Custom parties are kind of my thing. I love starting the process with a little idea, and blowing it up into an amazing party with details around every corner. The party I am sharing with you today is one of my favorites to date. Held in honor of one of my favorite little clients, Alexandra’s 5th birthday, it was as fun is it is gorgeous. And we are so fortunate that Alexandra’s mom and Goodlight Photography are allowing us to share these gorgeous images from the day.
The party theme was centered around the birthday girl’s love for manicures, make-up and fashion. And with the party date falling on the final weekend of NY fashion week in September, well…a fashion show was in order! A soft mint green and pale pink color palette, a few gorgeous custom patterns and a unique boxed invitation were our jumping off point. Read on for more details……..
Guests were welcomed by a jumbo balloons at the front door, with custom paper bows hanging down from them, made out of our coordinating patterned paper. A welcome sign, featuring our fashion girl (in her monogrammed party dress and pearls), hung at the front door.
The party space was draped off in sheer white linens, creating a very luxe atmosphere for the birthday brunch. One long table ran down the middle of the room, draped with white linens and a table runner made from our exclusive fashion ikat patterned fabric. A large mint green and white striped fabric bow anchored each end of the table, and it was sprinkled with hot pink accessories and gorgeous pink rose centerpieces draped with pearls. Each placesetting held mint green and white striped plates, cups with our fashion girl stickers and striped straws with straw flags, monogramed napkins, and placecards with each of the girls’ names on them.
High top tables dressed in green and pink and miniature versions of the centerpieces were scattered around the kids’ table, allowing the moms to mingle and enjoy the brunch food and drinks as well.
The drink bar was set up on the kitchen island, decorated with a scalloped paper banner and large bow. One of my favorite decor pieces is this giant floral number 5. Using flowers in unexpected ways always makes a statement, and this is the perfect example of that! Basic pink paper cups were dressed up with our fashion girl stickers, mint striped straws from Shop Sweet Lulu and our gorgeous (and new!) gold foil-stamped straw flags.
Drinks included sweet tea, pink lemonade, and Shirley Temples!
Once the girls arrived at the party, they were welcomed into Alexandra’s “Bowtique” – a full-service beauty shoppe, where they put on monogrammed robes, got manicures, their hair and make-up done, and got to shop the “bowtique” for beauty supplies. A stylized table was set up as the shop, anchored with a custom fabric backdrop, pennant banner, and oversized paper bow. Cake stands held bottles of nail polish, small bottles of shimmer lotion and chapstick held custom labels, and loofas made for a colorful decoration in candy jars.
Guests were served shots of milk and donut holes while getting their hair and make-up done.
The brunch buffet was laid out in the dining room, with an oversized rose and pearl floral arrangement holding center stage. Peek behind the table, and you will see that we did a large cling version of our fashion girl to hang on the mirror. Other decor items included napkin roll ties, stickers on the mint striped plates and striped food tent cards labeling the delicious brunch menu.
After brunch, the girls were ushered outside to the “models’ lounge”, or the outdoor living room. They were instructed to get dolled up in their swankiest attire – pearls, bling-y rings and feather boas were on hand. The fireplace was decorated with a variety of tissue paper balls in mint green, white and shades of pink. A braided ribbon garland was double-hung on the mantel, with “snapshots” and fashion quotes hanging from gold bow paper clips from Kate Spade.
Here’s where it gets REALLY fun. A runway show was set up in the backyard, featuring a shimmering hot pink runway, a 3-D white floral backdrop and large scale monogram. Ghost chairs lined the runway for the parents to watch the show, and waiters handed out “tutti frutti” popcorn as a snack during the show.
You can tell from the photos that the girls had an absolute blast strutting their stuff down the runway!
After working up an appetite at their runway show, the girls headed back inside to enjoy dessert. A full dessert table full of gorgeous sweets awaited them. The table was draped in a gold sequin tablecloth, and a pennant banner and bow on the front. A custom fabric backdrop framed the table, and macaron trees sat on either side. White cake stands and platters were topped with Cake Plate Clings in coordinating patterns.
Desserts included: cupcakes with pink fondant bows, macarons, cake pops, bow cookies, monogram cookies, and a variety of pink candy from Candywarehouse.com.
The desserts didn’t stop there! A gorgeous five-tier cake, from Cakes by Gina, sat in the dining room. Featuring coordinating patterns like our bow lattice, stripes and monogram, it also had two gold shimmer tiers and the bottom tier featured fondant ruffled flowers. GORGEOUS!
