May 22nd, 2014 |


baby-chic-invitationThis post is LONG overdue!  About a year and a half ago, my mother and I hosted a baby shower for my sister to welcome my sweet nephew, Benjamin.  I had to keep the photos secret for awhile, as they were to be featured in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties.  I’m thrilled to share it with you today, and have so many fun DIY details that I hope will inspire you to incorporate into some of your future events.

Guests were invited with the Chic Baby Stork party invitation from our new Baby by WH Hostess collection.  it offered up a trendy, gender-neutral color palette of aqua blue, coral, and white that we carried out throughout the party.  I wanted to create an event that was chic, yet didn’t really have a theme – like rubber duckies or teddy bears.  Instead, I incorporated classic baby elements throughout the event, including baby shoes, baby blocks, a chic stork, a rattle, etc. and tried to keep the event feeling like it was to celebrate the Mama-to-be and her design aesthetic.

rattle-lighterGuests were greeted with my fresh daisy “rattle” hanging on the front door.  I was inspired by a photo I saw on pinterest of a faux flower one, and knew it would be the perfect addition to the shower.  I literally made this in under 10 minutes, right before the party started.  Trust me, you too, can make this statement piece!

rattle-detailDIY Project: Flower Rattle

Supplies: 8-10″ half-moon floral foam  |  3″ floral foam ball  |  empty paper towel roll  |  2 colors of ribbon  |  3-4 dozen daisies

Instructions: Wrap the empty paper towel roll with your desired color of ribbon (I used 7/8″ grosgrain), attaching the ends with either a glue gun or double-stick tape.  Insert one end into each the side of the half-moon and the floral foam ball to create your rattle shape.  Cut your daisy stems to be about 2-3″ long and starting in the center working out, insert them into the floral foam.  Continue until both balls are covered. Tie a ribbon around the base of the top ball, and leave a loop at the back to hang it on your door.

mantel-horizontal-fullI wanted to create a couple key focal points throughout the home, one of them being the living room fireplace, which was to serve as a backdrop to gift-opening.  The mantel was accessorized with custom poster prints that were placed in IKEA frames, vases of flowers, and garlands made of braided ribbons.  I hung newborn onesies in our color palette off the garland with mini wood clips.

clothespin-detailThe tables were set with crisp white tablecloths, white dishes and basic silverware and glassware.  We used a coral napkin as a pop of color, and each placesetting was topped with a copy of my Celebrity Baby Name Game, and a custom pencil that said “Sweet Baby Ware.”

table-overhead-horizontalMy sister’s chair held a special “Mama-to-Be” sign identifying her place of honor.

mama-sign-horizontalEach table held a large, rose-bowl centerpiece made up of white hydrangeas, coral roses, and orange and white parrot tulips.  I did a quick little DIY project to dress up basic vases….glitter polka dots.  This was a simple project that was inexpensive, quick to do, removable after the party, and could be done in ANY color palette to match ANY party.  Gotta love those projects!  See below for the instructions.

centerpiece-horizontal-negative-rightDIY Project: Glittered Polka Dot Vase

Supplies: basic vase  |  glue dots  |  glitter in your choice of colors (I prefer the Martha Stewart Shimmer colors)

Instructions: after peeling the glue dot off the backing, dip into desired color of glitter and attach to the vase.

due-date-verticalOne of my favorite additions to any baby shower, is a Guess the Baby’s Birthdate Calendar!  This chevron one has been such a hit, we now offer a coordinating design for each of our baby shower party collections.  It’s a great way to get guests to interact, and makes for a fun take-home for the parents-to-be!

quiche-horizontalSince we were serving lunch to a group of ladies, we opted for a few different salads, popovers with strawberry butter, and a “quiche bar” consisting of 4 different varieties, each labeled with a coordinating food tent card.  Signage is a great way to make a little concept make a big statement.

