March 7th, 2011 |

Luck of the Irish Dinner Party

St. Patrick’s Day is a HUGE holiday in our family.  Always has been….always will be!  It’s a great opportunity to gather friends and family during this bland month for a little festive cheer and some delicious food!  Whether your celebration is big or small, these recipes from Williams-Sonoma are sure to please!

Image via A Perfect Event

February 25th, 2011 |

Fresh Spring Tablesetting

You all know I’m a sucker for grass plant centerpieces, so it’s no surprise that I was taken with this stunning table setting from Hatch Creative Studios.  I love how crisp it is, and of course the use of green grass and moss as accents.  Stunning!

Chic Wedding Stationery from Minted.com

February 21st, 2011 |

Preppy Mod Baby Shower Ideas

I’ve been a busy bee working on a bunch of upcoming Spring parties.  I’ll share some tidbits of each party along the next few weeks, but today I am showing you the inspiration board for an upcoming baby shower.  The hosts wanted something super sunny, with a preppy and slightly modern edge – perfect to welcome both Spring and a new baby!

The inspiration board is based around a new collection for us that includes a yellow Greek key pattern, and pops of hot pink and grass green.  Combining modern patterns like the Greek key and ikat, and a sweet summer-like eyelet will help me achieve a layered look that I think will be fabulous!  I’m focusing on a stunning tablesetting for lunch, a small dessert table and party favors for the guests.  More details to come soon!

Images: table setting, dessert table, watermelon cubes (amyatlas.com), pink peony centerpiece (josevillablog.com), double-sided Greek key baby shower invitation (whhostess.com), floating flower centerpiece (brides.com), placesetting (marthastewartweddings.com), champagne (karljuengel.com), lavender water glasses (sundaysuppers.com) lemonade party favor (eatdrinkchic.com), mini crab cakes (theknot.com), ikat bowl (anthropologie.com)

February 4th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Year of the Rabbit

chinese new year - year of the rabbit party invitations and paper goods

Starting this week, we welcome the “Year Of The Rabbit” and a two week long Chinese New Year celebration.  My friend, Melisa from Project Nursery came up with unique party concept to celebrate her son’s first birthday.  Darling Chase is 1/4 Chinese, so when it came time to choose a theme, Melisa’s husband cleverly suggested that they enjoy all that Chinese New Year has to offer: delicious Chinese Dim Sum, tasty Chinese sweets and a themed cocktail party for their close family and friends.

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, party planning didn’t kick into high gear until two weeks before the party!  Melisa asked WH Hostess to design and execute her vision for a modern, bamboo themed first birthday party that would involve red rabbits!  I created a custom bamboo pattern that was used throughout the party….read on for more details!

Melisa is a dream client – with her design background, she often has a clear vision of what she is looking for and knows how to articulate it.  She also knows when to say “take it from here, Kelly!”  which is always fun for me!  In order to be smart about her party purchases, she sourced a lot of their decorations in LA’s Chinatown. She picked up everything from inexpensive paper lanterns to little toy drums, fans and kid-friendly chopsticks for the favor bags – and had a great time negotiating along the way!

Since this first birthday party was a Saturday night cocktail party, catered Dim Sum was a delicious way to keep her adult guests intrigued. The kids were kept happy munching on potstickers and eggrolls.   It was a low maintenance meal that Melisa could simply steam and serve, and clean up was a breeze since guest enjoyed eating their finger foods with chopsticks out of Chinese take out boxes.

With dessert tables still on-trend, planning one with an ethnic theme was a great way to update the concept.  They served authentic Chinese goodies and candies such as Moon Cakes, Sesame Balls, Wintermelon Cakes, Lychee Candy, Haw Flakes, Candied Water Chestnuts and more.  She also included the popular Magnolia cupcakes and their famous banana pudding. The birthday cake was red velvet and adorned with red and yellow fondant shaped fortune cookies. Vanilla sugar cookies with lemon frosting by Angela from Queen of Tarts Cakes tied in the entire presentation thanks to her edible wafers designed to match my invitations. We stepped in with some simple decorations that helped brand the table, including cupcake toppers, candy jar tags, and sweet little rabbit stickers to dress up plastic cups.

