Celebrate Spring with Simply Cranberry {giveaway}

My craving for cranberry juice peaks as the daffodils start poking through the snow each spring.

Its refreshing tartness was my beverage of choice after both of our girls were born in the early springtime, and I can’t help seeking it out this time of year. Sometimes I mix it with lemon-lime soda for a bubbly spritzer. But mostly I drink it straight-up, in all its bright puckery goodness.

When I was asked by Simply Orange Juice Company to host a little gathering featuring the new Simply Cranberry Cocktail, I was all over it…

  • Because, first of all, I am a huge fan of the Simply Orange® brand. Their pulp-free orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D is a regular at our house. And you’ll often find their limeade or one of their lemonades in the refrigerator throughout the summer. I’ll admit that I’m drawn to the simple clear carafes they’re packaged in, but most of all, I just love their bright not-from-concentrate taste. Simply Cranberry Cocktail is made in a similar fashion, blended with not-from-concentrate cranberry juice and no added preservatives.
  • And, second of all, I wanted to have some fun! My mind started buzzin’ with fresh ways I could celebrate spring with Simply Cranberry Cocktail!

Preparing for the gathering…

My parents and my husband’s parents were staying with us, in town to watch our oldest daughter perform in a 70’s variety show. So we threw a little pre-show party, attended by our out-of-town family and a couple of my bestest girlfriends and served up some small spring desserts and Simply Cranberry Cocktail.

Flowers are always welcome in my home, especially when I entertain. If at all possible, I will always cut something from our yard or garden before buying flowers at the store. It’s just who I am. I like the more casual feel it lends, plus this approach always guarantees a centerpiece that’s appropriately in season. I was so happy that our daffodils were blooming in full force, because the rest of our yard was definitely still in winter sleep mode!

I put together a menu consisting of refreshing drinks showcasing Simply Cranberry Cocktail, along with a few of my favorite spring sweets. I selected desserts that were small in size (because I love it when I can try a little bit of everything!) and could be eaten without a fork. I wanted the feel to be casual, and the bevvies and sweets to be beautiful and bursting with the brightness of spring.

The Menu:

* Lime Baby Cakes
* Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
* Spring Brownie Bites with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream
* Cranberry Strawberry Sangria
* Cranberry Lemonade Punch

(A great tip for keeping drinks cold: The day prior to serving these drinks, pour Simply Cranberry Cocktail into ice cube trays and freeze. You’ll have a beautiful way to keep your beverages cold without diluting them!)

We have a 3-season porch that begs us to gather in it as soon as the snow disappears. It provided the perfect spot to serve up some spring. I love the bright flavors and colors of these Lime Baby Cakes (one of my mom’s favorite desserts ever!), Fudgy Spring Brownie Bites with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream (I HAD to serve some chocolate!), and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars (What speaks spring more than strawberries and rhubarb?!).

Wouldn’t these desserts make for a beautiful spring bridal or baby shower?!

The Simply CranberryCocktail, with its perfect blend of sweetness and tartness, was offered in its own carafe, for those who wanted to enjoy some cranberry cocktail straight-up or in a spritzer. I also served Cranberry Lemonade Punch, with a base of Simply Cranberry Cocktail and my favorite homemade lemonade, in a punch bowl swimming with pretty lemon slices. Some orange soda and ginger ale provided lighthearted bubbles, and it quickly brought smiles to all who tasted it.

(See the yellow curling ribbon at the base of the glass? It’s my favorite way to keep everyone’s drinks straight when I host a party. I simply curl up pieces of different colored ribbons and wind them around the bases of the glasses a couple times. These colorful drink charms are not only fun, they’re also inexpensive!)

Cranberry Lemonade Punch

Yield: almost 3 qts. of punch


  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 T. grated lemon peel
  • 1 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 32 oz. (4 c.) Simply Cranberry Cocktail, chilled
  • 12 oz. (1 can or 1-1/2 c.) orange soda, chilled
  • 32 oz. (4 c.) ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced


First make a lemonade syrup. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon peel and lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Let cool completely. If desired, strain the mixture. I like all the little lemon tidbits in my drink, so I do not strain it. Thoroughly chill the lemonade syrup.

