October 17th, 2011 |

Halloween Sock Monkey Party

I came across this darling Halloween party for kids on Better Homes and Gardens, and I just had to share it with you.  As you all know, I have a soft spot for monkeys (my god-daughter is obsessed with them, and it’s also one of our best selling party collections!).  This sock-monkey twist on your traditional Halloween party is so cute….I love the colors, the patterns and there are some great activity ideas that you could re-create for any party!

Some of the activities include a candy corn relay race, and a matching card game.  Totally cute for kids!  Whoopie pies are dressed up with monkey faces, and check out these cute pumpkin straws!  Check out the feature on bhg.com for all of the darling details.

October 5th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Rehearsal Dinner

Gathering friends and family the night before a wedding is exciting….planning a party that has a whole different feel than the wedding….even more exciting! Beth Beattie recently planned and styled a stunning rehearsal dinner with sweet details that could be recreated and inspire any Fall party. The bride-to be was a Southern Belle from Alabama, so she wanted to create a rehearsal dinner that reflected her personality.

The location was the outdoor patio of Mason’s in Easton, Maryland with hanging lights and farmhouse chairs. The white linens were topped with a burlap runner, vintage mason jars and votives wrapped in lace. The placecards were made with burlap and chalkboard contact paper (the perfect DIY project). Minted adjusted the color of an invitation they had to a mint green, and it reflected the feel of the intimate affair with hanging lights. They also created a menu card to match.

A cake by Bay Country Bakery was made out of the groom’s favorite Italian cookies from Mike’s Pastry of Boston.  The evening was absolutely magical….the perfect start to a wonderful wedding weekend.

Photography by Leigh Miller Photography

 

September 28th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Fall Pizza Party

Looking for a fun idea for Friday night dinner this week?  Take cues from this festive Fall pizza party from Chris at Celebrations at Home.  Featured in the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine, it is stock full of ideas for creating an inspired table setting. Continue reading for more of the details as told by Chris….

After a long hot Summer, I love bringing the party inside for Fall.  Some of my favorite Autumn entertaining ideas revolve around food and I thought a pizza party with friends would be a great excuse for a casual gathering. In setting the table, we wanted it warm and cozy but not too fussy – in fact we set the pizzas on pedestals to serve as our centerpiece and make serving yourself easy. A bit of plaid fabric and a burlap border are the perfect base for our table. Utensils are tied and embellished with an Autumn leaf, napkins are rolled and bound with a luggage tag {doubles as a placecard and a favor}, and apple cider is served in flip-top bottles.

To make it a bit more interesting, I put an “international” spin on it and served up different flavor combinations to reflect different parts of the world – the USA {Hawaii}, the Mediterranean, and Italy. You can make the pizzas yourself, have your guests make them, or order from your favorite restaurant. Add unique signage for the individual pizzas by using maps to create signs-on-a-stick to stand up in your pizza pies.

I love how Chris carried the international/travel theme into the dessert table as well by using suitcases and globes as props!  The mini boxes pies are so cute….they would also make a darling party favor for any Fall party!

September 26th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Popcorn Bar

It’s been so fun highlighting all of the articles from the latest issue of TPD Magazine….and today is no different!  We are showing off the details of a fabulous Popcorn Bar designed by Jessica Kirkland from Pen ‘n Paperflowers.  Here are the details from Jessica….

The idea of an interactive Popcorn Bar came to me as I was preparing a slideshow/movie to watch for a Family Reunion I would be attending. The family movie was going to be shown at a family member’s home with 5 acres of property, horses and a gorgeous pool as the backdrop for the slideshow. I decided I wanted to create something kid-friendly and fun to go along with the movie and I needed it to be easy as far as food preparation for 50+ people. A rustic-style Popcorn Bar was just what I needed!!
My intentions were to create an interactive popcorn bar that would allow everyone to personalize their bags of popcorn. By selecting a seasoning (or two) as well as offering a few candies and peanuts to throw in the mix, this option allowed everyone to get creative and ultimately cater to a large array of popcorn palettes.

