I'll include the pictures that I took of the guests and friends, the decor, and of course the food! I totally embraced the FOOD! It was a fun challenge :) We've never hosted so many people in our home, and I wasn't sure how that would work out, but it did! It was a beautiful day, inside and out!
The recipe links will be at the very bottom of this blog entry.
My Mom's hand at floral design. She transformed simple Cub bouquets into these masterpieces. This one has fresh cranberries in the vase. Lovely!
Goat Cheese and Parsley cheese ball, Cheddar and Cranberry cheese ball, and Blue Cheese Walnut cheese ball. I was so happy with how these turned out.
Three Olive Tapenade. The colors were much more fabulous in person. Flecks of green, black, purple, and red. Beauty!
Yogurt Dill vegetable dip
Sweet potato and Beet chips. I think my Mom told some guests that I MADE these. I needed to publicly announce that I did NOT! Haha. Martha suggested these for one of the cheese balls.
We asked Laura to bring pictures. These picture boards were so cool to see!
We had treat bags for the guests to take home. James was so cute- he was in charge of passing them out and he did a great job! He sweetly told people, "Thank you for coming!" He took his job very seriously :)
Each bag had one Hot Chocolate on a Stick and a few Sea Salt Caramels. We taste tasted each and we approved! James has been loving "warm chocolate milk" at night.
The Hot Chocolate on a Sticks are a marshmallow and a fudge-like cube that can be eaten as is, but can also be melted into a cup of hot milk for a sweet treat.
The chocolate fountain was a HUGE hit! And so impressive to see when you first walked in our front door. Thanks to my sister Ana for owning this great fountain and for letting me borrow it. I hope it wasn't too much trouble (wink wink!)!
We served some more homemade marshmallows, Coconut Cream Cheese Pound Cake, and sliced strawberries with the chocolate. My little man James had a BALL, helping himself to it all throughout the day.
Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes and Carrot Cake cupcakes. Yum!
My wonderful husband made the BEST Ginger Tea Lemonade. We had several requests for the recipe, so of course it will be below.
James also helped himself to crackers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. I'm glad he ate some vegetables and not just chocolate :)
James probably ate 2 cups of strawberries!
James insisted on taking a picture of Grandma Laura. This is the picture he took.
Friends and family pictures-
I'm really glad we have our big dining table- it was well used! Lots of chatting and eating. I really loved the way the apple candles worked out. I hollowed out the top of an apple, inserted a tea light, and placed them in cocktail glasses. So cool!
Great Aunt Betty and Joe. I'm sorry the sunlight was so bright behind them, but Aunt Betty looks angelic :)
My Mom had the great idea of taking pictures from above, on our catwalk. These next few pictures are from when everyone was seated and the violinist played several songs. You can barely see him on the bottom.
Laura made a speech.
Again, I'm sorry that the violinist is glowing :)
I found this grouping taking pictures on the deck. I quickly snapped my own picture. They are an attractive bunch!
After all the guests left, James was still dipping in the chocolate!
Thank you to everyone for such a great party! Special thanks to my M-O-M, the real reason I had an "immaculate house", creative decor, and a well-behaved little boy!
Click here for the stolen recipe for Artichoke Dip. (This one is my own link.)
Click here for the stolen recipe for Coconut Cream Cheese Pound Cake. (I followed this recipe but used Lindt white chocolate with coconut flakes. Yum.)
Click here for the stolen recipe for Marshmallows. (A funny: My Mom to me, "Did you know you can get these in a bag at the grocery store?" Haha.)