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From March 2016

Tips for Hosting an Easter Egg Hunt

One of my favorite parts of Easter (besides preparing the brunch, of course 🙂 ) is the Easter egg hunt! There is always so much excitement and laughter as the kids run around the backyard collecting all of their eggs, so let’s make it the best Easter egg hunt possible this year! Check out our tips below for creating the perfect Easter egg hunt!

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Determine the Type of Eggs – Depending on your preference, you may want to use reusable eggs filled with candy or other prizes, or home-dyed hard boiled eggs. The plastic eggs are super cheap and can easily be used over many years. The main downside to using decorated hard boiled eggs is that they may rot if they are not found right away.

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Prepare the Eggs -If you are using the reusable eggs, be sure to stuff them a couple of days in advance. You will have enough to do the day before in preparation for your Easter meal or the Easter bunny, so get this out of the way early. Stuff the eggs with a variety of candy types including Jelly Beans, SweetTarts, and Robin Eggs! If you want to mix up your Easter egg hunt a little bit, have a couple special eggs with stars or a special note in them that gives the finder a bigger prize!

Make sure you have enough eggs for each kid. Nobody likes a hunt that ends too quickly! Allow about 20 eggs per child.

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Hide the Eggs – Always allow a bit more time than you think to hide the eggs. If your hunt is early in the morning when the kiddos wake up, hide the eggs the night before assuming weather allows 🙂 Otherwise wake up a little bit earlier, or have someone entertain the kids while you hide them!

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Hide the Eggs According to Age – Make the hunt age appropriate by hiding the eggs based on the child’s height and abilities. If you have younger kids (usually under 3), place the eggs in plain sight and just spread them out on the ground. Kids ages 4-7 may be ready for spots that are a bit more out of the way such as in bushes, near trees, in pots, etc. Have fun finding creative and tricky spots for the older kids such as in trees, behind bushes, in drains, etc.

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Easter Baskets – Make sure every kid has an Easter basket or bag to collect their eggs.

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Make the Rules – Point out the boundaries of the search to the kids, so they don’t go on a wild goose chase! If you want to differentiate eggs between kids, color code them so different age groups pick up certain colors.

Enjoy! – Sit back and watch the kid’s enjoy the hunt! Take lots of pictures so the memories last a lifetime!

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Do you have any other fun tips for hosting an Easter egg hunt? I would love to hear about your family’s traditions!

Happy Easter!

Easter Tablescapes

Is it just me, or has Easter completely snuck up on us this year?! I feel like I was just celebrating New Year’s Eve, and now I’m rushing around trying to get everything I need to host an Easter brunch! If you’re like me, you may be looking for some last minute inspiration for your family gatherings this weekend, so I have compiled some of my favorite tablescapes. I hope you these inspire you as well! Happy Easter!

Easter Tablescape pizzazPizzazerie

Emily Henderson Easter TableEmily Henderson

Easter tablescape minamalistMinimalisti

Easter_table_decor room for renetRooms for Rent

Easter tablescape FrontgateInspired Living

Easter tablescape dear lilyDear Lillie

Tea Sandwiches

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One of the best parts of this Alice in Wonderland themed tea party that I hosted is that it had all of the magic of a tea party (both real and imaginative) that I had as a little girl. Part of that magic is that you get to eat with your hands.

Besides the fabulous company of course, my favorite part of any tea party is the tasty variety of finger tea sandwiches. I mean what is better than sitting down for a formal soireé and still getting to eat with your hands?

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For our recent Easter Alice in Wonderland themed tea party I made a selection of tea sandwiches including a Lemon Dill Cucumber Sandwich, Pimento Cheese Sandwich, and a Chicken Salad Puff Sandwich and served them on a traditional three-tiered tray. There are a wide variety of popular tea sandwiches, but I find that with this classic combination every guest is sure to be pleased.

Check out all of our favorite recipes below for your next tea party!

