October 8th, 2012 |

Glam-o-ween Party

This year for Halloween, AndersRuff stepped away from the traditional orange and black and designed a fresh new printable design collection full of all things Halloween Glam. Pink + Purple + Lime mixed with Black and grey makes for a Glam Halloween. Glam-o-ween! Guests are invited with a glam Halloween printable invitation that they embellished with little crystals. Using their unique color palette, AndersRuff created a festive party space.

For the dessert table focal point, they hung a chandelier. Instead of using a real chandelier, they designed a printable and mounted it on foam core board and hung it from our grey chevron backdrop. (Something anyone can do!) Popcorn boxes were embellished with the glam printable party logos and matted on ruffled tissue paper, and they used glittery ribbon on popcorn boxes from Nashville Wraps. Popcorn filled the boxes as well as a spooky surprise – chocolate limbs from a skeleton (Molds from Fancy Flours).

Chocolate covered marshmallow pops were embellished with printable bats and sprinkles from Fancy Flours. Lime green candies lined the trays to add a pop of color. Classic white platters were used to display fabulous cookies by Whip It Good Cookies. Erin decorated the cookies to match the printable graphics and they were delicious!

Black glass cake stands were used to display the cake by Got What It Cakes, as well as cupcakes that were adorned with the printable spooky glam cats. Chocolate covered Skeleton oreos were also displayed with the cupcakes. Chocolate bars were adored with coordinating labels, which were great for favors.

Sweet Things designed a custom glam witch costume for the little guest of honor, Willow. Willow loved the glam drink bottles that they embellished with glittery ribbon and our printable drink wrap. Straws were flagged and stuck to the sides of the bottles with a glue dot. Adorable chevron bags were filled with chocolate skeleton limbs and embellished with glittery ribbon and a printable favor tag from the collection. Guests didn’t leave empty handed. Tricks and treats and everything sweet. Glittery gumballs from Polka Dot Market were bagged and topped with a folding bag topper from the collection.

Resources: printable collection (andersruff.com)  |  photography (beccabondphotography.com)  |  sugar cookies (whipitgoodcookies.blogspot.com)  |  cake (gotwhatitcakes.com)  |  gumballs, straws, chevron bags, plastic drink bottles (polka-dot-market.com)  |  candy (candywarehouse.com)  |  candelabras (fancyflours.com)  |  chocolate skeleton molds, oreo molds, sprinkles and edible glitter (fancyflours.com)  |  glam witch costume (sweetthingskids.com)

For more Halloween + Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

October 3rd, 2012 |

Simple Menu Ideas for a Fall Brunch

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for entertaining, and a family friendly brunch is just the ticket.  Yesterday, I shared ideas for decorating your table, and today I am back with some simple menu ideas:

Serve up Peach Billinis with fresh peaches, champagne, a hint of fresh lemon juice and a little sugar. Accessorize the glass with a slice of peach and personalized charm with your guest name. It’s all about the little details!

Pancakes topped with blueberries are a hit. Go mini too! Top it off with raspberries, blueberries and a dab of syrup. If you want to get fancy, put an lollipop stick through them for easy pick up. Looks pretty too!

Use fresh fruit when it comes to decorating the table top. A simple trick is filing a glass bowl with fresh green apples, pine cones and a delicious smelling vanilla candle. It makes the perfect centerpiece!

Georgetown Cupcake has the perfect mouth watering fall flavors for brunch: Maple Walnut, Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple and Toffee Crunch. Adorn them with fondant leaves for that added touch of Fall.

Resources:
Oxford Creek Casual Country Dining Table + Chair, Sears  |  Yellow Felt Flower Pillow, Target  |  Sheer Table Runner, Lattice Placemats, Hummingbird Dessert Plates, Decorative Glass Goblets, Juice Glasses {Parafaits} & Spoons, White Square Tray, HomeGoods  |  Glass Bowl, Yellow Condiments Bowls {used for candles}, TJ Maxx   |  Jardins Ruby Dinner Plates, Beehive Large Pitcher, Creamer & Sugar Set, Juliska  |  Personalized Wine Charms, Handmade Affair  |  Cupcakes,Georgetown Cupcake  |  Flatware, Pfaltzgraff 

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

October 2nd, 2012 |

Decorating Tips for a Fall Brunch

Fall is the perfect time to gather friends and family for a cozy, Sunday brunch.  Throw the stylized fete of the season with these seasonal entertaining tips:

Mix and match a patterned desert plate with an elegant detailed dinner plate. Get a little fancy with pretty glass goblets in fall hues. Look for colors that complement each other.

DIY Alert! Welcome guest with smells from a coffee shop. Grab a small decorative bowl, fill it up with hazelnut coffee beans and pop in a tea light candle right into the center. Light it up and let the aroma fill the room.

Use fresh fruit when it comes to decorating the table top. A simple trick is filing a glass bowl with fresh green apples, pine cones and a delicious smelling vanilla candle. It makes the perfect centerpiece!

Use burlap, twine and silk leaves as an accent on milk bottles or around napkins. Simple and inexpensive, they are the perfect way to add a cozy touch to your Fall brunch.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my ideas on creative and delicious brunch food.

Resources:
Oxford Creek Casual Country Dining Table + Chair, Sears  |  Yellow Felt Flower Pillow, Target  |  Sheer Table Runner, Lattice Placemats, Hummingbird Dessert Plates, Decorative Glass Goblets, Juice Glasses {Parafaits} & Spoons, White Square Tray, HomeGoods  |  Glass Bowl, Yellow Condiments Bowls {used for candles}, TJ Maxx   |  Jardins Ruby Dinner Plates, Beehive Large Pitcher, Creamer & Sugar Set, Juliska  |  Personalized Wine Charms, Handmade Affair  |  Cupcakes, Georgetown Cupcake  |  Flatware, Pfaltzgraff 

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

September 28th, 2012 |

Napa-Inspired Wine Tasting Party

Inspired by our recent adventure in wine country, Charynn and I set out to throw the ultimate wine & cheese tasting party for friends….the perfect way to “celebrate the harvest.”

While in Napa Valley, we fell in love with the simplicity of entertaining in wine country, the lush greens that surrounded us, and the amazing tastings we experienced, with many meals being farm-to-table fresh. We learned about pairing: what flavors to match with the different varieties of wine. When we arrived home and we sat down to plan our tasting party, we knew we wanted to accomplish the following: share our new favorite wines with friends, pair them with a spectacular cheese plate, and design party decor in a lush, monochromatic green color palette.

Guests were invited with a crisp, new wine-themed party invitation from WH Hostess, and were greeted with a softly lit party space, full of candles flickering in the night. We lined our buffet table with clear wine bottles topped with candles, which created a soft glow but didn’t take away from the colorful wine labels and gorgeous food.

Centerpieces of green hydrangeas and red grapes sat atop a rustic, ceramic footed pedestal from Pottery Barn. Baskets full of seasonal fruit and corks also served as decorations.

We currated a fabulous selection of cheese to include on our tasting board (a lazy susan made from a former Napa wine barrel), along with accompaniments such as marcona almonds, dried cranberries, hard salami, figs and prosciutto.  Interested in how we layout a cheese plate?  Check this out…..

 

We also served a fabulous selection of small bites, including a fig and goat cheese crostini……. a recipe we will be sharing with you today!

In order for guests to keep track of their wine glass, we created a selection of DIY printable wine tags. You can download them here for use at your next party. We hope that the articles and parties featured in this issue of The Party Dress Magazine have inspired you to embrace the simplicity, natural gorgeousness that is entertaining in true Napa-style. Cheers!

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

September 6th, 2012 |

Inspiration: Apple Picking Party

Apple picking has been one of my favorite activities from the time I was a young child.  Now is the PERFECT time to gather up friends and family to meet at an apple orchard and surprise them with a few {sweet} treats.

Images: apple barrels (poshphotographyonline.com)  |   apple m&m cups (bloomdesignsonline.blogspot.com)  |  apple dessert table (party-wagon.com)  |  apple drink station (frostmeblog.blogspot.com)  |  apple cupcakes (familyfun.go.com)  |  mini apple pies (williams-sonoma.com)

July 25th, 2012 |

Inspiration: Tropical Summer Party

image via seacielo.tumblr.com

These hot summer days have me craving a little beach time and also dreaming of our upcoming vacation.  August is the perfect time to throw a tropical themed party, so we put together some ideas for you that would be perfect for any event from a pool party to a beach bbq, to a tropical themed bridal shower.

The spray painted starfish image above inspired the color palette: a bright turquoise, tangerine orange and lime green.  (I also think they are a fabulous decoration idea!)  We put together a few of our stationery patterns that could be used, mixing and matching patterns for a whimsical look.

In addition to the spray painted starfish for decorations, we came up with a few centerpiece ideas varying from casual to fancy:

images via millieholloman.com, brides.com, and islandstyleweddings.com

No event would be complete these days without a dessert table!  Using color-coordinated desserts, and shapes that relate back to the tropical theme (such as shells, starfish, and wave patterns) for cookies, cake pops, etc. you can create a magical focal point for your party.

images via sweetandsaucyshop.com, amyatlas.com, glorioustreats.com, and shannonleeimages.com

For more tropical party ideas, visit our pinterest board.

July 19th, 2012 |

BBQ with Southern Charm

With BBQ’s being our go-to summer entertainment, it’s fun to spice things up and change your “theme” now and again. Hosting a large group for a special occassion? Put a Southern spin on your event with classic, charming details. Seersucker stripes, a colorful traditional paisley, and some delicious food.

One of my favorite elements to this party concept is the tented table. A long, gorgeous tablesetting is kicked up at notch with the hanging wreaths and candles overhead.

Guests will be thrilled when you serve up mini crab cakes, shrimp shooters, and classic pulled pork sandwiches. A flavored lemonade (non-alcholic or spiked!) will keep your guests cool long into the summer night.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our favorite pulled pork recipe and ideas for a strawberry-infused lemonade!

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

July 6th, 2012 |

Celebrating Tomato Season

One of my FAVORITE parts of summer is the abundance of tomatoes, so it was a no brainer that we had to include a feature in the summer magazine.  We turned to entertaining expert, Jenny Steffins-Hobick, to create inspiration for a “celebrating tomato season” dinner party.  Read on for more details, as told by Jenny….

In the Summer, we often host parties for holidays – 4th of July Picnics, Labor Day Barbecues – but rarely do we ever just celebrate Summer. For me, the essence of Summer is found in the seasonal food that is best in these hot months of the year. While I’m glad to see berries and sweet corn at the market, it is not truly Summer until I see tomatoes. Real tomatoes. Yes, in most markets we can find tomatoes at all times of the year, but not real tomatoes. Real tomatoes, with their sweet, acidic flavor and smooth texture, are best in the peak of the Summer months and should be celebrated.

This Summer, host a dinner party that pays tribute to the season’s rightful star- tomatoes. Introduce your guests to the various varietals of tomatoes available and different ways to eat and serve them. Be sure to include a “Tomato Tasting” as part of your party – after all, tomatoes are hard to beat when served simply with a sprinkling of salt. It will give your guests the opportunity to taste the differences between the many available varieties.

I set the table simply with a casual feel, but a bit more elegant than a typical Summer grilling party. The color palate was restrained with a bare wooden table, natural linens and just a touch of red to allow the vibrant summer foods shine. Instead of a floral arrangement, I planted a wooden herb box full of basil and thyme. Bud vases with zinnias were placed around the table for added whimsy.

