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  1. Tuesday, October 21

    Adorable Yet Simple Halloween Party Table Decor + 13 Spooktacular Recipes!

    I have a monster of a post for you today (mwah-ha-ha!!!), complete with ideas for completely cute yet simple Halloween party table decor as well as a 13 (mwah-ha-ha!!!) ridiculously adorable Halloween recipes.

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    When it comes to entertaining, I keep it simple. I like to have a whole bunch of white serving dishes in storage that I can pair with a few accent pieces and a colored tablecloth for the occasion. Then I just throw a few decorations on the table – simple but elegant. A vase of flowers, a Christmas wreath with candles, a few pumpkins for a Halloween party…you know, SIMPLE. There’s enough going on to get ready for parties I just can’t go over the top with my decor. But I find by playing in a simple way with color and using lots of white dishes, the table always looks impressive.

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    My ruffle dishes from Q Squared NYC are just such pieces that come in handy for all kinds of occasions. The ruffle design is elegant and a little bit different than your standard white dishes. BUT…if you pair it with a black tablecloth and a few of Q Squared’s slate platters, those wavy white dishes suddenly take on a spooky air! Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I loved using these dishes to decorate a Halloween table! Throw a few pumpkins on the table and make Halloween-themed food and you’re all set!

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    I think Halloween food is the most fun food in all the land. Whenever October rolls around, I am always so impressed with the creative food I see in magazines and on blogs! Here are a few favorites I’ve found this year, including a couple I used for my own Halloween party decor!

    My friend Kristen from Dine & Dish shared Frankenguac just this week. Is this not the cutest guacamole ever? Be sure to click through to Kristen’s post for details! (I put my Frankenguac on a slate platter and it was beyond adorable and a great centerpiece for the table.)

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    My friend Sommer from A Spicy Perspective posted these adorable Halloween skewers, which my kids happily gobbled up! I couldn’t find dark grapes, so I used blackberries instead. I think blackberries (i.e. black pickled brains!!!) might even be spookier. Check out Sommer’s post for more details! (The skewers looked perfect on the ruffle long platter.)

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Here are a few more Halloween recipes I am dying to try! (Mwah-ha-ha!!!)

    Gingerdead Cookies from Kailley’s Kitchen

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Healthy Halloween Monster Mouths from Texan Erin

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Butterbeer Popcorn from An Edible Mosaic (because I simply cannot resist anything Harry Potter!)

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Jalapeño Popper Mummies from Simply Sated

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Mummy Milanos from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Graveyard Chocolate Cheesecake Dip from The Law Student’s Wife

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Peanut Butter Cookie Ghost Cups from Food Faith Fitness

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Easy Pumpkin Patties from Mom On Timeout

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Healthy Halloween Pasta Salad from Smile Sandwich

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Carrot Rice Ball Jack O’ Lantern Bites from Apron Strings

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Spooky Spider Brownies from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    adorable and simple halloween party table decor + halloween recipe roundup from @janemaynard

    Well, that list should keep you busy until Halloween rolls around next week. Happy Hallowen!

    This post was sponsored by Q Squared NYC. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Seriously, those dishes I used are PERFECT for Halloween. Get shopping!


  2. Wednesday, June 4

    Why You Need Melamine Serving Trays and Platters

    Until a few years ago I had zero serving trays or platters to my name. For some reason, I didn’t get any as wedding gifts and then never thought to buy any. I finally acquired a few white ceramic serving platters. They’re nice and all but, honestly, I hardly ever use them. They just aren’t very versatile and are too heavey for easy, everyday use. And, even with those few platters, I still didn’t own any actual trays.

    montecito melamine serving trays from q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    montecito melamine serving trays by q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    montecito melamine serving trays by q squared nyc by @janemaynardThe trays pictured above are from Q Squared NYC’s Montecito line. These are the trays we probably use the most. Nate was especially happy on Mother’s Day when they had a tray to bring me breakfast in bed!

    A few months ago when I started working with Q Squared NYC, they sent me several serving trays and platters. Suddenly I was flush with melamine serving trays in different sizes and shapes, and every last one of them was completely adorable.

    kids' melamine serving trays by q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    kids' melamine serving trays by q squared nyc by @janemaynardThese fun kids serving trays have come in especially handy for snack time during playdates! My kids think they’re super cute and I don’t have to worry about anyone breaking anything!

    When I first discovered Q Squared, I was mostly excited about their dishes and flatware. Little did I know my most favorite items would be the serving trays! The longer I have them, the more I realize how much I was missing out all these years. They come in handy all the time, both for everyday use and when entertaining. I really love that they are made of melamine. The trays and platters are so much lighter than something made from ceramic, so I actually pull them out all the time. They’re easy to carry and perfect for taking outside. Basically, I can’t live without them now!

    heritage melamine serving trays by q squared nyc by @janemaynard

    heritage melamine serving platter by q squared nyc by @janemaynardThis serving platter is from the beautiful Heritage line. 

