November 10th, 2014 | Comments

HOME for the HOLIDAYS

home gifts introThe most magical time of the year is upon us and it’s time to stock up on your holiday entertaining items and preppy, personalized gifts.  We have so many festive items in the shop this year.  Here are a few of our favorites:

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Our gorgeous foil-stamped beverage napkins are the perfect addition to your bar cart, but also make a fabulous hostess gift!

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Set festive table for a holiday dinner party, or surprise your kiddos with a special, personalized plate.

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Hot chocolate tastes sweeter when served up in a darling ceramic mug.  PS – these are also our #1 teacher gift!

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Serve up drinks & desserts on our festive lucite trays.  Removable inserts, and preppy, personalized patterns make this a must-have gift for any hostess!

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Our exclusive Cake Plate Clingsdress up cake stands and serving dishes for any occasion!  Acting as a modern doily, they are a non-adhesive, reusable decorative liner.

November 3rd, 2014 | Comments

NEW! PERSONALIZED FOIL-STAMPED CELLO BAGS

cello bags topiaryWhen it comes to planning out our holiday offerings for the shop, I like to think in three different categories: entertaining, gift giving and packaging. Packaging encompasses everything from hostess gifts, to food gifts to gift wrap accessories like gift stickers and foil-stamped gift tags.  One of my favorite new products are these gorgeous foil-stamped cello bags.

cello bag close-upOur brand-new foil embossed personalized cellophane bags are an exciting addition to the WH Hostess holiday collection! They are small flat, not gusseted, clear bags that look wonderful when personalized and filled with any goodie you like. Try red and green candy, homemade baked goods, small gifts, or party favors. They make the perfect addition to your dessert table, laid out for guests to fill with sweets. They are also a great way to wrap holiday gifts for teachers and friends. They can be tied with ribbon, twist ties or with the tops folded and sealed with stickers.

cello bags in hands

foil color options

 

With 12 different foil ink colors and 30 preppy modern designs to choose from, you can create a unique packaging to perfectly suit your needs!

Set of 50.
3.75″ w X 9″ h

Here’s how it works:

1. Select a design from the swatchbook
2. Select an ink color from the swatchbook
3. Tell us your personalization request
4. Wait on pins & needles for your fabulous cello bags to arrive!
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October 20th, 2014 |

HOLIDAY PHOTO CARDS | NEW DESIGNS & SAVE 20%

preppy modern christmas photo cards from wh hostessIt’s always an exciting day around here when we officially “launch” our holiday collection.  It’s no secret that I love a good party (in fact, we celebrated my son’s 1st birthday yesterday!  more to come on that soon….), but when October rolls around, we kick into holiday gear around here.  Personalized gifts at great price points (perfect for teachers, hostess gifts, and stocking stuffers), amazing packaging ideas for gifts (gift stickers, foil gift tags, foil cello bags, and personalized cookie tins, just to name a few), and my personal favorite….our holiday photo cards.

I always consider it an honor to design my clients Christmas cards – to be trusted with their family photos and creating a design (either from our collection or custom) that perfectly suits their family – it’s a pretty fantastic job!

This year, we revamped our holiday card collection, and I’m thrilled to share it with you today.  Don’t worry, we kept some of our favorites from over the years, but we gave them a little update and added in about 30 new designs!  They are fresh, preppy, modern, updated….but yet still have that classic feel that resonates so deeply with me.  Whether you are looking for classic red & green, or super colorful & preppy, or clean & crisp – there are options for everyone!

Here’s where it gets fun…..  This year, all of our holiday cards are offered as double-sided. We were able to lower our prices, and give you way more bang for your buck!  Offering you a gorgeous, beautifully printed card, with your choice of customization on the back.  You can select from either the coordinating patterned back, or from one of our 9 different collage back options, giving you the opportunity to showcase more pictures of your family.  Oh, and PS – many, many of our designs are now offered in multiple color ways!  Want something custom? Absolutely!  Want to add gold foil accents to your card? Absolutely!

