July 2nd, 2012 |

Ships Ahoy! Nautical Baby Shower

One of my favorite summer themes is a classic, navy & white, nautical party.  Crisp, classic and can be interrupted so many different ways.  We updated our nautical collection with a preppy modern chain link pattern and a bold anchor, added a touch of yellow and it quickly became one of our best sellers….perfect for a baby shower, birthday party or pool party.

When we started working on the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine, we turned to Lynlee Beckett, of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes, to create a preppy baby shower using our Mod Nautical collection.  Read on for all of the darling details, as told by Lynlee….

For expectant mothers due in the Summer months, there’s no better way to welcome their new first mate than with a nautical-themed baby shower! I adore the Mod Nautical Anchor collection by the WH Hostess, pairing several shades of blue with a bright and refreshing pop of yellow, which I utilized to style this bright and cheery luncheon. I decided to focus on a mature feel to honor the mother-to-be, with the infusion of playful and sweet details. The beautiful invitation set the mood, inviting guests to join the celebration seaside.

The luncheon table was set with a burlap covering and a striped blue runner. A lantern served as the centerpiece and inside, a coral decoration sculpted with chicken wire, white coffee filters and yellow cupcake liners. Each setting held blue fish plates and coordinating small plates to carry lemons for the seafood meal. You can dress up the silver- ware by simply tying a colorful ribbon around and placing it directly on the napkins. Water bottle labels can also be used to adorn glasses.

The dessert table was set-up along the waterfront, providing a gorgeous view and anchoring the party. The Anthropologie-inspired backdrop resembled a sail from afar, but at closer look, also simulated coral. As a juxtaposition, I propped up a basketweave anchor that, with the burlap tablecloth, added a natural feel to the crisp, vivid colors.

Desserts centered around the nautical theme, and utilized several lemon and fruit treats, along with traditional sweets. I hollowed out lemons, topped with lemon custard and blueberries, displayed them in a seaside lantern with cupcake toppers. Small mason jars were filled with milk and lifesaver donuts sat perched on the rims with the help of fish drink stirrers.  Chocolate-dipped Oreo pops were decorated to look like portholes, while marshmallows resembled numbered buoys. Lemon cupcakes were embellished with fondant sailor onesies, bibs and baby bottles, nestled in sugar sand, along with chocolate sea shells in a nautical steering wheel tray. Sea urchin meringue cookies were scattered throughout and an “AHOY” pennant banner hung in front of the table.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

 

June 26th, 2012 |

Summer Fun: Sponge Waterballs

Time for another fun idea to celebrate summer with your kids: Sponge Waterballs are one of my favorites! It’s the new water balloon. When you’re done with them outside, bring them inside for bathtime fun!

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

Photography by Kim Flores of Whimsy Baby Photography

June 19th, 2012 |

Fun in the Sun: Everyday Party Ideas

Summer is the perfect time to get outside with your Littles and celebrate! Make everyday a party with items you have at home. Forget the party store when you have DIY projects that are easy as 1, 2, 3!  Here are a few ideas I put together for the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Idea #1: Spruce up your table by planting flowers in a watermelon

Idea #2: Make flower straws with candy and flattened cupcake wrappers

Idea #3: Make your own mini-candy bar with colorful candy cups

Idea #4: Serve seasonal flavored cupcakes on colorful mini pedestals, Georgetown Cupcake recommends Berry Lemon and Banana Split

Idea #5: Decorate your tables with paper lanterns

Photography by Kim Flores of Whimsy Baby Photography

Resources:

Martha Stewart Crafts, Mini Cupcake Wrappers and Regular Cupcake Wrappers | JoAnn Fabrics

Polka Dot + Stripe Candy Cups, Striped Paper Straws, Paper Lanterns | The TomKat Studio Shop

Pink Cupcake Stand | The Papered Nest

Cupcakes | Georgetown Cupcakes


 

June 5th, 2012 |

Caterpillar Birthday Party Dessert Table

Our Caterpillar birthday party featured in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine is full of sweet treats!  We loved all of the creative details, and so did dessert table guru, Amy Atlas!  She was kind enough to feature this dessert table on her blog last Friday.

