How To Host a Waffle Bar Brunch

How To Host a Waffle Bar Brunch

Does anyone else just love brunch?! It’s one of my favorite things to do on the weekends especially with my girlfriends! I recently picked up this awesome Waffle Maker that makes TWO Belgium waffles at a time and thought what better way to try it out than with a girls brunch at our house. As you know I love a “make you own” food party (check out our Grown Up Pizza Party post HERE!) it’s interactive, fun, and your guests can choose what kind of toppings they want! It’s great for parties large or small and not a ton of time spent in the kitchen! Here is how to host a waffle bar brunch:

Waffle Bar Brunch

The Brunch Tablescape

For this brunch tablescape I wanted to go with a coastal girly vibe. And lucky for me I found almost everything at Tampa Bay Interiors one of my favorite local decor shops in the area and good news: they have an online store too! From the large vases– perfect for filling with pretty florals, to the stemwear, glasses, placemats and napkins they literally had everything to make this table special for our brunch. Everything I got can be easily mixed and matched for future tablescapes too! I scored big time with my flowers from both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Pro tip: Call stores in the AM to see if they have a specific flower (in this case peonies- which sell very fast!) if they are available, have them hold some for you! Most places will:) Even Publix!

Coastal and Pink Brunch Tablescape

Coastal pink table setting

Pink Brunch Tablescape

The Waffles and Drinks

For the waffles I wanted to try out a new recipe and I went with these amazing Vegan waffles! (recipe coming soon!) But there are so many available online – hello Pinterest! You can even doctor up the box mix if you want! I prepped the waffles ahead of time and made them right before our guests arrived. You can keep them warm by placing them in the oven on a cooling rack at 200 degrees. I also made a few fresh ones right before we started plating too:) For drinks we had to go with the best brunch drink- mimosas!! I just got the cutest glass pitcher for our fresh OJ to go in! We also like to have fruit and other juices available to mix with the champagne.

Waffle Bar Brunch

Mimosas at Waffle Brunch

The Waffle Toppings Bar

First, its all about the display! Even if you have just a few options- some cute bowls and little spoons just make it look put together. Almost everything we used is from Tampa Bay Interiors! For the toppings I started with fruit! I used these small flower shaped cookie cutters to cut out the cutest little pieces of bananas, kiwi and strawberries. Other fruit we used were blueberries, raspberries, and shredded coconut. I had crumbled pecans, mini chocolate chips, Nutella, fresh local honey, maple syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream & butter (regular and dairy free). Usually we like to have a few other options to have on the side like cookies and cinnabons too:) Other ideas for toppings: nuts, sprinkles, Oreos, peanut butter, jams, cinnamon, caramel, pineapple, peaches, sliced apples, and black berries.

Waffle Bar Brunch

Waffle Bar Brunch

Waffle Bar Brunch

Extra Touches and Ideas

  • Cut your waffles into 4’s and you can do a different topping combo on each piece!!
  • Ask your guests about any dietary restrictions! And make sure there are options for them:)
  • Use a special shaped waffle maker (I love this heart shaped one! Makes 2 at a time too!)
  • Give examples of some delicious topping combos to try!
  • You can put store bought Cinnabon dough into your waffle maker to make cinnabon waffles!! So quick and so yummy!
  • Leftover topping are great to use in smoothies during the week!
  • We always have special to-go boxes for our guests! Like the ones at our pizza party! Or you can tie a ribbon or have a cute bag to put them in to take home.

Waffle Bar Brunch

Waffle Bar Brunch

Waffle Brunch Ideas

waffle brunch bar

 

Special thanks to my sweet friends Gentry- Girl Meets Bow and Michelle- MichelleyarnHSN for joining me! You can shop our looks and my favorite waffle makers by clicking on the photos below:)

 

Watch my IG reel from our brunch HERE!

