March 23rd, 2012 |

Limoncello Ginger Lemonade

In continuing our “lemon day”, I am back to share my cocktail recipe that is TO.DIE.FOR.  The perfect Spring drink, use this for your Mad Men viewing party this weekend, or even for a festive Sunday brunch!

Ingredients

2T Ginger Simple Syrup
1/2c lemonade
3 oz limoncello
Sparkling water or ginger ale, to taste
Lemon slices, for garnish

Simple Syrup Directions

Mix 1/2 c water, 1/2 c sugar, and 2T fresh ginger heated in a small saucepan and then strain

Cocktail Directions

Shake all ingredients in a martini shaker full of ice. Strain into a martini glass and add a splash of sparkling water or ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

March 23rd, 2012 |

Weekend Baking: Lemon Cupcakes

Happy Friday, Everyone!  I don’t know about you, but it’s been a busy, busy week around here!  So happy to see so many parties and celebrations coming up, and we have been shipping out lots, and lots {and lots, and lots} of magazines to happy homes.  I’m looking forward to a some down time this weekend, including a little baking and celebrating the return of one of my favorite tv shows, Mad Men.  {Check back later today for a fabulous Spring cocktail recipe that would be perfect to toast the new season!}

I’ve always been obsessed with lemons {view this and this and this!} so I was thrilled when Charynn came up with two unique lemon recipes for the Spring magazine: a raspberry cupcake with lemon curd and a lemoncello ginger lemonade.  Enjoy!  Have a great weekend and see you all back here on Monday!

xo, Kelly

Happy Friday!  I’m looking forward to doing a little baking this weekend, and first up is going to be my Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon Curd that I created for the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  This recipe is the perfect example of dressing up a super simple {boxed} recipe….anyone can do it!

Ingredients

1 box white cake mix

1 cup frozen rasberries, thawed and drained

Lemon Curd

Swiss Meringue Frosting

Directions

Prepare cake mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Lightly stir in the raspberries so that large chunks still remain. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way, and bake according to the package instructions.

After cupcakes are cooled, use a paring knife or a cupcake corer to make a hole in the middle of the cupcake. Fill with lemon curd. Ice with your favorite frosting–this is your chance to be creative! We used Swiss Meringue, but you could add lemon or raspberry flavoring, dust with lemon sugar, or use meringue that you can brown on the edges with a kitchen torch. Experiment to your taste and to fit your occasion!

 

March 22nd, 2012 |

J. Crew Inspired Spring Party

Let the Spring 2012 runway looks inspire your next party. Today I am showcasing one of the two themes that were featured in the Spring 2012 issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

Take your favorite Spring look and let it inspire! This J.Crew ensemble is simple, sophisticated and classic….with a little whimsical on the side!

{The Details}

Focus on soft pastels & a pop of yellow – just fill the table with lots of pretties! We are just smitten over this oh-so-perfect palette with a mix of patterns. Think Spring brunch with your best gal pals. Lean on fashion for the perfect inspiration when it comes to planning your next party!

Tip: Have extra fabric around? Use it to cover your beverage labels and add a little flair with a ribbon or throw it over the table for a quick pop of color. We love Michael Miller Fabrics for Spring.

{Get the Look}

Cupcakes(Georgetown Cupcakes) Banner, Cupcake Toppers, Tray (WH Hostess) Don’t Forget to Smile Print (UUPP Prints) Graham Whiskey Decanter (Juliska) Shabby Chic Cupcake Holders (A Little Lollipop Tree) White Roses Flower Arrangement (AE Home Designs) Soft Pink Flower Arrangement (Target) Milkglass Vases (Local Thrift Store) Bamboo Plates (Juliska) Jardins du Monde Ceramics Whitewash (Juliska) Burlap Banner (Butterfly Above), Chevron Lucite Tray (Tily Mason)

 

March 21st, 2012 |

{Crazy for Carrots} Easter Centerpiece

It’s no secret that I am over-the-moon, head-over-heels in love with the color orange this season.  It’s the hot color right now, and we are having a blast making it a part of our fresh, new party collections and decor for Spring.  When it comes to decorating for Easter, I try to come up with some fun, but still sophisticated decor ideas (I’ll save the cutesy stuff for once we have kiddos running around!) and this carrot centerpiece is just the ticket!  We were so happy with how it turned out, it made the cover of the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine!

