July 13th, 2015 | Comments (2)

SUMMER PATIO PARTY | PAMA LIQUEUR COCKTAIL RECIPE

patioDSC_0987A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had partnered with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur to host a “Summer Patio Party” in celebration of their BIG summer Pinterest contest going on this month.  PS – Have you entered yet?!  I’m back today to share the photos from my Patio Party, along with a couple fun food ideas, and a fabulous cocktail recipe from PAMA.

I invited my guests for the Summer Patio Party using my BBQ party invitation – I love the casualness of it, and the color palette it set for the party – black, white, yellow, red and a touch of green. I set the patio table with a sunny assortment of sunflowers, woven charger plates, green melamine plates, and black and white buffalo check napkins.  To add a little twinkle to the table, I placed votive candles into mason jars filled with green lentils.

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DSC_0975I served up one of PAMA’s signature cocktails – the Summer Fling!  To make serving simple, I premixed my cocktails and placed them in capped bottles, making it simple for guests to help themselves.  I add to the summer-casual-feeling, I served them up in glass mason jars as glasses.

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DSC_1007DSC_1002To make your own PAMA Summer Fling Cocktail, follow this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Tequila
  • 1/4 cup PAMA
  • 12 oz Peach nectar
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice (2 large limes)
  • 1 tbs thinly chopped fresh basil

Instructions

Stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Pour into a re-sealable 600ML bottle. Chill until ready to serve. Can be made up to 1 week in advance.

PS – they have all kinds of fabulous recipes on their website – you can check them out here.

cornwatermelon horizontalIn addition to our burgers and brats, I served corn on the cob on popsicle sticks (I stood them up in a galvanized container, making for a charming presentation), and my favorite go-to summer appetizer: watermelon, feta and basil stacks, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The sweetness complimented our PAMA cocktails perfectly!

I sent guests home with a little popcorn bag, dressed up with a gingham check sticker.

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This post was sponsored by Heaven Hill Distilleries, Heaven Hill Family of Brands, Bardstown, KY © 2015

There is still time to enter the Celebrate Summer Pinterest contest at PAMALiqueur.com/CelebrateSummerContest. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Starts on 6/22/15 at 12:00:00 p.m. ET and ends on 7/20/15 at 11:59:59 a.m. ET. Open to legal residents of 50 UnitedStates and D.C., who are at least 21 years of age and older. Void where prohibited. For complete Official Rules, visit PAMALiqueur.com/CelebrateSummer.

June 30th, 2015 |

4th OF JULY PARTY CRACKERS | FREE PRINTABLE

CRACKERS INTRO
Are you hosting a 4th of July party this weekend?  I have a fun little “freebie” for you today!  Send your guests home with a paper cracker full of candy or small gifts. These are super simple to make, and I’m even including a free printable label for you below.

Here’s the how-to: save your empty toilet paper rolls, fill them up with candy/small gifts, and then wrap in a sheet of tissue paper.  Tie each end with ribbon and wrap with our free printable label.  Super simple, yet oh, so stylish!  Have fun! (click on the image of labels below for the free download)

crackersCRACKER FREE DOWNLOAD (web)

June 26th, 2015 |

4th OF JULY PREPPY TABLESETTING

flag tablesettingSet a preppy patriotic tablesetting for your 4th of July celebrations by combining a few key patterns: navy stripes, red polka dots and a classic American flag (I found these at Party City)!

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June 24th, 2015 |

CHINOISERIE COUNTRY TABLESETTING | 4th OF JULY

DSC_0367I absolutely LOVE entertaining in July.  The weather is finally good here in Chicago, and with 4th of July quickly approaching, I can pull out all of my red, white and blue and entertain in pure Americana style.  For a dinner party this weekend, I’m setting the table with a classic red gingham tablecloth, my chinoiserie blue and white plates, cobalt wine glasses, and linen napkins from MADISON with a modern blue striped monogram.

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June 22nd, 2015 |

GINGHAM CHECK FIRST COMMUNION

gingham check first communionWorking with my custom party planning clients is truly one of my favorite parts of my job.  My clients invite me into their families, to help them plan a memorable event – a baptism, birthday party, bridal or baby shower, and in this case a First Holy Communion.  Held in Florida, we wanted to give the event a crisp, sunny color palette, and use classic haberdashery patterns for a masculine look.  A gingham check invitation design was born, and set the tone for the rest of the party.  (PS – our gingham check invitation is available in the shop in 8 different color ways!)

