September 17th, 2009 |

Centerpiece Idea: Dressed Up Pumpkins

Pumpkin Centerpiece

I know, I know…I might be rushing the season a bit.  But Halloween is just around the corner…and I need to give you girls some time to plan, right?!  I have so many cute Halloween ideas for you this season, I figured best to start passing them along!

Looking for an easy, yet stylish centerpiece for your kitchen table?!  You can bet you will find a big bowl of these “dressed-up” pumpkins on mine come October 1st!  This is so simple to do – simply find a bunch of different patterned ribbons at your local craft store, wrap around the small pumpkins and adhere with double sided tape.  I love projects like this where it involves little effort and your get a lot of style!

Image via Good Housekeeping

September 17th, 2009 |

Rustic Placecards

Wood Placecard Holders

Looking for a few rustic touches for your Fall parties or weddings?!  Look no further than these darling wood placecard holders!  Charming, rustic and I don’t know about you….but they are perfect for my next dinner party!

You can find these at GoodGuest on Etsy.com – and she has plenty of coordinating wood items (if you plan to use them for a wedding).

September 16th, 2009 |

Bridesmaid Luncheon

 

When planning your wedding, consider thinking outside of the box when it comes to thanking your bridesmaids for their support during the planning process.  I suggest hosting a Bridesmaid Luncheon the week prior to the wedding – an event that is full of pretty things, kind words of appreciation, and some quality girl-time before the big day!

Images: invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), candy buffet (josevillablog.com), rose centerpiece (toddevents.com), place setting (instyleweddings.com), mini champagne bottle party favors (brides.com)

September 15th, 2009 |

Pancake Brunch

pancake brunch

We don’t talk about Brunch enough around here, in my opinion!  Brunch is a great form of entertaining.  It’s an easy, one course meal, typically pretty casual, and it’s held in the morning – so your guests come, they eat, and then you all go about your day!

Welcome Fall with a casual brunch with friends.  Set a table full of autumnal colors and seasonal accents.  Start with beautiful runner, layer on woven charger plates, and finish with your everyday white dishes.  To add a decorative touch to your place setting, fold your napkin into a “pocket” and insert a mini bottle of maple syrup.  Finish by writing your guests names on a silk leaf.  It’s a festive placecard and party favor for your guests to bring home!

To create a simple, yet Fall-like centerpiece like the one pictured above, take a low bowl and place a large pillar candle in the center.  Fill in the space around the candle with seasonal fruits or nuts.  Fill a variety of small bowls with different nuts, small fruits and berries to place around the main centerpiece.

Everyone has their favorite pancake recipe.  But if you are looking for something new, try making mini filled-pancakes.  Williams Sonoma has a bunch of great recipes, and they sell the pancake pan too!  Offer a couple of side dishes, such as maple-glazed bacon, and ham and egg breakfast tarts.  Add in some mimosas…..and you have the perfect brunch!

Images: place setting (matthewmeadstyle.com), dining room (potterybarn.com), centerpiece (bhg.com)

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September 14th, 2009 |

Decorate with White Pumpkins

white pumpkins

When it comes to Fall decorating, I have one very specific love….white pumpkins.  Every year, I anticipate the arrival of these darling little gourds and I can’t wait to find them!  I just love them; it’s like inviting the sophisticated sister of the orange pumpkin into my home.  You can fill a basket full of them, stack them on top of silver candlesticks….if you walk into my house on any given day during the Fall, you will find a large, green bowl full of them on my dining room table.

White pumpkins read “Fall” more than they read “Halloween”.  Their shelf life is much longer, in my opinion….and it’s a great way to incorporate some Fall decorations into your home or party during September and October (when you just aren’t quite ready to pull out the Halloween decorations!).

Do any of you have a creative use for white pumpkins?!  Please, do share!

Images: white and black pumpkins (eddieross.com), long tray of pumpkins (inmagine.com)

September 11th, 2009 |

Children’s Birthday Party: Monkey Mania!

My god-daughter was nick-named “Monkey” basically from the day she was born…..so I am always looking for cute monkey-themed party ideas for her.  This Monkey Mania party would be perfect for a little boy or girl!

 

Invite your guests to join in on the Monkey Mania with this adorable invitation from Minted.  It would be perfect for a carnival theme party, too.  When the children arrive, adorn them with their very own monkey mask and send them on a scavenger hunt throughout your backyard.  Hide small monkeys (in fairly obvious places), and see how quickly they can find all of them!  Make sure there is at least one for each child to find…you don’t want to start the party off with any sad monkeys!

Decorating for this party is easy!  Use a color palette of yellow, royal blue and green.  Use potted grass plants or cake plates full of bunches of bananas as your centerpieces.  Here’s where the cute part comes in…. place a tiny monkey at each child’s place with a name tag placed between the arms.  An adorable placecard and a precious party favor all rolled up into one!  After the kids are done sitting at the table, place their monkey into this cute bag full of candy and of course, a banana!  You know me, it’s all about presentation!

I have two ideas for you for dessert (of course, it is my favorite course!).  Individual cupcakes adorned with these darling cupcake toppers I found on etsy.com, and…….a banana split bar!  Too cute, right?!  Now, if you prefer to bake a cake, can I recommend you use this darling cake pan from Birthday in a Box?!  It’s the perfect tool to help you make the perfect monkey cake!

Monkey Mania Banana Split Bar

I love all of the bright colors, and cute monkey details….and hey, if the kids get a little antsy, you could always play a game of “monkey in the middle!”