dessert-table-horizontal-right-sideThe dessert table was dressed in a sequin chevron tablecloth, and held white cake stands and platters.  Each was dressed with coordinating Cake Plate Clings.  Desserts included bite-size lemon tarts, raspberry mousse, lemon bars, cake pop rattles, cupcakes and cookies.

onesie-cookies-horizontalI asked a couple of my favorite sweets vendors to create couture desserts for the occasion.  Allyson Jane made these darling sugar cookies, and Lynlee Beckett made the adorable baby shoes fondant cupcake toppers and “baby” banner that hung on the cake.


cupcakes-side-horizontalOne of the DIY projects I created for the dessert table, were the baby blocks that I used to prop up platters as cake stands.  You could certainly duplicate this look using scrapbook paper that coordinates with your event.

baby-blocksDIY Project: Decoupage Baby Blocks

Supplies: wood or cardboard blocks  |  scrapbook paper  |  modge podge

Instructions: cut your scrapbook paper to the exact size of your blocks.  Attach with the modge podge, and then glue your letters on top.  Once all sides are covered with paper, liberally apply modge podge on top of the paper, sealing at the corners and sides.  I suggest a couple of coats (allowing it to fully dry in between) to give it that glossy finish.

key-lime-tarts-horizontalOne of my favorite desserts were my cake pop rattles, and are a DIY recipe in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties.

cake pops rattles

May 20th, 2014 |


DSC_0994My sweet baby boy was baptized in February, and I created a crisp blue, white and chartreuse green dessert table to celebrate the occasion.  I created a new collection of baptism & christening party invitations to be part of our new BABY by WH HOSTESS collection, and invited our guests with a crisp blue & white stripe invitation.  For the party goods, I decided to run with the blue & white theme, but add in a touch of chartreuse green for a pop of Spring.  (with a foot of snow on the ground, it was nice to have something that looked fresh!)  I used the paper goods from our new Baby Safari Baby Shower collection, swapping out the animals for a cross on some items.


cookies petit foursThe celebration was held at my parent’s home, and we set up the dessert table in front of a wall of french glass doors.  I flanked the table with two 36″ blue balloons, tied with green and white striped ribbon.  I covered the table with a floor-length navy tablecloth, and edged the top with a blue & white greek key tape from MJ Trimming.

7I created a large floral arrangement of pale blue flowers and white tulips in a tall, white urn.  It created a nice focal point, and softened up the lines of the greek key trim.  My all-white cake stands and serving platters were topped with coordinating Cake Plate Clings in stripes, polka dots and the new green & blue ikat pattern.

macaronsphoto (44)Desserts included cupcakes, cake pops, lemon bars, macarons, brownies, petite fours, and gorgeous sugar cookies from Firefly Confections.

strawsHere is my sweet boy, looking quite stunned that I was allowing him to wear all white for this special occasion! 😉  I had a hard time picking an outfit for him – I didn’t want him in a traditional gown – so I ended up with this sweet cableknit outfit from Ralph Lauren.  I loved how sweet and cozy he looked on this very snowy, February day.

photo (27)It was a wonderful day full of family and friends – and we feel so blessed to have shared it with everyone!


baptism invitations from wh hostess

April 29th, 2014 |


ba side angleWhen it came time to announce my first son’s birth, I had to do it in a stylish way!  I wanted to create a classic birth announcement that had my signature touch of preppy pizzazz – but would still look current when Daniel looks back on it 20 years from now.  His birth inspired our latest collection, “BABY by WH HOSTESS“, a series of perfectly preppy birth announcements, baby stationery and baby shower party collections that will make every mama drool.  And his birth announcement is just a peek of our new collection, which is getting added to the shop weekly….

front and backI wanted to showcase more than one photo of my sweet boy, although didn’t want it to look too busy.  So I created an announcement with a gate fold, and a simple blue and white greek key front, and a collage back featuring 9 photos of Daniel with our family.  Inside opened up to a large picture of my little angle, flanked by lattice patterned sides that shared all of his birth stats.

birth announcementDaniel’s announcements were mailed the week of Christmas, and since I didn’t want to send out a separate Christmas card, I tied each announcement with striped ribbon and a small card featuring a photo of the three of us with the words “we believe”.  These two, powerful words meant a lot to us after our 5 year mission to start a family, and then Daniel’s early arrival and 6 week stay in the NICU.

