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… 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 (, invitation (, tea party goodie bag (, magic wands (, cake (, tea party (

August 7th, 2009 |

Surprise Giveaway: The Best Summer Drinks Book

The Best Summer Drinks Giveaway

Okay, gang….this is a fun one!  I just received the most darling book….The Best Summer Drinks by Ray Foley, the publisher of Bartender Magazine.  It’s an adorable, tiny book jam-packed with cocktail and appetizer recipes (500 to be exact).  This book would make the perfect hostess gift (it’s only $4.99!).

So, here is where the fun part comes in….

Like I mentioned above, this book offers 500 cocktail recipes – but the names of these cocktails are hysterical!  The Cape Codder, Love Bite, Grape Hopper….the list goes on.  These cocktails could definitely inspire the theme for a party!  Seeing as though we are in the last month of summer, I know you are all cramming in at least one last summer bash.  Leave a comment here telling us what type of party you are hosting (or want to host) this summer….the more creative the better!  We’ll randomly choose 2 winners that will each receive a copy of The Best Summer Drinks.  Contest starts NOW….ends Monday, August 10, 2009 at midnight pst time.

Before I leave you for the weekend… is the recipe from the book that I will be trying out for brunch on Sunday:

Go Green, Be Mary

By the way, how cute would this drink be for a bridal shower for a girl named Mary?!

1 1/2 oz. 360 vodka

3 1/2 oz. bloody mary mix

2 dashes tabasco

Squeeze lemon wedge

Celery stalk for garnish

Lemon wedge for garnish

Pour liquids into a glass, garnish with the celery stalk and lemon wedge and serve.

August 7th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Summer Bouquet

Summer Bouquet

Entertaining this weekend?!  Here is a thoughtful idea…

Gather flowers from your garden and create tiny bouquets for each of your guests.  Place them on each person’s napkin – not only will it dress up your table setting, but it will serve as a delightful party favor too!

Image via Inmagine

August 6th, 2009 |

Divine Dinner Party

Grey Dinner Party (small)

This darling invitation from Minted inspired this party idea; ideal for a rehearsal dinner or a dinner party!  Love the colors, love the design….just plain LOVE it!

If you are planning a “dressy” dinner party – consider using a palette of metallic silver and pewter mixed with plum.  I love the shimmer mixed with the deep hue of one of Fall’s hottest colors.  Rich, yet modern-looking.  And oh, so sophisticated!  Speaking of sophisticated….make sure to dress yourself in a coordinating hue.  This ruffled-trim dress from Milly fits the bill!

Since we are hosting a “dressy” dinner party, it’s time to pull out the good stuff.  You know what I’m talking about…  Dust off that china, polish the silver, and make sure your crystal is sparkling!  Add a modern touch to your classics with a few new items from Plum Party Supplies.  I found shimmered, silver napkins that are stunning, and two different types of votive candle holders.  Silver and gold metallic glass votives, or silver glitter tea light holders… choose which one is more your style!

divine dinner party supplies

Serve your guests passed champagne after dinner.  To dress up your drinks, add a rim of pink sugar on each glass.  Simply wet the rim of your champagne flute and dip into pink fine sugar.  To carry the shimmer of the silver throughout the party, serve cupcakes decorated with over-sized pearl or silver sprinkles.

Images: table setting (, dinner party invitation (, champagne (, pearl cupcakes (le cupcake via, silver and gold votive candles, silver napkins, and silver glitter tea light holders (

August 6th, 2009 |

Party Idea: Marshmallow Mania

marshmallow mania recipes

I have been seeing recipes for marshmallow desserts all over the web lately!  Here are a few recipes that I think are party-ready:

1. Vanilla-Flavored Homemade Marshmallows

I found these over at Rosa’s Yummy Yums – they look as cute as I bet they taste!  These would be adorable for a child’s birthday party.

2. Mint-Marshmallow Mousse Cake

Check this minty dessert out at Eat My Cake Now!

3. Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies

Three words: Chocolate.  Marshmallow.  Peanut Butter.  Need I say more?!  Find this delicious recipe at Tartelette.

4. Flavored Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies

The yummy cookie….but done in flavors!  Find the recipes for orange, hazelnut, cherry coconut, and hazelnut and frangelico-flavored cookies over at Test with Skewer.

5. Marshmallow-Chocolate-Peanut Butter Torte

Okay….my mouth is watering a little bit more with each picture!  This looks like it’s to die for!  Check it out at Lemonpi.

6. Homemade Mallows (with pretty pink frosting!)

I love the hot pink frosting on these!  So festive and I bet they taste delicious!  Try this take on the classic from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy.

