June 17th, 2015 |
4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, and I always use it as an excuse to host some summer parties, and put together gifts for friends and neighbors. These cellophane bags with white stars on them from Party City are perfect for packaging food gifts or party favors, and look especially patriotic accessorized with our navy blue gingham gift stickers!
June 7th, 2015 |
My nautical-inspired dinner party designed around the new Preppy Anchor party invitation from WH Hostess featured my modern spin on the classic Sea Breeze cocktail. I served them up in these darling acrylic striped glasses from Martha Stewart, embellished with some fruit and one of our foil-stamped straw flags. Get my recipe below!
1 oz Raspberry Vodka
1 oz Rum
3 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Pineapple Juice
Combine the ingredients into a glass and stir, garnish with a strawberry and pineapple slice.
March 23rd, 2015 |
I just love pulling together festive tablescapes for holidays, don’t you?! I shared my Ikat & Carrots Easter table last week, and today I have a sweet blue, white and yellow table to share with you. My love for chinoiserie and all things blue and white are certainly not a secret, so I love any opportunity to pull out my blue and white china.
I layered my china atop a textured white tablecloth, and used cobalt blue wine glasses. My large white urn held center stage as a centerpiece, and I added a pop of color with footed bowls of chocolate foil eggs from See’s Candies. My little guests couldn’t wait to dive into the bowls of candy!
My favorite part of the tablescape are the napkins/placecards. I rolled up crisp, yellow napkins and tied them together with a bow. I placed a hard-boiled egg into the center of the bottom portion, and then wrote my guests’ names on them with a navy blue marker. I love how they look like bunny ears, yet still sophisticated enough for the overall look of the table.
Every party needs a party favor! I sent my guests home with a large chocolate Easter egg from See’s Candies, wrapped in cellophane and a sweet gift tag!
March 13th, 2015 |
Whether you are are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to breathe a little festivity into your family’s day. I love the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner (and will try to post some pictures of my family dinner this year), but I LOVE the idea of surprising your loved ones that morning with a little breakfast surprise from the leprechauns.
If you are extremely domestic and have the time, homemade donuts would be appreciated by all. I knew I would need a little short-cut, so I used store-bought donuts from Entenmann’s (bought at my local grocery store) and jazzed them up!
I stacked up the mini donuts on a cake stand, and then accessorized them with a few sticks. I cut out the shamrocks (free printable below) and taped them onto lollipop sticks, and then also made a few ribbon flags for an extra “wow”. The whole thing took me 5 minutes to do, and you can do it too! Print out the free download below, cut and create something festive for your kiddos!
March 5th, 2015 |
I love a good carrot cake cupcake. Truthfully, I love the cream cheese frosting more. But the cake makes a great vessel to eat the frosting! I turned to one of my favorite chefs, the Barefoot Contessa, to make these darling cupcakes for our Easter brunch and Ina’s recipe did not disappoint.
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.
October 14th, 2014 |
As you know, this season I have partnered with Friskies and Petsmart to throw a fabulous Grumpy Cat themed Halloween party for my friends and family. Last week, I shared a very simple party decoration that makes a big impact for very little effort. Check out my paper fan halloween decorations here. Today, I am back with a couple ideas for creative food and drinks for my party.
First up, my meringue ghosts! I think these are going to be a hit and look so sharp on my dessert table at the party. They were fairly simple to make, you just need to get your meringue to the correct consistency.
3 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the egg whites and cream of tarter into the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat until frothy. Slowly add in the sugar a little bit at a time. Once it’s combined, increase the speed on your mixer to high and beat until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes).
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large tip.
Pipe your ghosts onto the baking sheet, squeezing out a thick dob at the bottom and then pulling the meringue up to a point at the top. Note: be careful not to make your ghosts too tall or they will have difficulty standing up.
Add your candy eyes to the meringue ghost and then place in the oven to bake until dry (about 1 hour). Turn the oven off, crack open the door and let sit for 1-2 hours, or even over night.
