Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekend Links: {Summer in Maine} Celebration

Hi there! I'm happy to be writing from Peaks Island, Maine. I spent my 30th birthday here with some close friends and we had such a great time that we decided to return this summer.

I just realized that one of my favorite baked goods from Maine, Two Fat Cats Bakery's Mixed Berry Pie, can be bought online and shipped! I'm all for buying local, especially where food is concerned, but this pie is worth breaking that rule for. Trust me.

One Kings Lane is having a great sale on items for handcrafted cocktails. I love that they're featuring Liber & Co. - one of my favorites on my bar cart. This gift pack of grapefruit shrub and tonic would make a fantastic hostess gift, and I'm super eager to try out this pineapple gum syrup, which sounds perfect for a summer cocktail.

Lemonade doesn't need to be boring. Try out one of Glitter Guide's refreshing lemonade recipes. They all look delicious, but The Flair Exchange's blackberry version is on my list for this summer.

This makes me want to go back to Napa ASAP: Praise to Make a Californian Blush: Tasting Napa Rosés (NYT)

Still looking for a fab 4th of July outfit as cute as Megan's? I've updated my Summer Style Board with some fun red, white & blue options. And if you decide to throw together a last minute celebration, start with these party supplies!

Now it's back to my blueberry mojito (recipe to follow next week!)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

4th of July Style Inspiration

Were you as inspired as I was by Megan's recent post?! You still have a week left to put something together in time for your 4th of July celebrations. See some of my favorite options below - just scroll through and click on the items you like to go straight to the sources. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How To Style: Red, White, and Blue

I know I say this every month, but Megan's adorably patriotic looks might just be my favorite yet. I love that she is perfectly festive for the occasion without looking like she's wearing a costume. Plus if those big blonde curls don't say "America," I don't know what does. Here she is!

Megan: The Fourth of July is just around the corner, which means the countdown to cook-outs, picnics, and block parties has begun! When it comes to style, nothing is more patriotic to me than red, white, and blue with a dash of nautical, so I have put together three looks to keep you stylish and festive no matter your plans for Independence Day. Here's to the Stars & Stripes!
A Casual Cook-out
Megan: A casual cook-out doesn't call for much more than a tee and a pair of shorts, but since it's a party, I look for pieces with a little something special like the golden embroidered anchor on this top and the pleats and mitered stripes of these shorts. I've added a pop of red with these ballet flats and striped wristlet to keep my phone and lipstick at the ready.
Shirt: J.Crew Factory, also love this long sleeve tee and this sweater for chillier evenings | Shorts: J.Crew (similar J.Crew Factory version) | Bag: Kate Spade, old (similar) | Bracelet: Kate Spade | Shoes: J.Crew; similar Banana Republic version

Rooftop Fireworks
Megan: A summer dress is my go-to piece for an afternoon party that very well may extend right into the evening. The structured material and tailoring of this dress offers a bit of polish, while the bold red and blue stripes keep it perfectly patriotic. I've paired it with some fun faux pearls and an anchor belt for a bit of preppy whimsy and a pair of navy wedges for some (comfortable) height. 
Dress: J.Crew Factory | Belt: Crewcuts (similar J.Crew Factory version) | Necklace: J.Crew (similar) | Shoes: Kate Spade, old (similar J.Crew version)

A Clambake on the Beach
Megan: When it comes to dressing for a summer of leisure, to me there is nothing chicer than a tunic. I picture Jackie Kennedy at sunset, throwing on a tunic dress over salty, ​slightly sunburned skin after a day spent by the water. I have become a recent devotee of Sail to Sable, and I love their linen tunic dresses with nautical details. These dresses frequently take me from an afternoon by the pool straight to dinner with friends - and no one's the wiser.
Dress: Sail to Sable (similar; similar Tory Burch version; another Tory Burch version) | Necklace: Kate Spade (similar C.Wonder version) | Bracelet: vintage (similar Kate Spade version) | Shoes: J.Crew (similar; similar Ann Taylor version; similar J.Crew Factory version)

All images in this post are by photographer Kristin Lance.

Monday, June 23, 2014

4th of July Party Prep

I'm having so much fun giving my bar cart an Independence Day makeover! I'll show you those photos next week. Today I'm sharing some of the red, white & blue party supplies that I've come across in my search. Is it just me, or does there seem to be a whole lot of tackiness available for this particular holiday? Yikes. Here are some options that don't light up, glow in the dark, or otherwise offend the senses.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Summer Solstice Celebration

Found at Grow NYC's Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket
Gorgeous little strawberries at the greenmarket can only mean one thing: tomorrow is finally summer!! Though from what I've observed in New York, we've all been drinking like it's summer for a solid month now. Haven't we?! Let's be honest with ourselves. Follow up a long, ugly winter that lasted until May with a beautiful, summer-like June, and the result is some overeager, tipsy New Yorkers filling every sidewalk seat available. Myself included. I've decided I'm okay with this because I spent the first several months of the year staring at our snow-covered terrace and promising myself not to let it go to waste during nice weather. far, so good! In the spirit of summertime overconsumption, here are your weekend links. (Let's not even try to pretend we're on a cleanse this weekend.)

