April 28th, 2015 | Comments (2)

FIESTA PARTY | CELEBRATE CINCO de MAYO WITH KIDS

fiesta party invitation horizontalCinco de Mayo is a colorful, festive celebration that typically is more geared towards adults.  I have a couple fun ideas for you, from my book Stylish Kids’ Parties, on how to throw your littles a colorful fiesta.  These ideas would also work smashingly well for a Fiesta birthday party!

Whether you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or a Fiesta birthday party, send your guests a colorful invitation to set the tone for the event!  We have two new designs in the shop that would be perfect: the fiesta and the confetti invitations.  (see images at the bottom of the post)  If you want to get crafty, you can add a glassine envelope of colorful confetti to it!

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pom pom trimDress up your basic party platters or cake stands with colorful pom pom trim from your local craft store.  One of my favorite ways to serve up lemonade is in mini mason jars with flower lids and striped straws. Looking to add a playful punch to your party?  Fill up a bowl with sprinkles and place your mason jar drinks in them for easy grab-n-go.

drink bottles verticalDecorate your tablesetting with a fringe centerpiece.  Using a wood number (age) or letter (initial), wrap it with a paper fringe garland and stick it into a pot of wheat grass.  The full DIY instructions are in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, along with a couple free printables.

centerpiecewrap fringe around the numberSend your little guests home with paper cone party favors full of candy.  I used pink and orange striped lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.  Throw in a couple of tacos and chocolate-covered churros, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous family-friendly Cinco de Mayo party!  Here are the two new invitations in the shop that would be PERFECT for a Fiesta party:

party invitations

 

April 23rd, 2015 |

KITTY TEA PARTY

DSC_0917Every year, I get excited to hear what theme by sweet god-daughter, Olivia, will come up with for her birthday party.  Taking part in Auntie Kelly’s photo shoots since she was a baby, hosting a party herself is a big deal.  And she often comes up with QUITE the interesting themes.  This year, she wanted a Frozen-Princess-Kitty-Tea Party-Jump Zone birthday party.  We had to narrow that down a bit, and eventually landed upon a Kitty Tea Party.  Her Princess party last year was full of pastels, so this year, we decided to go BOLD.  Black and white, mixed with pops of hot pink and Kelly green.

DSC_0939With bold stripes and sweet polka dots used throughout the party, the designs took on a Kate Spade feel – which of course I love!  Guests were greeted at the door with this charming sign and festive balloons.  Once inside they saw the bold gem-shaped paper lanterns from IKEA hanging from the chandelier.  Tip: these paper lanterns are fantastic!  And re-usable.  Instead of adhesive to keep them “open”, they use velco – GENIUS!

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In terms of decorations for the party, we focused on two areas: the tablesetting and the dessert table. We set one long table with white linens and topped it with a custom table runner made from IKEA’s black and white stripe fabric.  White Chivari chairs lined the table, and were embellished with hot pink chair sashes that I tied in a bow and accented with a white silk daisy.

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The centerpieces stole the show.  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me crafting these last week.  A labor of love, but oh, so worth it!  I made the gerber daisy centerpieces using a 10″ styrofoam ball and hot pink silk daisies.  The “stem” was a wood dowel wrapped in green grosgrain ribbon, and they were “potted” in a white pot full of hot pink malt balls from Candywarehouse.com.  The end product made my heart happy in so many ways!  The fabulous thing about using silk flowers?!  We can save them and re-use them for future parties!

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Since this was a “kitty” tea party, it seemed fitting that each girl received a darling stuffed kitty as their party favor.  We placed one, dressed up with a black and white bow, on each plate at the table.

DSC_0880The birthday girl needed her chair of honor, so we hung a “birthday girl” sign on the back of her chair, with two daisies and some green bows.  This is such a simple accent to add to any type of party, and it makes a big statement.

DSC_0875Instead of using traditional placecards at the table, we used stickers on the guests’ paper cups from Shop Sweet Lulu, that had their name on them.  And they looked mighty cute with our personalized, foil-stamped straws and flags!

DSC_0965A self-serve bar held a drink dispenser of pink lemonade and water bottles with “Meow” polka dot labels. Our foil-stamped cocktail napkins featured the classic bow design and coordinated perfectly.

DSC_0881DSC_0884DSC_0920The girls were entertained by a Hello Kitty bounce house, and a face painter, and couldn’t wait to get their hands on the dessert table!  The face painter drew darling cat faces on each of the girls, and they all wore pink sequin cat ear headbands.  (I may or may not have sported one myself that day!)

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The black, white and pink color palette made the dessert table so much fun to design.  Styled on a round table, we used the custom fondant cake from local bakery, Jolly Good Fellows, as the centerpiece.  They also created the pink macarons and “Olivia” polka dot sugar cookies.  The girls there are so fun to work with and I just love how they were able to incorporate my kitty graphics into the cake!

DSC_0885In addition to the cookies and macarons, we also had mini brownie bites embellished with pink fondant bows, and polka-dot chocolate-covered oreo cookies from Sweeties by Kim.  Pink candy from Candywarehouse.com included malt balls (also used for the centerpieces!), gummy puffettes, and lollipops.  We also styled a posse of little hello kitty pez dispensers on a cake stand – they attracted a LOT of attention from the little ones!

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We had pink paper bags from Shop Sweet Lulu, embellished with a Kitty sticker, for the guests to fill up with candy to bring home.  It was such a fun party, and so fun to watch my god-daughter grow up to be a darling young lady.  Happy #5, Miss Olivia!

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April 7th, 2015 |

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.

golf dessert table

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.

golf ball cookies

holes in one horizontal

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 |

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.

easter tree verticalHow do you decorate for Easter?

March 23rd, 2015 |

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!

ava easter egg

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!

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