April 26, 2016 | no comment

THINGS THAT GO | DANIEL turns TWO!

INVITATION IMAGEDo you all remember a while back when Daniel turned one and I just couldn’t believe how quickly that first year went?!  We celebrated with his preppy Apple of Our Eye party and I cried for a week.  Well, his second year went just as fast!  We celebrated his 2nd birthday back in October and it’s taken me….gulp…..6 months to get this post up on the blog!  Since today is his half-birthday, I figured it was finally time to share!

Daniel is obsessed with all things that go.  Cars, trains, airplanes, buses, and trucks. Definitely trucks.  He’s a preppy little mama’s boy, and that is just fine by me (at least for now!).  I tossed around a few different theme ideas for his birthday party, but just couldn’t narrow it down to one mode of transportation….so we included them all! His “Things That Go!” party was full of preppy stripes, gingham checks, monograms and silhouettes of his favorite vehicles.

I will be adding this new collection of party goods to the shop, but here are a few decoration ideas to look out for while you scroll thru the photos:

  • The invitation included a custom pattern featuring all of the different modes of transportation and I just love how it turned out in the preppy navy blue, green, yellow and light blue color palette.
  • Guests were greeted at the party to colorful balloons and a coordinating welcome sign.
  • We hosted the party at my parents house and they have a big staircase in their foyer.  I wanted to make a festive statement when guests first walked in, but it’s a big space and people wouldn’t be in there for very long. To decorate it, without spending a fortune, I used navy blue stripe banners from Target and added big yellow bows in between.
  • The family room held a festive kids table, the bar and the dessert table – so I had to make it all work together! The kids table was set with a navy blue and white stripe table runner, white pots held grass plants and monogrammed centerpiece sticks, with 36″ yellow balloons coming out of them. My favorite detail were the gingham melamine plates (coming soon to the shop!). Each child had a personalized plate at their spot, and it served as both the placecard and a party favor!
  • I set up the bar on my parent’s buffet, and kept it really simple: lemonade in a drink dispenser, water bottles with coordinating labels and green river bottles tied up with striped ribbons and our foil-stamped straw flags.
  • I wanted to get a little playful with the food, so we served truck and car shaped cheese + crackers, car shaped turkey sandwiches for the kids, and sliders for the adults. Fruit kabobs looked party-ready on our foil-stamped wood stir sticks (they featured the helicopter), and I got a little cheesy with the signage, such as the “choo! chew!” sign next to the napkin rolls.
  • One of my favorite custom decor items was the decoupaged letters I did for the food buffet, spelling out his name. Each one featured a different pattern, edged in a wide grosgrain ribbon.  And then I added greenery, gerber daisies and berries around the base.
  • To keep the little ones entertained, I had a bucket of paper airplanes ready to construct. With a charming “Come Fly with Me” sign, of course.
  • The dessert table was fairly simple and included a tiered cake featuring the different vehicles and an oversized acrylic monogram topper from Scrappinplus on Etsy, the most adorable sugar cookies from Sweet Nelson’s Bakery in both his monogram and all of the vehicles, stoplight brownies that I made using m&m’s, and mini cupcakes with gummy airplanes on them.  The backdrop was really fun to create: I ordered fringe garlands in my color palette from ALittleMerriment on Etsy and draped them across the large window the table sat in front of for the party.
  • The kids all brought home their melamine plates and a popcorn box full of transportation-themed small toys and treats.  Mini race cars, paper airplanes, a train lollipop, etc.  Daniel was in car heaven!

 

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March 29, 2016 | no comment

WH CUSTOM PARTY | MERMAID UNDER THE SEA

entry - invitationCustom parties are our favorites over here.  1) it’s always fun to create something new and 2) when they turn out THIS cute, they also tend to turn into our best-selling/most-pinned/most-cherished-parties.  I’ve been holding this one in the hopper for quite a few months now.  Not because I couldn’t wait to share it with you, but because I was hoping to share it once the new (and improved) shop was up and running and we could link to all of the paper goods.  But, alas, perfection takes time.  We’re counting down the days until that new shop launches, but for now…..for now, we are going to wow you with the details from this stunning Mermaid Under the Sea party!

