February 12th, 2013 |

TPD turns 4 | ENJOY 20% off at WH HOSTESS

save 20% on wh hostess orderFour years ago this week, I timidly dipped my big toe into the blogging pool.  Thousands of posts, 8 (almost 9 magazines), a book deal and a thriving stationery business later….it’s been a busy four years!  I’m so grateful to each one of you, our readers, so to celebrate our 4th birthday, I’m offering you a 20% discount on your WH Hostess order between today and Friday.  It’s a great time to plan your next party, or stock up on stationery and personalized gifts. Enjoy!

February 7th, 2013 |


party planning worksheet notepads from wh hostessI’m so excited to introduce you to our latest product: personalized party planning worksheets!

We work with clients on a daily basis to plan unique, stylish parties and all know that organization is key.  These new {personalized} notepads are offered in two patterns, two colors and are 8.5″x11″ in size, with 53 pages.  It’s the perfect accessory to your desk!

shop wh hostess

January 21st, 2013 |


sneak peek of Stylish Kids Parties book by Kelly LydenNow that the first half of my book has been turned into the publisher, I thought it would be fun to share a few sneak peeks….

Planning and executing the shoots for my first book, Stylish Kids Parties (Fall 2013, F + W Media), has been a very fun process.  Lots of hard work, but it’s so fun to think that my party ideas will be gracing bookshelves come Fall.  When approached to do this book, I thought long and hard about what message I wanted to share.  Trendy party themes?  DIY craft ideas?  After much deliberation, I decided to stay true to my roots and style: updated classics.  When selecting the party themes, I decided to take classic themes and show how to style a party for the modern hostess, so the ideas in the book will be as relevant 10 years from now as they are today.

mess of supplies

The first half of the book was shot during October and November – during our busiest holiday months at WH Hostess (and as we launched Cake Plate Clings, Inc.).  We were shooting in the morning, packing orders in the afternoon, and writing at night.  And for about a month, I didn’t know if I was coming or going!  My studio looked like a constant disaster of colorful party goods (like the shot above), and I am very lucky to have some wonderful vendors working with me on some of the details.

The best part of these shoots are getting to spend time with some serious CUTIES!  My best friends’ kids, my god-daughters and the {almost} one year old son of my friend and contributor, Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio, were all a part of the fun!  Here are just a few shots from some of the chapters shot.

random book shots

It’s going to be such a bright, colorful, fun book….just like my job!  If you want to follow along with us as we start shooting the second half of the book, follow us on Instagram (@whhostess).  There’s a lot more party to come!


January 15th, 2013 |


valentines day headerWe love Valentine’s Day around here.  What’s not to love, really?  It’s a day full of candy, chocolate, flowers, parties and telling people you LOVE them!  Our Cake Plate Clings are the perfect party accessory, so of course we had to create a collection of clings for your Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Whether you are planning a full party with multiple serving pieces on display, or are just looking for one darling cling to dress up your cake stand of Valentine’s Day cupcakes for your family….we have you covered!  We have two different color options to choose from: pink & grey, and red & black.

valentines day collectionsShop the Pink & Grey Collection:

Pink Scalloped Monogram Cling  |  Pink & Grey Hearts Cling  |  Pink Diagonal Stripe Cling  |  Grey Diagonal Stripe Cling

Shop the Red & Black Collection:

Red Gingham Cling  |  Black & Red Clover Dot Cling  |  Red Diagonal Stripe Cling  |  Black Greek Key Cling


January 7th, 2013 |


A fresh new year, calls for a fresh new look!  As some of you may have noticed The Party Dress blog got a little makeover overnight! With a fresh new take on our signature green color palette, easier navigation and an overall cleaner look….I’m one happy blogger!

We are still working out some kinks, and there will be more improvements to our picture galleries in the coming weeks. But for now, there are a few things I would love to point out to you (and the numbers correspond with the numbers above in the image):

  1. You can now access all of our brands and current projects easily by clicking on the tabs at the top of the page.
  2. Although we aim to post new content on the blog daily, you can also keep up with us via facebook, pinterest, twitter and instagram! Make sure to follow along for  behind the scenes photos!
  3. Sign up for our newsletter here – It’s the best place to keep in touch on magazine and new product launches and coupons!
  4. Click here to comment on blog posts.  We don’t hear enough from all of you!  Like something we are posting or have an idea of your own – click here to share it with us!
I hope you all like the changes to the blog!
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…..



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,


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?


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)


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!

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