April 1st, 2013 |

PREPPY BLUE + GREEN DESSERT TABLE | FIRST COMMUNION

preppy blue and green dessert table for first communion or baptismI have a gorgeous dessert table to share with you today.  I designed and styled it for my best friend’s two children’s first communion (they are 11 months apart, and in the same grade). A fresh color palette of blue, green and white with accents in navy blue, I combined a geometric greek key pattern with a bold floral pattern to appeal to both the girls and boys!  I hope this table will inspire you with ideas on how to incorporate religious details into a dessert table, without that being the “theme”, and serve as inspiration for baptisms, first communions and more.

preppy blue and green dessert table for first communion and baptismThe table design was inspired by a WH Hostess collection of paper goods and we incorporated the patterns onto everything from the custom fabric table runners, to the cupcake toppers, to the sweets.  Each child had their choice of one “special” treat that they selected to be part of the table: Willard chose chocolate chip cookies and Emma Jane chose chocolate-covered strawberries.

blue and green first communion cake pops from sweet lauren cakesThe table was covered with a crisp white tablecloth and was topped with two table runners made from our custom blue greek key fabric, edged with a preppy grass green and white grosgrain ribbon.

blue and green preppy dessert table with hydrangea centerpiece

Standing center stage was a gorgeous arrangement of green and white hydrangeas  with the vase wrapped in our bold floral mums pattern paper.  I really wanted to incorporate natural green elements into the table to pop that color against the blue.  I did that by using the green hydrangeas and also by anchoring the cake pops into wheat grass plants.

preppy blue and green cupcakes for first communion or baptismcandy bags for preppy blue and green dessert table

The sweets included gorgeous Cake Pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes incorporating our patterns, an “H” for the kids’ last name, and a cross to symbolize the occasion. Vanilla Cupcakes with personalized cupcake toppers from WH Hostess, and fondant crosses from Two Sugar Babies.  Mini bags of blue sugar candy with bold green and white stickers featuring an “H” for the kids’ last name.
cakes with monogram fondant toppers

Instead of having one large cake, I had two smaller cakes made – one for each child!  Two Sugar Babies created these custom monogrammed cake toppers using our blue greek key pattern as part of the edible image. Jumbo Marshmallows in blue and green from Candywarehouse.com were a big hit with the kids!

blue and green jumbo marshmallows from candywarehouse.com

preppy green striped food tent cardI branded the table with preppy green striped food tent cards, and a coordinating blue greek key sign, thanking everyone for coming to celebrate Willard & Emma’s special day.

first communion or baptism party invitations

March 25th, 2013 |

PREPPY WHALE BIRTHDAY PARTY

blue and orange preppy whale birthday partyI just love the colorful preppy style of Happy Wish Company, so I was thrilled when they put together a Preppy Whale Boys Birthday Party for our Spring 2013 issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Darling ideas in a blue and orange color palette that will have you dreaming of summer parties!  Read on for the details from Alicia and Betsey….

preppy whale party invitation

With the warm summer months fast approaching, we couldn’t help but dream of the beach, the salty ocean breeze and sand in our toes when we designed this nautical-inspired Preppy Whale boy’s birthday party!

As two busy, working moms (like many of you!), our Happy Wish Company styling concept is to create parties that are lovely, yet easy to implement.  Our concept sticks to the prettiness in keeping things clean, classic and simple – like we’ve done here with this whale-themed celebration.

lunch buckets

The adorable spouting whale invitation served as the inspiration for the party’s color scheme of orange, white, navy and sky blue set on a backdrop of khaki burlap to evoke the look of sand!

