August 31st, 2009 |

End Of The Summer Birthday Bash

summer birthday bash

Looking to plan an end of the summer birthday bash?!  A casual neighborhood gathering to say goodbye to Summer, and hello to Fall?!  Gather friends for a casual party decorated with bright colors, lots of patterns, and some delicious summer appetizers.

Set the mood for this colorful party with this invitation from Minted….I love the colors and the bohemian chic feel to it.  Decorate your space with brightly colored flowers, serving dishes, and patterned linens.  Now….on to the important part…the food!

Serve a buffet of appetizers, including these delicious summer favorites:

And don’t forget a signature cocktail……something fruity and fun….try a pineapple greyhound!

Images: drink table (, napkins (, invitation (

August 28th, 2009 |

Trend Alert: Red

trend alert red

The color red is all the rage this Fall….here are a few ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe or party!

Images: floral centerpiece (, tulip bouquets and zinnia vase (, red dresses (, red table setting (, invitation (, red napkin rings (

August 27th, 2009 |

Bridal Shower: Apple Green!


Hot pink and candy apple green are two of my favorite colors….especially when paired together!  Move this bright color palette into a Fall party with the use of apples.  Perfect for a bridal shower, or a special birthday party!

Invite your guests with this mod/preppy invitation from Minted.  It sets the tone for a sophisticated party that will have your guests talking for weeks!  Start your decorations at the front door by creating a moss-covered initial (or you could spell out a name if you hang them on a wall) – it’s a more modern look than a traditional wreath.  You can find the letters at your local craft store, and order the moss in bulk on-line.  A little hot-glue-gun-action, a beautiful hot pink ribbon – and you have yourself a stunning decoration.

Create a simple centerpiece by using different sized glass cylinder vases grouped together.  Stack green apples in one, and float a stem of hot pink orchids in the others.  I found some great pink and green party supplies that would be perfect for this party:  green or hot pink lacquered placecard holders, floral print melamine plates, a green lacquer serving tray, and pink and green plastic wine glasses.  You all know I am a fan of a beautiful, creative napkin….I L-O-V-E this idea!  Fold your napkin like a fortune teller, and place a round card inside that states a question for your to ask the bride during lunch.  Some examples are, “where are you going for your honeymoon?”, “how did your fiance propose?”…you get the idea!

Serve a buffet of food for lunch, featuring a bunch of green salads (throw a few strawberries into the salads for a pop of pink!), some small tea sandwiches, and festive cupcakes for dessert.  Do you have a cupcake stand?  If you invest in a basic white stand, you can decorate it to match each party.  This one would be darling with hot pink and green ribbon along the edges.  Create signage for your buffet by attaching a placecard on a stick, and inserting it into the top of an apple.  It’s cute, affordable, and it carries the apple theme thru the whole party.

Don’t forget to serve a signature drink.  If you are looking for a pink cocktail, check out the for great recipes!  This party is fun, and preppy with a touch of modern flair….perfect for the style-conscious bride!


Images: hanging moss initial, orchid and apple centerpieces, and apple placecard (, invitation (, cupcakes (, pink cocktail (, fortune teller napkin (, green and pink lacquer placecard holders (, floral melamine plate, green tray, green and pink wine glasses (

August 26th, 2009 |

Reusable Placecards

chalkboard napkin rings

This stylish product doubles as reusable place cards and napkin rings. Simply write the names of your guests directly onto the napkin rings with the slate pencil and remove with the sponge eraser, both included in the set of 4 from MoMA.

August 25th, 2009 |

Tomato Fest Dinner Party

tomato fest dinner party

Food-wise, late summer may be my F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E time of the year! Why, you ask?! Tomato season.

In honor of this magnificent time of the year, host your own tomato fest dinner party. Using a color palette of bright reds, yellows and greens, set your table using what else?! Tomatoes as your centerpiece! Stack bowls on top of bowls, piles of them on top of cake plates, mix different colored tomatoes (and maybe throw in a few leaves here and there)….colorful, theme-oriented and you can eat them after the party! :)

Try to incorporate tomatoes into each dish you serve at your party…..and if you are looking for suggestions:

tomato fest recipes

1) Grilled Tomatoes with a Basil Vinaigrette 2) Chilled Tomato Soup with Avocado Salsa 3) Spicy Fried Noodles with Tomatoes and Cabbage 4) Adobo Flank Steak with Corn-Tomato Relish 5) Sun-Dried Tomato Jam 6) Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumbers 7) Spicy Bloody Mary 8) Tomato Tart

Images: tomato centerpiece (, little girl (, napkin (, tomatoes (

August 21st, 2009 |

Owl Themed Child’s Birthday Party

owl themed birthday party

Don’t you just love those first signs of Fall?!  The rich autumn colors, the chunky sweaters, and a whole new season worth of parties to plan!

Let’s kick this season off with an owl-themed birthday party, perfect for a little boy or girl.  Invite your guests with this cheerful invitation from Tiny Prints, and decorate your party space with bright, autumn colors.

When you are entertaining a bunch of children for a couple hours, activities and crafts are an absolute must!  Since it is back-to-school time, this is a fun craft that the kids will enjoy using at school:  Set up a craft table with pre-cut felt shapes, pencils, glue and tiny buttons (for the owl’s eyes).  Have each child glue together 3 different pencil toppers – an owl, a mushroom and an acorn – and tie them together with a cute ribbon for them to take home.  (You could also attach these felt shapes onto toothpicks and use them as cupcake toppers) For a more detailed tutorial, check out Whimsy-Girl.

The highlight of the party will definitely be these charming owl cupcakes!  Start with a chocolate iced cupcake, add a couple of oreo halves cream side up, two junior mints for eyes, and a Runts banana candy for the nose.  So cute, and perfect for our Fall theme!

When the party comes to an end, send the kids home with their “bouquet” of pencils and a goodie bag!  Dress up cellophane bags full of candy with scrapbook paper to look like owls.  For a more details idea, check out

Images: owl invitation (, kids (, cupcakes (, dishes (

August 21st, 2009 |

Kid-Friendly, Party-Ready Snacks

kid friendly snacks

Whether you are planning the menu for a kid’s birthday party, or coming up with a creative snack for a playdate….finding snack ideas that are not only healthy, but that your kids are going to want to eat….it’s not easy!

Parent’s Magazine came up with these 4 ideas….and they are sure to get rave reviews from all of your little critics!

Back to School at The Land of Nod

August 19th, 2009 |


Make the most of peach season with 8 of my favorite recipes!

peach appetizer recipes

These appetizers taste refreshingly like SUMMER!  Try pancetta-wrapped peaches, peaches with serrano ham and basil, a grilled peach and mozzarella salad, or pizza with peach, prosciutto and goat cheese.

peach dessert recipes

Freshen up your dessert repertoire with these sensational treats!  Fresh peach gelees, grilled peaches with ricotta, peach and champagne floats, or peach cheesecake with balsamic syrup….so many desserts, so little time!

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 (, Amsale Nadine Dress (,  Yellow Wedding Cake
(, Anemones Bouquet (, Yellow & Black Desserts
(, Letterpress ‘Fluted Bracket: Black’ Invitation

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…’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 (, diaper cake (, baby shower invitation (, square cakes (, green lanterns (, pink polka dot table setting (

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