Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Creamy Horseradish and Dill Dip

Photo Credit: Yunhee Kim via Real Simple

I have already had a few occasions this summer where I had to bust out the dip for entertaining purposes or otherwise... and I don't really even eat dip often myself! This recipe for Creamy Horseradish and Dill Dip from Real Simple landed in my inbox and I thought it would be a natural fit for Tasty Tuesdays and easy breezy summer veggie platters.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • dippers (such as celery sticks, cucumber rounds, and potato chips)
  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, horseradish, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until fluffy. Stir in the dill. Serve with the dippers.

Happy Dipping!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Etsy Monday: EnchantedDandelions Sushi Roll

makes handcrafted items for babies and children, but I have another use for her adorable terry cloth sushi roll: party favours! Girls night gifts, bridal party gifts, or baby shower favours, these little babies do double duty as invaluable wash cloths as well as cute decor for your guests' bathroom, powder room or diaper bag. Wouldn't this look so sweet all packaged up at each place setting with your guests' names printed on the take-out container?


Friday, June 26, 2009

Frugal Friday: Michael's Email Club

Photo Credit: Onmidway.com
If you are all about DIY-ing ["Doing it yourself"] then there's probably a pretty good chance that you have stopped by a Michael's craft store once or twice. I'm pretty sure I keep my local store in business single-handedly- there is just so much stuff there that I covet! Even a walk through the store gets my creative juices flowing.

**Cue the Frugal Friday segue.** Are you a part of their e-mail newsletter club? If you are, then you know that you get a 50% off coupon immediately for joining and the weekly ad delivered to your email inbox as well as intermittant special offers and coupons. And if you aren't? Well... you are missing out! Click here to sign up and start saving on everything you need for your next event from cupcake liners to rubber stamps.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thirsty Thursday: Summer Beers

Summer is here and for many people that means enjoying a cold beer on the patio on a hot day. There are literally thousands of beers to choose from, but a select few get the honour of becoming "summer beers". Here are some suggestions to get the patio party started this summer.

Clockwise from top right are:

  • Hop Back Brewery Summer Lightning
  • Sam Adams Summer Ale
  • Steam Whistle Pilsner
  • Bud Light Lime
  • Cracked Canoe [centre]
What's your favourite summer brew?

Available in Ontario at select LCBO and
The Beer Store locations. Check with your local beer outlet for availability in your area.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Emergency Kit

Photo Credit: Sutree.com

It's better to be safe than sorry, right? Whether or not you use any of the things in your wedding emergency kit is not the point, it's the peace of mind that comes from being ultra-prepared for any unforeseen mishaps that could possibly arise. If you are hiring a professional wedding planner or day-of coordinator, he or she will most likely come with a kit full of goodies at the ready should anything... unscheduled occur. Ask your pro whether they will be bringing their own kit and what it contains, and discuss anything extra you think you might need. If you do not have someone hired running your big day for you, it's good to have a number of things on-hand at your venue to ensure that your big-day runs smoothly.

Here are the things I carry in my emergency kit [which is a padded sewing kit from Wal-Mart that looks kind of like a picnic basket] as well as some additional items you may want to consider adding for your event.

  • Sewing kit
  • Safety pins
  • Straight pins
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Lip Balm [plain, so if men need to use it, they don't have to feel too girly!]
  • Tylenol, Advil and Pamprin
  • Bandages [coloured for kids, sheer for adults and Band-Aid Blister Cushions]
  • Mens and Womens aerosol deodorant
  • Tissues [purse packs are great]
  • Visine and Benedryl [as an allergy sufferer myself, I know these items can be a life-saver!]
  • Pads and Tampons
  • Scissors and a utility knife
  • Lighters: a regular lighter and a long one as well as a pack of matches
  • Scotch Tape, string and a glue stick
  • Pen and pencil
  • Meal replacement bar or shake [who knows who will forget to eat that day!]
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand and Body Lotion
  • Nail file/emery board
  • Bobby pins and hair elastics [in black and "blonde"]
  • Dental Floss, toothpicks and a small bottle of mouthwash
  • Hair brush and wide-tooth comb
  • Aerosol Hairspray and Hair Gel
  • Tide to Go
  • Lint roller
  • Rolaids or Tums
  • AA and AAA Batteries
  • Sharpie Marker
Is there anything you would add to this list? What did you have in your emergency kit?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Bran Muffins

When I think of breakfasts at my grandparents' house as a little kid, the first thing I remember is a delicious warm bran muffin smothered in real butter. My mouth is watering just imagining it. When I stumbled upon these All Bran muffins made by FinnLover in the TeamSugar community, I knew I had to repost them here and give them a try. She puts a bit of a sweet but healthy spin on the traditional bran muffin, but I can't wait to test them out. These would be a perfect treat to serve at your breakfast party or family brunch.

Here is the recipe:

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups all-bran cereal
* 1 1/4 cups milk
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
* 1/4 cup maple syrup
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1) Stir flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine All-Bran cereal and milk. Let stand 5 minutes or until softened. Add.

2) Add egg and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined.

3) Portion batter evenly into twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin-pan cups coated with cooking spray.

4) Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 mins or until lightly browned.