INVITATION

The event had a very classic feel to it, and there are some steal-worthy ideas that would be perfect to incorporate into a summer party.  Some of my favorite details include:

  • Guests were welcomed to the event with a sweet placecard display. Lollipops (with the guests’ names and table no. were placed on stickers) stood at attention in pots full of green moss.
  • During the cocktail hour, guests sipped on sweet tea in cups personalized with stickers and our foil-stamped straw flags. Cocktail napkins, stamped with a custom message added a personalized touch.
  • Our custom fabric, in a coordinating blue and white gingham check, was made into table toppers for the round tables and featured a yellow pom pom trim. The tables featured two different centerpieces from Flowerama: a gorgeous white lantern from Pottery Barn, wrapped in a white hydrangea wreath and a yellow vase full of “happy” daisies and yellow billy balls.
  • The kids had their own special table, also dressed in a gingham check runner, with big yellow balloons soaring above it.  We hung a “God Bless Marco” chair sign at the head of the table, for the man of the hour.
  • The dessert table carried out the sunny blue, yellow and white color palette with a yellow striped custom fabric backdrop, yellow candy including small bags of jelly beans accessorized with gift stickers, a gorgeous cake incorporating the gingham check pattern by Cakes by Pink, cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes, gingham check chocolate-covered oreo cookies from Sweeties by Kim, and a pennant banner that hung across the front.
  • As a keepsake for the communicant, we created a custom guest book, including photos of the young man and his family, along with pages for guests to write him a special note.

 

Marco_Reception_002Marco_Reception_033Marco_Reception_038Marco_Reception_039Marco_Reception_027Marco_Reception_031Marco_Reception_029Marco_Reception_025Marco_Reception_006Marco_Reception_020Marco_Reception_010Marco_Reception_005Marco_Reception_015Marco_Reception_016Marco_Reception_047Images by Stacey Woods Photography

June 16th, 2015 |

PINK FLAMINGO BABY SHOWER

DSC_0623One of life’s greatest joys is welcoming a new baby into a family.  So when my sister announced that she was expecting a baby, we were thrilled.  She and I are both blessed with charming (and active, rambunctious, and sassy) little boys, so when they found out they were having a little girl….well, let’s just say we were all tickled pink!  We come from a family of strong ladies – hard-working, entrepreneurs, caring, fashionable, and feisty – and it’s been 25 years since we welcomed a little girl into the family.  So, a party was an absolute must!

The ladies of the family threw a “Flamingo Sips & Dips” this past weekend to celebrate the upcoming arrival of my new niece, and we had a blast with this theme.  Since this is her second baby, we didn’t want to throw a full-blown baby shower, but more of a celebration and a reason to drink pink punch with the ladies!  I hope you enjoy the peek below of the party – it was such a blast!  We have a few more weeks before we meet the baby….we can’t wait!

Here are a few details to look for in terms of decor ideas:

  • We used our brand new Pink Flamingo party invitation to invite guests. This is one of my favorite designs, and it comes in 8 different color ways.  Perfect for a summer pool party, bridal or baby shower, birthday party or summer dinner party!
  • We welcomed guests to the party with a festive entrance, complete with pink flamingos accessorized with green striped bows, balloons and a boxwood wreath on the front door that held a onesie that I decorated with our pink flamingo image.
  • We set up one food buffet table to hold our appetizers and desserts.  The table was dressed with a palm print tablecloth, and held two centerpieces that may be my absolute favorite ones that I have EVER done.  We used basketweave vases from Target, and combined an assortment of hydrangeas, peonies, gladiolas and tulips in varying shades of pink and orange to create them, and topped them off with pink flamingos.
  • The food was all served on baskets full of greenery, and instead of using standard food tent cards, we used Kate Aspen brushed gold, mini picture frames in a fretwork design from Party City to hold the food names.  I loved the chic pop they gave the table.
  • Frog Prince Cake & Cookie Design created the most darling pink flamingo cookies for us as a little sweet option.
  • We set up a self-serve bar, making it simple for guests to help themselves, and to keep us hosts from running around filling up drinks!  Two drink dispensers held pink lemonade and citrus-infused water.  We embellished them with signage, gingham ribbon and pink tassels.  Lilly Pulitzer flamingo cups were the perfect addition, and looked darling accessorized with our green striped straws with foil-stamped straw flags.
  • We wanted a little nod to the ladies of our “flock”, so we displayed a baby photo of each of us girls on a lattice screen.  Guests had a blast looking at them!
  • To add a fun little “game” to the party, we asked guests to guess what the baby’s name will be.

