HOST A TEQUILA TASTING easy, fun, & informative

HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren KelpWell, howdy! It’s been a little quiet over here but it’s only because we’ve been busy working away on the best recipes, taste-testing those 30-second cocktails, and, truthfully, we’ve been rolling around and enjoying the last bits of summer. To keep that summer-vibe alive a little longer, we hosted the most fantastic tequila tasting party.

Truthfully, it happened by accident (as all tequila happenings should) and it turned our night from a fun hang out with friends to a night we all still laugh about! It all started because we were talking about our favorite types of tequila and why we liked them, which (naturally) turned into a “mine is totally better than yours!” convo. So we decided to settle it, once & for all! We Drizly-ed over the top three tequilas (according to the group) and had ourselves a little tasting!

We all decided upon three tequilas to try & staged a little friendly competition. Judged based on flavor, finish, and how cool the bottles label was (hey, that is totally how you decide what to bring home – don’t lie!) and voila! An easy little at-home tequila tasting fest. Here are our three contestants:

1. Espolón – This was my pick for favorite tequila & I have to say, I think I won some people over. It has won a ton of awards, it is affordable, and you really can’t beat the taste. Perfect for palomas, margaritas, or just to sip on a hot Saturday in the summer. Plus, how cool is their label?

2. el Jimador – This tequila is smooth, full bodied (I don’t really know what that means, but it makes sense when you try it), and great for mixing up margaritas. Use this tequila if you are mixing up a cocktail that has strong flavors (like a peach basil margarita or, one of my favorites, the blood orange marg) There isn’t anything crazy about the taste, but it gets the job done & it’s decent for the price.

3. Herradura – Truthfully, I had never tried the Herradura Silver but I have to say, I really enjoyed it! Almost like a mezcal, it’s smokey and has a more complex finish than I am used to. Another good sipping tequila and one that I would use in a super simple mixed drink as to not overpower its flavors.

HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren KelpIf you aren’t in to sipping tequila, here is the ultimate frozen margarita recipe. Our old neighbors in Austin, Michelle (who has a hysterical podcast) & David, used to whip these puppies up and it was like catnip. We couldn’t stay away! Grab some lime-ade (the cheaper the better, really) & get to blending!

Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
The absolute at-home margarita there ever was! Whip them up in a snap or pre-make a batch for a big group. Either way, you'll be happy you did!
  • 2 Frozen Limeades
  • Tequila
  • Ice
  • Limes
  1. Pour limeade into blender. Add 2 cups of ice
  2. Fill 1 empty limeade container with tequila and add to blender
  3. Blend until perfectly slushy and wonderful. Squeeze limes & serve!

HOST A TEQUILA TASTING PARTY via Lauren KelpSo, what do you think, my little party people? Ready to host a fun tequila tasting bash this weekend? I mean, it really couldn’t get any easier!

Have your friends bring their favorite bottle, provide some limes, a little salt, and maybe a score card (if you feel like getting fancy) and hop to it!

Find one you like? Share! We are always on the look-out for new and delicious tequilas, so comment below and share your favorite. Happy tasting!

Photography by Aimée Mazzenga

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Throw a relaxed backyard barbecue party with this delicious grilled peach and prosciutto salad recipe! via Lauren Kelp

Well, howdy friends! Have you been enjoying your summertime? I know we have! Maybe it’s because the summers are so short here in Chicago, or maybe it’s because there is something so quintessentially summertime about eating outdoors, whatever the reason – I have been itching to throw a fun backyard supper club style barbecue!Throw a relaxed backyard barbecue party with this delicious grilled peach and prosciutto salad recipe! via Lauren Kelp

Last week, we rounded up some friends and threw a casual family-style backyard bash and it was exactly what dreams are made of. Great food (I mean, just check out that insane grilled peach and prosciutto salad!), wonderful friends, and a breezy summer evening to sip wine, catch up, and laugh all night.