One of my personal favorite things we do for clients is full-color envelope printing.  For these, I framed out the addresses with the coordinating greek key border and absolutely LOVED how they turned out!

birth announcement envelopes (web)I hope you enjoyed this peek into Daniel’s birth announcements and would love for you to take a peek at our new baby birth announcement collection.  We’ll be featuring some of the new designs tomorrow on the blog….so check back soon!

March 18th, 2014 |


cowgirl collection imagePlanning custom parties with clients is one of my favorite parts of my job.  It’s designing with a purpose, and I love getting my fingers into the detail planning, too.  I had a ball working with Estella & Graceann’s mom to plan their joint cowgirl birthday party.  I have been working with this darling family for years now, and it’s always a pleasure!

The party had a pink, turquoise and chocolate brown color palette.  The family wanted to use traditional “cowboy” elements, but sass it up a bit for their little cowgirls.  I incorporated gingham check, a custom horse lattice (originally designed in blue for our dapper derby party collection), a turquoise swiss dot, and a horseshoe and stars pattern into the paper goods.

Read on for shots from the party from the talented photographer, Darrin Phegley.

_DSP9255Guests were greeted with pink cowgirl hats lined up and ready for them to “gear up” for the party.  I love how they used clothespins to attach them to the fence – it looked so festive!  Notice that our custom gingham signage is used throughout the party, branding it and identifying different activities.

_2DP4397_DSP9341Tables were set up in the lawn and were topped with squares of our horseshoes & stars patterned fabric.  Blue mason jars were filled with country flowers, and our cowgirl centerpiece sticks stood tall.  The pink and turquoise color palette was broken up by pops of burlap to give it that country feel – I love how the combination turned out!

_DSP9225The food buffet held some creative serving ideas that you could incorporate into your cowgirl or cowboy party: serving chips out of wood barrels, using miniature hay stacks as risers, presenting individual servings of classics like mac ‘n cheese in polka dot candy cups, and serving grilled cheese sandwiches in gingham check paper bags with stickers on top that stated “cowgirl grilled cheese”.  Bamboo silverware was wrapped up in napkins and our cowgirl napkin ties, making it simple for guests to grab as they made their way thru the buffet.


_DSP9388_DSP9073Guests were encouraged to fill up their own drinks at the drink dispenser station.  Mason jars were topped with festive paper straws and chalkboard horse cutouts – great for writing names on them to keep track of everyone’s drink!

_DSP9236The dessert table stood as a great focal point for the party.  Covered in burlap fabric, prize ribbon banners were strung across the front stating “happy birthday”, while pink and turquoise stained picket fences served as the backdrop.  I just love the handmade rope names spelled out on the wall!

Candy jar tags, food tent cards, cupcake toppers, and cake plate clings helped to pull the look together, and one of my favorite details are the prize ribbon candy jar tags on the containers for the trail mix bar!

_DSP9264_DSP9057There was one large cake for the guests, and two smaller ones for the girls, turning 3 and 2 respectively.  The bandana print on each of them tied into the cowgirl theme beautifully!

_2DP4758_2DP4468The children were entertaining by participating in horse races, and posing with the WANTED sign at the photo booth.

_DSP9763Guests were sent home with Cowgirl “Cookies in a Jar” – ingredients for cookies presented in a mason jar, topped with a bandana, twine and one of our darling gift tags.

_DSP9242Party Invitations, Paper Goods, Fabric and Cake Plate Clings (  |  Photography (


January 14th, 2014 |


Stylish Kids' Parties party planning book from Kelly LydenIt’s a happy, happy day around here when I can share such good news: My debut book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, is officially on bookshelves and available for purchase!  My goal with this book was to help you 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.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Ideas for 12 themed parties that inspire a child’s imagination.
  • Beautiful and cost-effective DIY projects, decorations and recipes.
  • Instructions and ideas for games, activities and memory-making opportunities.
  • Bonus templates for quick invitations, party favors, gift tags and more.
  • Photography and party suggestions to help fuel your creaivity.

