September 7th, 2012 |

Mini Apple Dumplings

Charynn here, from Two Sugar Babies, ready to share one of my favorite recipes with you….the perfect treat to make this weekend! A popular dish in the South, this mini Apple Dumpling recipe has found it’s way into the hearts of my family. It’s so easy and fast to pull together, you’ll be happy to make it whenever they ask!

Ingredients

2 green apples, sliced and peeled into 8 segments
2 cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz can of Sprite
1/3 cup of pecans, chopped
cinnamon
9×13″ baking dish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of the baking
dish. Unroll the crescent roll dough and use the perforated marks to
separate into 8 sections. Wrap each section around a slice of apple
and place in buttered baking dish, until all 16 slices are complete.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and then add the sugar and
vanilla. Mix until just combined. Pour evenly over the dumplings.

Open the can of Sprite and pour the entire can into the pan, in
between the dumplings.

Sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon and all of the chopped pecans and
bake, uncovered, until the mixture is bubbling and the top of the
dumplings are browned, about 35 minutes.

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 

September 6th, 2012 |

Inspiration: Apple Picking Party

Apple picking has been one of my favorite activities from the time I was a young child.  Now is the PERFECT time to gather up friends and family to meet at an apple orchard and surprise them with a few {sweet} treats.

Images: apple barrels (poshphotographyonline.com)  |   apple m&m cups (bloomdesignsonline.blogspot.com)  |  apple dessert table (party-wagon.com)  |  apple drink station (frostmeblog.blogspot.com)  |  apple cupcakes (familyfun.go.com)  |  mini apple pies (williams-sonoma.com)

September 6th, 2012 |

Hostess Gifts for Apple Season

Apple Season is upon us and it’s time to celebrate in a BIG way!  The latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine has countless ideas for incorporating nature’s bounty into your seasonal celebrations, decor and recipes.  Today, we’re sharing two ideas for incorporating apples into hostess gifts.  Attending a party this weekend?!  This post is for you!  (these would also make charming party favors or teacher gifts, too)

Love the idea of gifting a homemade apple pie? Of course you do! But sometimes, it’s not convenient to deliver a just-out-of-the-oven apple pie. So gift your friends with the next best thing….apple pie filling {in a jar, with a darling sticker}. That way they can use it anytime they want!

Everyone loves a good caramel apple! Do you love making homemade caramel sauce? Package it up in a small container and place it in a cellophane bag along with a crisp apple. Tie it up with ribbon and our free printable apple gift tags.  (PS – no time to make the homemade caramel sauce?  Repackage store-bought….no one will know!)

Click on the link below to download your FREE apple labels.

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 

 

September 5th, 2012 |

DIY Pencil Centerpiece

There is something so charming about a fresh pack of #2 pencils.  Even as an adult, I get excited when the aisles at Target get stocked up with fresh school supplies.  (Don’t think for a second some of them don’t make their way into my cart.  Office supplies, right?!)  We put together this darling centerpiece using a pack of pencils, a piece of ribbon, a rubberband and a basic vase.  It took under 5 minutes to create and really is SO simple to do.  Here’s how:

Incredibly simple, right?  And perfect for a back-to-school party, family dinner or as a gift for a new teacher!

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 

September 5th, 2012 |

Set the Table with Chalkboard

Back-to-School is an exciting time of the year for families, but let’s face it….the enthusiasm of the first day can fade quickly and everyone falls back into the repedition of a daily routine: early mornings, carpools, homework, after-school activities, packing the same lunch day in and day out.  Take this opportunity to celebrate family and celebrate school with a festive dinner table (at least once a week!).

In the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine, we show you ideas on how to create a creative table setting using typical school items: chalkboard, pencils, and apples.

Stay tuned this afternoon for the simple instructions on how to create this charming pencil centerpiece.  We used it as the showpiece on our tablesetting, and it really popped on the chalkboard fabric tablecloth (you can find this at any local fabric or craft store).  Mixed with a couple of red pots with boxwood plants, classic black and white check napkins and polka dot silverware from Pottery Barn Kids, it was the perfect backdrop for our kid-friendly dinner.

Mac ‘n Cheese is a kid favorite, so we updated the classic by serving it in a small flip-lid jar.  Apple slices were a healthy accompaniment, and we housed each meal in a wood berry basket from Garnish.  This idea would be charming for a picnic birthday party too!

One of my favorite ideas from this article are the milk bottles labeled with the kids names.  Since we wanted a quick project, and one that would not be permanent, we used chalkboard stickers!  Simply peel, stick and write….it’s that easy, and every kid loves to see their name on their drink!

How do you make school-night dinners a fun ending to your family’s day?

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 

September 4th, 2012 |

Fall 2012 TPD Magazine + New iPad App

It is with GREAT excitement today that I share with you not only the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine, but also announce the addition of the iPad APP!  Now offering you, our readers, three convenient ways to enjoy this issue:

buy the printed copy    |    download the iPad app   |   read the digital issue

I know I say this each and every time we launch a magazine, but I am truly in love with the ideas in this Fall 2012 issue.  With original content from amazing bloggers and stylists, this issue is full of ideas for helping you create your best Fall yet. Simple ideas for entertaining, ways to celebrate back-to-school with your family, transitional home decor, ways to dress up Fall parties, quick ideas for Halloween that will make you look like the crafty mom, all while having more time to spend with your costume-clad kids, kids’ birthday parties, and a peek into Thanksgiving.

I would like to take this opportunity to send a big virtual hug and “thank you” to my assistant editor, Charynn Olsheski of Two Sugar Babies, and our amazing line-up of contributors: Casi Densmore-Koon of CupcakeMAG, Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio, Lynlee Beckett of Lynlee’s Petite Treats, Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff of AndersRuff, Jenny Dixon of Crossing the Bugger Dixon Line, Glory Albin of Glorious Treats, Kori Clark of Paper & Pigtails, and Carrie Sellman of Half Baked ~ The Cake Blog.

We were fortunate to work with two BIG brands this issue for exclusive features.  A big thank you to Ad Hoc (part of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group) and Pottery Barn for your contributions!

I hope you all enjoy this issue and hope you share it with your friends!

August 29th, 2012 |

The Strawberry Muddle

It’s been a long summer of ZERO entertaining for me, due to our unexpected kitchen and home renovation.  I’m cautiously hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel is shining a little bit brighter today…..and we might just have everything done by tomorrow.  Of course the first thing on my mind isn’t how/when I am going to get all of the boxes unpacked, it’s when am I finally going to be able to entertain again!?

In hopes that we will be able to have a little Labor Day gathering, I took a stroll around Bon Appetit looking for a fresh, new champagne cocktail to serve.  I came across this “Strawberry Muddle” recipe, originally created by Jon Hoeber, the farmers’ market-prowling mixologist at Rustic Canyon restaurant in Santa Monica.  It looks light and delicious and is perfect for your patio party this weekend!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped hulled strawberries
  • 6 thin lemon slices
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 750-ml bottle chilled Prosecco

 Directions

  • Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Cool syrup.
  • Divide strawberries among six 6- to 8-ounce glasses; add 1 tablespoon syrup to each and mash with muddler or handle of wooden spoon. Add lemon slice to each and mash to release flavor. Add several ice cubes to each glass, then fill with Prosecco.
August 27th, 2012 |

Minted. Back-to-School Giveaway!

It’s about that time.  You know, the end of summer.  The start of a new season….the start of a new school year.  We’ve had a fantastic summer around here – busy with parties, and projects, and lots of fun things in the works for the future.  We managed to squeeze in some serious beach time, some bbq’s and practically a whole house renovation (thanks to a little hole in the hose on the back of our refrigerator!).  I’ll fill you all in on that later.  For now, we are celebrating “back-to-school” with a fabulous giveaway from one of our sponsors, Minted. Minted has curated a fabulous assortment of back to school products including our fun customizable journals, kids personal stationery and inspirational art prints. There will be one (1) grand prize winner. The prize is worth $200 of Minted credit good towards the following:

(3) customizable journals

(1) set of personalized kid’s stationery

and (1) 11×14 children’s art print

And….. 10 runner up prize winners will receive (1) journal. Pretty fabulous, right?!

To enter, click HERE and follow the instructions!  Contest begins today (Monday, August 27, 2012) and will end at 11:59pm CST on Friday, August 31, 2012.  Good Luck!!

August 22nd, 2012 |

Cookbook Line-Up

In my typical morning browse of blogs and pinterest, I came across a fabulous post from one of my favorite bloggers, Bakerella.  (remember when I got to meet her?) Posted back in May (clearly I am behind on my blog reading), she listed out a fabulous line-up of baking/dessert-related cookbooks.  MANY of these sit on my bookshelves, and I thought it was such a great list that I just had to share it with you!

Click here for the full post.

August 20th, 2012 |

Emma’s Art Party

Friday was one of those days where I remember how lucky I am that I own my own business, set my own schedule (even if that means that I work probably twice as hard as I ever did at past jobs).  Why was Friday so special?!  My day consisted of: {still} responding to a mass amount of e-mails from while we were on vacation, took a conference call about an upcoming BIG project on my cell phone from my car, did prop shopping for some photo shoots this weekend, picked up our print run and got orders shipped out.  The best part was that I got to play hooky for part of the day to help my best friend with her daughter, Emma’s 8th birthday party.   I’m lucky enough to be “Auntie Kelly” to this cute, little girl and LOVE that I have been a part of each of her 8 birthday celebrations.  (you may remember her charming purse-themed birthday party a few years ago)

Emma LOVES all things arts & crafts, so once she decided upon that theme, her mom came up with 5 different crafting stations for the kids to partake in.  The 20 girls attending made candy necklaces, decorated picture frames, did splatter painting, beaded key chains, and decorated cupcakes.

The colorful crafts made for colorful party decorations, and we embellished a bit with a festive banner, signage and cute centerpieces made from crayons and daisies.  ”Sprite Floats” made from vanilla ice cream and sprite were a welcomed surprise for the girls, and the delicious cupcakes (placed in our new cupcake wrappers) were decorated with simple fondant shapes.

Hope you had a great party, Emma Jane!

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