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.

March 7th, 2011 |

Luck of the Irish Dinner Party

St. Patrick’s Day is a HUGE holiday in our family.  Always has been….always will be!  It’s a great opportunity to gather friends and family during this bland month for a little festive cheer and some delicious food!  Whether your celebration is big or small, these recipes from Williams-Sonoma are sure to please!

Image via A Perfect Event

March 1st, 2011 |

Happy Birthday! News! Discounts!

It’s a day of celebration here at The Party Dress and WH Hostess!  We are celebrating TPD’s 2nd birthday and WH Hostess’s 1st birthday!  It’s been an amazing year and we have so much to be thankful for.  So, to celebrate…..we are doing a little reflecting, followed by a little celebrating with some BIG news and are finishing it up with a discount code good for TODAY ONLY!

The Party Dress was started in 2009 as a creative outlet for me – a hobby, a place to share my musings about entertaining and throwing parties.  Never in a million years would I have thought that {fast-forward two years} THIS MANY people would want to read what I write everyday.  Nor did I ever imagine that it would inspire a whole new career for me.

WH Hostess was inspired by our daily readers and has grown rapidly in it’s first year of life.  I literally can say that I have the BEST job in the world.  I spend my days creating party ideas, designing and crafting party invitations and accessories for my amazing customers.  In February alone, WH Hostess was a part of over 300 birthday parties, baby and bridal showers all over the US (and a few other countries, as well).  It brings me huge joy to think of all of the happy occasions that we get to be a part of.

So, that being said…..on to the news:

The Party Dress is expanding into a quarterly e-glossy magazine!  Yup, ya heard me….a MAGAZINE!  Chock full of stunning, amazing parties never seen before, DIY entertaining ideas and Easter celebrations – TPD Magazine is going to blow you away!  We have a ridiculously talented group of contributors lined up for this premiere issue and it’s taken all I have not to share this news with you sooner.  A long time in the making, we are so excited to take this next step!  The magazine will launch in just three short weeks on Monday, March 21st.  Are you a subscriber to our newsletter?  If so, you will receive an early preview….so make sure to sign up!

We are so excited and hope you will be too!  And the business side of me also wants to mention that we have just a couple advertising spots left, so if you are interested in being a part of this issue, please e-mail hostess@thepartydress.net.

On to the discounts!  To celebrate the amazing year we have had, we are offering all of YOU a 10% discount on all orders placed on whhostess.com TODAY ONLY!  Enjoy….and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for letting me do what I love to do!

February 28th, 2011 |

WH Hostess Easter Bunny Collection

We are ready to hop into Spring over here at WH Hostess!  It’s so refreshing to see the sudden shift in party themes.  We have gone from shipping out woodland forest creatures, to shipping out more and more bumble bees and lady bugs.  With Easter falling late this year (the end of April!), we think it’s the perfect opportunity to gather friends and family for a brunch or egg hunt.  And we have the perfect collection of party goods for you…….

February 25th, 2011 |

Fresh Spring Tablesetting

You all know I’m a sucker for grass plant centerpieces, so it’s no surprise that I was taken with this stunning table setting from Hatch Creative Studios.  I love how crisp it is, and of course the use of green grass and moss as accents.  Stunning!

Chic Wedding Stationery from Minted.com

February 23rd, 2011 |

Rugby Stripe Boy Birthday Party Ideas

What’s a mom to do when her son is all BOY and only wants a birthday party centered around sports?  That is exactly what my client said to me when I started working on her party.  I say roll with the punches and give them what they want…..but maybe with more of a stylized point of view.  Have you ever looked for sports-themed party goods?  It’s tough to find something that isn’t super cheesy!  So, we create a new collection that features Ralph Lauren-inspired stripes, a preppy trophy and accents of footballs and soccer balls.  I’m a sucker for anything preppy, striped and inspired by Ralph…..so you can bet I’m pretty much obsessed with this new collection!

Check out the ideas above….can’t wait to show you how the party turns out in a couple of weeks!

Images: rugby stripe invitation (whhostess.com), rubber band striped votive candles (bhg.com), striped straws (etsy.com), paper chains (magchunk.com), sports gift tags (whhostess.com), baseball centerpiece (sdkphoto.com), pop can containers (jldesignsandevents.com), pinwheel dessert table (mylife-myloves.blogspot.com), bandana goodie bags (bhg.com), trophy sticker (whhostess.com), ice cream balls (), sport ball cake pops (savethedate4cupcakes.com)

holiday

February 21st, 2011 |

Preppy Mod Baby Shower Ideas

I’ve been a busy bee working on a bunch of upcoming Spring parties.  I’ll share some tidbits of each party along the next few weeks, but today I am showing you the inspiration board for an upcoming baby shower.  The hosts wanted something super sunny, with a preppy and slightly modern edge – perfect to welcome both Spring and a new baby!

The inspiration board is based around a new collection for us that includes a yellow Greek key pattern, and pops of hot pink and grass green.  Combining modern patterns like the Greek key and ikat, and a sweet summer-like eyelet will help me achieve a layered look that I think will be fabulous!  I’m focusing on a stunning tablesetting for lunch, a small dessert table and party favors for the guests.  More details to come soon!

Images: table setting, dessert table, watermelon cubes (amyatlas.com), pink peony centerpiece (josevillablog.com), double-sided Greek key baby shower invitation (whhostess.com), floating flower centerpiece (brides.com), placesetting (marthastewartweddings.com), champagne (karljuengel.com), lavender water glasses (sundaysuppers.com) lemonade party favor (eatdrinkchic.com), mini crab cakes (theknot.com), ikat bowl (anthropologie.com)

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