September 13th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sunflower Soiree {Part 1}

One of my favorite articles in the latest issue of TPD Magazine is the Sunflower Soiree.  With summer quickly vanishing and a lot to celebrate, my family gathered friends and family to celebrate the end of the season, an upcoming wedding and my mother’s 60th birthday in style with a “Sunflower Soiree”.  With crisp black and white patterns, mixed with a bold yellow chevron and sunflowers everywhere you could see, this party took on a festive vibe that we will never forget.
Guests received a black box full of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds and custom invitation from WH Hostess, tied with a gingham ribbon and sunflower as their invite to the party.  We decorated the patio and yard with small cocktail tables, dressed with tablecloths made from our custom fabric, and sunflower centerpieces in mini black urns.
A lemonade and iced tea bar took center stage, dressed in a white box pleat tablecloth trimmed in striped ribbon and pom pom trim. My parents love mixing the two to create “Arnold Palmers”, so it was the perfect addition to this summer party.  Drink dispensers held the lemonades and iced tea, and we had buckets of wine, beer and water bottles dressed up with coordinating labels.
A large sunflower centerpiece in a gorgeous, white urn stood in the middle of the table, and coordinating signage and food tent cards on all ofthe tables and bar helped brand the party.
We served a variety of bite-size appetizers, including individual taco dips, mini crab cakes, beef tenderloin crostini, shrimp cocktail, meatballs in a variety of sauces, and more.
Stay tuned this afternoon for the details on our delicious dessert table (as recently seen on Amy Atlas!).
August 22nd, 2011 |

Back-to-School Parties from Around the Web

With kids are starting back to school this week here in Chicago, it’s a great time to throw a party to kick off a new school year.  There has been some darling inspiration around the web and I just had to share it with all of you.  This first one was thrown by Just Call Me Martha.  Using free printables from Birds Party, she styled a crisp, classic dessert table – I just love the pop of red and apple green!

AndersRuff styled a vintage schoolhouse party….and oh, my…..these shots of children are just.darling!  Their back-to-school printables collection is in their shop and is perfect for dressing up those first brown bag lunches of the year.  Head over to see more pics on Hostess with the Mostess and on their blog.

Always one for thinking outside of the box, One Charming Party put together a full dessert table featuring all school supplies.  The pencil “cake” full of rubberbands sold me!  You can check out all of the creative food ideas and cute ways to package supplies for friends and teachers on their blog.

August 8th, 2011 |

Party Ideas: Sangria & Tapas Party

Sangria and tapas are two of my favorite things.  Mix them together and you have the key components for a fabulous summer party! Perfect for a cocktail party, Spanish tapas can range from bite-size finger foods to skewered delights. These small-plate dishes are perfect for a crowd and are meant to be shared.

Pottery Barn has a fabulous party plan for hosting a party….you can check it out here.

August 4th, 2011 |

Egypt-Inspired Photo Shoot

I am just drooling over this amazing Egypt-inspired photo shoot done for Rue Magazine.   I’m in love with the rich colors, and the mix of metals.  An amazing line-up of talent pulled this together: Jose Villa took the a-mazing photos, Cortnie of Canvas & Canopy styled the shoot, one of my favorite floral designers, La Partie Events did the arrangements, and the ladies at Be Inspired PR helped coordinate.

And who can resist a camel?!

July 19th, 2011 |

Ladies Game Night

I’m looking for an excuse to gather up my girlfriends for a “ladies night” and I’m thinking a preppy game night might just be the ticket. Pink and green, some stripes and polka dots, and a few yummy treats like popcorn cups and cupcakes….voila!  A fun night that everyone would love.

