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weekend entertaining

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Your Ultimate Guide to Dining Al Fresco

entertaining al fresco with Charleston Weekender

It’s finally cooling off and getting to that time of year in Charleston where we can start getting outside more. I basically hibernate all summer in the AC, because the bugs and the instantaneous sweat just don’t make for very delightful outdoor gatherings. Now that the heat isn’t totally intolerable, I recently put together a little al fresco brunch to help inspire you to get outside and entertain this fall. I’ve included a few other small businesses I thought you might enjoy! These wonderful companies partnered with me on my most recent Weekender Wednesday Lowcountry Live TV segment, and you can watch the replay here!

Now, for a few recommendations for your next outdoor soiree:

Rigwa Bowls

These bowls are great for both serving and for storing food; the biggest perk being that they can keep foods cold for up to 12 hours and hot for up to 6! It’s basically a YETI tumbler for your food, brilliant. If you like to serve your guests family style, it’s so nice to be able to make a batch of oatmeal and have it still be hot when everyone goes for seconds! Plus, you won’t need to worry about your acai bowls becoming bowls of soup while our temps are still a little high. Learn more about Rigwa and purchase a bowl at 20% off for a limited time here.

Haand Dinner Ware

Since I’m not the chef in my household, you’re always hearing me talk more about how to decorate than what I cook. These “celadon” colored dishes and bowls are hand made in Burlington, NC, and really dressed up my table beautifully! I paired them with some black and white napkins and platters I had, but think they could work with pastels or navy, too. I’m all about easy clean up, so I love that these are dishwasher safe! You would think porcelain pottery would be too fragile to stick in the dishwasher, but it’s also durable enough to pop into the microwave.

Haand Porcelain POttery

Fresh Florals

The perfect finishing touch for any fete? Flowers! We have florists a plenty in the Holy City, but until recently we did not have a flower truck! Enter Salt + Stem, Charleston’s first flower truck and my new favorite way to shop for flowers. Check out Salt + Stem’s Instagram to find where they are popping up around town most weekends. You’ll walk away with a cute bundle all tied up in brown butcher paper, or you can bring your own vase and the lovely owner, Dani, will make you an arrangement like mine!

salt + stem flower truck in charleston sc

I hope this inspires you to get outside and host your friends, or just head outside to dine in style with your bae or your pup!

-shop my Patio Furniture here: Conversation Set-

all images by Kim Graham Photo

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Weekend Entertaining: A Squeeze the Day Soriée

white bar cart decorated for lemon party

Sometimes life gives us lemons, can I get an amen? I’ve been on a major lemon kick lately when it comes to decor, and I think it’s because yellow is just such a happy pop of color & lemons add a little whimsy to everything. I recently got a lemon enamel pin that says “squeeze the day”, and I got to thinking this would make a really cute party theme! Perhaps it could work as a pick me up for a friend who has been dealt some lemons lately, a birthday party, promotion, or a graduation celebration. Serve lemoncello spritzers if you’re entertaining adults (recipe below), and opt for lemonade if you’re celebrating with kids. I hope you enjoy this little album of inspiration photos!

lemon plastic wine glasses from Martha Stewart

All of the Martha Stewart items in this post were gifted to me, but I only accept gifts I love! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that will earn me a commission.

lemon themed party with lemon balloons

How cute are these balloons I found?! Keep scrolling to the end for all product sources &

check out the Limoncello Spritzer recipe I like to use:

Squeeze The Day Limoncello Spritzer:

  1. Pour 1.5-2 ounces chilled limoncello over ice.

  2. Alternate adding chilled bubbly (I prefer a brut like Freixenet) and sparkling water until glass is full.

  3. Stir, then garnish with a lemon wedge & serve.

Mylar Lemon Balloons for Lemon Themed Party// Draper James Dress
lemon mani for lemon themed party

Cheers, my friends. Don’t forget to make every day feel like the weekend!

lemon themed party with lemon balloons

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Weekend Entertaining: Golden Girls Style

Charleston bridesmaid luncheon Golden Girls theme

As part of my recently founded partnership with my friend Andrea of Charleston Shop Curator, “The Curated Weekend” is our joint venture that allows us to team up to create content for brands we love. It lights us up to share about other local businesses and to inspire other women as much as possible! We love a good theme, so we came up with an idea for a different spin on a Bridesmaids Luncheon for a recent issue of Charleston Weddings Magazine. Read more about that Golden Girls themed bridesmaid soiree here, or scroll on down to see how to execute a “Thank You For Being a Friend” party any time of year!


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Special thanks to:

Julie Livingston Photography (photography) // Sunwoven Studios (location) // Silhouette on Site (make-up) // Petaloso (floral design) // Lu.nu.la Nail Lab (manicures) // The Skinny Dip Charleston (shoes) // Danielle Fabrega & Duolan Li (models)

This post is created in partnership with the brands mentioned below, but we hand selected products and highlighted companies we truly adore!


-Set the Tone With Invitations-

The beautiful cards we used as invites were created by our very own “Dorothy” model, Danielle Fabrega of The Town Serif. Instead of a formal invitation, just write a personal note inviting your girls to join you for a fun gathering and that will be one invite they won’t want to pass up!

Thank you for being a friend golden girls card

-Offer a Dress Code-

It’s always adds a delightful sense of celebration when you offer a dress code, no matter how casual or formal your event. You can opt for a slumber party with sweats and pjs attire for a friendly fiesta, or don caftans & coverups for an afternoon pool party. We decided to get a little bit gussied up for our “ladies who lunch” vibes. Beckett Boutique outfitted all of us with some styling help from Andrea Serrano, and we wore outfits that we imagine the Golden Girls would have rocked if they were modern day thirty- & forty- somethings like us! Left to right we have our modern day Blanche, Rose, Sophia, and Dorothy.

Charleston Golden GIrls Themed Bridesmaid Luncheon

Beckett Boutique is located on King Street, just north of Calhoun, and is a bright and airy shop we know you’ll love! In addition to the lovely attire they offer, you’ll find some beautiful jewelry there; a mix of offerings with everything from local designers like Hart Hagerty, and other bold vintage statement pieces like this gold necklace.

charleston sc jewelry and clothing boutique beckett boutique

-Set the Table in Style-

Wicker & rattan have been a trend that thankfully seems to be sticking around, so we kept our food and beverage accessories cohesive with a lot of these natural elements from Vieuxtemps. We thought it would be neat to add some of their dinner plates in complimentary patterns for a fun mix and match effect. Always the fan of a pop of color, we incorporated some hints of green throughout our table scape.

For all of you brides to be out there, these items are all available as part of the wedding registry service Vieuxtemps offers, but they make great additions to your bar cart or china cabinet!

-Serve Up Something Healthy-

Hamby Catering & Events is hands down one of the best catering companies in Charleston; I’d love to get married all over again so I could have an excuse to use them for a reception! They have it down to a science when it comes to executing the perfect combination of a delicious menu that is a little out of the box. My favorite part of our meal was Hamby’s modern spin on the popular Salad Nicoise (which incorporated fresh, seared tuna instead of the traditional tuna salad that was popular during the Golden Girls era).

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By serving a light and elegant veggie-heavy menu, the table becomes so much more colorful, and as a bonus your guests can truly indulge and linger over the meal without needing a nap afterward! That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy a little dessert (cheesecake for Golden Girls, of course!), but consider serving a rich treat in a pre-filled dish for the perfect portion with less guilt.

Check out our full menu below:

Individual Fruit Parfaits with Vanilla Bean Yogurt, Seasonal Berries, Muscadine Jam & Housemade Granola // Roasted Carrots atop Arugula with Roasted Lentils, Pomegranate Seeds & Tahini Dressing // Petite Mixed Berry Muffins // Salad Nicoise with Arugula, Seared Tuna, Haricot Verts, Petite Potatoes, Sliced Radishes, Hard Boiled Eggs, Olives & Citrus Herb Vinaigrette // Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs // Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse

Serving a family-style menu is a fun and modern way to host a luncheon, and lends itself to a more laid back way of entertaining.


