June 24th, 2015 |
I absolutely LOVE entertaining in July. The weather is finally good here in Chicago, and with 4th of July quickly approaching, I can pull out all of my red, white and blue and entertain in pure Americana style. For a dinner party this weekend, I’m setting the table with a classic red gingham tablecloth, my chinoiserie blue and white plates, cobalt wine glasses, and linen napkins from MADISON with a modern blue striped monogram.
June 19th, 2015 |
Remember that iconic phrase from the classic movie, Dirty Dancing, “I carried a watermelon”?! Make this your go-to motto for summer hostess gifts, buy gifting my oh, so simple monogrammed watermelon to your host! Everyone loves a watermelon; it’s inexpensive, delicious and can typically serve a small army. So it’s the perfect thing to bring when someone invites you over for a summer BBQ or pool party.
To jazz it up, I used a small pumpkin-carving knife to carve out the initial of our hosts’ last name. It’s cute, personalized – and literally took me under 2 minutes to do! Simply draw out the letter(s) you want to carve out, use a small carving knife to edge out the letter, and rock the pieces back and forth until they come loose.
Everyone loves something personalized. Trust me, you are going to wow your friends with this one!
June 15th, 2015 |
Did you know today is National Lobster Day? It’s a fun excuse to share one of our new *favorite* preppy lobster and gingham party invitations and my favorite lobster roll recipe – perfect for summer entertaining!
This past memorial day, we served up lobster rolls picnic-style, packing them in white take out boxes, sealed with our lobster gift sticker. It was so simple to serve, and transport outside. We used red gingham paper liners from Party City on baskets to add a pop of color, and a nod to the gingham check invitation back.
Kelly’s Lobster Rolls
Salt & Pepper
3 live lobsters
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2–3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Mini hot dog buns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
To cook the lobsters, pour water into a large pot to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil and salt generously. Add the lobsters, cover, and cook until bright red, about 10 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
Crack lobster shells, pick meat from the tail and claws, and cut into small pieces. Mix lobster, celery, lemon juice, chives, and mayonnaise in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the flat sides of buns with butter. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side; fill with lobster mixture.
June 12th, 2015 |
I’ve always had a sweet spot for gingham check. Shrink it down, tiny and sweet, or blow it up as an exploded buffalo check. It’s classic, yet definitely a trend this summer – and that’s my happy spot (where classics and trends intersect!). For a kick-off to summer dinner party tonight, I styled a table that combines some of my favorite things: peonies, monograms and gingham check. The gorgeous monogrammed napkins are from Madison in Dallas, and the china is all from Kate Spade.
April 28th, 2015 |
Cinco de Mayo is a colorful, festive celebration that typically is more geared towards adults. I have a couple fun ideas for you, from my book Stylish Kids’ Parties, on how to throw your littles a colorful fiesta. These ideas would also work smashingly well for a Fiesta birthday party!
Whether you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or a Fiesta birthday party, send your guests a colorful invitation to set the tone for the event! We have two new designs in the shop that would be perfect: the fiesta and the confetti invitations. (see images at the bottom of the post) If you want to get crafty, you can add a glassine envelope of colorful confetti to it!
Dress up your basic party platters or cake stands with colorful pom pom trim from your local craft store. One of my favorite ways to serve up lemonade is in mini mason jars with flower lids and striped straws. Looking to add a playful punch to your party? Fill up a bowl with sprinkles and place your mason jar drinks in them for easy grab-n-go.
Decorate your tablesetting with a fringe centerpiece. Using a wood number (age) or letter (initial), wrap it with a paper fringe garland and stick it into a pot of wheat grass. The full DIY instructions are in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, along with a couple free printables.
Send your little guests home with paper cone party favors full of candy. I used pink and orange striped lollipops from Candywarehouse.com. Throw in a couple of tacos and chocolate-covered churros, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous family-friendly Cinco de Mayo party! Here are the two new invitations in the shop that would be PERFECT for a Fiesta party:
April 23rd, 2015 |
Every year, I get excited to hear what theme by sweet god-daughter, Olivia, will come up with for her birthday party. Taking part in Auntie Kelly’s photo shoots since she was a baby, hosting a party herself is a big deal. And she often comes up with QUITE the interesting themes. This year, she wanted a Frozen-Princess-Kitty-Tea Party-Jump Zone birthday party. We had to narrow that down a bit, and eventually landed upon a Kitty Tea Party. Her Princess party last year was full of pastels, so this year, we decided to go BOLD. Black and white, mixed with pops of hot pink and Kelly green.
