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Celebrations at Home

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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



Watermelon, Nine Ways

I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like watermelon.  I'm sure they're out there, but they're definitely in the minority when it comes to this popular summer fruit.  Of course it's fabulous plain, but if you're looking for something different, try one of these recipes.


1 - Goat Cheese and Watermelon salad.  Simply combine equal parts watermelon with goat cheese (or feta) and add some micro greens, basil, or mint.  Drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar.  You can plate it as pictured here and serve as a first course, or cut small round slices of watermelon, top with cheese, and offer it as a refreshing canapé. (photo credit)

2 - Grilled Watermelon via Food Blogga. Watermelon carmelizes wonderfully on the grill.

3 - Red and Yellow Watermelon Soup by Chow Vegan.  Here's a different soup recipe that calls for spakling wine or water!



4 - Watermelon Juice by Foodie Goodie.  The first time I had this was poolside at the Bellagio in Vegas...so perfect on a hot day!

5 - Watermelon Hornijto (tequilla mojito) via She Knows Parties

6 - Watermelon Bombe, Two Ways (beginner and expert) - via YumSugar.  If this doesn't impress your guests - get new friends!


7 - Watermelon Gelatins by Martha Stewart

8 - Fruit Cocktail & Watermelon Cupcake by Flour Arrangements

9 - Watermelon Cookies by The Decorated Cookie. It doesn't taste like watermelon, but isn't it cute anyway?

#10 is reserved for you.  How do you like your watermelon?


Decorated Waffle Cone Bowls

When I saw this on eCelebrating's blog, I nearly squeeled.  The cuteness!  The color-coordinating opportunities!  The sense of why didn't I think of that?

Get thee to a store that sells a good variety of sprinkles, jimmies, and dragees (Try Sur la Table or Cakewalk Chicago), and you'll find that the possibilities are endless!  eCelebrating gives some good tips on alternatives to ice-cream, if you'd like to go for a healthier option.


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?


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