Throw a relaxed backyard barbecue party with this delicious grilled peach and prosciutto salad recipe! via Lauren Kelp

With the warm weather creeping in, the only way to cool down is to stock up on some wine, invite some friends over, and relax over a barbecue. Ask your guests to bring their own goodies for the grill and provide some sides, or play chef and try out some of those recipes you’ve pinned! There is nothing like trying out new recipes on guests. I do it all the time & weirdly, it always works out!

Throw a relaxed backyard barbecue party with this delicious grilled peach and prosciutto salad recipe! via Lauren Kelp

One recipe that you absolutely (I mean, absolutely) need to pin, bookmark, print out, memorize, or tattoo on your body is this Grilled Peach & Prosciutto salad we are sharing with our pals over on Pop a bottle of Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, or two (no judgment, it’s hot outside), fire up the grill, and get to prepping – because this salad is off the freaking chain!

Throw a relaxed backyard barbecue party with this delicious grilled peach and prosciutto salad recipe! via Lauren Kelp

I think my favorite thing about summer entertaining is how relaxed it can be. Firing up the grill, playing with fun flavors (peaches & prosciutto, yes please!), and just being the excuse to get the gang together.

Summer seems to be such a busy time for everyone, so getting the gang together and spending an evening catching up, relaxing, and making memories is what it’s all about in my book.

Throw a relaxed backyard barbecue party with this delicious grilled peach and prosciutto salad recipe! via Lauren Kelp

So, what do you say? Ready to throw a casual backyard bash? Whether you are in your apartment downtown or firing up the grill poolside, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be thoughtful! Tag us in your next backyard bash – we can’t wait to see!
Throw a relaxed backyard barbecue party with this delicious grilled peach and prosciutto salad recipe! via Lauren Kelp

lauren buttonconstance buttonThis post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

THROW A PIE PARTY THIS SUMMER because, why not?!

untitled-8Well, howdy friends! How is summer shaping up? Can you believe that it’s (basically) already July?! How is it that we hope and pray and plead for summer & then you blink & it’s over? This year I am determined to up my summer entertaining game & that means getting to throw fun, non-holiday get-togethers, like a PIE PARTY!

It’s a fun excuse to get the gang together, doesn’t require a ton of effort (nor will it break the bank), and it’s perfect for a backyard porch, apartment rooftop or picnic. Are you convinced yet? Well, just in case you need a little more nudging, we are breaking this brilliant pie party madness down into three steps – complete with recipe! It just couldn’t get any easier!

STEP ONE: Find the Perfect Pie Recipe

When hosting a pie party, it’s important to show your guests that you mean business and that pie parties are no joke. Or maybe you just want to whip up something that is stunning and requires medium baking prowess. Either way, the summer galette is where it’s at.

Grab some peaches, strawberries, blueberries, whatever you like & whip up a few of these summer galettes. We’re sharing the recipe over on Kendall-Jackson’s blog because you can’t have a pie party without the perfect wine, but we will get to that later.

Don’t stress about the perfect combo of fruit, or even how much to put in. The best part about these little galettes is that they are totally customizable. Mix and match, play with flavors, go crazy – it’s your pie party.



Potlucks don’t get enough attention & that’s a totally different topic, but I really love a party where everyone is responsible for a dish. Guests feel like they aren’t showing up empty handed (or worse, bring a bad bottle of wine) and everyone gets to share why the dish is their favorite, plus, you get exposed to new and fun things.

Since everyone loves dessert, asking your guests to bring their favorite pie is no sweat! People will totally rise to the occasion and it’s so fun to see what people bring! Grandma’s rhubarb pie recipe, Dad’s famous Key Lime, or maybe even an ice cream pie (I weirdly like those).

Naturally, no one will bring a galette as lovely as yours, but you’ve always been the bar setter.



Now it wouldn’t be a true LK party without a beverage pairing & this one is no exception! Summertime is all about fresh fruits, sweet treats, and chilled white wine, & it’s important to have a few good bottles in your fridge at all times — you know, for occasions like these.

