If I had to choose one word to describe Chelsea, it would be authentic. She’s one of those rare souls who is incredibly kind and big-hearted, yet doesn’t possess a fake bone in her body – what you see is truly what you get. I had the privilege of collaborating with Chelsea as the photographer of this very column on the site for 2 years, and now that she’s recently married and settled into a new home, we thought it was high time the lens got turned onto her to capture the easygoing style that defines everything she does, including her entertaining. Chelsea recently relaunched the site for her branding and design shop, Go Forth Creative, so hop on over and check out some of her gorgeous work. But be sure to come back, because Chelsea invited us over for an al fresco dinner in her swoon-worthy courtyard — so grab a pretzel and beer and stay for a while.
Photos by Kate LeSueur
My party menu:
For this gathering, I stopped into:
Easy Tiger: Pretzels, Beer Cheese, Pickles (call in your order for pick up)
Salt & Time: A handful of cured meats. (the butcher lets you sample and helps you choose)
Quickie Pickie: Growler of Hops & Grain Zoe, Texas Keeper Cider, Gold Top Cider
Confituras Spiced Apple Butter (purchase here)
My standard host / hostess outfit:
Jeans, boots and a white tee.
Current favorite color palette for parties:
Neutrals—Woods, Whites, Greys, Metals.
The entertaining rule I rarely break:
Keep a candle burning in your bathroom to make sure it smells nice throughout the night. Pommes Frites Candle Co is my go-to.
My favorite entertaining tip:
If you’re short on time, make a centerpiece from items you already own. A piece of driftwood, a few potted plants, or snip some greenery from your yard and place in mason jars.
Always in my refrigerator:
- 6-Pack of Shiner
- English Cheddar
- Green veggies for juicing
- Coconut La Croix
What (if anything) scares you about entertaining?
To be honest, I’m an awful cook. My entertaining fear is serving bad food to my guests—which I’ve definitely done.
I’m working on my cooking skills but in the meantime, I opt for snacks and food from the market or a restaurant in town—hence the Easy Tiger pretzels!
The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:
My first time to go to Uchi was a memorable one. Cameron and I were with another couple and tried tons of small plates. Then we had a wardrobe change and all jumped into Barton Springs—in December!
Chelsea’s spread of pretzels, beer, and candles set the stage for the perfect outdoor, fall dinner party.
Setting out plates of easy-to-handle foods that guests can help themselves to allows for easy conversation and a laid back vibe.
The taste I’m always craving:
Does pizza count? I could literally eat pizza everyday and I love that Austin has so many options. Bufalina, Homeslice, House Pizza, Backspace—aaand I’m hungry.
Chelsea sets out family-style platters of pretzels, pickles and cold beer before her guests arrive.
My must-have entertaining tool:
For outdoor entertaining, I buy these outdoor incense sticks and light them around the yard. They keep the mosquitos at bay!
The perfect dinner party playlist includes:
- Fleetwood Mac
- The Cure
- Local Natives
- Ray Charles
- The Beginners soundtrack
- Andrew Bird (his latest album “I Want to See Pulaski at Night” is mellow and dreamy)
Guests toast the night!
My entertaining style in 5 words or less:
Low-maintenance and comfortable for everyone.