December 2016

Tara Guerard Soiree

For years, making big New Year’s plans was all consuming, and with so much build up I found myself finding it more and more of a letdown. Now I’ve gotten to the point that we’re still recovering from Christmas and a nice low key evening maybe with a few friends sounds perfect! Today I’m sharing a few ideas for hosting a small impromptu cocktail party at home.

Tara Guerard Soiree

There is a great feature on about the 5 things you don’t know about champagne but should. I totally agree with their tip about finding a brand that you enjoy and serving that. I’m a big Veuve Clicqout fan, it’s a nice recognizable brand that fits with the occasion of New Year’s Eve, but not over the top, and a flavor that I prefer over many of the flashier brands. And I chose to forgo a champagne cocktail on New Year’s for the sake of simplicity and duration into the evening, but popping a store bought dendrobium orchid head into the glass offers an elegant touch.

Tara Guerard Soiree

Serving easy but substantial food is key. It’s of the old Charleston cocktail party tradition that whatever food you serve can be eaten with just a cocktail napkin, no plates or forks, etc. Sliced ham with assorted rolls/bread is a long time staple. So, maybe for a fun and easy twist for a smaller gathering, try already assembled and displayed ham biscuits. You could get really creative and add a decorative element like wrapping them in wax paper and tying them.

Tara Guerard Soiree

Another easy and hearty idea is making a big batch of a simple soup (like tomato basil) and putting it in votive candle holders or espresso cups that guests can quickly and easily pick up and sip.

Tara Guerard Soiree

I do think that people do enjoy having some kind of sweet treat. Classics like brownies, mini cheesecakes, rice pudding all work with the elegant vibe of New Year’s Eve and this could be the piece that you order out or delegate.

Tara Guerard Soiree

With the weather that we’re having this year, I completely plan on taking advantage of being outside. Set up an outside lounge or dining table and load it up with candles, you’ll be able to hear and possibly see all of the homegrown fireworks!

Tara Guerard Soiree

Don’t forget your sparklers.. Cheers and Happy New Year’s!

9.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Food and Drink, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>
Sep 19, 2018


So Christmas is over, but the tree and greenery still smells so holiday-ey. If you happen to be hosting a New Year’s celebration, we have a quick and easy idea on recycling some of your greenery into festive votive candles for the evening’s affair.


To start with, inexpensive clear glass votives from a craft store, etc is all you’ll need. I also prefer that the candle be an off white, versus a bright white. Any greenery you may have from a wreath or Christmas tree would work here. I also like using some kind of chording, string, or ribbon to finish it off and give it a pretty touch.

You’ll need to place double sided scotch tape around the body of the votive candle.



Lay a thinnish strand of your greenery atop the double sided sticky tape.


Do leave a little tiny bit of the ends loose and not taped down all the way…


Wrap your ribbon or whatnot through and tie in a knot to secure and then finish off with a bow, or hand tied design of your choosing.


Trim any excess of the greenery ends…


 Mix in and place on the dinner table, or cluster in groups on a serving buffet, bar cart, restroom, etc. Guests will note your clever touch, and you will enjoy the ease of this project! Happy Tuesday. Thank you to Lucy Cuneo for the photography.

9.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>

Tara Guerard Soiree

Now that it’s finally citrus season, one of my favorite DIY decor tips for entertaining at home are my orange votives! They are readily available for your last minute holiday tabletop or for any given dinner party. First step is to assemble everything you need- a sharp knife, a good strong spoon or scoop, and your oranges of course. If it’s your first round, get a bag to allow for any Oops!

Tara Guerard Soiree

Slice a thinnish piece off the bottom (and an even thinner part off the opposite side just of the peel, not any of the inside so that it has a steady platform for where you plan to set it down). Use your spoon to hollow out all of the pulp, juices, etc. I like to keep them all to use for smoothies or juicing.

Tara Guerard Soiree

We make sure to use the candle drop ins that have the plastic bases0 they are deeper and don’t get as hot as the aluminum based ones; they also look nicer!

Tara Guerard Soiree

It’s also a good idea to zest or shave a bit of the peel off of the sides so that the candles are able to really glow through. Of course, they are wonderfully fragrant as well!


To give your table more depth and glow, I recommend adding in some taller taper style candles with custom “made” candlesticks that are also easily tackled last minute. Spray painting antique or craft store bought glass candlesticks gold or silver, or even a metallic blue would give a beautiful finishing touch along with your orange votives!


9.19.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Etiquette, Event Design, Event Planning, Parties, Uncategorized | Comments >>