Serve warm. Yield: 12 muffins.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Etsy Monday: HidenSeek Postcards

Oh. My. Gosh. I am literally DROOLING over these gorgeous little postcards from seller HidenSeek. Wouldn't these look amazing in many parts of your event decor? I wouldn't know where to begin. I would want to use them as place cards at every setting, menu cards with the menu affixed to the back, as a "guestbook" for guests to write a little note on each one or even strung up on string or wire and hung against the walls or accross a room.

These are perfect for a children's party, garden party or whimsical wedding!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

announcement: format flip!!

hey y'all. So I've been toying with the idea of changing up my format to allow for more frequent and flowing blog posts and today is the day! [well, actually, Monday is the official "launch", but today is the day that I am telling you about the new format]

Here's how it will work. Each day of the week will have a particular theme/topic and the post[s] for that day will follow that theme.

  • Etsy Mondays - All posts will feauture amazing vintage and handmade finds from the wonderful Etsy community.
  • Tasty Tuesdays - All posts will be fantastic new food trends or recipes.
  • Wedding Wednesdays - All posts will be wedding and wedding planning related.
  • Thirsty Thursdays - All posts will feature new drink trends or recipes.
  • Frugal Fridays - All posts will feature tips on how to keep your event on budget. [This will replace the former "Recessionista Party Tips"]
My old features Navigating the Tablescape, Finding Inspiration, Sitting Down With..., Party phD, Party Pick and Celebrate This! will still exist, but hopefully the new format will help streamline the blog experience!



Monday, June 8, 2009

Recessionista Party Tips: Free Magazine Download

Photo Credit: Wedding Style Guide

Although it's nice to have a hard copy of a magazine in your hands sometimes, a free digital issue isn't a bad thing once in a while! For a limited time (read: only 7 more days) you can download a free copy of the Wedding Style Guide, a gorgeous Australian publication overflowing with amazing inspiration. Check it out here.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Recessionista Party Tips: Host a Swap Party

Photo Credit: Ellen Silverman

Real Simple recently posted a great article called "How to Host a Swap Party" with some tips about how to hold a party for you and your girlfriends to swap clothing, accessories, shoes, bags, whatever! Here are some highlights along with my added ideas.

  • [Invite] friends with similar taste. For a good variety of merchandise, eight people is a manageable number, though anywhere from 3 to 20 is doable.
  • Serve delicious snacks that you can eat with one hand, leaving the other free to root for loot. Make it a true "swap" party and have each guest bring a plate of portable snacks.
  • Be clear about what’s swap-worthy. Ask friends to bring clean goods in gently used condition. Even further, make sure people are bringing items of the same theme. Let your guests know if it is a strictly clothing-and-accessories swap or all-out swap-fest where everything but the kitchen sink is fair game to bring.
  • Guests should also come with an extra tote bag for carting home their finds. As a party favour, purchase a reusable bag for each of your guests to bring home their "new" clothes and accessories. Try this one from reusablebags.com or these from pop deluxe.
  • Give guests room to spread out their items by clearing off surfaces, such as dining and side tables, and using bins and trunks to serve as display space.
  • Set up a garment rack with hangers, or string up a clothesline, then prop up a full-length mirror. Make signs, and sort fashions by size, type, season, or even personality.
Have you ever hosted or been to a swap party?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

finding inspiration: Soda Crates

Photo Credit: Pottery Barn

The other day I was at Zeller's and I saw some Coca-Cola and Coors Light galvanized metal tubs, wooden crates and awesome vintage-y glassware. The kind of thing that would be so amazingly cool at a backyard barbeque! So in typical "me" fashion, I decided to check out some websites and see what the internet has to offer me. The ones above are from Pottery Barn, but they are now sold out. Although, they found them from many different sources, so plenty of similar ones are definitely out there. These crates would be great if you flipped them over and maybe laid your desserts out on them [especially awesome if your desserts are fruit cups or cupcakes or tarts or something individual].

Photo Credit: AllCola.com

Here is a cute metal tub from AllCola.com. Kill two birds with one stone: it's not only a d├ęcor piece, but fill it with ice and keep your pop bottles cold. How practical and adorable!

Photo Credit: Tavern Trove LLC

Is it just me or is this 1939 Coors Light Beer case absolutely fabulous? I think it would look perfectly sweet perched on your buffet table with some plates and cutlery on it for your guests to grab. Try putting an old beer or pop bottle with a single stem flower in it on top of or beside the crate.

Photo Credit: twotallgirls

Etsy has a bunch of amazing finds, as usual, using their "vintage" search feature. Being Canadian, I was kind of partial to the one above though. This would make a wonderful centrepiece filled with flowers! Or you could wrap up everyone's cutlery in a napkin or put it in their glass and put each one in a slot for them to take.

Photo Credit: Kathryn Speyer

You are probably familiar with my WeddingBee obsession, and I remember a few months back seeing Mrs. Cherry Pie posting about her country-chic wedding which included some fantastic vintage tubs and crates and her penchant for Mexican Coke. Above is a picture of what she did at her wedding with the tubs and crates. How cute!

If I can create some reason for a party, I will most likely be picking up some version of these crates and tubs. Have you ever used either for an event?

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