March 9th, 2011 |

Real Parties: Time for Tea

I’m very excited to share today’s real party with you……it’s sweet and girly and oh, so classic.  With a beautiful attention to detail, this tea party is sure to inspire you!  Shared with us by Andrea Edgar, you may remember the fabulous camp out party she threw for her son, Sawyer a while back.  I always get excited when one of Andrea’s parties show up in my inbox.  She has an incredible sense of style and you can see the love she puts into each party.  Here are a few details, as told by Andrea:

A tea party is a tradition in our family when our girls turn 5.  While this party theme is quite popular, I had a lot of fun with it as I staged it in our daughter’s bedroom!  It was the perfect pastel backdrop and made everything extra ‘girly’.  The invitations were definitely an inspiration for me – vintage but not too sophisticated.  This was a birthday for a five year old, after all!   I embellished them with glitter.  They are from http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoraleeLewis; the cake labels for the envelopes are from http://www.etsy.com/shop/lovecreationgal.

I found the vintage tins at Homesense (Canada’s Home Goods)  - they remind me of hat boxes!  Inside was a vintage cut glass tea cup filled with candy rockets, a felt tea bag, and an embellished hair clip (sewn by me!  see this tutorial), and some candy rockets.  The guests also took home a pearl necklace.

I used 5 fabrics, a pink solid, cream with blue polka dot, a blue polka dot organza, and two florals from tablecloths I found at Homesense that reminded me of Cath Kidston prints.  I promptly cut them up to make 3 table runners with ruffled edges, a bunting with pom-pom trim, a photobooth backdrop and handmade flowers. I sewed flowers of three different styles and of multiple sizes to adorn the chandelier, as well as to form a ‘bouquet’ in the teapot for the centerpiece.  I used some of my grandmother’s brooches to serve as the center of select flowers.  I also sewed crepe paper streamers to resemble ruffled fabric and strung it from the ceiling.  I made pom poms using pink and white tulle instead of the usual tissue paper and hung 5 of them at varying heights around the chandelier.  If felt like a bower thanks to the sloped ceilings in the room.  The table was set with my mismatched china, doily ‘placemats’, and pearl necklace ‘napkin rings’.  I ordered rose moulded sugars from LeChic Bakery Boutique.   The guests wore my oldest daughter’s collection of vintage hats.

For tea, everything was homemade: cranberry scones with devonshire cream and raspberry preserves, egg salad and heart-shaped pb & j sandwiches, carrots and snap peas, oreo truffles, jam thumbprint cookies, lemon bars, white chocolate-dipped strawberries, and vanilla cupcakes with raspberry buttercream.  The girls also drank LOTS of tea (actually, mostly milk with a little tea:)  The tiered tray was topped with the letter ‘M’ for our birthday girl, Meredith.

The guests were asked to bring their favorite doll or teddy bear.  We took photos, colored, made paper fans, played pass the present (unwrapping one layer at a time) and ‘Find Your Dolly’.  The girls had so much fun being little ladies – they really got into their roles!  This theme really reflected the transition of my preschooler maturing into being a little girl, too.

February 23rd, 2011 |

Rugby Stripe Boy Birthday Party Ideas

What’s a mom to do when her son is all BOY and only wants a birthday party centered around sports?  That is exactly what my client said to me when I started working on her party.  I say roll with the punches and give them what they want…..but maybe with more of a stylized point of view.  Have you ever looked for sports-themed party goods?  It’s tough to find something that isn’t super cheesy!  So, we create a new collection that features Ralph Lauren-inspired stripes, a preppy trophy and accents of footballs and soccer balls.  I’m a sucker for anything preppy, striped and inspired by Ralph…..so you can bet I’m pretty much obsessed with this new collection!

Check out the ideas above….can’t wait to show you how the party turns out in a couple of weeks!

Images: rugby stripe invitation (whhostess.com), rubber band striped votive candles (bhg.com), striped straws (etsy.com), paper chains (magchunk.com), sports gift tags (whhostess.com), baseball centerpiece (sdkphoto.com), pop can containers (jldesignsandevents.com), pinwheel dessert table (mylife-myloves.blogspot.com), bandana goodie bags (bhg.com), trophy sticker (whhostess.com), ice cream balls (), sport ball cake pops (savethedate4cupcakes.com)

holiday

February 21st, 2011 |

Preppy Mod Baby Shower Ideas

I’ve been a busy bee working on a bunch of upcoming Spring parties.  I’ll share some tidbits of each party along the next few weeks, but today I am showing you the inspiration board for an upcoming baby shower.  The hosts wanted something super sunny, with a preppy and slightly modern edge – perfect to welcome both Spring and a new baby!

