April 5th, 2010 |

Giveaway: Estilo Weddings

It’s a happy Monday here at The Party Dress!  We have a fabulous giveaway for you from one of our sponsors!

Estilo Weddings is one of those sites that I go to purely to drool over the stunning party accessories.  Amazing floral details, cupcake wrappers and plenty of fabulous things for your party or wedding.  So, ladies….here’s where it gets good.  Estilo Weddings is giving the winner of this little giveaway a $100 gift certificate their shop.  Fabulous, right?!

So, here’s how to enter: simply visit the Estilo Weddings shop, come back here and comment on what is your favorite item.  Simple as that!  So head on over….and good luck!  The contest ends Thursday night at midnight.

April 3rd, 2010 |

Welcome! Nicole Jane Home

Next up is Nicole Jane Home….a beautiful home shop from Canada!

Nicole Jane Home offers customers a sophisticated mix of products for the home, table and gifts.  Everything from servingware, to dinnerware, to home decor – trust me, you will find something you must-have!  They have a great assortment of vessels for centerpieces too (like these white milk glass pots – I must have these for Spring!).  They are offering a 40% off sale right now (on almost everything in the shop) – so head on over and check it out!

April 3rd, 2010 |

Welcome! Hostess Jo

It’s a fun Saturday over here at The Party Dress as we welcome 3 new advertisers!  First up is Hostess Jo – a darling shop full of entertaining essentials and accessories that you just can’t live without!

I love the assortment of products Hostess Jo offers – anything from beautiful serving pieces, to festive drinkware, to fun accessories such as these ice cube shooters!  (how fun would that be for a bbq this summer?!)  Head on over to check out Hostess Jo – and hurry, because she has a huge sale going on right now on her Spring/Summer collection!

April 1st, 2010 |

Trend Alert: Spring Artichoke Season

 

One of my favorite parts of Spring is that artichokes are in season!  Not only are they delicious to eat (we’ll get to that later!), but they can also make for fabulous decorations in your home, or accessories on your table.

Images: bowl (thedailygreen.com), votive placecard (blogs.glam.com), pitcher of artichokes (midwestliving.com), purple artichokes (lidiasitaly.com), egg cup (thekitchn.com), spinach artichoke dip (horchow.com), basket of artichokes (delallo.com)

 

March 31st, 2010 |

Easter Candlelight

Looking for ways to use those dyed Easter eggs?  I love this idea….nestle them into small bowls (fill them with bath salts or lentils) and place a votive candle into them.  A simple, yet stylish Easter centerpiece!

Image via Gemma Comas

March 31st, 2010 |

Buttercream Frosting Technique

buttercream frosting technique

The most frequent question I get asked about cupcakes is regarding how to make buttercream frosting.  I get told it turns out too runny or too thick.  So I thought I’d share with you a buttercream recipe that I use, that works like a treat each and every time.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

250 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

400 grams icing sugar

1 tbs milk (optional)

2 tbs vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and cream for 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl occasionally.  Add sifted icing sugar, milk and vanilla.  Beat for a minute further.  Add food coloring as desired.

Buttercream can be stored to up to three days in an airtight container in a cool place.  Do not refrigerate.

Now that you have perfected making buttercream, it’s time to decorate.  A really simple, yet effective way to decorate cupcakes is to pipe the buttercream in a rose or flower design.

First, you’ll need a closed star piping tip.  I like to use a Wilton 2D tip.  Pop the piping tip into a piping bag and fill with buttercream.  Starting from the center of the cupcake, work your way to the outside in a circular motion.   If you don’t get it the first time, please keep practicing, you will get the hang of it in no time and be producing beautiful cupcakes like these!

~Sharnel, My Life My Loves

Images: yellow cupcake with pink butterfly (by me!), cupcakes (shamsD via flickr.com)

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March 30th, 2010 |

Easter Brunch: A Pretty, Pink Party

pretty pink easter brunch

I love the color pink.  Always have.  Especially when it’s paired so neatly with white!  Keep your Easter brunch looking pretty and sophisticated by setting a table with all pink accents.  Pink tulip centerpiece, pink lemonade to drink….the end result will be stunning!

