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 (bonappetit.com)

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 (minted.com), sunflower centerpiece (inmagine.com), napkin roll (via Napkins with a Twist), table setting (horchow.com)

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 (tinyprints.com), cupcakes (flickr.com), place setting (realsimple.com), grass plant centerpiece (nancyliuchin.com), plush animals (landofnod.com)

August 12th, 2009 |

Housewarming Party: Home Sweet Home

housewarming party home sweet home

My husband and I are moving into our very first home next week….so I have moving, decorating, and housewarming parties on the brain lately! A housewarming party is a great way not only to show off your new home, but also a chance to gather your friends and get decorating ideas!

I have found some fabulous new home stationery out there that I just had to share with you……

Houswarming Invite 1

I love the simplicity and warmth of this invitation from Minted….it would be perfect for a Fall gathering!

Houswarming Invite 2

This lawnmower announcement from Minted would be so cute for a family moving into the suburbs, right?!

Houswarming Invite 3

“We’ve planted new roots” – a charming, yet playful announcement from Tiny Prints.

Houswarming Invite 4

This is the announement I chose for us from Tiny Prints….I love how it pictures the perfect little neighborhood.

Houswarming Invite 5

Simple and sophisticated, this announcement from Wedding Paper Divas would be perfect for a house or apartment!

Images: dining room, wine, cheese (potterybarn.com), lattice housewarming invitation (minted.com), potted hydrangeas (customeventgroup.com)

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…..you 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 (inmagine.com), invitation (minted.com), tea party goodie bag (birthdayinabox.com), magic wands (amazon.com), cake (pbkids.com), tea party (divinepartyconcepts.com)

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…..here 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…..you 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 (nancyluichin.com), dinner party invitation (minted.com), champagne (brides.com), pearl cupcakes (le cupcake via flickr.com), silver and gold votive candles, silver napkins, and silver glitter tea light holders (plumparty.com)

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