Hooray for Summer! Celebration

KF and I are super lucky to live in one of the last brownstones in the area that are permitted to have a roof top deck. Its a really special feature of our apartment as it looks over the city we love. I thought it would be fun to have some friends over for sunset cocktails and dinner and a “Hooray for Summer” toast.

Hosanna, Dan and Colin enjoying the sunset

Hooray for Hosanna, Dan and Colin enjoying the sunset!

Since I design invites and paper goods for a living, at times, the idea of creating my own personal invitations is a bit daunting, or more often, the design and execution just can’t happen quick enough, so for this gathering I turned to Paperless Post. Its a beautiful invite website and for a nominal fee you can send virtual invites to your friends which arrive in their in-boxes enveloped and looking fab.

Hooray for summer invite

Partial screen shot of our virtual invite- I loved the “HOORAY” graphic!

Inspired by their “HOORAY” invite, I added “for summer” and had myself a fun theme! While in the paper store last week, I found the perfect “Single Starburst” rubber stamp (which looked more sunny to me than starry) which I purchased along with a “sunflower” pigment inkpad. I also bought some pre-cut and pre-scored cards (I wanted to make this project as quick and easy as possible).

Sun Stamp project

Hooray for a cute and easy stamp project!

Using the stamp, cards, a brown Le Pen, bamboo skewers, and scotch tape I created little “flags” for the yum cupcakes my friend Janine offered to bring (thanks Janine!).

Janine's Salted caramel cupcake

Hooray for Janine’s delish Salted Caramel Cupcake! (note the animal print cupcake wrapper- adorable!)

I also used the stamp to make an easy matching tag for the cookies I sent everyone home with. Speaking of the cookies, I wanted to match my little sunburst icon but the sun cutter I had wasn’t quite right, so I used a fluted circle cookie cutter and iced it into a burst by layering X’s (how to blog to follow).

Sunburst cookie beauties

Hooray for sunburst sugar cookies!

Sunburst Packaged cookie favors

For “something different”, I packaged the sunburst cookies in eco-friendly brown bags and closed them with a signature tag and staples

We kept the menu simple and the cocktails plentiful starting out with fresh strawberry sparkling sangria (blog to follow!) and followed up with fresh citrus “margarita queens”. For appetizer I made one of my most favorite dishes that I ever tasted behind the scenes on the Martha show- “Emeril’s Crazy Nachos” (blog on this to follow). To keep it easy and casual, and to keep the party moving, we set up a taco bar for dinner and filled it with options for both our veggie and meat eating friends. Taco Bars are super popular right now and I merged a few features about them to create my own (Mad Hungry, Bon Appetit).

Hooray for our taco bar in full swing!

Hooray for our taco bar in full swing!

With Janine’s salted caramel cupcakes and “Nicole’s” key lime pie as our sweet finale (a Martha recipe she made during last year’s “summer pie project“) everyone grabbed a cookie to go and left smiling and full, but not before we all enjoyed an amazing “Hooray for Summer” serenade, which went something like this (click here to hear this perfect summer song!)

KF playing tamborene with Kevin and Mike from the "Set Sail Sessions"

“Here Comes the Summer”: Kevin and Mike from the “Set Sail Sessions” and KF on tamborine

This weekend would be the perfect time to host a “Hooray for Summer” party of your own! Here’s to enjoying as many summer sunsets as you can!  Xo Dani