch or brunch. And, a Peter Beaton hat is always on my list of wants when I am on Nantucket- just visiting the hat studio is fun! You can try on the different shapes and sizes and make a list of your favorites on your phone- it took me a while to decide which one to choose. Having photos and notes (and an opinionated daughter) was helpful when I was choosing which one I liked best. I will share more in another post about Peter Beaton Hat Studio.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

I decided to go big because, well, I am a little on the fair side and can use all of the help I can get to block the sun. 🙂

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

And, because Rebecca Love is so good at learning about her clients and what they like, we ended up on the cutest street that my daughter loves. One of my very favorite things to do on Nantucket is to wander around and to walk the different lanes. This stone street is a special little gem and I was really excited that Rebecca and I ended up on it!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

This dress has a versatile vibe so that we can dress it up with cute shoes or keep it casual with slides- which helps a lot because Nantucket is no joke when it comes to needing shoes that can get you around on the cobblestones. That is another reason that this Draper James dress was one of my go-to dresses for the summer- it looks great dressed up or down! As a side note, it is now on sale! I would scoop it up – it is such a great staple!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Another of my go-to dresses has been this one…it is so perfect for cooler days and nights by the beach- and for spring and fall temperature changes. This shirtdress is such a good one! It is comfortable and can be cinched with the belt or worn more loosely. I love the stripes!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Knowing that the little lanes of Nantucket are, literally, right up my alley Rebecca practically read my mind when we walked over to this street on our little tour around town…

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

I walk by it each day on my way to and from Main Street and always think of how perfect it would be for photographs. Especially, because it also has an American flag right in the middle of it all! And, speaking of perfect, did you notice that this cute and comfy dress also has pockets? That is always a plus!! Thank you, Draper James, for getting it!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Doesn’t that flag look so pretty right in the middle of this lovely little lane? Nantucket is one of the most patriotic places around which makes me love it even more.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

And more hydrangeas made another not-so-surprising appearance in our stroll around town. Always stop to smell the flowers and photograph them while you’re at it!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The 2 different shades of blue stripes make for a great mix of colors- and it is neutral enough to add any color you like to complement. Pink, green, orange would all look great with this shirtdress if you wanted to add those colors in with accessories. I kept it neutral, but I feel like there are endless ways to wear this dress! Also, it is ON SALE!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

The third dress that I took with me to Nantucket is by far the most versatile. It is a great outfit to have in your closet because I can’t even count how many different ways you can change it up or the number of places it is perfectly suited. It is casual but dressy- comfy but totally pulled together!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

Draper James kindly sent this dress to me as a gift, and I feel like it is a perfect representation of the type of clothing that they make…stylish, comfortable, flattering to all body types, classic, but always on-trend. And…how cute is this customized beach ball by Jennifer at A Party Made Perfect? Jennifer personalized this beach ball just for us, and I love how pretty her calligraphy is (Jennifer has tons of creative party ideas in addition to her fabulous beach balls!)!

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

This is one of those dresses that speaks for itself, but wow- I could see me over-wearing this dress really easily! Ha! It is just so easy and comfortable- and forgiving of any flaws we sometimes think we have. It works for different ages and different body types equally well. I will link it for you so that you can check it out, too! Here is the Chambray Maxi Dress.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

As you can tell, we ended our walk around town by doing what always seems to happen on Nantucket…heading to the beach! We went to Brant Point lighthouse to end our little tour and take the last few photos. Having the maxi dress on at the beach was perfect for the cool breeze- and the dress stood up to the wind! 🙂 The wrap dress wraps well and stays put. I can’t wait to wear this denim maxi into the fall. It would easily pair with a cropped sweater or jacket to take you into the cooler months of the year. It also would be great for SEC tailgating, casual fall get-togethers, and even the holidays. I have loved it, and I appreciate it so much!

Rebecca Love Photography for Draper James and The Party Wagon

Of course, behind the scenes, Ron was helping us along the way to keep up with our things as we walked from place to place. It turns out that he is good at helping put ribbons on hats and he didn’t even know it. 🙂 And Rebecca managed to snap this photo just as the Endeavor sailboat came sailing by us…she’s good y’all.

