January 20th, 2010 |

Vintage Carnival Themed 1st Birthday Party

Today’s featured party is going knock your socks off!  I get a lot of parties e-mailed to me….and I try to show you parties that are unique, that I think will inspire you, and ones that fit in with my particular style….and today’s party is the epitome of all of that!  Sent to me by Zuesette Zamora, this vintage carnival theme 1st birthday party is full of style, amazing details and a sweet table that is drool-worthy!

My description of this party will barely do it justice, so I am going to turn this over to the Mommy, herself to share her inspiration and party planning tips:

Zoë Reese is our first born child and I wanted her 1st birthday to be something special and memorable – - but fun!  Carnival’s have always been fun for me so I thought; why not bring that theme in for Zoë’s party!

Crystal Lequang, from Amazáe Special Events (www.amazae.com) helped me create the vision for Zoë’s 1st birthday party from beginning (design ideas & prep) to the end (coordinated the entire day).  We brainstormed on more of a “vintage” carnival theme to bring in more of the toned down colors rather than the usual bright colors. I dressed Zoë in a pink tutu to fit the theme!  I started off with the invitation created by me! My business partner, Marivic, and I are the owners of our custom-designed invitation company, Marizette Paperie (www.marizette.com). The z-card invitation consisted of a small pocket containing an “Admit One” ticket, as if you were going to an actual show.

The colors from the invitation were our inspiration for the rest of the party. As guests entered, they were greeted by a table housing  a personal guest book (www.kolo.com) along with a Polaroid camera accented with feathers. I created a sign telling our guests to have fun with the camera and to take a photo of yourself to put in the book along with a message for Zoë.  Then there was a table of gable boxes that I made labels for & personalized with each child’s name that served as party favors.  They contained a box of Barnum’s Animal Crackers & a roll of tear off tickets to use to “pay” for each game you play. I made a sign that let them know that the gable boxes were to be used as their “bag” to store all their prizes when playing the carnival games.

Centerpieces were put together with a combination of daisy flowers & feathers, jars of laffy taffy, and vintage photo frames with carnival artwork & Zoë’s pictures from birth to 1 year. Flowers were provided by Nicole Ha Designs (www.nicoleha.com).

Finally, what’s a carnival without the desserts?  In addition to the cotton candy machine, popcorn machine, snow cone machine, and hot dog steamer…..we had a cake, cupcakes, and raspberry bars that were deliciously made by Jen from Jen’s Cakes (www.jenscakes.com).  My sister, Zoraida, & my cousin Dabbie, made the adorable sprinkled, caramel apples!  All lollipops were purchased from Kendon Candies (www.kendoncandies.com).

vintage carnival themed birthday party dessert table

For entertainment, I used “Hey! Balloon Lady!” (www.heyballoonlady.com) which provided Balloon Creations & Face Painting.  I also had a Caricature Artist which people loved!!  She was from Magikal Entertainment (www.magickalentertainment.com).  Lastly, I had a Parrot Show from Happy Birds (www.happybirds.com).  The kids were excited to see live animals at this party and I especially enjoyed that each child could take a picture or hold the birds at the end.

Lastly, a carnival would not be complete without games!  I rented almost all games and food equipment from Fun Services (www.funservices.com).   5 different games occupied the kids: Duck Pond, Tip the Clown, Alley Oops, Can Can, & Bean Bag Toss.  I gathered some of my friends & family to “work” each booth…wearing bright red aprons with personalized pin buttons that I designed and had made from (www.zazzle.com). To play a game, each child was to “pay” with their tickets and after playing, they were awarded with “winning tickets” so they could claim some prizes.   What are games without prizes?  I created an entire Prize Booth!  All prizes were bought from Oriental Trading Company (www.orientaltrading.com), and displayed in different vases & canisters (all found at Michaels or TJ Maxx Home Goods).  I labeled each prize container and wrapped it around with ribbon.


The children had so much fun; definitely a party that we will not forget!  Fortunately, we had amazing photographs taken by Claudia Akers Photography (www.claudiaakers.com) so that when Zoë get’s older, she can see the photos and know how much she was loved!!


January 19th, 2010 |

Asian Dinner Party

asian dinner party ideas

These cold, winter months have me craving some heat!  Add a little spice to your next dinner party by using an Asian theme.  Better Homes and Gardens has some great, simple recipes that can help you create a family-style dinner in no-time.  The top recipes on my list are cashew chicken, shredded beef lo mein, and sesame chicken and noodles.  For starters, I would serve sweet and spicy spring rolls, and spicy tofu triangles.  YUM!

For decor, you can add a couple simple touches to your home to give it a festive vibe….

Bamboo placemats, chopsticks, fortune cookie placecard holders, and a centerpiece full of orchids.  Send you guests home with a carton full of fortune cookies as a party favor.  You can package them in white chinese food take-out containers, and adhere a personalized label.  Stick a pair of chopsticks on the top for a little added detail!

Themes have a way of adding a new level of excitement to a dinner party….especially if you entertain the same crowd frequently!  What’s your favorite theme for a dinner party?

Images: table setting (sheknows.com), invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), party favors (theknot.com)

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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)

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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.

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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)

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