January 18th, 2010 |

Baby Shower: Spring Colors + Mod Lines

 

Baby showers can be tough for a trendy, sophisticated mommy that just isn’t into cutesy baby blocks or rubber duckies.  I get it!  If you find yourself hosting a shower for a mom-to-be that has a great sense of style and a love for color – try centering your party decor around a mod pattern, or a particular color palette.

This invitation from my new social stationary collection, WH Hostess, serves just that purpose!  Bright colors, a bold pattern….perfect for a trendy baby shower (or any party for that matter!).  Whether you are hosting your party at home or at an outside venue, keep your decorations clean and simple and remember to stick to your color palette!  Consider a unique location for your party, such as a wine bar, a coffee shop, or a day spa.

A monochromatic table setting like the one pictured above is perfect for this occasion.   The different shades of green look modern when layered together, and I absolutely love the centerpiece!  Instead of fluffy, full flowers choose something with a hard shape, like these billy balls….I just love how they look like little yellow pom poms!  One idea that I am currently obsessed with is the idea of adding colored draping to your party room.  Swap out your curtains, hang drapes in your doorways, or even covering a wall.  By using the same color, it will help unify your party and create a very festive space.  Paper lanterns always dress up a party!  Instead of hanging the traditional round version, use square lanterns for a more modern look.

Diaper cakes are a traditional decoration at baby showers.  Put a new spin on yours by creating a “stork package” instead.  I found this darling one on Etsy.  Modern with a touch of whimsy….this baby shower is perfect for the first months of Spring!

Images: invitation (WH Hostess via etsy.com), table setting (realsimple.com), drinks (brides.com), lounge area (detailsdetails.com), lanterns (swsmag.com), placecards (WH Hostess via etsy.com)

Winter Wonder Sale Graphic

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January 15th, 2010 |

Cheese Dessert Table

I’m drooling.  Literally.  I came across this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G cheese dessert table from Sunday Suppers today, and I just couldn’t wait until Monday to share this with you!  I love how tastefully done this is – from the cheese cloth tablecloth, to the simple white pedestals and glass cloches – it’s simple and sophisticated.  Not to mention looks delicious!  This picture is just a sampling….head over to Sunday Suppers to see more details!  And have a good weekend….I’ll see you Monday!

January 15th, 2010 |

Turquoise: Bridal Shower Inspiration

 

Pantone named turquoise the 2010 color of the year.  A versatile color for both fashion and interiors, turquoise can take on different looks when paired with coordinating colors.  Dressy and elegant, or casual and fun….turquoise can be the basis for a festive party!  Pair it with lime green, orange, chocolate brown.  Or my current favorite….white, white, white!

Images: lilly pulitzer dress (bloomingdales.com), table topics game for a bridal shower (beau-coup.com), invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), cake and placecards (theknot.com), paper lanterns (diynetwork.com), place setting (projectwedding.com)

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

January 14th, 2010 |

NFL Potato Skins – Perfect for the Superbowl!

NFL potato skins recipes for superbowl party

As you all know, I could spend hours upon hours watching Food Network!  It’s calming and relaxing to me, and I find that I subconsciously learn things every day.  Their website holds a wealth of information, great recipes and party ideas.  My new favorite?!  The custom designed potato skin toppers (they designed one for each of the NFL teams!).  Perfect for your superbowl party, don’t you think?!

Here are a few of the teams that my family typically roots for….personally, I think the Dallas Cowboys potato skin sounds the tastiest!  (sorry Chicago!)  Head on over to Food Network to see the rest of these delicious recipes.

Toys

January 14th, 2010 |

Super Bowl Party 2010

super bowl party ideas

Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching!  You know what that means…..the perfect opportunity to gather friends and family to share some tasty treats and root for their favorite team.  Tiny Prints has the cutest invitation in town, and with their quick shipping, you can still get them in time!  Keep your decorations simple!  I love this idea from Real Simple – cut coasters out of AstroTurf for a simple pop of creativity.

Super Bowl parties conjure up up images of simple food for me….chips and dips, chicken wings, etc.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of you reading this blog like to kick things up a notch.  I don’t see any of you throwing a bag of chips and a bowl of ranch dip out on the table…..

My vote is to serve some favorite staples, but to put a new twist on the presentation!  Here are a few ideas:

  • Instead of a traditional veggie platter, try placing different types of veggies and a couple of dips in individual bowls, and then place all of it in a basket to serve.
  • Up the presentation level of your traditional pigs in a blanket by wrapping the hot dogs in a spiral, and inserting a stick. (almost like chicken satay!)
  • Serve a couple of different types of meatballs.  Separate the flavors into small bowls (insert toothpicks for easy handling) and arrange all together on a tray.
  • Serve an updated slider.  Instead of a bun, use a large cottage fry to hold your burger.  Stylish and yummy! (and gluten-free for those of you like me!)

Yum.  Festive.  And a great reason to throw a party!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), decorations (realsimple.com), dips (inmagine.com), mini hot dogs (foodnetwork.com), meatballs (williams-sonoma.com), potato sliders (bhg.com)

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

January 13th, 2010 |

Silly Socks Slumber Party

silly socks slumber party

Today’s theme party really got me excited!  It’s hard to come up with a really cute, unique theme for kid’s parties….especially when it’s the dead of winter and outdoor entertaining is at a minimum!  So, if your daughter is craving a sleepover party….add a unique spin to it by host a “silly socks slumber party!”