We’ve been jamming on the Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc for a while now & there are no signs of stopping. A nice balance to a sweet treat, pick up a few bottles before you host your party and you’ll continue that reign as Hostess with the Most-ess.

untitled-50So, friends – what do you think? Ready to host your own pie bash? What could be better really – friends, fresh pies, and delicious wine – it sounds like the makings for a perfect summer evening in my book!

We would love to hear your favorite pie recipes, so share below or tag us on Instagram!

lauren buttonconstance buttonThis post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.


As you know, we love any excuse to throw a party & we are always looking for fun, new ones! We have been big fans of Oh Happy Day (what party lover isn’t?!) for a long time & now that they launched a new party shop, it’s an endless source of party inspiration. Take these spunky marbled plates & cups for instance – they are so fun! Don’t they just scream ice cream party?!

We had friends over a few weeks ago & we thought it would be a fun surprise to serve up a spunky little dessert & these marbled accents did the trick! Who wouldn’t want their ice cream served in something as happy as these? Scroll down to see what you need to plan your own ice cream party surprise!


– Ice cream

– Ice cream cones

– Sprinkles, chocolate sauce, gummy bears, nuts, berries, and all of your other favorite toppings

Marbled napkins (we got ours in orange!)

Marbled cups (we want all of the colors!)


– Add some fruit, chocolate, or other larger toppings to the bottom of your cup. Scoop your ice cream on top & finish off with sprinkles & an upside down ice cream cone!

– Use your cone as a spoon, mix the sprinkles on top with the goodies at the bottom, or just dive in! No matter how you eat it, it’s always delicious!


Photography by Aimée Mendez




Hi, friends – Elizabeth here! I am certainly the “you don’t need a reason to throw a party” person but graduation gave me a real bug to go all out and celebrate! My three best friends from California and a ton of my family flew in to Colorado to watch me move that tassel from the right to the left, so naturally I through them a soiree. Believe it or not this was set up in my apartment complex’s patio. I love transforming a shabby space into something gorgeous. I’m all about that Cinderella effect.

summerfiesta8summerfiesta4 (1)Setting a table up is kind of my favorite thing ever. I love getting to turn my kitchen into a green house the morning before a dinner and mix and match all of my fav tablescape decor items. Before I bore you too much with the nitty gritty details let’s get started on the fun stuff that you can bring to your own party to keep your guests entertained and having fun!summerfiesta30summerfiesta13I was lucky enough to have one killer sponsor for my table design! W&P Design creates these gorgeous pineapple tumblers! You can find em in gold, silver and copper. Who wouldn’t want to drink their margarita out of a gold pineapple?! I was lucky enough to have my parents attend this dinner and my Dad thoroughly enjoyed drinking from his gold pineapple, ha!summerfiesta9summerfiesta6

Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
This recipe was killer and everyone was feeling the right kind of happy. Serve these half gallon margs with PLENTY of ice, citrus slices, edible flowers and salted glasses for the ultimate DIY marg bar!
  • 750 ML of silver tequila
  • 1 Cup of orange juice
  • 2 Cups of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ Cup of agave nectar
  • +Ice
  1. In a half gallon container or large pitcher add in juices, tequila, agave nectar and stir well. Keep cold in the refrigerator up to a few hours before your party. Mix well and add ice before serving! Cheers!




elizabeth button

NASHVILLE TABLEMAKERS a pop-up dinner in a flower shop

The act of hosting a dinner party is something very near & dear to our hearts here at Lauren Kelp. Our aim is to inspire, help prepare, navigate, and encourage you to be the community maker amongst your friends. To invite people into your home – new friends or old – whip up something easy yet delicious, and make memories around a table, on a porch, or sitting on a picnic blanket in the backyard.