Images: games (eddieross.com), cupcake (jldesigns.com), pink drink bottles (brides.com), centerpiece (luralucille.blogspot.com), popcorn cups (hellonaomi.blogspot.com)

July 12th, 2011 |

Party Ideas for Kelly

Since we are celebrating MY birthday today, I asked our contributor, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies, to put together an inspiration board as if she was planning a party for ME!  Fun, right?!  Boy, does she know me well!  Take a look at what she came up with……

Although Kelly is in Chicago, and I’m in Pittsburgh, we’ve been able to form a great friendship through our love for parties, design, handbags, and steak frites, not to mention the projects we get ourselves into. She is truly an inspiration to my daily work, and if I were closer, I would throw her a *darling* birthday party full of the colors kelly green, black, white, sweets (gluten free, of course) and simple, modern, design. Happy Birthday, Kelly! Here’s to many more years of great stationery, parties, and shopping (i mean, work) trips!

Images: cake/cake stand (www.etsy.com), cookies (smittenkitchen.com), plate (katespade.com), necklace (vstyleblog.com), flowers (opulentcreationsevents.com), cupcakes (anglefoodltd.com), invites (whhostess.com)

July 11th, 2011 |

WooHoo! It’s Birthday Week!

It’s an exciting week around here….it’s BIRTHDAY WEEK!  My (32nd) birthday is tomorrow, so I thought we should take a cue and showcase fun, unique birthday party ideas ALL.WEEK.LONG.  Fun, right?!  There may even be a fun surprise for all of you too….but you will have to check back tomorrow for that news!

First up this week are creative birthday cakes.  Whether you are hosting a 1st, a 10th, a 21st or a 60th birthday party, the cake should be a key element.  Here are some of my favorite cakes (probably suited more for adult parties).

I love the texture on each on of these, the unique shape, the creative idea of stacking cupcakes atop a cake…fun, fun, fun!

If a theme party is on the docket for your child’s next party, take a look at some of these creative cakes.  Perfect for a beach party, under the sea party, or an ice cream social!

Images: macaroon cake (theknot.com), cupcake cake (epicurious.com), truffle cake (instyleweddings.com), pink snowball cake (theknot.com), banner cake (eatcakebemerry.com), under the sea cake (hellonaomi.com), surfboard cake (carriesellman.com), ice cream cake (bhg.com)

July 8th, 2011 |

Time to Luau!

Summer is the perfect time to host a luau-themed party!  Tropical details, bright colors and delicious food are all you need to wow your guests.  Traditional Hawaiian elements such as sand, shells, and floral prints can be used to decorate both an adults and kids table, while these four delicious bites will appeal to guests young and old!

1. caramelized Maui onion dip 2. papaya and avocado salad 3. char siu-glazed pork sliders 4. coconut lime shrimp

Images: pink tablesetting (instyleweddings.com), kids tablesetting (projectwedding.com)

July 6th, 2011 |

The Height of Style

I’m typically not one for tall, elaborate centerpieces….but oh, how I L-O-V-E this look!  Classic and modern all rolled into one.

Image via Michelle Rago

June 30th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Burger Bash

One of my favorite features in the latest The Party Dress Magazine was the burger bash photo shoot I did…..preppy seersucker, bold stars and a hint of patriotic pizzazz.  A burger bash is the perfect time to gather friends and family this Fourth of July.  Good food, and good friends….that’s what the holidays are about, right?

I’m a sucker for seersucker, so our party was designed around a blue and white color palette, with pops of red!  Floral pomander balls made from craft-store carnations served as centerpieces. The festive party space was dressed up with pennant banners, polkadot and striped paper fans, centerpiece sticks, lanterns, and coordinating food tent cards, candy jar tags and cupcake toppers.

I love creating buffet tables with bite-size food – so for this bbq, we made an assortment of burgers – sliders with brie and carmelized onions, cheeseburger kabobs, and burger bites served on waffle fries.  Cups of fries and fresh pickles complimented the main course, and everyone saved room for dessert!

A patriotic dessert table was full of candy, cupcakes with fondant stars by Two Sugar Babies, hand-iced cookies by Allyson Jane, cupcakes, and s’mores kits for the kids.

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