I love to entertain and though busy schedules make it tough, every once in awhile we swing a party.

Last night we kicked off the “Leading on Purpose”  four-week women’s workshop series coming up at King’s Park International Church, with an outdoor bash for all the leaders.  Perfect fall temps and a husband who grills a mean lamb chop set the stage.

If you’re about the bargain as much as I am, be sure to check out the photos below on affordable ideas for entertaining.

What a fun night it was, with so much enthusiasm and camaraderie among some of the brightest and most gifted women I know.

Having taught this content for years in the corporate world, this will be the first pilot program organized in a church setting.

Over 100 have signed up (we’re limiting this first class to 100) and a long waiting list tells me women are eager to know their purpose and live their dreams.

I’ll be posting more updates as this program officially kicks off next Friday.  Meanwhile, a handful of party pics….

Festive decor can really dress up a back patio. Tiki torches kept the bugs away.

Printed name tags did double duty as placecards. Faux bois (faux woodgrain) is so in vogue right now, and these napkins and floral paper plates were a steal at Tuesday Morning. Colorful cups from Sam’s Club added more pizazz. One big trash can makes clean-up a breeze.

Carnations and mums from Sam’s Club (Sam’s is a GREAT spot for inexpensive flowers) added pops of color on the deck and patio.

Planning team getting it ready.

Hey girls, come on in!

This man knows his chops (Giada’s Food Network marinade recipe makes them so YUM)

Two wonderful assistants served the cranberry lime spritzers, thank you Amy and Whitney!

While in the very long checkout line at Marshall’s a week ago, these festive straws caught my eye (hmm, maybe a store technique for spontaneous purchasing?) 

Baked fudge and fresh whipped cream, always a winning finale.

(Watch for a video with more details and recipes coming soon!)

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