Going Galvanized {Decor}

This spring weather has us day-dreaming of patio parties and backyard bashes! In our search some new garden gear, we couldn’t help but notice that galvanized decor is everywhere. From planters to lanterns, lighting to chairs and clocks to serving trays, galvanized is the way to go for summer 2014. Galvanized Goodness What exactly does galvanized mean? It’s a coat of iron or steel with a protective layer of zinc. Translation? It’s durable and metallic and the perfect accent to any outdoor space. We love a good mix of function and form! Check out these galvanized decorating accessories from Pottery Barn: Galvanized Decor How will you incorporate galvanized accents into your patio decor? 
1. Target, 2. Privet House, 3. CB2 4. Target, 5. Target, 6. Pottery Barn Kids, 7. Crate & Barrel}

Cheese Tray Display {Tutorial}

Whenever I host a gathering, I use it as the perfect excuse to serve a cheese tray. Now I’ll be honest, my relationship with cheese borders on inappropriate, but the good news is that I have learned a thing or two about creating the perfect cheese tray along the way! Cheese-Tray  There are a few simple elements to designing your cheese display, the first being the serving platter. I like to use a large, white rectangular tray, but you can get creative and use a wood pizza paddle, cheese board or even a chalkboard platter (great for labeling the cheeses!)

Next up we will pick our cheeses. It is best to serve between three to five flavors. Cheese-mongers will recommend picking a cheese from each milk category which includes goat, sheep and cow. If your guests aren’t fine-cheese connoisseurs, you can stick with more mild options and include a hard, soft and crumbly selection. Aged cheddar, brie and gorgonzola are all perfect for a mild display. I like to try more intense flavors like marbled cheddar, herbed goat and black truffle. If you live near a specialty cheese shop or co-op, ask for a recommendation from the cheese-monger, these people know what they are talking about! Start designing your tray about an hour prior to the arrival of your guests, the cheese will be best served at room temperature. Cheese-Tray-2 There are many cheese accompaniments to choose from for your display. Fill mini bowls with stuffed olives and nuts to create height variation and dimension. Fruit compotes, gourmet jellies and flavored honey are the perfect compliment to any cheese. I especially love lavender honey and cranberry pomegranate sauce, both of which can be found at Whole Foods.

Rosemary-infused breads and crackers go well with many cheeses, but feel free to try several different crackers and breads in all kinds of flavors, you really can’t go wrong! Make sure to label all of your cheeses and provide knives for each one. If you have any left-overs, wrap them each individually in parchment paper for best preservation. I’m never sad when I have extra cheese, in fact I may or may not overbuy on purpose!

What are your favorite cheeses?

{Styling by Eye Candy Event Design, Photography by Natalie Chavez}