January 14th, 2013 |

MOD VALENTINE’S DAY + FREE PRINTABLES

Modern Valentine's Day Party Balloon

Valentine’s Day is exactly one month from today…..it’s time to start planning your parties, classroom treats and sweet ideas for loved ones.  It’s the perfect opportunity to show your family a little extra love in the sweets department. Dessert tables have been trending for some time now and are a staple at most parties. But you don’t need to be serving a crowd of 30 to pull off a stylized table. Even if you are hosting a small party of 5, you can organize your sweets in a stylized, festive way….making your day seem that much sweeter.

valentine's day dessert table

I love the color red, so there is never a doubt that it will be the center of any of my Valentine’s Day parties. This year, I decided to update it with some bold black and white patterns: a chevron, a clover and some crisp stripes. To throw in a pop of color, I created modern conversation hearts in bright, pop colors with some contemporary sayings like “call me, maybe” and “text me”. You can download these for FREE and make cupcake toppers or string them into a banner.

valentine's day chevron cake pops

For this simple dessert table, I topped a crisp white table-cloth with a striped, square topper. The centerpiece was created by stacking cake stands and a footed candy dish together to create a tower that anchored the big, 36” balloon from Shop Sweet Lulu. The cake stands were covered with patterned Cake Plate Clings and held both cupcakes and candy. Red pots were full of tiny, pearlized candy balls, and held chevron cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes and darling heart lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.

valentine's day desserts

Small, 6” cake stands held jars of red gumballs, chocolate covered oreos topped with big red and pink hearts, and conversation heart cookies from Firefly Confections. Jumbo marshmallows were dipped in red chocolate and sat in striped cupcake liners. They held our darling modern conversation heart cupcake toppers. Old-fashioned candy sticks in a crisp black and white stripe fit into our theme perfectly.

heart chocolate-covered oreos

striped candy sticks

I think this table is a perfect example of creating something special for a small group, so it’s perfect for a family dinner or kids’ playdate for Valentine’s Day.

lollipops

To download the free conversation heart printables, and for more Valentine’s Day party ideas, please click on the image below.

valentine's day conversation heart free download

January 8th, 2013 |

WINTER BLUES

My home is looking sparse these days.  Now that the Christmas decorations are down, it’s time to go “shopping” in my home and redo some displays. I have been collecting blue and white china pieces – plates, jars, vases – for years now. Do you remember this party I styled centered around them that graced the cover of our first Spring Magazine? I cherish this collection and am always looking for new ways to style the pieces.

I’m really drawn to the large clusters of different-sized jars lately, like the photo below.  Mixed with some white hydrangeas or boxwood plants, it could be just the fresh look I am craving.

Images: 1, 2, 3

January 3rd, 2013 |

Winter White Florals

As I begin the process of taking down our Christmas decorations, I am taking a quick peek around to see if there is anything that I can re-interpret into “winter” decor vs “holiday” decor.  Paper whites and white amaryllis plants are a great option.  I love having fresh flowers in our home all of the time, but especially once the Christmas decor comes down and everything looks bare.

I love the modern interpretation of these typically classic arrangements – the amaryllis mixed with boxwood and pinecones, and the cluster of small paper whites arrangements.  Which is your favorite?

Images: amaryllis (link no longer available, found via pinterest), paperwhites (stylemepretty.com)

December 31st, 2012 |

Happy New Year 2013!

As 2012 comes to an end (as does our much-needed holiday break), I wanted to pop in here quickly to say Happy New Year!  2012 was full of so many blessings and new opportunities, and as always, I want to thank all of you for following along with us. It’s such a blessing to have this wonderful community of readers – each one of you inspires me every day!

Tonight, as we ring in the new year with a glass of bubbles, I will be toasting each one of you.  I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013! We can’t wait to start a fresh new year of blog ideas on Wednesday, and with so many exciting things on the horizon, I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings…..

xo

Kelly

December 28th, 2012 |

Kelly’s Christmas Eve Tablesetting

Good Morning, Everyone!  Although we are still technically on a little holiday break, I wanted to pop in to say hello and show you all a peek into my Christmas Eve party.  We hosted my extended family of thirteen for dinner and as always, I had fun setting the table!

My Kate Spade china gets used less frequently than I prefer, so I knew that I wanted to design the table around it.  I took inspiration from the tablesetting I did for last year’s holiday magazine, as well as incorporated a few new ideas.

