December 2nd, 2009 |

‘Feather-Her-Nest’ Baby Shower

 

I love this theme.  It’s fresh and pretty, perfect for a baby shower or a bridal shower.  I know it’s been done before, but I have a few ideas to share with you today that I think give it a whole new look.

The bird’s nest invitation from Tiny Prints offers a modern, yet playful approach to this theme….and it gives us a beautiful shade of blue to use as the central color in our decor.  I have two centerpiece ideas….great on their own, even better when paired together!  Create a dramatic floral arrangement with blue hydrangeas and white calla lilies.  I love the height and shape contrast!  Now, on to my favorite part….using fuzzy, blue yarn, wrap small white bowls (using some hot glue along the way) to create the appearance of a nest.  You can fill these with blue, chocolate egg candy….and voila!  You have your own nest.  If you want to carry the nest-theme into the place setting, you could use bird’s nest place cards from Beau-Coup.

Carry the blue color into both your drinks and food.  Tie blue ribbons to straws to add a festive detail to your cocktails, and create a blue and white candy buffet for dessert.  Using different shaped vases and jars, fill each one with a single type of candy.  Use place cards for the name tags, and don’t forget to provide some cellophane bags for people to fill up – it’s a great party favor for them to bring home.

Nest Baby Shower Wishing Tree

Plan a special ‘guest book’ for the Mom-to-be.  Using branches and a beautiful vase, create a ‘wishing tree’ where people can leave notes for Mom and baby.  You can find small cards at Paper Source, simply punch a hole in one corner and tie with a ribbon.  It will be so fun for the Mom-to-be to read thru everyone’s well-wishes and advice after the shower.

Images: birds nest bowls (elliemillerphoto.com), invitation (tinyprints.com), centerpieces (projectwedding.com), paper poms (inspiredbride.com), drinks (stylemepretty.com), blue candy buffet (inspiredbride.com), wishing tree (theknot.com)

December 1st, 2009 |

1st Birthday Party by Party Box Designs

pink and green first birthday party

Jessica from Party Box Design sent me over pictures from her daughter’s first birthday party…..how cute is this party?!

With a color palette of pink and green, Jessica crafted all of these darling details herself.  In my opinion, the cupcakes steal the show!  Jessica was nice enough to share her buttercream frosting recipe with us today…..

Jess’s Deliciously Simple Buttercream Icing
1/4 c. organic butter
2 tsp. bourbon vanilla extract
4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp heavy cream

Soften butter and combine vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Add heavy cream to desired consistency(may add more than 1 tsp). Color may now be added.

If the pictures from this party have inspired you, head over to the Party Box Design website…..you will find more inspiration, learn about how Jessica can help you throw a fabulous party, and even shop for all of these adorable party supplies!

P.S. If you love Charli’s birthday outfit as much as I do, head over etsy.com (tutu, bloomers and t-shirt)

November 27th, 2009 |

Sweet Treats and Good Eats

 

When it comes to planning a Christmas party for little girls, I always think of that famous line “visions of sugar plums danced in their heads”.  I’m thinking pink, green, and a whole lot of candy!  This is the perfect party theme for little girls and their mommies….invite your guests with this whimsical invitation from Minted (don’t forget to check out The Party Dress’s favorite Minted invitations and take advantage of our special 15% discount!).

Decorate your space with candy garlands – you could either string them yourself (gumdrops would work best), or you could buy a faux candy garland that you will have for years to come.  If you plan on serving a meal, I would set up a “mommy table” and a “kids table”.  On the “mommy table”, create candy topiary trees using styrofoam cones, green peppermint candy, and some hot glue.  For the kids table, adjust the topiary tree concept by creating these fluffy, fondant trees with colored swirls running thru them.  Click here for the detailed instructions on how to make these darling trees.

Sugar Plum Topiary

Serve up a dessert buffet of cookies, cupcakes and candy….along with ice cream served in edible candy cane glasses.  You could take this “sweet treats and good eats” theme and make it into a cookie exchange, too.  Ask each guest to bring a different cookie to share with everyone.  Make sure to provide boxes for guests to bring all of their cookies home with them, and send the little girls home with bouquets of candy canes tied with ribbon as party favors.