For my guests, I started the evening with a watermelon cocktail served with an heirloom orange tomato garnish. For dinner, instead of the serving tomatoes in their typical fresh state, I fired up the grill. Along with squash, eggplant and peppers, tomatoes were grilled and then tossed with pappardelle pasta. I garnished the pasta with wedges of fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes. Our feast of Summer ended with a light strawberry, watermelon and tomato salad with a basil drizzle.

For these tomato recipes and more Summer inspiration, visit jennysteffens.com.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

July 2nd, 2012 |

Ships Ahoy! Nautical Baby Shower

One of my favorite summer themes is a classic, navy & white, nautical party.  Crisp, classic and can be interrupted so many different ways.  We updated our nautical collection with a preppy modern chain link pattern and a bold anchor, added a touch of yellow and it quickly became one of our best sellers….perfect for a baby shower, birthday party or pool party.

When we started working on the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine, we turned to Lynlee Beckett, of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes, to create a preppy baby shower using our Mod Nautical collection.  Read on for all of the darling details, as told by Lynlee….

For expectant mothers due in the Summer months, there’s no better way to welcome their new first mate than with a nautical-themed baby shower! I adore the Mod Nautical Anchor collection by the WH Hostess, pairing several shades of blue with a bright and refreshing pop of yellow, which I utilized to style this bright and cheery luncheon. I decided to focus on a mature feel to honor the mother-to-be, with the infusion of playful and sweet details. The beautiful invitation set the mood, inviting guests to join the celebration seaside.

The luncheon table was set with a burlap covering and a striped blue runner. A lantern served as the centerpiece and inside, a coral decoration sculpted with chicken wire, white coffee filters and yellow cupcake liners. Each setting held blue fish plates and coordinating small plates to carry lemons for the seafood meal. You can dress up the silver- ware by simply tying a colorful ribbon around and placing it directly on the napkins. Water bottle labels can also be used to adorn glasses.

The dessert table was set-up along the waterfront, providing a gorgeous view and anchoring the party. The Anthropologie-inspired backdrop resembled a sail from afar, but at closer look, also simulated coral. As a juxtaposition, I propped up a basketweave anchor that, with the burlap tablecloth, added a natural feel to the crisp, vivid colors.

Desserts centered around the nautical theme, and utilized several lemon and fruit treats, along with traditional sweets. I hollowed out lemons, topped with lemon custard and blueberries, displayed them in a seaside lantern with cupcake toppers. Small mason jars were filled with milk and lifesaver donuts sat perched on the rims with the help of fish drink stirrers.  Chocolate-dipped Oreo pops were decorated to look like portholes, while marshmallows resembled numbered buoys. Lemon cupcakes were embellished with fondant sailor onesies, bibs and baby bottles, nestled in sugar sand, along with chocolate sea shells in a nautical steering wheel tray. Sea urchin meringue cookies were scattered throughout and an “AHOY” pennant banner hung in front of the table.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

 

June 25th, 2012 |

Country Chic Holiday: 4th of July

The Fourth of July always conjures up images of a homespun holiday to me.  I like to throw my typical modern prep style aside and focus on creating a tablescape or party centered around true Americana style.  This year, I am going to combine gingham check, a classic red, white and blue color palette and a mix of country chic accessories.

I turned to Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel to dress my table for the recent summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine. Mixing in a few items I already had, the table was set with a blue and white gingham table runner, and an eclectic centerpiece made from weathered red candlesticks, bud vases wrapped in white rope (a nod to my love for nautical accents) with full white peonies, and a few votive candles scattered about.

To create my placesetting, I layered my navy charger plates with my white basic plates.  A canvas napkin with twisted rope fringe laid atop and held a red salad plate, and a striped bowl full of cherries.  Casual, red silverware and acrylic hobnail glassware completed the look.

It wouldn’t be a summer party without pies!  Stay tuned this afternoon for an heirloom pie crust recipe from our contributor, Charynn’s family!  For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

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