Our Summer Soiree 2017

Our second annual summer party was a success! This year we did a tropical theme with flamingo sugar cookies, lots of pineapples, and a balloon garland, that was insanely simple to make!

We still haven’t purchased outdoor furniture, so we went with the good ol’ pallet table this year…again. The pallets we used this year are actually the same pallets we used last year. I just gave them a good cleaning and they were good to go.

Plus I like the rustic vibe the pallets give. The craziest part is we spent less than $25 on all the decor. That covered the balloons & flowers. Everything else we already had. Pretty and budget friendly.

I do want to give a shout out to my hubby for letting me do my thing and helping along the way. He always just goes with the flow when it comes to my party planning. Bless his heart. Instead of getting all wordy, ill let the pictures do the talking.

The decor

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on decor, so I opted for a balloon garland and fresh flowers. Flowers are an inexpensive way to spruce up a table.

The balloon garland was so easy and it really made the drink station pop! I made this quick how-to video to show you how to make your own! Side note, I started a YouTube channel to start posting my DIY videos! Yay! I would love for you to follow along with me. I just started it, so my channel is not looking the best, but I am super excited to create how-to video’s. My channel is HERE. You can also subscribe from the balloon garland video link above.

The tablescape

I used scrapbook paper and cut out tropical leaves to add a pop of color to the place settings. Aren’t they cute?!?

I planned on doing so much more, but baby K got sick the day before the party and mommin’ took priority. As it should. The table decor was minimal, but I think the guests were more focused on the food anyway.

The drink

I made a berry beer punch. It was super simple and the guests loved it. For that extra touch I made raspberry ice cubes and topped the drinks with a cherry, slice of lime, and mint, then served with a gold paper straw. Easy peasy. I found this simple and delicious recipe on Pinterest HERE.

The food

Both years we have served beet & goat cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette that my hubby makes from scratch. It’s always a big hit and usually the first to be devoured. I honestly don’t know which one of us came up with the recipe, but it’s one of our favorites! Beets have always been one of my favorite vegetables. I even converted my hubby. He use to tell me that they tasted like dirt. 😂 But after years of serving them with dinner he gave in. The recipe for this crowd pleaser is at the bottom of this post.

We also served an assortment of cheese, of course. Cheese is my kryptonite. I could literally eat it on anything. Can’t most of us?!? The cheese we served included: Brie, Dutch Gouda, Aged Gouda, & Pesto Gouda. Do you see a theme?!? Give me ALL the Gouda!

I fancied the Brie up and added fig butter from Trader Joe’s, blueberries, and honey. Can you say yum! I am pretty sure I ate half of the wedge. I just couldn’t help myself.

The dessert

I made flamingo, ice cream cones, & watermelon sugar cookies.

And of course I made pie. Blueberry pie to be exact.

Well friends, that’s it for this post! I hope this inspired you in some way. Make sure to check out the balloon garland video to learn how easy it is to make. The recipe for the beet & goat cheese salad is directly below.

Until next time. XO

 

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Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe

Salad ingredients:

4 – 6 fresh beets

4 oz block of goat cheese

1 1/2 cups of pecan halves

Spring mix

Rosemary (fresh or dry)

Olive oil

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Wash the fresh beets, then cut both ends off each one.

Tip: You do not need to remove the skin. Once the beets are done the skin will easily slide off.

Step 3: On a lipped baking sheet, place the beets two inches apart.

Step 4: Drizzle olive oil over each beet evenly, then coat each beet with fresh or dry rosemary.

Step 5: Bake the beets for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Until soft.

Step 6: Let the beets cool completely then slide the skin off the beets.

Tip: Beet juice will stain your hands. I recommend wearing gloves.

Step 7: Slice the beets and then set aside.

Step 8: Prepping the salad. Put the spring mix on the bottom of the dish, then crumble the goat cheese on top of the spring mix. I just used my hands. 😊

Step 9: Place the beet slices evenly on the salad, then pour the dressing over the salad.

Step 10: Top the salad with the pecan halves and serve immediately

 

Raspberry vinaigrette ingredients:

1 pint of raspberries

1/5 cup of champagne vinegar

1 1/2 cups of olive oil

1 tbsp of dijon mustard

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Step 1: Using a blender combine all the ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE OLIVE OIL, blend on high until smooth.

