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How to Throw the Sweetest Spring Dinner Party

You’ve made the guest list, cleaned every nook and cranny and picked out the perfect party outfit. But planning the actual event — that’s where things can get stressful. How do you set the mood? What foods should you serve? Whether you’re planning an indoor event or an outdoor picnic party, use these ideas to throw a low-fuss, yet sophisticated kind of event that everyone will want to attend. Cue the dinner music and get ready to be inspired.

1. Invitations: Handwritten cards are always nice, but in today’s digital age, your friends will think it’s totally cool to receive a peppy party invite via text or email. Plus, you’ll save the cost of stamps. What’s not to love? (via Best Friends for Frosting)

2. Fabric Covered Spring Vases: Printed burlap and a bit of string does beautiful things to an old bottle or vase. These tulips nod their heads in pretty approval. Put these little pops of color near the front door to welcome guests as they arrive. (via I Heart Nap Time)

3. Brown Paper Menu: Use a brown paper bag or kraft paper to DIY menus for your guests. Because everyone likes to know exactly what’s for dinner. We love how these menus double as placemats. (via Confetti Style)

4. Fresh Fruit Place Card: Let’s face it: There are other things you’d rather be doing during your lunch break than crafting a few dozen intricate place cards. So instead, keep things simple and fresh by using a piece of fruit to hold a simple name card. Nearly any fruit will work. How sweet! (via Style Me Pretty)

4. Fresh Flowers: Flower centerpieces don’t have to be complicated. Choose fruit and flowers in similar hues to create an impressive explosion of color against a simple white tablecloth. Oh, and here’s a quick tip: Don’t make any centerpiece more than 12 inches tall. That way guests can still see one another across the table. (via Style Me Pretty)

5. Jumbo Tassel Balloon ($30): Balloons aren’t just for birthdays anymore. Tassel balloons are so sweetly sophisticated and make great party favors when the celebration is over. If your event is outdoors, use golf tees to stake these little pretties into the ground. Want to craft your own? Here’s a great step-by-step.

6. Fabric Garland: A fabric garland is a beautiful way to create ambiance around the event area. You can use any type of cloth or ribbon to create this garland. It’s a lovely way to repurpose old clothing. (via Folk)

7. Cucumber Feta Rolls: Plan on it: Guests will arrive hungry. There’s nothing like hors d’oeuvres to keep them mingling and munching while you’re wrapping up dinner prep. (via Good Life Eats)

8. Spring Pea Crostini: Good food always inspires good conversation. These darling spring pea crostinis are sure to attract plenty of attention from your guests. (via What’s Gabi Cooking)

9. Fresh Fruit and Cheese Platter: The best dinner parties feature progressive foods. A fruit ‘n’ cheese platter is a perfect addition to a multiple appetizer lineup, and you can prepare it in advance. The food will disappear right before your eyes. What a great go-to option before diving into dinner! (via Snippet and Ink)

10. Salad Tea Cups: Dish up mini salads in advance and eliminate last-minute plating stress. We love the use of quintessential tea cups as salad dishes, because food is just as much about presentation as it is taste! (via Hotel Gratitude)

11. Rosebud Paper Napkins: Napkin, please! Roll up simple paper napkins and bunch them together in a large dish for a pleasing rosebud effect. Make sure to have plenty of “buds” on hand so guests can grab ‘n’ go throughout the evening. (via Rajee Sood)

12. Mood Lighting: Everything (and everyone) looks better by candlelight. Set out some candles or take things up a notch with some string lights. Bam — instant ambiance! (via The Kitchn)

13. Roasted Chicken With Clementines: People want to eat real, flavorful food, not outrageously fancy fare. We suggest a simple main course. Anyone can roast a chicken perfectly, and this dish is so gorgeous that it could double as a centerpiece. (via The View from Great Island)

14. Pink Deviled Eggs: How fun! Deviled eggs and spring are as synonymous as Peeps and Easter. Everyone will be intrigued with this pinkalicious variety. How’s that for a conversation starter? (via The Year in Food)

15. Peach Lemonade: Keep things classy with an elegant twist on an old favorite — pink lemonade. Watch for your guests’ reaction at first sip. Make this homemade peach drink a day in advance and save yourself the stress when it’s crunch time. (via What 2 Cook)

16. Pink Lemonade No-Bake Cheesecakes: Linger with guests over a sweet bite that’s 100 percent no-bake. Simplicity is key to keeping things hassle-free. The best part about these mini cheesecakes is that you can make them in advance and add your choice of toppings, be it fresh fruit, sprinkles, graham cracker crumbs, maybe even melted chocolate. (via Cravings of a Lunatic)

17. Macarons: Admit it: You’ve been waiting for an opportunity to try to make these sophisticated French confections. Stack the little irresistables in tower form and they’ll be as delightful to the eyes as they are to the taste buds. What a sweet and happy ending to a fun evening with friends! (via A Bit of Bees Knees)

Hey, peeps! What are your go-to ideas for a perfect dinner party? We want to hear from the experts — YOU!

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)