Monday, October 11, 2010

A Post by Alex ... A Fashionable Soiree

Hello Glamorous Girlfriends!
I'm Alex.

I'm the seventh of the eight Ooh La Frou Frou girls
to create their first post and I'm so excited!
All of the other Ooh La Frou Frou girls
 weren't surprised to learn that I'd be posting about
entertaining for my first post,
as it's a great love of mine!
And since I happen to be planning a little soiree right now,
I thought it would be fun to share my plans with you
and talk a little about the steps I go through
when I plan a party.

First, let me say a little something about
party central, otherwise known as my kitchen,
as it's the place where all of the behind-the-scenes
deliciousness begins.
If you haven't seen my kitchen yet,
let me tell you that it's lovely.
It has classic white marble counters and a
french pastry table I use as an island.
The jewel of my kitchen, however,
is my oval window that looks out over the city!

While I'm in my glamorous kitchen,
I like to feel glamorous even when I'm cooking,
and that means a collection of glamorous aprons to choose from.
Several of my favorite aprons came from
Here I am, wearing one of my favorites, the "Espresso Swirl!"
(and yes, I am licking the whipped cream off the beater!)
I love that The Hip Hostess even has beautiful matching magnets!

For as long as I can remember, I have kept a binder
with pictures that I've saved from magazines
to use as inspiration for party ideas.
This little book is always "Step 1" for me in soiree planning,
and I sit with a pad and pen
and make notes as I leaf through the pages.

I also love to leaf through fabulous entertaining books
for tabletop inspiration.
My latest purchase was
New York Parties - Private Views by Jamee Gregory

It has some great insider shots of beautiful parties.

After every party I give,
I make notes in this little pink journal about
who attended and what was served.
That way, I'm sure not too duplicate
the menu for the same guests at another time!
(Plus, it acts as a fun entertaining diary to look back through.)
I have a few of these matching journals filled already!

The party that I'm planning right now
is a birthday party for our Ooh La Frou Frou girl Aimee.
and the eight of us will be together
for an afternoon of shopping in the city
followed by a birthday dinner
at my place.

Not all of my parties are this splashy,
but I wanted this girlfriend party to be splashy galore.
We all have our favorite designers,
so I thought it might be fun
to call Aimee's birthday celebration
a "fashionable birthday soiree."
That was my kick-off point.
For the invitation, I chose pretty cream flat cards
with gold edges (elegant!).

My dining room is a little alcove
off of the living room of my city apartment.
I like to have this room treated like a jewel-box,
so I have the entrance to the alcove draped
to provide privacy and magical drama.
I designed a special tablecloth for our birthday dinner for eight!
The designers names were embroidered on my tablecloth
in a hodge-podge manner and I even had
swarovski crystals sewn on here and there for sparkle!
I'm getting the room set up now ...
take a look! 

"A Fashionable Birthday Soiree" illustration by Sandy - artist, Ooh La Frou Frou Collection
was created specifically for the Ooh La Frou Frou Collection blog.
(c) Ooh La Frou Frou 2010, All Rights Reserved.
The picture that you see in the dining room
was placed there just for this event.
It's a photograph of a window from Ralph Lauren's breathtaking
Paris store and restaurant!
By clicking on the Ralph Lauren name above,
you can watch a video that takes you on a tour
of the Parisian store and restaurant.
If anyone is crazy for Paris, it is Aimee,
so this was the perfect "jewel"
to place in the dining room for that evening.

These are photos of a few items that will be ON that table
the night of the party:
Sparkling candlelight will be provided by a few frosted jewel-toned votives
scattered on the tabletop.
For fun, I am slipping
beautiful jeweled bangles from Van Luxuria
around each of the napkins as a little hostess gift.

For the centerpiece, I'll choose flowers that are in the jewel tones of the
stemware, such as this gorgeous hand-tied bouquet by Suzanne Cummings Flowers:

When all of the girls walk into my apartment
after our busy afternoon of shopping,
I will hop into my kitchen and pour us a glass of bubbly
in jewel-tone champagne flutes.
I've had each flute etched with each girl's favorite designer's name
and she can take it home with her for
that glass of bubbly she may want later on while she's sitting in bubbles!