Images: invitation (minted.com), candy garland (goodhousekeeping.com), party dress (bodenusa.com), cookie buffet (parents.com), candy cane cups (amazon.com), felt lollipop centerpiece (bhg.com), peppermint topiary tree (bhg.com), candy canes (inmagine.com), fondant swirl topiary trees (bhg.com)

 

 

Free Shipping Holiday Decor 09

November 17th, 2009 |

Parties by WH Hostess: The Frog Prince

Today’s featured party is a real show-stopper!  The Frog Prince, aka Caleb, turned 1 last week…..and his parents (with the help of Auntie Kelly) threw him a birthday bash fit for a little prince!

Caleb’s nickname has been ‘Frogger’ ever since the womb….so in our minds, there was no other theme to even consider!  Sarah (Caleb’s Mom and one of my best friends) wanted to host a party that was cute and playful, and just as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids.  The paper goods from WH hostess set the tone and the color palette for the party, focusing on lime green and cobalt blue.

The buffet table was set using a lime green table runner, accented with a colorful dot trim from Organize.com.  The tiered cupcake stand was the focal point of the table, flanked by boxes of wheat grass that we added colorful daisies to in order to get a little color.  The cupcake stand was a basic white stand by Wilton, that we added ribbon and scrapbook paper to to “dress it up!”  The guests all ate cupcakes for dessert, which were decorated with three different cupcake toppers….except for the top cupcake….that one had the very special frog prince candle on it!

The birthday boy had his very own smash cake – which he didn’t really smash – more like tasted, and then fed cake to his mom and dad!  Sarah ordered Caleb a frog-covered fabric party hat with a big number 1 on it from etsy.com to wear for the cake-smashing…..and he did wear it (long enough to get a few darling pictures)!

 

Caleb’s cousins were in attendance at this party, so we wanted to make sure to give them their own special table….their table was set with a balloon centerpiece, frog sippy cups (that we jazzed up a bit with some polka dot ribbon), and noise blowers.  This is a simple, and inexpensive centerpiece idea……tie a few balloons to a Mylar covered balloon weight, and insert a personalized sign that ties in your theme.

The kids favorite part?!  The goodie bags, of course!  Filled with rubber frogs for the bath, bubbles, pez dispensers, rubber balls, and candy….the cellophane bags were tied with a lime green ribbon, and had a personalized tag that exclaimed “thanks for celebrating my 1st birthday! love, Caleb”.

frog prince birthday party

It was a wonderful party, full of lots of cute, colorful details….and a whole lot of love for this cute, little guy!  Happy 1st Birthday, Caleb!  I hope you had a great party…..and are starting to come down off that sugar high!

Images property of The Party Dress, invitations, cupcake toppers (WHhostess via Etsy.com)

November 13th, 2009 |

Real Party: Airplanes for Aidan

airplane birthday party

Okay, ladies….do I have a party to share with you today!  This party was created by a woman named Christine for her son’s 1st birthday.  Christine’s words really give you a feel for the day and her planning process, so without further ado…..

“I wanted to give my Aidan the world for his first birthday. I knew for a long time that I wanted to do an airplane theme. With that decided, everything just came together. Before Aidan was born, I had been to several destination weddings and a couple things had stuck out in my mind.  I loved the idea of luggage tags as a favor, and knew I wanted to create a “suitcase” of goodies for our guests.

As a centerpiece. we had “EARTH” balloons, which were provided by Ron Alvarez, and each table had a runway, created by April Neubold.   My family and I bought wood airplane kits at a craft store and painted them, to add to the centerpieces. It was hard work, but all worth it for this special day! We wanted to make sure this party could really “TAKE OFF”!  Invitations, luggage tags, coloring books, passports, tote bags and table cards were created by etsy designer Barbara Neely designs.

We went all out when it came to dessert!  Aidan’s Auntie Joann and Uncle Jonny, of San Francisco’ best ice Cream Bi-Rite, provided a special ice cream cart. We had personalized wood spoons for the ice cream, that were made by Minhee Cho from papercupdesign.com.  A candy buffet was done by Jeri Martell from www.martellsweetstop.net. The cake was done by Sonya Hong from Butterfly Cakes; it was a 3 tiered cake of strawberry and chocolate, which was a big hit!

