October 23rd, 2009 |

REAL PARTY: A Birthday Party for a Modern Prince

I love today’s feature party.  Crafty-Mom Michelle sent me pictures of her son, Darrian’s 2nd birthday party – and I was hooked.  Not only is Darrian darling….but his Mom put together a party that still has her neighbors talking!

modern prince kids birthday party

Here are a few words from Michelle:

“I really wanted to do something modern and fun for his birthday -  something I was not seeing all over the web.   I decided to go with a modern spin on a prince and princess party. I knew I wanted a bounce house as entertainment since Darrian really loved those at other parties we had attended.  I picked out a castle bouncer I liked and then started to think about other things that could go with the theme.  I enlisted the help of a friend to help me make capes for all of the kids to wear, and serve as party favors.  I really wanted to include polka dots in the decorations, because they seem child-like.  I found a Michael Miller Fabric that I loved and used those colors to build the party theme.

Once we had a color palette, I  enlisted a bunch of sellers on etsy.com to help bring ideas together.  I found an image of  a cute dragon and thought that would be fun to add to the theme.  I found a esty seller who used the dragon as inspiration and  customized a cartoon-like version of to use on the invites, the centerpieces, favor tags, and to use on the banner and crowns.   I used everyone I could from etsy because I love that things can be customized to my ideas, and supporting small (often time woman owned) business.  I had a creative vision for the party, and I loved the way it all came together!”

Michelle was nice enough to share some links to the etsy.com vendors she used:

Darrian’s shirt and initial pendant (goldenshop), crown cupcake toppers and party favor boxes (bugandboo), castle pinata (pinataqueen), custom invitations and party favor tags (bndesigns), custom banner and crowns (polkadotsandpirates)

To see more of Darrian’s modern prince birthday party, check out Michelle’s blog.  Do you have a real party you want to share with us?!  Send an e-mail to hostess@thepartydress.net……make sure to include some pictures and a brief description of the party!

October 22nd, 2009 |

Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner

rustic thanksgiving dinner party

Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a month away?!  I know, I know….we are not even thru Halloween yet….but I figured it was time to start rolling out the Thanksgiving ideas….I need to leave you all time to plan!

There are so many different types of Thanksgiving celebrations.  You can go elegant, you can go casual and eat turkey while watching the football game, or you can do the rustic look – I guess we’ll call it a mix between the two!  Today’s inspiration is for just that….a rustic Thanksgiving dinner party.

If you don’t host your family Thanksgiving dinner, use the holiday as an opportunity this month to host a Thanksgiving-themed dinner party with friends.  We do this every year – and we have so much fun doing  it!  It’s a great time to test out some new recipes (without having to discard everyone’s favorites on the day-of!).  The menu I have planned here is literally making my mouth water, and I can’t wait to test out some of these recipes!

Invite your guests with a fall-like invitation and set your table using earth tones, textured linens, and ceramic pots full of berries.  If kids are in the mix, set them their very own table using brown kraft paper.  You can put cups full of crayons on the table, and they can draw away on the tablecloth.  I love the idea of drawing on “placemats” with the kid’s individual names…..creative and rustic-looking at the same time!

Thanksgiving dinner is all about the food, so let’s get to it….this year, I am going to make a roasted turkey with a port gravy, twice-baked potatoes with goat cheese and chives, green beans and walnuts with a lemon vinaigrette, savory bread pudding with mushrooms and parmesan, olive and asiago rolls, and a bourbon-pecan tart with chocolate drizzle.  So….is your mouth watering yet?!

Seeing as though there are ALWAYS leftovers (which is half the fun of Thanksgiving!) – be prepared to send your guests home with some goodies.  Continue our rustic theme by packaging the food in brown paper boxes, tie it with striped ribbon, and attach a personalized label.

Images: craft table, tied napkins, and take out boxes (countryliving.com), wine and green ceramic centerpiece (potterybarn.com), invitation (tinyprints.com)

October 21st, 2009 |

Candy Corn Decor

candy corn decor

I am LOVING these candy corn topiary trees from Better Homes and Gardens.  So cute and playful (and easy to do!) – perfect for a kid’s Halloween party!  Click here for the instructions.

October 20th, 2009 |

Think Pink: A Jewelry Party

think pink dinner party

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am seeing pink-themed parties popping up everywhere!  For today’s inspiration, I have combined two party ideas that have been floating around in my head lately….  First, a pink-theme dinner party in honor of a dear friend I lost almost 4 years ago to breast cancer, and two, a jewelry party showcasing (and selling!) the designs of a local jewelry designer.  Good ideas separately…..one great party when combined!

Partner up with a local jewelry designer….offer to host the party, but ask her to donate a percent of her sales from the evening to breast cancer research.  Create a glamorous event with this chandelier invitation from Minted and a sparkling pink table settings.

To create a jewelry-themed centerpiece, stagger different type of glasses atop a mirror.  (I would use wine, champagne and martini glasses to get height variety)  Fill the glasses with different baubles and pink “ice” vase filler.  Add pink wine glasses to your table setting for an additional touch of our signature color!

Send your guests home with monogrammed jewelry pouch….perfect for holding their new purchase!

Images: invitation (minted.com), jewelry centerpiece (rachaelraymag.com), pink table setting (instyleweddings.com), jewelry pouches (beau-coup.com), breast cancer chocolate-dipped strawberries (redenvelope.com), pink vase gems (save-on-crafts.com)

October 19th, 2009 |

A Gilded Halloween

gilded halloween

There are so many different ways to decorate your home with pumpkins this season…..you can decorate them with ribbon, create displays by color, or stack them to create pumpkin topiaries.  For a more sophisticated Fall display, you could use all white pumpkins or add a touch of glamour with gilded pumpkins.

A little paint and some creative pattern ideas is all you need to create a beautiful display like the ones pictured above.

See detailed instructions at Country Living.

October 15th, 2009 |

Inspiring Table Setting

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!

fall table setting crate & barrel

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

15% Off Minted Holiday Cards With Code EARLYPART09

October 14th, 2009 |

Bumble Bee Baby Shower

 

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:

Bee Stationary

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!

Bee MobileImages: 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 |

Pumpkins by Color

colored pumpkins

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 |

Black & White Halloween Bash

black and white halloween bash

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.

halloween bash party supplies

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!

halloween cocktail

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), cookies (goodhousekeeping.com), rose centerpiece (bhg.com), table setting (goodhousekeeping.com), spiderweb cupcakes (countryliving.com)

October 9th, 2009 |

Child’s Birthday Party: It’s a Birdie Birthday!

bird theme childrens birthday party

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.

Birdie Favor Sticker

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)

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