The Launch Party! Budget, Recipes and Menus, Oh My!

Apr 3, 2012 | Parisienne Farmgirl Entertains, Parisienne Farmgirl Magazine | 27 comments

SIL, fabulous friend, Auntie and Fashion Editor for PFM, Victoria came down on Friday night… we stayed up WAY to late watching What Not to Wear episodes on YouTube and started Party Prep around 8 am on Saturday.
Prepping for a party with 5 kids in the house under 7 is…how shall we say this…
I mean, they actually want you to STOP what you are doing and FEED THEM three times a day!
What’s up with that?
Thankfully I had made the macarons and the cakes earlier in the week or else we might have finished around midnight. We WERE able to cut away at nap time thanks to hubby who held down the fort – we went out for a no-chip mani and a heady run thru Sephora!
Waaaaaaaay too much fun!
By 6:30 the three little ones were down, my hair was done thanks to my stylist friend Anna… more about her later, Victoria was primping and my helper for the night (Gina) had shown up to cut the bread, wipe down the champagne flutes and look for spots on the silverware! That might be the most genius thing I have ever done – hire a darling high school girl from across the street to move dishes along, manage garbage, hang coats, etc! I was, despite how jittery and nervous I was, actually able to enjoy myself!
Late afternoon I was frantic for something to put my veggies in… ’til I had a total lightbulb moment and grabbed a wine crate. It was so beautiful this photo does not do it justice!!! (What you can’t really see is the red cabbage has been cut out to serve as a bowl for the dip.)
On the Menu:
Cheese plate
Sushi platter
Duck Liver Paté
with sea salt, pepper, and figs
Salami wrapped green onions (apparently the big hit of the evening!)
Moms Chèvre with Dried Fruit and Honey Spread
Dark Chocolate Reine de Saba 
Blackberry Grapefruit Buttermilk Cake with Sauternes

Of course, this party was planned on a budget. ($250.00) 
I was able to have flowers in every room thanks to Costco, Trader Joe’s, the tree in the empty house across the street and my sweet smelling Vibernum in the backyard.

To accommodate the large crowd I made two of my Reine de Saba cakes, one 8 inch and one 9 inch and stacked them! I love the way it came out.

 I do not like to use plastic at parties but for large groups I don’t have enough mis-matched China so I use clear glass plates from the dollar store (I have had them forever!) and beautiful napkins (These lovelies were perfect for my colors this evening – I bought them at Romancing the Home in Lake Forest, a PFM advertiser.)

Only $4.50 a package and they
are SO SOFT!!!

 I also bought 15 nice, simple wine glasses at the dollar store a couple hours before the party. My favorite champagne flutes are from a garage sale from 16 years ago – $2.00.
Too bad I forgot a photo of the beverage counter!!!

I was also frantic for something to serve my onions in and then I realized that a copper pot would add another provencal country feel to my table! It needs to be re-tinned so for safety I lined it with romaine lettuce leaves. It turned out so beautiful. 
These onions were a HUGE HIT and it just made me giddy! They are SO simple and SO delicious.
Simply spread cream cheese on a thin slice of salami and wrap it around the end of a green onion. I got the green onions and cream cheese at Aldi and a big pack of salami at Costco. The total was only $12.00 but the response from the guests was out of this world!

Mom, Susan (Friend and owner of Romancing the Home) and moi.

PFM and blog readers, Dawn and Sharon

 Neighbor Nancy and her sister who had taught an Annie Sloan chalk 
paint class in town that day at the art studio.
Now this was a huge treat –
that gorgeous girl you see here is Jennifer Morris of Amusing Provincial! She and her hubby drove all the way from Kansas City JUST for the launch party!
That’s what I said!
Our moments to chat were so brief it was such a buzz kill – it was obvious that was have serious friend potential and I am looking forward to getting to know her better! How pretty is she!!!???
 Me – Giddy but exhausted!
Now here is the troop-
I have had the blessing in the last 10 weeks or so of having this group of women enter my life. This is Susan and her Romancing the Home team. I honestly don’t know when I have encountered such a wonderful batch of women! Fun, creative, stylish, generous and SO KIND! They came in two carloads to the party, gave the most beautiful hostess gifts… all in all they are simply so supportive, it brings a tear to my eye and I do look forward to getting to know each of them better as the opportunity arises.
You girls are the best.

My Sisters!!!!!!!!
Me-n-Hubby at the end of the night 

I was NOT expecting hostess gifts – just that people would come celebrate with me meant so much but people put so much those into their treats. Jewelry designer Jeannie LaBelle of The Gilded Junqueyard made this for me. “Farm Girl”… alas… hopefully someday very soon! 
Pretty rings, keychains, Wellies with Eiffel Towers on them, perfume, etched cake plates, plates, champagne, a peony for my garden… WOW! 
A special, long distance, thank you to a certain “Madame.”
You dear, dear thing you! From the bottom of my heart – Merci!

Ok – now for the “do”!
I am blessed with such talented friends and one of them is my friend Anna. She is a styling wiz! And known for it – she actually gets called to the United Center to give the stars a quick mani before their show! Last year she “groomed” Sir Elton John, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Donnie Osmond… FOR REAL!

When she came by I told her I wanted something retro (on account of the style of my dress) meets Marie Antoinette! SHE NAILED IT with no photo for reference! I swear I would where my hair like this every day!! I just loved it! The photos DO NOT do it justice. Anna travels, so if you need an updo let me know and I’ll give you her number!
I’ve got some video clips and some “morning after” shots I’ll share later this week. We’ve had a wonderful time as a family since the party. We stayed in our jammies for almost two days straight… dishes be damned too. Then we went on some walks, made some great meals and tomorrow it’s back to school (we school Tues-Sat). It feels so good to have this magazine finally launched. 
Thank you girls so much for everything! For those of you who took an evening to come to the launch, for all the kind words on Facebook, for the subscribers that pour in all day long…
Joel and I are so touched.
Merci. Merci encore.



