Comments : 63

Hello my long lost friends! I have so missed being here but my days and nights have been beyond busy…and my feet are living proof! What a hectic, beautiful, fun, amazing, chaotic, memorable week this was, filled with all kinds of wonderful milestones (around my son). There were many school functions surrounding the senior graduating class, his prom, my family coming in and finally it all culminated with his graduation and his graduation party…phew!!

When you plan a party, you start imagining all the details and how you hope it will all come together. I started with a vision and didn’t let go of it, I admittedly started doing heavy duty planning only about 2 weeks ago, late for me but I have been so tied up with many balls in the air. As the day approached besides praying for gorgeous weather I also prayed for all the details to come together as I had hoped they would. And guess what? They did, maybe even surpassed my expectations a bit. I had a wonderful caterer, the first time I have used her who prepared a beautiful spread, she shared my vision of getting both the taste of the food and the aesthetic? just right…so we were on the same page! Plus the weather in between days of rain and humidity was a “10” ……picture perfect.

I handled the decor and went for a “Dining under a Tuscan sun” theme and by golly, I think I pulled it off. I had an excellent staff of people helping behind the scenes, and we all know this is super key to a party turning out flawlessly. My mom and sister were here on hand and helped me out tremendously as well, so it was proof that it really does take a village:)

The most wonderful aspect of this evening was being able to my son who has made us incredibly proud. He has grown into a truly fine gentleman and when he surprised us with a speech of his own at the cake cutting…it brought some to tears. Being able to share this special milestone in his life with our LARGE extended family (my husbands side, not mine, it is only my sister and I) was a night we will always remember. And certainly it was more than worth the work and effort it required to pull this off.

So that is it in a nutshell…..time to share the highlights. You know me and my pictures, I do not believe in moderation so this is very picture heavy, don’t say I didn’t warn you:) Also my caterer had a photographer come to capture some highlights so I hope to get those in a few days and will certainly share. Enjoy…..




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To many of of you who knew of my sunflowers woes, with it just being the beginning of the season, they (around here) are hard to find. I was able to find some last minute so added them to the hydrangeas and guess what…..little secret here, added a few faux sunflowers to the center and no one knew!! To my reader who spotted sunflowers in CT. and so incredibly kindly offered to purchase them for me and meet me to help me out….you were amazingly kind to offer! My readers are simply the best!



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READY TO PARTY- Ready to see the finished product? The long Tuscan farm-ish table seating 50 was exactly how I had envisioned this dinner in? my mind when I first started to plan this party. I just loved the effect, it was pure magic! Once sunset hit with the sparkle of the votives sprinkled all around the table, it was really beautiful.? The spectacular weather also helped and enhanced the “dining under the Tuscan sun” inspired theme…….


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Yum, and yes it was as tasty as it looks…..

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THE FOOD- It’s always about the food (and the decor of course). We started with a huge antipasta and a bevy of breads/toasts and had assorted hors d’oeuvres passed, everything from outrageous chicken meatball lollipops to berry and goat cheese tartlets, mini fish tacos and stuffed figs.

Then we were seated, a beautiful goat cheese and fig salad was on everyone’s plate, there was a small starter of? capellini with fresh tomato sauce and then finally onto the Tuscan inspired buffet…..

For dinner, there was delicious steak right off the grill, huge jumbo lime infused grilled shrimp, grilled vegetables, a few rices and bulgars,? several amazing salads, all using the freshest ingredients right from the farm. The food was fabulous and I felt the menu was perfect given the season and occasion.

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A little touch I included on all the napkins:)

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AND DESSERT OF COURSE! We had a large beautiful graduation cake and had a “dessert bar” with mini wonderful bite sizes of everything from key lime shakes, to mini chocolate cakes to berry tartlets and mini brownies,? carrot cupcakes and more…it was divine!

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NEXT MORNING- getting to still enjoy the gorgeous flowers and of course yummy leftovers!!

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Thank goodness for pictures and memories……I will always cherish this special evening with our family to honor our son. It was such a beautiful and memorable night. It took a lot of planning and execution but it was so worth all the effort in the end. I am happy I was able to share it with you along the way and hope you enjoyed sharing this special night with us!

Thanks as always for stopping in…..wishing you a wonderful evening. I will be back in a few days, going to take a couple of days to recover and catch up on everything:)


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Anonymous on

Wow Tina This looks AMAZING. I am so happy all your planning, and hard work created PERFECTION…..What a lucky young man, to have such a loving Mom to create a Wonderful evening that will be remembered forever. And all this on your sore knee! I hope this week you can take it easy and enjoy the sweet memories. Susan

Sandy @ You May Be Wandering on

Wow, wow, wow!!!! Your pictures of the party are fantastic…and you were definitely blessed with gorgeous weather!! The menu sounds delicious too! Thanks for sharing and have a fabulous week, Tina! xoxo

Samantha on

I am speechless over how beautiful this is…prettier than most weddings:-) Your decor was incredible Tina, I love the lucite chairs, the long farm table concept, gorgeous flowers, rustic elements, you hit it out of the park and your son is so very handsome (from the picture) love the idea of tying his picture with twine for the napkins- so clever! Thank you for sharing these most beautiful highlights, I am going to send this to my equally beauty obsessed friends!

Things That Inspire on

What a beautiful evening! You are so lucky with the weather. I have learned to not worry too much about it, just hope fir the best, and be incredibly grateful when the weather cooperates!

Where is your son heading off to college? We are starting college visits soon so it is on my mind! Any words of wisdom?

Congratulations to you and your son. Have a wonderful summer!


Lisa A. on

Tina, this is INCREDIBLE. Just out of a fairytale, your son must have been on cloud nine! YOU NEED A BOOK!!! You are a master entertainer right alongside Carolyn Roehm who is a friend of my mothers. A lovely lady with superb taste just like YOU. Thank you for sharing your special night with us, hope you get to rest a bit now;-)


Tina, what a beautiful celebration, perfect appointed and your home in the background made the perfecgt backdrop. Congratulations,

Antoinette on

Such a beautiful way to celebrate a big milestone! Congratulations to your son for graduating and to you and your husband for helping him achieve it. Thank you for sharing this special moment.

Susan on

Absolutely beautiful in every way. A treasure to be remembered!

Vicky on

In the words of Cole Porter . . . “what a swelligant, elegant party, this is!”

Eileen on

Just lovely and elegant . Thank goodness for gorgeous weather…and what a good looking son!!

Victoria A. on

Congratulations to your son and the whole family. I am sure the party, with all it embellishments and deliciousness, was a smashing success.
XO, Victoria

L.P. on

Spectacularly perfect, Tina. Job well done. Enjoyed the pictures immensely and what a good looking son!

Dori on

The party was gorgeous and your son is so handsome!!!

Anita Rivera on

Oh Tina, I want to cry! To see the amount of people that you know to even fill that large and lovely table! WOW! How fortunate your son is to have such a caring family to throw such a party! And that you had good weather, what a blessing from above. We have been having such horrible storms here one day, then the next day, such perfect weather. I am so happy you pulled this off.

The food, the flowers, the backdrop of your manor, it is all a beautiful celebration. Bravo to you dearest Tina! Anita

Lucy on

I have only been visiting your blog for a couple of weeks but wanted to say that that was the loveliest party I have ever seen. I agree that everything was perfect. Can’t even imagine his rehearsal dinner!!!!!!!



katie clooney on

Wowza!!!! in every sense of the word!!! Sista and I went through the pics THREE times just ooooohing and aaaaaahing…. what an incredible sendoff for a grad!! I am in awe and yet not the least surprised!! Everything you do is so elegant. Thanks for always sharing!

Katherine on

What a wonderful treat for all the graduates. A perfect night {great weather}, wonderful food and a gracious hostess for a Mom. He’s a lucky man.

Leslie @ Around The Table on

Tina, this is wonderful and when you said ..still enjoying the flowers and left overs.. I smiled. The feeling to have just completed this event and NOW you can relax and enjoy the calm after the chaos. I know your son, family, and friends were appreciative of the beautiful presentation as well as the effort it took to do all of this. Congratulations to your son and YOU and your husband for putting this event on! We had three days of graduations for my daughter over the weekend and I’m exhausted (Masters at UW) .. your next chapter:) Hope you have a fun week planned and get some R&R. xxL

Karolyn on

Well Tina I am not showing this post to Kylie! This was amazing more like a wedding rather than a graduation party, just gorgeous! You son is a lucky young man to have a mother like you! I know who to consult if I ever do large party!

Anonymous on

Seems like a lot for high school graduation…what can you possibly do for COLLEGE graduation?

Peggy Braswell on

what a wonderful party + i know the planning that went into all of it + you deserve a well deserved rest + how blessed your son is to have such parents.

Elizabeth on

Tina, this is stunning!!!! It looks like a fabulous, family party! I love the flowers, the food and the whole thing.

You did an amazing job and it sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. Enjoy your days off.