Lemon Dill Cucumber Sandwich
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/3 cup chopped dill
  3. 2 tsp. lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp. lemon zest
  5. 1/4 tsp. salt
  6. 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  7. 1 large cucumber
  8. 12 to 16 slices white sandwich bread
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, stir the softened cream cheese until creamy. Add dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and mix until fully combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  2. Once the spread has completely chilled, remove it from the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to assembling sandwiches. This allows it to spread more evenly.
  3. Thinly slice the cucumber.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the Lemony Dill Spread on each slice of bread and arrange cucumber slices on top.
  5. Place an additional piece of bread on top of each cucumber bread slice creating a sandwich. Using a serrated knife, cut the crust off the bread and then cut the sandwiches into preferred shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles, etc).
  6. Garnish tops with additional fresh dill. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 2-3 hours in an airtight container
The Everyday Hostess http://www.theeverydayhostess.com/
Chicken Salad Puffs
Yields 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Puff Dough
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 4 oz. unsalted butter
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 4 eggs
Chicken Salad
  1. 1 cup chicken breast, poached and chopped
  2. 1/2 cup of finely chopped celery
  3. 1/2 cup diced apple
  4. 1/2 cup diced red onion
  5. 2/3 cup red grapes, halved
  6. 1/3 cup Craisins
  7. 1/4 cup sliced almonds or walnuts
  8. ÂĽ cup of mayonnaise
  9. 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  10. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice\
  11. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  12. 1 tsp of kosher salt
  13. 1 tsp of ground black pepper
For the Puffs
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and add the flour all at once. Mix the flour in to form a ball a dough, then stir in each egg one at a time until completely incorporated.
  4. The dough should be smooth and satiny.
  5. Pipe the dough or or form into rounded 1-inch balls and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the puffs are puffy and golden. Turn off the oven and allow them to cool in the oven with the door slightly cracked for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven let cool on cooling rack.
For the Chicken Salad
  1. While the puffs are cooling, combine all of the chicken salad ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir until fully combined,
To Assemble
  1. When the puffs are cooled, slice the tops off horizontally.
  2. Scoop some salad into each puff and cap with the puff top.
The Everyday Hostess http://www.theeverydayhostess.com/
Pimento Cheese Sandwich
Yields 1
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  2. 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  3. 1 (4 oz) jar sliced pimentos
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 1 tsp. grated yellow onion
  6. 12-16 slices white sandwich bread
For the Pimento Cheese
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Spread on 6-8 slices of white bread and top with the remaining 6-8 slices of bread.
  3. Using a serrated knife, remove the crust and slice the bread in the preferred shapes (square, rectangle, triangle).
Adapted from Ten at the Table
Adapted from Ten at the Table
The Everyday Hostess http://www.theeverydayhostess.com/
Just one more little tip! While all three of these sandwiches can be served on a simple white bread, I like to mix up the breads and the shapes of the sandwiches so that the serving tray is a little more appealing to the eye. You can easily cut these little bites into rectangles, triangles, squares or make different sizes of the puffs for a little variety!

Alice in Wonderland Easter Tea Party

easter-69In Part 1 of “Hosting a Tea Party” we talked about our tips and tricks for creating the perfect tea party. Now we are taking it a step further and talking about how we designed our own Alice in Wonderland themed Easter Tea Party!

With Easter right around the corner, it is time to start planning ahead for all of the festivities! A traditional Easter brunch following a morning church service is always a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. However, this year, I decided to put a little spin on our traditional Easter brunch plans and had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Holiday Warehouse in Dallas to host the perfectly styled Alice in Wonderland themed Easter Tea Party!

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We hosted our tea party in my friend’s forested backyard retreat, which was the perfect backdrop to create a magical and whimsical atmosphere. We kept the guest list small, and just invited about ten family friends, which was an ideal size for an intimate tea party, but still big enough that the kids could enjoy a festive Easter egg hunt!

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I worked with Holiday Warehouse’s stylist, Nancy, to design this beautiful scape, which came together and absolutely exceeded my expectations! She worked with me to understand my vision and brought in all of the decor needed to create this colorful and playful Wonderland! Decorations are what make a simple gathering into its own little world for your guests, and that it was! These life-sized rabbits, beautiful serving trays, floral arrangements, wreaths, lanterns, and even the beautiful sheep are just a few of the decor pieces from Holiday Warehouse that brought my Alice in Wonderland vision to life.

