November 23rd, 2009 |
Every year, my husband and I host a “thanksgiving” dinner party with friends. This is our 4th year doing this – and we absolutely love it! We all have our own traditional family Thanksgiving dinners…..so this is our opportunity to have a little fun with the dinner (and the table setting)!
It’s been so dreary and grey here in Chicago lately, that when it came time for me to set the table, I decided we needed some color! A bold black and white damask tablecloth, sunny yellow napkins, and darling stripe placecards did the trick. It had a cheery, festive vibe…..and although we loved it for our “Thanksgiving” dinner, I think this table setting would be PERFECT for a bridal shower or birthday party.
We kept the food simple, since we had quite a few little ones with us, but we did try a couple new recipes that I thought I would share with you. In addition to turkey and mashed potatoes, we served a sourdough stuffing with sausage, apples and grapes, and a broccoli-pecorino gratinata. Both turned out yummy, so if you are still looking for sides for this Thursday….give these a try!
All in all a very fun evening….Thanksgiving #1 down….looking forward to Thanksgiving #2 on Thursday!
November 20th, 2009 |
There are so many cute Holiday party invitations out there this season…..I really can’t decide what kind of party I want to have! Perusing stationary websites makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop…..so I thought I would share a little bit of my favorite eye candy with you….in hopes that it inspires you to host a little Holiday party of your own! Oh, and if you are interested in some of the invitations from Minted – don’t forget to take advantage of our special discount this season (see banner on the left!)
(click on the image to take you to the website)
November 20th, 2009 |
There is something about the Holidays that brings forth a lot of engagements! If a loved one gets engaged over the Holidays, host an engagement party that is full of Holiday cheer!
This invitation from Tiny Prints is perfect for the occasion…..I love that you could go two different ways with it. 1) A partridge in a pear tree…..very Christmas! 2) The perfect pear (pair)….the perfect theme for an engagement party. The invitation sets a beautiful color palette of chartreuse green and brown, which just happens to be one of my favorite Holiday combinations.
Keep your table simple and sophisticated with white dishes and brown napkins (dressed up with a little chartreuse ribbon). For a centerpiece idea, I love the idea of a low white vase full of green moss. Scatter in a few bud vases of white orchids, some brown and white stripe placecards, and some beautiful stemware….and you have yourself a gorgeous table!
Since it is the Holidays…and this is an engagement party celebrating love….mistletoe is an absolute must! Instead of hanging a traditional ball, try dressing up your display by tying some mistletoe to a beautiful ornament and hanging it from some ribbon.
Images: pear invitation (tinyprints.com), table setting (bhg.com), wine (potterybarn.com), centerpiece (theknot.com), mistletoe ball (parents.com)
November 19th, 2009 |
Images: napkin (bhg.com), wine glass placecards (potterybarn.com)
November 19th, 2009 |
Images: candles (bhg.com), picture frame (theknot.com), mums (parents.com)
I am always looking for new table ideas, and my new obsession is the purple and orange color combination. It’s slightly modern, slightly rustic……for those of you that know me well, it’s my perfect combination! The rich tones of these purple centerpieces would be beautiful for Thanksgiving. I love the idea of taking a traditional flower, but arranging it in a modern vessel. The image shown above is one of my new favorites….traditional mums arranged in an old picture frame. It’s an idea that you could alter for so many different party themes, and it’s perfect for a dinner table since it is low (easy for people to talk over!).
Image via HGTV.com
This dinner table from HGTV is the perfect example of my purple and orange obsession! I love the use of orange accent plates with their traditional white china. Orange is a great pop color for Fall, and can be mixed with so many different colors. Chocolate brown, olive green, teal blue, mustard yellow, and of course plum. I think orange floral arrangements can take on a very classic Thanksgiving feel – so if you are looking to update your look, focus on berry branches, leaves, and try mixing in fruit. Mix different shapes and textures, and look for an interesting vessel.
Images: green urns (potterybarn.com), hurricanes (theknot.com), branches (southernliving.com)
November 18th, 2009 |
LOVING this appetizer idea from Better Homes and Gardens! An updated version of everyone’s favorite cheese ball…..done in mini-size to look like Christmas ornaments, and served in a footed bowl…..yummy and pretty!
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 6 ounces semi-soft goat cheese (chevre) or crumbled feta cheese
- 24 pickled jalapeno pepper slices* or small pimiento-stuffed green olives, well drained
- 1/2 cup dried red sweet pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted pumpkin seeds
1. In a medium bowl stir together the cream cheese and the goat or feta cheese until smooth. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
2. Using a rounded tablespoon of the cheese mixture, form it around a jalapeño slice or green olive, completely enclosing the pepper or olive.** Mixture will be sticky; moisten hands as necessary. (Chill mixture if it becomes too soft to handle.) Place shaped balls on a shallow pan. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour.
3. Roll one-third of the balls in the red sweet peppers, one-third in the cilantro, and one-third in the pumpkin seeds to coat, leaving some white showing. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours. Serve with picks. Makes 24 appetizers.
*Note: Hot peppers contain oils that can burn eyes, lips, and sensitive skin, so wear plastic gloves while preparing them and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
**Note: For smaller balls, use a rounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture and omit the jalapeño slices or pimiento-stuffed green olives. Shape into balls.
November 18th, 2009 |
When it comes to Christmas decor, there is no combination I love more than red and lime green. I love the accent of the lime green up against the Christmas tree, the contrast when paired with deep ruby red. It makes me happy.