The inspiration board is based around a new collection for us that includes a yellow Greek key pattern, and pops of hot pink and grass green.  Combining modern patterns like the Greek key and ikat, and a sweet summer-like eyelet will help me achieve a layered look that I think will be fabulous!  I’m focusing on a stunning tablesetting for lunch, a small dessert table and party favors for the guests.  More details to come soon!

Images: table setting, dessert table, watermelon cubes (amyatlas.com), pink peony centerpiece (josevillablog.com), double-sided Greek key baby shower invitation (whhostess.com), floating flower centerpiece (brides.com), placesetting (marthastewartweddings.com), champagne (karljuengel.com), lavender water glasses (sundaysuppers.com) lemonade party favor (eatdrinkchic.com), mini crab cakes (theknot.com), ikat bowl (anthropologie.com)

February 8th, 2011 |

playful panini POPS!

Playful Panini Pops

Perfect for your next playdate, valentine’s day party or kid’s birthday party, Panini Happy came up with this adorable idea!  These are basically mini grilled cheese sandwiches on a stick, so you can choose whatever bread and cheese you like. It’s probably best to stick with the semi-firm cheeses, as soft cheeses may melt too much to hold the lollipop sticks in place.

INGREDIENTS

Sliced country-style bread (relatively dense is best, I used sourdough)
Cheese (semi-firm, such as cheddar)
Finely crumbled or minced add-ins (e.g., bacon, herbs, peppers, olives)

Lollipop sticks (I used Wilton’s)
Cookie cutters

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat (375°).

Assemble your panini, incorporating a generous amount of cheese to ensure there will be enough to hold the lollipop sticks in place.

Grill the panini for about 4 minutes until golden grill marks appear. Remove from the heat and immediately cut out shapes with cookie cutters (NOTE: If you’re using a metal cutter it will get HOT very quickly, so take care not to burn your fingers) and insert lollipop sticks.

Depending on the cheese you’re using you may need to wait a minute or two for the cheese to set the stick in place before serving. Enjoy!

February 4th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Year of the Rabbit

chinese new year - year of the rabbit party invitations and paper goods

Starting this week, we welcome the “Year Of The Rabbit” and a two week long Chinese New Year celebration.  My friend, Melisa from Project Nursery came up with unique party concept to celebrate her son’s first birthday.  Darling Chase is 1/4 Chinese, so when it came time to choose a theme, Melisa’s husband cleverly suggested that they enjoy all that Chinese New Year has to offer: delicious Chinese Dim Sum, tasty Chinese sweets and a themed cocktail party for their close family and friends.

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, party planning didn’t kick into high gear until two weeks before the party!  Melisa asked WH Hostess to design and execute her vision for a modern, bamboo themed first birthday party that would involve red rabbits!  I created a custom bamboo pattern that was used throughout the party….read on for more details!

Melisa is a dream client – with her design background, she often has a clear vision of what she is looking for and knows how to articulate it.  She also knows when to say “take it from here, Kelly!”  which is always fun for me!  In order to be smart about her party purchases, she sourced a lot of their decorations in LA’s Chinatown. She picked up everything from inexpensive paper lanterns to little toy drums, fans and kid-friendly chopsticks for the favor bags – and had a great time negotiating along the way!

Since this first birthday party was a Saturday night cocktail party, catered Dim Sum was a delicious way to keep her adult guests intrigued. The kids were kept happy munching on potstickers and eggrolls.   It was a low maintenance meal that Melisa could simply steam and serve, and clean up was a breeze since guest enjoyed eating their finger foods with chopsticks out of Chinese take out boxes.

With dessert tables still on-trend, planning one with an ethnic theme was a great way to update the concept.  They served authentic Chinese goodies and candies such as Moon Cakes, Sesame Balls, Wintermelon Cakes, Lychee Candy, Haw Flakes, Candied Water Chestnuts and more.  She also included the popular Magnolia cupcakes and their famous banana pudding. The birthday cake was red velvet and adorned with red and yellow fondant shaped fortune cookies. Vanilla sugar cookies with lemon frosting by Angela from Queen of Tarts Cakes tied in the entire presentation thanks to her edible wafers designed to match my invitations. We stepped in with some simple decorations that helped brand the table, including cupcake toppers, candy jar tags, and sweet little rabbit stickers to dress up plastic cups.

One of my favorite parts of this party was the backdrop for the dessert table.  Melisa wanted the backdrop to create a large impact, yet wanted to keep the look sophisticated.  We decided that two large canvases featuring our custom bamboo print (exploded for a modern look) would fit the bill.   Melisa  honed in on her nursery design skills and decided she could save a couple hundred bucks by stretching her own canvases. I sent her my bamboo print in a file, and she had turned into canvas at Uprinting.com. A quick visit to the art supply store, she stretched the canvases on canvas bars and now has permanent wall art and hip graphic prints she can enjoy year round!  (they just so happen to coordinate perfectly with her stunning yellow chandelier!)