We believe in the magical powers of dinner parties so much, we travel across the country and host pop-up dinners for people doing cool things in their neighborhoods. They could be graphic designers, photographers, shop owners, designers, bakers, even candlestick makers – it really doesn’t matter as long as they love their community & encourage others with their craft. We call these parties, Tablemakers Dinners & to us, they are the culmination of thoughtful entertaining.

In 2015, we traveled to Phoenix, New York, and Sonoma and in 2016 we kicked off our Tablemakers tour in Nashville, Tennessee. We gathered 40 of the cities creatives & movers + shakers invited them to break bread with us in an old historic home turned flower shop. We ate, drank, made new friends, connected with old & got to know people without all the pretense of a “networking event.” No pressure, no fluff, just good old fashion supper club fun.  

Nashville was a special dinner for us, for many reasons, one of them being the relaxed, family-style vibe of the dinner. Heaping plates of ricotta gnocchi, grilled lamb kubideh, and spring onion & potato gratin filled the table, all expertly prepared by our local Chefs – Dan Forberg & Tony Galzin. As people were passing around dishes and re-filling their neighbors glass of wine, it was so fun to imagine all of us hanging out in someone’s living room.

Truthfully, this family-style setup got me really inspired to host more dinner parties in our apartment & with more people! With make ahead-menus, a few big serving plates, and some great bottles of your favorite Kendall-Jackson wine – you’ve just created plans for the rest of your summer. We were so inspired by how fun this gathering was, we put together a little how-to on how to host an unforgettable family-style dinner party. Interested? Of course you are! Hop on over here to get the skinny & prepare to be inspired!


Well my friends – great wine, good food, and a fun mix of creative people makes for just about the best get-together in my book. Whether you are hosting 4 or 40, remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be honest. 



Host & Founder: Lauren Kelp 

Co-Host & Graphics Designer: Ashley Cooper

 Co-Host & Wine: Kendall-Jackson 

Photographer: Josh Ulmer 

Food & Menu: Chef Dan Forberg & Chef Tony Galzin

Dessert: Tea-rriffic!

Furniture & Table Decor: 12th Table 

Venue & Florals: FLWR Shop

Table Runner :Hester & Cook

 Candles: Paddywax Candles 



crafternoon0001Have you ever hosted a Crafternoon party? I used to think they were for chilly days in the wintertime, but I was sorely mistaken. We got some friends together & hosted a little summer Crafternoon get-together & had an absolute blast!

We all brought crafts we were working on (or wanted to start), a few bottles of our favorite wine, and some little snacks to munch on & it was one of the best ways to spend an afternoon I could have ever imagined.

I love them because a) you get to hang out with friends b) you get to work on crafts and c) they almost always turn into a dinner party with spouses, boyfriends, or people who couldn’t make it to the craft portion – it’s so fun! So, as evident in my enthusiasm, we want to spread the summer Crafternoon love & show you some tips, tricks, and a fun DIY to get things started.

STEP ONE: Prep the space

A Crafternoon is a get-together that works best with a big space. Grab a few card tables, clean off the dining room table, or pull out the picnic table in the backyard. Depending on how many friends you have over, each person should have enough space to spread out a little, comfortably.

Now, don’t go crazy, but provide some options. We held ours in our living room where people could sit at the dining room table, on the sofa, around the coffee table, or on the floor – whatever works, you know?

crafternoon0011STEP TWO: Gather the supplies

Next up in our little Crafternoon bash 101 is to gather the supplies! We are big fans of crafting with wine, so we made sure to stock up on a few of our favorite bottles (we’ve been loving Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Merlot for summer-time).

Not to mention – snacks! You can’t get your besties together without a good cheese board. Pick up your favorite cheese, some fresh summer fruit, a baguette, a good bar of chocolate, and maybe a spread or two & you’ve got the fixings for an all afternoon-hang session.

crafternoon0023STEP THREE: Kick things off with an easy DIY

Now comes the fun part! Not everyone is a big “crafter” so to help everyone get their feet wet, we started off with a fun & super easy wine glass DIY. Hop on over to Kendall-Jackson’s blog to see this two step craft that will have you seriously addicted!

