Sunny’s Entertaining~in Style!

Celebrating Food, Family, Fashion, Beauty, Home, Gardening, and Life’s Special Occasions ~ in Sunny’s signature style!

A Sunny Summer Picnic: Celebrating the Fourth of July!

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#ilovepicnincs! Here are a few of my “Must Haves” for a perfect picnic anytime:

  • An antique quilt. This is one of my favorites from my grandmother.
  • Picnic Baskets. 🙂
  • Light weight containers and coolers
  • Pretty plates! (lightweight melamine or paper-so many patterns & colors!)
  • Decorative trays and baskets. And I love a couple of glass Mason jars!
  • Decorative towels for wrapping around containers and lining baskets.
  • Fresh flowers!
  • A pretty sundress and straw hat to keep your cool.
  • A pair of flats if you are going to be doing a lot of walking as we did this day.
  • sunscreen, bug repellant wipes, paper towels, trash bag, hand wipes, a battery operated candle, a pretty paper fan, a parasol or umbrella, a book
  • Music: For the 4th of July: Create a Patriotic Music station on Pandora

Here are more photos from our 4th of July picnic: On the Menu: My friend Kristin’s recipe for THE BEST Barbecue Chicken Drumettes (scroll down for recipe!), Balsamic Berries (from Martha Stewart), Tomatoes-Mozzarella-Basil salad (from The Pioneer Woman), and Southern Living’s Easy Peach Cobbler! (You know me~you can barely call it cooking!)

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Kristin’s Chicken Drumettes Recipe: (*Note: We substitute drumettes for the wings.)

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Christmas in July!

My God, I’m Hot!-In the kitchen!-In July!! 😉

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Here we are with the finished Southern Living Gift Box Cake!

A couple of month’s ago I was texting with my youngest niece, Sam, when she sent me a picture of a cake she had baked from scratch and she said it reminded of her of a Southern Living Magazine Christmas Cake. (If you haven’t read my essay I wrote for B-Metro Magazine on my daughter’s and my adventures with baking those cakes every Christmas for several years, you can find it in my book “LMAO! A collection of humor essays to help you lose weight!” at amazon.) We decided then and there that we would get together and have a Christmas in July Party and bake one of the Southern Living Christmas Cakes. Planning a time when all the cousins, and my mom (their grandmother) could all come together proved almost impossible with one taking college summer classes and working, one on a nine week trip to Asia and Europe, and one heading to Seattle (where she would get together with my son! I love that- since he would not be at the cake bake!) We finally found three days in the middle of the month right before Sam’s 16th birthday so the cake became her birthday cake.

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Happy 16th Birthday, Sam!

Any illusions I had about it being less hectic to bake one of those particular cakes in the middle of summer was sadly mistaken, and gave me plenty of material to use for another essay! However, we had a great time, and made very special memories with all the girl cousins together, along with their grandmother, and decided that this was our First Annual Christmas in July Party and that we will continue to have it every year.

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You might know by now, as I’ve motioned many times in my column and my book, that I don’t like to cook. As a matter of fact, my motto is “I don’t cook~I don’t care.” I wrote all about this in my column “The Pressure Cooker” for B-Metro Magazine, and it seems that many of you feel the same way based on your response to that essay. (I even have an apron available with that quote at my Zazzle store “Buy Sunny”!) This is especially true in the middle of the heat wave that is July! In the summer, and actually year ’round if truth be known, my specialty is no cook recipes. Actually, it’s really more that I am not particularly fond of cooking in the day-to-day.  I actually enjoy very much entertaining and celebrating special occasions.

When I am not entertaining people on camera, or on the stage, (or on the page:), I love entertaining at home spending time with family and friends. But, lately it seems as if time is flying by and our family is spreading out all over the country making it harder to stay connected. I think that there is a much stronger bond that forms with the memories made from shared experiences than there is just seeing each other’s posts on Facebook. So, I decided to make this a new tradition!

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We kicked off the party with Frozen Hot Chocolate!

When you find that life has become hectic and that the time and distance between seeing your children and nieces and nephews and your own siblings has become further and further apart, you have to become very intentional about keeping those relationships strong and make the effort to plan time to get together. At our Christmas in July Party three generations of women got together in the kitchen to bake and made more than a beautiful cake, we made memories. And, really, I think that is what the folks at Southern Living Magazine have in mind all along.

You can check out my Pinterest page to see some of the other fun ideas we had for our party! If you have had a Christmas in July Party I would LOVE to see/hear some of your favorite party ideas that we could use next year! Please leave a comment here:)

Now, stay cool- we still have to get through August! ~ Sunny xo

P.S. To really add holiday cheer to our party I lit my holiday candles and played Christmas music Pandora station!

Happy Halloween!

Here is a way to add a little PG-13 fun to your Halloween Party-after all, the kids can’t have all the fun 😉 So, who’s coming?

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You can shop for these cocktail napkins and beverage coasters, along with other designs, in my Halloween Collection at my zazzle store “Buy_Sunny“. NOTE: Make sure to set the Content Filter to “Moderate” to see the PG-13 fun! 😉 ~Sunny xo

#ringmybell #trickortreat #drinkcoasters #cocktailnapkins #candycigarettes #booze #BOObs #badinfluence

All Photos: Billy Brown

Summer Salads!

It’s the last of Tomato Season:(  Here is an easy and delish recipe to enjoy the very last of the crop. We made the Caprese Salad all summer long with Mozzarella, and with Feta cheese. In this version I only had some Goat Cheese, and it was yummy, too. ~Sunny  xo

Caprese Salad

I used little, plum tomatoes-halved, Goat Cheese, sprinkle of sea salt, pepper, EVOO, Balsamic Vinegar, fresh Basil, and voila!

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Hoppy Easter!

No plastic green grass in these baskets-I used fresh Rosemary, lavender, roses, petunias, and coreopsis from my mother’s garden. And, of course, dyed eggs. It was as fragrant as it was pretty. We even had an egg hunt, after all, the kids can’t take away all the fun!

Hope you enjoyed Happy Hunting!

~Sunny:) xo

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Happy Holidays From My Table to Yours~

I love to decorate for the holidays, but I like to keep it simple. Whenever possible I use the gifts from Mother Nature. This is a simple and elegant table centerpiece that I use for our kitchen table decoration. I use a natural woven bread basket and fill it with pine cones I picked up in the park across the street, then I added cinnamon sticks and pine branches and, voila! Also~ I use this for a Thanksgiving centerpiece first without the pine branches.

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As with most things in my life there is one little catch: After I finished making this arrangement, I noticed lots of tiny bugs crawling all over our table and saw that they were coming out of the pine cones. So, we stuck the whole thing in the freezer for three days and then used it. So, if having a centerpiece with frozen bugs in it is not your style, then you should probably not use this, or you could use store bought pine cones….NOW I think of this. Anyway, shhhhh, don’t tell my kids about the bugs.

#sunnysveryentertaining, #simplysunny, Christmas, holidays, decorating, humor, home, entertaining

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