Because the party from held from 5pm-7pm, the children arrived in their PJ’s or “Mandarin Suits”. The big kids watched “Mulan” and “Kung-fu Panda” while making Chinese paper lantern crafts. Adults sipped on fun beverages thanks to a fully stocked bar. And what one year old party is complete without a signature drink or two? Burning Mandarin Martinis and Lychee infused champagne cocktails were served.

In the Chinese New Year tradition, guest went home with additional favors such as Mandarin oranges for luck, take out containers filled with candies and a lucky red envelope from the decorative centerpiece to ward off evil spirits!

Birthday Boy Chase looked just darling in his Mandarin Suit and looked like he had the time of his life!

January 31st, 2011 |

Project Nursery: Sweet Party Themes

Two Sugar Babies just launched an exclusive collection of designs that coordinate back to some of the WH Hostess best selling invitations and party collections!  I’m showing off these cute, coordinating fondant toppers today over at Project Nursery.  Head on over there to check them out!

January 28th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Monkey Love Party Favors

It’s been a fabulous week of posts featuring this darling monkey first birthday party that I worked on with Christi from P is for Party!  We’ve seen the inspiration board and paper goods, the decorations, and the drinks, desserts and details…..so it’s only fitting we end the week with the party favors, right?!

These darling little monkey’s don’t need a whole lot of introduction, so I am going to let their pictures do the talking!  Each child went home with one and a bubble tin with our custom monkey labels on them.  Pretty cute, right?

We were so lucky to have received gorgeous pictures of this amazing party!  The images we have been showing all week were provided by talented photographer, Ellen Johnson of Ellen Zilla Photography.

A huge thanks to Shannon and Alexandra for allowing us to share their amazing party, Christi from P is for Party for doing such an amazing job styling and for being a lovely partner, and to Jenn at Hostess with the Mostess for debuting this party on her blog last week!

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

January 25th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Monkey Love Drinks, Desserts & Details

Yesterday I showed you all of the gorgeous details of the Monkey first birthday party decorations, and today I am back with the drinks & dessert table details!  One of my absolute FAVORITE parts of this party was the ribbon wall that stylist Christi of P is for Party created.  She worked with the hostess, Alexandra’s mom Shannon, to create a stunning backdrop for the “cake smashing” part of the party….and it made such an impact!  Anyone want to guess how many yards of ribbon that took?!

The monkey theme was carried throughout the party, including sweet details on the food and drinks tables.  Darling grass mats embellished with flowers were placed on tables, pink and white striped straws dressed up glasses, and our darling monkey stickers made the paper cups oh, so adorable!  Different pattered labels accessorized the water bottles, coordinating polka dot food tent cards were placed in front of items on the buffet, and our sweet monkey face made it’s way on to darling napkin rings too.

{tip: it’s so much easier to have your cutlery tied up in a napkin when serving a buffet – much easier for your guest to hold while carrying a plate!}

The dessert table is just precious!  I love how Christi and Shannon used a monogrammed wall decal and pom poms to create a backdrop and vertical interest to the table.  It’s very soft and feminine, perfect for the sweet birthday girl!  The table included sweets in our pink, yellow, and mint green color palette, and everything was dressed up with candy jar tags, cupcake toppers and food tent cards.

The table was full of amazing sweets! Colorful macaroons, cupcakes, white chocolate covered Oreos, rock candy, yellow and pink salt water taffy and gumballs.  The oreos were served in mini tulip cups and (pulled from the original custom inspiration board) were topped with a small fondant banana. Shannon picked out darling cake stands by Rosanna, Inc. to be used as cupcake stands, and several apothecary jars from Pottery Barn to hold the candy (which she can reuse at home and at future parties!).

My favorite part was the adorable flower sticker that adorned the take-home white gable boxes.  How in love am I with these flower-shaped stickers we are now selling in the shop?!

Head on back tomorrow for the final peek into this amazing party….the party favors!

Photography by Ellen Johnson of Ellen Zilla Photography

January 24th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Monkey Love Decorations

 

Last week I showed you a sneak peek of the latest WH Hostess parties…..a “Monkey Love” themed first birthday party. Hosted by a creative mom in Houston, and styled by the fabulous Christi Bennett of P is for Party, this first birthday party is nothing short of spectacular and I have been DYING to show you the pictures!

