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.

August 8th, 2011 |

Party Ideas: Sangria & Tapas Party

Sangria and tapas are two of my favorite things.  Mix them together and you have the key components for a fabulous summer party! Perfect for a cocktail party, Spanish tapas can range from bite-size finger foods to skewered delights. These small-plate dishes are perfect for a crowd and are meant to be shared.

Pottery Barn has a fabulous party plan for hosting a party….you can check it out here.

August 4th, 2011 |

Egypt-Inspired Photo Shoot

I am just drooling over this amazing Egypt-inspired photo shoot done for Rue Magazine.   I’m in love with the rich colors, and the mix of metals.  An amazing line-up of talent pulled this together: Jose Villa took the a-mazing photos, Cortnie of Canvas & Canopy styled the shoot, one of my favorite floral designers, La Partie Events did the arrangements, and the ladies at Be Inspired PR helped coordinate.

And who can resist a camel?!

August 2nd, 2011 |

Beat the Heat with 4 No-Cook Dishes

It has been SO HOT here lately!  In the upper 90′s every single day, and I am doing everything I can to avoid cooking!  My husband is getting pretty annoyed with the “lets go out tonight” comment he receives when he walks in the door after work – so I decided it was time to find some delicious, no-cook recipes that might help carry my dinner meal plan thru the end of the summer.  Williams Sonoma has a fabulous selection of them!  Top on my list: caprese salad, sonoma succotash salad, avocado, tomato and bacon tartines, and heirloom tomato gazpacho.

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