July 7th, 2010 |

Patio Party

The long days of summer lend themselves to impromtu bbq’s and gatherings around the fire pit.  So it’s best to have a few go-to tricks for quick decor and easy-to-make appetizers – so that you can be the hostess with the mostess, no matter how last minute your party may be!

Entertaining on the patio is one of the joys of summer and lends itself to a natural palette; you can see green touches throughout this inspiration board, which is a lovely way of tying in the natural feel.  Here are a few ideas for creating a party-ready patio:

  • Create a “bar” or food buffet on a narrow console table.  I love this one from Pottery Barn because it has the lower shelf….great for a nice display, but also perfect for holding beverage tins.
  • Lanterns.  Lanterns.  Lanterns.  Whether they are paper, glass, hanging or standing, lanterns can dress up your space and cast a fabulous glow.
  • Bring the comforts of your home outdoors.  Items such as throw pillows, decorative accents, an indoor/outdoor rug can help make your space look cozy.

A happy hostess is a prepared hostess!  So always have a few key ingredients on hand to whip up some delicious appetizers and cocktails.  Here are a few of my new favorite recipes for summer entertaining:

What are some of your favorite tips for entertaining on the patio?

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), outdoor bar (potterybarn.com), candle centerpiece (theknot.com)

 

July 6th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Southern BBQ Anniversary Party

Party planning is one of my favorite things to do….obviously!  It’s gets my creative juices flowing and I get the joys of working with all different types of personalities.  Well, I recently had the pleasure of planning a party with one of my favorite personalities….my best friend!

With their 10th anniversary looming, my best friend and her husband (who also happens to be my husband’s cousin!) decided to renew their vows and throw an anniversary party, and they asked me to help them do it!  We decided upon a southern bbq theme, with a fresh color palette of yellow, blue and green.

A large, white canopy was erected in the backyard, and we created one long table for dinner.  The tables were covered in a beautiful, summer paisley (tablecloths that we found at Home Goods!), glass candlesticks, and white pots full of yellow flowers.  Crisp, white napkins were folded in a pocket fold at each place, holding the silverware and a seersucker stripe placecard (all of the paper goods were custom designed by WH Hostess).  Chandeliers made of green ivy wreaths and hanging votive candles hung above the table, casting a soft glow at dusk.

Guests were welcomed with delicious appetizers: mini crab cakes, shrimp shooters and paper cones full of popcorn for the kiddies.  A southern bbq buffet was served for dinner, and included fried chicken, italian beef, baked beans, potato salad, tomato and corn salad, spinach salad, slices of watermelon and cornbread.

The kids table held junebug jars (mini mason jars complete with a sticker with each kid’s name, and holes punched in the top for the bugs to breathe!), which not only looked cute but also provided a great source of entertainment for the evening!

Speaking of entertainment…..the dessert table!  It took 5 of us to hold the crowds back for me to be able to snap just a few pictures of it!  Guests young and old couldn’t wait to dive into all of these delicious treats!

Using our signature paisley tablecloth as the backdrop, we used all white serving pieces (most of which were inexpensive finds at Home Goods!), and glass apothecary jars full of green candy (margarita jelly beans, apple sours, rock candy, gumballs and gummie circles).  The desserts included cupcakes (with custom cupcake toppers by WH Hostess), key lime and lemon tart shooters, brownie pops, meringue sandwiches, sugar cookies, and sour apple popcorn.  Guests were given a white take-out box (embellished with a sticker stating “celebrating 10 SWEET years of marriage”) to fill up with candy, to bring home as their party favor.

As the sun went down in the backyard, my favorite part of our decorations lit up and created the perfect party glow…..framework around the patio, adorned with white twinkle lights, and gauzy white drapes ($4 a pack at IKEA) created an “outdoor room”, perfect for after dinner cocktails and dessert.

A fabulous night was had by all!  I hope you enjoyed a peek into this beautiful party, and can take away inspiration for your next birthday party, bridal shower or summer bbq.  Happy 10th Anniversary, Teresa & Will!  Here’s to 50 more…..

July 5th, 2010 |

WH Hostess: New Birth Announcement Collection

wh hostess birth announcements 1

WH Hostess is pleased to introduce a new and expanded collection of birth announcements!  Modern, sophisticated patterns, playful text and delicious colors to choose from, they are offered as both single and double sided announcements….the perfect way to welcome your new little one in style!  (PS – these announcements are so pretty, you could use them as invitations too!)
wh hostess photo birth announcements

July 2nd, 2010 |

4th of July Cupcake Toppers

One of my readers sent me the link to this party…..a playgroup 4th of July party where the hostess used my free 4th of July printables to make the cupcake toppers.  They look fabulous, don’t you think?!  Have you downloaded yours yet?

