Sweet Summer Picnic & an Amazing Salad Recipe!


I can't believe its already been two weeks since we celebrated my mom's birthday! We love to surprise her and do something special every year. This year we decided to have a birthday picnic downtown near the Riverwalk. We picked up some food from Trader Joe's and I made tassel streamers. Here are a few pictures from our evening.

sidebySide ^^^^ Two straws are the new thing! :) ^^^^ Ok, they were so cute we had to use both of them. We got a bunch of fun summer drinks: Sparkling Fruit Water, White Grape Chardonnay (grape juice), Virgil's Root Bear and Blood Orange Soda. My mom got to drink out of the crystal wine glass/goblet.

food Claire recreated our favorite salad from this Italian restaurant in Chicago. Even if you don't like dates, they add a perfect sweetness, just shop them up small. Seriously, it's so good! We also had a bunch of different cheeses, prosciutto, sour dough baguettes and lots of fruit. Goat cheese is my favorite! You can get a great trio of goat cheeses (pepper, original, and garlic herb) from Trader Joe's. Here's the salad recipe:

Ingredients:  arugula bacon parmesan medjool dates

Dressing: olive oil + balsamic vinegar

streamersClose  ^^^^^My tassel streamers^^^^ Party decor is the best. Usually at home we do tons of balloons for birthdays. This year I tried out these tassel streamers. They were easy to make and fun to keep out all the time.  I'll post a short tutorial on how I made them  later this week or next. They're now hanging above my desk area.

picnic1It was a perfect day! We all agreed that we should have picnics more often.


Let's P A R T Y!

momBdayIt's my mom's birthday on Thursday and we're planning a party! My parents live overseas and they're not around for most of the year, so we like to go all out for my mom's birthday because it falls in the summer when we're all together. Last year we got all dressed up and had a surprise tea party for her complete with a few of her favorite things: brie cheese, assorted chocolates, Earl Grey tea, Walker's shortbread cookies all accompanied by the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack. This year we're going to surprise her with a festive picnic downtown Naperville and we're all going to ride the paddle boats. She's been trying to get us to go paddle boating all summer! :) Here's what I've been brainstorming. The tassels are from Confetti System. They have gorgeous party pieces. Most of their things are pretty pricey, so I plan on making my own. Links below:

1// confetti system   2// cheese plate 3// striped wooden utensils 4// macarons, source unknown 5// ikat cocktail napkins (I bought these at Sur la Table) 6// fruit salad 7// tribal pillow