A lemonade bar drink station is made complete with a buffet of gourmet lemonades–peach lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and rosemary lemonade. Want to make some? (See the lemonade station tomorrow!)

gourmet lemonade for a lemonade bar

PEACH LEMONADE: To make peach lemonade combine a batch of prepared lemonade, with the juice of two lemons in a food processor. Mix in two peaches, strain out the flesh, and serve.

peach lemonade

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE: To make strawberry lemonade combine a batch of prepared lemonade, with the juice of two lemons in a food processor. Mix in two cups of strawberries, strain out the flesh and seeds, and serve.

strawberry lemonade

ROSEMARY LEMONADE: To make rosemary lemonade- First make rosemary simple syrup by combining 1 1/2 cups water with 1 cup sugar in a pot. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and add a couple sprigs of rosemary into the syrup. Allow that to sit until the water has cooled (discard rosemary). Add the simple syrup to a batch of lemonade and the juice of two lemons.

rosemary lemonade

gourmet lemonade for a lemonade station

lemonade bar drink station

I’m sure you’ve been seeing it everywhere this year, it’s the Pantone Color of the Year. The color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid. I was inspired by this lovely shade of purple and wanted to share some ways you could incorporate it into your parties. These ideas would be great for any party where you just wanted to show your people some love.

pantone color of the year

Idea One: Orchid Favor I found this tiny orchid at Trader Joe’s and was smitten. Orchids are cool, but miniature orchids? Awesome. This is obviously a great way to bring in this fun shade of purple and all you need is a great container (I’ve sprayed a simple pot with chalkboard paint) and a name tag. Add some moss, cute dishes, and a little pop of purple paper and you have, very simply, added flair to your dinner table! You could go one step further and write a kind note and nestle it right into the moss.


Idea Two: Love Note Placemat This idea takes no time at all. Grab a white pen and black cardstock and get to writing! Don’t worry about making it perfect, just write things you love about the person in your natural handwriting in rows across the paper. I broke the words up using tiny dots and hearts but do whatever you like. Finish up the corners with a rounded-corner punch and you have a keepsake note doubling as your party decor. I also found a simple initial from the craft store and cut and glued glitter cardstock on the top to mark the seat.


Idea Three: Conversation Hearts We aren’t talking about the candy here. Instead I’m using simple cardstock in a variety of shades, cut into hearts, wrapped up with bouillon wire, and placed in the center of your plate. Include a couple pens tied with a bit of ribbon and watch the compliments fly. Each guest can write things they love about the other guests at the party!


As your guests write, they can share what they wrote and toss the heart into the middle of the table. Your plate decorations will soon create a darling centerpiece for the rest of the meal. Afterwards, each guest can take their hearts to keep or you could string them up into a garland. Either way you’ve created a darling centerpiece, played a fun game, AND spread the love.



Hope you are inspired by this lovely shade of purple too!

I’m excited about a new series that you might have noticed here and there on the blog this year. Flower makeovers! I will be taking readily accessible flowers (think grocery store) and showing you how to turn them into professional looking arrangements… without breaking the bank! Hooray! I’ll share tips and tricks along the way so that anyone can make lovely looking arrangements. Because I think every party can use a few flowers.

grocery store bouquet

If you haven’t arranged flowers before, you have probably purchased them, taken them home, trimmed the ends, and placed them in a vase. Maybe something like this? We’ve all done it and really there is nothing wrong with it. You can’t mess up flowers, but if you want to go the extra mile, I’ll show you how to make a great grocery store bouquet in just a few steps.


Step One: The Flowers This bouquet came with pink pixie carnations, green kermit poms, yellow daisy poms, white daisy poms, and white alstromeria. I also bought some pretty baby pink gerbera daisies to add a good focal point to the arrangement. One tip when you are buying flowers is to pick something you are attracted to. Often grocery store flowers are a mix of wild colors, and while you can make those work, your job will be simpler if you start with a pleasing color palette.


Step Two: The Extras Here’s where we start to make an ordinary bouquet awesome. Find a great container (not just that weird glass vase you’ve had in the closet for a decade), cool greenery, branches, wire, buttons, paper, etc. Any unique elements you can incorporate will transform your arrangements, no matter your skill level. I’ve added a pink glass vase, spanish moss, curly willow branches, and fun lime green wire.


Step Three: Group, Bind, Repeat This is where it gets fun. First, strip all of the greenery off the stems of your flowers and any blooms that are lower on the stem. Keep these for later. Next, start arranging groups of flowers in your hand. One trick is to keep like flowers together. Arrange a small bunch and keep the heads of the flowers at the same level (as much as possible). Once you like a small bunch of flowers bind them with a rubber band. Then move on to the next bunch of flowers. Keep creating small bunches of flowers until you’ve used them all up. This method is great because it helps you to keep the flowers together while still allowing wiggle room for adjustments later.