Step 2: Turn the blender to medium speed and slowly pour the olive oil into the blender until all combined.

Step 3: Once all the olive oil has been added blend on high for 5-10 seconds.

Step 4: Refrigerate or pour over the salad and serve immediately!

 

 

 

 

Fourth of July Tablescape

Summer is here! Let the backyard cookouts, longer days, & sun-kissed skin commence! But also, it’s the season to celebrate our great country on the Fourth of July. 🇺🇸 This year I’ll be taking the boys to my parents house for a cookout and fireworks in the back yard. Just like when I was a little girl. I love that my boys get to watch fireworks with me in the same backyard as I did growing up.

Since I am going home, I can’t go empty handed. So I will be taking a cherry pie and cake to greet my family with. I don’t go home very often, so maybe the sweet treats will help me lessen the scolding I’ll get from my brother. 😂

This year, for our 4th of July tablescape, I focused on textures. I love the variety of textures mixed  with the mismatched linen napkins and white dishes.

In Carrie fashion, I went on a baking frenzy. It’s funny, I do what my friends like to call “stress baking”. Baking always clears my mind and makes me happy. I think my family, friends, & coworkers are ok with that though. 😂

Originally I planned to make an American Flag cake, where the inside looked like the American Flag when you cut into it. However, I decided that was too much work…so I made a batch of buttercream frosting, slapped some between the two white cakes and spread a layer on the top, then topped it with some cherries. Easiest cake EVER! 🙌🏼 I took it to my work for my coworkers and it was all gone when I left work that day, so I think it tasted good. The recipe for the buttercream frosting is at the bottom of this post.

Of course I had to make cherry pie too! I LOVE cherry pie! It is my absolute favorite. My recipe is HERE. The recipe also shows how I braid the crust.

More times than not, I just use store bought crust and church it up by doing an egg wash and topping it with sugar in the raw. It makes the crust sweet and flaky. My favorite!

Hungry yet?!?

Well friends, thats all for this post. I hope you found it inspiring! If you have any questions please leave a comment below or come say hi on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July! Until next time. Xo

 

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Note: I purchased the wicker tray from an antique store, so I couldn’t find the exact one to link, but I linked similar ones. Everything else is as pictured.

 

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This might be the easiest recipe of ever. I have to thank my hubby for it. I’ve made buttercream frosting before, but used heavy whipping cream. Since I didn’t have any and was too lazy to go to the store my hubby said to use whole milk. It worked like a charm! Perks, of having a chef for a hubby. 😊

If you are looking for an easy and quick recipe for buttercream here it is!

Tip: This recipe made enough for me to add a layer in between two 8 inch cakes and a layer to the top. If you have more than 2 cakes and want to add a layer of frosting to each, I would recommend doubling this recipe. 

Ingredients:

2 sticks of unsalted butter (softened)

4 1/4 cups of powdered sugar

3 tbsp of whole milk

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp of almond extract 

Step 1: Whip the softened butter in a mixer until fluffy. Don’t over beat the butter.

Step 2: Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until peaks form.

Note: I like to use almond extract, but you can substitute vanilla extract if you aren’t a fan of almond.

Step 3: You’re done! Easy peasey! You can use immediately or put it in the refrigerator. 

Easter Brunch Tablescape 

If you have been following along, then you know how much I love to host. I get all the feels when I get the chance to entertain friends & family. Like literally, my heart feels like it’s going to burst. 😬 This year I decided to host an Easter brunch. My goal was to create a whimsical garden party table setting. To do that I needed lots & lots of flowers. I think the types of flowers you use really sets the tone and brings a tablescape together. But that is just my opinion. I might be biased. 🤔 I do love flowers though!

So to get this look, I first laid moss down the center of the table. It was a little messy so I would encourage you to do this before putting anything else on the table. I bought the preserved moss at Joann Fabrics. The large bag was only $4! 🙌🏼

Next, I added the teapot with the floral arrangement I put together. Since the tea set has blue details, I went with blue hydrangeas, then added white flower spray and touches of greenery. The hydrangeas and flower spray was under $10 at Trader Joe’s!