I've just begun planning the menu and only have two items chosen so far.
The first course: soup and the last course: dessert!
I found the soup recipe in Park Avenue Celebrations.
I thought it sounded delicious and easy to prepare.
Favorite recipes of a number of New York's top hostesses
have been assembled in this book

Here's the recipe for Silken Mushroom Soup I'll be preparing:

Makes 6-8 Servings

3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 lb. white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
6 cups well-flavored chicken stock (preferrably homemade)
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over low heat.
Add the onions and cook until softened,
but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes until softened,
then add chicken stock and bay leaves.
Raise heat to medium and bring to a simmer.
Simmer 20 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove bay leaves.

Puree soup in food processor or blender in several batches.
Return soup to saucepan and reheat just before serving.

A trick to making your own chicken stock
is to simmer your chicken and vegetables
in chicken broth (packaged or homemade),
instead of water, for a double stock that will be doubly flavorful.

The dessert I've chosen is a classic.
Aimee loves chocolate
so what could be better than a tall, delicious chocolate cake?
Click here for the recipe I will be creating:
Martha Stewart Living's Moist Devil's Food Cake with Mrs. Milman's Frosting

I'll end my entertaining post by showing you what my birthday gift to Aimee will be!
What could be more fun and surprising for a "Fashionable Birthday Soiree"
than a Christian Louboutin Barbie?
Christian Louboutin has created a three collector's edition Barbies
that come complete with Christian Louboutin shoes! 

Each Barbie comes with a little pink Christian Louboutin "Diary"
entitled "My Year in Paris"
and features fun shots of Louboutin and his adventures in Paris with Barbie!

There is even an additional "accessory" package available!

The ultimate toy even for grown-up girls.
Happy party-planning everyone!

All of the illustrations on this blog
are by the artist and creator of the Ooh La Frou Frou Collection,
Sandra Markwalder.
(c) Ooh La Frou Frou 2010
All rights reserved.
Please do not copy artwork without written permission from the artist.


Anonymous said...

That's such a sweet idea! Please make my champagne flute a Chanel one :-) I'm looking forward to doing a lot of fashionable entertaining in our new home, can't wait... thanks for all the ideas!

Anonymous said...

I would love to leaf through Alex's party book. I'm sure there are plenty of goodies hidden throughout the pages!

Vanessa@Luxuria said...

Thank you so much Alex (aka Sandy) for the mention. That was so thoughtful of you.
What a fab post. I love the recipe book you selected. As an avid "foodie" it's been added to my wish-list.
I want to be invited to this party!!!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

What a dreamy post! I loved it! You captured the essence of the Hip Hostess apron~I hope I look as good in mine~!

Housewife Bliss said...

love the post darling, and the apron, is fab, that is the one I have and I adore it!


What a perfect hostess! I'd love to come to one of her soirees :) xoxo

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

Alex leaves little notes in response to the following comments on her post:

Cafe Bellini: I'll definitely make yours Chanel, darling! Entertaining is SO MUCH FUN, good luck with all of your future soirees!

GlamorousWhimsy: All kinds of details in my little party book, from the tablescape I used for each event and the theme of each party!

Venessa@Luxuria: It was a pleasure, Glamorous Girlfriend, to show off your beautiful bangles! I'm sure the girls would LOVE them!

Amy@MaisonDecor: I'm sure you look just as glamorous as me in your Hip Hostess apron, sweetheart!

Housewife Bliss: So many people have this particular apron, little did I know I was choosing a favorite of so many people!!

The Alternative Wife: I'd love to HAVE you at one of my soirees, sweetie! You're a perfect Glamorous Girlfriend!

DEva Weddings said...

What a fun post! Love all the entertaining ideas and the illustrations are sweet and lovely as always! Sounds like it's going to be a party to remember!

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

A note from Alex for Eva of DEva Weddings:

I think it will be an awful lot of fun ... maybe I'll have to share some snaps on my next post of the party!

Taj Acosta said...

