Entertaining - Garden Club Meeting

Sorry for the MIA last week!  It was crazy busy with design work and a big installation.  So, the blog got put on the back burner.  Now, I'm playing a little catch up by sharing a few random things.

First up, a few weeks ago I posted about a brand new lacquered spray paint by Amy Howard.

I had lots of readers contact me asking where they could get this paint locally.  I picked mine up on a trip to MIssissippi.  So, I had no local source.  Well, last week, I received an email from a very nice reader (thanks, Carol!) informing me we now have a local source for the paint - Beverly Ruff Antiques on Canterbury.  If any of you take on a project with their lacquer series, please send me pictures.  I've not had a chance to try it yet and would love to see your efforts!

In more random news - Our West Elm location is going to be open very soon!  I've been invited to a preview tour of the store this week; and I can't wait!  Love the idea of being able to run by and pick up some fab accessories for a last minute style - including this little item that's been on my radar.
I sourced one of these spheres for a client's entry table several weeks ago.  I ran by her house the other day and loved it even more in person.  So, I may have to grab one for my own coffee table!

Fall Entertaining
OK, now on to the title of this post! I recently hosted our garden club kick off party for the season.  After some very fun brainstorming with my sister-in-law, the theme "Tailgating 101" bubbled to the surface, and I took it and ran with it (sorry, I couldn't resist).   My sister-in-law is a master at tailgating and sent me home with one of her centerpieces.  I decided to set it up on my entry table as a welcome to the meeting.  I snapped these the day before, but on the day of the meeting this served as our name tag table.

I also came up with a party favor for the occasion.  I saw this recipe on Cyndy's blog, The Creativity Exchange (this is one of my morning coffee reads).  The minute I saw it, I knew I had to try it.

It was so delicious and festive!  I came up with a tailgating tag and used her recipe (thanks, Cyndy!).

They were super easy to make on the computer and I added the simple grommet and twine to make it feel special.

Here in the South, we are very serious about our tailgating.  Not only does it have to be delicious, it has to look good too.  So, I invited caterer extraordinaire, Ingram Link, to come and do a tailgating cooking class for the group.  We made three delicious dips while Ingram talked about all her tricks for taking a feast on the road.

We also had a friendly competition of tailgating centerpieces.  Three brave members took the challenge and here are their efforts.

This cute centerpiece included lots of sweet treats, all with an Auburn twist.  My favorite part about this centerpiece -  the thick custom wooden letters she painted in orange and blue.  For tailgating, it's important for your centerpiece to travel well and these letters are perfect.

For the second one (also an Auburn fan), a clever Fall theme taking full advantage of orange pumpkins for the school colors!  Add some blue ribbon and you're there.

Talk about a clever arrangement (love the peanuts).  Also, the wooden crate is perfect for taking this centerpiece on the road!

Lastly, we had one Alabama fan who threw her name in the hat, literally!

This arrangement focused on the new symbol for the team.  Most of you know the houndstooth hat is synonymous with Alabama football.  Well, now there is another symbol that is setting a trend!  I have a feeling there will be lots of Christmas trees this year adorned with this hat. 

It was very fun to see so all three takes on a centerpiece.   After a quick vote, the winner of the centerpieces (the heavy wooden letters arrangement) received this fun prize!

While parties like this are super fun, they are a lot of work to pull off.  I had the best group of hostess who helped me make this meeting happen - they managed everything beautifully which took lots of stress off so I could get my house ready.  They came up with a very traditional tailgating menu and we enjoyed BBQ with potato salad and for desert brownies and Roll Tide red velvet bars (totally divine). We included the food around the three different centerpieces and I set the drinks up on my buffet.

This gave me the perfect excuse to finally use these crystal urns I picked up from The Enchanted Home.  If you are looking for something really special for your home, you need to check out Tina's online storefront.  You never know what you will find there.  Thanks, Tina. 

Now, go enjoy those last few weekends of tailgating on the calendar!  Happy Monday. M.


  1. Mandi, it was an extra special garden club. Your hard work paid off. All the little touches were fab along with the food. Enjoyed meeting Ingram. How did I miss the red velvet bars??

  2. Love all the pics! Always fun to brain storm with my sister!! I will have to try the Tailgating 101 snack. It looks yummy, and seasonal for fall. Hotty Toddy.....Go Rebs!!!

  3. Wow! Everything looks so awesome Mandi!! Looks like so much fun! Thank you for mentioning my little addicting fall snack mix. I was thrilled to see you include it!! I love all of the tables and there are so many great ideas here and I also love your tailgating 101 tags. Thanks for sharing!!


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.