As the More is More Mom®, I am always about….more parties! Celebrations are a fantastic way to connect with family and friends. In fact, a few weeks ago we enjoyed Labor Day fun with a pre-holiday party in our home with great friends.
To me, Labor Day is a turning point, marking the end of a wonderful summer and kicking off the fall season (which just so happens to be my very favorite!). This week I am super excited to share with you my ideas and inspirations for a festive filled weekend.
Parties practically throw themselves when you have a theme. For about two seconds I considered the old Red, White and Blue, but we’ve already done that twice this summer. What better way to end the season than with a picnic? Not your typical burgers in the park on a red checked blanket, but a beautiful upscale affair with woven textures, fine linens and crystal. Delightful!
I always start my parties with a generous cocktail hour (or two). Seriously, what’s the hurry? Pattern makes me happy, so to set the tone for my picnic theme, I pulled out one of my favorite toppers with a cream colored background embellished with green grapes and leaves. I lay it evenly across my island on an angle. I am a huge fan of anything over the top. Little things get lost, while larger items make a statement. It was time to empty my awesome, enormous hurricanes that I had filled with popcorn for Movie Night. In this instance, I loved the simplicity of the hurricanes with a large, three wick pillar candle (A contradiction for the More is More Mom®? No, it’s just that I appreciate that sometimes more impact is achieved through simplicity).
To further enhance the table, I filled two vases with lemons and limes and tied a pretty green ribbon around each for a little extra embellishment. Inspiration is everywhere! I was in my grocer’s floral department when I noticed these gorgeous perennials, Liatris, (on special…normally $24.99, offered at$9.99. Isn’t that awesome?). I love the spiky, lavender plumes for their color and aesthetic quality.
For an elegant touch, I brought out some of my crystal serving pieces. I truly appreciate the beauty of cut crystal and how it sparkles in the glimmer of candlelight. Besides, crystal feels special and lends credibility to the more casual….Frito’s Scoops.
While I love mingling in a cocktail setting, there is nothing more intimate than formal dining. At our house, a sit down dinner in our Dining Room is reserved for friends that Chuck considers “table worthy.” You know you rate at our house if you’ve eaten in our Dining Room. I was excited to set a special table. As always, I start with a tablecloth. I love pattern and dark colors for the simple fact that they are so forgiving. Here I chose one of my favorite tablecloths, a rich chocolate brown. Then for some personality, I incorporated an enchanting needlepoint topper enlivened with …..ladybugs! Ladybugs are special to me, because I have been collecting them for Amanda for years. I call her my Ladybug. Perfect for a picnic!
As a centerpiece, I filled a large stone planter with perennials that I found at Lowes on 75% off clearance. The whole thing cost $3.75 (you can’t even buy Baby’s Breath for that). They really helped with the picnic vibe. Customarily I am a sucker for a placemat, but in this case I didn’t want to cover up my ladybug topper, so I opted instead to settle for the use of a rattan charger. Rattan just screamed picnic fun! Sometimes I like the clean quality of a white dinner plate. These are special because of the scalloped edges and embossed detail. Some time ago, I fell in love with these beautiful leaf plates. The green is great and they are so versatile. I traveled store to store until I collected 20. Just the other day, my dear friend and neighbor, Mrs. Hobbs, asked me why I collected most things in 20 and not 24? I actually don’t have a good reason for 20, but I must say the hoarder in me is intrigued by the concept of 24…. Look out retailers, here I come! To complete each setting, I placed a burlap style napkin drawn through a bamboo napkin ring, a crystal water glass and a lovely green apple at each place setting for some extra special detail. I have several, metal ladybug and leaf style tea-light candle holders, which were the perfect finishing touches on my table.
Now that the table and buffet are set, over the next few days, I can’t wait to share with you more recipes for delicious entrees, tasty appetizers and an unbelievably, family friendly cookie for dessert. I hope you are inspired to throw you very own lovely Labor Day Party!