October 15th, 2009 |
I am always looking for inspiration….it’s just part of who I am, what I do. For my job, it’s fashion…I look for ideas for products in every retail store you can imagine. For the website, however – sky’s the limit! I find inspiration for parties around every corner, in any store, even just walking down the street. Today, I happened to walk into Crate & Barrel. I was picking up an end table for my new house….definitely not looking for anything else!
I walked in the front door and this magnificent table sat in front of me. I’m in love. I love the modern-yet-rustic look of the branches, the clean lines of the metal candlesticks…..I even love how they set each place (especially the asymmetrically-placed napkin ring!). It’s the perfect Fall table. Ideal for a dinner party, and would be absolutely stunning for Thanksgiving dinner! Now I just need to throw a party to use the idea….
Enjoy. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Here are a couple links to the products used to create this table setting: branches, gourds, apples, metal candlesticks, table runner (they used one on each side of the table), green napkins, green napkin ring, woven charger plates, green dinnerware, leaf accent plate, wine glass, silverware.
Images property of The Party Dress
October 14th, 2009 |
I am always on the look-out for gender-neutral baby shower themes, and as you can tell, I love putting a sophisticated spin on them. I think it’s important to remember that the shower may be celebrating the upcoming arrival of a baby, but it is also in honor of the mom-to-be…..so it’s important to make her feel that that party is for her too! I like maintaining a healthy balance between baby sweet, and mama-sophisticated!
The bumble bee theme fits the bill perfectly! Bees have been creating quite the buzz lately (sorry, I couldn’t help myself with that one!). There is a ton of cute stationary out there to use as invitations, thank you notes and birth announcements. These are my favorite from Minted:
Use white as your main color when decorating for the baby shower. Add in pops of modern yellow in your place settings , and a few bold, black and white patterns accents. Stripe or polka dot ribbon wrapped around vases, or tied around napkins is a great way to bring in that pattern accent. Hanging a bumble bee mobile over a table can serve both as part decoration, and part gift for the baby.
Create a dessert buffet for your guests to enjoy while the mom-to-be is opening her gifts. To create a sophisticated, colorful dessert buffet like the one pictured above, keep your candy and desserts centered around a specific color-scheme and use similar containers. You can find vases, apothecary jars, pedestal candy dishes, footed bowls, and cake plates to display your desserts. Insert a silver scoop into each vessel to serve the treats. I found these darling candy bumble bees that would be the perfect decoration atop cupcakes or brownies.
Send your guests home with a miniature beehive full of honey….the perfect party favor for our bumble bee baby shower!
Images: table setting (theknot.com), candy bar and floral centerpiece (amorologyweddings.com), black and white candy (amyatlas.com), table with dishes (potterybarn.com), cupcakes (surlatable.com), bee thank you note and bee hive birth announcement (minted.com), bumble bee mobile ( pinkperch via etsy.com)
October 13th, 2009 |
We tend to associate pumpkins with Halloween. There are so many different varieties and color options, you could use pumpkins in your decorations throughout the whole Fall season. Here are a few of my favorite pumpkin centerpieces from Sunset Magazine….perfect for a Fall dinner party or even Thanksgiving dinner!
October 12th, 2009 |
Halloween isn’t just for kids! It’s a great opportunity to gather all of your adult friends for a festive cocktail party. To keep the event looking more mature than child-like, set the tone with a black and white theme, add in a little sparkle, a special cocktail….and you have a party that will have your friends talking for weeks!
Invite your guests for a cocktail and dessert party after the kids go to bed. That way you limit the amount of food and drinks you need to provide. Since the party will take place after dark, it will be easier to create a dark, spooky ambiance!
Use one main table for your food and drinks. Set the stage with a black tablecloth covered with some torn, white tulle (made to look like spider webs). Add some sophisticated sparkle to your table with these candelabra silhouettes, and bat-covered votive candles.
Serve up some yummy desserts, including black and white decorated sugar cookies, spider web cupcakes, brownies, and bowls of black licorice. In addition to your typical cocktail party fare, serve a signature cocktail. Perfect for this occasion?! A candy corn cordial. Yummy, festive and oh, so pretty when served in a martini glass. Throw in some “bone chillers” ice cubes into all of your guest’s drinks for a little extra Halloween flair!
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), cookies (goodhousekeeping.com), rose centerpiece (bhg.com), table setting (goodhousekeeping.com), spiderweb cupcakes (countryliving.com)
October 9th, 2009 |
I love the idea of creating a cheerful, colorful birthday party for kids….one that includes homemade details and a whole lot of charm. There is a ton of adorable bird products out there right now, and I thought it could be a darling Fall birthday party theme.
Invite your guests with this invitation (could be used for a baby announcement too!) by Tiny Prints. Totally charming, and trendy in a sort of vintage-way, right?! Pull out colors from the invitation to use for the rest of your decorations – hang bright-colored lanterns, and a birthday banner decorated with birds. Set your table with some playful patterns, including gingham napkins, colorful, striped straws, and use bambu silverware for a natural look. Dress up your cupcakes with these charming felt bird cupcake toppers from Etsy.