Rebecca Love Photography for The Party Wagon and Draper James

I hope that this post has given you some ideas for what works well when planning your trip to Nantucket. The best part about the Draper James outfits to me is that they continue to be a perfect choice even when you’re not at the beach or on vacation. The styling adapts to any setting so that you always look and feel well-dressed and comfortable at the same time. Draper James has also expanded their lines to make more sizing options available – they really do listen to their client base and help us all look our best wherever we go!

I will continue this virtual tour of Nantucket and share more shopping with you as we go. If you would like to find Draper James on Nantucket, they have a select group of items at Skinny Dip Nantucket. Of course, wherever you are, you can shop online. The summer sale is going on and so it is a great time to grab some of your favorites at a discount! I would love to know what you wear from Draper James! Feel free to share your finds with me, too! Happy Shopping!

xo,

Lydia

Monster Cookies

Mmmm…peanut butter, M&M’s, chocolate chips, and oats combine to make the richest and most satisfying cookies you have ever had! Monster Cookies get their name from the large size of the cookie and the massive amount of deliciousness in each one! I keep this recipe in strong rotation, and I am always asked if I will share the recipe.

You can serve a crowd with this recipe and so I often make these monster cookies for potluck gatherings, tailgate parties, summer get-togethers with friends, and as treat to share with teachers or family and friends. The oatmeal and peanut butter make them a hearty sweet treat- they seem almost like a meal in itself! :). I definitely suggest a glass of milk to go with it! These cookies are fully-loaded and so, so good!

I actually just made these as a “Back to School” treat for my kids- they will be a great pick-me-up to pack in their lunches for school. A special little perk to look forward to and enjoy while they are also trying to get their school groove back in gear. My kids always seem to have a little bit of an adjustment from the summer freedom of eating when you’re hungry to the school year scheduled eating times. My son, especially, eats so much more during the days at home than he can when he’s at school. I am glad this is filling- it will help him get through that first week!

I love being able to share the recipe for these super-popular cookies! My friend, Heather, introduced me to them so long ago~ and they have been a staple in our house ever since. I hope you enjoy them, too!! Here is a quick photo of the ingredients that we gather before we start (my kids love helping me make these- and now can actually make them all on their own).

MONSTER COOKIES

1 CUP BUTTER

3 CUPS PEANUT BUTTER

2 CUPS WHITE SUGAR

1/4 CUP LIGHT KARO SYRUP

4 teaspoons BAKING SODA

1/4 teaspoon SALT

2 teaspoons VANILLA

6 EGGS

CREAM ALL INGREDIENTS AND ADD~

8-10 CUPS OATMEAL

12 OZ. CHOCOLATE CHIPS

12 OZ. M &M s

Scoop 1/4 cup for each cookie and drop on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Here are a couple of other photos that I took when I served them- I have these small and really great wicker trays from Society Social that I use when I want to serve the kids something and make it a little more special. Anything works- but I also love these trays because they can bring all of the dishes to the sink and dishwasher at once when it is time to clean up! That way, nothing is “accidentally” forgotten when they put away their dishes. 🙂 I used flowers and lots of colors for my daughter and then used red, blue, and yellow for my son. He probably doesn’t notice that I change it for him, because the cookies are all he really cares about! Ha! I can’t blame him!

You can also see how I used this recipe for a Fourth of July picnic here. It was one of my very first recipes I shared when I started blogging- so beware…it is equal parts funny and cringe -y (as my kids would say) to see the original posts on my blog. I love to see the progress this little blog has made over the years. Lol! Thank you for being here and for helping me grow! I really hope you love what you find here at The Party Wagon!

Also, these cookies freeze well! If you make more than you need, or if you just want to save some for later…you can freeze these for a few months. Just take out to thaw and then enjoy all over again! Cheers, Friends!