Make memories that last a lifetime with the help of Stylish Kids’ Parties!  You can purchase the book in stores around the country, as well as from these online merchants:

purchase stylish kids' parties book on

purchase stylish kids' parties book on amazon.combuy stylish kids parties on






Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support this past year and a half!  I can’t wait to fill you in more on the exciting projects and recipes in the book – stay tuned for some exciting launch “parties” to happen soon!

September 3rd, 2013 |


Stylish Kids Parties a book by Kelly Lyden cover design and pre-order informationHappy September, Friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful summer!  As you could see from how quiet the blog was the last couple months, I took some time to really enjoy this particular moment in time in my life.  Focusing only on WH Hostess orders, finishing up the book, and spending quality time with friends and family.  It was a good summer.  Sure to be followed by a great fall and even more exciting winter.  But more to come on that later!

It’s September and we are BACK.  Get excited for new posts on Fall entertaining, holiday ideas, party ideas and new product launches.  We’re excited to be back in the swing of things and hope you will join us daily for inspiration.

Today’s exciting news….Stylish Kids’ Parties (my very first book) is officially on the printing presses and due to ship from stores November 6th!  This book has been such a labor of love to put together, but also so fun and so rewarding.  Filled with fun, creative and colorful party ideas, Stylish Kids’ Parties shows today’s DIYer 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, and themed activities, Stylish Kids’ Parties features party ideas for boys and girls, first birthday celebrations, baby showers and holiday parties. Readers will be able to easily duplicate these great ideas, creating parties that are appealing to children and adults alike!

We’re sharing the cover design with you above…..what do you think?!  It’s just a peek of how colorful and fun this book is!  And I am also here to tell you that the book is now available for pre-order on two sites.  It’s a great resource to have on your bookshelf, and will also make a fabulous holiday gift this year!

Pre-Order Stylish Kids’ Parties

  • – pre-order your autographed copy of Stylish Kids’ Parties from our site.  
  • – pre-order your copy of Stylish Kids’ Parties

More shops to come soon.  If you own a store, or know of a local shop that you think would like to sell Stylish Kids’ Parties, please e-mail me at

Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm during this last year of putting together the book.  Can’t wait for you all to see the final product!

kelly signature

June 18th, 2013 |


aston golf party boxed invitationI’ve met a lot of blogger “friends” over the last 4 years, but Lili of Swanky Chic Fete is one of my favorites!  Her blog radiates her friendly personality and love for parties, fashion and the latest products.  I have worked with Lili a couple times previously, and she also hosted a WH Hostess trunk show for us last holiday season!  I was so pleased when she asked me to help her create a preppy golf-themed party for her soon-to-be 6 year old, Aston.  Especially when she mentioned she wanted to forgo the traditional golf colors/patterns for a more “summer Ralph Lauren” madras plaid!

Since Lili was able to hand deliver the party invitations, we had flexibility to get a little creative.  I designed a 5-page mini booklet to house the party details, which was placed in a crisp white box with some shredded paper “grass” and a golf ball.  The boxes were sealed with a striped grosgrain ribbon and a madras plaid sticker featuring our custom “The Aston Golf Classic” logo.

aston golf signGuests were greeted with a large golf ball sign featuring our custom logo, and then were ushered into the backyard.  Tables were set up on the patio surrounding their new putting green.

aston party yardThe kids table were dressed with a madras runner over a white tablecloth. Extra fabric were sewn for accent pillows for the patio furniture. Polka dot blue and green balloons also were scattered on the backyard lawn.

aston golf party table with madras plaidWhen guests arrived, each received a lanyard souvenir to wear throughout the party and they took turns taking shots at the putting green. Kids also get to decorate their visors.