Debbie on

Tina, everything was absolutely beautiful! I was so happy to see you were able to include sunflowers in your Tuscan theme. The presentation of the food was exquisite, the d?cor was gorgeous, the table setting was elegant and yet so inviting, I loved the picture of your son, what a handsome young man, and oh so blessed to have such a thoughtful and giving mom! Thank you for sharing this momentous occasion with us, definitely MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Enjoy your days of rest, you deserve it! Debbie πŸ™‚

Cheryl on

Tina, what an amazing evening you created for this milestone in your family’s life. Congratulations to you and your husband for helping your son to this point in his life. The best is yet to come, as they say. Your spread was incredible, and so picturesque. Again, congrats to your son. He is blessed to have such wonderful parents !

Sarah on

I thought about your party on Sunday – and couldn’t wait to hear about it. Wow – the photos are spectacular!! What a memorable night. So very happy for you and your family. Congratulations on a perfect event!

Melissa on

I have been keeping my fingers crossed for the weather for you so I am thrilled for you that it was a perfect evening AND that you found some sunflowers. Very clever to use some fake ones too.
What a magical night it must have been. You have designed the most wonderful outside entertaining space and you brought it to life with your beautiful decorations and food.
I love that big wooden trug that you used for the salad too. I wish I could get hold of those lovely lucite chinoiserie dining chairs, they are so stylish.
You son looks so handsome, what a lovely touch to add the photo as a little momento for the guests.
Congratulations on the evening and on you gorgeous son. You gave him a night to remember.


Congratulations to your son! What a cutie pie! You must be so proud of him and all of your boys! Loved everything you did to create a Tuscan under the sun theme! GORGEOUS!

Donna Bradshaw Clark on

Simply outstanding! What a night and what a gorgeous baby boy! I know he’s not but won’t he always be your baby? πŸ™‚
Also, could we have a glimpse of you and what stunning dress you decided to wear? After all, we helped you pick out the dress so now we have to see the beautiful results! PLEASE?

Karen Leverette on

Absolutely beautiful, Tina! Thanks for sharing your special memories with your readers!

BettyBaker on

Magnificent party. I cannot mention all the lovely arrangements you had as there were so many and they were all outstanding. Your son looks very handsome. I guess the only thing missing is a picture of you, your husband and son together. Congratulations young man – you are a lucky one.
Betty Baker from Ontario,Canada.

Rita on

Wow! What a beautiful celebration to have for your son. Everything looked so beautiful.

Melissa Rakowski on

So beautiful. You totally lucked out with the weather!! What a weekend! Congrats to your son!

Anonymous on

Perfection – as is all that you do – including you children it seems πŸ™‚ They are so lucky to have you as are we your fortunate readers – to be able to share vicariously. Thank you!

marilyn on

What a beautiful and sumptuous feast! quite elegant! Your son is gorgeous…quite a handsome young man…He must be thrilled to have such a creative and caring mom….I’m sure this will be the most talked about party of the season…Congratulations to both of you!

Juli on

Spectacular in every way…elegant, chic and beautiful. Most of all, you can feel the love you put into this evening for your son.
May I ask who you used for the catering? Congratulations to all of you

Carol P. on

Wow, Tina you certainly know how to plan a party! What a fabulous event it must have been! The food flowers, tablescape looked divine! And… Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your handsome son:-) Congratulations to him and to you and your husband on raising him!

Marsha Cannon on

That was a beautiful party and you are right on about the photos and memories. You will enjoy revisiting this one again and again. Congratulations on your son’s graduation!

Susan on

Now THIS is a party, ever consider being a party planner in your spare time? Bravissima to you Tina. Love all the details, the flowers, lucite chairs, the food, the spread, and of course weather is always the icing on the cake. Thank you for sharing the beauty.

Shari on

This is absolutely lovely! What good ideas…and such ease…thank you for sharing!

Jeanne McKay Hartmann on

Congratulations, Tina! You must be so very proud of your son and I’m so glad you got to celebrate his accomplishments in such beautiful style. Everything looks just stunning, great job! Love the hydrangea sunflower combo and of course your touches of blue and white here and there. And the food! Boy, am I hungry now. How wonderful to have these memories to last a lifetime. Best wishes to your son as he steps forward into the next phase of his life! And hugs to you, friend. XOXO

[email protected] on

Tina!!! You hit this one out of the park!! It is just perfection. I can tell it took a lot of effort and work, but so worth it. Congratulations to your son and your family! He is lucky to have you as a mom.

