August 28th, 2011 |

GIVEAWAY: Madeira Housewares

We are so excited to bring you one FABULOUS giveaway this week!  Starting today, you can enter to win a product kit from one of my favorite housewares companies, Madeira.

Madeira specializes in finding the most exotic wood on earth and crafting it into individual works of art for the kitchen. Madeira is translated to mean “wood” in Portuguese, the native language of Brazil, where these beautiful products originate. Madeira takes pride in using only the highest quality raw materials. Each product design offers a unique use to help serve or prepare meals with ease. Madeira products combine classic design with functionality to produce timeless kitchen tools for every home.

Dying to get your hands on one of these fabulous cutting boards?  Enter to win this set of three valued at more than $100.  The set includes: an edge grain plantation teak utility board, an end grain plantation teak round chop block, and a edge grain plantation teak XL carving board.  Pretty fabulous, huh?

Here’s how to enter: go check out Madeira’s facebook page, become a fan and then leave a comment here letting us know how much you LOVE their stuff.  Simple as that!  Want an extra chance?  Become a fan of The Party Dress on facebook and follow WH Hostess on twitter.

Giveaway starts NOW! and ends Thursday, September 1st at midnight CST.  A winner will be chosen via  Thanks for playing and good luck!

June 10th, 2011 |

Trend Alert: Modern Mercury

I’ve always loved mercury glass…especially at the holidays.  My sister shares a love of all things sparkle-y, and with her upcoming wedding quickly approaching I have been doing research on ways to make mercury glass look modern.  Whether it’s a clean shaped vessel, or a series of monochromatic centerpieces, or {my favorite} a cluster of glass balls lit up with candles – here is a round-up of my favorite ways to make vintage mercury glass look updated.

Images: modern mercury vases (, mercury glass balls (, small hobnail centerpiece (, faux mercury glass hurricanes (, trio of mercury glass centerpieces (, mirrored square vase centerpiece (

May 23rd, 2011 |

4 Simple, DIY Ideas for Dressing Up Memorial Day

Can you believe Memorial Day is just one short week away?!  Officially the kick-off to summer, Memorial Day weekend is a fabulous time to gather the troops and fire up the grill!  I’ll be back later in the week with some yummy ideas for what to serve, but today, I thought I would focus on 4 simple ideas on how to “dress up” your Memorial Day party.

Better Homes and Gardens has put together a gallery of ideas for decorations, table settings, centerpieces, etc. and today I pulled out a few that I think would be very simple for you to re-create.  First, dress up those paper lanterns!  5 minutes with a glue gun and some patriotic ribbon or ric rac will work wonders with those old, white paper lanterns you have been holding on to.  Second, create a monochromatic, tiered centerpiece using different sized white pots.  Bold, red mums are an inexpensive option….this could also be darling done with sunflowers for a summer picnic!  Third, edge your food or dessert table with striped crepe paper or ribbon.  Simple, stylish and easy to put up and take down.  (double-sided tape should do the trick!)  And lastly, put that pie up on a pedestal!  Just because you serve a simple dessert doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look extra-special!  Dress up your basic, white cake stands with ribbon or mini bunting.

May 11th, 2011 |

Shabby Chic Centerpieces

I was perusing some of my favorite websites last night for some inspiration for an upcoming client’s party.  In looking for “shabby chic” centerpiece ideas, I stumbled across a sweet, playful wedding on Project Wedding.  These centerpieces totally spoke to me….I love the use of casual, colored glass, simple blooms and most importantly, the wood crate!  I think you can take away great inspiration for a summer bridal shower, birthday party or casual outdoor picnic.  Click here to view the rest of the wedding!

May 5th, 2011 |

Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Garden Basket

Anyone out there looking for a last minute Mother’s Day gift?  The creative genius behind Floral Art LA came up with this idea – a garden box full of supplies for Spring planting.  I love the idea of a useful gift, but in this case – I think I am MORE in love with the presentation of the gift.  Presenting simple gardening items such as a shiny new watering can, garden gloves, some seeds, plants and maybe a new pair of garden sheers in a moss covered box – genius! You can order directly from Floral Art LA – but I think some of you are crafty enough to make this on your own!

April 19th, 2011 |

Creative Easter Egg Topiary Tree

I have been quietly obsessing over these F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S Easter egg topiary trees made by Eddie Ross for Woman’s Day.  It’s time to share them! Love the patterns on those eggs?!  I do!  Want to know how you too, can get eggs in those fresh, modern patterns?  Simply glue paper napkins onto plastic eggs!  The tree is made from a Styrofoam cone, covered with Easter basket grass, and then he glued the napkin-covered eggs on, and placed them in lovely white footed dishes.

So creative!  I love how fresh, yet somewhat preppy these are….they would be perfect on my dining room table for this weekend!

January 3rd, 2011 |

Searching for a Little Sunshine

Happy New Year, Everyone!  I hope you all had a magical holiday season!  I took a short break from blogging over the holidays to re-charge my battery and get my creative juices flowing!  But….I’m back!  And have tons of inspiration, real parties and creative ideas to share with you in the upcoming weeks.

My love of holiday decorations quickly vanishes after New Year’s Day.  My house starts feeling cluttered and I have to strip down the decorations and create a clean slate.  Living in Chicago, winter is just beginning.  Although we have many months of hibernating under {my new cashmere} blankets still ahead of us, I feel the urge to create a spring-like environment.  Warm, cozy, sunshine-y.  Yellow is the first color that comes to mind, and the collection of images above demonstrates simple ways you can infuse the color into your home.

Images: yellow wall plaques (, yellow ball tablesetting (, lemonade (, seaside tablesetting (, floral arrangement (

December 7th, 2010 |

Holiday Decorating: Light Up Your Entryway

holiday outdoor decorationg: light up your entrywayI’m always looking for unique ways to dress up the front of my house for a party.  You know, a gorgeous way of signaling “the party’s here!”?!  This idea from Better Homes and Gardens is just that.

Take your old cylinder vases, or hurricanes that you put away for the season to make room for holiday decor, and fill them up with black stones, leaves, berries and candles.  Place along your front path, up your front steps or even lining your driveway.  The glow of the candles will be the perfect warm welcome to your guests!

November 30th, 2010 |

Green with Envy

When it comes to decorating my home for Christmas, the first color I reach for is green.  Shocking, right?  I love combining the deep forest green, grass green and chartreuse together…especially when there is a touch of shimmer involved.  Better Homes and Gardens is a great resource for decorating and tabletop ideas, and this season I was especially drawn to their ideas centered around the green color palette.

I am completely swooning over this ornament tree above.  How fabulous would it be hung over your holiday buffet table?!  Each of the images below shows off a unique idea using greenery, candy or gift-wrapped packages – and I adore each of them!

Images via Better Homes and Gardens

October 11th, 2010 |

Decorating with Fall Leaves

The leaves are starting to turn here and the colors are so magnificent, I just want to bring them inside!  Better Homes and Gardens put out a fabulous collection of decoration ideas this season…..interesting ideas for bringing the beautiful fall leaves inside.  My two favorites are this leaf garland strung across a painted frame, and these leaf-covered topiary balls.  But for even more ideas, head over to BHG.

Birth Announcements and Kids' Party Invitations from

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