September 5th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sweet Sixteen

 

I have a real treat for you today!  Actually….today and tomorrow!  I was contacted by a local customer to design the paper goods for her daughter’s sweet sixteen party, as well as help her plan and style a dessert table.  She fell in love with our purse invitation and we created the decor for the party around it.  My best friend joined in on the “purse” love and threw a party for her 6 year old daughter with the same theme!  Both of these parties happened within a week of one another, so I was able to use some of the same ideas – but I think you will truly love seeing the outcomes of both!

One of my goals with WH Hostess is to design invitations that inspire party themes.   But there are times in life when you don’t want a “princess party” or a “fire truck party” or even everybody’s favorite “modern train party“…..sometimes you just want something sweet and unique.  In this case, the party was a sweet sixteen….so we had to find a nice balance of sweet and sophisticated.  The purse invitation seemed to fit the bill perfectly!

The party took place at a local salon, where Susie’s mom had arranged for the girls to get manicures (since it was the day before school started!) and have lunch.  Since I had a small private room to work with space-wise, I focused on a few key visual elements: simple centerpieces, a lemonade drink bar,  and a fabulous pink, yellow and orange dessert table.  I was able to drape fabric on the walls to create a more appealing backdrop.  A pink and white polka dot pattern was used on the walls, and a yellow seersucker was used on all of the tables.  The centerpieces were simple pink bouquets, but looked modern in a yellow vase ($4.99 at IKEA!).

 

I planned a lemonade drink bar for the young ladies, with different flavors of lemonade being served in glass juice bottles.  I up’d the sophistication level by using melamine wine glasses that were embellished with little purse tags and ribbon, and darling striped paper straws.  The wine glasses were a simple touch, but made the girls feel oh, so grown up!

 

The dessert table was definitely the highlight of the party!  Done in one of my favorite color palettes, pink, yellow and orange – the table just POPPED! and looked so festive and inviting.  I used apothecary jars and vases from Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel for most of the candy.  I ordered the candy in bulk from Candy Warehouse, including lemon pillows, pink salt water taffy, HUGE pink lollipops, lemon candy sticks, gumballs, and lemonheads.  (PS – I love shopping for dessert tables on their site – all I have to do is plug in my color palette and I’m good to go!)  One of my favorite design elements for this table is the tiered rock candy in the tall jar – I just love how the pink, yellow and orange looked striped together!  WH Hostess created all of the candy jar labels, signs and cupcake toppers.

Speaking of cupcake toppers….how cute are those cupcakes!  Yellow and white striped cupcake liners from Bake It Pretty added a touch of pattern, and this beautiful pink cake stand from Rosanna was the perfect “girly” addition to the table.  In order to add a splash of color, I lined the inside of the stand with lemonheads, and then placed the cupcakes atop them.  Totally cute!  These darling cookies stole the show!  I worked with Two Sugar Babies to create custom fondant toppers to place on basic sugar cookies.  She did an amazing job re-creating the purse design from our invitation.

 

The ladies loved filling up their candy boxes to bring home!  Much to their surprise, Susie and her mother also presented each girl with a white box full of beauty supplies (nail polish, files, lip gloss) to start the new school year with – the boxes were perfect for holding small goods, and we jazzed them up a bit with a cute sticker.

This party turned out so cute and I believe the concept would also make a charming bridal shower!  Come on back tomorrow to see how my best friend and I translated this sweet sixteen theme into a darling party for her 6 year old!

September 1st, 2010 |

Fall Entertaining: The Excitement Builds

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer entertaining…especially the simplicity of it, the casualness, and the availability of outdoor space.  BUT….there is nothing more exciting to me than the idea of Fall coming.  I love everything about it!  The crisp, cool air, the cozy, cableknit sweaters, the rich colors, and the delicious food!  That being said, I felt September 1st was the perfect time to start throwing around ideas for entertaining this fall season.