Another fun option is to make stamps out of your corks. Mark the non-wine side of your cork with a shape (basic shapes are best), carve the negative space out, dip in some paint & play around. This is fun for wrapping paper, cards, or even on extra cocktail napkins. Adorable & super easy!

crafternoon0016So, what do you think? Ready to gather the gals this weekend & craft your buns off? I mean, it sounds like a pretty great way to spend an afternoon to me – drinkin’, craftin’, probably hangin’ out and doing an impromptu potluck. Count us in!

Have any other fun & easy Crafternoon crafts? Let us know if the comment section – we can’t wait to try them out!crafternoon_1

lauren buttonconstance buttonThis post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

LOW-KEY MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH and a ranch crema recipe

Well, howdy friends! Today we are talking about one of my favorite spring holidays – Mother’s Day! I love this holiday because moms are great. Whether you are a mom (fur babies totally count), soon-to-be mom, or have a mom – every gal deserves to be celebrated a little.

Often it is a holiday that slips through the cracks (sorry, moms!) but not this year. You’ve read this post, you’ve done your shopping, and your mom is going to be pleased out of this world! Favorite daughter of the year just got earned & it’s totally you.

To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, we wanted to do something relaxed & easy but still fun to give Mom the love she deserves, so we are planning on having a brunch at the house! When it comes to entertaining, we are firm believers in being simple & authentic. It’s easier, honest, and really, much more delightful. So, when it comes to entertaining Mom & the ones you love most, relax and have a little fun!

So here is our three-step plan on throwing the perfect low-key Mother’s Day brunch at home:

  1. Clean the house. Moms love (and deserve) a clean house, so spend a little time the day before & put a little extra elbow grease into high traffic areas, the bathroom, and grab some flowers to put on the tables. Flowers put everyone in a good mood & they are like a big happy bow on a freshly cleaned space.
  2. Prepare a menu! Maybe it’s because we lived in Texas for a bit or maybe it’s just because we’ve never met a taco we didn’t like, either way breakfast tacos are the main attraction on our brunch menu & everyone is excited. Easy to make & wildly delicious to eat, these roasted vegetable breakfast tacos are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Just roast up some veggies, scramble up some eggs, add in some hash browns (or lettuce if you are being carb conscious) & top if off with our super secret Hidden Valley® Orignal Ranch® crema recipe.
  3. Don’t forget the gift! This is the most important part. Whether it’s a card, a little love note, or that big gift she has been eyeing, your love & those killer breakfast tacos are more than a Mom could ask for!


– 1 tablespoon of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix

– 1 tablespoon of lime juice

– ½ cup of sour cream

– Finely chopped cilantro leaves (a small handful is perfect)

– Salt & pepper to taste



  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together your Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, lime juice, sour cream, cilantro leaves, & 1 tablespoon of water until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Season with salt & pepper to taste & either spread the crema as a base on a warm tortilla (pile on your eggs & veggies, YUM!) or use it to top off your master breakfast taco.

Now for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, tell me in the comments below, how will you spend Mother’s Day this year?

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by email. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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lauren and sylvia

MAKE YOUR OWN MARGARITA TABLE always be fiesta ready with this easy DIY

IMG_4512Maybe it’s because we live in Austin & Arizona, but I have found that our house is always fiesta-ready. If we ever find ourselves needing to make margaritas for 20 friends who just happen to drop by unannounced, we are prepared! Think what you will, but as an entertaining blogger, I feel like that is a mark of success 😉

Margaritas are kind of like a cup of coffee, in the sense that everyone likes theirs a little different. Salt, no salt, extra lime, with a spicy kick, the list goes on – it’s all based on preference. That is why we are showing you how to set-up the perfect “make your own” margarita table . This is fantastic for summer get-togethers and is insanely easy to reproduce. Whether your festivities are inside or out on the porch, this little entertaining trick will get you out of the kitchen and keep you mingling like that entertaining maven that you are.

