Entertaining

Pumpkin Pot how-to Culture Food & Drink

How to Make An Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece

We peruse Pinterest with the furrowed brow and unshakeable cynicism of one ungifted at arts and crafts. Truly, we’ve hot-glued our fingers together more times than we can count on those sticky digits. Plus, who has time to experiment with handcrafting wrapping paper or blending teas when the holidays come around? Not us.

And yet … those personal touches are what make the season so special. Luckily, our friends suggested this simple centerpiece (they really get us) to give our Thanksgiving table a homemade but modern touch. In seven short steps, we made a masterpiece.

HOW TO DO IT

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How to Throw a Bridal Shower Food & Drink Weddings

Throw a Bridal Shower Like a Party Pro

How to Throw a Bridal Shower

19 Cooper strapless culotte jumpsuit | Topshop Unique Aster silk midi dress

Although you never need a reason to celebrate, you were just given the best one: your friend is getting married! Once the squeals, hugs, tears and proposal story conclude, the bridal shower planning begins. To help steer it in the happiest direction, we’ve collected cheery recipes, fun favors and pretty place settings to make your newly affianced pal’s party a success.

READ THE STORY

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ALL POSTS SPACE

Here’s How to Create the Season’s Most Stylish Dinner Party (and Brunch, and More!)

There’s more to the season than the bold-face main events. Not to take away from the traditions and ceremonies that mean the most to you and your family, but wouldn’t you agree that the last-minute get-togethers and low-key shared meals that end up happening before and after are every bit as meaningful and special?

And aren’t the outfits just as good, too?

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Agazit Afeworki, SPACE sales associate from our Seattle flagship, styled by Nordstrom stylist Keara Matthiesen in a Comme des Garçons tee and Molly Goddard Grace skirt (Nordstrom exclusive) with Ashley Williams earrings. She holds wonderfully giftable zipper pouches from Undercover. Some items available in-store only; please call 1.888.282.6060 in the U.S. or 1.877.794.5304 in Canada for assistance. 

All images by Jessa Carter

We’re in favor of celebrating togetherness as often as possible, and we’re also in favor of looking at decor and party vibes in the same way we look at fashion: as a mix of classic motifs, artfully unearthed components and new, inventive spins on everything else. 

HERE’S HOW

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ALL POSTS Style

Bringing the Seasons Inside: How to Make a Foraged Centerpiece

Foraged Centerpiece

The concept of urban foraging was revealed to me by a florist friend. We first walked around her garden in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, then we sought out the fringes of abandoned parking lots to pick branches, sprigs and blooms, quickly shoving the botanical contraband into canvas totes as we strolled.

We were left with a rustic assortment that channeled the romance of artfully unpruned English gardens and the shabby-chic aesthetic of the ’90s. Visually, the comparison of our cache to grocery-store stems felt something like fresh cranberries chopped up with sugar and lemon rind next to cranberry sauce out of a can.

Elizabeth and James Leo openwork cuff | Monica Vinader signature thin banglegorjana Elea ring

BRANCH OUT THIS SEASON: READ MORE

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ALL POSTS Interviews Style

Champagne, Cranberry Salsa and Entertaining in an LBD | The Realest

Why should models have all the fun? Each month we take a lady we admire and give her the model treatment in our photo shoot, The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and makeup artist; she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style. Then we all head out on location for a professional shoot that showcases the looks in our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Sheena Kalso, The Invisible Hostess

Adelyn Rae strapless jumpsuit | Topshop velvet choker | similar style flat: KENDALL + KYLIE Sage ghillie flat

When October rolls around, the holiday party invitations start rolling in. So we turned to Sheena Kalso of The Invisible Hostess for pointers on surviving the busy entertaining season in style. Not only did she give us excellent advice—and a killer recipe for cranberry salsa—but she also showed us how to rock a little black dress (or jumper) with serious panache. As we goofed around while photographing her at the funky party venue WithinSodo, we learned that part of being a great hostess is knowing how to relax and be available. Sheena’s fun-loving temperament makes her a natural. Here’s what else she told us.

Tell us about your job and company, The Invisible Hostess.

Sheena Kalso, The Invisible Hostess

I started The Invisible Hostess in 2006 to help the average party hostess enjoy her event.  Shortly after launching, I was asked if I coordinated weddings. My excitement for domestic hospitality seamlessly translated to weddings. After 10 years, The Invisible Hostess has won a record amount of local planning awards in Seattle. I’m really proud to say we executed 250 events in 2015 with a staff of 50.

With the 10-year anniversary, I reflected on what made me get out of bed every morning and what kept me fulfilled—as one will with any milestone in one’s life. This year I decided to streamline operations by offering wedding coordination only and to focus on my next adventure, mentoring college grads as The Wedding Mentor.

REAL PARTY ADVICE AND MORE LBD LOOKS

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Skye Daru, Sophie Auster, Hilary Rhoda, Estelle Chen, Jason Wu, Alexandra Elizabeth, Emily Meade, Meghan Collison and Ruth Bell ALL POSTS Food & Drink Interviews Style

How Jason Wu Throws a Party, or Two: Grey Jason Wu’s Celebratory Launch

Some occasions are too important to fête just once. Take it from Jason Wu, the launch of a new collection is cause to celebrate again and again. On the advent of his new diffusion line, Grey Jason Wu, the American designer decided to host a series of dinner parties. Wu is a consummate entertainer. His elegant and lively functions usually include any number of New York artists, literati and fashion luminaries, inventive menus and impeccable decor. And, of course, gorgeous clothes.

