December 7th, 2009 |
Christmas cookies are one of my favorite parts of the Holiday season! I like to make all different kinds and box them up to give as gifts to my friends and family. Always in search of new recipes to update my assortment, I have come across a few new recipes that I can’t wait to try out! Any one of these would be perfect for a cookie exchange party.
1. Super-Duper Chocolate Kisses
2. Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints
3. Chocolate Peppermint Stars
4. Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
5. Seven-Layer Cookies
6. Chocolate-Orange Swirls
7. Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
8. Lemon Blueberry Fans
December 7th, 2009 |
Once you have completed all of your holiday baking, you have to come up with a unique concept for packaging your gifts. You can use tin cans, paper boxes, cellophane bags stuffed into a holiday mug…..I hope these images inspire you to get really creative with it!
Images: box with joy tag (williams-sonoma.com), tin can with bow (bhg.com), fabric covered box, tin can with stripe ribbon, mug (inmagine.com), loaves of bread (midwestliving.com)
December 4th, 2009 |
I’m on a bit of a feather-kick this week….first the “feather-her-nest” baby shower, then our holiday open house decorated with white feathers….and today, today I have a great inspiration board for you! Just because it’s the holiday season, doesn’t mean bridal showers halt for the season! If you are throwing a shower during the Christmas season, or around Valentine’s Day, try incorporating traditional holiday decor into your theme, but do it using an un-traditional color palette. Icy blue, pale yellow, or in this case, petal pink.
I absolutely love this pink feather wreath – it’s the perfect decoration to hang above a buffet table. You could fill vases or apothecary jars full of pink and silver ornaments, use branches of pink berries as your floral decor. Infuse the color into your drinks and food – such as a sparkling rose to drink (use a rimming sugar for added sparkle), or a raspberry whoopie pie for dessert.
Images: invitation (minted.com), dress (jcrew.com), table setting (thelennoxx.zymichost.com), champagne glasses (theknot.com), raspberry whoopie pies (bhg.com), ornament centerpiece and napkin (inmagine.com)
December 3rd, 2009 |
An open house can be a great opportunity to visit with friends and family during the Holidays. Because your guests can come and go as they please, it becomes a very approachable party…..they can stop by for an hour and move on to another party, or stay and enjoy the evening…..it seems like everyone can fit it into their busy Holiday schedule in one way or another!
Instead of sticking with the traditional red and green color palette, try straying a bit…..use white as your main color, and throw in some chocolate brown, icy blue and maybe a touch of red. The effect will be sophisticated and whimsical all rolled into one party! Invite your guests with this sophisticated invitation from Tiny Prints. Take your decorating cues from the invitation and use white feathers to enhance your home. White feather wreaths hanging in windows, feather trees sitting atop your buffet table….these whimsical touches will help you to create a beautiful winter wonderland, and put a different spin on Holiday decorating!
Speaking of your buffet table…. hors d’oeuvres and desserts work best for an open house party (things that are easy to eat, and can sit out for a couple hours). I challenge you to get creative with your food presentation! Serve your treats in covered cake plates and glass cloches, line your white trays with coordinating scrapbook paper, and make sure to organize your table with thought.
If you are looking for a cute, little party favor to send your guests home with, a snowflake wine stopper would fit our theme perfectly! You could get really cute with your presentation too…..set up a small Christmas tree with white lights by your front door, and hang the snowflake wine stoppers on it like ornaments. Instead of placing a star or angel at the top of the tree, place a sign that says “thanks for coming to our party!”
Stay tuned for some yummy recipes for hors d’oeuvres and desserts for all of your holiday parties!
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), table (parents.com), white feather wreath (inmagine.com), white marshmallow pops (amyatlas.com), snowflake wine stopper (beau-coup.com), nickel cake plate with glass cloche (The Party Dress via theopenskyproject.com)
December 3rd, 2009 |
Small bites, appetizers, hors d’oeuvres – whatever you call them, Holiday parties call for a lot of them! To freshen up your appetizer recipe file, I have searched the web – here are my new favorites, updated classics, and a few that just look delicious!
1. Marinated Feta and Olive Skewers
2. Sausage Mushroom Caps
3. Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles
4. Cocktail Meatballs with Herbs and Ricotta
5. Citrus Salmon Lollipuffs
6. Chicken and Lemon Pot Stickers with Soy-Scallion Dipping Sauce
7. Bloody Mary Soup Shots with Shrimp and Pickled Vegetables
8. Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Do you have a favorite appetizer recipe you want to share? Leave a comment below with a link!
December 2nd, 2009 |
I love this theme. It’s fresh and pretty, perfect for a baby shower or a bridal shower. I know it’s been done before, but I have a few ideas to share with you today that I think give it a whole new look.
The bird’s nest invitation from Tiny Prints offers a modern, yet playful approach to this theme….and it gives us a beautiful shade of blue to use as the central color in our decor. I have two centerpiece ideas….great on their own, even better when paired together! Create a dramatic floral arrangement with blue hydrangeas and white calla lilies. I love the height and shape contrast! Now, on to my favorite part….using fuzzy, blue yarn, wrap small white bowls (using some hot glue along the way) to create the appearance of a nest. You can fill these with blue, chocolate egg candy….and voila! You have your own nest. If you want to carry the nest-theme into the place setting, you could use bird’s nest place cards from Beau-Coup.