I worked with one of my favorite little clients and her Mama to create the ultimate Mermaid party for her 6th birthday.  You may remember her Monkey 1st Birthday, her Girly Elmo 2nd Birthday, her Hello Kitty 3rd Birthday, her Princess 4th Birthday or her Fashion Show 5th Birthday.  It’s always a treat to work with these ladies and this party is so full of sparkling gorgeous details, I’m mostly going to let the photos do the talking.

A few details to look out for:

  • The invitation was a folded invitation with an oversized foil-stamped mermaid on it.  It was packaged in a clear box with crinkle paper and a mermaid sugar cookie, and tied up with a bow and personalized name tag.  DARLING!
  • The front yard featured lots of “bubbles” floating in the yard (balloons in shades of aqua and blue) along with two oversized mermaid cut outs on the front door.  Note that these mermaids were decked out with a “statement necklace” of ribbons and shells.
  • The entry way and hallways boasted green streamers and fish cut-outs on the walls to look like you were walking thru the sea, and it lead you into the family room where the kids table and bar was set up.
  • The kids table was festive with a sequin tablecloth, custom fabric runner made from our Under the Sea pattern, and unique centerpieces in shell vases. Each placesetting held one of our bubble tins, and had a chair plaque featuring different shells.  Jumbo balloons soared above the table like bubbles!
  • The “bubbles bar” was set up on the kitchen island and featured fun drinks like “octopus punch” and “strawberry mermade”. We spray-painted shell photo holders a bright pink to hold our drink signage. “Sea Water” was served in bottles with matching labels, and all of the cups were dressed up with mermaid stickers and striped straws with our foil-stamped straw flags.
  • The buffet was set up with gorgeous florals and hanging “bubbles” from the chandelier with roses in them. Napkin ties, food tent cards and wood stir sticks used for fruit kabobs helped to brand the table, and A Fare Extraordinaire created sea-worthy bites, such as crab croissants, starfish pizzas and more.
  • Guests mingled outside in their outdoor living space, and we jazzed it up with throw pillows, florals, and created a focal point around the fireplace with colored lanterns, banners and themed posters. The show-stopper was the giant balloon arch leading out into the backyard!
  • Kids enjoyed a bounce house, face painting, creating sand art, and more in the yard. My favorite activity was the dolphin ring toss game.  This little (inexpensive) gem was dressed up with a floral wreath around the base to embellish it.  I just LOVE how it turned out!
  • The dessert table was a stunner!  White cake stands popped on an aqua sequin tablecloth, and our fabulous mermaid backdrop sat center stage.  Themed desserts included cupcakes with mermaid tails, starfish parfaits, sugar cookies, macarons with pearls, polka dot chocolate-covered oreos, bags of jelly “bubbles” and lots of purple candy.
  • The tiered fondant birthday cake by Cakes by Gina was gorgeous with so much intricate detail!
  • For party favors, Alexandra gifted her friends rhinestone swim goggles and a starfish wand.  They were wrapped up with ribbon and a foil-stamped gift tag.

Stunning photos from Goodlight Photography.

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January 18, 2016 | no comment

ME TIME in the NEW YEAR | STYLE UPDATE

IMG_8913The New Year means a shift in my daily routine.  The craziness of the holiday season is behind me, as are the constant demands of looking pulled together and fashionable at all of the trunk shows and holiday parties I attend.  January brings a new sense of calm to my daily schedule (is that possible with a 2 year old?!), yet I don’t want to fall into the oh, so easy habit of pulling my hair into a ponytail and bopping around town in my yoga pants.  Just because it’s a studio-focused design month, doesn’t mean it should be a frumpy month, right?!

This weekend, I picked up a copy of PEOPLE StyleWatch® and InStyle® at my local Jewel-Osco for a little inspiration.  I carved out a little “me time” Sunday night to enjoy some relaxation, get inspired and do a little primping. One of my New Years resolutions is to make sure I do this on a regular basis!

IMG_8917These magazines are filled to the brim with stylish ideas, but here are a few of my takeaways and simple tips I am going to do my best to follow everyday:

  • Update my hair.  It was time for an update.  The fastest, simplest way to do that this season?!  Long bangs, and some slight wave to your hair.  So, I did it – I took the plunge and cut bangs.  I do this about every 10 years when I need a change.  They will hang around for awhile, and then I will grow them back out.  But for now, I’m enjoying the change.

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  • Apply a couple basic make-up items a day, to look fresh and like I put a little effort into my appearance.  For me, that includes under-eye concealer, blush, and a massive dose of mascara.  My two-year-old son has eyelashes for days.  Mama needs to at least try to keep up! 😉
  • Incorporate the 2016 fashion colors into my shopping list for Spring.
  • Keep my nails and toenails well-groomed at all times.  A little red nail polish goes a long way!

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  • Accessorize more.  Throwing on a gorgeous necklace or pair of earrings is a simple way to quickly elevate your everyday look.  I am going to make it a point to pull out my baubles more often.  I am also going to keep my favorite go-to pieces out on top of my dresser so it’s a quick grab in the morning.  I pulled all of my favorite, oversized stud earrings into a little bowl on my dresser.

IMG_8920And as I mentioned above, I am going to make it a point to carve out a little “me time” more often!  It’s good for a busy Mama’s soul!  I encourage you to carve out a little time for relaxation and inspiration too.

Take advantage of $1.00 off participating titles (PEOPLE®, InStyle®, People StyleWatch®, Real Simple®, and Sunset®) with this digital offer until 2/15/16 while supplies last.

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and PEOPLE StyleWatch®, InStyle® Magazines but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #NewYearMeTime http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

December 9, 2015 | no comment

BREAKFAST with SANTA | DONUT BAR

invitationCreating a little Christmas magic for the little ones in my life is always a goal for the holiday season.  This year, I want to host a “Breakfast with Santa” party – complete with our darling Santa party invitation, festive tablesetting, a donut breakfast bar, and Santa mug party favor.

A classic red and green color palette looks fresh against a crisp white backdrop.   Here are a couple of my favorite details to look for in the photos:

  • Our “Santa” party invitation is one of my all-time favorites.  It could be used for a variety of Christmas events, and I love the simplicity of it and the preppy stripes on the back.  You will see we play off the stripes in a few different places, like on the kids plates, and on the banner hanging above the donut bar.
  • Our tablesetting contained a couple of festive elements: a personalized melamine plate that also served as a party favor, and a white napkin tied up with a red bow and big red jingle bell.
  • The theme dictated a breakfast menu, so a donut bar was in order!  I used my white cake stands to serve up different types of donuts, many of which were basic store-bought donuts I embellished myself with a little frosting and sprinkles!
  • I used a red and white stripe banner from Target as the backdrop for the donut bar, and used 2″ silver foil letter stickers to spell out “believe” on the pennants.
  • My favorite item on the donut bar were the cello bags full of powder sugar donuts with our santa sticker labeling them “snowballs.”
  • We sent guests home with a charming Santa mug from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s, tied up with cellophane and our big “special delivery” foil-stamped gift tags.

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December 1, 2015 | one comment

CHOCOLATE TASTING | CHRISTMAS PARTY

DSC_0368The holiday season is the perfect time to gather friends and family for themed celebrations.  This year, I am hosting a chocolate tasting with some of my favorite treats from See’s Candies.  Inspired by our “fretwork Christmas tree” party invitation, the party is infused in classic red, green and white with classic tree silhouettes popped throughout the decor.

