Category Archives: seasonal parties

InstaFriday!

I can’t believe that it is Friday again. Aye aye aye!

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Linking up again with Life Rearraged to chronicle some of the happenings in the Toney family this week.

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Last weekend, we had our annual winter party. If you are new to my blog, my husband and I host a party for our friends every season to celebrate what we love about that season. We’ve been doing this for about 5 years now and it has become a treasured tradition. You can see photos of past seasonal parties here and here.

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For this winter party, I pulled together what I had, buying only some flowers from Trader Joes & our local farmer’s market and a couple rolls of gold & cream striped wrapping paper from Target. The result was a pretty and simple gold & white party.

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I threw some gold glitter on candles I already had (which my husband so loves- ha!).

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I forgot to take any pictures of the food, but I do have this one that shows what the highlight of the winter party is: a soup potluck! Our friends make such awesome soups year after year and it is so fun to be able to keep going back and trying them all :)

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It was so fun to watch the grammys and see a fellow Bruin, Sara Bareilles, sing with Carole King. I’ve been a big fan of Sara’s ever since she started her career back at UCLA and it has been so incredible to see her career grow. Then, the other morning, this gem of a song popped up on one of my pandora stations. The guys of Lady Danville (now Hunter Hunted) were also at UCLA while we were, so I’ve had lots of bruin pride the past couple of weeks :)

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I’m starting to get ready for a certain batman-loving curly hair kid’s third birthday party! I bought the graphic from a designer on etsy and then made the simple invitations and labels. Fun story: these are the last of the envelopes from our wedding invitations- they’ve lasted 8 1/2 years!


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Happy weekend!

Fall Party 2013

5 years ago, my husband and I decided we wanted to have a party to celebrate all that we loved about the Fall. The food, the decor, the music. This then carried over into Winter and our seasonal party tradition was born. Year after year, it is one of my favorite things to host. Daveed & I love planning and throwing dinner parties for our friends, and seeing this become something that our friends look forward to every season has brought us such joy.

 

This year, the fall party was wonderful. Our house filled with dear friends, pumpkins, garlands and smells of Daveed’s risotto, sangria and all of the delicious fall themed foods that our friends brought to share.

 

It also was the least stressful year of prep. We’ve finally got this thing figured out :)

 

Here is a look into our fall party. You can see past seasonal parties here and here.

 

Runner fabric from Jo-anns, pumpkins, leaves and candlelight:

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Leaf garlands falling from the chandelier and the walls and, of course, we had to have one of my thankful banners out.

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Sangria station, a bit more decor and our littlest guest, my buddy Archie:

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The risotto king. Thank you God for blessing me with a husband who can cook :)

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I truly am thankful for the community we’ve been given here in San Diego. It’s not where we grew up, but it has become home, mostly due to these people. A few people had already left and I promise there were guys there too, but I am so happy to have a moment captured with some of my dear friends. Thank you Lord for these people.

Our summer party 2013

For those who are new to my blog, I am excited to introduce you to our tradition of season parties! Almost 5 years ago, my husband and I decided to start throwing a party every season for our friends. We started with fall and dreamt up a cozy party filled with autumnal colors, spiced apple cider and a trick or treating bar with jars full of candy. The idea instantly was a hit with our friends and it has been something we look forward to year after year, season after season. You can see past season parties here and here.

 

We love to celebrate our favorite things about each quarter of the year- ignoring the fact that our weather here in Southern California doesn’t really qualify as 4 distinct seasons. The music, food and decor are all chosen around our traditions and favorite memories of that time of year.

 

Last weekend, we had our summer party. Since it was two days after the 4th of July, I decided to embrace patriotism and go all red, white and blue, with a bit of a nautical twist. I was up past midnight the night before prepping homemade ice cream and my husband was up at 6:30 am to get the pork in the smoker for our pulled pork sandwiches. And it was glorious. Throwing parties together is one of the things we love to do best- we are a pretty good team. He’s a great cook and usually handles the main course and, of course, spends a ton of time selecting the perfect playlist. Decor is my arena and desserts and appetizers are something I love to dream up as well.

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Here is a look into our summer celebration:

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Oh how I love bunting.

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My dear friend Holly was SO helpful with this party! A couple years back, she threw her son a nautical birthday party and kept all of the adorable decor she made, which she let me borrow for this party. How cute is this wreath?

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Stripes, polka dots, navy lanterns from Target, simple arrangements with ruffled crepe paper, lighthouses painted by Holly’s boys and a couple of knot balls adorned the tables:

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For drinks, we served a yummy watermelon lime cooler, our favorite mango iced tea and a coconut, pineapple and lime spritzer.

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I nearly danced in the aisles of Target when I found these cute plates:

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Holly made the fun utensil holders :)

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For dinner, we served pulled pork on hawaiian buns with my husband’s homemade BBQ sauce (SO good!!) and my favorite summer salad (grilled corn, avocado and tomato) and our guests brought appetizers, salads, fruit and side dishes. We always end up with way too much food and it’s the most wonderful problem to have at a party.

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For dessert, we had gluten free brownies and these adorable cookies that my friend Elizabeth of Sunshine and Sugar Sweets made:

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And I made two kinds of homemade ice cream: peach, brown sugar and bourbon and mint chip (recipe from this month’s Real Simple). They both turned out so well- definitely not something I would make often because it took a lot of work, but they were delicious.