One of my favorite parts of this party was the backdrop for the dessert table.  Melisa wanted the backdrop to create a large impact, yet wanted to keep the look sophisticated.  We decided that two large canvases featuring our custom bamboo print (exploded for a modern look) would fit the bill.   Melisa  honed in on her nursery design skills and decided she could save a couple hundred bucks by stretching her own canvases. I sent her my bamboo print in a file, and she had turned into canvas at Uprinting.com. A quick visit to the art supply store, she stretched the canvases on canvas bars and now has permanent wall art and hip graphic prints she can enjoy year round!  (they just so happen to coordinate perfectly with her stunning yellow chandelier!)

Because the party from held from 5pm-7pm, the children arrived in their PJ’s or “Mandarin Suits”. The big kids watched “Mulan” and “Kung-fu Panda” while making Chinese paper lantern crafts. Adults sipped on fun beverages thanks to a fully stocked bar. And what one year old party is complete without a signature drink or two? Burning Mandarin Martinis and Lychee infused champagne cocktails were served.

In the Chinese New Year tradition, guest went home with additional favors such as Mandarin oranges for luck, take out containers filled with candies and a lucky red envelope from the decorative centerpiece to ward off evil spirits!

Birthday Boy Chase looked just darling in his Mandarin Suit and looked like he had the time of his life!

February 2nd, 2011 |

Cupcake Liner Pomander Tutorial

When I saw this sweet pomander centerpiece (made completely out of cupcake liners!) over on Kara’s Party Ideas, I knew I had to show it to you!  It’s the perfect centerpiece for a Valentine’s Day party, or for a kid’s birthday party!  In fact, I am TOTALLY going to give this a try for one of my upcoming parties!

Kara was nice enough to provide step-by-step instructions on how to make these:

  1. Gather your materials: Cupcake liners {any color or style}, a styrofoam ball, a glue gun, and pins
  2. Take 2 cupcake liners and stick a pin through the center of them…
  3. Fold/scrunch the 2 liners around the pin like so…
  4. Put a dab of hot glue on the tip of the liners…
  5. Insert the pin into the styrofoam ball…Push the pin all the way into the styrofoam so the cupcake liners are securely glued to the ball…Carefully open the liners making sure the pin is all the way inserted into the styrofoam. If it isn’t, push it all the way in….
  6. Repeat until the whole ball is covered with lovely cupcake liners! Attach fishing line or a ribbon to hang! {For this particular pom pom I left a space uncovered so I could set the ball on a large glass candlestick}…

Head on over to Kara’s Party Ideas to see the Vintage Valentine’s Day table she used these pomanders on….it’s very cute!

January 11th, 2011 |

Stunning Ombre Flowers

I have been totally swooning over this table setting for a while now…figured it was time to share it with all of you!  I’ve been stashing away images that include orange flowers for inspiration for my sister’s upcoming wedding, and when I found this one….ah, amazing!  So unique.  I love the linear look it gives to the table, but especially the ombre (a graduated color change) effect.  It’s such a sophisticated way to pull in colors ranging from orange, to pink, to deep berry.  This could be a fabulous idea for a special birthday party or bridal shower!

Done as a photo shoot for Green Wedding Shoes, this floral arrangement was done by one of my favorite inspirations, La Partie Events.

January 6th, 2011 |

Party Decor Inspired by a Chair

Yup.  You read that title correctly.  But there should really be a question mark after it.  I find inspiration for party themes all over the place – websites, magazines, paper shops, fabric – but a lot of times, it’s a single item that inspires me the most.  That being said….check out this chair!

Pretty fabulous right?!  I love how festive it is, but that it’s not too “fluffy” or “gussied up”!  It still has clean lines and looks modern.  It’s a great example on how to dress up rental chairs at a wedding, but can also be great inspiration for changing the look of your dining room chairs for any party at home.  Can’t you picture a purple and green bridal shower or birthday party?  Here are a few ideas to help inspire you……purple and green party inspirationWhat inspires you to throw parties or create party concepts?