In a punch bowl or other large serving container, combine the Simply Cranberry Cocktail with the chilled lemonade syrup. Add the orange soda and ginger ale. Give it a stir and add the lemon slices right before serving.

Note: To keep this drink cold, I like to make cranberry juice ice cubes a day or two before serving this punch. Just pour Simply Cranberry Cocktail into ice cube trays and freeze. Be sure to give them at least 24 hours to freeze completely. Add the frozen cranberry cubes to the punch bowl or to individual glasses to keep drinks cold without diluting them.


from a farmgirl's dabbles

I also served Cranberry Strawberry Sangria, which tastes much like a lightened up strawberry margarita, with the tartness of cranberry sweetened by fresh strawberries. Adding a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to the pitcher is a beautiful and tasty trick I gleaned from Molly McNeil, who mixed up the most incredible sangria last summer for a MN Food Bloggers party. I cannot wait to pick fresh sweet strawberries at our local u-pick this summer and make another batch of this sangria!

(If you’re not a margarita fan, simply swap out the tequila for some rum or vodka.)

Cranberry Strawberry Sangria

Yield: about 2-1/2 qts. (10 c.) of sangria


  • 48 oz. (6 c.) Simply Cranberry Cocktail, chilled
  • 1 bottle (750 mls) fruity rose' wine, chilled
  • 3 oz. orange liqueur
  • 2 oz. tequila blanco (or substitute rum or vodka)
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, divided
  • 1 lemon, divided
  • 1 orange, divided
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 T. sugar


In a very large bowl, preferably with a spout, stir together the Simply Cranberry Cocktail, rose', orange liqueur, and tequila. Puree half of the strawberries. Then juice half the lemon and stir that juice into the strawberries. Add the pureed strawberries to the cranberry juice mixture. Then juice half the orange and add that juice, too. Thinly slice the remaining half lemon and orange and add the slices to the cranberry juice mixture along with the sprigs of rosemary. Gently smoosh the rosemary along the side of the bowl with the back side of a spoon for just a bit, to draw out its earthy flavor. Slice the remaining strawberries, sprinkle the sugar over them, and set aside (cover and refrigerate if you're not serving the sangria for awhile). Pour the sangria into a serving container(s) and chill completely. Add the sugared strawberries to the sangria right before serving.


from a farmgirl's dabbles

I’m loving this new Simply Cranberry Cocktail!

It’s refreshing, bright, perfectly tart, and just the thing for a cranberry juice lover like myself. Be sure to look for it this spring in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store; it’s kept chilled from the time it’s blended!

And…I’m so happy to give you the chance to win a

$100 Visa gift card!

The good folks behind Simply CranberryCocktail have offered up this great prize for my readers.


What is your favorite way to make a party or get-together at home more festive?
Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 gift card!


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/7/2012 – 6/6/2012

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Disclosure: Thank you to the folks behind Simply Cranberry Cocktail for providing me with Simply Cranberry Cocktail to serve my guests and the $100 Visa gift card for this giveaway. I have been compensated for this post by BlogHer, but as always, all text, opinions, and photos are my own. For more information on Simply Cranberry Cocktail, please visit their website and facebook.

“Simply Cranberry” is a trademark of Simply Orange Juice Company.


172 Responses to “Celebrate Spring with Simply Cranberry {giveaway}”

  1. #
    Carole Resnick — May 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Good people, good food, good drink and good conversation all contribute to a fun get together.

  2. #
    Cassie — May 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    These photos are brilliantly beautiful, Brenda! I think good music, good food and a glass of wine with conversation with friends makes any party special. Great giveaway!

  3. #
    Blog is the New Black — May 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I make things festive by usually sticking to some sort of theme!

  4. #
    Annalise N. — May 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I like making things festive by having a theme for my parties. It’s always fun when everyone brings food based on one centralized them.

