4 foolproof ways to throw a cocktail event


I will admit, I haven’t always been the coolest host. I’ve never been taught to put together a Pinterest-worthy spread, or how to hang decorations to look chic and not like a ten-year old’s birthday party. For some reason, interior design and party planning just don’t come naturally to me. I know what I like when I see it, but I have a hard time executing it myself.

Once the boy and I moved into our new apartment, I really wanted to have my girlfriends over to celebrate the summer + my cross-country move. Also, after three straight weeks of building furniture, painting walls, and vacuuming dog hair, I needed some girl time and my friends at Palm Bay provided the perfect inspiration.

If you know me, you may have guessed that I was excited and anxious – I wanted to put together a memorable evening. So I did some research and combined my style with Palm Bay’s girls’ night essentials, and believe it or not, I pulled it off (if I do say so myself). For any of you with similar girls’ night anxiety, I’m sharing some of my favourite quick + easy hacks to make it look like you know what you’re doing 🙂

These tips may seem obvious and silly to some, but as someone who is décor-challenged, I found them so helpful!

Choose a colour palette and stick to it. It instantly makes the party look more put together and thoughtful. I chose white, light pink (!) and green, with slate + marble accents.

IMG_0566Indigo slate serving board + coasters


So easy, so simple. Just stick to your colour palette!



3. USE CANDLES (or tealights)
It brings a chic and bright vibe (anssoft lighting makes everyone look better too). I used Vancouver Candle Co. candles here because they smell like heaven and remind me of home.



Even if it’s a very formal gathering, I love the idea of having some juxtaposition of the chic vibe with a fun game or some good old-fashioned penny candy for dessert.

IMG_0574Urban Outfitters rose gold serving dish

IMG_0571 IMG_0575 IMG_0576

A big thanks to Palm Bay, my girlfriends + the Toronto sunset for making my first evening with friends in Toronto so amazing!

Photos by Andrew Cameron
Shot in collaboration with Palm Bay 



  1. 09.01.2016 / 10:51 am

    I feel similarly to you when it comes to interior design and, in some ways, hosting. With interior design, I can make Pinterest boards of interior design that I like and from there I can figure out how to style my place. But if someone just said, “What do you like?” and I didn’t have Pinterest to gather and help me analyze my thoughts, I’d be floundering. As for hosting, I used to think hosting would be a pain (and maybe it is) but as I get older, I think it would be exciting! Combining hosting with great interior design just sounds like a good time!

    PS: I got a little sentimental for you when you said the candles remind you of home. I know you moved far away 🙂


    • August Diaries
      09.02.2016 / 9:43 am

      Thank you Thuy!

      xx Jill

  2. 09.02.2016 / 6:27 am

    The same happens to me. I’m not very good at decorations, it’s actually something I can’t do. Next time I will have on my mind your simple advices. Thanks a lot!

    • August Diaries
      09.02.2016 / 9:42 am

      These tips were super helpful for looking like I actually knew what I was doing 🙂 Let me know how they work for you!

      xx Jill

  3. Rima
    09.02.2016 / 9:19 pm

    Ahh! Jill, it’s been so long. You’re in Toronto! How amazing is that – Excited for your new journey in this wonderful city. All the best – Rima

    • August Diaries
      09.03.2016 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you so much Rima, you’re so sweet! My #1 reader 🙂

      xx Jill

  4. Alex
    09.22.2016 / 1:03 am

    I LOVE your style. May I ask where your necklace is from?

  5. Serene
    10.27.2016 / 12:14 am

    These are great tips! You definitely did a great job making a chic party! P.S. What are you wearing and how can we find it?? Love!

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