February 11th, 2013 |

PINTEREST PARTY | PROJECT NURSERY + OLD NAVY

old navy pin partyWe’re SO excited to be co-hosting a Pinterest Party tonight with Project Nursery, Old Navy and SO many fabulous hostesses. Project Nursery is partnering with Old Navy to celebrate their sale offering up to 40% off all baby and kids clothing (sale ends February 20, 2013), and we have teamed up with them and some of the most stylish party planners, designers and bloggers to create a jaw-dropping Pinterest board for a pin party extravaganza! Not sure how to dress your little one for their next birthday bash? We’ve got you covered! We’ll be pairing stylish outfits from the Old Navy Kids and Baby Sale with over-the-top party themes.

Featuring special guest pinners from Project NurseryMom TrendsSavvy Sassy MomsCupcake MagPetite Party StudioA Blissful NestFrog Prince PaperieThe Party Dress and Salt & Nectar

Log on February 11th at 6pm PST/9pm EST to see the pinning in progress or check back after to see our complete Party Inspiration Pin Board.

 

February 11th, 2013 |

STYLISH KIDS PARTIES | VALENTINES TIC TAC TOE

chocolate tic tac toe for valentine's dayI’m back with a little peek from my book, Stylish Kids Parties (launching Fall 2013, F+W Media). Kids love holidays, so of course we had to include some holiday party ideas.  Since Valentine’s Day is this week, I thought I would share one of my favorite ideas: chocolate tic tac toe games!  Whether you use it as a party activity, or a special Valentine’s Day treat for your kiddos’ friends – it’s simple and oh, so much fun.

I packaged up a roll of washi tape from Shop Sweet Lulu with a set of chocolate X’s and O’s that I made using plastic molds and melting chocolates from Michael’s.  So simple to do, and the kids had a blast with it!

tic tac toe chocolate party favorStay tuned for more behind the scenes posts for the book coming soon!  Did you catch this one?

February 7th, 2013 |

NEW TO THE SHOP | PARTY PLANNING NOTEPADS

party planning worksheet notepads from wh hostessI’m so excited to introduce you to our latest product: personalized party planning worksheets!

We work with clients on a daily basis to plan unique, stylish parties and all know that organization is key.  These new {personalized} notepads are offered in two patterns, two colors and are 8.5″x11″ in size, with 53 pages.  It’s the perfect accessory to your desk!

shop wh hostess

February 6th, 2013 |

Mardi Gras Macarons for Fat Tuesday

mardi gras macarons dessert for fat tuesdayHere in Chicago, Mardi Gras is one of those “wish-we-were-closer-to-celebrate, but-we-are-too-buried-under-the-snow” type of holidays.  It always looks so fun and festive and is something to look forward to during the bleek winter months.  If you are in the mood to celebrate, or just looking for an excuse to throw a themed dinner party, we have ideas for tablesettings, decor and food here and here.

I came across these festive Mardi Gras Macarons from Sprinkle Bakes and just had to share them for you.  They are the perfect treat for Fat Tuesday!  Colorful and they even have a little baby hidden inside them!  You can find Sprinkle Bakes’ recipe and tips for making the perfect macaron here.  Enjoy and Happy Baking!

February 1st, 2013 |

MOD BOXWOOD DINNER PARTY | DECOR

I often get asked where I find inspiration for party ideas.  Like, daily.  Truth is, there is no rhyme or reason as to what inspires me.  It could be a book, a gorgeous party dress, or a color palette.  Today, it’s this picture of a fresh, updated interior.  I absolutely LOVE the clean lines, the black, white and grass green color palette, the brass accent, the geometric pattern, the gorgeous boxwood.  It’s the perfect inspiration for a dinner party!

When I start to plan a party, the first thing I do is gather my resources to plan my decor or tablesetting.  Here’s what I came up with for this Mod Boxwood Dinner Party:

boxwood dinner party elements

Every hostess needs a pretty party dress!  This bold check dress from Kate Spade is perfect for this event. Classic, yet updated…just like my inspiration.  The table will be grounded with my black and white Union Street china from Kate Spade, but instead of pairing it with my crystal stemware, I am going to dress it down a bit with these squared-off wine glasses and silverware from Crate & Barrel.  Using a white tablecloth as the base for my table, I am going to use these bold chevron napkins to add a pop of pattern to the table.  The brushed metal tile napkin rings from Kim Seybert add my touch of brass (inspiration was the brass door pull in the picture above!).  A few varying sizes of boxwood balls in basic white pots will serve as my centerpiece, with a few votive candles scattered around them.  And for dessert….well, we’ll talk food later.  But it will definitely be served on my favorite cake stand, with a black polka dot Cake Plate Cling.

Stay tuned for my ideas for food & drinks!

Image: inspiration shot / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

January 30th, 2013 |

SEQUINS

sequin linens for partiesWhile scouring the web for inspiration for my sister’s recent baby shower, I slowly became obsessed with sequin linens.  An emerging trend in the events industry, we’re seeing them used for weddings, dessert tables and in my case, for showers.  Done in neutral colors, they are extremely sophisticated and add a touch of luxe glamour to any event.

sequin linens ivoryA monochromatic combination of ivories looks modern with the addition of sequins.  It adds texture and depth, and the sequins will reflect the light beautifully.  It’s a fabulous update to a solid linen tablecloth for dessert tables, adding a touch of sparkle under your serving pieces.

sequin linens for eventsYou can do an all-over tablecloth, or add just a touch of sparkle with a table runner.  In addition to the neutral metallics such as gold and silver, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the sequin chevron tablecloth from La Tavola.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect “statement piece” for the dessert table I was planning for my sister’s baby shower.

sequin linens chevronI can’t WAIT until I can show you more pictures from this event.  But for now….what do you think of the sequin linens?  Have you used them at an event before?