Here are just a few of my favorite designs…..

preppy modern christmas photo cards from wh hostessAnd here are the different collage photo back options…..

photo back options blog postTo celebrate the launch of our holiday collection, we are offering you a 20% discount on your order if placed before October 31, 2014.  Using the code HOLIDAY2014, it’s the perfect time to place your holiday card order, get a jump start on gift giving or order your personalized gift tags.  Happy Shopping!DISCOUNT

October 7th, 2014 |

PARTY-PLANNING | GRUMPY CAT PARTY DECOR

grumpy cat halloween party decorationsToday, I am so excited to announce my partnership with Friskies and Petsmart to throw a Grumpy Cat themed Halloween party for my friends and family.  Have you ever seen The Grumpy Cat?  He’s HILARIOUS and my little friends LOVE him.  So I was thrilled with the opportunity to design a party that I know they will get a kick out of.  Over the next three weeks, I am going to share my tips and ideas for throwing this theme party.  I hope it inspires you to throw your own party!

suppliesI want to create a simple DIY party decoration that fills up some blank walls and is theme appropriate.  I came up with these simple paper fan decorations.  Using basic supplies and a little creativity, you can take a plain paper fan and turn it into a black cat, a pumpkin, a red devil…the options are endless!  For this Halloween party, I think the black cat and pumpkin are just perfect.

Here’s how to do it:

Gather up your supplies: paper fans, solid color scrapbook paper for accents (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc), scissors and double-stick tape.

Open up your paper fans, and cut out your accents from the scrapbook paper.  I chose to do ears, eyes and a nose on my cat, and a stem, eyes and mouth on my pumpkin.

diy stepYou can secure your accents with double-stick tape, or glue if you wish for them to be more permanent.  And voila – they are complete and ready to be hung as party decor.  Simple, inexpensive and quick to make!  My kind of party decoration! ;)

tableNow, if you are interested in planning your own Grumpy Cat party, the first step is to visit PetSmart.com/friskies to download the exclusive Friskies Grump-O-Lantern pumpkin stencil.  Your kids will get such a kick out of carving a Grumpy Cat pumpkin (or a “Grumpkin”!). Upload and share your Grumpy Cat pumpkin carving masterpiece to their site or any social media site using #Grumpkin and #ThePartyDress.

Friskies will donate $500 to PetSmart Charities on behalf of the blogger whose audience uploads the most #Grumpkin images.  Don’t forget to tag #ThePartyDress, too!

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM FRISKIES IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.

October 6th, 2014 |

CRAFT PARTY BACKDROPS | EPSON PROJECTOR

When it comes to party crafting, there are so many options for making your special day extra festive and theme appropriate.  When discussing events with clients or blog readers, the questions I get asked the most often are about dessert table backdrops and photo booth backdrops.
I partnered up with Epson to bring you two creative, and simple to execute backdrop ideas using their latest projector.
dessert table 1Planning a birthday party can be a daunting task when you want to present a stylized dessert table.  Using a projector and my free image download, you too can create a stunning piece of art to bring your dessert table up to the next level.  And, the great thing about this project, is that you can color coordinate your backdrop to your individual party.
Here’s how I did it:
I plugged my laptop into the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2000 and pointed it at a wall that I had cleared off and hung a large sheet of white craft paper. Using the dial on the lens, I was able to adjust the size of the projected image – ensuring that it was the right size for my specific needs.  I should tell you that it was so simple to use, and only required one cord to plug in my laptop (you could also use a smart phone or tablet).
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I used paint to create my backdrop, but also use markers or colored pencils.  It’s also a great project to do with your kids.  Following the projected image on the wall, I painted on my first coat of paint.  Once I allowed that to dry, I removed the paper from the wall and laid it flat before painting on a second coat to get those really vibrant colors you see in the photo.  The projector made it so simple to create a festive backdrop – and much more cost-effective than printing a large scale poster.
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Here are some creative ideas for styling your dessert table:
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I love styling a colorful dessert table that could be used for any type of birthday celebration.  When working with a color palette that includes more than 3 colors, I suggest grounding the table with all white linens, cake stands and serving pieces to really let the colors of the candy pop.
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Since Halloween is rapidly approaching, I thought it would be fun to create a festive backdrop that could be used for a modern-day photo booth.  Hosting a party this month?  This is such a fun addition, and kids and adults alike will enjoy posing for funny photos in front of it.
painting pumpkinI followed the same steps for this backdrop as I did for the birthday one above.  I scaled the size of this one to be about 4-5 feet tall, so that my little friends could pose in front of it.
painting the pumpkin backdropHere are some cute shots of the kids posing in front of the backdrop:
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halloween backdrop
It turned out so fun, right?!  So, here’s where you get busy….
Download the free printables HERE and use in conjunction with your favorite projector (we LOVED working with the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2000) to create your masterpiece.  And….if you hurry, you can enter to win your very own Epson projector.  Click HERE to head over to explore the Epson site and enter the sweepstakes.
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This post was sponsored by Epson, but the opinions expressed in it are all mine!

