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}

 

Pretty Painted Pineapples

Pretty Painted Pineapples

For our Barque Team Dinner this summer, I had decided on a tropical theme, so I knew that PINEAPPLES would be the way to go for decorations.

Ultimately I decided that painting only the tops would be easiest – and since I had less than a week to plan the entire party and menu – that sounded like a good plan.

If you’re going to paint your own pineapples like I did, you’ll need:

  • pineapples with pretty crowns (that’s the green part on top) – not too bent or torn up
  • cans of colorful spray paint
  • a few plastic tablecloths ( I got mine from the Dollar store)

IMG_4649 smFirst, spread out the tablecloth on a table or flat surface, leaving enough room to cover for overspray at the top but plenty of extra tablecloth on the bottom.

IMG_4650 smPlace the pineapple on the tablecloth.

IMG_4652 smBring up the loose tablecloth from the bottom to cover the base of the pineapple.  Just tuck it in and carefully wrap it around the sides so it’s nice and snug and protected from the paint.

IMG_4654 smLightly spray the crown of the pineapple with your desired paint color.  If you’re going for an hombre effect, use the lighter color first.  Be sure to move quickly and make several passes at different angles.  You’ll also want to make sure you get it from the “top” angle…

IMG_4657 smYou can let it dry and then do the other side, or gently roll the pineapple over inside it’s little tablecloth to get to the opposite side to pain –  totally depends on how much time or patience you have to sit and wait for paint to dry.  ( I had none.)

IMG_4655 smAfter you have your base coat, use a darker color in the same color scheme (or a coordinating color) to lightly spray just the edges of the crown.  You don’t want too much paint or it will cover up your first coat – you just want enough to give the color a little depth.

Untuck the pineapple from the tablecloth and allow it to dry completely.  Then marvel at your handiwork.

finishedpineapples sm(colors shown in this photo from left to right:  yellow + orange, hot pink + red, aqua + royal blue, orange + pink)

These colorful and festive pineapples make a great centerpiece together or a fun addition to a bar cart or entry table.  They’re perfect for a tropical soiree – and they’re so darn easy, they’ll probably become your go-to summer party decoration.

Patriotic Lockers

Patriotic Lockers

Just before Memorial Day, we gave our lockers a little Red, White and Blue treatment.  All of the fun paper fans, tissue tassel garland and strings of stars really make a fun backdrop, don’t they?  You could re-create this look behind a bar cart or dessert bar for your next holiday weekend get-together and it would be a BIG hit!

party-fans{paper fan kit $24.99, red/white/blue tissue tassel garland $21.99, glittery red stars $11.99, hey y’all gold foil print 22.99$, flag pillow $49.99, ‘merica pillow $32.99 – call the store for availability or to order over the phone:  806-785-1195}

Garden Floral Arrangement How To

Garden Floral Arrangement How To

For Shannon’s garden-themed bridal shower, the floral arrangements were one of my favorite details, so I thought I would share a few tips for creating your own.

To start, you’ll want plenty of fresh flowers in the color scheme of your choice.  I got these beauties from Box of Rain – a fun mix of roses, lilies, hydrangeas and greenery.

IMG_0585You’ll also need some gorgeous root vegetables for color like these – carrots, turnips, radishes, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, etc. – whatever looks beautiful at your grocery will be stunning in this arrangement. You can also throw in a few different types of greens like kale, Swiss chard or collard greens – a variety of textures will really look nice.

You’ll also need wooden kabab sticks and a good pair of heavy duty scissors to cut them to your desired length.

First, wash and dry all of the veggies.

IMG_0580You’ll also need a pre-made Oasis “caged foam base” from your local florist or craft store.  I cut a hole in the bottom of the plastic on mine so I could insert the carrots from below and leave room for the flowers on top.  Before you get started arranging, be sure to soak the Oasis foam until it’s nice and absorbed.

Start by gathering the carrots by their stems and tying them about 1-2 inches above the tops with either twine or wire.  You want it to be tight so you can trip off the ends of the stems and they will still stay bundled together.  Place the carrot bundle in your desired glass vase and fill with water.  From the top, insert a wooden skewer into the carrot bundle.  You want it to stick up a little so that you can secure it in the foam.

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After cutting a hole in the oasis cage, you should be able to set it on top of the carrot bundle/skewer.

IMG_0581I secured mine in place with a little duct tape (only because I was out of floral tape), but don’t worry – you won’t be able to see it once the arrangement is complete.

Start with the larger flowers cutting their stems on the diagonal as you insert them into the Oasis foam, then slowly go back and fill in the vegetables, using the sharp end of the skewer to pierce the “base” of the vegetable and cutting the length of the skewer to fit as needed.  Keep adding flowers, vegetables and greenery – regularly turning the arrangement so you can make sure it’s even all the way around.  (Don’t forget to add a little more water once you’re done – you don’t want those flowers to wilt!)

