September 3rd, 2013 |

STYLISH KIDS’ PARTIES | COVER + PRE-ORDER LAUNCH

Stylish Kids Parties a book by Kelly Lyden cover design and pre-order informationHappy September, Friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful summer!  As you could see from how quiet the blog was the last couple months, I took some time to really enjoy this particular moment in time in my life.  Focusing only on WH Hostess orders, finishing up the book, and spending quality time with friends and family.  It was a good summer.  Sure to be followed by a great fall and even more exciting winter.  But more to come on that later!

It’s September and we are BACK.  Get excited for new posts on Fall entertaining, holiday ideas, party ideas and new product launches.  We’re excited to be back in the swing of things and hope you will join us daily for inspiration.

Today’s exciting news….Stylish Kids’ Parties (my very first book) is officially on the printing presses and due to ship from stores November 6th!  This book has been such a labor of love to put together, but also so fun and so rewarding.  Filled with fun, creative and colorful party ideas, Stylish Kids’ Parties shows today’s DIYer how to confidently tackle party preparation by using color palettes and themes that carry through–from invitations and decorations to party favors and treats. Complete with DIY tips, recipes, projects, and themed activities, Stylish Kids’ Parties features party ideas for boys and girls, first birthday celebrations, baby showers and holiday parties. Readers will be able to easily duplicate these great ideas, creating parties that are appealing to children and adults alike!

We’re sharing the cover design with you above…..what do you think?!  It’s just a peek of how colorful and fun this book is!  And I am also here to tell you that the book is now available for pre-order on two sites.  It’s a great resource to have on your bookshelf, and will also make a fabulous holiday gift this year!

Pre-Order Stylish Kids’ Parties

  • whhostess.com – pre-order your autographed copy of Stylish Kids’ Parties from our site.  
  • amazon.com – pre-order your copy of Stylish Kids’ Parties

More shops to come soon.  If you own a store, or know of a local shop that you think would like to sell Stylish Kids’ Parties, please e-mail me at hostess@thepartydress.net.

Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm during this last year of putting together the book.  Can’t wait for you all to see the final product!

kelly signature

July 18th, 2013 |

DREAMING of a LAKEHOUSE

lakehouse inspirationHere in the Midwest, we look forward to our summer months ALL YEAR LONG. Summer brings about bbqs and outdoor entertaining, lazy days at the pool, simple meals often finished off with s’mores or ice cream, and a renewed love affair with the local lakes.  We are fortunate to live just a couple miles from Lake Michigan, but are also within driving distance of tons of smaller lakes in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.  Which brings me to today’s post…..

The Lakehouse.  We are so lucky to be invited up to family lakehouses during the summer – it’s the perfect opportunity for a little boating, some water-skiing (for my husband, I prefer to ride along IN the boat!), and some quality family time.  As our extended family continues to grow, my desire for a family lakehouse does too.  I’m not talking anything elaborate….just a great place where the kids, grandkids and all of their friends could gather up for summer fun.

Since today is HOT (we have a heat advisory for  105 degrees!), I am dreaming about this future lakehouse from INSIDE.  Crisp, nautical decor with lots of white, casual spaces for people to relax in, an attic space full of built-in twin beds to house a boat-load of little kids, and an outdoor firepit, perfect for hosting late-night s’mores.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

For more of my lakehouse inspiration, follow along on my pinterest board!

Images:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

July 11th, 2013 |

KELLY’S BIRTHDAY | 20% off WH HOSTESS

20% off discount code for WH HostessIf it’s one thing we like around here, it’s a reason to celebrate!  Today’s reason: my birthday!!  I have a feeling 34 is going to be a pretty good year….so to celebrate, I’m sharing a 20% off coupon code for our shop, WH Hostess.  Valid Friday – Monday, it’s a great time to stock up on stationery, plan your next party or try out our Cake Plate Clings.

