A Nature-Inspired Valentine’s Day Party for Two

By Libbie Summers
Creative Assistant: David Dempsey
DP: Chia Chong
Editor: Candace Brower
PA: Anthony Lunsmann
Music: Madly, deeply from Melanie Ungar
Floral Design: Audrey Wagner for Carlstedt’s Florist
Cookies: Sugar Whisk Confections
Music: Madly, deeply from Melanie Ungar

My husband is a special man. One of those guys that instead of wondering how long the trays of homemade marshmallows are going to be covering the kitchen counters, he asks if he can make me a cup of hot chocolate. I wanted to do something special for him this Valentine’s Day as I would be traveling on the actual day. So, I set out to have the hot chocolate and cookie party of all parties…in the woods…with a lot of drama…and a camera crew.

His invitation read: Wear a tux and meet me where I drop you a pin.
This is what happened…


Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, A Food-Inspired Life, Valentines, Valentine's Day Party, Party Decorations,
Paper hearts with written messages on some of them (not all, I kept him looking) marked the path. 
Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Chia Chong, Valentines Day, Valentine's Day Party, Heart Crafts, Valentine's Day Crafts,
Then, he went through a paper heart curtain (learn how to make it HERE)
Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, Valentine's Day, Installation Art
Then, I had to get him to a bigger area, so it was decorated with pink paper lanterns to lead the way.
Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, A Food-Inspired Life, Valentines
Then, the tree. Imagine being a forrest and coming upon this tree. I love the unexpected.
Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, A Food-Inspired Life, Valentines
He Arrived!!! With the help of friends, I sat the sweetest little table in the woods. A quiet place
to reflect and let him know how appreciated he is.
Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, A Food-Inspired Life, Valentines
The most gorgeous and homespun chic chandelier hung over the table. I let Audrey Wagner work her flower magic. She turned to Carlstedt’s Florist in Savannah for the perfect shades of pink and green florals…
It turned out even more beautiful than I could have imagined. Audrey had been to this rodeo a few times, so she knew to keep it as light as it could be for hanging. We ended up hanging it on a tight rope between two trees. It was perfect.
Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, A Food-Inspired Life, Valentines
And these cookies! Stop it already. I asked Sugar Whisk Confections to make me a few “woodsy” heart cookies and “One that is gingham”. They were almost too adorable to eat…but we did.
Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, A Food-Inspired Life, Valentines
I made a thermos of Le Chocolat Chaud and poured us each a cup. As the sun started setting and the candle light was flickering, I looked across the table and knew the effort was all worth it. Everyday it’s worth it. Because I love this man and he looks great in a tux.
Party Decorations, Valentine's Day Party, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, A Food-Inspired Life, Valentines

Watch the story unfold…


 

 

 

 

 

Libbie’s Table: Holiday Dinner

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Production Assistant: Anthony Lunsmann
Photography by Teresa Earnest Photography
On location at The Grant Hotel, available through Lucky Savannah Vacation Rentals

Sweet Persimmons and Black Licorice were the inspiration for this intimate and dramatic holiday dinner served at dusk. I’m ready for three of the coolest people I know to arrive. Read how simply it all came together.
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A bird’s eye view of the sweetest of tables.
Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Holiday, Holiday Decorating, Holiday Tablescape, Tablescape Idea, Holiday Dinner, Holiday Party Ideas,
A lit pom pom and jute garland lay down the middle of the table and cascaded over the sides and onto the floor to lead the guests to the table.

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Holiday, Holiday Decorating, Holiday Tablescape, Tablescape Idea, Holiday Dinner, Holiday Party Ideas,
Candles upon candles upon candles in brass and mercury glass candlesticks were set in and out of the pom pom garland.Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Holiday, Holiday Decorating, Holiday Tablescape, Tablescape Idea, Holiday Dinner, Holiday Party Ideas,
Grey stoneware shallow bowls from Crate and Barrel were topped with a linen napkin from Fog Linen and flatware from Juliska. A persimmon at each place setting was a sly nod to the dessert that evening.

 

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Holiday, Holiday Decorating, Holiday Tablescape, Tablescape Idea, Holiday Dinner, Holiday Party Ideas,
Seats were covered in wrapping paper to give a nod to the holidays!

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Holiday, Holiday Decorating, Holiday Tablescape, Tablescape Idea, Holiday Dinner, Holiday Party Ideas,
All is right with the world when I can wear this plaid maxi skirt from Shabby Apple. I topped it with a bird emblazoned sweater from J.Crew outlet and my favorite black ski hat from Moncler.  The fab faux fur jacket in the image prior is from French Connection and is TO DIE FOR!  