As you scroll thru the photos for inspiration, take note of these special details:

November 20, 2015 | no comment

MIXED METALS THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPE

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Thanksgiving to me is more than a big meal shared with family and friends.  It’s time to reflect on the things for which I am most thankful and also the official kick-off to the holiday festivities.
My parents host a big Thanksgiving dinner, so I love hosting a smaller intimate “friendsgiving” with my nearest and dearest a week or two before the official turkey day.
DSC_0491This year, I decided to set a gorgeous table featuring mixed metals to highlight my favorite “Country Estate” dinnerware from Juliska.  The plates are a gorgeous ivory with shades of grey, so I layered the table with a grey and white greek key patterned table runner, pewter chargers(featuring a darling message across the top), ivory napkins, and bronze wishbone napkin rings from Pottery Barn. To add a touch of glam, I pulled out my favorite Waterford crystal goblets.
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I decided against the traditional floral centerpiece, and created a “looks elaborate, but was really so simple” centerpiece of hurricanes filled with mini white pumpkins, and faux persimmon branches and greenery. The candlelight added a gorgeous warmth to the table!
My Thanksgiving menu is pretty traditional, and includes:
  • Turkey
  • My grandmother’s stuffing
  • Pureed cauliflower (vs mashed potatoes this year!)
  • Roasted vegetables (including brussel sprouts, butternut squash, mushrooms & bacon)
  • Creamed Corn
  • Apple Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

DSC_0483I have so much to be thankful for this year: a loving husband and adorable 2 year old son, a supportive family that all lives within 5 minutes of us (and a new niece to love on!), friends I adore, and a thriving business.  This is the good stuff!  And I’m especially thankful I get to take the time to cheers! to all of these things and spend time with those I love over Thanksgiving.

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Speaking of cheers’ing…. Since our Thanksgiving meal is fairly “heavy”, this year I will be serving up two staples in my house: a crisp white wine, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  It’s light and refreshing, and makes for the perfect accompaniment to the meal. I will be accessorizing my bar cart with our foil-stamped “gobble gobble” cocktail napkins to add a touch of whimsy to the evening.
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I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving and look forward to celebrating the holiday season with all of you!  Cheers!
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
October 28, 2015 | no comment

CUSTOM PARTY by WH HOSTESS | NEMO

4B8B1818One of the challenges we face when planning custom birthday parties is the location, and what they will allow in terms of decorations.  If your planning a party at home, the sky’s the limit when it comes to decorations.  But at a restaurant, play place, farm, museum, etc. that’s not always the case.

One of our favorite clients asked us to help plan her son’s Under the Sea/Finding Nemo birthday party this past spring.  The catch was, he wanted to have it at the Houston Aquarium.  There was a restaurant, where they could decorate a table, but they could only get in 30 minutes prior!  So….we had to plan smart, and come up with a few key details that would make the space look festive, yet that could be set up quickly!

A few fun details to take note of:

  • The colorful tablesetting for the kids – we dressed up basic linens with a table runner made from our custom fish patterned fabric, and then popped it with paper plates, napkins, cups, and bubbles.
  • We used turquoise foil accents throughout all of the paper goods, from the invitations, to the straw flags, to the party favor gift tags. It added to the look of bubbles!
  • The adult guests were served a themed cocktail….blue, of course!
  • The tiered cake by Cakes by Gina was spectacular!
  • After the kids went on a fabulous tour around the aquarium, they took home a sand pail full of goodies, including a stuffed Nemo, and tied with a foil-stamped gift tag.

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October 20, 2015 | no comment

WITCHES’ DINNER PARTY

invitationHalloween can be such a busy time for Mamas – between making (or purchasing!) the kids costumes, helping at classroom parties, and getting the candy prepared for trick-or-treaters – most ladies don’t have a second to enjoy the festive holiday!  I thought it would be fun to gather up some of my favorite “witches” for a little good old-fashioned Halloween dinner party this past weekend.