When it comes to party favors, I love giving a gift that people will enjoy/use or consume. In keeping with the theme of the party, Alexandra gave her friends a chic fashion coloring book. We tied them with mint green satin ribbon and a shimmer pink, gold foil-stamped gift tag. The favors were laid out on a table for the girls to grab as they left the party, with a sign thanking them for attending.
As I have often mentioned on my party recaps, I love when kids’ birthday parties provide an experience for the guests – not just sweets! Alexandra and her girlfriends enjoyed a day of beauty treatments, the experience of putting on a runway show, and toasted the birthday girl with sweets and Shirley Temples. This party goes down in the books as one of my favorites!
When you plan kids’ parties for a living, and have even written a book called “Stylish Kids’ Parties”, there is a lot of pressure to “wow” when it comes to your own child’s birthday. I’ve been planning other people’s kids’ parties for almost 6 years now, so I was thrilled to finally be able to design one for my own! This birthday was bittersweet in a lot of ways. I had so much fun planning the party to celebrate my little man, but yet felt a little sadness that I am sure all parents can relate to – my baby is growing up and this first year flew by in such a flash. I really wish there was a way to stop time, just for a little while. But, alas, there is not – so a celebration was in order!
Since Daniel’s birthday falls the end of October, I knew I wanted the theme to reflect the season, be held outdoors at our local park’s amazing pavilion, and have a classic, timeless theme that I wouldn’t look back upon and cringe 20 years from now. So, the “Apple of our Eye” theme was born and I chose to design a new collection around a red, green and black & white color palette.
We are so fortunate to live in a community with amazing parks and facilities. This little stone and shingle house sits in our favorite park and served as the perfect location for the party. It was a WINDY day. You’ll notice that from some of the pictures! All of my food tent cards and tags were literally flying around the park and eventually just had to be removed. Linens would fly up occasionally, balloons would go wild. But we had fun!
I decorated the picnic tables with solid colored linens, and custom-made toppers. I alternated the toppers between our mod apple pattern fabric and a bold, black and white buffalo check fabric that I found at IKEA. I had them all edged in a green pom pom trim to tie together the look. Each table held a white ceramic bushel basket full of either wheat grass or apples, with a 36″ red balloon from Shop Sweet Lulu soaring above.
The main focal point of the pavilion is a big stone fireplace, so I filled that with large tissue paper balls in red, white and green and placed a chalkboard poster I designs of all of Daniel’s “stats” (how big he is, how many teeth he has, his favorite foods, book, things to do, etc). And then I also designed a poster that sat on an easel featuring his monthly photos so everyone could see how much he had changed over the year.
We had a special time capsule box where guests could write Daniel a note, or draw him a picture (he had a lot of little cousins there to help him celebrate) and place it in the box to be opened on his 18th birthday.
We set up one long table for food & drinks, and tried to keep it all very “picnic in the park”. A drink dispenser with apple cider, water bottles with coordinating labels, and juice boxes for the kids. Big “1″ stickers adorned the cups, and striped straws were accessorized with ”Daniel turns 1″ foil-stamped straw flags. I also had red beverage napkins floating around for drinks and desserts that were stamped with an apple logo in a white matte foil. You know me, little touches here and there to brand the party!
The food and drink buffet was dressed in a red tablecloth and we used all-white serving dishes to really make the delicious food pop off the table. Since I knew it would be windy, I decided to forgo the traditional food tent cards, and used chalkboard stands as labels.
The main centerpiece was one of my favorite decor items from the party. I had dreamed it up in my head and wasn’t sure it would actually work (or look good) until I assembled it that day. But, I loved how it turned out and hope you do too. I used a big white urn, embellished with an apple centerpiece cling, and placed a styrofoam wreath form on top, before placing a white mums plant into it. Skewered apples were then inserted into the wreath form until I made it full and the flowers were kind of sitting on the apples. I love that it’s a touch sophisticated, and yet playful all at the same time!
Signage and napkin ties helped to brand our table with the apple theme. To make it simple for our guests, I placed the stack of plates and silverware rolls all in one basket for an easy grab.
As I mentioned above, I wanted to keep the menu very “picnic in the park”, so we included deviled eggs, fresh fruit, potato salad, sandwiches, little bags of chips, a fall cobb salad, and little cups of applesauce for the kids (embellished with a coordinating sticker and cute red spoons, of course). I dressed up plastic condiment bottles with red labels so we didn’t have different bottles messing up my color-coordinated table.
The playground at the park kept the children VERY busy, but we did also have two games for them to play. A ring toss game that I made to coordinate with the party (I spray-painted wine bottles red and green and placed them in an embellished basket), and a potato sack race that got a lot of giggles (especially when my husband got in on the action!).
