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

 

November 10th, 2010 |

Coral Baby Shower

 

I received this darling baby shower from Beth of Beth Beattie Branding, PR and Events….and I couldn’t wait to show it to you!  I love the color palette and the use of such a unique theme for a baby shower….I think you will find great inspiration from this party for any sort of baby or bridal shower or birthday party.  Here are a few tidbits from Beth:

Inspired by a friend’s necklace with coral, seahorse and starfish hanging, Baby Elsa’s shower décor began.  We started with a custom invite featuring the coral pattern, graphics of the crib, mobile with a seahorse, starfish, shellfish and the baby Elsa’s name. An “E” made out of starfish was the backdrop of the bar with specialty mimosas and bellinis called “Momosas” and “Babyllinis.” The drink names were on custom coral tent cards and sliced star fruit topped the glasses to resemble starfish. The dessert table featured red and blue treats with cake pops by Southern Belle’s Cakery, custom cookies from Gumdrop Cookie Shop had the coral pattern and her monogram, seahorse lollipops from SweetLeslie540 and cupcakes topped with starfish from DD’s cupcakes.  Custom stickers and cellophane bags were available so guests could take sweet treats home with them. A “Baby Elsa” banner from Party Starters hung above the dessert table. Paper poms hung above the bar, dessert table and as part of the coral and shells centerpiece. We had a “make a wish” custom frame with tealight candles to float in the pool after making a wish for the mom-to-be. Seahorse and coral napkins from Pineapples Palms, Etc. were displayed in a coral piece on the food table. Custom coral patterned picks were in the mini quiche along with other delicious appetizers made by the mom-to-be’s friend.

Photography by Alana Harris Photography.


November 8th, 2010 |

Cupcakes & Cocktails

With the launch of our first WH Hostess Holiday Catalog last week, there has been a buzz of holiday spirit around here!  In addition to our collection of holiday photo cards, party invitations, gift stickers, party accessories and little add on’s to make your hostess gifts stand out from the crowd, we also gave you a sneak peek of a signature party idea: Cupcakes & Cocktails.  Today, we are showing you all of the festive details and giving you the ‘how-to” instructions for throwing your own holiday party.

Christmas cupcakes and cocktails party invitation by wh hostess

I love giving the traditional Christmas color palette of red and green an update with modern patterns and fresh designs (that’s pretty obvious if you look thru our holiday collection!), so the idea of updating the “cupcakes and cocktails” theme for Christmas just seemed right to me.  The theme has been done well for bridal showers, birthday parties…..with a festive makeover, why wouldn’t it be darling for a ladies night holiday party?!  With that in mind, this darling invitation was born and the rest of the collection soon followed.

A holiday party wouldn’t be a party in my house without some bubbles!  I’m a sucker for a champagne cocktail, and always love to give my guests options.  Setting up a festive mimosa bar is the perfect way to do this.  Offer your guests different mixers such as blood orange, cranberry, pear, mango or peach nectors in glass juice bottles, and dress them up with custom drink tags.  Arrange your glasses on a lucite tray.  It will keep your table looking organized and by adding in a personalized, Christmas liner it adds to your holiday decor.  The striped straws don’t hurt either!

I’m a firm believer in “branding” your parties….carrying a design and color palette throughout your party helps to create a well-thought-out and cohesive look.  The drink tags, a mimosa bar sign, cupcake toppers, and candy jar tags all help to do this.

Putting together a dessert table for this theme is super fun….there are so many great candy options in a red, green and white color story!  Here are a few of my sweet details:

  • I used candy for EVERYTHING….even my centerpiece!  I created ribbon topiary trees by wrapping styrofoam cones with ribbon and placing them in pots.  I filled in around the trees with large pieces of green rock candy for a playful look.
  • Sugar cookies were embellished with fondant toppers (designed to perfectly coordinate with our theme!) by Two Sugar Babies, and were placed on a tray full of red hots.
  • Big, fluffy meringues and marshmallows are a great, and inexpensive addition to a holiday dessert table!
  • Apothecary jars and cylinder vases full of candy are fun and playful….Candy Warehouse sent me red hots, peppermints, red licorice wheels, green licorice sticks, gummy bells, and striped red, green and white rock candy to use for this photo shoot.
  • Candy jar tags and polka dot ribbon dress up the candy jars.
  • Since cupcakes are the main attraction at this party (okay…maybe second behind the champagne cocktails!), make them truly stand out!  I dressed up my cake stand with a polka dot liner, and edged it with hanging red pom poms.  It took me under 5 minutes and under $5 to do this….and look what an impact it made!  Coordinating cupcake toppers and striped wrappers finished the look.
  • Have small dessert plates readily available for your guests to pick up desserts while at the party, as well as boxes or bags for them to fill up with candy to bring home.

Party favors aren’t only for kids!  Everyone loves being surprised with a little something to bring home with them!  Since this is a cocktail party theme, I think it would be fun to send your guests home with a bottle of wine or a mini bottle of martini mix.  Custom labels dress them up and coordinate them right back to our theme!

November 4th, 2010 |

WH Hostess Holiday Catalog

It’s a VERY exciting week here at The Party Dress and WH Hostess!  The holiday season is upon us, and we could not be any more excited about helping you celebrate.  We’ve put together a well-edited collection of photo holiday cards, party invitations, coordinating address stickers, gift stickers, party accessories, and fabulous items to dress-up your hostess gifts (can you say adorable wine bottle labels?!)!  Our items are fresh and modern.  An updated look for traditional style, with a focus on beautiful quality….we hope you’ll take a look! (click above to see our flip-book catalog)

November 3rd, 2010 |

Product Search: Holiday Gift Guide

With the holidays quickly approaching, we have been hard at work searching out the most sought-after products to recommend to our readers.  We already have our short (not very short at all!) list….but we would love to hear from you!

If you have a product you think our readers might enjoy – falling in the holiday gifts or entertaining classification – please e-mail it to parties@thepartydress.net.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Image via jcrew.com

November 2nd, 2010 |

Chic Thanksgiving Dinner

Now that Halloween has come and gone, it’s time to start conceptualizing  your Thanksgiving dinner and cocktail parties.  We have gorgeous inspiration to to share with you over the next couple of weeks….for today, soak in the details of this inspiration board for a chic Thanksgiving dinner.

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), spinach artichoke dip (horchow.com), table setting (hgtv.com), chocolate mousse (traceylau.com)

 

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