April 3rd, 2013 |


pink ombre tulip centerpieceTulips are the perfect Spring flower – very accessible, you can buy them at the grocery store for less than $10 a bunch.  This time of the year, they add a great pop of color to my kitchen table. If you are looking for an update, perhaps for a special Spring dinner party, or a lovely bunch to give to a friend, put aside the traditional monochromatic arrangement, and opt for an ombre affect by using tulips in three shades of one color.

For this arrangement, I used white, pale pink and raspberry pink tulips.  Instead of mixing the colors together, I kept the colors clustered together and paired them from light to dark (left to right).  Fun and different, it plays into the ombre trend that we have seen so much in the fashion and home textiles industries recently.

shades of pink tulips floral arrangement ombre affectorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

April 1st, 2013 |


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 25th, 2013 |


blue and orange preppy whale birthday partyI just love the colorful preppy style of Happy Wish Company, so I was thrilled when they put together a Preppy Whale Boys Birthday Party for our Spring 2013 issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Darling ideas in a blue and orange color palette that will have you dreaming of summer parties!  Read on for the details from Alicia and Betsey….

preppy whale party invitation

With the warm summer months fast approaching, we couldn’t help but dream of the beach, the salty ocean breeze and sand in our toes when we designed this nautical-inspired Preppy Whale boy’s birthday party!

As two busy, working moms (like many of you!), our Happy Wish Company styling concept is to create parties that are lovely, yet easy to implement.  Our concept sticks to the prettiness in keeping things clean, classic and simple – like we’ve done here with this whale-themed celebration.

lunch buckets

The adorable spouting whale invitation served as the inspiration for the party’s color scheme of orange, white, navy and sky blue set on a backdrop of khaki burlap to evoke the look of sand!

The kid’s table starts with orange and white polka dot paper placemats at each setting. Beach buckets are essential to any ocean-related party. We’ve selected orange plastic buckets that double as a lunch container and a take-home favor for summertime play and sand castle building. Fill the bucket with the birthday boy’s favorite foods. Our menu included a sandwich packaged in a navy and white striped Kraft paper bag, light blue and orange polka dot snack cups filled with fishy crackers and fruit. And to wash it all down, a container of the “ocean water” punch in French square plastic bottles with stripey straws. As an extra-fun snack, we filled little glass jars with blue jello and an orange gummy fish, tied with twine and a perfectly sized, chevron-patterned wooden spoon.

blue jello for preppy whale party

Another centerpiece includes a galvanized bucket, wrapped in nautical rope filled with sand and the most precious blue whale lollipops! To top it all off, fabulous 36-inch navy and orange polka dot balloons float like ocean bubbles above the kids table for a whimsical feel.

boys balloonscupcakes for preppy whale party

To set the sweets-table stage, we filled a pedestal beverage dispenser with blue “ocean water” punch and filled three old fashioned glass jars with scrumptious sweets, including blue raspberry gummy rings, orange gumballs and, of course, blueberry salt water taffy – reminiscent of cruising the boardwalk! Party-goers can fill personalized fabric whale favor bags with the candy to take home as a special treat!

whale cookie for party

A pod of sweet navy blue whale sugar cookies are placed on a white serving platter atop a multi-blue chevron fabric table runner that mimics ocean waves! White milk glass cake stands are stacked with white-frosted cupcakes adorned with navy and orange paper wrappers and polka dot ribbon flag toppers. The cupcake pièce de résistance is the charming blue fondant whale that sits at the very top of the cupcake tower!

The simple backdrop is covered in burlap and draped with natural-colored fish net with a delightful starfish making an appearance. And it wouldn’t be a Happy Wish Company party without our signature coordinating fabric pennant banner hanging above!

blue and orange candy jars

Little party guests are sure to have a “whale-of-a-time” at this sweet & simple Preppy Whale soiree!

We hope this party has provided some inspiration and ideas for your own nautical birthday celebrations!

Happy Wishes!

preppy whale party favor bagsorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine


All party supplies & décor (www.happywishcompany.com)  |  Photography (www.tammyhughes.com)  |   Fondant whale cupcake topper (www.edibledetails.com)

March 22nd, 2013 |


easter cookie recipe from hani bacova

Decorating sugar cookies is one of my favorite seasonal treats.  I love taking the time to sit down and be creative with color combinations, patterns and then gifting them to loved ones.  The talented Hani Bacova from Haniela’s shared a darling sitting bunny cookie recipe with us in the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine and I am thrilled to be sharing it with you today:

Sugar Cookie Recipe

3 c. all­-purpose flour | 1 teaspoon baking powder | 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened  |  1 cup granulated sugar | 1 large egg | 1/2 t. kosher salt  |  1 teaspoon vanilla extract | 1 1/2 tsp almond extract

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, beat the room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy. About 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl at least once while mixing. Add in the egg and mix till fluffy and  pale in color. Add salt and both extracts.  Slowly add flour mixture (1 cup at a time) and stir until incorporated. Don’t be afraid to use your hands a little to form a uniformed cookie dough. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If the dough gets too hard to roll let soften a bit before rolling the dough. Preheat oven to 365degrees F. Roll the dough  between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 5/16 inch(about 7mm) thick. Cut the cookies into shapes and place the cut cookie shapes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place cookies in the fridge to harden for about 5 minutes and then put them in the oven. Bake the cookies for approximately 6­-8 minutes Rotate sheets in half time for even baking. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Slowly remove cookies from the sheet using a wide spatula  place them on the cooling rack and let cool completely.

Royal Icing

2 cups powdered sugar | 1 tbl meringue powder  |  3 1/2 tbl water | 1 tsp vanilla extract | pinch of cream tartar

Make sure all of your tools are grease free! Whisk together meringue powder with warm water, until slightly foamy, add cream of tartar, whisk again and then add all the powdered sugar at once. Using your stand mixer, on the lowest setting, using paddle attachment, mix for 5 minutes, add vanilla extract and mix additional minute or two. Icing will be thick. You can now color your icing. When not in use store this icing in airtight container, remix the icing when you are ready to use it again. Store leftover icing in the fridge.

Sitting Bunny Cookies

Once the cookies have cooled to room temperature you can decorate them with royal icing. Color royal icing with desired colors and thin it to medium stiff consistency. Run a fork in the icing, icing is suppose to hold the pattern made by fork, but shouldn’t be overly stiff. Cover icing that is not used with a piece of plastic wrap or damp paper towel to prevent crusting. Using a spatula or a painter’s brush apply a layer of icing onto the cookie then take a fork and run it through the icing making wavy lines, repeat until you are happy with the pattern. Let cookie dry. Once dry, attach a small ribbon on the bunny, using a dot of royal icing. To make a stand, use a round cookie, apply green icing onto the cookie with a brush or spatula, then using a crumbled piece of plastic wrap, dab the icing all over the cookie, creating a grass like pattern, add few dots of white icing and dot again, creating marbled finish. Attach bunny onto the stand, just gently press the cookie into the green icing, if needed support it with bamboo sticks from both sides, just until icing dries a little, then you can remove the supports.

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

March 21st, 2013 |


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

March 20th, 2013 |


easter egg centerpiece By the time Easter rolls around each year, I’m looking for unique ways to decorate my home and table with color.  This year, I decided I wanted to come up with a unique way of displaying my Easter eggs, and this centerpiece is just the ticket!  I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I have a surplus of cake stands around my house (hence my product line, Cake Plate Clings).  I gathered up a few to play with, including a new bunny cake stand from Pottery Barn, and came up with this project.

easter egg centerpiece Supplies:

Cake Stand (s)  |  Glass Dome (s)  |  Dyed Easter Eggs  |  Ribbon (I used Midori gingham ribbon)  |  Glue Dots


Holding your glass dome upside down, fill it carefully with an assortment of colors of dyed Easter eggs.  My large dome took about 4 dozen eggs to fill up, the small one below held about 8 eggs.  Once it is full, place your upside down cake stand on top of the dome opening and together, carefully flip right-side-up.  Wrap ribbon around the base of the glass dome, securing it with glue dots.

easter egg centerpiece on bunny cake standorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

March 19th, 2013 |


mint and peach baby shower dessert tableToday we are sharing the stunning details of event planner, Lauren Stewart’s, baby shower (as seen in the Spring 2013 issue of The Party Dress Magazine).  Did you drool over the gorgeous tablesettings and breath-taking ocean views?!  Did the baby shower games and activities from this post inspire you for an upcoming baby shower?  We’re back with the “sweet” details of the sparkling peach dessert table.

peach and gold cupcakesThe peach color palette from the baby shower was carried thru every detail of the dessert table.  The dessert table was draped in a peach sequin tablecloth from La Tavola, with our chevron pennant banner hanging across the front stating “S is for Sweet”.  Different shades of peach balloons were tiered behind the dessert table, creating an ombre affect.  This is a great DIY project that could be recreated for any event, any color palette.

peach and gold dessert table with sequin linens and an ombre balloon backdropThe desserts were created by Sweet & Saucy Shop and included a chevron two-tiered cake, color-coordinated cupcakes, cake pops, parfaits, and chocolate dipped rice crispy treats, as well as custom sugar cookies.

peach baby shower desserts from sweet & saucy shopSignage is a fabulous way to tie in your theme on any dessert table.  You can see here that we designed coordinating chevron food tent cards, and there were also mint colored signage with gold calligraphy.  The perfect touch of the mint accent color.

chocolate-dipped rice crispy treatschevron cake with ombre balloon backdrop

The shower was such a special event thanks to Lauren’s friends who made her feel so loved and supported!

baby shower party favors with peach chevron stickers from WH Hostess


Event Design & Coordination: lauren stewart designs + events  |  Photography: Natalie Moser Photography  |  Cake and Desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop  |  Linens: La Tavola Linen  |  Paper Goods & Peach Chevron Fabric: WH Hostess  |  Floral Design: Kate of Floret Cadet  |  Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina • Maison du Papier  |  White Favor Boxes: Container Store  |  Peach Ribbon on Favor Boxes: Amazon  |  Green Ribbon on Favor Boxes: Michaels

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

March 19th, 2013 |


peach and mint baby shower games and activities tableDid you catch the gorgeous decor details this morning from this mint and peach baby shower feature today?  Designed by event stylist, Lauren Stewart, we were thrilled to create all of the custom paper goods for this event.  In this post, you will see all of the darling baby shower games and activities that Lauren’s co-hosts planned.

estimation game signage for peach and mint baby shower

There was a table set up with apothecary jars full of baby items: clothespins, safety pins, and buttons that people had to estimate how many items were in the jars.

custom baby bingo card from wh hostessbottom of custom baby bingo card by wh hostess

Custom Baby Bingo Cards and a Mama & Baby Animal matching games were created by WH Hostess.

peach floral centerpieces for baby showerHead back later today for all of the sweet details from the gorgeous dessert table, featuring desserts from Sweet & Saucy Shop.

custom baby animal matching game by wh hostess for peach and mint baby shower


Event Design & Coordination: lauren stewart designs + events  |  Photography: Natalie Moser Photography  |  Linens: La Tavola Linen  |  Paper Goods & Peach Chevron Fabric: WH Hostess  |  Floral Design: Kate of Floret Cadet  |  Milk Glass & Clear Glass Vases: Silk Creek Gallery22 Bay Road, & Thread and Brush Studio

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

March 19th, 2013 |


mint and peach baby showerI am thrilled to be sharing this party with you today!  Last year, I was asked to design a full custom collection of party goods for a baby shower being thrown for event planner, Lauren Stewart.  When approached by her friends about throwing a baby shower for her baby girl, Lauren couldn’t help but want to help with the planning! Inspired by the peach and mint green colors she was using in her baby’s nursery, she fell in love with the idea of incorporating some sparkle when she spotted the chevron and nude sequined linens available at La Tavola.

There are so many stunning details to this event, I am going to separate it into three different posts, launching throughout the day, so please check back often for more details (decor, activities and the dessert table).

custom due date calendar baby shower activity by wh hostess

The shower was held at a private residence in Pacific Palisades, California. Guests arrived to the home and immediately walked out onto a stone courtyard where the mimosa bar and drinks were set up.  We designed a custom due date calendar that guests were asked to take their best guess on as to when the baby would be born.  (a concept that I also did for my sister’s baby shower in January!)

iced tea drink dispenser with chevron signage by wh hostess

Elegant drink dispensers were labeled with coordinating signage, giving guests a peek of what was to come.  Champagne glasses held perfect, peach and white striped straws and gorgeous floral arrangements from Kate at Floret Cadet were placed all around the event.

champagne glasses with peach striped straws

colorful fruit mixers for a mimosa bar at peach and mint baby showerAs I mentioned earlier, Lauren was inspired by the gorgeous sequin tablecloths available at La Tavola.  She used the peach/copper solid tablecloths as well as the nude and ivory chevron ones on the luncheon tables.  We created peach chevron pennant banners that hung throughout the event, as well.

peach sequin tablecloth and chevron pennant banner from wh hostess

After the cocktail hour, guests entered the yard where they were greeted with a breath-taking view of the ocean, three sparkling tables under big white umbrellas, and a few activity stations set up for the guests amusement.  (more on the activities later today!)

peach and mint baby shower tablesettings with chevron sequin tablecloths

The luncheon tables were dressed with sequin chevron tablecloths and runners, sparkling stemware, and our coordinating menu cards in the coordinating mint and peach color palette.  Notice how the sequin chevron tablecloth was only used on the center table, while the two outer tables were dressed in a peach satin, topped with the runner version of the sequin chevron tablecloth….gorgeous, right?!  I love the big, white umbrellas, and I am sure guests were appreciative of the shade they provided during lunch.

peach and mint baby shower menu cards by wh hostessThe tables held a few different floral centerpieces in white milk glass vases, in shades of peach and white.  Each one is more stunning than the next.

peach floral arrangement for peach and mint baby showerpeach and white flowersWe created a custom “Mama-to-be” sign in the party’s signature peach chevron to embellish Lauren’s chair.  This is a simple decor idea that we do for a lot of baby showers.  It’s a great way to identify the guest-of-honor’s place, as well as add a touch of pattern or nod to the theme to the basic chairs.

mama-to-be chair signage by wh hostess for peach and mint baby showerThis is just the beginning of the gorgeous details we have to share with you today.  Head back later for details on the baby shower activities and games, as well as the sparkling dessert table!

baby shower tables with oceanResources:

Event Design & Coordination: lauren stewart designs + events  |  Photography: Natalie Moser Photography  |  Linens: La Tavola Linen  |  Paper Goods & Peach Chevron Fabric: WH Hostess  |  Floral Design: Kate of Floret Cadet  |  Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina • Maison du Papier  |  Peach Paper Straws: Mylk & Honey  |  Milk Glass & Clear Glass Vases: Silk Creek Gallery22 Bay Road, & Thread and Brush Studio  |  White and Gold Trays at Mimosa Bar: West Elm

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine


March 15th, 2013 |


fondant easter bunny tutorial from lynlee's petite cakesI’m starting to think about Easter around here….the pastel colors, the little touches of Easter eggs and bunnies are starting to creep onto the tables and it’s just the breath of fresh Spring air that is needed right about now.  I’m thrilled to share a darling tutorial with you today from Lynlee of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes.  Do you remember the bunny push-up pops from the Easter party Lynlee styled for the magazine last Spring?  They took the web by storm, and this year, we talked her into sharing ideas with you for creating a fondant Easter bunny that could be used in push-up pops, or on top of cupcakes.  The step-by-step tutorial she provided for the Spring 2013 issue of The Party Dress magazine is simple enough that even I am going to try it!

fondant easter bunny tutorial

Materials Needed:

white, pink and black fondant  |  rolling pin  |  large and small leaf cutters  |  round tip (in this case, Wilton tips 12)  |  modeling stick and knife tools  |  food safe brush and water  |  raw spaghetti  |  white soft gel paste & toothpick  |  push up container, crushed Oreos & chocolate pudding

Roll some white fondant into a ball and shape the top narrower with your fingers.

Roll out white and pink fondant and cut out two each with large and small leaf cutters respectively. Use water to glue pink over white and indent with modeling stick. Insert small piece of raw spaghetti into ears and glue into the head.

fondant easter bunny tutorial

Roll out pink fondant and use larger tip to cut out a circle. Pinch one side and use the knife to indent the other side to create a heart and glue onto face. Roll out black fondant, cut out two small circles for the eyes. Utilize the toothpick to dip into white gel paste and “dot” the eyes.

Roll two small white fondant balls for the hands. With the knife tool, make three indentations for fingers. Turn it upside down and make an indentation with the modeling stick. Place on push up container to mold.

Fill push up container with pudding and crushed Oreos and finish it off by adding the bunny head and hands! You can vary the ears and eyes so the bunnies are looking in different directions.

fondant easter bunny push up pops

Simple, right?  And oh, so charming!  Thank you, Lynlee, for sharing this darling tutorial with us!

To order your copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine, click HERE.



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