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From August 2016

Wedding Wednesday: The Groom’s Guide

The Groom-to-be’s Guide to Wedding Planning: The early stages

Happy Wedding Wednesday! This Wednesday we are in for a treat! I would like to introduce you to my wonderful fiancé and general team player Landon who will be sharing a little bit of his perspective of the wedding planning process and our recent planning trip to Colorado!

Gore Creek Drive, with Gore Range in the background

Friends, followers of this blog, and random internet strangers — welcome. It’s good to have you here, as I’ve been so generously given this space to provide a groom’s perspective on the wedding planning process.

While my lovely fiancée Kate, who many of you know affectionately as The Everyday Hostess, and I are only in the beginning stages of mapping out our matrimony, I’m here to show you that planning the big day is so much more than smiling and nodding.

Chevare? Chivari? Shevarry?

When you’re meeting with a florist, I give the go-ahead to briefly tune out — it’s likely going to happen with or without my blessing. I’ll paint a picture with an anecdote from my florist meeting:

While the Powers That Be were using their creative juices to determine which candle holder will best open up the space, my imagination was geared toward one question: “What would I be watching on the powered-off TV on the wall, if it was on?” Since I was confined to carte blanche in the form of écran noir (that means “black screen” and I want to put my eight years of French to good use here), I had to create my own SportsCenter broadcast in my mind. With an imaginary sportscast airing inside my cranium, thoughts of the Denver Broncos’ nightmarish quarterback situation (yay, geolocated sports thoughts!) and my fantasy football draft were aplenty. Trevor Siemian? Really?

I’ll warn you, though — when you do tune back into wedding talk, and I advise that you do, they’ll be discussing gold chiavari* chairs and “mountain elegant” centerpieces. And the confusion will hit you like a ton of bricks.

Safety first

With weddings, you have to be ready for anything. This is especially true day-of, but it’s also the case during the planning process. It’s a constant work in progress — you’re building the most magical celebration with the woman of your dreams, after all. But sometimes it’s literally a construction project, for which you have to put on a hard hat and a safety vest. Keep Reading!

How to Create a Mediterranean Style Antipasto Platter

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When it comes to hosting a dinner party, I’m pretty sure there is nothing better than starting the evening off with a giant antipasto platter to kick the night off! I mean what is more welcoming than providing an abundant platter of delicious bites for your friends and family to gather around and enjoy while waiting for dinner? It immediately creates an intimate and relaxed atmosphere plus it buys you a few extra minutes to finish preparing the rest of the meal or beverages!

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I absolutely love filling my antipasto platter with only the freshest of Mediterranean style ingredients that are just as beautiful as they are delicious! And the best part of this course is that it is simple and quick to throw together! Most of the ingredients can be store-bought, so all you need to do is arrange it on the platter, cover and refrigerate, and then bring it out when your first guest arrives! Easy peasy!

So we know this is super easy to throw together, but let’s talk about what we should actually include on the platter!

Keep it simple and colorful and offer a large variety of sliced meats, cheeses, and marinated vegetables. Some of my favorite additions to a Mediterranean style platter are:

  • Marinated artichokes
  • Hummus
  • Roasted red bell peppers
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Marinated feta cheese
  • Marinated olives
  • Sweet Pickles
  • Roasted almonds
  • Dried fruit
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Assorted deli meats (salami, turkey, prosciutto)
  • Tabouli

Oh and don’t forget the most important part! A large selection of pita breads, breadsticks, and crackers for dipping! YUM!

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Antipasto platters are the perfect way to get people mingling and the conversation rolling. Incorporate one into your next dinner party or gathering and I promise you will not be disappointed!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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Hummus is an absolute staple in my household! I mean, I literally LOVE it!  I am always sampling different types in the store, so I finally started experimenting with it in my own kitchen. And let me tell you – it is way better homemade and even easier to make than you would expect! Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: Budget Guideline

When you first get engaged it’s easy to start thinking about all the incredible details that will make up the most important day of your life so far. You begin imagining the flowers, the venue, the food, the band, all the amazingly fun decisions you will make over the next year! However, before you jump in too fast and start all your planning meetings, it’s important to first create a budget and have some of those (unfortunately) uncomfortable conversations with your significant other and both sets of parents, or whoever is helping foot the bill. 

Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for a majority of the wedding reception (with the exception of the liquor/bar, bride’s wedding ring, officiant, flowers for the bride and her family to hold/wear, and oftentimes the photographer) and the groom’s family is responsible for the rehearsal dinner, marriage license, and the honeymoon. However, with couple’s getting married later in life or different familial budgets, many of these expenses get shared between the families as well as with the couple. 

No matter who is paying for what, sit down and start working through your budget. Below is our wedding budget guideline to start helping you allocating your budget amongst the most important wedding related expenses. This is by no no means set in stone, as you will find everyone has different priorities and elements they want to splurge on, but it’s important to start the process. After this step, the hard conversations are mainly over, and it’s all the fun and exciting decisions you have been dreaming about your whole life!

