Comments : 31

Hello, hope you had a wonderful and enjoyable holiday weekend. Though ours did not happen? as originally planned, we still had? a good time, dinner with friends, an impromptu dinner at our house w/friends,? a boat outing and managed to have some much needed down time at home which is always a treat.? I am,? as I have mentioned lately on top of many other things planning a family graduation dinner party for my son. We are doing it at home and with luck the weather gods will bless us with amazing weather, if I can custom order please let me put my order in now……..70, no humidity, bright blue skies,perfect sunset and no more than about 60 in the evening!

I sometimes initially get anxious about planning parties (being very detail oriented can be a curse too)? but then when I surrender to all the work that is involved, I get very excited and cannot wait to begin the process of planning and it is indeed a process! So the “theme” is? a Tuscan night….I see bright pretty blue and yellow dinnerware on a white long table (for 50) with crisp white dinner napkins, votive candles flickering, lows clusters of sunflowers flanking the entire middle of the table, and a great big beautiful Tuscan inspired table brimming with all kinds of delicious and artfully prepared foods, soft music in the background, lots of laughter….this is all how I see it and with luck it will come to fruition!

I am beginning to plan out the menu and have met with a caterer (after all I want to feel like a guest too) , so now? I am starting to work on the fun part….the decor! I am using my beautiful melamine dinnerware as an inspiration/starting point and am building from there. I don’t want it at all to feel stuffy but elegantly casual. So below a few of the elements as they are coming together, and you know I will be sharing the special day with you all!

This is kind of how my process begins in planning out a party…..


Party Inspiration

When I begin planning any party, whether its for 10 or 80, I like to think of the vibe/decor/theme I am looking to create. Even if its a small dinner party, I am all about the details…..I always say the way something is presented is almost like receiving a beautiful present wrapped up magnificently. Even its a small bar of soap to see it wrapped up beautifully just enhances the gift in a big way. Ditto when you entertain, to enhance? what you hope will be wonderful food, the presentation is also very much part of the package and certainly creates a very special experience. These were some inspiration pictures I thought of when planning this graduation dinner, often I just pull a single idea from a picture as most of these are big scaled parties/events but something about me drew me in…….


Love the idea of one very big long table….I am planning this idea as well

lifestyl-09This is a smaller version of what I hope to achieve, a beautiful elegant but inviting setting,

2726352b51ecf79ea30b80e03a18d60cThis is great…love the idea of the rustic but elegant wood trivets as part of the serving pieces, beautiful!


2e455fbe219d6c108c949daf4dc6354eThis is just stunning, it doesn’t feel stuffy or too formal but is certainly beautiful…love the flowers in the urn

7256a883e5944ce5503356308959e93bAnother beautiful setting using wooden trivets




This is such a great idea! I love the idea of champagne wine or any kind of drink for that matter displayed in a very large urn…have plenty of those:)




I didn’t have to think of this detail for long…I knew I wanted bright big yellow sunflowers gracing the center of the table, I imagine maybe 20 vases with short packed clusters of them arranged down the center of the table. They are afterall to me, “summers flower” (with some competition of course from my good friend, the hydrangea)

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Table Settings

I am thrilled to be using my beautiful melamine dinnerware from my online shop(had to order more) but they are perfect for this theme, and the colors are gorgeous. When you start pricing out rentals, they make these look like an investment that it would be silly not to make! Besides they set the theme beautifully and against crisp white linens, its a no brainer!


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This is a must have, nothing says party and mood quite like the beautiful glow from candles. I am going to be using small? votives down the middle of the very long table surrounding the sunflowers, easy peasy. I found 48 of these rounded votives for about $30.00 at Save on Crafts, these are also great to have around in general.






When you want to set the mood and create an elegant vibe, linens are a must, paper just will not do. I have the most wonderful resource (soon to be added to my online shop) of really nice? quality oversized cotton/linen 22″ dinner napkins that come in about 30 colors. They are priced by the 6’s and honestly again make renting look like just a bad idea. I am going with white as you can never go wrong and these are just perfect!