The kid’s table starts with orange and white polka dot paper placemats at each setting. Beach buckets are essential to any ocean-related party. We’ve selected orange plastic buckets that double as a lunch container and a take-home favor for summertime play and sand castle building. Fill the bucket with the birthday boy’s favorite foods. Our menu included a sandwich packaged in a navy and white striped Kraft paper bag, light blue and orange polka dot snack cups filled with fishy crackers and fruit. And to wash it all down, a container of the “ocean water” punch in French square plastic bottles with stripey straws. As an extra-fun snack, we filled little glass jars with blue jello and an orange gummy fish, tied with twine and a perfectly sized, chevron-patterned wooden spoon.

blue jello for preppy whale party

Another centerpiece includes a galvanized bucket, wrapped in nautical rope filled with sand and the most precious blue whale lollipops! To top it all off, fabulous 36-inch navy and orange polka dot balloons float like ocean bubbles above the kids table for a whimsical feel.

boys balloonscupcakes for preppy whale party

To set the sweets-table stage, we filled a pedestal beverage dispenser with blue “ocean water” punch and filled three old fashioned glass jars with scrumptious sweets, including blue raspberry gummy rings, orange gumballs and, of course, blueberry salt water taffy – reminiscent of cruising the boardwalk! Party-goers can fill personalized fabric whale favor bags with the candy to take home as a special treat!

whale cookie for party

A pod of sweet navy blue whale sugar cookies are placed on a white serving platter atop a multi-blue chevron fabric table runner that mimics ocean waves! White milk glass cake stands are stacked with white-frosted cupcakes adorned with navy and orange paper wrappers and polka dot ribbon flag toppers. The cupcake pièce de résistance is the charming blue fondant whale that sits at the very top of the cupcake tower!

The simple backdrop is covered in burlap and draped with natural-colored fish net with a delightful starfish making an appearance. And it wouldn’t be a Happy Wish Company party without our signature coordinating fabric pennant banner hanging above!

blue and orange candy jars

Little party guests are sure to have a “whale-of-a-time” at this sweet & simple Preppy Whale soiree!

We hope this party has provided some inspiration and ideas for your own nautical birthday celebrations!

Happy Wishes!

preppy whale party favor bagsorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

Resources:

All party supplies & décor (www.happywishcompany.com)  |  Photography (www.tammyhughes.com)  |   Fondant whale cupcake topper (www.edibledetails.com)

March 12th, 2013 |

PIN PARTY | VERA BRADLEY BABY LAUNCH

vera bradley pinterest party with the tomkat studio

We are so excited to be co-hosting a Pinterest Party with The TomKat Studio and other fabulous bloggers to celebrate the 3/14 arrival of Vera Bradley Baby! Help us create a Pinterest board live Tuesday, March 12th at 6pm PST/9pm EST by contributing the must-have items you brought in your bag when you had your baby. We have a great group of bloggers/stylists to join in for this fun event, as well as to host VIP events in their local stores this week for the launch!  The Party Dress/WH Hostess team is so excited to be hosting the event in Chicago!

Are you excited about Vera Bradley Baby? We sure are! 
Help us celebrate by joining us for the party on Pinterest tonight!

party hostesses for vera bradley baby pinterest partyKim (The TomKat Studio), Kelly (The Party Dress), Tara (Tara Wilson Events),
Stephanie (Couture Parties), Melisa + Pam (Project Nursery)

Here’s how you can participate …

If you were helping your best girlfriend pack her overnight bag, what would you suggest she carry? When the party begins, you can make recommendations by:

  • Visiting the Vera Bradley Facebook page and leaving a comment or link under our pinning party post
  • Tweeting @verabradley with #vbpinparty
  • Commenting on this blog post

Then head over to our “Vera Bradley Baby Pinning Party” board on Pinterest and watch as our stylish hostesses build a board full of the best ideas, including yours!

