Orange-y Mother’s Day Brunch

I’ve always loved a citrus theme and decided to take it full on orange for Mother’s Day. We did a sit down brunch with a white table cloth topped with greenery, dried oranges, yellow flowers and string lights with clipped on photos. Each place setting got a white glass plate, orange napkin, wine glass and orange water glass.

Target has a few other things in this orange collection – I got mini serving bowls and plates with the same design. We did a sandwich bar with different types of bread, meat, cheese and veggies. For this table, I used a gold table cloth topped with a green table runner and more oranges. Behind the table, we hung more photos and a Happy Mother’s Day banner.

We had mimosas (an obvious choice for an orange theme!), orange sparkling water, orange slice candy and orange creamsicle Twizzlers.

Orange glasses ($2 each)
– Cocktail napkins (orange or floral) ($2)
Table cloth ($20)
Dried oranges ($8)
Photo string lights ($10)

BUDGET: ~$125

Dumpling Birthday Party

There is a dumpling in almost every culture! That was the idea behind this party. Every couple/guest brought a different kind of dumpling and a matching alcohol. We had raviolis + wine, mandu + soju, pierogies + polish beer, gyoza + sake, and empanadas + beer. Each guest got a turn in the kitchen and then served their meal to the group. It was a super fun way to spend the night and everything was delicious.

It’s always hard to choose a more masculine decor theme – this time I opted for simple colors: orange, mint green and silver. Each place setting got a plate in one of those colors, a sprinkle napkin, an orange glass and silverware.

I stacked two plates for each guest. The raviolis got one because they were in sauce. The second place was used for the other dumplings and I provided small bowls for dipping sauces. People did rinse their plates if they got too messy. You could get enough plates for each course or use paper plates.

I tried to have the correct drinking vessels for each course (ie: wine glass for wine) and just served the beer in their bottles.

I spray painted beer bottles silver and glued menu holders to the top. I cut the letters for PARTY out of glitter paper and put one on each bottle. I used orange candles and silver crepe paper to fill in the rest of the table.

I hung orange, green and silver balloons throughout the trees behind us. I also added some orange string lights for when it got dark.

Table cloth ($18)
Plates ($0.50 each)
Napkins ($2)
Glasses ($2 each)
Dipping sauce bowls ($6)
Candles ($5 each)
– Beer bottles, spray paint + menu holders ($10)
Crepe paper ($3)
Balloons ($3 each)

BUDGET: ~$150

First Day of Spring Brunch

I celebrated the first day of spring on my balcony sipping mimosas! I set up a lower table with cushions for seats. It was topped with a table cloth, table runner, colorful plates, flowers and a cheese board.

I opted for pastels for the place settings and brighter flowers to balance everything out. I made mimosas out of smoothie juices to create different colors like green, pink and blue! I also served fruity, colorful beer. I made sure to play whimsical springy music too.

After we got our food and drink fill – we made flower crowns using wire and the flowers on the table. It was way easier than I was expecting actually! Overall a super fun way to spend a sunny day.

Plates ($0.50 per plate)
Cutlery ($5)
Floral napkins ($4)
Table cloth ($18)
Table runner ($10)
Champagne glasses ($10)

BUDGET: ~$100

St. Patrick’s Day Brunch

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be all about partying, it can be a *mature* adult brunch too. I set up a cutesy brunch tablescape, perfect for sipping mimosas.

I found a green clover/flower-y table runner and topped that with green and white candles. The center piece was a light green plant and I added a sparkly clover to it. I added a few strands of greenery as well.

Each place setting got a green plate, green cocktail glass, clear water glass and champagne glass. I folded white cloth napkins on each plate and topped them with mini champagne bottles.

In the background, I used my light curtain and cut out clovers in dark green, green glitter and gold glitter. I taped those up in a random pattern.

Table cloth ($20)
Green candle ($10)
Table runner ($15)
Plates ($0.50 x 4)
– Green cocktail glasses (Salvation Army – $1 each)
Cloth napkins ($10)

BUDGET: Under $100

Astrology Cocktail Birthday Party

This is a birthday party for the astrology lover! We had six guests – everyone chose a cocktail from the Mixology of Astrology recipe book, brought ingredients and glasses, and then presented to the group. Of course we did a taste testing after each one.

I tried to keep it simple and choose a blue color scheme. I got some moon/star balloons and then normal blue/teal and white balloons. I made a banner that said “PARTY LIKE A PISCES” and paired it with a pom pom garland.

