April 7th, 2015 | Comments

GOLF PARTY IDEAS | STYLISH KIDS’ PARTIES

golf party ideas introWith the Masters going on this week, I thought it was the perfect time to share some ideas for a golf themed party from my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties.  It’s such a timeless theme, and many of these ideas could be used for a kids’ birthday party or for a Masters viewing party this weekend.

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Infuse your party with design elements that will make your guests feel like they are celebrating on the 18th hole: a festive table setting with DIY décor ideas, a “putting green” dessert table, and themed desserts.

I set the table with a navy tablecloth, green seersucker napkins, and created a theme-appropriate centerpiece of whiffle balls and grass plants with DIY flags. Create your own flags with patterned paper and cardboard flags from Paper Source.  To further customization of your party décor, you can add your child’s age onto the flags.  You can find the whole DIY project in my book.

Get creative with your place settings; fill mini galvanized buckets with wheat grass, a tea and a personalized golf ball.  Tip: Use a dab of hot glue to attach the ball and tee together for stability. Infuse your theme into the centerpieces by filling vases with whiffle balls, and galvanized tubs with wheat grass and my decoupage flags.

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Golfers get thirsty, so make sure to set up a “water hole” with water bottles for easy grab ‘n go.

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Styling a dessert table around the Golf Classic theme is a preppy hostess’ dream come true.  A classic color palette, the option to embellish basic desserts with themed accessories, and a clean layout that allows for color-coordinated branding with paper goods.

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I designed this dessert table to look like it was sitting atop a putting green.  Using a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet that I found at my local Home Depot to line the tabletop, I covered the edges with a 4” wide navy blue and white striped grosgrain ribbon.

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To mimic the galvanized centerpieces and place cards on the lunch table, I used a three-tiered galvanized stand in the center of the table, as well as two containers holding wheat grass and my decoupage flags. I wrapped navy and white striped ribbon around each tier of the three-tier stand, and topped it with a paper fan that I created out of coordinating paper.  You could create the same look with any scrapbook or wrapping paper.

cupcakes on standDesserts on the table included cupcakes with coordinating flag toppers (a free printable in my book!), sugar cookies shaped like golf balls from Firefly Confections, powdered sugar donut “holes in one”, chocolate-dipped pretzels or “irons & woods”, and polka dot candy cups full of candy.

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A few fun ideas to embellish the theme:

  • Use a Lucite tray upside down as a riser, and line whiffle balls underneath it for a pop of the theme.
  • Whether it’s plastic or bamboo utensils, you can quickly embellish the handles with washi tape.  Available in endless patterns and colors, it’s a great way to carry out your theme.

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Kids like to be active!  Keep your guests occupied during the party with a simple ball toss game.  Using galvanized containers, I wrapped them with coordinating ribbon and labeled them each with a different number.  Whiffle balls are the “toss” of choice, to ensure nothing gets broken when the balls start flying thru the air.  Provide a prize for the child that gets the ball in the most buckets.

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Send your little golfers home with their very own “bucket of balls”.  Fill a galvanized tub with a bag of whiffle balls and tees.  Tie my printable gift tag that says, “Thanks for teeing off with me!” to the side of the bucket.  PS – this would also make a darling hostess gift if you are attending a Masters party this weekend!

This theme is always one of our most requested during the summer months, so I’m pleased to tell you that we have a brand new invitation suite for this golf theme!  You can view the preppy golf party invitation here, along with the coordinating return address stickers and gift stickers for party favors.  And to kick off the launch of this new design, I also sourced a few key elements for you to use for your golf party….see them below!

partyelementsPreppy Golf Party Invitation and Stickers from WH Hostess | Mini Galvanized Buckets for Placecards | White Whiffle Balls | Navy Blue Striped Paper Cups from The TomKat Shop | Navy Blue and White Striped Party Favor Bags from The TomKat Shop

 

March 26th, 2015 | Comments

DECORATING with EASTER EGGS

easter wreathDo you ever see those decorative Easter eggs at the store and think “I love these, but what would I do with them?!”  Today, I’m sharing how I use them to decorate my own house for Easter.  I like to keep my holiday decorations simple, and in keeping with the tone of the rest of my house.

I used a set of decorative Easter eggs to dress up the boxwood wreath on my door, as well as on a centerpiece for my dining room table.  I love how it looks sophisticated, yet festive, and creates a cohesive look in my house.

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March 23rd, 2015 | Comments

BLUE & WHITE EASTER TABLESETTING

bw tablesettingI just love pulling together festive tablescapes for holidays, don’t you?!  I shared my Ikat & Carrots Easter table last week, and today I have a sweet blue, white and yellow table to share with you.  My love for chinoiserie and all things blue and white are certainly not a secret, so I love any opportunity to pull out my blue and white china.

bw placesettingI layered my china atop a textured white tablecloth, and used cobalt blue wine glasses.  My large white urn held center stage as a centerpiece, and I added a pop of color with footed bowls of chocolate foil eggs from See’s Candies.  My little guests couldn’t wait to dive into the bowls of candy!

DSC_0699My favorite part of the tablescape are the napkins/placecards.  I rolled up crisp, yellow napkins and tied them together with a bow.  I placed a hard-boiled egg into the center of the bottom portion, and then wrote my guests’ names on them with a navy blue marker.  I love how they look like bunny ears, yet still sophisticated enough for the overall look of the table.

bunny earsEvery party needs a party favor!  I sent my guests home with a large chocolate Easter egg from See’s Candies, wrapped in cellophane and a sweet gift tag!

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March 13th, 2015 |

ST. PATRICK’S DAY BREAKFAST | FREE PRINTABLE

st patricks day donut towerWhether you are are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to breathe a little festivity into your family’s day.  I love the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner (and will try to post some pictures of my family dinner this year), but I LOVE the idea of surprising your loved ones that morning with a little breakfast surprise from the leprechauns.

If you are extremely domestic and have the time, homemade donuts would be appreciated by all.  I knew I would need a little short-cut, so I used store-bought donuts from Entenmann’s (bought at my local grocery store) and jazzed them up!

st patricks day donut tower detailI stacked up the mini donuts on a cake stand, and then accessorized them with a few sticks.  I cut out the shamrocks (free printable below) and taped them onto lollipop sticks, and then also made a few ribbon flags for an extra “wow”.  The whole thing took me 5 minutes to do, and you can do it too!  Print out the free download below, cut and create something festive for your kiddos!

shamrock free printable WEB

March 9th, 2015 |

GIFTS | PAPER PERFECT EASTER BASKET

gift a paper perfect easter basketThis Easter, surprise your friends and family with a PAPER PERFECT Easter basket, filled to the brim with personalized stationery.  WH Hostess has a variety of preppy, personalized paper goods for you to choose from and we’ve put together a few ideas for styling the perfect basket below.

easter basket components1. Find the most darling Easter basket in town.  We love this greenvine basket from Pottery Barn (it comes in different sizes, too!).

2. Fill it with a fun writing utensil, such as patterned pencils, a polka dot pen, or our particular favorites: these green greek key patterned pens from IOMOI.  (We use these at trunk shows since they match our branding so well, and clients BEG us to take them home with them!)

3. Choose a patterned notepad from WH Hostess’s new collection.  There are so many darling designs to choose from, and each one can be color coordinated to your basket’s color scheme.

4. Select a coordinating notecard (flat or folded) from our social stationery collection.  PS – there are darling designs just for kids too.  The perfect addition to your kiddos’ Easter basket!

5. Fill up a cellophane bag with pastel candy (these are from Candywarehouse.com) and put a personalized Easter Bunny gift sticker on it.

6. Tie it up with a beautiful ribbon and….

7. Attach a personalized foil-stamped gift tag!

March 5th, 2015 |

CARROT CUPCAKES

carrot cupcake recipeI love a good carrot cake cupcake.  Truthfully, I love the cream cheese frosting more.  But the cake makes a great vessel to eat the frosting! I turned to one of my favorite chefs, the Barefoot Contessa, to make these darling cupcakes for our Easter brunch and Ina’s recipe did not disappoint.

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting Ingredients

3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.

Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.