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I’m not going to lie, this was the craziest of all of the season parties we have had because all of the kiddos were invited. We had over 20 kids in our small townhouse and our little front yard so it was a bit nuts. Everyone had a great time though and I just embraced the crazy. Thankfully, our neighbors did too :)

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We sent the kiddos home with glow sticks for favors. The cute printable was from WhipperBerry.

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It was a perfect summer day: we ate, swam, watched the kids run around and enjoyed the company of friends as we celebrated the season. Maybe next time I will actually use my good camera and will remember to take photos of people as well :)

winter party 2012

For those of you who may be new to my blog, I am excited to share with you about our seasonal parties! My husband and I host a party every season to celebrate the food, music & ambiance we love about that time of the year. You can see more here (including links to most of the seasonal parties over the past 5 years).

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Winter is always one of my favorites because we have a soup potluck. Our friends are pretty good cooks, so we always have a delicious array of soups to try, along with winter-inspired appetizers, salads, bread and dessert (which was all chocolate this year- apparently that is the most fitting winter dessert!)

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For decor this year, I wanted to spend as little money as possible, while still making the setting beautiful. My 5 year old and I had cut some paper snowflakes around Christmas time and they were still hanging on our sliding glass doors while I was gathering inspiration for the party. I decided to add in some doilies that I had in my crafting stash and, in 5 minutes, I had a pretty backdrop of delicate snowy-ness. I filled tables with tons of candles and other elements I grabbed from around my house and from my dwindled down wedding planner supply shelves in the garage. My husband grabbed some flowers at Trader Joe’s and that was that :) It looked dreamy while still being simple.

 

I threw some doilies on the wall and make a quick garland to hang on the fireplace. I made some quick tags so that everyone could label their soup- after the first year I learned that was necessary, as well as reminding everyone to bring their own ladle :)

 

I was having so much fun with my friends that I completely forgot to take any picture with my good camera. This happened at our fall party too. Oops. So all I have to share are the photos I posted to instagram, which is better than nothing, right?

 

Later this week, I’ll share my husband’s winter playlist. We like to send our guests home with a mix of songs that remind us of the season.

Our Summer Party

Every season, my husband and I throw a party to celebrate what we love about that time of year. We started our tradition 4 years ago and you can see past parties here, here and here.

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When the time came for this year’s summer party, we had just moved two weeks prior. I still had not found my tablecloths (in a box somewhere in the garage), had no idea where our good camera was, and had not touched my boxes of vases and decor. We wanted to still have the party, just in a more low-key way with minimal pressure on myself to make it creative and cute :)

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It turned out being super fun and relaxing. We decided to make it a housewarming party as well and had friends over for a BBQ at our new place. I didn’t take many pictures, but grabbed a couple with my phone.

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We had a hamburger bar, with caramelized onions, an amazing avocado and goat cheese spread my husband makes, heirloom tomatoes, along with the normal fixings. I made my family’s famous cheesy potatoes (my favorite side dish) and our friends brought some amazing side dishes and salads- all with a summery theme. We made frozen margaritas, mango sun tea and a refreshing watermelon cucumber cooler. I didn’t want to water the watermelon drink down, so I had the idea to freeze cubes of watermelon to put in. It worked great!

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For dessert, our friends brought mini fruit tarts, frozen chocolate coffee cheesecake bars and I made vanilla and pina colada sorbe (using this recipe). It was all delicious!

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This is a tradition my husband and I hope to continue for decades. It is such a highlight of every season for us. We already cannot wait for our fall party!

Winter Party 2012

Every season, my husband and I throw a party, celebrating what we love about that time of year. You can see past parties here and here.

 

We had our winter party last weekend and it was SO much fun! Winter is always one of my favorites because we have a soup potluck- every guest brings a different type of soup and we get to sample them all. Yum!!

 

Since Valentine’s day is just around the corner, I dreamt up a white and red party with lots of hearts. It took a lot of convincing to get my husband on board with that vision, but after assuring him it wouldn’t be pink and cheesy, he gave in :)

 

This year, I have started having a guestbook-of sorts, where I have our friends write down their favorite things of the season. For this party, I had a large heart on the wall and had guests write their favorite things about winter on small hearts that we taped on. Being in San Diego, most comments revolved around it being 75 degrees. So much for fires, hot chocolate and sweaters!

 

Found a $1.50 package of red heart doilies at the grocery store and turn them into a wreath and garland.

 

We set up tables on the porch, which I covered with white sheets (much cheaper than renting linens for a small party at home!). On the long tables, I hung a simple white paper & bakers twine garland from a wooden stand that a friend made me.

 

I cut placemats using my cricut and found these heart napkins at Target- aren’t they perfect? Each place setting had a paper soup bowl and mason jars for sangria with heart paper straws. I purchased the plain white bowls on etsy and then stamped them and added a bit of bakers twine.

 

We also had one round table, on which I had one of the mini banner stands that we sell- making sure everyone knew that “we heart winter”.

 

I covered our dining table with striped wrapping paper (that I found for $0.50 after Christmas!) and put on another stand with a mini banner, saying “we heart soup”.

 

Even though it was in the 70′s that day, we had a great time celebrating winter with soup, sangria, good music and games.

 

You can recreate all of this decor easily for Valentine’s Day too!

 

A big thank you to my friend Nikki for coming early to take these photos. I am so appreciative!

 

Sources:

Photos: Nikki Crockett Photography

Straws & Bowls: etsy shop InTheClear

 

I linked up this blog with Mique’s Pity Party