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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 where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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