April 22, 2016

A Simply Green Earth Day Party with Maggie Antalek

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Happy Earth Day, everyone! At LMP we feel strongly about respecting Mother Earth on a daily basis. We decided to throw together a mini Earth Day party to show you our best tips and tricks on how to be a green hostess.

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First, we made our way to the Union Square Green Market for some supplies. We always try to shop local first, if the budget allows. It’s reassuring to know exactly where your ingredients are sourced from, plus we love to support local businesses. The Market in Union Square also has its own community compost! We absolutely love seeing the neighborhood come together to to protect our planet.

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We weaved and bobbed to find our favorite flowers to decorate the table. I kept getting distracted by all the PRETTY COLORS. But we had a plan for flowers to match our GREEN theme.

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We landed on some beautiful white hydrangeas, tulips, peonies, and ranunculus to go with the green and blue decor, taken directly from a Little Miss Party in a Box. To make full use of our flowers, we always use them for other projects! This week, we were able to make a frozen ice bucket and beautiful table centerpiece using the flowers from our Earth Day party – I’ll be sharing the DIY for that one, soon!

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Our tulips were especially amazing, because once the party was over we didn’t have to waste them by throwing them in the garbage. We were able to plant them in the garden! Those BULBS! Just fantastic.

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Next, we searched around for some green tomatoes to fit the theme of our table! We also found some mozzarella and a beautiful basil plant. ALL of these ingredients were sourced from the market. With a little extra searching, you can always find a way to shop from local farms.

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Also, a freshly baked baguette for a little crunch with our caprese! Because, BREAD. So yeah, it was inevitable.

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Our next step was finding the perfect gift to send home with our guests. We found some beautiful mini succulents, and simply couldn’t resist after seeing this sign! Why give a party favor that your guest will just throw away anyway? Give GREEN! Succulents are the perfect plant for busy people, but still add the perfect amount of green to any space.

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After shopping, we set up our ingredients.

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After that, the prep was easy! We sliced the tomatoes, cheese, and bread.

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We set the table and distributed food.

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We drizzled balsamic, of course!

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And suddenly, we had a beyond perfect green party for Earth Day. So remember, shop local, use your community compost, re-use all your decorative flowers, and give green-friendly party favors! Don’t be wasteful and enjoy Planet Earth!

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XOXO

Maggie

www.maggieantalek.com

xx, Seri
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March 30, 2016

Is Spring here to stay? **GIVEAWAY**

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As far as weather is concerned, I really cannot complain. Winter on the East Coast was pretty tame this year. Spending Christmas Eve outdoors wearing a short sleeved shirt was definitely surreal. And glorious. But we did also have many months of bone chilling temperatures and sad grey skies. Like all East Coasters, I am ready for Spring! Well, Summer really…but I will take Spring in the meantime. We’ve been getting a sneak peak these past few weeks; Blue Skies, gorgeous daffodil blooms and smiles on the faces around me. Nicer weather must be coming soon. Not only are people just happier this time of year, but gorgeous weather means outdoor dining. My FAVORITE. Nothing is better than throwing something on the grill and eating al fresco. And with our new Let’s Go Outside Party in a Box, you can dine al fresco in style.

Check out how we used this box to create the Ultimate Sammies and Sorbet party!
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These bright colors are sure to brighten up any gathering. In this Limited Edition Collection, you will find Large orange chevron plates, Yellow rugby striped napkins, matching rugby striped cups, orange striped straws and bright yellow cutlery. We rolled our napkin around our cutlery using a few pieces of twine – a simple and easy trick!
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Want to take your sandwiches up a notch and impress your kids? Take out your favorite cookie cutter and your otherwise boring sammies will come to life!
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Nothing says SUMMER like sorbet and ice cream. Which is why we’ve included these adorable ice cream bowls, which come with wooden spoons. Perfect for two scoops of your favorite flavor. Or fruit for those working on their bikini bodies :)
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Do you love these gold glittery pineapple toppers? You do? GOOD, they come in the box too!
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This warm weather always gets me thirsty…so I will keep my colorful plastic pitcher filled to the brim with something delicious. Perhaps some rosemary infused lemonade? This pitcher has a center compartment that is removed, filled with water and frozen before the party, so your drinks will stay cool in the hot sun.
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Did you happen to catch the pineapple centerpiece we made? If you didn’t…here it is again. Would you believe us if we told you this masterpiece was made in 5 minutes? That’s right. Hollow out a pineapple, put in a small glass of water, and place stems into the water to cover the glass. That’s IT.  Are you ready for summer yet?
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Now that you’ve seen what we’ve done with this adorable Party in a Box, we want to see what YOU can come up with. We are hosting a giveaway on INSTAGRAM this afternoon. Three winners will receive a Let’s Go Outside Party Box of their own to style. The one who comes up with the most gorgeous tablescape will be our Grand Prize Winner and will receive a $100 Visa Cash Card…perfect for your next PARTY!! GOOD LUCK!

