May 9th, 2011 |

WH Hostess: New Summer Collections!

With Summer quickly approaching we are already busy planning summer events!  I thought I would show off a couple of my favorite new collections from WH Hostess, perfect for that summer soiree you are planning!

Nautical themed parties are by far one of our most-requested – and although we still love our very-popular nautical stripe invitation, we decided it was time for an update.  We brought together a combination of mod patterns, nautical stripes and an anchor to create this fresh, new collection.  What I love about it is that it could be used for a birthday party, a baby shower or a summer cocktail party.  It’s ageless and seems to be appealing to so many people!

I have to admit – I’m in LOVE with the little blue whale collection.  I can just picture the sweetest, preppiest birthday party for a precious little boy or girl.  There are so many cute elements to this collection – the sweet wave pattern, the colorful polka dots, and of course, the little blue whale!

Speaking of preppy…..it wouldn’t be summer if we didn’t have SOMETHING inspired by Lilly Pulitzer!  In this case, we decided that our favorite pink & green combo deserved two, cute new collections!  Our preppy alligator and lilly flower collections were born!  Each with their own style and flair, each to become a favorite among sweet little girls!

Summer is all about bright colors – and these collections are too!  We have been getting requests for a cute Pirates & Princess themed collection since the start of WH Hostess – but every time I worked on it, I just never felt it was right.  Well, I think we got it right this time!  A combination of colorful patterns, including polka dots, skull and crossbones, and magical stars, the icons and characters steal the show!  This is a great collection for a double birthday party….especially for twins!

If it’s one thing we like to do around here, it’s create collections that kids can relate too – collections that can inspire full party themes.  We all know how much kids LOVE character birthday parties – but they typically don’t appeal to their stylized moms!  It’s our job to help you plan a party around a theme your tots will recognize and love….but one that you will be excited about style-wise.  This bold, primary-colored collection is perfect for that child that LOVES Sesame Street!  Playful chevrons and polka dots will make the perfect accent to your party.

Summer seems to be a VERY busy time for bridal showers!  We get so many requests for “kitchen shower” themes, that we created a fabulous collection in not one, but two trendy color palettes!  Cobalt blue and fuchsia pink, and yellow and grey – you can’t go wrong with either!  I love the different arrangements of glasses and dishes on these items, and I especially love the mixture of the modern silhouettes and patterns!

Last, but certainly not least, is our Indian summer collection.  Designed for my very own sister’s bridal shower, I truly love the colors and patterns in this group – and think it is perfect for any summer celebration!

May 5th, 2011 |

Polenta and Eggplant Stack

I’m always on the look-out for gluten-free recipes….especially ones that look mouth-watering good!  This polenta eggplant stack from Woman’s Day looks absolutely delicious and will be tested out in my kitchen this evening!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant (8 oz), halved, sliced (3 cups)
  • 3⁄4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 small zucchini (8 oz), sliced (2 cups)
  • 1⁄4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tube (16 to 18 oz) ready- to-heat polenta, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 large plum tomato, cut into 8 slices
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, heated in microwave
  • Garnish: chopped fresh basil

Directions

Heat 1 of the oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet. Add eggplant and onion. Cover and cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes, stirring a few times until slightly softened.  Add 1 tsp of the remaining oil, the zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. Remove to bowl; wipe or rinse skillet.

Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in skillet. Add polenta; cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat until bottoms are golden.  Turn off the heat, turn polenta and spoon the vegetable mixture onto polenta (it’s OK if some falls onto the skillet). Top each with 1 slice of tomato and sprinkle with cheese.

Place the skillet over low heat; cover and cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with basil, if desired, and serve with sauce.

May 5th, 2011 |

Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Garden Basket

Anyone out there looking for a last minute Mother’s Day gift?  The creative genius behind Floral Art LA came up with this idea – a garden box full of supplies for Spring planting.  I love the idea of a useful gift, but in this case – I think I am MORE in love with the presentation of the gift.  Presenting simple gardening items such as a shiny new watering can, garden gloves, some seeds, plants and maybe a new pair of garden sheers in a moss covered box – genius! You can order directly from Floral Art LA – but I think some of you are crafty enough to make this on your own!

May 4th, 2011 |

{Press} Nesting Newbies – Issue 5

We are BEYOND excited to share with you news that we have been keeping quite for some time now.  The fabulous editors of Nesting Newbies Magazine asked us to create a birthday party for their latest issue.  Shot back in November, I have literally been DYING to show off this party!  They asked me to create something that showed off my personal style, so I immediately gravitated towards a classic black & white palette, updated with some clean patterns and my signature pop of green.  Our modern silhouette collection was born.

I had so much fun planning and shooting this party – my god-daughter, Mackenzie, served as our model, and my little pup, Penny Lane, even made it into a shot!  I am absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the spread that the editors of Nesting Newbies put together for us.  Not two, not four, but FOURTEEN pages!  It’s a fabulous issue and I’m so happy to be a part of it.  I encourage all of you to curl up with your morning coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy the 200+ pages of inspiration and ideas.  (our story starts on page 64, if you were wondering!)

I will share some more detailed pictures from this shoot soon, but for now, I do want to thank the fabulous vendors that sent us goodies to use for the shoot…..fondant cupcake toppers by Two Sugar Babies, couture cookies by Allyson Jane, candy from Candy Warehouse, hairbow for the birthday girl by Mel-Belles.  Thank you for the beautiful photography by Sisterazzi Photography, and to Angela at Perfect Look Make-Up for making me camera-ready!

