July 18th, 2012 |

Gerber Daisy Birthday

We’re thrilled to be showing the details from a darling birthday party from one of our repeat customers.  She came to us to create a custom gerber daisy themed party, and we came up with a whimsical collection of paper goods in a hot pink and green color palette.  Read on for details from Isabella’s mom…..

When Isabella asked me for a Gerbera daisy theme birthday party, I knew we could do something very girly and fun.  The birthday girl asked me to use hot pink, green and yellow as the colors for her party.   I have worked with Kelly at WH Hostess in the past and I have always been very pleased and happy with her work.  The party was set up outside in the backyard.  The environment was very girly with gerbera daisies and pink and green polka dot balloons.

The girls’ table was set up with a hot pink table cloth and green striped fabric across the table similar to the pattern used on the invitation. It was set up with pink plates with hot pink, yellow and green napkins and gerbera daisy napkin rings with the same colors. We had small pink flower arrangements as centerpieces.  We had a special plate for the birthday girl with the flower design from the invitation that I also bought from WH Hostess

The girls’ menu included pink lemonade, garden chocolate flowerpot mousse, chocolate covered strawberries, push up cupcakes, fruit kabobs along with other special sandwiches.  Rick’s Bakery created the beautiful cake utilizing the invitation design.

The girls’ activities included two tables that were set up to paint their nails and to apply a flower or butterfly face sticker tattoo before they walked on the “runway”. We had tote bags with gerbera daisy hair clips as favors that the girls’ modeled for the mothers.

The girls also took home the candies they got from the piñata and cookies with the number 6 and gerbera daisy designs on them. Overall, the girls had a great time!

Party resources
Invitation & Paper Goods: www.whhostess.com   |   Cake: www.ricksbakery.com/   |   Photo: www.kristenhargett.com/

July 16th, 2012 |

Summer S’Mores

S’mores are a beloved treat in my household….especially during the summer!  I came up with a few new ways to incorporate everyone’s favorite summer treat for the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine, including party-ready ideas for setting up an outdoor S’mores Bar.

S’Mores Bar Tips:

Use marshmallows as part of your decor!  Fill bowls, line trays, etc.

Incorporate the outdoors into your display.  I like using twigs for roasting sticks!

Use a tiered serving piece to serve up creative S’Mores desserts.  {see below for ideas}

Infuse the S’Mores flavor into mini cheesecakes, whoopie pies, marshmallow bars, and cake balls.  Stay tuned this afternoon for my S’Mores bar recipe!

Kids and adults alike will love these updates to the classic S’Mores!  Try serving them up at your next BBQ or summer party.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

July 13th, 2012 |

Snow Cone Cupcakes

Love the idea of serving up color-coordinated snow cones at your summer party, but worried about the icy mess?  Melissa Johnson of Best Friends for Frosting has you covered with her “snow cone” cupcakes.  Simple to assemble, perfectly “summer” and can still be color coordinated to any party theme….this is going to be your new, go-to cupcake!

Supplies

(12) 4 oz Styrofoam cups  |  ice cream scoop  |  12 baked cupcakes  |  1 batch of your favorite frosting  |  soft pink sugar sprinkles  |  12 striped straws  |  12 ice cream spoons

Directions

1. Remove wrapper from your cupcake and place the cupcake inside a Styrofoam cup.

2. Place prepared frosting in the freezer for approximately 10 minutes to stiffen. After the frosting becomes steadily firm, place one scoop of frosting on top of your cupcake. Pour pink sugar in to a small bowl. While holding the base of your cupcake, gently roll the frosting around in the sprinkles until it is thoroughly coated.

3. Make sure your cupcake has more than enough sprinkles on it. If you notice any bare spots, add more sprinkles.

4. Insert your straw at a tilted angle. Fun colored ice cream spoons will also make a fun & festive addition to your cupcake.

Photography by Chantel Elder from Eleakis & Elder Photography

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

 

July 10th, 2012 |

Blueberry Fizz Cocktail

The dog days of summer deserve a fabulous {and refreshing} signature drink.  This blueberry fizz recipe from bhg.com will fit the bill perfectly.  Lovely for a lazy Sunday, but pretty enough to serve at your next party.

Ingredients

2 liter bottle ginger ale, chilled
cup blueberries
lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
lime, thinly sliced and seeded
tablespoons crystallized ginger

Directions

Divide one bottle of the ginger ale between two half-gallon jars or pitchers. Add 1/2 cup of the berries, half the lemon slices, half the lime slices and 1 tablespoon of the ginger to each jar. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. (If chilling more than 2 hours, add the lemon and lime slices only 1 to 2 hours before serving. Citrus adds a slightly bitter flavor after 2 hours.)

