July 18th, 2013 |


lakehouse inspirationHere in the Midwest, we look forward to our summer months ALL YEAR LONG. Summer brings about bbqs and outdoor entertaining, lazy days at the pool, simple meals often finished off with s’mores or ice cream, and a renewed love affair with the local lakes.  We are fortunate to live just a couple miles from Lake Michigan, but are also within driving distance of tons of smaller lakes in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.  Which brings me to today’s post…..

The Lakehouse.  We are so lucky to be invited up to family lakehouses during the summer – it’s the perfect opportunity for a little boating, some water-skiing (for my husband, I prefer to ride along IN the boat!), and some quality family time.  As our extended family continues to grow, my desire for a family lakehouse does too.  I’m not talking anything elaborate….just a great place where the kids, grandkids and all of their friends could gather up for summer fun.

Since today is HOT (we have a heat advisory for  105 degrees!), I am dreaming about this future lakehouse from INSIDE.  Crisp, nautical decor with lots of white, casual spaces for people to relax in, an attic space full of built-in twin beds to house a boat-load of little kids, and an outdoor firepit, perfect for hosting late-night s’mores.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

For more of my lakehouse inspiration, follow along on my pinterest board!


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June 3rd, 2013 |


red white and blue patriotic cake plate clings for 4th of July and summer partiescake plate clingsSummer brings a whole new collection of red, white and blue Cake Plate Clings to WH Hostess.  Dress up your 4th of July BBQs, summer picnics and clambakes with these festive decorative liners.  Cake Plate Clings {patent-pending} are reusable, non-adhesive, slide-free and printed with environmentally-friendly ink and materials.  They are the perfect accessory to your dessert table or buffet, and also make a fabulous gift!

red white and blue cake plate clingsI love mixing and matching patterns when creating a display of cake stands.  For 4th of July, I suggest mixing our patriotic stars cling with some of the red and navy party basics, such as the diagonal stripe, swiss dot or gingham check.  The navy wave pattern is perfect for a summer pool or beach party, too!

lobster nautical red white and blue cake plate clingsDon’t put away your red, white and blue after the 4th of July….just replace your patriotic stars with our preppy lobster dots pattern (I love it mixed with the navy diamond lattice pattern, too)!  This collection of Cake Plate Clings would be perfect for any summer party!  All clings can be personalized with a name, initial or monogram too…making them THE perfect hostess gift for summer!

lobster and diamond lattice cake plate clingsMake sure to get your orders in soon for delivery for 4th of July parties!

May 8th, 2013 |


boxwood and rose centerpieceMy pink Mother’s Day tablesetting from the Spring 2103 issue of The Party Dress Magazine included this darling boxwood and rose centerpiece project that was so simple to create, I just had to share it with you.

You can create this using silk or real flowers.  The supplies are simple: a footed vessel, a boxwood ball (sized to fit), roses (real or silk), and long sewing pins.

Once your ball is placed in your footed vessel, prep your flowers.  Trim the stems so there is only about 1/2 inch past the bottom of the bud.  Insert a long pin thru the center of the flower bud and then attach to the boxwood ball.  You can scatter your roses about in either a symmetrical pattern or, in this case, a more abstract design.  Voila!  It’s a simple, DIY project that will have Mom smiling this Mother’s Day!

DIY boxwood and rose centerpiece project for mother's dayResources: footed bowl (juliska.com), pink tunic (sailtosable.com)

April 30th, 2013 |


may day basket

Start a new tradition this year by giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps on May 1st.  I found this charming basket (with the perfect handle for a door knob) at Hobby Lobby.  It holds a small amount of flowers, so if you purchase 3 different bunches, you can make a few baskets to delight your friends & neighbors.

may day flowers in a basketorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

April 9th, 2013 |


madison dallas home and gift store

Last Spring, I had the pleasure of visiting the charming home decor and gift store, Madison in the Highland Park Village of Dallas, Texas. Owned by sisters and interior designers, Kelli Ford and Kirsten Fitzgibbons, the colorful store showcases unique gifts in every corner. Their broad selection of linens that can be embroidered and monogrammed are what really stood out to me. I very quickly fell in love with the modern spin they were able to put on classic items, such as linen napkins, bedding and accessories using new technology for embroidery. Raised, oversized initals and monograms, multi- colored threads and patterns….so many amazing options that I have not seen elsewhere.

raised embroidery linen napkins from madison dallas

I was so fortunate to use these gorgeous napkins (personalized with my initials) for my ladies Spring luncheon.  While discussing the modern monogram with Madison co-owner, Kelli Ford, she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about using monograms for entertaining:

In what ways have you seen the classic monogram updated in recent years?

