April 28th, 2009 |

The Power of White

If you are a frequent entertainer – this is probably old news for you!

I am a firm believer in having a collection of beautiful white dishes and serving pieces.  Not only do they highlight the food you are serving – but you can change the look of your table or party in an instant by using colorful linens, accent plates or glasses.  Perfect for any type of party – birthday party, dinner party, baby or bridal shower – and the serving pieces are stunning when they are all placed together on a buffet.

Here are a few of my favorite white pieces out there – and if you are looking for more inspiration on pedestal serving dishes, check out Hostess with the Mostess.

White Dishes (small)

Images: placesetting with monogramed napkin and bowl with apples (potterybarn.com), collection of white serving dishes (crateandbarrel.com), pedestal serving dishes (rosannainc.com), square plates (surlatable.com)

April 23rd, 2009 |

Creative Spring Centerpiece

I love this idea from Simply Stated…..what a great centerpiece idea for Mother’s Day, a baby shower or little girl’s birthday party!

flower-table-runner

What You’ll Need:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Drinking straws
  • 2 boxes of wheatgrass (sold in flats or boxes at health-food stores and flower shops)
  • 12 to 16 gerbera daisies
  • A pencil

For such a creative look – this is so simple to put together.  Cut the straws to match the height of the grass.  Then snip the daisy stems so they are slightly longer than the straws, and gently slide each stem into a straw.  If the straws are too narrow for the stems, slit the straws from top to bottom.  Poke holes in the soil with the pencil. Stick the straw-sheathed flowers into the holes.

Don’t forget to lightly water the soil to help the flowers stay fresh!

April 23rd, 2009 |

Trend Alert: Grey & Yellow

Trend Alert Grey & Yellow (small)

Yellow – one of my favorites!  By pairing it with different colors, it can take on so many different lives.

Pair it with pink, orange, turquoise – it becomes a bit of a fiesta!  Placed with black & white – it is bold.  Nestled between sky blue and pale green, it is the ideal palette for a baby shower.

This season – I am seeing a ton of yellow and pale grey mixed together.  It’s somewhat of an unlikely pairing, but is really attractive!  I like it especially in the home.  Grey is a great neutral backdrop that gives you the opportunity to change up your pop colors seasonally.  This season….I hope you will choose yellow!

Images: pillows (styleathome.com), little girl (ba-reps.com), yellow dress (jcrew.com), place setting (theknot.com), patio set (crateandbarrel.com), gift (carolynroehm.com)

April 22nd, 2009 |

May Day Flower Basket

may-day-basket

One of the most popular May Day traditions is to hang a basket full of spring flowers on a neighbor’s doorknob. The trick is you don’t want the neighbor to see you.  If you get caught, you are supposed to get a kiss!

Put a smile on your neighbor or friend’s face this May Day!

April 21st, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Roll it up!

roll-it-up

Simple and sophisticated, this rolled napkin will make a stunning companion to any placesetting.

You can accessorize your napkin roll with a ribbon tie, a napkin ring, or even a piece of twine with a placecard attached to it.

Perfect for a luncheon, bridal shower, or special dinner party….I hope you will try this napkin roll at your next party!

Image via The Knot

April 20th, 2009 |

Celebrate: Earth Day 2009

April 22, 2009 marks the 39th Earth Day celebration.  Celebrate by planning a day of activities that will encourage your children to learn about planting and recycling, followed by an alfresco dinner with friends.

Earth Day Planting (small)

If it’s true that you are what you eat, then you might want to take a look at the food you are picking up at the grocery store.  The average meal travels roughly 1500 miles before it’s consumed – why not try to plant and eat organic food from your very own garden?!  It’s not only better for you, but it’s better for the earth.

Invite the neighborhood kids over to help you plant a vegetable garden.  It’s a great way to get everyone together and to teach kids how they can make a difference.  Have your garden mapped out before the kids get there – separate the kids into groups, and assign them a vegetable to plant.  Check out these great chalkboard stakes at Crate & Barrel – they are perfect for identifying what’s what!

Send the kids home with a plant of their own to nurture – you can plant them in small terracotta pots or a wooden box.

Earth Day Recycle (small)

Earth Day is a great time to teach kids about the importance of recycling.  Reuse.  Reduce.  Recycle.  Talk to your kids about why it’s important to recycle – that making new things from recycled ones takes less money, less energy and less of the Earth’s resources.  Talk to them about how they can make a difference, and help you to recycle at home.

After a day of activities with your kids, invite your friends over for a nature-inspired dinner alfresco.

