November 30th, 2010 |

Green with Envy

When it comes to decorating my home for Christmas, the first color I reach for is green.  Shocking, right?  I love combining the deep forest green, grass green and chartreuse together…especially when there is a touch of shimmer involved.  Better Homes and Gardens is a great resource for decorating and tabletop ideas, and this season I was especially drawn to their ideas centered around the green color palette.

I am completely swooning over this ornament tree above.  How fabulous would it be hung over your holiday buffet table?!  Each of the images below shows off a unique idea using greenery, candy or gift-wrapped packages – and I adore each of them!

Images via Better Homes and Gardens

November 29th, 2010 |

Giveaway: Luna Bazaar

I have a fabulous surprise for you today!  Our newest advertiser, Luna Bazaar, is hosting an amazing giveaway…..one lucky winner is going to walk away with a $200 shopping spree!  Excited?!  Read on for more details….

Luna Bazaar has been one of my favorite go-to-shops for party supplies for a while now.  Known for their amazing selection of paper lanterns (and they make it so easy to shop by color!), they also have a great selection of holiday decorations.  Everything from ornaments, to lit garland, luminaries, and glass candle holders in a rainbow of colors – perfect for matching any table setting!  I love their selection of white paper honeycomb decorations (see how I recently used them here).

Whether you are planning a party in a unique color palette (L-O-V-I-N-G the pink, green and red color palette this Christmas!) or want to go totally glam with silver and gold foil decorations and mercury glass candle holders….there are so many options to help you plan and decorate your best holiday yet!

Now that I have you drooling over all of Luna Bazaar’s fabulous products…..let’s get to the fun stuff!

Enter to win a $200 shopping spree by heading over to lunabazaar.com.  Look around, be inspired!  And come back here to comment on what your favorite holiday items are.  Want a couple of extra chances to win?!

  • Inspire Us!  Tell us how you would use your favorite holiday item from Luna Bazaar.
  • Become a fan on Facebook
  • Become a fan on Twitter
  • Blog about our giveaway

Good luck!  Contest runs from Monday, November 29, 2010 – Thursday, December 2, 2010 at midnight CST.

November 25th, 2010 |

Giveaway: Munchkin Designs

Thanksgiving Day is the traditional kick-off for holiday shopping, so how better to start this shopping season other than with a giveaway?!  Our sponsor, Munchkin Designs, has a darling shop chock full of cute gift ideas.  Whether you are looking for a custom lunch box for your little one, hip paper goods, or darling t-shirts and onesies, Munchkin Designs has something for everyone!

Today, they have offered up a darling giveaway for all of you!  This Dear Santa, Define Good tee is a must have for your sweet little munchkin this holiday season!  Made of super soft cotton, this tee is sure to be a favorite all year long.  Here’s how to win it!

Take a spin through Munchkin Design’s darling shop, head back here to comment on what your favorite item or category is.  Simple as that!  And if you are looking for a couple of extra chances to win….become a fan on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter (count it up….that’s three chances to win!).  Giveaway starts now!  and ends Sunday at midnight CST.  Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23rd, 2010 |

Holiday Shopping Guide

‘Tis the season to shop ’til you drop!  To help you move through your shopping list a little bit faster this season, I compiled a holiday shopping guide to share my favorite items this year.  Eye candy, gift ideas, inspiration for home decor…..I hope you enjoy!

Click on the image above to enter the holiday shopping guide.

November 22nd, 2010 |

Turkey Dinner: The Night After

Are you entertaining friends or family the day after Thanksgiving?  I always find that weekend challenging for entertaining – it’s a great weekend to do it with friends and family in town, everyone feeling the festive Thanksgiving spirit.  However, I start to decorate my house for Christmas that weekend, so I always feel a little too dis-organized for entertaining!

One idea I had for making this process a bit smoother, is to decorate with items that work for both holidays!  Take the picture above from Pottery Barn – the rustic colors lend itself to Thanksgiving decor, but the twig stars can carry you all the way through Christmas!  Natural centerpieces are also a great way to go – a bowl full of artichokes, or pomegranates will add texture and color to your table.

Re-purpose your leftover turkey by serving a turkey pot pie for dinner, add in a side of maple-glazed acorn squash and a delicious chocolate souffle cake for dessert!  YUM!  Your guests won’t even realize they are eating leftover turkey!