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If you are not familiar with Holiday Warehouse, go check them out! I worked with them earlier this year to decorate my Christmas tree and thought they mainly sold Christmas decor, but boy was I wrong! They have an incredible selection of products for all holidays and events including Easter, Wedding Season, Summer beach parties, baby showers, and much more! They also have an incredible in-house silk floral department that can design arrangements for anything that you could possibly imagine!

Now, no tea party is complete without the perfect menu! Of course I served a selection of hot teas, but also made a chilled peach iced tea in case one of our guests wanted something more refreshing. Based on the timing of my Easter tea party, I decided to serve a combination of light tea sandwiches, scones, and a few sweet treats. I made three different tea sandwiches including a pimento cheese sandwich, a traditional cucumber tea sandwich, and a chicken salad puff sandwich. easter-99

To cap off the perfect tea party and menu, the creative and talented ladies at The Best Dressed Cookie and We the Birds Macarons provided the most incredible desserts, which took my tea party to the next level!  

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The Best Dressed Cookie made the most adorable decorated Easter cookies, which helped pull the entire theme of the party together! Alason made a combination of Alice in Wonderland themed cookies (Do you see that AMAZING clock with the Rabbit painted on it?! Or the cookie with the stacked tea cups?! SWOON!) Plus she made some adorable decorated Easter egg cookies and tea cups that matched the patterns in my tables perfectly. I am a huge believer in the saying that “It’s all in the details” and theses cookies absolutely prove that! The intricate designs paired with the bright colors were an incredible way to tie together the theme of my tablescape and the holiday, not to mention they were absolutely delicious – I could not get these out of the kiddo’s hands!

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We the Birds Macarons also provided us with these gorgeous macarons! Don’t these mint chocolate chip and raspberry macaroons just look incredible?! I didn’t know it was possible, but I can tell you they tasted even better than they look! I took one bite and could not stop myself! Natalie with We the Birds Macarons is so incredibly talented and she worked with me to make sure the colors correlated with the pink and mint colors in the porcelain tea cups and painted them with edible gold paint to bring in the metallics reflected in the silverware. Her attention to detail is amazing and she can customize any order. No tea party is complete without macarons and these were the perfect addition to our party!

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Thanks to Holiday Warehouse, The Best Dressed Cookie, and We the Birds Macarons, this tea party went off without a hitch. The company was a delight, the food was impeccable, and the decor transformed our backyard into the perfect magical Wonderland that everyone dreams of.

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Tea Party Details:

Styled ByThe Everyday Hostess | Nancy Intrator | Holly Haaf

Food –  Tea Sandwiches: The Everyday Hostess | Macarons: We the Birds Macarons | Cookies: The Best Dressed Cookie

Decor – Floral Arrangements & Easter Decor: Holiday Warehouse |

Tea Cups: Gracie China | Cup of Tea Print: PrettyLovely Prints | Straw Flags: CURLbyJSD | Easter Basket: Target

PhotographyBeckley & CO.

Hosting a Tea Party

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Spring is finally in the air! What better way to celebrate the start of Spring than with a festive tea party?! Whether you are hosting a shower or birthday party or celebrating Easter, it is the perfect time to gather your friends and family and enjoy some of that gorgeous sunshine with a pot of tea and some sweet treats!

If you’ve never hosted a tea party before, it can be a bit intimidating. There is a sense of formality associated with them that can be a little overwhelming. So! We have provided you with tips and tricks to create the perfect gathering! Without further ado, let’s take a walk through Tea Party Hosting 101.

  1. Choose a Theme

The theme will dictate the formality of your tea party and can easily be tailored to the interests of your guests. Traditional British tea parties are always fun and a bit fancier, but be sure to pay attention to the interests of your guests. If they are younger, a princess theme may be popular. If they like Paris, a French theme would be super cute. The ideas are endless. One of my personal favorite themes is an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. Even with this theme, you can use bright colors and decorate it with more of a “Mad Hatter” style or you can use black and red and decorate it with the “Queen of Hearts” in mind! Check out how I styled my Alice in Wonderland themed party here!

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Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Hosting a Tea Party” and for how I partnered with Holiday Warehouse to style a magical and whimsical Alice in Wonderland Easter Tea Party!

