March 29th, 2009 |

Spring Break 2009

Spring Break 2009 (small)

Ah…Spring Break….just the sound of it puts a smile on my face!

Everyone needs a little getaway to get over the winter blues and start looking forward to spring!

I hope you find a few days to getaway yourself!

In the meantime, check out some of my Spring Break must-have’s…..

Images: patio, tray, pillows (potterybarn.com), laundry dress (nordstrom.com),

orange ruffle top (trinaturk.com), orange basketweave handbag by Cole Haan (nordstrom.com),

floral cover-up (jcrew.com), surfing kids (coastalliving.com)

March 29th, 2009 |

Sunday Morning Breakfast

strawberry-breakfast

I don’t know about you, but I like to celebrate the weekend with a casual Sunday morning breakfast with family or friends.  The weekend always goes by so fast, and Saturdays are always my run-around-and-get-everything-done-day….but Sundays….Sundays are my fun days!

Keep it simple with easy-to-make dishes, and enjoy the company!

Here are a couple of ideas from Williams Sonoma for your Sunday morning breakfast:

strawberry-breakfast-food

March 28th, 2009 |

The Gift of Chocolate

Looking for a great gift for a Chocolate lover?

Try these indulgent gifts from Plum Party – they would make a great hostess gift or birthday present!

chocolate-gifts

March 28th, 2009 |

Sweet Treat Cupcakes

Need a good dessert, fast?!  Don’t have time to bake?

Try these adorable new Sweet Treat Cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery.  It’s way too difficult to decide which you want….which is probably why they are sold in 6 packs!

Perfect for birthday parties, dinner parties, or an office birthday.

Which flavor will you choose?

Cold Stone Cupcakes (small)

March 27th, 2009 |

Game Night Party with Friends

Game Night Intro (small)

Brighten your week with an impromptu game night filled with board games, comfort food and good friends.  Make a lot of finger foods that are easy to snack on between rolls, and then serve a hearty main course (such as chicken and white bean chili) as the night lingers on.

Use bright, colorful board games as your direction for decor…..you could even use vintage board games as trays for the appetizers!

Game Night (small)

Images: game timers (realsimple.com), stack of board games (countryliving.com), ante up games (hostessblog.com), table setting (countryliving.com), red punch (instyleweddings.com), chips (brides.com), mini burgers (flightsoffancy.com)

March 27th, 2009 |

Hostess Gift for Game Night

tiffany-cards-largeFor the Hostess that has everything!

Charming playing cards from Tiffany & Co.

March 26th, 2009 |

Party-Ready Appetizers

Today I am answering an email from a reader:

“Dear Hostess, Every time I go to a party or to a friend’s house for dinner, I feel like my friends always ask me to bring an appetizer.  I’m sick of my same old recipes!  I can’t make another Mexican layer dip or ‘pigs in a blanket’…..can you help me come up with some new ideas?”

Here you go….hope these inspire you!

9 New Appetizers (small)

Appetizers are the first taste of the party….they can be an indicator of what’s to come with the meal, but they can also be just a fun display of different tastes.  Here are some of my new favorites:

March 25th, 2009 |

Ladybug Birthday Party for your Little Lady!

Ladybug Party (small)

This smart little party idea will have you seeing spots–and a lot of smiles.  Decorate the front of your house with red balloons covered with black circle stickers, and greet each child at the door with her own set of antennae – made of a headband, pipe cleaners and Styrofoam balls.

lady-bug-dress-up

For a younger bunch of girls, it’s important to keep them busy with some games or activities.

  • Cut out a red bug out of posterboard and play “stick the spot on the ladybug”.
  • Have a jitterbug dance party – at this age, they won’t know the steps; just put on some music and let them make it up as they go.
  • Have them decorate bug catchers and run around the yard catching ladybugs and fireflies.

For birthday treats, serve up ladybug cupcakes and chocolate covered oreo lollipops!

There are tons of great ladybug toys and treats out there to fill up adorable goodie bags.  I found this cute stuff at Oriental Trading.

Ladybug Goodie Bags (small)

Images: lady bug (flickr.com), bug catcher (orientaltrading.com), polka dot dress (chasingfire-flies.com),ladybug cupcakes (flicr.com), bags of candy (amyatlas.com), ladybug costume (poshtots.com), lady bug goodie bag toys (orientaltrading.com)

March 25th, 2009 |

Ladybug Treats

lady-bug-chocolate-oreos1

These little bugs are easy to create and are sure to get rave reviews!

All you need are Oreo cookies, red and brown melting chocolate, lollipop sticks and 1/4″ icing eyes (all available at Country Kitchen Sweetart).

Pry apart the Oreo cookie and scoop out some of the frosting to place in the lollipop stick.  Press the cookie back together into a sandwich, and dip in the red, melted chocolate.  Place treats on a parchment-lined baking sheet into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.  Then pipe the head (attach the icing eyes), dots and line in the center with the brown chocolate.  Return to the refrigerator to chill.

Here are a few more lady bug treats I found on flickr.com to inspire you:

lady-bug-treats1
March 24th, 2009 |

A Baby Boy Shower

When a baby boy is on the way, host a transportation themed baby shower full of bright shades of blue and green.

Set the theme for the party with this darling invitation covered in trucks by minted.com.  Welcome your guests and the mommy-to-be with a clean, modern space decorated with Spring-like centerpieces using freshly grown grass as your centerpieces.  The color palette and centerpiece ideas could be adorable for a birthday party too!Transportation Shower (small)

cb2-candlesticks

I love these clear glass candlesticks – available in 5 different shapes at cb2 – they are incredibly inexpensive, so go ahead and mix and match tons of them to use going down your table.

The use of grass can be used throughout your party – available at your local nursery or gardening store – you can fill a tray or container full of grass sod and use it in various ways.  Attach your placecards on candy sticks and “stick” them into the grass – or serve brownie pops as a dessert and stick them in standing upside down.  It will make such a cute presentation – your friends will be wowed by your creativity!

If you are looking for a modern way to set your table – try this idea:

Stack your plate, napkin and silverware on top of each other.  Wrap it with either a printed rubber band or ribbon.  No bow, no frills – just clean, but decorative.

As for food, carry your color story through by serving a fresh salad ( I love this avocado-citrus salad with bacon from Williams Sonoma), and then some fun desserts everyone can enjoy while your guest of honor is opening her gifts.

Transportation Shower Food (small)

In case you need a few gift ideas for the new baby boy…..these are sure to get some “oohs and ahhs” at the shower!Transportation Shower Gifts (small)

Images: truck invitation (minted.com), grass and rose centerpiece (projectwedding.com), placecards (brides.com), white plates (realsimple.com), rock candy napkin (theknot.com), table setting ( via bellemaison23), cotton candy and rock candy cupcakes (matthewmeadstyle.com), festive cocktails (brides.com), salad (williams-sonoma.com), baby bib (upsiedoodle via etsy.com), transportation bedding (modernnursery.com)

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