Since my china is black and white, I wanted to introduce a pop color in the tablecloth.  Green is my signature color, and with Pantone naming it theirs for 2013, I figured it was perfect.  I had a hard time locating a tablecloth in the exact emerald green I wanted, so I had one made.  It actually ended up being a very cost effective idea – I found both 60″ and 120″ width fabric on fabricdirect.com in my desired color – so I was able to make one tablecloth to cover my very long, extended (via card tables) table.  I had a local seamstress hem it for me, and add a black and white gingham stripe ribbon trim.

I decided to forgo traditional floral centerpieces this year, and go for something a touch more modern.  I wasn’t sure what that was until about the 22nd, but I found these darling white trees at Z Gallerie (and they were 50% off at that point!) and knew they would be perfect.  I jazzed them up a bit with black and white stripe grosgrain ribbon at the bases, as well as added it to the base of black candles.  To add a touch of glam, I placed silver ball candles from Crate and Barrel on my polka dot tibit plates from Kate Spade as part of the centerpiece.

Instead of traditional placecards, this year I decided to have a little fun with my guests’ monograms.  I had a red monogram ornament from WH Hostess made up for everyone, and tied it along with a silver jingle bell to their napkin.  (and yes, if you look closely, you can see me photographing the table in the reflection on the bell!) The napkins were made from our black berries custom fabric.  It’s a pattern that I have always loved and was able to also carry over into Cake Plate Clings for the event too.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my holiday party….I wish their were more pictures, but once I started cooking I got too busy to take any more!

December 18th, 2012 |

A Holiday Reflection

It is with much reflection that I write today’s post…..

Friday, I spent the day in a studio photographing the pages of my book (launching Fall 2013) – party shot after party shot with cute kiddos and ideas for making kids smile…. completely unaware of the tragedies that occurred in Newtown, CT. It wasn’t until we were done for the day that I heard the news.  My heart just broke for everyone involved.  For all of those sweet children who won’t get to spend Christmas with their families, for the parents who will live with this heartache for the rest of their lives; they are all in my prayers right now.

Every day since, I have gone to post holiday ideas on the blog, and truthfully….it just doesn’t seem right.  It seems trivial.  So it made me do a little reflecting and here is what I came up with:

We have had an amazing holiday season.  The holiday magazine had an amazing reaction, the blog has been putting out inspiring holiday ideas for 2 months now, we have had some wonderful brand partnerships this season with Pottery Barn, Pier 1 and HP.  WH Hostess has shipped out more than triple the anticipated orders, and our new product, Cake Plate Clings launched with such gusto that I can’t help but smile every time I see stacks of them being shipped out to happy homes.  I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

But with the tragedies that occurred last week, it has made me realize that it’s time for me to step back and spend some time with the important people in my life, many of whom have been neglected over the last 2 months.  Working 18 hour days, 7 days a week has left my home with a Christmas tree that still hasn’t gone up, friends and family that I haven’t seen, Christmas shopping that needs to be done, and cookies that I would love to bake.  I want to give the kiddos in my life a little extra squeeze this week from Auntie Kelly and make sure that I don’t let a holiday pass me by where I am too busy to focus on what is really important in my life.

So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that we won’t be posting new ideas on the blog until after Christmas.  There are still so many ideas I would love to share with you, but we’ll just have to save them. I’m sure you will still see me pop into facebook and pinterest, and you can follow along with my holiday on instagram (you can follow us at @whhostess) and we’ll be sure to come back next week with some ideas for New Years.  But for now, I’m going to go spend some time with my family….and I hope you will all do the same.

We will be co-hosting our last pinterest party in our holiday entertaining series with The TomKat Studio this evening….I hope you will pop in to join us for some New Years Party inspiration (9pm EST/6pm PST).

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to each and everyone of you that has supported us in 2012. From our family to yours, we wish you all a happy and safe holiday season and am looking forward to a colorful 2013!

Much love to you all,

Kelly

December 12th, 2012 |

The Hubby Turns 30

This past weekend, my hubby turned 30!  I’ve been waiting for him to catch up to me for a few years now….so of course I had to throw a party!  He specifically asked me not to….so it had to be a surprise!  ;)  I invited our closest friends and family over to celebrate with a cocktail party, and since the December birthdate lends itself to holiday decor, I had to be extra careful for my color palette and design to read “manly” and “winter” instead of “Christmas!”

I chose a grey, white, green and navy color palette, and used stripes and gingham check as my patterns to look a bit like haberdashery. I kept things VERY simple.  Three tables: a bar for beer tasting, a buffet table full of appetizers and small bites, and desserts.

The buffet table was anchored with three tall centerpieces featuring white hydrangeas and cotton berries, and I used all white serving pieces to give the table a cohesive look.  Green striped Cake Plate Clings lined the plates and tiered serving pieces for a little added pop.

I decided against traditional food tent cards to save space on the table, and instead opted to do plaques that I hung off ribbon.  These are just a few of the appetizers we served: beef tenderloin sliders, shrimp shooters, a cheese plate, crudités, a couple of dips, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts and stuffed mushrooms.

And for dessert….gorgeous macarons and one delicious birthday cake.

{please forgive the photography lighting….the lights were dim and there were tons of candles so although the room was cozy, it did not make for the best pictures!}

December 5th, 2012 |

Christmas Cocktails & Desserts

When it came to designing a Christmas party for the holiday issue of The Party Dress magazine, I decided that I wanted to put a chic, girly spin to it with a festive color palette of pink, red and green.  I also wanted to provide you with ideas that could be used for either an adult cocktail party or a family-friendly celebration.

The color palette was inspired by my favorite Christmas invitation of the season, the multi-colored ikat party invitation.  It’s crisp and modern and looks great mixed with lots of different patterns.

Welcome guests at the door with a tray of champagne!  (or Shirley Temples if it’s a kids party!) Our lucite tray looks light and airy and with removable inserts, you can change out the pattern to coordinate with any event.  An assortment of pink, green and red striped straws from Shop Sweet Lulu were dressed up with straw flags with cute sayings like “eat, drink and be merry” and “happy everything”.

You can incorporate your color palette into the gifts under the tree too!  Here are two of my favorite littles taking a peek at their Christmas gifts!

The tablesetting was a lot of fun to put together.  I had a tablecloth made with a hot pink, tonal polka dot fabric, and napkins made from our Christmas chevron fabric to play with patterns.  I tied the napkins with a green sequin ribbon, and a personalized monogram ornament (which also served as a party favor).  The centerpiece was made with white hydrangeas and red tulips and I flanked it with two white nutcrackers.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the delicious dessert table details!  Lots of yummy ideas that you can incorporate into your own holiday parties!

 

December 4th, 2012 |

Cookie Exchange Ideas Pinterest Party TONIGHT!

It’s Tuesday, so you know what that means…..PINTEREST PARTY!!  We’re going to be pinning away tonight with The TomKat Studio and 10 amazing bloggers and friends.  It’s National Cookie Day so we’ll be pinning ideas for Holiday Cookie Exchanges!  Join us tonight at 9pm EST/6pm PST for one hour of sweet pinspiration!

Follow the board here to join in the fun!

December 4th, 2012 |

Click to Print {Free Holiday Printables}

I know that the holiday season can be stressful.  You want to do SO.MANY.THINGS: bake cookies, cut down the perfect tree, select the perfect gifts and wrap them with unique trimmings, throw the perfect party for friends & family.  It’s takes a lot of time to be the perfect hostess, so I teamed up with HP Print this season to gift all of you a collection of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES.  5 darling designs that are sure to help you accessorize your party in a flash.

Whether you are planning a holiday dinner, a cocktail party or a family dinner, this set of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES has 5 items that will dress up your event.  First up, a menu card in a crisp red quilt pattern with elegant touches of green.  This could be used on individual plates or in a picture frame on a buffet table.  The second item is a red name plaque that could be used as a placecard.  I used a crisp red and white stripe ribbon to weave thru the plaque to add a touch of holiday spirit.  Once combined, it’s the perfect size to lay across a napkin.

No party would be complete without some bubbly!  Welcome your guests in style with a tray full of champagne glasses.  Add some festivity to your display with striped straws embellished with our third printable item: straw flags.  Offered in both red and green, the flags offer up seasonal greetings such as “mix and mingle”, “happy everything”, “be merry” and “holly jolly”.

When dessert time rolls around, individual treats like cupcakes, mini tarts or pies, or cake pops are a great option.  Easy to serve, tidy to eat, and you as the host won’t get tied up slicing cake.  I designed a set of charming 2″ round tags featuring a bough of holly, and sayings such as “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Everything” that could be used for cupcake toppers, cake pop sticks or you could even use them as stickers.

Our fifth printable item is a 3 inch gift tag or sticker that could be used for party favors or gift giving.  Offered in three different sayings, they are a darling way to dress up gifts this season.

I hope you enjoy these FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES brought to you by WH Hostess and HP Print.  You can CLICK TO PRINT to use the files.  Have fun!

“This holiday season, let loved ones know how much you care. Use your favorite photos to create something personalized and unique for everyone on your list. Make it memorable. Make it meaningful. Make it matter. Go to hp.com/holiday for inspiration and ideas.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by HP via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of HP.

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