As a fun, special element for the children, I offeredcaramel popcorn balls I ordered from Kernel Encore and served them up on The Pastry Pedestal™.

In my research, I visited a local popcorn vendor, Kernel Encore, intending to choose three different flavors of popcorn for the popcorn bar. After more research, I decided to do the most simple, and cost-effective thing: I pre-ordered 10 bags of fresh, already popped popcorn from my local grocery store. I then ordered an array of popcorn seasonings, (Kettle Corn, Apple Cinnamon, Nacho Cheddar, White Cheddar, Ranch, Chili Lime, and Caramel) and a butter spritzer from Kernel Season’s website.
I also added another interactive element to the popcorn bar by creating a fun, simple game called “Mystery Popcorn Flavors”.  I ordered 5 different ”Sampler Bags” of unusual flavored popcorn from Kernel Encore. (Salt & Vinegar, BBQ, Watermelon, Peanut Butter and Taco).  With each of the flavors in a separate numbered basket, I challenged everyone to sample them and offered a prize to the person to guess all five flavors correctly.

The food preparation couldn’t have been more simple and I believe everyone had fun serving up their own snacks in preparation for the movie. A popcorn bar is such a versatile idea allowing for so many different creative avenues to choose from. With Fall just around the corner,  a rustic Popcorn Bar would be so fitting for any of your upcoming events. Just add a couple of pumpkins to the display or a few bales of hay and you’re ready for that Fall Festival or Thanksgiving dessert table you’ve been fretting over.

 

September 22nd, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Mod Spider

Spice things up this Halloween season by introducing a new, festive color palette to your celebration: black, lime green and magenta! We paired these three colors together, along with some tonal polka dots and one cute little spider to create a darling collection of party goods and ideas for hosting your next event.

Glittering black chandeliers were a fabulous addition to this creepy, crawly candy bash.  Hung above the sweets table, they helped to define the vertical space in the room, but also give a touch of glamour to the party.  We show you three different ways to serve everyone’s favorite dessert: the cupcake!  Fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies, cupcake toppers from WH Hostess, and chocolate spider webs to top chocolate cakes.

Spider cookies with sparkling disco dust from Allyson Jane make quite a festive statement.  Purple, silver and lime green candy from Candy Warehouse looks darling and accessible in jars dressed up with candy jar tags. One of our favorite additions to this table are the mini chocolate bars wrapped in labels, and the cute little spider stickers on the bottoms of the chocolate kisses!

Bubbling, foggy, green punch was created by adding dry ice into the bowl, and helped to create quite a spooky party!

September 21st, 2011 |

DIY Tutorial: Cake Ball Cake

I hope you all enjoyed today’s post on the Mod Fish baby shower featured in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine!  Did you notice the darling cake that stole the show on the dessert table?  I’m sure you are curious what those balls or “bubbles” are….candy, gumballs…..nope!  They are cake balls!  And I am back this afternoon with a simple do-it-yourself tutorial, so you too can try this for your next event.

Trying to carry the “bubble” theme throughout our fish party, Charynn and I contacted Velvet Cream Bakery to create cake balls in varying shades of blue.  They delivered a stunning amount of {delicious} cake balls, and Charynn quickly got to work on figuring out the best way to attach them to our two-tiered cake.

Step 1

Gather your supplies: cake (covered in fondant), toothpicks, cake balls, and a cake topper (if desired)

Step 2

Starting from the bottom up, insert your toothpicks about 1 inch from the bottom of the cake, about 1.5-2 inches apart (depending on the size of your cake balls).  Repeat with the darkest blue all the way around the cake.

Repeat each row atop one another, with the color blue getting lighter each row.

Step 3

Once you cover the entire cake in rows of cake balls, create a circle of the lightest color balls on the top of the second tier.  This creates the perfect spot for a cake topper.

Step 4

Insert your cake topper.  We used fondant fish and bubbles on wire from Two Sugar Babies.

