March 3rd, 2015 |

EASTER CELEBRATION PLANNING

easter wreathNow that March has arrived, it’s officially time to start planning our Easter celebrations!  To help get you organized, I put together a few tips:

easter planning tipsThe shop is full of darling new products for Easter, ranging from party invitations, to gift stickers, and foil-stamped gift tags, straw flags and napkins.  Not to mention THE cutest bunny plate in town.  Hop on over to check it out!

easter plate 2

February 3rd, 2015 |

VALENTINE’S DAY DESSERT | JELLO HEARTS

blogWhen it comes to Valentine’s Day entertaining, my days of candlelight dinners and roses are over.  Or at least on hiatus for awhile.  Holidays have become more about making it fun and festive for the little ones in our lives, namely my 15 month old son, and his cousins.  I wanted to come up with a themed dessert for them to celebrate Valentine’s Day – and one that they would actually eat!  What kid doesn’t love jello?!  This little project turned out so cute, I just had to share it with you.  So simple – you, too, can create these for your little loves.

Supplies

3 boxes of Strawberry Jello

2 boxes of Pina Colada Jello

1 baking pan

Heart shape cookie cutters

Instructions

Follow the instructions on the jello packaging and make one batch at a time, each time layering it on top of each other in the baking pan.  *let each layer harden completely before you add the next layer, so you get smooth, and even colors* Once you have added your desired layers, and they have chilled in the fridge for a solid 4-6 hours, use your heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out your shapes.

January 12th, 2015 |

FASHION SHOW PARTY | WH HOSTESS

invitationCustom parties are kind of my thing.  I love starting the process with a little idea, and blowing it up into an amazing party with details around every corner.  The party I am sharing with you today is one of my favorites to date.  Held in honor of one of my favorite little clients, Alexandra’s 5th birthday, it was as fun is it is gorgeous.  And we are so fortunate that Alexandra’s mom and Goodlight Photography are allowing us to share these gorgeous images from the day.

The party theme was centered around the birthday girl’s love for manicures, make-up and fashion.  And with the party date falling on the final weekend of NY fashion week in September, well…a fashion show was in order!  A soft mint green and pale pink color palette, a few gorgeous custom patterns and a unique boxed invitation were our jumping off point.  Read on for more details……..

4B8B2285Guests were welcomed by a jumbo balloons at the front door, with custom paper bows hanging down from them, made out of our coordinating patterned paper.  A welcome sign, featuring our fashion girl (in her monogrammed party dress and pearls), hung at the front door.

4B8B2297The party space was draped off in sheer white linens, creating a very luxe atmosphere for the birthday brunch.  One long table ran down the middle of the room, draped with white linens and a table runner made from our exclusive fashion ikat patterned fabric.  A large mint green and white striped fabric bow anchored each end of the table, and it was sprinkled with hot pink accessories and gorgeous pink rose centerpieces draped with pearls.  Each placesetting held mint green and white striped plates, cups with our fashion girl stickers and striped straws with straw flags, monogramed napkins, and placecards with each of the girls’ names on them.

4B8B2497

4B8B23134B8B2322

High top tables dressed in green and pink and miniature versions of the centerpieces were scattered around the kids’ table, allowing the moms to mingle and enjoy the brunch food and drinks as well.

4B8B2937

4B8B2485The drink bar was set up on the kitchen island, decorated with a scalloped paper banner and large bow.  One of my favorite decor pieces is this giant floral number 5.  Using flowers in unexpected ways always makes a statement, and this is the perfect example of that!  Basic pink paper cups were dressed up with our fashion girl stickers, mint striped straws from Shop Sweet Lulu and our gorgeous (and new!) gold foil-stamped straw flags.

Drinks included sweet tea, pink lemonade, and Shirley Temples!
4B8B24644B8B2482

Once the girls arrived at the party, they were welcomed into Alexandra’s “Bowtique” – a full-service beauty shoppe, where they put on monogrammed robes, got manicures, their hair and make-up done, and got to shop the “bowtique” for beauty supplies.  A stylized table was set up as the shop, anchored with a custom fabric backdrop, pennant banner, and oversized paper bow.  Cake stands held bottles of nail polish, small bottles of shimmer lotion and chapstick held custom labels, and loofas made for a colorful decoration in candy jars.

4B8B2388

4B8B24224B8B2409

4B8B2401Guests were served shots of milk and donut holes while getting their hair and make-up done.

4B8B27004B8B2845

The brunch buffet was laid out in the dining room, with an oversized rose and pearl floral arrangement holding center stage.  Peek behind the table, and you will see that we did a large cling version of our fashion girl to hang on the mirror.  Other decor items included napkin roll ties, stickers on the mint striped plates and striped food tent cards labeling the delicious brunch menu.

4B8B28794B8B24524B8B3253

After brunch, the girls were ushered outside to the “models’ lounge”, or the outdoor living room.  They were instructed to get dolled up in their swankiest attire – pearls, bling-y rings and feather boas were on hand.  The fireplace was decorated with a variety of tissue paper balls in mint green, white and shades of pink.  A braided ribbon garland was double-hung on the mantel, with “snapshots” and fashion quotes hanging from gold bow paper clips from Kate Spade.

4B8B25184B8B2543

4B8B2514Here’s where it gets REALLY fun.  A runway show was set up in the backyard, featuring a shimmering hot pink runway, a 3-D white floral backdrop and large scale monogram.  Ghost chairs lined the runway for the parents to watch the show, and waiters handed out “tutti frutti” popcorn as a snack during the show.

4B8B2529

4B8B3300

4B8B3320You can tell from the photos that the girls had an absolute blast strutting their stuff down the runway!

4B8B34864B8B3236

After working up an appetite at their runway show, the girls headed back inside to enjoy dessert.  A full dessert table full of gorgeous sweets awaited them.  The table was draped in a gold sequin tablecloth, and a pennant banner and bow on the front.  A custom fabric backdrop framed the table, and macaron trees sat on either side.  White cake stands and platters were topped with Cake Plate Clings in coordinating patterns.

Desserts included: cupcakes with pink fondant bows, macarons, cake pops, bow cookies, monogram cookies, and a variety of pink candy from Candywarehouse.com.

4B8B23454B8B23834B8B23564B8B23384B8B23704B8B2354The desserts didn’t stop there!  A gorgeous five-tier cake, from Cakes by Gina, sat in the dining room.  Featuring coordinating patterns like our bow lattice, stripes and monogram, it also had two gold shimmer tiers and the bottom tier featured fondant ruffled flowers.  GORGEOUS!

4B8B2449


4B8B35854B8B3593

When it comes to party favors, I love giving a gift that people will enjoy/use or consume.  In keeping with the theme of the party, Alexandra gave her friends a chic fashion coloring book.  We tied them with mint green satin ribbon and a shimmer pink, gold foil-stamped gift tag.  The favors were laid out on a table for the girls to grab as they left the party, with a sign thanking them for attending.

4B8B2331

4B8B2328

As I have often mentioned on my party recaps, I love when kids’ birthday parties provide an experience for the guests – not just sweets!  Alexandra and her girlfriends enjoyed a day of beauty treatments, the experience of putting on a runway show, and toasted the birthday girl with sweets and Shirley Temples.  This party goes down in the books as one of my favorites!

Sources: paper goods, fabric, cake plate clings, foil-stamped napkins, gift tags and straw flags, and custom party plan (whhostess.com), photography (goodlightphotography.com), plates, napkins, cups and straws (shopsweetlulu.com), pink candy (candywarehouse.com), cake and desserts (cakesbyginahouston.com), fashion coloring books (amazon.com), catering and event set-up (afehouston.com), florals (weddingflowersbylisa.com), mint green ribbon (papermart.com)

 

 

November 3rd, 2014 |

NEW! PERSONALIZED FOIL-STAMPED CELLO BAGS

cello bags topiaryWhen it comes to planning out our holiday offerings for the shop, I like to think in three different categories: entertaining, gift giving and packaging. Packaging encompasses everything from hostess gifts, to food gifts to gift wrap accessories like gift stickers and foil-stamped gift tags.  One of my favorite new products are these gorgeous foil-stamped cello bags.

cello bag close-upOur brand-new foil embossed personalized cellophane bags are an exciting addition to the WH Hostess holiday collection! They are small flat, not gusseted, clear bags that look wonderful when personalized and filled with any goodie you like. Try red and green candy, homemade baked goods, small gifts, or party favors. They make the perfect addition to your dessert table, laid out for guests to fill with sweets. They are also a great way to wrap holiday gifts for teachers and friends. They can be tied with ribbon, twist ties or with the tops folded and sealed with stickers.

cello bags in hands

foil color options

 

With 12 different foil ink colors and 30 preppy modern designs to choose from, you can create a unique packaging to perfectly suit your needs!

