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)
November 26th, 2009 |
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful turkey dinner and some quality time with your friends and family!
When Thanksgiving finally comes to an end, there is only one question left to ask yourself…..what do I do with all of this leftover turkey?!
I have searched the web for some ideas for you, and have come up with 8 tasty recipes for turkey leftovers:
1. Turkey Pot Pie
2. Turkey Tortilla Soup
3. Smoked Turkey Panini
4. Roast Turkey and Prosciutto Pizza
5. White Turkey Chili
6. Turkey Bacon Salad
7. Barbecue Pulled-Turkey Sandwiches
8. Cranberry-Turkey Spinach Salad
November 25th, 2009 |
I have a great feature for you today….Amber from Amber Karson Event Planning is back to share ideas with us for creating a preppy holiday table. Here are some images of a holiday table Amber is working on for a client……make sure to check out her tips below:
“With instructions from the client to keep it festive and fun, I decided to layer textures and patterns to create a one-of-a-kind look. Although there are so many fabulous color combinations out there this season, I decided to feature the classic red and green duo but unexpected ways. Green satin tablecloths were layered with custom table runners made from Michael Miller’s adorable Funky Christmas fabric line, while monochromatic centerpieces sit atop red felt laser-cut mats. Jonathan Adler’s bird salt and pepper shakers are a modern play to the classic “a partridge in a pear tree”. Each place setting is adorned with a monogrammed plate with the dinner guest’s initials. The plate will play double duty as a place card (to communicate seating assignments) and also a party favor. The caterer will wash them after the entree is served, load them up with Christmas cookies and wrap them for the guests to take them home at the end of the evening.”
Amber sells the adorable Preppy Plates collection of monogrammed melamine plates, lucite serving trays (with removable inserts that you can customize for all of your future parties), and coordinating coasters. This collection is a fabulous way to personalize a party, or give someone an extra special gift this holiday season. Check out Amber’s website for a complete catalog and pricing.
Thanks for stopping by today, Amber! LOVE the preppy holiday table….and the preppy plates! I think my Christmas wish list just got a little bit bigger! 😉
November 24th, 2009 |
I love this simple, snowflake wreath I found at Midwest Living. Perfect for winter – something that can carry you all the way thru January, February….let’s hope, winter doesn’t continue into March too!
— 2 yards of white wool-blend felt
— Ready-made flat rigid foam wreath (20-inch diameter)
— Stiffening spray
— Spray glue
— Mounting squares
— Black marker
— Fabric glue
— White embroidery floss
Note: Suggested yardages are based on wool-blend felt with a 36-inch width. Please adjust yardages as needed.
1. To make the wreath base, cut out white felt pieces to cover the ready-made flat rigid foam wreath. (Our wreath has a 20-inch diameter). Using the wreath form as a pattern, trace and cut two pieces of white felt to cover the front and back of the foam. Then cut a band of felt to cover the inside edge and a second band to cover the outside edge.
2. Attach the felt pieces around the wreath form with upholstery glue.
3. Hand-stitch all edges with white embroidery floss to secure.
4. Sew a loop of embroidery floss on the back of the wreath to hang.
5. Cut out the 6 snowflake patterns. (There are 3 snowflake patterns in 2 sizes).
6. Apply stiffening spray to the white felt so that the snowflakes will keep their shape.
7. Trace and cut out 3 snowflakes in each size for a total of 18 snowflakes. (Trace and cut more, if needed).
8. Layer snowflakes in random order on the wreath. Start with the biggest snowflakes on the bottom layer. Adhere with fabric glue.
9. For dimension, apply more snowflakes with stacks of mounting squares.
10. Apply spray glue and sprinkle on glitter. Let dry.
November 24th, 2009 |
Sometimes all your table needs is a pop of color….placemats can get expensive, especially if you are entertaining a crowd! When I was in Europe earlier this Fall, all of the high-end home stores were showing thick, felt placemats. When used on a table, they created a warm and cozy look….perfect for the Holidays! The placemats I found in Europe were pricy…..$40-30 a piece….and it occurred to me that they would be so simple to make. Extra-thick felt (available at your local fabric store), and a set of pinking shears is all you need. Draw a pattern out on cardboard first to create a template, trace it on to the backside of the felt, and then cut it out. Voila!
Image via Real Simple