That sounds like a party to die for! What a wonderful friend and planner you are! I love all the special touches, to me that is what life is all about, the details. It truly shows you care and makes one feel special. I hope it's a blast for you dolls :) xo


Oh, how so oooh, la, la fabulous your party sounds Alex! Every little detail done perfectly and full of glam! And might I say that Silken Mushroom Soup sounds divine. :)

Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

Alex, this post is just too much fun!!! I love everything!!!!I do believe that every detail matters and absolutely love the fact that you pay such close attentinon to each and every one of the details. You are in artist at heart and soul!

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

To Couture Millinery Atelier from Alex:

Oh, darling, thank you!!!!! I do believe you would be a fun girl to invite to one of my parties some time!! And the fact that this lovely compliment comes from someone that pays very close attention to detail herself in the creation of magnifique hats makes it even MORE special!!

Have a delicious week, lovely! xo Alex

Julie (brown eyed belle) said...

Hello, darling Alex! Apologies for just now getting my booty over here to comment. No worries, though, I was one of the first in line to read your post on Monday :)

What gorgeous images and ideas that you've given your readers, doll! I definitely share your passion for entertaining, and you've given me some great tips!

Why didn't I know about the Louboutin Barbie?? My goodness, how fantastic! Any fashionista would be over the moon to unwrap that little gem!

Happy Wednesday, sweets!!


Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

Sooo sweet! I covet that Louboutin Barbie and accessory shoe pack! And love how original you are!


Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

Little Thank You Notes from Alex to:

Taj Acosta: Darling, I love a girl who can appreciate the details! Wish I could invite all of my new Glamorous Girlfriends to this party! Perhaps I'll share how the evening went the next time there's a post by me ... Alex!

Margarita Bloom: Thank you, Glamour Girl! You're such a lovely new friend ~ I'll let you know how the Silken Mushroom Soup turned out in a post when I tell how the party went!

Julie (brown eyed belle): Thanks, Julie, doll. I could imagine that you'd give a great party too! I know ... the Louboutin Barbie ... could you die????? I bought one for Aimee's birthday present, and I secretly bought one for myself too! I think the accessory pack is just about as adorable as the Barbie herself!!

xo ♥ mimi said...

How lovely! Fabulous post, j'adore this blog!

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

Mimi, Darling, soooo happy that you love the blog! I see that you're a Chicago girl, another of our favorite cities! Thanks so much for commenting on my post ~ and for being one of our Glamorous Girlfriends!

xoxo Alex

Anonymous said...

Loving your blog. So cute and colourful and full of ideas. I'll be back!

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

A little note for redumbrellachronicles from Ooh La Frou Frou girl Alex:

Thanks, new girlfriend, for leaving a comment on my post! There are eight of us that are the stars of the Ooh La Frou Frou Collection cards and I'm the seventh to leave her first post on our new blog. On Monday, Aimee (who loves all things about Paris) will be posting!

xo Have a wonderful weekend! Alex

Sarah Klassen said...

Ooooo! This looks like the loveliest party! I can just imagine being there -- how glamorous it would be :)


Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

A tiny note to Sarah Klassen from Alex ~

Hello Sarah! I do think it will be lovely and I plan on sharing the details of how the party went in MY next post!!!

Hope you're having a delicious weekend! xo Alex

The Simply Luxurious Life said...

Fun, fun, fun! I love the idea of keeping a journal of each dinner party in order to not replicate. Also, the hydrangea bouquets - beautiful! Great post Sandy!

Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou said...

A little missive to The Simply Luxurious Life from Alex:

Thanks for stopping by, lovely! I was excited to see that the brand new House Beautiful Magazine on the newsstands yesterday had the book with the hydrangeas featured in it, as well (I beat them to it!) And regarding the journal, it began as a way of keeping track of the invitations I'd sent and the themes of parties I'd given and has ended up as so much more, as it's fun to look back and remember all of the fun I've had entertaining!

Have a simply wonderful week ahead! Aimee will be posting tomorrow on something about Paris, I'm sure, since that's what she's all about!!

Love, Alex! xo