December 31st, 2012 |

Happy New Year 2013!

As 2012 comes to an end (as does our much-needed holiday break), I wanted to pop in here quickly to say Happy New Year!  2012 was full of so many blessings and new opportunities, and as always, I want to thank all of you for following along with us. It’s such a blessing to have this wonderful community of readers – each one of you inspires me every day!

Tonight, as we ring in the new year with a glass of bubbles, I will be toasting each one of you.  I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013! We can’t wait to start a fresh new year of blog ideas on Wednesday, and with so many exciting things on the horizon, I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings…..

xo

Kelly

December 18th, 2012 |

A Holiday Reflection

It is with much reflection that I write today’s post…..

Friday, I spent the day in a studio photographing the pages of my book (launching Fall 2013) – party shot after party shot with cute kiddos and ideas for making kids smile…. completely unaware of the tragedies that occurred in Newtown, CT. It wasn’t until we were done for the day that I heard the news.  My heart just broke for everyone involved.  For all of those sweet children who won’t get to spend Christmas with their families, for the parents who will live with this heartache for the rest of their lives; they are all in my prayers right now.

Every day since, I have gone to post holiday ideas on the blog, and truthfully….it just doesn’t seem right.  It seems trivial.  So it made me do a little reflecting and here is what I came up with:

We have had an amazing holiday season.  The holiday magazine had an amazing reaction, the blog has been putting out inspiring holiday ideas for 2 months now, we have had some wonderful brand partnerships this season with Pottery Barn, Pier 1 and HP.  WH Hostess has shipped out more than triple the anticipated orders, and our new product, Cake Plate Clings launched with such gusto that I can’t help but smile every time I see stacks of them being shipped out to happy homes.  I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

But with the tragedies that occurred last week, it has made me realize that it’s time for me to step back and spend some time with the important people in my life, many of whom have been neglected over the last 2 months.  Working 18 hour days, 7 days a week has left my home with a Christmas tree that still hasn’t gone up, friends and family that I haven’t seen, Christmas shopping that needs to be done, and cookies that I would love to bake.  I want to give the kiddos in my life a little extra squeeze this week from Auntie Kelly and make sure that I don’t let a holiday pass me by where I am too busy to focus on what is really important in my life.

So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that we won’t be posting new ideas on the blog until after Christmas.  There are still so many ideas I would love to share with you, but we’ll just have to save them. I’m sure you will still see me pop into facebook and pinterest, and you can follow along with my holiday on instagram (you can follow us at @whhostess) and we’ll be sure to come back next week with some ideas for New Years.  But for now, I’m going to go spend some time with my family….and I hope you will all do the same.

We will be co-hosting our last pinterest party in our holiday entertaining series with The TomKat Studio this evening….I hope you will pop in to join us for some New Years Party inspiration (9pm EST/6pm PST).

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to each and everyone of you that has supported us in 2012. From our family to yours, we wish you all a happy and safe holiday season and am looking forward to a colorful 2013!

Much love to you all,

Kelly

December 11th, 2012 |

Festive Cocktails + Cocktail Dresses :: Pinterest Party

We SO excited to be partying tonight with Lilly Pulitzer during our next installment of our Holiday Entertaining Pinterest Party Series with The TomKat Studio.  Join us tonight at 9pm EST/ 6pm PST for an hour of pinspiration from an amazing group of bloggers, as we pin ideas for festive cocktail parties + cocktail dresses.

You can follow the board here, and you can join in the fun by commenting and re-pinning ideas pinned by our co-hosts using the hashtag #holidayentertaining.  By doing so, you will be entered to win one of three AMAZING prizes by Lilly Pulitzer!  Winners will be chosen at random.

See you tonight!

December 10th, 2012 |

Pottery Barn Mystery Box Challenge

Pottery Barn has been one of my go-to resources for entertaining items since I was in college.  I have always felt that my style paralleled theirs – update classics, a twist to the traditional – so when I was offered the opportunity to be one of five bloggers selected to participate in a Holiday Mystery Box Challenge, I jumped at the chance!