  5. #
    Nicole @ Feedingthisfamily — May 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I also love fresh flowers! But I really enjoy adding a interactive element to parties. We had a hot dog buffet party last year with all the fixings for people to personalize their dogs. For the kids birthday party, I covered the kitchen table with butcher paper for them to color on and then had everyon make their own personal pizzas and the kids decorated cookie cakes.

  6. #
    Kimi — May 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    We have tablecloth’s and napkins for every occasion. We like to try to put a little bit of the “theme” in each room.

  7. #
    Mami2jcn — May 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Lively music makes things more festive!

  8. #
    Mami2jcn — May 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm


  9. #
    amy marantino — May 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Good people enjoying good food

  10. #
    amy marantino — May 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm
  11. #
    Elena — May 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Good music, good food and fresh flowers make party more festive

  12. #
    Kim — May 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Good food, great friends and a lovely home

  13. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I like having a theme! It could range from simply spring to under the sea!

  14. #
    Erin — May 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Fresh flowers always make things more festive here!

  15. #
    Denise — May 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    We make punch and dessert – these are special occasion (party) things for us….

  16. #
    Kristen — May 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I think fresh flowers around your party area make things very festive!
    What a fun party you had – love all the gorgeous pictures and your tip for the curling ribbon drinkmarkers!

  17. #
    Laurie Jesch-Kulseth @ Relishing It — May 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I know it sounds rather simple, but sometimes amidst all of the craziness — remembering to smile and have fun can be the most important thing one can do at a party!

    • Brenda replied on May 8th, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      So very true, Laurie!! For you —-> :)

  18. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    You really know how to throw a fancy party! Everything looks so beautiful! As for the party, I like to make mimosas to make things more festive. Alcohol, especially pretty alcohol, makes everything better :)

    • Brenda replied on May 8th, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Ooooo…agreed. Mimosas definitely lend festivity!

  19. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    What a fun party! Theme parties are always fun, and I love entertaining outside – it’s a quick way to put people at ease!

  20. #
    MLB — May 8, 2012 at 12:36 am

    One of our favorite ideas for parties is a cooking theme! Everyone brings three unrelated food items to the party and everything in our pantry, freezer, fridge are all available. We devise fun ways to divide a group of 10-12 people into teams of two. Then we have another fun way to assign the “course” to each team. Then the cooking begins! We have a large kitchen and have had two of these parties. They are a blast – we vote on 5-6 categories at the end of the meal and everyone wins prizes-sometimes silly, sometimes cool but always fun. There are so many laughs and such great food that we have decided to do this several times a year.

  21. #
    Rosa — May 8, 2012 at 6:12 am

    My idea of a fun party, is one with lots of finger food, refreshing drinks. Pleasant music, and nice friends will make the gathering complete.

  22. #
    Rosa — May 8, 2012 at 6:14 am
  23. #
    Esther T. — May 8, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I have a set of cobalt blue/lime green/dark purple plastic dishes/glasses and flatware that I found last year on a summer closeout. I bought polka dot place mats to match, and I always get lot of compliments on how my tables look with these accessories.

  24. #
    Regina — May 8, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I love to fill the house with fresh flowers and votives to make parties more festive!

  25. #
    Aviva I — May 8, 2012 at 8:28 am


  26. #
    Michelle L — May 8, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I love to have music that goes with the theme of the meal.

  27. #
    Uli C — May 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I like to use candles and music to set a festive mood!

  28. #
    Joan — May 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Grilling and make a fabulous dessert!

  29. #
    Barbara — May 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I like to make it casual and serve a lot of good food.

  30. #
    MommaMary — May 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Good food, good friends, a great combo for a great party! I like to theme the food to the party, even if it’s just the dips for a football game get together.

  31. #
    MommaMary — May 8, 2012 at 10:47 am
  32. #
    Karen Cox — May 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I love entertaining and I think a theme definitely makes a party more festive. From decorations to food, everyone usually enjoys themselves at one of my theme parties. Add in some great friends and/or family, lots of laughter and voila~ it’s a great party!