Summer cocktails by PDT (Tasting Table)

Good question: Do you have to let the NYPD search your cooler at the beach? (Gothamist)

That Rosé Lyfe: The Best Pink Wines of the Season (PUNCH)

In NYC? Outdoor Drinks for Every Mood (Brooklyn Based)

'Listening' to Sancerre Tell Its Story (The New York Times)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kabinet & Kate Somerville Giveaway

Have you guys joined Kabinet yet??
Kabinet helps you find the best skin, hair, and body care products through trusted recommendations by real people. I don't discuss it much here since our focus is mostly celebration related, but I am obsessed with beauty products, especially skincare. So I was thrilled when the team, who introduced themselves as "fellow Brooklynites," (love that) invited me to create my own Kabinet to share with members. How nice is it to read real reviews of products before you spend money on them? The best part is that you can view recommendations from people with similar coloring and hair types as yours. After you sign up (it's free) be sure to click this link and add one of the 4 pictured Kate Somerville products to your wishlist, because you could win one! My personal favorites from Kate Somerville are the Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (included in the giveaway!) and True Lash: Lash Enhancing Eye Makeup Remover. Truth: these opinions are my own and not sponsored. I just had to share because I'm loving this company! xo

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pineapple Bar Cart Print

Image: Amyisla Illustration
Hi friends! I apologize for my absence the past couple of days. I've been busy prepping for our upcoming house party in Peaks Island, and I'm also working on a 4th of July Potluck and red, white & blue bar cart design! I promise the next 2 weeks will be filled with photos and details of both. In the meantime I thought I'd share this gorgeous pineapple print by Amyisla Illustration. Her brightly colored designs would be perfect to frame above a summer bar cart!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Pre-Summer Celebration

Here are the last of the Fiesta photos! I bought plain wooden maracas and wood markers so people could decorate their own. And they actually did! I think it's nice to have an activity like this at a party, especially when not all the guests know each other - it makes for easy conversation. I used Shop Sweet Lulu's floral fiesta treat holders to hold the tortilla chips. Not pictured is the make your own taco station - I was too busy to take photos! I also didn't get a photo of the dessert because it went so fast. I made Martha Stewart's Tres Leches and it was incredible. It's a perfect summer dessert, I highly recommend it if you're having a BBQ or any other backyard summer party. I served it on these floral fiesta dinner plates with wooden forks.

Don't forget, today is your last day use our special promo code, BCBFIESTA for 10% off at Shop Sweet Lulu. This is a great opportunity to practice preparation for celebration! Check out their "Yankee Doodle Dandy" section to stock up for the 4th of July. The Stars & Stripes Mix of paper straws would be perfect for an Independence Day bar cart! I also recommend stocking up on birthday party essentials like candles, cake stands, and baking supplies. I guarantee once you receive these items you'll find an excuse to throw a party!

I haven't forgotten that Father's Day is this weekend. I'm sorry I was too preoccupied with Fiesta details to put together a gift guide for you! You can look to my past gift guides, like Valentine's Day Gifts for the Mister (they'll work year-round), and there are a lot of unisex ideas here. To top them off, I absolutely LOVE this printable Father's Day gift wrap.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fiesta Favors

To wrap up Fiesta week, here is how I sent my guests off: Fiesta favors! Inside each bag is a packet of Chiclets and homemade Mexican spiced popcorn. I made a big batch of popcorn and drizzled it with coconut oil, then topped it with sea salt, chili powder and lime zest. I topped treat bags (similar) with floral fiesta mini doilies. To make the labels I used floral fiesta greaseproof paper and sticker paper and cut them using two different sized round craft punches. All of the "floral fiesta" items can be found on Shop Sweet Lulu - remember to use code BCBFIESTA for 10% off, through tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas

Since a few of you have written to ask (and thank you, by the way! I love hearing from you!) here is the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas from the Fiesta. First, you need to make a batch of rhubarb simple syrup. If you want, you can watch my demo here. But to put it simply, chop rhubarb into 1" pieces - you need 2 cups. Place the rhubarb in a pot with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil on high; once it's boiling reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture, making sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the rhubarb, and chill. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas: 1 Pitcher
Muddled Strawberries and Limes
4 cups Tequila Blanco
2 cups Rhubarb Simple Syrup
2 cups Strawberry Lemonade

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fiesta Welcome Drinks & Bites

