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Dad’s Day Beer Brunch Menu

Dad’s Day is on the horizon.
It’s time to celebrate the man who taught you to change a tire.
How to hang level photos.
How to pace yourself with alcoholic beverages.
How to avoid being electrocuted … just after you managed to accidentally shock yourself on an unsecured outlet.

Next weekend, return the favor and teach dad a thing or two – about brunch. Start with coffee. Brunch is about being civilized.

16_02926Then, take your cues from Little Rock’s rustic, man-centric Lost 40 Brewing Company and create a Beer Brunch for dad with dishes like Sausage and Grits, Beer-Battered Waffles, or Farmer’s Hash with roasted onions, potatoes, red bell and poblano peppers, white cheddar, breakfast sausage, topped with over-easy eggs.

Then, for the final flourish, introduce dad to the Brew-mosa (aka Beer-mosa). Basically, a light beer – Lost 40 uses its Day Drinker Belgian Blonde — mixed with orange juice.

Official Brew-mosa Recipe:
16_02911Pour beer into glass. Add orange juice to taste.

It may not be dad’s thing, but you weren’t really into shop class, either. And he’ll appreciate your efforts.

And check out our shop for gifts dad will love.



Gold and White Table

High Low Golden Rule

Gold and White Table
An elegant tablescape at Moss Mountain Farm.

The golden rule right now in weddings is to give your neutrals a makeover with pops of metallic and our Moss Mountain brides and planners have mastered this rustic but elegance look.

Here’s an example: This all white tablescape used varieties of flowers such as hydrangeas, roses, stock, and lilies in faux-mercury glass bowls along the long rustic farm tables.

Gold Pumpkins
In the fall, you can add metallics into your decor by painting pumpkins and mixing them with grass plumes.

High-low is something the Moss Mountain Farm event team does expertly. It’s bringing something elegant to something rustic like adding silver candelabras to a farm table or using tablecloths on rounds under our Big Sister Oak. If the high-low style appeals to you then you’re going to want to check out our Pinterest Board for more looks from the farm sure to inspire.

Burying the Bourbon at Moss Mountain Farm

Here comes the bride… and the bourbon. Some say it’s an old Southern tradition, and many of us have never heard of it. However, we love the sound of it because it involves bourbon and getting your hands in the soil — two quintessential things we Southerners enjoy.


When a Moss Mountain groom living out of state approached us about Burying the Bourbon on his behalf before his wedding day, we said we’d gladly do the honors. So, James Sumpter, Director of Weddings and Events at Moss Mountain, and Mandy Shoptaw, our Wedding and Event Coordinator, got to work.

According to our friends over at Southern Living, “Southern folklore says that if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where the bride and groom are to be married it won’t rain on their wedding day.” Furthermore, the tradition says the wedding party digs up the bottle and drinks the bourbon after the ceremony.

Rain or shine, everyone at the reception will be a winner when this bottle is retrieved from the orchard along our stacked stone wall. And what a fantastic photo op for our beautiful couple!


If you’re interested in weddings or special events at Moss Mountain you can be sure our staff will honor your special requests. Contact us at events@pallensmith.com to plan your big day.



Purple birthday party table

Leap Year Birthday Party Tablescape

Leap years only occur once every four years. The reason is that it actually takes the earth 365 days and 6 hours to make a revolution around the sun. That adds up to an extra 24 hours at the end of every four years, so we tack on a leap day to align our calendars with the sun’s position. You might think this extra day is exciting and rare — it comes with all kinds quirky traditions and folklore — especially if your birthday is on a leap day. Can you imagine only getting to celebrate once every four years? So if you are part of that less than .07 percent of the US population whose birthday falls on a Leap Day, then you better go all out when you finally get to celebrate. We’ve designed a leap birthday party celebration of our own to get you started …
Purple and yellow birthday table

Gift Element

If you can wrap a gift then you can create this charming birthday party tablescape. Start by making the box for your centerpiece.

  1. Just a regular box such as a brown shipping box is available at most office supply stores. Ours was 12×12 inches.
  2. Fold in the tops of the box to make a flat top edge.
  3. For the wrap you can use gift wrap or colorful vinyl on a roll. This worked well because it is lightweight and flexible. Lay the box down and bring the paper around the box and secure with tape leaving the top and bottom open and unattached.
  4. Next trim off the excess on the bottom of the box and fold the edges in and secure with tape.
  5. Fold the top paper inside the box. If using wrapping paper you may need to cut slits down the edges so that the paper doesn’t rip. Secure with tape if needed.
  6. Now for the fun part, embellishing the box. We used a simple silver ribbon.

Wrapping a box with purple paper

Silver ribbon wrapped around a box

Floral Element

Our centerpiece arrangement is made up of a base of boxwood, myrtle and rosemary. The floral elements include creamy white hybrid tea roses, Stargazer Barn purple and yellow iris and orange tulips. For added drama, curly willow branches were worked in. When arranging flowers, it is nice to use items that are in bloom. In essence, you are making a mini-garden on the table.