March 4th, 2015 |

IKAT & CARROTS | EASTER TABLESETTING

easter introWhen I start planning a party, one of the first things I think of is “how do I want to set the table?”  To inspire your Easter celebrations, I put together a festive tablesetting that you can recreate using similar items.

tablsetting verticalI used a white herringbone tablecloth as the base for my table, and layered in a fresh centerpiece full of hydrangeas and fluffy green things (yes, that is their official name!;) ).  I lined the inside of the vase with carrots to add a pop of orange, and also give a nod to Easter.  White dinner plates and green ikat salad plates were layered with an orange napkin that I tied with ribbon to look like a bow.

I think my favorite part of the table are these darling “chocolate bunny” placecard holders.  I found them at my local wholesale florist and just adore them.  I think they would be darling on a food buffet as well.

placesettingtablesetting overhead horizontalNo Easter celebration would be complete without dessert!  Carrot cake cupcakes are one of my favorite treats!  Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow!

 

March 3rd, 2015 |

EASTER CELEBRATION PLANNING

easter wreathNow that March has arrived, it’s officially time to start planning our Easter celebrations!  To help get you organized, I put together a few tips:

easter planning tipsThe shop is full of darling new products for Easter, ranging from party invitations, to gift stickers, and foil-stamped gift tags, straw flags and napkins.  Not to mention THE cutest bunny plate in town.  Hop on over to check it out!

easter plate 2

February 3rd, 2015 |

VALENTINE’S DAY DESSERT | JELLO HEARTS

blogWhen it comes to Valentine’s Day entertaining, my days of candlelight dinners and roses are over.  Or at least on hiatus for awhile.  Holidays have become more about making it fun and festive for the little ones in our lives, namely my 15 month old son, and his cousins.  I wanted to come up with a themed dessert for them to celebrate Valentine’s Day – and one that they would actually eat!  What kid doesn’t love jello?!  This little project turned out so cute, I just had to share it with you.  So simple – you, too, can create these for your little loves.

Supplies

3 boxes of Strawberry Jello

2 boxes of Pina Colada Jello

1 baking pan

Heart shape cookie cutters

Instructions

Follow the instructions on the jello packaging and make one batch at a time, each time layering it on top of each other in the baking pan.  *let each layer harden completely before you add the next layer, so you get smooth, and even colors* Once you have added your desired layers, and they have chilled in the fridge for a solid 4-6 hours, use your heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out your shapes.

January 12th, 2015 |

FASHION SHOW PARTY | WH HOSTESS

invitationCustom parties are kind of my thing.  I love starting the process with a little idea, and blowing it up into an amazing party with details around every corner.  The party I am sharing with you today is one of my favorites to date.  Held in honor of one of my favorite little clients, Alexandra’s 5th birthday, it was as fun is it is gorgeous.  And we are so fortunate that Alexandra’s mom and Goodlight Photography are allowing us to share these gorgeous images from the day.

The party theme was centered around the birthday girl’s love for manicures, make-up and fashion.  And with the party date falling on the final weekend of NY fashion week in September, well…a fashion show was in order!  A soft mint green and pale pink color palette, a few gorgeous custom patterns and a unique boxed invitation were our jumping off point.  Read on for more details……..

4B8B2285Guests were welcomed by a jumbo balloons at the front door, with custom paper bows hanging down from them, made out of our coordinating patterned paper.  A welcome sign, featuring our fashion girl (in her monogrammed party dress and pearls), hung at the front door.

4B8B2297The party space was draped off in sheer white linens, creating a very luxe atmosphere for the birthday brunch.  One long table ran down the middle of the room, draped with white linens and a table runner made from our exclusive fashion ikat patterned fabric.  A large mint green and white striped fabric bow anchored each end of the table, and it was sprinkled with hot pink accessories and gorgeous pink rose centerpieces draped with pearls.  Each placesetting held mint green and white striped plates, cups with our fashion girl stickers and striped straws with straw flags, monogramed napkins, and placecards with each of the girls’ names on them.

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High top tables dressed in green and pink and miniature versions of the centerpieces were scattered around the kids’ table, allowing the moms to mingle and enjoy the brunch food and drinks as well.

