Posts tagged hosting at home
Summer Tea Cocktail Recipe

Summer is well before us, in all its glory. The locust sing their songs well in to the evening. There are swimsuits hanging to dry. The freezer is full of homemade popscicles and the days simply aren't long enough. 

I'm a natural born summer lover. With a May birthday, I'm a bit forced to love the summer. Now, May is technically spring, yes, but in Louisiana, we go straight from winter to summer around this time and I'm always itching for that first sweat first thing in the morning heat. Don't get me wrong, that heat becomes overbearing, but that's when you just need to find some water to dive in to.

There's no pressure during those summer months. Kids are out of school, vacations are in the works, usual bedtimes seem to be just a little later... My favorite part of summer are all the impromptu get-togethers that inevitably happen. Friends end up piling together as the little kids wear themselves chasing fireflies and the grown ups talk about the same ole' high school stories we always talk about. There are summer infused foods, lots of ice-cream (with way too many sprinkles), and beat-the-heat cocktails like this tasty one from Ashlyn Holmes of Shirley and Eadie, a blog about food, fiber arts, homemaking, gratefulness, and love.

Ashlyn is just the best thing on earth and on a mission to soak up the littlest simplest moments of our everyday and give thanks for them all. If you're not a follower of her blog or instagram, you should be! I reached out to Ashlyn for a sweet summer cocktail and as usual, she didn't disappoint. 


Serves 4

4 tsp. Piper and Leaf Sweet Dixie Tea (or your favorite summer loose leaf tea)
Fresh Mint


1. Place loose leaf tea in a pitcher or teapot and add 3 cups of water. Place in the fridge and allow to brew for at least six hours.

2. Place 2 to 3 mint leaves in the bottom of each glass a long with the juice of half a lemon and muddle.

3. Add an ounce of vodka to each glass.

4. Using a strainer, top each drink with tea leaving a bit of room in the glass for ice.

5. Add ½ tsp. of agave to each drink and stir.

6. Top with ice and serve.

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Another fantastic reason why I love Ashlyn and all that she stands for: she knows all kinds of great things! this company, Piper & Leaf. Local to Huntsville, Alabama, this tea artisan tea company has some amazing products, from subscriptions, to locally foraged tea blends, to wedding favors to ...YES, a traveling wedding tea bar service! Can you imagine how charming a tea bar at a wedding would be? I can't get enough of that thought.

Check out more about Piper & Leaf's wedding catering (and all of their lovely goods) HERE and check out Ashlyn's blog HERE and add them both to your arsenal of amazing things. 

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A little bit more about Ashlyn. Ashlyn has curated the blog, Shirley and Eadie, named after both of my sweet and strong grandmothers. ...a space to share her love of fiber arts, good home cooking, and southern traditions which she is inspired by the two lovely ladies mentioned above. 

Ashlyn lives with her husband in their 1920s farmhouse and for that reason alone, I'm a big fan and follower. I'm a sucker for charming old homes.

Check her out on instagram (click here).

Holiday Hosting for a Christmas Bridal Shower

So my family ...we host. Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's the fine china and the place settings. It's the toast and the prayer. We are by no means "fancy" people, but hosting and gathering has been in our blood, whether it's a formal meal at the dining room that we are otherwise not allowed in or a simple back porch party. We host. We gather. 

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I recently hosted a bridal shower at my home for my best friend. You know those friends of yours that you've had your whole life prior to now and know you'll have from here on out? ...she's one of those. So I wanted this day to be special. 

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The shower fell out around the Christmas holidays so I was in overdrive making sure all the halls were decked. I wanted to incorporate an "Italian Greenery" theme, as the future Mr. and Mrs. will visit Italy for their honeymoon ...and because yes, greenery!

My holiday cheer started way before the holiday season began prepping for this fun day. The bride-to-be was surrounded by good food, good company, and good cheer. 

We topped off a good day with cheers to the bride.
Hit of the day: Spiced Apple Cider
(recipe below)


6-8 lemons
1/2 cup of honey
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
64 oz of apple cider
16 oz of caramel vodka

Step One:
Pour 64 ounces of apple cider and 16 ounces of caramel vodka into a large glass jar or container.

Step Two:
Add the juice of 6-8 lemons (to your liking).

Step Three:
In a small bowl, mix your 3 tablespoons of sugar with equal parts water until well blended. Then pour into your glass jar (a simple syrup or vanilla bean syrup would be a good substitute).

Step Four:
Add your honey and cinnamon (if you have local honey, even better).

Step Five:
STIR ...then stir some more. Use a strainer spoon or strainer funnel to get any clumps of honey or lemon seeds out.

You can serve this hot or cold! Feel free to embellish it with a lemon wedge or apple slice! 

Wishing you all the holiday love and season. I hope you find some time to rest and read a book. I hope you indulge in some good food (or some cake) and bake so many different types of cookies.

...and ON to the New Year!

event photography |  Darian Kacey
rentals (porch farm table, love seat, candles, table runner) | Pure Vintage Rentals