September 11th, 2009 |

Children’s Birthday Party: Monkey Mania!

My god-daughter was nick-named “Monkey” basically from the day she was born… 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, 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 (, invitation (, cupcake toppers (, banana onsie (, drinks (, grass centerpiece and banana (, banana split bar (

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 (, centerpiece (, couple (, outdoor bar (, napkin (, mum bouquet (, wedding cake (

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 (, baby announcement/invitation (, champagne and baby (, floral wreath (, table (, scrapbook (


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

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.


Images: invitation (, centerpiece (, dipping oil (, cheese plates (, wine (

September 5th, 2009 |

Labor Day….what to do, what to do?!

Labor DayImages via

September 4th, 2009 |

A Colorful Children’s Birthday Party

This colorful birthday party was posted over at Project Nursery yesterday….so cute, I just had to share it with you!

colorful childrens birthday party

If your little girl is getting to that age where a princess party, or a “theme party” is just too babyish….try throwing a birthday party focused around a particular color palette.  Bright colors, fresh patterns….the combination has the makings for an adorable, yet “grown-up” birthday party!

Today, let’s talk about an orange and hot pink color palette.  Bright, festive and what little girl doesn’t love those colors?!

Invite your daughter’s guests with this darling invitation from Tiny Prints.  The colors work perfectly for our party inspiration, and I love how it pulls pattern into the mix.  To add an unexpected element to the party, ask all of the guests to dress in the pop colors.

Create a festive party space with hot pink and orange round lanterns, striped lanterns, balloons, and colorful centerpieces.  I love the use of gerber daisies in the picture above…..adorable used in a full bunch, but also try adding a little flair to a basic candlestick.  Punching a hole thru the middle of a silk daisy, and place it at the base of a candlestick.  Slide your taper candle thru the hole, and voila!  To add a touch of pattern to this table setting, use a variety of patterned melamine plates.  Unbreakable, re-usable, and totally cute!  Play into the “color” part of this concept and tie a small pack of crayons to each napkin, and place a tiny coloring book at each girls place at the table.

To add a “grown up” detail to dessert, dress up your daughter’s birthday cake with a pink candelabra candle!  Instead of sending the guests home with a traditional goodie bag filled with party favors, present your favors in small boxes.  Wrap them with bright orange paper, tie with a hot pink bow, and attach a personalized sticker that says “thanks for coming to my party” (the sticker matches the invitation, of course!)

Images: table setting (, crayon napkin (, party favors (, girls (,  invitation (

September 4th, 2009 |

Creative Packaging: Fruit

Fruit Tags

I love this idea from Alpha Mom – dress up your fruit for a little laugh and a whole lot of fun.  Perfect for those back-to-school lunches, or grouped together for a cute centerpiece for a child’s birthday party or baby shower.  Click here to download the free template.

September 3rd, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Peacock Feathers

Peacock Napkins

Add a touch of drama to your fall table setting by using peacock feathers.  The rich, jewel tone colors are perfectly in line with the Fall fashion trends and the feather adds a touch of luxe to any decoration.

I found some great peacock feathers at – loose feathers to stick in your napkin rings like the picture above, a peacock feather wreath (perfect for your front door….even better, use it flat on a table as a centerpiece!  Fill the inside of the circle up with floating candles in cylinder vases….oohh….love that idea!), and tall peacock feather sprays that would be stunning in an elaborate wedding centerpiece.

I can’t wait to try out this trend….what are you going to do with peacock feathers this Fall?!

Image via

September 2nd, 2009 |

REAL PARTY: Doll-Inspired Sweet Soiree

I have an adorable party to share with you today….it was sent to me from Laura of Sweet Soiree in San Antonio, Texas.  Her friend asked her to create a doll-inspired party for her daughter’s 2nd birthday.  Here was her inspiration:

Sweet Soiree Doll Party InspirationAnd here is what she came up with!

How darling is this?!  Laura used this colorful invitation from Tiny Prints that pictured the birthday girl holding her favorite doll. When she starting planning the sweet table, she took her color inspiration from a picture of vintage saucers she found on – pink, lime green and yellow.

If you are in need of a “sweet soiree” and in the San Antonio area, definitely give Laura a call!  If not, Laura was nice enough to share her resources (see list below) for the items she used to create this party….in hopes that it would inspire you to create one of your own!

doll inspired birthday party

Resources: invitation (, chocolates (Kooper’s Chocolate), lollipops (Hammond’s Candies), doll cake toppers (Goose Grease via, sign (Seven Cupcakes via, fabric (, macaroons (, photographs (

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