Special Serving Pieces

Love my trivets that I carry in my online shop as part of my European Kitchen line, their things are truly exquisite, very heavy duty and built to last! They are as practical as they are beautiful to use as serving pieces. We are going to be using this idea for the buffet table and the large antipasta that will be set up for the cocktail hour. Love these…….


Also got in some new pieces which I am very excited about…..




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So that is a wrap up of things so far and some insight into some of the planning and what goes into it. The food is something that we are working on but clearly a huge part of what is going on here. We are working on a wonderful but simple menu featuring the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available at this time. I love what we are planning so far…..and promise to share our special celebration with you when it happens! How about you? Planning any parties yourself?

As always thanks for stopping in and seeing what’s new over here….wishing you a wonderful day and speak again soon!

Also due to popular demand got another 140 of the gorgeous brass chargers, they are arriving today. Click here for all details. So if you? missed out on the last batch email me at, at $6.00 a charger, they are going fast fast fast!



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Sandra on

All of a sudden I’m in the mood for entertaining. Looking forward to seeing how your plans come together!

katie clooney on

All I can say is those guests are pretty darn lucky. Every detail is stunning. Have fun planning and have a wonderful week!

Melissa Hebbard on

This all sounds fabulous. It will be a night to remember.
You are so wise to buy the melamine plates and linens. I invested in some many years ago, ditto cutlery, and glasses, and we have used them constantly for parties. So much nicer to eat with and has probably long ago paid for themselves. Your plates are so beautiful too.
I love the idea of the sunflowers cut down into short vases, they look so much more friendly and fun that way. They are also a more masculine flower, so perfect for your son’s graduation.
I will keep my fingers crossed for your perfect weather.

Karena on

Entertaining on the terrace isn’t what it used to be with all that is now available! Tina, beautiful ideas to make a gathering or party a success!

The Arts by Karena

Charlotte by Design on

The elegance of simple white linens playing against rustic Tuscan sounds lovely.

Inspired Interiors LLC, CT, Rebecca Charamut Cass on

I also loved themed parties and crisp white linen tablecloths! I would add comfortable seating is important and dessert tables are especially fun to arrange! I could also see beautiful long loaves of Italian bread…a tiered bread table? and bruschetta….fabulous wine goes without saying in lovely wine glasses…and twinkling evening lights… Have a wonderful party! Looking forward to the pictures!

Sharon Ellis on

I can’t wait until you get those beautiful linens in your online shop !!! Counting down !!!

Ellen on

Love all your ideas, you make me want to plan a party!! I think the Tuscan theme is such a great one for summer, with the colors and food, it is going to be incredible. I cannot wait to see the pictures..thank you for sharing your beautiful life, it is so much fun to be inspired by you Tina and you have single handedly resurrected my interest in blue and white!

Ellen on

Also when will the napkins be for sale? We are having a July 4th bash for about 45 people and I went to rent them but at 2.50 each I think if I could find a great deal I would invest in buying them.

Debbie on

I love all of your beautiful ideas, I especially love your choice of the sunflowers as they will pull the beautiful sun kissed yellow out of your melamine dinnerware. I know the party will be a huge success! Look forward to seeing more pictures as your plans progress. Congratulations to your son on his graduation! Have a great afternoon!

Debbie πŸ™‚

South Shore Decorating Blog on

Tina, any one of your inspiration photos looks like it could have been a previous party you’ve thrown. Your guests are in for a treat!

Leslie @ Around The Table on

Such a fun theme and I love all your inspiration. I need to order some more trivets when (if..) the house ever gets finished;) They look so pretty on the table. The dishes and white lines will be perfect along with the sunflowers and votive lighting. So fun!! and I know your food choices will yummy!

Gina Diamond on

I love everything you have planned. The plates will shine against the white linen tablecloth and the sunflowers will bring life to everything. I love the idea of the one long table. So pretty

I am always planning some type of party. I am currently working on a bridal luncheon. My inspiration actually began with a beautiful invitation trimmed in a light blue and topped with a blue hydrangea. I will be using blue hydrangeas and white roses for the low centerpieces. I will be using two china patterns each in shades of blue and cream, embroidered napkins. I am very excited to be preparing all of this for a wonderful bride to be. I will share details in full on my blog in a few weeks.