This invitation from Tiny Prints is absolutely perfect for our theme….not only that, but it totally inspires decorations!  Bright colors, whimsical patterns…and don’t forget to tell your guests to wear “silly socks!”  Decorate your home with this colorful fabric banner from etsy.com.  It would be so cute hung over the food table…especially with these sock-covered flower pots going down the center!  What a darling idea (thank you, Rachael Ray) and oh, so simple to do.  I love how colorful it is, and that it is totally kid-friendly.

What better activity for a silly socks slumber party than decorating-your-own sock monkeys!  I found this set of plain white, ready-to-decorate monkeys on etsy.com…..grab some fabric markers, colorful ribbon, pom poms, and you have yourself one darling activity.  The kids will love bringing these home as their party favors too!  If you are looking for some inspiration for your sock monkey design, check out these darling monkeys I found on-line:

This is a party I would have loved to have been invited to as a kid….so, who wants to throw a silly socks slumber party?!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), sock monkeys (landofnod.com), centerpiece (rachaelraymag.com), patterned tights (bodenusa.com), striped straws (etsy.com), fabric banner (etsy.com), sock monkey kit (etsy.com), pink monkey (utownblog.wordpress.com), green striped monkey (melbourne4mothers.wordpress.com)

Tiny Prints, Land of Nod and The Celebration Shoppe are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.

For information on advertising, please click here.

January 13th, 2010 |

Flexible Centerpieces

rubber vase centerpiece

Have you ever had one of those days where you thought life would easier if everything wasn’t breakable?  You question putting that glass vase of flowers on a coffee table….grit your teeth, just waiting for your toddler to waddle right over to it and smash it into the ground?!  Here is a fun, little product that is sure to brighten your day (and keep your stress level to a minimum!)….

This rubber vase is both fun and useful… it is an amazingly stylish product made from a unique material.  Cutting-edge design for those seeking something completely different and modern, or just an extremely practical vase to have where there are small children around. The vibrant hues of these vases almost fool you into thinking they’re ceramic. But give them a little squeeze and the truth bounces back…they’re rubber! Totally kid- and clutz-proof, these vases by Danish product-furniture designer Henriette Melchiorsen can hold everything from flowers to kitchen utensils to paint brushes. Fold the neck in and you have a new vase shape. Utterly modern. Utterly yummy.  Utterly perfect for entertaining children, I say!  Available in 5 colors thru A + R Store, this rubber vase is going to be your new best friend!

January 12th, 2010 |

Lunch with The Girls

spring lunch with the girls

I don’t know about you, but the holiday season was so full of family dinners, trips to see the in-laws, decorating, wrapping, and baking….it left little time for me to catch up with all of my girlfriends!  So – I am making an effort to catch up with all of them this week.  And if you feel the same, consider hosting a little lunch….during the week, if you are home while the kids are at school, or this weekend when you are work-free.  Whatever you do, keep it simple, light and all about catching up with your friends.

If you are looking for a few ideas for your menu, I suggest a peach nectar spritzer (non-alcoholic), a warm spinach salad with seared scallops, and a few colorful macaroons for dessert.  Light, spring-y, and colorful…exactly what I am craving these days!

Images: kitchen (styleathome.com), napkin (weddingchannel.com), dishes (williams-sonoma.com)

January 11th, 2010 |

Chili Cook-Off!

chili cook off party

When it comes to entertaining a crowd during the winter months, potlucks are an easy fix….everyone brings something, so it helps take some of the stress off the hosts.  Put a new spin on a potluck dinner party, and host a chili cook-off!

This invitation from Tiny Prints is perfect for our theme!  First things first, find out how many couples/families wish to bring a chili.  Once you have a few chili’s scheduled, ask the rest of your guests to bring some accompaniments, such as cornbread, a salad, and some desserts.  (don’t forget to have toppings for the chili’s too….bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream, oyster crackers will be a welcome addition to the main course)

I went in search of some new chili recipes and found more than I can possibly try making this season.  But for those of you that are looking for some delicious recipes…..try a beef and butternut squash chili, black bean chili, chunky two-bean and beef chili, chili en croute, white turkey chili, and my personal favorite, Barefoot Contessa’s chicken chili.

Keep your decorations simple….set up a large buffet table with lots of small bowls and spoons (so people can sample all of the different chili’s).  Instead of a big centerpiece, float a bunch of votive candles down the table in between the pots of chili.  Carve out peppers (red, yellow, orange and green would be very festive!) and use them to hold your votive candles.  To make this cook-off a bit competitive, assign each chili a letter or number.  Create a score card for your guests to rank each chili based on their color, texture, aroma, flavor and heat.  Rachael Ray Magazine has made that part simple for you, and created a darling scorecard template for you to use.  Click here for the download-able template.

A chili cook-off is the perfect activity to do with friends on a cold, Sunday afternoon….  Now, I have told you my favorite recipe, what’s yours?!

Images: party scene, score cards, and pepper votive candles (rachaelraymag.com), invitation (tinyprints.com)

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

January 8th, 2010 |

Pepper Design Blog

I was so excited to wake up this morning to an amazing post on The Party Dress over at Pepper Design Blog.  Morgan’s write up was incredibly sweet – and I am honored to be a part of her Friday Guest Blog Series.  Head on over to read the full article, and spend a little time on PDB while you are there!  Morgan has a great collection of ideas for decorating your home, DIY projects and entertaining.

(Oh, and if you want to check out other guest interviews – click here to read interviews by Abby of Style Me Pretty, Jenn of Hostess with the Mostess, and Kim of The TomKat Studio).

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