IMG_0584When you’re finished, you’ll have this fun and unique floral arrangement that’s perfect for showers, garden parties, an elegant summer dinner or Easter lunch!

For more photos of arrangements like this, see the full post about Shannon’s Shower here.

 

Shannon’s Bridal Shower

Shannon’s Bridal Shower

Over the past three years, we’ve had the pleasure of working this pretty special girl right here —> Shannon.  She’s always got a smile on her face and our customers love her as much as we do!

DSC_0217 smShe’s a great student, a hard worker, a thoughtful friend, and now – a beautiful Bride-to-Be.   Our team has watched Shannon’s relationship with Austin blossom from the beginning, and even though we’re sad to see her move on (we don’t want her to leave!!!!)… we ARE excited for this next chapter in her life!  So naturally, the Barque team wanted to send her off in style with a Bridal Shower.  I mean, parties are what we DO – of course we wanted to throw one for one for her!DSC_0084 smThe fantastic hand-lettering details were created by another talented Barque team member – Kelsey.  {find her on Instagram  @kelseylainee}.  Don’t you love this chalk sign?  She also did all the mini signs for our snacks.DSC_0050 sm

DSC_0066 smThe gorgeous strawberries were handmade by our resident Party Queen, Suzanne.  She’s pretty much a pro when it comes to party mechanics and details.  She was also kind enough to host the shower in her home – and it served as the perfect backdrop!

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DSC_0067 smWe purchased the bride’s favorite thumbprint cookies from Simply Decadent Bakery, and the Keesha made the Artichoke Lemon Pesto Dip (we carry it in the store and it’s a crowd favorite at parties).

DSC_0091 smFor the floral arrangements, we decided on a combination of simple white flowers and vegetable garden accents.  I had seen one similar to this from Southern Living awhile back, so I was anxious to try it for myself.  I made a few modifications to their tutorial here, but I love how it turned out!DSC_0087 smThe larger arrangement also had hints from the garden with various pops of color from carrots, brussels sprouts, orange beets, artichokes, kale, collard greens and radishes.

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DSC_0047 smShannon’s guests showered her with so many great things!

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DSC_0135 smDo you recognize any of these pretty ladies from the shop?  🙂

DSC_0106 smNone of us wanted to play cliche “Bridal Shower Games”, so instead we opted for something PAPER related (shocking) – Milestone Mail for the happy couple!  Guests were asked to choose a milestone event, write it on the front of the envelope, then write them a blessing or word of encouragement to read when that milestone occurs.  It should be a fun way for her to remember these guests and how much they care for her – even years down the road!

DSC_0185 smThe hostesses of the shower gifted Shannon a big basket of kitchen goodies – and we made each item special with words of well wishes.

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DSC_0224 smWe ended the shower with a sweet photo of our “Barque twins” – aren’t they the cutest?  {By the way, Emory and Kelsey did some serious wrestling to get those balloons to cooperate – it was a windy day!}

Shannon, we are proud that you’ve spent the last three years working for us and we wish you nothing but happiness in this new chapter of your life!

Love, the Barque Team

[ If you’re planning a Shower soon, you might want to download our Shower Planning Sheet – this idea came from a customer who has throwing showers down pat!  Thank you for the great idea Tomi!]

No Spring Chicken Custom Invitation

No Spring Chicken Custom Invitation

This year I had the pleasure of designing the 50th birthday invitation for my friend Tony.  He’s been one of my favorite people for over a decade, and I wanted his invitation to reflect his fun personality!  Normally, when I think of Tony, I imagine all things green and shamrock-covered (he was born on St.Patty’s Day), but the inspiration for this event came from his love of chickens, the South, and all things vintage paper (we both collect antique paper decorations).

Tony’s party featured Southern comfort food and was hosted at a favorite local restaurants in Greensboro – Scrambled – so I thought these coordinating cocktail napkins would be the perfect addition. (PARTY IN THE HEN HOUSE!)

Sadly, I wasn’t unable to attend the festivities in person, but I’m honored to have played a small part in the fun.  It’s always feels good to celebrate loved ones by highlighting their style and letting it shine!

Congratulations on living half a century, Tony!

[ Design details:  This invitation incorporates bright, cheerful color like red, turquoise and yellow, but the fonts are eroded to give it a “vintage postcard” feel.  The chicken, of course, is a focal point, but the wording plays on it nicely – “He’s no spring chicken, but he’s still mighty fine!”… and even though you can’t tell in this photo, the back is a turquoise and white gingham pattern, keeping in the “Southern” theme.  The cocktail napkins are a natural color with red ink to match.]