The dessert table served as one of the focal parts of the party space and I had a lot of fun pulling it all together. I anchored the table in a black tablecloth and our custom-printed fabric backdrop. If you look closely, you will see that a few of the leaves on the backdrop are three dimensional – I glued felt leaves on it to make it “pop!”
Desserts included a birthday cake and smash cake from our local bakery, Deerfield’s Bakery. Side note: every birthday cake I have ever had + my wedding cake came from Deerfield’s. It’s a tradition that I am so happy to pass down to my son! Daniel’s smash cake was embellished with a darling fondant apple made for me by Edible Details.
36″ Red balloons anchored both sides of the table, and I tied them with black & white gingham check ribbon embellished with apple and “1″ tags at the ends.
This was Daniel’s very first taste of sweets and he was a little unsure about the cake smash. He also had about 15 little cousins cheering him on and was slightly overwhelmed. But once we helped him with a little lick of frosting – he certainly enjoyed it!
In keeping with our theme, I sent each of our guests home with a caramel apple (full of red, green and white sprinkles) tied with black and white gingham ribbon and a gift tag.
We displayed them on a little red bar cart my mother has, and I placed a chalkboard-like sign on the table thanking people for joining us to celebrate.
Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Boy! I hope you know how much joy you bring to our lives EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
The most magical time of the year is upon us and it’s time to stock up on your holiday entertaining items and preppy, personalized gifts. We have so many festive items in the shop this year. Here are a few of our favorites:
When it comes to planning out our holiday offerings for the shop, I like to think in three different categories: entertaining, gift giving and packaging. Packaging encompasses everything from hostess gifts, to food gifts to gift wrap accessories like gift stickers and foil-stamped gift tags. One of my favorite new products are these gorgeous foil-stamped cello bags.
Our brand-new foil embossed personalized cellophane bags are an exciting addition to the WH Hostess holiday collection! They are small flat, not gusseted, clear bags that look wonderful when personalized and filled with any goodie you like. Try red and green candy, homemade baked goods, small gifts, or party favors. They make the perfect addition to your dessert table, laid out for guests to fill with sweets. They are also a great way to wrap holiday gifts for teachers and friends. They can be tied with ribbon, twist ties or with the tops folded and sealed with stickers.
With 12 different foil ink colors and 30 preppy modern designs to choose from, you can create a unique packaging to perfectly suit your needs!
Set of 50.
3.75″ w X 9″ h
Here’s how it works:
1. Select a design from the swatchbook
2. Select an ink color from the swatchbook
3. Tell us your personalization request
4. Wait on pins & needles for your fabulous cello bags to arrive! a
Halloween is one of those holidays that evoke such happy childhood memories for me, including colorful costumes, festive school parties and trick or treating in the neighborhood. It’s an ideal time to host an after-school party, offering a quick snack for the kids and an opportunity to chat with the parents before trick or treating commences.
In today’s post, I’m sharing a few simple ideas for creative desserts that could be used as a school treat or as part of a party spread. It also includes a couple of creative décor DIY projects and a few “tricks” that will make you the most stylish mom on the block. All of these ideas are from my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties.
My book makes it a snap to plan, design and execute festive kids’ parties that wow adults and thrill little ones! Filled with 12 creative and colorful party ideas, Stylish Kids’ Parties shows you how to confidently tackle party preparation by using color palettes and themes that carry through–from invitations and decorations to party favors and treats. Complete with DIY tips, recipes, projects, themed activities and templates, you’ll love these party ideas for boys and girls, first birthday celebrations, baby showers and holiday gatherings.
Order your signed copy HERE. It makes a great holiday gift, too!
Reinvent the traditional paper chain garland with this fresh update. Using 5” pieces of patterned ribbons in my color palette, and double-stick tape, I created this garland in no time flat. It’s very lightweight, so you can hang it virtually anywhere. I love it hanging as decoration off of our jumbo balloons!
Mini spoons and forks are a fun accessory for individual sized desserts. Embellish your utensils with glitter, ribbon or washi tape. I dipped these mini wood spoon handles into craft glue and then into silver glitter. I love the touch of shimmer they added to the table.
DIY Party Favor Tags:
As a child, seeing your name on a party favor or gift is a big delight. Dress up your basic party favor bags with kraft paper tags dipped in glitter.
Kelly’s Halloween Whoopie Pie Recipe:
Whoopee pies are a little chocolate cake sandwich with a creamy filling; a timeless treat that can be embellished for any holiday or theme party. Add Halloween sprinkles to this whoopee pie recipe to make them party-ready.
Whoopee Pie Cake Ingredients:
6 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbl Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1 ¼ Cup Butter
3 Cups Milk
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together sugar, butter and eggs until combined. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and mix again.