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4B8B2485The drink bar was set up on the kitchen island, decorated with a scalloped paper banner and large bow.  One of my favorite decor pieces is this giant floral number 5.  Using flowers in unexpected ways always makes a statement, and this is the perfect example of that!  Basic pink paper cups were dressed up with our fashion girl stickers, mint striped straws from Shop Sweet Lulu and our gorgeous (and new!) gold foil-stamped straw flags.

Drinks included sweet tea, pink lemonade, and Shirley Temples!
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Once the girls arrived at the party, they were welcomed into Alexandra’s “Bowtique” – a full-service beauty shoppe, where they put on monogrammed robes, got manicures, their hair and make-up done, and got to shop the “bowtique” for beauty supplies.  A stylized table was set up as the shop, anchored with a custom fabric backdrop, pennant banner, and oversized paper bow.  Cake stands held bottles of nail polish, small bottles of shimmer lotion and chapstick held custom labels, and loofas made for a colorful decoration in candy jars.

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4B8B2401Guests were served shots of milk and donut holes while getting their hair and make-up done.

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The brunch buffet was laid out in the dining room, with an oversized rose and pearl floral arrangement holding center stage.  Peek behind the table, and you will see that we did a large cling version of our fashion girl to hang on the mirror.  Other decor items included napkin roll ties, stickers on the mint striped plates and striped food tent cards labeling the delicious brunch menu.

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After brunch, the girls were ushered outside to the “models’ lounge”, or the outdoor living room.  They were instructed to get dolled up in their swankiest attire – pearls, bling-y rings and feather boas were on hand.  The fireplace was decorated with a variety of tissue paper balls in mint green, white and shades of pink.  A braided ribbon garland was double-hung on the mantel, with “snapshots” and fashion quotes hanging from gold bow paper clips from Kate Spade.

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4B8B2514Here’s where it gets REALLY fun.  A runway show was set up in the backyard, featuring a shimmering hot pink runway, a 3-D white floral backdrop and large scale monogram.  Ghost chairs lined the runway for the parents to watch the show, and waiters handed out “tutti frutti” popcorn as a snack during the show.

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4B8B3320You can tell from the photos that the girls had an absolute blast strutting their stuff down the runway!

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After working up an appetite at their runway show, the girls headed back inside to enjoy dessert.  A full dessert table full of gorgeous sweets awaited them.  The table was draped in a gold sequin tablecloth, and a pennant banner and bow on the front.  A custom fabric backdrop framed the table, and macaron trees sat on either side.  White cake stands and platters were topped with Cake Plate Clings in coordinating patterns.

Desserts included: cupcakes with pink fondant bows, macarons, cake pops, bow cookies, monogram cookies, and a variety of pink candy from Candywarehouse.com.

4B8B23454B8B23834B8B23564B8B23384B8B23704B8B2354The desserts didn’t stop there!  A gorgeous five-tier cake, from Cakes by Gina, sat in the dining room.  Featuring coordinating patterns like our bow lattice, stripes and monogram, it also had two gold shimmer tiers and the bottom tier featured fondant ruffled flowers.  GORGEOUS!

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When it comes to party favors, I love giving a gift that people will enjoy/use or consume.  In keeping with the theme of the party, Alexandra gave her friends a chic fashion coloring book.  We tied them with mint green satin ribbon and a shimmer pink, gold foil-stamped gift tag.  The favors were laid out on a table for the girls to grab as they left the party, with a sign thanking them for attending.

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As I have often mentioned on my party recaps, I love when kids’ birthday parties provide an experience for the guests – not just sweets!  Alexandra and her girlfriends enjoyed a day of beauty treatments, the experience of putting on a runway show, and toasted the birthday girl with sweets and Shirley Temples.  This party goes down in the books as one of my favorites!

Sources: paper goods, fabric, cake plate clings, foil-stamped napkins, gift tags and straw flags, and custom party plan (whhostess.com), photography (goodlightphotography.com), plates, napkins, cups and straws (shopsweetlulu.com), pink candy (candywarehouse.com), cake and desserts (cakesbyginahouston.com), fashion coloring books (amazon.com), catering and event set-up (afehouston.com), florals (weddingflowersbylisa.com), mint green ribbon (papermart.com)

 

 

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