STEP ONE: the set-up

No matter the occasion, it’s important for the bar to be easily accessible but not the center of attention. Depending on where you want your guests to spend their time (outside in the yard, on a shaded porch off the kitchen, etc.) find a little spot that will allow your guests to mix up their perfect marg with ease.

A dining table works perfectly as a DIY margarita table or if you are tight on space, an entryway table or even pushing a few end tables together to create a designated margarita area will do the trick perfectly.

diy marg oneSTEP TWO: the mixings

Margaritas are having a serious moment on the cocktail stage & we couldn’t be more excited. While we aren’t knocking the classic margarita mix angle (hey, Trader Joe’s has a great one!) we are encouraging you to let your hair down and go wild with your mixings!

Grab some fresh grapefruit juice, squeeze up some blood orange juice, or even go super nuts and try out watermelon juice! Need some inspiration? We’ve got ten (10!) of the best margarita recipes that are serious crowd-pleasers, plus (per usual) they are easy to whip up!

IMG_4543STEP THREE: the fixings

Now it’s time for the decoration! Make sure to cut up little lime wedges & have a few salt dishes out, for your pro-salt rim friends. I love adding wedges of grapefruit, jars of honey or agave, and sparkling mineral water to top things off. Maybe throw some hot sauce on the table to really spice things up! Just have fun with it. Found some stir sticks you think are fantastic – add those too!

The best part is decorating a table so your guests feel encouraged to try something new & have fun!

Writing a recipe on a card and having it sit up on the table is another fun tip. Or, for your guests who don’t like to get their hands dirty, I always have a pitcher of pre-made margarita to help ease people into the make your own concept. Above all else, have fun!


lauren and sylvia



Are y’all getting excited about Mother’s Day this weekend? If your Mom is like ours, she just wants to get together and spend some quality time with the family. Rachael & Sarah are stopping by and showing us how to throw a heartfelt brunch that won’t break the bank. Grab some goodies, a few bottles of champagne, & you are well on your way to a fantastic Mother’s Day brunch! xoxo, LK

Hi friends, Rachael here! I’m a big believer in effortless entertaining that allows you to enjoy the company of your family and friends in a comfortable and easy environment. As the weather warms up and everything begins to bloom, May really is one of the best months to entertain outdoors. I can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day than a casual and fun outdoor brunch!

Spring inspired this citrus-themed backyard gathering that can easily be recreated in a few simple steps.

MomsDayBrunch-2Deciding on a menu doesn’t have to be an elaborate task, it can be relaxed and even semi-homemade while still being meaningful and delicious. Prepping the ingredients the evening before will make whipping up a quick meal in the morning a breeze, giving you more time to spend with your company.

Working with a theme, like grapefruits, can make planning a little easier, too. Fresh fruit and mini baked grapefruit-glazed donuts are a sweet and simple touch to the table scape. Pick up fresh pastries or soufflés from a local bakery in the morning to complete the breakfast selection. We purchased our croissants at McClain’s Bakery, an amazing, well known spot for baked goods in Kansas City.MomsDayBrunch-80And don’t forget the mimosas – it wouldn’t be a proper brunch without them! Grab a bottle or two of your favorite bubbly, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, and a few slices of grapefruit for garnishing for an easy morning cocktail.

Be sure to have variety of beverages for the mamas and guests who’d prefer a nonalcoholic drink – coffee, sparkling water, and grapefruit juice are all great options to have on hand.
mday_1Decor can simply be whatever you have around your home. Crisp linens, white serveware, and white tulips placed in pitchers make for a clean and simple table.

If you have a specific seating arrangement in mind, you can easily create a few place cards with watercolors and a gold-tipped pen. 


Most importantly, have fun and be sure the mothers in your life feel showered with love on their special day!


Photography by Sarah Sweeney & Styling by Rachael Adele