Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard {Simple Summer Entertaining}

Come enjoy cupcakes and cocktails in my courtyard!

Beautiful French inspired courtyard with farmhouse table - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio. Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard {Simple Summer Entertaining}

This post contains affiliate links which I hope you will use since they won’t cost you a penny extra yet may earn this blog a small commission.

Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard {Simple Summer Entertaining}

So very flattered bloggers Mary Ann (Classic Casual Home)

and Cindy (Rough Luxe Lifestyle) invited me

to contribute simple summer entertaining

to their Project Design series!

It gave me an excuse to show you peeks

of our courtyard and share

a so-easy-it’s-totes-embarrassing

summer entertaining idea:

CUPCAKES and COCKTAILS.

What assures the simple combo will succeed?

Pretty accents and a relaxed host.

Minted kindly invited us to choose custom

linens, and if you haven’t visited Minted’s

Home section lately…ooh la la, you’ll fall for

the myriad of custom options!

I chose the courtyard for the setting,

but your kitchen or patio works equally well!

The courtyard here at the fixer upper has

come a long way and was a relatively

easy DIY involving mostly subtraction.

Out went everything but one

Burning Bush, and in came the pea gravel.

Beautiful French inspired pea gravel courtyard with bench and mirror - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio. I have had the ornate mirror forever, and that mirror at right was salvaged from a bath here at the fixer. Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard {Simple Summer Entertaining}.

When we bought the place…

BEFORE: weeds of glory, grass, and a mauve door. Hello Lovely Studio
Beautiful French inspired courtyard with boxwood, lavender, and knotty alder door - Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER: a few boxwood, a few pots, knotty alder door, and garage sale finds. Hello Lovely Studio.Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard {Simple Summer Entertaining}.
Hello Lovely Studio's French inspired pea gravel courtyard
We replaced the eroded caps on the rock walls and used concrete pavers with pea gravel…still need a pretty gate! Hello Lovely Studio.
French inspired pea gravel courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio
It is peaceful and hushed here because of dense woods and an ultra quiet street. Hello Lovely Studio.Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard {Simple Summer Entertaining}.
Hello Lovely Studio

With a pretty customized runner and napkins

in a blush hue from Minted, I put into play my

tried and true, go-to, super easy girly get together.

Why this plan keeps working?

Because cupcakes. And cocktails.

Minimal effort.

(No silverware required, no need to sculpt

the napkins into swans, and just

ONE signature cocktail, not a full bar.)

Can happen at a moment’s notice.

When guests feel as though they haven’t

put you out, they relax more.

Easy as 1-2-3.

Hello Lovely Studio.

I’m not kidding.
My entertaining plan is THAT easy.
You can certainly kick it up a notch though,
and I often do.
1.
Cupcakes
Buy them from a fabulous bakery or bake em.
I like doctoring a cake mix, icing them
with homemade buttercream, and serving
them nude…the cupcakes, that is,
stripped of their paper wraps.
(Recipe at end of post).
2.
Lemonade
Any hue will do.
I like mine pretty in pink and sweetly spiked.
3.
Amaretto or Vodka
This is to tipsify (a craptastic word I made up) the lemonade,
and I make homemade Amaretto, which
is THE easiest boozy DIY, yet impresses the
pants off guests and just tastes better
since it is created with pure love.
(Recipe at end of post.)

Aren’t these pretty linens feminine and romantic!?!

Farm table in French inspired pea gravel courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes and Cocktails in the Courtyard. Hello Lovely Studio.
Frosted cupcakes on white ironstone pedestal and pink lemonade - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
White Belgian stone pedestal with pink cupcakes - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
Cupcakes and white roses on blush pink runner - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
White farm table with blush pink runner - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
Glass cake pedestal with pink frosted cupcakes - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
White ironstone pitcher with white roses and wood candlesticks - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
Blush pink runner with wood candlesticks on farm table in courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard
Pink lemonade on white farm table in pea gravel courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
White farm table with blush pink table runner - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
Polka dot peonies blush pink napkins and table runner from Minted - Hello Lovely Studio
Polkadot Peonies Runner & Napkins (Minted)
White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
Homemade amaretto and pink lemonade - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
Light grey bench in pea gravel French inspired courtyard with lavender in bucket - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.
White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard – Hello Lovely Studio.

