December 9th, 2015 |

BREAKFAST with SANTA | DONUT BAR

invitationCreating a little Christmas magic for the little ones in my life is always a goal for the holiday season.  This year, I want to host a “Breakfast with Santa” party – complete with our darling Santa party invitation, festive tablesetting, a donut breakfast bar, and Santa mug party favor.

A classic red and green color palette looks fresh against a crisp white backdrop.   Here are a couple of my favorite details to look for in the photos:

  • Our “Santa” party invitation is one of my all-time favorites.  It could be used for a variety of Christmas events, and I love the simplicity of it and the preppy stripes on the back.  You will see we play off the stripes in a few different places, like on the kids plates, and on the banner hanging above the donut bar.
  • Our tablesetting contained a couple of festive elements: a personalized melamine plate that also served as a party favor, and a white napkin tied up with a red bow and big red jingle bell.
  • The theme dictated a breakfast menu, so a donut bar was in order!  I used my white cake stands to serve up different types of donuts, many of which were basic store-bought donuts I embellished myself with a little frosting and sprinkles!
  • I used a red and white stripe banner from Target as the backdrop for the donut bar, and used 2″ silver foil letter stickers to spell out “believe” on the pennants.
  • My favorite item on the donut bar were the cello bags full of powder sugar donuts with our santa sticker labeling them “snowballs.”
  • We sent guests home with a charming Santa mug from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s, tied up with cellophane and our big “special delivery” foil-stamped gift tags.

tablesettingDSC_0474DSC_0477donut barDSC_0456DSC_0461DSC_0458DSC_0464DSC_0462party favor

November 20th, 2015 |

MIXED METALS THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPE

DSC_0482

Thanksgiving to me is more than a big meal shared with family and friends.  It’s time to reflect on the things for which I am most thankful and also the official kick-off to the holiday festivities.
My parents host a big Thanksgiving dinner, so I love hosting a smaller intimate “friendsgiving” with my nearest and dearest a week or two before the official turkey day.
DSC_0491This year, I decided to set a gorgeous table featuring mixed metals to highlight my favorite “Country Estate” dinnerware from Juliska.  The plates are a gorgeous ivory with shades of grey, so I layered the table with a grey and white greek key patterned table runner, pewter chargers(featuring a darling message across the top), ivory napkins, and bronze wishbone napkin rings from Pottery Barn. To add a touch of glam, I pulled out my favorite Waterford crystal goblets.
DSC_0489DSC_0488

I decided against the traditional floral centerpiece, and created a “looks elaborate, but was really so simple” centerpiece of hurricanes filled with mini white pumpkins, and faux persimmon branches and greenery. The candlelight added a gorgeous warmth to the table!
My Thanksgiving menu is pretty traditional, and includes:
  • Turkey
  • My grandmother’s stuffing
  • Pureed cauliflower (vs mashed potatoes this year!)
  • Roasted vegetables (including brussel sprouts, butternut squash, mushrooms & bacon)
  • Creamed Corn
  • Apple Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

DSC_0483I have so much to be thankful for this year: a loving husband and adorable 2 year old son, a supportive family that all lives within 5 minutes of us (and a new niece to love on!), friends I adore, and a thriving business.  This is the good stuff!  And I’m especially thankful I get to take the time to cheers! to all of these things and spend time with those I love over Thanksgiving.

DSC_0478

Speaking of cheers’ing…. Since our Thanksgiving meal is fairly “heavy”, this year I will be serving up two staples in my house: a crisp white wine, and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  It’s light and refreshing, and makes for the perfect accompaniment to the meal. I will be accessorizing my bar cart with our foil-stamped “gobble gobble” cocktail napkins to add a touch of whimsy to the evening.
DSC_0496
DSC_0409
I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving and look forward to celebrating the holiday season with all of you!  Cheers!
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
October 28th, 2015 |

CUSTOM PARTY by WH HOSTESS | NEMO

4B8B1818One of the challenges we face when planning custom birthday parties is the location, and what they will allow in terms of decorations.  If your planning a party at home, the sky’s the limit when it comes to decorations.  But at a restaurant, play place, farm, museum, etc. that’s not always the case.

One of our favorite clients asked us to help plan her son’s Under the Sea/Finding Nemo birthday party this past spring.  The catch was, he wanted to have it at the Houston Aquarium.  There was a restaurant, where they could decorate a table, but they could only get in 30 minutes prior!  So….we had to plan smart, and come up with a few key details that would make the space look festive, yet that could be set up quickly!

A few fun details to take note of:

  • The colorful tablesetting for the kids – we dressed up basic linens with a table runner made from our custom fish patterned fabric, and then popped it with paper plates, napkins, cups, and bubbles.
  • We used turquoise foil accents throughout all of the paper goods, from the invitations, to the straw flags, to the party favor gift tags. It added to the look of bubbles!
  • The adult guests were served a themed cocktail….blue, of course!
  • The tiered cake by Cakes by Gina was spectacular!
  • After the kids went on a fabulous tour around the aquarium, they took home a sand pail full of goodies, including a stuffed Nemo, and tied with a foil-stamped gift tag.