We set up a counter area to present your cocktails with chairs in a semi circle for the “audience”. Each person presented a drink from their sign and told the group how to make the cocktail. Here are the six cocktails/signs that we did:
– Aries: Michelada
– Libra: Hot Toddy
– Scorpio: Death in the Afternoon
– Sagittarius: Classic Panama
– Capricorn: Whiskey Sour
– Pisces: Blackberry Sage Smash

We did three drinks and then I presented the birthday girl’s birth chart in PowerPoint projected onto the TV. I went over the basics of astrology, her top three (sun, moon and rising) and how all of our signs interact.

Mixology of Astrology ($13)
Moon/star balloons ($6)
Pom pom garland ($5)
– Drink ingredients (each guest to bring)
– Glasses (each guest to bring)

BUDGET: $20-50 for the host

Red Wings 30th Birthday Party

Since we can’t go to any sporting events, I decided to create one at home for a 30th birthday party. I did my best to bring Little Caesar’s Arena vibes to a living room.

I hung up red curtains and put a “happy pucking birthday” banner across it for photo opportunities. I hung up red string lights, put up a big Red Wings poster and got a bunch of red, black and star balloons for around the room. I also found some Red Wings specific balloons to scatter around. We had red overhead lights and played songs that are typically played during a Red Wings game.

To add some personal touches, I got a string light to hang up photos and placed the remaining photos on the wall. I also got big 3-0 balloons because they are a must have.

We needed all the stadium food that the world has to offer. I served Little Caesar’s pizza, hot dogs and got a big bag of popcorn from a local movie theater. I covered the “bar” area with a NHL table cloth, plates, napkins and cups. I wanted to get some larger stadium cups for beer – I found these and printed stickers out. I made the stickers in Word using the Red Wings logo and added a birthday hat. You can print them out on water proof sticker paper.

We watched the game obviously – if you can do it outdoors, it would be cool to use a projector for a larger screen. We also did a raffle. Usually it’s a 50/50 raffle, but we let the winner have 100% of the pot. Everyone put in money to buy tickets and then we pulled the winner after the second intermission.

Red curtains ($9)
– Banner – cut out of glitter paper ($0)
Photo string light ($9)
3-0 balloons ($10)
Red Wings specific balloons ($3)
– Red, black, star balloons ($20)
NHL party pack ($25)
Stadium cups ($12)
Sticker paper ($11)
Raffle tickets ($4)

BUDGET: > $200

Red Hot Galentine’s Day Party

Another year, another Galentine’s celebration! This year, my theme was “red hot hotties” showcasing some of our celebrity crushes and spicy candy. I tried to keep the colors bright red and pink. A contrast to my pastel theme last year.

I got glitter paper from Michael’s and cut out a bunch of hearts. I hung them in between my light curtain and sprinkled some on the table. I got these super cute heart plates from Target and put one at each place setting. Everyone also got a “roses are red and so is my wine” napkin on top, a ring pop and valentine’s bracelet. I also gave each person little plastic wine cups, placed heart cupcake papers inside and filled them with different candies. Down the middle I put some purple string lights, a few jars with red/pink roses and white candles on top of a simple cream table cloth.

I decided to do a red wine tasting this year to go with the red theme. I asked everyone to bring a different type of wine (Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Syrah, etc.) Then we did a blind tasting and used a tasting card. On the card, I put a little description of each wine type and boxes to rate the taste, color, aroma, etc. We had to guess which wine was which and got to see what our favorite was. Each person got a larger wine glass for water, a stemless wine glass and tasting sheet/pen.

We played the game We’re Not Really Strangers. You pull cards that ask deep questions and everyone answers. We did one card per round of wine tasting. I also put a little heart cut out of each person’s high school crush under their plate. We played a game where each person had to say clues throughout the conversation as if they were that person. The first person to have their crush guessed correctly won a face mask! The person that brought the winning wine also got a prize face mask.

I got a bunch of spicy snacks – flaming hot Cheetos, cinnamon lip candy, etc. I also tried to find as many pink/red/purple foods as possible. I put the chips in little individual plastic heart cups so people could just grab them and go. For the main appetizers, I got typical sleepover food – bagel bites, pizza rolls and pigs in a blanket.

Light curtain ($18)
Table cloth ($20)
Heart plates ($3 each)
– Clear wine glasses
– Wine napkins
We’re Not Really Strangers ($25)
Valentine’s bracelets ($2)

BUDGET: ~$150-$200

Krampus Beer Tasting

Another season, another tasting! We gathered as many Christmas/winter themed beers that we could find and set up a tasting with friends. We used the below scoring sheet to rate each beer on whether it was “naughty” or “nice”. Usually I make a key at the top outlining what you should look for in a beer. This year, everyone filled out their own key on what THEY personally thought made a beer naughty or nice. For example, I thought naughty beers were dark, boozy and/or had a unique flavor (like dill). Nice beers were light and had simple or sweet flavors. We also added a line guessing if Krampus would enjoy the beer. Then you can debate amongst yourselves on that and if the beer is naughty or nice in general.

