Category Archives: Celebrations

Brown Paper Bag Wine Tasting Party

February 16, 2017

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Whether it’s a casual cookout or a themed party, Jamie and I love to host people in our home and we love to bring people that we love together. A couple weeks ago, we hosted a wine tasting party and we had the best time! We are always looking for fun events to host, and after hearing about this idea from a friend, we knew it would be a good time!

If you’re a fan of red wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres and good company, this party is for you!

Invites:
– I recommend having no more than 12 people (6 couples). The more people you invite, the more wine that you have to try, the longer it takes.
– Explain the rules of the game (see below) and ask each person to bring 2 of the exact same bottles of red wine with a strict spending limit of $10 (1 bottle can range in price anywhere from $00.01 – $10.00). *You can make the spending limit anything that you want, but I would recommend doing at least $10*
– Ask each guest to bring their favorite appetizer to share!

calliedavis-brownpaperbagwineparty-1004 Preparation:
– Print out Tasting Notes, Voting Cards, and Bottle Numbers (according to your number of guests)
– At your local wine store or grocery store, ask for brown paper wine bags to hide each of the tasting bottles.
– We purchased plastic cups and had each guest write their name on it, to keep the wasting of cups to a minimum.
– Be sure to put a spit / washing bucket and a pitcher full of water in the center of the table for people to spit out their wine (drink responsibly!) and to rinse their cup between tastings!

calliedavis-brownpaperbagwineparty-1002 Party Logistics:
– When each guest arrives, ask them for both of their bottles of wine
– Take both bottles into a separate room. Put 1 bottle in the “Winners Pile” and use the other for tasting. Put the tasting bottle in a brown paper bag with a number. Be sure to take the cork label off at the top so there is no way to tell which bottle is which.
– Once everyone has arrived, bring all of the bottles out and place them on a table in order from least to greatest.
– Begin the tasting by explaining the rules.
– When you believe everyone has tasted each wine and completely filled out their voting card, gather all the cards for tallying.

calliedavis-brownpaperbagwineparty-1008 Scoring:
– 3 points for first place
– 2 for second place,
– 1 for third place
– The wine with the most points wins! The guest who brought the first place wine gets to go home with 11 bottles of wine that were set aside at the beginning of the game! Last place has to take their bottle home (because no one wants last place wine!)

Our Christmas Decorations

December 22, 2016

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When it came time to decorate our home for Christmas, I knew exactly how I wanted to do it. There is already a lot of green in our home with our indoor plants, so I wanted to add to those with more natural elements, like fresh garland with twinkle lights, fresh cotton and red berries. I made some red and green plaid pillow covers for our couch and purchased a couple new accent decor pieces like these affordable glass candlesticks, peppermints to add to our glass hurricanes and a red striped table runner from Target’s dollar spot to add some pops of red! I love our decor so much, I just might never take it down!

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2016 Christmas Cards

December 20, 2016

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Merry Christmas from our little family to yours! If I had it my way, I would send each of you one of these lovely Christmas cards, as this is one of my favorite Christmas traditions (our 2014 cards and 2015 cards). As always, I am so happy with the way that these lovely cards from Minted turned out. This gold foil “Fir Frame” by Alethea and Ruth was the perfect pair for our outdoor picture taken by Olivia Suriano with Nancy Ray Photography!

Each year, I love putting together our year in review. It’s so much fun to look back on the past year and I love that over time we’ll be able to reminisce on the things that we accomplished as well as some funny things that happened!

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2nd Anniversary in Charleston, SC

July 20, 2016

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To celebrate our second wedding anniversary, Jamie planned an awesome trip to Charleston a month before our actual anniversary. Want to know a really funny story? This whole trip was supposed to be a big surprise for me. Jamie had everything planned out and was hoping to tell me to pack my bags the morning of our trip, send me off to work and then leave that afternoon, not telling me where we were going until halfway through the drive. Let’s just say things didn’t work out as he had planned, but I felt so loved and cared for to find out about his original plan! A month before our trip, I started insisting on going on a short trip for our anniversary and of course suggested Charleston. He played it cool, and acted like we shouldn’t do that and I could tell something was wrong. The nosy woman that I am, I got the surprise out of him and was so excited to go back to hear about the trip he had already planned!