LMP Rules and Regulations for the Let’s Go Outside Party in a Box Challenge:
Entries can be made on the Little Miss Party Instagram Account.  To enter you must:
1. Follow @littlemissparty on Instagram
2. Leave a comment below telling us why you love to entertain and tag the friends you’d invite to your party.

The 3 winners of the Let’s Go Outside Party Box will be selected in a random drawing of the entries properly submitted during the giveaway period. Winner will be announced on Saturday April 2, 2016. 

Once selected, the winners have until April 4th, 2016 at 6 PM to send LMP their shipping information to abby@littlemisspartyplanner.com in order to receive their Party in a Box.

The winners must set up their Party in a Box and post 1 photo of their completed tablescape to Instagram by 6 pm on April 15th, 2016, tagging @littlemissparty and including the hashtag #LMPinaBox, for a chance to win a Grand Prize of a $100 Gift Card. 

Photos that have been properly submitted by April 15, 2016 will be judged by Little Miss Party plus two surprise judges who will be announced on March 31st and the Grand Prize Winner will be announced on the @littlemissparty Instagram by 6 pm on April 18, 2016.  Grand Prize Winner will receive a $100 Visa Cash Card. 

Contest is open to US Residents only.

xx, Michelle
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August 25, 2015

A Dinner date on the Beach for the little ones

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We have a summer house that is located 2 miles from the beach. We have been to the beach about 4 times this summer. Yes, that’s all. Why you ask? Because it’s a schlep! There is so much to bring and lugging bags, chairs, umbrellas, etc. through the sand is NOT easy!
I’ve tried and tried to come up with ways to limit the amount of items that I bring…and for starters, I cut down on the number of people that I go to the beach with. Less people, less stuff. It works!
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One of my favorite beach trips this summer was with these two little ones, Harlow + Luke. We decided to take them on a sunset run to the beach for a dinner date one night.
Sounds totally dicey doesn’t it? Well it was GREAT. Until “Sammy the Seagull” stole our food…but I’m not even going to get into that. Let me just tell you how we made this easy on ourselves…
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Here’s a recap of how and what we packed:
To eat: Had to think like a toddler…what do they like to eat? I packed: chicken cutlets cut into strips so they could easily eat with their hands, corn on the cob and watermelon.
How to serve: Paper plates (shaped like watermelons of course).
What to drink: Water. Let’s not get crazy here. Mini bottles of water – easy does it.
How to pack it all: In a watermelon cooler bag. Obviously.
What are we sitting on? A plaid beach blanket of course. Who wants to lug the chairs? Not me!
The toys! I almost forgot the toys. I put the kids in charge of packing the toys that they wanted. They each grabbed a beach shovel, couple of pails and couldn’t have been more content digging up sand, looking for seashells and chasing the water.
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The kids were relaxed and playing footsies. Not sure how I feel about that but I do know it was a perfect beach date.IMG_7952

xx, Seri
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August 18, 2015

A Creative Twist on Baby Wipes

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Part of my duties at LMP is to be a catch-all for all of the new and creative ideas that are thrown around daily.  One recent idea that Seri came up with was to find a cute way to decorate a box of baby wipes.  While Seri was entertaining friends and family for Luke’s 3rd birthday party a few weeks ago, she noticed how everybody kept reaching for the baby wipes to clean up messes. Not only on their kids, but everywhere! She also noticed how plain the plastic container that the wipes came in  looked, and thought it would be fun to come up with a creative way to spruce up the box, so that it didn’t look so boring.