XO,

Lydia

bar cart for cinco de mayo fiesta
Shake Up Your Fiesta! Mexican Themed Party Drinks

Cheers to having new ideas for fun drinks to add to your celebration rotation! A signature drink for a get-together always makes for a nice greeting for your guests as they arrive- and today I am sharing 2 recipes that will shake up your classic margarita recipe just a bit! I love this homemade version and I think you will, too! Also, I am going to share a non-alcoholic drink that you can whip up easily for your younger or non-drinking friends! So, join me for this fiesta full of ideas to help you host your next party! And, I have to brag on the girls from Party Hat Paper Company who sent me a box FULL of fiesta party supplies! The streamers and party fans are so easy to put together and have such a wow factor!

bar-cart-fiesta-balloon

I really love the FIESTA balloons that are so easy to assemble and really put the perfect touch on the decorations over the bar cart. All you have to do is unfold the letter balloons and use a straw to inflate them. The balloons seal automatically- no tying or twisting. They are just simple to do. I strung them on fishing wire using the holes in the table that are made into the tops of each balloon letter.

fiesta-letter-balloons

To set up this bar cart, I really wanted the top part to be the usable part and the bottom part to be decorative. I put all of the ingredients needed for the drinks on the top, plus glasses, a shaker, ice, cocktail napkins, flowers, and some pretty cookies just in case someone would rather have a cookie than a drink! Something for everyone, right? The bottom shelf of the bar cart was so easy to pull together. I used luminaries from Party Hat Paper Company’s fiesta party kit. I added glasses that my friend tells me look like a cactus, some water for good measure, and a bowl of extra lemons and limes just in case. The party box also came with the garlands that you see on the front of the cart- I loved how easy it was to drape them on the cart and how perfectly they dressed it up and added interest and color!

titos-tequila-patron

For the recipes, I stopped by Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens and bought the ingredients I needed- and they are always so helpful, by the way. For the margarita, I am sharing my favorite marg from an Athens favorite- Taqueria del Sol (there are locations in Atlanta and Nashville if you are close to those cities). It is named “Westside Rita” (aka “the Westside”) and is my favorite Friday night toddy. It gets its name from the location in Atlanta of the first Taqueria del Sol. Here is what you need to make this citrusy margarita…

The Best Homemade Margarita

Salt

2 Fresh Lime Wedges or Slices

2 ounces Herradurra Reposado Tequila

1 ounce Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur

3 ounces Fresh Sweet-and Sour Mix (see below)

To make the Sweet-and-Sour Mix, you will need

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

To make the Sweet and Sour Mix…combine 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and heat on high. Let boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup lime juice and stir. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week.

  1. Pour salt into a small plate
  2. Use the lime wedge to wet the rim of a 12 oz. glass
  3. Dip the rim of glass in the salt.
  4. Pour tequila, liqueur, and Sweet-and-Sour Mix into a shaker with ice.
  5. Shake it up! Pour into glass. Garnish with other lime wedge.
  6. Sip and enjoy!
fiesta-recipe
Recipe from Turnip Greens and Tortillas by Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol
best-mexican-recipes


Basil Limonada

For this next recipe, this is fresh basil limeade which is perfect as it is but also makes a great base for a cocktail or a fizzy drink. If you want to make it a cocktail, add in a splash of Tito’s Tequila. If you prefer to make it into a soda, just replace the regular water with sparkling water. So perfect for a hot day! Here’s how to make it…

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups water

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 or 3 limes, quartered

Ice

  1. Place the sugar and water in a large pitcher and stir until the sugar dissolves. Measure out 1 cup.

2. Put the limes and basil in a blender, add the 1 cup sugar water and puree the mixture

3. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer back into the pitcher with the remaining sugar water. Use a whisk or wooden spoon to press any pulp. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Serve over ice and garnish with a basil leaf and/or lime slice.

bar-cart-fiesta

Click on the video to see the fun you should definitely have when making these drinks and meet my friend Ellen! She’s a party all on her own! Giant sombrero optional!

