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5/08/2012

Simply Perfect Luncheon with Simply Cranberry [$100 Gift Card Giveaway]



When I was younger, my grandmother used to let me drink cranberry juice from a 'special' glass when we would have lunch together.  When the makers of Simply Cranberry Cocktail asked me to host a gathering featuring their new cranberry cocktail, I knew a lunch with fancy glasses was just the thing.

I had my family try out the new Simply Cranberry Cocktail ahead of time. My kids love cranberry juice, and they all agreed, as I did, that you could taste the difference between Simply Cranberry Cocktail and other cranberry cocktails.  I am sure it has to do with the fact that it is made with not-from-concentrate cranberry juice, has no added preservatives, and is kept chilled from the time it's blended until you pick it out of the refrigerated section of your grocery store, but my kids don't really care why it tastes better, they just enjoy the mix of sweet and tart that makes for one great glass of cranberry juice cocktail.

In preparation for my lunch, one I invited some of my blogging friends to enjoy with me, I used Simply Cranberry Cocktail to make one of my favorite recipes, cranberry chicken. I made extra and used the left overs to make a yummy cranberry chicken salad for our luncheon. I will share the recipe for both of those with you later this week.


The menu also included some of my favorite salads!! A mixed berry salad, orzo and arugula salad, and a mandarin avocado salad. More fun recipes to share in the future!

Of course, before the day of the luncheon arrived I had to think about decorations!!  I love throwing a party, so I have made it a rule to buy all of my serving ware in either white or glass. Anything from cake plates to mason jars can make great party decor and it is so much easier to mix and match your pieces when they all coordinate.  Because spring has finally arrived, I used flowers as my main decoration--some from the store and most from my friend Hilde's backyard. Flowers are perfect for any occasion and really inexpensive, especially if you have a garden! The best part is you can use them to brighten up your house for weeks after the party is over.

With a few other spring additions, like a watering can and some galvanized buckets, the decorations were all set and so easy to pull together.



Of course, in addition to the yummy food and decorations, there had to be drinks! None of the ladies I invited actually drink alcohol, so instead of having cocktails we used Simply Cranberry Cocktail to mix up some family friendly beverages of our own.



Simply Cranberry Cocktail is delicious all on its own, but it is also fun to mix with some of the other flavors of Simply beverages that are available. I loved it mixed with Simply Lemonade® and Simply Limeade®. We also had a lemon-lime soda and some seltzer water to choose from.


After everyone had mixed their drink, we piled our plates high and sat around the table to enjoy our food, drinks, and all of the things that we have in common. There is never an end to the conversation about raising kids, writing blogs, and balancing life when there is enough good food and drinks to sustain us!

My fun luncheon ladies! Hilde, Kim, Kristen (who took all of the fabulous pictures), Gina, and Jenn

A couple of refills, some seconds on the food, and an out of this world dessert that Hilde brought only came to an end when most of us had to leave to pick up kids from school. At the end of the afternoon I came to the conclusion that this group of ladies reminds me a lot of Simply Cranberry Cocktail--a perfect blend of sweetness and tartness.


Simply Cranberry Cocktail was the perfect accompaniment to our simply perfect lunch.
What is your favorite way to make a party or get-together at your home more festive? Tell me about it in the comments for a chance to win a $100 gift card!
Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/7/2012 - 6/6/2012

Be sure to visit the Promotions & Prizes page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

"Simply Cranberry" is a trademark of Simply Orange Juice Company.

158 comments:

Briana Richardson said...

I love the decorations! Little white Christmas lights are perfect for a cool summer party in the evening!

DailyDoseofAlli said...

I like to have a theme throughout the various elements of the party - like color or style of the food, decor, and drink!

Thanks for the giveaway!

- Allison R.

Sandy said...

I set up tables throughout my home with snacks/appetizers on them so guests can munch before dinner!

Mami2jcn said...

Lively music always makes things more festive!

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Mami2jcn said...

tweet:

https://twitter.com/#!/mami2jcn/status/199856283220852738

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Rosa said...

nice decorations and pleasant music will make a better party.

Rosa said...

I twitted:

https://twitter.com/#!/roso1946/status/199857422964232192

Melissa said...

Music, Music, Music!

Anonymous said...