Natural tropical decor for boho brunch in Charleston SC

-Decorate Your Space-

Andrea and I knew Celadon Home would be the perfect place to find some decor elements to give that extra nod to the Golden Girl’s abode of Miami, Florida. We incorporated white lanterns as extra vases for the long wooden table, found some fun planters like this owl basket to incorporate, and added a couple of peacock chairs for the perfect focal point for taking photos (because what soiree is complete without a couple Instagram-worthy scenes?!).

-Gift Your Gals-

Whether you’re celebrating your bridesmaids or just gathering some gal pals, it’s fun to share special treats with your best babes! We picked Spartina 449’s Sea La Vie Say Thanks earrings & necklaces as the perfect “thank you for being a friend” gift table addition.

pineapple necklace and earrings from Spartina 449

Spartina 449 is a brand we adore that started not far from Charleston in Dafuskie Island, and Andrea and I got to visit their flagship store last fall. We also adorned ourselves with their jewelry for this shoot, and they keep adding to their line all the time! They also have really quirky & cute stationery, both statement and staple handbags, and recently started offering colorful clothing as well!

Golden Girls Bridesmaid Luncheon theme

Spartina 449’s new “Cabana Leaf” collection looks very Golden Girls-esque, too, don’t you think? Below are a few of my favorite pieces from this adorable new line (click on the image to shop):

We hope we inspired you to get your girl gang together soon, and see more from this shoot on my Instagram at #CHSGoldenGirls!

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Weekending Outdoors: Picnic Pointers

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This post is in partnership with Bravazzi, but all opinions are my own.

Each year I like to share some picnic scenes to help you get inspired to get outdoors! The weather is PERFECT right now, so it’s a good time to soak up the sunshine before the mosquitos set up shop.  If you live in Charleston, I’ve included some upcoming outdoor events for you to know about. If not, I’ll share a few fab picnic ideas so you can make your own fun outdoor soirée!

colorful picnic inspiration

1. Easy to Transport Libations

Bravazzi is a hard Italian soda (4.2% ABV) that comes in 4 flavors- the blood orange is my fave! Gluten free is a must for me, and it’s also all natural without icky artificial additives (it’s made with 100% fruit juices).  There’s a store locator on Bravazzi.com if you want to find it in your area, and if you’re in Cherleston you can find it at Harris Teeter. Wouldn’t it be perfect for a boat day, too?!

2. Picnic Supplies

I love the look of picnic baskets, but I find most of them to be pretty cumbersome to schlep across a park. Opt for an insulated cooler or small basket like this one I found at a vintage market. To keep clean up simple, stick with paper products & disposable utensils or finger foods. For a picnic blanket, I always stick with my old faithful, a Turkish towel of course!

colorful charleston picnic

3. Get a Little Fresh

Picking up some fresh flowers from the grocery store make your simple sunshine-soaking feel a little more fancy. Treating your picnic set up like a real table scape makes you want to enjoy the moment and linger a little longer.  Bring along some fresh fruit, and it will make your beverages feel like that much more of a treat!

If you’re local to Charleston or visiting this spring, below are some upcoming outdoor events for you to know about.  Or if you want to do a DIY picnic, be sure to check out Hampton Park, Allan Park, Colonial Lake, or Brittlebank Park!

Charleston Mimosa Festival | March 30

High Water Festival | April 13-14

Charleston Beer Fest | May 18

Spoleto Festival | May 24-June 9

Follow along on Instagram (@charlestonweekender) for more Charleston tips and inspiration to help you make every day feel more like the weekend!

all images by Kim Graham Photo

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Weekending at Home: Holiday Hostess Tips

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Yikes, the holidays are almost upon us! You may have gathered by now that I’m not into a lot of fuss when it comes to entertaining, just keep it simple and low stress! Head to my recent feature in Skirt Magazine for some easy holiday hostessing tips (including my favorite Christmas Potpourri recipe).

This post may contains affiliate links that earn me a small commission, but all opinions and recommendations are my own.

click here for potpourri recipe

I had some fantastic help with desserts thanks to Julie from For Heaven Bakes, & Jenny Batt was there to help me style up my bar cart (BTW, how cute is her Charleston Doors wrapping paper!? So cute for year-round gifting). Thanks to Updos for Idos for hooking me up with some awesome hair and make-up!

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Have a very Merry Christmas, friends!

images by Abby Murphy Photo

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