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From Hosting 101

Ice Cream Social

If y’all checked out our recent ice cream social inspiration board, you know how much we love incorporating this theme into our end of summer soirees, birthday parties, and school gatherings! I mean what’s not to love? A fun party theme with a beautiful pastel color palette and a bar filled with all your favorite toppings to dress up your ice cream sundae! No guest can complain about that!

Now this is one inspiration board we just HAD to bring to life! And that we did! With a bright color palette of pink, yellow, mint and lavender, we threw the cutest ice cream social complete with a DIY topping and sundae bar!  Check out the original inspo board here and see how we brought it all to life below! Keep Reading!

Luxury Guest Bathroom

If you read our post about how to prepare your home for guests, you know how important it is to make sure your guests feel right at home by welcoming them with some of their favorite treats and creating a warm and comfortable space for them.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of hosting overnight guests is the guest bedroom and preparing their own little oasis, but not to be overlooked, is the guest bathroom!

When I stay at a hotel, one of the main aspects that I judge the entire hotel on is the style and feel of the bathroom. If it’s not clean and crisp, I assume the entire hotel is not. But if it has a luxurious and custom feel, my reviews of the hotel are glowing. Same goes for the home. Obviously, no one thinks your home is a hotel, but why not class it up and give it a luxurious and custom feel?!

I’ve gathered some of my favorite stylish bathroom decor and products to give your guest bathroom that extra oomph that will have your guests seeing hearts (without the large price tag of a remodel)! Enjoy and happy hosting!

1. Chandelier | 2. Textured Towels | 3. Monogrammed Soap | 4. Hand Soap and Lotion | 5. Lafco Candle | 6. Monogrammed Towels |7. Acrylic Soap Dispenser | 8. Acrylic Soap Dish | 9. Monogrammed Floor Mat |

 

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How to Host an Oscars Party!

It’s Hollywood’s biggest night, but it doesn’t have to put a big dent in your wallet. I mean let’s be real, it’s easy to spend oodles of dollars on a glitz Oscars watching party — but we’re here to show you that you don’t have to!

Here are some tips and tricks on how to throw a party worthy of a trophy!

First, what goes better with the year’s biggest films than popcorn?! It’s the quintessential movie snack… and it’s also easy on your bank account and on your party planning anxiety. I chose a popcorn bar with a variety of seasonings — aptly named after some of this year’s Best Picture nominees — and displayed them in glass jars of varying heights. Frequent visitors of my blog know I love me some clear, light and airy party spaces!

Now, no party is complete without desserts, and I just happened to get the most ADORABLE Oscar-themed cookies from my good friend Briana with Just Call Me Cookie! Our “cookie wardrobe” was complete with dresses, tuxes and even the envelopes for award announcements.

But the big winner? These Oscar statue cookies that STAND ON THEIR OWN! I’m in love with these cookies, and the reasons are endless. They are a delicious treat, but also double as cute decor or party favors for your film-loving friends.

Okay, so you’ve got your treats taken care of… But how do you pull your party together?? I’ve written it once, I’ll write it a thousand times: It’s all about the details! The printables made especially for this event by the lovely Linda from Sprinkled Designs were the perfect touch to tie everything into the Oscars theme.

From the invitations, to the labels for our different popcorn flavors, to the Bingo cards for the guests, Sprinkled designs was the ticket! The little things at a party like this are what your attendees will remember, and it’s an inexpensive way to go the extra mile.

This party is all about the stars of the big screen, but it was special for me because I got to make an appearance on the small screen! My good friends at WFAA-TV were so kind and had me talk about hosting an Oscars watching party on News 8 at 4!

It was a blast being at the studio and meeting some of the WFAA on-air crew!

Favorite Cake Stands

Okay my sweet bakers, this one’s for you!

Cakes are my absolute favorite dessert to bake and decorate. Not only are they delicious, but they can be true works of art depending on how you design and display them. I am a true believer that presentation is key, so the best way to top off any perfectly baked cake, or any dessert really, is with a gorgeous stand!

Take a look and shop some of our favorite cake stands on the market right now!

Farmhouse Inspired Thanksgiving Table

If you’re looking for some Thanksgiving tablescape inspiration, then go ahead and close all those Pinterest browsers because we have some fabulous inspiration for you right here!The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 6 Bree from The Iman Project and I had so much fun styling this Chip and Joanna inspired Thanksgiving tablescape! Of course we are right there with the rest of America and love their modern farmhouse look, but we also wanted to add a vintage yet formal flare to our table this year.

The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 20

With Bree’s homemade farm table, our antique place settings and couch, Coral Lane’s modern chairs, Root and Bloom’s natural garland, and the Paper and Taigh’s menus, this setting was the perfect marriage of the modern and vintage look we were going for.

The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 9

No matter what your style is or what type of Thanksgiving theme you are going for this year, there is bound to be something here that inspires you!

Check out some of our favorite pictures from the shoot!

The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 7The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 8The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman ProjectThe Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 3The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 2The Everyday Hostess Thanksgiving Table from the Iman Project 4

Special thanks to all the incredible vendors who helped bring our vision to life!

Styling: The Everyday Hostess + The Iman Project |

Photography: Photography by Katsi |

Florals: Root and Bloom |

Farmhouse Table: The Iman Table |

Venue: Summerfield at Tate Farms |

Candlesticks and Chair Rentals: Coral Lane

Menus: Paper and Taigh

How to Host a Picnic

With the summer coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to grab your honey and mix up your standard date night with a little picnic! This is a great way to enjoy the cooler weather, explore your city, and dine al fresco!

