Farewell Cocktail Hour: Blackberry & Thyme Sparkler

A Feteful Life: Blackberry Thyme Sparkler

If you’ve been a regular reader of A Feteful Life, I’m sure you’ve noticed that we love a good cocktail. So, we couldn’t think of a better final send-off than a killer champagne cocktail to toast all of the possibilities the future holds. Champagne (or any sparkling wine for that matter) is a must for any celebration whether it be for a new beginning or for the close of a chapter in your life. We’ll definitely miss A Feteful Life but we’re sure you’ll be hearing more from us in the future. In the meantime, Fete on!

Blackberry & Thyme Sparkler (from A Feteful Life)

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup blackberries (extras for garnish – 2 per glass)
3 sprigs of fresh thyme (extra for garnish – 1 sprig per glass)
Chilled sparkling wine

Directions

Place the sugar, water, blackberries, and thyme into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the berries and thyme release their flavor. Strain the mixture into a glass bowl and let cool completely.

Pour 1/2 ounce of the blackberry mixture into the bottom of a champagne flute. Then top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with the remaining blackberries and thyme.

Farewell Fete Favorites

Yes, you read that correctly. You might be wondering just where your weekly cocktail is, but we switched things up just a bit to share the bittersweet news of A Feteful Life’s upcoming closure. We’ve been blogging at AFL for almost a year now and love, love what we’ve done in this space. But our lives have grown busier, our plans ever-changing, and so we’ve decided to take a blogging break. But don’t worry. We continue to come up with middle-of-the-night ideas for our future, so we’re sure we might be back some day.

In the meantime, after tomorrow, all the AFL content we’ve posted over the past year will be available right here. Rebecca will continue to blog activities, DIYs, and celebration fun at her family-friendly lifestyle blog, Not-So-SAHM. And Suzanne plans to continue to pursue her love of graphic design and photography.

In celebration of our next to last day, we’ve each combed the AFL files for our Fete Favorites. It was hard task for both of us and we hope the blog has been as much fun and a source of inspiration for you as it has been for us. Thanks so much to all our family and friends (new and old) who have read, commented, and hired us! As always, friends, FETE ON! {and, don’t worry, they’ll be a farewell cocktail tomorrow!}

Rebecca Farewell Fete Favorites 

A Feteful Life: Rebecca Farewell Fete Favorites

celebrate / create / eat / give / love

Suzanne Farewell Fete Favorites 

A Feteful Life: Suzanne's Farewell Favescelebrate / eat / love / create / give

 

Party Time: Fall Harvest

Fall, fall, fall… after what felt like a bit of a slow start, we’re finally full swing into the most wonderful season of the year. We’ve been apple picking, we’ve visited the pumpkin patch, we’ve picked out Halloween costumes, and now it’s time to get outside with our friends to celebrate the bounty that fall has to offer. There’s no need to buy expensive party decorations because mother nature has provided more than enough for you to get the party started. So get out there and enjoy the great outdoors because you know that polar vortex will be here before you know it!

A Feteful Life: Fall Harvest

  1. A grouping of pumpkins always look festive. Simply write a welcome message on one of the larger ones and you will instantly make your guests feel welcome.
  2. This simple yet stunning garland is made out of real leaves! I love it!
  3. Apples and floating candles make a beautiful centerpiece and harken back to the old bobbing for apples game.
  4. Some bundles of hay with some simple fall colored garland makes a fantastic photo backdrop wall.
  5. A punch is one of the easiest ways to serve a big crowd. And, this beautiful apple harvest punch looks amazing!
  6. Looking to unload some of those apples you picked at the orchard? Set up a DIY caramel apple bar and let your guests pick their own toppings.
  7. Doesn’t this stuffed pumpkin look amazing?! Not only does it look impressive, it is filled with everything that is delicious.
  8. Send you guests home with something delicious, like these delicious pumpkin pie parfaits.