It began to storm within minutes of trying

to shoot this so here are a few shots

inside (if you live in the Midwest,

you feel my pain)!

White farm table with blush pink cloth napkins and pillows - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio
White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio
White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

Do we need more simple ideas?
Oui! Oui, we do!

Visit all of these beautiful blogs for

simple summer entertaining ideas!

Pretty Pink Tulips

shabby fufu

Megan Pflug Designs

Classic Casual Home

Rough Luxe Lifestyle

* * * * *
Cupcakes
(makes 24)
1 white cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 egg whites

Set oven to 350. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups.
Beat cake mix, oil, buttermilk, and egg whites in bowl
with mixer on med for 2 minutes.
Pour batter into cups.
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.
Cool completely.
Make buttercream icing while they cool.
(Whip together: 1 stick butter at room temp, 1.5 tsp. vanilla,
1 box powdered sugar, and a few Tbsp. milk)
Tint frosting if desired then ice cupcakes.
YUM.

Homemade Amaretto
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups vodka
2 Tbsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine water and sugars in saucepan over med heat.
Heat until mixture is boiling and all sugar is dissolved.
Remove pan from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Stir vodka and extracts into mixture.
Store in a sealed bottle.
Please leave a comment…I respond to every single one
because I love getting acquainted!

Thanks Minted for partnering with me…your linens are
so lovely and continue to inspire me.

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE, and also find home decor here to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Wicker Trunk Storage
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcoverd Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing
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51 Comments

  1. June 22, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    I am coming over!! Love the simple menu (if only I didn't have to bake the cupcakes!), the gorgeous napkins and the ambience is to die for. Thank you Michele so much for participating. This is fabulous!!

    • June 22, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Skip the baking for sure! Please come on over and re-style my house while you're at it, design maven! xox

  2. June 22, 2017 / 3:11 pm

    Oh Michele you make everything you touch so lovely and soft and inviting. Your touches are always evident and they always say softly that you did it with love and purpose. Those napkins are beyond perfect for you and your home, the perfect touch. I like your easy way of entertaining!! Just might have to copy you!!!

    • June 22, 2017 / 3:19 pm

      merci beaucoup, kathysue! copy away! let them eat cake and cocktails in your beautiful backyard–it'll be gorgeous. I have done so many versions of this combo over the years: the French edition, the Hawaii edition, the all white edition…

    • June 22, 2017 / 5:42 pm

      sooooo easy. thanks for stopping, beautiful blogger! even the men (who look stunning in blush pink if you ask me) can't resist cupcakes!

  3. June 22, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Fun partying with you today and I'll pop around again to explore your blog!
    Janet

    • June 22, 2017 / 5:43 pm

      thanks for stopping, janet! I love your blog and admire your style soooooo much. I'm honored to have you here. 🙂

  4. June 22, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    I feel like I just had a little trip to Provence… it's all so gorgeous!!! You are so right about being a relaxed hostess!! Beautiful job…thanks for joining us! Now I have to do some Pinning!

    • June 22, 2017 / 5:44 pm

      so honored to be included in your Project Design group, Mary Ann. Thanks so much for adding this peasant. wish you could join me in the courtyard for a cocktail! xox

  5. June 22, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    I have a similar mirror in my garden…….BUT it is GOLD!I love it!
    Looks and sounds simple and divine!SORRY about THAT WEATHER………………it has been STRANGE this YEAR!A lovely post designed around SOME LOVELY NAPKINS!!!!!!

    • June 22, 2017 / 7:12 pm

      I bet it's gorgeous. this one was not pretty when I found it, and I can't even remember the finish it was before I painted it a soft grey (it looks white in photos, but my furniture is also grey). thanks for visiting, beautiful blogger–I love having you here! xox

    • June 29, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      THANK YOU!
      COME VISIT CINDY AND I TODAY or TOMORROW!!!!!!!!WE are featuring some FABULOUS LADIES!!!ONE IS 76 years old!!!!!!XX

  6. June 22, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    Michele, what a lovely party idea and thanks for the recipes! Your courtyard is so pretty and the perfect place for a party!

    • June 23, 2017 / 2:02 pm

      thanks for visiting, pam! I love hanging out in this courtyard in the summer! 🙂

    • June 23, 2017 / 4:42 pm

      I do like my sweets, sweets! xox

  7. June 26, 2017 / 11:50 am

    So much fun! Love the decor…and the cupcakes, of course!