Cheers XO,

Lydia

party ideas for cinco de mayo
Best Cinco De Mayo – Birthday Party Ideas Decorations and Recipes

How fun is a fiesta? There is something about throwing a party for Cinco de Mayo or for a birthday that makes this theme just so perfect! These party ideas that I am sharing today were made even easier by Party Hat Paper Company and the huge box of fiesta party supplies they sent me! It was such a welcome surprise to open this fiesta party box, and I loved how easy it made it to plan and decorate! Because I had so much to work with, I am going to share ideas for a kids’ party table (shown below) and show you how you can also use these ideas for a teen fiesta later this week. Then, I will share ideas for adults… and add in fiesta recipe ideas that are a hit with (most) everyone! So, check back often this week to see all of the fun happening over here! First up, a bursting-with-color tablescape for a fiesta!

With all of the color that was a part of party box, I added a white tablecloth to ground everything and let the decorations shine. The traditional Mexican serape made a bright cloth table runner – I loved how the colors looked so vivid on the white and then worked well with the brown Kraft lunchroom style trays that were included in the party box. I have never used those trays before, and so I had fun deciding how to dress them up!

luminary

The fiesta party plates were perfect to place under the mini pots that I used for the main dish. I also used the matching cupcake holders for salsa- totally testing the theory that they will hold liquid! Guess what? The cupcake holders were perfect for serving salsa! They really did hold up and they looked so cute on the tray.

sombrero-spoon

Something else I had never used before that was in the fiesta party kit box, was the colorful taco holders. They are designed to hold tacos while you add the filling and prevent the tacos from breaking- but I used them for napkin and utensil holders. I really like how they kept the wooden knives, forks, and spoons (that were included in the kit) bundled in the napkins (also provided)- and it added color to the serving tray. I could stand them up or lay them flat and they worked so well. I added a couple of decorative food picks just for fun. The food picks are perfect for holding soft tacos together, too! So many uses for so many of the party supplies.

Speaking of the wooden forks, I added the tiny sombreros to the tops of the forks that were in the burrito bowls. I think the sombreros are my favorite little detail from the party box kit! They are so cute and can be used in several ways. I think they were originally intended to be cupcake toppers, but I think they are perfect for the forks and for the straws!

cup-lime-sombrero-straw

The orange cups and the yellow striped paper straws were also a part of the fiesta party kit from Paper Hat Party Company. They thought of so many details and really considered what you would need and how you could use the supplies. I am impressed! And even if you decided to use the mini sombreros for cupcakes, the cups and straws look great with a simple slice of lime! Also, notice the confetti sprinkled on the table…it came with the party box, too! I love how something so simple can be so pretty and easy to use…

cups-with-limes

For the center of the table, I used the luminaries that came from Party Hat Paper Company and added vases of flowers to them. I bought flowers at Trader Joe’s and arranged them in a short container. I folded the luminary bag down so that the white showed which helped show off the colors of the flowers. I love luminaries at night, but for a party during daylight, the luminaries can be used in several ways…

flower-centerpiece

They would be perfect for

  1. holding chips
  2. party favor bags
  3. flower holders with a container dropped inside
pink-luminary-flower-centerpiece

I also never met a party that didn’t need some cute cookies to serve, and so Melissa of Dough & Batter came through with the absolute cutest cookie designs! Tacos and Pinatas – you can’t get more perfect than that for a fiesta! I displayed the taco cookies in the taco holders that were part of the party box kit and loved how they stood up! The cake stand of cookies looked so cute in the middle of the flower arrangements…

I could have taken a million more photos of them- the cookies were just so cute with their polka dot backgrounds and their icing transfer images. Dough and Batter is so fun to work with and so talented and creative! And, you guessed it- those cute cactus plates came as part of the party kit from Paper Hat Party Company! I loved having the plates to use for serving dessert!

taco-plate-with-cookies

Here’s a quick shot of the table as I was building it and before I added the plates, trays, food, etc. I enjoy the process of seeing what works well together and taking photos of it along the way as I am designing it. It helps me to see it better and from a different perspective. Anybody else do this?

tablescape

I can tell you the the key ingredients for making patterns and colors work well together is first, not to be afraid to mix them! Definitely remember to mix large scale with small scale rather than having the patterns all the same size. You can repeat patterns of different scale to bring a cohesive feel- such as the tiny polka dots on the cookies work really well with the polka dot effect that the strewn confetti gives. The same works with the smaller diamond pattern on the plates paired with the bold stripes of the serape. And- remember to add texture to the table top with flowers and even the cut out on the luminaries. I love the motion of both of those, too! The height is always a tougher one for me because I love to have taller centerpieces for the visual appeal, but mostly, I want guests to be able to see each other and to chat– so I keep it lower especially for a kids’ table. The cake stand of cookies was as tall as I let the table get but added visual height with the wall behind the table!

