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)

October 8th, 2009 |

Wedding Inspiration: Autumn Elegance


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.

mirror wedding invitation

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 7th, 2009 |

Decorating with Pumpkins

Decorating with PumpkinsImages via goodhousekeeping.com and allyou.com

October 6th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Stylish Gourds


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 |

6 Must-Have Recipes for Apple Season

apple recipes

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 |

Apple Picking + Fireside Dinner

apple picking and fireside dinner

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)

October 5th, 2009 |

Welcome, Swanky Chicks!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  I want to take a quick moment to welcome our newest advertiser, Swanky Chicks.

Swanky Chicks Welcome Post Image

Whether you are a bride planning her wedding, hosting a bridal shower or baby shower, or are just looking for that perfect gift….Swanky Chicks has you covered.   They have a wonderful assortment of invitations, decorations and party favors perfect for every occasion.  It’s wedding and shower planning made easy!  Take a minute to peruse their website….and definitely check out their Swanky Blog for party tips, recipes, games and more!
October 2nd, 2009 |

Halloween Treats

I have so many fun Halloween treats to share with you today….perfect for an upcoming party, school event, or just a fun activity to do with your kids!  If you start  baking today, you might just be able to get thru all of these cute ideas by Halloween!

halloween treats

Mini ghost cupcakes are light and fluffy, and have a whole lot of personality!  These hocus-pocus hats (made out of chocolate ice cream cones) would be darling to serve at our Witches Dinner Party that was posted yesterday.  I absolutely love these witch cookies…I think it’s the green face!  Chocolate pumpkin cake would be a decadent addition to any Fall dinner party….and these tombstone cookies are a perfect detail for any kid’s party!  So many fun treats….I better start baking!

halloween treats

October 2nd, 2009 |

Inspiration: Autumn Arrangement

Munich FlowersI spent a few weeks this month working out of Germany (my OTHER job!).  I spent one weekend walking around Munich searching for inspiration.  The city was preparing for Oktoberfest, and the florists were busting at the seams with autumn arrangements.  I fell in love with the display above….the colors, the different textures, but mostly the wood containers.  I remember seeing containers like these at my local Home Goods a while back, and couldn’t figure out what to do with them…now I know!  I think this concept would be easy to reproduce in your home and would be beautiful for a Fall party.

Image property of The Party Dress

October 1st, 2009 |

Halloween: A Party Full Of Tricks & Treats

Halloween is a great opportunity to let your kids entertain their friends.  You can get them involved in the planning, and playing host/hostess for the day will make your child feel special!  I searched the web for invitations, and I have to say that Tiny Prints has the cutest selection out there!  There were so many cute ones; I had a difficult time deciding.  This candy corn invitation fits our theme perfectly!

Halloween Tricks and Treats Invitation

A holiday like Halloween makes our job easy….the color palette is set, and we all have traditional decorations that look cute year after year.  In this case however, our activities are so cute they also act as decorations!  As you know, it’s important to keep kids entertained during a party.  If the party is a couple hours long, I would plan on having 3 activities and time to eat snacks.

Create this adorable pumpkin toss game (from Better Homes and Gardens) – it’s easy to construct out of a large box and posterboard.  Then, set up a table with 1 or 2 of the build-a-pumpkin kits from Pottery Barn Kids.  Set a time limit (say 1 minute) and have kids get creative designing a pumpkin.  Take a picture of each child with their pumpkin to send to them with a thank you note for coming to the party.  For older kids, you could also have a contest for who makes the most unique pumpkin face.  The last activity I would do would be a pinata full of candy.  You could hang a pumpkin pinata from a tree branch and let the kids go to town!  Give them each a small bag to fill up with candy to bring home.

Since this party will probably be after school, you don’t need a whole lot of food.  Serve up mini candy apples (decorated with all different types of sprinkles), halloween cupcakes, and “mummy” dogs.  I absolutely LOVE this idea (again from Better Homes and Gardens)!  Take your traditional “pigs-in-a-blanket” concept, but wrap the breading a little bit looser to create the look of a mummy bandage.  Place poppy seeds in place for the eyes before you bake them.  They are so cute – the kids are sure to love them!

Halloween Tricks & Treats Pumpkins

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com) candy apples and candy corn (inmagine.com), girls (chasing-fireflies.com), pumpkin toss and mummy dogs(bhg.com), orange izze sodas (hostessblog.com), pumpkins (potterybarnkids.com)

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