Carry the blue color into both your drinks and food. Tie blue ribbons to straws to add a festive detail to your cocktails, and create a blue and white candy buffet for dessert. Using different shaped vases and jars, fill each one with a single type of candy. Use place cards for the name tags, and don’t forget to provide some cellophane bags for people to fill up – it’s a great party favor for them to bring home.
Plan a special ‘guest book’ for the Mom-to-be. Using branches and a beautiful vase, create a ‘wishing tree’ where people can leave notes for Mom and baby. You can find small cards at Paper Source, simply punch a hole in one corner and tie with a ribbon. It will be so fun for the Mom-to-be to read thru everyone’s well-wishes and advice after the shower.
Images: birds nest bowls (elliemillerphoto.com), invitation (tinyprints.com), centerpieces (projectwedding.com), paper poms (inspiredbride.com), drinks (stylemepretty.com), blue candy buffet (inspiredbride.com), wishing tree (theknot.com)
December 1st, 2009 |
Jessica from Party Box Design sent me over pictures from her daughter’s first birthday party…..how cute is this party?!
With a color palette of pink and green, Jessica crafted all of these darling details herself. In my opinion, the cupcakes steal the show! Jessica was nice enough to share her buttercream frosting recipe with us today…..
Jess’s Deliciously Simple Buttercream Icing
1/4 c. organic butter
2 tsp. bourbon vanilla extract
4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp heavy cream
Soften butter and combine vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Add heavy cream to desired consistency(may add more than 1 tsp). Color may now be added.
If the pictures from this party have inspired you, head over to the Party Box Design website…..you will find more inspiration, learn about how Jessica can help you throw a fabulous party, and even shop for all of these adorable party supplies!
P.S. If you love Charli’s birthday outfit as much as I do, head over etsy.com (tutu, bloomers and t-shirt)
November 30th, 2009 |
Put a festive spin on a traditional game night with friends and host a cocktail party full of “reindeer games!” Invite your guests with this darling invitation from Tiny Prints. Set up a few mod decorations on your food table – these glitzy cones are covered with circles cut from scrapbook paper and are so easy to customize for your theme/color palette. Serve up some festive cocktails and a few different desserts, such as cupcakes with playing card toppers, and reindeer cookies.
Reindeer Game Night is the perfect excuse to gather friends for a night of Holiday cheer!
Images: reindeer invitation (tinyprints.com), game night table (katespade.com), card cupcake toppers ( Sweet Treat Supplies via Etsy.com), cone tree centerpiece (bhg.com), reindeer cookies (matthewmeadstyle.com)
November 30th, 2009 |
I don’t know what it is lately…..maybe it’s the fact that I actually have a house to decorate now…..but I am just obsessed with cool wreaths! Not only are they a lovely addition to your front door, but they can dress up a plain wall, hang in an open window…..it’s the perfect touch of Christmas for any room!
I love that each one of these has an unusual look for the traditional wreath. Somewhat unexpected in design, but absolutely stunning in my opinion. I think they encourage us to think outside the box…..freeze cranberries in a large jello mold and hang outside with ribbon (make sure it’s a really cold day!). Cover a styrofoam wreath with red roses and carnations, and add in a touch of moss and a few fresh brussel sprouts for a touch of color. If you are looking for a green wreath with a contemporary feel, try using lily grass instead of using spruce boughs. I love the look of this wreath! Click here for the full instructions from Better Homes and Gardens.
Does anyone have any creative wreath ideas?! E-mail me your pictures and we’ll put a post together of all of your creative ideas!
Images: cranberry ice wreath and red roses wreath (inmagine.com), green lily grass wreath (bhg.com)
November 27th, 2009 |
When it comes to planning a Christmas party for little girls, I always think of that famous line “visions of sugar plums danced in their heads”. I’m thinking pink, green, and a whole lot of candy! This is the perfect party theme for little girls and their mommies….invite your guests with this whimsical invitation from Minted (don’t forget to check out The Party Dress’s favorite Minted invitations and take advantage of our special 15% discount!).
Decorate your space with candy garlands – you could either string them yourself (gumdrops would work best), or you could buy a faux candy garland that you will have for years to come. If you plan on serving a meal, I would set up a “mommy table” and a “kids table”. On the “mommy table”, create candy topiary trees using styrofoam cones, green peppermint candy, and some hot glue. For the kids table, adjust the topiary tree concept by creating these fluffy, fondant trees with colored swirls running thru them. Click here for the detailed instructions on how to make these darling trees.
Serve up a dessert buffet of cookies, cupcakes and candy….along with ice cream served in edible candy cane glasses. You could take this “sweet treats and good eats” theme and make it into a cookie exchange, too. Ask each guest to bring a different cookie to share with everyone. Make sure to provide boxes for guests to bring all of their cookies home with them, and send the little girls home with bouquets of candy canes tied with ribbon as party favors.
Images: invitation (minted.com), candy garland (goodhousekeeping.com), party dress (bodenusa.com), cookie buffet (parents.com), candy cane cups (amazon.com), felt lollipop centerpiece (bhg.com), peppermint topiary tree (bhg.com), candy canes (inmagine.com), fondant swirl topiary trees (bhg.com)