Yum! I love cranberry cocktails! I like to bring a little bit of flair to all the get togethers I have with a "signature" item. Can be a drink,dessert,side or whatever you want! Just helps to reiterate the theme of whatever event we are celebrating!

Tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/pinklady_217

Blog:
http://mrandmrshinton.blogspot.com/2012/05/pick-me.html

thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

Aryn

LeAnn said...

I always like to be sure there is plenty of comfortable seating--that way my guests will feel more at home to laugh and just enjoy the time together.

Courtney B said...

lots of friends, a pool and a bbq pit!

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Courtney B said...

tweet

https://twitter.com/#!/MeandBells/status/199939853176160256

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Tj and Amy said...

I like to use crepe paper and the hanging laterns they are way cheap and you can use it for anything.amypugmire@live.com

Tj and Amy said...

tweet. amypugmire@live.com
https://twitter.com/#!/1amypugmire/status/199945864154853377

akronugurl said...

https://twitter.com/#!/akronugurl/status/199951423855804417

freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

akronugurl said...

i would make cocktails :)
freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

Ashley said...

I make sure we have great music.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Kim said...

I like to serve conversation food! This includes anything new or exotic--something that people will talk about

Racheal said...

We have food allergies so I've worked out an easier way to have company over with out it being a big hassle, let them help you prepare the meal. It really is fun to get several people in the kitchen working together, to prepare the meal I planned and bought all the ingredients for.
r5coat at live dot com

Frugal Mom from California said...

Nice music and fresh flowers make party more festive

elena150980@yahoo.com

Frugal Mom from California said...

https://twitter.com/#!/ElenaIstomina/status/200084248336662529

elena150980@yahoo.com

Beth Jackson Klosterboer said...

My parties usually have a theme and I decorate and make food to match that theme.

Beth (at) HungryHappenings dot com

FreeIndeed said...

music and decorations make it more festive
thepryfamily@gmail.com

FreeIndeed said...

https://twitter.com/#!/thepryfamily2/status/200277020905701378
thepryfamily@gmail.com

MamaStace said...

My favorite way to make it better is lots of foods displayed creatively on different trays

Nathansmommy619(At)aol(dot)com

Katie said...

Looks so fun and delicious! I'm all about the tissue paper flowers. Such an easy, inexpensive pop of darling!

Amy said...

My favorite way to make a party at my home more festive is selecting a theme. So, the decorations, food, drink, party favor and maybe dress code too, would all follow the same theme. It’s really festive and fun!

Amy [at] utry [dot] it

Amy said...

tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/uTry_it/status/200335874213421056

Amy [at] utry [dot] it

StephanieC said...

i add party music! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

StephanieC said...

https://twitter.com/#!/DesMoinesDealin/status/200402639312269313 scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie said...

I love all the simply juices

Lora said...

I make a party/get together more festive at my house by having lots of food, not just a large quantity but a big variety. I also make an effort to do a special display in the center of the table. And most important, we clean like crazy for several days ahead of time!

The Rosenau's said...

Decorating!

The Rosenau's said...

tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/juliannerosenau/status/200624186010513408

Michelle said...

I haven't tried the Simply Cranberry yet, but the Simply Lemonade is awesome. For parties, I love having great music and a good mix of friends to keep the conversation going!

wigget said...

games and partyware

dagan said...

I like to serve a family-style meal. Old friends met new friends and everyone enjoys themselves :) thanks for the giveaway!

Terry said...

I try to make sure there is attention to every detail and everything feels relaxing, smell good food, candy for the eye, soft music for the soul and lively conversation.

Ashley @ Bride on a Budget said...

I try to have a theme for each party and incorporate through the food and decor.

soccermom1 said...

I love to decorate for the occasion
rjs682 at yahoo dot com

soccermom1 said...

https://twitter.com/#!/rjs682/status/201901352929083392
rjs682 at yahoo dot com

chambanachik said...

I like to hang decorations, put on some music, and make way too much dessert! :)

chambanachik@gmail.com

Karina said...

https://twitter.com/#!/karinaroselee/status/202154009149177857

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

Karina said...

i like having a party theme

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

JC said...

Plenty of all sorts of desserts and music always help.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com

JC said...

https://twitter.com/#!/tcarolinep/status/202160262483156992

Kristen Duke Photography said...

yay, it's LIVE!!!

