May 24th, 2010 |

Who Wants Candy?! A Candy-Themed Birthday Party!

My post over at Project Nursery today was a little to sweet not to share with you!

The first step in planning your kid’s birthday parties is determining what their current “likes” or passions are – and let’s face it, I have never met a kid that doesn’t LOVE candy!  A candy-themed birthday party is a no-brainer for any age group, and with the candy/dessert table trend going strong – how can you resist?!

I just love this invitation from WH Hostess – it reminds me of gumballs!  And is the perfect start to our candy-themed party!  Carry that colorful look throughout your entire party……

Here are a few ideas:

*Welcome your guests with a wreath made out of balloons (but looks like candy, right?!) hanging on your front door.

*Decorate your table with colorful linens (if you are a crafty momma, you could create a table cloth or runner out of felt – no sewing required!)  You can incorporate big, bold flowers and polka dots too….the more colors and patterns you use, the better in this case!

*Create centerpieces out of candy!  Vases full of gumballs, urns full of candy with lollipop sticking out, bowls full of m&m’s or licorice.

*Skip the juice for this party….the kids will be getting enough sugar from all the candy!  Dress up water bottles with polka dotted labels that match the invitation.

*Send the kids home with a mini gumball machine as their party favor.

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), balloon wreath (howdoesshe.com), table setting (via Passions for Parties), mini gumball machines (beau-coup.com), water bottles (hwtm.com), rock candy (amyatlas.com), gumballs (hostessblog.com)

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May 21st, 2010 |

Celebration: Little Men

 

I spend a lot of time talking about birthday parties around here, however there are so many other celebrations that involve kids!  Baptisms, first communions, graduations, team parties, end-of-the-year picnics….the list goes on and on.  These are big events in their little lives and deserved to be celebrated!  Boy parties are  complicated in my opinion – it’s tough to find the perfect balance of “boy” and the cutesy details we all love so much.  My answer?!  Clean and modern, with a preppy twist.

I love the idea of this “little man” party.  The “summer stripes” invitation from WH Hostess sets a fresh color palette of blue, lime green and yellow.  You can carry the colors throughout the party with a few simple touches: blue ribbon flags on straws, a blue and green candy bar, and (this is my favorite idea) cupcakes topped with bow-ties and neckties, and sugar cookies shaped like ties and mustaches.  (So cute, right?!)

I think this theme would be precious for a baby boy’s baptism, or a first communion celebration!

Images: little boys (adelineandgrace.com), stripe invitation (whhostess.com), cupcakes and cookies (imprintables.com), candy buffet (inspiredbride.com), drinks (stylemepretty.com)

 

May 17th, 2010 |

Cinco de Maia: Fiesta Themed 1st Birthday Party

I have been SO excited to share this party with you!  I know I dangled a carrot in front of you on Friday with a peek at the inspiration board…..but trust me, it was well worth the wait!

So, where to begin?!  Let’s start at the beginning….Maia’s mommy contacted WH Hostess to do a custom inspiration board for her daughter’s 1st birthday party.  She wanted a fiesta-themed party – since it was Maia’s first birthday (and it fell the beginning of May), how could we resist not doing a “Cinco de Maia” theme?!  You all saw the inspiration board here, and here is what we came up with:

The missoni-like, zig zag pattern from the invitation set the color palette for the party.  Hot pink, orange and yellow made a festive combination that we used for the entire event!  Some of my favorite elements to the party included the fabulous ribbon chandelier hanging over the table, a custom banner (featuring the zig zag pattern), and the amazing patterned paper lanterns from Jonathan Adler (aren’t they just perfect for this theme!?).  Cupcake toppers took on a modern look with an updated square shape, and jars of candy made for a very colorful table!

Maia’s mom did a fabulous job carrying the color palette throughout – notice the coordinating izze drinks, the balloons and the beautiful flowers!  She displayed the party favors beautifully – mini bubbles (wrapped with custom labels) and hot pink maracas (embellished with a zig zig gift tag) were placed on a 3-tier serving piece on the table.  A great idea that you could adapt for any party!

This was such a fun party to work on – and you know what I love about it?!  It’s simple.  It’s all about one fabulous pattern, three beautiful colors and a couple key decorations that pulled it all together!  Great job, Kristen!  And a happy, happy 1st birthday, Maia!

The ideas from this party could easily be translated into any type of summer party – a birthday celebration, a bridal shower, or a fiesta-themed dinner party!  To see more parties planned by WH Hostess, click here.  And for more details about the party goods created for this party, here you go:

 

Party Goods by WH Hostess: zig zag invitation, wraparound address label, notecard, gift tags, bubbles, cupcake toppers, banner, and ribbon chandelier.

Photography by Jessica Christ Photography

 

May 14th, 2010 |

Sneak Peek: Cinco de Maia

I’m leaving you today with a sneak peek of our latest party from WH Hostess.  This is the custom inspiration board I created for a sweet 1 year old named Maia.  Her mom came to me to create a concept and party goods for her fiesta themed party….and here is where it all started!  Head on back on Monday to see how the party turned out!  (PS – it’s amazing and you won’t want to miss it!)

