June 25th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Cupcakes & Cartwheels

Sharnel of Sharnel Dollar Designs sent me this darling birthday party she did recently for an 11 year-old named, Camilla.

A beautiful color palette of turquoise and chocolate brown, a decedent chocolate dessert table styled to perfection, and a lot of happy 11 year olds decorating cupcakes!  The perfect party for older children, and great ideas to inspire you for birthday parties and baby showers!

Head on over to Sharnel’s blog, My Life My Loves for more of the party details!

June 21st, 2010 |

Bumble Bee Birthday Bash

I’m sharing the latest party from WH Hostess over on Project Nursery today, and had to share all of the beautiful details with you!

Our charming invitation was the perfect inspiration for the party decorations and color palette.  Mackenzie’s mom really wanted to stay away from the typical black and yellow bee party, so this bright color palette was perfect!  I really like the modern honeycomb pattern mixed with traditional flowers, and of course, our darling little bee!

The party was an afternoon picnic, held in the family’s backyard.  Decorations included lots of yellow balloons, and a darling banner over the food table.  The centerpieces were to die for!  I used yellow milk glass vases (IKEA for $4.99!) and topped them with gerber daisy pomander balls.  A little polka dot ribbon belt was a last minute addition and tied together our theme beautifully!

One of my favorite details of this party was the juice bar!  We set up a “bar” with plastic cups, green straws dressed up with our bumble bee image, and we used juice bottles filled with different juices – orange, apple, and cran-apple juice.  I love these bottles (and not just for kids parties!) because they look consistant on a table together, and have a cork in the top (which keeps the bugs out of the bottles when you are entertaining outside!).

No party would be complete without a dessert table, right?!  I sat down with both the hostess and Mackenzie, the 3 year old birthday girl, to plan out the sweet treats for this table…..our birthday girl had QUITE the opinion on what were her favorite sweets!  Delicious cupcakes from the local bakery were topped with bumble bee cupcake toppers from WH Hostess.  We had a plate full of sugar cookies that we embellished with custom fondant toppers from Two Sugar Babies (she made them to specifically coordinate with our bumble bee invitation!), and  jars of candy!  Salt water taffy (in both pink and orange), lemon candy sticks, green apple sours, and little yellow and white stripe candy pillows were displayed in a combination of white footed bowls, glass apothecary jars, and footed candy dishes.  All of the jars and dishes were dressed up with bumble bee labels.  Here’s a closer view of our treats:

The party was a huge success and the little guests were absolutely thrilled with all of the cute details….especially the party favors!  Since this was a “picnic”, I found mini wood picnic baskets (in the dollar section at Michael’s) and we filled them up with bags of candy, and topped them with a polka dot bow and gift tag that said “thanks for coming to my party!”  The kids also brought home a darling tin of bubbles (dressed up with a custom label and pipe-cleaner wand), which also served as an activity during the party.

To view more parties by WH Hostess, click here.  Visit WH Hostess for all of your party planning needs!

June 16th, 2010 |

Blue Elephant Birthday Party

One of my favorite child trends right now is the “blue elephant”!  So sweet when done for a baby boy, or cute as can be when incorporated into a circus theme.  Our invitation from WH Hostess takes on a bit of the circus theme with bold stripes and accents in melon orange.

I found a few items around the web that fit in perfectly with this theme: a felt hat from Stella & Livi, fondant cupcake toppers from Two Sugar Babies, and the perfect idea for party favors!  Fill a clear box with animal crackers, and top with a tiny, stuffed blue elephant (available at IKEA for 49 cents!).

This party has somewhat of a nostalgic look and would be darling for a baby shower too, don’t you think?!

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), hanging paper mobiles (projectwedding.com), felt hat (stellaandlivi.etsy.com), fondant cupcake toppers (twosugarbabies.etsy.com), party favor (koehlerfamily4.blogspot.com)

 

Toys

June 7th, 2010 |

Lady Bug Soiree

I’m so excited to share the latest party from WH Hostess with you….a Lady Bug Soiree!  A traditional theme, updated with a fresh color palette of grass green, red and white.  Read on for all of the darling details and a peek at the delicious (and beautiful!) dessert table.

Emma’s mother contacted me months ago to plan her daughter’s party.  She knew she wanted a lady bug theme (as they always refer to her as their little “love bug!”) – but she didn’t want the traditional black and red color palette.  So I updated the look by playing with a lot of grass green – a color that is near and dear to me – and looks modern, yet preppy in this situation.  The invitation set the tone for the party and all of the decorations.

The party was held in the family’s porch, which created a clean, white back drop for our color-saturated party.  We decorated the space with a custom lady bug banner, paper lanterns and darling little tables.  Grass plant centerpieces were used throughout the party; we planted them in red pots from IKEA and inserted lady bug centerpiece sticks.  Each girl had a mini green vase full of flowers at their place setting (perfect for them to take home as a memento of the party).

A color-coordinated “bar” was set up with lime and blackberry Izze sodas, stripe paper cups embellished with a lady bug sticker for the kids, and glasses with decorated straws for the parents.  The main attraction was the dessert table!  The dessert table was small and concise – perfect for 5 year olds!  It consisted of a few apothecary jars of candy (Candy Warehouse is a great resource for bulk candy!  We used apple sours, gumballs, and licorice wheels.), and cake plates full of cupcakes featuring darling cupcake toppers.  Custom candy jar labels completed the look.  The little girls LOVED filling up cellophane bags of candy to bring home!  But the real delight came at the end of the party when they saw their party favors……

Each girl was given a tin of bubbles (with a lady bug label) and a little red box with Mel-Belles lady bug hair bows in it.  I can’t tell you which they were more excited about – the shrieks of delight were just darling!  Mel-Belles can custom create a hair bow party favor package to coordinate with any party – and I love the idea that you are giving gifts the girls will use, not just junk that will get thrown away!

All in all, it turned out to be a darling party!  I hope this gives you some great ideas for your summer birthdays!  Here are some more details of all of the WH Hostess party goods created for this party.  Hosting a party this summer?!  Let WH Hostess help you create a stylish event!

WH Hostess party goods: invitation, notecard, 2 inch sticker, 3 inch sticker, bubbles tins, cupcake toppers, candy jar labels, lady bug banner, and centerpiece sticks.

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)

Amazon.com, Beau-Coup and WH Hostess are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.

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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.

 

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