Cody in Korea said...

It looks like everyone had a great time!!

sy said...

I turn on upbeat music and put out lots of snacks. Thanks for the review and giveaway!
songyueyu at gmail

sy said...

tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/syytta/status/202300589223317504
songyueyu at gmail

Tina said...

lots of games and foods
merleandtina@yahoo.com

Tina said...

https://twitter.com/#!/HappyTina0115/status/202558104498483200
merleandtina@yahoo.com

Kim C. said...

I love to make a really fun theme, for example 80's color decorations, or have the food a certain theme.

xxkimhcxx at gmail dot com

Kim C. said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/#!/xxkimhcxx/status/202605246374092800
xxkimhcxx at gmail dot com

Judy B. said...

The combination of people, environment, music, food and drink

Judy B. said...

tweet
https://twitter.com/#!/BBirdie2/status/202852326912950273

abitnerdy said...

I love throwing a themed party, everyone gets into mood, Arabian Night, Summer in the Hamptons, Breakfast at Tiffanys it doesnt matter, a theme makes everything so much more fun. :) of course good music, great friends, delicious drinks and food too ;) xx

abitnerdygirl at gmail dot com

Kelly Massman said...

I like to make things ahead so I can focus on the guests at the party!!! Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom
pretty decorations and the food looks yummy

abitnerdy said...

i tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/abitnerdy/status/203189034032439296

abitnerdygirl at gmail dot com

tmc480 said...

I like to have great appetizers
tmc480 at yahoo dot com

tmc480 said...

https://twitter.com/#!/tmc480/status/203309111801163776

tmc480 at yahoo dot com

Jessica said...

We love Simply Orange juice at our house! Good food is a must have for any party. I typically spend so much time on the menu that other areas are lacking (decor, etc).

mearbear said...

Lots of fun foods and beverages!

Tracy R said...

I'm not opposed to serving beer, but I also like to have great beverages for the non-alcohol drinkers too. Simply Cranberry will fit right in to that theme!

Melissa O. said...

Homemade sangria and a big batch of mojitos always works!

wolverina401 at gmail dot com

cw said...

Can't do much entertaining in the home right now because our house is sooo tiny, but we do like to have BBQs in our back yard (when things warm up more). The right music helps things be more festive and I love to put xmas lights in the trees.

Tiffany Winner said...

i think almost every party or get-together needs a game of some kind
thismomwins@gmail.com

michaela said...

I make a get together special by using the nice dishes! It dds that extra touch!

Kyra @ RACKS and Mooby said...

My favorite way to make a party or get-together at my home more festive is by playing fun music and using paper decor to tie everything together (food lables, flag buntings, etc)

JessieLeigh said...

Candles and fancy mix and match champagne flutes! :)

Eva said...

plenty of comfortable seating/lounge areas so everyone can get comfortable and relax

Tabathia said...

We get out the Wii and play Dance Revolution
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia said...

tweet
https://twitter.com/#!/ChelleB36/status/204778598526226432
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Lexiquin said...

I love the color that cranberries add--makes any holiday gathering festive!
We don't entertain often but, when we do, there are kids included--so, we play family games. One of our favorites is Bingo. We try to make Bingo cards to match the occasion and have had lots of fun playing with friends.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Lexiquin said...

Tweet! https://twitter.com/lexiquin/status/205135553417576450

ms-texas said...

we don't entertain a lot but when we do - good food and music make it festive

debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

ms-texas said...

i tweeted for a second entry

https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/205266551677530113

debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

Terri Betz said...

Must have a theme! Music, drinks, food, favors all play off the theme! Just makes parties more fun!
Thanks for the chance!
Terri from Oregon....

justmanette said...

I have to have a theme, color scheme, and framed printables related to the occasion. I also have photos of my kids as they've aged through the years for our birthday celebrations.

Marty said...

I think its definitely in the details! Putting as much thought into the little things is what I do to try and make things more festive...adding little unexpected touches or surprises (like the great ideas I find on here!) and it's fun too!

Marty said...

tweeted here:

https://twitter.com/dreamwylde/status/205514751424471041

Kellie's Camera said...

Having theme parties where guests wear theme related outfits like White Night, Jimmy Buffet Night..etc. So much fun!

kelliescamera at gmail dot com

Kellie's Camera said...

tweeted:

https://twitter.com/kelliechio/status/205521401174700032

kelliescamera at gmail dot com

Hahna said...

