Shore Inspired Shower

You know what is really fun? Getting some Jersey girls together for a bridal shower pool party that was inspired by the bride’s favorite things from the Shore. That is what I spent several weeks helping to plan. This party was fun and laid back, and featured fun games, like frog flip and shooting golf balls with water guns. Did I mention all the delicious shore treats, like funnel cake, cotton candy, and cannolis? Plus everyone left with beachy Shore goodie baskets!

Photo credit: funnel cake, water guns, frog game, cannolis, cotton candy

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A sunny day poolside with lots of great food and people is a great way to celebrate a bride to be. What would you like to see at a bridal shower?

samantha rae creative


Day 17: Friends-travaganza

The holidays seem to be a whirlwind of one party after another. From work parties, family dinners, and shindigs with friends. This post is all about those chilly winter nights that you are having fun with your friends.

If you are hosting, your place should already be decorated from earlier this month, and delicious treats and cocktails should be at the ready! The only thing you should decide if it will be a more chic affair, or if you’re going to go the classic ugly sweater route. Or maybe a cookie exchange? Or a hot chocolate bar?


Photo found here


Photo found here


Photo found here


Photo found here


If you’re a guest, don’t forget the host(ess) gift, it is just good manners, and try to think outside the box from a bottle of wine.

Tell me about what you think should be at the friend holiday parties!

samantha rae creative

Party Like it’s 1776

It’s been a little while since I’ve last posted- graduation and moving, and trying to find a job has kept me busy over the last month or so. But now I am finally getting a little down time as I get to head back to my hometown for the Fourth of July.  This holiday is a big deal back where I come from: art festivals on the town square, dances in the middle of the street, parades, and a weeklong celebration of the World’s Oldest Rodeo.

This weekend is also a time to hang out and spend time grilling/barbecuing with friends and family, and celebrating the freedom that this country is founded on. In honor of all of these parties that are going on, here is what I would use as inspiration.


Of course the decor is going to be red, white, and blue. The stars and stripes make great accents, and I love the use of mason jars as the containers for utensils (or as vases or drink cups). As the lights go down, fire up the firepit and twinkle lights for some ambience.

Make sure there is plenty of shade during the day, and blankets at night, because it can be a pretty severe shift, especially in Arizona.








Go for the classics on this one: burgers and hot dogs, but step up the game to wow all the guests. This cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped dog will do the trick, as well as these spicy black bean burgers with guacamole, and a nice juicy classic burger  with a buttery grilled bun all make great impressions. Grilled/roasted veggies, twice-baked potatoes, grilled corn on the cob with cilantro butter, and juicy patriotic fruit salad compliment them all perfectly.

Drinks should be kept icy cold for a hot day outside: toss them into a nice bin full of ice to keep them chilly, easy to grab, and more sophisticated than an ice chest. Throw in some sodas, lemonade, and (for those of legal drinking age) beer and cocktails.

To end the night, go for some star shaped cookies with sprinkles or fruit, tarts with berries, or a s’mores dip by the fire.


black bean burger



4th of july cookies



it’s the Fourth of July, so celebrate! Get some sparklers and fireworks and (if it’s legal) light them up! Or go to one of the millions of displays across the country.


Happy Independence Day, and God Bless America!

samantha rae creative

Off to the Races

                     The Run for the Roses is happening this weekend, and if you are not one of the lucky few who actually get to go to the track to watch the race, you should get together with a bunch of friends to watch on TV. It is a great excuse to eat some good ol’ southern comfort food, dress up, and party with some friends. You could even make a few friendly wagers on who will win. This is my inspiration for a Kentucky Derby Party.


As always, the invitations are the first out of the gate. Anything with a horse and jockey, roses, or horseshoes will work great, and keep mind the color scheme you use for them, because that will be the jumping point for the rest of the decor.







