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Budget Friendly Hosting Ideas

With Valentine's Day around the corner, everyone is hosting parties for their loved ones. Dinner parties can get overwhelming and costly for the host real fast. To keep it easy and fun for everyone, a good trick is to theme the party according to what will be served - this way there is no guessing involved. When i think of Galentine's parties in particular, i think of sweets, cocktails, photo ops & laughter! Keeping that in mind, i planned a cake & cocktail party...i mean who doesn't secretly want to skip to dessert any way! ;)

Everything i bought and created for this party is explained & linked below....enjoy! :)

XO Balloon Photo-Op

I bought mini heart shaped balloons from Oh Happy Day (an assortment of 30 balloons for $9) and just stuck them to the wall in the shape of "XO":


Normally i would bake my own cake, but i knew i wanted to share ways to make hosting fun for people who really don't want to do nor spend much. As cake was an integral part of this party, i wanted to make it the focal point, so either a big slice of cake or an individual mini cake for each person. I shy away from grocery store cakes, just because there are so many amazing bakeries here in Chicago, but to keep it cost effective, i headed to Jewel and found a pretty delicious looking strawberry shortcake for $10. However, i didn't love the look of this cake - so i asked the kind person behind the counter if they could cut the cake into four big slices and ice each slice with lazy strokes and in light pink icing. To my amazement, they agreed to do it and all i had to do after was to add some raspberries to garnish it and voila!


I had my friend and amazing mixologist, Argelia from VidaMiaCocktails create the main cocktail for the cake pairing and she came up with a simple & delicious Hibiscus Gin Sparkler.


.70 Fresh Lime Juice

1.5 oz of Hibiscus Sweetened Tea or @vidamiacocktails Hibiscus Elixir (see recipe below)

1.5 oz @TheBotanist Gin


Shake all ingredients except the Prosecco in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Strain the liquid cocktail in a glass coupe. Add a splash of Prosecco and your favorite garish.

@VidaMiaCocktails Hibiscus Elixir

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

3 tablespoons of dry Hibiscus leaves

3 cloves

1 small cinnamon stick

Meringue Tower

Initially i wanted to make a croquembouche and style it with pretty flowers, but i knew that was a huge feat for anyone not into hosting. So i just bought a box of pre-made meringue's from Mariano's, stacked them to make a tower and added some pink flowers to it.

Candles & Candle Holders

My current obsession are colored taper candles and i think i have every color possible now. Amazon to the rescue for these beautiful red & pink taper candles + clear glass candle holders in various heights to give your table dimension:

Plates & Napkins

To make this even more appealing to the ones who don't like to host, i figured chic paper plates so they don't even have to clean up much. I am obsessed with Harlow & Grey tableware!

I got the Rebelle Set:


I am a self proclaimed floral snob. I really tried to cheap out on this, but i just couldn't and asked my friends at Flower Firm to create a couple of simple bud vase arrangements and sent them an inspiration picture of what i was looking for. Of course they got the vision perfectly - using light pink full bloom roses, brighter pink ranunculus, some fillers and my new favorite, bleached oat grass in white. If i didn't go this route, I would have gone to Trader Joe's and picked up some blooms and created my own arrangements in bud vases of varying heights. Also, Jewel now has blooms by Debi Lilly which are beautiful and really good quality, lasting much longer than regular grocery store flowers.

I hope this post inspires you to host more often... just remember to have fun with it! ;)



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