We created this arrangement using two blocks of floral foam resting on a dinner plate. We elevated the items on a cake stand inside the “birthday box,” but you could also use a tall cylinder vase or whatever you have handy because the nice thing about this arrangement is that the stems and the mechanics of the arrangement aren’t going to show.

Iris, roses and curley willow

Want to keep your centerpiece simple? Pop a couple of florist bouquets into a vase within the birthday box and presto, instant success.

Table Setting

The cream roses in the centerpiece echo the creamware plates used on the table. The plates are resting on top of custom-made placemats, which coordinate with the floral box. Here are the simple steps for making these colorful placemats:

  1. Cut out the cardboard placemat.
  2. Cut wrapping paper to fit.
  3. Secure paper around the cutouts with tape, or if your wrapping paper is thick you can use a spray adhesive to attach it to the poster board, but we encourage you to test this out first to see the results before applying adhesive all of the placemats.
  4. Embellish with a ribbon.

Tracing a placemat shape on yellow paper

Cutting yellow cardboard

Wrapping purple paper over cardboard

Purple placemat with silver ribbon

Lavender Champagne Cocktail
Liven the setting up with a colorful napkin topped with a Lavender Champagne Cocktail garnished with a fun paper straw. The recipe (borrowed from handmademood.com) is easy!

Champagne coupe

  1. Bring one cup of water to a gentle boil.
  2. Add in one cup of granular sugar, reduce heat, and combine until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and add in 3 drops lavender essential oil.
  4. Transfer still warm liquid to a container for storage in the refrigerator. A glass vessel with a cap (such as a mason jar or a vintage soda bottle) and a funnel make this process easier.
  5. Once cooled, fill about 1/4 of a glass with your lavender simple syrup and then top with a dry sparkling wine, such as La Marca Prosecco.

Tip: Be sure to use food grade lavender oil.

Party Favors & Decor

Since our birthday boy or girl only has a party every four years on their actual date of birth, a fun party favor for all guests is a pocket calendar. Place the gift on each seat for a festive touch.

Purple gift bag with silver and gold tissue paper

Instead of tea light votives on the table, we used cupcakes on stands and topped them with assorted silver and gold birthday candles in varying heights. What a way to say welcome to dinner! The candles produce a festive atmosphere, and after they are blown out, serve for dessert.

Cupcakes on cupcake stands with candles

Essentials from Shop.PAllenSmith.com

Cupcake Stand
Creamware Cupcake Stands
Creamware Plates
Creamware Dessert Plates
J Schwanke Book on floral arranging
J Schwanke’s Bloom 365
Iris bouqet in a French flower can
Stargazer Barn Teslar Iris Bouquet
Cake and I Do Birds by Kari Nichols of Cottonwood Studios

“Will You Marry Me,” She Said

Marriage Proposals By Women

Cake and I Do Birds by Kari Nichols of Cottonwood Studios
Photo by: Cottonwood Studios

In the Runaway Bride (1999), Julia Roberts’ character Maggie finally finds out who she is and even which type of eggs she likes after numerous failed attempts to walk down the aisle. Then SHE proposes to the man she truly loves. You might remember the scene. Maggie hands Ike, played by Richard Gere, her running shoes as a token of her affection and then gets down on one knee for a proposal full of the wit and wisdom Ike had dispensed previously in the movie.

Maggie Carpenter: I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is going to want get out. But I also guarantee… [starts to cry] …that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart… you’re the only one for me.

Guess what, ladies, proposing to your man isn’t just a movie plot device. In fact, Leap Day (February 29th) has a strong tie to marriage proposals from women to men so ladies if “Happily Ever After” has been on your mind, today might really be the time to broach the subject with the one you love.

You see, Irish legend says that Saint Brigid and Saint Patrick came to an agreement and that agreement was that every four years WOMEN were allowed to propose to men.

Photo by: Lyndsey Sullivan Photography
Photo by: Lyndsey Sullivan Photography

Today, in more liberated times, more and more women are popping the question to their mate. Sometimes the proposals are simply the result of marriage coming up in casual conversation and the couple pulling out their calendars and picking a date. Other times these proposals are elaborately planned weekends away with a ring or other gift.

You might expect a queen to extend an invitation of marriage and that’s just what Queen Victoria did when she proposed to Prince Albert. Several other famous women have taken it upon themselves to pop the question, including Elizabeth Taylor to her second husband Michael Wilding.   But if you’re interested in checking out real life proposals from women this fantastic article by Jolie Kerr at jezabel.com is a great read.

2016 Bride Guide
P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm’s 2016 Bride Guide

Now once you’ve set the date you’re going to start looking for the perfect wedding venue and if you’re reading this blog you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm (if you’re not then cruise around the site and you’ll fall in love, we’re pretty sure). Well this picturesque property is now available for weddings and event. You can download our 2016 bride guide here and then contact our wedding specialist to help you plan the day of your dreams.

The Perfect Wedding Venue: A Moss Mountain Wedding

Wedding Venue
Photo by: Cottonwood Studios

We get to witness some amazing weddings at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm, a luxury wedding venue in the heart of Central Arkansas.

Thanks to the generosity of Paul Viefhaus with SunFlower Films we are able to share with you a peek inside one of our beautiful fall 2015 weddings.