    • June 26, 2017 / 2:10 pm

      thanks for joining us in the courtyard, Christine! 🙂

    • Marilyn Lesniak
      May 22, 2019 / 3:17 pm

      Thank you for sharing at #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Pinned and shared.

      • Michele
        Author
        May 22, 2019 / 7:55 pm

        Hi Marilyn – thanks so much for the kindness. 🙂

  8. June 27, 2017 / 1:38 am

    How absolutely lovely, Michele! The cupcakes look yummy, the drinks divine and the courtyard inviting. What else could a guest ask for? Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen"Our Hopeful Home

    • June 27, 2017 / 1:48 am

      thanks for those kind words! so happy to join your fete! 🙂

    • June 28, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Merci! Always happy to party with you talented bloggers! 😉

  9. June 28, 2017 / 10:32 pm

    Such a simple but fun idea. Cupcakes are everyone's friend, right!? When throwing a quick get together, I'm opting for buying them!

    • June 29, 2017 / 12:07 am

      Absolutely–buy em! But only if the icing is real buttercream!

  10. June 29, 2017 / 6:15 am

    What an amazing area for entertaining! You've given me the kick I need to redo my porch.

    • June 29, 2017 / 1:04 pm

      thanks for the kind words, Bailey!

  11. June 30, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    Michele,

    I was traveling in Italy when we all went live, so am terribly behind in commenting. I LOVE that we were both thinking cupcakes and cocktails!!!! Your courtyard is so beautiful…what an incredible welcome to your home. Of course, I love your tips and the pretty, feminine colors of everything. I had no idea you could create homemade amaretto…adding that to my summer cocktail repretoire!!!!

    Enjoy the long holiday weekend!!
    xoxo Elizabeth

    • June 30, 2017 / 5:11 pm

      I hope you had the time of your life, Elizabeth! Thanks for the kind words, and yes, so fun that we both instantly thought cupcakes and cocktails! Looking forward to catching up on your blog and hearing about your travels! xox

  12. July 11, 2017 / 1:35 am

    Everything looks so lovely! Love your plan and your menu. And yes, I'm all for tipsify-ing 🙂

    • July 11, 2017 / 9:08 pm

      Merci for the kindness, Jolina!

  13. July 11, 2017 / 5:15 am

    Your place is lovely. I love the idea of cupcakes and cocktails together. So fun!

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Thanks so much! killer combo! 🙂

  14. July 11, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    Girl you had me at cupcakes, then I read "tipsify" and I was sold! i love this setting too, it looks easy to pull off and very beautiful.

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      Just try to say TIPSIFY without smiling! ha! thanks, Meg.

  15. July 11, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    That looks so cozy. 🙂 Sometimes it's the small things that pull it all together.

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      I do love the small things! 🙂

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      thanks so much for stopping by the courtyard! 🙂

  16. July 11, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    This looks like a great way to entertain, thank you for all of the tips and tricks!

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      My pleasure, Sarah. Thanks for visiting!

  17. July 11, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    What a beautiful table set up! Cupcakes are one of my favorite treats when entertaining because of how much you can do with them — stealing this for my next party!

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      Yay! Thanks for the kind words, Kalyn!

  18. July 12, 2017 / 2:31 am

    This is such a great combination! I love simple entertaining. This is the perfect summer combo.

    • July 13, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      simple is best! thanks so much for stopping by the courtyard, Bailey.

  19. 1. Your courtyard is GORGEOUS! I love how big and airy it looks stripped of all the bushes.

    2. Minted is just the best. I love their products.

    3. This is such a cute idea! The lemonade looks so yummy in those glasses, and you better believe I'm going to try that homemade amaretto recipe soon! Thanks for the entertaining tips1

    • July 13, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      ha! try it! thanks for the kind words, Beth. xox

  20. May 18, 2019 / 8:14 am

    What a sweetly simple, fun, beautiful way to entertain! I want to be there! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Thursday Favorite Things. You always give us such wonderful inspiration!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 18, 2019 / 10:08 am

      Thanks, Pam! Planning any gathering can make me feel anxious so the simpler the better, and a relaxed host is always key for a successful party. Thanks for reading and welcoming me to TFT – I love it there. xox

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Wicker Trunk Storage
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcoverd Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing