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)

March 26th, 2010 |

Delightful DIY Spa Party

do-it-yourself spa party dessert table

One of my newest internet finds is Nonpareil Magazine.  A new on-line magazine brought to you by a combination of talented bloggers, photographers, designers…..let’s just say a whole lot of creative people!  It’s beautifully edited, and has some amazing do-it-yourself download-able templates!

I literally jumped for joy when I saw this idea in their recent issue.  Dessert tables are one of the hottest trends out there right now for parties….and these talented ladies took the concept and expanded it.  They created a “dessert table” full of bath products that look as delicious as baked goods!  Including sugar scrubs, mini soaps, and cupcake bath bombs – which would be the PERFECT compliment to a spa-themed party!  Totally cute, right?!  Even better, they have download-able templates for each one of these darling labels on their website!

I get so many requests for Spa themed parties – both for little girls and for big girls!  This idea would be darling for a birthday party or a Mother’s Day girl’s night out.

Head on over to Nonpareil to check out the rest of their fabulous eye candy and tutorials!

March 26th, 2010 |

Easter Brunch: Blue & Lime Green

blue and lime green easter brunch

Blue and lime green are the perfect palette for an Easter brunch.  This invitation from WH Hostess sets the tone for a cheery event full of darling details.  Welcome your guests with a beautiful, Spring-like wreath on your front door.  This concept is so simple to….simply attach loops of ribbon to a styrofoam wreath, glue in some white “eggs”, and voila!

Use a combination of two ideas as your centerpiece: first, string Easter eggs (that you have blown out, and died blue and lime green) to make a garland and then swirl it down the center of your table.  Second, place died Easter eggs into egg cups with petal rims to look like flowers.  Create a simple place setting with these darling bunny napkin rings, and by placing a small vase of flowers on each guest’s plate.  It adds a nice, natural touch to the table, and will also serve as a party favor.  You can also repeat the use of ribbon from your wreath by tying small pieces onto straws to create flags.

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), egg garland (bhg.com), ribbon wreath (hgtv.com), bunny napkin rings (organize.com), drinks (stylemepretty.com), egg flowers (goodhousekeeping.com), flower place setting (brides.com)

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March 25th, 2010 |

Cupcake Topper

I came across this darling cake on epicurious.com – talk about a darling cupcake topper!  This would be so cute for an Easter brunch, a birthday party or shower.  If you aren’t up for making a cake and cupcakes from scratch – cheat a little!  Order the cake from your local bakery, and bake your own cupcakes (the cupcakes don’t have any special decorations….just different colored frosting!).

March 25th, 2010 |

Bunny Cupcakes

I wish you had all been sitting with me when I first saw these cupcakes….I couldn’t hide my “ooh!!” if I had tried!  They are so cute, so unique….and are sure to get rave reviews from guests young and old.  Here is the recipe from All You:

Ingredients

  • 1  16.5-oz. roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 3/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  confectioners’ sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  egg-white powder (such as Just Whites)
  • Red and green food coloring
  • 1/2  cup  each light and dark pink decorating sugars
  • Large flower décors
  • 2  cups  chopped sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1  16-oz. can vanilla frosting
  • 24  cupcakes, any flavor

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Knead dough and flour together until smooth. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out bunny shapes using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Transfer to baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Reroll scraps; continue cutting to get 24 bunnies.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Make cookie frosting: Stir confectioners’ sugar, egg-white powder and 3 Tbsp. warm water until smooth. (If frosting is too thick, stir in more water, 1 tsp. at a time.) Spoon 2 Tbsp. frosting into a ziplock bag. Tint remaining frosting light pink with a drop of red food coloring. Keep frosting covered to prevent drying.

4. Working on 1 cookie at a time, spread a thin layer of pink frosting on top. Sprinkle top of frosted cookie with light or dark pink decorating sugar to coat, shaking off excess. Snip a small corner from bag with white frosting. Pipe a few dots of white frosting on cookie; attach décors. Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow cookies to dry, 1 hour.

5. Place chopped coconut in a ziplock bag. Add a few drops of green food coloring; massage to tint coconut evenly. Put coconut in a shallow bowl. Spread vanilla frosting on cupcakes. Roll edges in green coconut. Press a cookie on top of each cupcake.

March 24th, 2010 |

Everyday Decorations

We are in that funny time of year – some days it’s snowing and feels very much “winter” – and other days, it’s hitting 60 degrees, the sun is shining and my Spring fever is definitely blooming!  I start to crave fresh flowers, and colorful decorations – and I look for creative ways to make my house look festive (even if there is still snow on the ground!).

Yesterday, I was the guest-host over at Creative Party Place.  I  showed  a darling do-it-yourself project from The Purl Bee, and I thought I would share it with you too!  These colorful garlands are simple to make, easy to customize to any party theme/color palette, and are a fresh addition to any party!

Head over to The Purl Bee for the full instructions on how to create these colorful garlands.  It’s amazing how some colorful circles can end up looking like this:

Darling, right?!  And here’s a thought…..instead of using felt circles, you could cut out ovals and make the garland look like colorful eggs for an upcoming Easter brunch!

March 23rd, 2010 |

Raggedy Ann Birthday Party

 

For a bit of nostalgia, base a party theme around a childhood love–like Raggedy Ann. Make sure to add in all of the cool details–like Raggedy Ann’s famous “I love you” heart as a cookie–without over doing the theme. Focus instead on a fun color combo, like red and aqua. Pick up some popcorn, colored taffy, over-sized lollipops, and a few yummy chocolates for simple, inexpensive party treats. Splurge on awesome, custom cakes for a bit of “wow” and have cupcakes on hand to serve. And finally, don’t forget a fun banner.

A few of the details: My florist, Persimmon Floral, added paper flowers to the floral arrangements for a whimsical, youthful feel. I wrapped paper around the sandwiches to add color. And my mom sewed and donated the 6 mini Raggedy Ann dolls.

Photos by Nicole Hill Gerulat

~ Brittany, One Charming Party

Storage

March 22nd, 2010 |

Passover Dinner: A Seder to Savor

seder dinner ideas

The Seder dinner marks the start of the Jewish holiday, Passover.  Typically held at home, Seder dinners are full of tradition….and some delicious food!  Set a warm, yet elegant table in shades of gold and simple white centerpieces.  Add a personal touch by placing a votive candle with your guest’s names written on a small scroll at each place setting.

The Seder menu is stock full of tradition.  Items such as matzo ball soup have been served during this holiday for generations!  I found a few recipes on Bon Appetit that give a simple update to a few favorites:

These delicious recipes are sure to become new traditions in your family.  Tell me, how do you celebrate the holiday?

Images: tulips (stylemepretty.com), votive candle (epicurious.com), napkin (karentran.com), table setting (lastoriafoto.com)

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March 19th, 2010 |

The Party Dress has new features!

March 19th, 2010 |

Mimosa Makeover

It’s no secret that I love a good champagne cocktail!  This recipe from Sunset Magazine is on my must-try list for this Spring!  It’s a sweet and sour combination – just the way I like it!

Pour ¼ cup cranberry juice and ¼ cup pink grapefruit juice into a Champagne flute or a thin glass. Top with your favorite Champagne or sparkling wine. Serve immediately and keep the juices and bubbly chilled for refills.

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