The carrots offer a fabulous pop of color on any table, and this centerpiece was so easy to make!

Here are a few of my tips:

  • Choose a large, cylinder vase that is about the same height as your carrots.
  • Place a second vase of the same shape inside, to block out some room (you don’t need to completely buy out the produce section at the grocery store, right?!).
  • Place your carrots in between the vase a few at a time, so you can line the up straight.
  • Once your carrots are in place, add your water.
  • If the green tops are a little out of control, just trim them to your desired shape.
  • Add some daisies into the top of the arrangement for a little touch of whimsy!
March 21st, 2012 |

Stylish Easter Basket

When Charynn and I sat down to start planning the Spring Magazine, the first item listed under the “Easter” category was “create an amazing, stylized Easter basket that every kid would love!”

We started with this gorgeous, open-weave basket from Pottery Barn, created a basket liner out of our signature green clover fabric (and had it monogrammed in that gorgeous hot pink thread), and then started filling it up with goodies.

Card games, finger crayons, a paper flower-making kit, a new book, a darling striped bunny, a set of the new legos for girls, jelly beans and more……what’s not to love?! Here are a few more detailed pics of the basket.

Looking for more Easter ideas and inspiration?  Check out the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine!

March 20th, 2012 |

Easter Egg Hunt

When it came time to officially launch our latest Easter party collection, we asked Lynlee Beckett of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes to conjure up a fabulous fete perfect for kiddies to be featured in the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Our collection features a sweet little bunny frolicking in the grass, so it was perfect for an Easter Egg Hunt.

Lynlee did a fabulous job designing a fresh and fun party with lots of ideas that you can carry into your own celebrations.  Read on for more information from Lynlee…..

Once Spring has sprung and the grass is green once again, you know Easter is just around the corner! And what can be more fun for kiddos than inviting friends and family to hop on over for an Easter Egg Hunt? I styled this festive party around the adorable “Grass Easter Bunny” collection from WH Hostess, specifically for children. I fell in love with the darling designs and vibrant colors, including the little bunnies in the grass, the infusion of orange (perfect for carrots!) and the pops of pink.

To complement the graphics, I focused on a bunny patch theme, with white picket fences and trellises, bunny garden adornments and more natural items, such as burlap, wood crates and baskets. The vivacious pops of color paired with provincial decor made a perfect pairing of modern lines and rustic elements.

The lunch table was set with this combination in mind, utilizing little baskets embellished with grass and bunnies on top of polka dot plates. You can personalize the settings by adding name tags to each basket and accompany it with some little details, such as carrot ribbons and little white poms for bunny tails. I also used the water bottle labels on glasses and inserted striped paper straws that coordinated with the graphics.

The sweets are always one of my favorite aspects of any party and the dessert table matched back to the entire theme. For the rural feel, you can utilize a simple backdrop, such as the white trellis, and accentuate it with a banner, like the adorable “Happy Easter” banner coordinating with the collection. The cupcakes were displayed on wooden crates with picket fence liners and fondant bunnies and carrots in the patch! On one side of the table, I added cotton candy bunny tails to polka dot straws, as well as jello cups, hopping fondant bunnies and jelly beans in ceramic egg crates.

The other side included egg-shaped rice treats with cupcake toppers, orange candies in carrot containers and pudding push pops with rabbits entering their bunny holes! You can really add an extra punch on the table with additional details, such as food tent cards and cupcake and centerpiece toppers. The infusion of the vivid colors was also accentuated with the hot pink frame and dried flower balls, which really made the table pop.