For the decor – I wanted it to be a little bit darker since it was a Krampus event. I used a black/silver skull table cloth, black taper candles and then put silver-y Christmas decor down the middle. I used the actual beer cans as decor too since they all have cute festive labels. Each person got a paper star plate, pen/marker and Christmas glass to taste out of.

– Table cloth ($15)
Taper candles ($8)
Bottle brush tree(s) ($5)
Star lights ($20)
Silver pom pom garland ($6)
– Christmas glasses ($5 – Salvation Army)
Star plates ($9)
– Beer ($12-$30)

BUDGET: less than $100

Small Business Saturday in Detroit

We did a little day trip to Detroit for Small Business Saturday. We started off getting coffee at a local shop – we chose Dessert Oasis, but there are a bunch of places to choose from. Some of my other favorites are Ashe Supply Co., Astro Coffee, Great Lakes Coffee and Madcap.

Across from Dessert Oasis is a little park with benches and cute holiday decor. We drank our drinks there for some festive vibes. Next door is a cute pet shop, City Bark, where we got some good cat gifts.

Next we walked over to Campus Martius park to see the tree and all the holiday decor. They have little photo op spots that are fun to take pics in. Usually they have ice skating, but it’s currently closed due to COVID.

After that, we needed some beer. We stopped by Batch Brewing Company. They have a huge outdoor area with a roof, fires and big heaters. We got a few beers here and enjoyed the warmth. Next, we got lunch at The Congregation. It’s a restaurant/bar/cafe in an old church. We didn’t get to sit inside, but peeked in for the cool views. They have good sandwiches and drink options. They had heaters and fire pits. We even got a s’mores kit to use in one of the fires.

Next, we did more shopping! We went over to Midtown and checked out City Bird, Nest, Third Man Records and Nora. All are really cute local shops – great for gifts, especially MI themed gifts. We then got some beer related treats at 8 Degrees Plato and Founders (growler/howler pickup).

Detroit has so many local shopping and dining options – it’s hard to choose! It’s fun and feels good to support all the local places, especially right now.

– Coffee at Dessert Oasis
– Gift stop at City Bark
– Photo ops in Campus Martius
– Beer at Batch Brewing Company
– Lunch at The Congregation
– Shopping at City Bird, Nest, Third Man Records and Nora
– Beer pick up at 8 Degrees Plato and Founders

Basic Budget Thanksgiving

We hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner party this year. I wanted to use things that I already owned for the table to make things easier and more affordable. I stuck with the typical orange, yellow, red color scheme with pumpkins and a couple turkey nods.

I used a yellow table runner and topped it with mini pumpkins, orange mums and candles. I got a bunch of pumpkins throughout the fall season from Michael’s and Target. I placed larger ones throughout the house and room for a full fall vibe. I used old clear jars for the flower vases and got the candle holders from Salvation Army. I really love the orange glass one in the middle. My favorite candles were these color drip taper candles – as they burn, more colors appear. There’s red, yellow and blue – which mix to create different color drips down the white candle.

For the place settings, I used my typical hard plastic plates in orange and placed them on top of glass white plates. You could use the plastic for apps/dessert and the glass for actual dinner. I just liked the look of the orange better than white. I found cute turkey napkins in the Target dollar section – I liked these because they weren’t overtly TURKEY – just a few with other fall items. I placed some leftover orange dried flowers on top of the plate/napkin with silverware on the side of each plate. I used yellow cocktail glasses for drinks and fall colored wine goblets as water glasses.

As a backdrop, I used my light curtain over the window and made a garland that said “I yam grateful”. I got a bunch of these leaf garlands and hung them around the house.

Our menu was pretty basic too. We deep fried a turkey, made mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, roasted asparagus, vegetarian stuffing/gravy and biscuits! We did a cheese board and made a baked brie with a Michigan cutout on top for our appetizers. For dessert we had pecan pie with pecan beer from Epic Brewing.

Table runner ($12)
– Pumpkins ($3)
– Flowers ($7)
Color drip candles ($4)
Orange plates ($4)
– Turkey napkins ($3)
– Dried flowers ($10)
– Yellow cocktail glasses + water glasses (Salvation Army – $4)
Light curtain ($18)
Leaf garland ($8)


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