Click here to see “A Moss Mountain Wedding”

A Moss Mountain Wedding

Things we love about this wedding:

  • The ceremony featured aspects of the groom’s Filipino heritage
  • The couple’s adorable pugs were part of the wedding party
  • And the vows were so lovingly crafted as you will hear in Paul’s video
Wedding Venue
Photo: Moss Mountain Farm

The bride wanted a garden pallet based in whites with gold accents for her reception. The rustic burlap runners echo the golden grass plumes picked from the gardens of Moss Mountain. Magnolias were used in the iron chandeliers overhead and in the arrangements.  The juxtaposition of the rustic tables was set off elegantly by the gold globe vases and silver candlesticks, and the open air tent followed Allen’s garden design rule of blurring the lines between inside and out.

Kari and Caleb Nichols of Cottonwood Studio shared some wonderful images with us of both the ceremony and the reception.

Photo by: Cottonwood Studios
Photo by: Cottonwood Studios

P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm reserves select spring and fall dates for weddings.  If you’re in the market for a wedding venue that’s picture perfect check out the 2016 bride guide.

Wedding Venue
Photo by: Cottonwood Studios
Chinese unbrellas and lanterns hanging above a table

Chinese New Year Tablescape

Chinese lanterns and umbrellas hanging over a table set for the Chinese New YearThe Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, marks the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, falling this year on Feb. 8. Traditions include a large family meal and a 15-day celebration with themes like good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity. Even if you don’t traditionally celebrate the Chinese New Year, it’s a great reason to get together with friends and explore the holiday.

Nothing sets the mood for a gathering around the table like a lively, thematic tablescape. Here we took advantage of the great vertical space above the farmhouse table to transform it into a Chinese New Year-themed celebration.

Chinese lanterns and paper umbrellas float overhead, echoing the Lantern Festival, which occurs on the closing day of Chinese New Year. Add a fresh floral twist by draping the flowing amaranthus ‘Dreadlocks’ from the overhead display.

A great alternative to fresh flowers for your Chinese New Year dinner centerpiece is a bowl of bright tangerines or oranges. Not only will they last longer and offer a great, vibrant color, but they also symbolize luck and wealth in the Chinese culture. The gift of an orange or tangerine is thought to help encourage happiness and prosperity upon the recipient. Feel free to play with the height of your orange-filled vases. Fill up some tall, clear glass vases to maximize height, or a long, low trough along the center of the table for maximum color. Whatever your container of preference, be sure it doesn’t sit at eye level to block a diner’s view and inhibit conversation. You’ll want the good luck and conversation to flow freely!

Bowls of oranges, vintage plates and paper fortune cookies set up as a Chinese New Year tablescape
To decorate the table we used vintage dinnerware, bowls of oranges, jars of Pocky and paper fortune cookies that also serve as place cards.
This mix-and-match vintage dinnerware is a lovely addition to the table and slightly different than a typical Chinese New Year place setting.
We are thankful for the generosity of the folks at Vintage Tablescapes for the use of the unique Asian-inspired china and gold sugar and creamer set. Vintage Tablescapes sources unique china patterns from across the south for use as rentals for weddings, parties, and special events. The china we used in our Chinese New Year celebration were part of the hope chest collection of Camilla Stokes in 1932. What an honor to keep these beautiful vintage pieces in use.
Strawberry dipped Pocky in a glass jar
Pocky is a popular Asian treat. The cookie sticks are coated in chocolate, almond and other flavors including strawberry like the ones shown here.
Paper fortune cookie place card.
The place setting cards are paper fortune cookies. Click on the image to get the how-to instructions.
Orange sections dipped in chocolate with Chinese lanterns and paper umbrellas in the background
For extra good luck serve orange sections dipped in chocolate. Click the image to get the recipe.
Paper fortune cookie for Chinese New Year

Paper Fortune Cookie Place Card How-To

Welcome guests to your Chinese New Year celebration with creatively designed fortune cookie place cards. You can either use real fortune cookies from your local Asian market, or make your own paper fortune cookie. Grab a few sheets of your favorite pattern, or keep with the Chinese New Year theme and choose red or gold paper. For this project you’ll need:

White paper
Scrapbook paper
Drinking glass (about 4 inches wide)

Instructions for Making a Paper Fortune Cookie Place Card:

Drawing a circle around a porcelain cup onto paper

Lay the scrapbook paper facedown on a table and set the drinking glass or cup on top of it.
Draw a circle around the drinking glass and cut along the line you’ve drawn.

Circle of paper
Applying glue to a circle of paper
Flip the paper over and softly bend the circle in the center, careful not to crease it. Secure with glue.

Writing on a strip of scrap paper
Cut a 1 by 4 inch strip of white paper and write your guest’s name on it.

Inserting paper with a hand written name into a paper fortune cookie
Slip the place card into the fortune cookie.

Bending and glueing the paper fortune cookie

Pinching together a paper fortune cookie with the hand written name tag

With your thumb and forefinger gently pull both ends of the half-circle toward each other.
Add a dot of hot glue to hold the two ends together.

Paper fortune cookie place card.

Your guests will have a great time exploring the fortune cookies to discover their place at your table!