Have a great weekend and Happy Shopping!

kelly signature

June 20th, 2013 |

STAR SPANGLED COBBLER

berry cobblerOne of my favorite parts of the 4th of July is the fuss-free entertaining and ease of the day.  We walk around town from the pancake breakfast to the parade, and then typically back to my parents for a simple BBQ.  I love the idea of infusing a bit of patriotic spirit into the meal somehow, and this berry cobbler recipe from Southern Living is just the ticket!

Ingredients

  • 2 pt. fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 (12-oz.) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sparkling sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until bubbly and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  2. 2. Separate biscuits, and flatten each into a 3 1/2-inch circle. Cut with a 3-inch star-shaped cutter, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet; sprinkle with sparkling sugar, pressing to adhere. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. 3. Place 1 biscuit on each serving plate. Spoon blueberry mixture over half of biscuits; top with remaining biscuits. Serve with whipped cream.
June 18th, 2013 |

THE ASTON GOLF CLASSIC

aston golf party boxed invitationI’ve met a lot of blogger “friends” over the last 4 years, but Lili of Swanky Chic Fete is one of my favorites!  Her blog radiates her friendly personality and love for parties, fashion and the latest products.  I have worked with Lili a couple times previously, and she also hosted a WH Hostess trunk show for us last holiday season!  I was so pleased when she asked me to help her create a preppy golf-themed party for her soon-to-be 6 year old, Aston.  Especially when she mentioned she wanted to forgo the traditional golf colors/patterns for a more “summer Ralph Lauren” madras plaid!

Since Lili was able to hand deliver the party invitations, we had flexibility to get a little creative.  I designed a 5-page mini booklet to house the party details, which was placed in a crisp white box with some shredded paper “grass” and a golf ball.  The boxes were sealed with a striped grosgrain ribbon and a madras plaid sticker featuring our custom “The Aston Golf Classic” logo.

aston golf signGuests were greeted with a large golf ball sign featuring our custom logo, and then were ushered into the backyard.  Tables were set up on the patio surrounding their new putting green.

aston party yardThe kids table were dressed with a madras runner over a white tablecloth. Extra fabric were sewn for accent pillows for the patio furniture. Polka dot blue and green balloons also were scattered on the backyard lawn.

aston golf party table with madras plaidWhen guests arrived, each received a lanyard souvenir to wear throughout the party and they took turns taking shots at the putting green. Kids also get to decorate their visors.

aston party lanyardsaston golf party putting greenaston golf party visorsLili styled a darling centerpiece for an adult table, using a simple boxwood topiary tree and golf balls placed together in a tray.  I love the pop of green the boxwood offers.

aston golf party boxwood centerpieceaston party cups

aston water bottles

The 3-tier cake featured a preppy stripe, mini golf balls, and frosting that looks like grass peeking out of the bottom of the cake.

aston golf cake

aston cake topIn addition to an AMAZING cake, They served James Coney Island hot dogs with desserts, including Pinkberry yogurt, cookies, cupcakes, donut holes, gumballs and birthday cake.

aston donut holesaston golf cupcakesaston golf bag cookiesApart from their visors and lanyards, each guest took home custom stadium cups, cookies and a toy golf cart. Happy Birthday, Aston!  I hope you had a great party!

aston golf party family with cakeResources:

Photography : Ailynne Abarado-Remigio  |  Paper Goods: WH Hostess  |  Cake : Cakes by Gina  |  Cookies : Jolie’s Delights   |  Cupcakes : Whole Foods  |  Visors : Michaels  |  Custom Birthday Shirt : HollyGo Design
June 13th, 2013 |

A QUICK CATCH UP…

lace dress and hatHey, friends. I know my posting has been sparse lately, but I wanted to pop in to say hello and give you some brief updates on what we have been working on behind the scenes the last couple of weeks.  Now that summer has officially arrived, I am forcing myself to really enjoy it this year.  Turning off the computer, I need to take some downtime to garden, cuddle my sweet 2 month old nephew and take my pup for long walks.  In between designing parties and some other fun projects we have going, of course.

I was thrilled to be asked by the editors of Martha Stewart Living to design a party shoot around one of the new “MarthaCelebrations” collections from JCPenny.  The new collection of party goods is downright charming, and has everything you need to throw the perfect summer event.  You can check out my post here.  But, I encourage you to visit the Pinterest board here that houses images from all of the selected bloggers’ events.  If you repin any of the images, using the #LetsCelebrate, you will be entered to win a party pack of goods yourself!

There has been a lot of planning and designing going on in the background lately for wholesale.  It’s an area of the business I truly hope to expand this year….and the new items and patterns are AMAZING.  Can’t wait to show you more!

I have another fun brand collaboration to share with you in the next couple of weeks.  It’s one of my favorite resources and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Probably the biggest project of June so far is editing the author review of my book, Stylish Kids Parties, due out later this year.  After a brief break away from it after the shoots were all wrapped up, it was so fun to revisit and look at it with fresh eyes.  I can’t WAIT to show you the finish product.  Soon…well, not soon, but time will come sooner than we think.  December is going to be a VERY big month around here.

book page previews

Here are a couple of snapshots via my Instagram.  Do you follow me over there?  I am having so much fun sharing photos of things that go on behind the scenes.

On the personal side, it’s been a busy May and June.  We baptized my nephew, my baby brother graduated from high school and we are gearing up for his big graduation party next weekend, and a few other little things that have been eating up my attention.  But I’ll keep those to myself for right now.

I hope your summers are off to a fabulous start.  I’ll be back tomorrow to share some ideas for Father’s Day entertaining this weekend.

kelly signature

June 7th, 2013 |

INDIGO PARTY with PATRIOTIC FLAIR | MARTHA CELEBRATES

poms introI’m always excited to discover a new line of party goods!  So when the editors at Martha Stewart asked me to style a party around the new Indigo collection of paper goods from the brand new Martha Celebrations collection for JCPenny….I jumped at the opportunity!

You all know my love affair with a crisp blue and white palette.  I loved the combination of the traditional basketweave pattern with the more whimsical floral.  You could really mix this collection with a variety of accent colors: yellow, hot pink, or in my case, red.  I decided to throw my little gathering over Memorial Day weekend, so I threw in a few touches of patriotic red to create this festive look.  And idea you could reinterpret for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations.

tablesetting pomsYou can see that I chose to mix the gorgeous paper goods with a few traditional table elements: an oversized tonal windowpane tablecloth, my everyday flatware, and acrylic water glasses. Let me tell you, mixing paper elements into this tablesetting made clean-up that much easier!

angled plates overheadSquare plates, such as these, offer an opportunity to have some fun with placement.  You can see here that I angled the salad/dessert plate on top of the dinner plate, offering a fun look.

cupcake on plateA tablesetting looks even more festive with a cupcake waiting for each guest at their place!  I dressed up my basic vanilla cupcakes with Martha Celebrate’s coordinating liners and floral picks.

paper cupAs I mentioned above, I decided to mix these darling paper tumblers with my acrylic water glasses.  I added a red and white striped paper straw to it for that pop of red.

sunflowersSunflowers SCREAM summer to me, so a small bunch on the table was the perfect addition.

drink horizontalI served up one of my favorite summer drinks: a sparkling strawberry lemonade.  This drink is SO simple to mix up.  Simply combine 1 part sparkling water with 2 parts lemonade, add in the juice of strained strawberries (how much is up to you), and a few tablespoons of simple syrup.  Sweet, a little bubbly and the very refreshing for a hot day!

drinkI mentioned the darling cupcake liner + floral picks above, but take a peek at the details of the set here….it’s just darling!

cupcake standcupcake liners detailLast but not least, I packaged up some red candy to send home with my guests as a little party favor.  These little slide boxes were the perfect piece to complete the look of my party.

favor boxes angle

All the MarthaCelebrations at JCPenney products featured in this post were provided by
the Editors at Martha Stewart Living, a team that loves a good party and deeply admires
the bloggers who throw them.

June 3rd, 2013 |

RED, WHITE & BLUE | CAKE PLATE CLINGS


red white and blue patriotic cake plate clings for 4th of July and summer partiescake plate clingsSummer brings a whole new collection of red, white and blue Cake Plate Clings to WH Hostess.  Dress up your 4th of July BBQs, summer picnics and clambakes with these festive decorative liners.  Cake Plate Clings {patent-pending} are reusable, non-adhesive, slide-free and printed with environmentally-friendly ink and materials.  They are the perfect accessory to your dessert table or buffet, and also make a fabulous gift!

red white and blue cake plate clingsI love mixing and matching patterns when creating a display of cake stands.  For 4th of July, I suggest mixing our patriotic stars cling with some of the red and navy party basics, such as the diagonal stripe, swiss dot or gingham check.  The navy wave pattern is perfect for a summer pool or beach party, too!

lobster nautical red white and blue cake plate clingsDon’t put away your red, white and blue after the 4th of July….just replace your patriotic stars with our preppy lobster dots pattern (I love it mixed with the navy diamond lattice pattern, too)!  This collection of Cake Plate Clings would be perfect for any summer party!  All clings can be personalized with a name, initial or monogram too…making them THE perfect hostess gift for summer!

lobster and diamond lattice cake plate clingsMake sure to get your orders in soon for delivery for 4th of July parties!

May 22nd, 2013 |

PARTIES by WH HOSTESS | BIRTHDAY PICNIC

girl picnic party collection from wh hostessOne of the best parts of my job is getting to work with clients year after year, creating fun celebrations for their children’s birthdays.  One of my favorite Houston clients asked me to create a girly picnic themed collection for Olivia’s 3rd birthday (remember her darling Barnyard theme party last year?), and we just love how it turned out!  It’s now available in the shop HERE.

family summer picnics set upI used a color palette of pink, yellow, orange and turquoise for the paper goods and combined some festive patterns, including a chevron and bold floral pattern, to make everything look fun and whimsical.  Since the event was a family affair, each child and their family was greeted to their own chevron picnic blanket laid out in the lawn for lunch.  The families’ names were printed on signs identifying their blanket.

menu card tied onto picnic basketsEach family had a picnic basket prepared with lunch.  We printed up a menu card that was tied to the top of each basket, and bamboo cutlery was packaged in mini chevron paper bags tied with twine.

balloon-towers at summer picnicThe bar and snow cone station were surrounded by balloon towers  -  aren’t they fabulous!?  The turquoise accent color was carried thru the event with custom styrofoam cups.

balloon-cups for picnic partyDessert consisted of delicious cupcakes topped with fondant ants.  The perfect addition to the picnic theme!

summer picnic cupcakes with antsants-on-cupcakesBirthday girl, Olivia, looks very excited to blow out her candles!

birthday-cupcake for summer picnicAnd her sister and guest look like they are enjoying the snow cones!

ice-cream 2.29.46 PMhula-hoop contest for picnic partyChevron paper bags were sealed with our bold floral sticker to package party favors.

summer picnic party favor sticker from wh hostessI think this party has so many charming details that you can incorporate into any summer party, whether it’s a birthday party, a family picnic or special playdate!

picnic-on-the-lawn

May 9th, 2013 |

CHAMPAGNE FLOATS

Sorbet and Champagne FloatsOne of my favorite Spring and Summer “dessert” is a gorgeous champagne float.  A delicious, grown-up version of the classic root beer float, you can create these with any flavor sorbet (which is very helpful in color coordinating your dessert to your party theme or color palette!).

I simply place a scoop or two of flavored sorbet (this was raspberry!) in a wine glass and then top with about half a cup of champagne.  Just enough to fizz up the sorbet!  Serve it with a long spoon and a pretty striped straw.  This is a fabulous dessert for Mother’s Day!

Resources: pink tunic (sailtosable.com), lucite tray (whhostess.com), pink striped straws (shopsweetlulu.com)

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