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)

September 30th, 2009 |

Table Topics Giveaway Winners!

Sorry everyone…I’m a little behind in announcing the winners of the Table Topics giveaway!

So, without further ado…..our winners are:

Nancy Spackman Crump who said: My favorite thing to ask people to is “If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?” I love hearing about the different vacations that people want to take, and everyone has some dream place that they have mentally planned a trip to, even if they can’t take it. Thanks for the fun giveaway.


Tiffany Crabtree who said: Great dinner conversation is a must. A question I often ask is what’s one of your most memorable moments so far in your life. This makes them think and I usually get some pretty good stories.

Congratulations, Ladies…and thanks to everyone who participated!  Nancy and Tiffany, please e-mail me your addresses so we can ship you your prizes.

September 30th, 2009 |

The Creative Party Place + The Modern Girl’s Guide to Entertaining

Shannon from Creative Parties and Showers has launched an updated site called The Creative Party Place.  It’s absolutely darling – not only is she still showcasing great party submissions from viewers, but she has a ton of new features that are worth checking out!

I was absolutely thrilled when Shannon asked me to contribute some party-planning tips for her new website.  My Modern Girl’s Guide to Entertaining was born; it’s 12 of my favorite tips for throwing a party, and you can find it both on The Creative Party Place and The Party Dress.  Enjoy!

September 30th, 2009 |

Witches Dinner Party

witches dinner party

If you are looking for a special way to celebrate Halloween with your favorite ladies, or are hosting a bridal shower in the month of October….try hosting a Witches Dinner Party.

Set a table with beautiful, autumn-inspired decorations using a color palette of rusty orange, chocolate brown and mustard yellow.  Mix and match patterns to achieve a “shabby chic” look….try using paisley, pumpkin toile and striped napkins.  Place a mini witches broom on each guest’s plate as a place card.  Try looking at your local craft store for these, or you could try to make them yourselves (click here for instructions).

To create an interesting centerpiece, carve out a large pumpkin and cut off the top to create a large bowl.  Fill the bowl with a variety of fall gourds, and surround it with mini pumpkin votive candles.

I found a great recipe that is perfect for this party!  It’s a stuffed brie called a ‘Witches Purse‘.  Very simple to do, and it’s sure to get rave reviews!  This party is festive and a great reason to gather your friends during October.

Images: place setting (countryliving.com), witches purse appetizer (allyou.com), white pumpkin votive candles (bhg.com), pumpkin bowl (bhg.com), invitation (tinyprints.com), candles (inmagine.com)

September 30th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Halloween

Bat Napkins PostWith Halloween quickly approaching, it’s fun to insert a few easy ideas to add a touch of holiday spirit to your everyday life.  Take this napkin idea….a simple black bat tied to a napkin with a sheer ribbon.  Darling.  Simple.  Festive.  Want to take it to the next level?!  Make bat cookies.  Sugar cookies, black royal icing, and one of those easy frosting pens from Williams Sonoma…..and you have yourself a tasty little place card!

Image via Good Housekeeping

September 29th, 2009 |

Real Party: Cupcakes, Flowers & all things PINK!


Today’s party is so fun for me to post….it’s the birthday party of my best friend’s daughter!  I am so fortunate to be called “Auntie Kelly” by this darling little girl, Emma.  And am so excited to share some of these adorable details that her mom, Teresa, did for her 5th birthday party!

Emma is a girly girl…we’re talking pink, pink and more pink!  So coming up with a theme wasn’t difficult – a color palette centered around the color pink, throw in some flower accents and giant cupcakes – and you have a party fit for a princess.  Teresa ordered her party invitations from Tiny Prints, and also found coordinating labels there to use on goodie bags and Emma’s thank you notes.

This party was all about the details….and Teresa made everything herself!  The party took place in a white tent outside, and was decorated with pink pom poms and lanterns, all hanging from polka dotted ribbon.  Emma L-O-V-E-S flowers.  Instead of filling the space with fresh flowers, she decided to make balloon flowers.  There were large ones floating around the yard, small ones attached to each girl’s drink straw, and even smaller ones that she made into a ring for each girl to wear.  I should probably mention that she had a whole lot of help from Emma’s dad on these!  Teresa found a youTube video that gives great directions on how to make the flower balloons and was nice enough to share it with us.  So, if you are interested….check out this link.

The cupcake toppers were personalized with each girl’s name on them – which also served as the perfect place card.  She presented the cupcakes on a Wilton cupcake stand that she had decorated with pink ribbon.   Note that the pink ribbon PERFECTLY matches the birthday girl’s Lilly Pulitzer dress!  Of course!

It was a happy, happy birthday for Emma Jane!

All images property of The Party Dress

September 29th, 2009 |

Fluttering Cupcakes

Fluttering Cupcakes

LOVE this idea from brightideas.com…..darling for a little girl’s birthday party!


  • 1 box (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix
  • 3 cups prepared vanilla frosting
  • 48 pieces thin pretzels twists
  • ¼ cup pink decorating sugar
  • 1 ½ cups M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies
  • ¼ cup M&M’S® Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies
  • 3 strands licorice laces
  • Green food coloring
  • 24 paper cupcake liners
  • Cupcake pans
  • 2 sheet pans
  • Wax paper
  • Microwave-safe bowl


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line the cupcake pans with the paper cupcake liners.
3. Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions. Pour the cake mix into the lined cupcake pans, and bake for approximately 18-21 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
4. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the butterfly wings. Line the two sheet pans with wax paper. Transfer 1 cup of vanilla frosting to a microwave-safe bowl; heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, stirring occasionally, until the texture of slightly whipped cream. Dip the pretzels in the warmed vanilla frosting until they’re almost covered. Dab off any excess frosting, and then sprinkle with the pink decorating sugar before the icing sets. Transfer to the lined sheet pans; set aside and let cool completely.
5. Tint 1 can of vanilla frosting green; spread it on top of the cooled cupcakes. Refrigerate until the frosting is set.
6. Using the photo as your guide, decorate the cupcakes as follows:
7. Cover the top with green M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies on the outside edge of each cupcake.
8. Press the small tips of the pretzels on top of the cupcakes for wings.
9. Place one M&M’S® Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies for the head.
10. Arrange a line of same-color M&M’S® Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies for the body.
11. Cut the licorice laces and place them as antennae.

September 28th, 2009 |

Cocktail Party Idea: Tequila Tasting

tequila tasting cocktail party

Cocktail parties are one of the easiest ways to entertain your friends.  But, if you entertain often, you are probably always looking for a new theme.  What’s on my radar right now?!  A Tequila Tasting….full of margaritas and lots of Mexican appetizers.

Invite your guests with this charming invitation from Tiny Prints.  It’s the perfect mix of fiesta and all things autumn!

Tequila Tasting Invitation

When it comes to setting up your party, create a long buffet table with drinks on one side and appetizers on the other.  To add a little decoration, create a runner of sunflower heads going down the center of the table.  Since this is a cocktail party, I would center your food around appetizers.   We talk a lot about Mexican dinner entrees around here….but I had a great time finding you some yummy appetizer ideas….definitely some new recipes to add to your repertoire.

In terms of drinks, offer your guests a few different options.  I would suggest a couple different types of margaritas, and tasting stations of tequila.  Set your stations up with shot glasses, a bowl of limes, and a small bowl of salt.  Make sure to have a few pitchers of water on hand for people to cleanse their palette with after a tasting, too.

I think this party would be a lot of fun….now, who’s going to throw one?!

Images: margarita glasses (potterybarn.com), sunflower runner (hostessblog.com), margaritas (potterybarn.com), and tequila shots (projectwedding.com)

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