March 30th, 2009 |

Crazy Lady Birthday Lunch

Crazy Lady Dresses (small)

One of the biggest trends for Spring 2009 is “Crazy Lady Chic” – full of patterns, florals and every color of the rainbow – this trend can be a colorful inspiration for both fashion and parties this season.

Crazy Lady Birthday Lunch (small)

A couple of easy ideas for food: ladies like to eat light, especially at lunch time.  So keep the meal to a minimum; serve a fresh salad with fruit, and save up those calories for a strawberry-lime stuffed cupcake for dessert!

This idea could be used for a birthday party or a shower – mix and match colorful chairs, different patterns of china, and a variety of whimsical flowers.  I love the pink candelabras with green candles!  (Think pink candelabras are hard to find?  Check your local Home Goods, Marshall’s or Target for any color, cheap candelabra….and then spray paint it whatever color you desire!)

Place cards add a lovely, personal touch to any party.  I absolutely love this idea of using grass and miniature cups!  So easy to do yourself, and you could really use any type of glass – a mini tea cup, espresso mug or even a shot glass.  These are so cute, your guests will be thrilled to take them home with them as a reminder of their sunny afternoon!

Flower Placecard (small)

Dress Images: strapless floral dress, floral dress & cardigan, floral print dress (nordstrom.com)

Party Images: strawberry cupcake (foodnetwork.com), pink napkin (via Napkins with a Twist),

ribbon candy (amyatlas.com), pink lemonade and flower placecards (theknot.com)

March 30th, 2009 |

Strawberry Sorbato and Prosecco Float

prosecco-floats-bonappetit

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 750-ml bottle Prosecco or other sparkling white wine, chilled

Special equipment

Ice cream maker

Preparation

Toss berries, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Let stand until juicy, about 30 minutes. Puree mixture in batches in blender. Press through fine strainer into medium bowl. Mix cream and lemon juice into puree. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container; cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.Place 1 scoop sorbato in each of 8 glasses. Fill each glass with Prosecco (sorbato will float to top).

Now, although this recipe from Bon Appetit sounds FABULOUS…..I don’t own an ice cream maker (shocking, right?!).   I think you could substitute store-bought sorbet – strawberry, raspberry – and make these oh, so pretty drinks quickly for your next party!

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)

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