Images: placecard (partyspot.com), invitation (minted.com), cupcake toppers (etsy.com), banana onsie (bodenusa.com), drinks (brides.com), grass centerpiece and banana (inmagine.com), banana split bar (midwestliving.com)

September 10th, 2009 |

Fall Colors = New Wedding Inspirations!

 

Ahhh….a new season…you know what that means?!  A whole new pool of ideas to pull from!  Since The Party Dress is fairly new (we have been up and running since March), this is our first Fall season.  I have so many fun things to share with you in the upcoming weeks….keep checking back everyday for new ideas!

Have I ever mentioned my L-O-V-E for Fall colors?!  Clothes, decorating my home, and of course, my very own wedding!  I was an October bride and I fell in love with all of the rich tones, the Fall foliage, and the cozy details that this beautiful season has to offer.

Here is a bit of inspiration to start the season off.  Enjoy!

Images: flower girl (weddingchannel.com), centerpiece (blumfloraldesign.com), couple (eyespy-weddings.com), outdoor bar (instyleweddings.com), napkin (weddingchannel.com), mum bouquet (mypersonalartist.com), wedding cake (theknot.com)

September 9th, 2009 |

Sip & See: A Meet & Greet For Your New Baby

 

 

A Sip & See is a great way to introduce your baby to the world!  It can take the place of a traditional baby shower, or can be thrown by the new parents as a way to formally introduce their baby to family and friends.

Use a traditional birth announcement to invite your guests, such as this one from Tiny Prints.  The picture will give everyone a sneak peak of the darling baby they are about to meet.   Schedule your open house mid-afternoon, so that your guests won’t be expecting a full meal.  Since the party will be taking place at your home, focus your decorations on a few key places….the front door, a food table, and the baby!

Hang a beautiful,  floral wreath on your front door to welcome your guests.  Have a table set up when people enter the room with a stack of notecards, a cup full of pens and a scrapbook.  Guests can write a personal note welcoming the baby, offer words of advice, and congratulate the family.  The notecards can be placed into the scrapbook as a wonderful memento for the child in years to come.  I think it would be cute to take this one step further, and use personalized notecards (you could even order double the amount and use them for thank you notes, too!).

Set up a buffet table with a few small bites and some bubbly!  Since this party is definitely geared more towards adults, use the color of champagne as your inspiration and set a sophisticated table in shades of white, gold and silver…with an emphasis on shimmer!  Line the center of your table with candlesticks filled with shimmered candles in gold and ivory, set out stacks of appetizer plates, gold cocktail napkins, and champagne flutes.  (Quick tip: if you don’t want to serve your champagne in plastic glasses, invest in a set of inexpensive flutes….you will use them time and time again!)

sip & see baby shower table setting

The Sip & See is wonderful party idea – and you can adapt it to so many different themes.  Baby Showers are typically limited to a woman’s first baby, but a  Sip & See can be held to introduce baby number  1, 2, 3 or 10!

Images: yellow centerpiece (toddevents.com), baby announcement/invitation (tinyprints.com), champagne and baby (inmagine.com), floral wreath (brides.com), table (karljuengel.com), scrapbook (papersource.com)

 

September 8th, 2009 |

Fall Food: Re-Designed

Squash Bowls

I always get excited when Fall comes around….by then, I am sick of my Summer clothes, ready to change around the decorative items in my house, and definitely ready to bring back a few of my favorite Fall “comfort foods”.  A favorite in my household?  Chili.

Everyone has their favorite chili recipe, and I’m sure I will find a few new ones to share with you at some point this season.  But today, I just wanted to share this adorable serving idea.  Nothing screams Fall more than pumpkins and gourds….and I love the idea of carving out the inside and using them as serving bowls.  You could use small pumpkins for individual bowls of soup or chili, or carve out a large pumpkin and fill it with a risotto.  If you are having a cocktail party, you could use a really big pumpkin and use it to hold your wine and ice.

More Fall ideas to come……

Image via inmagine.com

September 7th, 2009 |

Celebrate The Harvest: Wine & Cheese Party

wine and cheese party

Fall is the perfect time to host a wine and cheese party.  It’s about that time to bring your entertaining back indoors, so why not invite friends over to cozy up with a fire, some fabulous wines, and create a cheese assortment that any die-hard fan would fall in love with?!

For this type of party, presentation is key and it is just as important as your wine and cheese selection.  Think of presenting your cheeses in the same thoughtful manner as you would set a beautiful table.  Thoughtful, decorative, with a cohesive look and feel.  Get creative with your serving pieces…..use slabs of slate, a wood lazy susan, or even an upside down wine barrel.  Try to limit your cheeses to 3 per serving dish, and add in a few accompaniments such as grapes, walnuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto.    You should also place a basket with sliced bread, crackers and bread sticks near the cheese selection.

Let’s talk supplies…..I already mentioned slate cheese plates, and wood lazy susans.  If you are going to be serving a variety of cheeses, definitely invest in cheese tags (it looks charming, and makes it easier for your guests to know what they are tasting!).  Small appetizer plates, and cocktail napkins are key.  I found these beautiful wine label appetizer plates that would be just perfect (click here)!  Don’t forget to have extra wine glasses on hand, if you will be offering your guests different wines to try.  This isn’t the time to pull out the crystal….so if you throw a lot of parties, invest in an inexpensive set of wine glasses.  You can buy them from IKEA or Amazon, and I bet you find that you will use them time and time again.

Cheers!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), centerpiece (stylemepretty.com), dipping oil (brides.com), cheese plates (napastyle.com), wine (potterybarn.com)

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