  1. Choose a Location

The location of your tea party should be dependent on the weather. If it is warm and sunny outside, a garden, terrace, or nearby park is a great choice. However, an indoor tea party in your dining room is also beautiful.

  1. Choose the Date and Time

The time of your tea party is very important, as it will dictate what kind of food you will serve. Low teas are typically held mid-afternoon between meal times, while high teas are traditionally between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

  1. Choose the Guest List and Send Invitations

Customize your invites to the theme of your party. You can easily make your own, send a digital one through Evite or Paperless Post, or there are some super cute ones you can order through Etsy! I recommend sending your invitations out about 2-3 weeks before your event so you will have a final RSVP count a week in advance for menu planning purposes.

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  1. Plan the Menu 

The menu is very much determined by the time of the event. If you are hosting a “low tea” or mid-afternoon tea, chances are it is between meal times, so less food is needed. A few sweet and savory snacks such as pastries, scones, and tea sandwiches on a three-tiered stand is perfect. Proper etiquette recommends serving the scones first followed by the tea sandwiches and then sweets. High-teas served during meal times usually require more substantial food such as savory hors d’oeuvres like quiche, meat pies, or a light soup or salad.

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I also like to serve a few little desserts such as macarons and decorated cookies. These types of sweets can help emphasize the theme of your event. Be sure to check out Part 2 of “Hosting a Tea Party.” We will share our customized tea party menu plus we will talk about the most delicious macarons from We the Birds Macarons and the beautifully decorated cookies from The Best Dressed Cookie and how they made this Wonderland come to life!  Keep Reading!

Chili Bar

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One of my favorite ways to spend cold and rainy days like today is curling up on the couch with a big bowl of homemade chili. Since my house is the primary gathering spot for all our friends, my boyfriend and I set up this super cute Chili Bar for them to come and enjoy as well!

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This setup is really easy to throw together last minute. The morning of our Chili Bar party, I whipped up a batch of my favorite chili recipe and let it cook all day on the crockpot then about an hour before our guests came, I made some quick and easy Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins, threw a few baked potatoes in the oven, and a skillet chocolate chip cookie for dessert! A quick and simple menu, but filling and SO delicious!

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Since chili is a pretty casual dish, you don’t need a super elaborate set-up either.  To put together this simple and casual-rustic styled bar, all I did was use some extra burlap as a semi-tablecloth to create texture, used my favorite wooden crates to hold the baked potatoes, beverages, and corn muffins and most importantly add some height to the tablescape,  added a cute “Chili Bar” sign that I downloaded and printed at my house from Etsy and then just placed the chili stockpots on the table for easy serving!

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But seriously, how cute is this sign? This took 5 minutes to purchase, download, and print off of Etsy, but it makes the whole bar look like I put WAYYY more effort into it than I really did. It really is all in the details, my friends!

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Don’t forget to lay out some toppings for the Chili! I just picked out my four favorite condiments and put them in some mason jars for guests to serve out of. Mason jars fit perfectly with the casual-rustic feel I was going for, plus they are easy to clean up! All I had to do to put it away was screw the tops back on and put it in the refrigerator for next time I needed them!

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As for beverages, I just picked up some cute Coca-Cola bottles from the grocery store and served them with paper straws. Once again, super easy and convenient, but looks like we put way more effort into the whole set up than we really did!

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Now sit back and enjoy this chilly afternoon with some tasty chilly and great friends! Enjoy!

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For the full details of the set-up, check out some of our favorite products below!

Decor:

Chili Stockpot: Le Creuset (similar) | Wooden Crates: Amazon

Burlap: Amazon | Chili Bar Sign: SprinkledDesign

Lantern: Amazon | Natural Wood Slabs: Save on Crafts

Food:

Easy Crockpot Chili | Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Design:

Styled By: The Everyday Hostess

Photography: Beckley & CO.

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

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These Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins are the perfect side dish to your favorite entree. I recently made these as part of our Chili Bar party and have been munching’ on the leftovers for days! I have gotten so addicted, plus they are just so easy to throw in a Ziploc and add to your lunches, so I may have to make an extra batch here pretty soon!

Keep Reading!