I love the Primetime Emmy Awards because I am a huge TV fan. In the seventh grade, every member of my class was asked to complete a hobby project. For my presentation, I decorated an entire poster board and wrote in giant letters at the top, "The fine art of being a couch potato." I glued a TV Guide and a remote control to the poster, that's how serious I was.
Watching the Emmys is like being a room full of your best friends (or the friend you love to hate). It's a celebration of the characters who made you laugh, cry, scream and cheer.
This Sunday night I was thrilled to share my couch with three of my closest gal pals, all as TV obsessed as I am. I spent all day Sunday running errands and setting up in anticipation of their arrival. I find the whole viewing party ritual a fun challenge - what new decor can I uncover? What specialty cocktail can I whip up?
I always start by placing one cheeky item on the front door. When guests arrive, I want them to smile as soon as they see that piece of flair. In the past I've hung oversized movie tickets, winner envelopes and more.
Whenever I host, no matter the event, I find that the fastest way to make a space feel special is with fresh flowers.
These red roses are from Trader Joe's. In my personal opinion, they have the best selection. Their flowers are always in beautiful condition and are reasonably priced. These roses were $6.99 per dozen.
I picked out these gold vases at Target several years ago. I use them all the time - for flowers, for candles, for candy. They are super versatile and the mercury glass adds instant sparkle.
Over in the living room, I set up the ottoman tray for appetizers.
Confession: I included these red and gold Mark & Graham plates in my Mother's Day Gift Guide and I have been eyeing them for myself ever since. A few weeks ago I was targeted with a Mark & Graham Facebook ad that let me know the plates were 40 percent off. You better believe I snatched those right up!
I paired the plates with gold confetti napkins from Kate Spade and gold silverware from Party City in Brighton. Pro tip: if you are every looking for plates, napkins or silverware in a specific color, Party City has an entire aisle organized by hue!
For the fireplace mantel, I made two flower arrangements, each with a bulbous vase and red marbles at the bottom.
Growing up, my mom's best friend lived across the street and she always used to put colored marbles in her centerpieces, so each time I do it, it reminds me of her.
These stunning white roses are also from Trader Joe's.
In the dining room, I was excited to set up the bar cart. I always put out ice cold water (not pictured - Diet Coke, ice tea, lemonade and seltzer), along with the cocktail of choice for the evening.
This water pitcher is from the Home Goods in Assembly Row in Somerville. It adds immediate punch!
I had been thinking about a signature drink for about two weeks and I was feeling pretty stumped. Then, the night before the party, it hit me like lightning - red carpet rosé! I can never resist an alliteration.
I paired 90+ Cellars rosé (my personal fave) with Sugarfina's rosé candy.
I displayed the gummies on rose gold cocktail picks by Viski, which I found at Greentail Table in Newton, my go-to for entertaining.
The drink was a hit, generating several Instagram Stories and Snaps.
I draped the dining room table in a red cloth and placed a vase of white roses directly in the center. The food wasn't quite ready when I was snapping, but this served as our buffet all night.
Those who have been to my house for parties before or have been long-time followers of these party recaps, know that I always decorate my bathroom. When I threw a huge party for my golden birthday (29 on the 29th) my party planner, Dustin, said to me, "Never forget the bathroom. At some point during the party, everyone will use it, so surprise them with cute and unexpected touches."
You may remember a few years ago I made popcorn flower arrangements from white carnations. I didn't want to duplicate that completely, but I loved the idea of using the popcorn boxes as vases. After much thought, I landed on white hydrangeas, which look a bit like popcorn, no?
On the counter, I set up hand towels that read, "Welcome guests" in Emmy gold. I found these on my most recent trip to Portsmouth, NH in a store called Attrezzi.
I also put out a brand new bar of soap from one of my favorite, local Boston brands, Urban Kitchen Handmade. This scent is called satsuma guava and it's heavenly.
The girls arrived at 5:30pm for the red carpet. I whisked the appetizers off the kitchen counter and onto the dining room table.
We had veggies and dip (Helluva Good French Onion, the best) and a spread of cheese and crackers.
These Hester & Cook bird napkins are so regal. I love them!
I also put out hot pepper jam from Peg's Preserves, my favorite vendor at the Canal Distract farmer's market in Worcester, MA. I stock up every time I see Peg!
When we were ready to move from appetizers to dinner, I set up a DIY taco salad bar. Knowing that we would go heavy on appetizers and dessert, I wanted to keep the dinner light.
For the lettuce, I put out my brand new serving utensils from Gus & Ruby Letterpress in Portsmouth, NH. Aren't these fabulous?
When the salad plates were cleared and a few more trophies had been handed out, we felt ready for dessert. I served Mississippi mud bars and mini chocolate eclairs. Star Market bakery case for the win!
As the show neared its end, the girls started to pack up and head home. We all agreed January feels far too long to wait to do this again! The next awards show, the Golden Globes, isn't until January 7, 2018
Admittedly, I have already started planning for that viewing party. I have this fantasy of replacing my current ottoman tray with a giant lazy Susan for appetizers or movie candy. I'm also thinking about marquee letters over the fireplace mantel (perhaps #GoldenGlobes) and since it will be the dead of winter, a boozy hot chocolate bar.
Do you have a viewing party tradition? Who do you watch with?