March 30th, 2009 |

Crazy Lady Birthday Lunch

Crazy Lady Dresses (small)

One of the biggest trends for Spring 2009 is “Crazy Lady Chic” – full of patterns, florals and every color of the rainbow – this trend can be a colorful inspiration for both fashion and parties this season.

Crazy Lady Birthday Lunch (small)

A couple of easy ideas for food: ladies like to eat light, especially at lunch time.  So keep the meal to a minimum; serve a fresh salad with fruit, and save up those calories for a strawberry-lime stuffed cupcake for dessert!

This idea could be used for a birthday party or a shower – mix and match colorful chairs, different patterns of china, and a variety of whimsical flowers.  I love the pink candelabras with green candles!  (Think pink candelabras are hard to find?  Check your local Home Goods, Marshall’s or Target for any color, cheap candelabra….and then spray paint it whatever color you desire!)

Place cards add a lovely, personal touch to any party.  I absolutely love this idea of using grass and miniature cups!  So easy to do yourself, and you could really use any type of glass – a mini tea cup, espresso mug or even a shot glass.  These are so cute, your guests will be thrilled to take them home with them as a reminder of their sunny afternoon!

Flower Placecard (small)

Dress Images: strapless floral dress, floral dress & cardigan, floral print dress (nordstrom.com)

Party Images: strawberry cupcake (foodnetwork.com), pink napkin (via Napkins with a Twist),

ribbon candy (amyatlas.com), pink lemonade and flower placecards (theknot.com)

March 28th, 2009 |

Sweet Treat Cupcakes

Need a good dessert, fast?!  Don’t have time to bake?

Try these adorable new Sweet Treat Cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery.  It’s way too difficult to decide which you want….which is probably why they are sold in 6 packs!

Perfect for birthday parties, dinner parties, or an office birthday.

Which flavor will you choose?

Cold Stone Cupcakes (small)

March 27th, 2009 |

Game Night Party with Friends

Game Night Intro (small)

Brighten your week with an impromptu game night filled with board games, comfort food and good friends.  Make a lot of finger foods that are easy to snack on between rolls, and then serve a hearty main course (such as chicken and white bean chili) as the night lingers on.

Use bright, colorful board games as your direction for decor…..you could even use vintage board games as trays for the appetizers!

Game Night (small)

Images: game timers (realsimple.com), stack of board games (countryliving.com), ante up games (hostessblog.com), table setting (countryliving.com), red punch (instyleweddings.com), chips (brides.com), mini burgers (flightsoffancy.com)

March 27th, 2009 |

Hostess Gift for Game Night

tiffany-cards-largeFor the Hostess that has everything!

Charming playing cards from Tiffany & Co.

March 26th, 2009 |

Dress Up Your Drinks

I was purusing some of my favorite blogs this morning – and the colorful ladies at Lilly Pulizter found these great novelty ice cube trays from Fred.  These would be so fun for a party!  You can find them at a few different on-line boutiques, such as popdeluxe.net and some are also available on amazon.com.

Here are a few of my favorites….but there are tons to choose from!

ice-cubes-1

ice-cubes-2

ice-cubes-3

March 24th, 2009 |

A Baby Boy Shower

When a baby boy is on the way, host a transportation themed baby shower full of bright shades of blue and green.

Set the theme for the party with this darling invitation covered in trucks by minted.com.  Welcome your guests and the mommy-to-be with a clean, modern space decorated with Spring-like centerpieces using freshly grown grass as your centerpieces.  The color palette and centerpiece ideas could be adorable for a birthday party too!Transportation Shower (small)

cb2-candlesticks

I love these clear glass candlesticks – available in 5 different shapes at cb2 – they are incredibly inexpensive, so go ahead and mix and match tons of them to use going down your table.

The use of grass can be used throughout your party – available at your local nursery or gardening store – you can fill a tray or container full of grass sod and use it in various ways.  Attach your placecards on candy sticks and “stick” them into the grass – or serve brownie pops as a dessert and stick them in standing upside down.  It will make such a cute presentation – your friends will be wowed by your creativity!

If you are looking for a modern way to set your table – try this idea:

Stack your plate, napkin and silverware on top of each other.  Wrap it with either a printed rubber band or ribbon.  No bow, no frills – just clean, but decorative.

As for food, carry your color story through by serving a fresh salad ( I love this avocado-citrus salad with bacon from Williams Sonoma), and then some fun desserts everyone can enjoy while your guest of honor is opening her gifts.

Transportation Shower Food (small)

In case you need a few gift ideas for the new baby boy…..these are sure to get some “oohs and ahhs” at the shower!Transportation Shower Gifts (small)

Images: truck invitation (minted.com), grass and rose centerpiece (projectwedding.com), placecards (brides.com), white plates (realsimple.com), rock candy napkin (theknot.com), table setting ( via bellemaison23), cotton candy and rock candy cupcakes (matthewmeadstyle.com), festive cocktails (brides.com), salad (williams-sonoma.com), baby bib (upsiedoodle via etsy.com), transportation bedding (modernnursery.com)

March 23rd, 2009 |

Lunch Date with a Friend

Lunch Date (small)

Everyone is always so cooped up inside during the Winter and early Spring months….invite a friend or two over for an quick lunch to catch up.

I’m looking forward to catching up with one of my good friends tomorrow!

Here is what I’m thinking about for lunch:

Chicken Panini with Fig Jam

Recipe via Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1/4  cup  fig jam
  • 1  (8-ounce) ciabatta, cut lengthwise
  • 1/4  cup  crumbled blue cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 8  ounces  sliced cooked chicken breast
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  cups  arugula leaves
  • 1  teaspoon  fresh lemon juice

Preparation

Spread jam over cut side of top half of bread. Combine cheese and butter in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Spread cheese mixture over cut side of bottom half of bread. Arrange chicken evenly over cheese mixture; sprinkle with pepper. Place top half of bread, jam side down, over chicken.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add sandwich to pan. Place a heavy cast-iron skillet on sandwich; cook 5 minutes or until both sides are browned, turning once.

