February 4th, 2010 |

Flowers Dress Up Everything!

It’s true.  Flowers really do dress up everything.  Use this idea for Valentine’s Day or just as a simple way to dress up your dinner table.  Instead of putting the flower inside the vase, tie it to the outside of a votive candle, or a vase full of candy hearts for Valentine’s Day.  The result will be a charming, inexpensive, centerpiece!

Image via The Knot

February 3rd, 2010 |

Lemonade Lunch

lemonade spring lunch party ideas

The snow here in Chicago has me dreaming of the parties I will throw this summer in my new backyard.  Top of my list?!  A lemonade lunch.  Totally inspired by this table setting created by Sharnel in Australia (it is summer there….), here are a few things that I would include:

A table setting with over-sized vases, and single blooms as the centerpiece.  A small-printed napkin tied with a fresh leaf from the garden.  Drink dispensers full of flavored waters, and lemonades.  A lemonade packet with a customized label as a party favor for all of my friends.

I can’t wait for SPRING!  What type of parties are you dreaming about throwing?!

P.S. This would be a darling theme for a baby or bridal shower, too!

Images: kids, napkin (countryliving.com), hanging candle (bhg.com), lemonade packets (beau-coup.com), table setting (mylife-mylove.blogspot.com), drink dispensers (swsmag.com), centerpiece (brides.com)

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

February 1st, 2010 |

Valentine’s Day Party Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays!  There is just something  so sweet and innocent about it….what could be bad about a day that is all about telling people you love them?!  If you are hosting a Valentine’s Day party for your kids this year, head on over to read my post on Project Nursery about  activities that will keep the kids occupied and having a blast!

Images: valentine’s day photo card (tinyprints.com), mail boxes (makeandtakes.com), flower cards (bhg.com), fortune teller (katespade.com)

Tiny Prints is a preferred sponsor of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

January 30th, 2010 |

Welcome! Estilo Weddings

We are so very excited to welcome yet another new advertiser this weekend!  Estilo Weddings is one of the most coveted wedding resources in the industry and we are so very happy to welcome them to The Party Dress!

Estilo Weddings was launched early in 2007 by Maria Ryan. The inspiration for the store came when Maria, drowning in a sea of white taffeta and lace, was unable to easily find bold and stylish items for her own wedding.  Born and raised in the Philippines, Maria’s sense of style has been influenced by her native country’s East meets West culture. She finds inspiration in bold colors, vibrant patterns and modern lines, all with a distinctly feminine flair.

Maria decided, “Women don’t want to drop their unique style just for tradition’s-sake on their wedding day. They want to show it off!”estilo weddings party supplies wedding ideasKnown for beautiful accessories full of style (I even bought some accessories here for my own wedding!), Estilo Weddings offers stunning clay flowers to top your cakes, amazing party favor packaging, custom silk flower arrangements and accessories to dress up your cupcakes!  Head on over to start your oohing and aahing!

January 30th, 2010 |

Welcome! Quote The Walls

I just love Saturdays, don’t you?!  It’s a fun day…a day to catch up on projects, explore new ideas and for us, welcome our newest advertisers!  So….here we go!

Quote The Walls is a unique shop full of darling wall decals that are sure to impress at your next party! Wall Letters are the newest craze in home decorating; adding quotes to your walls will turn them into wall art or conversation starters.  Show off your family’s personality by decorating your home or your next party with vinyl wall quotes, words, decals or letters.  Take a spin around their shop to get your creative juices flowing….which is your favorite decal?!

January 29th, 2010 |

Trend Alert: Accents of Coral

coral accents for your home and party

Accents of the color coral are popping up left and right this season!  It’s such a strong, happy color….perfect for accenting your home and parties.  I found some darling invitations with this pop color too….

Images: cakes (theknot.com), stripe tank (katespade.com), centerpiece and pillows (wshome.com), table setting (jldesigns.com), tulips (brides.com), aqua and orange invitation (wh hostess via etsy.com), baby shower invitation (minted.com), circle invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com)

WH Hostess, Minted, Wedding Paper Divas and The Celebration Shoppe are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.