Set of 50.
3.75″ w X 9″ h

Here’s how it works:

1. Select a design from the swatchbook
2. Select an ink color from the swatchbook
3. Tell us your personalization request
4. Wait on pins & needles for your fabulous cello bags to arrive!
designsa

October 29th, 2014 |

HALLOWEEN PARTY IDEAS from STYLISH KIDS’ PARTIES

trick or treat table

Halloween is one of those holidays that evoke such happy childhood memories for me, including colorful costumes, festive school parties and trick or treating in the neighborhood.  It’s an ideal time to host an after-school party, offering a quick snack for the kids and an opportunity to chat with the parents before trick or treating commences.

book store listingIn today’s post, I’m sharing a few simple ideas for creative desserts that could be used as a school treat or as part of a party spread.  It also includes a couple of creative décor DIY projects and a few “tricks” that will make you the most stylish mom on the block.  All of these ideas are from my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties.

My book makes it a snap to plan, design and execute festive kids’ parties that wow adults and thrill little ones! Filled with 12 creative and colorful party ideas, Stylish Kids’ Parties shows you 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, themed activities and templates, you’ll love these party ideas for boys and girls, first birthday celebrations, baby showers and holiday gatherings.

Order your signed copy HERE.  It makes a great holiday gift, too!

jumbo balloon

DIY Project:

Reinvent the traditional paper chain garland with this fresh update.  Using 5” pieces of patterned ribbons in my color palette, and double-stick tape, I created this garland in no time flat.  It’s very lightweight, so you can hang it virtually anywhere.  I love it hanging as decoration off of our jumbo balloons!

pumpkin jelloDIY Decor:

Mini spoons and forks are a fun accessory for individual sized desserts.  Embellish your utensils with glitter, ribbon or washi tape.  I dipped these mini wood spoon handles into craft glue and then into silver glitter.  I love the touch of shimmer they added to the table.

DSC_0931DIY Party Favor Tags:

As a child, seeing your name on a party favor or gift is a big delight.  Dress up your basic party favor bags with kraft paper tags dipped in glitter.

whoopie piesKelly’s Halloween Whoopie Pie Recipe:

Whoopee pies are a little chocolate cake sandwich with a creamy filling; a timeless treat that can be embellished for any holiday or theme party.  Add Halloween sprinkles to this whoopee pie recipe to make them party-ready.

Whoopee Pie Cake Ingredients:

6 Cups All-Purpose Flour

2 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

3 Cups Sugar

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tbl Baking Soda

1 Tsp Salt

1 ¼ Cup Butter

4 Eggs

3 Cups Milk

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together sugar, butter and eggs until combined.  Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and mix again.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and being to slowly add the mixture to the egg mixture.  Continue beating until the ingredients are well combined.  Slowly start incorporating the milk into the bowl as you continue to mix on a slow speed.

Using an ice cream scoop (for consistent size), scoop out an even number of scoops onto a baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

Whoopee Pie Filling Ingredients:

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup shortening

1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 cup marshmallow fluff

1 pinch salt

Directions:

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add the whole milk to the bowl and beat well until you reach a creamy consistency.

Pipe the filling in between to cake cookies and the roll the sides in Halloween sprinkles.

October 21st, 2014 |

DIY HALLOWEEN PARTY FAVOR | THE GRUMPY CAT

party favor coneAs you know, this season I have partnered with Friskies and Petsmart to throw a fabulous Grumpy Cat themed Halloween party for my friends and family.  In the last couple of weeks, I shared a very simple party decoration that makes a big impact for very little effort.  Check out my paper fan halloween decorations here.  My meringue ghosts and pumpkin soda bottles were a hit last week – and oh, so simple to create.  And this week, I’m back with two simple DIY projects: a candy corn paper cone for party favors and a glittered initial pumpkin!