piñata-taco-cookies-on-platter
fiesta-letter-balloons

I will share more about the fabulous wall decorations that I used from Party Box Paper Company coming up! Let me know what your favorite part of the kids’ tablescape is and remember to check back all week for more fiesta fun!! You can also see another of my favorite fiestas here– a party for my daughter that was full of good times!

XO,

Lydia

the party wagon logo final
the Party Wagon Re-launch Celebration

Wow, you guys! This past week has been a whirlwind of fun and excitement as The Party Wagon officially re-launched! So much was going on in such a short amount of time, and I want to share as much of it as I can with you!! First of all, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE!! It means so much to me to have you here, and I invite you to put your email in and subscribe! This will be the first time I have had an email list. The first time around, I relied on RSS feed only. But, one of the many things that I learned is that with an email list, we can stay connected no matter what turns Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter take. With an email, we can be a team and can interact even more reliably! I want to share with you, and I encourage your feedback! It really wouldn’t be a party without YOU, and so I hope you will sign up for the newsletter to be delivered to your inbox each week! So let’s get this party started with a recap of the ReLaunch Parties!!

Logo Design by Joanna Baker

I was so thrilled to have my logo redesigned by illustrator Joanna Baker. Joanna was a delight to work with, and she captured the feel for what I was hoping to express with a new logo. To create the new look, I styled the cart, photographed it and then sent the photo to Joanna. Because my previous logo was a silhouette of my two children in a wagon- just like the wagon I used to pull them around in our backyard when they were little. I wanted to find a way to still use the sweet, original logo that held meaning for me…and so I asked Joanna to incorporate it as a cake topper on the cake on the bar cart (which I like to think of as my newest party wagon). A bar cart can be used in so many more ways than just for a bar, and I find myself pushing mine all round our house for different uses. It is definitely the most versatile party prop I own, and I highly recommend the bar carts from Society Social for style and function! And, as you can see below…I carried the logo and its colors throughout the party…

Cookies by Bambella Cookies. Styling and Photo by Lydia Menzies

I worked with Tara, from Bambella Cookies, to come up with a way to make cookies that represented my new logo and branding. Rather than make each cookie an exact version of the logo, Tara highlighted each aspect that was represented on the bar cart in the logo. I loved how they turned out and how they shared little pieces of what The Party Wagon is as a whole. From the actual bar cart itself, to the banner, the books, the blue and white vase with flowers, my favorite pink and white compote that I always fill with lemons, to the cake with my original logo as the topper, and the drinks and glasses with straw flags…she covered it all in the most beautiful collection of custom cookies!

The Party Wagon Cookies by Bambella Cookies

I love to fill our house with flowers, but I have to be careful because my son is allergic to several flowers. I have learned along the way which ones to avoid and which ones he can tolerate (he seems to have outgrown a complete flower ban)…and roses and hydrangeas seems to work just fine. I love to temper bright colors with a little bit of pastel or less-saturated color when I decorate, and so I made these arrangements with light pink roses and white hydrangeas.

I used my favorite cache pots from Chelsea House to display the flowers on our tables near the front door of the house. As much as I love flowers in a glass or clear vase, I also love the look of a beautiful decorative vase or pot- it definitely adds interest and depth to a flower arrangement. You can use a floral oasis inside the cache pots or, do like I did here, and drop a vase with water inside the pot and arrange the flowers that way.

To help celebrate the kick-off of the updated website, artist Hannah Betzel joined in on the party and did a live painting at the party. It was so much fun to watch her creative process in action as she started with the blank canvas and painted such a beautiful, lively, playful piece of art! Here she is as the painting is in progress…

Hannah is local to Athens and lives just a few blocks away from us, which made it easy and fun to have her drop in and showcase her talents at the party. I was so happy to have Hannah here! I feel like having an artist paint live adds energy and happiness to a celebration- it gives the artist the chance to share her work and talent with the community and it gives the guests a fun way to interact along with something interesting to watch and chat about. Everyone enjoys watching something come to life, and I was so honored to have Hannah here to celebrate the day!