One of the client’s favorite details about the original custom inspiration board was the use of moss details. The front of the house set the tone for a sweet, festive party. As guests walked up the pathway to the front door, they were surrounded by the most gorgeous ribbon moss balls hung on shepherd hooks, and a sweet Monkey welcome sign by WH Hostess.

The flowers were breathtaking and one of my favorite parts! Christi enlisted the help of Houston florist, Lisa Tran of Wedding Flowers by Lisa to create the stunning arrangements. Inside, the tables served as a focal point. Each table was draped in a pink linen and held three small arrangements, including sweet ceramic vases from Heart to Heart, which Lisa filled with bright yellow Billy Balls, pink roses and hydrangeas in pink and green. Lisa also designed a moss cone which she adorned with pink spray roses and yellow Calla Lilies.

Poms (ordered from Party Poms) in shades of pink, yellow and green were found everywhere throughout the party; from counter tops and mantles to the arms of chandeliers. We also used centerpiece sticks by WH Hostess in small white pots full of candy.

 

The party took place both inside and out. The outside tables were special as well! Grass mats from Heart to Heart (inspired by HWTM!) were placed on each table and one of the same ceramic vases found inside was set on top. It lent for a more casual outdoor feel. The backyard was set up as the play area for the many kids in attendance. Pink and white beach balls and large pink exercise balls were sporadically placed throughout the area. The kids loved running around kicking and throwing the balls!

 

The birthday girl, Alexandra, is one lucky girl…her parents threw her a stunning party that I am sure people are still talking about! Stay tuned tomorrow for all of the sweet details of the food and dessert table!

Photography by Ellen Johnson of Ellen Zilla Photography

January 19th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Monkey Love Inspiration & Paper Goods

I am so excited to share the latest party by WH Hostess with you!  Do you remember a few months ago when I showed you my “parties in progress?” This “Monkey Love” 1st birthday party was one of them.  A few months in the making, a dream client and perfect party partner….this ended up being one amazing party!  As a reminder, here is the original custom inspiration board I did for the client:

When Alexandra’s Mom, Shannon, came to me to create a custom inspiration board for her 1st birthday, she knew she wanted a monkey theme.  I took that idea and ran with it.  The theme became Monkey Love: a sweet 1st birthday party with a girly, vintage feel.  A color palette of pale pink, hot pink, yellow, mint green and chocolate brown was born, and some of the ideas included:

DECORATIONS

  • Centerpieces: cluster an arrangement of  small vases with pink flowers, and a moss covered (cone-shaped) tree with flower embellishment.  Place a small centerpiece stick with the monkey face coming out of one of the vases of flowers.
  • Hang moss balls off polka dot ribbon, hang them on stakes and line pathways or an area of your yard.  A miniature version could hang in clusters off a chandelier.
  • Pink  balloons clustered together  make any area seem festive!
  • Table Setting Ideas: Decorate the backs of chairs with strips of different pattered fabrics, and belt together with a large floral bloom.
  • Use grass mats as placemats

FOOD

  • Serve pink and yellow lemonade out of small, glass bottles with a stripe straw.
  • Make  an ice cream sundae bar a main focus for your party.  Lay it out in a stylized fashion, with coordinating labels, signs and banners from WH Hostess.  Include a special area dedicated to banana split toppings!
  • Incorporate cake plates full of cupcakes with coordinating toppers, chocolate-covered oreo cookie pops with mini bananas on them, and a special smash cake for the birthday girl with a monkey fondant topper.
  • Paper Goods: Polka dot napkins in pink, yellow and green, with solid pink plates.
  • Place a monkey sticker from WH Hostess on pink and yellow paper cups to dress them up.

PARTY FAVORS

  • Mini  stuffed monkeys make the perfect party favor!
  • Bubble Tins with coordinating labels from WH Hostess, pipe cleaner wands and embellished with ribbon make a darling party favor (and serve as an activity during the party)!

The party planning progressed quickly, and Shannon hired me to create a collection of coordinating party goods and Christi of P is for Party to style the event.  Talk about a fabulous team, right?!  Here are some of the paper goods that I came up with….stay tuned tomorrow for the pictures and details of the party!

Images Credit for Inspiration Board:
Images: invitation (whhostess.com), chair decoration (hostessblog.com), centerpiece (jldesigns.com), hanging moss balls (jldesigns.com), grass placemats (mommybabble.com), ice cream sundae bar (eatdrinkchic.com), banana split toppings (midwestliving.com), monkey cake topper (etsy.com), banana fondant toppers (etsy.com), monkey party favors (partyspot.com), pink drinks (brides.com), bubble tins (stylemepretty.com), monkey sign (etsy.com), peony centerpiece (josevillablog.com)
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