Today, I am dreaming of ideas on how to smoothly transition my dinner parties from summer to fall.  The first things that come to mind:

  • Filling your home with baskets of bounty – apples, artichokes – things that look natural but still add color.
  • Change out your hurricanes so they reflect the season.  Leaves, acorns, moss – all make great additions to your candlelight.
  • Set your table with richer tones – browns, oranges, mustards, teal.  Try tying a leaf to you napkin to help bring the outdoors in.
  • Food!  Start adding some richer elements to your menu.  On my list for this week?!  Baked risotto with grilled asparagus and fried zucchini sticks!

Images: dinner party invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), fall buffet (eramanagement.com), fall hurricanes (potterybarn.com), napkin (flickr.com)

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August 31st, 2010 |

WH Hostess Party: Monkey Play Group Birthday Party

 

I recently styled a “play group” birthday party for a sweet 1 year old named Spencer.  Held at a local gym, Spencer’s mom had little space to work with and wanted a simple, yet stylized look.  For more details, head on over to my post on Project Nursery or our picture gallery.

Shop: invitation, thank you card, cupcake toppers, candy jar labels, centerpiece sticks, banner, stickers

August 30th, 2010 |

Halloween!

Due to {very} popular demand, WH Hostess just put our very first Halloween collection up in the shop!  Check it out!

You will find all tools you need to look like one SPOOK-tacular mom or hostess this Halloween…..whether you want us to print your goods or prefer to print them yourselves, Halloween has never been easier or more stylish!

August 26th, 2010 |

Berry Sweet

 

The late summer farmer’s markets are full of amazing berries and fruits….and it has me craving some good old-fashioned tarts and pies.  I love the idea of individual desserts – perfect for any type of party, and serving is simple and mess-free.  I have my eye on these darling mini pocket pie molds from Williams Sonoma, but in the meantime I may try either a cherry-almond pie or plum tart this weekend.  Do you have a favorite pie or tart recipe?

Images: basket of berry tarts (mytartelette.com), berry recipes (williams-sonoma.com)

August 25th, 2010 |

Summer Candlelight

I’m loving the simplicity of this centerpiece/decoration idea from Sunset Magazine.  By re-purposing a bird bath, or an upside down terracotta pot, you can create a soft glow for your late-summer parties with a few floating candles.  Genius!

PlatesAndNapkins.com Designer Party Supplies

August 23rd, 2010 |

Real Parties: Gracie’s Preppy Pool Party

Today’s real party feature is a darling preppy pool party featuring party goods by WH Hostess!  Pink, green and a whole lot of preppy polka dots – this is what Gracie’s mom requested when she came to me for invitations and party accessories for her daughter’s 5th birthday.  With a HUGE box of party goods delivered to her door from WH Hostess, wait until you see what she came up with!

The area surrounding the pool was decked out with pink paper lanterns, polka dot balloons in pink and green, and two different centerpieces.  The first, a darling topiary tree made of ribbon loops, and then second grass plants with polka dot centerpiece sticks (LOVE how these customize any type of centerpiece!).  The dessert table really stole the show…..

This charming dessert table was created with sweet treats including pink and green candy, a cake from Cake Shop in Jacksonville, cupcakes with toppers by WH Hostess, chocolate-covered oreo pops from Sweeties by Kim, cookies by Girly Gatherings (complete with designs that matched the cupcake toppers!).

I just love the backdrop for this dessert table!  A modern trellis pattern in pink and white gives it a modern spin, while the pink and green banner from WH Hostess adds a touch of preppy flair.  Don’t you just love the way she created a bunting on the front of the table by using ribbon?!  All of the candy jars were embellished with polka dot ribbon and candy jar tags, and there were matching polka dot food tent cards, too.  A simple “sweet shoppe” sign, white take-out boxes with a polka dot sticker saying “thanks for being so SWEET”, and paper cups with coordinating, scalloped stickers helped to complete the stylized look.  One of my favorite details was the napkin rings – a simple circle on satin ribbon – perfect for tying together your paper napkins and silverware!

Birthday girl, Gracie, wore a darling shirt from Modern Frills – it matched perfectly!  She sent her friends home not only with their box of sweet treats, but also with a tin of bubbles!  A fabulous party – great job, Jennifer and Gracie!  What I love most about this party is that there wasn’t a “theme”, so to speak.  It is a perfect example of how you can create a stylized, modern party using a color palette and a touch of pattern!


