How to do a “Mocktail” Mimosa Bar

This past weekend my friend, Lauren, and I hosted a baby shower for another dear friend of ours. It was so fun to plan and pull off! We sat down together one evening and started planning, but got stuck. It was a tea party so of course we’d serve tea,  but we were struggling with fun drink options to have in addition. We didn’t want just lemonade and iced tea and all the punch recipes seemed boring. So we brainstormed, researched our trusty source, Pinterest, and came up with the brilliant idea of a “Mocktail” MOM-osa bar. We were giddy with excitement as we planned out our drink bar. We started with a list of juices.

We Chose:

BabyShowerJuiceLable2

Orange
Pineapple
Cucumber Mint Lime
Peach
Watermelon
Cranberry
Raspberry
Pomegranate

For the bubbly addition, I chose unflavored sparkling water and raspberry sparkling water. However, there is a large variety of flavored sparkling waters out there and any of them would be delicious! (TIP:  I suggest limiting the selection to 2 flavors of sparkling water so your guests don’t feel overwhelmed at all of the choices. Pick unflavored and 1 flavored.) Next you’ll want to choose some fruits and herbs for garnishes.

We chose:

Strawberries BabyShowerFruit
Blueberries
Blackberries
Raspberries
Peaches/Nectarines
Chopped fresh Mint
Other good options:
Pineapple
Basil

Other items that you’ll need include a variety of small fruit bowls and serving spoons. You’ll want a selection of Mimosa or Champagne flutes. (TIP: Visit your local dollar tree for a variety of special drink glasses. I purchase all of mine there because I’d much rather accidently break a $1 glass as opposed to a nice $7+ glass) You’ll want a stack of cocktail napkins available, and for fun you can add a jar of fun paper straws. Amazon is a great place to find bulk party items. Check out this set of 6 fruit bowls great for parties and drink bars.

How do you make a Mom-osa?

It’s super easy! Choose your glass and select your juice(s). Pick your bubbly. Pour a half BabyShowerDrinkglass of juice, followed by a half glass of sparkling water. Then add your fruit and/or herbs. There are endless combinations you can make and it’s such a fun activity, as well as a beautifully displayed refreshing station. We were so happy with how this drink bar turned out, that we’ll definitely be using it again! This is a great option for Baby showers, Bridal showers, graduation parties, retirement parties, birthday parties, and much more.

Favorite Combinations from this weekend include:

From Paige: Peach juice, unflavored sparkling water, strawberries, and chopped mint

From Jamie (aka Mommy-to-Be): Cucumber Mint Lime with blueberries and chopped mint

From Anika: Watermelon with unflavored sparkling water, raspberries, and chopped mint.

From Lauren: Cucumber Mint Lime with unflavored sparkling water, strawberries, and chopped mint

BabyShowerBar

A special thanks to Elizabeth Anne Photography for the beautiful  photos.

I’d love to hear if you used this idea and how it worked for you, as well as any flavor combinations that were popular!

~Paige Baldwin

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Tips for Hosting a Backyard BBQ

July is almost here and that means that we are gearing up to celebrate our 243rd birthday as a country. There will be countless parties, picnics, and backyard barbeques administration-america-american-flag-1202723in the works. Today we’ll look at how to host a backyard barbeque with a few helpful tips and tricks.

For backyard party, the easiest way to plan and invite is through Facebook Events. You can create an event, invite guests, and post details in one area. This especially works well if you’re doing a potluck style where everyone invited brings a side dish because everyone can post what they will be bringing. I would recommend sending the invite 2-4 weeks in advance.

