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.

November 14th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner with kiddos, it’s important to keep them happy and occupied!  Stefanie from Anna & Blue Paperie put together this darling kid-friendly Thanksgiving table using her new printables collection for the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine, and there are tons of details that you can recreate for your own holiday table.  Stay tuned for the details as told by Stefanie…

Everyone looks forward to sitting down for a delicious Thanksgiving meal after hours of preparing, cooking and baking. Sitting through a long meal can be challenging for the little ones though. Why not set up a dedicated table just for the children to make their mealtime entertaining as well? A special table decorated for kids and a fun game of Tic-Tac-Turkey will ensure a pleasant gathering for everyone. It can also help to keep them entertained and seated for more than 5 minutes.

To create a warm and festive feel for the table, I designed a printable collection using a color palette consisting of chocolate, pumpkin, burlap and cranberry. Personalized place-cards give an inviting welcome for little guests at their table. A quick and easy centerpiece was created using pumpkins and pine cones. I created cornucopias made out of waffle cones and filled them with pumpkin candies as a fun touch for the table. The place settings were created using construction paper which serve as place mats as well as a canvas for kids’ doodles. The turkey cups were a simple DIY project made from silly googly-eyed stickers, construction paper and felt. I filled the cups with crayons to beckon kids to their seats and to give them a fun coloring activity while the turkey is carved. For young children, stick with unbreakable plates and heavy weight wooden utensils in place of silverware. During their meal, the children can use their checklists to ensure they eat all of their Thanksgiving goodies. Make sure they leave room for their dessert. Cupcakes were created to resemble turkeys that are sure to please! Who can resist gobbling up this special treat for dessert?   (Stay tuned for the DIY instructions on the blog this afternoon!) This year, start a new tradition by putting together a fun, kid-friendly table to give thanks and to create special memories that will last a lifetime.

November 10th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Photo Tips for Holiday Cards

I spent my week down in Houston at our Holiday trunk show working with families to design {the perfect} holiday card, and have been talking “pictures” all week long!  It’s that time of year, where every single family I know is trying to get {the perfect} shot to use for their holiday card.  Whether you are taking the pictures yourself, or having a professional photographer capture your little ones….we could all use some tips!

Photographer, Laura Winslow, offered up some fabulous advice in the Holiday issue of TPD Magazine.  Words of wisdom to help you get thru the stress of it and come out with a perfect picture that captures your family’s personality.

November 9th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: DIY Nailhead Pumpkins

These DIY nailhead pumpkins by Christi Bennett of P is for Party is one of my favorite features in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  It’s simple, it’s modern, and it speaks to “fall”, not necessarily a holiday.  I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for those non-holiday decorations that make my home look cozy, yet updated….and this fits the bill perfectly.

Step 1:

Gather your supplies: pumpkin, nailheads, a pencil, and decorative ribbon

Step 2:

Think about your design before you draw it on the pumpkin.

Step 3:

Draw your pattern onto the pumpkin (you could use a stencil too)

Step 4:

Once your design is drawn on the pumpkin, start inserting the nailheads one by one. (line them up so they are touching on both sides)

Step 5:

Finish up your whole design or letter and voila! You have a modern update to a traditional pumpkin!

Tip:

You can use nailheads on any type of gourd – not just pumpkins!

Images by Ellenzilla Photography

November 8th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Pumpkin Moss Centerpiece

This moss and pumpkin centerpiece is so easy to make, and adds a great pop to your fall or Thanksgiving tablesetting.  As featured in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine, it requires minimal supplies and a few easy steps:

Step 1:

Gather your supplies: vase, styrofoam ball, moss, wood skewers, mini pumpkins, glue gun & glue sticks

Step 2:

Place the styrofoam ball atop the vase, and insert skewers into the bottom of the pumpkins.

Step 3:

Insert the skewered pumpkins into the styrofoam ball.

Step 4:

Once all of the pumpkins are in place, start gluing on your moss in between them.

Step 5:

Continue to cover the empty space with moss, so it is nice and full.

Step 6:

Once you have covered your ball completely with moss, clean up any loose pieces.

November 8th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Thanksgiving Dinner Party

November is a lovely time to entertain family and friends. Whether you are hosting an actual Thanksgiving dinner or not, take it upon yourself to set a gorgeous table, cook a delicious meal, and treat the special people in your life to a great evening. This tablescape was featured in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine (the holiday issue!).

To switch things up a bit from my usual, rustic Fall decor and tablesettings, I decided to set this table using a sophisticated neutral color scheme of ivory, pewter grey and accents of moss green. A bead-chain fabric table cloth, crisp white napkins, a pewter grey charger and basic white dishes set the base for our tablesetting. A placecard embellished with ribbon sat atop a ramiken ready to hold veggies. To add demension to the table, I added white pumpkins, votive candles and our moss and pumpkin centerpiece (in a grey wood grain vase).  Stay tuned for the DIY centerpiece instructions later this afternoon!

