View Posts By:




40th Birthday Fiesta

If this is what turning 40th looks like, you can count me in again and again! Though this was supposed to be a low-key event for sweet Statsky Design‘s husband, it ended up being a fiesta of the very best kind! With no detail left unthought of, thanks to Beijos Events, and images captured by Carlie Statsky herself, you’re going to want to spend some time in this gallery. That’s for sure.

From Carly Statsky… My husband wanted to keep things really low key for his 40th birthday party, so I decided to host a laid back fiesta for our closest friends and family. I have to thank the ladies of Beijos Events for their amazing party ideas and for providing many decor items, and Katie from Wylie Weddings for bringing her elegant touch to help dress up the property with lots of beauty and bougainvillea. (Katie also made the DIY ribbon board that was behind the bar.)

Guests were greeted with a welcome table covered in favor bags full of sweets that were set up next to a giant poster featuring photos of Gabe throughout his 40 years of life. We kept things very family friendly with a pool full of toys and lots of lawn games like cornhole and badminton, but we also made sure that the adults had some fun too, so we set up a margarita bar near the pool so that parents could enjoy a fresh margarita or a cold beer while watching their kids play. We also set up a little photo booth area with a basket full of stick on mustaches and sombreros, as well as a few different lounge areas and dining tables around the property so that people could relax in the shade after playing around in the sun.

I asked for recommendations for the best food truck in Santa Cruz and everyone mentioned The Truck Stop, and we were thankfully able to have them cater the event. They served some amazing fish and pork tacos with a beautiful side salad for dinner, and then they handed out wax paper bags full of fresh homemade churros for dessert. Everyone loved them! Gabe’s mom also made some delicious gluten free ice cream sandwiches that she passed around after we all sang to the birthday boy. While Gabe may hate to be the center of attention, he loved starting his new decade of life surrounded by some of his favorite people on such a beautiful summer’s day.

Photography: Carlie Statsky | Event Design: Beijos Events | Invitations: Vintagebabydoll | Floral Design : Wylie Weddings | Hexagon Side Table: Statsky Design | Pillows: Amber Interiors | Ribbon Board: Katie At Wylie Weddings

Asian Pear & Ginger Sparkler

It’s Friday, that lovely day of the week where it’s perfectly acceptable to mix up a cocktail as soon as the clock strikes 5:00! Today I’m excited to share a fabulous Friday cocktail recipe for Asian Pear & Ginger Sparklers. Not only is this drink fresh and delicious, it’s also an excuse for me to gush endlessly about my love for the Asian Pear.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying one, Asian Pears have the firm and crisp texture of a green apple but with the flavor of a mild pear. It’s basically the perfect combination of two well-loved fruits. I have been a long time admirer of Asian Pears and eat them cold, straight out of the refrigerator, smeared with a bit of creamy brie cheese or muddled into a refreshing cocktail. The possibilities are endless. Come to think of it, this Asian Pear & Ginger Sparkler would make the perfect companion for a cheese board served at your next ladies night or dinner party.

Around these parts you can usually find Asian Pear at the grocery store but if they are not available where you live you can also find them at specialty stores and Asian Markets. Of course you could always substitute Bosc pears or any firm ripe pear that is in season! I promise, the cocktail won’t mind. So, give Asian Pear and Ginger Sparklers a try and let me know what you think! Cheers.

Asian Pear & Ginger Sparkler
prep time
cook time
total time
Serves 2Ingredients
  • 4 oz. vodka or pear flavored vodka
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Asian Pear, chopped and cored plus slices for garnish
  • Ginger ale, to top
  • Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)
  • mint for garnish
  • Ginger Syrup:
  • ¼ cup sliced, peeled ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  1. Make the ginger syrup:
  2. In a small sauce pan combine sliced ginger, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain out ginger and discard, reserving syrup in an airtight container until you are ready to use.
  3. Assemble the cocktail:
  4. Divide 1/2 chopped pear between two glasses and add the rest to a cocktail shaker. Muddle well with vodka, lemon juice and ginger syrup allowing pear to release it's flavors.
  5. Fill with ice and shake until well chilled.
  6. Strain into prepared glasses, top with Ginger ale and garnish with a slice of pear and a sprig of mint. Serve.

Photography: Freutcake | Styling: Freutcake


Leah Bergman

Contributing Editor, Entertaining
Pineapple Themed Party

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: pineapples are super on-trend. Move over kale, there’s a new veggie fruit in town!  They’re popping up everywhere from fashion to food to interior design and, well, birthday parties! And I, for one, am totally on board. Because this event, designed and photographed by Tara Whittaker, is too adorable for words.

From Tara…  I teamed up with Dallas lifestyle blogger, Randi of Dukes & Duchesses, on a shoot designed to inspire with ideas for kid-friendly favors, menus, activities and entertainment.

Our starting point was the design trend that’s popping up everywhere lately. Pineapples! For centuries, pineapples have been symbols of welcome, which make them the perfect motif for captivating young guests. We chose splashy and flamboyant versions of pineapples printed on table runners, gift bags and even cookies. Randi brought along four of her own kids so I guess you could say that everything that day was kid-approved.

DIY Ideas

ONE | We aimed for a festive, party atmosphere by morphing pinecones into pineapples. Ponderosa pinecones were spray-painted in bright hues and tissue paper leaves were attached using fishing line. Ribbons were tied randomly amongst the tree branches of the space, and the colorful cones hung from them.

TWO | Ice cream bar. Themed after a carnival booth and complete with a striped awning, we offered scoops of colorful ice cream and a variety of toppings, served in halved pineapples. Ali from Modern Pulp created “sails” to label the toppings in their pineapple boats. Sundaes were served in goblets by Oh Joy For Target

THREE | Black paper runners stamped with white pineapples ran across the table and under each child’s place setting. The custom stamp was sculpted from a sponge using sewing scissors.

FOUR | Each child was greeted with a personalized party hat and pineapple gift bag, filled with an activity book, crayons, a cookie, a t-shirt souvenir, candies, and a bottle of bubbles. The activity book by Modern Pulp invited the kiddos to color the wedding cake and navigate their way to the church via a maze.

FIVE | What better way to engage the kids than to give them a project? The outline of a pineapple was penciled onto a black background. Each child left their fingerprints on the pencil marks, leaving a gold, pineapple guest book for the Bride and Groom. It’s a whimsical way for a bride and groom to remember the little attendees at their wedding and it could serve as a playful art piece in their home together.

Photography: Tara Whittaker Photography | Event Design: Tara Whittaker Photography | Jewelry: Leah Alexandra | Cookies: Sugar Shimmer | Favours: Dukes & Duchesses | Hair And Make-up Artist: The Art Of Beauty | Rentals: Special Event Rentals | Stationer: Modern Pulp