April 23rd, 2013 |

DAPPER DERBY | KIDS TABLESETTING

preppy derby party kids table setting with custom fabric from wh hostessCameron’s Dapper Derby 1st Birthday party was so much fun to design, it truly has me itching to plan a Derby party of my own!  If you are hosting one where kiddos will be in attendance, here are some darling ideas on how to set a theme appropriate table, just for them.

rose and grass plant centerpieces for derby partyMini versions of white Chivari chairs sat around the kids’ table.  A custom table runner made from WH Hostess’s exclusive pony lattice fabric was edged with grosgrain ribbon and white tassel garland, and sat atop a crisp white tablecloth.

Derby themed party decorations from WH HostessThree bucket centerpieces held grass plants surrounded by roses, and coordinating centerpiece sticks featuring a trophy cup, horse and lucky horse shoe.  Each placesetting had a prize ribbon coloring page, along with a cello bag of crayons (the topper read “jockey crayons”), and a drink in a covered mason jar.

derby party for kids placesetting with coloring pagekids table setting for a derby party by wh hostessMore details of Cameron’s Dapper Derby 1st Birthday Party are still to come this week!  Keep check back for ideas for your own Derby party.

Paper Goods & Fabric by WH Hostess  |  Photography by Ellenzilla  |  Flowers by Blooming Gallery

April 23rd, 2013 |

DAPPER DERBY | DECOR IDEAS

Derby Party Hanging Sign by WH Hostess

When it came time to help one of my favorite Houston clients plan her son’s first birthday party, we tossed around quite a few classic boy themes.  After much deliberation, a “Dapper Derby” theme was born and guests were invited to “Derby Day at the Addison Downs”.

With a crisp color palette of blue, yellow and green, it was a perfect theme where we could combine “dapper” elements from a little man theme (bow ties and haberdashery stripes), #1 prize ribbons from a horse race theme, and southern traditions such as mint juleps and trophy cups from the classic Kentucky Derby.  I’m sharing the gorgeous images from Ellenzilla Photography with you all week long to 1) share this amazing party with you, but also B) to inspire you with ideas for your very own Derby party.

Yesterday, I shared two big ideas that could easily be replicated: a prize ribbon back drop for a “photo booth” and trophy cup centerpieces.  Today, I’m back with the decor details!

foyer floral arrangement

This party contains the perfect combination of southern charm and playful, preppy decor, appealing to both the adults and children in attendance.  And I believe there are tons of inspiring ideas that you could use to host your own Derby party to celebrate the race on May 3-4th. WH Hostess designed all of the coordinating paper goods, fabric and Cake Plate Clings, giving the party a cohesive look.

Upon arriving at the party, guests were greeted with a balloon-lined path.  The balloons were custom-printed with our horse silhouette, and a coordinating welcome sign hung at the front door.  A luscious arrangement of yellow and white blooms stood grandly in the foyer, arranged in a white “trophy cup” urn.  The floral arrangement was surrounded by photos of Cameron’s first year.  Blue, yellow and green poms hung off the chandelier above.

yellow and green tables for derby party with trophy cup centerpiecesGuests made their way into the great room, where tables were set up with white Chivari chairs, layered green and yellow tablecloths, and gorgeous flower arrangements in silver trophy cups.  View a detail of the centerpieces here.  The kids table had so many darling details, I’m saving them for their own post later today….so check back around lunchtime!

kids table at derby party

yellow blue and green hanging poms for derby partyColorful poms hung from the chandelier in the great room, and the fireplace was adorned with julep cup floral arrangements, and a custom garland of braided ribbons and an oversized “prize ribbon”.

detail of paper prize ribbon decoration at derby partyoutdoor fireplace decorated for a derby partyThese decorations were repeated in the outdoor living room, along with the addition of throw pillows made from our custom pony lattice and haberdashery stripe fabrics.  A “trough” of wheat grass sat on the coffee table, along with mini toy horses that we spray-painted in our pop colors of yellow, blue and green.

spray painted toy horses for derby partyoutdoor patio decorated for derby partyThe kids were entertained with pony rides, a bounce house and an old-fashioned horse race.  (more details on that later this afternoon!) And one of my favorite decor details of this party was the custom-printed balloons featuring my horse silhouette.

balloons with custom horse silhouetteCheck back often today for more posts about Cameron’s Dapper Derby 1st Birthday Party!

Paper Goods & Fabric by WH Hostess  |  Photography by Ellenzilla Photography  |  Flowers by Blooming Gallery  |  Tables & Linens by  A Fare Extraordinaire  |  Balloons by Balloon Masters  |  White and Silver Trophy Cup Urns from ZGallerie

April 22nd, 2013 |

DAPPER DERBY | TROPHY CUP CENTERPIECES

trophy cup centerpiece for derby partyA simple way to carry out the Derby theme for your party is to recreate these gorgeous centerpieces from Cameron’s Dapper Derby 1st Birthday Party.  Blooming Gallery create these luscious arrangements of yellow, white and green blooms.  Placed in a silver trophy cup from ZGallerie, they were the perfect addition to the tables.

yellow white and green floral centerpieces for derby partysilver trophy cup vase for derby partyStay tuned for more details from Cameron’s Dapper Derby 1st Birthday Party!

Photography by Ellenzilla

April 22nd, 2013 |

DAPPER DERBY | PHOTO BOOTH IDEAS

Derby Party Photo Booth BackdropI recently had the pleasure of working with one of my favorite clients to design her son’s first birthday.  To incorporate all things preppy, a touch of southern hospitality to celebrate her little man, we set a “Dapper Derby” theme with a crisp blue, yellow and green color palette. I’m so excited to share all of the images and ideas with you, and since the Kentucky Derby just around the corner, I’m going to be breaking down the party ideas all week long so you can replicate some into your own Derby celebration.

IMG_0912-2-2The first idea is to create a “photo booth” with a prize ribbon backdrop.  Photo booths are a great activity at any party, guests young and old will enjoy posing with fun props to take pictures to remember the day.  I created this back drop by making individual paper “prize ribbons”.  (this was quite a project and even more interesting in how I folded it up to ship it down to Houston….but that story is for another day!)  You could easily recreate this look by using scrapbook paper and ribbon in whatever color palette you choose.

felt bow tie props for photo boothFelt bowties by  The Bridal Prop Shop were on-hand for guests to pose with, and when it came time for Cameron’s smash cake, his high chair was placed in front of the backdrop, framing his cute little face perfectly!

Derby Party Photo Booth Backdrop Cake SmashStay tuned for more details of Cameron’s Dapper Derby First Birthday Party!

Photography by Ellenzilla

April 11th, 2013 |

FRESH FRUIT TART

fresh fruit tart recipe for spring entertainingI hope you have enjoyed all of the spring entertaining ideas I have been sharing with you this week.  Today I am sharing the recipe for my spring fresh fruit tart.  Whether you make one large tart, or individual mini tarts for your guests, this tart is simple to make and the presentation is beautiful every time!

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar | 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour | 1 stick unsalted butter, softened

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp vanilla extract | 8 oz cream cheese, softened | 1/3 cup granulated sugar

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

your choice of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi slices, or blueberries

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed | 1 T cornstarch  |  1 T fresh lemon juice | 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the crust ingredients and process until the mixture forms a ball. For individual tarts, divide the dough into equal parts and with your fingers, press the dough into mini tart pans (works best with a removable bottom). Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until very lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust, and arrange the sliced fruit atop the tart in your desired pattern.

Combine the thawed lemonade, cornstarch, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool and wiith a pastry brush, apply the glaze over the entire tart.

Refrigerate the tart until about 15 minutes before serving.

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

 

April 10th, 2013 |

ZUCCHINI BITES for SPRING PARTIES

zucchini tomato and goat cheese appetizer recipeThis week, I have been sharing the components of my luncheon celebrating the start of Spring and being able to entertain in my favorite room of my house – the sun room! (did you see the peek into this room that I shared last week?)  Focused on a crisp color palette of navy blue, emerald green and hot pink, we have discussed tablesetting ideas and ways to infuse the modern monogram into them, shared recipes for a tart limoncello sparkling cocktail, and the recipe for my fresh fruit tarts.  Today, I sharing one of my go-to appetizers.  Fresh ingredients, quick to assemble and tasty every time, my zucchini bites will become your favorite spring appetizer.

DIRECTIONS:

Stack together layers of zucchini, goat cheese and oven-roasted tomatoes for a simple, yet deliciously-fresh appetizer. Top with a sprig of basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for added taste.

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

April 10th, 2013 |

SPARKLING LIMONCELLO COCKTAIL

sparkling limoncello cocktail recipeEvery great party has a signature drink.  A fan of all things lemon, when it comes to Spring parties, I tend to whip up a pitcher of my favorite sparkling limoncello cocktail.  Three simple ingredients – prosecco, limoncello and simple syrup – stirred together and garnished with some fresh fruit.  Delicious and gorgeous!

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

April 8th, 2013 |

SPRING LUNCHEON with THE LADIES

monograms for entertaining ideas

Living in Chicago, I’m used to LONG winters. So when the first signs of Spring arrive, I’m dying to celebrate! When we moved into our home {almost} 4 years ago, we had some serious updating to do on the sunroom attached to the back of our house. I had a vision for the space – clean, white, a place to show off my love for blue & white china pieces, and a great place to entertainin during the warmer months of the year. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears {and a little help from a contractor}, but once it was done, it quickly became my favorite room in the house. And also my favorite place to host a party!  I’ll share some pics of the space later this week.

blue white pink and green spring tablesetting for luncheon

With Spring just on the horizon, I decided to throw a little “Ladies Who Lunch” party with my best girlfriends. A reason to put on a dress, have a glass of bubbly and chat about summer plans.

kelly pouring champagne at spring luncheon

I set the table with a gorgeous, emerald green eyelet tablecloth that I had made with some yardage from my local fabric store. Topped it with my favorite blue & white urn and some hot pink roses, and then layered THE most perfect monogrammed linen napkins from Madison in Dallas. I mixed my crystal stemware with my cobalt blue water glasses for a more modern look. I created crisp, white placecards with a navy fretwork border to personalize their placesetting.

tablesetting with monogram napkins

I served up one of my new go-to appetizers: a stack of zucchini, tomato and goat cheese. It’s delicious and tasty and very healthy.

blue and white chinaI also updated my usual glass of bubbles with a limoncello prosecco cocktail. I created the most fabulous indiviudal fruit tarts that were as delicious as they were pretty. The recipes for these items will follow on the blog over the next few days, as well as an interview with the owner of Madison, the shop responsible for creating the gorgeous monogrammed linens I used for this party.  So stay tuned!

sparkling limoncello cocktail

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

 

April 1st, 2013 |

PREPPY BLUE + GREEN DESSERT TABLE | FIRST COMMUNION

preppy blue and green dessert table for first communion or baptismI have a gorgeous dessert table to share with you today.  I designed and styled it for my best friend’s two children’s first communion (they are 11 months apart, and in the same grade). A fresh color palette of blue, green and white with accents in navy blue, I combined a geometric greek key pattern with a bold floral pattern to appeal to both the girls and boys!  I hope this table will inspire you with ideas on how to incorporate religious details into a dessert table, without that being the “theme”, and serve as inspiration for baptisms, first communions and more.

preppy blue and green dessert table for first communion and baptismThe table design was inspired by a WH Hostess collection of paper goods and we incorporated the patterns onto everything from the custom fabric table runners, to the cupcake toppers, to the sweets.  Each child had their choice of one “special” treat that they selected to be part of the table: Willard chose chocolate chip cookies and Emma Jane chose chocolate-covered strawberries.

blue and green first communion cake pops from sweet lauren cakesThe table was covered with a crisp white tablecloth and was topped with two table runners made from our custom blue greek key fabric, edged with a preppy grass green and white grosgrain ribbon.

blue and green preppy dessert table with hydrangea centerpiece

Standing center stage was a gorgeous arrangement of green and white hydrangeas  with the vase wrapped in our bold floral mums pattern paper.  I really wanted to incorporate natural green elements into the table to pop that color against the blue.  I did that by using the green hydrangeas and also by anchoring the cake pops into wheat grass plants.

preppy blue and green cupcakes for first communion or baptismcandy bags for preppy blue and green dessert table

The sweets included gorgeous Cake Pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes incorporating our patterns, an “H” for the kids’ last name, and a cross to symbolize the occasion. Vanilla Cupcakes with personalized cupcake toppers from WH Hostess, and fondant crosses from Two Sugar Babies.  Mini bags of blue sugar candy with bold green and white stickers featuring an “H” for the kids’ last name.
cakes with monogram fondant toppers

Instead of having one large cake, I had two smaller cakes made – one for each child!  Two Sugar Babies created these custom monogrammed cake toppers using our blue greek key pattern as part of the edible image. Jumbo Marshmallows in blue and green from Candywarehouse.com were a big hit with the kids!

blue and green jumbo marshmallows from candywarehouse.com

preppy green striped food tent cardI branded the table with preppy green striped food tent cards, and a coordinating blue greek key sign, thanking everyone for coming to celebrate Willard & Emma’s special day.

first communion or baptism party invitations

March 21st, 2013 |

CARROT TABLETOP + DESSERTS | EASTER

easter tablesetting with carrotsWith Easter just a little over a week away, I have been thinking about our Easter brunch tablesetting.  My sister is due with her first child THIS WEEK, so we are anticipating that we’ll be doing brunch at home this year (vs years past when we would go out for brunch).  When it comes to Easter, I have a love of carrots.  And bunnies.  But definitely carrots.  I think it’s really the pop of orange that I love!  Do you remember this carrot centerpiece from last year?!

bunny salt and pepper shakers from pottery barnI put together this Easter brunch tablesetting for the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine, using some white basics, and pops of color that I am so craving these days.  I set the table with a white eyelet tablecloth and then layered it with my woven charger plates and basic white plates.  I combined a solid orange napkin with a green and white striped napkin, and tied a bunch of straw carrots to it with twine.  An egg placecard (personalized with glitter – post coming next week!) was nestled on top of the napkin.

Each placesetting was accented with a bunny cupcake stand from Pottery Barn, holding a carrot-topped cupcake.  To add texture to the floral centerpiece, I filled the vase with white eggs, and also used pewter bunny salt & pepper shakers.

carrot placesetting horizontalTo carry out the carrot theme, I used gummy carrots from candywarehouse.com as a topper on basic, store-bought cupcakes.  Do you love the green glass plate from Pottery Barn they are sitting on?!

carrot cupcakes for easterForgoing the traditional jelly beans, I served up candy that looked like peas and carrots (also from candywarehouse.com).

peas & carrots candy for easterStay tuned later today for a creative idea for Easter cookies!

carrot desserts for easterorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

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