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June 12th, 2015 |

PREPPY TABLESETTING |PEONIES + GINGHAM + MONOGRAMS

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I’ve always had a sweet spot for gingham check.  Shrink it down, tiny and sweet, or blow it up as an exploded buffalo check.  It’s classic, yet definitely a trend this summer – and that’s my happy spot (where classics and trends intersect!).  For a kick-off to summer dinner party tonight, I styled a table that combines some of my favorite things: peonies, monograms and gingham check.  The gorgeous monogrammed napkins are from Madison in Dallas, and the china is all from Kate Spade.

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June 8th, 2015 |

PREPPY ANCHOR SUMMER PARTY

DSC_0443One of the best things about our newly launched collection of party invitations, is the amazing amount of new parties I can throw! 😉  My goal is always to design invitations that inspire a whole theme, and I love giving you ideas to go along with the invitation!

The Preppy Anchor party invitation is one of my favorites for summer entertaining.  It’s offered in 4 colors, and has a crisp, classic look to it.  It could be used for a birthday party, summer picnic, dinner party, rehearsal dinner, or baby shower! I put together a little Nautical-inspired party and there are some darling ideas I hope you can repurpose for your next party:

  • Instead of using only a blue and white color story, I popped some bright maritime colors in the accessories.  Custom napkins made from our anchor fabric were edged with red, yellow, green and light blue ribbon.
  • White lanterns from Pottery Barn served as the centerpiece for the tablesetting, and I tied the silverware with white rope for a nautical nod.
  • Placecards always make guests feel extra-special.  I used white rope balls from Party City to hold mine at each place.
  • Our new foil-stamped straw flags add a festive touch to any party!  They look especially fun in the colorful striped acrylic glasses from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy’s. And the cocktail – it’s my signature Sea Breeze and a must-have for summer.  Get the recipe here.
  • For a casual lunch, I served up my clam chowder pot pies, and embellished them to fit the theme by adding an anchor on top of the crust.  Baked in individual staub pots – they’re cute and delicious – and you can get my recipe here.
  • I always like to send my guests home with a little something as a party favor, and these anchor muslin bags from Party City were the perfect fit for my theme. I used a mini red clip to attach a gift tag.

tablesettingred napkinsilverwareglass and placecardplatesDSC_0420DSC_0417cocktailDSC_0451DSC_0303party favor bags

April 28th, 2015 |

FIESTA PARTY | CELEBRATE CINCO de MAYO WITH KIDS

fiesta party invitation horizontalCinco de Mayo is a colorful, festive celebration that typically is more geared towards adults.  I have a couple fun ideas for you, from my book Stylish Kids’ Parties, on how to throw your littles a colorful fiesta.  These ideas would also work smashingly well for a Fiesta birthday party!

Whether you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or a Fiesta birthday party, send your guests a colorful invitation to set the tone for the event!  We have two new designs in the shop that would be perfect: the fiesta and the confetti invitations.  (see images at the bottom of the post)  If you want to get crafty, you can add a glassine envelope of colorful confetti to it!

