April 20th, 2010 |
Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to invite a few friends over for a dinner party inspired by nature and your local farmer’s market. Bring the outdoors inside by creating a table setting full of white dishes and natural elements, such as bark and potted plants. I love the idea of using coasters of bark under your typical hurricane candles…..and you can add a pop of green in your cloth napkin.
If you haven’t noticed already, I have a true love affair with cake stands. The different heights add interest to my table and I love using them for things other than desserts! They are perfect for a cheese plate, or to serve appetizers, for stacking sandwiches for a casual lunch….you can really think outside the box and get creative with them! This set of three different sizes from America Retold are the perfect addition to your collection!
The fresh vegetables at the farmer’s market (or my local Whole Foods) gets me really excited to start cooking fresh, spring-y meals again after the long midwest winter! For this particular dinner, I would serve an English pea & ricotta tart, artichokes with bearnaise sauce, a crown roast of pork with rosemary, and fresh limeade to drink.
Images: invitation (minted.com), tablesetting (rebeccathuss.com), butterfly party favor (projectwedding.com), cake stands (the party dress via opensky.com)
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April 19th, 2010 |
I have been a busy bee this weekend working on some custom inspiration boards for clients. Everyone is having showers! Baby showers, couples baby showers and a few bridal showers thrown in for good measure. The board above was done as inspiration for my husband’s aunt – so I figured I could share it with all of you!
She is hosting a bridal shower at a restaurant in Ohio – the restaurant has a strong palette of peach and celery green. So I decided it was best to work with the color palette, instead of fighting it! The custom invitation from WH Hostess (not listed on the website yet, but if you are interested, e-mail me!) sets the tone for a fresh, summer afternoon.
Keeping the table setting fresh and light, I suggested centerpieces of peach peonies and greenery done in white footed bowls. A placecard embellished with ribbon is placed on each guest’s placesetting, and pear bellinis are to be served during lunch! A bridal shower is the perfect opportunity for a dessert table. Not only does it add a sophisticated “decoration” to the event, but it’s a great activity for the guests to partake in while the bride is opening her gifts. This dessert table from Amy Atlas is the perfect inspiration for our peach and green color palette. Fill candy jars, apothecary jars and footed bowls full of green, white and peach candy. Mini cupcakes, cake pops, sugar cookies, macaroons can be served on white serving platters, plates and cake plates. Create a “tree” using greenery and some flowering branches to use as the centerpiece for this table. Have guests write a note to the bride offering advice for her marriage. The notes can be hung on the tree – it will become a “wishing tree” for the bride and groom. Make sure to have cellophane bags (with a coordinating sticker on them) and people can fill them up with candy to bring home.
The ideas for this party could be used for just about any type of event – a special birthday party, a baby shower or a bridal shower. What I love about it is that they are simple, and can be used at either a restaurant or in a home. Good luck, Aunt Jane….hope it’s a beautiful party!
Images: lattice invitation (whhostess.com), centerpiece (stylemepretty.com), pear bellinis (realsimple.com), candy party favor (brides.com), placecard (marthastewart.com), dessert table (amyatlas.com)
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April 15th, 2010 |
I’ve been in the mood lately to host a little gathering with my girlfriends. A chance to catch up and enjoy some springtime cocktails. With all of my friends having young children, it’s easier to get together after “bedtime”. Which is the perfect excuse to host a dessert party! I love the idea of a focused menu – no need to worry about appetizers, dinner and dessert – just pull together a well-edited menu of desserts. (my favorite part of any meal, anyway!)
I’m looking for a new color palette to play around with and love the tangerine orange mixed with shades of grey. I’m LOVING the hanging backdrop behind this dessert table from My Sweet & Saucy! This is a simple and inexpensive way to add a touch of drama to your table, and really define the space for your dessert table. You could easily craft this project using scrapbook paper and grosgrain ribbon. Try repeating the patterns from the scrapbook paper by lining your platters and cake plates with the same paper.
If you want to send your friends home with a little something – I have two ideas that are perfect! First, prepare individual bunches of tulips (wrapped in kraft paper with a sticker saying “thanks for coming!”) and present them in a big bowl at your front door for people to take as they leave. Second, these cocktail jelly beans from Beau-Coup are the perfect companion for a dessert/cocktail party!
Images: dessert table and cake (mysweetandsaucy.com), dress (jcrew.com), drink bottles (helennorman.com), tulips (brides.com)
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April 8th, 2010 |
I’m a sucker for blue & white. Pretty much all of the women in my family are – however, pair it with raspberry pink and it just makes me smile! I recently had a woman come to me to create a custom inspiration board and invitation for a bridal shower/luncheon. She wanted it to be a combination of her classic taste (and home decor) and the bride’s preppy modern look. I came up with this honeycomb stationery suite that includes a darling invitation, thank you note, placecards and cupcake toppers (that the host is using in mini fruit tarts!), and gift tags for the party favors. I love the crisp look of this – and I love how the inspiration board turned out!
I suggested using the color raspberry pink as the pop color up against the blue & white patterns. For the table setting: a crisp white tablecloth, raspberry napkins, the host’s blue & white china, and cobalt blue wine goblets. For the centerpiece, a combination of white filigree jars, and vases with raspberry pink peonies. To add a touch of the bride’s preppy modern style, we ordered the Preppy Plates’ lucite tray in the navy arbor pattern with pink monogram, and a set of plates in the same pattern to use for dessert (with the couple’s new monogram – the tray and plates make a lovely gift to the bride and groom).
Keeping the lunch light and Spring-y, I am coordinating a dessert buffet for the guests to enjoy while the bride opens her gifts. Sweet treats in navy, white and pink including: macarroons, mini fruit tarts, sugar cookies with the honeycomb pattern on them, apothecary jars full of pink candy, shot glasses with a scoop of raspberry sorbet, and a lovely cake. Sounds yummy and pretty, right?! I suggest serving all of these lovely treats on white dishes and cake plates. A navy tablecloth will really make these white dishes pop!
I just love how this party turned out – and I am so grateful to the host for allowing me to share these ideas with all of you!
You too can have these darling party accessories! Click on the WH Hostess button to the left to purchase these items. And please remember us for all of your party planning needs! Big or small – we LOVE to plan parties!
Images: honeycomb invitation (whhostess.com), table setting (horchow.com), flower party favor box (estiloweddings.com), mini blueberry tarts (stylemepretty.com), drinks (amberkarsonevents.com), desserts (vanillabakeshop.com)
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April 5th, 2010 |
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)
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March 30th, 2010 |
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:
- 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!
- 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 |
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 |
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)
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March 24th, 2010 |
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 |
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)