Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Pins" of the Day

Today I just must share my favorite Alice in Wonderland pins!
Alice in Wonderland sweets table.
Who wouldn't enjoy being invted to partake of the sweets at this wonderfully themed Alice in Wonderland party?   i love the colors and the themeing of the cupcakes!
Cheshire Cat Cheesball
This is the most creative display of food I have ever seen for an Alice in Wonderland themed party!  I will be hosting an Alice themed baby shower this August, and I am making this Cheshire Cat cheeseball for sure!

Mad Hatter's Tea Party
This is a more rustic interpretation of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, but I think it is a lovely image!

Happy pinning ~ Chloe Crabtree

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Tips - Centerpieces

A centerpiece is defined as a decorative piece or display placed in the middle of a dining or serving table.  That is leaves it pretty wide open as to what you can use for centerpieces; and of course, what the occasion is would help guide your centerpiece choices.  The only rules I try to follow regarding centerpieces are to make sure the centerpiece does not block your view of people across the table, nor be to large as to crowd the table, and to not use flowers so fragrant that they compete with the food you are serving.

For a wedding or benefit where you need numbered tables, and have a nautical theme, this is a cute idea.

A simple bowl of seashells is this casual centerpiece.
These jars of colored buttons are a fun centerpiece idea.


I have seen books used at many weddings, with a different author being represented at each table.  I would like to see books used at a dinner party, with the titles carefully chosen; which could make them a great conversation starter.  
One wine bottle for a dinner for two...many for a large dinner party.
Keep in mind what the occasion is that you need a centerpiece for, and try to tie the the event or theme to the centerpiece.  Above is a dinner party with wine bottles used to hold candles.  You would want to use this at a dinner when you are serving wine.  Below you see eggs in a bird's nest for Easter, but would work for any spring party or luncheon.  

An elegant Easter centerpiece in lieu of candy eggs. Bird's nests with silver eggs in them.

I am a fan of using fresh fruits and vegetables in centerpieces, so wrapping them around these candles is quite appealing.

Candy can be a fun centerpiece, especially if you have children at a table.

A lovely blue contemporary centerpiece idea, and very simple to create, just containers with water, a drop of food coloring and white floating candles.

Happy entertaining! ~ Chloe Crabtree

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Pins" of the Day

With Easter just around the corner, I decided to feature my favorite Easter "pins" today...enjoy! 

Easter S'mores
Easter s'mores, how fun and yummy!  I don't have any little children around, but I want to try these!  

Easter Topiary

These lovely Easter topiaries were fashioned out of brussel  sprouts.  I think they are elegant and certainly say 'Spring'.  They are fresh and elegant, and something different which made them one of my favorite Easter pins!

Happy 'pinning' - Chloe Crabtree

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Pins" of the Day

It is Sunday. It is a day for reflection for me.  I hope you find peace and inspiration in my favorite inspiring 'pins' today. 

'nuff said
This needs no caption.

This always moves me to tears.

Happy pinning ~ Chloe Crabtree

Sunday Style - Porches

A porch is defined as, "a covered shelter projecting in front of the entrance of a building".  We know that a porch can be on the front of a building, or the side, or the "back porch".  More importantly; if you have had the chance to sit and sip your morning coffee on a porch watching the early birds singing, or sharing lemonade on a warm afternoon with a loved one or snoozing in the fresh air on a classic "sleeping porch"; then you know, a porch is so much more!  I hope you have a porch, and I hope you have happy memories of spending time on your porch!  

A classic comfortable front porch to settle onto.
An extra large bed swing invites lounging on this classic Georgia porch.
Wooden daybeds treated to withstand the outdoor weather make for a lovely sleeping porch.
A shabby chic porch
A modern screen porch
With mosquito netting, this would makes a great place to sleep

Pretty lights on this porch!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Pins" of the Day

Yes, like many of you, I am obsessed with, I have selected my favorite pins of the week to share right here!  
Custom made aisle runner.
I love this idea.  It is a little casual for my idea of a wedding, but what a wonderful way for the couple to share their life together!  Makes this one of my favorite pins of the week!
Alice in Wonderland Party table.

I have recently become ridiculously obsessed with Alice in Wonderland.  The original Disney movie, the Tim Burton movie...anything!  I will be hosting a baby shower in August which will be Alice in Wonderland - themed!  I can't wait to share all  of the details with you!  This is my favorite tablescape in the Alice theme that I have found!
Pink peony

This was my most difficult pin of the week to choose.  I love pink, I love everything pink, flower, food, clothes, dishes, furniture, you name it!  From my Pink Pintrest Board I chose this one pink peony picture to add to my favorite pins of the week.  Enjoy!

Keep pinning! ~ Chloe Crabtree

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Kentucky Derby Party

It may only be March, but you might want to consider...
Cupcakes created by Save the date for cupcakes, and how about the brown sugar racetrack!
Saturday, May 5, 2012 is the date of the 138th running of The Kentucky Derby.  Why not plan a party around it starting now?  Make yours casual, or have your guests dress up like those attending the derby. 

This is a lovely spread for a Derby Party!
A great invitation to set the theme! Include all the details!

Or...for a different invitation, how about printing them on paper, rolling them up, tying with a ribbon and tying on a tiny horse figurine purchased at the dollar store?  

Save the Date for Cupcakes featured this lovely Derby table.

How fun would these be decorating your table?

Metal Mint Julep cups are the traditional way to serve them.