Images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /  5

January 29th, 2013 |

BABY CHIC | DETAILS of the BABY SHOWER

chic baby shower decorations for a mantelThose readers that follow along on facebook and instagram know that I hosted a baby shower (along with my mother) for my sister this past weekend.  We had SO much fun putting together a gender-neutral celebration, since the sex of the baby is still a surprise.  I didn’t want to use the traditional blue and pink color palette and my sister is not a fan of yellow.  We went with a coral and aqua blue color palette, with touches of nude, gold and silver.

I unfortunately can’t show you all of the details (even though I am just DYING to), because this shower and all of the creative DIY ideas will be featured in my book (launching this Fall)!  So I’ll have to keep you guessing for a while, but for now, here are two ideas that you can recreate for your next party:

braided ribbon garlandTo create a focal point behind where the mama-to-be was opening her presents, I decorated the fireplace mantel with fresh flowers, custom posters that I designed to coordinate with the baby shower invitation and a garland of baby onesies.  Instead of using twine or actual green garland, I very quickly braided three colors of satin ribbon together.  I loved the pop of color it added to the white fireplace and was so lightweight and easy to hang.  I will definitely be repeating this for future parties!

orange and white centerpieces and tablesetting for baby showerThe tables were very fresh and held simple decor.  I’m pretty obsessed with gorgeous flowers (you will ALWAYS find fresh flowers in my house, especially during the blah winter months) so it was a given that the tables had to hold a simply stunning arrangement.  I wanted to add a pop of color to my basic bubble vases, but didn’t want any permanent changes made since I reuse these vases all of the time. I came up with a very simple solution: glue dots and glitter.

polka dot vaseThis was such a simple project and added a sweet touch to the table.  After a quick trip to Michael’s craft store, I had removable glue dots and gorgeous colors of shimmer glitter from Martha Stewart’s craft line, and about 30 minutes to decorate 3 big vases.  I placed the glitter into a shallow bowl, and then just rolled a strip of the removable glue dots thru it.  They were easy to peel off the paper strip and attach to the vase.  The great thing about this project is that you could adjust it to any color palette and could even create patterns with the polka dots.  The dots are simple to peel off (thank god for the “removable” glue dots) so my vases were unharmed and ready for the next event.  It truly was as simple as that!

 

January 24th, 2013 |

PARTY PREP | BABY CHIC

baby shower prepThe very cold temps here in Chicago this week have ensured that I have been hibernating inside and catching up on design work and also prepping all of the decorations for our “Baby Chic” Baby Shower photo shoot (Friday) and baby shower (Sunday) for my sister!  If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen some of these.  But here are a few images of the prep work, and even with the horrible lighting, you can get an idea of the aqua/coral/silver/nude color palette we are using (gender-neutral) and some of the decor elements.

What do you think?!

January 23rd, 2013 |

THE MODERN PLATE WALL

I have an odd obsession with wall displays of beautiful plates.  I honestly don’t know where it comes from.  I think I like the dimension it gives to a flat wall, the ability to create a piece of art using items unique to your home.  Since our home renovation is basically done now (6 months after the fatel appliance flood of 2012), I’m left to focus on getting things back up on the walls.  New paint colors have caused us to rearrange some artwork and I’m left with a blank focal wall behind my dining room table (also faces my gorgeous new white kitchen).

I am LOVING this plate wall I found on Apartment Therapy.  I like the shape and spanse of it, but also how they mixed a few pattern plates in neutral colors in.  This may just be a place for me to incorporate the Country Estate plates from Juliska that I have been drooling over.

What do you think?  Do you love or hate a good plate wall?

January 21st, 2013 |

BEHIND THE SCENES | MAKING OF THE BOOK

sneak peek of Stylish Kids Parties book by Kelly LydenNow that the first half of my book has been turned into the publisher, I thought it would be fun to share a few sneak peeks….

Planning and executing the shoots for my first book, Stylish Kids Parties (Fall 2013, F + W Media), has been a very fun process.  Lots of hard work, but it’s so fun to think that my party ideas will be gracing bookshelves come Fall.  When approached to do this book, I thought long and hard about what message I wanted to share.  Trendy party themes?  DIY craft ideas?  After much deliberation, I decided to stay true to my roots and style: updated classics.  When selecting the party themes, I decided to take classic themes and show how to style a party for the modern hostess, so the ideas in the book will be as relevant 10 years from now as they are today.

mess of supplies

The first half of the book was shot during October and November – during our busiest holiday months at WH Hostess (and as we launched Cake Plate Clings, Inc.).  We were shooting in the morning, packing orders in the afternoon, and writing at night.  And for about a month, I didn’t know if I was coming or going!  My studio looked like a constant disaster of colorful party goods (like the shot above), and I am very lucky to have some wonderful vendors working with me on some of the details.

The best part of these shoots are getting to spend time with some serious CUTIES!  My best friends’ kids, my god-daughters and the {almost} one year old son of my friend and contributor, Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio, were all a part of the fun!  Here are just a few shots from some of the chapters shot.

random book shots

It’s going to be such a bright, colorful, fun book….just like my job!  If you want to follow along with us as we start shooting the second half of the book, follow us on Instagram (@whhostess).  There’s a lot more party to come!

 

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