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Houston's boutique event planning & styling company, Toast from the Host turns your life events into lasting memories. Attention to detail is our specialty - Let's mix, mingle and make memories!

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How to Style the Perfect Fall Tablescape

Lauren Bazunu

Hi Friends! It's been a while and the seasons have changed (thank God!) and I'm so ready for the cooler months...or the slightly less humid months if you're in Texas. Growing up, I didn't care too much about all the "hoopla" about fall but as I get older, it is definitely starting to grow on me. The cozy textures and colors, savory & sweet menus....wardrobe change (hey knee high boots), I am all for it. One of my favorite things to plan for is kicking off the seasons changing with a seasonal tablescape.

I've always been a fan and doer of grazing tables (more about that coming soon) and figured a fall grazing table would be the perfect and non fussy way to transition & celebrate the cooler temperatures.

Fall Tablescape

Fall Tablescape

Knowing that I wanted to capture this mini event, I recruited my friend and fellow hostess, Stacy with Hurried Hostess to join and luckily for me, she's always in. Another sweet element was Mariah with Heritage Macarons that added the feminine & delicate factor to our mini boards with her stunning macarons.

Heritage Macarons

Heritage Macarons

Oh and yes, those are mini roses on the macs...I'd go crosseyed even attempting to create something that delicate and small. They are just as beautiful as they look!

Here are a few style tips, suggestions...what my teacher friends would say, "use it or lose it" on how to bring in the fall season.

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One of the keys to being a great hostess is incorporating all the senses...one of my favorites being smell. Whether it is the scent of a pumpkin spice candle or the buttery garlic fumes wafting in the air from plated food, tease your guests with scent. They will begin to enjoy the feast and relax even before grabbing a drink or taking a bite.

Bourbon Beef Skewers

Bourbon Beef Skewers

Brie Puff Pastry Preserve

Brie Puff Pastry Preserve

Mini Apple Pies

Mini Apple Pies

Speaking of bites...what's a party without delicious food? From the sweet to the savory, a great mix is required. One of my favorite appetizers is the Brie Pastry...who else loves baked brie cheese, mixed berry preserve, and buttery flaky pastry. We can't be friends if you don't find this delicious. Use this simple recipe next time you are in a time crunch and need something quick and delicious to serve.


Appetizer - Baked Brie Pastry

Ingredients: H-E-B Brie Double Cremé cheese (1 8oz. round), Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, Mixed Berry or whatever fruit preserve you like

Directions: Preheat oven according to instructions on Puff Pastry box (typically 375 - 400 degrees) 

Unwrap (room temperature) pastry sheets from plastic and separate the shapes using the perforated lines onto an greased cookie sheet. I like to spray very lightly cooking oil before placing anything on the pan

(*Optional) Brush pastry cups with a simple egg wash to encourage the golden flaky color

Bake cups for 12-15 minutes or until fully cooked (should mimic the look of a cylinder) or golden brown.

While still cooling, place a "dollop" of your preserve in the base of each pastry cup.

Slice cubes of your Double Cremé Brie Cheese and allow it to sit on top of the preserve base in the pastry cup. 

*Optional - Once complete, placing the cups back into a warm oven to allow the cheese and preserve to melt and mix is priceless!

After allowing both the preserve and cheese to "marinate" together, I topped with dried cranberries. Any fresh fruit to match your preserve base will do.

I promise you this will be a hit and all gone before you know it...you're welcome but don't blame me for your addiction.


Sparkling Cider Spritz

Sparkling Cider Spritz

Another noteworthy party element are the sips. I love a good, fruity, over the top cocktail and my love of bubbles in my beverage has no limit. Try the recipe for the Sparkling Cider Spritz below. Can be created as a cocktail and mocktail to fit any occasion but perfect as a signature drink for a fall wedding, adult pumpkin patch party, tailgating event..or anything fall related.


Sparkling Cider Spritz

Ingredients: 1 bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider, 1-2 Crisp Harvest Apples (sliced as garnish), Pinch of Cinnamon, 18.5 oz of Pure Leaf Sweet Tea, 2 cups of Musselman's Fresh Pressed Apple Cider , 1 Large Twirl Tub of Caramel Apple cotton candy

*Optional* Trade out the Sparkling Cider for La Marca Prosecco & add 1/2 cup of Disaronno  and remove the sweet tea.

Instructions: Mix all liquid ingredients (apply correct substitutes if making a cocktail or mocktail) in a glass pitcher. Stir until all items are mixed. Pour mixture into a fun mule mug, copper jar or mason jar. Garnish with cotton candy and a pinch of cinnamon. Enjoy! 


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I hope you received some helpful inspiration that will encourage you to host your own fall event. The recipes alone will be the talk of the party. In the meantime, let's have some picture over load shall we?

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Cheers to the Weekend with Lila Wines

Lauren Bazunu

As you all know, I love a good celebration - the time for me to share new recipes and products with my friends. Consider me the Oprah of parties..."you get a drink! you get a snack!"...

A staple for any of my events happen to be a signature sip...whether it is a mocktail or cocktail, I love concocting up fruity, fresh and colorful drinks. One of my fave brands happens to be Lila Wines. I'm a sucker for great packaging and this brand has got it down pact for the hostess in me.

Lila Wine - Rosé & Sparkling

Lila Wine - Rosé & Sparkling

Not only do I gift these cute cans as hostess gifts, and swag bag gifts with the Toast and Twirl Workshop, I use the different flavors to give signature party sips some extra bubbles.

Recently hosted a backyard summer soiree and had to create a fruity summer sip. I knew the Lila Wines Sparkling would be the perfect addition.

I kept it simple with the sweet recipe and incorporated one of my favorite fruits, pineapple. Scroll below for the Sparkling Pineapple Sangria.