Enjoy!

The Everyday Hostess Wedding Budget

6 Kitchen Hacks

If you read our recent post on how to decorate small spaces, you know that I have been on a complete organizational roll lately! My small 700SF apartment, lacks much of the kitchen storage space that I was looking for (including a pantry!), so the kitchen has been under a complete organizational makeover! Today we are sharing 6 kitchen hacks that has completely transformed our kitchen in hopes it will inspire you as well! Enjoy!

1. Clear Containers – Clear containers are definitely an investment, but they are well worth it! You no longer have to sort through mountains of cereal boxes and bags of chips. Clear containers make the pantry feel more uniform and clean. These are perfect for storing cereal, sugar, pastas, flour, etc.

The Everyday Hostess Interior Design 14

2. Bins and Baskets – Invest in bins or baskets to help store more bulk items. I like to keep all my canned goods, baking items, and chip products in separate orderly bins. You can stack products on top of each other in the baskets, but they still appear more organized and systematic.

The Everyday Hostess Interior Design 16

3. Shelving Units – If your pantry doesn’t have many shelves, or if you don’t have a designated pantry space, consider adding a freestanding shelving unit to a hall closet to give yourself more storage space. This way you won’t have to waste valuable kitchen cabinet space with more canned food items rather than your favorite wine glasses! I have found Home Depot, Lowe’s, and the Container Store all sell great storage racks. I personally wanted to add a little extra color to my pantry, so I bought my turquoise one from the Container Store!

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4. Label Everything! – Labels bring a sense of order to your pantry as well as some personality! I absolutely LOVE these labels from Clementime Mercantile! She makes labels for any product you can imagine from sugar, and flour, to cleaning products or tools! Definitely check out her shop and if you don’t see the label you are looking for, she can customize one for you!

The Everyday Hostess Interior Design 13

5. Spice Jars – To keep your spice cabinet from getting too cluttered, invest in glass spice jars. This will also bring a sense of uniformity to your cabinet rather than having a million different brands and sizes of spice jars to your cabinet. I bought my spice jars from Bed Bath and Beyond and it has made a world of difference in my spice cabinet!

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6. Spice Jar Labels – When I say label everything, I mean everything! These gourmet spice labels from Itty Bitty Paper Co will completely transform your spice cabinet! They include 80 different herbs and spice labels plus two blank pages in case you have some unique spices.

The Everyday Hostess Interior Design 34

Red, White, and Blue Sangria

This Red, White, and Blue Sangria is the perfect refreshing cocktail to serve at any patriotic gathering this summer! It’s light, it’s fresh, and most importantly, it’s sweet!

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With the Olympics in full swing, this fruity beverage has been a staple in our household and is perfect for your Olympic parties this week! Plus it is super simple to make!

Just pour Chardonnay, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and white grape juice in a large pitcher and chill for 2 hours. If you want your beverage to really have the USA written all over it, cut an apple into thin slices and use a star shaped cookie cutter to add little stars to your cocktail. I found my baby cookie cutter at Sur la Table but most cooking specialty stores will carry them. Then when you are ready to serve just stir in the champagne and apple slices!

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 11The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 12The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 10

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 8

Voila! The most American spirited cocktail there is!
Cheers!

Red, White, and Blue Sangria
Serves 10
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 Bottle of Chardonnay
  2. 1 Cup of Fresh Raspberries
  3. 2 Cups of Blueberries
  4. 1 Pound of Fresh Strawberries, Hulled and Sliced
  5. 1 ½ Cups of White Grape Juice
  6. 1 Bottle of Champagne or Prosecco (Chilled)
  7. 3 Apples, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large pitcher, add Chardonnay, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and white grape juice. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Optional: While chilling cut the thin apple slices into a star using a small star shaped cookie cutter.
  3. When you are ready to serve, stir in the champagne and apple slices. Pour over ice and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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Olympic Party with Swoozies

The Olympics are in full swing, which means it’s time for a party! This is the perfect opportunity to gather your friends and family over to enjoy some festive Olympic themed sips and treats while enjoying the games.

This year, I had the wonderful opportunity of celebrating the Opening Ceremony with my friends over at Swoozies! I shared some of my favorite Swoozies patriotic party decor as well as recipes for an Olympic themed menu.

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies

Check out some photos from the event, as well as some inspiration for your own party!

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 1The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 19These DIY popcorn torches only require an 8×11 piece of gold paper and scotch tape. The easiest party decor there is!

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 23The cutest Swoozies cupcake kit!

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 6These gold medal treats are just sugar cookies with frosting and yellow sprinkles! Add a red white and blue ribbon, and you have an edible gold medal!

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 4Star shaped watermelon! The perfect refreshing treat that only requires a star cookie cutter and some fresh watermelon!

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 16The most patriotic Koozies!

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 5The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies 8All American Red, White, and Blue Sangria!

And for all my friends here in Dallas, be sure to come visit us at our next tailgating themed party at Swoozies on August 27th!