Photography by Wendy Updegraff

 

August 20th, 2010 |

Heavenly Blooms Tablesetting

After writing this blog for over a year and a half, it is safe to say that I have seen a million beautiful table settings.  Because I am surrounded by such beauty, it takes a lot to REALLY wow me.  This fabulous, stunning, crazy-inventive table setting and hanging decor (which you know is my latest obsession!) literally took my breath away.

A combination of talents pulled together this stunning photo shoot – the inspiration was a modern Coco Chanel/Parisian influenced  bridal shower. With a color palette was a soft, blush pink with accents of crisp white and black. Chandra of Oh Lovely Day and Jaclyne of Heavenly Blooms dreamed up this shoot with the help of  Jasmine Star and Amanda with In the Now Weddings.

Head over to Jacylne’s post on Heavenly Blooms for more amazing eye candy – trust me, there are a million more details yet to be discovered.  And P.S. – I would LOVE to be invited to this bridal shower – and can’t wait to try my hand at these hanging carnation garlands!

August 18th, 2010 |

Statement Centerpiece

I love the crisp, yet intricate style of this table setting from Pottery Barn.  The combination of glass candlesticks, bottles and vases makes such an attractive, yet light-and-airy-feeling centerpiece.  Perfect for transitioning into Fall…..

August 16th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Elephant Parade

I recently had the pleasure of working with a sweet mom of 4 year old twins.  Jack and Sally LOVE the circus – so we took our blue elephant and pink elephant collections and combined them to create the “elephant parade” collection, perfect for a boy or a girl (or both in this case!), one thing is for sure……it made for one colorful birthday party!  Guests were welcomed with this darling elephant parade sign, and then they saw the main attraction…….

The host wanted the party to appeal to both the children and their mothers that would be in attendence, so number 1 on her list was a candy/dessert table.  I planned a colorful table full of sweet treats.  The item that MADE the table (in my opinion!)  was a “big top” canopy that hung above the table.  A colorful, tent-like top, with polka dots scattered around the sheer white netting of the canopy made this the perfect accessory!  And the best part?!  I found it at IKEA for under $20.  That’s a whole lot of bang for your buck, if you ask me!


Since it is August in Chicago (= HOT!), the dessert table was set up in the family’s screened in porch.  It gave it a clean, white backdrop, but also provided much needed shade so our desserts and candy didn’t melt in the sun!  I used a combination of apothecary jars in varying sizes, cylinder vases, mini white pots, and white rectangular plates.  I prefer to keep my vessels very basic, and dress them up with ribbon and coordinating candy jar tags.  I also found teeny tiny stuffed elephants at IKEA for 50 cents each to tie in the theme….don’t they look cute climbing the candy?!

I ordered all of the candy in bulk thru Candy Warehouse – their selection is wonderful and I love that you can shop by color!  Candy included gumballs (both big and small), blue raspberry hard candy, pink salt water taffy, lemonheads, lemon candy sticks and red licorice wheels.  Other sweet treats included boxes of popcorn, cupcakes with toppers by WH Hostess, meringue puffs, and sugar cookies with fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies (custom designed to match our invitation!).  One of the biggest hits was the pots of different colored rock candy – the kids loved it!  Orange, yellow and green….colorful and tasty!


The candy was so colorful, I used a crisp white tablecloth for the table.  To add a whimsical touch, I created a bunting of ribbon along the front – it added a great pop of color, and helped to pull your eye down from the darling canopy atop the table!  This is incredibly easy to do – simple drape your ribbon and attach with a single pin at each spot.


The host asked to to come up with a simple, yet cute party favor packaging idea.  These little white boxes were the perfect size to hold the guests’ candy.  Once we dressed them up with our brand new, die-cut elephant stickers – I think they are beyond charming!
I just love how this cute, colorful party turned out!  The little guests had fun playing bozo buckets and pink the tail on the elephant….and filling up their boxes of candy!

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