 

How to host a waffle bar brunch

How to host a waffle bar brunch

how to host a waffle bar brunch

 

How To Host a Waffle Bar Brunch

2021-05-24T14:04:30+00:00Home Decor, Lifestyle, Party, Tablescape|

How To Host a Grown Up Pizza Party

How To Host a Grown Up Pizza Party

My husband and I LOVE hosting dinner parties! There’s something so nice about having friends and family over and cooking together, laughing, making drinks, playing games, etc. and we just love a theme! So with my husband’s birthday quickly approaching this year, we decided to have a pizza party! A fancy, grown up pizza party. This all came about after recently receiving the best gift ever- A wood fire pizza oven! This thing is not only easy to use, has a modern look, and is reasonably priced- it can cook a pizza in 60 SECONDS!! And they taste SO. GOOD. So we thought it would be fun to have a few friends over and make some delicious pies to celebrate!

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

Links to the Dress // Earrings

The Pizza Party Tablescape

For this table I wanted to go with a clean, modern Italian vibe. We made a U shape with our tables instead of one long line of tables to keep it more intimate. I started with these white tablecloths that have a pretty, subtle pattern on them. I wanted it to feel a little romantic too so I ordered a bunch of these gold candlestick holders which gave a mid century feel that the hubs loves. I used these smokeless, dripless candles in white on them (this was mostly accurate- 2 tables had no drips- but one table was right by the AC vent and for some reason those melted everywhere). I added greenery with these eucalyptus vines and my hubby’s favorite flowers- fresh tulips. Next, for the place settings I went with a modern grey placemat and these cute striped napkins. We thought it would be so fun for everyone to have their own wooden pizza peel and pizza cutter! Perfect to build, cut and eat their own personal pizzas:) Then of course I used our new favorite long stemmed wine glasses too!

Pro tip: it’s ok if all of your glasses, silverware, table or chairs don’t match. Space them out, cover them, stagger, mix and match! It can add a little fun and character!

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

The Appetizers and Drinks

We decided to do a large charcuterie board filled with cheese, meat, fruit, dried fruit, nuts, honey, jam, chocolate and a few cracker options! You can watch a quick video of my process HERE. I like to put the large pieces on first and then fill in the board with smaller treats! Can we talk about the size and beauty of this board from Tampa Bay Interiors?! Be ready for lots of treats on this board!! Guests can also use items from this on their pizza! For drinks, we like to start with a specialty welcome cocktail. We do have a stocked bar just incase and are happy to make anything but it’s fun to at least start with a drink of the night! Knowing the guests who were coming, we suggested an Old Fashion (bday boys fav) using these huge ice cubes or a Lovely Flamingo (my specialty drink). Some skipped right to the wine which worked out too! We had lots of red wine mostly Pinot Noir and that old school Italian restaurant Chianti, you know the bottle I’m talking about right?! We always have some white wine like Pinot Grigio, and you know lots of champagne was involved too!

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

The Pizza Toppings

Anything goes! I pulled up a menu from our favorite gourmet pizza place in Vegas to get some fun ideas besides the classics but go with whatever sounds good to you! We actually made 3 appetizer pizzas for our guests to taste and get inspiration from! Here are some of the toppings we had for our pizza: we had 3 types of sauces- red sauce, pesto and fig spread. Mozzarella fresh and shredded, crumbled goat cheese, fresh parmesan flakes, gorgonzola, prosciutto, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, olives, sliced figs, spinach, arugula, fresh basil leaves, rosemary, olive oil, balsamic vinegar glaze, red pepper flakes and course salt. Some even pulled off of the charcuterie board with even more fun cheeses and meats! I did not want everyone having to spend too much time with their dough, so I purchased pre rolled out dough from our Publix bakery and a local Italian bakery.  Honestly we couldn’t tell the difference between the two, both were delicious! Oh and after lots of research we got “00” Flour to help with the dough not sticking. I like to add height and dimension when putting out all of the toppings. I love these 3 tiered Oval Bowl Stands and using boards underneath for texture and height! Plus some great little bowls like these and these. I found cute gold and silver tongs and gold mini spoons to use for serving. The gold salad servers are always a favorite! So pretty!