  33. #
    Crissy N. — May 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Lots and lots of kids!! Who doesn’t enjoy watching children gaze at the beautiful decorations, color and all the yummy treats!! We always have themed parties and it just adds to the excitement and really gets your creative juices flowing!!
    Thanks for this opportunity!!

  34. #
    Cindy B. — May 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I like to make party or get-together at home more festive by using lots of bright colors and party lights and COLORFUL GLITTER! I use glue to help the glitter stay in place…which make cleaning up easier.

  35. #
    Cindy B. — May 8, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I love cranberry juice too! Simply Cranberry Cocktail sounds delicious, so I’ll be trying it soon.

  36. #
    Cindy B. — May 8, 2012 at 11:45 am
  37. #
    Amanda — May 8, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Inviting family and friends is the most important

  38. #
    Deb — May 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Doing as much set up and food prep ahead of party day as possible. A stress free welcoming hostess/host makes for a great gathering.

  39. #
    Judy — May 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I like a beautiful table when entertaining; pretty cloth and napkins along with pretty dishes brighten the meal or refreshments.

  40. #
    Elissa — May 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    My favorite way to make a party at home is to plan a fun menu, invite my sisters and brothers over (I have 2 of each) with their significant others and we play board games and catch up!

  41. #
    Grandmereb Lovestobake — May 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    EIOBoard is my twitter name (Donna Bardocz) and here is what I tweeted to get in your giveaway:
    Celebrate Spring with Simply Cranberry {giveaway} bit.ly/IIOItX (via @farmgirlsdabble)

  42. #
    Andrea D. — May 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I like to make special snacks/appetizers that fit whatever reason we are celebrating or that I have really wanted to make. I think what makes it extra special is having a simple special drink. This can mean that I make it up from what I have or follow a recipe. Thanks for the chance to enter.

  43. #
    Grandmereb Lovestobake — May 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    My favorite way to make a party or get-together at home more festive is to have lots of good finger type foods, pretty flowers, and make the party easy so that everyone feels at home and comfortable. I don’t like stuffy or a more formal type of entertaining. :)

  44. #
    Grandmereb Lovestobake — May 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Celebrate Spring with Simply Cranberry {giveaway} bit.ly/IIOItX (via @farmgirlsdabble)— Donna Bardocz (@EIOBoard) May 8, 2012

  45. #
    Grandmereb Lovestobake — May 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Hey Brenda, I did not know how to add the URL of my tweet, so please do not think I tried to enter again–just wanted to do it correctly so I got credit for my tweet! :-)

    • Brenda replied on May 8th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      You’re just fine…thank you for reading and entering! :)

  46. #
    Louis — May 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  47. #
    Meryl — May 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Lots of flowers.

  48. #
    Desi — May 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Some food, drinks, music, and good company :)

  49. #
    Elissa — May 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm
  50. #
    Solducky — May 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    That all looks so wonderful!! I think it is really important to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed from the beginning so that then they are at ease and able to really enjoy the rest of the party.
    soluckyducky at gmail dot com

  51. #
    Tammi — May 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I like burning candles inside and outside. Also, vases of pretty, bright colored flowers.

  52. #
    Maria — May 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    If the weather permits,, I love when everyone gathers on my front porch or back deck. Being outside is casual and just more fun.

  53. #
    Ashley H. — May 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I make sure we have great music.

  54. #
    mary fanara coleman — May 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I like to make sure everyone is comfortable and well fed with some great food and drink. A great fire to sit around and make smores too.

  55. #
    Michelle Levine — May 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    All the c’s make for a fun gathering….candles, chips, candies, cookies, cocktails….and in your case, cranberry juice:-)

  56. #
    Pat R — May 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I lie serving Cosmos!

  57. #
    KEl — May 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Go potluck style. Lovely dinner menu!

  58. #
    Vicki Bensinger — May 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    All of these recipes look fantastic. I love all of them, in fact I don’t think I could pick just one they’re all terrific. It’s such a cute idea to use a flower to cut the brownies and decorate them as you have, perfect for spring. Your beverage recipes make me so thirsty I wish I could have a drink. Guess I’ll have to make them.

