April 8th, 2011 |

Mimosa Bar: Colorful Spring Cocktails

Anyone hosting a party this weekend?!  I shared one of my favorite entertaining ideas in the first issue of The Party Dress Magazine….a stunning mimosa bar!  You can step up the style at your next cocktail party or brunch with a colorful mimosa bar
full of flavor and garnish options.  They are simple to set up and offer the hostess a stunning, yet hands-off method for serving a crowd.  Simple touches, like a striking centerpiece or interesting linens, can make your table unique.

Create a balance of containers around one grand centerpiece to create this symmetrical look.  Square, cube vases in varying sizes were used to hold the champagne bottles on ice and fruit garnishes.  Oil cruets are used to house the various fruit nectars, and color-coded tags helped to identify and brand the table further.  Add a few rows of flutes and voila!

Do you like the drink tags?!  Well, it’s your lucky day!  Click HERE for a free download to use at your next party.

April 6th, 2011 |

Hanging Placecard Display

I’m totally swooning over this hanging placecard display from Salt Harbor Designs……..it somehow looks both classic and modern….pure perfection!

April 5th, 2011 |

{Sponsored Post} Tiny Prints Mother’s Day Cards

Tiny Prints has you covered this year for Mothers’ Day with their Tiny Prints Greeting Card Collection, which lets you create individual personalized cards with photos starting at $1.99. They have cards for everyone in your life from your mom, to your grandmother, sister, daughter or anyone else important to you.  In a matter of seconds, you can create personalized Mother’s Day Cards and have Tiny Prints mail them directly to you or the recipient.  No more running out to your local convenience store for a lame last minute card!  Tiny Prints has removed the hassle and added the fun back into Mother’s Day shopping with a personal touch.

As an extra bonus, from April 6th to April 12th, all Mother’s Day Greeting Cards will be $.99 cents and you can also sign up for a Free Greeting Card Membership, giving you three FREE cards to use right away, as well as discounts on future cards.  Happy Shopping!!

April 4th, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Mod Safari Birthday Party

Today’s featured party comes from party blogger and event stylist, Christi Bennett of P is for Party.  Featured in our premiere issue of The Party Dress Magazine, this party is chock full of sophisticated details that were loved by kids and parents alike.  When Christi asked me to create a “modern safari or zoo” collection for her son’s birthday party, I took my color direction from the party room at the Houston Zoo.  The rusty-red and brown carpet helped set the color palette for the party (and even inspired the graphic patterns we used throughout the event).

Christi had less than an hour to create this festive environment – and had to transport all of the decorations, sweets and party favors into the zoo.  Not an easy task!  She created a natural look with burlap tablecloths, grass plant centerpieces (cube vases wrapped with our patterned paper and embellished with centerpiece sticks), and safari details such as animal print napkins, basket weave paper plates, and mini water bottles wrapped in our coordinating labels.  Each child had a safari hat and yellow binoculars tied with a gift tag at their place …..perfect for exploring the zoo!

The kids were given snacks in brown paper bags sealed with a “party animal” sticker to carry around the zoo while they explored.  But the big highlight was the dessert table!  A neutral, burlap backdrop and tablecloth set the stage for all of the fabulous goodies to POP!  A coordinating banner and paper chains decorated the table.

The sweets on the table were arranged around the F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S cake by Cakes by Gina, on a white pedestal cake stand.  Isn’t it wonderful?!  She did an amazing job of incorporating the banner detail from the invitation, as well as the 3-d fondant lion and giraffe.

On to the sweets!  Christi used small details to tie together the table and give it a cohesive look.  Candy jar tags, food tent cards, flags on pop sticks, and patterned tray liners (a simple way to dress up your basic, white serving pieces).  The sweets included round brownie bites with fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies, rice crispy pops, chocolate-dipped marshmallow pops, candy, cupcakes with fondant toppers by Sweet Petal Bakery and couture cookies by Allyson Jane.

The kids enjoyed face painting and bubbles while enjoying their sweets.  Their little animal faces make me smile every time I look at these pictures!  Can’t you just imagine how proud and excited their were as they walked around the zoo with their painted faces?!

The party favors were displayed on a table using natural elements such as wood slabs and moss to accessorize the table.  Small plastic animals, mini bubbles and muslin bags by Perideau Designs held little sweets.  What I love about this party is that Christi took a classic zoo birthday party theme, and gave it an updated look with the modern patterns and fresh color palette.

Photography by Ellenzilla Photography

April 1st, 2011 |

Spring Desserts {perfect for Easter!}

With Spring blooming a little bit more every day, I find myself getting busier and busier printing Spring party supplies!  Birthdays, bridal showers, and Easter brunches and egg hunts.  It makes me so happy to see how many people are hosting parties coming up in the next month!  That being said….when there is a party, there must be desserts!  I’ve compiled a list of 8 darling dessert ideas that are sure to delight your guests young and old.  Perfect for Easter egg hunts and brunches, and garden birthday parties, these desserts are going to knock your socks off!