Every party needs a coordinating party favor, right?!  Whether you are gifting candy, sweets, or small trinkets, these candy corn paper cones are simple to create and just darling in little hands!  I’m supplying you with the template for both the cone and the cat gift tag.  You can download them here:

template for blog postInstructions:

Cut out the template and fold into a cone shape, matching edge to edge.  Place a paper clip at the top, holding the two edges together.  I used my hot glue gun, but if you are doing this project with small children, I would suggest craft glue or double-sided tape.  Attach the two edges together and allow to dry completely, before gluing a loop of ribbon onto the inside of the cone to act as a handle.

glitter pumpkinIt’s no secret that I love a good initial/monogram – so why not jazz up your pumpkins?!  You’ll see how I use these darling glittered pumpkins at my party next week.  But for now, I figured I would show you just how simple they are to create!

pumpkin stepsUsing craft glue, I drew the letters onto my small pumpkins.  (PS – I think this would make an AMAZING monogram on a big pumpkin.  I might have to get on that this week….)  Once the glue was on the pumpkin, I covered it with silver glitter, making sure to get all of the edges.  Afterwards, I shook off any extra and then let them dry overnight.  It’s that simple!

I’m gearing up for my big pumpkin carving party next week.  If you would like to carve the perfect Grumpy Cat Pumpkin (or “Grumpkin”).  Friskies and Petsmart were kind enough to provide us with a downloadable template to make that part a snap. You can join the fun by downloading the Grump-O-Lantern stencil available at PetSmart.com/friskies and uploading images of your personal Grump-O-Lantern, including the #Grumpkin hashtag and #ThePartyDress hashtag.

pumpkin stencil

Friskies will donate $500 to PetSmart Charities on behalf of the blogger whose audience uploads the most #Grumpkin images.  Don’t forget to tag #ThePartyDress, too!

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM FRISKIES IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL IDEAS AND OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.

October 20th, 2014 |

HOLIDAY PHOTO CARDS | NEW DESIGNS & SAVE 20%

preppy modern christmas photo cards from wh hostessIt’s always an exciting day around here when we officially “launch” our holiday collection.  It’s no secret that I love a good party (in fact, we celebrated my son’s 1st birthday yesterday!  more to come on that soon….), but when October rolls around, we kick into holiday gear around here.  Personalized gifts at great price points (perfect for teachers, hostess gifts, and stocking stuffers), amazing packaging ideas for gifts (gift stickers, foil gift tags, foil cello bags, and personalized cookie tins, just to name a few), and my personal favorite….our holiday photo cards.

I always consider it an honor to design my clients Christmas cards – to be trusted with their family photos and creating a design (either from our collection or custom) that perfectly suits their family – it’s a pretty fantastic job!

This year, we revamped our holiday card collection, and I’m thrilled to share it with you today.  Don’t worry, we kept some of our favorites from over the years, but we gave them a little update and added in about 30 new designs!  They are fresh, preppy, modern, updated….but yet still have that classic feel that resonates so deeply with me.  Whether you are looking for classic red & green, or super colorful & preppy, or clean & crisp – there are options for everyone!

Here’s where it gets fun…..  This year, all of our holiday cards are offered as double-sided. We were able to lower our prices, and give you way more bang for your buck!  Offering you a gorgeous, beautifully printed card, with your choice of customization on the back.  You can select from either the coordinating patterned back, or from one of our 9 different collage back options, giving you the opportunity to showcase more pictures of your family.  Oh, and PS – many, many of our designs are now offered in multiple color ways!  Want something custom? Absolutely!  Want to add gold foil accents to your card? Absolutely!

Here are just a few of my favorite designs…..

preppy modern christmas photo cards from wh hostessAnd here are the different collage photo back options…..

photo back options blog postTo celebrate the launch of our holiday collection, we are offering you a 20% discount on your order if placed before October 31, 2014.  Using the code HOLIDAY2014, it’s the perfect time to place your holiday card order, get a jump start on gift giving or order your personalized gift tags.  Happy Shopping!DISCOUNT

October 1st, 2014 |

WELCOME, OCTOBER!

october

Image via Fashion Jackson

Welcome, October!  I know I say this every month, but can you believe how fast this year has gone?  I think back to a year ago, and I had a round belly and was anticipating the birth of my first child in December.  As most of you know, he shocked us with his October arrival and our world changed forever.  This has truly been the fastest year of my life, and certainly filled with the most joy.  October is a happy, happy month for us.  We get glorious weather here in Chicago, and bask in those last few weeks of outdoor time before the winter hibernation begins.  We celebrate our wedding anniversary, and this year – our sweet baby boy’s first birthday!  (see the start of my plans here)

Fall entertaining is one of my favorites.  From a simple chili bar to entertain a crowd, to a cozy wine tasting to celebrate the harvest this month….October is a great time to pull out the fall decor and throw a party!

October is also a busy month, both here on the blog and in the shop, WH Hostess.  The blog has a ton of really fun Halloween posts coming up, we’ve partnered with a few great brands to bring you some great ideas that are simple to replicate for your family or classroom parties.  We have some darling real parties to share with you, and will continue to share new products from WH Hostess that are perfect for the holiday season (did you see the new foil-embossed stationery yesterday?!).

Speaking of WH Hostess, there are A LOT of really exciting things going on behind the scenes that I will share with you soon.  Although birthday parties remain a focus in October, it also brings the launch of our holiday collection!  Our brand new holiday card designs have already been added to the shop, in case you want to take a peek.  We are SO excited about the collection this year.  It’s fresh, updated and has so many options for you to customize a card just for your family and photo.  Multiple color options, the option of a patterned back or a photo collage back to share more photos of your family, and wait for it……we were able to lower our prices, bringing you a stellar product and allowing you to save just a little bit more for those holiday gifts!  More to come soon about the holiday products and gift ideas at a great price point…

Enjoy the month, friends!  See you back here tomorrow for some more fall inspiration!

kelly signature

 

 

 

 

 

September 30th, 2014 |

WH HOSTESS | FOIL-STAMPED STATIONERY

personalized foil stamped stationery with preppy modern designsWe’re downright swooning over our new foil-stamped personalized stationery! New to the shop, we offer 18 fresh, modern designs that have you covered for your everyday social stationery needs. Here’s where it gets exciting….

textThese fold over cards and envelopes are made from a beautiful high end Italian paper and are available in 15 exquisite colors. The darker colors look great when a light or metallic colored pen is used! Our collection includes a variety of designs for everyday notes, and gift enclosures, with countless paper and foil options. Choose from one of our preppy, modern designs and customize your folded notecards to fit your family’s personality. A dream come true for paper lovers!

foil embossed personalized notecards with preppy modern designs
Whether you are looking for a gorgeous monogram, a modern preppy pattern, or a simple graphic such as an anchor, pineapple or bow – you can create a unique gift set of stationery perfect for your letters, thank you notes, and gift enclosures.

At $58 for a boxed set of 50 folded notecards and envelopes, they make a fabulous birthday or holiday gift!

designs textdesigns

September 29th, 2014 |

PARTY PLANNING | APPLE 1st BIRTHDAY

apple party itemsI can hardly believe that I am about to utter these words, but…..I’M. PLANNING. A. FIRST. BIRTHDAY. PARTY.  Already!  This has been the fastest year of my life and I truly can’t believe we are here already.  I’ve spent the last 6 years planning birthday parties for other people’s children, so I am SO excited to finally be able to plan one for my own.

I wanted to choose a theme that was fun, somewhat seasonal, yet would have a very classic undertone.  A theme that when we look back at pictures 10-20 years from now, it wouldn’t seem trendy or outdated.  So, an “apple of our eye” theme was chosen.  I knew right away that I wanted to incorporate a gingham check into the paper goods, but went a little un-traditional by opting for a black and white pattern.  Mixing it with my “mod apple” pattern, a lot of crisp white accents, and a little chalkboard accent, I think it’s going to be really fun and playful.

We are having the party at our local park and other than getting the invitations in the mail and the start of this little vision board…..I haven’t done much else!  3 weeks to go and so much planning to do!  Do you have any ideas that you think would be perfect for this theme?  Pass them on!!

Images: paper goods by whhostess.com, ceramic bushel baskets by crateandbarrel.com, black and white buffalo check fabric by ikea.com, apple fabric by whhostess.com, red 36″ balloons by shopsweetlulu.com

Page 3 of 10912345...102030...Last »