Italian-Inspired Farewell Party~Ciao!

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italian goodbye party marked


Last weekend I hosted a very fun party, but one that left me very sad. Our close friends Tracey and Michael {we showed you their pretty home HERE and HERE} are heading to a new job in Rome, Italy! Seriously, aren’t they SO lucky?!?

tracey and michael

We wanted to send them off in style and despite threatening rain, we pulled off an outside event in our backyard to wish them well. The party was very low-stress, the intent of the evening was to give them a chance to say goodbye to their close friends so we kept it very casual.

pre party

Unfortunately, I was busy enjoying the party and didn’t take many pictures of the actual event, just a few quick ones as we set up. But I can share some of the evening’s ‘decor’ highlights. While the food and everything was pretty much potluck and as simple as we could make it, we wanted to make sure they still had a special send-off.

So, in order to jazz up my very plain deck and provide serving space for the food, I used the burlap skirted table you see above. I will be back with all the details of how I put it together very soon. If you follow us on Instagram, you know that I have already repurposed it in my new office. It was a cinch to make, and having the extra space for food was great, and of course I knew I would move it right inside after the party was done. Parties are great motivation to not only whip your house in shape but knock out those projects you wish you could get around to, huh? 🙂 The new table has been a fabulous addition now inside as well.

Anyway, across the serving table we hung a very simple-to-make chalkboard banner reading “CIAO”–they are going to Italy after all!

Here is the quick and easy tutorial for the banner.

1) I used a dark, glossy finish scrapbook paper cut into triangles. I recommend cutting a template piece first of your triangle, tracing it on the back of the paper then cutting them all uniformly.

writing letters

2) Using scrapbook letters {here is how I made a sign in this same technique} I traced around them with a pencil.

chalk pen

3) I used a chalk pen [one of my favorite things} and colored inside the letters, which gives the effect of being written in chalk on a board. To finish it off you just attach string along the back and you’re all set. Easy!

ciao banner

Since Terry was able to “swoop” in an hour or so before the party and work her event planner magic, the party had some of her typically nice touches. Inside on the porch, Terry framed an Italian map she just happened to have {because we all have the perfect map laying around, right? She actually said it was a piece of wrapping paper!}.  We used it as a backdrop for the variety of Italian sodas we served.  The intent was to have the guests sign the frame with their well-wishes for the family.

italian map and sodas

Terry made a shady corner of my deck sparkle by mixing a vintage tablecloth with these mason jar lights she just whipped up (!) out of some jars, candles and some wire. They were so easy, and they really were cute after dark.

tree with hanging mason jars We’ll be back VERY soon with the crowning glory of the evening, the recipe for the most delicious canolli cupcakes that Terry made to send Tracey & Michael off in sweet Italian fashion—stay tuned for that post.

That was our night–we miss them already but we sure had a great time saying goodbye!




  1. Ugh… I read “cupcakes that Terry made” and started to drool a little…

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. You certainly have a wonderful sense of style. Most of all, thank you for being a service wife. I know, it is not always easy, but we are so proud of you and your family. When I was an Air Force wife many, many years ago we painted our kitchen cabinets orange and lime! We had to repaint them upon leaving, even though the base closed. Thank you, thank you!

    • Betsy–thank you for your kind words. I am the Army wife–Amy and Terry are civilians, although Amy moves almost as much as we do! 🙂 I wish they’d let me paint our cabinets…they are truly horrible and such poor quality–painting is the only way to improve them! Thanks for stopping by!

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