Chicago Blogger Network




Blogs to Love

ABCD Design
At Home with Kim Vallee
Celebrations at Home

The Daily Basics
Everyday Celebrating
The Gracious Girl
Housewife Bliss
Hostess with the Mostess
It's in the Details
The Party Bluprints Blog
Pepper Design Blog
Thoughtfully Simple
Unchained Kitchen



Budget Bachelorette on GirlfriendCelebrations

When the lovely ladies at GirlfriendCelebrations.com asked for my input on doing a bachelorette bash on a budget, I couldn't resist! This is traditionally an expensive night for the ladies, but it's absolutely possible to have fun without breaking the bank. Click below to read the article:

They're also running a contest! You could win a copy of The Daughter in Law Rules, a set of wine charms, and a bottle of WineOut stain remover - perfect for a pre-bridal bash! Deadline is June 5th!

GirlfriendCelebrations.com is written by Chicagoans Dawn Williams Bertuca and Tina VanZant Bishop


Pretty tabletop pieces from Anthropologie

I've just returned from a short vacation to Savannah, a city steeped in all that is proper and lovely. With magnolia blossoms and pretty china cups fresh on my mind, I guess it makes sense that I'm drawn to Anthropologie's new tabletop items.  So pretty and yet, functional...ideal for a northern city girl who loves the south!

Perfect for iced tea ("sweet" or otherwise)
Vine-draped Pitcher, $48.00


How can you feel anything but genteel when sipping out of this cup? Answer - you can't!
Generalife Mug, $12


If you're looking for a splurge item - this is it! Would look so beautiful filled with punch.
Apothecary Spigot Jar, $268


Available nationwide at anthropologie.com or in Chicagoland at these locations.



Time to toss bags!



That's the sound of summer on my block. Its siren song means my neighbors are outside, gathered around painted boards and grain-filled bags...it's time for baggo/cornhole/bags/beanbag toss!*

No matter what you call it, this popular lawn game works for city dwellers precisely because you don't need a lawn. Furthermore, it's great for parties precisely because you don't need to set down your cold beverage.


Photo via cornhole_game57 on Flickr

What with Memorial Day being the unofficial start to summer, it's fitting to play this classic Midwestern game at this weekend's BBQ. If you're handy, you can build your own or buy one if you're pressed for time. Practice enough and you can join a tournament. And hey, there's even a American Cornhole Association! I don't remember it being so popular when I was younger, but nowadays no informal gathering is complete without a baggo/cornhole/bags/beanbag* match!


*An informal poll conducted on my Facebook status message revealed that most of my friends call it "bags". What about you?



Fire & Water - Memorial Day Decor

From Martha Stewart comes a simple yet chic way to add color to your Memorial Day festivities.  It would look so nice with a grouping of red and blue.  You could create this for just about any occasion.  Here's how to do it.

Also from Martha Stewart comes this more traditional decoration suggestion: Patriotic Votives

Speaking of decoration, did you know that Memorial Day used to be known as Decoration Day?  It was officially changed in 1967.  There - now you are one step closer to winning a game of Trivial Pursuit!  :)


Patriotic Soup

If there's one thing I love to do, it's match the food to the occasion. While you could certainly make a berry flag cake for Memorial Day, that's a bit literal for my taste. A more subtle way to inject some holiday color into your menu would be pureeing the berries and serving them as a cold soup.

Blueberry Soup is a unique crowd pleaser...here's an easy recipe. It's great as a sweet appetizer, a palette cleanser, or dessert. If you want to play with color a bit more, garnish with sliced strawberries.

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