Kentucky Derby Inspiration

Horses, hats, and fashion go hand in hand at the Kentucky Derby. Whether you are attending the races at Church Hill Downs, another horse racing event, or Derby party I hope these images will inspire you.  For the entertainer check out these two Derby parties from the Celebration Shoppe and HWTM.

The Celebration Shopp Derby Days

HWTM Night at the Derby Kentucky Derby Party

Happy Easter!

Spring invokes vibrate pastel colors. There is no better time than Easter to celebrate spring and use these fun colors in your table linens, flower arrangements, Easter eggs, and other decor. Be creative and add a pop of color in your flower arrangements with candy, lemons, oranges, or colored glass balls.

For my tablescape I started with a scrap piece of coral fabric and blue napkins from another lien set.  I framed my table with three flower arrangements varying in height and color.  Then I started adding wooden painted eggs that I had decorate with paper pom poms, faux jewels, and stickers. Again, varying the height, size and color of the eggs.

Don’t limit your decor to the dinner table.  You can add a festive design to your living room with a simple spring wreath and a few  colored Easter eggs.  As seen below, you can decorate your mantel with fun Easter decor.  Draw the eye in with a centerpiece and then add several decorative pieces at different heights.

St. Patrick’s Day Inspiration

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for the Irish!  While my celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has changed over the years, especially this year with a 6 month old, I still enjoy a reason to get together with family and friends.  You can get creative, especially with March Madness going on at the same time this year, with  a beer tasting and Irish food items such as corn beef.  Below are some other creative and fun recipes, party ideas, and treats that are sure to please your guests.

1. No Bake Thin Mint Cookie Truffles/Six Sisters’ Stuff

2. Rainbow Oreo Pops/The Sweet Swiper

3. Shamrock Cookies

4. Leprechaun Cookies/Sweet Sugar Belle

St. Patrick's Day Inspiration from Half Baked - The Cake Blog

For details click on image and check out Half Baked – Cake Blog.

For details click on image and check out Tidy Mom

1.  Lucky Leprechaun Cookie Bark/Your Home Based Mom        

2. St. Patrick’s Day Free Party Printables/Living Locurto

3. Rainbow Cookie Party Favors/Hostess With The Mostess

4. Shamrock Pops with Printable Flags/Oopsey Daisy

Dexton Silver Racer 1st Birthday Party

From top to bottom, this was a fun and vibrant first birthday party to plan.  Tripp is one of the most happiest babies I know and was entertained by all the details!

Inspiration for the “Dexton Silver Racer” themed party came from Tripp’s parents Lory and Hampton, who had planned to give him the Racer for his birthday.  In addition, his parents wanted to do a desert bar themed party, which is perfect for this occasion.

Using the colors from the race car: silver, white, and black, we added a punch of red to make the event pop.   Color was in all the details from the dessert bar, to the red and white pom poms, to the flower arrangements, to the happy birthday banner, to the red Radio Flyer wagon which was used to display the gifts.  Even the invitation gave a preview of the color scheme.  We added red and white polka dot pinwheels to the food and drink stations to make the party whimsical as well as large red and white balloons.

In staying true to the Dexton Silver Racer theme we used tags such as “Start Your Engines” on the wreath at the front door, “Vroom Vroom Thanks For Coming” by the shortbread party favor cookies, “Refueling Station” by the drinks, “Concession Stand” by the vegetables and popcorn, “Finish Line” by the dessert bar, and “First Place” on Tripp’s high chair.

The menu consisted of an assortment of color coordinated candy, smash cake, chocolate, almond, and lemon pound cake, candy red apples, vegetable cups with hummus and ranch, popcorn, and shortbread cookies for the party favors.  Refreshments of lemonade, ice tea, and water were displayed in glass pitchers and served in red cups with gray and white striped paper straws.

