Spring Table Settings To Recreate

This afternoon I took the boys for a walk in our neighborhood, and from the 70 degree temps to the blue skies and sunshine, to the light breeze, we were enveloped in spring and loving every minute. G snacked on peanut butter crackers and soaked up the scenery while C fell asleep in the stroller, and I enjoyed the serene sound all parents appreciate – peace and quiet! 🙂

Something about the spring inspires me to start entertaining again – perhaps its the ease of grilling a fabulous dinner and having friends over to swim, or it might even be the lovely daylight savings – and this year is no exception. Thanks to our two sweet boys, our version of entertaining has become much more low-key, and honestly I love it. Being a California girl, I’m inherently quite casual, and while I adore dressing up or go to a fancy party, I’m happiest in a casual atmosphere. I even dress casual – athleisure when I’m chasing after the boys on a daily basis, or jeans and blouse if I dress up – done and done!

I’m looking forward to hosting friends soon, and of course it has me thinking about table settings and decor. Any guess what the color scheme will be? Likely blue and white! My go-to setting recently has been these gold placemats and blue and white napkins, and I’d love to find some neat votives to add to our collection. These napkins are on my wish list too. As for cuisine for upcoming spring and summer entertaining, I can’t wait to make this peach and raspberry crisp served with barbecued chicken, grilled corn and salad.

To help inspire you and any entertaining you have up your sleeve, here are a few colorful and crisp table settings that could  be recreated. I especially love the second image – the vibrant red and purple flowers mixed with the casual blue and white checkered cloth creates a simple and stylish look perfect for warm weather entertaining. You could easily recreate this by using a similar table cloth, white napkins, and fresh flowers in your favorite vase – voila and cheers to spring entertaining!

SaveSave

Quick Tips
Etiquette

No. 1

“WHEN ATTENDING A WEDDING, IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO BE OVERDRESSED.”

Wedding Guest Attire Etiquette

Ask B: Joint Birthday Party

 

Dear B,

We’ve been invited to a joint birthday party for my son’s friend and his classmate. We go to a different school, so we have met the classmate before, however we don’t know him very well. Do we still need to bring him a gift? Or just bring a gift for my son’s friend?

Sincerely,

C


 

Dear C,

Great question! Joint birthday parties are a wonderful way to celebrate two children, be it siblings or friends, and the mantra is the more the merrier. Twice the cake, twice the fun! However, when it comes to gift giving for this type of party, it can be quite tricky. Given that your son is friends with only one of the birthday boys, I think it is perfectly acceptable to only bring him a gift. If you feel the need to bring something for the classmate though and budget allows, consider a small gift such as a book. Also, there is one exception to this scenario: if your son went to school with both boys, and both mother’s invited everyone in the class, I would advise you to bring gifts for both boys. Hope this helps!

 

Advice
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS

No. 2

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE THOUGHTFUL DETAILS WHEN ENTERTAINING, SO CONSIDER LITTLE EXTRAS SUCH AS CUSTOM NAPKINS OR UNIQUE PARTY FAVORS.”

MORE SOCIAL ETIQUETTE TIPS

Valentine’s Day Recipe: Heart Tarts

 

Valentine’s Day is a fabulous excuse to bake to your hearts content, from pink sprinkle cookies to red velvet cupcakes to chocolate truffles to strawberry pies. What better way to say ‘I love you!’ than with a homemade sweet treat! One of our favorite activities to do as a family is bake, and so we’ve had fun this month making all kinds of desserts. We even decorated Valentine’s Day cookies with C’s preschool class at a local bakery a couple of weeks ago, and the kids had a ball. They frosted X’s O’s, and hearts with pink and red icing and then covered the cookies in sugary sprinkles and conversation heart candies – yum!

We decided to make rich chocolate brownies on Valentine’s Day, and so I thought a lighter treat would be perfect for this past weekend. While perusing our favorite Weelicious for some healthy lunch ideas for the boys, I spotted a raspberry cream cheese tart recipe that fit the bill – what’s not to love about individual heart tarts? I made a couple small modifications to the recipe, and they turned out beautifully! Here is the recipe, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

 

Heart Tarts 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 packages of puff pastry or 1 double pie crust
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

 

Instructions 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2. Place the raspberries, cream cheese and honey in a small mixing bowl. Using a fork, gently mash the raspberries and mix them with the cream cheese and honey.

3. Roll the puff pastry (or pie crust) 1/4 inch thick. Use a large heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts. You need two hearts per tart.

4. Set half of the hearts on a lightly floured work surface. Place 1-2 teaspoons of the raspberry and cream cheese mixture in the center of each heart (*you can add more or less of the raspberry cream cheese mixture depending upon how big your tarts are). Be sure to leave a 1/4″ border around the cut-out.

5. Next, brush the border of the hearts with the water, and then gently top each with another heart. Use a fork to press down along the edges sealing the tarts shut. With a toothpick, poke a few holes in the top of each tart so the air can escape when they bake.

7. Transfer the tarts to the baking sheet, and bake them for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

8. After the tarts have cooled, dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy!