April 5th, 2010 |

Spring Wine & Cheese Party

spring wine and cheese party

We often associate wine & cheese parties with the Fall – maybe it has something to do with the harvest, or maybe it’s just because the crisp Fall air makes us want to cozy up with a good glass of wine to keep warm.  But let’s be honest – wine tastes good just about any time of the year – so why not plan a wine & cheese party this Spring?!

Perfect for a girl’s night out, a bridal shower, or a special birthday celebration – you can create a wine & cheese party with a Spring-y vibe!  Save the full-bodied reds for Fall, and serve a selection of crisp whites, and fresh bubbles.  Food can be as simple as a large artisinal cheese plate, with accompaniments such as grapes, an apple, a pear, honey and walnuts.  Olive oil tasting can be really fun too.  Cut up cubes of french bread, and line up small bowls of different oils to taste.

Keep your decorations light and fresh with flowers in shades of white, peach and lime green.  I love the idea of arranging them in a white vessel – either a footed bowl, or a low bowl with a filagree pattern.  It just adds to the light look of the arrangement.

Send your guests home with a small bottle of olive oil as a party favor.  Beau-Coup has a darling bottle that comes with a customized label.  It’s the perfect reminder of a fabulous evening!

Images: living room (styleathome.com), cheese plate (annstratton.com), olive oil tasting (brides.com), olive oil party favor (beau-coup.com), centerpiece and lemonade (stylemepretty.com)

Minted.com wedding invitations

Beau-Coup and Amazon.com are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

March 30th, 2010 |

Easter Brunch: A Pretty, Pink Party

pretty pink easter brunch

I love the color pink.  Always have.  Especially when it’s paired so neatly with white!  Keep your Easter brunch looking pretty and sophisticated by setting a table with all pink accents.  Pink tulip centerpiece, pink lemonade to drink….the end result will be stunning!

Two updated ideas for your decorations:

  1. Use ribbons to create a chain-link garland to drape over your mantel or over windows.  This is a project that kids will love to help with!  Typically done with paper, the ribbon will give it a more luxurious feel!
  2. Instead of using traditional placecards on your table, create larger cards and attach them to ribbon.  You can tie them around the back of each guest’s chair.  It will add an unexpected element to your table setting, and keep your table looking clean and uncluttered.

Image: table setting (epicurious.com), ribbon garland (familycircle.com), wreaths (jubileeevents.com), pink lemonade and chair placecard (stylemepretty.com), Easter sugar cookies (hello naomi via flickr.com)

March 26th, 2010 |

Delightful DIY Spa Party

do-it-yourself spa party dessert table

One of my newest internet finds is Nonpareil Magazine.  A new on-line magazine brought to you by a combination of talented bloggers, photographers, designers…..let’s just say a whole lot of creative people!  It’s beautifully edited, and has some amazing do-it-yourself download-able templates!

I literally jumped for joy when I saw this idea in their recent issue.  Dessert tables are one of the hottest trends out there right now for parties….and these talented ladies took the concept and expanded it.  They created a “dessert table” full of bath products that look as delicious as baked goods!  Including sugar scrubs, mini soaps, and cupcake bath bombs – which would be the PERFECT compliment to a spa-themed party!  Totally cute, right?!  Even better, they have download-able templates for each one of these darling labels on their website!

I get so many requests for Spa themed parties – both for little girls and for big girls!  This idea would be darling for a birthday party or a Mother’s Day girl’s night out.

Head on over to Nonpareil to check out the rest of their fabulous eye candy and tutorials!

March 26th, 2010 |

Easter Brunch: Blue & Lime Green

blue and lime green easter brunch

Blue and lime green are the perfect palette for an Easter brunch.  This invitation from WH Hostess sets the tone for a cheery event full of darling details.  Welcome your guests with a beautiful, Spring-like wreath on your front door.  This concept is so simple to….simply attach loops of ribbon to a styrofoam wreath, glue in some white “eggs”, and voila!

Use a combination of two ideas as your centerpiece: first, string Easter eggs (that you have blown out, and died blue and lime green) to make a garland and then swirl it down the center of your table.  Second, place died Easter eggs into egg cups with petal rims to look like flowers.  Create a simple place setting with these darling bunny napkin rings, and by placing a small vase of flowers on each guest’s plate.  It adds a nice, natural touch to the table, and will also serve as a party favor.  You can also repeat the use of ribbon from your wreath by tying small pieces onto straws to create flags.

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), egg garland (bhg.com), ribbon wreath (hgtv.com), bunny napkin rings (organize.com), drinks (stylemepretty.com), egg flowers (goodhousekeeping.com), flower place setting (brides.com)

WH Hostess is a preferred sponsor of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

March 24th, 2010 |

Everyday Decorations

We are in that funny time of year – some days it’s snowing and feels very much “winter” – and other days, it’s hitting 60 degrees, the sun is shining and my Spring fever is definitely blooming!  I start to crave fresh flowers, and colorful decorations – and I look for creative ways to make my house look festive (even if there is still snow on the ground!).

Yesterday, I was the guest-host over at Creative Party Place.  I  showed  a darling do-it-yourself project from The Purl Bee, and I thought I would share it with you too!  These colorful garlands are simple to make, easy to customize to any party theme/color palette, and are a fresh addition to any party!

Head over to The Purl Bee for the full instructions on how to create these colorful garlands.  It’s amazing how some colorful circles can end up looking like this:

Darling, right?!  And here’s a thought…..instead of using felt circles, you could cut out ovals and make the garland look like colorful eggs for an upcoming Easter brunch!

March 22nd, 2010 |

Passover Dinner: A Seder to Savor

seder dinner ideas

The Seder dinner marks the start of the Jewish holiday, Passover.  Typically held at home, Seder dinners are full of tradition….and some delicious food!  Set a warm, yet elegant table in shades of gold and simple white centerpieces.  Add a personal touch by placing a votive candle with your guest’s names written on a small scroll at each place setting.

The Seder menu is stock full of tradition.  Items such as matzo ball soup have been served during this holiday for generations!  I found a few recipes on Bon Appetit that give a simple update to a few favorites:

These delicious recipes are sure to become new traditions in your family.  Tell me, how do you celebrate the holiday?

Images: tulips (stylemepretty.com), votive candle (epicurious.com), napkin (karentran.com), table setting (lastoriafoto.com)

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March 16th, 2010 |

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

st. patrick's day dinner party

I’m Irish.  Like, freckles and reddish-hair, Irish.  Have I ever told you that?!  So, not only do I come from a big, Irish family…but so does my husband!  Since St. Patrick’s Day falls mid-week this year, we had our two big family celebrations on Sunday.  I thought I got the holiday out of my system….but I keep thinking, what are we going to do on the actual day?!  It’s too big of a deal in our families to just let the day slip by unnoticed!

I decided to whip together a quick little dinner party.  You know…. simple.  But festive!  I am going to serve traditional corned beef and potatoes.  But I also want to throw in some green, Spring vegetables – asparagus, broccolini, green beans and snap peas.  I thought it would be interesting to try something new with the corned beef too, so I am going to try these corned beef and cabbage rolls as an appetizer.  It looks yummy – and for those of us that are gluten-free (like me!) – it takes the place of a corned beef sandwich!

For dessert?!  Chocolate-Irish cream cheesecake and an Irish martini.  Sounds delicious, don’t you think?! What are your plans for celebrating?

Images: green dining room (karljuengel.com), napkin (theknot.com)

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

March 4th, 2010 |

Unique Shower Centerpiece

I literally gasped in excitement when I saw this centerpiece on The Knot.  It’s a beautiful, unique spin on a traditional “shower” theme, and I think it would be perfect for either a baby or bridal shower.  Using a small umbrella, hang crystals from clear fishing wire from each point to look like rain drops.  You could insert the embellished umbrella into just about any sort of floral centerpiece.  And think how creative you could get with the umbrellas!  Polka dots, stripes, floral patterns….so many options to take this concept and give it your own look!

Image via The Knot

March 2nd, 2010 |

Spring Engagement Party

 

I have decided that I have seen ENOUGH snow for one season.  It’s time to move on to Spring!  Bright colors, cocktails on the patio, gathering friends to celebrate a special occasion.  I get requests all of the time for engagement party ideas…..but this inspiration could also be used for a birthday party, bridal shower, or just a good reason to throw a cocktail party!

The missoni-style invitation from WH Hostess provides a great color scheme for the party.  Decorate using pops of orange, green and blue.  These fluted vases from Crate & Barrel mirror the zig zag pattern of the invitation, and are perfect to place on the table as a centerpiece or on side tables for an added decoration.  If you are throwing this party outside, fill your space with lanterns (different sizes add interest) to add some mood lighting!

A party this colorful deserves some delicious appetizers!  I would serve something like brochettes of melon, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella, or peppered tuna skewers with wasabi mayonnaise.  Pretty, sophisticated….and easy to eat!  Towards the end of the party, put out platters of sugar cookies embellished with the words “thank you!” and cellophane bags – people can bring them home as party favors.

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), vases (crateandbarrel.com), table setting (theknot.com), appetizers (socialdesign.com), patio (cocomale.com), thank you cookie (inmagine.com)

 

February 22nd, 2010 |

Farmhouse Brunch

farmhouse brunch

When it comes to incorporating the style ideas from our trend alert (Farmhouse Chic) earlier today into entertaining, there are a few key elements: a relaxed, natural decor, spring-like colors, and comfort food.

This invitation from my stationery line, WH Hostess, sets the tone for a cozy brunch, and also gives us some warm colors to use for decor.  A pale grey and soft yellow are the perfect backdrop for delicious breakfast foods!  When setting your table, opt for a more casual look.  Perhaps placemats instead of a tablecloth, or a use a runner down the center of your table with woven charger plates.  Incorporating linens with natural elements, such as birds or greenery on them will also help you to achieve a lovely, light and casual look.

One of my new favorite products from my OpenSky shop is this etched juice bottle.  It’s classic, yet modern-looking to me, and I love that it helps to “dress-up” my table or buffet.  There are also matching glasses, which would be darling on our brunch table!

No brunch would be complete without mimosas and eggs, in my opinion!  But I always try to find something new to try….top on my list for this party would be mini crepe cups, praline pancakes and bloody mary’s (which are sure to keep you warm and cozy on these cold, winter mornings!)

Images: dining room, silverware bucket (potterybarn.com), invitation (whhostess.com), juice bottle and glasses (partydress.theopenskyproject.com), bloody mary, praline pancakes (williams-sonoma.com), crepe cups (midwestliving.com)

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