    As for having a festive party – I like to get the guests involved and have everyone participate in the cooking. I love doing a sushi party and having everyone make their own or build it yourself pizza, tacos, salad, ice cream whatever makes it fun and hands-on to me makes it more festive.

  59. #
    erin — May 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I love to make a spread of homeade treats and I always serve a recipe that my mom used to serve. Even though she passed away, it makes me feel like she is still at the party.

  60. #
    Rebecca Graham — May 9, 2012 at 1:17 am

    I like to do a theme party with decorations.

  61. #
    Sarah L — May 9, 2012 at 1:51 am

    A themed or signature cocktail is such fun way to make things festive!

  62. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — May 9, 2012 at 8:31 am

    What a fun, festive, beautiful party, Brenda!

    I love to host little parties and get-togethers. To me, it is all about the cute food and fun, simple decorations that add that special touch.

  63. #
    Minnesota Prairie Roots — May 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I use my sizable stash of beautiful vintage floral tablecloths to cover tables. Add vases of fresh flowers from my yard and I have instant, welcoming charm.

  64. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — May 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Gorgeous post! I love using cranberry juice in my smoothies. Beautiful photos and excellent fruity cocktail idea!

    • Brenda replied on May 9th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      I make alot of fruit smoothies, but haven’t use cranberry juice…thanks, I’m going to try that! :)

  65. #
    anna pry — May 9, 2012 at 11:42 am

    music and decorations make it more festive

  66. #
    Mom — May 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    It was fun to be a part of the party. And, of course, to sample ALL the treats and drinks!

  67. #
    LauraO — May 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Lots of good food and when it is a kid free party lots of good cocktails!

  68. #
    Amy Tong — May 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    My favorite way to make a party at my home more festive is selecting a theme. So, the decorations, food, drink, party favor and dress code would all follow the same theme. It’s really festive and fun!

    Amy [at] utry [dot] it

  69. #
    Amy Tong — May 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm
  70. #
    steph — May 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    by adding party music!

  71. #
    Tonya H — May 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    My favorite way to make a party at my home more festive would be to make sure everyone feels at home at my house so they can relax and enjoy the food, drinks and company.

  72. #
    Hannah H — May 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I like to make the food fit the theme of the party or at least the season the party is in. A creatively named drink doesn’t hurt either.

  73. #
    Jenny C. — May 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t entertain that much.. but when I do, I like to make sure everyone is comfortable and feels at home. I keep it simple! Usually everyone ends up in the kitchen gathered around the food.

  74. #
    Sunnie — May 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I guess by decorating, I dont have a whole lot of parties.

  75. #
    Liz S. — May 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I like to have a theme! One of my favorites was a root beer float party.

  76. #
    sandra — May 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

    games and partyware

  77. #
    Abby @ThisLifeAbundant — May 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    MUSIC really makes a difference! Even if it means the chatter gets louder.

  78. #
    sue — May 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    What a great giveaway… I was excited just thinking that we might be winning juice! LOL.

  79. #
    Sue in AZ — May 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I like to set the tone and get the conversation started, by having early arrivers help with last minute food prep. Others easily join in the fun.

  80. #
    Suze from OR — May 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Festive but not too loud music, great apps, and make sure that you have everyone’s beverage of choice on hand from chardonnay to lemonade!!!!!

  81. #
    Suze from OR — May 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Fun games like bingo, great appetizers, good music!

  82. #
    sy — May 13, 2012 at 5:18 am

    I put on upbeat music and put out lots of snacks. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  83. #
    sy — May 13, 2012 at 5:19 am
  84. #
    Marissa Kubinski — May 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    My favorite way to make a party at home for festive is to make it a themed party!

  85. #
    Erika — May 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I like to hang decorations, put on some music, and make way too much dessert! :)


  86. #
    Karina Lee — May 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    i like having a party theme

  87. #
    Jessie C. — May 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Plenty of all sorts of desserts and music always help.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  88. #
    Sharon S — May 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I love to do simple decorations and lots of finger food so people can mingle and enjoy!

