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 (

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


  • 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


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 (

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 (, sunflower centerpiece (, napkin roll (via Napkins with a Twist), table setting (

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 (, cupcakes (, place setting (, grass plant centerpiece (, plush animals (

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