September 19th, 2011 |

GIVEAWAY: Stella & Dot Pearl Bib Necklace

Happy Monday, Everyone!  We are starting today with a fabulous giveaway from Stella & Dot courtesy of Independent Stylist, Maria Ryan.  Stella & Dot offers exclusive, couture style jewelry and handbags coveted by fashion editors and celebrities.  They are only sold online and through trained Stylists at in-home trunks shows (think getting together with girlfriends in your own jewelry boutique at your own home).

I love the idea of gathering my friends for a little jewelry-themed girls night!  How about you?  Here are a few ideas of jewelry-inspired party….


For this giveaway, Maria is giving away the fabulous Isadora Pearl Bib Necklace (valued at $128) to one lucky winner. (pictured above on model)
Here’s how to enter: 

The contest starts NOW and ends Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 11:59pm CST.  To enter, head over to the Stella & Dot website, look at their fabulous collection, and then comment on this post about your favorite item.
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For additional chances to win, you can do each of the following:
  • Become a new fan of Stella & Dot on facebook
  • Become a new fan of The Party Dress on facebook
  • Follow WH Hostess on twitter
  • Sign up to be included in their newsletter
  • Blog, post, or tweet about this giveaway

 

 

September 16th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Cupcake Tips from a Pro

When it comes to selecting articles and features for The Party Dress Magazine, we try to combine gorgeous party inspiration with helpful tips from professionals.  This issue, we asked Jill from Modern Cupcake to provide us with some of her go-to tips for baking the perfect cupcake.  She came up with this:

  • Use a professional thermometer to check your oven temperature.
  • Allow your cupcakes to cool in the pan for approximately 5 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.
  • Use an ice cream scoop for placing the batter in your baking pan. This provides a uniform look every time!

Jill is owner of the web-bakery and blog, Modern Cupcake….where she dishes up daily inspiration on everything from cupcakes to design.  Most recently, she was named Martha Stewart’s Dreamer of the Week!  Check out Jill’s blog for more inspiration….and look forward to more baking ideas from Modern Cupcake in the Holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine!

Photography by Sierra Studios Photography

September 15th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Baking Party {Part II}

Our baking party feature from the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine continues with all of the sweet details of our cheerful dessert table.  Charynn and I crafted colorful cake stands  to complete the look of this table (be on the lookout for the DIY tutorial later this afternoon), which highlighted a variety of custom desserts.  A coordinating pennant banner crisscrossed across the wall as a backdrop, and we spray-painted a vintage chalkboard turquoise to list off the specials of the day.

We dressed up a store-bought cake with a few charming decorations by Two Sugar Babies: a fondant number 5 and cherries were placed on top of the cake, and Charynn placed two rows of red hot candies around the side of the cake to add a touch of color.

A colorful “malt ball shoppe” was placed center stage, with clear canisters full of candy.  Each embellished with ribbon and a circle tag featuring the coordinating images from our baking party collection, and signage was placed in a lucite box frame.

It wouldn’t be a party (especially a baking party!) without cupcakes!  Grouped together on one large cake stand, or placed on the individual ones, these cupcakes looked extra special with darling, coordinating toppers by Two Sugar Babies.

Darling cookies from Sugarbelle’s, glass jars full of colorful ribbon candy were adorned with candy jar tags, and jumbo marshmallows {dipped in chocolate and sprinkles} wore coordinating cupcake toppers.

In addition to their malt balls, guests each took home a “cupcake in a jar”.  So simple to make, simply layer cake and frosting in a mason jar, top with some ribbon, a gift tag and voila!  The perfect end to a darling party.

September 15th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Baking Party {Part 1}

When planning a birthday party for a bunch of little girls,what could be more fun than a baking party full of sweet treats and activities?!  I partnered up with my fav baking pro, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies to create a whimsical event full of charm for the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine.
A custom collection of paper goods from WH Hostess set the color palette for the party, and we played off the polka dot and cherry patterns for decorations. The tables were set with a custom table runner made out of our cherry pattern fabric, polka dot placemats and silverware “pockets” made from oilcloth, and each girl had her name on a miniature rolling pin (a very simple DIY project using my trusty Silhouette machine).  The centerpieces consisted of apothecary jars stacked full of baking liners.

Cookie and cupcake decorating served as an activity, and the main attraction was the bake shoppe dessert table. You will have to head back this afternoon for all of the sweet details!

September 15th, 2011 |

DIY Colorful Cake Stands

These colorful cake stands stole the show in our baking party dessert table!  You, too, can create these….simple steps, inexpensive materials and quick turnaround time….and the best part is, you can make them to match any color palette!

Supplies: wood candlesticks, wood circle plaques, gloss spray paint, spray paint primer, wood glue or epoxy

Step 1: If needed, sand imperfections from woodpieces and apply base coat according to the manufacturer instructions. Base coating your pieces allows for a more even coverage of the wood. Let dry.

Step 2: Apply several coats of spray paint to evenly cover the candlestick and both sides of the wood circle plaque. Let dry.

Step 3: Glue the pieces of the stand together, measuring and marking the center of the plaque if needed. Use a heavy book to maintain even pressure on the pieces. Let dry completely.

Step 4: Enjoy your cake stand! Please remember that most paints are not food safe and something must be used between food and stand.

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.

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