26 Jun

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

As far as my typical weeknights go, last night pretty much took the {fresh-fruit-topped-boston-cream} cake.

I invited a few girlfriends over for dinner as part of a collaboration with Pier 1. There was yummy food, sparkling sangria, the glow of twinkle lights… and a giant gold Yoga Frog covered in butterflies. ;) But before I further explain that, a quick side note:

Even though the initial plan for this dinner party started quite a while back, life has been extra stressful this month, so this ended up being a 100%-done-on-the-day-of, comedic whirlwind to pull together. This included (amongst other things) “speed cleaning” the party prep mess by shoving stuff into every nearby drawer and cabinet while the doorbell rang, and designing the menus and place cards on my laptop from the chair of a hair salon with my head covered in foils. It was a long overdue appointment that I was unable to move, so I multi-tasked instead. There was also a decent amount of toddler/kid bribing via my (mostly futile) attempts to gain a few extra minutes of setting up in peace. Long story short, juggling a lot of responsibilities in life can often can get overwhelming – but, after a healthy dose of chatting, laughing, and general silliness last night at the party, I was once again reminded that:

Sometimes being overwhelmed by life makes “friend dates” and outside-the-box moments all the more appreciated – and necessary! Read on for a peek at how everything turned out…

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

One of my very favorite things about throwing parties is the opportunity to surprise guests with unexpected details. This is pretty much where the aforementioned Yoga Frog comes in… I don’t do yoga or collect frogs, but for some reason I was totally drawn to this peaceful little guy on my shopping trip to Pier 1. I wanted this backyard dinner party to be fun and eclectic and exude “good vibes only”… so with a mini tissue tassel garland and a handful of colorful butterflies, he became the perfectly quirky mascot for the party. You can download the good vibes sign below, too! ;)

Here are some of my other favorite party details to look out for:
– The most beautiful, glossy indigo blue and aqua melamine dinnerware
– Colorful Baked Feta (appetizer) topped with tomatoes and olives + rich & creamy Parmesan Risotto
– DIY burlap “placemats”+ paper lanterns embellished with tissue tassels & ribbon
– White Wine Sangria Sparkler served in acrylic wine glasses
– “Cell Phone Siesta” station (hint, hint!), decked out with mini “cushions” and butterflies

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

While there’s a lot to love about social media, what I don’t love is looking around a table and seeing everyone glued to their phone, which is a habit so many of us have adopted (yours truly included). This adorable Swingasan® Phone Holder + a playful sign felt like a cute, non-scoldy way to help keep screen time at a minimum. Also pictured above: San Martin Chairs in yellow & ocean + Amelia Table.

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

Get the recipes for the above here: Baked Feta | Mediterranean Salad | White Wine Sangria Sparkler

I was instantly smitten with these intricate Bohemian Mercury Hanging Lanterns. We don’t have a patio trellis, so they just sat pretty as a centerpiece instead. ;) Couldn’t resist the mini version of the yoga frog either. I made a little silhouette banner for it to hold:

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

Cheers! {Gold craft balls + skewers = sparkly stir sticks, and twine adds a touch of rustic flair to acrylic wine glasses.}

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

Some of the best things in life are simple… like refreshing cucumber-lemon water, for example!

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

I also love making guests at small parties feel extra-special with a personalized something or other:

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

Here’s a peek at the main meal… boy am I lucky that Sonny loves to cook! ;)  I designed tall & skinny menus so that they wouldn’t cover up too much of the fabulous melamine dinnerware. The colors were inspired by the vibrant Global Print Napkins.

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

More recipe links: Parmesan Risotto and Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

Pulling out old party tricks is a good time-saver too! You might remember these glitter dipped lemons & gold elephants from here.

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

The sparkly jeweled mercury candle holders look even prettier all lit up!

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

A couple more fun uses for the little printable paper banners:
1) to embellish drink trays, as shown above
2) add straws for an easy DIY cake topper, as seen below…

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

I totally took the easy route with dessert and don’t regret it one bit. This fresh-fruit-topped Boston Cream Cake from my grocery store bakery was super yummy, colorful, and inexpensive. Definitely a sweet finish. ;)

*****

Download the Free Printables:
Small Banners
4×6″ Signs (Good Vibes Only Sign & Cell Siesta)
Place Cards

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables}

*****

Colorful & Eclectic Summer Dinner Party {+ Free Printables} Find what speaks to you.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pier 1 via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pier 1. Thank you for supporting the companies that make it possible for us to keep the creative content coming!

Leave a Comment

6Comments

1
Tori SAYS:

Jen — this looks like it turned out to be a perfect night! And that frog? LOVE.

Reply June 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Thanks, Tori! Glad you love the frog too ;)

June 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

2
Cassandra Key SAYS:

Totally good vibes going on here ✌

Reply June 27, 2014 at 1:06 am

3
Chris @ Celebrations At Home SAYS:

Jen, I always love seeing what you create, and especially love how you keep it real and down to Earth. Cheers to a fun night with the girls!

Reply June 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm

jenn s. SAYS:

Thanks, Chris! WE need one of these one day ;)

June 30, 2014 at 11:19 am

4
@bythepartygirl SAYS:

check out this colourful and eclectic backyard dinner party! thanks Hostess with the Mostess! http://t.co/LFU3J2gws3 #eventplanning

Reply June 30, 2014 at 5:55 am

Join in! Leave a Comment: