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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October 6, 2015 | no comment

HALLOWEEN PAPER GOODS

pumpkin stickerOctober marks the start of Halloween celebrations and we’ve got you covered with preppy, festive paper goods. From party invitations to gift tags and cocktail napkins, we have the perfect accessories to dress up your classroom party, neighborhood gathering or haunted house!

Personalize yours today at whhostess.com.

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October 5, 2015 | no comment

ME TIME + THOUGHTFUL GIFT for a FRIEND

IMG_7737Fall seems like a season of crazy, am I right?! Whether it’s back-to-school craziness, or for us, jumping into the holiday season with two feet – I find it’s tough to manage to squeeze in a little “Me Time”.  You know, a few totally un-interrupted minutes where you can sit down and relax.

kellyI try really hard to find a few minutes a day to sit down and flip thru one of my favorite magazines.  And maybe enjoy a few bites of chocolate, too.  Magazines, such as Real Simple, and InStyle Magazine are a great source of inspiration for me.  Flipping thru them inspires me to try a new recipe for dinner, or pull together a new Fall outfit for that next night out.  I would love to tell you that I make it thru a full magazine un-interrupted, but the reality with an (almost) two year old, is that my “Me Time” quickly turns into “we time”……

DSC_0074But, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My girlfriends are just as crazed as I am, so I thought it would be fun to surprise them with a little “Me Time” care package – complete with the season’s newest magazines, and of course, a chocolate bar!  I stopped by Jewel-Osco to pick up my favorite magazines, and I tied a cute green ribbon around the stack of magazines, and then used letter stickers to personalize the ribbon.  Cute and what a fun surprise!

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Take advantage of $1.00 off participating titles (PEOPLE®, InStyle®, People StyleWatch®, Real Simple®, and Sunset®) with this digital offer until 10/18/15 while supplies last.

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

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