Be sure to follow along  and comment on your favorite pins for the chance to win SURPRISE PRIZES from Vera Bradley Baby!

vera bradley baby peeks

March 4th, 2013 |

WH HOSTESS | GLAM HELLO KITTY PARTY | DESSERT TABLE

hello kitty pink and black dessert tableAre you ready for some of the sweetest, pink dessert table details EVER?!  Last week, I shared some of the decor details from the ultra glam Hello Kitty we recently worked on with a client.  Today, I’m back with the SWEET details of the pink, black and white dessert table.  It’s bright, festive and with small touches that carry the Hello Kitty theme throughout, without making it feel like a true character party. The table was covered in a black tablecloth to make the white dishes and pink desserts really pop. A custom designed fabric backdrop featured the birthday girl’s name and age, and the table was flanked by two pink carnation topiary trees with a pennant banner sailing above the table, which created a fabulous vertical element to the design. pink carnation topiary detailpink and black dessert table banner detailDesserts included all pink candy – gumballs, gummies, rock candy, ribbon candy, m&m’s, hershey kisses with coordinating stickers on them. pink candy overhead The cake stands were topped with footed bowls, each holding either pink ribbon candy or pink rock candy sticks.  I loved the pop of color it brought to the table. pink rock candy sticks   Some of my favorite treats included brownie bites with 3-D pink fondant bows from Two Sugar Babies, polka dot chocolate-covered oreos from Sweeties by Kim, bow cookies by The Cookie Jar. hello kitty bow cookies hello kitty cake pops Hello Kitty Cake Pops by Angie’s Cakes brought the perfect touch of our “character” to the table, pink macarons, and darling cupcakes from Celebrity Cupcakes added to the table.  The table was accented with our gingham food tent cards and candy jar tags. collage of hello kitty desserts Pink gingham paper bags were dressed up with our kitty sticker, and were readily available for people to fill up with candy to bring home. hello kitty pink gingham candy bagsThe dessert table was accented with a GORGEOUS  three-tiered cake that had it’s own special table this year.  Covered in a pink tablecloth with a polka dot topper, the cake by Cakes by Gina was spectacular!  Three tiers featuring our custom patterns made by fondant, and a 3-D “3″ topper with flowers that spiked off the top tier….it was quite a work of art! hello kitty cake tablehello kitty cake detailThank you for stopping by to see all of the desserts from this amazing theme party.  Head back over tomorrow for the rest of the details about the food and drinks served and darling party favors. Photography by Ellenzilla

February 28th, 2013 |

WH HOSTESS | GLAM HELLO KITTY PARTY | DECOR

hello kitty party hanging signIt’s always a pleasure to share one of our client parties with you….especially when it’s one of our favorite clients!  I can’t believe that this is the third birthday party we have done for sweet Alexandra.  Do you remember her Monkey Love 1st birthday and her Girly Elmo 2nd birthday party?  This year, she decided she wanted a Hello Kitty Party, and it was my pleasure to work with her mom to create a gorgeous, stylized, glam twist on this character party. From a gorgeous lounge area to stunning florals, unique eats and a pink and black dessert table that is TO.DIE.FOR., this party has so many details that I am going to have to split it up into a few posts.  Today’s post is all about the party decor, and many of the details could serve as inspiration for any pink, black and white event. jumbo black, white and hot pink balloons Guests were invited with a pink & white gingham check party invitation in our new flourish shape.  It set the tone for a classic, yet festive birthday party.  The day of the party, guests were welcomed into the house by a jumbo-balloon lined front path, and Hello Kitty hanging welcome sign. front door decorated for hello kitty party Upon entering the house, they were “wow’d” by a cluster of hanging pomander balls in the foyer, made from carnations, you will see we repeated this look throughout the party. pink hanging pomanders party decorationThe family room was set up with tables for adults and children, each featuring their own unique look.  The adult tables were scattered about inside and out, and featured a mixture of hot pink silk tablecloths, and black and white polka dot ones.  Silver, footed vessels held gorgeous arrangements of pink roses. pink rose centerpiece black and white tablecloths pink black and white party tablesettings The children had their own, very special table: a low table covered in black linens with a table runner made from our custom bow lattice fabric, hot pink chairs, and three darling centerpieces. hello kitty party kids table detail Two of centerpieces were polka dot-covered vases with dense pink carnations and coordinating centerpiece sticks, and the very special one in the center of the table was a hello kitty head made completely of flowers! hello kitty floral centerpiece I just LOVE these mini hot pink Chivari chairs!  They really pop agains the black tablecloth and highlight our custom bow lattice fabric table runner.  I don’t know about you, but I would DIE to pull up a chair at this table! pink and black kids table fabric runner The yard was decorated with balloons, and a few different seating areas for people to relax in. pink black and white balloons verticalTheir outdoor living room was dressed up with throw pillows made from our coordinating custom fabric in gingham check and bow lattice patterns. dress up an outdoor sitting area with pink and black pillows pillows made from wh hostess pink, black and white fabric And my favorite part….the black and white cabana striped tent, which held a seating arrangement of modern white chairs and chaises, and big hot pink throw pillows.  It was the perfect spot to relax while enjoying a “meow mojito”. black and white striped tentStay tuned tomorrow for more details on this gorgeous Hello Kitty party, including all of the food and drink details.  I’ll leave you today with this cute shot of the birthday girl running into the party!