In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and being to slowly add the mixture to the egg mixture. Continue beating until the ingredients are well combined. Slowly start incorporating the milk into the bowl as you continue to mix on a slow speed.
Using an ice cream scoop (for consistent size), scoop out an even number of scoops onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.
Whoopee Pie Filling Ingredients:
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 pinch salt
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add the whole milk to the bowl and beat well until you reach a creamy consistency.
Pipe the filling in between to cake cookies and the roll the sides in Halloween sprinkles.
As you know, this season I have partnered with Friskies and Petsmart to throw a fabulous Grumpy Cat themed Halloween party for my friends and family. In the last couple of weeks, I shared a very simple party decoration that makes a big impact for very little effort. Check out my paper fan halloween decorations here. My meringue ghosts and pumpkin soda bottles were a hit – and oh, so simple to create. (A perfect idea for you to recreate for your kids this weekend!) And last week, I shared two simple DIY projects: a candy corn paper cone for party favors and a glittered initial pumpkin! Today, I’m so excited to share the full details of my pumpkin-carving party!
This party was centered around The Grumpy Cat and the amazing pumpkin stencil that Friskies is providing. If you would like to carve the perfect Grumpy Cat Pumpkin (or “Grumpkin”). Friskies and Petsmart were kind enough to provide us with a downloadable template to make that part a snap. You can join the fun by downloading the Grump-O-Lantern stencil available at PetSmart.com/friskies and uploading images of your personal Grump-O-Lantern, including the #Grumpkin hashtag and #ThePartyDress hashtag.
I invited over my favorite little people and their parents for a festive pumpkin carving party, full of cute costumes and sweet treats.
I set my tables with bold black and white buffalo check tablecloths, and embellished them with classic Halloween colors: orange, green and a touch of purple. The kids placesettings held a mini pumpkin with their initial glittered on it. (see my post here for the DIY tips) These were a hit!
For a centerpiece, I piled up mini white pumpkins on a cake stand, and embellished a few with glittered polka dots and ribbon. I also created black cat centerpiece sticks to put in pots full of wheat grass, one of my signature party decor ideas. I loved the pop of green on the table!
My paper fan party decorations hung on the walls behind the dessert table and made for a great photo backdrop. (get the DIY tips here)
The kids LOVED their orange soda pumpkin bottles (get my DIY tips here), and the rest of the drinks were dressed up with paper cups and pumpkins straws.
The sweet treats are ALWAYS the big excitement at a party. I pulled together this festive dessert table using sweets from the grocery store and embellishing them with a few custom creations.
The table included cupcakes and brownie bites embellished with fondant cats and pumpkins by Edible Details, an oreo cookie “cake”, sugar cookies, tubes of candy corn from candywarehouse.com with “meow” flags on them, marshmallow “ghost” bags, and my meringue ghosts (see my recipe here). I added a couple of 36″ orange balloons, and grass plants with my black cat centerpiece sticks for accents.
The kids had a blast, and it was so fun to get together and have another opportunity for them to wear their costumes! Here is a picture of my little lion:
As a party favor, I sent the kids home with “candy corn” paper cones full of candy! You can download the template to make the cones here. It was such a great party to throw, and the kids all LOVE the Grumpy Cat!
As a reminder, Friskies will donate $500 to PetSmart Charities on behalf of the blogger whose audience uploads the most #Grumpkin images. Don’t forget to tag #ThePartyDress, too! So grab that pumpkin stencil off their website and show us your creative pumpkins!
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM FRISKIES IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
As you know, this season I have partnered with Friskies and Petsmart to throw a fabulous Grumpy Cat themed Halloween party for my friends and family. In the last couple of weeks, I shared a very simple party decoration that makes a big impact for very little effort. Check out my paper fan halloween decorations here. My meringue ghosts and pumpkin soda bottles were a hit last week – and oh, so simple to create. And this week, I’m back with two simple DIY projects: a candy corn paper cone for party favors and a glittered initial pumpkin!
Every party needs a coordinating party favor, right?! Whether you are gifting candy, sweets, or small trinkets, these candy corn paper cones are simple to create and just darling in little hands! I’m supplying you with the template for both the cone and the cat gift tag. You can download them here:
Cut out the template and fold into a cone shape, matching edge to edge. Place a paper clip at the top, holding the two edges together. I used my hot glue gun, but if you are doing this project with small children, I would suggest craft glue or double-sided tape. Attach the two edges together and allow to dry completely, before gluing a loop of ribbon onto the inside of the cone to act as a handle.