Warm regards

Emily @ TownAndCountryShuffle

Gina Diamond on

What a very special evening! Congratulations to your son. Everything was so very beautiful and the menu was fabulous. I know you are happy you could honor your son in such a loving way. What a wonderful memory.

Sally on

Oh my goodness Tina, what can I say…

Your son’s party looks absolutely wonderful, perfect in every way ( …I knew it would be) and what a dashing young man he is, please send congratulations.
I am so delighted you had such a beautiful evening, and touched that you shared with us. The photograph in the dusk, taken across your lawn is just so lovely

You and your family will treasure the memories of this time
Brava carissima Tina, now enjoy a few moments of peace :))

Victoria on

Tina! You have outdone yourself, my goodness you are a master. I love the clear chairs, would love to know where you got them (I am in CT) and having an engagement party for my step son here in August. The flowers, the food, the ambiance and of course your home as a backdrop could not be any prettier, magnificent!

Stephanie Morrison on

Just love the personal touch of his picture on the napkin holder! Looks like a lovely affair πŸ™‚

Leslie on

Exquisite in every way, I think most brides wish theri wedding coudl be so elegant. I see the “Tina touch” everywhere, just amazing!

Great touch with his picture (and what a handsome young man) on the napkin ring. I am going to copy:-)

Sherry on

This left me breathless, what a spectacular evening you created, one i am sure everyone will fondly remember for a long, long time. Your son is so handsome and what a lucky young man to have a mom who can throw this kind of party!
Tina the details are just perfection, the flowers, table setting, the food, it is all so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us, you have inspired me once again.

Meg A on

All very beautiful but my two favorites are the tiered antipasta! and the hydrangea-sunflower combo. Looks like a wonderful celebration.

[email protected] on

congratulations on this amazing fete, tina! such an inspiring soiree that reflects your pride and joy as you honor the graduate. my mouth is watering here, and it’s close to 10 pm so i see chocolate gelato in my future 15 minutes. goat cheese and figs. yum. adding that to my grocery list for tomorrow. hope you are able to kick off the shoes and relax with some pool time now that your event was a success. only wish i was there to serenade you from my studio (your pool house, remember?). love to you.


Roz on

CONGRATULATIONS!!! TO you and the whole family. The party was magnificent…..well done!! Best Wished to the graduate an all his classmates!!!

Joana_JW on

Congratulations for the grown up Gentlemen; I wish him all forms of success in the coming future! Well, it seems like a perfect party with happiness around. I mean happiness in form of beauty and yummilicious food. This is stunning, Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

franki on

Now…THAT was a PARTY!!!!! franki

Linda Lowe on

I hope your guest have as wonderful time as your decorating and prep is!! Love the lucite bamboo chairs!!

Anne on

W O W!!!!!
Love the theme, the decor, the food, the setting, what a fairytale of a night it must have been. BRAVO!

Design Chic on

What a wonderful cause for celebration – such a happy time for your handsome son – know you are so, so proud! Now on to the AMAZING party. The details are all so beautiful and the table stunning. Love the combination of the sunflowers and hydrangeas and the food is art in itself?gorgeous evening!! (love the lucite chairs)!!!

Jody on

Hi Tina,
This could be a in a magazine it’s so well done! It’s fabulous that you have oodles of money and can have such magnificent events catered! Lovely taste, lovely evening!
Lots of Money really does make life fun – good for you for trickle down economics with all the catering staff:)

Luciane at on

Wow! Congratulations, my friend!!! What a blessing having your son graduating! I wish all the best to him… all the success and happiness!

Now, this was just stunning, my friend… if you can can prepare a graduation party like this, can you imagine a wedding??? LOL Wow!!!! πŸ™‚

I am honestly VERY, VERY happy for you and your family!

Lots of Love!

Luciane at

Luciane at on

Oh, one more thing, Tina… I saw a picture you shared of yourself before and your son seems to be just like you! He has so much of you…. the eyes, hair color!


Luciane at

Martha Erwin Mercer on

Tina, Your son’s graduation party was over the top,- absolutely gorgeous! I loved every single detail, especially the idea of tying his picture around the napkins. He is such a handsome young man. Thank you very much for sharing all the beautiful pictures with us. I couldn’t wait to see them.

sherry hart on

Holy party Tina…..that was incredible! You are THE party planner for sure and everything looked so beautiful.

Jayne on

You really outdid yourself! A very luck “50” to be invited to that party! I am sure that it will be an important night to remember for your son!

Fashion-isha on

Wow this party looks perfect! I will always prefer hydrangeas over every other flower and the plates are gorgeous!

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