October 1st, 2014 |

WELCOME, OCTOBER!

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Image via Fashion Jackson

Welcome, October!  I know I say this every month, but can you believe how fast this year has gone?  I think back to a year ago, and I had a round belly and was anticipating the birth of my first child in December.  As most of you know, he shocked us with his October arrival and our world changed forever.  This has truly been the fastest year of my life, and certainly filled with the most joy.  October is a happy, happy month for us.  We get glorious weather here in Chicago, and bask in those last few weeks of outdoor time before the winter hibernation begins.  We celebrate our wedding anniversary, and this year – our sweet baby boy’s first birthday!  (see the start of my plans here)

Fall entertaining is one of my favorites.  From a simple chili bar to entertain a crowd, to a cozy wine tasting to celebrate the harvest this month….October is a great time to pull out the fall decor and throw a party!

October is also a busy month, both here on the blog and in the shop, WH Hostess.  The blog has a ton of really fun Halloween posts coming up, we’ve partnered with a few great brands to bring you some great ideas that are simple to replicate for your family or classroom parties.  We have some darling real parties to share with you, and will continue to share new products from WH Hostess that are perfect for the holiday season (did you see the new foil-embossed stationery yesterday?!).

Speaking of WH Hostess, there are A LOT of really exciting things going on behind the scenes that I will share with you soon.  Although birthday parties remain a focus in October, it also brings the launch of our holiday collection!  Our brand new holiday card designs have already been added to the shop, in case you want to take a peek.  We are SO excited about the collection this year.  It’s fresh, updated and has so many options for you to customize a card just for your family and photo.  Multiple color options, the option of a patterned back or a photo collage back to share more photos of your family, and wait for it……we were able to lower our prices, bringing you a stellar product and allowing you to save just a little bit more for those holiday gifts!  More to come soon about the holiday products and gift ideas at a great price point…

Enjoy the month, friends!  See you back here tomorrow for some more fall inspiration!

kelly signature

 

 

 

 

 

September 30th, 2014 |

WH HOSTESS | FOIL-STAMPED STATIONERY

personalized foil stamped stationery with preppy modern designsWe’re downright swooning over our new foil-stamped personalized stationery! New to the shop, we offer 18 fresh, modern designs that have you covered for your everyday social stationery needs. Here’s where it gets exciting….

textThese fold over cards and envelopes are made from a beautiful high end Italian paper and are available in 15 exquisite colors. The darker colors look great when a light or metallic colored pen is used! Our collection includes a variety of designs for everyday notes, and gift enclosures, with countless paper and foil options. Choose from one of our preppy, modern designs and customize your folded notecards to fit your family’s personality. A dream come true for paper lovers!

foil embossed personalized notecards with preppy modern designs
Whether you are looking for a gorgeous monogram, a modern preppy pattern, or a simple graphic such as an anchor, pineapple or bow – you can create a unique gift set of stationery perfect for your letters, thank you notes, and gift enclosures.

At $58 for a boxed set of 50 folded notecards and envelopes, they make a fabulous birthday or holiday gift!

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September 29th, 2014 |

PARTY PLANNING | APPLE 1st BIRTHDAY

apple party itemsI can hardly believe that I am about to utter these words, but…..I’M. PLANNING. A. FIRST. BIRTHDAY. PARTY.  Already!  This has been the fastest year of my life and I truly can’t believe we are here already.  I’ve spent the last 6 years planning birthday parties for other people’s children, so I am SO excited to finally be able to plan one for my own.

I wanted to choose a theme that was fun, somewhat seasonal, yet would have a very classic undertone.  A theme that when we look back at pictures 10-20 years from now, it wouldn’t seem trendy or outdated.  So, an “apple of our eye” theme was chosen.  I knew right away that I wanted to incorporate a gingham check into the paper goods, but went a little un-traditional by opting for a black and white pattern.  Mixing it with my “mod apple” pattern, a lot of crisp white accents, and a little chalkboard accent, I think it’s going to be really fun and playful.

We are having the party at our local park and other than getting the invitations in the mail and the start of this little vision board…..I haven’t done much else!  3 weeks to go and so much planning to do!  Do you have any ideas that you think would be perfect for this theme?  Pass them on!!