Jason Wu bartending at one of his launch parties.

Jason Wu bartending at his July 20 party at the Lucky Bee in New York. All images courtesy of Grey Jason Wu.

Coolly feminine with a slight edge, Grey Jason Wu, his namesake designer collection’s sister line, is perfect for the New York society with whom Wu runs.

We got a glimpse inside two launch parties Wu has hosted to date—more will follow, we’ve been told—and a look at the comely guest list dressed in Grey. Additionally, the designer imparted some party hosting tips and a recipe for French vanilla bean ice cream—so good.

Place setting at a Grey Jason Wu dinner party.

Scenes from the July 20 dinner party at The Lucky Bee in New York. 

Do you have one simple tip for entertaining that you can share?

Make guests feel welcome. I think the best dinners have a great ambiance and are not too fussy. I love using creativity to cook and prepare for guests. Try to curate a meal that encourages guests to get involved.

SEE THE PARTY PEOPLE: READ MORE

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Food & Drink

Creamy Baked Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | What’s Cooking

Creamy Baked Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe from Nordstrom.

Indulge your inner child while making your grown-up palate happy. Our recipe for baked crab macaroni and cheese casserole isn’t stingy on the crab, with a whole pound stuffed under a golden-brown herbed panko crust. We like to reach for orecchiette pasta, because each cup-shaped noodle is like a little ladle for our creamy fontina cheese sauce (though opting for Gruyère wouldn’t be a bad idea either).

Creamy Baked Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe from Nordstrom.

We serve this comforting dish at our Nordstrom Grills (drop in for a bite!), but our recipe makes re-creating this super-popular dish easy enough for a weeknight meal at home and decadent enough to make an impressive dinner for entertaining—especially if you want to get extra fancy and bake each serving in an individual crock.

Nordstrom Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.

GET YOUR GOURMET ON WITH OUR EASY CRAB MAC & CHEESE

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Culture Film & Television Food & Drink

Throw a Tony Awards Watching Party with Our Recipes, and Join Us on the Red Carpet

Tony Awards watching party: easy party appetizer and cocktail recipes for entertaining a crowd from Nordstrom.

We’re excited to again be the official red-carpet sponsor for the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11. While you’re watching all the style and excitement at Broadway’s biggest night, why not  invite some friends over and enjoy all the action while imbibing and snacking on some delicious nibbles from our cookbooks and restaurants?

We’ve got four simple recipes for entertaining a crowd: an easy, creamy artichoke dip with Parmesan cheese; a gourmet popcorn bar with three flavor-packed seasoning salts; a wine-spritzer-meets-sangria cocktail; and our version of a French 75 champagne cocktail made with orange liqueur and real gold flakes—so fancy.

Tony Awards watching party: easy party appetizer and cocktail recipes for entertaining a crowd from Nordstrom.

SEE HOW WE THROW A RED-CARPET WATCHING PARTY: GET OUR RECIPES

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Food & Drink

Roasted Cauliflower Agrodolce Recipe with Raisin-Sherry Butter and Parmesan Cheese | What’s Cooking

Easy-roasted-cauliflower-with-parmesan-cheese-and-sherry-butter-2

Since making this roasted-cauliflower recipe two weeks ago for The Thread, I’ve already made it again for a dinner party. This dish—served at our Bazille restaurants—elevates a humble brassica to a whole new level of delicious. The sherry-raisin butter is sweet and pleasantly sour with the addition of a mild but refined good, aged sherry—and would be equally delicious as a spread for crostini, or anywhere you’d want a flavorful compound butter. Parmesan cheese and herby breadcrumbs add a nuttiness and textural freshness that make this side dish even more inviting. And then there’s my favorite, the fried capers. While it may seem an unnecessary extra step, shallow frying half of the capers makes them tiny, crunchy salt bombs, which adds a quick-to-achieve pro finesse—especially nice if you’re entertaining.

Chopped cauliflower florets.

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ALL POSTS Culture Food & Drink Men's Fashion

Throw a Kentucky Derby Party with Our Recipes and Style Inspiration

How to throw a Kentucky Derby party with recipes and style inspiration from Nordstrom.

One day each year, folks dress in their spring finery and head to the racetrack. Or, for about two minutes, some with otherwise no interest in equine affairs turn to their televisions. Mint juleps are poured. Bets are placed. Rapt eyes focus on Louisville, Kentucky, where for over a century 20 of the most beautiful and athletic horses in the world compete in the first of three races that form the Triple Crown.

“The Run for the Roses”—or the Kentucky Derby—is one of our enduring national pastimes. Although originally modeled after the English Epsom Derby, it has become distinctly American. Southern style, food and customs pervade the event and the many events surrounding the main one. But just as the race’s founders took liberties with the equestrian traditions of Europe, many households and barrooms throw alternative versions of the party on the lawn at Churchill Downs.

How to throw a Kentucky Derby party with recipes and style inspiration from Nordstrom.

Since the sporting life is as good a reason as any to rally around delicious food and drink, we invited some of our favorite Nordstrom people over for a Kentucky Derby party. Our menu included snack variations on traditional Southern foods, some strong cocktails and plenty of horsing around in front of the camera in candy-colored clothes. Since the main event usually takes just minutes, there’s ample time to catch up with each other and enjoy a pleasant, lazy afternoon that can easily drift from a casual cocktail hour into a light dinner.

How to throw a Kentucky Derby party with recipes and style inspiration from Nordstrom.

The Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 7. Undercard races begin at noon ET and the main event is at 4pm ET.

READ ON FOR OUR RECIPES AND “RACY” STYLE

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