  1. janet

    What a wonderful party and there is nothing like good friends..Everything looks beautiful..Congrats on the launch..

  2. Dawne Polis

    Reading about your party made me feel both like I was there, and like “Darn! Why wasn’t I there?” It looks like you did everything in such a beautiful way! It’s obvious that God has blessed you… The perfect party and the marvelous magazine!! Big congratulations to you and to all those involved!

  3. Shingle Cottage

    It all looks wonderful and i agree with Dawne it feels like i was there too….oh your hair wow! the first side shot i gasped it looked amazing and love your dress too,huge congratulations to you on your pretty launch.
    I need to go shopping now for green onions,salami and cream cheese.

  4. It's me

    What a grear lunch party !!……..i wiss i was invited……hahaahhaah!!… from Holland…xxx….

  5. Lisa and Joey @ Paintbrush and Screwdriver

    It looks like you had a wonderful time. I wish I could have been there!

    I raised a glass of wine in your honor Saturday night, in the midst of tearing out carpet in the dining room.

  6. Jacque

    Good Morning Angela,

    So great to see the photos! I love the magazine, just having a little trouble with my reader–you know the old saying about old dogs and new tricks–LOL, BUT I will get it down pat, soon!!

    I am so happy to see that you had a wonderful turn out for your event! Looks like you have a great support team, as well!

    Thanks for sharing with those of us who were unable to attend!

  7. à la parisienne

    What a special and sophisticated launch party!!
    All of you ladies look lovely, the tablescape and menu look delicious (Love the wine crate idea!) and when I scrolled to the pic of you and your husband, it made me smile because it takes a very supportive, loving husband to do what Joel is doing for you. I’m so glad to see the support team you have and wish that there wasn’t such a vast geographical distance between us.
    Thank you for sharing images with those of us who couldn’t hop on a plane to attend.


  8. Freygirl

    Oh Ang it was very fun!!! I loved seeing you so happy all night! Everyone looked great and me and baby K thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate cake!!! 😉

  9. Stephanie

    What a charming fete! I will be hunting down a wine crate asap, that is the greatest idea. I always look forward to your entertaining pictures because your parties are sophisticated and elegant. Wish I could have been there!

    So happy for you 🙂

  10. Heather's Blog-o-rama

    Wow, how FUN!!!! I felt like I was at that party with you. I’m so, so very HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY for you and the launch of the magazine. I definitely plan on subscribing, because from what I’ve seen of the previews, it’s going to be all that and a wheel of brie 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂 🙂

  11. savvycityfarmer

    can we do that again, please???


    the gala event of the year!
    and the ladies, oh the ladies … they donned their vintage best, did they not?

    from a staff member
    might proud momma here … xoxoxo

  12. Priscilla

    Congratulations, you dear girl. I’m so glad your party was such a success. If I lived as close as Kansas City, I would have come too. I’m afraid Portland is just a tiny bit too far to drive, what with BHO’s gas prices being what they are!

  13. Amusing Provincial

    Angela I am so touched from your lovely comments. If I hadn’t been on a partial romantic getaway and you didn’t have a house full of amazing people I would have stayed all night and talked for hours…I too thought…oh couldn’t we meet for brunch…but on the road we had to go. I am blessed to be apart of this publication and to count you as a friend. HUGS! Jennifer Morris

  14. Faith

    How exciting!! Looks like an amazing evening. Everything turned out wonderful. I’m so happy for you!!!

  15. Faith

    How exciting!! Looks like an amazing evening. Everything turned out wonderful. I’m so happy for you!!!

  16. Rosemary@villabarnes

    Congrats, Angela. Looks like a great time. I wish you great success.

  17. melyssa

    I don’t know which is more gorgeous: the veg or the hair!

  18. The Magical Christmas Wreath Company

    Hello Angela, well the launch looks like it was a great fun.
    A very glamourous affair. Heres to continued success.

    The food looks divine, I’m going to have to try those onions this weekend! The Reine de Saba cake also looks delish.

    So glad you found me via Marsha and look forward to keeping up with your adventures

    A bientot.


  19. Auntie Em

    Thank you for sharing so many of the great details of your launch party. Everything looked so romantic and pretty.
    But I have to admit the thing that impressed me most was the fact that all your children were in bed asleep by 6:30! Usually the night you need them to be tucked in and off to the land of nod is the night that at least one simply can’t drop off. Maybe you could have another side line as a Supernanny! 😀

    Congratulations on your beautiful magazine! 🙂

  20. LaPouyette

    Oh yes and Oh my! I would have been very happy to join….

    The fresh vegetables, the cakes, the lovely ladies and….

    Thank you very much for your visit and kind comment!

    Greetings from the Périgord and best wishes for a Happy Easter,

  21. birdie blue

    your party looks beautiful, best of luck to you on your newest venture. loved seeing the pictures, i used to work for susan and i believe your neighbor ‘nancy’ and i went to the same highschool.


  22. Barb

    Spectacular Angela! Beautiful setting, friends, food, and flowers.
    Congrats…the issue is just wonderful. God is in the details.

    big hugs,

  23. Huff Harrington Fine Art

    We can’t resist a great spread! This looks amazing, Angela. What fun it must have been, a feast for the eyes and stomach. We will miss you Friday evening here in Buckhead, but hope to meet you whenever you’re in Atlanta! Best, Ann Huff & Meg Harrington


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