Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

If ever there was an excuse to throw a party it’s Cinco de Mayo. It’s casual, fun, comes with it’s own ready- made theme, and no one has a problem celebrating it. Plus, there are tacos! When Paperless Post asked me to collaborate with them, my first thought was to create a party around one of their gorgeous Cinco de Mayo invitations. I’ve used Paperless Post for all of my parties and events for many years, because the variety is vast and the designs are so beautiful. It’s also super user friendly to customize invitations to fit your own personal style.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this here, but before I went into interior design, I was an event planner. This was when my kiddos were little and we were living in Seattle. It was fun and a great creative outlet, but also a ton of work! I have so much admiration for those who have mastered that profession. One of the biggest lessons I learned about the success (or failure) of a party was how important it is to set the stage from the beginning – in other words – how the vibe is conveyed in the invitation makes a huge difference, So, let’s start with some invitations, shall we? I couldn’t narrow down the choices to just one, so I decided to include my top three favs:

Paperless Post - Cinco de Mayo invitation

Paperless Post - Cinco de Mayo invitation

Paperless Post - Cinco de Mayo invitation

The food and beverages served are also key to how much fun is had as well as how long friends stay. Fortunately, with this party, the menu is pretty easy – tacos! If you are having a big party, a taco truck is a great way to go. Another option if you don’t want to do the cooking, is to bring your own bowls and platters to your favorite Mexican restaurant to have them fill.

taco cart

Taco party

Mexican party idea - lime place cards

In the above photo, the limes are used as place cards, but I thought this would be such a cute idea to let guests know what each dish is and/or the spiciness of salsas, etc

Mini margaritas

Anything that comes in an individual container is always a winner.

Mexican cookie plate

churros

Mexican wedding cake

Decorations, tabletop and general theme-y-ness, can be the most fun part, but too much of a good thing can easily turn into not a good thing quickly,

Cinco de Mayo table decorations

Succulent and cactus tablescape

I adore this tablescape! Potted succulents which can be kept after the party or perhaps were around the house already,individual brightly hued flowers scattered around and white pillar candles in glass jars that can be purchased from a craft store. This example has a lot going on, but can easily be scaled down to a few of each. For tablecloths – burlap is an inexpensive option.

paper pompom garland

Hung from trees or this great idea. So into pompoms right now.

DIY napkin rings made with tin pans

If you are a DIYer (I wish I was!) these napkin rings are made from tin pans you get at the supermarket. Holes poked with skewers.

Love the colors of these cans and the repurposing. Easy to get a few bunches of flowers from Trader Joe’s and you’re all set.

I hope that these ideas inspired you to host your own fiesta! Be sure to check out the assortment of other holiday and special event invites on Paperless Post!

 

 

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A self-care gift guide for YOU & my favorite things of 2017

A self-care gift guide for YOU & my favorite things of 2017

Hello sweet you. It’s early Sunday morning as I type this. The sun is just coming up. Beautiful pink and sparkling. I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying it too.

xo

s

A few years ago, when I was in the depths of an extremely bleak period in my life, I often received advise to ‘practice radical self care’. Huh? Not only did I not know what that meant, but even if I did, I had not the first clue how to go about actually doing it. So, I tried things, read a lot of books, researched online, took advice from those who had it figured out, and can now share with you from first hand experience some of the little things that worked for me. I promise they will reap big dividends in the caring for yourself department. If you are a newbie at the practice and/or in need of some TLC (as in EVERYONE), this ones for you!

  1. Do not underestimate the power of music to lift your spirits (except for sad love songs). I received these as a gift about a year ago and have used them practically every single day since. The clarity is profoundly better than the earbuds that come with your phone. Download a book and get transported, listen to your favorite playlist while hiking, running or walking and go even farther, or find some calming music and just relax. Source

2. There’s an expression “cold hands, warm heart”, so what does it mean if you always have cold feet? Not the preverbal sense btw 🙂 . It means you get yourself these socks! I’m not a slipper person, instead prefer to wear socks around the house. Thus I have tried many out and these are the bomb.

Source

3.  I was at a pop-up market of locally made products several weeks ago in the city (SF) and there was a booth offering samples of teas – mostly wellness teas. I tried the Turmeric Tea as I have been reading so much lately about the incredible healing properties of turmeric. It was delicious and as an added bonus is a beautiful saffron color. These teas are on the pricier side, but remember, there is nothing as precious as your health. You will need a tea pot and diffuser as they are all loose leaf, but the ritual of making yourself a pot is part of the whole thing. A cup of this is my afternoon treat (with a cookie usually).

source

4. I learned about this product in the sauna at my gym several months ago. A women I would guess to be in her 70’s walked in with a big jar of it and started slathering it on. It was sort of a spectacle, so a few people asked her about it. She filled us all in about coconut oil and how much it has transformed her dry skin to supple and smooth. Well, before too long, we were all dipping into that jar which she kindly passed around and, seriously, I am not kidding, it’s miraculous. I am lotionaholic and this has made my skin so soft I don’t even use the others anymore. Now, one word of caution. Coconut oil is thick and in the jar is solidified. The minute it touches your skin it will turn to liquid form but it’s still very thick and oily! Do not put it on before you get dressed, because it won’t have time to properly work it’s magic. I recommend putting it on before bed. Oh, another thing after you are done massaging it in (it makes great massage oil too!) rub your hands on the ends of your hair.