She asked me to take over and brainstorm a few ideas, and I landed on the perfect one – washi tape! Washi tape is literally take that comes in cool patterns and colors.  It is easy to apply, waterproof, and very easy to find.  Easy decision.

After a trip to Staples (where I was overwhelmed by the very abundant selection of washi tape) I decided to decorate our container of wipes with tape in varying tones of mint, with tape with some cool designs interspersed throughout.  After picking out the tape, the rest of the process was super easy.  Here’s how I did it!

What you will need:
4-6 rolls of different colored washi tape, depending on what you want your design to look like
plastic wipes dispenser
scissors

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What to do:
Wing it! I decided to make a strip pattern, and basically just stuck the roll of washi tape around the container until the entire stripe was finished, and layered each strip twice so the branded sticker on the box didn’t show through.  You can pick any colors you want and get creative with your designs!

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I love how the finished product turned out.

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Later that afternoon, after Seri’s son Luke came home from camp, he and I decided that it would be fun to paint in the backyard.  After I got all of the painting supplies, you know what I grabbed next? The wipes!

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They were perfect to have easily on hand to clean up all of the inevitable paint messes, and were way more fun to look at than a normal wipe dispenser.

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xo,
Abby

xx, Abby
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August 14, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Leave it to me to post a “meatless Monday” recipe on a Tuesday. I’m sorry but those s’mores consumed my life the other day and there was no room for this faux pasta dish on the blog docket.

Now tell me something? Have you ever?

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This was probably one of the most beautiful plates I’ve seen of just plain ol’ veggies in a long time. One of the main reasons I made this was to use up some of the recent garden haul from our backyard. My husband’s zucchini, bell pepper and tomato crops are at full picking force right now.

It truly is my favorite time of the year.

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The tastes. The colors. Oh my.

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Here’s a little secret. This may be a meatless dish but it doesn’t mean I didn’t sneak in a little side of bbq’d chicken for protein. Cluck cluck.

If you’re one that wants a strictly vegetarian only dish, just do it and add in some legumes – which I can’t stand. Did I tell you I have an aversion to beans? Specifically LIMA. Don’t even try to fool me by disguising them on my plate. I will hunt them down one by one, spear them and throw them onto your plate.

Of course there’s a story behind the creation of this dish. I really wanted to “spiralize” these veggies. So off I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy another gadget for my kitchen. I stood in the spiralizer aisle for 39 minutes staring at the array of SPIRAL TOOLS.

After speaking to a few strangers about other useless gadgets, I settled on a handheld vegetable spiral thingy that was green and looked like a dual ended pencil sharpener. I paid $19.99 less my 20% off coupon and quickly headed home to “curl” my vegetables. I was actually quite excited about what the end result would be after all the spiralling.

SO.

Here’s what happened. I stuck a zucchini into this green pencil sharpener and it didn’t do what it promised to do and that was TO SPIRAL the stupid vegetable.

THEN.

I tried a carrot.

THEN.

I packed up the green spiralizer that didn’t spiral and took out my mandolin.

THEN.

My mandolin wasn’t cooperating and my zucchini fell on the floor.

THEN.

I had laughing fit to the point of crying ….you know …when you laugh so hard you start to cry for no apparent reason except for the fact that you’re nuts and alone in the kitchen with a zucchini on the floor and a slippery mandolin? Ya. That’s what happened.

THEN.

I had to settle for julienne instead of curly cues.

The end result tasted the same and I’m thrilled that I will be getting my $19.99 less the 20% coupon back.

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Meatless Monday Faux Pasta

1 large zucchini or 2 small ones, julienned
1 bell pepper, julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
2 tbls olive oil
any type of freshly grated cheese if desired
1 recipe fresh garden tomato sauce
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3/4 large vidalia onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook tomatoes and basil over medium-low heat until tomatoes are soft.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent.
Add onion mixture to tomato mixture then sprinkle in the salt and pepper.
Let simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until thick.
Keep stirring on the 1/2 hour to make sure it isn’t scorching.
I like to puree the sauce afterwards with a handheld blender but it’s also nice with the texture of the tomatoes left in.
Place vegetables in a large skillet with 2 tbls olive oil and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Just until cooked through but not mushy. Serve with fresh tomato sauce and freshly grated cheese if desired. Serves 2.

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See ya next week!

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@simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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