This is perhaps the part of the Fiesta I was the most excited about: the welcome drinks & bites. I think it's really nice for guests to be greeted with food & drink right away, so that they can have something easily and get right to saying hello to everyone else. For the drinks I mixed up a batch of classic margaritas. The bites are polenta with pesto, mozzarella, shallots and tomato. I used more pieces from Shop Sweet Lulu's "Floral Fiesta" line: parasols, tiny appetizer plates, and tiny napkins. The plates and napkins were both approximately 3 inches - perfect for bite sized servings. Remember, Shop Sweet Lulu is offering 10% off all this week for A Bar Cart in Brooklyn readers with code "BCBFIESTA"!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fiesta Bar Cart Design

This week is fiesta week on A Bar Cart in Brooklyn! I'm so excited to share all the details of our fiesta with you, starting with the bar cart design. For the whole events I focused on pieces from the "Floral Fiesta" line from Shop Sweet Lulu, one of my favorite online shops for party supplies. They were also nice enough to create a promo code just for you! All week you can use the code BCBFIESTA for 10% off your entire purchase.
Pitcher (similar) | DIY Place Cards with Floral Fiesta Paper | Floral Fiesta Straws | Kate Spade Straws | Floral Fiesta Umbrellas | Ice Bucket | Floral Fiesta Cocktail Napkins | Wooden Maracas | Chiclets | Floral Fiesta Bunting | Stemless Wine Glasses (similar)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in National Donut Day Celebration

Donut Piñata via Studio DIY
Happy National Donut Day!! I have to admit, I'm more of a cake or cookies person and I never thought I'd embrace the donut trend. This is probably the result of growing up in New England, aka Dunkin' Donuts territory. And - sorry I'm not sorry - Dunkin' Donuts are disgusting. But during a trip to Portland, Maine last Thanksgiving I had my first experience at The Holy Donut and I can honestly say that their Maple donut changed my life. I cannot wait to go back later this month for another.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate National Donut Day today:
"I'm donuts over you" printable card (Sugar and Charm)
Donut printables for gift tags, favors or a garland (Oh Happy Day)
DIY donut balloons (Studio DIY)
Donuts gift bags (Paper-Source)
A donut piñata?! Too much fun. (Studio DIY)

On a non-pastry related note, I've been busy prepping for this weekend's fiesta and I can't wait to share what I'm putting together with you next week. Be sure to check out Shop Sweet Lulu and save some goodies in your cart to purchase next week with our exclusive promo code. This is a great chance to practice preparation for celebration: if you're planning a 4th of July party, these red white and blue gingham cupcake liners are perfect.

Enjoy your donuts!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Summer Entertaining Episode with No Name, New York

You might remember the Valentine's Day episode that I filmed with No Name, New York back in February. We had SO much fun that when they asked if I had any tips for their viewers on summer entertaining I was more than happy to put together a little terrace party for the first episode of their second season.

Watch the video to learn how to put together a delicious spread of appetizers that requires no cooking! I also moved my bar cart outdoors to show you summer bar cart design, and how to dress up store bought treats as pretty party favors. We also go into my kitchen where I teach you how to make rhubarb simple syrup!

Products on the table: Wine Barrel Lazy Susan (Similar) | Round Pond Blood Orange Olive Oil | St. Helena Olive Oil Co. White Truffle Salt & Roasted Garlic Salt | Nudo Garlic Olive Oil
Wearing: Club Monaco Scalloped Dress (on sale!) | J.Crew Stacked Stones Necklace | Gorjana Taner Bracelet | Blowout: Glam Squad | Nails: Essie Watermelon | Cheeks: Nars Matte Multiple in Exumas

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Negroni Week

Umm, did you guys know it's Negroni week?! Bars all over the country are serving up their favorite Negroni cocktails and donating a portion of the proceeds to their charity of choice. Go to the website to learn more about the concept and find a list of participating bars in your city. My new NYC favorite, Saxon + Parole, serves this 'Bottled' Champagne Negroni by the bucket. Can you believe the presentation?! Negroni week ends Sunday, so that leaves plenty of time for you to make plans for the weekend! Hey, it's for a good cause.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

3 Free, Pretty June Downloads for Desktop & Mobile

Since sharing these pretty tech downloads has become a monthly post, I thought I'd also use this time to check in re: the month ahead. Do you have any big plans for June?? I'm hosting a "fiesta" this weekend that has grown from a casual gathering to a 10+ pages of prep notes type of event. Not that I'm complaining! I ordered most of the party supplies from Shop Sweet Lulu, who kindly agreed to offer a special promo code just for A Bar Cart in Brooklyn readers! I'll be sharing all the fiesta details and photos with you next week. I can't wait! Then at the end of June I'm going to be traveling to Peaks Island to host a weekend-long house party in my home state. I absolutely love travel-hosting, and this is the first opportunity I'll have to share my tips on being a traveling hostess with you, so I'm excited for that.

Here are my favorite freebies for this month. As always, click the links in the captions to go to the designers' sites to download. Happy June!!

Delighted Magazine

Sugar Paper
Design Love Fest