Adult Halloween Party Ideas!

I wanted to share some thoughts for those

of you who are thinking of throwing an adult Halloween party this year.

I hope these inspire you!


Draping furniture with white sheets is a cheap way to instantly

create the right atmosphere for the perfect party.


If you are throwing a dinner party for adults use empty glass bottles.


I am not a big fan of serving food that I can not look at so

I suggest beautiful meats, cheeses, breads and figs for tasty appetizers & fun cocktails!  Place trays in different areas encouraging guests to mingle.


If you are looking for something different, stir up some Sleepy Hollow Cocktails.

Click here for the link!

Be sure to prepare ahead of time.  If you are planning to serve a multi-course meal,

I suggest hiring someone to help serve.

I am a big believer in having too much food.  You want your guests to be full when they walk away from the table.


Create a menu that includes hearty fall foods.

A favorite in my recipe collection is a beautiful tenderloin.


Finish the night off with fun treats for your guests.  I absolutely LOVE these Zombie fingers by Scrumpalicious.

You can purchase these ghoulish treats for $9.00 a box.

Stay tuned to my next post on how to throw a ghoulish Halloween party for those little goblins!

Sweet Smiles!



Fall Harvest

Fall is one of my FAVORITE seasons!

What better way to celebrate then to host an autumn dinner with family & friends.

Let these thoughts inspire you.


If you have the space I encourage you to use it!

Design a centerpiece with candles, berries and greenery.  Use mix and match dishes & cutlery and place bottles of wine throughout the table allowing guests to serve themselves.


Fill a wheelbarrow or bucket with ice and add favorite drinks.


Provide cozy blankets for your guests if the weather permits.


Kentuckians LOVE beer cheese and what better way to

celebrate it than to make a beer cheese soup!

If you haven’t tried it, y’all are missing out!


S’mores remind me so much of cool autumn evenings.

If you don’t have access to a fire, create a marshmallow toasting centerpiece.

Sit back, relax & enjoy this time reconnecting with those you love!


Summer memories

I adore summer!  I mean, who doesn’t?  The smell of freshly mowed grass, steaks on the grill and children giggling while running through sprinklers.  Summer certainly provokes wonderful memories.

 Summer weddings are possibly my favorite, except the ones set outside when its stifling hot. 


Now, for those of you who aren’t from the south, the definition of the word describes summers here to a tee!

Definition of Stifling (of heat, air, or a room) very hot and causing difficulties in breathing; suffocating.
“stifling heat”

Now throw in a candy buffet…you can only imagine how I cringe when a client is insistent upon on having an outdoor candy buffet in the middle of summer!  It makes me sweat just thinking about it.  I had a couple come to me with just this idea and at first, I must admit, I was dreading it, not the candy bar…the outdoor part.  But the more that I got to know this couple and their amazing love for one another, the more I was willing to do whatever needed to make this work. 


The bride lost her mother at a young age and as a mother of two daughters, my heart immediately ached for her.   I think it’s most mothers dream to watch their beautiful daughter walk down the aisle, so I wanted this small part of their day to be as beautiful as possible. 


Her mother’s favorite candy were circus peanuts, so we decided to incorporate them into her pink & white themed buffet, which turned out to be a beautiful addition.

The rest of the candy bar was filled in with white & pink candies along with champagne truffles.Maness_0759 Maness_0761

The day finally arrived and don’t you know that right smack dead in the middle of summer we had a front move in that provided that particular day with an abundance of beautiful sun & cool temperatures!  It was like magic or maybe an angel looking over this sweet girls day.  It was truly amazing…what a wonderful memory!

When creating the perfect candy buffet for your event, be sure to display an array of different candies….a little something for everyone.  Plan for 1/4lb per guest; remember, it’s a guestimate as some guests will take more and some will take less. 

Here are a couple of websites I recommend ordering your bulk candy.  Remember, if your event is in the summer, you will need to make sure they are delivered with cold packs and shipping can be more expensive. Candy Warehouse, Sweet City Candy!

Overload your summer with beautiful memories! 



May parties are abundant!

May certainly has a number of reasons to celebrate…

Derby, Mother’s Day, & Graduations are just to name a few.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of creating a wonderful day for a graduating 5th grade young lady.


The focal point for this party was the desert table.  It was packed full of sweet treats. 

Everything from flavored popcorn to gumball necklaces.


I love using unique party favors, so we displayed necklaces for the girls made of

shiny gumballs & clips! 

As you can imagine…they were the hit of the party!


Small boxes are perfect for filling with treats.  Don’t forget to provide cute containers for guests to fill up!


  The desert table was filled with sixlets,

Hershey kisses that were adorned with “Congrats” labels, Swizzle sticks tied with ribbon &


Pink candy coated popcorn all kept with our over the top theme!


This gorgeous cake was created by Martine’s.  Her work is amazing & never disappoints!



Macaron’s & cookies gave something for everyone to enjoy! 

Ok, so maybe the macaron’s were more for the adults! 


And of course the photo booth!  This is an easy way for your guests to have fun & get goofy! 


Spray paint wooden frames from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s for adorable photo frames. 



Until next time…..