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pom pom trimDress up your basic party platters or cake stands with colorful pom pom trim from your local craft store.  One of my favorite ways to serve up lemonade is in mini mason jars with flower lids and striped straws. Looking to add a playful punch to your party?  Fill up a bowl with sprinkles and place your mason jar drinks in them for easy grab-n-go.

drink bottles verticalDecorate your tablesetting with a fringe centerpiece.  Using a wood number (age) or letter (initial), wrap it with a paper fringe garland and stick it into a pot of wheat grass.  The full DIY instructions are in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, along with a couple free printables.

centerpiecewrap fringe around the numberSend your little guests home with paper cone party favors full of candy.  I used pink and orange striped lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.  Throw in a couple of tacos and chocolate-covered churros, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous family-friendly Cinco de Mayo party!  Here are the two new invitations in the shop that would be PERFECT for a Fiesta party:

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April 7th, 2015 |

GOLF PARTY IDEAS | STYLISH KIDS’ PARTIES

golf party ideas introWith the Masters going on this week, I thought it was the perfect time to share some ideas for a golf themed party from my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties.  It’s such a timeless theme, and many of these ideas could be used for a kids’ birthday party or for a Masters viewing party this weekend.

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Infuse your party with design elements that will make your guests feel like they are celebrating on the 18th hole: a festive table setting with DIY décor ideas, a “putting green” dessert table, and themed desserts.

I set the table with a navy tablecloth, green seersucker napkins, and created a theme-appropriate centerpiece of whiffle balls and grass plants with DIY flags. Create your own flags with patterned paper and cardboard flags from Paper Source.  To further customization of your party décor, you can add your child’s age onto the flags.  You can find the whole DIY project in my book.

Get creative with your place settings; fill mini galvanized buckets with wheat grass, a tea and a personalized golf ball.  Tip: Use a dab of hot glue to attach the ball and tee together for stability. Infuse your theme into the centerpieces by filling vases with whiffle balls, and galvanized tubs with wheat grass and my decoupage flags.

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Golfers get thirsty, so make sure to set up a “water hole” with water bottles for easy grab ‘n go.

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Styling a dessert table around the Golf Classic theme is a preppy hostess’ dream come true.  A classic color palette, the option to embellish basic desserts with themed accessories, and a clean layout that allows for color-coordinated branding with paper goods.

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I designed this dessert table to look like it was sitting atop a putting green.  Using a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet that I found at my local Home Depot to line the tabletop, I covered the edges with a 4” wide navy blue and white striped grosgrain ribbon.

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To mimic the galvanized centerpieces and place cards on the lunch table, I used a three-tiered galvanized stand in the center of the table, as well as two containers holding wheat grass and my decoupage flags. I wrapped navy and white striped ribbon around each tier of the three-tier stand, and topped it with a paper fan that I created out of coordinating paper.  You could create the same look with any scrapbook or wrapping paper.

cupcakes on standDesserts on the table included cupcakes with coordinating flag toppers (a free printable in my book!), sugar cookies shaped like golf balls from Firefly Confections, powdered sugar donut “holes in one”, chocolate-dipped pretzels or “irons & woods”, and polka dot candy cups full of candy.

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A few fun ideas to embellish the theme:

  • Use a Lucite tray upside down as a riser, and line whiffle balls underneath it for a pop of the theme.
  • Whether it’s plastic or bamboo utensils, you can quickly embellish the handles with washi tape.  Available in endless patterns and colors, it’s a great way to carry out your theme.

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Kids like to be active!  Keep your guests occupied during the party with a simple ball toss game.  Using galvanized containers, I wrapped them with coordinating ribbon and labeled them each with a different number.  Whiffle balls are the “toss” of choice, to ensure nothing gets broken when the balls start flying thru the air.  Provide a prize for the child that gets the ball in the most buckets.

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Send your little golfers home with their very own “bucket of balls”.  Fill a galvanized tub with a bag of whiffle balls and tees.  Tie my printable gift tag that says, “Thanks for teeing off with me!” to the side of the bucket.  PS – this would also make a darling hostess gift if you are attending a Masters party this weekend!

This theme is always one of our most requested during the summer months, so I’m pleased to tell you that we have a brand new invitation suite for this golf theme!  You can view the preppy golf party invitation here, along with the coordinating return address stickers and gift stickers for party favors.  And to kick off the launch of this new design, I also sourced a few key elements for you to use for your golf party….see them below!

partyelementsPreppy Golf Party Invitation and Stickers from WH Hostess | Mini Galvanized Buckets for Placecards | White Whiffle Balls | Navy Blue Striped Paper Cups from The TomKat Shop | Navy Blue and White Striped Party Favor Bags from The TomKat Shop

 

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