Lovely! I've never tried cranberry cocktails before!

Alli said...

We don't have much room to throw big schindigs, so mostly I just try to make sure everyone has a place to sit! :)

Kami Essig said...

Snacks and appetizers before the main meal is important, and some music to set the mood.

Anonymous said...

I try to take care of the little things....music, making sure everyone knows everyone else's name and lots of food/drink.

Anonymous said...

tweeted

https://twitter.com/backtoallen/status/205683629614055426

ellen b said...

decorations - have fun
elliebunny at hotmail dot com

ellen b said...

https://twitter.com/elliebunny24/status/205794592409387009
elliebunny at hotmail dot com

Emelie said...

love get togethers with my girlfriends, in or out! Good for the soul!

Heather H said...

For me, the key to a great party is good music, a well stocked drink station, and just the right theme. I love themes. I'll have to pick up some Simply Cranberry next time I'm at the store; it sounds tasty!

Tammy said...

I decorate around the party theme.

*Monica* said...

Great food, great friends and a great BBQ always sound like a fun evening to me! I love get togethers.

Lauren said...

I love to use inexpensive decorations from around the house. Printables and crepe paper always jazz up any get together and give it that "special" feeling.

Temporary Waffle said...

I love adding decorations and making the food to go with the theme of the party.

popcornpieces at yahoo dot com

Temporary Waffle said...

I tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/TemporaryWaffle

popcornpieces at yahoo dot com

Temporary Waffle said...

I blogged it at http://temporarywaffle.blogspot.com/2012/05/100-walmart-giveaway-over-at-be.html

popcornpieces at yahoo dot com

The Sunshyn said...

We never focused on decor as much as fun with get togethers here. Interactive video games have been a great addition to the socializing and festiveness of our gatherings.
chainmail (at)iwon (dot) com

The Sunshyn said...

I tweeted about this
https://twitter.com/The_Sunshyn/status/206174809950912512
chainmail (at)iwon (dot) com

Lindsey Bell said...

I've always felt that music appropriate to the event is 100% necessary.

Becky said...

A fun theme, the perfect combination of friends, and lots of laughter!

Domestic Goddess..Diva sometimes said...

A beautiful decorated table with delicious food is always a great start!

curtnancy at yahoo dot com

Carrie said...

I try really had to make my guest feel completely comfortable and at home yet pampered. I do this by fixing their favorites and doing things I know they like!

Anonymous said...

I make it more festive by researching and putting a lot of time and effort into the food even though I don't have money to make it appear festive and fancy.

Kay K said...

Cranberry chicken salad would love the recipe ....thanks for the giveaway ....

Kay K said...

I love to use flowers red ,yellow and purples to decorate for summer makes it bright and happy. also I used matching tableclothes , napkins, cups to go with these colors
I do themed for holidays and use all decor to match

Tiffany Winner said...

tweet https://twitter.com/thismomwins2/status/206510221399572482
thismomwins@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I use pretty dishes and make flower arrangements from flowers in my garden-

karen608 said...

I like to make decorations on a theme, and have the favorite foods of my guests like NY cheesecake, or fish or ... what ever they like and do not eat as often as they'd like to eat it. karen608 at yahoo dot com

angelina said...

Cranberry Punch. This is the perfect drink for guests.It's super easy to make. Just mix two containers of frozen cranberry concentrate with 2- 2 ltrs.of lemon-lime soda. Then you can add a bottle of wine if you like. Then fill with ice cubes and fresh frozen cranberries. The cranberry's add that decorative touch.

Julie E said...

I make a lot of different food being sure to include dishes I know my guests will love and a few new recipes for us all to try out. Yes, sometimes my guests are guinea pigs. And I always make sure to have a great selection of drinks to suit everyone's palette. If I can work in a theme and get a little witty with the food names, I'm a happy girl.

Anonymous said...

we love to use a ton of decorations and make it more festive

pokergrl8 at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

https://twitter.com/aes529/status/206805842119503872
pokergrl8 at gmail.com

Dee said...

I love making a party more festive by making cupcakes catered to the theme of the get together as well as themed ice cubes! :)

deeg131 at gmail dot com

Dee said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/206815383490007040

deeg131 at gmail dot com

Pam said...

