July 27th, 2010 |

Editor’s Picks & Coupons!

The Party Dress’s shop thru OpenSky allows me to bring you some of the most fabulous entertaining items on the market – and today, it allows me to give you a discount on them!  Shop fast!  Now thru Saturday, July 31st – you can choose between these great offers:

- JulyFreeShip – free shipping on any product thru 7/31 or
- July20pct – take 20% off any one product thru 7/31

It’s the perfect time to pick up that item you have been pining over this summer!  I leave you with a few of my new favorite items in the shop: blue dinner plates, blue & white ikat print salad plates, Trina Turk placemats & napkins, white and red wine decanters, and a stunning glass cloche/antique nickel cake stand.  What are your favorite products in the shop?

July 21st, 2010 |

Summer Decor

We’ve been having quite the heat wave here in Chicago this summer!  The heat has me craving decor that SCREAMS summer, and now that the fourth of july and my birthday are over, my house needs a little summer update to get me thru until fall.

I’ve scoured the web for ideas, and here are a few that stood out to me that are perfect for making my home party-ready all summer long:

  • Use sand dollars as placecards at your next dinner party.  Simply write your guest’s name on the top and place it atop their napkin.
  • Fill hurricanes or large cylinder vases with sand.  You can add in some sea shells or starfish to add more of a beach look to it.  These would be great clustered together on your table, or place large vessels on the floor.
  • I keep fresh flowers in the house at all times.  They make me happy!  I love, love, love all white flowers – so this table setting just spoke to me!
  • I love the idea of a miniature pie as a party favor for each one of your guests.  Such a darling, homespun idea….perfect for a summer bbq!
  • Create a hanging votive candle chandelier to hang over your patio table.  This one was made out of simple, hardware store purchases – a pizza pan, chain links and a hook!  Simply cover it with moss, add a few candles and voila!  An inexpensive yet stylish update.
  • It’s always good to have a couple hostess gifts on hand for those last minute invitations.  These sea shell soaps from Beau-Coup are perfect!  They also make a lovely party favor for a summer bridal shower or birthday party.
  • Lemonade.  This is my summer drink of choice and I simply can’t get enough!  I love the idea of bottling it in juice bottles and gifting it to my guests at my next dinner party!
  • Adding starfish to your decor adds a beach-y feeling that I just love!  Tie a name card onto them and they serve as a fabulous placecard.
  • Lanterns add a twinkle to your yard – whether they are big or small.  Repeat, repeat, repeat!  Trust me, they will add a festive feel to your home and yard!

Those are my finds for updating my home’s summer decor…..what are yours?

Images: sand dollar placecards, starfish placecards, mason jar lanterns (theknot.com), hurricanes (midwestliving.com), pie tablesetting (stylemepretty.com), hanging votive chandelier(goodhousekeeping.com), sea shell soaps (beau-coup.com), lemonade (eatdrinkchic.com)

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July 2nd, 2010 |

S-T-R-E-T-C-H your party decorations

L-O-V-E this idea from Better Homes and Gardens!  Perfect for the 4th of July, but also a great tip for dressing up any table:

These playful stripes were created by layering colorful rubberbands around a votive candle holder.  Simple, right?  So next time you are strolling thru Office Depot, take a peek at the colored rubber bands and get inspired!

July 1st, 2010 |

Star-Studded Entrance

Holiday decorations are kept simple and sophisticated in my home, so this concept from Better Homes and Gardens is just perfect for me!  A red tin star (I just saw some at my local Home Goods) atop a boxwood wreath, embellished with a navy and white stripe ribbon – it’s the perfect combination of patriotic, preppy and that coastal-chic style that I love so much!

June 11th, 2010 |

4th of July Centerpiece

Fourth of July is just around the corner – anyone planning a big party or BBQ?  I loved this centerpiece idea from Good Housekeeping.  Simple, with a preppy nod.  Simply attach grosgrain ribbon to any vase with double-sided tape.  You could take this idea and adapt it to any party theme – it would be darling for a birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower, or wedding.

June 8th, 2010 |

Trend Alert: Wheat Grass

wheat grass centerpiece ideasThe smell of freshly cut grass is one of the first signs of summer….so why not bring grass into your summer centerpieces?!  As you saw yesterday in our lady bug soiree, pots of grass is a simple centerpiece and perfect for kids parties!  Here are a few more ideas on how to incorporate wheat grass into your summer decorating…

Images: daisy placecards (brides.com), buffet table and lollipop centerpiece (elizabethannedesigns.com), yellow pots (inmagine.com), wheat grass with daisies (nancyluichin.com), grass pot placecards (theknot.com), gerber daisy centerpiece (realsimple.com)

Birth Announcements and Kids' Party Invitations from Minted.com

April 13th, 2010 |

DIY fabric placemat

Looking for a quick DIY project to dress up your table for Spring?  This simple idea from Good Housekeeping is quick – simply choose a patterned fabric (heavy-duty is best) from your local fabric store, use pinking shears to cut the fabric into a rectangle or circle.  Voila!  An easy idea that you can customize for any party!

April 1st, 2010 |

Trend Alert: Spring Artichoke Season

 

One of my favorite parts of Spring is that artichokes are in season!  Not only are they delicious to eat (we’ll get to that later!), but they can also make for fabulous decorations in your home, or accessories on your table.

Images: bowl (thedailygreen.com), votive placecard (blogs.glam.com), pitcher of artichokes (midwestliving.com), purple artichokes (lidiasitaly.com), egg cup (thekitchn.com), spinach artichoke dip (horchow.com), basket of artichokes (delallo.com)

 

March 31st, 2010 |

Easter Candlelight

Looking for ways to use those dyed Easter eggs?  I love this idea….nestle them into small bowls (fill them with bath salts or lentils) and place a votive candle into them.  A simple, yet stylish Easter centerpiece!

Image via Gemma Comas

March 26th, 2010 |

Simple Easter Decorations

simple sophisticated easter decorations

Easter is one of those odd holidays for me.  My husband and I don’t have children yet – so sometimes I hesitate going all-out decorating our home for holidays.  Especially ones like Easter, where the decorations can tend to lean towards the child-like or cheesy-side.  But, I love switching up the decor in my house, so I am always looking for simple, sophisticated ways to decorate.

I love the natural feel of all of these ideas:  they scream “spring” and hint “Easter!”  This trio of pots would be darling on a front entry table or as a centerpiece for Easter brunch.  I love how they filled each one with something different!  You have all heard me talk about my bowl full of moss balls that typically sits on my coffee table…..I am LOVING this easy update for Easter: mix in a few blue robin’s eggs.  Simple, and a lovely touch of color!

I still dye Easter eggs – sometimes I can coheres my husband into participating, sometimes I do it all by myself!  I love the idea of polka dotted eggs – and presenting them in a bowl with some twiggy moss.  And lastly, a simple update to your house plants: sponge paint your pots with a soft metallic paint, and add some moss at the roots.  It will take it from boring to beautiful instantly!

Images: pots, moss balls with eggs, and metallic pots (potterybarn.com), polka dot eggs (styleathome.com)

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