November 28th, 2011 |

Cyber Monday Sale!

WooHoo!  I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!  We’re pretty excited here at TPD and WH this morning.  We have launched our BRAND NEW whhostess.com website.  Better navigation, clearer options for customers, and stylized checkout process are a few of our favorite new additions.  We hope you like it!

Since it is Cyber Monday and we have a lot to celebrate,  WH Hostess is joining in the Cyber Monday fun for TODAY ONLY with a fun promotion. Shop more, save more.  It’s as simple as that, and the perfect time to place an order for your photo cards or the holiday gifts you have been eyeing.

Restrictions: This offer can not be used towards prior purchases.  It is only valid thru Monday, November 28, 2011.

November 26th, 2011 |

Fabric-Wrapped Wine

To continue with the fabric gift wrapping from yesterday, I thought I would share one of my favorite hostess gift ideas from the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  A bottle of wine is always my stand-by hostess gift, whether heading to a friend’s home for dinner, or attending a large holiday party.  Dress it up this holiday season, by wrapping it in a a piece of festive fabric.  It’s cute, colorful and will definitely stand out from the crowd!

 

November 21st, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Mix and Mingle

I’m a sucker for a crisp black and white color palette, especially when accessorized with a pop of green and a touch of sparkle.  When it came time to develop a new holiday party theme, I immediately drew inspiration from my Kate Spade china and her crisp, and preppy design aesthetic.  An untraditional pairing for the holidays, our bold stripes and festive berry pattern make a stunning combination and are perfect for a cocktail or dinner party.

Designed around a party collection from WH Hostess, we set our table using a bold, green tablecloth. Black charger plates, our striped Kate Spade china, napkins made from our custom berry patterned fabric, and black-stemmed wine goblets are accessorized with striped paper goods – placecards and menu cards. Black urns ran down the center of the table holding floral pomander balls made of white carnations, very much resembling snowballs! Glass cloches held silver ornaments, and crystal compotes held glittering black beads and pearls.

When serving a fashionable crowd dessert, it is an absolute must to present it in a stunning manner. A dessert table that is crisp and festive is just the ticket! Carry over the color palette and patterns from your table- setting and paper goods, and have desserts made to coordinate. We suggest working closely with your sweets vendors to create designs that will compliment one another. Our table was set in a green tablecloth, and featured a tonal white patterned fabric backdrop. Silver, fluted-edge cake stands and a three-tier stand looked stunning paired with glass apothecary jars.

One of our FAVORITE desserts, were the striped mini cakes made out of fondant by Two Sugar Babies!

Desserts included a variety of bite size sweets so guests could try a few, and could also mix and mingle while enjoying them. Cupcakes were accessorized with coordinating cupcake toppers, Allyson Jane made bold-patterned cookies that matched our paper goods perfectly. Cake pops by Flour & Iced featured our black and white berry pattern with just a touch of green, and mini meringues melted in your mouth. Color-coordinated candy was placed in the apothecary jars, and each was embellished with a sweet candy jar tag. (our favorite were the “pearls”) The candy jar tags and food tent cards helped tie together the theme and made the table look very stylish!

A green cone-shaped tree sat atop a black urn (also seen on the dinner tablesetting). We added pearls into the center of each rosette on the tree for a touch of preppy elegance, and desserts were served on our black and white polka dot, Kate Spade tibit plates.

Guests were sent home with a small black box filled with cookies and sealed with a striped sticker.

November 18th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Winter Confections

Looking for some inspiring winter confections for your upcoming holiday events?  Look no further than this sophisticated color palette and decorations ideas from Jill of Modern Cupcake.  Debuted in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine, use this chic color palette for your Christmas or seasonal soiree.

Dip store-bought sugar cookies in white chocolate & dust with glistening sprinkles or adorn a 3-tiered store-bought cake with satin ribbon & white chocolate trimmings.

photography by Jessica Downey Photo

November 17th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Unlock the Spirit of the Holidays

Jessica Kirkland of Pen ‘n Paperflowers put together a stunning winter white dessert table for the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  It’s warm and fuzzy, with vintage touches all over….jam-packed full of inspiration that you can use all winter long.  Here are more of the details from Jessica…

Drawing inspiration from a blog entry I posted almost two years ago, I wanted to create a dessert table filled with an organic holiday warmth. Knowing the holidays tend to feel a bit chaotic, I wanted to convey a sense of a seasonal sanct- uary among all of the holiday hustle and bustle. It takes a concerted effort to actually reach that place of refuge we all long for during the preparations, celebrations and ultimat- ely the exacerbations of the holiday season. Therefore, I wanted to include a subtle reminder that if we are to reach that place refuge, we must be intentional in “unlocking” the spirit of the season; thus giving life to the theme “Unlock the Spirit of the Holidays”.

