June 12th, 2015 |


green monogram tablesetting vertical
I’ve always had a sweet spot for gingham check.  Shrink it down, tiny and sweet, or blow it up as an exploded buffalo check.  It’s classic, yet definitely a trend this summer – and that’s my happy spot (where classics and trends intersect!).  For a kick-off to summer dinner party tonight, I styled a table that combines some of my favorite things: peonies, monograms and gingham check.  The gorgeous monogrammed napkins are from Madison in Dallas, and the china is all from Kate Spade.


June 8th, 2015 |


DSC_0443One of the best things about our newly launched collection of party invitations, is the amazing amount of new parties I can throw! 😉  My goal is always to design invitations that inspire a whole theme, and I love giving you ideas to go along with the invitation!

The Preppy Anchor party invitation is one of my favorites for summer entertaining.  It’s offered in 4 colors, and has a crisp, classic look to it.  It could be used for a birthday party, summer picnic, dinner party, rehearsal dinner, or baby shower! I put together a little Nautical-inspired party and there are some darling ideas I hope you can repurpose for your next party:

  • Instead of using only a blue and white color story, I popped some bright maritime colors in the accessories.  Custom napkins made from our anchor fabric were edged with red, yellow, green and light blue ribbon.
  • White lanterns from Pottery Barn served as the centerpiece for the tablesetting, and I tied the silverware with white rope for a nautical nod.
  • Placecards always make guests feel extra-special.  I used white rope balls from Party City to hold mine at each place.
  • Our new foil-stamped straw flags add a festive touch to any party!  They look especially fun in the colorful striped acrylic glasses from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy’s. And the cocktail – it’s my signature Sea Breeze and a must-have for summer.  Get the recipe here.
  • For a casual lunch, I served up my clam chowder pot pies, and embellished them to fit the theme by adding an anchor on top of the crust.  Baked in individual staub pots – they’re cute and delicious – and you can get my recipe here.
  • I always like to send my guests home with a little something as a party favor, and these anchor muslin bags from Party City were the perfect fit for my theme. I used a mini red clip to attach a gift tag.

tablesettingred napkinsilverwareglass and placecardplatesDSC_0420DSC_0417cocktailDSC_0451DSC_0303party favor bags

April 28th, 2015 |


fiesta party invitation horizontalCinco de Mayo is a colorful, festive celebration that typically is more geared towards adults.  I have a couple fun ideas for you, from my book Stylish Kids’ Parties, on how to throw your littles a colorful fiesta.  These ideas would also work smashingly well for a Fiesta birthday party!

Whether you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or a Fiesta birthday party, send your guests a colorful invitation to set the tone for the event!  We have two new designs in the shop that would be perfect: the fiesta and the confetti invitations.  (see images at the bottom of the post)  If you want to get crafty, you can add a glassine envelope of colorful confetti to it!


pom pom trimDress up your basic party platters or cake stands with colorful pom pom trim from your local craft store.  One of my favorite ways to serve up lemonade is in mini mason jars with flower lids and striped straws. Looking to add a playful punch to your party?  Fill up a bowl with sprinkles and place your mason jar drinks in them for easy grab-n-go.

drink bottles verticalDecorate your tablesetting with a fringe centerpiece.  Using a wood number (age) or letter (initial), wrap it with a paper fringe garland and stick it into a pot of wheat grass.  The full DIY instructions are in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, along with a couple free printables.

centerpiecewrap fringe around the numberSend your little guests home with paper cone party favors full of candy.  I used pink and orange striped lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.  Throw in a couple of tacos and chocolate-covered churros, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous family-friendly Cinco de Mayo party!  Here are the two new invitations in the shop that would be PERFECT for a Fiesta party:

party invitations


April 7th, 2015 |


golf party ideas introWith the Masters going on this week, I thought it was the perfect time to share some ideas for a golf themed party from my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties.  It’s such a timeless theme, and many of these ideas could be used for a kids’ birthday party or for a Masters viewing party this weekend.

tablesetting left side angle

Infuse your party with design elements that will make your guests feel like they are celebrating on the 18th hole: a festive table setting with DIY décor ideas, a “putting green” dessert table, and themed desserts.

I set the table with a navy tablecloth, green seersucker napkins, and created a theme-appropriate centerpiece of whiffle balls and grass plants with DIY flags. Create your own flags with patterned paper and cardboard flags from Paper Source.  To further customization of your party décor, you can add your child’s age onto the flags.  You can find the whole DIY project in my book.

