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


Party in the Pines

This last weekend, I ventured from the cool of the air conditioning into the Arizona heat for a beer and food fest called Party in the Pines, ironically held on the football field of one of the local middle schools in my hometown. I was able to sample 8 different craft brews from across the country, and sit in the shade while eating from one of the food trucks (I chose the buffalo chicken poutine) and listening to several different bands, all while supporting Adopt a Classroom. There were also several different craft booths there.I say it was a pretty good Saturday. Check out all of the photos below, and when going to events like this, please drink responsibly and don’t drive drunk!




Are there any festivals like this around you? I would love to hear about them (and your favorite beer!)

samantha rae creative


Arriba! Happy (almost) Cicno de Mayo (or Cinco de Drinko, if you’re on a college campus) everyone! Living in the Southwest, and being partially Hispanic, this holiday is always a lot of fun for me. Plus, I just love Mexican food. While I sadly have to work this year, I will be celebrating mentally, and gorging on guacamole. If I were hosting a party, like I badly want to, this is what that party would look like. Enjoy!


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The table would be set with the classic Mexican wool blanket, succulants and cacti, as well as bright flowers. And if you have bright dishware, now would be a good time to break it out. Since the weather has been beautiful in Arizona, everything would be cooked on the grill, and lawn games galore played. It’s also a great excuse to sip on a refreshing watermelon margarita.

How are you all spending your day on Cinco de Mayo?

samantha rae creative

Day 19: Family Dinners

The holidays are filled with family dinners. All sides of the family need to get their time in to see you, and of course it involves lots and lots of food. Stay comfortable, because you will be eating and moving a lot, especially if kids are running around under foot.


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I like the idea of simple decor and place settings, and letting the food be the star of the show.

christmas dinner table

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kale ceasar

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To keep everyone happy, keep the food and drinks flowing (although if one relative gets sloppy or angry when drunk, be wary!). Have some Christmas tunes going, and if you want to avoid drama, avoid arguing about religion and politics. There are even some articles on how to answer those awkward questions everyone seems to ask (“so are you seeing anyone?”). Also, keep some cards or board games around; they are an instant distraction.



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What are your tips for when the entire family gets togethers?

samantha rae creative

Day 18: Working Party Time

Yesterday I talked about the parties you have with friends during the holidays. Today it is about those parties that are thrown by your workplace. In my experience, these are more often cocktail-hour parties, so dress appropriately, and drink in moderation! After all, you don’t want to make a fool of yourself. Personally, I love when Santa comes to visit at these parties.


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If the party is at the office, bring some goodies for everyone to share, and let your coworkers know you appreciate them! Little gifts go a long way (ornaments, coffee mugs, etc). Although, if it’s a White Elephant or Secret Santa gift exchange, ignore that- just give gifts to your work BFF’s another time.

Also, expect there to be only snack food, so plan on dinner before or after.


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What are your office holiday parties like?

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?


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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