Images: chair, napkins and cupcake (brides.com), macaroons (callmecupcake.se), purple centerpiece (matthewmeadstyle.com)

November 17th, 2010 |

Sweet Treats Holiday Party

The holidays are quickly approaching, and party planning is kicking into high gear!  We have been busy bees over here, prepping ideas, gift guides and printing holiday photo cards and party invitations!  Last week we showed you the first signature WH Hostess holiday party – Cupcakes & Cocktails – and today I am back to show you our Sweet Treats Holiday Party.

This party theme was inspired by my love of the ever-so-popular red and aqua blue color palette.  You’ve seen us use it in birthday parties – revisit our modern train party, or the inspiration for our little red car party (party pics coming soon!) – but now we are using it to celebrate the holidays!  The polka dot invitation is made festive with the candy cane font and sweet wording.  There is a full collection: address labels, stickers, gift tags, cupcake toppers, food tent cards, candy jar tags, signage and extra large stickers (perfect for cookie tins!).

A holiday sweets party is an updated cookie exchange.  Born half out my desire to create another stunning dessert table, and half out of my goal of encouraging guests to bring sweets to share other than just cookies (as I am a gluten-free hostess, and most cookies are off limits for me!).

 

The backdrop is probably my favorite part of this party idea!  I used a red and white striped fabric backdrop, and layered white paper daisies and snowflakes at the top to give it a textured feel.  The table is covered with a white star fabric (from IKEA!) and is flanked with white feather trees.  A super easy project – I covered styrofoam cones with white feather boas – I love the touch of whimsy it adds to the design.

Glass jars and cylinder vases held candy in red, aqua blue and white.  Candy-covered chocolate balls, peppermints, foil-wrapped chocolate balls, red hots, rock candy, blue hard candy, lollipops, and mini pearl balls were used to create this candy spread….topped off with cupcakes (with coordinating toppers), and darling cookies by Allyson Jane Designer DessertsCandy Warehouse provided the candy for this photo shoot – they are my favorite go-to source for candy.  I love how easy it is to shop by color!

Small details make a big difference when you are putting together a dessert table.  I find that using coordinating elements such as candy jar tags, food tent cards, signage, and ribbon help to give the table a cohesive look.  I also used candy to fill up glass jars – a cute gift tag and ribbon completes the look for a perfect party favor (could be a darling teacher gift too!).

I absolutely love this theme!  It’s a fresh, holiday color palette and has just the right amount of whimsy!  It’s perfect for kids, families or a cocktail party!

November 16th, 2010 |

Winter Blues

The weather has turned cooler here in Chicago this week and it is definitely starting to feel like the holidays.  Streets are lined with twinkle lights, stores are looking festive and everyone is starting to plan their holiday gatherings for friends and family.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah – ’tis the season!  I love this blue and white color palette – it’s perfect for celebrating either holiday, and between the touch of feathers, the sophisticated floral arrangement and the darling mini white hot chocolate mugs….this party screams “modern” and “sophisticated” and could be used as inspiration for just about any type of holiday celebration.

Images: table setting and bar (styleathome.com), wreath (hgtv.com), centerpiece (projectwedding.com), mini white hot chocolate mugs (parents.com)

 

Free Shipping on Holiday Cards

November 12th, 2010 |

Black Friday Cocktail Party

 

One of my favorite ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining has to be the “Black Friday Cocktail Party!”  Be honest….are you the first one at the mall the day after Thanksgiving….or are you sleeping in enjoying the day off?!  I think it would be so fun to gather up your girlfriends for a quick cocktail party following your day of shopping the sales.  Think simple – champagne, cupcakes – a little sugar to revive you, whether it’s to head home to kids or back out into the stores!

Images: purse invitation (whhostess.com), champagne cocktails (wedluxe.com), centerpiece (floralartla.com), cupcakes (via flickr.com), candy bars (doobydesigns.com), mini champagne party favors (brides.com)

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