August 18th, 2009 |

Wedding Inspiration: Sophisticated and Sassy

SMP Wedding Inspiration Board - Lyden

Sophisticated and sassy, this black, white and yellow wedding inspiration is nothing short of spectacular!

Images: Centerpiece (brides.com), Amsale Nadine Dress (stylemepretty.com),  Yellow Wedding Cake
(thecakegirls.com), Anemones Bouquet (marthastewartweddings.com), Yellow & Black Desserts
(amyatlas.com), Letterpress ‘Fluted Bracket: Black’ Invitation
(weddingpaperdivas.com)

August 17th, 2009 |

Baby Shower: Pretty Pink Polka Dots

baby shower pretty pink polka dots

If you are throwing a baby shower for a woman that is ALL girl – this idea is for you!  Pretty, pink, and full of polka dots and flowers!

I love this invitation from Minted!  It fits in perfectly with our girly pink theme….but would also be adorable for a cupcake theme shower.  Instead of decorating with your typical baby shower items, such as baby shoes, bottles and pacifiers….I’m going to go a different route….a more sophisticated route, if you will!  Take away a couple of “baby” details, and this party idea could be a beautiful brunch or birthday party!

I want flowers to be a part of all of my decorations.  Centerpieces of pink and orange blooms, and even a floral topper on top of the diaper cake.  (Ever wonder how to make a diaper cake?!  Click here for detailed instructions). Beautiful flower wreaths on doors or hanging in front of windows.  Wreaths can be a stunning addition to any room or party.  Fresh flower versions are wonderful, but if you make the wreaths yourself using faux flowers, you can really customize the wreath to your specific theme (and re-use them!).  Save-on-Crafts has a great selection of both Styrofoam and wire wreath forms to get you started….

When it comes to setting the table, use shades of pink to create this festive table.  Finding the perfect pattern tablecloth is not always easy.  So, pull out that sewing machine and make your own!  Your local craft store is a great resource for patterned fabrics.  Don’t have a sewing machine?!  There is a no-sew option…use pinking shears to give the edge a decorative look.  Pink cloth napkins, champagne glasses and a darling placecard…..it’s all you need to wow your guests.

Try something new for your dessert….these tiny square cakes are cute and preppy and so easy to do!  Make individual cupcakes for your guests using a square muffin pan.  If you want to make them taller, you can always use two layers of cake.  Decorate them with a couple of different colors and patterns that coordinate with your theme.  If you plan on serving a different dessert during the party, these square cupcakes could make a darling party favor too!

Images: floral wreath (eventjubilee.com), diaper cake (flickr.com), baby shower invitation (minted.com), square cakes (amyatlas.com), green lanterns (flickr.com), pink polka dot table setting (brides.com)

August 17th, 2009 |

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade

I found this almost-too-pretty-to-drink recipe at Kiss My Spatula….and I just had to share it with you!  It’s the perfect summertime drink….and it’s non-alcoholic.  So it’s the perfect drink to serve at a baby shower, or a child’s birthday party.


Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 large, juicy lemons)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 4 cups cold water
  • whole raspberries
  • mint leaves

Method

Press raspberries through a fine mesh strainger over a bowl with a rubber spatula. Don’t forget to scrape the extra raspberry goodness from the bottom of strainer. Discard seeds. Place freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and honey in a large pitcher. Add strained raspberries and water. Stir well and taste. Add more sugar if you like things a little sweeter or more lemon juice if you like things more tart. Pour into chilled glasses filled with ice and garnish with fresh raspberries and a few mint leaves.