Happy Baking!

August 5th, 2009 |

Back-to-School Kid-Friendly Bash

Back to school bash (small)Summer is going to end before we know it and soon you will be back into your school year schedule.  Host one last backyard bash before school starts to celebrate the end of summer with your kids.  The kids will be thrilled with just a table full of goodies and a yard to run around in.  So while the kids are occupied, entertain the parents with a casual dinner.

Use the back-to-school theme and run with it!  Cover your table with a long piece of black butcher block paper, and draw on placemats with a white pencil or paint pen.  Or cut out individual placemats from the black paper.  It will look like a chalkboard!  And if you add in each person’s name….it will double as your placecard, too.  Keep your centerpiece simple, line the center of the table with simple flowers such as daisies and tulips.  Use different types of vases – bowls, small vases, even glass mason jars, or glass milk bottles – to keep the look casual.

If you are looking for ideas for a menu – try a bread salad with tomatoes, lemon and cucumbers, buttermilk fried chicken, grilled corn-on-the-cob, and an old-fashioned latticed cherry pie.

Back to school bash food
Set up a kids table using the same black paper as a topper.  Instead of drawing on placemats, draw out ruled lines and letters to make it look like a handwriting lesson.  Provide the kids with plenty of easy-to-eat snacks….something they can grab on the run.  My vote would be for mini hot dogs, pb & j sandwiches (cut out in a cute shape, of course), cookies and rice crispy treats.

Casual, cheery, and fun for all….this back-to-school backyard bash is the perfect send-off to summer!

Images: kids (, table (, cookies and rice crispy treats (, mini hot dogs (

The Land of Nod Back to School 468x60

August 5th, 2009 |

Playdate Playdough

playdate playdough

Playdate activities….it’s always an endless search for something new and exciting that will keep the children occupied long enough for the mothers to enjoy a cup of coffee!

Playdough.  It’s an activity that all kids enjoy.  But spice it up a bit.  Make playdough cookies!

Same concept: make a batch of dough, dye it different colors, and let the kids build shapes with it.  The only difference, is that you bake the shapes and voila!  Not only did the kids have fun, but you have colorful cookies to enjoy as a treat!

This would make a great activity for a child’s birthday party, too!

Play Dough Cookies

The original recipe proposes cookies in lollipop form, but have your kids get creative and create cookies in all different shapes. Just be careful to bake similar sized cookies at a time. Besides their super cute looks, these really delivered tastewise – they are sugar cookies after all, with a pleasent crumbly texture from the cream cheese.

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • assorted colors of paste food coloring
  • 24 lollipop sticks (optional)

  1. In the electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until  light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir till soft dough forms. Divide dough into fourths. Tint each with a different food color. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Working with half of each color, shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and for each cookie place 1 pink, 1 green, 1 blue and 1 orange (I used red, yellow, blue and green) ball together to make 1 large ball. Shape into a 12 inch long roll (like a snake), starting at one end, coil roll to make a 2 3/4 inch round cookie. Place cookies 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into bottoms of cookies.
  4. Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Recipe via The Cookieshop in English

Back to School at The Land of Nod

August 4th, 2009 |

Cocktail Party: Color Coordinated

COLOR cocktail party (small)

Add a fun twist to your next cocktail party by decorating with COLOR!  Choose a color palette of three hues and break up your party into color-coordinated sections.  For example, I have chosen a fuchsia, orange and yellow color palette for this party inspiration.  Set your table up in three sections and include flowers, cocktails, appetizers, barware and edible garnishes in each section.   Use neutral elements such as a tall glass vase, or votive candles in each section to unify the look.  It’s somewhat of an “organization by color” project – but the final product will be so visual appealing!

When planning your food and drinks, try to keep your color palette in mind.  Serve a signature cocktail for each color.  For example, try a raspberry champagne cocktail (for the fuchsia), a mango cocktail (for the orange), and a lemoncello cooler (for the yellow).  Get creative with your food presentation too….instead of serving one large crudites tray, separate the veggies by color.  Place radishes on a plate with a small bowl of dip, carrots for the orange section, celery for the yellow section, and so on….

Bring in your pop colors with accessories.  This festive invitation from Wedding Paper Divas is perfect for my color palette, but it comes in other color ways as well…perfect for any party!  I found these great colored-glass votive candles at Plum Party Supplies.  They come in all different colors, and I was thrilled to find them in all three of my pop colors – fuchsia, orange, yellow!  These are great for placing in the different colored sections of my table, but will still give a unified look.

cocktail party candlelight

Images: invitation (, shrimp cocktail (, wine glasses (, table setting (

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