September 14th, 2011 |

Tailgating Food Ideas

The darling tailgating party from Fresh Chick Designs featured on the blog this morning (and in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine) have left me with football on the brain….as well as the looming question, “what to serve for our next football gathering?”

Whether you are watching the game from the sidelines or gathering friends at home, some simple, cozy snacks can make the game that much more fun!  I went to two of my go-to entertaining resources for ideas, Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living, and here is what I will be serving up this weekend:

1. I love the idea of serving simple snacks such as pretzels, chips, crackers and nuts in individual brown bags – a totally rustic, yet functional way of compartmentalizing them!

2. Mini BLT sandwiches:  They are cute and round.  Need I say more?

3. Salted Golden Caramel Bars: I am a sucker for rice crispy treats (naturally gluten-free for me!), but add in sea salt, caramel and chocolate?!  I may even root for overtime if it means I can eat more of these!

4. Chunky Tomato Salsa: I always like to have a couple of dip options readily available, and this chunky salsa option is on my list to try.

Images via Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living

September 14th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Tailgating

Football season is upon us, thus making this darling tailgating party from Fresh Chick Designs oh, so appropriate right now.  Featured in the new Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine, Rebecca and Shannon have a ton of cute ideas that could be adapted to any school or team colors.  Keep reading for all of the details, as told by these two fresh chicks….

The start of football season is always a reason to gather friends together for a little rah-rah party.  Ahhh…the good ole’ days of tailgating collegiate style!  Well, why not throw your very own tailgate party at home?  We have come up with ideas to set the play in motion: Pick a color from one of your favorite teams or simply make up a color scheme that you like!  We chose licorice red and chocolate brown which seemed appropriate with the start of fall and the fun-filled football season.

You don’t have to go overboard with team paraphernalia to throw great themed party.  We focused more on the tailgate theme with our printable party collection and played up the menu and sweets around a casual football element. Burlap fabric paired with a traditional gingham was used to dress the tables.  We “scored” 2 spring form cake pans and a candlestick at Goodwill that were easily transformed into a two-tiered party tray DIY project.  A great alternative to its pricier counterparts seen at a local retailer.  This was used to hold peanuts and cornbread muffins iced with honey-butter to resemble cupcakes.  Other items on the menu included chili with toppings, hot wings, and beer cheese with crackers.

We served up some super easy dessert recipes along with familiar finds such as Turtle Chex Mix and Twizzlers. To wash it all down? Nothing fancy here….ice cold brewsky and classic root beer beverages completed this fourth and down.

September 13th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sunflower Soiree {Part II}

I hope you all enjoyed the decorations and food ideas in Part I of our Sunflower Soiree feature this morning.  I’m back with all delicious details from the desserts, which we were lucky enough to have featured on Amy Atlas last week!

The dessert table received many “oohs” and “ahhs” and is personally one of my all-time favorite tables to work on!  I wanted a fitted tablecloth for this table, something that resembled a cabana awning.  I sewed it myself in order to make it fit the table perfectly and even added a white pom pom trim on the hem.  Two wrought iron trellis’ anchored the table and held sunflower pomander balls.  A banner made out of our coordinating patterns was strung between the two to frame the table.

Allyson Jane created stunning, hand-iced sunflower cookies, as well as “6” and “0” cookies to go along with our birthday celebration.

The two-tiered cake with scalloped design held center court, and was dressed up with fondant flowers by Two Sugar Babies.  Cake pops by Flour & Iced sat atop mini cake stands that were decorated with gingham pom pom trip and polka dot ribbon, and mini chocolate cakes were topped with fondant flowers.  Color-coordinated candy was placed in glass jars and labeled with coordinating candy jar tags.

JP Creatibles decorated darling cookies that incorporated both the sunflower, and all of our coordinating patterns (swiss dot, sunflower grid and yellow chevron).  We sent guests home with a striped take out food box with a sunflower sticker on it full of sweets to enjoy.

September 13th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sunflower Soiree {Part 1}

One of my favorite articles in the latest issue of TPD Magazine is the Sunflower Soiree.  With summer quickly vanishing and a lot to celebrate, my family gathered friends and family to celebrate the end of the season, an upcoming wedding and my mother’s 60th birthday in style with a “Sunflower Soiree”.  With crisp black and white patterns, mixed with a bold yellow chevron and sunflowers everywhere you could see, this party took on a festive vibe that we will never forget.
Guests received a black box full of chocolate-covered sunflower seeds and custom invitation from WH Hostess, tied with a gingham ribbon and sunflower as their invite to the party.  We decorated the patio and yard with small cocktail tables, dressed with tablecloths made from our custom fabric, and sunflower centerpieces in mini black urns.
A lemonade and iced tea bar took center stage, dressed in a white box pleat tablecloth trimmed in striped ribbon and pom pom trim. My parents love mixing the two to create “Arnold Palmers”, so it was the perfect addition to this summer party.  Drink dispensers held the lemonades and iced tea, and we had buckets of wine, beer and water bottles dressed up with coordinating labels.
A large sunflower centerpiece in a gorgeous, white urn stood in the middle of the table, and coordinating signage and food tent cards on all ofthe tables and bar helped brand the party.
We served a variety of bite-size appetizers, including individual taco dips, mini crab cakes, beef tenderloin crostini, shrimp cocktail, meatballs in a variety of sauces, and more.
Stay tuned this afternoon for the details on our delicious dessert table (as recently seen on Amy Atlas!).
September 12th, 2011 |