August 15th, 2009 |

Cocktail Party: Mad Men Premiere

Made Men Cocktail Party (small)

With the long awaited premiere of Mad Men’s season 3  upon us this weekend, channel your inner Betty Draper and host a 1960′s inspired cocktail party.  Bon Appetit has a menu full of classic drinks, and post-modern appetizers that are perfect for the occasion:

Images: food (bonappetit.com)

August 14th, 2009 |

Dinner Party: Straight Off The Grill

dinner party grill

We love entertaining at home, so I am always looking for new recipes and creative ways to set my table.  I think this dinner party invitation from Minted sets the tone for a casual, yet polished evening.  Setting the table is easy for me during the late summer months.  Sunflowers are in bloom and they are my favorite!  They just scream festive to me!  Tie the sunflowers idea into your placecards too.  You can create this festive, colorful place setting by simply using a sunflower stamp on a basic white placecard.  I think the napkin fold is really pretty…..see below for the instructions (click on the image for a bigger view).

sunflower napkin roll

Now, in terms of food…..I love dishes that are simple, yet full of flavor and style!  These grilled mushroom kabobs look delicious to me!  I found this recipe on Cully’s Kitchen.  I’m a sucker for barbecue chicken…and this recipe for grilled chicken with white barbecue sauce has been calling my name for a while now.  Perfect for a summer dinner party!  Now for dessert….it’s summer, so fruit must be involved!  Try to mix it up a little by trying something new like a goat cheese and fruit tart.  Not only does it sound delicious, but look at it!  Any guest would be oh, so impressed!

goat cheese and fruit tart

What are some of your favorite dinner party ideas?  Have a recipe to share….have a table setting idea….leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

Images: invitation (minted.com), sunflower centerpiece (inmagine.com), napkin roll (via Napkins with a Twist), table setting (horchow.com)

August 13th, 2009 |

Two by Two: A Noah’s Arc Baby Shower

noahs arc baby shower

This baby shower was featured yesterday over at the F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S Project Nursery….it was my first “contributor” post for them!  So exciting!  But, this baby shower turned out so cute….I had to share it with you too!

When throwing a baby shower for a woman expecting twins, take inspiration from Noah’s Arc! Baby showers tend to get a little cheesy and cutesy for my taste.  But modern animal silhouettes and a sophisticated color palette will create an updated-looking event full of style.

Invite your guests with this darling invitation from Tiny Prints.  Darling for 1 baby or 2 – but if you are throwing the party for twins, don’t forget to tell your guests to bring gifts “two by two!”

Decorate your space in shades of green, with pops of melon, pale blue and mustard yellow.  Hang colored lanterns above your food table in all of your pop colors….throw in a green polka dot lantern or two for a touch of pattern.  Use a solid colored table cloth, white plates and napkins.  For a modern place setting, create a silverware envelope with your napkin, place on your plate and tie together with a skinny pattern ribbon.   Use a few small, potted grass plants for your centerpiece on the table, and scattered throughout the party space.  If you want to dress them up a bit, add a ring of daisies around the grass.  To do this, simply snip the daisy head from the stem (leaving approximately a 1″ stem), and place a long pin thru the head of the flower (this will make it stronger when you stick it into the plant).  Add a playful touch to your centerpiece by placing a few plush animals in between your grass plants.  These darling animals from Land of Nod are perfect for the party, and will be a welcome addition to the baby’s nursery after the party (monkey, giraffe, lion).

A few ideas for your food: Ladies like to chat at these parties, not eat a heavy meal!  Keep your menu light, but throw in a couple of small touches to carry out your theme.  If you plan on having a cheese plate, arrange some crackers and fruit as you typically would….but then use mini cookie cutters to cut your cheese slices into the  shapes of animals.  For dessert, serve mini cupcakes with animal silhouettes made out of chocolate on top.  You can buy chocolate in different colors at your local craft store to make your animals coordinate with your color palette.

For a cute party favor, try buying a pack of animal cookie cutters and give each guest one tied with a bow.

I love this party for it’s clean animal silhouettes and modern color palette!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), cupcakes (flickr.com), place setting (realsimple.com), grass plant centerpiece (nancyliuchin.com), plush animals (landofnod.com)

August 12th, 2009 |

Housewarming Party: Home Sweet Home

housewarming party home sweet home

My husband and I are moving into our very first home next week….so I have moving, decorating, and housewarming parties on the brain lately! A housewarming party is a great way not only to show off your new home, but also a chance to gather your friends and get decorating ideas!