With bold stripes and sweet polka dots used throughout the party, the designs took on a Kate Spade feel – which of course I love! Guests were greeted at the door with this charming sign and festive balloons. Once inside they saw the bold gem-shaped paper lanterns from IKEA hanging from the chandelier. Tip: these paper lanterns are fantastic! And re-usable. Instead of adhesive to keep them “open”, they use velco – GENIUS!
In terms of decorations for the party, we focused on two areas: the tablesetting and the dessert table. We set one long table with white linens and topped it with a custom table runner made from IKEA’s black and white stripe fabric. White Chivari chairs lined the table, and were embellished with hot pink chair sashes that I tied in a bow and accented with a white silk daisy.
The centerpieces stole the show. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me crafting these last week. A labor of love, but oh, so worth it! I made the gerber daisy centerpieces using a 10″ styrofoam ball and hot pink silk daisies. The “stem” was a wood dowel wrapped in green grosgrain ribbon, and they were “potted” in a white pot full of hot pink malt balls from Candywarehouse.com. The end product made my heart happy in so many ways! The fabulous thing about using silk flowers?! We can save them and re-use them for future parties!
Since this was a “kitty” tea party, it seemed fitting that each girl received a darling stuffed kitty as their party favor. We placed one, dressed up with a black and white bow, on each plate at the table.
The birthday girl needed her chair of honor, so we hung a “birthday girl” sign on the back of her chair, with two daisies and some green bows. This is such a simple accent to add to any type of party, and it makes a big statement.
Instead of using traditional placecards at the table, we used stickers on the guests’ paper cups from Shop Sweet Lulu, that had their name on them. And they looked mighty cute with our personalized, foil-stamped straws and flags!
A self-serve bar held a drink dispenser of pink lemonade and water bottles with “Meow” polka dot labels. Our foil-stamped cocktail napkins featured the classic bow design and coordinated perfectly.
The girls were entertained by a Hello Kitty bounce house, and a face painter, and couldn’t wait to get their hands on the dessert table! The face painter drew darling cat faces on each of the girls, and they all wore pink sequin cat ear headbands. (I may or may not have sported one myself that day!)
The black, white and pink color palette made the dessert table so much fun to design. Styled on a round table, we used the custom fondant cake from local bakery, Jolly Good Fellows, as the centerpiece. They also created the pink macarons and “Olivia” polka dot sugar cookies. The girls there are so fun to work with and I just love how they were able to incorporate my kitty graphics into the cake!
In addition to the cookies and macarons, we also had mini brownie bites embellished with pink fondant bows, and polka-dot chocolate-covered oreo cookies from Sweeties by Kim. Pink candy from Candywarehouse.com included malt balls (also used for the centerpieces!), gummy puffettes, and lollipops. We also styled a posse of little hello kitty pez dispensers on a cake stand – they attracted a LOT of attention from the little ones!
We had pink paper bags from Shop Sweet Lulu, embellished with a Kitty sticker, for the guests to fill up with candy to bring home. It was such a fun party, and so fun to watch my god-daughter grow up to be a darling young lady. Happy #5, Miss Olivia!
March 26th, 2015 |
Do you ever see those decorative Easter eggs at the store and think “I love these, but what would I do with them?!” Today, I’m sharing how I use them to decorate my own house for Easter. I like to keep my holiday decorations simple, and in keeping with the tone of the rest of my house.
I used a set of decorative Easter eggs to dress up the boxwood wreath on my door, as well as on a centerpiece for my dining room table. I love how it looks sophisticated, yet festive, and creates a cohesive look in my house.
How do you decorate for Easter?
March 23rd, 2015 |
I just love pulling together festive tablescapes for holidays, don’t you?! I shared my Ikat & Carrots Easter table last week, and today I have a sweet blue, white and yellow table to share with you. My love for chinoiserie and all things blue and white are certainly not a secret, so I love any opportunity to pull out my blue and white china.
I layered my china atop a textured white tablecloth, and used cobalt blue wine glasses. My large white urn held center stage as a centerpiece, and I added a pop of color with footed bowls of chocolate foil eggs from See’s Candies. My little guests couldn’t wait to dive into the bowls of candy!
My favorite part of the tablescape are the napkins/placecards. I rolled up crisp, yellow napkins and tied them together with a bow. I placed a hard-boiled egg into the center of the bottom portion, and then wrote my guests’ names on them with a navy blue marker. I love how they look like bunny ears, yet still sophisticated enough for the overall look of the table.
Every party needs a party favor! I sent my guests home with a large chocolate Easter egg from See’s Candies, wrapped in cellophane and a sweet gift tag!