Images: table setting (potterybarn.com), napkin (bhg.com), artichoke centerpiece (midwestliving.com)

November 18th, 2010 |

Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

 

When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I like to think a little bit more out-of-the-box than your traditional apple pie.  Don’t get me wrong….there will be apple pie at my Thanksgiving celebration!  But, I think it’s always good to bring something new to the table.  Here are a few new dessert recipes that I think could make a great impression at your holiday dinner:

  1. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
  2. Apple-Cranberry Mince Tarts
  3. Chocolate Loaf with Butterscotch Glaze
  4. Praline Pumpkin Torte
  5. Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte with Ginger Crust
  6. Pear Tart Tatin
  7. Persimmon Creme Brulee
  8. Cherry Almond Tart

November 17th, 2010 |

Sweet Treats Holiday Party

The holidays are quickly approaching, and party planning is kicking into high gear!  We have been busy bees over here, prepping ideas, gift guides and printing holiday photo cards and party invitations!  Last week we showed you the first signature WH Hostess holiday party – Cupcakes & Cocktails – and today I am back to show you our Sweet Treats Holiday Party.

This party theme was inspired by my love of the ever-so-popular red and aqua blue color palette.  You’ve seen us use it in birthday parties – revisit our modern train party, or the inspiration for our little red car party (party pics coming soon!) – but now we are using it to celebrate the holidays!  The polka dot invitation is made festive with the candy cane font and sweet wording.  There is a full collection: address labels, stickers, gift tags, cupcake toppers, food tent cards, candy jar tags, signage and extra large stickers (perfect for cookie tins!).

A holiday sweets party is an updated cookie exchange.  Born half out my desire to create another stunning dessert table, and half out of my goal of encouraging guests to bring sweets to share other than just cookies (as I am a gluten-free hostess, and most cookies are off limits for me!).

 

The backdrop is probably my favorite part of this party idea!  I used a red and white striped fabric backdrop, and layered white paper daisies and snowflakes at the top to give it a textured feel.  The table is covered with a white star fabric (from IKEA!) and is flanked with white feather trees.  A super easy project – I covered styrofoam cones with white feather boas – I love the touch of whimsy it adds to the design.

Glass jars and cylinder vases held candy in red, aqua blue and white.  Candy-covered chocolate balls, peppermints, foil-wrapped chocolate balls, red hots, rock candy, blue hard candy, lollipops, and mini pearl balls were used to create this candy spread….topped off with cupcakes (with coordinating toppers), and darling cookies by Allyson Jane Designer DessertsCandy Warehouse provided the candy for this photo shoot – they are my favorite go-to source for candy.  I love how easy it is to shop by color!

Small details make a big difference when you are putting together a dessert table.  I find that using coordinating elements such as candy jar tags, food tent cards, signage, and ribbon help to give the table a cohesive look.  I also used candy to fill up glass jars – a cute gift tag and ribbon completes the look for a perfect party favor (could be a darling teacher gift too!).

I absolutely love this theme!  It’s a fresh, holiday color palette and has just the right amount of whimsy!  It’s perfect for kids, families or a cocktail party!

November 16th, 2010 |

Winter Blues

The weather has turned cooler here in Chicago this week and it is definitely starting to feel like the holidays.  Streets are lined with twinkle lights, stores are looking festive and everyone is starting to plan their holiday gatherings for friends and family.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah – ’tis the season!  I love this blue and white color palette – it’s perfect for celebrating either holiday, and between the touch of feathers, the sophisticated floral arrangement and the darling mini white hot chocolate mugs….this party screams “modern” and “sophisticated” and could be used as inspiration for just about any type of holiday celebration.

Images: table setting and bar (styleathome.com), wreath (hgtv.com), centerpiece (projectwedding.com), mini white hot chocolate mugs (parents.com)

 

Free Shipping on Holiday Cards

November 12th, 2010 |

Black Friday Cocktail Party

 

One of my favorite ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining has to be the “Black Friday Cocktail Party!”  Be honest….are you the first one at the mall the day after Thanksgiving….or are you sleeping in enjoying the day off?!  I think it would be so fun to gather up your girlfriends for a quick cocktail party following your day of shopping the sales.  Think simple – champagne, cupcakes – a little sugar to revive you, whether it’s to head home to kids or back out into the stores!

Images: purse invitation (whhostess.com), champagne cocktails (wedluxe.com), centerpiece (floralartla.com), cupcakes (via flickr.com), candy bars (doobydesigns.com), mini champagne party favors (brides.com)

November 11th, 2010 |

Little Pumpkin First Birthday Party

I had the pleasure of working with a lovely family recently to help inspire a cute, festive first birthday party for their little boy, Sutton, who’s birthday was the weekend of Halloween.  Sutton’s mom is a crafty, yet busy, working mama of two….so she came to me for a custom inspiration board to gather ideas of how to pull together a cute party that the whole neighborhood could enjoy.A traditional Halloween color palette of orange and black was updated with accents in grey, and a modern greek key pattern.  Polka dot balloons, paper lanterns and a fabulous dessert table made for a festive party…..don’t you just LOVE the backdrop to the dessert table?!  My favorite touches are the little ghost cake pops, the mummy dogs and the vases full of mini white pumpkins.

Photography by Black Frame Photography

 

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