I have seen the classic monogram updated in recent years with the style becoming more contemporary, with the use of new tools we are able to do more with size, color, thickness and even patterns.

madison dallas store

Are there new “trends” we should be aware of?

New trends I have noticed are people becoming more liberal with monogramming. Instead of just shirts and linens it has become part of establishing identity with putting your mark on literally everything. Book bags, lunch boxes, makeup cases, socks, dog beds, ipad cases, carseats, you name it! Sense of ownership is very important to the modern day client.

How can the modern hostess incorporate monograms into entertaining and their home?

The modern hostess can incorporate monograms into entertaining and their home by having fun! Guests feel very special when you pull out your “best”with napkins, hand towels, robes, etc. They also can add an expected element of surprise with hostess gifts, shower gifts, or even children’s goodie bags.

books at madison dallas

How has technology changed over the years for embroidery?

Technology has definitely changed, as it use to be done all by hand. You can achieve a really beautiful detailed result with multihead machines with a skilled operator and designer at an amazing speed. One amazing new part of technology is you can basically scan in any image to be then converted with thread. It is pretty remarkable!

cocktail books at madison dallas

If you are in the Dallas area, I encourage you to stop by Madison to shop their gorgeous store and the broad selection of items you can have customized with embroidery.  You can visit their website at www.madisondallas.com.

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine


April 3rd, 2013 |


pink ombre tulip centerpieceTulips are the perfect Spring flower – very accessible, you can buy them at the grocery store for less than $10 a bunch.  This time of the year, they add a great pop of color to my kitchen table. If you are looking for an update, perhaps for a special Spring dinner party, or a lovely bunch to give to a friend, put aside the traditional monochromatic arrangement, and opt for an ombre affect by using tulips in three shades of one color.

For this arrangement, I used white, pale pink and raspberry pink tulips.  Instead of mixing the colors together, I kept the colors clustered together and paired them from light to dark (left to right).  Fun and different, it plays into the ombre trend that we have seen so much in the fashion and home textiles industries recently.

shades of pink tulips floral arrangement ombre affectorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

March 20th, 2013 |


easter egg centerpiece By the time Easter rolls around each year, I’m looking for unique ways to decorate my home and table with color.  This year, I decided I wanted to come up with a unique way of displaying my Easter eggs, and this centerpiece is just the ticket!  I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I have a surplus of cake stands around my house (hence my product line, Cake Plate Clings).  I gathered up a few to play with, including a new bunny cake stand from Pottery Barn, and came up with this project.

easter egg centerpiece Supplies:

Cake Stand (s)  |  Glass Dome (s)  |  Dyed Easter Eggs  |  Ribbon (I used Midori gingham ribbon)  |  Glue Dots


Holding your glass dome upside down, fill it carefully with an assortment of colors of dyed Easter eggs.  My large dome took about 4 dozen eggs to fill up, the small one below held about 8 eggs.  Once it is full, place your upside down cake stand on top of the dome opening and together, carefully flip right-side-up.  Wrap ribbon around the base of the glass dome, securing it with glue dots.

easter egg centerpiece on bunny cake standorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

January 23rd, 2013 |


I have an odd obsession with wall displays of beautiful plates.  I honestly don’t know where it comes from.  I think I like the dimension it gives to a flat wall, the ability to create a piece of art using items unique to your home.  Since our home renovation is basically done now (6 months after the fatel appliance flood of 2012), I’m left to focus on getting things back up on the walls.  New paint colors have caused us to rearrange some artwork and I’m left with a blank focal wall behind my dining room table (also faces my gorgeous new white kitchen).

I am LOVING this plate wall I found on Apartment Therapy.  I like the shape and spanse of it, but also how they mixed a few pattern plates in neutral colors in.  This may just be a place for me to incorporate the Country Estate plates from Juliska that I have been drooling over.

What do you think?  Do you love or hate a good plate wall?

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 8th, 2013 |


My home is looking sparse these days.  Now that the Christmas decorations are down, it’s time to go “shopping” in my home and redo some displays. I have been collecting blue and white china pieces – plates, jars, vases – for years now. Do you remember this party I styled centered around them that graced the cover of our first Spring Magazine? I cherish this collection and am always looking for new ways to style the pieces.

I’m really drawn to the large clusters of different-sized jars lately, like the photo below.  Mixed with some white hydrangeas or boxwood plants, it could be just the fresh look I am craving.

Images: 1, 2, 3

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