August 28th, 2011 |

GIVEAWAY: Madeira Housewares

We are so excited to bring you one FABULOUS giveaway this week!  Starting today, you can enter to win a product kit from one of my favorite housewares companies, Madeira.

Madeira specializes in finding the most exotic wood on earth and crafting it into individual works of art for the kitchen. Madeira is translated to mean “wood” in Portuguese, the native language of Brazil, where these beautiful products originate. Madeira takes pride in using only the highest quality raw materials. Each product design offers a unique use to help serve or prepare meals with ease. Madeira products combine classic design with functionality to produce timeless kitchen tools for every home.

Dying to get your hands on one of these fabulous cutting boards?  Enter to win this set of three valued at more than $100.  The set includes: an edge grain plantation teak utility board, an end grain plantation teak round chop block, and a edge grain plantation teak XL carving board.  Pretty fabulous, huh?

Here’s how to enter: go check out Madeira’s facebook page, become a fan and then leave a comment here letting us know how much you LOVE their stuff.  Simple as that!  Want an extra chance?  Become a fan of The Party Dress on facebook and follow WH Hostess on twitter.

Giveaway starts NOW! and ends Thursday, September 1st at midnight CST.  A winner will be chosen via random.org.  Thanks for playing and good luck!

August 25th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Carnival 1st Birthday

I had the pleasure of working with a client this summer to plan a custom first birthday party for a little girl named Estella.  A carnival theme was chosen early on and my client asked me to come up some festive designs that were colorful and playful.  We designed a collection of paper goods that includes polka dots, a diamond pattern, colorful stripes and THE cutest circus carnival tent you can imagine (if we do say so ourselves!).  We now have a the full collection of items up in the shop, including invitations, decorations, dessert table accessories, melamine plates and fabric by the yard.

As you can see, Estella’s mom pulled together a darling dessert table featuring themed sweets.  We created a tile backdrop featuring all of the coordinating patterns, and a striped birthday cake featuring a fondant banner held center stage.  Coordinating cupcake toppers, candy jar tags, food tent cards and signage helped to brand the table.  The birthday girl had her own special cake served on our melamine plate.

Typical carnival food was served: burgers, french fries served in individual cups with stickers on them, and summer beverages (lemonade and iced tea) were placed in glass bottles with custom labels.  It was a hot summer day, so water bottles with our labels were a hot ticket item!

The yard was decorated with colorful balloons, banners, and centerpieces made of candy and dressed up with our centerpiece sticks. The kids were all given party hats to wear at the party, and there were bubble tins and cotton candy bags readily available for the taking.

Kids had a blast getting their face painted and with the balloon artist.  One of my favorite details was the “photo booth” – we created a large, colorful polka dot backdrop that hung for guests to be photographed with.

This was such a festive and fun party to plan and I just love how it turned out.  I hope you enjoyed a peek into Estella’s first birthday!  To view all of the items in this collection, please click here.  For more information about our custom party planning options, please click here.

August 23rd, 2011 |

WH Hostess: Chunky Notepads

Back-to-School isn’t just for kids!  Or at least the school supply shopping shouldn’t be!  ;)  I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I used to count down the days until I could walk through the aisles of freshly stocked notebooks and folders and fill up a cart (probably with way more than I would EVER need!) of brand new items that were sure to start my school year off right.

Well, fast forward 20-25 years and I am STILL obsessed with paper!  And with a busy life, I am constantly making lists.  I have a notepad in every room, in every purse….and am always on the search for the perfect one.  Well, since I couldn’t find it….we decided to make it!

I’m so pleased to introduce you to WH Hostess’s newest product….our 200 page chunky notepads with personalized covers.  A steal at $18 each, these make the perfect gift!  (anyone need to bribe a teacher this week?!)  Listed in the shop with 16+ different covers, these notepads are on fire and will soon be gracing desks across the country.

What’s your favorite pattern?

August 22nd, 2011 |

Back-to-School Treats: Apples

It’s back-to-school time around here this week, and you know what that means….time to dig out some apples to bring to your child’s teacher.  Instead of the always-appreciated, healthy fruit this year, how about starting the year off with a bit of a sugar rush?!  I love these creative ideas for sweets that look like apples. Cookies, cupcakes, and even red rice crispy treats!  What’s your favorite treat to bring to teachers?