Images:  invitation (whhostess.com), dessert table (amyatlas.com), mexican banners (orientaltrading.com), tissue paper flower centerpiece (realsimple.com), colorful hurricane glasses for margaritas (amazon.com), pitcher decorated with colorful rubber bands or ribbons (bhg.com), colorful maracas (orientaltrading.com), table setting with hanging stars and paper lanterns (socialcouture.com)

May 12th, 2010 |

Real Party: A Baby Shower for Zoe

 

This beautiful baby shower was sent to me by photographer, Wendy Updegraff.  Thrown for her sister, no detail was left undone!

The color palette for the party was inspired by the Tiny Prints invitation.  A tent covered the beautiful table setting, and was decorated with paper lanters and a special “baby Mama” banner.  They made sugar scrub jars for the party favors and it doubled as the placecard.  My favorite decorative element is definitely the huge Z they covered in artificial flowers…the baby-to-be’s name is  Zoe.  Baby Zoe’s room is to be decorated with bla-bla dolls so they made tags on the back of all of the chairs with cut outs of different bla-bla dolls.   And here is a darling activity: while the guest of honor, opened gifts, they had baskets of ribbons, glue and buttons for the guests to make baby Zoe hair clips!  Too cute, right?!


May 10th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Princess Chic

I’m totally excited to share today’s party with you!  I recently had the pleasure of working with a sweet mommy from California to create a custom princess party for her darling 3 year old, Morgan.   So, without further ado, here are  all of the fabulous details from the party….

The concept for the party was unique: create a “pink” princess party, but with some “rocker chic” details.  Our bubble gum pink and black color palette was born!  The first step was creating a custom invitation that would make the guests “ooh” and “ahh”!  WH Hostess came up with this darling, two-sided invitation – it had the birthday girl’s picture on one side, and polka dots and crystals on the other!  I created a “logo” that was used on the invitation and repeated throughout the party.  After all, it wouldn’t be a princess party without crowns and magic wands, right?!

The decor for the party was whimsical and fun, and the black accents added a modern edge to the traditional “princess” look.  Some of my favorites: welcome signs sticking out of plants at the front door, black urn centerpieces with custom “magic wand” centerpiece sticks, a custom circle banner (complete with Morgan’s crown logo), pink and black polka dot balloons, and…..wait for it……a series of four ribbon chandeliers that hung above the food table.  I love this whimsical, vertical element…..it added a touch of drama to the event!

One of my favorite elements to the decorations is the photo wall that Morgan’s mommy created.  She took a somewhat “bland” area in the community center, and crafted a stunning focal point by simply hanging pictures of Morgan (all dressed-up with pink paper and polka dot ribbon).  The best part of this idea?!  The pages fit perfectly into a scrapbook after the party- so now Morgan has a wonderful picture book to look at whenever she wants!

 

As all of you mommies know, activities are KEY when entertaining a bunch of 3 year olds!  A princess bounce house in the courtyard was definitely the main attraction, but the kids had plenty of options to keep themselves busy.  They decorated magic wands and did some crown crafts, and they also had an amazing princess “dress-up” corner!

 

No party would be complete without a dessert table!  Morgan’s pink dessert table was covered with candy jars full of bubble gum, marshmallows and m&m’s, cupcakes with shimmery sprinkles and custom toppers (some even had crystals on them!), and veggie cups.  We got creative with the names on the labels – simple names like “Cinderella’s Candy Bracelets”, “Snow White’s Apples”, and “Sleeping Beauty’s Marshmallows”.  And I can’t forget the “eat your veggies” stickers on the veggie cups!  One of my favorite party tips for kid’s parties is to dress up basic, paper cups with a novelty sticker.  Simple, but it adds a personal touch and helps you carry your theme throughout the party.

Such a fun party to plan!  If you are in need of a little inspiration, or full-blown party planning – let WH Hostess plan your next party!  Here’s a little recap of all of our Princess party items, now available on WH Hostess!

Invitation, fill-in-the-blank thank you notes, cupcake toppers, stickers, signs, magic wand centerpiece sticks, banner, and ribbon chandeliers.

 

May 6th, 2010 |

Little Lamb Baby Shower

 

A Little Lamb baby shower is a darling theme that can evoke a sense of charm and nostalgia for most anyone. If you can appreciate vintage finds and love modern entertaining, perhaps you will consider this for your next baby shower. This theme is ideal for an intimate brunch with friends and the Mommy to be. Following these few easy guidelines will guarantee you to stand out, as the hippest of hostesses.