Tying back to the country, bunny patch atmosphere, you can utilize different containers than the traditional Easter baskets with which the kids can hunt eggs. I found cute wooden boxes with handles and added little tags with ribbon to each one. You can also add the children’s names to each to avoid any disputes regarding to whom they belong! After hunting for eggs, the kids had a blast with the bubbles! For favors, say goodbye to your little guests with cello bags and toppers, which can be filled with so many different options! I added orange candies for the boys and edible fondant bracelets, which I specifically made for the girls. Going home with their baskets full of eggs, candy and bubbles will be the perfect end to the Easter Egg Hunt at the bunny patch!

Resources: fondant bunnies (edibledetails.com), polka dot straws (cakes and kids too via etsy.com), push pop containers (cupkateeventdesign.com), paper goods (whhostess.com)

March 19th, 2012 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Mod Damask Bridal Shower

I recently had the pleasure of working with a client to plan a lovely bridal shower…..the experience was fabulous, especially because the guest of honor happens to be a family friend!  I was able to capture a few photos before the party started and am so happy to share them with you today.

The party was held at the beautiful home of the hosts, and we worked with the interior’s color palette to create a custom collection of paper goods and fabric.  Focusing on a crisp damask and mod circle pattern in aqua blue, coral-y pink and white, we mixed in a aqua cabana stripe to add a touch of preppy pizzaz.

Guests were greeted with a welcome sign and floral arrangement sitting atop a aqua cabana stripe topper on the lovely entry table, along with a view of the luncheon room. Tables were set with crisp, white linens and featured a trio of vases of submerged pink flowers.  Placed on the napkins were striped, plaque-style placecards that were embellished with ribbon.

When it comes to party decorations for a bridal shower, or adult’s birthday party, people often ask me how you can make a room look festive, without looking child-like or cheesy.  I love creating one main focal point that really leaves guests saying “wow!”, as well as carrying the patterns throughout a few decoration to create a cohesive look.

The dining room held the large buffet table and we created the focal point by placing one wide table runner made from our custom mod circles fabric across the table to bring your eye to the window hanging decor.  A custom-made wood monogram (which was painted navy) hung down on a pink ribbon, with coordinating pennant banners draped off each side.

There were two lovely bookcases on either side of the entry into the living room where the tables were set up.  We used them as a blank canvas, and placed pink floral arrangements, candy jars and photos of the couple on the shelves.

Guests enjoyed mimosas, wine and pink lemonade with their lunch.  The pink lemonade was served in a drink dispenser that we dressed up with striped tag.

After lunch, guests moved into the family room to watch the bride open her gifts.  They were greeted with a festive, round dessert table that they could enjoy during this time.  Jars of pink gummy bears, chocolate balls, and strawberry puffs were placed center stage, were dressed up with coordinating candy jar tags, and were surrounded by delicious treats.

I gathered up a team of some of my favorite sweets designers to create desserts that would coordinate with our designs.  Sweet Lauren Cakes created stunning cake pops embellished with our mod damask pattern. Allyson Jane made plaque-style cookies with the couples future last name initial, and the words “love”, “sweet”, “love”.

I pulled inspiration from Modern Moment’s donut tree to create two smaller donut cakes that I embellished with fondant flowers created by Two Sugar Babies.  Charynn also made initial toppers that were placed on mini vanilla cupcakes.

The party favors were one of my favorite details of this party!  Since the shower technically had a “kitchen” theme (we asked guests to bring their favorite recipe to share with the couple), the host ordered jam from a local company.  We dressed up the jars with coordinating labels and displayed them on our melamine trays with the damask pattern, on a table close to the door so guests could take one as they left.

This was a lovely party to work on, and I hope everyone was thrilled with the final results!  I hope these ideas give you inspiration for an upcoming bridal shower or birthday party!  You can find our full collection here.  Congrats to the happy couple!

March 16th, 2012 |

Easter Egg Wreath

I came across this darling wreath on Pinterest and had to share it with you.  Made from yarn and fabric-wrapped styrofoam balls, it’s remeniscent of Easter eggs…..and that makes it the perfect DIY project for this weekend!