 

September 21st, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Mod Fish Baby Shower

When it comes to baby showers, I prefer to cater to the Mom-to-be’s design aesthetic….not the babies!  After all, the party is for her!  It’s a great opportunity to pull in unique baby-friendly concepts, but perhaps modernize them to appeal to the adults in attendance.  We get so many requests for fish/under the sea parties, that I decided that it was time to move that theme up to the top of my “to do list” and I partnered up with Charynn of Two Sugar Babies to create this modern, gender-neutral baby shower inspiration for the fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

We set the table with a crisp white tablecloth and topped it with paper placemats featuring our mod fish pattern, a green napkin and a coordinating blue striped placecard.  The centerpiece  was probably my FAVORITE part of this party….it literally cost me next to nothing to create, and I think mad a huge impact.  I took basic glass cylinders that I had sitting around the house, and created white fish vinyl decals using my Silhouette machine.  I filled them with water, and used gel food coloring to add the bold color.  So simple, right?

We set up a “bubbles bar” with both punch and bottles of key lime Italian soda wrapped with fish labels.  Blue balloons were attached to the wall behind the bar to create the look of bubbles floating away.

A bold polka dot grid patterned backdrop anchored our dessert table, and there were so many darling sweets.  First off an AMAZING cake covered in cake balls by Velvet Cream Bakery (DIY tutorial coming later today!).  I love the ombre effect of the shades of blue, as well as how it resembles little bubbles!  The cake topper of fondant fish and bubbles was created by Two Sugar Babies, as were the darling cupcake toppers.

Color-coordinated candy and jumbo marshmallows were placed in candy jars with coordinating tags, and we used these fabulous new tilt bowls from Crate & Barrel for pearlized gumballs in blue and green.  I made blue jello “shots” using my votive candle holders (also dressed them up with a fish vinyl decal), and stuck a cupcake topper in them for some visual interest.

Darling fish cookies by Allyson Jane were lined up to look like a little “school of fish” and cake pops by Velvet Cream Bakery stood up in a white pot full of gumballs and looked like they were floating!

We thought we needed a creative party favor….you know, besides the candy!  So we filled up small bottles full of bubble bath, wrapped them with a custom label, and tied on a coordinating gift tag.  Darling….and useful!  The mod fish collection by WH Hostess is one of my favorites, and (although just added to the shop recently) is quickly becoming one of our most popular.  It’s perfect for a baby shower or kids birthday party!  You can see the complete collection in our shop.

Make sure to head back later today to view the DIY cake pop cake tutorial by Charynn of Two Sugar Babies.

September 20th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Flower Arranging with Friends

It’s always a pleasure when I get to work with Christi from P is for Party on a party….especially when it’s one of her parties!  When she approached me about helping her design party goods for her very own birthday party….a flower arranging birthday party….I knew we were going to have some fun!  The end result is nothing short of spectacular, and I am so pleased we were able to feature it in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

Read on for some serious eye candy, and all of the details as told by Christi, herself…..

For my birthday this year, I decided to celebrate with a close group of girlfriends.  I wanted the theme to be unique and one that people looked forward to.  I decided on a flower arranging party!  Many times, my husband will bring home flowers for me from the store and I haven’t the slightest idea how to arrange them. I know other ladies feel the same way! I asked my good friend, Elizabeth Munger, who happens to  be an amazing interior designer who often arranges stunning flowers for her clients, to come teach us simple steps and tricks.

Gray is such a popular color right now, looks fabulous with just about every other color out there.  I went with the color scheme of emerald green and gray and loved how everything turned out.  Kelly Lyden of The PartyDress and WH Hostess always does a phenomenal job with her designs.  I told her my color scheme and that I wanted to incorporate a chevron pattern and she ran with it.  Kelly designed all of the paper goods for the party, from the invitation to the food tent cards, to the favor tags and all of the signage.

After the flower arranging fun, we moved to my dining room where each girl was served champagne and had a small cake all to herself!  My favorite local bakery made individual two tiered cakes for my friends and I could not have been more pleased with how they turned out.  Kelly now offers a service where you can order fabric to match any of her designs!  I  ordered fabric in the gray and emerald green chevron print and had a friend turn them into napkins for the table.  The napkins really made the table pop!