Vendor Credits:

Event Design and Styling – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Floral Arrangements – Sarah Sofia Productions

Chocolate, Almond & Lemon Pound Cake – Edible Art Cake Shop

Short Bread Party Favor Cookies– Edible Art of Charlotte

Popcorn and Candy Apples – Cromer’s

Smash Cake – Harris Tetter

Red and White Pom Poms – Sarah Sofia Productions

Happy Birthday Banner – Sarah Sofia Productions and Lory Cobb Interiors, LLC

Gray and White Paper Straws – Etsy

Red and White Polka Dot Pinwheels – Hobby Lobby

Red and White Polka Dot Straw Holder – Hobby Lobby

Celebrating Our Independence: July 4th Entertaining

Since I was a child, I have loved celebrating July 4th with the parades, the food, and fireworks!  I continue to enjoy this festive holiday with entertaining my friends and family.  The colors are so bold and playful and you can use them as accents in flower arrangements, as shown in the above picture, liens, food, serving dishes, and decorations such as lanterns and candles.

For the younger crowd you can prepare turkey and regular sliders, turkey or chicken sausages, and tater tots. (see previous posts for recipes).  For the more sophisticated pallet hot and spicy grilled shrimp on top of a bed of arugula is a favorite.  (see below for recipe).  Use sides that have vibrant colors such as watermelon, raspberry and blueberry fruit salad, mozzarella and tomato salad with basil and olive oil, and corn and red pepper medley.  A fun dessert for both kids and adults is cookie ice cream sandwiches, such as chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies sandwiched with vanilla or coffee ice cream!







Hot & Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Ingredients: Makes 6

  • 18 jumbo shrimp peeled or a bag of 60-75 pre-cooked and peeled shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce

Oil and prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium.  Toss shrimp with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Turn shrimp once and cook for 7 to 8 minutes of until cooked through.  Stir together butter, hot sauce and parsley in a large bowl.  Add shrimp and toss until coated.  Serve over a bed of arugula.

A Wine Tasting & Tapas Themed Bridal Shower

A wine tasting and tapas bridal shower or bachelorette party is a perfect theme for a bride who enjoys wine and doesn’t like to be the center of attention.  This is a fun party that allows guests to mix and mingle and learn a little about wine.  You can host this party in your home, at a wine cellar, a winery, or if the weather is nice outside in someone’s backyard or patio.

You should plan to serve two whites and two reds and depending on the bride’s preferences one to two sparkling wine(s) or champagne(s), 3 bottles of each (12-18 bottles total).   You should offer one sweet and one dry white wine such as a Riesling and a Chardonnay and a lighter and full-bodied red wine such as a Pinot Noir and Cabernet.

For this bridal shower we had several kinds of cheese to pair with the wines such as Cheddar, Gouda, Brie, Gruyère, and Goat and an assortment of crackers.  We also served fruit, which is a great compliment to wine, such as green and red grapes and pears (rub lemon over top to help prevent them turning brown).  Other tapas included tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella ball skewers, heart-shaped smoked salmon squares, spanakopita, humus and veggies, crab dip, and of course a little something sweet with macaroons from Pistacia Vera.

Don’t forget to personalize the wine and tapas tasting with such elements as wine glasses (shown below) with the bride and groom’s wedding date for guests to use and take home as a gift.   Make wine cards for each wine that include the type of wine, vineyard, the year, and a brief description.  Use accents such as flowers, liens, candles, and paper lanterns to make the party pop with the bride’s wedding colors!  Left over wine and wine glasses are perfect gifts to give to the bride.

Photography, flower arrangements, design, and catering by Sarah Sofia Productions.

Sara+Abe New Year’s Eve Wedding

Sara+Abe December 31, 2010

Sara Hart+Abe Middleton were all in the details of this New Year’s Eve wedding celebration. The bride and groom were passionate about throwing a New Year’s Eve bash with their family and friends while exchanging wedding vows, and what a great bash it was!

The love story of Sara+Abe begins with Abe’s sister, Maggie, who conspired with Abe’s mother to introduce the two. Soon they were coordinating their engagement and 14 months later their NYE party they will always remember!

To match their love for one of their favorite spots in Columbus, The Burgundy Room, Sara+Abe executed an elegant tapas-style meal for their reception. From shrimp and grits to pecan crusted chicken breasts to tomato soup shooters with grilled cheese.  They ended the night with a little Canadian touch in honor of Sara’s home country with a poutine buffet, fries topped with cheese and gravy, which was a hit!

Photography by Kevin Keefer Photography

Photography and Bridal Bouquet by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography and Flower Arrangement by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography and Flower Arrangement by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography and Flowers by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography by Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography by Sarah Sofia Productions