hello kitty party birthday girl wearing pink tutuPhotography by Ellenzilla

February 11th, 2013 |

PINTEREST PARTY | PROJECT NURSERY + OLD NAVY

old navy pin partyWe’re SO excited to be co-hosting a Pinterest Party tonight with Project Nursery, Old Navy and SO many fabulous hostesses. Project Nursery is partnering with Old Navy to celebrate their sale offering up to 40% off all baby and kids clothing (sale ends February 20, 2013), and we have teamed up with them and some of the most stylish party planners, designers and bloggers to create a jaw-dropping Pinterest board for a pin party extravaganza! Not sure how to dress your little one for their next birthday bash? We’ve got you covered! We’ll be pairing stylish outfits from the Old Navy Kids and Baby Sale with over-the-top party themes.

Featuring special guest pinners from Project NurseryMom TrendsSavvy Sassy MomsCupcake MagPetite Party StudioA Blissful NestFrog Prince PaperieThe Party Dress and Salt & Nectar

Log on February 11th at 6pm PST/9pm EST to see the pinning in progress or check back after to see our complete Party Inspiration Pin Board.

 

February 11th, 2013 |

STYLISH KIDS PARTIES | VALENTINES TIC TAC TOE

chocolate tic tac toe for valentine's dayI’m back with a little peek from my book, Stylish Kids Parties (launching Fall 2013, F+W Media). Kids love holidays, so of course we had to include some holiday party ideas.  Since Valentine’s Day is this week, I thought I would share one of my favorite ideas: chocolate tic tac toe games!  Whether you use it as a party activity, or a special Valentine’s Day treat for your kiddos’ friends – it’s simple and oh, so much fun.

I packaged up a roll of washi tape from Shop Sweet Lulu with a set of chocolate X’s and O’s that I made using plastic molds and melting chocolates from Michael’s.  So simple to do, and the kids had a blast with it!

tic tac toe chocolate party favorStay tuned for more behind the scenes posts for the book coming soon!  Did you catch this one?

January 24th, 2013 |

PARTY PREP | BABY CHIC

baby shower prepThe very cold temps here in Chicago this week have ensured that I have been hibernating inside and catching up on design work and also prepping all of the decorations for our “Baby Chic” Baby Shower photo shoot (Friday) and baby shower (Sunday) for my sister!  If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen some of these.  But here are a few images of the prep work, and even with the horrible lighting, you can get an idea of the aqua/coral/silver/nude color palette we are using (gender-neutral) and some of the decor elements.

What do you think?!

January 14th, 2013 |

MOD VALENTINE’S DAY + FREE PRINTABLES

Modern Valentine's Day Party Balloon

Valentine’s Day is exactly one month from today…..it’s time to start planning your parties, classroom treats and sweet ideas for loved ones.  It’s the perfect opportunity to show your family a little extra love in the sweets department. Dessert tables have been trending for some time now and are a staple at most parties. But you don’t need to be serving a crowd of 30 to pull off a stylized table. Even if you are hosting a small party of 5, you can organize your sweets in a stylized, festive way….making your day seem that much sweeter.

