Back in March I was contacted on behalf of Pottery Barn with an opportunity to compete in what they call a “Mystery Box Challenge.” Even before I knew any of the details, I delightfully accepted. Let’s be real, I was ecstatic and I may have done a little happy dance or two.
Based on the name “Mystery Box Challenge,” I assumed we would get a box full of ”mystery” items that we’d then have to style. To my surprise, we actually got to choose the majority of the items that we were given. Though I was not paid by Pottery Barn for this shoot, all of these Pottery Barn products were given to me free of charge. Hooray, I’ll take free Pottery Barn items any day of the week.
Okay, let’s talk about the challenge. . . the challenge was to come up with a signature cocktail or two (So, I came up with three. You know me, I am an overachiever. What can I say?) and then turn any space, either indoor or outdoor, into a festive summer party inspired by these signature cocktails. We were encouraged to use each item that was sent to us, but we could also incorporate additional items already in our home, or purchase food, drinks, etc. Sounds fun, right?
Don’t get me wrong, it was a blast, but my type-A personality always likes to have a plan. So, before I selected all of my FREE Pottery Barn items, I had to come up with a concept. Some of the beautiful trends of the season from Pottery Barn’s summer line include texture rope detailing, bold and bright summer colors and patterns, and charming sea creatures. Hmm. . .what is a girl to do? After brainstorming with one of my besties, (and talented personal photographer) Courtney Jade I decided on a Tiki Bar theme.
One of my favorite entertaining tips and where my party planning always begins is with a party concept. Always have a concept or theme in mind when planning a party or get-together. It can be super simple, like selecting a color palette that you like, or elaborate, like choosing a theme, such as my Tropical Tiki Bar Party. Having a theme makes planning so much easier and will also give your party a cohesive feel too.
Once I had my theme, I just needed to design and style my new bar. I saw a pin floating around on pinterest where someone used a potting bench as an outdoor bar. What a great idea, right? Though I didn’t show it for this party, there is a portion of the bench that comes apart and would make a perfect place to store ice for your guests.
The other crucial items I knew I needed to pull off this theme were tropical plants. Normally I style kids birthday parties and up until now, I hadn’t incorporate flowers into my designs. For this theme, it was really important to have a tropical feel and I knew the only way I could achieve that was with amazing floral designs. Thankfully, I met with Elaine of Branch & Bloom and together we came up with some concepts. Since I am new at floral design, I let Elaine run with this and I couldn’t be more impressed with her style and designs. Don’t the flowers make you feel like you are in paradise?
And now onto the guest of honor. That’s right, the alcohol! The three signature cocktails I selected were:
- Painkiller- This drink was trademarked by Pusser’s Rum and may just be the pain reliever you’ve been looking for. This infamous 1970′s classic will have you feeling better in no time. An added fun fact, Great Britain’s Royal Navy was issued a pint of this rum daily and received a double before each battle and after a victory.
- The Sneaky Tiki- With just one sip you will be transported to tropical island. The Sneaky Tiki is a strong fruity cocktail and like it’s namesake implies, it will sneak up on you!
- White Sand Sangria- This peach mango pineapple white sangria is quite a mouthful, literally. This drink is sure to conjure up memories of warm white sand under your tan toes.
I have also included a free printable recipe card for each of these signature cocktails so you can make your own cocktails at home. You can download them here:
Don’t want just one of these amazingly delicious drinks? Guess what? You can download all three right here:
I wanted to use a few of the Pottery Barn items in “non-traditional” ways or ways that Pottery Barn doesn’t typically use them. One of my favorite items was the Galvanized Catch All Caddy. I thought it would be the perfect Tiki Bar Caddy Station. It holds all the necessary items to make any cocktail pretty and tropical!
Another item I thought would be fun to put a different twist on was the medium Plymouth Lantern. Keeping with my Tiki Tropical theme, I placed some limes and a large pineapple in the lantern. Another thought was to actually carve the pineapple by lopping off the bottom, scraping out the inside, and drilling random holes throughout. If you place a battery operated candle inside, it would make a unique luminary and a perfect nighttime accessory.
Entertaining outdoors has enough challenges, but Pottery Barn has made it a little easier and “accident” friendly too. Not only are many of their new outdoor entertaining pieces bright and colorful, but they are also melamine constructed. So, if you happen to slip on the pool deck with a drink in your hand, not to worry. These colorful Monterrey Outdoor Drinkware Glasses won’t break into a million pieces and ruin your party! Other pieces I’m also loving are the Rope Outdoor Bowls, Cabo Melamine Condiment Set, Rope Outdoor Platter and guess what? They are also unbreakable too.
The adorable Tiki Bar pillows were another fun addition to my party! Do you remember Jackson’s bowling party that I threw a couple of years ago? One of my favorite details were the custom printed socks. So, I had to design a few pillows to go with my Tiki theme, and Michelle of Epoc Ink was kind enough to print and send them to me. Thanks Michelle! I love them all!
Here are a few more photos that I had to include because they were just too pretty to leave out.
Did I mention that this is a competition and that four other bloggers also had the same challenge? Please head on over to Pottery Barn’s Facebook page and if you like my design the best, please VOTE for me and tell all of your friends too! The voting period is June 19-July 2nd. The winner will be announced on July 3rd. You can vote Daily too, so grab your morning coffee and vote for me!!
*I was not paid to participate, but I did receive products on behalf of Pottery Barn.
OTHER VENDOR CREDITS
Invitation, Party Printables, and Styling: Modern Moments Designs
Photography: Courtney Jade Photography
Florals: Branch & Bloom
Custom Pillows: Epoc Ink
Dress: Provided by Archetype Vintage
Metal Bottle Opener: Curiosities
Raw Sugar Cane Sticks, Tiki Stir Sticks, & Drink Umbrellas: Keg Works
Potting Bench & Tiki Glasses: Cost Plus World Market