Images: paper goods by whhostess.com, ceramic bushel baskets by crateandbarrel.com, black and white buffalo check fabric by ikea.com, apple fabric by whhostess.com, red 36″ balloons by shopsweetlulu.com

September 26th, 2014 |

BABY STATIONERY + ETIQUETTE TIPS for THANK YOU NOTES

baby stationery personalized notecards and tips for writing thank you notes

Thank you notes can be a tedious process, especially with a newborn. People tend to underestimate the power of the hand-written thank you note. Some think it is better to send an immediate e-mail or simply say thanks in person. But, a hand-written note is the ideal way to show your appreciation. Follow our tips to simplify the process and write a charming note.

BABY STATIONERY SELECTION

We prefer classic notecards that stand the test of time. A simple stripe, a soft gingham check, or a perfect monogram to share your baby’s new “logo” are an excellent choice. If you are sending thank you notes around the same time as your birth announcements, coordinating them is a lovely option.

CREATE AN ADDRESS LIST

One of the best suggestions we can give you is to create or update your address list prior to your baby’s arrival. Creating a cohesive resource list saves you time and also can allow your husband to help you address thank you notes and birth announcements!

THANK YOU NOTE TIMELINE

Thank you notes for baby shower gifts should be sent within three weeks of the shower, unless the baby has made an early arrival. Once a baby has arrived, you have a little more time to get notes sent. However, we encourage you to send them within 3 months of receiving the gift.

PERFECT YOUR PENMANSHIP

No matter how badly you wish to type up a letter, or even send an e-mail to express your thanks – please don’t! A handwritten note will best express your gratitude and warm the hearts of the people who put thought into a gift for your baby.

PERSONALIZE IT

Not just in the personalized stationery, but in what you actually say in the note. Make sure to express your thanks for the specific item that was gifted to your baby, and offer how you plan to use it. Close by mentioning a time you hope to see the person in the future, or possibly introduce your child to them.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Show your personality in your note, don’t try to be too formal if you aren’t. Don’t over exaggerate your love of the item gifted, and never mention an exact amount of money.

SEND THANKS FOR ACTS OF KINDNESS

No act of kindness is too small in my opinion! If someone took the time to bring you a meal, or take your older children on a playdate so you could spend some time with the baby – thank them properly!

Along with the launch of our digital magazine, BABY by WH HOSTESS, also came a new collection of baby stationery.  Featuring soft colors, and classic patterns such as stripes, gingham checks and polka dots, our personalized flat notecards ooze that fresh baby look.  And, as an added bonus, they coordinate perfectly with our baby shower invitations and birth announcements!

classic preppy personalized stationery for baby

September 25th, 2014 |

BABY SHOWER GIFT IDEAS + PROJECT NURSERY: THE SHOP

When it came time to put together the BABY by WH HOSTESS issue, I knew I wanted to invite a few friends to share their tips and ideas.  Of course, I went straight to the ladies at Project Nursery + Project Junior!  Melisa and Pam run projectnursery.com, a trusted source for its millions of readers who are in search of children’s design inspiration.  They were the perfect people to ask “what’s your favorite baby shower gift?”

baby by wh hostess digital magazineMelisa and Pam came up with great gift ideas that are perfect for both mama and baby.  You can read all about them in the issue (click on the images or HERE), and the truly exciting news….they just launched an e-commerce shop where you can now search for baby nursery décor and gifts.  To say we’re excited is an understatement!

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The shop’s mission is to offer carefully curated products and exclusive collaborations with brands that meet Project Nursery’s discerning taste in an effort to elevate nursery design. Simply put, The Project Nursery Shop offers parents access to incredible products that guarantee a well-designed nursery.

Mindful of the fact that new parents are often overwhelmed by the children’s market, Project Nursery purposefully selects the best items in each category to reflect what is trending in nursery design. Project Nursery plans to strategically update its products, all while continuing to offer a small assortment of timeless products that are handcrafted and of high quality.

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Project Nursery Co-Founders, Melisa Fluhr and Pam Ginocchio have been fielding the same questions year after year: Who makes that bedding? What color is that? Where can I find that rug? “The answer is easy,” said Fluhr. “Our active community has been our main source of inspiration over the last 6+ years. As our audience and traffic continues to flourish, it’s important that we listen to our readers. This means providing access to the most coveted décor items found in our Project Gallery pages via The Project Nursery Shop.” The new shop offers a wide selection of products such as paint, furniture, bedding, room decor, party decor and gifts for both mom and baby.

Congratulations!  We can’t wait to shop!

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