Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard {Simple Summer Entertaining}

Beautiful French inspired courtyard with farmhouse table - Hello Lovely Studio

Come enjoy cupcakes and cocktails in my courtyard!

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
I have had the ornate mirror forever, and that mirror at right was salvaged from a bath here at the fixer.

When we bought the place…

BEFORE: weeds of glory, grass, and a mauve door.

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'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!

  

French inspired pea gravel courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio
It is peaceful and hushed here because of dense woods and an ultra quiet street.

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.

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.)

Minted blush pink runner and napkins Polka dot peonies - Hello Lovely Studio
Polkadot Peonies Napkins & Runner (Minted)

 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

Frosted cupcakes on white ironstone pedestal and pink lemonade - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard

White Belgian stone pedestal with pink cupcakes - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard

Cupcakes and white roses on blush pink runner - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard

White farm table with blush pink runner - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard

Glass cake pedestal with pink frosted cupcakes - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard

White ironstone pitcher with white roses and wood candlesticks - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard
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
White farm table with blush pink table runner - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard
White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard

White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Polkadot Peonies Runner & Napkins (Minted)< —affiliate link

Polka dot peonies blush pink napkins and table runner from Minted - Hello Lovely Studio
Polkadot Peonies Runner & Napkins (Minted))< —affiliate link

White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard
Homemade amaretto and pink lemonade - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard


Light grey bench in pea gravel French inspired courtyard with lavender in bucket - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard
White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Cupcakes & Cocktails in the Courtyard

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)!

ļ»æ

Minted table runner and napkins in blush pink with peonies - Hello Lovely Studio
Polkadot Peonies Runner & Napkins (Minted))< —affiliate link

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
Polkadot Peonies Runner & Napkins (Minted))< —affiliate link

White farm table set with cupcakes and cocktails - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

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

ļ»æVisit 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!

Peace to you right where you are

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Sharing with:

Keeping it Simple
Dwellings
Amaze Me Monday
Inspiration Monday

A Pinch of Joy

DIY Showoff

French Country Cottage

Shabby Art Boutique

Coastal Charm

DIY Dreamer

Beyond the Picket Fence

Lou Lou Girls

Share Your Style

Our Hopeful Home

The Charm of Home

Simple Nature Decor

Hello Lovely Studio Michel pointe shoes ballet slippers denim
Thanks Minted for partnering with me…your linens are
so lovely and continue to inspire me.

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47 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. šŸ™‚

  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! šŸ™‚

    • 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! šŸ™‚

  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! šŸ™‚

    • June 28, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Merci! Always happy to party with you talented bloggers! šŸ˜‰

  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 šŸ™‚

    • 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! šŸ™‚

  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. šŸ™‚ Sometimes it's the small things that pull it all together.

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      I do love the small things! šŸ™‚

    • July 11, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      thanks so much for stopping by the courtyard! šŸ™‚

  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

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