The “Perfect Pair” Pink & Green Party!

May 18th, 2021
Fun Decor For The Front Door!

A few years ago I helped my son’s school decorate a beautiful auction. When I was initially asked to participate, I immediately became a nervous wreck. Can I do this? Do I have time to dedicate myself to this project? Ultimately, I agreed, but not without much hesitation and doubt. Fortunately, as time went on, a magical thing happened… the auction planning experience actually changed my life. It boosted my self-esteem, challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, and created new relationships with people I truly adore.

When the auction was over, I was so proud of all I had accomplished. I was also amazed that I did something I was so scared to do. And believe it or not, although I thought I was going to be so relieved when the auction was over, instead… I was actually sad that I would no longer be part of such an amazing group of women.

So, as a last celebration, I decided to throw a “Pink & Green” party (inspired by my favorite designer, Lilly Pulitzer). The guest list were all the wonderful ladies who helped me with the various auction tasks. I asked everyone to wear something pink and/or green and decided to go with a “Perfect Pair” theme. The idea was to create a buffet which included unique food pairings so guests can taste test whatever they thought sounded interesting together.

I wanted guests to start experiencing the party as soon as they knocked on the front door. So I incorporated fun elements that reflected the Lilly Pulitzer brand, such as pink flamingoes, balloons, and fun quotes as soon as they stepped on my front porch before entering the house.

Once they started lunch and entered the buffet area, I created a fun palm tree silverware design to get their imagination rolling!

I loved how my silverware palm tree turned out. I had plates on the left with napkins included and guests helped themselves to silverware off the palm tree.
I inspired my guests with a pairing cheat sheet. This sign was directly on my buffet so they can refer to it if they needed some fun ideas on pairing.
My favorite part of the party, the pairing buffet! It included all the items on the pairing cheat sheet and encouraged guests to help themselves to anything they liked as well as try new pairing ideas they may have never thought to do on their own.
To continue with the inspirational theme, the buffet also had some great Lilly Pulitzer quotes scattered throughout.

Step one was to create a beautiful buffet. I chose a round table so that people can easily walk around and take their time exploring the selection as well as the pairing opportunities. The centerpiece was a big ceramic white elephant with his trunk up… of course, symbolizing good luck and fortune. Lilly Pulitzer also loved elephants and incorporated them into her designs, so finding him at a local store was destiny! I perched him on an acrylic box and filled him up with green limes. I also incorporated Lilly Pulitzer fabric swatches all over the buffet. I purchased them on Ebay and mix and matched them throughout the decor.

The buffet incorporated sweet and savory foods as well as cheeses and fruit.
We had many different kinds of cheeses for various pairings. I even included spices such as pepper.
Jams, jellies, and honey were also a must, especially to add to the cheeses.
I added some cheese signs so people knew which cheese was which. Also incorporated dried fruit and salty crackers for people who wanted more traditional pairings.
Flamingo centerpiece in one of the sitting rooms

Since I had many guests, I set up most of the rooms in the living area to accommodate guests while they were talking, sitting, and eating. I set up fun floral arrangements throughout the house where I thought guests would linger.

Fun pineapple arrangements were incorporated onto the buffet.
I had added plastic pink flamingoes throughout the house for a fun surprise.
I added some fun pillows and blankets, reflecting Lilly Pulitzer colors, throughout the house.

For drinks, I created an infused water area where people could choose the fruit infused water they liked best. I brought out my massive drink dispensers, which I purchased at SAMS many years ago, and they were large enough for all the guests. It was nice not have to worry about refilling the containers in the middle of the party.

For the water area, I had two large drink dispensers filled with fruit infused water.
I dressed up the drink dispensers with a tissue pom pom and a fun ribbon, just to give them a whimsical look

One of my favorite areas was the Mimosa Bar which I created with a pink bar cart and dressed up with some of my blue and white pieces. I had orange juice and pink champagne as well as a bottle of fizzy Perrier for people who didn’t choose to drink an alcoholic beverage.

“The Juice Stand” Mimosa Bar, which included pink champagne, orange juice and various fruit toppings. I also had a sign with some great Mimosa combinations including a non-alcoholic version.
A few of the fabulous guests!

One of my favorite elements of the party is that the guests brought their favorite summer dishes and included recipes. So many delicious additions showed up on the buffet.

My husband playing the piano while guests were mingling. He was also wearing pink… of course!

Last but not least, wonderful music played in the background as my husband played piano.

A PEEPS Obsession!

March 27th, 2021
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My youngest son enjoying all our PEEPS creations for an upcoming party.

It’s no secret, if you know me, you know I LOVE PEEPS!!! The love affair started twelve years ago, when a friend of mine mentioned how she and her family created fun and whimsical crafts with PEEPS. Of course, I had to learn more especially since I had two small boys who loved to do fun Easter craft projects.

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BUBBLE BATH PEEPS cupcakes. A super simple project. Simply purchase or bake cupcakes. Ice them with vanilla icing. Place a PEEP bunny on a toothpick and insert it into the center of the cupcake. Lastly, decorate with mini marshmallows.

Simple curiosity turned into an obsession when I realized how fun and easy crafting with PEEPS can be. And since I’m not the only one who’s fascinated with these adorable little marshmallows, I can find tons of inspiration filled with new craft and recipe ideas on the web or through social media.

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Fun PEEPS centerpieces
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PEEPS Skewers.
Tie a fun ribbon on a skewer and then add PEEPS, marshmallow treats, marshmallow eggs and more PEEPS. I like to dip mine in chocolate and add some sprinkles for a surprise crunch. And just so you know… PEEPS + Rice Cakes are a match made in heaven!

So, why do I love PEEPS so much? They are colorful and cheerful. Such a beautiful way to welcome spring. They are moldable and malleable when they are fresh, which allows you to create round shapes or stack them easily. And the best reason… they are delicious so helping yourself to a couple PEEPS while you are crafting, is always a treat.

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PEEPS S’Mores.
Graham Crackers filled with two Hershey’s Chocolate bar pieces (feel free to add more) and a PEEP of your choice. Pop in the microwave for 20 seconds and squish together for a soft & warm treat.

I have also found PEEPS to make everyone happy. It’s true, many people I know have a love/hate relationship with PEEPS. You could say they have a cult like following. But no matter how you feel about ingesting them, crafting with them is always a fun endeavor.

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PEEPS Trifle

So if you’re ready to immerse yourself in color this spring, don’t delay another minute. Try one of my craft projects or do a Google search for PEEPS and get ready for tons of inspiration. And if you fall in love with them as much as I have, you don’t have to wait for spring… PEEPs are now a year round hobby with PEEPS for Halloween, Christmas, and even Valentine’s Day.

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PEEPS Sandwiches. Dip one side of a PEEP bunny into melted chocolate, add sprinkles, and top off with another PEEP bunny. Set aside. Once the chocolate cools, it will create a fun crunch when you bite into the bunnies.
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PEEP decorated Easter eggs
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Creative ways to serve PEEPS at a party Fill any container with sugar, place a PEEP on top of a whimsical paper straw, and stick the straw in the sugar. This makes a beautiful edible centerpiece which looks whimsical displayed and guests can help themselves to the PEEPS at anytime.
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PEEPS Sand Art Centerpiece. See the full video

An Easter Celebration

February 4th, 2021
This article was contributed by Kathy Sedgwick Moran Real Estate Agent for Better Homes and Gardens Preferred Properties Town and Country. KathyMoranBHG@yahoo.com

Spring is in the air and if you are anything like Kathy, a seasoned party-planner and entertaining guru, you probably have your Easter decor and celebration details all planned out and ready to deploy! But it’s even more exciting when Kathy gets to help a friend decorate her home for an unforgettable party.

This was exactly what happened, when Kathy’s friend, also an incredible hostess, opened up her home and all her cabinets so that the two of them can create a magical Easter atmosphere complete with crystal, silver, tulips, and of course, lots of bunnies!

Kathy’s friend had many curated pieces which were given to her by her mother and uncle, a renowned special event designer in Chicago.

If it isn’t an heirloom piece, passed down the generations, it’s a beautiful antique picked up during travel. These meaningful pieces have taken center stage from bedroom to dining room. But it’s the special occasions that allow all her favorite pieces to be displayed and enjoyed.

Of course, having a plethora of decorative items can also pose a challenge. Making sure that the pieces used in the tablescape correlate with each other and are not only beautiful but purposeful is not always an easy task. Being able to “edit” your tablescape, keeping an open mind about which items will stay and which will go, is the key for any hostess who wants to avoid a cluttered look.

The Easter brunch pictured is a great example of choosing your decorative items carefully. Bringing spring inside can be a challenge, especially when it doesn’t seem like spring outside. One tried and true technique is draping the house with floral designs, both silk and fresh. Here, silk dogwood was added to the antique blue and white vases flanking the dining room mirror. Silk wreaths adorned the bay window. Fresh tulips were beautifully yet simply arranged on the main dinner table in an antique porcelain bowl.

For the place settings, each guest had a sterling cup, typically used for eggs, but this time, filled with a floral arrangement.

The children’s table is always a special place during Easter. A large bunny centerpiece with dyed Easter eggs took center stage while at each seat bunny figurines rested happily on Beatrix Potter books — a collection that has been passed down for generations in this family and which the children enjoy reading to one another.