  1. Fruit Slice Cookies
  2. Daisy Cupcakes
  3. Carrot Cake Cupcakes
  4. Cake Pops
  5. Bunny Cake
  6. Birds Nest Cupcake
  7. Cookie Cake
  8. Flower Garden Cake

March 30th, 2011 |

Bridal Shower in the Vineyards

 

How in love with these images are you?!  I sure am!  I’ve been swooning over this centerpiece idea for a while now….and I now have the perfect place to use it!  In my free time {which doesn’t really seem to exist anymore!}, I have been planning my younger sister’s bridal shower…in Napa Valley!  Say goodbye to these freezing, grey days here in Chicago – I’m grabbing the bride and her bridesmaids and we are taking off for a sunny weekend in the vineyards.  Sounds pretty fabulous, right?!  I sure hope the bride thinks so!

In addition to a few days of wine tasting, vineyard tours, shopping in the quaint villages, and eating at some pretty fabulous restaurants, I plan to end the weekend with an extra-special “bridal shower” at a sparkling wine estate.  Champagne tasting, brunch, and a gorgeous setting….what more do you need to plan, right?!  Come on…this is me….I have to throw in a few personal touches, right?!

Throwing an out-of-town shower poses a few logistical problems, and I’m wondering if any of you have ever done this before.  Did you use local vendors for everything?  Did you ship everything in prior to the event?  I would love to hear what you all think!

The images above are a few images I pulled together to coordinate with the invitation I designed for her…..I love the way it turned out!  I think you may just see it show up as a new collection in the shop soon!

Images: centerpiece (hatchcreativestudios.com), invitation (whhostess.com), cocktails (theknot.com), small centerpiece (josevillablog.com), placesetting (saltharbordesigns.com), mini champagne bottles (brides.com), overhead champagne shot (karljuengel.com)

15% Off Chic Wedding Stationery from Minted.com

March 28th, 2011 |

Easter Bunny Brunch

Happy Monday, Everyone!  We are still over-the-moon-happy with the response we received to the premiere issue of The Party Dress Magazine!  We are so thankful for everyone the contributed, advertised, read and shared this first issue…and we can’t wait for the next one!  Due to popular demand, you can now purchase a lovely, glossy, printed version of the magazine here.

One of my favorite spreads in the magazine was the Easter Bunny Brunch I designed to showcase our Easter collection of paper goods.  I’m sharing all of of my little tips for creating a colorful Easter brunch over on Project Nursery today, and you can also see even more darling images in the gallery.

March 21st, 2011 |

The Party Dress Magazine

The Party Dress blog has been inspiring readers since February 2009.  After months of brainstorming, we finally took the plunge into producing a quarterly e-glossy magazine.  Chock full of amazing party ideas, DIY projects, easy entertaining and ideas for Easter celebrations, this first issue of The Party Dress Magazine is sure to become one of your favorite reads!  Enjoy!

This extensive collection of parties and ideas was put together by an amazing group of contributors, and we want to thank each and everyone of them for their hard work and brilliant designs.  We also want to thank our amazing group of advertisers and sponsors.  This first issue has been a great adventure and we can’t wait to get started on the next issue (scheduled to launch in June 2011).  If you are interested in being a contributor or advertiser in our next issue, please contact hostess@thepartydress.net for information.

Contributors

Christi Bennett from P is for Party, Melisa Fluhr and Pam Ginocchio from Project Nursery, Kim Stoegbauer from The TomKat Studio, Charynn Olsheski from Two Sugar Babies, Sharnel Dollar, Beth Beattie, Vana Chupp from Le Papier Studio, Tanya Martinez from Save the Date 4 Cupcakes, Maggie Hemsworth from Delish Catering Chicago, and Adrienne Miller and Missy Reedy from Fleurs.

March 15th, 2011 |

Birthday Brunch for Kate Landers

I love being a part of any type of celebration….but especially birthday celebrations.   So when my dear internet-friend, Kate Landers, contacted me about doing some items for her own birthday brunch, I was thrilled to be able to design for her!  She fell in love with the custom-designed bamboo print I used for Chase’s Chinese New Year 1st Birthday Party, so I swapped out the colors to a preppy pink and white and voila!  A sweet, pink and white collection that would be perfect for a birthday party or even a baby or bridal shower!

Here are a few details from Kate, herself, about her birthday brunch:

Brunch is my favorite meal. I absolutely love having a yummy brunch with family and friends, so when it came time to celebrate my 32nd birthday, it was easy to plan.  Kelly (WH Hostess) designed the printed sign, food signs, waffle cake topper and all custom printed details.  LOVED the print quality.  She got the ink color just PERFECT and was so quick to turn the order around. The paper was excellent quality as well.  Having much experience in the high end stationery industry, I am very selective and was very happy with what she sent! (why thank you, Kate!)