Image via Better Homes and Gardens
November 17th, 2009 |
Today’s featured party is a real show-stopper! The Frog Prince, aka Caleb, turned 1 last week…..and his parents (with the help of Auntie Kelly) threw him a birthday bash fit for a little prince!
Caleb’s nickname has been ‘Frogger’ ever since the womb….so in our minds, there was no other theme to even consider! Sarah (Caleb’s Mom and one of my best friends) wanted to host a party that was cute and playful, and just as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids. The paper goods from WH hostess set the tone and the color palette for the party, focusing on lime green and cobalt blue.
The buffet table was set using a lime green table runner, accented with a colorful dot trim from Organize.com. The tiered cupcake stand was the focal point of the table, flanked by boxes of wheat grass that we added colorful daisies to in order to get a little color. The cupcake stand was a basic white stand by Wilton, that we added ribbon and scrapbook paper to to “dress it up!” The guests all ate cupcakes for dessert, which were decorated with three different cupcake toppers….except for the top cupcake….that one had the very special frog prince candle on it!
The birthday boy had his very own smash cake – which he didn’t really smash – more like tasted, and then fed cake to his mom and dad! Sarah ordered Caleb a frog-covered fabric party hat with a big number 1 on it from etsy.com to wear for the cake-smashing…..and he did wear it (long enough to get a few darling pictures)!
Caleb’s cousins were in attendance at this party, so we wanted to make sure to give them their own special table….their table was set with a balloon centerpiece, frog sippy cups (that we jazzed up a bit with some polka dot ribbon), and noise blowers. This is a simple, and inexpensive centerpiece idea……tie a few balloons to a Mylar covered balloon weight, and insert a personalized sign that ties in your theme.
The kids favorite part?! The goodie bags, of course! Filled with rubber frogs for the bath, bubbles, pez dispensers, rubber balls, and candy….the cellophane bags were tied with a lime green ribbon, and had a personalized tag that exclaimed “thanks for celebrating my 1st birthday! love, Caleb”.
It was a wonderful party, full of lots of cute, colorful details….and a whole lot of love for this cute, little guy! Happy 1st Birthday, Caleb! I hope you had a great party…..and are starting to come down off that sugar high!
Images property of The Party Dress, invitations, cupcake toppers (WHhostess via Etsy.com)
November 16th, 2009 |
The very talented Amber from Amber Karson Event Planning sent us a fabulous do-it-yourself centerpiece idea today. This concept could easily be translated for so many different themes – great for a bridal shower, baby shower, or a wedding. See below for Amber’s inspiration and how-to instructions for this adorable centerpiece:
“Re-create this lovely little centerpiece by re-purposing items you might already have around your house. I found these candlestick hurricane holders at Pottery Barn in the clearance section. They weren’t the color I wanted, but had the right silhouette. I swear high-gloss white can transform ANYTHING with good bones and a $6 can of Krylon’s Fusion (the no-prep miracle worker in the world of spray paint) did the trick. I tossed different ideas around in my head on what to “fill” the hurricane with — the possibilities are endless. In the end, I decided on a few silk butterflies. These ones were actually refrigerator magnets I had around and I tied them to tree sticks with floral wire (another event planner’s must-have-in-the-supply-box staple!)
Add a little moss to the bottom of your hurricane and set a floral pomander on top (click here for a pomander tutorial) to finish it off. The great advantage to a centerpiece like this is that you can re-use the base for future events long after the flowers have wilted!”
Make sure to stop by Amber’s website for more floral inspiration!
November 13th, 2009 |
Okay, ladies….do I have a party to share with you today! This party was created by a woman named Christine for her son’s 1st birthday. Christine’s words really give you a feel for the day and her planning process, so without further ado…..
“I wanted to give my Aidan the world for his first birthday. I knew for a long time that I wanted to do an airplane theme. With that decided, everything just came together. Before Aidan was born, I had been to several destination weddings and a couple things had stuck out in my mind. I loved the idea of luggage tags as a favor, and knew I wanted to create a “suitcase” of goodies for our guests.
As a centerpiece. we had “EARTH” balloons, which were provided by Ron Alvarez, and each table had a runway, created by April Neubold. My family and I bought wood airplane kits at a craft store and painted them, to add to the centerpieces. It was hard work, but all worth it for this special day! We wanted to make sure this party could really “TAKE OFF”! Invitations, luggage tags, coloring books, passports, tote bags and table cards were created by etsy designer Barbara Neely designs.
We went all out when it came to dessert! Aidan’s Auntie Joann and Uncle Jonny, of San Francisco’ best ice Cream Bi-Rite, provided a special ice cream cart. We had personalized wood spoons for the ice cream, that were made by Minhee Cho from papercupdesign.com. A candy buffet was done by Jeri Martell from www.martellsweetstop.net. The cake was done by Sonya Hong from Butterfly Cakes; it was a 3 tiered cake of strawberry and chocolate, which was a big hit!
Gift boxes for each child, ID tags, and posters were designed by Zusy Zamora of Maziette Paperie. We had a box of goodies for each family to bring home as a party favor. They were filled with snacks from around the world, and also our family favorite, Torani Syrup in different flavors.
As I mentioned above, I truly wanted to give Aidan the world for his party….”
Photography by Matt Murillo and DMG Photography