What is a Mystery Box Challenge, you ask?!  Well, it’s actually pretty self-explanatory.  Pottery Barn supplied me with a box of mystery items that I was then asked to incorporate into a holiday design.  What was in this box, you wonder?  Ornaments.  Tons and tons of gorgeous ornaments.  So, what’s a girl to do?!  I didn’t want to hang them on a tree (you all know how to do that), and I didn’t want to fill up a vase with them because that just wouldn’t show off each ornament’s individual beauty.  So, I came up with a DIY backdrop project that is so simple, each one of you will be able to re-create this for your holiday parties (that could then be re-purposed in your home as decor after the party). Would you like to see the simple steps?

Supplies

oversized picture frame with no backing  |  fiberglass mesh roll (available at your local hardware store)  |  scissors  |  staple gun  |  ornament hooks    |    19 ornaments (to duplicate my design)

Instructions

Step 1: Flip your open-back picture frame over so the back is facing up.  Roll out the fiberglass mesh and cut to size.  Use your staple gun to attach the mesh to the frame, pulling it taut across the back.

Step 2: Once your mesh is attached to the frame, flip it over and then use the ornaments to lay out your design and get a handle on the spacing prior to hanging. I arranged my ornaments in a tiered stack to look like a Christmas tree.

Step 3: Attach ornament hooks to each of the ornaments.  For my design, I wanted even spacing between the different rows of my Christmas tree pattern.  I hung the top ornament first, followed by the bottom row of 6 – then I was able to space out the middle rows evenly.

Step 4: Continue hanging your ornaments.  Once the design is completed, you could add some ribbon embellishment to it, if you wish. This backdrop could be used for a dessert table, buffet table or bar set-up.

This backdrop set the tone for a sparkly holiday bar, perfect for a cocktail party or festive dinner party. To add dimension to the layout, I used silver cake stands for height, and mixed in a beaded square placemat for a pop of color.  Vintage silver bar accessories, and my basic glassware made for a simple and approachable look….making sure everyone felt comfortable to mix their own drinks to give me more time to socialize and enjoy the party!

 

Entertaining Tip: Layout your table ahead of time, and then go back and add dimension by raising some elements up on pedestals or cake stands.  Be consistant with symmetry, for example, I raised all of the liqueur and wine bottles up, while the glasses remained on the table.

It was great fun to put together this project, and I do hope you like it!  I would LOVE for you all to vote for me to win this challenge over on Pottery Barn’s facebook page.  You can do so here:

Disclaimer: The ornaments provided for this shoot were provided by Pottery Barn. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pottery Barn.

 

December 4th, 2012 |

Cookie Exchange Ideas Pinterest Party TONIGHT!

It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means…..PINTEREST PARTY!!  We’re going to be pinning away tonight with The TomKat Studio and 10 amazing bloggers and friends.  It’s National Cookie Day so we’ll be pinning ideas for Holiday Cookie Exchanges!  Join us tonight at 9pm EST/6pm PST for one hour of sweet pinspiration!

Follow the board here to join in the fun!

December 4th, 2012 |

Click to Print {Free Holiday Printables}

I know that the holiday season can be stressful.  You want to do SO.MANY.THINGS: bake cookies, cut down the perfect tree, select the perfect gifts and wrap them with unique trimmings, throw the perfect party for friends & family.  It’s takes a lot of time to be the perfect hostess, so I teamed up with HP Print this season to gift all of you a collection of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES.  5 darling designs that are sure to help you accessorize your party in a flash.

Whether you are planning a holiday dinner, a cocktail party or a family dinner, this set of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES has 5 items that will dress up your event.  First up, a menu card in a crisp red quilt pattern with elegant touches of green.  This could be used on individual plates or in a picture frame on a buffet table.  The second item is a red name plaque that could be used as a placecard.  I used a crisp red and white stripe ribbon to weave thru the plaque to add a touch of holiday spirit.  Once combined, it’s the perfect size to lay across a napkin.

No party would be complete without some bubbly!  Welcome your guests in style with a tray full of champagne glasses.  Add some festivity to your display with striped straws embellished with our third printable item: straw flags.  Offered in both red and green, the flags offer up seasonal greetings such as “mix and mingle”, “happy everything”, “be merry” and “holly jolly”.