Place arugula in a bowl. Drizzle juice over arugula; toss gently. Remove top bread half from sandwich. Arrange arugula mixture over chicken. Replace top bread half. Cut sandwich into 4 equal portions.

Images: kitchen (williams-sonoma.com), sandwich (cookinglight.com),

kitchen cabinets (via joeschmelzer.com)

March 20th, 2009 |

Spring Fling Cocktail Party

Spring Fling Cocktail Party (small)

I don’t know about you, but I am SOOOOO happy Spring is finally here…..it’s been a LONG winter!

Let’s welcome Spring with a casual cocktail party for friends….and you don’t have to make things difficult for yourself.  Choose a couple of fabulous drinks, some easy snacks…..and you will end up with a festive evening your friends are sure to enjoy!

What could be more fun than a bellini bar?!  Set up a table with three different flavors to mix with champagne or prosecco…..

Prosecco with Ginger

Stir together 1 cup ginger juice and 3 tablespoons honey in a small pitcher. To serve, pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a Champagne glass. Fill with Prosecco. Place 3 slivers of crystallized ginger in each glass.

Prosecco with Apricot and Cranberry

Stir together 1/2 cup cranberry juice with 1/2 cup apricot nectar in a small pitcher. To serve, pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a Champagne glass. Fill with Prosecco. Garnish with a thin slice of red apricot.

Prosecco with Blood Orange

To serve, shake a few drops blood-orange bitters into a Champagne glass. Fill with Prosecco and garnish with a twist of orange.

Since you are feeding people for just a couple of hours, you only need a few hor’dourves.  Choose three or four sure-to-please snacks, and focus on your presentation – play with the colors of the food and your serving pieces to create a modern buffet.  You can never go wrong with an assortment of crudits, and for this particular event I think we need to go with something Springy……how about Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes, and Crispy Spring Rolls?!

Choose some bright color flowers to put around your house, add a few candles and between your decor, food and drinks…..it’s sure to be a fabulous Spring evening!

Images: flowers (lapartieevents.com), bright color floor pillows (instyle.com), midnight bar mixers (crateandbarrel.com), stuffed tomatoes and spring rolls (williams-sonoma.com)

March 18th, 2009 |

The Essentials to Setting a Table

Essentials to Setting a Table (small)

The very talented ladies at Elle Decor have some great tips for setting the perfect table.

Setting a table should be an expression of your personal style. But even the most creative stylists need structure to achieve the best results. After deciding on the time, place and guest list, consider the following steps to setting the perfect table.

1. Set a Theme

It’s important to set the theme for your event, no matter how large or small the gathering. Whether it be a birthday party or a ladies luncheon, setting a theme will captivate your guests. Always make sure to create a consistent look from start to finish.

• Make sure to keep a consistent look among the invitations, decorations and menu.

• Choose a theme that represents your interest.   Garden motif, nautical look, tropical themes are always a hit.   Still need inspiration? Look at the items in your closet; it will help you come up with a table setting that mirrors your style.

2. Select Dinnerware

First off, use what you have—with a bit of digging and creativity, your perfect setting is in there somewhere.

• If none of your patterns seem to fit the bill, select your simplest and build from there. White plates are the perfect staple since you can dress it up or down.

• Or if simple doesn’t seem special enough–mix things up. Combine a variety of complementary—but not matching—dishes, cups and platters with the same motif, such as florals or stripes, for a fun, stylish table.

3. Select Glassware

Experiment with your glassware and don’t let classification limit the use—many glasses have multiple uses. Also, don’t feel you must work with one style or color of glassware.

• Most glassware can do double duty. For example, martini glasses make great serving pieces for small appetizers like shrimp.

4. Select & Polish Silverware

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook flatware. But don’t since it adds another stylish element to your summer table. Think of dressing up your flatware with a variety of adornments or buy some unique or vintage pieces to mix in with your set.

• Add flatware with bold designs or vivid colors to your table for a decorative touch

• Ribbons, twine and metal accents can be used to embellish flatware, creating a charming, summery look.

5. Select Linens

Always have fine linens on hand for sit-down dinners since they add a level of sophistication to even the smallest gathering.

• Pay attention to how they feel; they stay with your guests throughout the entire meal. Avoid stiff fabrics and choose materials with a soft or more luxurious feel to them.

• Choose placemats and napkins that pick up the colors of your glassware and dinnerware.

• Textured elements like embroidery add interest, and you can play with patterns – mix a stripe napkin with a floral placemat for added playfulness.

6. Finishing Touches

Plates, glasses and flatware are a given, but it’s the accents that really make your table setting memorable and express your personal style.

• Floral arrangements in low glass containers, partnered with small fruits like oranges or lemons, add a summery vibe.

• Special items used as favors or place cards (seashells, garden herbs or flowers) will distinguish your table and delight your guests. Herbs like rosemary can be wrapped in twine and arranged at each place setting.

• Add glass votives to illuminate a tabletop—it’s an inexpensive way to create warmth and ambiance.

Images: table setting, dinnerware and placecard pictures (elledecor.com), glassware and linen pictures (crateandbarrel.com), silverware caddy (potterybarn.com)

March 18th, 2009 |

Make a statement with flowers

 

Images: reflection thru mirror (via lastoriafoto.com), purple tulips (brides.com),

white peonies (via zoomphotography.com), yellow flowers (via toddevents.com)

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