Now that you have a few bunches of flowers, arrange them together in your hand. Once you like how it looks in your hand, bind the whole thing together with another rubber band. You will see that you can shift one bunch up or down as well as the individual flowers.


Step Four: Cut and Fill Now you have a cute little bouquet of flowers and you need to fit it to your vase. Hold up your flowers next to your container and eyeball where you need to cut the stems so that the heads of the flowers hit the rim of the container. Always err on the side of too long because you can always go shorter, but you can’t go longer!


Depending on the size of your container and how many flowers you have, you may have some space to fill. I am going to add the spanish moss and the curly willow to fill the gap.


Add those items and voila! You’ve got a pretty darling arrangement!


Step Five: Embellish So you could stop at pretty darling, but I’m going to take it a step further and add some blooms to the branches with that cute green wire I showed earlier. Cut a few pieces of wire and grab those extra blooms you pulled off the stems earlier. Cut the stems very short and wrap the wire around the tiny stem. Then wire the blooms onto the branches for a flowering branch effect. Wrap a few pieces of the wire to the branches for a shiny pop of color too. You can wire on buttons, paper flowers, love notes or anything you can imagine!



There you go! Now step back and enjoy your transformation. Keep practicing and don’t feel like it has to be perfect. The more fun you have, the better it will turn out.


Flowers are always a fun addition to any party, but you don’t always have to go overboard to make a statement. In this flower tutorial I’ll show you how to make  some simple summer flower centerpieces using only three stems of flowers. The key is to use focal flowers (e.g., gerbera daisies, sunflowers, peonies, dahlias). I’m using white spider mums because they are inexpensive and readily available. They also stay fresh for days, so you can make your arrangement well in advance.

easy summer flowers

You will need the following tools: 
· Simple opaque container (the container shown here is approximately 4” in diameter)

· Wet floral foam (more about this below)

· Moss

· Greening pins (shown later)

· Something to cut with (floral knife, scissors, clippers)

easy summer flowers

Step One: Cut, soak, and place the floral foam

Floral foam is the beginning floral designer’s best friend. It creates a water source for your flowers and allows you to put flowers exactly where you want them which eliminates a lot of frustration. A couple notes about floral foam. One, when you purchase it make sure you are buying the wet foam. There is also a dry foam which is used for silk flower arranging. Second, when you soak the foam, fill up a container with water and set the foam on top and let it sink naturally. Don’t push it down because the foam won’t absorb the water properly. Check out  this video for other tips on working with floral foam.

Measure your foam to your container and cut accordingly. You want the foam to fit snugly in your container. You can also secure the foam with pot tape, but it isn’t necessary for a simple centerpiece.


Step Two: Arrange flowers in floral foam

Once the foam is in place, start adding your flowers. The first spider mum should be placed at an angle and cut short to face the the front as shown. The second spider mum should be cut slightly longer than the first and positioned facing up like it was growing. The third is similar to the second just cut even longer than the second. The three stems should form a sort of triangle.



Step Three: Cover floral foam

After you are satisfied with the position of your flowers, you can cover the floral foam with moss. You can use a variety of things to cover the foam (greenery, colored moss, etc.). Spanish moss is a great thing to have on had though and it covers things quickly and aesthetically. To secure the moss we are using floral greening pins. These are available at most craft stores or from your local floral shop. If you can’t find greening pins, you can also use small pieces of wire bent into the shape of a staple.


Step Four: Embellish

Now you have a lovely little arrangement. You can leave it as is or add a fun little message! For the embellishment you will need scissors, pretty paper, a stripey-straw, pen, and glue.


Using your best penmanship, write a little message like “hello” or “thanks for coming” and glue the message to a piece of pretty paper. Then glue the message to a a fun stripey straw.



Place the straw in the floral foam and you’ve got a cute arrangement to use on a welcome table or as a centerpiece. This would also be a darling favor or hostess gift.

easy summer flowers

Click for more flower ideas.

Party favors are always a fun way to end a party. For your School Days Party favor, send your guests home with this fun little free printable milk carton full of school supplies!

Back to School Party Favor

Directions: Print milk carton onto have card stock and cut out (download link below). Assemble the milk carton. Glue it together with a glue gun for extra stability. Fill the carton with small school supplies such as crayons, erasers, small pencil sharpener and more. Finish by gluing the top of the carton closed. Line out your milk carton favors out on the party table as a cute little additional piece of decoration.

back to school party favor

Back to School Party Favors

Back to School Party Favors


Click for more Back to School Party Ideas.

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