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Celebrate the art of entertaining

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27 February 2015 6 Weekend Cocktails

We’re always on the hunt for new and delicious cocktail recipes. Usually while we’re searching, we have a particular celebration and season in mind, which means we come across some amazing cocktails that sometimes aren’t quite right for the theme we have in mind.

So, today we wanted to share these recipes, just because! Don’t get us wrong, they’re great cocktails for birthdays, weddings and bridal showers, but they’re also perfect for Friday arvo drinks, Saturday sippers and Sunday sessions.

Seeing as it’s Friday morning, you’ve got plenty of time to grab everything you need and call your girlfriends around this weekend to try one, or all, of these delicious cocktail recipes below.

Happy Friday people!

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Left: Sour Green Apple Jalapeño Margarita via Heather Christo | Right: Grapefruit Lemongrass Cocktail via Swooned

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26 February 2015 Buffets, Bars + Stations

There are so many fun ways that you can incorporate buffets into your celebrations. They can act as a means to feed the masses or as an entertaining way to give out party favours! If we’re honest, you can make almost anything into a buffet, but here are some of our fave ideas, with a few extra thoughts at the bottom.

Take a look and get inspired to wow your guests at your next celebration with an fabulous bar, buffet or station!

Sweets Buffet

Basically you want to get a whole heap of your fave mini sweets and squeeze them onto one big table. We’ve got plenty of inspo on how to create a unique sweets buffet. Check out our 10 tips for styling a sweets buffet here or our colourful sweets buffet here. We think there is no better, or more enticing way to serve dessert.

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Photography Ducky Professional Photography | Buffet Memories are Sweet 

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26 February 2015 Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Repeat after us – Giant. Chocolate. Chip. Cookie. Cake. If you love cookies, cake and chocolate in excess (who doesn’t) this recipe is going to blow your mind and change your entire outlook on life.

TIME

40 minutes

SUITABLE FOR

Ages 12 +

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Cookie cake: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened | 3/4 cup brown sugar | 1 tsp vanilla extract | 1 large egg | 1 and 1/4 cup plain flour | 1/2 tsp baking soda | 1 tsp cornflour | 3/4 cup chocolate chunks

Chocolate buttercream: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened | 3 cups icing sugar | 1/4 cup cocoa | 2 – 3 tbsp milk

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a round cake tin with non-stick paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until combined. Add the vanilla extract and egg and continue to beat until soft and creamy.
  2. Sift in the flour, baking soda and cornflour. Gently fold until dough starts to come together.
  3. Add the chunks of chocolate and fold through the batter. Place all the dough into your prepared tin and press down and spread out as even as possible. Place in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool completely.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy and smooth and then sift in the icing sugar. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time to help loosen up the mixture. Add the cocoa powder and continue to beat. The icing should be nice and creamy but thick enough to hold its shape. Pipe the icing onto the cake and then cut and serve.

AND THEN

Serve the cookie cake with a scoop of ice cream for a sweet dessert.

TIP

Use big chunks of chocolate rather than chocolate chips for extra chocolate goodness!

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26 February 2015 Allan + Susan's 40th Anniversary

When two people have been married for 40 years, it’s something pretty special and definitely worth celebrating. So, that’s exactly what Allan and Susan did to commemorate their 40th wedding anniversary.

The couple began the day with lunch at Hotel Queanbeyan, the very same place they had held their wedding reception 40 years earlier. They even replicated some photos on the same set of stairs, where they had their original photographs taken on their wedding day. After reminiscing their big day, Allan and Susan headed back home and had an intimate dinner in their backyard with their children and grandchildren.

Everything was styled with a 1970s theme (1975 to be exact). They even used the same blue car that Allan had taught Susan to drive in, had to proposed to her in, had used as their wedding car and had driven their daughters to their weddings in. Talk about nostalgic!

We got all warm and fuzzy inside when we saw the images of this 40th anniversary and we bet any money that you will too! Enjoy.

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25 February 2015 Have a Pineapple Birthday!

FREE STUFF!

Do we have your attention? Don’t be ashamed, everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s a free printable birthday card! All you really need is one piece of quality paper (and you can probably get that from your neighbour), then simply download and print this rad illustrated pineapple birthday card from Sara Ridky.

TIME

5 minutes

SUITABLE FOR

All ages

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

computer | printer | A4 white card (quality stock) | scissors

WHAT TO DO

  1. Download and save the template
  2. Open the PDF in a PDF reader software program such as adobe reader or EPS/vector editing software
  3. Set the page to print on an A4 sheet
  4. Once printed, trim the card to size according to the crop marks on the page

AND THEN

Fold in half, write something super sweet inside and hand deliver to the birthday gal/guy!

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25 February 2015 Anchorage Wedding Showcase

Are you about to start planning your wedding? Well, we’ve got just the thing for you – The 2015 Anchorage Wedding Showcase!

Located on a picturesque marina and nestled amongst surrounding bushland is Anchorage Port Stephens, an utterly jaw-dropping, waterfront wedding venue. On Sunday March 29, Anchorage will be transformed into a wedding wonderland showcasing the incredible waterfront vistas and featuring design specialists, celebrants, florists, photographers and heaps more, all to help you plan your special day.

