INSIDE JULIETTE LEWIS' SUMMER SOLSTICE BIRTHDAY DINNER

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Before the summer officially ends, I wanted to share an inside look into one of our favorite parties of the season. On the longest day of 2015, we celebrated the birth of our beautiful and talented BFF, Juliette Lewis, with an ethereal, Summer Solstice-themed dinner party. We were so unbelievably honored to have the party featured on Elle Decor and MyDomaine - two of our favorite sources for home decor and lifestyle inspiration.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

This radiant birthday girl was so fun to plan a dinner for. I asked her what her favorite style was and she said "Romantic -- like Romeo and Juliette." So we put together a palette of purples, brass, vintage dishes and lacy linens to create that.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Both Sis and I love a bare, solid wood table. It's our preference for most events these days. The slotted wood bistro chairs (all from Classic Party Rentals) added a clean, European charm to the garden setting. 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Most of these gorgeous tabletop items -- including the mis-matched vintage dishes, brass flatware, candlesticks, napkin rings and linens were sourced from the amazing Borrowed Blu.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

I love adding other "live" elements to the table, in addition to flowers. For this one, a combination of figs, plums and lichee went perfectly with the summery, romantic vibe. We always find that guests are more than thrilled to take fresh produce home to enjoy when the party is over. I love that it doesn't go to waste!

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

A little secret: These gorgeous (and legit!) amethyst crystals that added such beauty to the table - they're from Amazon! They also made great parting gifts for the guests. I love decor that does double duty!

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

I kept driving myself crazy, laying awake a night, wanting to have another modern and interesting element included in the table design. That's when I decided to "ombré" the candles down the table. I ordered four different shades from Yummi Candles (they have the best candles) and used about 6 per color.  I LOVED how it came out. I also want to say that you can almost never have enough candles. The tables that really speak to me have an abundance of candles. Go big or go home yo.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Checkin' things out. It's good to look at things through some kind of camera to see if it's making sense from a photograph's point of view. Sometimes I will realize "Whoa! That's really sparse" or "The flatware crooked!"

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

For the evening's signature drink, I made one of our favorites -- hibiscus cooler. It's a really refreshing drink -- great warm summer days (and nights). Pick up some organic hibiscus tea from Whole Foods or your local health food type store. Brew the tea and add raw agave (or whatever sweetener you prefer) to taste. Cool and pour over ice. Done!

I make this in huge batches for parties. It's easy to make but don't wear clothes that you care about while making it - the color is super bright and stains! To make a large batch, boil a huge pot of water, put a box or two worth of tea bags in and then sweeten with agave to taste. Then put on a ton of ice, only when you are ready to party. I serve it in one of my big drink dispensers so guests can just help themselves. Got some boozers coming? Keep a bottle of vodka or gin around for them to spike it up! 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Cocktail modeling is my favorite job. 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

For the dessert table, I draped an antique desk, that I inherited from our Nana, with more of the vintage lace. I made the yarn backdrop from basic cream and gold colored yarn purchased at Joann Fabrics. I measured, cut and knotted rows of ten strings, making the middle row the longest and coming up bit by bit on each side to make a V shape. I liked the romantic boho vibe that it gave. 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Our girl Emily from Whisk and Whittle outdid herself again with the most beautiful, and GLUTEN-FREE, confections. Her cakes are works of art. The large cake in the back is a berry shortcake and the shorter cake with the cute "Little Shop of Horrors" guy on top is some seriously relish carrot cake. To make sure the chocolate lovers got some love of their own, she made salted chocolate chip cookies and brownies. We had a lot of fun eating dessert that night!

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Look at all those gorgeous goddesses!

Massive thank you to all who helped make this evening so magical! Love you, JL!!!! xoxoxo!!

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CREDITS:

Party Design, Florals, Signature Drink + Custom Backdrop: Twink + Sis

Photography: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Tabletop + Linens: Borrowed Blu

Misc. Tabletop: Twink + Sis' Own

Furniture Rentals: Classic Party Rents

Desserts: Whisk and Whittle

Candles: Yummi Candles

Amethyst Crystals: Amazon

Backdrop Materials: Joann

 

BABY + BRIDAL SHOWER GAMES

I love showers! And I am very particular about the games played at said showers. I also think that having a great game or two for guests to participate in really livens and loosens things up. I like to pick a small prize for the winner of each game. I usually go for a small pack of nice stationary, gourmet chocolates or a small, pretty plant. Here are three fun games that I think go over well with groups of ladies:

1. THE QUIZ.

The #1, very best game for a baby or bridal shower is THE QUIZ. It is the most labor intensive, but in my opinion, well worth it. It's very personal and unique to the guest-of-honor and makes her feel special. It also is a great way for her guests to learn more about her. It usually gets some good laughs and creates a bonding experience for the guests. This game is my all around favorite (even great for birthdays too!) and works well in both small and large shower settings. 

In the week or two before the event, "interview" your guest-of-honor on the subject surrounding the shower. If it's her bridal shower, you can ask her things like how she and her fiancé met, how he proposed, etc. For a baby shower, you can ask what she's been craving, the baby's due date and if she's been wildly emotional about anything in particular. I then like to format the questions mostly in multiple choice. That's where some humor comes in. Get creative and add some funny multiple choices. I usually do 10-12 questions on a quiz. I do the majority multiple choice with a few "true or false" sprinkled in. Here are some examples:

What has Laurén craved the most during her pregnancy?
A.     Peanut Butter
B.     Chocolate Pudding
C.     Citrus/Sour Fruit
D.    Toaster Waffles

What is Laurén’s #1 fear about having a baby?
A.     Contractions
B.     Pushing
C.     Being at the hospital
D.     Being alone with a newborn

TRUE or FALSE:
In her pregnancy, Laurén cried when Jason didn’t seem interested in looking at baby gear.

Just have fun with it! It's always a hit!!

 

2. SCATTERGORIES. 

Have you ever played regular Scattergories? It's a great game. For a shower, you would make a pre-made game card like the one pictured above. Put a short word at the top like "BOY," "GIRL," "RING," "I DO" or something of the like. Each letter of that word will dictate the letter that your answer word(s) starts with. Then on the left, list out 6, 7 or 8 subjects relating to the shower (Baby stuff for a baby shower. Wedding stuff for a bridal shower). The guests must list something that starts with the letter above. And it has to be original! If two or more guests put the same answer, they don't get a point. Start a timer before they begin. I think 1 minute per letter is a good rule of thumb. So for the above B-O-Y baby shower card, 3 minutes should be good. Once the time is up, go down each letter and call out the subject. Have each person call out what they have. If there is any question on the legitimacy of the answer, let the group vote. Each acceptable and original (no one else wrote the same thing) answer gets a point. The person with the most points wins. 

 

3. GUESS THE BELLY SIZE (Baby Shower).

I think this game is really cute, but some gals may feel sensitive of their size so you might want to check with the guest-of-honor first before embarking on this game. I played it at my baby shower and thought it was really fun. It also gave me a chance to see each guest at the shower, even if just for a moment. I also like it because it takes virtually no planning and is great when you are in a bind and short on time. 

Take a roll of string or ribbon (lately I have been using natural twine). Pass it around with a pair of scissors and ask each guest to guess the size of the mama-to-be's belly, by cutting the string at the length they think is the circumference of the widest part of her belly (just under her belly button). Once everyone has cut their string, have the guest-of-honor stand up so her guests can come measure they string around her belly. The person who is the closest, wins. 

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I hope this makes your next shower super fun! xx