Dinner Party Spotlight: Pizzazzerie

I couldn’t think of a more fun way to entertain this summer. Outdoors, fun lanterns, pops of blues, simple green arrangements; I wish I could sit out here every Sunday of Summer!! Meet the creator of this beautiful tablescape and the newest FH Dinner Party Series Guest, Courtney Whitmore, the Founder of Pizzazzerie. If you are looking to entertain in style, from easy and delicious party foods, to daily party tips, be sure to check out the blog Pizzazzerie for inspiration! Courtney, a Southern Belle, has a knack for entertaining and is even a successful author with three cookbooks: Push-Up PopsCandy Making For Kids, and Frostings. Her first book, Push-Up Pops was named one of Amazon’s Top 100 Hot New Releases! Her newest book on all things Parties (see here) will release in the Fall of 2017. So read on for an interview of Courtney and learn more about how to “get the look” of this Summer table!

Q & A:

FH: Tell me a quick bio of how you came to star Pizzazzerie?

Courtney: Hi! I’m Courtney from Pizzazzerie! About 7 years ago, I was working as a career counselor by day and throwing dinner parties by night. I fell in love setting the table and decided to start a site to showcase my ideas. I never in a million years, thought it would become a full-time job! I was lucky to begin working with a publisher from that first year and I just completed my fourth book titled Pizzazzerie: Entertain in Style that releases August 8th! I’ll be headed on a book tour this month to Nashville, Dallas, Lexington, Atlanta, and Houston. I’m so very excited to share my love for tablescapes and party foods around the country!

FH: What is your entertaining style? Traditional, Contemporary, Seasonal? 

Courtney: My entertaining style changes quite a bit as I love all different styles, but I would say I’m traditional and seasonal. I love to set tables for various holidays but with a traditional (yet colorful) twist.

FH: How often do you entertain and for how many guests?

Courtney: I love to throw quick impromptu parties with just a few couples and our kids as well as larger dinner parties. I’m looking forward to lots of fall parties with smores in our fire pit when I return from the book tour! It hasn’t allowed me to throw too many parties lately, but I’m already dreaming up holiday entertaining ideas when I’m back in town!

FH: Do you have a go-to recipe or dish {or do you avoid cooking at all costs}?

Courtney: I love to serve up some homemade dishes (like pimento cheese toast cups) at my parties as well as a few favorites from local places around Nashville. Sometimes it can be daunting to cook everything from scratch so I like to mix and match. I also love to grab a simple cheesecake or tart and jazz it up with seasonal fruits or jams.

FH: Do you have a go-to cocktail?

Courtney: Cocktails are quite a love of mine, so I always change up my signature cocktail to fit the theme. Whether it’s a pink flamingo punch cocktail for a festive summer soiree or just a great bottle of sauvignon blanc for those nights that just call for wine, I love to mix it up!

FH: If you could give one party tip for readers what would it be?

Courtney: Set up your tablescape the day before your party, at least. This way you’ll easily be able to see what you need to go purchase or prep in advance. This way you’ll be a more relaxed host and enjoy your party as well!

FH: Did something inspire you for today’s table? 

Courtney: I’ve always loved serving dinner on a rustic farm table so I paired my favorite navy and white dishes with my table for an al fresco patio party. Effortless entertaining is important to me (if it’s too hard, you won’t do it) so I love to share easy tips such as using simple ferns for a touch of greenery down the center of your tablescape. It doesn’t have to be overly complex to be pretty and inviting!

FH: What’s your favorite element in today’s tablescape? Can you share with readers tips for re-creating at home!

Courtney: I really love to incorporate lighting into tablescapes (if it’s a fitting setting like an outdoor dinner party) and while I love taper candles, they can often blow out with the wind. This is why I love to use unique lanterns like these pagoda lanterns to add as decor as well as create a glowing ambiance!

FH: Table top… Share all the deets!!

  • Plates: CB2
  • Salad Plates: Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Gingham Napkins: Local Store in Nashville: Hot Pink {similar}
  • Pineapple Napkin rings: Vintage/Antique Store {similar}
  • Water glasses: Frontgate {similar}
  • Wine glass: Homegoods {similar}
  • Silverware: Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Centerpieces/ Vases/ Candle sticks: Frontgate Pagoda Lanterns + Family Planters {similar lanterns}

Home location: Nashville, TN

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