Source

5. Sometimes you just need an emotional vitamin to get you through the day, the moment. What I mean by that is an easily accessible, always reliable, consistently comforting place for your eyes, mind, heart and soul to go to for replenishment. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this amazing person, but I sure am grateful to her beyond words for her sage and timely pearls of goodness. I follow her on instagram, but will take her class the next time I’m in nyc. In the meantime, her kind and uplifting posts on her feed are such a gift. I hope you follow her too. Find her here: #theclassbytt

6. “No thank you, I’ll pass on the chocolate today, I feel great without it!” said no one ever.  What self care gift guide would be complete without a little chocolate? None! Here’s my new fav. Straight up.

source

Love to you!

 

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Stars & Stripes

Stars & Stripes

Hi to you. Summertime is here. It’s never the same, summer, that is… While the routine of the school year is so predictable, summer is always different. It’s not only the transition, but no two days, two weeks or two summers are alike, so it can sometimes be difficult (for me at least) to get a handle on everything. For example, we’re either completely out of food the day after I do a huge grocery shop, or I’m throwing stuff out because no one happened to be around for a few days and neglected to tell me. My Type A tendencies are being challenged, which is probably a good thing! I’m sure there’s some great lesson in the unpredictability  I’m putting my yoga and meditation practices to the test, just breathing through each day and letting it all ‘just be’…. When that doesn’t work, I’ve also got some military style strategies for staying sane that I may share in a subsequent post. 🙂 All that said, this summer is shaping up to be one of the most calm, joyful and all around blissful summers I’ve had in a long, long time. Happy Fourth!

xo

s

Blue and white turkish hand towels

July 4th watermelon kabobs

Sparklers

Red and white striped shirt

I’m headed up North this week… can’t wait. I have such a case of wanderlust…. See you next time from the road 🙂

 

 

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Happy Holidays From Our House to Yours

Happy Holidays From Our House to Yours

Our home in it’s holiday finest
Hi to you. I hope your holidays are filled with joy, peace and of course, lots of love.
xoxo
serena

 

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Rustic Accents for Your Holiday Table & What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Rustic Accents for Your Holiday Table & What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Rustic chic Holiday Tabletop inspiration

I’m excited to share with you, my sweet readers, a new professional venture I embarked upon almost one year ago… I’ve taken a slight departure from my residential and hospitality interior design focus to develop and execute creative direction for several start-up and interior + lifestyle brands. I fell into the first position by happy accident (well, there really are no accidents as everything happens for a reason – I am a firm believer in that!) and one position led to the next and so on. The FarmHouseUrban brand, however is still ever present! I temporarily turned off access to my online store www.shopfarmhouseurban.com, but it will be back in the New Year and better than ever along with other exciting happenings! 

I was recently approached by the exquisite home furnishings company – Europe 2 You to partner on a project for the launch of their new e-commerce site – EtuHome. For those not familiar, Europe 2 You is a wholesale-only maker of gorgeous vintage inspired products for the home. EtuHome is the new retail branch of their company – making their products accessible to absolutely everyone!

For this project I was sent several of EtuHome‘s top-selling pieces and my assignment was to style them in my personal aesthetic. Here’s what I came up with:

rustic tabletop styling

I pulled some things from around the house – linens, ceramic pitchers, vintage hotel silver, galvanized containers, votives and a box of acorns I just got from here, Then I went to the fridge and took out all the fruits and veggies that were still good! Last, I cut some stems from the garden.

Spanish Olive Server

The piece above is the Spanish Olive Tray which comes in three sizes. I adore this piece! Part cutting board, part serving piece, it adds a unique twist to both. As such, there are endless ways to use it. The most practical and easy – leaning on your kitchen backsplash! I have been noticing the trend of using individual-size wood pieces as serving trays, so that was my inspiration and styled mine as a coffee tray.

Coffee Tray

Next is the Bordeaux Bistro Tray which measures 20″ in diameter. The galvanized edge is 4″ high. Many of us have upholstered ottomans which are risky to set beverages on. This tray is the answer! It provides a stylish receptacle for stacking your magazines or weekly newspapers too.

Galvanized metal and wood serving tray

Above and below is the Bianca Cake Stand (short). I used the sepia filter just because 🙂 but below is the unfiltered version. I have a cake stand collection, but none are made of wood, so this is a fun addition. Now thinking of what kind of cake to make for it…. any ideas?

rustic wood and metal cake stand

The below two photos show the versatile Baguette Board. I tried to style the pieces in ways that offer an alternative to the suggested use. I played around with this piece more than any of the others and found so many places that it just looked great – including across my bathtub holding soap and a sponge. I wouldn’t suggest that it be used that way if water was in the tub as it might damage the integrity of the wood and finish. That said, when not in use or set on a table or counter holding just about anything – it will look amazing!

Babette Server

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The next three photos are of the Bordeaux Wine Barrel Lazy Susan. This is a fun piece and frankly a must-have if you’ve got a large round or square table. It should come with a warning to parents of teenagers and their friends who wouldn’t stop spinning it  young children – not to put breakables or spillables on it in their presence.

Rustic lazy susan

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Last but certainly not least, is the Balon Cloche. This piece is truly stunning – even on its own.  Trimmed in tin, the shape and size sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen.  
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There are many many more gorgeous pieces on EtuHome’s online shop. I highly encourage you to pop over for a browse – you won’t be disappointed!

Wishing you all peace and love,

xo

s

 

 

 

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