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.]

 

Let’s Flamingle!

Let’s Flamingle!

Earlier this year (after Market), we predicted that one of the HOT trends for 2016 was the flamingo… those pink feathered beauties were ALL OVER!… and we fell in love, so we jumped on the bandwagon.

Take a look at these NEW foam cups and koozies that just arrived!  They’re neon pink and perfect for the sunny weather!

{sleeve of 10 foam cups $7.99 + koozie $5.99 + flamingo picks $7.99 for a package of 24}

Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

I love planning a holiday meal.  As new food magazine issues emerge on the shelves, I start collecting them – and scouring them – using page flags and sticky notes to mark interesting recipes.

I’m lucky that my family is laid back when it comes to holiday meals.  They usually leave the menu up to me, and I love the responsibility – it lets me get a little creative!

A decision on the protein comes first – turkey, ham, duck, Cornish game hen, seafood?  From there I plan the sides carefully… and yes, I write it all down on one big list.  (Normally I make a list of possible sides and then mark them off based on relevance to the protein.)  Once I’ve narrowed down my sides and desserts (the two hardest categories to whittle down), I make a shopping list.  I go through the ingredients in each recipe and check it with items I have on hand.  If I need something, it goes on the shopping list – with amounts needed jotted out to the side.  So, if for example, I need butter for the green beans, butter for the mashed potatoes and butter for the dessert – I might have a side note of 1/2 cup + 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons… Before heading to the store, I do the math so I buy the right amount of each ingredient.

**My Holiday Grocery Shopping Trick – Buying in bulk (especially when everyone else is) can be a waiting game.  Instead, plan out your shopping list early and conquer it by making more frequent, quick stops during the week leading up to the holiday.  Plan to buy 10 items or less so you can go through the Express Lane – it’s a breeze and you’ll have all you need in no time, without having to wait 30-45 minutes in a long register line! **

I’ve made TWO free printables to help you with your Thanksgiving Dinner planning and shopping – just click on these links to download a thanksgiving menu planning and a thanksgiving shopping list.

Another clever idea for your holiday (and everyday) entertaining is to keep a Cooking Journal.  I got this one years ago at Anthropologie, but any journal or notebook will do.  In my food journal,  I keep track of menus for holidays and other special get-togethers.  It’s kind of like in the movie High Fidelity when John Cusack’s character reorganized his record collection in chronological order.  If I remember that we loved the potatoes from last Easter but our favorite turkey was from Christmas 3 years ago, I can mix and match to create a better menu for the next holiday.  It’s a good way to keep beloved recipes close at hand (if they’re well received I jot down the recipe in the book) – and I love to look back on what went over well and what didn’t.

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Here’s a peek inside my cooking journal.  I make notes of the event, date of the meal, who was in attendance and where the dinner was for future reference.  I also include a rating out to the side of experimental dishes – stars if we loved the dish and X’s if we hated it… keeps us from repeating culinary mistakes.  In this journal, I also experiment on recipes I’ve had and want to duplicate or recipes I’ve thrown together and liked.  It’s where I keep track of my culinary adventures (and misadventures too).

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I would recommend a cooking journal to any aspiring foodie… in fact, if you know a foodie who doesn’t have one, it might be a great Christmas gift idea.

It’s back to Thanksgiving dinner plans for me.  Happy Thursday!