The Kentucky Derby

You may not be from Kentucky but most likely know what happens in Louisville on the first Saturday of May.  Some say it’s “The most exciting two minutes in sports” but to true Kentuckians The Kentucky Derby is so much more.


In 1872, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark. traveled to England, visiting the Derby, a famous race that had been running annually since 1780.  After returning home to Kentucky, he organized the Louisville Jockey Club for the purpose of raising money to build a racing facility.  That track would become Churchill Downs, named for John and Henry Churchill, who provided the land for the track.


The Derby is thick with southern tradition from the famous Mint Julep to hats of all shapes & sizes.  Kentuckians love to throw a good party & the Derby is no exception.  Horse farms throughout the bluegrass state throw elegant soiree’s in honor of well dressed thoroughbreds & their riders.

In honor of My Old Kentucky Home, I share with you some Kentucky inspired Derby treats…enjoy!




Woodford Reserve Classic Mint Julep

2 oz. Woodford Reserve®
1 oz. water
1 t. sugar
4 sprigs fresh mint

Muddle three sprigs of mint, sugar, and water in the bottom of a julep cup or highball glass. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add Woodford Reserve and stir. Dust fourth mint sprig with powdered sugar for garnish.


Flowers by Jessica Jones


The hat is the center of Derby outfits for most women


The Kentucky Hot Brown & Kentucky Burgoo

The Legendary Hot Brown

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast, slice thick
  • 4 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed)
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Paprika
  • Parsley

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined to form a thick paste or roux. Continue to cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino-Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 oz. turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Pour half of the sauce over the dish, completely covering it. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove and cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley and serve immediately.

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Country Ham & Biscuits & Benedictine Finger Sandwiches

Benedictine Spread

by Chef Mark Williams for Brown-Forman Corporation

This spread can be used as a dip or a sandwich & canapé ingredient. It was made popular at Louisville’s Benedict’s restaurant earlier in this century.

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Pinch of cayenne or tabasco dash
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  1. Pare, grate, and drain cucumber.
  2. Combine with remaining ingredients in food processor.
  3. Serve as is or as a sandwich or canapé spread.
  4. Thin with sour cream to make a dip for vegetables.


Kentucky Derby Pie

ruth huntimg_9054 (copy)

Famous Ruth Hunt Bourbon Balls & Kentucky Pull Candy

Get outside of the lines!

Recently, while researching fresh Derby party ideas, I came across these beautiful creations by artist Shannon Kirsten and had to put Derby on hold so I could share…

Derby isn’t for another couple of weeks anyway!


I LOVE all things outside the lines!  When I got married, the first time around, there was a system…pick your dress, choose a cake, and select a “catalog” invite.  There was nothing special; actually, it was very UNspecial.  Nothing about any part of that wedding defined me or my style.


Shannon Kirsten is a Florida based illustrator and photographer. She is inspired by bright colors, patterns, quirky design, vintage, and the seaside town she calls home. 


Her designs are far outside the lines from the “catalog” wedding invitations. 

These invitations are so incredible that I would plan a wedding around them!  I love her technique, design & their uniqueness. 


Her wedding design packages begin at $425.00 & includes a set of 50 formal invitations and 50 RSVP cards with white standard envelopes.  She also offers additional inserts, table numbers, envelope liners, place cards, escort cards, signage, etc.


You can check out her designs at….


photo credits: Best Photography

She turned 20 today!

If you think about it….life is funny! 

When we are young time stands still; Christmas & birthday’s seem light years away.  Our elders tell us not to wish them away but we are constantly chasing those milestones….13, 16, 18, 21 & then it happens!  Time starts picking up & is never to be slowed.


It seems like yesterday when I first saw her.  I remember it so clearly…her tiny head was lightly covered with brown hair, her eyes would no doubt be hazel & her olive complexion was one I knew she did not receive from me.  Her long body would eventually be the structure of a tall, legged beauty.


Twenty years ago today she came into my life with a bang and I’ve never recovered.  I knew right away that she was opposite her older brother.  While he would not “ripple the waters” she almost seemed to enjoy throwing boulders & stepping back to watch.  She is independent, strong willed, incredibly talented & under that shield of armor, she is one of the most loving people I know. 


She was five the first time she asked to purchase paints.  I think we all knew early on that art was simply a part of who she is….she confirmed that the day she told me she needed art to breathe.  At first, I thought it was funny & cute, I now realize how much truth was behind that beautiful statement. 


High school was challenging for Emily in the sense that I am not sure she ever felt part of any particular group. Art classes were where things felt right and it was when she had a paint brush in hand or a camera that she felt whole.  She put together photo shoots, wrote blogs & finally allowed us to host her first art showing although she was always the first to criticize her work.  Her first art show ended with every piece on display being sold. 


So, she is now away; away where she deserves and needs to be…SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design).  It’s funny, she calls almost every day and has a new story to tell…. 


A professor who was one of the last photographers to photograph James Dean, a sighting of a former Vogue Editor, & even a museum full of Oscar de la Renta’s beautiful gowns.  I have never been so proud, she is turning into an amazing woman, and I look forward to hearing so many more stories. 


You are beautiful & such an incredibly talented young woman and I can not wait to see where this journey takes you.  I love you to the moon & back!

With love,


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