Just before serving, fill jars with ice. To serve, fill each glass half full with the blueberry mixture and ice; fill glass with chilled ginger ale for fizz. Makes 12 servings.

July 9th, 2012 |

Fly Away to Neverland….

This is Charynn, owner of Two Sugar Babies, and Assistant Editor of The Party Dress Magazine. I am excited for you to finally see my son’s birthday party! In keeping with tradition at my house (my kids NEVER pick a birthday theme that is easy to find accessories for), Keaton chose “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.” I used to tremble when they would pick a “hard” theme, but now I realize that it’s the best kind of party to have! Kelly of The Party Dress and WHHostess assisted me in planning this party and I think we stayed true to our concept of throwing a stylized character party.

We carried a modern pirate theme throughout the party, using graphic patterns of aqua blue waves, red and white skull and crossbones, blue and white stripes (from Jake’s ship sail) and also a red pirate ship silhouette. Then we added elements of Neverland with pirate hooks (Captain Hook is Keaton’s favorite character), red feathers, and a couple of character silhouettes.

We came up with a few distinct displays for the party: the dessert table, a buffet table centerpiece, a drink table, and a Kid’s area, including a Neverland Pirates dress-up station, games and personalized favors.

For the buffet table centerpiece, I originally wanted to use “ship in a bottle” pieces in some way, but Kelly and I came up with a modern interpretation: I spray painted a toy ship, pirate hook and a green Peter Pan sword solid, bold colors and placed them inside large jars with sand on the bottom. I stacked them on custom stained wooden boxes and scattered bright jewels, gold doubloons, pearls, and necklaces to complete the pirate ship look and feel.

The drink table backdrop was also one of my favorite elements. I made banners using twine and WHHostess patterned papers, and added a lime green “K” to a pirate ship wheel as the focal point. It’s something Keaton can use in his bedroom! I displayed “Tinkerbell Iced Tea” and “Pirate Punch” in large drink dispensers, and filled a pirate chest with loads of “treasure” to finish the display.

For the dessert table, a custom fabric patterned backdrop was made, featuring the aqua wave pattern and the pirate ship. Personalized cupcake toppers, coordinating cupcake wrappers and “sails” for the cake pops from WH Hostess accessorized the desserts, and I updated cupcakes from our favorite bakery with sprinkles to match the party, and added character elements by making fondant Tinkerbell wings, a red feather, a pirate hook, and a pirate flag.

The 3 tier cake I created using patterns from the party, and red feather and pirate hook cake toppers, which I personalized with Keaton’s name and a “4″ was a hit!

I also created edible image cookie toppers in the party patterns, fondant treasure maps for brownies, and fondant gold doubloons to cover the front of chocolate covered oreos.

The Kid’s Area was the highlight of the party. I used the character silhouettes I made, a custom sign saying “Dress like a Neverland Pirate” to frame the dress up area. The kids used pirate hooks, eye patches, pirate hats, red sashes, compasses, toy telescopes and treasure maps to transform themselves into Neverland Pirates. I also built two different games to entertain the kids: a treasure dig sandbox and Captain Hook’s ring toss.

The kids were sent home with gift bags filled with gold doubloons, pixie dust, pirates coloring pages.

For more birthday party ideas and summer entertaining tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue   |   Shop the party collection

July 6th, 2012 |

Celebrating Tomato Season

One of my FAVORITE parts of summer is the abundance of tomatoes, so it was a no brainer that we had to include a feature in the summer magazine.  We turned to entertaining expert, Jenny Steffins-Hobick, to create inspiration for a “celebrating tomato season” dinner party.  Read on for more details, as told by Jenny….

In the Summer, we often host parties for holidays – 4th of July Picnics, Labor Day Barbecues – but rarely do we ever just celebrate Summer. For me, the essence of Summer is found in the seasonal food that is best in these hot months of the year. While I’m glad to see berries and sweet corn at the market, it is not truly Summer until I see tomatoes. Real tomatoes. Yes, in most markets we can find tomatoes at all times of the year, but not real tomatoes. Real tomatoes, with their sweet, acidic flavor and smooth texture, are best in the peak of the Summer months and should be celebrated.

This Summer, host a dinner party that pays tribute to the season’s rightful star- tomatoes. Introduce your guests to the various varietals of tomatoes available and different ways to eat and serve them. Be sure to include a “Tomato Tasting” as part of your party – after all, tomatoes are hard to beat when served simply with a sprinkling of salt. It will give your guests the opportunity to taste the differences between the many available varieties.

I set the table simply with a casual feel, but a bit more elegant than a typical Summer grilling party. The color palate was restrained with a bare wooden table, natural linens and just a touch of red to allow the vibrant summer foods shine. Instead of a floral arrangement, I planted a wooden herb box full of basil and thyme. Bud vases with zinnias were placed around the table for added whimsy.

For my guests, I started the evening with a watermelon cocktail served with an heirloom orange tomato garnish. For dinner, instead of the serving tomatoes in their typical fresh state, I fired up the grill. Along with squash, eggplant and peppers, tomatoes were grilled and then tossed with pappardelle pasta. I garnished the pasta with wedges of fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes. Our feast of Summer ended with a light strawberry, watermelon and tomato salad with a basil drizzle.

For these tomato recipes and more Summer inspiration, visit jennysteffens.com.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

July 3rd, 2012 |

Lobster Towel Giveaway!

Get fired up for the fourth with these seaside inspired dish linens.  One of our go-to shops for fabulous linens, Pioneer Linens, is giving one lucky Facebook Fan a set of darling red & white dish towels by Dermond Peterson. All that’s missing is something blue.. and YOU! So fire up the grill, grab a cocktail and enter here for your chance to win! You have until July 3rd to enter. One Facebook Fan will be randomly selected on July 4th. {Grill not included.}

Good luck and don’t forget to tell your friends!

July 3rd, 2012 |

Star-Spangled Cake

Making this impressive and patriotic dessert for your 4th of july festivities isn’t as hard as it looks. This cake is even great for a last minute picnic!

You need 2 white cake mixes, a batch of your favorite white icing (this is my favorite one online–http://www.grouprecipes.com/92114/italian-buttercream-from-the-culinary-institute-of-america.html), and some red and blue food coloring (I used super red and sky blue Americolor gel paste).

Mix the cake mixes in two separate bowls, mixing the food coloring in at the end until you achieve the color you would like. Bake the cakes according to the box directions in the 8 or 9″ round cake pans. Let cool completely.
Slice the cakes into 2 even layers and stack using the white icing in-between the layers. I like the rustic look of cakes without the outside layer of icing, so I left it off. Since it is such a high cake, if you want to ice the outside you may need to make another batch of icing.

To finish it off for the 4th, cut white fondant (you can buy it at pretty much any crafts store, and even Walmart) with different sized star cutters, and attach using little bits of the white icing. I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th!

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

July 2nd, 2012 |

Ships Ahoy! Nautical Baby Shower

One of my favorite summer themes is a classic, navy & white, nautical party.  Crisp, classic and can be interrupted so many different ways.  We updated our nautical collection with a preppy modern chain link pattern and a bold anchor, added a touch of yellow and it quickly became one of our best sellers….perfect for a baby shower, birthday party or pool party.

When we started working on the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine, we turned to Lynlee Beckett, of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes, to create a preppy baby shower using our Mod Nautical collection.  Read on for all of the darling details, as told by Lynlee….

For expectant mothers due in the Summer months, there’s no better way to welcome their new first mate than with a nautical-themed baby shower! I adore the Mod Nautical Anchor collection by the WH Hostess, pairing several shades of blue with a bright and refreshing pop of yellow, which I utilized to style this bright and cheery luncheon. I decided to focus on a mature feel to honor the mother-to-be, with the infusion of playful and sweet details. The beautiful invitation set the mood, inviting guests to join the celebration seaside.

The luncheon table was set with a burlap covering and a striped blue runner. A lantern served as the centerpiece and inside, a coral decoration sculpted with chicken wire, white coffee filters and yellow cupcake liners. Each setting held blue fish plates and coordinating small plates to carry lemons for the seafood meal. You can dress up the silver- ware by simply tying a colorful ribbon around and placing it directly on the napkins. Water bottle labels can also be used to adorn glasses.

The dessert table was set-up along the waterfront, providing a gorgeous view and anchoring the party. The Anthropologie-inspired backdrop resembled a sail from afar, but at closer look, also simulated coral. As a juxtaposition, I propped up a basketweave anchor that, with the burlap tablecloth, added a natural feel to the crisp, vivid colors.

Desserts centered around the nautical theme, and utilized several lemon and fruit treats, along with traditional sweets. I hollowed out lemons, topped with lemon custard and blueberries, displayed them in a seaside lantern with cupcake toppers. Small mason jars were filled with milk and lifesaver donuts sat perched on the rims with the help of fish drink stirrers.  Chocolate-dipped Oreo pops were decorated to look like portholes, while marshmallows resembled numbered buoys. Lemon cupcakes were embellished with fondant sailor onesies, bibs and baby bottles, nestled in sugar sand, along with chocolate sea shells in a nautical steering wheel tray. Sea urchin meringue cookies were scattered throughout and an “AHOY” pennant banner hung in front of the table.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

 

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