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Rustic Chic Outdoor Dinner Party from Fashionable Hostess

Ever since moving from NYC to her family’s new home in Nashville, Amanda of Fashionable Hostess, knew she wanted to take advantage of her home’s newfound outdoor space for summer entertaining. And boy, did she. After a single glance at this dinner party, we’re wondering how we can nab an invite to her next rustic chic affair. Scroll on to see it all!

From Amanda… Ever since moving into our home and falling in love with our patio, I knew I wanted to throw the perfect outdoor party to host our first round of guests.  My vision was a rustic chic vibe with lots of greenery, classic stemware, and a few unique DIY details. The outcome was better than I imagined… a dreamy outdoor oasis.

Rather than a traditional centerpiece for my table I created a table runner of moss and placed brass lanterns and a wooden crate overflowing with succulents down the center of the table. My goal was that guests would continue to find new elements they hadn’t initially noticed throughout the dinner, like a hidden candle or a random flower.

To bring this to life I headed to World Market where I was on the hunt for rustic elements to incorporate into the table. There I found an amazing long and narrow wooden crate as well as the lanterns. For the crate, I created a box overflowing with succulents. For the lanterns I bought two of each size and placed one on either side of the succulent box. On either side I also placed a few small floral arrangement of white Dahlias, Eucalyptus and Dianthus ‘Green Trick’ (the green puffs!).

I liked the idea of sending off my guests with a parting gift so that’s where my miniature olive oils came into play. I found the cutest mini glass jars with swing tops and placed a sprig of rosemary inside, and then finished off with olive oil. To complete the look, I placed a small cutting board at each table setting equipped with two bread options, a small dish of sea salt and their own olive oil jar to enjoy. The swap of bread plates for these cutting boards was perfectly in line with the rustic vision I was aiming for!

For glassware and flatware I wanted a selection that would dress up the table a bit without being too formal (no melamine here!). For stemware I chose the Simon Pearce hartland goblet and the white wine goblet for serving wine and water (I love this brand which is American-made and hand-crafted!). Then my gold flatware has been a staple this summer, so of course I chose to use them yet again! Last but not least I mixed and match blue and white napkins which I secured with  a string of burlap! I am looking forward to using this table theme well into the Fall, and hope a few details have inspired you as well!

For the full shoppable post, check out Fashionable Hostess!

Photography and Tablescape: Fashionable Hostess

DIY Succulent Box Centerpiece

If you’ve been looking for a long-lasting, beautiful centerpiece for your dining table, why not take matters into your own hands and make this DIY succulent box from Fashionable Hostess? All you’ll need are four garden supply store materials, and 30 minutes to spare! Ready to get started? Click through the slideshow for Amanda‘s easy how-to!

DIY Succulent Box
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DIY Succulent Box
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From Amanda… While planning for my first outdoor party on our new patio, I wanted to go with a unique centerpiece to compliment the rustic chic vibe of the space, so when I came across an amazing assortment of succulents at my local Nashville flower shop, I knew I had found the perfect match. The outcome: a crate overflowing with moss and a variety of gorgeous succulents, a utopian earthy statement piece for an outdoor tabletop.

To bring this project to life, I found a wooden crate which was long and narrow.  I needed green oasis foam to add volume to the box in order for the succulents to be visible, so I bought enough blocks to fill the bottom of the crate. I recommend buying a few extra to make sure you have an exact fit; I had to cut some of the extras to completely fill the space.

I had seen photos of succulents sitting on a bed of moss and I loved the added texture and greenery, so I bought a box of moss to layer. I laid the moss on top of the green oasis foam, making sure to push down and shape the moss so it was relatively smooth. Moss is completely moldable so you can squish and shape it in any which way! I then broke off smaller pieces of moss to fill in the ‘bald spots’ because I didn’t want any of the foam below to show.

The last step was to simply placing a variety of succulents on top. I especially like one in each corner but then for the rest you can just stagger throughout. I tried to vary the colors and sizes of the succulents I bought so they didn’t look matchy.

When complete I placed the finished product right in the center of my table on top of a natural colored table runner. On either side I placed a lantern as well as a floral arrangement of white Dahlias, Eucalyptus and Dianthus ‘Green Trick’ (the green puffs!). The succulent box was not only great for adding some greenery and texture, but succulents were the perfect choice because they are so low maintenance and last forever!

Photography and DIY: Fashionable Hostess

How to Style Your Bar Cart for Summer Cocktails

When I move into a large enough apartment, one of my first new purchases will be a bar cart—not because I need one (I drink more wine than cocktails), but because I want one (they’re just so pretty!). And when I get one, I’m going to turn to The Fashionable Hostess and her genius tips to style it.