Speaking of local favorites, I also wanted to highlight some of my favorite restaurants from our town by serving their food for lunch at the party. This also helped me be able to pull off hosting lunch in the afternoon and then hosting my daughter’s Supper Club that same night. Luckily, Athens is quite a foodie lovers town and is full of talented chefs with great restaurants. For this lunch, I served delicious sandwiches from Home.Made along with their famous Suwanee Bites and Pigs in a Blanket. I ordered salads from Maepole- my favorites being their White Bean Salad and the Snow Pea Salad. Plus, I couldn’t resist serving Maepole’s Hibiscus Lemonade along with mini champagne bottles that I got from Five Points Bottle Shop. Each guest was greeted at the door with a little champagne if they wished and then a host of other non-alcoholic options.

WELCOME banner by Loralee Lewis

For dessert, we all enjoyed cupcakes from our local Gigi’s Cupcake franchise and chocolate bunnies from Condor Chocolate- along with the cookies from Bambella Cookies. Oconee Printing Company made buffet signs telling what each dish was and from which local restaurant. We also had a fun giveaway drawing for gifts from some of my favorite local shops.

Because I was hosting Supper Club later that night, I had the table set and ready for the girls early in the day. The colors that we used on the tables were perfect for spring and for the flower theme that was the Supper Club theme this month. The vases also just happened to be the colors of my logo and are from Parker Kennedy Living- The Cellar. The owners, Lance and David, offered to share the vases with me for the party, and I loaded them with ranunculus from Trader Joe’s.

I wish I had taken more photos of the friends at the party, but I truly soaked up the fun in real life and didn’t take photos while the party was going on. I was so happy to have a chance to chat and visit with the friends who came, and I didn’t want to interrupt the enjoyment! It was such a fun day and it meant the world to me to have friends drop in and share in the excitement. As with any party, helping hands make it all run smoothly and I could not have done it without the help of my friends Lance, David, and Carrie and my favorite college helper, Kathryn. And, thank YOU for attending online with me! I am just so glad to be back to blogging and to be back with you all! Please leave comments below or send me a message telling me what you think of the new design! I was fortunate to have a lovely web designer, Nicely Built, migrate my old site and then design a new look while keeping all of the original content. There is still a lot to do as I share more with you, but I so appreciate that you are here!

Come back for more soon!

XO,

Lydia

Easter Supper Club

With Peter Cottontail getting ready to hop down the bunny trail soon, I wanted to show y’all the Easter Supper Club that my teenage daughter and I hosted for her and her friends!

I often share about our Supper Clubs on Instagram, and it is the most asked about topic I get! Hosting a Supper Club is a fun way to get the girls together and let them enjoy just hanging out, eating, chatting, and sometimes some really loud singing. I truly love seeing them come through the door each time and look forward to coming up with new ideas for each time. I try to keep the menu different every time- but I do pay attention to the things that go over really well and sometimes repeat those certain dishes.

The very first question I am always asked is, “how many girls do you host each time?”. The answer to that is that we have about 24 girls and we range each time from around 18-24 gathered together! My daughter and I typically choose a theme and then go from there with planning. This Easter Supper Club is one of my favorites because Loralee Lewis spoiled us and sent us gorgeous paper designs made especially for us. Loralee has a beautiful selection of designs ready in her shop, but she let us design our own for this one which was such a treat! We gave her our vision for a preppy, springtime meal and she worked her design magic and shipped it all to us.

For a springtime dinner, I like to serve lighter fare and lots of fresh produce. The menu for this Supper Club was sandwiches, gazpacho, veggie platters with hummus, a big bowl of berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries), pita chips, and dessert. I made my favorite gazpacho recipe that actually happens to be one of my daughter’s all-time favorites. We served the gazpacho in the soup containers that you see above. I love serving gazpacho because you can make it a day ahead and the flavors get better overnight. I will share the recipe soon as it is one of my go-to recipes for spring and summer. I feel really lucky that my kids actually love it. It was even one of their favorites when they were babies!

