Jun
30
2016
The Design Confidential x Target Summer Soiree and Party Inspiration Swap via @thedesconf

This post is brought to you by TargetStyleShop the new Home collection in stores and online.

Summertime soiree’s are officially in season, and I couldn’t be more excited to let my hair down and have some fun! Nothing sounds more perfect than lounging on a beach blanket, enjoying the breeze and basking in the cooler temperatures the evening brings. The only things missing are the hula dancers and a live band serenading me with the sounds of a tropical vacation.

 

The Design Confidential x Target Summer Soiree and Party Inspiration Swap via @thedesconf

Melamine Serving Tray /  Solid Plates / Melamine Serving Bowl / Bar Cart / Picnic Blanket / Jumbo Inflatable Ball / Plastic Highball Tumblers / Cutting Board

For this party, I was partnered with Jessica from Little Baby Garvin and together we were challenged to providing each other with inspiration for our respective parties. So fun! She pulled together some fabulous items from Target, to help me decorate for a Palm Springs-esque Tiki Tropical backyard bash - and I ran with it!

The Design Confidential x Target Summer Soiree and Party Inspiration Swap via @thedesconf

The fabulous thing about decorating for an event with items from Target, is that I can always rest assured they will have anything and everything I could possibly want or need. I can pull in pieces I already own from past seasons, and everything will coordinate beautifully.

The Design Confidential x Target Summer Soiree and Party Inspiration Swap via @thedesconf

Glass Tumblers / Ceramic Bowl / Solid Plates / Flatware Set / Melamine Serving Tray /  Solid Plates / Cutting Board

The Summer Collection is bursting at the seams with color and perfectly reflects my current state of mind. The rainbow melamine tray is the stuff that happiness is made of – fun, stylish, durable and able to withstand a house full of boys and beach balls bouncing off the walls.  If your house gets rowdy, like my house gets rowdy - run, don't walk, to your nearest Target and stock up on all of the durable pieces they have on the shelves for outdoor dining and entertaining.

The Design Confidential x Target Summer Soiree and Party Inspiration Swap via @thedesconf

Melamine Serving Bowl / Bar Cart / Picnic Blanket / Plastic Highball Tumblers / Cutting Board

No party is complete without a bar cart filled with fun treats for the 21 and over crowd, and a signature drink – or in this case a signature poptail – my new favorite way to cool down and spice things up at the same time. Make them ahead of time with a popsicle mold and a mix of juices and flavors and you won’t be stuck behind the bar blending frozen drinks while your guests have all the fun! Display them in the happiest rainbow serving bowl ever, and fill it with ice and frozen cherries to keep things cool.

The Design Confidential x Target Summer Soiree and Party Inspiration Swap via @thedesconf

Glass Tumblers / Ceramic Bowl / Solid Plates / Flatware Set / Melamine Serving Tray /  Solid Plates / Melamine Serving Bowl / Cutting Board

Whether you plan to stay inside to beat the heat or take it outside for some fun in the sun, Target is the place to go for all of your shopping needs. Just don’t forget the sunblock and some sunnies, it’s hard to mingle with your guests if you are blinded by the light and burned to a crisp, amiright?

The Design Confidential x Target Summer Soiree and Party Inspiration Swap via @thedesconf

Melamine Serving Tray /  Solid Plates / Melamine Serving Bowl / Bar Cart / Picnic Blanket / Jumbo Inflatable Ball / Plastic Highball Tumblers / Cutting Board

If you need me… I will be out back. I plan to put in some serious quality time taking up 3 out of the 4 spots on the 4 person picnic blanket and will stay cool with refreshments from the bar cart!

Outdoor 
Jun
01
2016
The Design Confidential x MichaelsMakers DIY // Summertime Entertaining + Rainbow Poptail Recipe

School is officially out for the summer here and we have quite a few big-deal graduations to celebrate! One in particular marks the end of school all together, for my baby brother, as he just recently graduated from Vanderbilt Law School. My mom is going to be retiring, my step son just graduated from High School, and my littlest graduated from toddler-hood (totally a thing) and will be heading into preschool this fall. Lots of firsts and lots of lasts that definitely warrant a fun and festive shindig of epic proportions!

The Design Confidential x MichaelsMakers DIY // Summertime Entertaining + Rainbow Poptail Recipe

Michaels has every single thing I could ever dream of needing for a fabulous party, from decor to baking supplies, it makes my crazy color loving heart go all aflutter... For this party we are giving it an old school summer vacay theme, complete with flamingo string lights and a lightbox to set the tone. 

SHOP THIS ARTICLE //

The Design Confidential x MichaelsMakers DIY // Summertime Entertaining + Rainbow Poptail Recipe

They have a crazy good selection of garlands, lanterns, photo backdrop props and tissue paper poufs - both ready made and DIY. Dip dye a white fabric garland in a color that suits your decor and throw in some shiny pinwheels for good measure.

The Design Confidential x MichaelsMakers DIY // Summertime Entertaining + Rainbow Poptail Recipe

I love a fun activity at a party that guests can dabble at here and there as they please. A friendship bracelet making station and coloring for grownups put everyone in a summer camp state of mind and take us back to a time when summer vacation meant something entirely different and was altogether carefree and wonderful. 

The Design Confidential x MichaelsMakers DIY // Summertime Entertaining + Rainbow Poptail Recipe

RAINBOW POPTAIL RECIPE //

This would be fabulous as a non-alchoholic treat as well, simply substitute water for rum.

Ingredients / Each popsicle mold holds about 4 tsp. For larger molds, double or triple as needed.

1 tsp Rum

3 tsp Flavor

To create the rainbow I used 4 flavors and mixed as needed- Cherry, Pina Colada, Berry Blue, Cotton Candy (can purchase a flavor for each color of the rainbow or mix as indicated below)

Red = 3 tsp of Cherry

Orange = 1.5 tsp of Cherry + 1.5 tsp of Pina Colada

Yellow = 3 tsp of Pina Colada

Green = 1.5 tsp of Pina Colada + 1.5 tsp of Berry Blue

Teal = 1 tsp of Pina Colada + 2 tsp of Berry Blue

Blue = 3 tsp of Berry Blue

Purple = 1.5 tsp of Cherry + 1.5 tsp of Berry Blue

Magenta = 1.5 tsp of Berry Blue + 1.5 tsp of Cotton Candy

Pink = 3 tsp of Cotton Candy

From paper crafts, party goods and baking supplies to new outdoor lighting, glass and floral, Michaels is your DIY destination for all of your summer celebrations. Be sure to check out all of the other Michaels Makers DIY summer party ideas on the Michaels blog.

An InLinkz Link-up

Outdoor 
Feb
07
2016
The Design Confidential x Smirnoff Ice // Super Bowl Soiree Recipes in Under 15 Minutes

Just realized today is Super Bowl Sunday? Well if you are still scrambling to make something special before kickoff, fear not... here are 3 last minute ideas that you can finish in under 15 minutes! Seriously - so run to the store and hustle on back! This round up of tasty treats will elevate your game day soiree, big time with a grownup take on some game day classics... because who doesn't love lemonade, popcorn and potato chips? No one, that's who.

For other fun cocktail ideas and fabulous game day spreads, click here to read up on this series!

The Design Confidential x Smirnoff Ice // Super Bowl Soiree Recipes in Under 15 Minutes

1 MINUTE TIPSY ARNOLD PALMER COCKTAIL RECIPE

Smirnoff Ice Original

Iced Tea (or hot tea left to cool)

Simple Syrup - optional and can be substituted for sugar or left out entirely

Lemon to Garnish

// If you love a good Arnold Palmer, then this tipsy version is perfect for a game day refreshment. Fill a tall glass with ice, add 4 ounces of iced tea, and 4 ounces of Smirnoff Ice Original. Add 1/2 ounce of simple syrup if you like your tea more like sweet tea (which I do) and garnish with a lemon slice.

The Design Confidential x Smirnoff Ice // Super Bowl Soiree Recipes in Under 15 Minutes

HOT + SOUR CHIPS RECIPE

Salt + Vinegar Kettle Cooked Chips

Blue Cheese Dressing

Hot Chili Oil

Chili Flakes

Green Onions

// Pour Chips into a bowl and drizzle blue cheese dressing lightly over the top. Sprinkle several dashes of the hot chili oil on top of that along with a very light sprinkling of chili flakes. Chop 2-3 of your green onions and sprinkle over top of chips. If you want to make this as a dip, simply add blue cheese to a dipping bowl, add a few sprinkles of hot oil and chili flakes, then top with a light bit of your chopped green onions.