When dessert time rolls around, individual treats like cupcakes, mini tarts or pies, or cake pops are a great option.  Easy to serve, tidy to eat, and you as the host won’t get tied up slicing cake.  I designed a set of charming 2″ round tags featuring a bough of holly, and sayings such as “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Everything” that could be used for cupcake toppers, cake pop sticks or you could even use them as stickers.

Our fifth printable item is a 3 inch gift tag or sticker that could be used for party favors or gift giving.  Offered in three different sayings, they are a darling way to dress up gifts this season.

I hope you enjoy these FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES brought to you by WH Hostess and HP Print.  You can CLICK TO PRINT to use the files.  Have fun!

“This holiday season, let loved ones know how much you care. Use your favorite photos to create something personalized and unique for everyone on your list. Make it memorable. Make it meaningful. Make it matter. Go to hp.com/holiday for inspiration and ideas.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by HP via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of HP.

November 27th, 2012 |

Pinterest Party: Christmas Party Ideas for Kids

It’s time for another fabulous Pinterest Party in our holiday entertaining series with The TomKat Studio!  This week’s party is focused on Christmas Party Ideas for Kids and we have an amazing group of bloggers lined up to share their favorite ideas! From kid-friendly desserts to sweet decorations and fun party activities, you’ll find ideas to help you host the best party of the season!

Pottery Barn Kids will be joining us as well and you will have an opportunity to WIN a $50 gift certificateFIVE, yes five winners will be chosen during the party!  Pretty exciting, right?!  Follow the party board here, and comment/repin to win! (winners will be chosen at random throughout the hour)

We have an amazing line-up of bloggers participating in tonight’s party.  Make sure to follow each of them to not miss any of the action!

You can follow them here:

Project Junior, Hostess with the Mostess, Celebrations at Home, Two Sugar Babies, Le Papier Studio, CupcakeMAG, The Celebration Shoppe, Craft That Party, Glorious Treats, Half Baked and Pen ‘n Paperflowers.

See you all tonight!

 

November 22nd, 2012 |

Celebrate the Holidays with 25% Off

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, Friends.  I would like to take this moment to wish you all a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope your day is full of delicious food, festive tablesettings and quality time with the people you love. November has been such a hectic month, that I am very much looking forward to a little downtime with my family and pup.

Here at The Party Dress and WH Hostess, we are SO grateful for the support we have received from all of you over the last year.  Thank you for always being here to celebrate with us everyday.  To show our gratitude, we are offering a 25% off discount code off your WH Hostess purchase from Friday, November 23, 2012 – Monday, November 26, 2012.  Gobble, Gobble. Enjoy.  And Happy Shopping!

Code: WHGIVESTHANKS

Terms and Conditions: Discount valid from Friday, November 23, 2012 – Monday, November 26, 2012. Not valid on previous purchases, custom designs, party planning packages or wholesale orders.

November 20th, 2012 |

Merry Metallics Pinterest Party

Join us tonight at 9pm EST/6pm PST for one hour of holiday inspiration as we host the 2nd party in our Holiday Entertaining Pinterest Party Series.  The theme tonight is Merry Metallics Holiday Decor & Party Ideas….it’s definitely going to be fabulous!  Last week’s event was a huge success with almost 250 pins in one hour!

Follow The Party Dress   |   Follow the Merry Metallics Board

Joining Kim (The TomKat Studio) and I this evening as co-hosts are Minted, Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess, Vana from Le Papier Studio, Jessica from Pen ‘n Paperflowers, Maddy from Somewhere Splendid, Lynlee from Lynlee’s Petite Treats and Lili from Swanky Chic Fete.

Want to get involved for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Minted?

Get involved with the party by commenting on the pins posted by the party hosts, repin items to your own boards and make sure to use the hashtag #holidayentertaining.

See you all tonight!

November 20th, 2012 |

Holiday Gift Guide + Free Gift Tags

Our friends over at The TomKat Studio put together a fabulous holiday gift guide every year, and we were thrilled to be asked to contribute this year!  In addition to great gift ideas and fabulous holiday recipes, this year’s guide also includes a series of free printable gift tags for the holidays from some amazing designers.  You can see the grey & white gingham check tag that we designed above.

Head on over to view the gift guide here, and click here to download your free tags.

Happy Holidays!

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