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From the Desk of Dixie

Kid's Party Prep: A Winter Wonderland

Today we are excited to bring you an adorable Winter Wonderland-themed children's party as we finish off our Kid's Party Prep series! We love that this frosty blue and white color scheme is gender neutral, but the polar bears and the wintry forest we have incorporated here seems perfect for a little boy's celebration. Our Winter Wonderland Collection by Dixie artist Rachel Rogers provided the artistic direction for the decor, sweets, and favor boxes for these birthday festivities.

Our talented local friends at Party Pick-Up did an outstanding job helping us pull all of the arctic party elements together. The striped straws, the forest green plates, the wooden cutlery, and the snowy woodland-themed favor boxes filled with play polar bears and sweet treats are sure to be a hit with any little guy!

It's going to be hard to keep those with a sweet tooth away from the snack table at this party, which is set with a delectable spread of macaroons, pillowy-white meringues, and chocolate candies! Courtney Wright from Savor Style has such a gift for pulling together the most beautiful and tasty party trays!

Last but not least, is any party truly complete without a dozen or so beautifully iced sugar cookies?! These adorable polar bear and snowflake cookies are the product of Hey Kat Bakes' creative baking hands.

Maybe this Winter Wonderland-themed party will herald in the snowflakes for a white Christmas this year! Click here to shop the Collection that inspired this party, and you can read the other posts in our Kid's Party Prep holiday series here.

Photography: Mary Margaret Smith Photography

 

Kid's Party Prep: A Nutcracker Party

We are continuing our series of holiday kid-themed parties with a Nutcracker party perfectly suited for any little girl with Clara or Sugar Plum Fairy aspirations! The adorable Nutcracker Toile Collection created by talented Dixie artist Riley Sheehey was our inspiration for this party. This toile artwork truly has it all.... from the pointe shoes, to the Nutcracker characters, to Christmas ornaments and candies, the invitation opens the door for so many ways to celebrate in a whimsical "Kingdom of Sweets" fashion!

The team at Party Pick-Up did an incredible job helping us pull all of the party elements together! They coordinated the disposable paper products, festive straws, and adorable favor boxes that feature a Shop Dear Emmaline hair bow embroidered with a nutcracker! (Continue scrolling for a close-up) 

We were blown away by Hey Kat Bakes' cookie designs! The pointe shoes and the tutus perfectly mirror Riley's delicate artwork on the invitation.

Courtney Wright from Savor Style deserves a standing ovation for the ballerina-pink candy board of mints, macaroons and meringues that she created for our party!

Now who's ready to set a date and have a Nutcracker party with us?! Click here to shop the beautiful Nutcracker Toile Collection that inspired it all.

 Photography: Mary Margaret Smith Photography 

Kid's Party Prep: A Gingerbread Decorating Party

ginger bread cookie decorating party

'Tis almost the season for winter break, snowflake themed birthday parties, cookie decorating soirées, and so much more! We know it's about time for you to start planning those events you have up your sleeves, but where oh where to begin? To provide a little inspiration, we thought it would be fun to select a few festive designs from our 2019 Holiday Collection and show you how we would style up a party to match! We teamed up with some of our favorite local businesses to bring you three different kid themed party ideas, the first one being this sugar-packed Gingerbread Cookie Party!

ginger bread cookie decorating party

Of course we started with the invitation, selecting Dixie artist Lucy Young's Gingerbread Village Suite to set the stage for our party. Shop that full collection by clicking here! And no gingerbread party is complete without cookies! Hey Kat Bakes delivered with these absolutely picture-perfect cookies inspired by Lucy's artwork.

ginger bread cookie decorating party

Next, on the list, food!  We contacted Courtney from Savor Style. She concocted this grazing board of sweet confections that, per-usual, was both eye catching and totally, mouth-watering delicious. 

ginger bread cookie decorating party

Finally, our girls at Party Pick-Up pulled it all together with a perfect array of gingerbread inspired plates, candy cane napkins, and goodie boxes filled with thematic treasures for all of the party goers to take home and enjoy. We especially loved the inclusion of that Gunner & Lux necklace kit!

ginger bread cookie decorating party

We hope this post has given you some inspiration when it comes to the holiday party season ahead, and keep on the lookout for more party prep posts on the Dixie Blog in the coming weeks!

Photography: Mary Margaret Smith Photography

 

 

Christmas Dinner with Huckleberry Collective

We love coming together with local Birmingham creatives to collaborate and be inspired! Christina Brockman of Huckleberry Collective asked us to join this sweet Christmas dinner along with Ashley Mac's and Susan Gordon Pottery. Ashley Mac's, known for their Gourmet-To-Go, is the perfect way to an easy, but delicious stress-free holiday dinner. Susan Gordon Pottery is a small batch pottery studio creating collections of dinnerware, serving ware, decorative accents, and handmade jewelry that are organic, detailed, modern, and timeless. Susan’s work can be found in boutique retailers in cities across the country and you will find many of her ceramics nestled throughout our Dixie photography. We are loving her holiday collection this year with the addition of festive holiday illustrations hand-painted onto her ceramics.

