Several years back I went to a very swanky soiree with food by LA-based caterer Lulu Powers. I remember meeting her, feeling appropriately enchanted and asking for her business card, which I still have in a big stack on my desk.

It’s hard not to feel inspired by her beautiful new book, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers: Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining . I picked up a copy yesterday and have had trouble putting it down.

Part cookbook, part entertaining manual, Lulu shares her tips for hosting the ultimate party – from table settings and flowers to music and more (particularly interested in Lulu’s thoughts on monogrammed cocktail napkins. do i need to get some? absolutely!). And her recipes look simple, fun, fresh and tasty.

The whole vibe of the book is very southern-california-summer and it makes me want to host a party immediately!