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

The PIZZA

Time to fire up the Pizza Oven!! Seriously the only way we will eat pizza now! This Wood Fire Pizza Oven is legit. We have the 12 inch one (perfect for personal pizzas!) but they just came out with a larger one and a gas one too! But honestly the wood makes it! It takes about 15 minutes to heat up and then its go time! We had everyone flour up their pizza peels with lots of “00” flour and spread out the dough. Then on to the toppings, another trick we learned was don’t go too heavy on sauce or toppings. You have to be able to move the pizza around in the oven and also want it to cook through. It’s good to wait and add your greens until after the cook or they can crisp up. Once the toppings were on, it was time to outside to our head Chef and Pizza Pro (my husband), 60 seconds and a couple of turns later your pizza is ready! Time to cut and enjoy!

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

Extra Touches

I mean we just had to have some merch right?! We like to do something special for our parties and thought it would be so fun to have pizza boxes for our guests to take home their leftovers. Tommy happens to be an amazing designer (Tommy Collective) so he designed the logo which looks a lot like him! I screen print t-shirts (Lovely Flamingo Shop) so it was no problem screening them onto the boxes and added these checkered red and white deli paper. There are companies that can print it for you but it can take a few weeks to receive, so order in advance! We also thought t-shirts would be a fun take home, so I made a bunch of difference sizes to choose from:)

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

grown up pizza party, adult pizza party, fancy pizza party

The Rest – Tips/ideas

We had so much fun I forgot to take any photos the rest of the night!

  • For dessert I would suggest cannolis or any fun Italian desserts!
  • We like to play games so always have fun board games on hand for the end of the night!
  • Pudding shots are always a hit! Our neighbor was kind enough to bring some over:)
  • I hung curtain lights outside on our patio which were so pretty at night and gave a great ambiance!
  • Practice making pizza before for timing etc. It really helps!
  • Give examples of some delicious topping combos to try!
  • Hire a photographer so you can get caught up in the movement but still have some great pics to capture the fun!

Check out a video of the set up HERE!

One last note: I said fancy grown up pizza party but we also called it “Pizza, Pinot & Ping Pong” lol because someone also got an awesome ping pong table for their bday. Stay tuned for a pizza making tutorial and some plant based options!!

 

Links to everything through the post and below:) Click on the photos to shop!

 

 

how to host a grown up pizza party

 how to host a grown up pizza party

 

How To Host a Grown Up Pizza Party

 

Vegan Strawberry Cake

Vegan Strawberry Cake

Vegan Strawberry Cake

You guys! I have found the best strawberry cake and it’s VEGAN!! Recently my husband and I have gone plant based (I’m down almost 40 lbs!) and we are feeling great! I’ve been cooking A LOT and its been quite the tasty journey trying to make some of our favorite dishes without meat/dairy. But the one thing that I hadn’t tried yet was baking. I am a dessert girl, sugar and spice and everything nice for me! I even used to have a baking side gig when we lived in Vegas, so I was a little nervous on how things were going to turn out without using eggs and dairy. Luckily I found this Strawberry Cake recipe from Nora Cooks and let me tell you, it is delicious!! I added a few adjustments and it was a hit with everyone! Literally- neighbors, friends, kids, I wanted to get lots of feedback! Turns out both vegan and non vegans love it!

Check out the video of me making this amazing cake HERE!

And if you’re wondering where all of the beautiful cake stands and bake wear (from the video) are from- almost everything is from my favorite local home store Tampa Bay Interiors.

Vegan Strawberry Cake

A few notes:

  • One thing I have learned in the last few months is that you can make vegan buttermilk with almond milk and apple cider vinegar! And it does the trick! Who knew?
  • Reducing strawberries for a puree takes some time and finesse but it’s worth it to get that real strawberry taste. I didn’t cook it down long enough the 1st time and the cake did not have much of a strawberry taste- it was still delicious but I wanted it to be much more strawberry, so took my time reducing the strawberries the next round.
  • Make sure your butter is softened!
  • Freeze dried strawberries are the trick to a delicious strawberry frosting!
  • Always make extra frosting! Especially if you are layering your cakes!
  • Rule for all baking vegan or not- let your cakes cool before frosting or your going to have a melted mess!

Vegan Strawberry Cake

Vegan Strawberry Cake

Made with real strawberries! Vegan and oh so tasty!

Course Dessert

Ingredients

Strawberry Cake

  • 1 Pound Fresh Strawberries - Reduced to 1/2 cup cooked puree
  • 1 1/4 CUP Almond Milk- Unsweetened
  • 2 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter - Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp salt

Strawberry Frosting

  • 1 1/2 Cups Freeze Dried Strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter - Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp Almond Milk - Unsweetened

Instructions

  1. Reduce the strawberries- Take either fresh or frozen strawberries and puree them in your food processor. Add to pot on Medium- Low heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. The bright pink color should slowly turn to a dark red color and reduce to about 1/2 cup. Don't rush this! It's so much more flavorfull when fully reduced! Allow to cool (I put mine in the fridge).

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour two 9 inch cake pans

  3. Make the Vegan Butter Milk- Whisk almond milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside.

  4. With your mixer, cream together the softened vegan butter, the canola oil, and the sugar until smooth. Slowly add in the vanilla.

  5. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  6. With the mixer on low, slowly alternate adding in the vegan buttermilk and the flour mixture to the butter mixture.

  7. Add in the cooled reduced strawberry puree to the mixture.

  8. Add the cake batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes. You'll know its ready when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out dry.

  9. Let cakes cool for 15-20 minutes then invert to a cooling rack. Make sure to let them completely cool before frosting!

Strawberry Frosting

  1. Using a food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powder.

  2. In your mixer- cream the shortening and softened vegan butter until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar.

  3. Once smooth, add in the freeze dried strawberry powder.

  4. Add in your vanilla and 2-3 tbsp of almond milk until you get to the consistency of your liking.

  5. Time to frost! Make sure your cakes are cool so frosting doesnt melt!

  6. EAT and enjoy 🙂

Stay tuned for more plant based and vegan recipes!

2021-02-13T15:44:24+00:00Baking, SWEETS|

The Softest Pink Pants by Fresh Produce

St. Pete influencer, The Lovely Flamingo, Jill DiGioia wears Fresh Produce Light Pink Pants, a white top, a straw hat and Palm Beach Sandals in front of the pink hotel Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach.

I have found the softest, most comfortable, cutest pants! That’s a lot to say for someone who doesn’t wear pants that often! They are THAT GOOD!! The brand is Fresh Produce and I absolutely love what they are all about- “Comfort, color, and happiness for EVERY woman, EVERY size, and EVERY age” and friends they have some fun, colorful pieces! Their latest collection is called FRESHfit which consists of denim-style pants that are SO SOFT and SO COMFY! There are many different styles available and they come in 4 different colors- including these adorable light pink ones that I have been wearing non stop. Fresh Produce was also kind enough to offer a discount online for 20% OFF!! Just use code: JILL20 🙂 We are also partnering upper a giveaway to win a ✨FREE PAIR ✨ of pants from the collection!! Just head over to my instagram to enter!

St. Pete influencer, The Lovely Flamingo, Jill DiGioia wears Fresh Produce Light Pink Pants, a white top, a straw hat and Palm Beach Sandals in front of the pink hotel Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach.

Florida blogger, The Lovely Flamingo, Jill DiGioia wears Fresh Produce Light Pink Pants, a white top, a straw hat and Palm Beach Sandals in front of the pink hotel Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach.