Keep the kids busy with a fun activity – color-their-own bird houses! You can find a darling kit at Oriental Trading. Perfect for our theme, and a great party favor to bring home. Speaking of party favors….instead of a traditional “goodie bag”, try placing their treats into a square box, wrap with a ribbon, and customize with a coordinating sticker from Tiny Print.
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), bird cupcake toppers (giftsdefine via etsy.com), lanterns (swsmag.com), party favor boxes (amorologyweddings.com), bird banner (mamasaidshop.typepad), silverware (inmagine.com) and bird whistles (orientaltrading.com)
October 8th, 2009 |
I have a soft spot for autumn weddings that are part chic, part rustic. As some of you know, I too was an October bride! In fact, we are coming up on our first anniversary next week. Stay tuned for some pictures from our wedding next week…..
When I saw these centerpieces from Floral Art in LA, I absolutely fell head over heels. I love the juxtaposition of the antiqued-mirror vase, done in the modern square cube. The soft, traditional hydrangeas mixed with the rustic berry branches and greenery. Rustic meets elegance. And I am loving every square inch of it! This concept could be done for any type of party…it would be stunning for a Fall dinner party! If you are interested in finding these mirror vases, I found similar ones at Colonial Candle. (and yes, my order is already placed!)
A beautiful centerpiece like this deserves an inspiration board. I would pull the rich brown, gold and deep plum colors out of the flowers to use as a color palette. Invite your guests with an classic white invitation, updated with plum ink and a modern design.
For a creative place card display, use a series of wood trays filled with birdseed. Your place cards will stand up in the birdseed, and look will lend itself to the rustic side of the event. The color brown could also be pulled out into the tablecloths. It will fill the room with a sense of warmth, and the look of white plates on the brown will give it a modern edge.
Party favors are typically a small token for your guests to remember the evening by….and since they are normally small, the packaging is very important. Something as simple as a customized label takes something ordinary and makes it extraordinary. My Own Labels has a great assortment of labels – perfect for all of your wedding or party needs. Different styles, numerous colors – so many options that each hostess can create their own look. I used these for my own wedding….on our welcome baskets, direction cards, goodie bags for the bridesmaids and on our cake boxes. A perfect detail that can add a cohesive element to your event.
Images: table setting and centerpiece (floralartla.com), wedding cake (thecakegirls.com), place cards (saltharbor.com), beaded wedding gown (jcrew.com), boutonniere and favor boxes (theknot.com)
October 6th, 2009 |
Gourds are popping up everywhere this Fall when it comes to decor for your home and table. Add a touch of style to your party this season by carving out small gourds and using them as napkin rings. It’s a quick, inexpensive, stylish addition to your dinner table.
Image via inmagine.com
October 6th, 2009 |
If you saw yesterday’s post on hosting an apple-picking party, you know that I have apples on the brain! If you have ever been apple-picking before, you know that you end up bringing home far more apples than you know what to do with. I have been on a search for some fabulous new recipes centered around our fruit of choice this month….so you will have lots of ideas to choose from to use up those apples! There are so many great recipes out there….but I narrowed it down to the 6 apple recipes that I can’t wait to try out this Fall.
Apple, Goat Cheese and Honey Tartlets
Golden Delicious Apple and Chedder Turnovers with Dried Cranberries
Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce
Prosciutto Panini with Apples and Gruyere
Apple Cidercar Cocktail
Fried Apple Pies
October 5th, 2009 |
With Fall officially here, it’s time to partake in one of the season’s best activities – apple picking! Most fun when done in a large group, organize a day of autumn fun that starts with apple picking and ends with a backyard fireside dinner party.
Invite your guests with an invitation from Tiny Prints, and use the autumn color palette to design the rest of your party. Set up your party outside by concentrating on a few key areas – one long dinner table, a food buffet area, and a sitting area surrounding a fire pit.
The whole feel of the day should read rustic, country chic – like you are hosting your party in the middle of the woods! Line your dinner table with lanterns, vases of sunflowers, and bowls of the apples you picked that day. If you are entertaining a crowd, make it easy on yourself and use disposable silverware and paper goods. I would use the bambu veneerware plates and silverware to work with our “rustic” theme.
Set up your food buffet under a large tree so you can hang some lanterns above it. Serve up some traditional Fall comfort food….chicken with apples, onion and cider sauce, green bean casserole, baked mac & cheese, fresh bread, and a bunch of apple-themed desserts such as mini apple pies, apple and pear crisps and caramel apples.
Your fire pit area will be the gathering spot for after dinner fun and conversation. Make sure to outfit it with chairs, barrels of hay for people to sit on, throw blankets in case people get cold, and a basket of supplies so the kids can make s’mores.
A fun-filled day for the whole family….I hope you have a little apple-picking fun in your future!
Images: dinner table and buffet table (countryliving.com), invitation (tinyprints.com), barrel of apples (stylemepretty.com), girl (inmagine.com), candles (realsimple.com), mini apple pies (williams-sonoma.com)