Presentation is everything. As important as good food and drink.

Kerry said...

I like to make sure I have a lot of different types of food out to suit everyone's taste.
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/206938959799001088
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Christina said...

My favorite way to make a party or get-together at my home more festive is selecting a theme but with simple decorations. I love to prepare homemade finger food, nice dessert and drinks. Thanks for the giveaway.

ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

Christina said...

I tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/207032589251383296

ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

Unknown said...

I like serving the food family-style, each dish or component in a large container that is passed around the table. I've found that doing it this way sparks conversation, but also has us slowing down and enjoying the time together more.

kharmic dot curse at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

and I tweeted about the giveaway

https://twitter.com/SnarkyPie/status/207189536458031104

kharmic dot curse at gmail dot com

Angel Jacklyn said...

With food & family to make it more fun! kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

2nd entry tweet https://twitter.com/kytah00/status/207242787131891712

Stephanie said...

I LOVE Simply juices and I LOVE winning stuff. Double awesome.

MCantu1019 said...

I make sure to have plenty of food and drinks. It's no fun when the food runs out.
MCantu1019 at aol dot com

Charlotte said...

Fun games and good conversation- and as always- lots of food!

Gina M Maddox said...

tweet-https://twitter.com/CrazyItalian0/status/207635088828153856

gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Gina M Maddox said...

I love to add great music and lighting to make a gathering more festive.


gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

Amy said...

For me it's all about the food. I'm not much of a decorator, so I put my energy into the meal.

Kristin said...

I love to have a wonderful desert.

sewVery said...

We love to play board games or badminton (while we BBQ) in the backyard when we have friends over.

Annie said...

If I had friends to have a party with....there would definitely be music! And lots and lots of dancing.

Annie said...

If I had friends to have a party with....there would definitely be music! And lots and lots of dancing.

Mel said...

I think everybody loves party favors, even adults. So especially when I get together with my girlfriends, I try to do fun little gifts to thank them for coming!

samantha said...

I think food presentation is important so I make sure to have my best bowls and platters out--or borrow some from my mom :-)

Samanthajocampen at gmail

Heather said...

I like to use my good china.

Donna said...

I like to have plenty of finger food.
donna444444@yahoo.com

Betty C said...

Our most fun times are not especially planned. An impromptu barbecue or potluck is made better with music and cold drinks.

willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

Betty C said...

Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/209439555198259200

willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Having some sort of punch always seems to make it an official party!

Emily N. said...

tweet https://twitter.com/prizepuzzle/status/209467113440681985

Brittany said...

Flowers always make things extra special. I also like making fun food tags.

Anonymous said...

I love to have a theme to go on to give it a little pizzazz!

jwfong said...

I love having tons of little finger foods as the main course! You can have a huge variety of food to offer and appetizers are always delicious!

jfong1130 at yahoo dot com

jwfong said...

I tweeted! https://twitter.com/jfong1130/status/209840809976135682

jfong1130 at yahoo dot com

♡♥♬ Louis ♬♥♡ said...

a nice tablecloth, a seasonal centerpiece and coordinating napkins

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

Louis
pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

♡♥♬ Louis ♬♥♡ said...

I tweeted your giveaway

pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

angie lilly said...

I love pot lucks and all of my parties are pot lucks, but you can take it a step further and theme your food! Example: have a Halloween party and tell everyone to bring their favorite candy!
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

angie lilly said...

I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/210044281430355968
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

ewhatley said...

We have a theme for every event and encourage guests to dress accordingly.

mybeachylife at gmail dot com

Deb said...

I do like entertaining and my favorite thing is to do theme parties. I customize my food, drinks and decorations/decor around a theme and everyone really enjoys it....I just try not to get too hokey!

purplelover04 said...

I love having bring a dish party it help everyone feel like that are a part of it and it keep me from having to cook everything and every love to show of by bring the best dish.
purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

purplelover04 said...

https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/210401799092453377

LyndiLou said...

I love having party favors for people. Even grown ups like getting a treat or surprise at the end of the party to take home with them! :)

Miki's scrapbook said...

Drinks and music always make our gatherings at home festive! :P

Miki.
mikimiannetta@gmail.com

Mari said...

We play festive music and put up décor that creates an ambiance.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com