When I was deciding how to set the table, I really wanted to use the bold green and white stripes to coordinate with Loralee’s quatrefoil design on the placemats and soup containers. The green stripe matched perfectly to the green top on the container. I also wanted to pull in the navy blue that was used and so I found a larger quatrefoil napkin print in navy that I loved and went with it. I also layered the dinner plates and dessert plates in green and pink, and as you can see, repeated the pink and green with the straws and cups. For flowers, I really wanted to use pink tulips- and when I saw the tulipieres (tulip holders) at PKL-The Cellar, I knew those would be the perfect pieces for the center of the table. The tulipieres are pieces that I use all spring and summer, and they make flower arrangements so easy to create. And, they don’t have to be just for tulips!

Did you notice how the little favor boxes and straw flags from Loralee Lewis say, “Egg-stra”? Those were a fun nod to one of the girls’ favorite things to say at the time- “you’re so extra” was the inspiration for that little detail, and we just adapted it because it fit perfectly with an Easter theme!

Speaking of extra, I always love making the dessert table a little extra! And, no one ever seems to mind! Ha! Loralee sent over these carrot boxes with customized tags on them and I filled them with Lindt chocolate carrots and put them in a basket with grass. I bought the grass at Lowe’s and potted it in the basket, and then placed the tips of the carrots in the grass.

I really love how the chocolate carrot candy fits perfectly in the carrot-shaped boxes! They were made for each other! I think these carrot boxes with candy would make adorable teacher gifts or neighbor gifts for Easter, too.

We are lucky enough to live close enough to the amazing Mac Lab and are able to pick up their super cute and so delicious macarons often. For this Supper Club, we ordered their specialty macarons and were so happy with them! The bunny macs are too cute and the girls loved them!

I displayed them using egg cups that I bought at Hobby Lobby. I poured sprinkles in the egg cups so that I could nestle the bunnies in them and help them stay up.

The bunny macarons are the kind of treat that is just so cute, you really hesitate to bite into them. And, then you want to save a few because they’re just fun to have~ and they make everyone smile. (As a side note, Mac Lab now offers shipping- which means you can have some even if you aren’t in the Atlanta area.)

I also made some bright Easter Peeps topiaries for the dessert table- they were really fun to make and were actually pretty easy!

To make the Easter Peeps Towers/ Topiaries, I started with styrofoam cones that I bought at Hobby Lobby. I broke toothpicks in half and used them to attach the marshmallow bunny Peeps to the cone. As I was making them, I perfected the pattern a little better as I went. The tallest tower is the last one that I made and you can definitely see the improvement. So, if you decide to make one too- use the tall one as your guide. 🙂 I tied big pink bows at the top to cover the small space that is not covered by the marshmallows. I attached the bows with a straight pin and then used the topiaries on the dessert table. And, yes, the girls asked if they could eat them! Lol

I encouraged them to try eating these instead. My daughter loves chocolate pudding and so she made tiny jars of pudding for everyone and we topped them with edible grass and adorable cookies from Tara at Bambella Cookies.

While the girls were enjoying dinner and dessert, I secretly arranged a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt. It was so much fun! I asked two college girls that we know and love to help us put battery tea lights inside of several hundred eggs. My son was in charge of pulling out all of the tabs in the lights that you have to remove so that they will turn on- and then my daughter, our college friends, and I loaded the eggs with lights- and then they hid them all over the yard. When the girls came outside after dessert, the yard was glowing with eggs every where. It looked so pretty to see all of the eggs lit up. The photos don’t begin to do it justice, but it was really pretty. If you ever have a chance to do a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt, I say go for it! It is especially perfect for older kids.

When the girls found all of the eggs, they met me at the front porch where I had set up a couple of stations with candy. They could trade their eggs for candy and that way I was able to get all of the eggs and lights back so that I can do it again sometime! We had one prize egg and we had a basket of goodies for the friend that found the golden egg…

It was such a fun time! I love these girls and already can’t wait for the next one!