  89. #
    Sharon S — May 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

    @ farmgirlsdabble A chance to win $100 visa gift card from Simply Cranberry Cocktail— Sharon S (@Flipflopgirl50) May 15, 2012

  90. #
    Tina M — May 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    lots of games and foods

  91. #
    Rondah — May 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    I like to decorate for the occasion

  92. #
    Rondah — May 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm
  93. #
    Judy B. — May 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Complementary food, drink, hostess, guests, and atmosphere.

  94. #
    Judy B. — May 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm
  95. #
    Kelly Massman — May 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I like to make things ahead so I can focus on the guests at the party!!! Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
    P.S. Your treats look so beautiful and yummy!

  96. #
    Melissa T — May 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    What a fun get together everything looked so fabulous :)

    I love throwing a themed party, everyone gets into mood, Arabian Night, Summer in the Hamptons, Breakfast at Tiffanys it doesnt matter, a theme makes everything so much more fun. :) of course good music, great friends, delicious drinks and food too ;) xx

  97. #
    Melissa T — May 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm
  98. #
    Meave — May 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    What a fun party! I just discovered your blog and it looks like I’ll be stopping by again pretty soon!

  99. #
    Wehaf — May 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I love a mix of simple and fancy dishes – the fancy ones make the whole party more festive! Music helps, too.

  100. #
    Sherry G — May 19, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I love all the Simply beverages. I just opened and am enjoying the cranberry. The lemonade punch sounds very tasty.

  101. #
    MelissaO — May 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Homemade sangria and a big batch of mojitos always works!

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  102. #
    cw — May 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Can’t do much entertaining in the home right now because our house is sooo tiny, but we do like to have BBQs in our back yard (when things warm up more). The music helps things be more festive and I love to put xmas lights in the trees.
    Your brownie bites are sooo cute!

  103. #
    Tiffany Winner — May 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    i think almost every party or get-together needs a game of some kind

  104. #
    sharonjo — May 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Using nice linens and china makes even a simple meal seem more festive. Adding a beautiful centerpiece adds to the effect also. Most important tip is to keep it simple so you and your guests can relax and enjoy the party!

  105. #
    sharonjo — May 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm
  106. #
    nest of posies — May 21, 2012 at 6:50 am

    prepping for the decor & food always takes the longest. but i love both parts. if i plan ahead & give myself enough time, i know the party will be a huge success!

    love these recipes!
    thanks for the chance.

  107. #
    Marcela — May 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    What a lovely party! I think yummy food and good music always make a party more festive. And yes planning ahead….although I’m always running around at the last minute(:

  108. #
    tanya — May 21, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I like to prepare special foods

  109. #
    Tabathia B — May 21, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I love plugging up the Wii and putting in Dance Revolution
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  110. #
    Tabathia B — May 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm
  111. #
    Stephanie — May 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I love all the Simply beverages!!

  112. #
    Debbie B — May 23, 2012 at 5:51 am

    we don’t entertain a lot but when we do – good food and music make it festive

  113. #
    Debbie B — May 23, 2012 at 5:56 am
  114. #
    Kellie Rose Wilson — May 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    We love to have dress up theme nights like Jimmy Buffet Night, True Blood Night, Nautical Night..fun fun!

  115. #
    Kellie Rose Wilson — May 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm
  116. #
    tara pittman — May 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    The food is where it is at.

  117. #
    Amanda Sakovitz — May 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    lots of desserts and decorations!

  118. #
    Amanda Sakovitz — May 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm
  119. #
    Dee — May 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I love making a party more festive by making cupcakes catered to the theme of the get together as well as themed ice cubes! :)

  120. #
    Dee — May 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm
  121. #
    Heather — May 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Love the idea of Cranberry ice cubes! To make my parties more festive I always make sure to have a signature cocktail that compliments the theme of the get together and the food.

  122. #
    Kerry — May 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I like to make sure I have a lot of different types of foods to suit everyone’s tastes.

  123. #
    Kerry — May 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm
  124. #
    Christina Tong — May 28, 2012 at 3:07 am

    My favorite way to make a party or get-together at my home more festive is selecting a theme but with simple decorations. I love to prepare homemade finger food, nice dessert and drinks. Thanks for the giveaway.