4B8B21914B8B22134B8B19694B8B19664B8B1940drinks4B8B19454B8B18184B8B18414B8B22564B8B2253

October 20th, 2015 |

WITCHES’ DINNER PARTY

invitationHalloween can be such a busy time for Mamas – between making (or purchasing!) the kids costumes, helping at classroom parties, and getting the candy prepared for trick-or-treaters – most ladies don’t have a second to enjoy the festive holiday!  I thought it would be fun to gather up some of my favorite “witches” for a little good old-fashioned Halloween dinner party this past weekend.

I invited them with our Witch silhouette party invitation, featuring an orange and white geometric trellis pattern.  I used this pattern, along with my witch silhouette, throughout the event to tie together the look.

cocktailI welcomed my guests with a tray of my signature cocktail: a candy cane cocktail!  So simple and delicious, I filled up my glasses with Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and then added a dash of orange juice, and a handful of candy corn. It was just the perfect amount of sweet and sour!

tablesettingI set a festive table with a black and white stripe tablecloth, white dishes, and napkins made out of my custom fabric in the orange geometric print.  Each plate was topped with a menu card, and a mini orange witch’s broom. And instead of using traditional placecards, I opted to do a straw flag with each guests’ name on them.

DSC_0014DSC_0001placesetting1DSC_0005I wanted the center of the table to feature a modern spin on traditional pumpkins.  So I embellished a large white pumpkin with black stones to look like a glam monogram. I found this letter “L” at my local Michael’s craft store, and they had them available in all letters!  It was so easy, and I just love the custom look it gave the table.  Plus, it can be used as decor after the party.

cookiesI served up sugar cookies from Sweet Nelsons for dessert.  How amazing are these cookies?!  She absolutely nailed the design, repeating the graphics from our invitation.

DSC_0052To send my ladies home with a little something sweet, I packaged up candy corn in our foil-stamped cello bags with a “Trick or Treat” message on them.  They were conveniently displayed on our lucite tray (featuring the diagonal stripe liner in orange) by the front door, so I could easily hand them out as we said our goodbyes.

FullSizeRender (8)THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.

October 14th, 2015 |

RUBBER DUCKY BABY SHOWER

placesettingIt’s no secret that we love a good theme party around here.  And when it comes to baby showers, more often than not, we’re working with a gender neutral color palette.  A rubber ducky theme is classic, and one of my all-time favorites.  It also works beautifully for a 1st birthday party (I know a certain little man in my house that LOVES rubber duckies!).

Our new rubber ducky party invitation is just darling, if I do say so myself!  The front features a turquoise bubble background along with our charming ducky, and the back features an all-over ducky pattern.

Sometimes you need just a few details to make a party special.  If you are hosting a party at a restaurant or club, you may only be able to decorate the tablesetting. I suggest lining the table with a polka dot patterned table runner, and creating graphic, festive centerpieces by lining up mini rubber duckies from Party City on white cake stands.

Surprise your guests with one coordinating dessert, such as a theme appropriate sugar cookie.  Sweet Nelsons made these darling ducky cookies for us, and they were as delicious as they were adorable.  I love gifting my guests with edible party favors, and think you can have a lot of fun trying to coordinate your candy to your theme.  For this party, we used blue round candy from Candywarehouse.com to look like bubbles.  And to dress up a basic cellophane bag – a little ribbon and our matching rubber ducky gift sticker go a long way!

duck centerpiecerubber ducky cookiesparty favor sticker

October 12th, 2015 |

TRICK or TREAT PARTY | SIMPLE HALLOWEEN SWEETS

trick or treat introHalloween is such a fun holiday, especially for kids! With the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, it offers up the opportunity to host a little party.  One of my favorite ways to entertain for Halloween is to invite neighbors over for sweets before trick-or-treating. Our pumpkin stripe party invitation is the perfect way to invite your guests – full of stripes, pumpkins and candy corn.

Halloween can give Mamas a to-do list a mile long, between costumes, school parties, candy for trick-or-treaters, etc. The idea of baking sweets for a party may be daunting enough for you to pull the plug on the idea.  Don’t let it!  Here are a couple tips for creating a clean, stylized presentation of store-bought goodies:

  • Create a clean look by using all white, black and orange sweets
  • Display all of your goodies on white cake stands and serving pieces, dress up one or two of them with an orange bow
  • Embellish store-bought vanilla cupcakes with a candy corn pumpkin, brownies with candy corn, and make sure you pick up some of the Halloween Oreo cookies!
  • Fill up little candy cups or baking cups with candy corn for little hands to grab
  • Use foam letter stickers (available at your local craft store) to embellish milk bottles or glasses with “boo” or the kids’ names.

DSC_0979DSC_0983oreo cookiesdiy projectDSC_0982

 

October 6th, 2015 |

HALLOWEEN PAPER GOODS

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 |

PREPPY FOOTBALL BIRTHDAY PARTY

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 |

PINK FLAMINGO DINNER PARTY

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!

DSC_07972DSC_0810DSC_0796DSC_0758

 

September 3rd, 2015 |

END OF SUMMER ENTERTAINING

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.
DSC_0382

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
Instructions:
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.
DSC_0389
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)
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS, PHOTOGRAPHS, RECIPES AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.
Page 1 of 4112345...102030...Last »