December 30th, 2009 |

Winter Cupcake Bar

It’s no secret that I am a sucker for both plaid and cupcakes.  So it’s no surprise that this idea from Southern Living literally made my head spin with ideas!

Although tartan plaid is typically associated with Christmas, I think you can use it all winter long.  It’s the perfect accent to transition your home from Christmas decor into “winter” decor.  Try using pieces of fabric to wrap your serving pieces, as shown in the picture above.  It’s is simple additions like this that really take your party up a notch!

A cupcake bar is a simple concept that could be used for any type of party – a kid’s birthday party, a holiday party, a baby shower.  Simply present your undecorated cupcakes with piping bags full of frosting, and cups of sprinkles. (don’t forget to color-coordinate your sprinkles to your party theme!)

December 23rd, 2009 |

Baby Shower: Persimmon and Olive

 

The months following Christmas can be kind of dreary, the weather almost depressing!  I don’t know about you, but this is when I start to CRAVE color!  If you are hosting a baby shower during these months, opt for a bright, colorful theme.  Today’s inspiration is full of persimmon orange and lime green (with a few accents of yellow for good measure!).  Sophisticated decor and details will make this an event all will enjoy!

Invite your guests with this invitation from Minted.  It’s cute and simple….and it works perfectly with our color palette!  Keep your decorations simple…a stunning wreath on the front door or over a mantel, monochromatic centerpieces done in shades of orange.  Keep your details simple and your color strong.  As a unique touch, create a hanging placecard that can attach to the back of your guest’s chair.  It will add an unexpected element to the chair, and open up your place setting for an interesting napkin treatment or room to place your party favor on their plate.

Don’t forget to carry your color theme throughout the entire event….especially dessert!  Have your pasties made in coordinating colors to create a stunning affect!

Images: yellow wreath (inmagine.com), invitation (minted.com), chair placecard (bhg.com), party favor (styleathome.com), champagne cocktails (amberkarsonevents.com), orange centerpiece (brides.com), cake (theknot.com)

 

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

December 22nd, 2009 |

Best Blog Awards

I woke up to a lovely surprise this morning….Happy Hour Mom named The Party Dress as one of the recipients for the “Best Blog Award”!  It puts a smile on my face knowing that there are people out there that love what we are doing here at The Party Dress (and over at Project Nursery, who was also named!)  So, to pay-it-forward……here are another 10 blogs that I nominate for the “Best Blog Award”.  If you haven’t done so already, check them out!  And if you are a loyal reader already….stop on by to say “happy holidays” and “congratulations!”.

Project Nursery (I know, I know…they were already nominated….but it’s a team I am oh, so proud to be a part of!)

Style Me Pretty

Hostess with the Mostess

The TomKat Studio

Creative Party Place

Pepper Design Blog

Belle Maison

Scout – A Mom’s Guide to Stylish Living

Stem Parties

Swanky Tables

Thanks again to Shannon and Toni at Happy Hour Mom for our nomination!  Make sure to check out their list of blogs too!

December 22nd, 2009 |

Cranberry Christmas

Cranberry Christmas

I love this idea from Better Homes and Gardens….this is a simple, yet sophisticated way to dress up your Christmas dinner table.  Fill a small bowl, an egg cup, or a champagne saucer with fresh cranberries.  Stick in a small placecard and you have a charming addition to your table!

December 21st, 2009 |

A Peppermint Party

peppermint themed christmas party

A traditional red and white, candy cane-inspired party for you today!  The countdown is on….only a couple days left!  What are you doing to get ready for Christmas?

Images: candy cane candle (bhg.com), mantel display (parents.com), invitation (WH Hostess via etsy.com), mini martini glasses (beau-coup.com), silverware (australiaentertains.com), cake plate (crateandbarrel.com), room (hgtv.com)

etsy banner

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

December 17th, 2009 |

O Christmas Tree

This Christmas Tree party was posted over at Project Nursery today.  Such a cute, festive theme….I had to share it with all of you too!

The search for the perfect Christmas tree can be a very entertaining process…..especially if you take a group of kids!  Plan a day of activities for your kids and their friends by inviting them to a Christmas tree farm and then for a tree-trimming party back at your house.

tree trimming party for kids

Invite the kids with this darling Christmas tree invitation from WH Hostess on Etsy.com.  Make sure to tell them to dress warm, as they will be outside looking for the tree!  You can also ask each child to bring an ornament to place on the tree while they are trimming it.

You know kids, the second you get to the tree farm they will be hungry and thirsty!  Provide them with snowman sippy cups for their walk around the farm, and individual bags of snacks (keep them small so they can put them in their pockets).

tree trimming party for kids

Have your house set up for the party before you go, so that once you return the kids can trim the tree with lights, and ornaments.  Set up a craft table with strips of construction paper and glue sticks, and have the kids make paper chain garlands to hang on the tree as the finishing touch.  Serve up some frosted sugar cookies in the shape of trees….and if you present them clustered together on a platter, it might just resemble the tree farm they visited earlier that day!)

As a party favor, send the kids home with a small Spruce seedling planted in a tin container.  It will be a darling reminder of a festive day!

