backyard bash to welcome fall

we usually through a party or 2 through the summer. with our work and travel schedules that did not happen this year and somehow we rolled straight into fall. i really like to get all of our friends together to enjoy the outdoors at least once before the rain and cold set in, so we quickly planned a super simple night that everyone could enjoy. chinet emailed me right in time too. they want to help promote the lost art of getting friends and family together... this immediately made me think of why we wanted to host this night in the first place. so chinet sent over supplies to help outfit the table, cocktail bar and kitchen with everything we needed for easy entertaining.

here is how i created our laid back bohemian bash.

like i said, i didn't want the night to be work, so having plastic and paper to serve everything in was the best! i had to put my own touch on it though.. we decided to order mini burritos and taquitos from our favorite local mexican restaurant. to go with that, i asked all of our guests to bring (and name!) their favorite salsa. i prepared the giant platter above with bowls for each guest. i sprayed 1 bowl on the bottom with gold spray paint then lined it with a fresh one for the salsa. i loved the pop of color it added. since i had asked each guest to name their salsa, just for fun, i made feathers out of chinet's paper plates and lettered each name on.

since the center of attention was going to be our salsa area, i took extra effort to create easy sampling plates for each guest. i glued a cut crystal cup on top of an appetizer plate. i figured this way we wouldn't have to worry about salsa sliding off as we mingled.

several batches of margaritas were prepped hours before hand and chilled. all i had to do through the night was rotate a new bottle in when the old one got low.

cocktail napkins accompanied the margs and chili lime peanuts i made.

one thing that really drives me nuts at our parties is all of the water bottles that always go to waste! people drink a few sips, set it down, lose it, then grab another. so i went with some lemon infused water in a large jar and cut crystal cups. also a perk as this kept guests outside mingling rather than in the kitchen searching for cups and getting water from the fridge.

and, now to my favorite part! our centerpieces. i went with a larger rustic piece on each table paired with simple arrangements from grocery store blooms and a few candles. i added in fur and mexican blankets to transform the previously brightly decorated yard into a more bohemian feeling atmosphere.

these plates were the perfect weight and texture for all of the feather decor. i still have this garland hanging (which would have never happened with regular paper!). i lined our back wall with the feathers and lit them up with tea lights.

once everyone arrived and the salsa from each guest was served, the tasting began and the burritos and taquitos warmed in the oven. i used this bakeware which is pretty much my best friend now. you can bake in it, serve in it, then store left overs in it. convenient!

my salsa tasting contraptions in use ;)

i asked meringue bakeshop to finish off the night with some fabulous desserts. she whipped up some trifles with fall spices and my favorite cookie bars. kind of pointless to say, but everyone loved them... as usual.

i was raving to ryan the next day about how easy it was to clean up! it literally took me half an hour the next morning.. mostly just to bring in some of the flowers and candles. almost zero food and drink clean up. i've long been an advocate for fancy glass cups and plates, but this night may have changed me. glass has it's time and place, but i guess when there is more than a few, chinet kind of nows what they are doing.

check back tomorrow to see the favors i crafted up for guests!

see more posts here

product and a stipend was received from chinet to help me put our little party together. all ideas and opinions are my own.