Libbie’s Table: Turnip-inspired Holiday Lunch

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Production Assistant and Best Lunch Guest Ever: Anthony Lunsmann
Photography by Teresa Earnest Photography
On location at The Grant Hotel, available through Lucky Savannah Vacation Rentals

I’m setting a turnip-inspired holiday lunch table for a lunch with one of my most favorite people in all the world, Anthony! Like these playful turnips that filled bowls for the
centerpiece of our table, Anthony has never ceased to make me smile.
Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Turnips, Place Setting, Tablescape, Dinner table,

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Turnips, Place Setting, Tablescape, Dinner table,

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Turnips, Place Setting, Tablescape, Dinner table,

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Turnips, Place Setting, Tablescape, Dinner table,
Recipe for a Turnip-inspired Holiday Lunch Table Setting

Ingredients:
1. Casual Setting: A turnip is a humble food, so a casual table is the perfect setting. I chose a kitchen counter.
2. Super Star Centerpiece: I let the turnip be the star by filling 4 simple white bowls with turnips, then I added some holiday by tucking in silver ornaments and greenery.
3. Placemats: Instead of any ordinary placemat, I used handmade paper and folded in a pocket for the flatware.
4. Ombre Dyed Napkins: I wanted to mimic the beautiful ombre of a turnip skin, so I took a wet length of white linen and dip dyed it using purple vegetable dye. Then, it was torn into napkins with a beautiful frayed edge. Place a piece of green on top and it’s perfection.
5. White Plates: Sometimes, you just need a white plate. The purple napkin is perfect for placing on top for a pop!
Lunch would just be lunch unless you invited someone you loved to share the table with you. Then it’s a memory creator. 

How To Dress Your Turkey

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Video Editing by Candace Brower

Make your turkey platter magazine cover worthy with these tips!

Colorful Party Decorations

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey and Candace Brower
Photography by Cedric Smith

A courtyard birthday party filled with color and humor and homespun chic fabulousness.
Here’s a peek at all the food-inspired details!

COLORFUL PAPER STREAMERS: 
Streamers, Party Decorations, Birthday Parties, Libbie Summers
Streamers was strung from one end of the house through the courtyard and attached to the carriage house to create a colorful canopy over the cake table. (2 people, 1 hour, 7 rolls of paper streamers and one roll of painters tape)
Photo Booth Fun, Party Ideas, Birthday Party
We used orange painter’s tape to tape lengths of colorful streamers to a white wall creating a fun backdrop for our food-inspired portrait photo booth! (1 person, 30 minutes, streamer scraps and one roll of tape)

BALLOONS:
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Helium filled balloons (in the same color palette as the streamers) were taped to the floor behind the glass front garage door in various heights to give the illusion that the garage was filled with balloons and make a fun colorful backdrop. (1 person, 25 minutes, 3 dozen balloons and 1 roll of tape)
Party Decorations, Colorful Balloons, Libbie Summers, Event Decor Ideas
Colorful balloons were blown up JUST before the party started and floated in the pool. (1 person, 1 hour, 4 dozen balloons)

CUSTOM POLKA DOT TABLE TOP COVER: 
Cake Toppers, Grocery Store Cake Toppers, Libbie Summers, Cake Decorating
Tabletoppers, Fun Table Covers, Party Decorations, Libbie Summers
6-inch circles were cut out of coordinating patterned flannel yardage and laid (overlapping) on the table top to create a fun polka dot table topper! Find this affordable and easy to cut fabric in the “baby section” of your fabric store. NOTE: In the event of wind, lay strips of two sided tape down on the table first. (1 person, 2 hours, fabric scraps, scissors)

COLORFUL FOOD:
Natural Cake Toppers, Grocery Store Cake Toppers, Cake Decorating, a food-inspired life, Party Cakes, Libbie Summers
We did 5 cakes for this party (see all of them HERE) and decorated the top of each with a simple coordinating “grocery store cake toppers”! Yellow cake…yellow banana! Green Cake….a head of butter lettuce. Simple and such a fun conversation starter!! (5 cakes, 1 person, 5 hours)

COLORFUL CANDLES: 
Birthday cakes, Fun Cakes, Birthday Party
When it was time to blow out the candles, we were prepared! Every cake had a coordinating candle.
(5 candles from Smith Brother’s Butcher Shop)

WIGS AND HATS: 
Photo Booth Fun, Party Fun, Party Ideas, Libbie Summers
Party Ideas, Birthday Party, Photo Booth, Libbie Summers
The invitation read “Come dressed as your favorite food-inspired color”. We had the wigs, hats and food ready for the party portraits. (2 people, 4 hours, paper scraps, fabric scraps, glue, scissors, lots of fun!!)

FLOWERS:
Fun Flower Decorating, Flower Party, Fun with Flowers, Hula Hoop Flowers, Libbie Summers
Every party needs at least a little “live” element. This was the Tulip Hoop. The hula hoop base started out as a horrible color, so it was covered in gold tape, then the tulip ends were taped on so the flowers could drape down and blow in the wind. (1 person, 30 minutes, 1 hula hoop, 1 roll of gold tape and 8 tulips)

FUN CARDS AND PINS:
Birthday Cards from Greenwich Letterpress
Pins from Greenwich Letterpress
All the guests received their OWN birthday cards (why not) and pins to add “flare” to their look if they so chose before their portrait was taken! I love these cards and pins from Greenwich Letterpress!!

Birthday Party Decorations, Streamer Canopy, Birthday Cakes, party hats, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life
And before the party got crazy, I had all my helpers take a group photo!!
Left to right: (Josh, me, Brenda, Candace and David)