Items Needed: 

Pineapple Juice

Peach Schnapps

Lila Wines, Sparkling

Fresh Pineapple Slices

Simple Syrup

Optional: Peach slices & Pineapple leaf for garnish

Pour 4 cans of Lila Wine into a pitcher. Follow with 1/3 cup of Peach Schnapps, and 1/2 cup of Pineapple Juice. For extra sweetness, pour 1/4 cup of Simple Syrup. Combine and stir all ingredients and allow to chill for 2-3 hours.

When ready to serve, I like to top off each glass with some more Lila Wine to give it some extra bubbles.  

Lila Wines

You can prep all these items in a pitcher, chill and serve. Be sure to have another pitcher ready to serve as this will go fast as the perfect adult summer treat. 

Lila Wines

End your summer with an outdoor soiree and try the drink recipe! It's a repeat in my household.

Product sponsored by Lila Wines

Styling by Toast from the Host 

Photography Stacy Anderson Photograhy

The 2017 Toast and Twirl Workshop

Lauren Bazunu

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One of my premiere and favorite events to plan and host is the Toast & Twirl Workshop. It all started as an idea and dream for creatives (and the not so creative) to have a day spent crafting from a wide range of industry professionals. Anything that is on trend with events, you have the opportunity to test out. It not only brought about an appreciation of the craft, but it was a great way to take nuggets of advice, pictures and content back to your own brand or business. Check out our video from the talented videographer, Michelle with The Film Still.

The list goes on and on with all the amazing speakers, and sponsors for the event. The theme was set with the wonderful watercolor prints by Jennifer Ashley Design. She incorporated the cactus, confetti, and color theme PERFECTLY!

Jennifer Ashley Design - Watercolor Prints

Jennifer Ashley Design - Watercolor Prints

Attendees were welcomed with a delicious spread from Fellini Cafe. There was a range of freshly baked croissants, tarts and cannolis. Clutch Town Coffee provided Nitro Drip Coffee and smoothies to kick off their morning.

Fellini Gelato & Caffe

Fellini Gelato & Caffe

Fellini Gelato & Caffé

Fellini Gelato & Caffé

Visual senses were immersed in color with the vibrant decor. Florals by Casa de Flores Design were the perfect addition to each corner of the space. 

Casa de Flores Design - Flowers

Casa de Flores Design - Flowers

Casa de Flores Design - Flowers

Casa de Flores Design - Flowers

Casa de Flores Design - Flower Garland

Casa de Flores Design - Flower Garland

Casa de Flores Design - Flowers

Casa de Flores Design - Flowers

What good is an event with something BIG to catch guests eyes? We knew that Big Ass Balloons had to be a part. These BABs are the official signal of a good time. Owners, Katie & Kathy incorporated multicolored confetti sprinkles in the balloons tethered by custom pom pom tassels. We completely agree...pom poms are definitely a girl's best friend!

Big Ass Balloons

Big Ass Balloons

Big Ass Balloons

Big Ass Balloons

Attendees were able to get the full experience with 4 all inclusive workshops to kick off the DIY Crafternoon. A group started their morning with donut decorating by Wink by Erica. She instructed the class on how to properly glaze and sprinkle various donuts, the Homer Simpson, Cactus and Unicorn. 

Wink by Erica

Wink by Erica

Wink by Erica

Wink by Erica

Wink by Erica

Wink by Erica

It was a sweet way to start our morning with these beautiful mini treats. Another group had the pleasure of customizing their own hand lettering style with Kristen Steen of Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design. She is the artist behind all of the signage and is an expert at all things beautiful handwriting.

Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design

Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design

Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design

Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design

Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design

Kristen Leigh Lettering + Design

Shout out to The Confetti Bar for sponsoring our "Party Hour". If guests completed their DIY craft class early, they had the opportunity to add some color and confetti to a canvas. Talk about 3d art!

The Confetti Bar

Lunch called for a fiesta with a catered meal by Escalante's fine tex mex. What good is a tex mex dish without authentic Mexican sodas by Jarritos? Flavorful and colorful...yes please!

Jarritos

 After lunch, these ladies were ready to mix things up with the Mixology class by Michelle Heath of Elle Talk.

MIchelle Heath with Elle Talk

MIchelle Heath with Elle Talk

Secret Garden, Berry Smashed and Tiki Mule were the three delicious (and colorful) cocktails the ladies crafted in Swift Events glassware. Having go to signature drinks the next time you entertain at home is key for a great party. These ladies, muddled, mixed and sipped the afternoon away.

Mixology Class by Elle Talk

Mixology Class by Elle Talk

Mixology by Elle Talk - Berry Smashed

Mixology by Elle Talk - Berry Smashed

Mixology Class by Elle Talk

Mixology Class by Elle Talk

The paper floral class was led up by Alaan Studios where they instructed attendees on crafting a personal paper flower in their own vibrant color. The flower design was called "the Khloe" and it was a fool proof craft with a custom crafting template. 

 Paper Flowers by Alaan Studios

 Paper Flowers by Alaan Studios

Paper Flowers by Alaan Studio

Paper Flowers by Alaan Studio

Paper Flowers by Alaan Studios

Paper Flowers by Alaan Studios

Each attendee walked away with a swag bag filled with goodies from some of our amazing sponsors: Burdlife, Lila Wines, Lily Rain Boutique, and Twirl Cotton Candy

Swag Bag

Swag Bag

We can't wait until next year's Toast & Twirl Workshop. Great giveaways from Inner Me Studios, Shop the Manor, Beehive Houston and City Centre were highlights of the afternoon. Bigger and better is our motto...won't you join us next year?

Sponsors List