When it comes to summer time entertaining, I love to stock up my bar cart with a mix of pretty decorative items and of course, delicious cocktails, for guests to enjoy and admire while we lounge on the patio for Happy Hour. I am in love with my Target barcart {only $129.00} because at such a great price I have no problem taking it outdoors, plus the gold legs are just too fun {I cannot tell you how many compliments I get on it!}.

Lately I have been trying to be more adventurous and actually whip up cocktails rather than wine although I am not the most skilled mixologist. My new favorite {probably as much for the bottle as the simplicity level} are the pre-mixed cocktails by Cocktail Crate, which I found at World Market. Add vodka, ice, and an edible for garnish, and you have a perfectly pretty set-up. Here I went with the Lavender Bloom Craft Mixer. I also have become a recent convert to Tito’s vodka because it is gluten-free and I cannot tell you how many guests I have that come over with this new gluten-free obsession!!

Then decor for me is nearly more important than the actual drinks. Here I was totally obsessed with candles so on the bottom shelf of my bar cart I did a mix of Pottery Barn candles in varying heights on one side {they look gorgeous without lighting} and then Simon Pearce candles in glass Revere Hurricane/candle holder on the other.  On the top shelf alongside my cocktails, I placed my new Two’s Company Horn Bar Tool set, and placed my Tito’s Vodka on ice in my Simon Pearce’s Norwich ice bucket. The finishing touch was serving my drinks in fab glasses, my Villeroy & Boch Goblets. Shop the post below for all my bar cart essentials!

Photography: The Fashionable Hostess | Styling: The Fashionable Hostess | Bar Cart: Target | Bar Tools Set: Two's Company | Candles: Simon Pearce | Candles: Pottery Barn | Cocktail Crate Lavender Mixer: World Market | Glasses And Stemware: Bloomingdales | Hurricane Glasses: Bloomingdales | Ice Bucket: Bloomingdales | Vodka: Tito's Vodka

Banana Cream Pie

I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth. My desert island food would be without a doubt some kind of sweet, and judging by these pictures from A Happy Food Dance, there’s a real possibility it would be this delectable melt-in-your-mouth banana cream pie. And, I would have no regrets.

For the full recipe and more delicious inspiration, check out A Happy Food Dance!

Banana Cream Pie
prep time
1 Hour/s
cook time
30 Minute/s
total time
1 Hour/s 30 Minute/s
Serves 8Ingredients
  • Pie Crust
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 -4 tablespoons cold water
  • Filling
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4-5 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  1. Pie Crust
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt and puree to mix.
  3. Add the butter and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining.
  4. With the machine running, add the cold water one tablespoon at a time, just until the dough comes together, but do not process more than 30 seconds.
  5. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface a form a flat disc.
  6. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 60 minutes or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and on a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to about a 12-inch round and about ¼" in thickness.
  8. Fit the dough into the pie plate and using a sharp knife, trip crust so there is about ½" overhang. Crimp the edges as desired and prick with a fork.
  9. Chill pie shell for about 30 minutes and then line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  10. If you remove the pie weights and the bottom of the crust looks undone, cook for an additional 4 minutes.
  11. Place pie plate on wire rack to cool.
  12. Filling
  13. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and set aside.
  14. In a sauce pan, whisk together milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a simmer (do not boil) and cook, whisking constantly for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  15. Whisk one quarter of the hot-milk mixture into the egg yolks, beating continuously and then slowly add egg mixture back into the saucepan with the milk mixture.
  16. Whisk mixture constantly until custard is thick and bubbles appear in the center, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  17. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing firmly against custard so a skin does not form.
  18. Chill for 30 - 25 minutes.
  19. Cut 3 to 4 bananas into ¼" slices and arrange on the bottom of the pie crust.
  20. Cover with custard and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  21. Whipped Cream
  22. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the whipping cream and sugar and whip until soft peaks form.
  23. Cover the custard with the whipping cream, smoothing with an offset spatula.
  24. Refrigerate pie at least one hour before serving.
  25. Decorate the top with any remaining banana slices.

Photography, Styling And Recipe: A Happy Food Dance

5 Home Decor Trends to Experiment with This Fall

As a California girl, summer is my favorite season. But sadly, it’s coming to an end and fall is approaching, which means it’s time to cozy up the house with plush throw blankets, extra candles and warm sheets. And to help, Wandeleur’s new home editor Alyssa rounded up five trendy, easy and accessible ways to infuse a comfy, cozy fall environment into your apartment or home.

Fall Trends in Interior Design
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Fall Trends in Interior Design
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