I invited them with our Witch silhouette party invitation, featuring an orange and white geometric trellis pattern.  I used this pattern, along with my witch silhouette, throughout the event to tie together the look.

cocktailI welcomed my guests with a tray of my signature cocktail: a candy cane cocktail!  So simple and delicious, I filled up my glasses with Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and then added a dash of orange juice, and a handful of candy corn. It was just the perfect amount of sweet and sour!

tablesettingI set a festive table with a black and white stripe tablecloth, white dishes, and napkins made out of my custom fabric in the orange geometric print.  Each plate was topped with a menu card, and a mini orange witch’s broom. And instead of using traditional placecards, I opted to do a straw flag with each guests’ name on them.

DSC_0014DSC_0001placesetting1DSC_0005I wanted the center of the table to feature a modern spin on traditional pumpkins.  So I embellished a large white pumpkin with black stones to look like a glam monogram. I found this letter “L” at my local Michael’s craft store, and they had them available in all letters!  It was so easy, and I just love the custom look it gave the table.  Plus, it can be used as decor after the party.

cookiesI served up sugar cookies from Sweet Nelsons for dessert.  How amazing are these cookies?!  She absolutely nailed the design, repeating the graphics from our invitation.

DSC_0052To send my ladies home with a little something sweet, I packaged up candy corn in our foil-stamped cello bags with a “Trick or Treat” message on them.  They were conveniently displayed on our lucite tray (featuring the diagonal stripe liner in orange) by the front door, so I could easily hand them out as we said our goodbyes.

FullSizeRender (8)THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.

October 14, 2015 | no comment

RUBBER DUCKY BABY SHOWER

placesettingIt’s no secret that we love a good theme party around here.  And when it comes to baby showers, more often than not, we’re working with a gender neutral color palette.  A rubber ducky theme is classic, and one of my all-time favorites.  It also works beautifully for a 1st birthday party (I know a certain little man in my house that LOVES rubber duckies!).

Our new rubber ducky party invitation is just darling, if I do say so myself!  The front features a turquoise bubble background along with our charming ducky, and the back features an all-over ducky pattern.

Sometimes you need just a few details to make a party special.  If you are hosting a party at a restaurant or club, you may only be able to decorate the tablesetting. I suggest lining the table with a polka dot patterned table runner, and creating graphic, festive centerpieces by lining up mini rubber duckies from Party City on white cake stands.

Surprise your guests with one coordinating dessert, such as a theme appropriate sugar cookie.  Sweet Nelsons made these darling ducky cookies for us, and they were as delicious as they were adorable.  I love gifting my guests with edible party favors, and think you can have a lot of fun trying to coordinate your candy to your theme.  For this party, we used blue round candy from Candywarehouse.com to look like bubbles.  And to dress up a basic cellophane bag – a little ribbon and our matching rubber ducky gift sticker go a long way!

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October 12, 2015 | no comment

TRICK or TREAT PARTY | SIMPLE HALLOWEEN SWEETS

trick or treat introHalloween is such a fun holiday, especially for kids! With the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, it offers up the opportunity to host a little party.  One of my favorite ways to entertain for Halloween is to invite neighbors over for sweets before trick-or-treating. Our pumpkin stripe party invitation is the perfect way to invite your guests – full of stripes, pumpkins and candy corn.

Halloween can give Mamas a to-do list a mile long, between costumes, school parties, candy for trick-or-treaters, etc. The idea of baking sweets for a party may be daunting enough for you to pull the plug on the idea.  Don’t let it!  Here are a couple tips for creating a clean, stylized presentation of store-bought goodies:

  • Create a clean look by using all white, black and orange sweets
  • Display all of your goodies on white cake stands and serving pieces, dress up one or two of them with an orange bow
  • Embellish store-bought vanilla cupcakes with a candy corn pumpkin, brownies with candy corn, and make sure you pick up some of the Halloween Oreo cookies!
  • Fill up little candy cups or baking cups with candy corn for little hands to grab
  • Use foam letter stickers (available at your local craft store) to embellish milk bottles or glasses with “boo” or the kids’ names.

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