Chasing Davies: A Perfectly Decorated Outdoor Dinner Party for Friends Over Healthy Bites & Sips

September 5, 2014

A Perfectly Decorated Outdoor Dinner Party for Friends Over Healthy Bites & Sips

There is not much else needed for a relaxing dinner party with girlfriends than the outdoors (when the bugs aren't biting and the evening turns a bit cooler), food that won't hinder, pretty table decor, bright flowers and clothes that are perfect for coming straight from the gym to curling up with a slice of watermelon.  And that's what the end of summer into fall is all about, right?  Seize the nice weather!

In a continuation of my summer series with local Kansas City boutique (online shopping, coming soon!), Fitness Culture, I was oh-so-comfortable in Karma thin sweatpants and plum tank that makes for an easy foundation for layering atop to transition into life after the workout.  The Kansas City tote by Ampersand Design Studio serves as a great workout bag to purse, too!  I love owning things with more than one focus.

I'm also so excited to show you this lovely table setting and dinner decor all from West Elm (which if you live in Kansas City, you must check out the new store on the Plaza for so much beautifully styled inspiration, you'll want to just move right in).  My favorite thing about West Elm pieces is the versatility of it all. It was made to mix and match.  For this evening, we went for a very natural look with pops of luxe (a trend in home decor this season!).  The mixture of metallic details with wood and natural fibers is my favorite.  And speaking of items with more than one focus, the above wooden board that we used to  hold our watermelon slices is actually a cutting board, but perfect for serving appetizers (or fruit!), and would also be super pretty with white candles piled on top.

Thanks Erin, Sarah and Shanley for a fun night and Sarah Sweeney for capturing it all beautifully. Keep reading for more tips & tricks to turn your dinner party into a healthy and no fuss gathering, and for all the outdoor styling inspiration you'll need to host your own get-together.

As mentioned, we wanted to enjoy dinner, but still be healthy, so Shanley of Eat it KC brought a fantastic summer harvest salad {and you can get the recipe on her blog}.  I brought all the fixings (actually, to be fair, Erin brought the oranges for me - thanks, E!) for a lighter drink option to your typical glass of wine - a citrus wine spritzer. Erin also brought the ever-so-popular, and perfect for an after-dinner dessert, watermelon slices.  It was really a nice evening that left me feeling refreshed!

Here's how you can make your own Citrus Wine Spritzer:
Pick a sweeter wine*, like Moscato (Riesling if you like your drinks really sweet)
Club Soda* (zero calorie, carbonated water)
Sliced limes & oranges 
Let marinate for and hour or two for the fruits to add additional flavor, you can also squeeze in the juice before soaking the slices

*You can mix the wine & club soda in the amounts you wish, but I did half and half.

Oh, and pour into a fabulous glass pitcher, like this bottle with wood stopper from West Elm.

And one final tip for you. When hosting a meal of any kind, there is a lot that can go into it and stress may ensure. It certainly helps to let others bring side dishes or drinks to help cut down on you doing all the cooking and preparing. And for little, but impactful touches to your dinner table, add a fresh bouquet of flowers without adding another thing to you to-do list.  

Try ordering your flowers for delivery, straight to your house. No fuss. I love how these vibrant orange roses from the Bouqs Company added just the right pop of color. They were delivered straight to my door, ready to be plopped into a vase without adding any extra prepare time to this event. {Plus, I loved receiving flowers on my doorstep!}

What is your favorite way to spend time with your loved ones while staying healthy and relaxed?

You can shop this pretty table decor and utensils right here:

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