aston party lanyardsaston golf party putting greenaston golf party visorsLili styled a darling centerpiece for an adult table, using a simple boxwood topiary tree and golf balls placed together in a tray.  I love the pop of green the boxwood offers.

aston golf party boxwood centerpieceaston party cups

aston water bottles

The 3-tier cake featured a preppy stripe, mini golf balls, and frosting that looks like grass peeking out of the bottom of the cake.

aston golf cake

aston cake topIn addition to an AMAZING cake, They served James Coney Island hot dogs with desserts, including Pinkberry yogurt, cookies, cupcakes, donut holes, gumballs and birthday cake.

aston donut holesaston golf cupcakesaston golf bag cookiesApart from their visors and lanyards, each guest took home custom stadium cups, cookies and a toy golf cart. Happy Birthday, Aston!  I hope you had a great party!

aston golf party family with cakeResources:

Photography : Ailynne Abarado-Remigio  |  Paper Goods: WH Hostess  |  Cake : Cakes by Gina  |  Cookies : Jolie’s Delights   |  Cupcakes : Whole Foods  |  Visors : Michaels  |  Custom Birthday Shirt : HollyGo Design
May 22nd, 2013 |


girl picnic party collection from wh hostessOne of the best parts of my job is getting to work with clients year after year, creating fun celebrations for their children’s birthdays.  One of my favorite Houston clients asked me to create a girly picnic themed collection for Olivia’s 3rd birthday (remember her darling Barnyard theme party last year?), and we just love how it turned out!  It’s now available in the shop HERE.

family summer picnics set upI used a color palette of pink, yellow, orange and turquoise for the paper goods and combined some festive patterns, including a chevron and bold floral pattern, to make everything look fun and whimsical.  Since the event was a family affair, each child and their family was greeted to their own chevron picnic blanket laid out in the lawn for lunch.  The families’ names were printed on signs identifying their blanket.

menu card tied onto picnic basketsEach family had a picnic basket prepared with lunch.  We printed up a menu card that was tied to the top of each basket, and bamboo cutlery was packaged in mini chevron paper bags tied with twine.

balloon-towers at summer picnicThe bar and snow cone station were surrounded by balloon towers  –  aren’t they fabulous!?  The turquoise accent color was carried thru the event with custom styrofoam cups.

balloon-cups for picnic partyDessert consisted of delicious cupcakes topped with fondant ants.  The perfect addition to the picnic theme!

summer picnic cupcakes with antsants-on-cupcakesBirthday girl, Olivia, looks very excited to blow out her candles!

birthday-cupcake for summer picnicAnd her sister and guest look like they are enjoying the snow cones!

ice-cream 2.29.46 PMhula-hoop contest for picnic partyChevron paper bags were sealed with our bold floral sticker to package party favors.

summer picnic party favor sticker from wh hostessI think this party has so many charming details that you can incorporate into any summer party, whether it’s a birthday party, a family picnic or special playdate!


May 2nd, 2013 |


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Silhouette themed dessert table in blue and greenBack in March, I had the pleasure of helping my friend Vana, of Le Papier Studio, style her son’s first birthday bash.  Vana asked me for some help pulling together four themes that her little guy (and she) loved: walks in the park, puppies, little men and John’s monthly silhouettes that Vana drew.  A “Day at the Park” concept was formed and I’m so excited to share the darling details with you today.

Read on for more details from Vana….

ruffled birthday cake with fondant bowtieThe dessert table consisted of cupcakes, macaroons, powdered sugar donuts and cake pops, as well as sweet marshmallows. Preppy stripes and polka dots dots in shades of green, blue, and yellow formed the perfect looks for a Spring Day at the Park!  A symmetrical dessert table design was flanked by two DIY topiary trees and we used all white vessels to pop on the navy blue tablecloth.  The cake stands were topped with coordinating Cake Plate Clings, and white pots filled with wheat grass held the cake pops.