valentine's day dessert table

I love the color red, so there is never a doubt that it will be the center of any of my Valentine’s Day parties. This year, I decided to update it with some bold black and white patterns: a chevron, a clover and some crisp stripes. To throw in a pop of color, I created modern conversation hearts in bright, pop colors with some contemporary sayings like “call me, maybe” and “text me”. You can download these for FREE and make cupcake toppers or string them into a banner.

valentine's day chevron cake pops

For this simple dessert table, I topped a crisp white table-cloth with a striped, square topper. The centerpiece was created by stacking cake stands and a footed candy dish together to create a tower that anchored the big, 36” balloon from Shop Sweet Lulu. The cake stands were covered with patterned Cake Plate Clings and held both cupcakes and candy. Red pots were full of tiny, pearlized candy balls, and held chevron cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes and darling heart lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.

valentine's day desserts

Small, 6” cake stands held jars of red gumballs, chocolate covered oreos topped with big red and pink hearts, and conversation heart cookies from Firefly Confections. Jumbo marshmallows were dipped in red chocolate and sat in striped cupcake liners. They held our darling modern conversation heart cupcake toppers. Old-fashioned candy sticks in a crisp black and white stripe fit into our theme perfectly.

heart chocolate-covered oreos

striped candy sticks

I think this table is a perfect example of creating something special for a small group, so it’s perfect for a family dinner or kids’ playdate for Valentine’s Day.

lollipops

To download the free conversation heart printables, and for more Valentine’s Day party ideas, please click on the image below.

valentine's day conversation heart free download

November 12th, 2012 |

Thankful Turkey Playdate

The launch of the Holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine last week brought about a whole slew of fabulous ideas for entertaining this holiday season.  With Thanksgiving only a week and a half a way, and the kids out of school for a few days, it’s the perfect time to plan a Thankful Turkey Playdate.  And we are fortunate to have a darling party and craft idea by Nicolle of Libby Lane Press to inspire you!  Read on for ideas as told by Nicolle, herself…..

“With fall in the air and Thanksgiving around the corner, what better way to get the littlest guests involved in the festivities than with a Little Turkey Playdate. This is a fun and festive way to personalize your Thanksgiving table with handmade love.

Weather-permitting, set up your party to take place outdoors, using natural elements to create a warm and inviting tablescape. I used ruffled burlap garland strung from the barn table, a simple burlap runner that was gathered at the ends of the table with jute twine. A wire basket filled with straw and brown eggs added to the harvest feel, and a galvanized vase filled with branches and paper leaf cut outs were hung with bakers twine to create a thankfulness tree.

The children snacked on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread cut with a round cookie cutter to create the body of the turkey. A mix of red and green apples were featured as feathers, carrots as legs and the beak and a sliver of red apple peel as the waddle. The edible eyes were added and this darling turkey found its way to a paper plate threaded with grosgrain ribbon. The children gobbled on a sweet and salty mix of pretzels, popcorn, candy corn and M&M’s displayed in a glass milk bottle wrapped with jute twine to keep with the rustic theme of party.

To round out the play date, the children created their own Thankful Turkey to share at their family feasts. In the true spirit of the season, plan a simple play date with friends to make memories that will last Thanksgiving Day.

SUPPLIES

Toilet Paper Roll  |  Glue/Glue Stick  |  Scissors  |  2 Googly Eyes  |  Craft Feathers  | Construction Paper/Cardstock  |  Beak & Waddle (foam sticker or cut from construction paper)

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut 5-8 feathers from the construction paper/cardstock.

Have your child write someone/something they are thankful for on each of the paper tail feathers (if your child is too young to write themselves, simply ask them what they’re thankful for and write for them).

Glue the tail feathers to the back of the toilet paper roll.

Cover the toilet paper roll with glue and stick the craft feathers to the body.

Glue the eyes onto the front  and stick the beak & waddle stickers to the front (if you do not have stickers, cut a small triangle from yellow paper for the beak and peanut shape from red paper for the waddle).

Helpful Hint: Prepare separate ziplock bags filled with supplies for each child before they arrive.

For more Holiday Entertaining Ideas, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

buy a printed copy   |   read the digital copy

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