Get creative with your place settings; fill mini galvanized buckets with wheat grass, a tea and a personalized golf ball.  Tip: Use a dab of hot glue to attach the ball and tee together for stability. Infuse your theme into the centerpieces by filling vases with whiffle balls, and galvanized tubs with wheat grass and my decoupage flags.

will golf ball placecardgolf ball placecard horizontal

Golfers get thirsty, so make sure to set up a “water hole” with water bottles for easy grab ‘n go.

water bottles

Styling a dessert table around the Golf Classic theme is a preppy hostess’ dream come true.  A classic color palette, the option to embellish basic desserts with themed accessories, and a clean layout that allows for color-coordinated branding with paper goods.

golf dessert table

I designed this dessert table to look like it was sitting atop a putting green.  Using a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet that I found at my local Home Depot to line the tabletop, I covered the edges with a 4” wide navy blue and white striped grosgrain ribbon.

dessert table right angle vertical

To mimic the galvanized centerpieces and place cards on the lunch table, I used a three-tiered galvanized stand in the center of the table, as well as two containers holding wheat grass and my decoupage flags. I wrapped navy and white striped ribbon around each tier of the three-tier stand, and topped it with a paper fan that I created out of coordinating paper.  You could create the same look with any scrapbook or wrapping paper.

cupcakes on standDesserts on the table included cupcakes with coordinating flag toppers (a free printable in my book!), sugar cookies shaped like golf balls from Firefly Confections, powdered sugar donut “holes in one”, chocolate-dipped pretzels or “irons & woods”, and polka dot candy cups full of candy.

golf ball cookies

holes in one horizontal

A few fun ideas to embellish the theme:

  • Use a Lucite tray upside down as a riser, and line whiffle balls underneath it for a pop of the theme.
  • Whether it’s plastic or bamboo utensils, you can quickly embellish the handles with washi tape.  Available in endless patterns and colors, it’s a great way to carry out your theme.

ball toss horizontal

Kids like to be active!  Keep your guests occupied during the party with a simple ball toss game.  Using galvanized containers, I wrapped them with coordinating ribbon and labeled them each with a different number.  Whiffle balls are the “toss” of choice, to ensure nothing gets broken when the balls start flying thru the air.  Provide a prize for the child that gets the ball in the most buckets.

golf party favor

Send your little golfers home with their very own “bucket of balls”.  Fill a galvanized tub with a bag of whiffle balls and tees.  Tie my printable gift tag that says, “Thanks for teeing off with me!” to the side of the bucket.  PS – this would also make a darling hostess gift if you are attending a Masters party this weekend!

This theme is always one of our most requested during the summer months, so I’m pleased to tell you that we have a brand new invitation suite for this golf theme!  You can view the preppy golf party invitation here, along with the coordinating return address stickers and gift stickers for party favors.  And to kick off the launch of this new design, I also sourced a few key elements for you to use for your golf party….see them below!

partyelementsPreppy Golf Party Invitation and Stickers from WH Hostess | Mini Galvanized Buckets for Placecards | White Whiffle Balls | Navy Blue Striped Paper Cups from The TomKat Shop | Navy Blue and White Striped Party Favor Bags from The TomKat Shop


March 26th, 2015 |


easter wreathDo you ever see those decorative Easter eggs at the store and think “I love these, but what would I do with them?!”  Today, I’m sharing how I use them to decorate my own house for Easter.  I like to keep my holiday decorations simple, and in keeping with the tone of the rest of my house.

I used a set of decorative Easter eggs to dress up the boxwood wreath on my door, as well as on a centerpiece for my dining room table.  I love how it looks sophisticated, yet festive, and creates a cohesive look in my house.

easter tree verticalHow do you decorate for Easter?

March 23rd, 2015 |


bw tablesettingI just love pulling together festive tablescapes for holidays, don’t you?!  I shared my Ikat & Carrots Easter table last week, and today I have a sweet blue, white and yellow table to share with you.  My love for chinoiserie and all things blue and white are certainly not a secret, so I love any opportunity to pull out my blue and white china.

bw placesettingI layered my china atop a textured white tablecloth, and used cobalt blue wine glasses.  My large white urn held center stage as a centerpiece, and I added a pop of color with footed bowls of chocolate foil eggs from See’s Candies.  My little guests couldn’t wait to dive into the bowls of candy!