May 2nd, 2011 |

Pretty in Pink

Whether you are planning a birthday party, a bridal shower, or an extra-special Mother’s Day brunch, this collection of ideas is sure to inspire a party that is pretty in pink.  Shimmery accents of gold and rose, crystals hanging from candlesticks, and ribbon candy with an extra special luster….these are all ideas that are making me swoon lately!

Images: table setting and champagne glasses (theknot.com), invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), fondant flower cupcake toppers (etsy.twosugarbabies.com), cupcakes (callmecupcake.com), ribbon candy party favor bags (brides.com)

April 29th, 2011 |

Cabana Lunch + Creative Salad Bar

Event Planner, Beth Beattie, sent me over these pictures from a recent Cabana Lunch she planned for a client.  My still-cold-in-Chicago-self was drooling over them, wishing I was sitting oceanside!  But then the party planner in me kicked in and I saw this amazing salad bar vessel that Beth had made for the event.  It’s genius!   And I knew I had to share it with you!  Here are a few details from Beth:

Guests were greeted with mango margaritas and each received a beach bag full of goodies –  towel from Restoration Hardware, bag from Z Gallerie, magazine, sunscreen, Trish McEvoy cosmetic bag, chapstick from Tammy Fender and a few other miscellaneous items.  The table setting was orange polka dot plates an rattan chargers atop the tribe table with seagrass stools from Bubble Miami. Flowers were assorted peonies, Gerber daisies and roses by VM Flowers. Lunch was presented in the custom salad bar followed by assorted sorbets catered by Christafaro’s.

April 26th, 2011 |

Simple Cinco de Mayo Recipes

I’m a sucker for Mexican food (especially since so much of it is based around corn products….which works nicely with my gluten-free lifestyle!), so when Cinco de Mayo comes around, I like whipping out a few new recipes to celebrate with friends!  Food Network has a great collection of recipes hand-picked by their celebrity chefs, and these are four that are on my radar for next week:

April 25th, 2011 |

BATMAN! A Superhero Birthday Party

My good friend, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies, just hosted THE most darling vintage Batman birthday party for her son, Keaton….and I literally JUMPED at the chance to feature it!  We all know Charynn is quite the fondant queen, her cupcake toppers have graced the tables of hundreds of birthday parties (and are a regular staple at all of mine!)….but did you know she was THIS creative?!

Keaton’s favorite thing right now is Batman….so what’s a mom to do when her son desperately wants a character birthday party?!  Do it REALLY, REALLY well!  She used more of the vintage images as her inspiration, with  blue, gray, yellow, and black as the main colors.  Anders Ruff worked with her to transform their super hero package into a custom Batman package, so that it  fit with her ideas perfectly.  The party had three main tables….a  favor table with framed pictures of Keaton in his Batman costume, a batman banner, buckets with name tags for each kid to fill with treats, including custom made Batman crayons, superhero masks, Batman fruit snacks, custom sugar cookies, coloring pages, and other Batman costume supplies.

A small kid’s table was set up for the kids attending. Charynn created a set of 3d letters that spelled “Keaton” with vintage Batman comic books (which I am OBSESSED with – what a creative centerpiece!), vintage Batman prints as placemats, individual sugar cookies, and bottles filled with “joker juice.”

For the dessert table,  a 2 tiered Batman and Joker themed cake (inspired by Keaton’s favorite toy sets) sat centerstage, brownie pops decorated as Batman, Joker, and Robin, AMAZING sugar cookies by Sugarbelle’s, red velvet cupcakes with Batman emblem, “Pow!”, and “Bam!” toppers (placed in adorable cupcake wrappers designed by Anders Ruff Custom Designs), a mini candy bar held in Kandy Kones, and chocolate-covered oreos. Charynn custom designed and made cupcake stands and boxes to hold the cake pops and mini candy buffet.

The amount of details she put into this cake is just amazing….Keaton is one lucky boy!  Here are a few more detail pictures of all of the superhero desserts!

April 19th, 2011 |

Creative Easter Egg Topiary Tree

I have been quietly obsessing over these F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S Easter egg topiary trees made by Eddie Ross for Woman’s Day.  It’s time to share them! Love the patterns on those eggs?!  I do!  Want to know how you too, can get eggs in those fresh, modern patterns?  Simply glue paper napkins onto plastic eggs!  The tree is made from a Styrofoam cone, covered with Easter basket grass, and then he glued the napkin-covered eggs on, and placed them in lovely white footed dishes.

So creative!  I love how fresh, yet somewhat preppy these are….they would be perfect on my dining room table for this weekend!

April 18th, 2011 |

Lovely, Little Ladybug Party

Happy Monday, Everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  I thought we would start our week of party inspiration off on a happy note!  You all know how much I L-O-V-E lady bugs…..our red and pink ladybug collections are some of my all-time favorites, and has been very popular this Spring.  These pictures come from a recent party thrown by one of my clients for her daughter, Audrey’s first birthday.

I love how she used all of our cute details and threw in her own patterned backdrop, coordinating party hat and bib for the birthday girl….not to mention the girls’ outfits!  Such a darling party….I couldn’t wait to share the pics with you!

To view our pink ladybug collection, click here.

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