A lake or park are always two favorites for picnics, but I always love finding a unique spot with a beautiful view. Deep in the heart of downtown Dallas, my fiancé and I decided to enjoy an end-of-summer picnic at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which is an iconic Dallas hotspot. It’s definitely not the common picnic locale, which made it even more romantic and memorable. The Everyday Hostess PicnicThe Everyday Hostess Picnic 2 with Kate and Landon

If you are looking for a fun way to switch up your upcoming date night or evening with friends,  this is definitely an entertaining idea to consider! Picnics are simple and easy and usually only require assembling a few items! Check out our favorite tips and tricks for throwing together an unforgettable picnic!

  1. Choose a location: When planning a picnic, most people immediately think of a public park; however, there are so many other unique places you can host your outdoor gathering! Consider a beach, a rooftop, or your favorite local site!paisley-layne-photography-3
  2. Seating: Make sure you bring something for you to sit on like a picnic blanket. You can also bring towels or, my personal favorite, rugs! To increase the formality a bit, I brought out our favorite faux sheepskin rug. If the ground is wet, use a tarp as the first layer, to keep your guests (and nicer blankets!) from getting wet.
  3. Food: Keep the food simple and consider only bringing dishes that are still tasty at room temperature. Try handheld foods (sandwiches and wraps) and appetizers like vegetable or fruit kabobs, cheese, crackers, and hummus. You could also put together an antipasto platter if you want to step up the formality a bit!
  4. Beverages: Don’t forget to pack a refreshing beverage like an infused water with lemon, mint, or fruit. If you serve wine, choose something light, like a rosé and pre-mix any cocktails at home. (We aren’t big rosé drinkers, so we still opted for red wine!) paisley-layne-photography-8The Everyday Hostess Picnic Shoot
  5. Packing: Pack your food, beverages, and place settings in a wicker picnic basket or insulated tote. Make sure there is padding in the interior to protect any glasses or soft food.
  6. Place settings: Don’t forget your disposable plates, napkins, and silverware! Paper plates are easy to transport and throw away after your picnic, but if you want something a little bit more formal, check out my favorite disposable products, Tableluxe
  7. Lighting: Lighting can completely transform the mood of your picnic. If you are close to a house, you can string beautiful lights over your table. If you are more remote, consider lanterns or candles.
  8. Entertainment: Set the mood with a little music. Bring a portable radio or speakers to connect to your phone, so you can play your favorite playlist!
  9. Make a list: As you’re planning your picnic, keep a running list of everything you need. Since you are most likely hosting your picnic away from your home, you don’t want to forget anything!

Enjoy!

paisley-layne-photography-29

Photography by Paisley Layne Photography

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!

rp_The-Everyday-Hostess-Teepee-Camp-Out-Date-Night-49-1024x768.jpg

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!

How to Decorate Small Spaces

For many of us in our mid 20’s, small space living is a fact of life. Apartments never seem to have enough storage or maybe certain rooms in your house are just a bit smaller than you prefer.

Learning how to decorate these small spaces and still keep them entertaining ready can be a challenge – one that I face regularly! My fiancé and I recently moved into the most beautiful little apartment in Dallas with gorgeous floor to ceiling views of downtown. Although we absolutely love it, I must stress the LITTLE part of it. Condensing two people’s furniture and lives into one 700 SF apartment has proven to be tricky, so we have been extremely focused on how to maximize every inch.

I know we are not alone in this, so I have compiled our 12 key tricks to decorating and maximizing your space while keeping it entertaining ready.

12 Tips and Tricks:

  1. Increase Kitchen Storage – It’s not uncommon, for apartments or older homes to have minimal pantry space or none at all. Get creative, and turn your hall closet into a pantry. Add some simple storage racks from Home Depot or the Container Store to serve as additional shelves for your pantry items.

The Everyday Hostess design and home decor - kitchen pantry

2. Lighting – Keep it light! To make your space appear larger, use pale colors such as whites, beige, blues and greys. Neutral colors help create a nice flow to the house that isn’t overwhelming to the eye. You can then add a few pops of color here or there to add some personality. We went for a beige and white color palette and added hints of aqua in the living room to give it a serene and calming environment. We also added little pops of color in our decor, specifically in our design books. We used the same white and beige palette in the master bedroom, but instead of aqua we used navy and gold as our accent colors to give the room a little extra pop! Keep Reading!

Types of Thank You Notes

If you read our post on The Etiquette of Thank You Notes, you know I am a huge advocate of handwritten thank you notes! If not, head over and check out some of our tips on when to write a thank you note (hint – pretty much always)!

So now that we are all writing thank you notes ;), what kind should you send?

I always like to have two sets of stationery on hand – One that is more traditional and classy for professional use (sending a thank you note to a potential employer for an interview or to my boss for tickets to a football game) and one that shows my personality for casual use (sending a thank you note to a friend for gift or to my  fiancé’s parents for having me over for dinner).

I’ve compiled a few of my favorite stationery sets in case you are in the market!

 The Everyday Hostess - Informal Stationery

  1. Boatmen and Geller | 2. Palm Beach Papery  | 3. Palm Beach Papery | 4. Boatman and Geller

The Everyday Hostess Formal StationeryCrane & Co. | 2. Crane & Co. | 3. Neiman Marcus

However, if this is your first set of stationery and you are looking for a one-card-fits all approach, pick a set that is classy but still shows your individual taste, such as the following:

The Everyday Hostess Stationery

  1. Palm Beach Papery | 2. Minted | 3. Crane & Co. |

PS – Don’t forget to keep a set of “Forever” stamps in your wallet so you are always ready to send a note in a pinch!