Mint Julep Recipe

4 Fresh mint sprigs
2 1/2 ounce Kentucky bourbon 
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
2 teaspoon  water

Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a glass.  Fill the glass with crushed ice and add bourbon.  Top with more ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

A great Derby-themed cake!

Derby Pie is another dessert choice to consider!

It is my understanding that "Derby Pie" is trademarked.  There are quite a number of variations, some using pecans, others walnuts, I will let you search out the recipe that suits your tastes and talents! 
Decorate the back of each chair with a different horse's number.
  1. Encourage guests to wear hats, give a prize for best Derby hat!  
  2. Serve mint juleps, the traditional drink of the Derby.
  3. Use red roses in your decorating, The Kentucky Derby is known as The Run for the Roses.
  4. NBC Derby coverage begins at 4:00pm with The Kentucky Derby Red Carpet coverage, and continues with the race at 5:00 and additional coverage until 7:00.  Have all of your televisions sets tuned in.
  5. Serve traditional Kentucky foods to keep with the theme.
  6. Make rosettes like winners typically get, to decorate the backs of guests' chairs.
  7. Have a horseshoe-shaped cake decorated with red frosting roses.
  8. Put numbers 1 - 20 on pieces of paper and put them in a silver bowl.  Have each guest pick one one, that is the horse they will root for during the race.  The winner receives a small prize.  
  9. Use a large horse head sculpture, or little toy horses set on your serving tables.
  10. Use astroturf for your tablecloth on your serving tables.
  11. Bring out all the best china and silver, celebrate this one-hundred and thirty-eight year old tradition!

Benedictine spread finger sandwiches are another Kentucky classic.
Kentuckians are thankful that Miss Jennie Carter Benedict created her Benedictine spread back around the turn of the century for her catering business.  Use this cream cheese and cucumber spread for finger sandwiches, or as a dip for vegetables and on crackers.

Benedictine Recipe

1 large cucumber
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons finely grated onion
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 drop of green food coloring

  1. Peel, grate and drain the cucumber
  2. Combine with remaining ingredients in food processor
  3. Serve as is as a sandwich or canape spread
  4. Thin with sour cream to make a dip for vegetables.
Country ham served on biscuits is a real Kentucky treat.
Bourbon Balls are a must have!

Bourbon Balls Recipie

1 cup chopped nuts

5 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon

1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar
18 ounces semisweet chocolate

  1. Place the nuts in a jar, pour the bourbon over the nuts, seal the jar and allow the nuts to soak overnight.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar; fold in the soaked chopped nuts.  Form into 3/4" balls and refrigerate overnight.  
  3. Line a tray with waxed paper.  Melt the chocolate, roll the balls in the melted chocolate to coat, arrange in a single layer and store in the refrigerator until serving.  

Party on! - Chloe Crabtree

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Tips...RSVP

R.S.V.P. is an acronym for the French phrase, "répondez, s'il vous plaît," which means "reply please".  You would include R.S.V.P. on an invitation when you would like those invited to respond, so that you may plan accordingly for the number of guests.  This is particularly important for an event such as a wedding or dinner party, where dinner will be served, as you will be setting a place for each guest.  For a cocktail party, or birthday party, you would also like a guest count as a practical point, so that you may plan on how much food and drink to buy and prepare.  For a children's party or bridal or baby shower, you would like to know the number of favors to prepare, also.   

A Christmas Dinner Party
You wouldn't want to show up for a dinner party without a place for you at the table!

Winter Dinner Party

Elegant favors for a wedding or shower.

You don't want to come up short with the number of favors, nor do you want to have to prepare or  purchase extra favors, another reason for a firm number of R.S.V.P.'s.

I want you to always be a lovely hostess, but remember to always be a lovely guest, and R.S.V.P. promptly to any social event to which you are invited.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Style - Country French Kitchens

The fruit and the French words...

Country French is an Old World style of design and decorating that is a relaxed style making the home seem warm and comfortable.  Both bright and muted colors can be used.  Kitchen cabinets are stained or painted wood, often shown distressed to suggest the idea of many generations of use.  Often ornate tiles with French country scenes are used as back splashes.  Use a baker's rack to display trinkets and treasures or to store cookbooks.  The kitchen table should be large and over-sized and also be distressed as to suggest many years of use.  Use checkered or toile fabrics for tablecloths or curtains.  French country motifs often include roosters, fruit, sunflowers and lavender.  Use baskets, especially those constructed from chicken wire to fill with rolled up kitchen towels, cloth napkins or fruit.    

Just lovely!
Roosters - a great French motif!
Country French motifs include all kinds of farm animals, after all, we are going for "country"; roosters, pigs and cows!

Lavender - another French motif!

A lovely vase of lavender can be tucked anywhere in your kitchen  for that  country French feel.  You can also add sunflowers, real, silk, printed on kitchen towels or curtains! 
A lovely nook of a kitchen!
Our rooster re-appears!
To give this pot rack a more authentic country French look, change out the stainless steel pots for copper!

Painted cabinets and ceiling beams are indications of a Country French kitchen/
You can rent the villa with this kitchen in France!
A lovely French table setting.
Consider adding a touch or toile, even if it is just with placemats or cloth napkins.

Unfortunately we don't all have stone walls and arches in our homes to use as this designer did!

So French, the blue and yellow and the sunflowers!

French Country style is casual and family-friendly.  Incorporate vintage features or accessories.  Accessories are what makes your country French kitchen unique!  Put your personal stamp on country French with accessories you love.