The Design Confidential x Smirnoff Ice // Super Bowl Soiree Recipes in Under 15 Minutes

EASY POPCORN BALL RECIPE

14 Cups of Pre-popped Popcorn (Skinny Pop has a plain variety)

1 10 ounce Bag of Mini Marshmallows

4 TBSP Butter

// Melt butter and marshmallows on low to medium heat, in a large saucepan. Once melted, remove from heat and add popcorn. Stir until coated and form into small balls. (I do this with my hands inside plastic baggies that have been sprayed with coconut oil and it keeps me from having a sticky disaster.) Let these form up and cool completely on waxed paper.

This fun spread, brought to you in partnership with Smirnoff Ice. Please drink responsibly and thank you for supporting the awesome brands that help me create new content here for The Design Confidential! I heart you guys!

DIY 
Feb
04
2016
The Design Confidential x Bernzomatic | The Smoking Gun Cocktail Recipe

If you have ever wanted to turn up the heat on your cocktail game, with a few safety precautions... just in case... it is much easier than you might think. It will definitely take your mixology to the next level.

I give you my latest cocktail creation, made specifically for the use of my fave Bernzomatic Micro Torch and a fabulous intro into the world of Flammable Cocktails. For a Bourbon based cocktail, see my Damrell's Fire recipe. The tutorial for making your own copper rimmed nesting platters can be found here.

INGREDIENTS + MATERIALS //

Bernzomatic 3-in1- Multi Torch + Butane

1 Oz Coffee Liqueur

1 Oz Vodka

2 Oz Half + Half

6 Oz Club Soda

1 Tbsp Amaretto Liqueur

Dash of Cinnamon

The Design Confidential x Bernzomatic | The Smoking Gun Cocktail Recipe

DIRECTIONS //

Fill a Double Old Fashioned glass with ice.

Pour in 1 oz Coffee Liqueur, 1 oz Vodka, and 2 oz Half + Half. Fill most of the remainder of your glass with club soda, leaving ¼ inch to spare. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon on top but do not mix.

Slowly add a float of Amaretto by pouring ½-1oz of Amaretto over the back of a spoon near the edge of your glass. This will help spread the Amaretto and keep it light which will help it remain near the top of your drink.

Using your Bernzomatic Torch, carefully light your Amaretto float and run your flame over the cinnamon to lightly toast. Watch it become your smoking gun.

TIP // Ensure your work area is free of excess alcohol and any other potentially flammable items before you ignite your torch. Take all safety precautions when playing with fire. Burning down your house, for the sake of a fabulous drink experience, would be a terrible idea.

This recipe was created in partnership with Bernzomatic and is part of an ongoing series of projects here on 'le blog'. Thank you for supporting the awesome-sauce brands that help bring fresh and fun new projects like this to The Design Confidential. I heart you guys!

DIY 
Feb
01
2016
The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

This post is brought to you by Bertolli. Don't just eat, Mangia!

 

Life with young children can be exceptionally wild, completely untamed and altogether unfiltered - ninety nine percent of the time. Parenting breeds uncertainty and a certain amount of insanity that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Though our journeys may be different, we will all eventually arrive at the same conclusion in our lives. At some point along the way, when no one was looking, the days, months and years began to fly by at the speed of light. Those difficult parenting moments and struggles that seem so big at the time begin to melt away and what remains are the memories from many of life’s little moments. The moments we hardly consider important as they unfold, we only later realize just how special they truly were.

 

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

As parents who are both entrepreneurs and business owners in completely different fields, the time we have to spend unplugged and focused on our family is often limited and frequently conflicting. To say that those moments are more valuable than gold would be an understatement. It is important to us that we celebrate life’s little moments every chance we get and help create those special memories for our babies to cherish later on.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

Having two boys who thoroughly dislike having to take time out of their day for eating, means that mealtime is often a struggle and can be time consuming, to put it mildly. There are very few foods that everyone agrees on at any given time and one or both are typically resigned to simply not eat if given the chance. Pasta is truly one of the only things that both boys adore and that happens to be easy to add protein and vegetables to without it being so obviously detestable. But this can be a bit of an undertaking and with limited time to enjoy these beautiful wild animals of mine… let’s just say it is a great day indeed when someone makes this easy for me, with a meal that is easy to prep, in no time at all and that happens to be absolutely fabulous. Because life should be spent making memories and not slaving away in the kitchen or arguing over what to eat.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