blue and green dessert table cake popsOne of my favorite details was the silhouette banner hanging across the front of the dessert table.  Vana drew John’s silhouette every month of his first year, so it was the perfect addition to this little man’s celebration.  Silhouettes also played into signage throughout the party.

blue green dessert table cupcakes and macaronsVana crafted many of the details herself, including DIY Bow ties that were part of his attire, decorations, props and also served as party favors for the little guy friends and bow clips for the little lady friends.

blue green silhouette first birthday party dessert tableAs entertainment for the children in attendance, we set up an area on the floor with lots of blankets and pillows and a cute sign that said “Movie in the park. Grab a blanket and enjoy!” so the kids could get cozy watching a puppy movie.

John-Chupp---1How darling are these cake smash pictures of the birthday boy, John?!  Didn’t he look dapper in his bowtie?!

This dessert table is a great way of showing you how you can combine icons from multiple themes into one cohesive design.  As a recap, we had topiary trees and grass plants on the table as a reference to our “Day at the Park”, fondant bones on the cupcakes that referenced John’s love of puppies, bowties, haberdashery stripes and crisp polka dots to play into the “Little Man” theme, and of course, John’s silhouettes among the decorations.

Tip: If you are trying to incorporate different themes into one table, be consistant in your color palette, select a simple, symmetrical layout, and select one icon from each theme to use consistently throughout the party.

Congrats on a darling party, Vana and Happy, Happy 1st Birthday to my little friend, John!


Concept and Party Styling – WH Hostess
Paper Decor, plates, silhouettes, DIY projects – Le Papier Studio
Dessert (party cake, macaroons, cake pops, cupcakes) – Frost Cake and Cupcake Design
Utensils, party supplies – Fort and Field
Photography – Kelly Allison Photography
April 25th, 2013 |


derby themed dessert tableThe cake was just the beginning of the desserts offered to guests at Cameron’s Dapper Derby 1st Birthday Party.  A full Derby-themed dessert table held center stage and featured delicious sweets all in our signature color palette of yellow, blue and green.  The table was dressed in a blue floor-length tablecloth, creating a perfect base for white serving dishes that we embellished with Cake Plate Clings in coordinating patterns.  A custom fabric backdrop featured our lattice pattern and colorful horse silhouettes.

candy jars with prize ribbon tags for derby partyprize ribbon candy jar tag from wh hostess for derby partyA pennant banner was draped across the front of the table, and a fabric-covered riser held 5 candy jars in the center of the table.  Instead of traditional candy jar tags, we created “prize ribbon” tags to identify the type of candy.

green macarons for derby party dessert tableprize ribbon cookies for derby party dessert tableColorful macarons, yellow cake pops and blue prize ribbon cookies were some of the favorite treats.  Blueberry cupcakes topped with colorful, fondant bow ties and mini key lime pies sat front and center.

cupcakes with fondant bow ties and striped cake plate clings for derby party dessert tablestripe food tent card by wh hostess for derby party dessert tableThe table was branded with coordinating paper elements from WH Hostess, such as haberdashery stripe food tent cards, the prize ribbon candy jar tags and coordinating Cake Plate Clings. As a nod to the southern theme, pie pops stood in mint julep cups adorned with bow ties.  Blue-striped paper bags held our #1 prize ribbon stickers, and were available for guests to fill with candy to bring home with them.

pie pops in julep cups for derby party dessert tablestriped candy bags with a prize ribbon sticker from wh hostess for a derby dessert tableStay tuned for more details from Cameron’s Dapper Derby 1st Birthday Party later today!

yellow rock candy on a derby party dessert tablePaper Goods, Fabric Backdrop & Dessert Table Plan by WH Hostess  |  Images by Ellenzilla Photography  |  Cupcakes and Prize Ribbon Cookies by A Fare Extraordinaire  |  Bow Tie Cupcake Toppers by Sugartown Bake Shop  |  Candy from Candy Warehouse  |  Cake Pops by Angie’s Cakes  |  Pie Pops by  Cakewalk Desserts

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