The table was set with white tableware from Crate & Barrel, a table runner that I had in my personal collection (that mimicked the pink and white bamboo pattern on the WH Hostess printed party goods.  I wanted a clean, fun preppy look–especially for a February birthday in Boston!  Whenever I can I like to dress up the vertical space above the table, so I hung large paper lanterns for a celebratory feel.

Fresh flowers are always a part of my celebrations, and I had lovely pink and cream roses as a centerpiece.   After the waffle cake was gone, I moved the 32 cake topper to the floral arrangement!  The framed sign “32″ was darling, served as a fabulous decoration and way to reinforce the theme of the party. LOVED it, as did everyone at the party!  I made hand made party blowers with pink and white damask print paper from Michaels Craft Store….just a little something festive.  I also make my own ruffle trimmed fabric party hats. I had one on hand from when I had my online shoppe, in the same fabric as the table runner, which was just perfect!  Pink polka dot straws added a whimsical touch.
The brunch menu consisted of  belgian waffles with choices of fresh berries, butter, syrup and whipped cream.  Along with that was fresh fruit salad–strawberries, oranges and bananas.  Then, of course there was coffee, orange juice, milk, water and tea. BUT we also had my favorite smoothie that my husband, Ryan, makes: a strawberry smoothie that is just the right sweetness and thickness….yum!
Instead of a standard birthday cake, I made it really simple, and stacked the belgian waffles (kept warm in the oven until ready to serve), topped with an adorable cake topper from WH Hostess. Everyone loved it, thought it was creative and fun–and after filling waffles and smoothies, no one would have had room for cake!
Kristina of Modern Frills custom created for me the darling ultra-soft and comfy long-sleeve birthday t-shirt. I LOVE IT. On the front is a pink and green flower, and the back is “32″ to go with the theme. I love this shirt because I can wear it all year, as the “32″ on back is almost like a sports team number. I am hoping to do a new one every year–thinking what fun this will be, as well as what a great gift idea for others.
March 9th, 2011 |

Real Parties: Time for Tea

I’m very excited to share today’s real party with you……it’s sweet and girly and oh, so classic.  With a beautiful attention to detail, this tea party is sure to inspire you!  Shared with us by Andrea Edgar, you may remember the fabulous camp out party she threw for her son, Sawyer a while back.  I always get excited when one of Andrea’s parties show up in my inbox.  She has an incredible sense of style and you can see the love she puts into each party.  Here are a few details, as told by Andrea:

A tea party is a tradition in our family when our girls turn 5.  While this party theme is quite popular, I had a lot of fun with it as I staged it in our daughter’s bedroom!  It was the perfect pastel backdrop and made everything extra ‘girly’.  The invitations were definitely an inspiration for me – vintage but not too sophisticated.  This was a birthday for a five year old, after all!   I embellished them with glitter.  They are from http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoraleeLewis; the cake labels for the envelopes are from http://www.etsy.com/shop/lovecreationgal.

I found the vintage tins at Homesense (Canada’s Home Goods)  - they remind me of hat boxes!  Inside was a vintage cut glass tea cup filled with candy rockets, a felt tea bag, and an embellished hair clip (sewn by me!  see this tutorial), and some candy rockets.  The guests also took home a pearl necklace.

I used 5 fabrics, a pink solid, cream with blue polka dot, a blue polka dot organza, and two florals from tablecloths I found at Homesense that reminded me of Cath Kidston prints.  I promptly cut them up to make 3 table runners with ruffled edges, a bunting with pom-pom trim, a photobooth backdrop and handmade flowers. I sewed flowers of three different styles and of multiple sizes to adorn the chandelier, as well as to form a ‘bouquet’ in the teapot for the centerpiece.  I used some of my grandmother’s brooches to serve as the center of select flowers.  I also sewed crepe paper streamers to resemble ruffled fabric and strung it from the ceiling.  I made pom poms using pink and white tulle instead of the usual tissue paper and hung 5 of them at varying heights around the chandelier.  If felt like a bower thanks to the sloped ceilings in the room.  The table was set with my mismatched china, doily ‘placemats’, and pearl necklace ‘napkin rings’.  I ordered rose moulded sugars from LeChic Bakery Boutique.   The guests wore my oldest daughter’s collection of vintage hats.

For tea, everything was homemade: cranberry scones with devonshire cream and raspberry preserves, egg salad and heart-shaped pb & j sandwiches, carrots and snap peas, oreo truffles, jam thumbprint cookies, lemon bars, white chocolate-dipped strawberries, and vanilla cupcakes with raspberry buttercream.  The girls also drank LOTS of tea (actually, mostly milk with a little tea:)  The tiered tray was topped with the letter ‘M’ for our birthday girl, Meredith.

The guests were asked to bring their favorite doll or teddy bear.  We took photos, colored, made paper fans, played pass the present (unwrapping one layer at a time) and ‘Find Your Dolly’.  The girls had so much fun being little ladies – they really got into their roles!  This theme really reflected the transition of my preschooler maturing into being a little girl, too.

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