October 24th, 2012 |

Witch’s Hat Cupcake Topper

I just love this creative cupcake topper idea from Carrie at Half Baked – The Cake Blog!  Follow her simple steps to make these witch’s hat cupcake toppers for your Halloween party:

1. Grab a regular sized cupcake liner. Fold liner in half. Fold in half again, creating a pie-like wedge. Tape the two flaps together using double-sided tape, so that you have one solid triangle.

2. Fold in half again. Tape again. Now you should have a tall skinny wedge that is 1/8 the size of your original circle. If your liner is now a flat triangle due to folding, fluff it up with your finger so that it makes a cone.

3. Insert a toothpick into your cupcake and place your cone on top of the toothpick. This is the body of your hat. The toothpick will help your hat stay in place.

4. Grab a mini cupcake liner. Cut a hole in the middle of the liner. I found it easiest to do this by folding it in half and then cutting out a ‘C’ shape on the folded edge. Open up liner and slightly flatten with your hand for the brim.

5. Slide the brim down over your cone to complete the hat. Smush and crinkle to add character. Bend the tip of the hat, if desired.

 

October 23rd, 2012 |

Halloween Family Dinner

Halloween is typically a busy, busy day for moms. The pre- Halloween costume preparation, the day of school parties and parades, and the afternoon full of trick or treating. By the time dinner rolls around, who has time to pull together a special meal? You ALL do! Our goal is to celebrate family and with these simple ideas, you can do just that!

I like creating a table full of seasonal colors and fall touches.  Layering the dinner table with a spider web tablecloth, orange chevron paper placemats, and centerpiece of pumpkins, flowers and candy. Yellow sunflowers add a pop of color, without being too matchy-matchy.  Pumpkins covered in glitter add a touch of glam and sparkle, and what kids wouldn’t be exited to see bowls of candy?!

Speaking of candy….carry the theme throughout the placesettings by using a big pumpkin lollipop (we got these from candywarehouse.com) and tie a cute tag with each person’s name on it for a creative placecard.

Delicious sugar cookies from Estelle and June served as dessert…don’t you love those black pumpkins?!

Candy corn-flavored salt water taffy from Candywarehouse.com served as both a dessert on the table for our guests, but also boxed up for a party favor.  You can find our cute Halloween gift stickers here.

Stay tuned this afternoon for a creative, simple idea for making Halloween pizzas for your family dinner party!

October 19th, 2012 |

DIY Halloween Milk Bottles

With Halloween quickly approaching, it’s time to start gathering up some simple ideas that you can recreate for a classroom party, a neighborhood gathering, or even to create a festive family dinner.  These ruffled paper bands from Jenny Dixon of Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line is PERFECT for any of these occasions.

Follow Jenny’s quick tips below, and you can view more information in the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

October 11th, 2012 |

Candy Corn Brownie Bites

Are you looking for a simple treat for a Halloween school party or neighborhood gathering.  Our candy corn brownie bites are simple and oh, so stylish.  You can dress up store-bought or homemade brownies with a simple piece of candy.  I place my brownies in the refridgerator for 15 minutes prior to cutting, so they are nice and firm and my knife slides thru easily for a crisp cut line.  Top the brownies with a single piece of candy corn or pumpkin for a festive look.

PS – this idea could easily be duplicated for any holiday or party.  The options are endless, which makes it a great opportunity for a color-coordinated dessert table!  I will definitely be doing these for Christmas with a simple peppermint on top!

October 10th, 2012 |

Pinning Party!

Do you love Pinterest as much as we do? If so, you are going to love this! We’re awfully excited to be taking part in a pinning party with Project Nursery and The Honest Company, as well as special guest pinners from: The Honest Company, Gilt Baby & Kids,Project NurseryFamily Fresh CookingYummy Mummy Kitchenlil’ sugar,Cupcake Mag Big City Moms, Savvy Sassy Moms and Momma’s Gone City.

Log on Thursday, October 11th at 6pm PDT/9pm EDT to see the pinning in progress, or check back after to see our complete Lumberjack Inspiration Pinboard. We promise you’ll be inspired! Want to join in on the fun? Project Nursery and The Honest Company are giving you the opportunity to pin and win! Head over to Project Nursery to get the details here.

Make sure you follow us on Pinterest so you can join in on the fun and catch all of the inspiration!  Follow us here.

October 9th, 2012 |

October Book Wish List

It’s no secret that I am a sucker for a gorgeous coffee table book, the latest cookbook, or design books.  My husband always jokes that my justification is “it’s inspiration” for the blog, the shop, the book.  And it is.  But I also just LOVE beautiful books.  These 9 books are currently on my radar: entertaining, cooking, design and weddings.  Has anyone read any of them yet?

pretty paper parties  |  small plates sweet treats  |  celebrate  |  gypset travel  |  bouchon bakery  | nate berkus: things that matter  |  charlotte moss: a visual life  |  style me pretty weddings  |  barefoot contessa foolproof

October 8th, 2012 |

Glam-o-ween Party

This year for Halloween, AndersRuff stepped away from the traditional orange and black and designed a fresh new printable design collection full of all things Halloween Glam. Pink + Purple + Lime mixed with Black and grey makes for a Glam Halloween. Glam-o-ween! Guests are invited with a glam Halloween printable invitation that they embellished with little crystals. Using their unique color palette, AndersRuff created a festive party space.

For the dessert table focal point, they hung a chandelier. Instead of using a real chandelier, they designed a printable and mounted it on foam core board and hung it from our grey chevron backdrop. (Something anyone can do!) Popcorn boxes were embellished with the glam printable party logos and matted on ruffled tissue paper, and they used glittery ribbon on popcorn boxes from Nashville Wraps. Popcorn filled the boxes as well as a spooky surprise – chocolate limbs from a skeleton (Molds from Fancy Flours).

Chocolate covered marshmallow pops were embellished with printable bats and sprinkles from Fancy Flours. Lime green candies lined the trays to add a pop of color. Classic white platters were used to display fabulous cookies by Whip It Good Cookies. Erin decorated the cookies to match the printable graphics and they were delicious!

Black glass cake stands were used to display the cake by Got What It Cakes, as well as cupcakes that were adorned with the printable spooky glam cats. Chocolate covered Skeleton oreos were also displayed with the cupcakes. Chocolate bars were adored with coordinating labels, which were great for favors.

Sweet Things designed a custom glam witch costume for the little guest of honor, Willow. Willow loved the glam drink bottles that they embellished with glittery ribbon and our printable drink wrap. Straws were flagged and stuck to the sides of the bottles with a glue dot. Adorable chevron bags were filled with chocolate skeleton limbs and embellished with glittery ribbon and a printable favor tag from the collection. Guests didn’t leave empty handed. Tricks and treats and everything sweet. Glittery gumballs from Polka Dot Market were bagged and topped with a folding bag topper from the collection.

Resources: printable collection (andersruff.com)  |  photography (beccabondphotography.com)  |  sugar cookies (whipitgoodcookies.blogspot.com)  |  cake (gotwhatitcakes.com)  |  gumballs, straws, chevron bags, plastic drink bottles (polka-dot-market.com)  |  candy (candywarehouse.com)  |  candelabras (fancyflours.com)  |  chocolate skeleton molds, oreo molds, sprinkles and edible glitter (fancyflours.com)  |  glam witch costume (sweetthingskids.com)

For more Halloween + Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

October 5th, 2012 |

The Perfect Fall Muffin

I’m looking forward to a crisp, Fall weekend here in Chicago….which makes it the perfect time to try out this recipe from Glorious Treats!  If you have been reading the blog this week, you saw Casi’s ideas for hosting a Fall brunch here and here.  This recipe would be the perfect addition!  Here is the recipe from Glory:

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

2/3 cup water

STREUSEL TOPPING INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

BATTER: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and place cupcake/muffin liners in a muffin pan. In a large bowl, gently whisk dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices). In another large bowl (or the bowl of your electric mixer), add oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. Blend well. Add water and blend until fully incorporated. While slowly mixing, pour the dry ingredients in with the wet. Mix until just combined.

STREUSEL: In a medium bowl mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts (if desired). Pour in the melted butter and stir gently until the mixture is combined, but some small lumps remain. Scoop muffin batter into prepared pan, filling liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Top each muffin with a spoon full of streusel topping.

Bake muffins about 20 minutes (for standard sized muffins). Bake extra large muffins (as pictured) 25- 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, but no wet batter.

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

October 4th, 2012 |

Personalize Your Placesetting

Add dimension to your placesetting by introducing new elements to your table. Use a galvanized tub, a small colander or a basket to contain your napkin, silverware and a fall embellishment, such as a pumpkin or gourd. Personalize a leaf with a metallic pen to serve as the placecard.

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

October 4th, 2012 |

Easy Entertaining: Chili Bar

When entertaining a crowd this Fall, consider setting up a Chili Bar! A one-pot- wonder that appeals to guest young and old. You can make your chili ahead of time and set up a bar full of toppings, so it is self-serve for your guests and leaves you time to be having fun at your party instead of being stuck in the kitchen.

My favorite chili recipe is Barefoot Contessa’s Chicken Chili. It’s lighter than a normal beef chili, simple to make, and freezes beautifully. It’s the perfect crowd- pleaser for when I gather my friends and family on a crisp Fall day to cheer on our favorite teams. I gather up my toppings on one big tray, and place it on the bar, close to the action.

 

People can pile up the cheese, bacon, sour cream and crackers to concoct their personal favorite combination. Here are some of my suggestions for enhancing your bowl of chili:

 

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

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