Two updated ideas for your decorations:

  1. Use ribbons to create a chain-link garland to drape over your mantel or over windows.  This is a project that kids will love to help with!  Typically done with paper, the ribbon will give it a more luxurious feel!
  2. Instead of using traditional placecards on your table, create larger cards and attach them to ribbon.  You can tie them around the back of each guest’s chair.  It will add an unexpected element to your table setting, and keep your table looking clean and uncluttered.

Image: table setting (epicurious.com), ribbon garland (familycircle.com), wreaths (jubileeevents.com), pink lemonade and chair placecard (stylemepretty.com), Easter sugar cookies (hello naomi via flickr.com)

March 29th, 2010 |

Easter: The Kid’s Table

We’re talking Easter ideas for kids today on The Party Dress and Project Nursery!  So, we’ve already covered the craft and decoration ideas….now onto the food!  If you are hosting a big family brunch with a lot of little guests, considering setting a separate table for the kids.  Something low to the ground, with the table setting and the food, geared completely towards them!

 

Although I wouldn’t normally recommend cloth napkins for kids, this bunny napkin is so cute…..it’s a must-do this Easter!  The candy-embellished face will make the kids giddy with excitement!  What child doesn’t love peeps?!  Incorporate jelly beans and peeps into your centerpiece – your flowers can coordinate with the “grown-ups” table, but the candy will add a sweet, child-like feel to it.  If you are serving a traditional honey-baked ham for dinner, make ham sandwiches for the kids.  To make them a little more stylish and festive, use a bunny rabbit cookie cutter to make an indent in the top of the sandwich.

Create a cute party favor display by planting a large tray or basket with grass.  Brush waffle cones with red and yellow food dye (let them dry on wax paper) so they look like orange carrots.  Tie jelly beans in green cellophane, and place into the cones.  Stand them up in the grass….and they look like carrots for the Easter bunny!

Images: bunny sandwiches (parents.com), carrot party favors (goodhousekeeping.com), peeps and tulips centerpiece (thecelebrationshoppe.com), bunny napkin (via Napkins with a Twist)

 

 

March 29th, 2010 |

Easter Ideas for Kids

I’m sharing some darling Easter ideas for kids today over at Project Nursery!  Head on over and check it out!

Images: egg flower centerpiece (familyfun.com), sock bunnies (familyfun.com), bunny bags (goodhousekeeping.com), candy baskets (parents.com)

 

March 26th, 2010 |

Simple Easter Decorations

simple sophisticated easter decorations

Easter is one of those odd holidays for me.  My husband and I don’t have children yet – so sometimes I hesitate going all-out decorating our home for holidays.  Especially ones like Easter, where the decorations can tend to lean towards the child-like or cheesy-side.  But, I love switching up the decor in my house, so I am always looking for simple, sophisticated ways to decorate.

I love the natural feel of all of these ideas:  they scream “spring” and hint “Easter!”  This trio of pots would be darling on a front entry table or as a centerpiece for Easter brunch.  I love how they filled each one with something different!  You have all heard me talk about my bowl full of moss balls that typically sits on my coffee table…..I am LOVING this easy update for Easter: mix in a few blue robin’s eggs.  Simple, and a lovely touch of color!

I still dye Easter eggs – sometimes I can coheres my husband into participating, sometimes I do it all by myself!  I love the idea of polka dotted eggs – and presenting them in a bowl with some twiggy moss.  And lastly, a simple update to your house plants: sponge paint your pots with a soft metallic paint, and add some moss at the roots.  It will take it from boring to beautiful instantly!

Images: pots, moss balls with eggs, and metallic pots (potterybarn.com), polka dot eggs (styleathome.com)

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