Click here for the full instructions.

 

March 15th, 2012 |

French Stork Baby Shower

When it comes to throwing a fabulous baby shower, I prefer to focus on entertaining the mom-to-be, not the baby.  Let’s face it, it’s a rough nine months….she deserves a party!  So let the gifts be directed towards the baby, but cater the party details to a more mature audience!

I wanted to put an updated spin on the traditional stork themed shower, so we created a collection of paper goods around a sweet “French Stork”, and incorporated a nautical-like color palette of aqua blue, navy and a touch of red.  With all of the sweet decorations, it was almost like we were celebrating on the coast of France.

We carried the “Celebrate le Bebe” theme throughout the entire party, and used ribbons as a common accessory to create a cohesive look.  We created flag garlands that hung down over the lunch table with ribbons, and they looks like sails from a sailboat.  Our drink straws were dressed up with ribbon flags, and napkins were tied with the same ribbons.

The table sat center stage and was quite a showpiece.  In addition to the flag garlands hanging down and defining a unique vertical space, we wrapped a collection of different bud vases with yarn to create a textured look.  Crisp, white tulips and our stork centerpiece sticks filled in the table.  Guests were greeted to an “appetizer” of mini donuts on a cupcake toppers as they were seated.

Like most parties, the dessert table served as a visual focal point for the party. Guests always delight in seeing the different themed desserts, and it also serves as a great ice breaker and conversation topic. For this particular table, I wanted it to look crisp and clean. I created a simple backdrop with a grosgrain ribbon-wrapped wreath and striped pennant banners draped on either side. A navy tablecloth really made the glass and all white serving dishes pop, and we also added in a couple of the yarn-wrapped vases to coordinate with the lunch table.

I used a variety of all white candy from Candywarehouse.com, including gumballs, rock candy, chocolate-covered pretzels, and sour daisies. The glass jars and tilt bowls were embellished with coordinating ribbon and candy jar tags identifing their contents.

 

Cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes featured the stork’s sachel, a banner reminiscent of our invitation, and the words “le bebe” on them. To add some visual interest to the table, I stood them up in a white, footed bowl by Rosanna full of gumballs.

Allyson Jane made THE most precious hand-iced sugar cookies for this shower. She replicated our French Stork perfectly, and also made cookies that said “le bebe” on them.

To save time, and also keep the costs down, we mixed our designer desserts (the cake pops and cookies) with a couple grocery store finds. Store- bought cupcakes were dressed up with fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies. They featured the stock satchel as well as the eiffel tower. I also created a powedered sugar donut “cake” on a mini cake pedestal. A banner topper that coordinated with our invitation stood atop it, and created an oh, so charming addition to the table.

My absolute favorite detail on the dessert table were the macaron rattles.  These were very simple to make: I inserted a white macaron on either side of a 4″ white lollipop stick, and then wrapped the sticks in a skinny polka dot ribbon.  They were DARLING and received many “oohs” and “ahhs!”

Candy jar tags and food tent cards helped brand the table, and we also carried the theme into the labels on our cracker party favors. All in all, this shower turned out to be a sophisticated take on a theme, and hopefully you will draw inspiration for many future parties.

For more fabulous party inspiration, view the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine!

March 14th, 2012 |

Spring Flowers with a Twist

Sharnel Dollar always stuns me with her gorgeous parties and sophisticated decor. She certainly did not disappoint with this stunning floral centerpiece she created for the Spring 2012 issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Colorful, full and with a twist of lime, here are Sharnel’s simple instructions for re-creating it at home:

Supplies Needed

Two vases of the same shape, different sizes  |  Full Blooms  |  Scissors  |  Limes, lemons or oranges

Directions

Select two vases that are the same shape, but that can fit inside each other leaving enough room for slices of lemon to sit in between vases. Place the smaller vase inside the larger vase. Slice up limes, lemons or oranges and start placing in between the two vases until you have reach the top of the vases. Fill the smaller vase with water and arrange you favorite blooms.

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