Then I put moss in each teacup as I stacked them. I have 5 teacups, so I did a stack of 3 and then a stack of 2. I added fresh flowers to the top then placed a stack on each side of the teapot.

Side note, this tea set was passed down to me from my grandma. It was given to her by her husband. A gift he brought back with him from when he was stationed in Germany. It is one of my most favorite possessions. 💙

Okay, now back to tablescaping…

Once I had the tea set all floral-y. That’s a word right? No, it’s not. But now it is. 😂 I randomly placed {real} broken egg shells on the moss along with faux eggs.

After putting the centerpiece together I laid out the plates, silverware, and mason jars for the glasses. For the napkin I did a bunny fold. The fold is simple. Trying to secure it was not. 😤 So I used a straight pin to secure the napkin in the back. You can’t even tell. I will have to remember to tell my guests though. 😬

Here are the step-by-step instructions for the napkin bunny fold. Please note, this fold works best with a large dinner napkin.

After step 8, you’ll need to flip the napkin over to complete steps 9 & 10. Then you’ll flip it back over for step 11.

To secure the fold, I put a straight pin in the back (after step 13).

See…easy peasy! Well, with the straight pin. 😂
Ok,now dessert!

I found a recipe for mini mason jar garden carrot cupcakes on Pinterest via My Cup of Cake and knew that’s what I wanted to make for a dessert. They are so dainty and thought it would fit my whimsical woodland tea party theme perfectly! My favorite part are the mini mason jars though. 😍

Before I give you the link to the recipe I do want to tell you that I didn’t follow the recipe, more like used the idea. Instead of making the frosting and cake from scratch I used store bought. My oldest son had one and he loved it, store bought and all. 😊 That was all the confirmation I needed.

Note, I did follow the recipe in regards to length of time to cook and how to make the strawberries. 🍓 Ok, I think that’s all I wanted to tell you about the cupcakes so click here to get the full recipe.

For the final touch I used individual cupcake stands I found at Target for $1 each and placed one in front of each table setting. Hold on…can we go back to the $1 cupcake stand?!? Is that not crazy? $1 each! 😱😱 Target dollar spot for the win! 🙌🏼

Well friends that all for this post. I hope you enjoyed it and leave here feeling inspired to create your own tablescape for the upcoming holiday. Until next time. Xoxo

 

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Valentines Day Tablescape

With my husband being a chef, holidays are some of the busiest times for him. In the 7 years we have been together we have yet to spend Valentines Day together. I knew that when I married him I was giving that time up, and I am ok with it. Over the years we have always celebrated Valentines Day a few days before or after with a card and some sort of material gift, but this year instead of getting him something materialistic, I decided to make him dinner. Plus we don’t want to spend a lot of money, so dinner at home it is!

I want it to be perfect, so I spent some time planning out the meal and of course tablescaping.

I found this cute envelope napkin fold on Pinterest. Click here for the instructions. But I took it a step further and placed felt hearts I already had from baby K’s first year monthly pictures. I think it gives it the perfect Valentines touch. Plus I spent $0 since I already had the napkins and felt hearts.

For the centerpiece I used an assortment of carnations, eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, waxy white mini flower spray, and white roses. Then laid some extra seeded eucalyptus stems on the table and set my brass candlestick holders on the side. Super simple right?!? Plus we can eat by candlelight to make it more romantic. 😂❤

I also wanted to make a signature cocktail. So I started experimenting. I used brute champagne and poured a teaspoon of Rasberry Grande in it to make the drink red.

It tasted quiet good and the sweetness of the raspberry evened out the dry taste of the champagne. To give the drinks a romantic touch, I topped them with pink carnations and greenery I had left over from the cakes I made for my best friends baby shower. I simply cut the flowers down to the head of the bloom and laid them around the rim of the coup glasses.

I am excited about our dinner and can’t wait to pamper him. I haven’t finalized the menu yet, but I can check the tablescape off my list. #priorities 😂

Side note, these are the cakes I made for him friends baby shower. When I did the tablescape I had them and thought they made pretty table props. 😬

Well that’s it friends. I hope you leave here feeling inspired for the upcoming holiday. Just know you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your significant other feel special. Until next time. Xoxo