We had not been back to Charleston by ourselves since our wedding and I was so excited to do all of our favorite things as a married couple. On our way into Charleston, we stopped at River Oaks where we were married and spent the late afternoon picnicking on the dock, walking around the property and reminiscing all the moments that happened on our wedding day, and catching up with Marianne, the owner of the venue. It was an afternoon that I won’t ever forget. We popped a bottle of champagne, enjoyed a delicious spread of cheeses and meats, and danced to our first dance song. We filled in these sentences: “Two years ago… and in two years…” We laughed, celebrated our accomplishments and had a fun conversation about our future. I’m so grateful for this sweet time of celebration.

Charleston is one of our favorite places not only because we were married there but because of it’s rich history, beautiful architecture, delicious food and beautiful beaches. We stayed downtown at a beautiful row house, which allowed us to walk or bike everywhere!

If you’re planning a trip, be sure to check out the lists below of our favorite restaurants and daytime activities, and please comment or contact me, as I would love to celebrate your trip with you!

Brunch:
Toast
Eli’s Table
Magnolia’s (get the Lowcountry Benedict!)

Dinner:
Cru Cafe (this is who did our wedding catering – SO good!)
Hanks (delicious seafood)
Minero (mexican food)
Poogan’s Porch (delicious southern food)
High Cotton (delicious southern food)
The Darling Oyster (delicious seafood)

Drinks
The Rooftop Bar at the Vendue Inn
Husk

Daytime Activities:
Ride bikes downtown (in my opinion, the most fun way to see the city and all it’s history!)
Find Tradd Street (it’s our favorite street thanks to A Bit of Charleston‘s recommendation)
Saturday Farmer’s Market at Marion Square
Sullivan’s Island Beach (15 mins away from downtown Charleston) – I lived there when I was younger!
Shopping on King Street – tons of fun stores (Definitely get a biscuit at Callie’s Biscuits :)

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Hosting a Bingo Night

April 29, 2016

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When my parents moved out of their house two years ago, my mom and I were going through our game closet and we found this amazing bingo set that we had completely forgotten about. In middle school, my family went skiing for Christmas, and my mom brought along this bingo set with tons of funny prizes. Our whole family played bingo all week and we had the best time! Of course, I jumped all over this set when she offered it to me, and Jamie and I have been excited to host a bingo night ever since!

A couple weeks ago, Jamie and I finally planned and hosted a bingo night at our house and we had the best time! We moved all the furniture out of our tiny family room, and brought in enough folding chairs and tables for our guests. If you’re interested in hosting your own bingo night, here’s what we did:

1. Send Invitations
We used these adorable online invitations to send to our friends. You could invite as many people as you like and have room for. We invited 20 of our closest friends because we knew our little house wouldn’t hold anymore than that.

2. Bingo set
As I mentioned above, we used this vintage bingo set which includes a metal cage, folding wood tracking tray, bingo board, and wood markers. Check out other bingo sets here and here!

3. Plan Prizes & Rounds
We charged our guests $5 per player to go towards prizes. Jamie and I created 5 pretty awesome themed baskets for the winners.

Practice Round: Explain the rules and play one standard bingo game (horizontal, vertical or diagonal line) to make sure everyone know hows to play 
Round One: Basic bingo (horizontal, vertical or diagonal line)
Round Two:  Postage Stamp
Round Three: Four Corners
Round Four: Cross
Round Five: Fill the Board

Italian Basket: 2 bottles of wine (1 red, 1 white), 2 wine glasses, pasta, pasta sauce and pasta spoon
Movie Theater Basket: Movie theater gift card, popcorn and candy
Ice Cream Basket: Goodberry’s gift card, sprinkles, cherries, root beer and ice cream scoop
Coffee Basket: Starbucks gift card, bag of coffee, coffee mug and chocolate covered espresso beans
Summer Cooler: Cooler filled with an assortment of drinks and a frisbee

Advice:
– Choose a fun person to be the Caller (Jamie did it for us and he really kept the night going and kept us laughing). This person can still play a board, they just need to be able to multi-task.
– With 20(ish) people, these 6 rounds took about an hour with 5 minute breaks in between each game. The more people you have, the quicker the rounds will go.
– Depending on how much you charge and how many people you play with, you can adjust your prizes.
– Jamie and I have an Amazon Prime account so we ordered most of the prizes on Prime Now and they were delivered to our house that day (can you say easy?!)
– If there is a bingo tie, we broke the tie by calling numbers until someone had that number on their board.
– Use coins if you run out of markers

4. Drink & Desserts 
We chose to make our event later in the evening (8:00 – 10:00pm) and served drinks and desserts instead of hosting it earlier and serving dinner. I made banana pudding and dirt pudding the day before, which was super easy and delicious!

Jamie and I can’t wait to make this an annual event at our house! Happy bingo playing!