In just a few short weeks, I’ll finally be making my long-awaited move from the suburbs to the city. Goodbye METRA and hello CTA.

With the imminent arrival of my first place, one of the activities that I’m dying to do more of is host dinner parties.

Dinner parties are such a fun and intimate way for you to have fun and show off your creativity to your guests. Plus, with a lively atmosphere and a fun menu I’m sure your dinner guests will be impressed.

While I’ve always aspired to be the next Martha Stewart, I unfortunately lack many of Martha’s notable hostess traits. For one, I’m not the best cook and two I’m don’t know how to whip up a mean cocktail. However,  I still want to be the greatest dinner party host.

So what’s a girl to do? She enlists the help of her very fabulous friends to help put on the ultimate Southwestern affair. To assist, I called up the fabulous Haisa of Red Beyond Food. She’s a dentist/chef who I knew would know how to create a perfect Southwestern inspired menu. I envy anyone who hasn’t had a taste of her cooking, But, check out her mouth-watering Instagram to see for yourself.

A Southwestern Transformation

For the venue, I’m sure you guessed it but we knew that Bangtel had the perfect space that could bring this theme to life. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances our venue changed to Mr. Clark’s Gallery at the last-minute so it was up to us to transfer a gallery into a Southwestern paradise.


Tips for changing any space to fit your party theme is to spruce it up with color. Table runners and simple table décor and accessories from the apartment instantly transformed this modern black and white space to a festive southwestern dream.

A Taste of Austin with Austin Cocktails

The theme of the Southwest was selected because we wanted to create an environment and themed that paid homage to Austin Cocktails – the featured beverages of the evening.

What’s great about Austin Cocktails is they are a cocktail concoction that is perfect for the wannabe hostess with the mostess like myself. No need to get your shakers and stirrer because these fabulous cocktails come ready to be served.

All of the flavors feature only the most natural herbs and freshest of the fruit juices. Plus, agave nectar is the sweetener for the drink so no need for artificial sugars. Essentially, it’s quite the healthy cocktail so it’s perfectly fine to indulge. And indulge we did.

True to the Austin Texas origins of the cocktails, we wanted to feature the best that the West has to offer. For our evening we highlighted the Cucumber Vodka Mojito which features a natural minty flavor. The Bergamot Orange Margarita features the perfect blend of sour and sweet.  and Fred’s Ruby Red features a fruitful flavor palate that pays homage to the founder’s Grandpa-Fred.

To give the drinks a festive appearance we added cute accoutrements like paper straws and vibrant colored fruit. We even added popsicles to select drinks to give it a Summertime vibe.

To balance the saltiness and sweetness of the beverages, the menu also featured complimentary southern flavor palates.

Texas Bites

Haisa created a delicious array of Texas’s most famous foods such as fresh buttermilk waffles, miniature corn dogs, and the most amazing chilli cheese dip. I think all of us had our fair share of Haisa’s delicious dip.

For dessert, we concluded our evening with a festive pecan pie and OMG it was absolutely mouth-watering. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the pecans but this pie was on another level.

While we indulged in the food and drinks from another culture, it was the rich conversation that left an impression.

Over our Austin cocktails and Haisa’s delectable offerings, we engaged in a dialogue where we celebrated our differences in cultures. After about one too many cocktails the conversation got very real.

It was an  incredibly thought-provoking evening that gave us a glimpse into one another’s culture.

But ultimately, we were just young twenty somethings conversing over delicious cocktails in a fabulous setting. I guess it’s safe to say that our Southwestern Affair was a success.

Special thanks to Bangtel and Austin Cocktails for sponsoring this post.

If you want to taste the yummy cocktails we had at our dinner you can purchase Austin Cocktails at Hi Times. Plus, they are having a special this month so get on that ASAP.

And special thanks to our lovely dinner guests Gabriela, Jillian, Kamerin, Hayet, and Aridai. And thanks to Ally Almore for capturing the lovely photos