  • Start with a great invitation. I love this one from Minted. Although the style appears traditional, the soft palette lends itself to feel very modern and best of all it defines a color palette for the event.
  • Follow the same color story in your tablescape. First an an elegant baby blue table cloth. Then use several baby blue vases in varying sizes and shapes, adding flowers in soft ivory hughes but remaining mindful of the size of flowers in accordance to the size of the vase. Large head flowers in larger vases, smaller flowers in bud vases but most importantly, use only one type of flower per vase. The rest of the table elements should remain monochromatic so use ivory china and napkins. Keeping the table simple and elegant will help in highlighting your vintage finds and guard your theme form looking too “kitschy”.
  • Now, for the vintage flair. Pick up a few cute little lamb planters from a flea market or antique store. They are often found in pastel colors and can be easily introduced into your tablescape and/or peppered around the party. Fill them with flowers and place them near a welcome sign, or perhaps grazing near the cupcakes or refreshments. They will definitely get noticed!
  • A personal touch- Add vintage charm with these place cards. Learn the how to here.
  • Really commit- To the sweet color scheme that is. Finish off with these darling cupcakes from Country Living.
  • Must not forget-The bubbly. This is after all, a celebration. There is something about pink Champagne garnished with cherries that scream a fabulous grown up little shindig, but maybe that is just me. Just be sure to have a non alcoholic and “Mommy to be” friendly option….a shirly temple would be most fitting!

Stick to the plan and you’ll make a fabulous Host!

~ Natalie {Little Shindigs}

Images: Invitation (Minted.com), tablesetting (Caroline Roehm), cupcakes (Country Living), vinatge little lamb planter (Retro District), Pink bubly (Ruffled), place cards (Project Wedding)

May 4th, 2010 |

Real Party: Pinwheels & Pearls

This party makes me happy!  When I saw it sitting in my inbox, I truly got giddy trying to get the post up quickly!  It’s just a darling, unique party full of charming details that are sure to make you swoon the way I did!

Sent to me by Victoria Hudgins of The City Cradle, this “pinwheels & pearls” party was inspired by a Kat Spade ad (a girl after my own heart!) that came out this spring.  They lined over 50 pinwheels along their back fence, hung pearls in the tree and a thrift-store chandelier was painted white & pink for the occasion.  A desert bar with starburst pinwheel pops, pinwheel cupcakes and a doughnut tree in the center stole the show, and they set up a table at the perfect kid-height for coloring in pinwheels during the party. Boys were decked out in handmade pinwheel bow-ties, and the girls were adorned in pinwheel necklaces!

Click here for Victoria’s pinwheel tutorial, and here for her free download-able pinwheel labels.

Images via Michael Chan

 

April 26th, 2010 |

Party Animal Baby Shower

I’m talking baby showers today over at Project Nursery!  If you are planning a gender-neutral baby shower, I just love the idea of an animal theme!  It’s cute, colorful and appeals to everyone!  Here are a few key ideas that are sure to make this a darling shower:

This sweet invitation from Tiny Prints sets tone for the animal theme.  If you are a busy mama that doesn’t have time for a ton of DIY projects, these decorations are going to knock your socks off…..Meri Meri has launched a collection of party decorations and they are just too cute!  Themes range from animals, to princess, to pirate, and so many more.  Cupcake toppers, banners, and my favorite part….the three-dimensional centerpieces.  These are great – cute on their own – or even more special if you jazzed them up a bit!  I love this animal carasol on it’s own….but think how much cuter it would be a wreath of orange and yellow flowers around the bottom?!

I love the animal banner from Meri Meri, but I also love the idea of creating your own banner using ribbon!  You can customize the look to your specific color palette, and it’s so simple and cost effective to make!  Simply cut 1/4″ wide ribbon into 6″ strips and tie around a string or skinny ribbon.  Voila!

Carry your animal theme throughout the party by decorating your homemade (or store-bought!) cupcakes with these charming fondant cupcakes by Two Sugar Babies.  I love the idea of combining the tiger, giraffe and elephant….they have such personality!  And if you are looking for the perfect animal-theme shower gift….look no further than this animal stack from Pottery Barn Kids!

P.S.  This theme would be darling for a birthday party too!

Images: animal invitation (tinyprints.com), animal carasol centerpiece, animal banner (merimeri.com), ribbon banner (projectwedding.com), animal fondant cupcake toppers (twosugarbabies via etsy.com), centerpiece (bhg.com), table setting (southernliving.com), animal stack toy (potterybarnkids.com)

April 16th, 2010 |

Real Party: Birds & Blossoms

 

This darling “birds and blossoms” birthday party was sent to me Dawn, who threw this darling party for her niece’s 2nd birthday.

The color palate was primarily hot pink and orange, with subtle splashes of light pink. The design was based around a fantastic print of paper that Dawn found at her local craft store. The invitations were made by Ink Obsession Designs, and Dawn made all of the flower blossoms out of tissue paper, using the Martha Stewart shredding scissors. She made blossoms for the girl’s hair and boutonnieres for the little boys. For favors, she painted unfinished wood frames from Ikea and filled the frame with handmade bird prints. The children glued rhinestones on the frames as their craft. They played “pin the beak on the bird”, and had a blast during musical circle time. They had a make-shift photo wall, with a fantastic floral print wrapping paper that she found at The Container Store as the backdrop. The desert table and dining tables were inspired by the work of  Amy Atlas. Dawn’s favorite detail was the adorable floral cups she found at The Container Store! She filled them with pudding and Oreo crumbs and placed little flower lollies in the middle…..the perfect addition to her darling dessert table!

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