I have found some fabulous new home stationery out there that I just had to share with you……

Houswarming Invite 1

I love the simplicity and warmth of this invitation from Minted….it would be perfect for a Fall gathering!

Houswarming Invite 2

This lawnmower announcement from Minted would be so cute for a family moving into the suburbs, right?!

Houswarming Invite 3

“We’ve planted new roots” – a charming, yet playful announcement from Tiny Prints.

Houswarming Invite 4

This is the announement I chose for us from Tiny Prints….I love how it pictures the perfect little neighborhood.

Houswarming Invite 5

Simple and sophisticated, this announcement from Wedding Paper Divas would be perfect for a house or apartment!

Images: dining room, wine, cheese (potterybarn.com), lattice housewarming invitation (minted.com), potted hydrangeas (customeventgroup.com)

August 12th, 2009 |

Fall Entertaining: Glorious Fall Hues

fall entertaining

Now that I am decorating a new house (and have so much more room to throw parties!), I have been looking all over the web for new ideas for Fall entertaining.  One of the must-have trends  is the use of rich hues, such as olive, plum, and peacock blues.

I found some great items – these flamboyant pillows from Crate & Barrel with a modern pop-up texture are so fun and the color combination makes a great color inspiration for a party!  If you do decide to host a party using this color palette, check out the colorful vases from Crate & Barrel as well.  Grouped together, they would make a striking centerpiece for your dinner table.  I am in love with these adorable napkin rings from Jonathan Adler – they come in four different animals would be a fun accent to any table setting.

Fall is just starting to hit stores now….but this sneak peak already has me excited!

August 11th, 2009 |

Surprise Giveaway: The Best Summer Drinks Winners

Thanks to everyone for entering our giveaway for The Best Summer Drinks book…..you guys are very creative…there are some great party ideas here!  But, since we had to choose two winners…..

Lindsey who said….

“Several of my my friends are pregnant and have yet to find out the sex of the baby. I would love to throw a Team Blue – Team Pink party for one of them to reveal the sex of the baby. Some cute pink and blue drinks would be an awesome touch!”

and Erin who said….

“I first want to tell you that I love your website. I look at it everyday for inspiration or ideas for upcoming parties, dinners, and everything else in between.
I am planning on throwing a accessory swap party. I saw it Rachael Ray Magazine a while back.

I think it would be so cute to turn you home into a little boutique. A great reason to clean out my closet and to do some “free” shopping!”

Congratulations, Girls!  Send your addresses over e-mail and I will ship these darling books out to you!

August 11th, 2009 |

Princess Tea Party

princess tea party

Ah, to be “princess” for a day…..what could be better?!  To be the “princess” hosting the “tea party”, that’s what!

A tea party is the perfect theme for a little girl’s birthday party.  It’s pink, it’s whimsical, and it’s oh, so easy to do….

Invite your guests to the royal tea party with this darling invitation from Minted.  Decorate with pink balloons, a polka dotted cake and plan a couple great activities.  Start with “decorate-your-own-tiara“.  I found this great kit thru Birthday in a Box.  It includes foam tiaras and rhinestones – so the kids can go to town decorating.  Oh, don’t forget to have princess wands for each of your guests!  Have the kids hit this castle pinata to see what comes out – instead of just candy, add in some small toys such as little bracelets, hair bows, and candy necklaces.

After you sing “Happy Birthday” and have your cake and ice cream, send the kids home with this adorable goodie bag.   It includes a flower straw, a pearl necklace, bubbles, body glitter and tea party stickers.

Princess Tea Party Activity

Images: candy (inmagine.com), invitation (minted.com), tea party goodie bag (birthdayinabox.com), magic wands (amazon.com), cake (pbkids.com), tea party (divinepartyconcepts.com)

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