They were really so simple to make and I believe will make a fabulous addition to any Halloween celebration! More to come on my dessert table in the next week or so. But, to go along with my festive ghosts, I figured we needed a cute drink too!
I always love serving individual bottles of drinks at parties. It’s festive and somewhat hands-off for the hostess. For my littlest guests, I wanted to spice up my basic plastic drink bottles to coordinate them with the Halloween theme. What’s more “halloween” than a pumpkin?! Because I use these bottles frequently, I didn’t want to do any type of permanent decoration (ie. paint, permanent marker, etc). Instead, I opted to cut out shapes from black electrical tape, and arranged them on the bottle to look like a pumpkin face.
So simple! They make a big impact when filled with orange soda, and you could also cut out ghost eyes and fill them with milk!
Now, I have filled you in on my party decor, my meringue ghosts and my festive pumpkin soda bottles. Next up in my party planning is carving the perfect Grumpy Cat Pumpkin (or “Grumpkin”). Friskies and Petsmart were kind enough to provide me with a downloadable template to make that part a snap. You can join the fun by downloading the Grump-O-Lantern stencil available at PetSmart.com/friskies and uploading images of your personal Grump-O-Lantern, including the #Grumpkin hashtag and #ThePartyDress hashtag.
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.
September 19th, 2014 |
Who’s ready for a football weekend? I recently partnered up with Pinnacle Vodka to create 5 tips for tailgating on your Sunday Funday. Whether you are tailgating outside your favorite field, or hosting friends at home, these tips will help you plan a festive game day that is sure to get cheers.
1.Theme Your Party to the Game: Do some research on the teams that are playing the day of your party. Are the teams big rivals? What are the team colors? Think of different ways you can amp up the team spirit by incorporating cute touches from each team.
2. Serve up Bite-size Appetizers for Easy Grab’n go Snacks: Serve up mini meatballs on a skewer, mini goat cheese pizzas and pigs in a blanket. Put a twist on an old standby by placing one serving of chili in a carved out mini dinner roll, so that you and your guests can eat with one hand, and cheer with the other.
3. Style a Festive Food Table: Take a sophisticated spin on your tailgating table by pulling in plaid varsity blankets, wood slab platters, and cake stands topped with faux turf for a nod to football.
4. Get Creative with Your Centerpiece: To inject more Sunday Funday spirit into your decor, grab a few empty mason jars and paint them brown (with white laces!) to give off the appearance of a football. Fill up the jars with seasonal flowers grouped together for your centerpiece. You can also swap painted mason jars for football-shaped koozies for the same look!
5. Make a Crowd-Pleasing Cocktail! Keep your guests in the game-day spirit by offering them a tasty signature cocktail. Try The Sunday Funday Sipper; with three equal parts orange juice, ice tea and Pinnacle® Vodka, this drink is as effortless to make as it is to serve! For more cocktail ideas, visit www.pinnaclevodka.com.
The Sunday Funday Sipper
1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
1 part Orange Juice
1 part Iced Tea (sweetened or unsweetened)
Method: add all ingredients along with ice and garnish as desired.
Images by Kathryn Hastings Photography
Pinnacle® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission. The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Jim Beam Brands Co., its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees. Pinnacle® does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website.
August 18th, 2014 |
We’re downright swooning over our new foil-embossed beverage napkins! New to the shop, we offer 30 fresh, modern designs for both everyday entertaining and the holidays. Here’s where it gets exciting….
You choose the design, the napkin color, and the ink color. The possibilities are endless for you to create a custom napkin perfect for your style. It’s the perfect way to add a touch of luxe to your everyday and holiday entertaining.
Adding a personalized napkin to your bar cart, birthday party or baby shower is a great way to carry out your theme or color palette. Thenapkins are sold in sets of 50 for $40, making them a lovely hostess gift or holiday gift!
Here are a sampling of designs available: