A Lustrous Holiday Entertaining Event at West Elm

I love sharing ideas about holiday entertaining and even more when it is in a a beautiful and inspirational venue like a West Elm shop! Recently I co-hosted a Lustrous Holiday Event at the West Elm Hyde Park location in Tampa, FL where we offered ideas about incorporating trends into your holiday style such as a Modern Relish Tray, a Raspberry Mocktail Punch and Metallic tablescapes with personalized votives.
December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

My co-hostess with the mostess Tabitha Blue, of Fresh Mommy Blog, welcomed the guests and discussed easy holiday wrapping ideas using craft paper – which we also covered the gorgeous West Elm tables with to protect them, but to also give them a cohesive look.

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

I discussed the idea of a Modern Relish Tray and how easy it is to pull together this fresh appetizer to welcome guests that looks and tastes delicious without filling them up and ruining their appetite for dinner. I was in heaven being able to utilize any items in the store to create platters and displays for the tables!

Guests sipped on a festive Raspberry Mocktail Punch as they enjoyed a fresh twist on Modern Relish Tray with Pickled Radishes and Cream Tofu + Lemon Herb Dip.

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

After a food preparation demonstration featuring the Tofu + Lemon Herb dip we moved onto our craft for the night! Lustrous Votives! Using plain glass votives metallic paints and decoupage techniques everyone created their own personalized look. And trust me this is a SUPER creative crowd so there were a few you could have sold in West Elm that night on the shelves!
December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

December West Elm Event-50

These adhesive stencils from Martha Stewart made creating detailed patterns easy ~ some even created a matching set to take home for their holiday mantel. 

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa
December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

Crafting is serious business! These ladies brought their A-Game for sure!

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

Of course no event is complete without prizes. West Elm generously donated fun drink mixers gifts, Tabitha offered coffee, candles and chic office tools from local Tamp Bay businesses and I donated a copy of my book An Appealing Plan – everyone went home with a prize AND a Hyde Park Village gift bag.
December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

How cute is that belly bump!! Congrats to Tabitha and her family who are expecting their 4th child! Perhaps next year we will be crafting sippy cups to fill with the mocktail punch rather than votives…. 

December West Elm Event with @KraylFunch and @TabithaBlue - Holiday Entertaining Event at #WestElmTampa

Thanks to all the fabulous ladies who came out to taste, sip, craft and support this event – wishing you all a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year! 

Thank you also to Tabitha for taking and sharing all the images in the post. Can’t wait until our next event.

{If you are interested in learning more about upcoming events please sign up for my newsletter here to receive updates to your inbox.}

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to allow ease of shopping for you ~ if you purchase something after following a link I may, or may not, earn a small commission on the product.



Raspberry Mocktail Punch Recipe

I love my champers but when entertaining you must consider the needs of your guests and offer an non-alcoholic beverage. This Raspberry Mocktail Punch is fruity, festive and alcohol free. 

December West Elm Event-18

A mocktail is great for non-drinkers as well as hydrating all your guests but be sure you don’t skip on flavor. Just because you are skipping the alcohol doesn’t mean you should skimp on taste – in fact your flavor is could be even more important in this mocktail punch recipe!

Using raspberry puree as the base for this punch you can add regular sparkling water or try a flavored water to add even more variety to your bar display. I’m a huge fan of the lime sparkling water so I always have it in the fridge and on display when I entertain. Provide glasses, ice and extra frozen raspberries for garnish.

December West Elm Event-19

To make your gathering even more stress free this raspberry punch mocktail can easily be enhanced with Champagne, Vodka or your favorite spirit. Keep it off to the side, well marked so there is no confusion and let guests add their own selections. I love a DIY bar!

December West Elm Event-21

[yumprint-recipe id=’24’] 
Thank you again to Tabitha FreshMommyBlog.com for taking and sharing the pictures from our recent West Elm Entertaining Event at the Hyde Park Tampa location.

Peach Simple Syrup Iced Tea with Mint

Sweet Tea is a truly Southern tradition, not only during the summer but year round, you will find people sipping it on the porch or serving to friends gathered around the kitchen table. A wonderful alternative to serving pre-sweetened tea is to create a simple syrup and allow guest to add to their taste preference.

Simple syrup is just as the name says, a simple syrup. It is equal parts water and sugar gently heated until the sugar dissolves – and perfect for using in cold beverage as the sugar is already in liquid form it quickly mixes into the existing liquid. I love to create new flavors of simple syrup to be used in iced tea, cocktails or to be poured over berries for dessert.

For a recent event at the West Elm in Hyde Park Village with Tabitha Blue, of Fresh Mommy Blog, – here we are before everyone arrived – I made up a double batch of Georgia Peach Simple Syrup to serve alongside iced Earl Grey tea, fresh mint sprigs and additional peach slices. The attendees enjoyed it along with a Fresh Herb White Bean Dip while they made Personalized Rosemary Napkin Rings {DIY feature coming soon} – both perfect for Summer Entertaining!


2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1-2 peaches, sliced


In a medium sauce pan bring water and sugar to a boil.

Add peaches and stir slowly.

Reduce to simmer after sugar is completely dissolved in the liquid.

Crush peaches when soft to release more flavor into the syrup.

Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Be sure to monitor temperature to avoid browning or burning the sugar.

Syrup will be very hot. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a fine mesh metal strainer, strain peaches from syrup.

Bottle. Gift or Enjoy!

Peach Simple Syrup is wonderful in iced tea but also try it to add a touch of sweetness to any favorite beverage – I know I will be testing a few new recipes with weekend with the pretty pink syrup – stay tuned for more!

Thank you Tabitha for sharing your pictures with me!!

 * * * * * * *

And, if you are looking for even more ways to celebrate everyday check out An Appealing Plan the book.

Call it a trend or a return to the past, but I believe we are bringing back entertaining at home, lingering over a table after a lovingly prepared meal with friends. It has been a way of life and passion of mine my entire adult life, and I am thrilled to be able to invite you on this journey with me through a year of celebrating every day. Filled with recipes, tablescapes, floral inspiration and seasonal entertaining ideas An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations, is a dream come true for me a true honor to be able to share it with you. To learn more about An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations here. And of course, share how you are celebrating everyday.

Office Style. The Perfect Office Side Chair.

You schedule a meeting in your office and you have to drag in chairs from another room for your clients to sit on. Your assistant comes in everyday to talk with you and has to stand while you talk. Occasionally you want to sit and read a report in a chair that is not practical desk side chair.

If any of the above statements ring true for you it is time to consider finding the perfect office side chair to fill that void in your space.



Luckily chairs come in a variety of sizes, colors, shape and budgets there is one guaranteed to suit your needs.

Factors you will need to consider when purchasing your chair are:

  • Scale of the chair to space.
  • How often will you move the chair(s).
  • How does the style compare to the other furnishings in the space.
  • One chair vs Two chairs.
  • How much time will you or your guests spend in the chair.

The above round-up includes the following styles.

  1. Seville Leather Chair from Room and Board
  2. Sloan Upholstered Chair West Elm
  3. Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Stark Design Within Reach
  4. Ikat Fabric Club Chair
  5. Devon Spitfire Chair in Leather by Restoration Hardware
  6. The Bracelet Chair Barbara Barry by Henredon

Side chairs are great was to add style and functionally to a space. Choose wisely but have fun with it too. Let your personality or brand show through your selection.

Looking for more personal support in styling your office space? Consider scheduling an in person or virtual consultation today by clicking here.