 

 

I Want it Now: Vintage Card Catalog Cabinet

A Feteful Life: Vintage Card Catalog CabinetMy son is obsessed with Playmobil right now. Well, actually for the past few years. I am equally in love with the toys, but am sort of losing my mind over finding their tiny accessories in every nook and cranny of our house. He’s got a fairly good “bin” system of toy organization in his room, but these little pieces need something smaller. On our trip to one of my favorite vintage toy shops this past summer, I realized that an old school card catalog cabinet would be the perfect thing! I saw a few on our visit to Off the Beaten Track Warehouse and can’t get the idea out of me head. This one from Etsy is PERFECT. So of course it’s already been sold. But I’m now firmly convinced we need one and I’m on the hunt!

Entryway Rugs

We’ve been in our “new” house three years now and things are starting to feel not-so-new anymore. Top of that list is our entryway rug. We’ve had it since we moved in and it is starting to get really worn and grungy looking. So, I’ve been shopping around for a new rug and there are so many great options out there right now. Here are some of my favorites. I’m leaning towards #3 because I think it will hold up the best but which is your fave?
A Feteful Life: Entryway Rug Roundup

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Dia de los Muertos Party Inspiration

I mentioned way, way back in our first Fete Favorites my love of Dia de los Muertos. I still haven’t convinced anyone to have an actual party celebrating the holiday, which I really cannot understand. It’s much more upbeat, colorful, and well styled than Halloween. So, I’m obviously going to have to throw myself my own party on November 1st. Here’s what’s topping my list of inspiration.

A Feteful Life: Dia de los Muertos

1. These gorgeous wedding invitations are obviously slightly more upscale than I need for my own party, but I love the idea of combining the bold colors with geometric prints.

2. I love the idea of a large communal table for dinner and that table runner is ahhmaazing.

3. Sugar skulls + edible confetti = party happiness.

4. Mini tissue paper flowers for striped straws!? That’s a new one (to me) and a must make.

5. Pan de Muerto is a traditional Day of the Dead pastry and looks delicious.

6. Obviously our Almond Milk Horchata Cocktail will be in circulation (and probably our Blood Orange Tequila + Lime Spritzers, too).

7. Decorated candles look like a simple enough DIY to help keep things festive.

8. Papel picado!

9. I’ve really been waiting for a good time to try a honeycombed wall and this seems like the perfect opportunity.

I want it now: Military Swing Coat

A Feteful Life: I want it now - Madewell Military Swing Coat copyI’m on the hunt for a new winter jacket. I know it is a bit early in the season to start thinking about winter but if this fall is anything like how this summer went, it will be here before I know it. I’ve always loved a good peacoat and it has been years since I had one. I think this modern take on the military classic from Madewell might be just the item I’m looking for!

Fall Patio Refresher

We spent a lot of time outside using our new patio this summer. We enjoyed playing in the sprinkler, hosting BBQs, or just dining al fresco. But as the weather has shifted a bit cooler and the season has changed, it doesn’t seem like we’re out there as much as we were this summer. I miss it and I think it’s time I dedicate some efforts into making it a bit more fall ready.

It doesn’t take a lot to make things feel a bit cozier and inviting. Some throws, pillows and a fire pit would really warm things up (roasting marshmallows are an added bonus). Then switching out some of my perennials with some fall grasses and decorating with the some of the beautifully colorful pumpkins we found at the pumpkin patch wouldm’t be a bad addition either. Here’s to a happy and cozy fall… outside. A Feteful Life: Fall Patio

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Cocktail Hour: Pumpkin Shandy

A Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - Pumpkin ShandyThis cocktail – it’s fall in a glass and it’s wonderful! I did a fairly classic version of the shandy this summer but this one might be my favorite variation. I’m a huge fan of pumpkin but generally not in the drink form with the exception of pumpkin beer. It’s not overly pumpkiny but it has a nice addition of spices that I love. Combining it with some lemon juice and sparkling apple cider just enhanced everything I love about it. Happy Fall!

Pumpkin Shandy (adapted from Brit+Co)

Ingredients

1 bottle of pumpkin beer
Sparkling apple cider
cinnamon stick
half a lemon juiced
slice of lemon for garnish

Directions

Add a cinnamon stick to your glass (I used a pint glass but you could any glass that holds a beer). Pour between 1/2 and 3/4 of your beer into the glass, add the juice of half a lemon, and top off with the sparkling cider (be careful because the cider can easily foam over the glass). Garnish with a lemon slice and enjoy! A Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - Pumpkin Shandy