Red roses are what the winner gets at the end of the race, so that is the flower most often used to decorate for a party; to re-emphasize the connection to the winner’s circle, put the flowers in silver vases, like the trophy. For the rest, keep it preppy and fun with stripes or whites or go the rustic route with reds and burlap. Horse figurines, lawn jockeys, and horseshoes are great little aspects that help set the mood. You can even set up a betting booth and bar to give it the race-track feel.





derby - name tags


Food and Drink

Classic southern comfort food, like fried chicken and mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, pecan pie, collard greens. A “hot brown” sandwhich is also a great choice. If you want lighter food, these stuffed cucumbers are delicious. For drinks, you cannot go wrong with Kentucky bourbon, or the class Derby drink the Mint Julep. If your pick wins, pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate.










Dress Code

Normally, I do not mention how people should dress for a party, because that is up to the discretion of the host, but this kind of party is different. Everyone should dress up in nice dresses, slacks and button downs, and of course, crazy big hats.






I’m off to the races to party like its the Kentucky Derby!

samantha rae creative

Easter Tea

This Sunday is Easter, and for me that is the epitome of springtime. With the coming of the Spring season, comes a great excuse to host (or attend) an Easter tea party, full of fun activities, refreshing drinks, delicious treats, and time with friends. Here is a little inspiration to put one together.


Invitations are, as always, the introduction to the event. For an Easter tea, the colors should be vibrant pastels. Eggs, bunnies and other small animals, and tea cups/pots are great accents to the invites.






Nice china cups, pots and saucers are essential for an Easter tea. Again, keep the color pallet in the pastel areas, with eggs scattered throughout, and fresh spring flowers like daisies and tulips. If you can find bunny figurines to place throughout the tables, event better. You can even set up a little picnic area to relax outside.





Tea, hot or iced, is the obvious choice for a tea party. Mimosas and lemonade are also excellent options. Opt for finger foods, such as tea sandwiches, macaroons, cookies, skewered appetizers, etc.



Happy Easter, and have fun hunting for eggs at your Easter tea!

         samantha rae creative

Party Like the Irish

While for many St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday, for others it is a great day to celebrate Irish culture and party away. Since the majority of the people cannot celebrate this holiday in Ireland, this post is all about a great party for St. Patty’s Day.



Of course, all of the invites and decor are going to be green: it’s the color of Ireland. Add in some pops of orange for the Irish flag (or red hair), and lots of shamrocks. Streamers and banners are always a fun way to liven up a room, and often make up a great background for a photo booth (but do not forget the props!).









For the food, its best to go with traditional Irish food and drink, like beer and whiskey shepard’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and for the hangover the next morning, an Irish breakfast (bacon, black and white pudding sausage, toast, eggs, tomatoes, baked beans and hash browns). You can also make your own green beer for the party!









With some on the things on this post, I wish you the luck o’ the Irish with your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!

samantha rae creative

Mardi Gras Style Wedding

Continuing with the Mardi Gras style events, I am showing some inspiration to translate the elaborate carnivale/masquerade feel to an elegant wedding.

While the invitations will still be festive, I like these toned down ones. A simple fleur de lis, a symbol of the city of New Orleans, or a single masquerade mask, make a statement and set the feel from the beginning. The same styling should also be used on the menus at the venue.



The same thing goes for the decorations- simple, yet festive. Rich purples all around with accents of gold, with a mask or two accenting the flowers (I personally like purple orchids for the bouquets and centerpieces) and lighting.




Classic style beignets make for great finger food during cocktail hour, and you can even make a hurricane one of the couple’s signature drinks at the bar. Gumbo or jumbalaya have a great down-home feel for dinner. Cajun flavored chicken can also be a nice alternative.




Louisiana is about the hot sauce, so having mini bottles of it can be a great favor, as well as masks that the guests can take pictures in at a photobooth.



For other little touches, take pictures in a picturesque historic part of the town, have a jazz-filled parade to the reception from the ceremony, and dance around with parasols to the sound of saxophones and trumpets.




Every wedding should be a big party to celebrate the happy couple’s new life together, and while it may not be as wild and crazy as Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street, it can still have some of the same feel.

             samantha rae creative