As always, the desserts stole the show! I used our chevron patterned fabric as a back drop, and a crisp white tablecloth on the table.  Since I planned to use all white dishes, I placed a red table runner going across the table, in order to make the desserts “pop”.

The two tiered fondant-covered cake from Two Sugar Babies held center stage and featured our colorful patterns and fruits from the book.  A 3-D caterpillar, as well as a mini bunting, sat atop the cake.

A make-shift tiered tray (using a white plate and white berry baskets) held candy runts from Candywarehouse.com, cello bags with our custom fruit toppers held hard candy, and rice krispy treats covered with fondant from Two Sugar Babies.  Check back this afternoon for Charynn’s DIY tips on re-creating the rice krispy treats!

One of my favorite elements were cake pops in the shape of fruit from Sweet Lauren Cakes!  We displayed them in pots of wheat grass which tied back to the caterpillar centerpiece on our table.

Green and white striped cups held candy runts and re-purposed cupcake toppers, red boxes were full of candy that the kids brought home as party favors. Rainbow lollipops and candy from Candywarehouse.com was used as an accessory throughout the entire table.

Check back this afternoon for Charynn’s tips on re-creating our fondant-covered fruit rice krispy treats!

 

June 5th, 2012 |

Caterpillar Birthday Party

I have to say…it’s been a while since I have been THIS excited to show off one of my parties to you.  I just love creating parties styled around children’s books, so I was so excited when my client asked me to create a custom suite of party goods and style a party around a beloved children’s book.  The goal was simple: bright, primary colors, a focus on fruit and a modern interpretation of everyone’s favorite caterpillar.

I started by designing the collection of paper goods, including an exclusive caterpillar illustration, and two patterns that appeared throughout the entire party: a colorful polka dot and a green and yellow chevron pattern.

The table setting held one of my favorite elements to the party…..a 3-D caterpillar centerpiece that I crafted from painted mini paper lanterns, and grass plants. A table runner made from our polka dot fabric, simple yellow plates, and striped silverware from Pottery Barn Kids added to the whimsical look.

Simple yellow plates held a charming apple cupcake, which was inspired by Amy Atlas’s new book, Sweet Designs.  Grass cupcake wrappers tied in our theme to the wheat grass centerpiece. Each child had a name plate hanging on the back of their colorful chair, each featuring a different fruit from the collection.

Check back this afternoon for all of the sweet details from the Very Hungry Caterpillar dessert table!

June 5th, 2012 |

Fruit-Shaped Rice Krispy Treats

Hey, Everyone!  Charynn here to share a few tips on re-creating the darling fruit-shaped rice krispy treats that I made for Kelly’s recent Caterpillar birthday party.  These were very simple to do and I know you could all handle this! (PS – you could take this concept and apply it to any theme or shape!)

I used store-bought rice krispy bars for two reasons: 1) to save time and 2) so that they would already be a consistant thickness. Kelly was kind enough to provide me with her fruit illustrations, but you could either create your own or find some online to download.  Cut the shape out to use it as a template.

I flattened my rice krispy bars with a rolling pin to make them a bit wider and then used either a cookie cutter or the template and a knife to cut out the shape.  Don’t forget to cut out the little hole in each one! Repeat these steps with store-bought fondant (which you can color with food coloring).  Attach the fondant with clear piping gel and voila!

May 15th, 2012 |

Baby Shower BRIGHTS!

With Spring comes baby shower season and well, I am all about color. These are my favorite months because you can get outside and bring out some serious color. When it comes to baby showers, I love seeing the pink + orange combo or the coral + teal trend. They make for great color palettes for any party – especially baby showers.
I am absolutely in love with the oh-so-chic bridal shower full of brights that Kelly styled. Just perfection! It could easily transform into a baby shower. The coral + teal baby shower featured on The Party Dress blog was one of my favorites too!
Currently though, I am really in love with yellow. Yellow with pink, yellow with aqua, yellow with white…..I just love a bright ray of sunshine. And, it works for girls, boys or even gender neutral.
Not into going bright + bold? Pick a stand out color and match it with something subdued.

Oh, and if you haven’t heard the news, I am now a daily writer for Babble.com.  I recently rounded up 15 Pinterest Inspired Baby Showers, WH Hostess included! Make sure you head over and browse the slideshow.


