October 6th, 2015 | Comments


pumpkin stickerOctober marks the start of Halloween celebrations and we’ve got you covered with preppy, festive paper goods. From party invitations to gift tags and cocktail napkins, we have the perfect accessories to dress up your classroom party, neighborhood gathering or haunted house!

Personalize yours today at whhostess.com.

halloween productsorange tagwitch stickerblack trick or treat tag

September 24th, 2015 | Comments


planterOne of my favorite parts of my job is designing custom parties for clients.  One of my repeat clients recently asked us to create a preppy football party for her son.  I’m thrilled to show you the darling details she pulled together – great attention to detail, preppy stripes, and masculine enough for the boys!  I hope you can pull some inspiration for your next tailgating get-together or “boy” birthday party!

front doorentry centerpiecefootball lanternshydration stationtablesslidersdessert tablefootball cookiescandy jarfootball lollipopspopcorn boxes


September 4th, 2015 |


3With Summer quickly coming to an end, I am pulling out all of the photos from my summer parties I haven’t shared yet!  Do you remember that darling Pink Flamingo Baby Shower I co-hosted for my sister back in June?  Well, I knew I was going to have some GORGEOUS flowers leftover, so I planned a little girl’s night dinner party for a couple days after the event.  When you invest time, money and materials into party decorations, it’s always wise to try to re-use them! :)

1I invited a couple girlfriends over for a preppy dinner party, and set my table allowing the leftover pink flamingo centerpiece to take center stage!  I used silk palm leaves as placemats, and topped my basic white dinner plates with a green ikat patterned salad plate.  Hot pink napkins from Party City were tied with a white ribbon and a tag featuring each guests’ monogram as a placecard.  Simple glassware and votive candles completed the look!

As a party favor, I sent my girls home with a little green box filled with hot pink candy.  I used one of our flamingo gift stickers to accessorize it and tie it together with our theme. Enjoy the rest of the photos!



September 3rd, 2015 |


tablsetting vertical 2

Celebrating the end of summer with friends and family is a tradition in this house! This year, we hosted a sunflower dinner party and I have some great ideas and recipes to share with you today.  I hope you can pull some inspiration from it for your own gatherings.
Since the weather here in Chicago has been BEAUTIFUL this week, I set the table out in our sunroom.  The crisp white wainscot on the walls makes for the perfect backdrop for just about any color palette I want to play with.  My blue and white plate collection on the wall, and desire to use sunflowers for the centerpiece, led me to a blue, white, yellow and green color palette for the tablesetting.
placesettingI set the table using blue and white striped placemats, my basic white dinner plates, and a blue and white quatrefoil print napkin.  To add that special touch, I placed mini flower pot placecard holders on each plate.  I used a 1″ scallop circle punch and yellow scrapbook paper to create the name tags.  To create the centerpiece, I filled my favorite rose bowl vase with giant sunflowers from the farmer’s market and flanked the vase with navy blue oversized candlesticks.

I welcomed my guests with a signature cocktail for the evening: a strawberry rubarb lemonade cocktail using Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  I served them up in stemless champagne flutes, garnished with a green gingham straw and a slice of lemon, along with my pineapple foil-stamped cocktail napkins.

Strawberry Rubarb Lemonade Cocktail Recipe:

(makes 2 cocktails)

1 bottle Mike’s Hard Lemonade
6 strawberries
1 lemon
1 handful of rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Chop the strawberries and handful of rhubarb, and place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water, and sugar.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar melts, squeeze in the juice from the lemon and remove from the heat.  Strain the liquid thru a fine mesh sieve and pour it into a glass with Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  Garnish with a slice of lemon.
For dinner, I served up two of my favorite summer dishes: an heirloom caprese salad with tomatoes from my garden, and a lemon garlic salmon dish.  This salmon dish has been my go-to all summer long and I must share it with you!  It’s simple, fresh, healthy and turns out great every single time!
salmon recipe

Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe

(serves 2-3 people)
1 lbs sockeye salmon
2 lemons
4 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves garlic
Salt & Pepper
Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat and squeeze the juice of two lemons into the butter.  Add chopped/crushed garlic and simmer for a minute or two, and then remove from the heat.
Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place your salmon on top.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and then pour the lemon butter sauce on top.  Fold your aluminum foil up around the fish to completely tent it, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Once you remove it from the oven, plate it and pour some of the remain butter mixture from the pan on top, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
To recreate this look: placemats, dinner plates, napkins, napkin rings (crateandbarrel.com), flower pot placecard holders (kateaspen.com), pineapple foil-stamped napkin (whhostess.com), crystal rose bowl vase (tiffany.com), navy blue candlesticks (homegoods.com), blue plate collection (some via horchow.com)
July 13th, 2015 |


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.


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.


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


  • 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


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.


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 |


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)


June 26th, 2015 |


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)!


June 24th, 2015 |


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.


June 22nd, 2015 |


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!)


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 |


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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