St. Pete blogger, The Lovely Flamingo, Jill DiGioia wears Fresh Produce Light Pink Pants, a white top, a straw hat and Palm Beach Sandals in front of the pink hotel Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach.

Florida blogger, The Lovely Flamingo, Jill DiGioia wears Fresh Produce Light Pink Pants, a white top and a straw hat skips barefoot on St. Pete Beach Florida.

I am so excited to be collaborating with such an amazing company who is so inclusive! Plus, I just love their colorful, coastal vibes and I’m sure you will too;) Check them out HERE!

The Softest Pink Pants by Fresh Produce

 

 

 

 

2020-02-27T17:09:21+00:00STYLE|

Galentine’s Staycation at Epicurean Hotel Tampa

Does anyone else celebrate Galentine’s Day? It’s such a fun day to get together with you favorite gals whether you’re single or not! This year my friend Jenn (street2beachstyle.com & @jtstjtst11) and I decided to celebrate a few weeks early. We had the pleasure of staying at the Epicurean Hotel for a Galentine’s Day-staycation and it was SO MUCH FUN!! I mean confetti, balloons, bubbly and matching pj’s all at a beautiful hotel?! Yes please!!

St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.
St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.
St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.

Shop our Looks

We also had fun walking around the hotel checking things out! This boutique hotel is the perfect combination of urban chic and comfort. There are well thought out details in every corner and you can really feel the collaboration with Tampa’s legendary Bern’s Steak House (which is right across the street). The Epicurean also has little eclectic areas with “instaworthy” spots including a library lounge and a backdrop in the lobby covered from floor to across the ceiling in wooden wine crates. Right across from the lobby is Bern’s Fine Wines and Spirits which carries a large selection of special, difficult-to-find wines. Check out my instagram stories highlight for a full tour 🙂

St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.

Shop our Looks

Attached to the Epicurean is the sweetest ice cream and pastry parlor Little Midway. They have a tasty assortment of treats including some fun ice cream flavors including apple pie, pineapple upside cake and even a non dairy vanilla coconut! Also on the menu are cupcakes, cookie sandwiches, sorbets and mason jars filled with popular flavors. I went with a classic waffle cone covered in sprinkles because well, “Life is better with sprinkles”!

St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.

Shop my Look

The restaurant on property is Élevage with a seasonal menu and gorgeous bar that we stopped at for a quick drink before heading outside!

Shop our Looks

Perks of living in Florida? 70° and sunny in January! So of course we had to hangout by the pool for a bit. The outdoor area is a tropical oasis lined with palm trees and comfy lounges. While the pool is not huge, it is the perfect size for this boutique hotel.

St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.
St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.
St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.

Shop our Looks

Next we headed up to the rooptop cocktail lounge EDGE just in time for sunset! The perfect spot to end our fun day with a glass of champagne. Also on the menu are crafted cocktails, wine, craft beer and small plates. This “Social Drinkery” is filled with vibrant colors, lots of lounges and of course incredible views!!

St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.
St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.

Shop our Looks

We were exhausted after all of the fun and both slept so good in the comfortable beds in the rooms! And you know I just had to try out the robe situation too 😉

St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.
St. Pete Blogger, Jill DiGioia of The Lovely Flamingo celebrates Galentine's Day in heart pajamas throwing confetti and balloons at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Florida.

Overall we had a great staycation at the Epicurean Hotel and I would definitely recommend it! Not only is it a beautiful hotel, the service was amazing and the location is great too- it’s in the Soho District of Tampa if you want to head out and explore! I can’t wait to come back for another visit!

Special thanks to the Epicurean for hosting us!

Photos by: Kimberly Romano

2020-01-27T23:15:30+00:00Travel|

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale

LILLY SALE

My favorite pieces from the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale this year!

You can shop the whole sale HERE 🙂

2020-01-06T16:22:38+00:00Sale|