The Party Dress Magazine – Issue 3

It is with great excitement that I introduce you to the third edition of The Party Dress Magazine.  Each issue is a true labor of love – with articles from amazingly talented contributors – so it’s a true thrill to see the final product.  This edition of the magazine is full of delightful parties,  simple ideas on how to make everyday a celebration, and Halloween style that you are sure to love.

As I am sure you can tell, producing this magazine quarterly takes a lot of work.  So I am thrilled to announce…..The Party Dress Magazine has a new assistant editor!  Our contributor and the fondant guru behind the uber-successful Two Sugar Babies, Charynn Olsheski, joined me this issue and I am so grateful.  Her style, enthusiasm and ability to talk me down off a ledge has made her an invaluable addition to this team, and will help me take TPD Magazine to the next level.

Our amazing list of contributors this issue include some VERY talented chicks.  Beth Beattie, Christi Bennett from P is for Party, Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio, Chris Nease of Celebrations at Home, Maggie Hemsworth of Delish Catering Chicago, Jessica Kirkland of Pen ‘n Paperflowers, Kara Allen of Kara’s Party Ideas, Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio, Shannon Helliker & Rebecca Propes of Fresh Chick Designs,  Glory Albin of Glorious Treats, and Jill of Modern Cupcake.  We have an incredible list of advertisers in the book, and I encourage to check out each and every one of them!

I do hope you enjoy this issue!

You can purchase a luxe, glossy edition in our shop here.

September 9th, 2011 |

Real Parties: Tea for Three (Part II)

We are back with even more darling details from our featured tea party today.  There were so many darling sweets – cookies from Allyson Jane, fondant petifore toppers by Two Sugar Babies, gorgeous cakes by Knolle Cakes, cake pops by Cuter than Cake, and chocolate-covered oreos by Sweeties By Kim.

We designed coordinating food tent cards and tags to brand the table…..don’t you just love the ruffled tablecloth!?

The birthday girls each had their own cake with candles to blow out and make a wish on.  Check out their darling party dresses by Racheal Calzada, accessorized with a birthday crown, of course.

The ladies invited their guests to join them in getting beautiful at manicure and make-up stations.  How darling are these little “shops” with awnings made from our custom fabric?

September 9th, 2011 |

Real Parties: Tea for Three

What can I say?!  I am so fortunate to work with so many sweet, talented families when it comes to party planning.  I’m a pretty lucky girl that I get to design cute party goods for a living….and even luckier when  they are used in such an amazingly beautiful way.  I’m always thrilled to show off parties that we were able to be a part of….which is exactly what we are doing today!  There are so many details to this party, we are going to split it up into two posts.

This tea party was hosted by one of my favorite clients for her three daughters.  You may remember seeing Gracie’s preppy pink and green birthday party from last year, or their darling Halloween party.  She approached me to create a custom collection of party goods and fabric for the party.  A tea party for her three daughters, with a turquoise and pink color palette.  You can see the suite of paper goods above.  Part of her request was for custom fabric….and as you start scrolling down throughout the pictures, you can see what a large role the patterned fabric played.

What I love about this party is that she took the pattern and color palette and ran with it….and made most of the decorations herself!

I thought the table runners were going to be my favorite (note the pink stripe border on them matches the napkins!), but I am just dying over how cute the pink fabric looks tied around the chairs in a bow.

Tea cups, pink roses, and some coordinating paper goods tied the look together.  We’ll be back later today with the details of the activity stations and desserts!

Photography by Wendy Updegraff Photography

September 7th, 2011 |

Monochromatic Medallions

I’m always looking for new, interesting ideas for back drops for dessert tables or party set ups.  I am totally drawn in by this wall of white medallions I found on Country Living.  I think it could make such an elegant look for a wedding or bridal shower!

September 6th, 2011 |

Decorate to Welcome Fall

I hope you all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend!  I can’t believe how quickly the summer passed us by…..we have been so busy over here, I feel like I blinked and it was suddenly 60 degrees and Fall.  Don’t get me wrong, Fall is my favorite season!  And I am always looking for creative ways to decorate for the change of seasons.

Better Homes and Gardens has a fabulous collection of unique ideas that range from simple to extravagant.  Perfect to welcome Fall into your home, or to serve as a centerpiece for a Fall party.

Mini pumpkins, gourds and foliage are my go-to items when creating Fall decor.  These simple ideas can add a touch of warmth to your home.  And if you are really looking to add a touch of drama, try hanging them from ribbons from the chandelier over your table!

August 31st, 2011 |

Cakes with Personality

These cakes have SO MUCH personality.  I just had to share them!

Image via Style Me Pretty

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