Peggy Braswell on

bravo + great party tips + can’t wait to see your photos of the party.

Karolyn on

Absolutely love it!! It is going to be stunning cant wait top see pics of that! I love simple rows of sunflowers too and lots of candlelight! Have a great week!

Arell on

I loved all of your ideas and cannot wait to see your pictures (I hope that you have time to take lots!) of the final outcome. Congratulations to your son! Have a great time!!

Anita Rivera on

Dear tina, I
ove your tuscany theme and I know you will pull it off beautifully! I too am detail oriented and when I have dinner soirees at my house, everything has to be in place. Your grande maison is the perfect backdrop for this staging of events! I wish you the best weather my friend! Anita

franki on

You are SO a girl after my own heart!!! The graduation party looks fantastic and I SO love your melamine, etc. If I didn’t already have seven sets of dishes….maybe one more…. Keep us updated!! franki

The Glam Pad on

This is going to be a spectacular event! I cannot wait to see pictures!!

linda on

Love this! It is very helpful. I can use it for inspiration on a much smaller scale. I love to think and plan for some of the times we have family and friends over to be extra special. (Cosco and Giant are my caterers!!!) Sites and information like this is so helpful to inexperienced and experienced hostess both! Granted, I don’t entertain on this scale. When in the military occasionally we would host a “fancy” elegant event. I used to use Martha Stewart’s Entertaining for inspiration then. Now I have your site from the big rehersal dinner coming up in almost one year!!

michele@hellolovelystudio on

oh tina, the bacara resort glistening tablescape with twinkling lights. i’m just dying over that elegant one.

party on, mama.


Jalon Burton on

Oh my….. I love the attention you always give to the details (afterall it is All in the Detail, you know)
What a special night you are creating for everyone to always remember… A perfect graduation gift.
And I still can believe that gorgeous dinnerware is melamine!!!! To die for-
Can’t wait to watch the progression… Thanks for sharing.

Susan on

Tina you are my new Martha Stewart! I love your ideas and you have given me a new train of thought for a surprise dinner party I am throwing my husband in late August for his big 50th birthday. I was thinking hydrangeas and navy and white but now I love this sunflower idea, so very pretty and so appropriate for summer! I always get such amazing ideas at The Enchanted Home.

Sally on

It all looks gorgeous Tina,very Tuscan so colourful and fabulous….how lucky will all your guests be to enjoy your hospitality, I am sure your son will have a wonderful party for his graduation
I love all your ideas and am going to drop you an email later πŸ™‚

Enjoy your planning & praying for sunshine for the special party day

Jeanne McKay Hartmann on

What fun, Tina. I’m sure your event will be a smashing success and your son will be thrilled. Thanks for walking us through your planning process. So much gorgeousness to be inspired by! XOXO

Elizabeth on

Tina this looks and sounds amazing already! I love all of the details so far and cannot wait to hear about the menu!

Looking forward to lots, and lots of photos of the big day!

The Buzz Blog on

We know whatever you do Tina, it will be beautiful and stylish. We’ll pray to the weather gods on your behalf and know you’ll be sharing lots of pictures of the praty.
C + C

Pretty Pink Tulips on

It all sounds fabulous! Planning a party is definitely an undertaking, but as I get into the process, I usually get more and more excited about it. It is truly a gift of an experience you give to others. And, these days I think experiences as opposed to things are the way to go!!!

I’m working on a garden club luncheon for 50 for next week. Luckily, not at my house. But, I’m coordinating everything. I’ll be much more relaxed a week from Friday!

Adore the brass chargers and would love for you to add me to your list for 12 (plain or beaded) if you have them in stock!
xoxo Elizabeth

Sandy on

Sounds wonderful!

Stephanie Morrison on

Sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see pics!


Love these inspiration tips on planning a party! I would love to plan a fun al fresco dinner party this summer! I’m going to pin these great ideas!

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