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.

March 14th, 2012 |

Decorating for St. Patty’s Day

For those of you who love green beer, your favorite holiday is right around the corner , St.Patty’s Day! I am not sure about you but it’s one of my favorites to decorate for, something about the luck of the Irish!
Can’t think of just how to decorate for this Holiday? I’ve done the thinking for you!
  • Start with a Cake: It will be a beautiful centerpiece for dessert. I am Baker has a FABulous recipe for St.Patty’s Day Cake!
  • Wear Green: You don’t want to get pinched so wear green. We love this Zest is More dress by Modcloth - just perfect for this holiday.
  • Decorate the Table: Fill it with simple white flowers with extra greenery – white tulips, baby breathe and Green Smoothe’s from The Alkaline Sisters. {Irish Dinner photo via Sugar & Charm} Shop HomeGoods for inexpensive table decor for the occasion!
Don’t forget to hang a wreath on your door. I especially love this one from Buttons & Bows. Oh, and dance the jig with your sweetheart.
March 13th, 2012 |

St. Patrick’s Day Brunch Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day is a great reason to celebrate during the bleek month of March (we are SO almost to Spring!!).  You can surprise your family with some simple treats made from items you probably have sitting around in your pantry. With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, it’s the perfect opportunity to create a colorful brunch for your family.

A few of our favorite ideas include:

  • A stack of rainbow-colored pancakes!  Divide up your pancake batter into multiple bowls and use food coloring to get your desired color.
  • Take those pancakes a step further and use a cookie cutter to cut out a shamrock or your child’s initial, mix and match the shapes for a two-tone color block affect.
  • Die that milk green!  (this could make a basic bowl of cereal pretty exciting too!)
  • In the mood for cinnamon rolls?  Sprinkle the top with green and white sprinkles!
How do you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  Share your ideas here and inspire others! To view more ideas like this, check out the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

March 12th, 2012 |

The Party Dress Magazine, Spring 2012 + Giveaway

The day is FINALLY here.  We’re launching the 5th issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  It’s always a labor of love, and I am SO thrilled with how this issue turned out.  Charynn and I, along with a group of amazing contributors, offer you countless ideas for Spring entertaining, stylized kids birthday parties, baby and bridal showers, gift ideas, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.

This issue is my absolute favorite thus far.  It’s bright and colorful, and will hopefully leave you thoroughly excited for Spring.  Although we love working with current trends, the ideas you will find on the 90 pages of this magazine are timeless and will still be in style 5 years from now.  We encourage you to purchase one of the luxe, glossy, printed editions for future reference.  Hurry up….with a limited print run, we will sell out quickly!

When it comes to producing this magazine, the phrase “it takes a village” comes to mind.  In addition to my trusty assistant editor, Charynn and I, we have a wonderful assortment of top party stylists, bloggers, buyers and shop owners that contributed amazing ideas to inspire you.  A huge thank you goes out to: Sharnel Dollar, Lynlee Beckett, Christi Bennett, Kim Stoegbauer, Casi Densmore-Koon, Beth Beattie, Maggie Hemsworth, Wendy Rossiter Estes and Tiffany Grayce Harris, the buyers from The Land of Nod, Jane Carlisle, and Monica Caparosa, as well as all of our wonderful advertisers.

We hope you enjoy the issue!  Read on for details on the giveaway…..

To show our appreciation for everyone’s excitement over the new magazine, we are offering a fabulous giveaway!  Enter to win a set of all 5 TPD Magazines, along with a note from me!  Here’s how to enter:

  • The contest starts today, Monday, March 12th and ends Thursday, March 15th at 11:59pm CST.
  • A winner will be chosen via random.org and will be announced on Friday, March 16th.
  • To enter: Read the current issue of TPD Magazine and leave a comment here on what is your favorite article or idea.
  • For bonus entries, share the magazine on facebook, twitter, pinterest or your blog.
Thanks for playing….GOOD LUCK!

 

March 7th, 2012 |

How to Plan an Easter Birthday Party

A holiday birthday is always a tough project! This year, my son’s birthday falls on Easter weekend, and even though we are celebrating with a big party after the holiday, we are going to have a small family celebration during our Easter festivities. I’m thinking it would be adorable to use pastel blue, yellow, and green…maybe with some gray? Some of these ideas would translate so well into the small party I’m planning!

Images: Easter party display (via Anders Ruff), Bunny cake (by Cake Journal), Easter Egg Cake Pops (by Bakerella), Easter Egg Crafts (via Good Housekeeping), Easter Bunny DIY Bags (by Mr. Printables),
Easter Party Sodas (by Hello My Sweet via Amy Atlas)
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