We love the minimalistic simplicity of Christina's table. The clean lines of the flatware and the serving pieces along with the muted color palette of the florals allow the Christmas greenery to take center stage.

Christina knew that Ashley McMackin and Susan Gordon love the non-traditional Christmas colors as much as the tried and true red and green color palette. So when Christina found our Pine Crest designs created by Dixie artist Evelyn Henson, her mint green theme was established.

Fans of Ashley Mac's know that no meal of hers is complete without her famous sour cream biscuits and her baby bleu salad.

It's not Christmas dinner without a traditional red velvet cake! With a history almost as colorful as its rich crimson hue, the red velvet cake recipe dates back to the Depression era in the 1930s. Read about the cake recipe's story here for some fun facts to share around your Christmas dinner table this year! 

We love the idea of assembling a hot chocolate bar for guests complete with cinnamon, additional chocolate and cookies to dunk as well as peppermint stirring sticks....and of course oodles of marshmallows to sprinkle on top!

How gorgeous are the white anemone flowers that Christina included in her arrangement? And we may have to add this beautiful ceramic angel from Susan Gordon Pottery to our Christmas wishlist! 

Sources

Photography, Florals & Styling | Huckleberry Collective
Paper | InvitationsEnvelopes and Menu
Dinnerware and Serving Pieces | Susan Gordon Pottery
Food | Ashley Mac's

A French Country Ladies Brunch

Stylist Casey Snipes’ freshly remodeled French country kitchen was the ideal backdrop for our holiday brunch photoshoot. Casey selected the French Hens and Christmas Crest from our Twleve Days of Christmas Collection by artist Gina Langford for the beautiful invitations, placecards, gift tags and menu.

We love everything about this brunch! The hand calligraphed place cards and the vintage tartan plaid table runner set with mix and match brightly-hued plates and napkins all make us want to immediately pull up a chair to this cozy yet artfully collected tablescape! The menu for this brunch is as delightful as the table is stylish with cranberry mimosas (recipe included at the bottom of the post!), a bread-and egg casserole with ham, mushrooms and gruyere, as well as a pear tartlet from Continental Bakery are all included on the menu. What great party is ever complete without a thoughtful favor for its guests? These petite jars of Breeze Hill Farm Honey are the perfect accoutrement to this vintage French holiday brunch.

Sources | Kitchen Cabinets Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Holiday Wreath |  Mimosa glasses, Anthropologie |  Dinner Plates: Anthropologie | Salad Plates, Anna Weatherly from Brombergs and Table Matters | Napkin Rings, West Elm | Flatware, Vintage from Stash Bhm | Honey, Breeze Hill Farm Honey  | Runner, Vintage fabric | Bracelets in Calligraphy Photograph, Hazen and Co. | Ribbon, Frou Frou Chic | Calligraphy, Holly Hollon | Pear Tartlet, Continental Bakery | Flowers, Trader Joe's and Wholefoods | Cake Stand, Domicile

A Holiday Sweets 'N Treats Dessert Party

The Dixie team is so excited for the third installation of our menu series collaboration with Registered Dietician and food blogger, Holley Grainger! We had a ball using designer Sarah Robbins Powell's Gingerbread Sweetness Invitation to dream up a whimsical holiday dessert party.

Holley helped us pull together all of the delectable sweets and treats menu items for the party's main event, the dessert bar.   

Holley's scrumptious sweets menu has a little of something for everyone's sweet tooth. For cake lovers, the cake balls pack a bite-size sugar punch. And the maple popcorn, while it still has a hint of sweetness, balances out the chocolatey and peanut butter items. And we love the idea of a hot chocolate bar! What a thoughtful and appropriate "beverage" item for this particular party.

Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

Now that the dessert menu is set, we can begin dreaming up ways to use these adorable gift tags attached to party favors for our guest.

Sources: Appetizer Plates | Holly Heights by Kate Spade for Lenox. Cocktail Napkins | Caspari. Pink and Green mini tress | Michaels Craft Store. Peppermint Bark | Williams Sonoma. Pastries | Whole Foods. Nutcracker Garland | Swoozies

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

We hope you were able to catch our two earlier posts in this series where Holley Grainger created a ladies brunch menu based off of our Paper Whites Invitation and she created a dinner party menu based off of Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon's Colonial Pineapple Invitation.

