Miss A Columnist

Lisa Beth Miller is the Entertaining & Weddings Editor for Miss A. She has been involved in the wedding industry for several years. Lisa is a bridal consultant and director of marketing and public relations for Blush Bridal Boutique and an event designer at Main Street Weddings, both local wedding businesses. In this capacity, Lisa writes the blog, website copy, and promotional materials for these businesses and assists with event planning. She was formerly a bridal consultant and did marketing and public relations work for A Formal Affair Bridal and Formalwear Boutique and was the creator of their Bridal University workshops. Additionally, Lisa teaches English, journalism, and photojournalism classes at Liberty High School in Bealeton, Virginia. She advises the school's award-winning publications, Talon yearbook and Patriot Press newspaper. As junior class sponsor, she also assists in planning Liberty's prom. Lisa has written several published articles. These include an article about advising student publications for Accents (Southern Interscholastic Press Association’s journal),an article about the royal wedding for Northern Virginia Magazine, an article about local proms for Warrenton Lifestyle magazine, and four stories about wedding planning and wedding fashion for the 2012 Northern Virginia Bridal Guide. Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in English and journalism education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a graduate degree in education and library science from Longwood University.

Host An Outdoor Family Pumpkin Carving Party

There’s nothing quite like carving a pumpkin to signify the return of the fall season. Share this experience with a few families by throwing a memorable pumpkin carving party. You will be amazed at everyone’s carving skills and at the same time enjoy each other’s company.

Pumpkin Carving party

(Photo Credit: porterhousedesigns.com)

Mersene Norbom, party designer and owner of Indulge by Mersene, was raised in the very heart of the South in Mississippi, rich with traditions of hospitality, which deeply influence Mersene’s sense of style and her meticulous attention to detail. An event designer and expert in gift giving who has created masterpiece events across the globe from Asia to Australia, Mersene travels the globe for each Indulge by Mersene gift. Each Indulge by Mersene gift basket is infused with her warm and elegantly rustic Southern style, mixed with French European sophistication, Japanese attention to presentation and a whisper of the ambiance of Asia.

Mersene offers a few tips on how to throw the perfect fall party for the entire family.

The Centerpiece

Lay out a large piece of tarp and place a bale of hay in the center, then sprinkle leaves on and around the bail of hay. Add small gourds, pumpkins and even a scarecrow on and around the bail, then sprinkle again with leaves.  This is now your in-the-grass table centerpiece.

The Tools

Ask each family to bring the carving tools of their choice and the rest is all provided. Buy enough pumpkins so there is one per family. Before everyone starts cutting into their pumpkins, place newspapers underneath them – this means easy cleanup.

The Food

Greet your guest with a pot of apple cider garnished with cinnamon sticks to set the autumn mood. Later, when they are designing their pumpkins, provide bowls of popcorn  in a variety of flavors (cheese, caramel, butter, salt). After the pumpkins are complete, serve a crock of homemade chili with sides: cheese, onions, sour cream and tortilla chips. For dessert, offer a mixture of cookies and cupcakes, with candy corn scattered across the trays.

For an extra-special treat, have everyone save their pumpkin seeds for roasting. Rinse the seeds, then place them on a baking sheet with non-stick spray and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. When they are all done, you can serve them or pack them up as a favor to go.

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