I decided on a French-Vintage theme using a tone-on-tone color palette of creamy whites, a little bit of burlap, tea- stained paper doilies, lace and yarn. The mix of textures was perfect for pulling off the sense of tranquility I was hoping for.

The vintage design elements used throughout the details were to illustrate the memories often stirred as we gather together with friends and family. Ornate keys were used as accent pieces on the dessert table in various forms, symbolic of “unlocking” the Spirit of the Holidays.

Some of my favorite design pieces came from the beautiful Etsy shoppe, Cloth & Patina. The vintage skeleton key place card holders, repurposed glass vintage bottles adorned with french vintage labels, small burlap favor bags and the unique repurposed funnel centerpiece were absolutely gorgeous and added an extra touch to make the entire table unique and beautiful. The stunning custom designed sugar cookies and matching petit fours created by Bee’s Knees Creative were exactly what I had envisioned for tone-on-tone confections. Not only were they charming, they were absolutely delicious.

Knowing I wanted The Pastry Pedestal™ to take center stage in order to showcase the various petite pastries that can be displayed on them, as well as debuting the brand-new Platform, I decided to use three different desserts. Using the petit fours from Bee’s Knees Creative, homemade mini and regular sized cupcakes topped with a cream cheese frosting. For the final touch on the cupcakes, I added a single mini white chocolate key I made from a candy mold. I love that The Pastry Pedestal can be customized or personalized for any event. For this occasion, I wrapped some of the rounds of The Pastry Pedestal™ with beaded ivory trim and others with a ribbon-like fabric. I also wrapped the rods with vintage shredded paper, thereby allowing the lucite rods to blend beautifully with the vintage-vibe of the table.

Fresh rosemary cuttings from a neighbor, were the finishing touch to the kraft paper wrapped gift boxes used as focal and accent pieces. I felt a real sense of peace and calm looking at how beautifully everything came together. I hope to carry this feeling throughout my home beyond the holidays and into the every day life.

 

November 17th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Pumpkin Macarons

Looking for a fun dessert for Thanksgiving celebrations?  These pumpkin macarons will definitely do the trick.  A recipe developed by Charynn of Two Sugar Babies, and featured exclusively in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine….these macarons are a festive spin on a favorite stand-by, and are definitely worth a try.

Basic Macaron Recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup almond flour (purchase pre-processed or grind blanched almond slivers in a food processor. Process whole dry-roasted almonds for a more “rustic” look.)

2 large egg whites (room temperature)

pinch of cream of tartar

1/4 cup superfine sugar (granulated sugar processed in a food processor works well for me)

1/8 tsp cinnamon pinch of nutmeg few drops of orange food coloring

Filling:

1/2 cup caramel made from sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand; find instructions on eaglebrand.com)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Sift powdered sugar and almond flour together in a bowl. With an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add superfine sugar and and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form (add orange food coloring to egg whites just before the end of whisking). Sprinkle flour mixture over the egg whites and fold mixture gently until smooth and shiny–be careful of the amount of times you fold, and watch the mixture carefully while you’re folding. You want it to spread evenly (no peaks remain) when you drop dollops of it, but you don’t want it to run all over the place. A few times looking at the recipe as it goes and you’ll be good. Transfer mixture to a piping bag with a 1/2 inch round icing tip and pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds on parchment covered baking sheets. Bring down on counter to release air in macarons. Let sit on counter until the tops of the circles have started to lose their shine, 30 min to 2 hours, depending on environment. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Reduce oven to 325 degrees and bake 1 sheet of macarons at a time, about 10 minutes, until firm but not brown on top. Reheat oven to 375 degrees between sheets. Let macarons cool and then transfer to wire racks to cool. Cook all filling ingredients in a non stick pan until thickened. Let cool and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip. Sandwich macarons with 1-1 1/2 tsp of filling. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. May also be frozen for up to 3 months (defrost on counter 30 minutes before serving).

 

November 16th, 2011 |

Elf on the Shelf Calendar

Does your family have a beloved “Elf on the Shelf“?  While designing the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine, my assistant editor, Charynn and I came up with the idea of creating a calendar of ideas of places to hide your elf.  Cute, creative, amusing (to both adults and kids) places to put your elf for your kids to find every day.  We had SO.MUCH.FUN coming up with these ideas and hope that you will all get a kick out of them.

The calendar is below (if you click on the picture, it will take you directly to the free download) – please print it off, share it with friends and let us know if you try out any of these ideas!!  Enjoy!