A Blue & White Ladies Holiday Luncheon

For the second installation of our menu series collaboration with Registered Dietician and food blogger Holley Grainger, the Dixie team used Shanna Master's Paper Whites Invitation as an inspirational starting point. 

Holley created a sophisticated holiday brunch pulling the classic blue and white color scheme from the invitation for the table settings. 

Holley dreamt up a delicious menu that we believe is perfect for an elegant ladies Christmas brunch. The menu has just the right mixture of savory and sweet, striking the perfect balance for a mid-morning feast. 

Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

With the menu taken care of, please allow us to share some of the other details we created for this ladies get-together...

Sources:  China | Blue Willow. Monogram Napkin | Bromberg's. Silver | Grand Baroque by Wallace. Knife Set | William Sonoma.

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

We hope you were able to catch our post yesterday where Holley Grainger created a dinner party menu inspired by Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon's Colonial Pineapple Invitation

A Colonial Inspired Dinner Party

When the Dixie team began organizing all of the paper suites for our 2017 Holiday Collection earlier this year, the stunning holiday invitation designs were practically begging us to begin planning our holiday parties! We could not help but imagine endless entertaining possibilities with the vast array of invitations our artists had created.

We were able to take all of our dinner party aspirations one step further with the assistance of Registered Dietician and food blogger, Holley Grainger. She kindly contributed three different menu ideas for three separate styles of Dixie holiday invitations. The first menu that Holley created was based off of our Creative Director, Holly Hollon'sColonial Pineapple Invitation

With the Colonial Pineapple invitation design in mind, Holley did her best to stay authentic to the Colonial American time period when choosing her menu items for the dinner. Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

With the menu taken care of, please allow us to share some of the other details we dreamed up for this elegant dinner soirée...

Sources: Gift tag | Dixie Design. China | Mottahedeh Duke of Gloucester from Bromberg's. Silver | Antique. Monogramed Napkins | Bromberg's. Candlesticks | Christine's in Mountain Brook, AL.

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

The Etiquette Expert's Advice on how to be a Gracious Guest this Holiday Season


Myka Meier and her husband, Marco, putting into practice all of her tips for being a gracious guest while attending a recent wedding.

We hope you saw our post yesterday on Myka Meier's tips on being a gracious host. We simply could not leave out her advice for all of you who need to be gracious guests this holiday season! Please do not miss Myka's recommendation for what time a gracious guest should arrive to a party...we think it is spectacular advice! And for her thank you note reminder, we have some beautiful stationery options for all of your note writing.

According to Myka...

  • The perfect time to arrive is from the invitation time to 10 minutes after. Never arrive early…as the host or hostess is probably preparing last minute touches and will be caught off guard. When you arrive, offer to help in any way you can.

Some of Myka's other hosting tips follow...

The Etiquette Expert's Advice on how to be a Gracious Host this Holiday Season

We are thrilled to re-introduce you to on one of our 2017 Holiday Tastemakers, Beaumont Etiquette Founder, Myka Meier. You'll remember her as the guest speaker at our Paper Petals Plates events in August.  We loved working with Myka then and it was a true pleasure working with her to design her stunning Park Avenue card collection with the our talented Creative Director and designer, Holly Hollon.  The artwork was inspired by the architecture in Myka's in New York City neighborhood and her love of French crests, garland and candy canes.  Shop Myka's cards here.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought you might like some advice from the Etiquette Guru herself on how to be a gracious hostess. Whether you are a first time host or you have done it for more years than you can count, we believe everyone can glean a few useful insights from this thorough list of tips Myka has passed on to us. 

We love her advice on how to graciously dispel any heated political discussions that could crop up at the dinner table! According to Myka... 

  • If you are the host, then it's your job to be the conversation moderator at the table. If Uncle Harry starts a political debate at the table, you can try one of two approaches to end the politi-chat:
    • First - Try the "Honest Abe" approach: Be direct, straightforward and honest from the start. From the very beginning of the conversation, it’s okay to simply say, "Uncle Harry, I respect you are passionate about your beliefs, however, as we share different ones, I think it’s best you and I don’t talk about politics and just enjoy family time.”
    • Second - Agree to Disagree - Change the subject to something everyone agrees on. Simply saying, "I understand you have a perspective on this and thanks for wanting to share, however I think we’ll need to agree to disagree on this one. Now, I know we can agree on XX... how about we chat about that." Remember, you can’t help what other people think or say, but you are in charge of your response and reaction. Avoid raising your voice. It’s easy to do, but also one sure way to escalate any situation. 

Some of Myka's other hosting tips follow...

Make sure you do not to miss Part Two of this series, Myka's Advice on How to be a Gracious Guest this Holiday Season.

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