I created a macaroni and cheese station with lots of toppings options.  Who doesn’t love comfort food with a creative flair?! The toppings included favorites such as sun dried tomatoes, chives, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, truffle oil, and many more!  A Skinnygirl Margarita is my drink of choice, so naturally, this was the signature drink I served.  Kelly created the cutest sign for the beverage area along with white straws with flags in all of the patterns we used throughout the party.

Desserts were served on my coffee table which was near the flower arranging area. Serving the sweets there brought people out of the kitchen and into the living room so we could begin.  On the dessert menu was cookies, meringue, small donuts and rice crispy treats.

Elizabeth did such a great job teaching us how to take store bought flowers and turn them into a beautiful arrangement that could last for days!  On the way out the door, the girls took home the arrangements they made along with one more sweet.  They had the choice to take home cake pops in strawberry or s’mores flavors. We had such fun with this unique theme and I am so happy I branched out and invited friends over for a fun night in!

Photography by Ellenzilla

 

September 14th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Tailgating

Football season is upon us, thus making this darling tailgating party from Fresh Chick Designs oh, so appropriate right now.  Featured in the new Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine, Rebecca and Shannon have a ton of cute ideas that could be adapted to any school or team colors.  Keep reading for all of the details, as told by these two fresh chicks….

The start of football season is always a reason to gather friends together for a little rah-rah party.  Ahhh…the good ole’ days of tailgating collegiate style!  Well, why not throw your very own tailgate party at home?  We have come up with ideas to set the play in motion: Pick a color from one of your favorite teams or simply make up a color scheme that you like!  We chose licorice red and chocolate brown which seemed appropriate with the start of fall and the fun-filled football season.

You don’t have to go overboard with team paraphernalia to throw great themed party.  We focused more on the tailgate theme with our printable party collection and played up the menu and sweets around a casual football element. Burlap fabric paired with a traditional gingham was used to dress the tables.  We “scored” 2 spring form cake pans and a candlestick at Goodwill that were easily transformed into a two-tiered party tray DIY project.  A great alternative to its pricier counterparts seen at a local retailer.  This was used to hold peanuts and cornbread muffins iced with honey-butter to resemble cupcakes.  Other items on the menu included chili with toppings, hot wings, and beer cheese with crackers.

We served up some super easy dessert recipes along with familiar finds such as Turtle Chex Mix and Twizzlers. To wash it all down? Nothing fancy here….ice cold brewsky and classic root beer beverages completed this fourth and down.

September 13th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sunflower Soiree {Part II}

I hope you all enjoyed the decorations and food ideas in Part I of our Sunflower Soiree feature this morning.  I’m back with all delicious details from the desserts, which we were lucky enough to have featured on Amy Atlas last week!

The dessert table received many “oohs” and “ahhs” and is personally one of my all-time favorite tables to work on!  I wanted a fitted tablecloth for this table, something that resembled a cabana awning.  I sewed it myself in order to make it fit the table perfectly and even added a white pom pom trim on the hem.  Two wrought iron trellis’ anchored the table and held sunflower pomander balls.  A banner made out of our coordinating patterns was strung between the two to frame the table.

Allyson Jane created stunning, hand-iced sunflower cookies, as well as “6” and “0” cookies to go along with our birthday celebration.

The two-tiered cake with scalloped design held center court, and was dressed up with fondant flowers by Two Sugar Babies.  Cake pops by Flour & Iced sat atop mini cake stands that were decorated with gingham pom pom trip and polka dot ribbon, and mini chocolate cakes were topped with fondant flowers.  Color-coordinated candy was placed in glass jars and labeled with coordinating candy jar tags.

JP Creatibles decorated darling cookies that incorporated both the sunflower, and all of our coordinating patterns (swiss dot, sunflower grid and yellow chevron).  We sent guests home with a striped take out food box with a sunflower sticker on it full of sweets to enjoy.

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