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Monday, February 9, 2015

{Real Party} Mardi Gras Masquerade Dinner Soiree with PartyCheap.com

Mardi Gras, Masquerade, Fat Tuesday

Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to work with a party supply company, PartyCheap.com where I was sent a huge box full of product to share ideas for hosting a swanky and glam-filled masked Mardi Gras soiree!

As a busy working wife and mom, there are very few opportunities that I have to get together with my gal-friends and partay.  So, I knew that the ideas I had in mind for this affair was going to have to include good company, good food, good cocktails and good fun!  I reached out to my dear friend, Naleli of Jewel Mine and asked her if she'd be game to calling up the ladies and having a Masquerade themed dinner party at her home.  I was SO excited when she agreed to serve as hostess!  We've been party buddies for many years so, I knew that I was going to be in good hands when it came to the guest list. I told Naleli, I'd handle the food and decor and she could handle the drinks!  This was certain to be a fab affair! 

I should probably back up at this point and share how I came to collaborate with PartyCheap.com on this event. 

As it goes, sometime late last year (2014), I saw that the site started following me on Twitter.  I  honestly NEVER heard of this company before and immediately went to peruse their site and I must say I was pretty impressed by the variety of products they offered.  Many of the items listed on their shop, I'd not seen before and I admittedly was anxious to work with them.  Now, I am not one to just get on Twitter and approach a company for collaborations.  However, I had a newfound spark in me and a goal for 2014 to work with a brand that I loved.  What a perfect time for opportunity to present itself!  I sent a quick tweet back to PartyCheap.com, threw caution to the wind and mentioned that I'd love to work with them!  Well, a few tweets and emails later and a great big old box of the most AMAZING quality party decor I've come across in a while - and here we are. 

Back to the details of the party!

Elements that inspire:

- Gorgeous Venetian style handheld masks
- Simple and quick 'Photo Booth' area
- Glammed up Purple, Gold and Green decor
- Beads, beads, beads galore!

 More details and a list of supplies follow, at the end of this post.




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When I looked at the Mardi Gras items available though PartyCheap.com's site I definitely knew that I wanted to head for a more glammed up look.  I saw that they offered a great selection of the most beautiful Venetian style handheld masks and immediately used them as the overall inspiration for the party.  Since we were planning a sit down dinner I came up with a delicious and easy menu.  We dined on Red Beans & Rice w/ Sausage, Louisiana Chicken Pasta and a Mardi Gras Mixed Green Salad w/Pecan Viniagrette (btw, this salad was so good - and perfect for Mardi Gras, the mixed spring greens with their purple and green leaves mixed in well with segmented orange slices made for a perfect yellow, green and purple dish!).  Before dinner, the guests snacked on Pecan Praline Baked Brie with crackers - this appetizer was a big hit!

The Designer Tableware that I selected from PartyCheap.com were just the icing on the cake for me!  You almost couldn't tell they were paper.  I knew I had to come up with a way to highlight them.  I found purple chargers and then layered the plates alternating the gold with the printed and green bowls that were placed at the very top.  Each place setting had a strand of beaded necklaces for guests to throw on once they were seated.  I also added a name card on top of the beads.  These were easy to make.  I simply printed out each guests name onto cardstock that was cut to size and backed with glitter paper.  Initially the beautiful Fleur de Lis balloon holders (I used them here as place card holders) were going to be used to hold each name card, but I ended up using them for the food items instead. The photos show you the options you have by using the holders.  I also used gold and purple napkins bundled together and placed them inside of the stemware.

For our table centerpiece I used an Ivory and Gold long nose mask and we elevated it on a box that was covered with a light gold length of fabric and added more beads to the table, along with masks owned by our hostess and tea light candles!  It almost gave us a voodoo vibe.....glamorously eerie nonetheless!

Naleli, came up with a delicious champagne cocktail that we dubbed the French Quarter Hurricane (A combination of Passion Fruit Juice, Pineapple Juice, Pineapple Rum and champagne).  We put a pitcher of the drink on the bar, so guests could refill as they pleased.  In the bar area, we hung a gold 3-tier shimmering chandelier with large purple and green art tissue honeycomb balls.  A few Mardi Gras beads were strewn about the bar for another festive touch.  Also, we placed a few Mardi Gras street signs on the wall above the bar to finish our look! BTW - loved that the street signs had a different name on each side.  Gotta have options!


After we finished our delicious meal, the ladies went off to take advantage of the 'photo booth' area we set up and donned a few of the fabulous masks.  This was so simple to set up.  We used a gold metallic curtain as our backdrop and just a few of the tissue honeycomb balls.  Our masks were placed near the photobooth area in a large vase and guests chose their favorite look and we snapped away.  One tip for the perfect photobooth is to have an area large enough to get as many people as possible in your photo and be sure to offer fun prop options.  Make sure you have good lighting an place your camera on a tripod and set the timer to take the photos.  Make sure that everyone plays up the theme of the event and snap away!

The desserts were kept to a minimum.  We served sugar cookie masks, cake and beignets, of course!  I found a mask cookie cutter on Amazon and used it to make my version (as best I could) of feathered masks.  I also found a plain white cake at my local grocery store.  I wanted to add a bit of color so, I added extra frosting in yellow, green and purple to give the cake a 'feathered' appearance.  Lastly we fried up some beignets and dumped a bunch of powdered sugar on them!  Can't have a Mardi Gras without beignets, I always say!  To decorate the dessert table, I added a few gold plastic Fleur de Lis wall decorations, a mardi gras fabric bunting, tissue balls and of course, BEADS.  Just to add a bit more visual interest to the table, I placed a wire wall hanging on the table and dressed it up with a glitter garland and leaned a mask against it.  Another fun element was a framed quote that let's all the guests know there is fun to be had - Laissez bon temps rouler!  Let the good times roll!  We had such a great time at our 'masquerade', we enjoyed plenty of laughs, great food and drinks and most of all we had fun!

Check out PartyCheap.com for all your Mardi Gras and celebration needs!

I received items from partycheap.com as part of a product feature on this blog.  No monetary compensation was given.  All opinions are my own.

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