Images: apple rice crispy treat (gourmetmomonthego.com), apple cookies (hellonaomi.com), apple cupcakes (parents.com)

August 22nd, 2011 |

Back-to-School Parties from Around the Web

With kids are starting back to school this week here in Chicago, it’s a great time to throw a party to kick off a new school year.  There has been some darling inspiration around the web and I just had to share it with all of you.  This first one was thrown by Just Call Me Martha.  Using free printables from Birds Party, she styled a crisp, classic dessert table – I just love the pop of red and apple green!

AndersRuff styled a vintage schoolhouse party….and oh, my…..these shots of children are just.darling!  Their back-to-school printables collection is in their shop and is perfect for dressing up those first brown bag lunches of the year.  Head over to see more pics on Hostess with the Mostess and on their blog.

Always one for thinking outside of the box, One Charming Party put together a full dessert table featuring all school supplies.  The pencil “cake” full of rubberbands sold me!  You can check out all of the creative food ideas and cute ways to package supplies for friends and teachers on their blog.

August 19th, 2011 |

{Pre-Order & Sneak Peek} The Party Dress Magazine

It’s been a busy, busy month here in TPD-land.  We have TONS of amazing parties we are working on and can’t wait to share with you soon.  New party collections for Fall are being uploaded to the shop daily (check out the mod fish, baking party, preppy dino, and circus carnival collections….more to come very soon!), and we are finalizing the layout for the Fall TPD Magazine.  Trust me when I say, you are all going to be blown away with the amazing contributions this issue: fabulous fall ideas for your home and parties, darling Halloween inspiration, and some real parties that will knock your socks off.

Be one of the first to see this issue!  You can pre-order your luxe, glossy issue here.

August 16th, 2011 |

Project Nursery: Sweet Shoppe

Sweet Shoppe birthday parties are all the rage right now….they fit in perfectly with the dessert table trend.  I am sharing ideas and inspiration for a candy-themed birthday party over at Project Nursery this week.  Check it out!

Images: sweet shoppe party invitation (tinyprints.com), paisley curtain panel (laylagrayce.com), lollipop decorations (hwtm.com), daisy pomander ball centerpiece (countryliving.com), gumball party favors (Little Beans Boutique)

August 15th, 2011 |

Tomato Terrine

I absolutely love this time of year: Tomato season.  The time has come where I can’t walk out of Whole Foods without a dozen colorful, grungy-looking tomatoes because they just look that.good.  When my friend’s kids are digging tomatoes out of their little vegetable garden and handing them out like their candy, and when I start exploring for simple, new ways to use them.

If you are looking for some of my old favorites, you can check out posts here, here and here.  “Tomato Fest” is always a fabulous excuse to throw a party this time of year.  I came across this tomato terrine recipe on Bon Appetit and I.can’t.wait.to.try.it!

August 9th, 2011 |

Red Sangria

This morning I shared my favorite white wine sangria recipe from Food Network, and now I am back with my favorite red version!  Delicious and easy to make, this one comes from Emeril Lagasse.   Both are perfect for a summer cocktail party….which is your favorite?

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles chilled dry red wine, like Rioja
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 Meyer lemons, cut into thin rounds
  • 3 Key limes, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups cold club soda

Directions

In a large pot or bowl, combine the wine, brandy, orange juice, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange, lemon, andlime slices, the apples and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator and add the soda. Serve in glasses over ice.

August 9th, 2011 |

White Sangria

Good Morning, Everyone!  Charynn here from Two Sugar Babies.  Since Kelly is dreaming of a party based around a Sangria & Tapas theme, I figured I would chime in with my favorite sangria recipes!

I got this a.maz.ing recycled glass pitcher for my birthday and i’ve been dying to use it. sure, traditional lemonade would be “okay,” but i definitely found a better solution…sangria!  Here is my favorite recipe for White Sangria from Michael Chiarello of Food Network….head back later today to see my favorite Red!

Ingredients

  • 3 bottles pinot grigio
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy
  • 3/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • blood orange, thinly sliced
  • 3 kumquats, sliced
  • lime, thinly sliced

Directions

In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, and orange liqueur. Pour in the sugar, stir or shake the pitcher thoroughly to mix. Add all citrus slices at once. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 hour before serving to allow the citrus flavor to come through.

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