A few weeks ago, my friend Ragan and I threw our fourth Lovely Dinner, and we were so excited that Style Me Pretty shared the first glimpse. For me, these dinners have always been about building a community in a city that can be isolating, and having something outside my “real job” that pushes my creativity in a different way. Since I am not a professional event planner or a florist, I try to give our tables the most impact without spending a fortune, and without making them seem too fussy or perfect. Above all, I want our setting to be beautiful and inspiring, but something that isn’t too hard to create at home. If you are planning to have family and friends over for the holidays, I hope that these photos will spark your own creative spirit—and help make your entertaining a little easier!
A special thanks to my sister-in-law Anneke Schoneveld, a food director from New York, who flew out to capture the moment in the below film.
Read on for source info, more photos, and cocktail recipes!
Since our dinner was in October, we went for a moody, glamorous feel for the first time ever. I loved the idea of incorporating ferns in small bud vases mixed with tall taper candles. Not having tons of floral arrangements really cut down on cost, but also added to the elegance.
The menu was a printable template from A Wedding Soiree on Etsy—so easy and inexpensive, but looked really professional.
I love introducing great ladies to other great ladies! Pictured on the left is my good friend Jessica Bailey, who heads up the LA office of one of my favorite brands ever Smith Hotels; she is meeting Julie Skon, the owner of Makers and Goods, who curates gorgeous gifts that give back. In need of some holiday shopping??
Thanks to Kikori Whisky for welcoming our guests with Kikori Mules and Shishito Sours!
Ladies to know: Incredibly talented Kim Salmela,who not only designs products for One Kings Lane, but just opened the Kim Salmela Atelier in LA last week; Barrett Prendergast of ValleyBrink Road, who has a gorgeous gifting, floral, and catering company that is used by everyone who is anyone; and Kelly Mckee Zajfen, who owns a darling children’s clothing line called Little Minis that has a crazy cult following. I felt absolutely no pressure entertaining these fabulous ladies!
Ragan’s incredible beet hummus pictured above!
Looking for a few easy cocktails to serve over the holidays? Here’s how to make your own:
Radishes dipped in butter and Jacobsen Salt Co. sea salt. For the recipe check out my Instagram.
Last, but certainly not least, to Kim’s left is Juliana Dever, who is an actress and blogger with a very popular travel blog called Clever Dever Wherever. She is extremely adventurous, traveling to the ends of the earth to bring back hilarious stories and tons of advice.
Buratta with Olive Oil Cured, Oven-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes
Also, stop what you’re doing for one second and immediately follow Alex Michael May on Instagram (@beautilitarian). Everything about her colorful life and wild creativity makes me happy.
For the main course, Pumpkin Gnocchi with Crispy Sage and a Walnut-Infused Creme Fraiche Sauce.
And for a sweet ending, a decadant Chocolate Rose Tart.
I’m taking a vote on which recipe from our dinner to share! Let me know in the comments which one you would like to have. Happy Entertaining!