I've started a new challenge where I'll be designing stationery weekly and incorporating it into my daily life, be it menus for dinner parties, gifts for friends, place cards for holidays, or any other fun ideas I come up with. My boyfriend and I are new homeowners in Hoboken, New Jersey and moved in in August, but did some renovations that were recently finished. Between that and the craziness of the last few months, we hadn't had any friends over before now. This past weekend we hosted the first social gathering, a 6-person dinner party, in our new home as a housewarming celebration, so I thought it would be the perfect occasion to kick off the challenge.
I started by choosing the menu. I kept it simple with seasonal ingredients and decided to make a chicken sausage soup with sweet potato and kale that's inspired by a Hellofresh recipe we like that we've made our own by adding orzo. I found a great squash farro salad recipe with apples online, and picked up an apple crumble pie from Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken for dessert. For drinks, I stuck to the theme with bourbon apple cider and let guests make their own.
I painted the key ingredients in watercolor and added red leaves to really drive home the fall theme and used fun watercolor calligraphy in a rust color. Since dinner was casual, I kept the decor low-key so that the menus really stood out and made the dinner feel a little more special. Afterward we had champagne and pie on the patio and played trivia games. Custom stationery is always a great way to personalize and elevate an event. I wish I had time to make my own placemats, too - or even scorecards for trivia, but I'll save those ideas for future posts.