DSC_0699My favorite part of the tablescape are the napkins/placecards.  I rolled up crisp, yellow napkins and tied them together with a bow.  I placed a hard-boiled egg into the center of the bottom portion, and then wrote my guests’ names on them with a navy blue marker.  I love how they look like bunny ears, yet still sophisticated enough for the overall look of the table.

bunny earsEvery party needs a party favor!  I sent my guests home with a large chocolate Easter egg from See’s Candies, wrapped in cellophane and a sweet gift tag!

ava easter egg

March 15th, 2015 |


introWith the brand new Cinderella movie opening this weekend, I decided to host a small princess playdate with two of my favorite littles.  I partnered with Party City to give them a morning full of princess dresses, magical treats and of course, a little royal dance party.

items on couchWhen it comes to dress-up (at any age), it’s all about the dress.  When Olivia and Ava arrived, I had the new Cinderella dresses, slippers, crowns and magic wands laid out for them.  They were greeted with squeals of delight, and the girls immediately “HAD” to put them on!  The dress itself has beautiful details to it; I absolutely love the pastel butterfly detail on the top.

dress detailThe girls had a blast twirling around in the big, puffy skirts!

girlsgirls togehterTreats are a must at any party or playdate!  I had my friend, Sandy of Firefly Confections, create sugar cookies that looked like magic wands for the occasion.  They were just fabulous, and the girls LOVED the shimmer on them!

treatsA little styling tip: I filled my white containers with simple white candy flowers from Candywarehouse.com, which allowed me to stand up the cookie magic wands, and the castle ring pops, adding to the festivity of the treats.  I also used our foil-stamped cocktail napkins with a gold monogram on them.  You know, a little extra “fancy” goes along way with the 4 year old crowd. 😉

cookie wandring popI blew up a bunch of princess pink balloons that floated on the floor and offered up a lot of fun during the royal dance party.

girls overhead

One of my favorite accessories from the Party City Cinderella collection is the beautiful magic wand.  Tulle, satin and sequins….what more could a little girl ask for?! The girls loved twirly them around, and my son, Daniel, even wanted to get in on the “bippity, boppity, boo!” that was happening!

wand detailIt was a fun day for everyone, especially me!  With a 1 year old boy, we spend most of our time playing with trucks, cars and farm animals.  Throwing a princess playdate was a spectacular treat!  These beautiful dresses and treats would be perfect for a princess themed birthday party too.  Check out this recent princess party for tons of gorgeous ideas.


March 13th, 2015 |


st patricks day donut towerWhether you are are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to breathe a little festivity into your family’s day.  I love the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner (and will try to post some pictures of my family dinner this year), but I LOVE the idea of surprising your loved ones that morning with a little breakfast surprise from the leprechauns.

If you are extremely domestic and have the time, homemade donuts would be appreciated by all.  I knew I would need a little short-cut, so I used store-bought donuts from Entenmann’s (bought at my local grocery store) and jazzed them up!

st patricks day donut tower detailI stacked up the mini donuts on a cake stand, and then accessorized them with a few sticks.  I cut out the shamrocks (free printable below) and taped them onto lollipop sticks, and then also made a few ribbon flags for an extra “wow”.  The whole thing took me 5 minutes to do, and you can do it too!  Print out the free download below, cut and create something festive for your kiddos!

shamrock free printable WEB

March 5th, 2015 |


carrot cupcake recipeI love a good carrot cake cupcake.  Truthfully, I love the cream cheese frosting more.  But the cake makes a great vessel to eat the frosting! I turned to one of my favorite chefs, the Barefoot Contessa, to make these darling cupcakes for our Easter brunch and Ina’s recipe did not disappoint.


2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting Ingredients

3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.

Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.

March 4th, 2015 |


easter introWhen I start planning a party, one of the first things I think of is “how do I want to set the table?”  To inspire your Easter celebrations, I put together a festive tablesetting that you can recreate using similar items.

tablsetting verticalI used a white herringbone tablecloth as the base for my table, and layered in a fresh centerpiece full of hydrangeas and fluffy green things (yes, that is their official name!;) ).  I lined the inside of the vase with carrots to add a pop of orange, and also give a nod to Easter.  White dinner plates and green ikat salad plates were layered with an orange napkin that I tied with ribbon to look like a bow.

I think my favorite part of the table are these darling “chocolate bunny” placecard holders.  I found them at my local wholesale florist and just adore them.  I think they would be darling on a food buffet as well.

placesettingtablesetting overhead horizontalNo Easter celebration would be complete without dessert!  Carrot cake cupcakes are one of my favorite treats!  Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow!


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