Earth Day Dinner (small)

Set your table using eco-friendly linens (which you can find plenty of these days!) and use bamboo or cork serving dishes.  Use natural elements such as birch candle holders, twigs and plants as your centerpiece.  Try bringing in some other garden elements to your table – such as attaching a butterfly on to your placecard or favor box.

Menu ideas for Earth Day may include creating only foods you do not need to use energy for. This is a great way to remember the importance of the day. You can barbeque, create pasta salads, and make vegetable platters with home made dips….ranch dip with sour cream, french onion dip, bean dip are all popular.

Have all of your guests, young and old, leave their mark in your newly planted vegetable garden.  Have each one write their name on a rock and place it into your new garden.  It will be a wonderful reminder of good friends and a great day!

Images:

Recycle Images (via inmagine.com)

Dinner Images: girl (inmagine.com), table setting (rebeccathuss.com), butterfly napkin (estiloweddings.com)

April 17th, 2009 |

Spring Flowers with an Edible Twist

Incorporate Spring’s fresh vegetables into your next centerpiece….here are easy-to-follow instructions from Epicurious on how to create a spectacular floral arrangement:
Veggie Centerpiece 1 (small)

Step 1: Gather your materials

Materials needed:2 cube glass vases, one large (6″) and one small (4″); 1 small square  of floral clay; 4″-square flower frog; 5 floral stakes; 2 bunches peonies (approximately 10 stems) in two shades of pink; 1 bunch of lilacs; 1 bunch of miniature kale; 2 bunches of thin asparagus; 5 baby artichokes; 2′ pink and green ribbon

Equipment needed: cutting board; pruning shears; scissors; ruler; awl; chef’s knife; double-sided tape

Step 2: Place the floral clay in the center of the larger vase and the smaller vase on top of the clay. Asparagus stalks should be cut to approximately 5″ before being placed in between the two vases. Use a pick or skewer to scoot them closer together. Add water to the outer vase so all stalks are covered by at least 1″.
Veggie Centerpiece 2 (small)

Step 3: The flower frog—a heavy piece of lead with small spikes that sits at the bottom of the vase and holds the flowers in place—should be placed inside the smaller vase.

Step 4: Cut off the stems of the artichokes. Push floral stakes deep into artichoke centers so their weight will be fully supported. If the artichokes are very hard, make an initial hole using the awl.

Step 5: Fill the smaller vase halfway with water (2″). Cut peonies, lilacs, and kale to 8″ to 10″ and slot them randomly into the flower frog so they stay in place—longer stems should be in the middle so they stick up, shorter stems on the sides so they curl under.
Veggie Centerpiece 3 (small)

Step 6: Artichoke stakes should be cut to 9″ or 10½” and inserted so they sit higher than the flowers. The arrangement should look very full.

Step 7: Choose a ribbon that pulls together the colors used. Attach double-sided tape to the back on both sides and wrap around the square vase, ensuring it is centered before affixing.

April 15th, 2009 |

Modern Light

modern-tealights-elledecor

I love these exquisite hand blown glass tealight holders, designed by Marie Olofsson for Sagaform.  This unique Swedish designed votive will add a warm glow to any room or outdoor table setting.  The simple, modern design is made from two pieces of glass.  Lift the top, place in a votive candle, cover and it gives the illusion that the candle is floating in water.   Available in two sizes, and three lustrous color combinations…..these would be a beautiful accessory to any table!

Available at Open Room Furniture (image via pointclickhome.com)

April 14th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Tied with a Flower

zinnia-napkin-nwat

I love, love, love this week’s Napkin of the Week.  Found in one of my favorite party planning books, Napkins with a Twist, this napkin would bring springtime cheer to any table.  You could really adapt this idea to any color palette or use different types of flowers.  I think this particular combination is so striking because of the use of one color, just different hues.

Solid color napkins are readily available – I found a few at Pottery Barn and Amazon.com.  The construction of this is simple – simply lay the napkin out in a flat square, pinch the center of the napkin and pull up.  Gather together about 3 inches down from the top of the point, and tie with a ribbon.  After you tie your bow, insert a flower.  Voila!

April 9th, 2009 |

New Tabletop from Jonathan Adler

I was so excited to get an e-mail from Jonathan Adler this morning announcing their new line of melamine plates.

ja-2

Plates, bowls and trays are offered in two patterns and colors – and are priced incredibly well.  Perfect for your summer backyard parties – this fresh-looking collection is sure to make paper plates a thing of the past!

ja-1

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