Gift boxes for each child, ID tags, and posters were designed by Zusy Zamora of Maziette Paperie. We had a box of goodies for each family to bring home as a party favor.  They were filled with snacks from around the world, and also our family favorite, Torani Syrup in different flavors.

As I mentioned above, I truly wanted to give Aidan the world for his party….”

Photography by Matt Murillo and DMG Photography

November 10th, 2009 |

Sneak Peak: The Frog Prince Party

Frog Prince Sneak Peak

Life has been pretty busy lately….work, website (lots of new stuff coming soon!), new house to decorate, and I am helping one of my best friends plan her son’s first birthday party.  Little Caleb was nicknamed “Frogger” from the start…so we thought it was only appropriate to have a Frog Prince theme party!

You’ll have to survive on just this little sneak peak for now….but let me tell you, this theme is coming together beautifully!  So many little details…I can’t wait to show them to you!  The party is this weekend – so stay tuned for more pictures and lots of great ideas next week!

Images property of The Party Dress

November 9th, 2009 |

Color Me Happy Art Party

 

If your child is a budding Picasso or Monet, throw an art-themed birthday party.  Invite your guests with this colorful invitation from Minted. This party is all about color and art activities….so make sure you ask your guests to bring an art smock (or an old shirt from Dad will do) to wear.

Infuse your party with color….especially the food.  Serve trays of veggies – bright red peppers, orange carrots, green broccoli.  Red Hawaiian punch served in a big punch bowl.  And a colorful dessert buffet that will make the children squeal with delight!  Bowls of colored M & M’s, rock candy, solid color lollipops.  For the birthday cake, buy (or bake) a large sheet cake with plain, white frosting.  You can have the kids decorate the cake using the M & M’s – challenge them to see how artistic they can make it!

There are so many options when it comes to activities….depending on the age of the children, and how messy you want your house to get!  I would pick up one of the  pipe-cleaner kits from Land of Nod.  The kids can make anything and everything with pipe-cleaners.  Glasses, hats, sculptures….sky’s the limit!  Another idea is to make a special wall in your child’s bedroom by wallpapering  it using a “empty frames” wallpaper.  Each child can draw a picture on the wall and your child will have her very own art gallery in her room!

 

art party crayons

LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE this idea.  Ask the kids to all bring bags of their broken crayons….you know they all have them!…chop them up into small pieces, mix them up, and bake them into new crayons.  It’s a fun activity and you can bag them up for the kids to bring home as a party favor.

Directions: Heat the oven to 250 degrees.  Using a mini-muffin pan, fill each mold with assorted colors of crayon pieces (paper removed) and bake until the crayons melt, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Tip: Place a sheet pan under the crayons to catch any drips). Once they’re cool, remove the crayons from the pan and smooth any rough edges by rubbing them on a knife.

An art party is perfect for a creative child.  Have fun with it!

Images: crayons napkin (theknot.com), invitation (minted.com), colored pencil centerpiece (rachaelraymag.com), paper garland (magchuck.com), dessert buffet (makemerryevents.com), art supplies (queensmamas.com), pipe-cleaner kit (landofnod.com)

November 6th, 2009 |

Real Party: It’s a BOY! Baby Shower

 

I was sent these pictures from Heavenly Blooms, a floral design firm located in Orange County, California.  They put together a beautiful baby shower – the perfect combination of “baby-sweet” and “mama-sophisticated” that I love so much – and I hope you take away a few fun ideas for your next baby shower!  Here is a little description of the party from Jaclyne at Heavenly Blooms:

“We at Heavenly Blooms love baby showers! It’s the perfect occasion to be creative and have fun for a very special “little” reason.  Our theme for this shower was simply BABY. We incorporated everything baby, but with a boyish, preppy edge.  The shower luncheon was held at a private Southern California estate on a beautiful spring day, so we used a color palette of yellow, apple green, and shades of blue with lavender accents.

The place card table was adorned with black and white baby photos of the Mama & Daddy to be…as well as the baby’s first “picture” (an ultrasound image).  Place cards were printed on baby blue, green and cream harlequin patterned paper and placed in a silver frame. The table centerpieces consisted of three different styles – floral arrangements in material covered square vases, wheat grass clusters in silver mint julep cups, and floral paves in silver mint julep cups. Other table decor included hand painted wooden blocks, small rubber ducks and hand painted wooden trucks. We used custom-built, hand painted wooden boxes that looked like baby blocks that made quite an impression – they stood over 7 feet tall !!! They were placed all over the party area and were accented with stuffed animals. Floral pomanders were hung inside of the white umbrellas providing shade over the various buffet tables.”

I just love those hanging floral pomanders, don’t you?!  For more inspiration, check out the Heavenly Blooms gallery and blog.

November 6th, 2009 |

Floral Pomander Tutorial

Jaclyne from Heavenly Blooms was nice enough to share a tutorial with us on how to make these darling floral pomanders, so you can try making them at home for your next party!

BOY baby shower pomander guide

Step 1
Oasis (the spongey green floral foam) has come a long way and now is available in different size spheres. We used to have to shape the blocks into balls ourselves – but not anymore! So, start with a 4″ oasis sphere (already pre soaked in water), and tie the ribbon around it twice. Make sure the ribbon is secure enough and won’t unravel by knotting the top.  Add fern pins to the top of the ribbon to help secure it in place.
Step 2
For the rose pomanders, you will use about two dozen roses. The amount of roses needed will vary based on the rose variety used. Some roses have smaller heads… Cut the stems short, leaving about an inch of stem left. It is easier and faster to precut the roses in advance.
Step 3
Always start inserting the roses at the top, then work your way down and around.
** Be careful! Once you insert the stem, try not to remove it and reinsert it because the oasis will start to crumble**
**Sometimes it is easier to hang the pomander from a hook in your doorway or under a cabinet. You could even tie the ribbon to a curtain rod and hanger.**
Step 4
Voila – you’ve created your floral pomander. For stability, you can also use floralock spray adhesive to secure the stems in place.
Thank you so much, Jaclyne!  I can’t wait to try making these…perfect for my next baby shower or birthday party!

November 2nd, 2009 |

“Kids-Only” Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends to give thanks for another wonderful year.  Take this opportunity to teach your kids to do the same – have them invite their friends over for a “kids-only” Thanksgiving dinner.  Invite your little guests with this traditional turkey invitation from Tiny Prints.

Thanksgiving InvitationSet the table with Fall colors and a simple centerpiece.  This “give thanks” centerpiece from Parent’s Magazine is simple to do, colorful and makes the event more child-like.  Serve up a few snacks when they first arrive – paper cones filled with chex mix, and “turkey” fruit kabobs – the perfect snacks to eat while doing some fun activities.  For dinner, go ahead and bypass the traditional turkey.  Instead, think about making turkey wrap sandwiches, serve with mashed potatoes (which we know all kids love!), and turkey cupcakes for dessert.

Kids Thanksgiving Dinner (PN)You should have a couple of activities to keep the kids busy during the party.  Have a craft table set up with different foam shapes cut out and some glue sticks.  They can make turkey napkin rings or hats to wear during the party.  I absolutely LOVE this next idea….Parent’s Magazine came up with this darling yarn-wrapped turkey.  Have the turkey prepared before the kids arrive, as well as a basket of pre-cut feathers (use colorful construction paper).  Have the kids write what they are thankful for on a feather and stick it into the turkey.  I’m sure you will get everything from “I’m thankful for my family” to “I’m thankful for candy!”  It’s cute, creative and will help to remind the kids what Thanksgiving is really about!

Thanksgiving ActivitySend the kids home with a cute, little party favor.  I found these at Chasing Fireflies, and you can order them here.  However, I think you could also put together a version of this yourself, too.  A glass jar, a personalized label, and some cute ribbon….candy corn never looked so cute!

Thanksgiving Party Favor

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), turkey napkin ring and table setting (parents.com), snack cones (coutureparties.com), turkey hat (hostessblog.com), fruit kabobs (familyfun.com), cupcake (partycupcakeideas.com), turkey glasses (potterybarnkids.com), “I’m thankful” game (parents.com), turkey toes party favor (chasing-fireflies.com)

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