November 7th, 2011 |

The Party Dress Magazine – Holiday

It is with GREAT excitement that we launch the first Holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine!  110+ pages full of ideas for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and winter entertaining.  Recipes, gift ideas, fabulous decor and even a free downloadable printable or two, this magazine will have you bookmarking ideas left and right!

I hope you all enjoy this issue….and please, pass it on to your friends!  You can purchase a luxe, glossy copy of the magazine in the shop.

This issue was made possible by the amazingly talented group of contributors we partnered with.  My assistant editor, Charyn Olsheski of Two Sugar Babies, Maggie Hemsworth of Delish Catering Chicago, Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio, Christi Bennett of P is for Party, Beth Beattie, Jill Thomas of Modern Cupcake, Laura Winslow, Chris Nease of Celebrations at Home, Rebecca Propes and Shannon Helliker of Fresh Chick Design Studio, Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff of AndersRuff, Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio, Stefanie Richter of Anna & Blue Paperie, Jessica Kirkland of Pen ‘n Paperflowers, Melisa Fluhr and Pam Ginocchio of Project Nursery, Allyson Harvey of Allyson Jane Designer Desserts, Jessica Wilcox of Modern Moments, Laura Grim and Lindsey Ter Har of Double Take Event Styling, and Leanne Ambrogio of Sweet Style by Mrs. A in the Cove.

 

November 4th, 2011 |

Fall Wine & Cheese Party

Wine & cheese is a staple (and favorite) night in our house!  But it’s also a simple way to throw a party.  You don’t need to mess around with an entire meal or tablesetting – just put together one fabulous plate (I prefer my wine barrel lazy susan) and dress it up with some “accessories” such as nuts, and fruit.  This time of year, you can play into the “wine” colors with flowers, or a bowl full of fruit to place on your table.

Thinking of throwing your own party?  Style at Home as a great feature on creating a high/low wine and cheese party…check it out here.

November 1st, 2011 |

Introducing….Holiday 2011!!

It is with GREAT excitement that I launch the 2011 Holiday Collection from WH Hostess!  This collection is so festive, so colorful and so…US!  Bold chevrons, colorful clover patterns, a modern ikat and classic holiday patterns adorn holiday photo cards, party goods and gifts.  If you are one of our newsletter subscribers, you received a little gift in your inbox this morning celebrating the launch!

Photo cards are the sweetest way to send your family’s holiday wishes.  Our collection includes 40+ designs for Christmas, Hanukkah and so many colorful options for a combination of the two!  Our cards are printed on a luxe, thick cardstock (almost double the weight of most stationery brands) with rich colors and a nice smooth hand.  Each design has a coordinating return address label to dress up your envelopes.

When it comes to gift-giving, I find that I am always in need of those “price-point” gifts.  You know, the $20 teacher gift, the simple hostess gift, the under $50 gift for your sister or best friend.  We worked really hard this season to bring you SO MANY fun options! Dress up your gifts this season with a colorful gift sticker, offered in so many darling patterns, trust me…it will be tough to just choose one!

Attending a party this season?!  Our favorite hostess gift is a set of paper coasters (personalized, of course).  At just $15 per set of 36, you can pair them with a bottle of champagne!

My favorite gift is our chunky notepads.  At $18, this 200 page notepad is THE perfect teacher gift, office-friend gift, or a little “just because” gift for a friend.

Melamine plates are (and probably always will be) one of our favorite products.  It’s so fun to see our designs translated into dishes!  In addition to our broad assortment of children’s plates, we added a bunch of festive patterns into the shop.  I love that they look perfectly jolly during the holidays, but most of the patterns can continue to be used during the year too.  At $24 each, they make a fabulous gift and a lovely way to present Christmas cookies to a neighbor.

A new addition this year are our melamine trays.  These are FABULOUS.  12″ square, with handles on both sides, they are available in a huge assortment of patterns….and at $48 each, it’s the perfect price point for a holiday gift.  (PS – I just learned that they stack really well for storage!)

Last, but certainly not least are our exclusive collection of patterned holiday stockings.  We are IN LOVE with these and consider them a must-have!  Dress your mantel with all different patterns or hang an individual stocking on your child’s bedroom door.  (There is even an option to add a monogram!)

I hope you will all explore our new collection and pass it on to any friends you think may enjoy it!

The holiday edition of The Party Dress Magazine is shipping this week!  There is still time to order your copy (here).

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

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