Oh and did we mention that Anchorage has undertaken some astonishing refurbishments? No? Well they totally have and it will all be unveiled at this showcase in March!

Head along to the event and take the time to stop and enjoy local musicians while you imagine your perfect wedding in front of the marina, or for a bit of fun jump into the photo booth and start creating life-long memories! You’ll also be invited to stroll through indulgent wedding suites and guest rooms on the day.

Here’s all the important stuff:

Date: Sunday 29 March

Time: 11am – 2pm

Location: Corlette Point Road, Corlette NEW 2315

To register your interest in sipping Champagne, enjoying petite fours and taking in the stunning water views, contact Wedding Coordinator Katie Nicholas on (02) 4984 2555 or email katie@anchorageportstephens.com.au.

IT’S COMPETITION TIME!

Win 2 x tickets to the Anchorage Wedding Showcase in Port Stephens, including one night’s accommodation (Saturday March 28) for 2 people in one of their luxurious guest rooms with a delicious breakfast the next morning at The Gallery Restaurant!

The enter all you have to do is email liz@anchorageportstephens.com.au and tell her in 25 words or less why you want to attend the Anchorage Wedding Showcase.

Entrants must be over 18 years of age. Competition closes March 16 and winners will be notified by email March 18.

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25 February 2015 Valentine's Day Baking with The Cake That Ate Paris

Sunday February 8 saw our very first HOORAY! workshop for 2015 – Valentine’s Day baking with Bree from The Cake That Ate Paris.

You can read all about the day and view all of the amazing photos right here. But before you do, check out this magical little film, thanks to Lester & May.

If you like what you see, check out our upcoming workshops here.

TheCakeThatAteParis StyleSesh Feb2015 from Lester and May on Vimeo.

Host The Cake That Ate Paris | Photographer Byron Loves Fawn | Videographer Lester & May | Venue Secret Garden | Furniture + Styling LoveStruck Weddings | Goodie Bag PeppaHart, Alex Mae, Whileaway + Boheni

24 February 2015 Throw an Ice Cream Themed Party

So we kind of just realised that we’re approaching the end of February, how crazy is that? And unfortunately we also realised that this means summer is already coming to an end [insert devastated emoticon here].

To commemorate the end of the sunny season and to make use of the limited number of warm days you have left, we propose you throw an ice cream-themed party! We don’t even think you need an excuse, like a birthday, to celebrate. Because ice cream is one of mankind’s greatest inventions, and even though we’re always up for eating the good stuff, it’s just not the same when the weather gets cold. Not to mention it’s one of the cutest party themes EVER.

So check out all of the ice cream themed paraphernalia we’ve found below, then get cracking on your end of summer celebrations. After all, ain’t no party like an ice cream party.

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1. Ice Cream Wall Decal, Hard to Find | 2. Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Scoops, Lark | 3. Watermelon Printable Ice Cream Wrappers, Design Eat Repeat | 4. Ice Cream Spoons, Emiko Blue | 5. Ice Cream Van + Cups, Ruby Rabbit | 6. Wooden Popsicle Sticks, Miss Bunting | 7. Temporary Tattoos, Down That Little Lane | 8. Paper Honeycomb Ice Creams, Miss Bunting | 9. Striped Napkins, Ruby Rabbit | 10. Ice Cream Cups, Leo & Bella | 11. Ice Cream Gift Tag, Poppies for Grace | 12. Fig + Chocolate Ice Cream, HOORAY!

24 February 2015 Meet a...Stylist: Nomad Styling

Shonel is the Creative Director of styling business, Nomad Styling. She also put together the romantic bohemian-inspired Style Guide in Issue 9 of HOORAY!

We sat down with Shonel to find out more about her amazing work:

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Photography Brown Paper Parcel as seen in HOORAY! Issue 9

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24 February 2015 Eliza + Ivan

Eliza and Ivan met 8 years ago while out dancing one night. They were introduced by a mutual friend and haven’t looked back since!

Having spent their entire lives Canberra, Eliza and Ivan decided to hold their wedding ceremony at one of their favourite spots in the city, within the National Gallery of Australia’s beautiful Sculpture Gardens by Lake Burley Griffin. The reception took place at The Lobby Restaurant, a beautiful building constructed in the 60s and positioned in front of iconic Old Parliament House.

The décor of the wedding was somewhat inspired by Eliza’s dress, which was a 60s vintage-style soft pink mid-length gown, and the colour palette of navy, pink and gold was taken from Eliza’s sapphire engagement ring.

‘Overall we wanted our wedding to be classically styled, with beautiful blooms everywhere and something a little out of the ordinary.’ said Eliza. Floral stylists Moxom + Whitney used a variety of David Austin roses and Peonies in every shade of pink, as well as a variety of beautiful foliage as a starting point for the styling. ‘We wanted to focus on achieving a classic, relaxed scene for the day and to stay away from the styling being too rustic,’ said Eliza. ‘Style My Aisle had an assortment of beautiful props that were perfect in helping to achieve this look.’

Eliza and Ivan’s wedding day was a celebration of love and family. Take a look at their glorious photos below.

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