When dinner begins to feel like a chore and I start to dread the entire endeavor, it helps to switch things up and do something different. I love to sit and eat a proper meal with these cute boys, and nothing says excitement like getting to do the things we normally don’t. Drinking out of real glasses, eating on real plates and buttering our own bread are the most exciting things to happen to a toddler and an eight year old who adores eating at fancy restaurants. We do these things on holidays and special events, but it isn’t the same when it requires hours of prep beforehand. With the Bertolli Skillet Meals, I can toss it into a pan and in ten minutes it is ready to eat. It takes less than a minute to get it started which leaves me free to fill the remaining 9 minutes with a few other special touches to make our time more enjoyable.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

Warm bread with butter and Himalayan sea salt are a new family fave, and a balsamic dipping sauce comes together faster than you can say, ‘pass me the bread, please’! We are all lovers of olives and brussel sprouts so I take any chance I can to add those to the mix. Our favorite Chicken Florentine and Farfalle pairs well with a Pinot Grigio which is a lovely and light treat for the over 21 crowd – making it perfect for our somewhat early dinnertime and to help provide distraction from the chaotic but fun and funny process of trying actually accomplish sitting at a table with little boys.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

We linger and chat when we sit down to eat. There is never any rush, and yet still there is much in the way of commotion and movement. The boys are generally abuzz and love to tell stories about things that happened during their day. I love listening to them talk with their wildly creative and interesting minds. They are each so different and yet they find an amazing amount of common ground despite their age difference. Oh how they adore each other, the greatest gift of all. It is so easy to slip out of the habit of slowing down and taking the time to have these adorable conversations. Before long their words will change from things they saw and ideas they have to what they are rushing off to do and who they have plans with later on. But for now, there is no end to the imagination that unfolds during something as simple as sharing a meal.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

If only I could slow things down and freeze time for just a bit. I suppose I wouldn’t get half the workout I currently do, since we spend 80 percent of our time chasing one or more children out from under the table and one or more dogs away from the table.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

I think life is meant to be lived and loved and there is no one on earth I would rather laugh and linger with than these crazies. I choose to enjoy it now and let them be kids. To live in the moment and cherish the crazy and the chaos as it comes… which is currently on rotation about every 4 minutes or so.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

I am seriously grateful for such a fabulous and simple solution for a delicious meal that my boys will willingly eat. Bertolli Skillet Meals are truly one of the few meals they will eat anyhow, so while the convenience alone puts this at the top of my list, the fact that it’s a family favorite makes it idyllic. Because I would rather spend my time listening to these little beauties any day of the week than attempting to prepare an over the top meal that they won’t actually like. A home cooked meal with no interruption aside from the commotion of these young boys is always my favorite way to spend an evening.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories
DIY 
Kiddos 
Jan
31
2016
The Design Confidential x Bernzomatic | Damrells Fire Cocktail Recipe using Blow Torch

Have you ever wondered how you might turn up the heat on your cocktail game? With a few safety precautions... just in case... it turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be, and a fun way to take my mixology to the next level.

I give you my latest cocktail creation, made specifically for the use of my fave Bernzomatic Micro Torch and a fabulous intro into the world of Bourbon.

DAMRELL'S FIRE

A modern take on an old Classic - The Boston Sour

INGREDIENTS + MATERIALS //

ST500T 3-in-1 Micro Torch

Butane

3 Oz Bourbon

2 Oz Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Oz Simple Syrup

1 Tbsp of Egg White

1 Tbsp Limoncello

1 Lemon for Garnish

The Design Confidential x Bernzomatic | Damrells Fire Cocktail Recipe using Blow Torch

DIRECTIONS //

Using a shaker, add Bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white along with ice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail coupe or double old fashioned. Add a float of Limoncello, pouring slowly over the back of a spoon so that it stays on the surface of your drink. Carefully light with your Bernzomatic Micro Torch and extinguish any flame after a few seconds. Garnish with a lemon slice and enjoy.

TIP // Ensure your work area is free of excess alcohol and any other potentially flammable items before you ignite your torch. Take all safety precautions when playing with fire. Burning down your house, for the sake of a fabulous drink experience, would be a terrible idea.

This recipe was created in partnership with Bernzomatic and is part of an ongoing series of projects here on 'le blog'. Thank you for supporting the awesome-sauce brands that help bring fresh and fun new projects like this to The Design Confidential. I heart you guys!

DIY 

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