The best way to handle food for this type of event is potluck style. The host/hostess provides meat, drinks, and a side dish or two. Every guest that attends brings a side dish or a dessert. Menu options for meat can include burgers, hotdogs, beef brisket, shrimp, sausage kabobs, or steak. Almost anything tastes good grilled so there really isn’t any limitation. Watch grocery ads closely as many markets will have fantastic deals in July. It’s always beneficial to compare pricing for a large party .

barbecue-bbq-beef-1105325

Grocery stores that typically have good summer sales (in St. Louis) include Aldi, Dierburg’s, and Fresh Thyme. When I do my shopping, I usually go to Dierburg’s for meat, Fresh Thyme for produce, and Aldi for everything else. I’ve found the best deals by doing this. You may have different grocery chains where you live, so I encourage you to watch ads and online sales closely.

Side dishes for outdoor events are fun. You want to be sure that whatever you’re sitting out won’t spoil within an hour of being out. Limit dishes with a lot of cream cheese and milk. During the Summer, seasonal dishes full of flavor are going to be magic. Lot’s of fresh ingredients and colorful choices.

Popular BBQ party sides include:
Potato salad
Coleslaw
Veggie skewers
Corn on the cob
Veggie tray
Chips and dip
Caprese skewers
Grilled pineapple and watermelon (see recipe below)

barbecue-bbq-dinner-111131.jpg           caprises            grilledwatermelon.jpg

There are all kinds of smart hacks for keeping bugs out of drinks and food, keeping children occupied, and keeping guests comfortable. Some of my favorite include:

1.) Use cupcake liners upside down over drinks to keep bugs out. Insert a straw straight through the liner to keep drinking.

2.) Use large apothecary jars with lids to hold potato salad, fruit salad, and pasta salads.

3.) Use a garden flag pole and bucket to keep things like sunscreen, bug spray, and extra sunglasses on hand for guests.

4.) Plan a simple scavenger hunt for children to keep them occupied. If you really want to take it up a notch, you can draw and copy “maps” of the back yard and have a treasure or prize at the end.

5.) For super easy clean ups set out a roll of paper towels, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a tub of baby wipes. This will also minimize indoor traffic.

6.) Use large metal tubs or large planters full of ice to keep canned and bottled beverage cold.

7.) Have a playlist with soft party appropriate music set up and ready to go. My husband and I use Google Play music with our Google home system, but there are many other options.

I’m looking forward to backyard barbeques and parties this Summer. I hope you are too. I’ve created a guide to food amounts for parties, completely free for you! Click the link below to download and use.

How Much Food do I Need for My Party

Happy barbequing!
Paige

 

Grilled Watermelon:

Ingredients:
1/2 Watermelon sliced into triangles

Olive oil of coconut oil for brushing
Juice from 2-3 limes
2 TBS Honey
Sea salt to taste
1/3 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 cup mint leaves

1.) Brush triangles with oil. Grill on hot grill just until charred. Do not overcook.
2.) Drizzle with lime juice and honey, sprinkle with sea salt and walnut, and garnish with mint leaves.
3.) Serve as fresh as possible.

 

 

 

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Entertaining vs.Hospitality

What sort of things come to mind when you hear the word hospitality? Do you imagine a beautifully set table, cocktails, fancy dresses, and perfectly put together trays of hors d’oeuvres? Hospitality can indeed include all of these things, but it doesn’t have to. Most of the time we associate hospitality with the idea of entertaining when, in reality, they actually have two separate meanings. We were called to hospitality, not to entertainment.

Entertaining focuses on impressing others, hospitality focuses on being a blessing to others.

There is nothing wrong with anything I’ve described above, however we need to keep in mind that true hospitality happens when your guests leave your home feeling better about themselves, not better about you. If we only seek to impress those around us with the things we’ve acquired, we’ll never be effective in loving them or being a blessing to those that we bring into our home. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set a pretty table or use your good china so everyone gets to feel fancy; this is only a caution to help us get into the correct mindset and prepare our hearts to love those whom God loves.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing different tips and tricks to help us through the holiday season of parties, dinners, and overnight guests so that we feel prepared and confident. Please comment below with your thoughts and a topic that you feel would be helpful this season.
Paige