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.

March 18th, 2010 |

WH Hostess + Preppy Plates

preppy plates melamine plates

I thought I would take a moment to introduce you to one of the very exciting new categories of WH Hostess: Preppy Plates.  They are an amazing company that produces adorable melamine plates, trays and coasters, and lucite trays with removable inserts.  Stylish patterns, beautiful colors – and they are all customizable!  They make a perfect gift, a perfect accessory to any party and I am literally obsessed with them!  If you are like me and you love to entertain outdoors, these products are perfect for you!

So check out our Preppy Plates section on WH Hostess – and keep them in mind for future gifts and parties!  P.S. Check out the cute Easter plates – they would be so cute on your Easter brunch table!

March 18th, 2010 |

Spring Desserts

With the official start of Spring this weekend, I felt it was only appropriate to share some of the delicious Spring dessert recipes that I have found around the web.  With so many fruits in season, these desserts are sure to look as good as they taste!

  1. Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
  2. Tulipes with Raspberry Sorbet
  3. Mango Tart
  4. Strawberry Napoleons
  5. Lemon Blackberry Mini Tarts
  6. Fresh Strawberry-Cream Cheese Tart
  7. Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
  8. Baked Alaska

March 17th, 2010 |

Spring Salad Basket

Salads can take on so many different forms: green, vegetable, fruit.  But at the end of the day, we pretty much serve them the same way – in a bowl!  Mix things up at your next dinner party by serving your salad in a “basket” made of cucumber slices.

It’s simple to construct.  It’s pretty to look at.  And it will leave your guest saying “ooh…a salad!”

Image via My Recipes

March 17th, 2010 |

Bumble Bee Birthday

 

Bumble bees scream SPRING and SUMMER to me!  So this party inspiration would be perfect for an upcoming birthday party or Easter celebration.  Typically when you think of bumble bees, you think of a yellow and black color palette (one of my favorites!  Do you remember this baby shower?!)  Switch it up this Spring by using festive colors such as yellow, green and orange.  The colors of this darling invitation by WH Hostess sets the color palette and theme for the party.  Love the stationery?!  You can get matching cupcake toppers, address labels, notecards and gift tags for your party favors!

I love the idea of incorporating daisies into this theme.  You can use them in your centerpieces, tied into napkins, and have them frosted onto your cake (how darling is this cake, by the way?!).  Add a whimsical touch to your table setting by tying ribbons onto the back of your chairs.  It will add a splash of color, and if you are hosting your party outdoors – just think how charming the ribbons will look blowing in the wind!

Send your guests home with a mini honey pot party favor.  So cute – and perfect for our theme!  You can package them in a clear box, embellished with ribbon and a darling bumble bee tag.

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), napkin (brides.com), drinks (hostessblog.com), cake (goodhousekeeping.com), felt party hat (stella and livi via etsy.com), chairs (stylemepretty.com), centerpiece (blonde-designs.com), mini honey pot party favor (beau-coup.com), party favor box and sticker (whhostess.com)

 

Beau-Coup and WH Hostess are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

 

March 16th, 2010 |

Corned Beef: The Day After…

Corned beef – you crave it once a year around St. Patrick’s Day – you cook it, it tastes amazing – but what do you do with all of the leftovers?!  Corned beef sandwiches are great (check out this post from last year for a delicious idea!), but if you are looking for something new, give this recipe for corned beef hash from Food Network a try:

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups diced leftover rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and leek
  • 2 cups chopped leftover corned beef
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups leftover corned beef cooking liquid

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons butter with the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add half of the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the corned beef and cook until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the remaining vegetables in a bowl with the parsley and 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Add to the skillet and stir to make a large pancake, adding up to 1/2 cup more cooking liquid, if needed. Cook until the hash is dark on the bottom, about 2 minutes.

Flip and continue cooking, turning occasionally and adding more butter if needed, until the hash is crunchy on the outside but still moist in the middle, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cooking liquid 1 minute before serving.

March 16th, 2010 |

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

st. patrick's day dinner party

I’m Irish.  Like, freckles and reddish-hair, Irish.  Have I ever told you that?!  So, not only do I come from a big, Irish family…but so does my husband!  Since St. Patrick’s Day falls mid-week this year, we had our two big family celebrations on Sunday.  I thought I got the holiday out of my system….but I keep thinking, what are we going to do on the actual day?!  It’s too big of a deal in our families to just let the day slip by unnoticed!

I decided to whip together a quick little dinner party.  You know…. simple.  But festive!  I am going to serve traditional corned beef and potatoes.  But I also want to throw in some green, Spring vegetables – asparagus, broccolini, green beans and snap peas.  I thought it would be interesting to try something new with the corned beef too, so I am going to try these corned beef and cabbage rolls as an appetizer.  It looks yummy – and for those of us that are gluten-free (like me!) – it takes the place of a corned beef sandwich!

For dessert?!  Chocolate-Irish cream cheesecake and an Irish martini.  Sounds delicious, don’t you think?! What are your plans for celebrating?

Images: green dining room (karljuengel.com), napkin (theknot.com)

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

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