Images: invitation (WHhostess via Etsy.com), snowman sippy cups (orientaltrading.com), snow kids (jcrew.com), kids decorating tree (inmagine.com), tree seedling party favors (midwestliving.com), christmas tree cookies (elenis.com)

December 16th, 2009 |

New Year’s Eve: Entertaining Essentials!

new years eve party ideas

New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching…..are you hosting a party?!  New Year’s Eve is all about glitz and glam….time to pull out the good stuff and really make your home sparkle!  Today, I thought I would share a few of my favorite entertaining items with you….

No party is complete without an ice bucket!  I love this one from Williams-Sonoma Home – clean lines, a classic monogram, but there is something about the shape that gives it an updated look.  Champagne glasses are a must for any New Year’s Eve party, these tubular glasses from Crate & Barrel are so inexpensive, you can afford to buy one for each one of your guests to use!  I love, love, love hammered silver!  This new platter from Michael Aram for Williams-Sonoma would be lovely for the party….but also perfect to use on a daily basis throughout the year!

Cocktail napkins are one of those items you should just have sitting around….so pick them up whenever you see cute ones!  I love the leaf pattern on these from Etsy.com….it picks up the olive branch pattern on the Michael Aram platter.  Finding a good drink bucket is tough – they are either way too casual, or way too expensive.  This one from Crate & Barrel is the perfect combination, and a great price.  I pull this one out for all of my parties!

If you plan on serving a buffet, whether it be appetizers or desserts, small plates are a must.  These leaf-print plates from West Elm have a silver background and add just a touch of glam to our party!  If you know me well, you know that I love myself a champagne cocktail!  Make yours a little sweeter with rimming sugars.  This set of three from Crate & Barrel is not only tasty, but dresses up your champagne glasses too.  This glass cloche-covered cake plate is one of my all time favorite products sold in The Party Dress’s shop on Open Sky.  I think it would make a lovely addition to any table!

So, now that I have shared my favorites with you…..what are your favorite entertaining items?

new years eve entertaining essentials

Images: champagne bar (southernliving.com), invitation (minted.com), centerpiece (theknot.com)

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December 16th, 2009 |

Welcome Lights

Holiday LanternsHave you ever heard of “welcome lights?”  A fairly new concept to me, but my husband’s grandmother explained to me that the candlestick lights that people place in their windows at night (predominantly during the Holiday season) are a sign to your “callers” that your home is welcoming visitors.  Although a very traditional concept, a lovely one at that.  The more I drive around looking at Christmas lights, the more aware I am of these now.

I love the idea of taking this concept and adding a modern spin to it.  Instead of placing candlestick lights in your window, decorate the front of your house with lanterns.  Hang them, line your front path with them……the more you have, the more impact you will make.  You can get creative with your “lanterns” too.  Instead of using traditional ones, trying using clear glass vases, or hang square vases full of candles on strands of ribbon.  The effect will be stunning, your home will truly glow…..and your guests will certainly know they are welcome!

Image via Brides.com

December 15th, 2009 |

Sweet Packaging for Holiday Treats

Gingerbread Gift Box

If you are looking for some cute packaging for your holiday treats, look no further than these darling gingerbread boxes.  The perfect vessel to deliver all of your holiday cookies and candy, and they can be customized to the size you want (you make them, you decide the size!).  Made simply of gingerbread squares, and glued together with royal icing….here are the instructions from House and Home:

Step 1

Enlarge the templates on House and Home on a photocopier, but we recommend making these boxes no larger than 6” square. Otherwise, they’ll be too fragile.

Step 2

Cut the gingerbread squares using the templates. Bake cookies.

Step 3

“Glue” together and hide edges using Royal Icing.

Step 4

Place gift inside, and wrap with ribbons to reinforce.

December 14th, 2009 |

Mommy-Daughter Birthday Lunch

mommy daughter birthday lunch party

Fancy Nancy is one of my niece’s favorite things right now….she loves everything “fancy”.  But if you are not-so-into throwing a “character” birthday party for your daughter….try throwing a “fancy” mommy-daughter birthday lunch.  I guarantee your daughter will love having her own version of a “fancy” party!

Let’s be honest, sometimes all of those special details we hand-craft ourselves for birthday parties get lost on the children.  By inviting the mothers of your daughter’s friends to join in the fun….it will be special for the girls, and you are sure to get some much deserved ooh’s and ahh’s from your friends too!  I love this simple invitation from Tiny Prints….it’s perfect for our birthday lunch!  The pink and blue on the invitation help to set the color palette for the party, too.

Set the stage for your party with some beautiful flowers, crisp white linens, and a festive birthday banner.   You all know my obsession with a beautiful napkin….this one is simple!  Simply tie a blue ribbon around the napkin and finish in a loose bow.  Insert a small bouquet of flowers off to the right side.  You can send the little girls home with their own bouquet of flowers as a party favor.

pink cupcake images

This party wouldn’t be complete without some “fancy” cupcakes!  Here is a little inspiration for you.  Enjoy!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), drinks (brides.com), liberty-print banner (ravenhill via etsy.com), centerpieces (jldesigns.com), napkin (inmagine.com), floral cupcakes, pink cupcakes, and bouquet cupcakes (flickr.com)

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