It’s no secret that I love a good initial/monogram – so why not jazz up your pumpkins?! You’ll see how I use these darling glittered pumpkins at my party next week. But for now, I figured I would show you just how simple they are to create!
Using craft glue, I drew the letters onto my small pumpkins. (PS – I think this would make an AMAZING monogram on a big pumpkin. I might have to get on that this week….) Once the glue was on the pumpkin, I covered it with silver glitter, making sure to get all of the edges. Afterwards, I shook off any extra and then let them dry overnight. It’s that simple!
I’m gearing up for my big pumpkin carving party next week. If you would like to carve the perfect Grumpy Cat Pumpkin (or “Grumpkin”). Friskies and Petsmart were kind enough to provide us with a downloadable template to make that part a snap. You can join the fun by downloading the Grump-O-Lantern stencil available at PetSmart.com/friskies and uploading images of your personal Grump-O-Lantern, including the #Grumpkin hashtag and #ThePartyDress hashtag.
Friskies will donate $500 to PetSmart Charities on behalf of the blogger whose audience uploads the most #Grumpkin images. Don’t forget to tag #ThePartyDress, too!
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM FRISKIES IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
I always consider it an honor to design my clients Christmas cards – to be trusted with their family photos and creating a design (either from our collection or custom) that perfectly suits their family – it’s a pretty fantastic job!
This year, we revamped our holiday card collection, and I’m thrilled to share it with you today. Don’t worry, we kept some of our favorites from over the years, but we gave them a little update and added in about 30 new designs! They are fresh, preppy, modern, updated….but yet still have that classic feel that resonates so deeply with me. Whether you are looking for classic red & green, or super colorful & preppy, or clean & crisp – there are options for everyone!
Here’s where it gets fun….. This year, all of our holiday cards are offered as double-sided. We were able to lower our prices, and give you way more bang for your buck! Offering you a gorgeous, beautifully printed card, with your choice of customization on the back. You can select from either the coordinating patterned back, or from one of our 9 different collage back options, giving you the opportunity to showcase more pictures of your family. Oh, and PS – many, many of our designs are now offered in multiple color ways! Want something custom? Absolutely! Want to add gold foil accents to your card? Absolutely!
Here are just a few of my favorite designs…..
And here are the different collage photo back options…..
To celebrate the launch of our holiday collection, we are offering you a 20% discount on your order if placed before October 31, 2014. Using the code HOLIDAY2014, it’s the perfect time to place your holiday card order, get a jump start on gift giving or order your personalized gift tags. Happy Shopping!
Baby showers can be elegant and fun, but one thing is always missing: the baby! Why not follow a Southern tradition and celebrate after the little one’s arrival? A Sip & See is the perfect way to toast the whole family.
Here are a few of my tips when hosting a Sip & See:
WHEN TO HAVE IT: Host a casual open house after the baby is a month or two old. Schedule it during a non-meal time, with a start and finish time (2-5pm) so the family’s day won’t be too interrupted.
WHO TO INVITE: Local friends and family of the parents and grandparents. If a grandparent lives out of town, they may host one to introduce the baby upon his first visit.
INVITATIONS: Most baby shower invitations can be customized for a Sip & See. Make sure to include both the baby and parents’ names on the invitation. We love our new anchor party invitation!
DECORATIONS: Unlike a baby shower, we encourage you to keep the focus on the baby! Select a simple color palette and repeat it thru your serving dishes, simple floral arrangements and party favors.
FOOD & DRINK: Set-up a self-serve bar and buffet table with simple nibbles on it. Bite-size appetizers and desserts are perfect for an afternoon treat. In addition to champagne, make sure you have a non-alcoholic punch or drink dispenser full of fruit-infused water.
COUTURE COOKIES: Work with a cookie designer to create coordinating, personalized sugar cookies for your Sip & See. They make a lovely addition to your buffet table, and can also serve as a darling party favor. These darling cookies are by Flourish Sweet Shop.
ACTIVITIES: Since toasting the family should remain the focus of a Sip & see, gift-opening typically doesn’t take place. Encourage guests to leave little notes of encouragement for the parents, or wishes for the baby. These can be placed in a small album as a keepsake for the family.
One of my favorite parts of my job is working with clients to create a custom party perfectly suited to their child. These photos capture Parker’s first birthday party: full of polka dots, stripes and a cheery color palette of turquoise, green and yellow. Held at a local kids’ play facility, Parker’s mom focused her energy on a cute tablesetting and stylized food tables. We created the paper goods and fabric for the event and just love how it turned out! Read on for more darling pics….
Darling party for such a darling little boy! Happy 1st Birthday, Parker!