    If you don’t have any melamine serving trays or platters, I highly recommend getting one (or two or three!).

    montecito melamine serving platters by q squared nyc by @janemaynardMore from the Montecito line, this time the serving platters.

    Three cheers for serving trays! Hip, hip, hooray! (Yeah, I’m a little crazy, but I really am in love!)

    This post was sponsored by Q Squared NYC. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.


  3. Friday, March 28

    My New Favorite Dishes – Q Squared NYC

    The giveaway is now closed, but please keep reading to check out this great company and read my interview with the founders!

    Today is FUN because I get to introduce you to a super cool company, share a fun interview AND do a giveaway!

    Q Squared NYC Montecito Dinnerware from @janemaynard

    Q Squared NYC recently reached out to me about working together. Now, I get a lot of emails about a lot of products everyday, but Q Squared really stood out. I clicked through and discovered a small company with really beautiful products as well as a fun story. I was super excited to find out more about them and was so happy that they got in touch with me!

    Q Squared NYC Montecito Dinnerware from @janemaynardI don’t know, guys, but these just might be my two most favorite plates ever in the history of the world. Just sayin’.

    First, before we get to anything else, just look how cute their dishes are. Q Squared sells melamine dinnerware, drinkware, flatware and great serving platters. Everything is beautifully designed and appeals to all kinds of aesthetics, from classic to modern. I am a firm believe in using beautiful things on a daily basis, plus I have kids, so beautiful dishes that are also practical? BINGO. We also love eating outside. Q Squared’s dishes really are perfect for our family!

    Q Squared NYC Montecito Dinnerware from @janemaynard

    All of the dishes you see in today’s post are from the Montecito line, which I can’t get enough of. We already have white and blue dishes in our everyday collection, so I knew that Montecito would fit right into our kitchen. The Provence blue flatware and blue tumblers also go perfectly with these dishes and I’m loving it all. You can tell that the products are high quality – nice and sturdy with a good feel. I’m ready to party!

    Q Squared NYC Montecito Dinnerware from @janemaynard

    Q Squared NYC Montecito Dinnerware from @janemaynard

    I mentioned that Q Squared has a fun story. The company is founded by a mother-daughter team, Nancy (the mom and former Glamour editor) and Alaina (the daughter). I had the chance to do a little interview with them and would love to share it with you. I especially love the story behind the inspiration for starting the company. So cute!

    Interview with Q Squared NYC founders and mother-daughter team Nancy and Alaina from @janeymaynard

    Q: What inspired you both to start a company making dinnerware? Do you love cooking or entertaining or was it just a fun way to channel your creative energy?

    The answer is a little of both, plus a third reason.  We do love cooking and entertaining, and we both feel very creative. Alaina has a critical eye for art and Nancy is a fan of fashion. The third reason, though, was not being able to find beautiful products that were practical and affordable.  After college graduation, we went shopping to set up Alaina’s first apartment. She has a very high standard aesthetically but was on a low budget. Everything we came across that had an aesthetic Alaina liked was either China or Porcelain, with the China Cabinet price tag to match – so we created our own company and products to fill that need!

    Q: Your about page says that while you have complimentary styles, they are distinct. What are Nancy and Alaina’s different styles?

    Nancy is modern and minimalistic, while Alaina is classical and ornate.  Nancy likes bold colors and Alaina likes more muted colors. Combining the two styles results in our refined look that bridges a generation gap. We like to call them generation-less.

    Q: What is your design process like?

    Alaina is the Creative Director, so the designs originate from her and her inspiration. Her inspiration comes from the past, whether it is history in general or her own personal history. Nancy’s input to the designs helps guide the collection toward what would be most widely appealing to our consumers.

    Q: Do you see yourselves moving beyond dinnerware one day?

    Yes, absolutely!  We are launching our first new product category (home fragrance!) in Summer 2014, with the continuing expansion into Fall/Winter 2014. Looking into 2015 and beyond, we will continue to introduce more home decor products, including gifts, decorative accents, textiles, etc.

    Q: What is the best part of working together?

    The synergy that we feel together, knowing that the results are bigger and grander than each of us alone. Oh and there’s always the perk of having a mom in the office (for the occasional old-fashion PB&J!)

    I hope you’ve enjoyed being introduced to this great company, its founders and their beautiful products. Good luck with the giveaway!

    This post was sponsored by Q Squared NYC. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

    I think it’s time for a giveaway! One lucky, randomly-selected person will win 1 Large Cool Montecito Tray along with 4 Cool Montecito Tapas Plates. Here is how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be left by Thursday, 4/3 Midnight PT.)

    The winner of the giveaway was Debbie Rough, who said, “Love this same pattern you have. Need a new tray… Mine just broke!!!! Woohoo hope I am a winner” Congratulations to Debbie! You will love your items!