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Endless Summer Candlelit Soiree

These girls are my kind of people. Desperate (in the best possible way) to keep summer alive for as long as possible, and doing so by way of gorgeous dinner parties. See what I mean? We could all be besties. Hosted by The Darling Event with a cake from Sweet Fix RVA and calligraphy by Kathrine Francia, these gorgeous images from Kate Thompson paint the picture of a dinner party we would love to attend.

In true desperate denial of summer’s end, we hosted an evening of seafood, style and cocktails (of course)! Our inspiration came from a combination of elegant coastal evenings, everything raw linen, and the classic seafood bake. We are suckers for anything candlelit, so we knew the twilight would set the tone for our intimate dinner soiree.

As stylists in the event design industry we rarely get to enjoy our own creations. We wanted to compose an evening of laid back seaside style, delicious details and friends who love to celebrate – who better than our local event industry vendors!

The focal piece was Paisley & Jade’s vintage wooden boat draped in navy striped raw linen and hydrangeas. What better use for a huge boat than to hold our Bloody Mary and champagne bar! Guests were welcomed with a drink of choice and garnishes to make any swizzle stick jealous.

We nibbled on sophisticated southern appetizers including homemade pimento cheese, a tomato tart, fresh watermelon skewers drizzled with honey, and warm herb grits. Our farm table was laid with kraft paper in preparation for the steaming seafood, galvanized metal accents, and crisp white calligraphy by Capital Calligraphy. The neutral background was the perfect palette for our bright red drinks, colorful seafood bake and cornbread! Drink glasses remained full, the table veiled in delicious plates, and chatter amongst friends. Finally, the key lime cake laced with coconut icing was presented by our dear friends at Sweet Fix – they take sweet decadence to a new level.

We couldn’t send our guests away empty handed, so we filled our favorite tiny containers full of Bloody Mary mix, Old Bay seasoning, tabasco and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Creating our first Dinner with Darling brought to life what we envision for each event – intimate conversations surrounded by unique details, and beautiful design.

Photography: Kate Thompson | Event Design: The Darling Event | Cake: Sweet Fix RVA | Calligraphy: Kathrine Francia | Rentals: Paisley & Jade

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Vintage Treasures
Paisley & Jade
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11 Ideas for a Stunning Gray Kitchen

Gray is consistently one of the most classic and elegant colors in interior design, and it’s no different when it comes to the most important room in the home: the kitchen. This simple hue is the perfect compliment to a cozy kitchen, and we’re sharing our favorite ways to use it in the video below!


Apricot Whiskey Smash

With only a few more weekends left of this Indian Summer in which to properly celebrate summer’s bounty, we think this recipe is the perfect way to ease into fall. Filled with fresh muddled lemon and apricot, and topped with mint, it’s a lighter take on whiskey that the cocktail geniuses at Lauren Kelp devised to be equal parts delicious and easy to make.

From Lauren… I’ve only recently jumped on this whiskey train, and I must admit I waited way too long. I can’t say I’m tough enough to order a Johnny Walker straight up, I can definitely get behind a good whiskey based cocktail like this.

For the full post and more cocktail inspo, check out Lauren Kelp!

Apricot Whiskey Smash
prep time
5 Minute/s
cook time
5 Minute/s
total time
10 Minute/s
Serves 1Ingredients
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 apricot cut into wedges
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. Knob Creek Whiskey
  • Ice for shaking + serving
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves, lemon juice, apricot wedges, and simple syrup.
  2. Add whiskey and ice to shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  4. Strain cocktail through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass (over ice if desired).
  5. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

Recipe: Lauren Kelp | Photography + Food Styling: Constance Higley

Intimate Birthday Soiree

If there was ever an excuse to celebrate, it would be ringing in another year on this lovely earth. Even better when it’s a surprise and executed to complete perfection by your bestie. Your closest girlfriends, some sweet treats, and endless bubbly? It basically sounds like heaven. Planned by one talented half of Harlin & Sparrow Event Design for the other talented half (how sweet is that), this gallery is overflowing with inspiration for your next fête.

My best friend and I are business partners, and she just threw me the most amazing surprise birthday party. My partner, Justina chose a beautiful private home to hold the celebration at. The home was super modern and was located in Sausalito, California. The party was very intimate, just 12 of my closest girlfriends. Justina had all the girls write out what my friendship meant to them and had them read it out loud to me during my celebration. She also had all the girls wear peach and white to coordinate with the color scheme of the party. I was and still am overwhelmed with excitement as to how my celebration turned out. 

Photography: Sarah Deragon | Cake: Crisp Bakeshop | Invitations: Emily Foran | Catering: The Lunch Box | Event Planning / Event Design : Harlin & Sparrow Event Design | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Rentals: Frances Lane

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Stylish Storage Baskets to Organize Your Entire Life

As an apartment dweller in New York City (read: minimal square footage), I’m always thinking about new, creative ways to organize unsightly “things” in the prettiest way possible. My current favorite catch-all storage solution? Baskets! They’re a practicality made pretty, that can’t be beat in my book for organizing anything and everything!

Stylish Storage Baskets
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Stylish Storage Baskets
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more inspirational organization ideas to try:

10 Ways to Get Organized

20 Creative Ways to Organize Your Jewelry

15 Ways to Organize Your Pantry