Stay tuned for my favorite Neutral Baby Showers next week!
March 30th, 2012 |

Little Blue Car

It’s been such a fun, colorful week here on TPD!  Thank you all for following along with Character Parties week – I hope you have enjoyed viewing all of the featured parties.  Today’s party is a bit of a different “character” party.  Where the other featured parties have had a commercialized character center stage (cookie monster, eloise and elmo) today’s party has a more generic character or icon…..the little blue car.

This first birthday party is one of my favorite parties to date.  It was actually a year ago (yes, I am seriously behind in posting it) and I partnered with my friend, event planner Christi Bennett of P is for Party to create the paper goods for her client.  Featured on Hostess with the Mostess and in the Summer 2011 issue of The Party Dress Magazine, this collection has become one of our top selling.  It’s the perfect mix of preppy and classic, modern and festive….and features the beloved chevron pattern. Read on for details from Christi:

The birthday boy’s favorite toy is his Step 2 blue car, so my friend and client, Andrea, knew she wanted to base the party around Luke’s favorite pastime. Once we decided on the theme, I quickly contacted Kelly fromThe Party Dress and WH Hostess to get started.  We knew we would use blue since that was the color of the car, but we needed another fun color to complete the scheme.  We settled on a bright orange that paired perfectly with the blue!

Andrea works full time, so she wanted me to coordinate the party from beginning to end and let her be fully surprised with most of the details.  So, Kelly and I took the LITTLE BLUE CAR theme and ran with it.  Even though this was a first birthday celebration, most of the people in attendance were adults.  Kelly did such a wonderful job creating paper goods that were kid friendly as well as pleasing to the adult eye.  I had the task of creating a setting where adults would have a nice time as well as the little ones.

I ordered a yard of coordinating custom fabric that my Mom sewed two pillows from.  The pillows were placed on the outdoor fireplace along with a “Happy Birthday Luke” banner.

The tables were set with simple white tablecloths, but custom cardstock placemats gave them the perfect pop of color!  Whole Foods created the floral arrangements in white ceramic containers from IKEA, which I provided.  I placed one of Kelly’s centerpiece sticks in each arrangement to give it more of a childish and playful feel.

The drink table was a popular area since it was unusually hot and humid for this time of year and the party guests couldn’t resist the Bellini station, which gave a nod to our orange color scheme.

I placed custom wrapped water bottles and other sodas and beer in white galvanized tins from Crate and Barrel.  Kelly’s custom wraps also adorned glass bottles ordered from Specialty Bottle and filled with orange soda.

James Coney Island, a favorite local hot dog joint, catered the party.  Instead of serving the traditional French fries, I created a small chip bar with 4 varieties of chips. Food tent cards were displayed in front of each clear bowl.

A dessert table was a must since all ages were able to enjoy the treats.  I filled the table with blue, orange and white sweets.  The candy was placed in glass containers from The Container Store and the desserts were set on white platters from Target.

My favorite part of the table was the custom tile backdrop handcrafted by Kelly!  She printed out multiple sheets of the coordinating patterns and glued them to ribbon, which I tacked to white foam board.

The two tiered cake was made by Cakes by Gina and they did an amazing job reproducing the patterns from the paper goods. The cookie, cake pops and cupcakes were made locally by Michael’s Cookie Jar, Nathalie Cook and Rice Epicurean.

I purchased blue striped cupcake wrappers from Shop Lulu to dress up the store bought cupcakes.  I also found the candy bags and cups from Shop Lulu.  Kelly also provided custom box wraps to dress up the white boxes, which served as pedestals for the candy jars.

Charynn of Two Sugar Babies designed custom fondant toppers for the brownies and they were perfect!

Guests took home fresh lemonade bottled in jars from IKEA as party favors.  The bottles were adorned with favor tags that said, “Beep! Beep!  Thanks for Coming!”.

March 29th, 2012 |

Character Parties LINK PARTY!

I hope we have inspired you with our featured Character Parties this week!  Now, it’s time for you to inspire us and our readers!  Have you created a fabulous character party?!  Link your party below and share the inspiration!

 

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