For information regarding advertising, please click here.

January 28th, 2010 |

Napkin of the Week: Spring Buffet Style

LOVE this idea from Country Living!  What a darling way to display your napkins on a Spring buffet table!

January 28th, 2010 |

Pretty Pears

Sunset Magazine has a great feature on pears this month.  Light, refreshing and perfect for an early Spring party, these recipes will add a nice new assortment to your repertoire!  They offer up 6 ideas (and each one is more irresistible than the other!):

Pear Sidecar
This sweet (but not too sweet) drink should be made one at a time in a cocktail shaker. Energetic shaking and a proper drink-to-ice ratio ― possible only in a shaker ― are key: The ice dilutes and softens the “edges” of the cocktail, encouraging the otherwise sharp flavors to meld together.

Caramelized Pear and Sage Crostini
Sweet pears and sharp blue cheese create an exciting yet homey appetizer. Serve them with the pear sidecar cocktail (recipe precedes), sparkling wine, or a slightly sweet white wine.

Braised Pork with Pears and Chiles
The gentle heat of the dried chiles is highlighted by the sweet pears, which become soft and a bit savory while cooking in the pork juices. With a side of greens, this is one of our favorite fall dinners.

Asian Pear, Fennel, and Walnut Salad
The quality of the walnuts can make or break this dish, so be sure to taste them first (farmers’ markets are an excellent source of fresh nuts; store in the freezer after buying).

Pear Upside-Down Cake
A rich flavor and soft crumb made this cake a favorite in our test kitchen.

Pear Sorbet
Light and refreshing, this sorbet is a delightful way to end a heavy meal. If you want to serve sparkling wine with the sorbet, choose one that’s sweeter than the one in the sorbet.

January 27th, 2010 |

8 Healthy (yet Tasty!) Recipes

healthy and tasty recipes for winter

I don’t know about you, but I have been trying to eat light these days.  Between the holidays and my lack of activities during the winter, keeping meals light and healthy is important (especially so that I can keep eating chocolate like it’s my job!).   My husband and I have been making salads for dinner lately….and to tell you the truth, they are BORING me.  So, I have been searching the web looking for some healthy, yet tasty recipes to keep me satisfied during these long winter months!

Here is what I came up with: (clockwise from the top left) citrus tuna pasta salad, spinach, pear and parmesan salad, scallops with tarragon cream and wilted butter lettuce, watermelon-tomato skewers, vietnamese noodle rolls, peach and brie quesadillas with lime-honey dipping saucemelon and prosciutto salad, and avocado pesto-stuffed tomatoes.

WH Hostess is a preferred sponsor of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

January 26th, 2010 |

Puppy Party

 

Someone recently asked me how I come up with my party ideas….and I responded by telling them that it’s a variety of things!  Inspiration from around the web, fashion and color trends, things I dream up in the middle of the night, and often…it’s the people in my life that inspire different themes!  When I put together a boho chic wine and cheese party, I’m totally thinking of my sister.  A monkey-themed birthday party…inspired by my god-daughter.  A rustic, yet elegant wedding, I am recreating the look of my own wedding!  So today’s party is inspired by our little cousin, Erin, who has a love affair with her puppies!

A puppy-themed party is great – because it is so gender neutral!  Great for a boy or girl, and darling whether it is held inside or out.  I’m not going to lie to you….these puppy cupcakes from Parents Magazine started the ball rolling for this theme.  Aren’t they darling?!  Each one has such a cute little personality, and when you read the instructions you will see….they actually aren’t that difficult to make!  Using the cupcakes as your “wow” factor (one of my top 12 entertaining tips!), plan your decorations around them.  Simple things such as napkins with paw prints, or straws bent in the shape of a bone will add a cute (but not cheesy) touch to the overall theme without spending a fortune!  And don’t forget to get creative with food….it would be darling to cut out pieces of cheese using a dog bone cookie cutter!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), puppy cupcakes (parents.com), banner (etsy.com), face painting and table setting (designdazzle.com), dog-bone straw, dog-bone candy, and paw-print napkins (birthdayinabox.com)

 

Birthday in a Box and Tiny Prints are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

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