How to Host a Galentine’s Day Party

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Photography by Mary Margaret Photography

I love to host.  Parties, birthdays, you name it.  I love the detail that goes into the preparation, but most of all, I really enjoy the set up and decorating.  I’ve always wanted to throw a dinner party with a true tablescape and decor so a Galentine’s Day celebration was the perfect excuse.

So, where do you start??  If you don’t have a lot of money to dedicate to such an event, or if you simply don’t WANT to spend a lot of money on the event, then you take what you have and make the most of it!  You also invite friends who can make the event FAB.  In this case, Vasu of The Nutritious Bite and Lexi Mota of The Cakerie were on board to help with food!!  Vasu made an brie with green apples and pecan dressing, green bean bundles wrapped in bacon (YUM!), and THE most amazing superfood salad with avocado dressing. I mean, DELISH.  Lexi made individual heart shaped cakes, with fresh raspberry filling and the most decadent buttercream frosting.  Lexi went to culinary school, and it showed in her baking because the cake was seriously the best cake I’ve had in a while.  If you need a cake, she’s your girl.  AH-mazing.  Finally, Tropicaleo, a Puerto Rican restaurant soon to open at Pizitz Food Hall, provided a delicious plantain soup to complete the meal.  Please visit their websites to read about their tutorials and also to get the recipes!  Here’s a sneak peak to pique your interest:

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Once the menu was planned, it was time to get to the other details:  decor!  My friend Heather of My Life Well Loved has an amazing friend, Sara of Gold Leaf Floral who provided floral arrangements for our bash.   They arrangements were AMAZING. Can I also mention that the floral arrangements lasted DAYS after the dinner party??!  And, they were oh, so fragrant!!  She’s really so super talented!

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{By the way, Heather has a great post detailing an affordable Valentine’s Day outfit on her blog that you will want to make sure you check out!}

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Sarah graciously connected me with Ginger of Swan Lindsey Lettering, who made the cutest oragami name cards to complete the place setting decor.  I gave her the names of everyone who was going to be attendance and we all shared a Pinterest board and off each went to create magic!  The name cards were the cutest!

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Sometime before Christmas, I purchased wood chargers because I was hopeful that our kitchen remodel would be done and I would be able to use them for Christmas or NYE. Sadly, they sat unused as our kitchen remodel is just now on the verge of being complete (we are about 99.8% done now, with just a few minor details left to complete), and it occurred to me that they would be perfect for this Galentine’s Day dinner.  I used china that I owned, my own utensils, a crochet runner that my mom made and gifted me when I bought my house in AL, and a heart garland I found in the Dollar Spot at Target.  Target is also the place where I found a tassel garland that I hung over backs of the two chairs you see when you walk in the room.  Oh  yeah, I also had votives from long ago that I often use during Christmas time, so I pulled those out and put in a candle in each to add a bit of romantic flare to the table.  Two blush pink mercury vases added the final touch to the tablescape!  The two vases were also from the Dollar Spot at Target.

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At some point during the dinner, I knew we were going to want to toast, so I pulled out some plastic champagne flutes that I keep for New Year’s toasts, bought some heart shaped Peeps, and red and white straws, and dressed up the pink moscato champagne I had chilling in the fridge for our Galentine’s Day toast!

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Last but not least, my friend Brittany of Southern Mama Guide joined us for dinner and since she and I were both going to have littles around, we agreed to have a good friend of mine who often babysits for me, keep all the littles in the basement while the mama’s dined and wined upstairs.  It worked perfectly and Shira if you’re reading this, we were so grateful!!  Brittany has a great post sharing a fun Valentine’s Day outfit if you still need ideas for an outfit of the night!

Oh, one other thing:  I thought it would be super fun to have “swag bags” for my friends to take with them when they left, so I am beyond thankful to Fabrik in Homewood, AL who provided the CUTEST parting gifts for my guests!

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I was honestly amazed at how well it came together.  I was super nervous about it all, but so grateful to all these women who helped make it a success!  I’ve linked all of their blogs and websites throughout the post, so be sure to click and visit each of their pages and follow them along on social media.  They are each amazingly talented entrepreneur mama’s!

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So there you have it!  My low-key, low-expense way to throw a Galentine’s Day party together.  What are your plans for Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day??  Check out my last post for a fun accessory idea for the big day!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

 

Prepping for Thanksgiving

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For the record, I am still alive.  I have been busy writing grants and trying to keep my head above water, but finally seeming to tread water again and swimming towards the shore!  Yay for surviving!

The last grant I was helping with went in today, so I am celebrating with a post on the blog.  I’ve missed blogging, but as you know, I only really blog when time permits.  For daily updates, make sure to check out my Instagram and Facebook accounts.  You’ll find me there daily. 🙂

Anywho…  I am finally coming up for air and realize, Thanksgiving is next week!!! Goodness! How time flies!  I’m a little OCD about plans, so I thought, “I bet my blog friends would love a ‘to-do’ list for the holidays”.  So, I got to it.  Here are a few of the things I am planning for the week:

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There are probably other things I left off the list, BUT, these were the ones I thought were most important! Big picture things, if you know what I mean.  The checklist is probably THE most important thing to make since it will guide the rest of your activities the coming week.

In terms of your meal, you’ve probably got a plan in place, but if you are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever, the checklist and my Pinterest board might help you prep!  My family and I, for the first time ever, are considering dining out for Thanksgiving. If you live in the Birmingham area, here are some places that are open Thanksgiving Day:

  • The Bright Star
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Fleming’s Prime Steak House & Wine Bar
  • Galley and Garden
  • Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel
  • Irondale Cafe
  • Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Seasons 52

The full list and details about their menus and prices can be found here.

