|Screen shot of Catie’s Blog Piece(s) of Cake|
|Catie and her husband, Taylor, outside their first home.|
I sent out invitations six weeks before the party (I love Punchbowl for great e-vites & an easy way to track your guest list) to allow guests plenty of time to make plans and find babysitters. Since it was the middle of summer, I didn’t want to be caught on a weekend where everyone was out of town.
My best friend lives in Houston and she surprised me by coming in for the party at the last minute. I seriously could not have pulled this off without her!
|We all need friends like her!|
We had a great turnout – almost everyone we invited was able to attend, and at one point in the party, there were about 45 people in our living room, dining room and kitchen! I love the layout of our house because the bedrooms are down a hallway and all of the common areas flow into each other.
Now for the fun part!
THEME: Southern Casual Chic
Decor: I bought a dozen mason jars and filled them with glittery decorative foam balls and tea lights. I also have a mason jar-shaped drink dispenser, which I filled with my sangria. I had Southern games like “washers” and “cornhole” in the backyard, and filled vases with fresh flowers. It was very simple and easy, but added a nice touch to our normal home decor.
Food: I made Buffalo Chicken Dip (recipe below), Guacamole (Secret Family Recipe below!), a veggie tray and a meat and cheese plate. On the invitation, I asked that guests bring their favorite party dish OR beverage to share with everyone, and we had a great result! We had avocado eggrolls, chicken and peppers, ranch dip, fresh fruit, and so much more!
|Tons of tasty food set out for guests. Keep reading for some yummy recipes!|
Drink: We provided several sodas, rum, whiskey, vodka, red and white wine, margaritas and beer. I also made White Sangria (recipe below) – I made a double batch and ended up having to make ANOTHER double-batch. It was a big hit!
|Drink supplies— Check out below for the Sangria recipe|
Entertainment: As I mentioned above, we had games in our backyard.
4 bottles of white wine (semi-sweet or semi-dry such as Riesling)
2 lemons cut into slices
2 limes cut into slices
1 large package of frozen triple berry blend, OR 1 package EACH of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
1 cup of vodka
1 cup of sliced strawberries or raspberries
1 small can of diced pineapples (with juice) OR 1 package of frozen pineapples
4 cups ginger ale
Pour wine in a pitcher and add frozen fruit and vodka. CHILL OVERNIGHT (or at least all day so the flavors can blend!). Add ginger ale and ice just before serving. The longer you let it chill, the more flavorful it will be.
Note 1: I did not add ice, just had guests pour it over ice in their cups. Also, this was a very large batch. For a smaller party, half the recipe.
Note 2: To make this with red, substitute red wine for white and add 1 cup of orange juice. You may use gin instead of vodka.
Note 3: If it is not sweet enough for you, add 2 Tablespoons of sugar, or to taste.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 can Chicken in water, drained
¼ Cup Hot Sauce
1 (8 oz.) package Fat Free Cream Cheese
½ T Fat Free Ranch Dip Mix
½ Cup Fat Free Sour Cream
1 Cup Fat Free Cheddar Cheese
1 small can Diced Green Chiles
Combine all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl. Mix well to combine. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring often until mixture is warm and smooth. Serve warm with chips or crackers.
(Weight Watcher Recipe at 89 calories per 1/3 cup serving)
Guacamole (Secret Family Recipe!)
1 or 2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
½ of a Red Onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 lime, sliced
Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
Dash of Milk
Salt and Pepper
1. Scoop avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork to soften. Add, tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Stir vigorously.
2. Add lime juice, garlic salt, cajun seasoning and salt and pepper to taste
3. IF YOU WANT TO ADD SOME KICK: Chop up 1 jalapeno and add to the bowl
4. Add milk for a creamier texture
Note: Be sure and save the avocado seeds to keep the guacamole looking fresh! Also, to add content but not calories, you can add pureed white beans to the mix.