  125. #
    Christina Tong — May 28, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/207035499402117121

  126. #
    ANGEL JACKLYN — May 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm


  127. #
    ANGEL JACKLYN — May 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm
  128. #
    Sunshyn V — May 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    A bonfire in the backyard is a great way to make a gathering more festive.

  129. #
    Sunshyn V — May 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm
  130. #
    Maria Cantu — May 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I try to have a variety of foods and drinks.

  131. #
    Gina M Maddox — May 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I love to add great music and lighting to make a gathering more festive.

    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  132. #
    Gina M Maddox — May 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm


    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  133. #
    Stacy Fiore — May 30, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I try to do as much prep work the day before so I can take time to enjoy the party I’m throwing. I can’t wait to try that Sangria recipe!

  134. #
    Jessica — May 30, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Twinkle lights, finger foods, and a fully stocked bar :-)

  135. #
    Kari — May 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    My favorite is to have a patio party in July/August when my flowers are all in full bloom and the Koi are swimming in my pond- serving raspberry or strawberry lemonade, fresh veggies and cheeses for an appetizer and grilling up some marinated shrimp and chicken tenders on the grill. Desert would be Lemonade Cheesecake. Yummy and super easy to make!

  136. #
    Carrie — May 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Using miss matched table ware in coordinating /matching Colors on purpose, plates etc to add contrast to the table setting.

  137. #
    Angie — May 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Fresh flowers, a good playlist, and for some reason dip always makes it feel like a party.

  138. #
    Deanna G. — June 1, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Lots of fun decorations!

  139. #
    Deanna G. — June 1, 2012 at 3:57 am
  140. #
    Denise L — June 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Oh how I love sangria! For my parties, I always like to have a theme for the food & drink. We did a taco bar one year for my daughter’s birthday and all the appetizers and drinks were authentic Mexican too.

  141. #
    Denise L — June 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I always like to have a theme for the food & drink. We did a taco bar one year for my daughter’s birthday and all the appetizers and drinks were authentic Mexican too.

    • Denise L replied on June 1st, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Please delete thisone-a mess up! THanks :)

  142. #
    Denise L — June 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm
  143. #
    Betty C — June 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    We actually prefer casual barbecues or potlucks. On the rare occasion when we do a theme it’s usually targeted toward the food such as everything has to be in the form of a sandwich. It’s fun to see how creative we can get in making dessert sandwiches.

  144. #
    Betty C — June 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm
  145. #
    Emily N. — June 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm
  146. #
    Sarah L — June 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Fresh flowers always make it more festive.
    Thanks for the contest.

  147. #
    LinhC — June 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I have to try your recipes! I like having fresh flowers to make my get-togethers more festive.

  148. #
    Jessica F — June 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I love having tons of little finger foods as the main course! You can have a huge variety of food to offer and appetizers are always delicious!

  149. #
    Jessica F — June 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm
  150. #
    angie lilly — June 5, 2012 at 10:47 am

    All of my parties are childfree. Parents love getting away from their kids for a night and being able to have fun and not watch their kids and I don’t have kids so it works well for my home too. When its an adults only party, you can play any music you want, have alcohol if desired (I don’t drink personally but other do), and just be a kid again yourself!

  151. #
    angie lilly — June 5, 2012 at 10:48 am
  152. #
    ewhatley — June 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    We have a theme for every event and encourage guests to dress accordingly.

  153. #
    Debra F — June 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I do like entertaining and my favorite thing is to do theme parties. I customize my food, drinks and decorations/decor around a theme and everyone really enjoys it….I just try not to get too hokey!

  154. #
    Erica Best — June 6, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I love having bring a dish party it help everyone feel like that are a part of it and it keep me from having to cook everything and every love to show of by bring the best dish.
    purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  155. #
    Erica Best — June 6, 2012 at 10:28 am
  156. #
    Mari — June 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    We play festive music and put up décor that creates an ambiance.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com


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