I’ve also pinned a ton of decor, food, and other ideas for Thanksgiving and other holidays on my ‘Holiday’ Pinterest board if you are interested in checking them out!  Not sure that I’ll actually do or use any of them since we may not be spending Thanksgiving at home this year, BUT, hopefully they will be useful for you.  Check out my Pinterest board here!

Also,  photos and Christmas cards.  This year, I am considering Paper Source at The Summit for Christmas cards.  Have you been in there?  IT IS AH-MAZING. OMG.  Gird your wallets because you may walk in there with a Christmas Card order in mind, but leave with one of everything in the store, including the pair of Santa glasses with beard attached! Dying, lol!

With regard to activities, I have found that kids are insanely bored during the time I am prepping for guests – particularly the day of.  So, this year I made sure to buy some games and plan activities to entertain them!  Actually, and if you know of any good ones, please feel free to share them with me below.

Finally, outfits!  I have yet to decide what I will wear for Thanksgiving, much less what the kids will wear.  I will say that often, I like to opt for clothes that allow me to EAT! Nom, nom!  Loose fitting tops over leggings, or oversized flowy dresses work well.  Here are a couple examples that I love when seeking to be fashionable, yet comfortable…

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Finally, as part of my holiday prep, I’m planning to attend a number of events at The Summit in the coming weeks. The first, an event called “Light’s Up”.  Details for the event can be found on their Facebook event page, here.  My friend Heather of My Life Well Loved and I were at The Summit this weekend and walked around a bit at dusk.  The Summit had begun to put a few of the lights up, as seen below.

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Photos by Jennifer Hagler Photography

We are so excited to be back on Friday for the actual event!!  I hope you will join us!  Feel free to check out their Facebook event, or email me for details: chicinacademia@gmail.com.  I’d love to hang with you there!  Btw, I plan to take the kiddies, so know that it’s also VERY kid-friendly!

From the Facebook event page:

“The event is sponsored by Swoozie’s. Stop by Swoozies from 4:30-5:30 PM or 7:30-8:30 PM for Photobooth fun with Santa. Magic 96.5 will be broadcasting live and will have a Children’s Christmas Craft Area on the Kendra Scott Terrace Patio.

We’ll be sitting with friends and family watching the parade and ending the evening with The Summit all lit up for the holidays! The parade ends with Santa’s arrival and an amazing fireworks show. Stick around for the Lights Up After Party, featuring your favorite holiday tunes from local artist, Jackson Capps. Arrive early, stay late and enjoy all the holiday festivities!”

I cannot wait!  Hope to see you there, otherwise, happy Thanksgiving prepping!!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

Chic Decor for Mom on Mother’s Day

*Disclosure: I partnered with Target and Stylinity for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Holy hiatus, Batman!  It’s been nearly a month since I wrote a post on my blog.  Goodness! So much has happened!  A lot of it you can see on Instagram.  I’ll try to update you with the rest in upcoming posts.  For now, I want to share with you what I gave myself for Mother’s Day: A front door makeover!

Aside from fashion, a clean and somewhat nicely decorated home makes me super happy. With two kids in the house and a hubs with a crazy work schedule, the “clean and somewhat nicely decorated” part hasn’t happened.  So, this was my attempt to get the “nicely decorated” ball rolling.

I’ve had a slight obsession with boxwood recently and recently stalked this boxwood wreath on the Target website.  They never seemed to have it in store when I went, so I finally  went ahead and ordered it.IMG_3166

Next step was prepping the door for its transformation.  This was the door before doing anything to it:

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Not too shabby, but a bit on the dilapidated side. Let’s face it – it needed a make over.  So, off I went to Home Depot to find the paint.  The selection was limited, but I ended up finding a nice black gloss paint that I thought would do the job.  I also picked up a small roller and a brush with a small handle.

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We already had white paint, brushes, and tape at home, so I started with the trim; which I painted a bright white so as to make the door “pop”.  I also taped the door handle prior to applying the black paint.

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Then came the fun part!  The transformation.  I took about a third of the paint in the paint can and poured it into a hand-held plastic container.  I first hand-brushed paint on the entire door, focusing on getting the entire inside of each of the six panels.  I then followed with a second coat over the entire door with a small roller.

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It took longer to dry than it did to paint it!  The process was fairly painless and super easy.  I also picked up a new floor mat, so when it was all said it done, I had a brand new door and front-door decor!

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The white trim can use a second coat upon hubby’s closer inspection, but otherwise, I’m super happy with the result.  Obviously this involved work on my part, but it took a total of three hours total (at most, not including drying time) and was relatively inexpensive!  Here’s a breakdown of what I purchased:

Paint for door: $8 for black gloss paint

Roller: $6

Brushes, trim paint, and tape: Free from previous jobs at home (took back the ones I bought)

Welcome mat: $12*

Boxwood wreath: $45

Total cost: $71

Shop all the products here.

*To save a little extra money with some Target coupons, click here!

This is a DIY you can attempt on your own and perhaps surprise mom with, OR, you could gift her a basket which includes all the brushes/paint/roller/materials and wreath and DIY with her to spend some quality time together!  Either way, I think it would make an excellent gift, and something that is somewhat unique too.  Dontcha think?!

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Hubs and I have talked about a bedroom, basement, and closet/office makeover, so stay tuned for those!  In the meantime, I wish all you mama’s out there an amazing Mother’s Day and to those of you who are not mama’s, wishing you a lovely time with the mother or mother figure in your life.

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!