Valentine’s Day Brunch for Dinner

Valentine’s Day Brunch for Dinner

For this semester’s Barque Team get-together, I thought it might be fun to have “Brunch for Dinner”.  The benefits would be twofold – a great way for my girls to sample a few of our food products (like buttermilk biscuit mix and local jams)… and second,  I thought it would be easy to cook on a weeknight!

In this post, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the invitation, party details, decorations, menu and party favors – plus an idea you can borrow to spark great conversation at your own Valentine’s Day gathering!

brunch invite

bday mantle

vintage vtines

Since I love Valentine’s Day, I thought that would be an easy theme to work with.  I utilized my collection of vintage Valentines to add a little interest to my mantle.

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For the table, I used lots of layering – starting with a simple white tablecloth, then adding a length of sheer pink fabric (on clearance at Joann’s), followed by heart-shaped cut outs and doilies.  To finish it off, more vintage valentines strewn about (some on tiny easels) and a sprinkling of conversation heart candies.  For added ambiance, I combined a few tall white candles with strings of battery-operated, mini copper lights (a new arrival at the store).

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bday table

For each place setting, alternating pink and red napkins (folded in the shape of a heart) were adorned with a hand-lettered doily as a place card.  The talented @kelseylaineholt (check her out on Instagram!) made them for us – as well as the food/drink labels – and they really made the tablescape swoon-worthy, don’t you think?

doiliesBefore guests got settled in, everyone was asked fill out 2 “Conversation Hearts”. This idea was inspired by Darcy Miller’s new book, Celebrate Everything – and it ended up being one of the favorite parts of the evening for all of us.  HERE is a link to a free printable with the instructions, which can easily be displayed in a basic 4×6 frame.

You can download the conversation heart templates HERE and HERE – just print them out on pastel colored cardstock and cut out by hand.convo hearts

We collected the completed hearts in a fish bowl, and they later became our dinner conversation starters!  It was really fun to try to guess who each heart belonged to – and it sparked great conversation!  We learned a lot about one another (and laughed a lot too).

hearts

The menu consisted of traditional breakfast food – eggs (heart-shaped of course), bacon, sausage, turkey bacon, buttermilk biscuits (see our tips for those here), local jams from Kelle B, fruit, yogurt (with heart sprinkles), and a modified version of Bobby Flay’s Rosemary and Pancetta Home Fries (from the cookbook Brunch at Bobby’s).  To be honest, I’ve made this recipe before and it was delicious, but I must have done something wrong this time – oops!  It didn’t work out as I had planned, so it became mashed the potatoes with rosemary and pancetta mixed in – sometimes you have to improvise!

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food

We tested out a recipe from the Forest Feast Gatherings Cookbook for the bar – Ruby Mimosa Punch – and it was quite tasty!

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brunch babes napsI think a party always needs a favor, and for this one, each of the girls received a ball cap (monogrammed with the Barque logo), a box of conversation hearts, a mini jar of Kelle B Jam, and a Butter London nail polish.  I love how the personalized tags turned out too!party favorsCorny or not, the tags are true – I really do love these girls!  They’re a great bunch, and I’m so blessed to have each one of them working with me.  The best part is I think they genuinely enjoy one other too – It’s not often you can work and play together and enjoy so much laughter.

staff pic smAren’t they they cutest?

teamI hope our Team “Dinner” inspires a few ideas for your own Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Brunch, and if it does, we’d love to know about it!  Tag us on Instagram  (@barquegifts) or email us photos – we love to see how our friends and customers throw a party!

 

 

 

 

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4 Personalized Ideas for Giving or Hosting

4 Personalized Ideas for Giving or Hosting

When it comes to holidays, we think the more personal you can make it, the better!

Whether you need a gift for that someone (or family) that has everything, or you want to host a holiday party with extra attention paid to details – these 4 ideas will do the trick.

  1.  Custom Cups – From shatterproof (shown here) to foam to double-insulated paper cups – custom cups make a great gift AND special touch to any soiree.  The shatterproof are a popular choice because they’re sturdy enough for wine or mixed cocktails (and they’re dishwasher safe).  They’re also a little more elegant, and with your monogram, name or initials printed, your holiday guests will be impressed by your hosting game. For outdoor gatherings, foam and paper cups are our favorite way to keep hot cocoa or cider warm (and lids are available too). Pricing varies based on the cup size and type, call us for more details.
  2. Personalized Stir Sticks – Available in an assortment of colors and shapes, drink stirrers are a fun accessory for entertaining.  They make a wonderful accompaniment to the gift of custom cups, or paired with a nice bottle of liquor for your boss who loves his bourbon. (Prices range by size, $48 – $60 for 50 quantity or $63 – $87 for 100)
  3. Custom Napkins – Beverage napkins make a great gift year-round, but they’re especially wonderful for those that love to entertain during the holiday season – they’re sure to be used from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve at planned or impromptu cocktail parties.  Since they’re disposable, you can also get a little more fun with the printed sentiment – of course a traditional monogram is nice, but a funny #insidejokehashtag, movie quote, nickname or phrase make for great ideas too. (Custom napkins are a thoughtful gift that also won’t break the bank – it’s just $31 for a bundle of 100 napkins.)
  4. Monogrammed Coasters – Custom coasters come in two shapes – 4″ square and round – and they make a lovely gift for any family, especially one that has a passion for welcoming others into their home. (Coasters are $74 for 50 and $90 for 100)

Any one of these ideas make a great gift on their own, but you can also mix and match custom cups + napkins, or napkins + stir sticks, or heck – someone on your shopping list might need the complete personalized set!

