Posts Tagged ‘Let’s Party!’


Monday, December 22nd, 2014

host a holiday meal

I am hosting Christmas Eve at my house this week. It has become a tradition and I am really looking forward to it this year!  Borrowing a page from my husband’s family play book-we serve cracked crab for dinner.  It is the best main course because you truly don’t do anything except unwrap it and bring out the tools for cracking.  I ask my guests to bring the sides for the meal.  This year we are having au gratin potatoes, crusty bread, and a large salad.  The rest is up to me!  Here’s what I have planned.



Instead of traditional linens I use a chalkboard paper runner and paper placemats.  I don’t have a super large kitchen -so the paper runner comes off my dining table after cocktail hour and we quickly set the table for dinner.  I usually wrap the silverware early.  Last year I used a simple gift tag and label for each guest and placed a festive saying on each plate.  I found these movie quote printables that I am going to use this year.  I have added twinkling lights to my bar cart thanks to the inspiration from Pinterest!  We are ready to be merry and bright!


HOLIDAY CHECK LIST before the meal

I like to have everything set and ready, so that the food and drink are READY when we arrive home from church.  I am excited to try some new appetizers!

1.  Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

2.  Salami, Cream Cheese, Pepperoncini Roll-Ups

3.  Antipasti Plate

4.  Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria


HOST A HOLIDAY MEAL after the meal

I keep dessert simple and follow what my grandmother used to do for Christmas Eve.  Lots and lots of cookies and sweet nibbles.  I am starting the baking today and the boys will be denied access until later in the week!

1.  Salted Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats

2.  Five minute Fudge

3.  Candied Pecans

4.  Salted Peanut Chews

Visit my ‘Tis the Season and The Entertainer Pinterest boards for more ideas on hosting a great holiday meal!


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Monday, September 8th, 2014

tailgate nachos |WHERE IS JUNE?

Who doesn’t love a great gathering pre-game with delicious food and drink?  It is officially tailgate season.  You might the best thing that happened to your tailgate if you bring nachos.  This weekend at the home opener at Husky Stadium, I noticed portable grills a-plenty.  If you have a grill, you can have nachos.

So this isn’t really a recipe, but I will share how I did it!  First, I found an aluminum baking pan at the grocery store.  Next I assembled simple nachos.  I used chips, left over taco meat, diced green chilis, and black olives and cheese.  {You can make the nachos however you love them!}.  Cover with foil wrap and throw the pan in your cooler.

Once it is time to warm the nachos, simply place them on the grill covered until cheese was fully melted.  Remove the foil for a few minutes, so the cheese is extra bubbly and the chips get crispy.

Cover with diced green onions.  Serve with jalapenos, salsa, and guacamole.  I am telling you….they will L-O-V-E you!

Of course these nachos aren’t just for tailgates.  I actually brought them with me to a barbeque on Friday for an appetizer.

{Picture taken with my iPhone.  Didn’t want to look like a fool staging my food……}


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Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

a summer bash

This past weekend marks the unofficial start to summer.  Team Thomas is ready.  Are you?  I love the relaxed rhythm of summer  This includes impromptu backyard gatherings, which are usually decided upon late in the day with little to no planning!  It is always good to have a few  things on hand so you can easily invite friends over on a whim.  The latest Oh Joy! for Target {Sunny Summer Picnic} collection has summer essentials that are delightfully colorful, stylish and affordable.  I gathered a few of my favorites that I would love to stock in the closet.  Just add hot dogs and ice cream!  The tray is perfectly retro and would look great on a picnic table or on your counter all summer long.  And who doesn’t love a great string of lights?

Check out all of the items in this collection.  Which are your favorites?

Round Serving Tray//Paper Dessert Cups//Food Baskets//European Water Bottle//Lantern String Lights

Oh, and that time I met Joy Cho from Oh Joy!


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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

just add color

This really isn’t much of a DIY.  It’s more of an idea on how to add color to your table!  While getting ready for a party last week, I decided that my little bamboo forks needed a pop of color.  I dug out a tube of acrylic paint that I bought on clearance.  {I simply bought it because I LOVED the shockingly, bright pink color!}.  Using a painters tape, I taped the forks to a piece of paper and painted the tops with a sponge brush.  When they dried, I flipped them and painted the other side.  It took really no time at all to paint 30 little forks.  And they turned out awesome.

Aren’t they darling in that black cup?  I am thinking they will be fantastic painted yellow in the summer.  Oh, the possibilities are endless!!

paint them

bamboo forks with a pop


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Thursday, December 5th, 2013

a la modo

I wanted to share the cutest darn Etsy shop around!  A LA MODO carries the sweetest to-go containers for a slice of pie.  I ordered these boxes right before Thanksgiving.  The kit came with the boxes, bakers twine, wooden forks, and parchment paper for packing.  I was able to send left over pie home with my guests.  How fun is that?  You could also pre-slice a pie and bring these cuties along with you.  They are like little presents you friends get to open {and then eat!}.

I also love that the shop owner lives right here in Seattle.  Supporting local, creative people is always a bonus.

All images via A LA MODO Esty shop.


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Friday, June 28th, 2013


In lieu of gifts, I asked the guests at my husband’s birthday party to bring along a photo of him {Recent, vintage, group or otherwise}.  The results of this request were one of the highlights of the evening.  My talented friend, Jen, made a gorgeous board for me.  Painted with chalkboard paint, guests were able to write the year the photo was taken.   I had simple roles of washi tape on hand to tape the photos onto the board.  New friends were able to see pictures from Aaron’s childhood and long time friends were able to share their favorite snapshots.  Everything from current day shots with our boys to prom photos, team pictures, a classic school photo, and the {now} infamous ski photo I used for the invitation.

It turned out even better than I hoped it would.  He has snap shots with all the people he loves in one place.  Now we need to find a place for it in his office.



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Thursday, June 27th, 2013


This was the year of parking a large truck in front of our house and calling it a party!  For Aaron’s 40th birthday, we hired a food truck to feed us for 2 hours.  The prep for this party was dreamy.  I simply filled some beverage dispensers with lemonade, threw ice and beer in galvanized tubs, and put my make-up on.  All the food was left in the hands of Contigo Mondern Mexican.


{the evening’s menu}

We served the Gorditas on trays in the back yard as appetizers.  They were small pockets of yummy [fried] goodness.  For dinner, each guest was able to order four tacos of their choice.  Many mixed and matched to sample them all.


I loved how our guests mingled in the driveway when waiting for their tacos.  There were ongoing discussions regrading which taco was the favorite.  I am not sure there was a consensus, but my personal favorite was the Beef Picadillo.  The onion jam made this taco sweet and spicy.

To end our meal, we served churros.  Who doesn’t love a churro?  In my opinion, there is nothing better than fried crispy dough coated with cinnamon sugar.  I may have had more than one [and possibly one heated up the next morning for breakfast].


Contigo also brought along Habenero Lemonade.  It was curiously hot, sweet and spicy all at the same time.  There was vodka and tequila to mix in, as well as regular lemonade.  A signature cocktail that was simple and easy to serve.


The meal, from start to finish, was divine!  The Contigo staff served delicious food and were breeze to work with.  I would highly recommend hiring a food truck for a special occasion.  As the hostess, you have absolutely no stress regarding the meal and your guests will love it.

[If you live in the Seattle area, I used Seattle Food Truck to find Contigo.  It was an amazing resource to find a truck to cater your event.  Plus, it lists all of the food trucks in the area and where they are serving up food during the week.]

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Where is June?


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