Image via Melissa Vaughan Photography

July 2nd, 2010 |

S-T-R-E-T-C-H your party decorations

L-O-V-E this idea from Better Homes and Gardens!  Perfect for the 4th of July, but also a great tip for dressing up any table:

These playful stripes were created by layering colorful rubberbands around a votive candle holder.  Simple, right?  So next time you are strolling thru Office Depot, take a peek at the colored rubber bands and get inspired!

July 1st, 2010 |

Star-Studded Entrance

Holiday decorations are kept simple and sophisticated in my home, so this concept from Better Homes and Gardens is just perfect for me!  A red tin star (I just saw some at my local Home Goods) atop a boxwood wreath, embellished with a navy and white stripe ribbon – it’s the perfect combination of patriotic, preppy and that coastal-chic style that I love so much!

July 1st, 2010 |

Delicious Desserts for 4th of July

In my quest for finding a new, never-been-seen-before-at-the-family-bbq dessert, I came across these three recipes – and now I’m stumped!  What’s a girl to do?  They all look delicious and pretty (which always helps in my book!).  So, help me decide!  Which do you think looks the most appetizing?!

  1. Red, White and Blueberry Ice Cream Cake
  2. Red, White and Blue Parfaits
  3. White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berry Topping

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

June 29th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Hazardous Teen

This party was sent to me by Pam at Party Starters.  She threw this party for her 13 year old son – and with boy themes and teenager themes so hard to come by – I knew I had to share it with all of you!  Pam did a great job of pulling together a dessert table with a specific color scheme, and a masculine feel!  Read on below for some tips and ideas from Pam.

When asked what type of party he wanted for his 13th birthday, my son said “I want lots of green and the Biohazard symbol”. SO, off I went into toxic waste land!
DECORATIONS:
I created the hazard symbols, the banner, door sign, soda & candy bar labels as well as the cupcake picks.  For the ceiling I used neon green poster boards (4 qty) and cut out the slime shape. Those were hung in layers from the ceiling to create the dripping wall. Koosh balls and more symbols were hung from the ceiling in between the poster boards with fishing line. On our front door and porch we use “caution” tape found at the local hardware store to decorate instead of streamers. I used 5 yards of neon green tulle to cover a wrinkled (on purpose) cream colored linen table cloth for texture and added color.
FOOD:
The cupcakes are white cake with light green butter cream frosting. I used vanilla pudding with a little green food coloring added and injected it into the top of each cupcake with a pastry bag.
I made chocolate cupcake pops and coated some in green colored white chocolate melts and the others in melted Peanutbutter baking chips. Those were displayed on a ring of styrofoam that was spray painted silver. I also made some cupcake bites dipped in the green white chocolate.
FAVORS:
Each guest received a barrel of “Toxic Waste” sour candy (found on Amazon), a Koosh ball (found at Target in the dollar spot) and a Hershey bar which was covered with a custom candy bar wrapper.
LINKS:
Custom Party Decorations: Party Starters
Toxic Waste Candy: Amazon
Inspired cakepop recipe: Bakerella
“Caution” Tape: Lowes
There were a bunch of boys at the party ranging in age from 10-17 years and everyone of them told me that they thought this party was “SO COOL”. That means a lot coming from boys of those ages. I am glad I could create a theme that was worthy of their attention. My son now wants to relocate all of the decorations to his room to redecorate.

June 28th, 2010 |

Fourth of July: Decoration Ideas

Looking for some last minute decoration ideas for your fourth of July bbq?  I fell in love with all three of these ideas……

First, turn your 3-tier serving piece into a 3-tier centerpiece!  Perfect for either your dinner table or a buffet table!  I love how they stacked the three different color flowers, it creates a sophisticated “patriotic” look!

Second, fill cylinder vases with red, white and blue gumballs and insert a collection of American flags.  This is a great idea for the kids table and would also be darling on a dessert table!

And lastly, the floral pomander balls…..this is one look that I just can’t get enough of lately!  Insert white and red carnations (a great use for these inexpensive flowers!) into a styrofoam ball, and then place on top of a vase, large candlestick or even on a cake plate!  They look darling clustered together, too.

Images: 3-tier arrangement (myhomeideas.com), candy centerpiece (sorry – I can’t find the source!), carnation pomander balls (countryliving.com)

June 25th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Cupcakes & Cartwheels

Sharnel of Sharnel Dollar Designs sent me this darling birthday party she did recently for an 11 year-old named, Camilla.

A beautiful color palette of turquoise and chocolate brown, a decedent chocolate dessert table styled to perfection, and a lot of happy 11 year olds decorating cupcakes!  The perfect party for older children, and great ideas to inspire you for birthday parties and baby showers!

Head on over to Sharnel’s blog, My Life My Loves for more of the party details!

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