Need to gift these to yourself? Any of these pieces will make for great entertaining this season!

Just call us for more information and turnaround time on each item:  806-785-1195

If The Broom Fits FREE Printable

If The Broom Fits FREE Printable

With Halloween just around the corner, we’ve been decorating the house, gathering costume ideas and accumulating candy for trick or treaters… but we thought it would be fun to offer a FREE treat for you guys too!

You can get your own FREE 5×7 Printable “If the Broom Fits” sign HERE

Then just print it out, use a paper trimmer to cut it, and frame it in a standard 5 x 7 frame.  It’s simple and oh-so-adorable.

Enjoy, witches!

Halloween Details 2016

Halloween Details 2016

Decorating for Halloween is a highlight of the season – it means that fall is officially here and I can get geared up for my favorite season.  I don’t do anything super scary or gruesome because… well, I’m a wimp and can’t take it. ha!  (Truth is I’ve never even been in a haunted house because I’m certain it would give me a heart attack.)  The past few years I’ve used books and birds to decorate, and this year I did the same –  with a twist.  To keep the color palette more neutral, I only used white pumpkins, and I turned the books around so the pages faced forward.  The bird cage I use year-round but in another location and the “mirror” is one that I made look old in this DIY. A few cobwebs and plastic spiders complete the look.

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img_0014smIf I have a Halloween party, I hang the “Come In My Little Pretties” sign on the front door.  And plug in the ampersand metal light.

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img_0016smI use a garden gate panel in my hallway to create a witch hat rack.  Several years ago, in a magazine (I can’t even remember which one), I had seen a “witch hat check” that featured tags on the hats – so I printed up some of my own.

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img_0030smHappy Halloween!

Aloha Team Dinner

Aloha Team Dinner

This past weekend the Barque team said “aloha” (goodbye) to summer AND “aloha” (hello) to a great fall ahead!  It was the second annual End of Summer Party for us, and it really was a lot of fun.  For me, it’s a wonderful way to connect with my team on a social level, and it’s also the perfect opportunity to incorporate products that we sell in a “real life” setting so my gals can see how people use our stuff outside of the store.

IMG_4802 smA colorful chalkboard sign on the front door was a great way to welcome the girls – and check out the FAB lettering skills of our very own @kelseylainee (go find her out on Instagram now)!

Once they walked through the door, the girls were greeted by our store mannequin, Manny, dressed in a sarong and coconut bra with plastic leis. Quite festive.

IMG_4755 smThis casual soiree incorporated a lot of color, from the DIY Tassel Garland to the painted pineapples… and everything in between…

IMG_4809 smIncluding a little island flair on the bar cart… (key limes, a painted pineapple, tropical postcards, tiny drink umbrellas and more plastic leis)

IMG_4902 smOf course I had custom beverage napkins made, and I decided to spruce up some gold striped paper straws with cupcake liners to make them look more floral – aren’t they fun?  The used this tutorial.

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IMG_4804 smThe idea of adding edible flowers to the drink bucket was an inspiration from Pinterest – it added great color and made it more festive!

IMG_4811 smNow isn’t that the prettiest drink you’ve ever seen?

As a centerpiece for the table, I used a combination of painted pineapples, fresh palm leaves from my local florist, coconut bowls with greenery, plastic leis and drink umbrellas.

IMG_4814 smWe were lucky enough to have Kelsey also hand paint our place cards too – aren’t they perfect?  LOVING the hombre effect, and it was fun that everyone’s name was different!

FullSizeRender_1 smFor the meal – which might be my favorite part of the entire evening – I created a menu using recipes out of  cookbooks that we carry in the store.  It gives all of us the chance to try something new, and it gives my team the opportunity to experience some of the selections we offer our customers – even if they don’t cook much themselves!  This year’s selections came from four books – Lighten Up Ya’ll, Southern Cooking Family Style, Up South, and Boozy Shakes…

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IMG_4815 smMenu cards were made using the same pineapple icon as the beverage napkins, because making coordinating party elements is what we DO!

TO START

watermelon bites + lime salt*

grilled shrimp skewers

SOUPS + SALAD

peach + tomato gazpacho ( for the record, this was my favorite dish, but it wasn’t a crowd favorite)

kale + dandelion + orange salad

MAIN

bbq pulled pork tacos + cilantro cabbage slaw* (using Kelle B BBQ Sauce, recipe coming soon)

DESSERT

key lime pie boozy milkshakes*

*these were the crowd faves!

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IMG_4807 smFor party favors, I had custom koozies and gift tags made.  Paired with some personalized folded notes and fruity candy, they made a pretty nice and colorful take away.

IMG_4903 smAll in all, it was a great time, and it only makes me excited about the year we have ahead with this team.  ALOHA to a great year ahead, ladies!

#teambarque

{if you want to check out my inspiration for the party, take a look at this Pinterest Board for more ideas}