 

November 16th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Elf Party

When designing a new collection of party goods, I always try to think thru designs so that they can inspire other elements for the party.  Decorations, desserts – patterns that can be carried throughout the event from start to finish.  Our brand new Elf Collection debuted in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine, and judging from the response, I would say our darling little elf will be making the rounds among LOTS kid’s holiday parties this season!

Designed to be oh, so classic with a crisp red, white and green color palette, snowflakes and our darling elf, this collection features all of the items needed to throw the perfect party.

When it came to decorations, we focused on red and white and saved the green for accents.  A touch of sparkle here, a crisp ribbon there.  Paper lanterns were decorated with ric rac and buttons (this is something you could do for any type of party!), and oversized swirl lollipops served as centerpieces.

When it came to desserts, I compiled a team of some of the most talented bakers I know.  I gave them each a copy of our collection designs and couldn’t wait to see what they came up with.  These darling fondant elves were made by Two Sugar Babies, and completely dressed up store-bought cupcakes!

Cake pops from Flour & Iced were decorated with red, white and green sprinkles (the little ball shape of sprinkles mimics the polka dot pattern in the paper goods). Allyson Jane made elf cookies by using an upside down ice cream cone cookie cutter! The Marshmallow Studio created these darling elf pops, and we styled them in a cute polka dot pitcher, which could also serve as a table centerpiece!

One of our favorite dessert ideas was to serve ice cream in tiny striped mugs, with a “dressed-up” cupcake topper in them.  Jars of candy were dressed up with striped ribbon and a coordinating candy jar tag (I love the little snowflake on them!).  Kids LOVE bringing sweets home as a party favor, too.  We got creative while filling the tubs of candy by striping the colors to mimic the collection patterns, and our cute little elf made one last appearance on the gift tag tied to it.

November 15th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Fizzy Fig Cocktails

The Holiday season is upon us and you know what that means……one opportunity after another for cocktails!  Creating a festive cocktail for your guests is a great way of adding your own personal touch to a dinner or holiday party.  Maggie Hemsworth from Delish Catering Chicago shared a unique fizzy fig cocktail recipe using homemade sugar cubes (which we LOVE giving as a hostess gift!) in the recent issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

Cocktail

Simply mix 5 oz. of prosseco with 1 or 2 sugar cubes, and add a fig sliced in half.

Fig, Vanilla & Black Pepper Sugar Cubes

Ingredients

4 tbsp Jo Snow fig, vanilla & black pepper syrup

1 ½ cups pure cane sugar

Directions

Cover a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Heat the syrup in the microwave for 20 seconds. Pour syrup over the sugar. Use a fork to combine the sugar and syrup. It should be grainy, kind of like fluffy sand. If too wet add more sugar. If too dry, add more syrup to get correct consistency. Pour on to pan. Using only about ¼ to 1/3 of the pan, pack sugar in to a rectangle. Using a bench scrapper or knife, cut sugar into ½” squares. Allow to dry for about 40 minutes. Then carefully pull cubes apart and allow to dry for another hour or two.

November 14th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Turkey Cupcakes

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, it’s time to plan out those fun little treats for your kids that will make it a memorable holiday.  This charming turkey cupcake was featured in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine and is the perfect combination of charm + deliciousness!  Made to compliment her kid-friendly Thanksgiving table, Stefanie at Anna & Blue Paperie came up with these simple, DIY instructions for creating these turkey cupcakes:

12 cupcakes

2 cups chocolate Frosting

¼ cup white frosting

6 large marshmallows (halved crosswise)

Crème-filled rolled wafer cookies

Orange decorating gel

24 mini chocolate morsels

12 orange gummy candies (halved)

12 candy corns

Wax paper

2 resealable sandwich bags

Star decorating tip

 

Frost your cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt ½ cup chocolate frosting for 10-15 seconds.  Stir every 5 seconds until mixture is thin.

Dip uncut side of marshmallow halves into the melted frosting, turning to coat.

Place cut side of marshmallows on the wax paper and let stand until set.

Once set, place coated marshmallow half slightly off-center each frosted cupcake.

To create the turkey beak, place a small drop of melted frosting onto the center of the marshmallow.  Place the yellow end of the candy corn onto the drop which will keep the candy in place.

Using the gel, pipe a turkey wattle up and around each beak.

Place white frosting into a sandwich bag.  Cut a small piece from one corner.  Pipe two small dollops on the marshmallows to create eyes.  Place two chocolate morsels on top of the white frosting dollops.

To create turkey feathers, break the wafers in half and insert pieces in a half circle around the marshmallow.

Fit the second sandwich bag with the star tip and add remaining chocolate frosting into the bag.  Pipe frosting around the edge of the marshmallow.

To create the turkey feet, press 2 gummy candy halves below the marshmallow for each cupcake.

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