The Party Dress Magazine

the party dress magazine - issue 8

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February 6th, 2012 |

Quick Centerpiece Update

My readers and clients are always asking me for tips on updating their centerpieces, whether it be for a party, or just an accent on their kitchen table.  My favorite tip is to cover a basic, glass vase with either paper, fabric or ribbon.  It’s a simple and very inexpensive update!  Also a great way to coordinate your centerpiece with a party color palette!

Images via Country Living and Better Homes and Gardens.

February 2nd, 2012 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Barnyard BBQ

When it comes to planning parties down South (Houstons) in November, there is nothing like hosting a birthday bbq outside (which we would KILL to do here in Chicago!), especially when it involves a petting zoo, horse rides and some pretty darling decorations!

We were thrilled to be asked to design a custom collection of party goods for this Barnyard BBQ held in honor of Olivia’s birthday….and I’m even more thrilled to be able to show you the fabulous images from the party!  Olivia’s mom is one of Houston’s premiere wedding planners, Christine from Belle of the Ball, and we are always thrilled to work with her. (Do you remember her daughter, Sadie’s mermaid party from last summer?)

The collection was designed around a red and aqua blue color palette.  To add a preppy, modern spin to your typical farm party, I used animal silhouettes along with a red barn (all dressed up for the party with a pennant banner) on the invitation and coordinating party goods.  We introduced accents of yellow and green in a colorful leaf pattern that you will see throughout the collection.

Olivia’s party was set on the property of their beautiful home in Houston, and they decorated with red and blue oversized balloons, our patterned pennant banner, tables set with traditional red and white check tablecloths and galvanized tub centerpieces holding our centerpiece sticks.  Each child had a cowboy hat, a bandana and a sheriff badge sitting at their place.

The kids enjoyed a petting zoo with baby goats, bunnies, ducks and more. How cute are they?

Don’t you just love these cups?  Christine had us design a coordinating logo to have printed on plain, white styrofoam cups….a perfect addition to the party!  Who Made the Cake created an amazing cake for the party, and a special one for the birthday girl, featuring our red animal silhouettes and a 3-dimensional red barn on top.

Olivia clearly enjoyed her own little birthday cake, also featuring the red animal silhouettes, and served on her coordinating melamine plate!  Isn’t she darling!?

Photography by Goodlight Photography

Supplies & Vendors Used:

Balloons, Stripey Straws and Favor Bags (Sweet Lulu), Decor (Belle of the Ball), Cake (Who Made the Cake), Linens and Chair Rentals (Aztec),  Bounce House and Cotton Candy Machine (Incredible Events), Face Painter and Clown (Daisy and Curly), and Invitation and Paper Goods (WH Hostess)

 

February 1st, 2012 |

February News

Happy February!  I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2012 is flying by already!  We have been so busy over here, I thought I would take a few moments out and fill you in on all of the new and exciting things going on at The Party Dress and WH Hostess right now.

We welcomed two new contributors to The Party Dress in January: Jane, our WH Hostess college intern, as well as Casi from CupcakeMAG.  I hope you have enjoyed reading their posts!

January was spent cleaning up last year and preparing for some big parties early this year.  We had an absolutely amazing holiday season, and it left us with very little downtime!  We worked hard this month to finish up some new collections (did you see our new line of adult notecards? oh, and the new chunky notepad patterns?!) as well as put the finishing touches on our brand-new-just-launching-oh-so-fabulous wholesale line.  Fresh, modern, preppy patterns on so many cute stationery products….to say we are smitten is an understatement.  We are working with some boutiques across the country, but if you know of a store we should contact….pass it along!

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, remember to get your orders in for our darling collection of personalized valentines for kiddos.  (who am I kidding?! I am totally sending out the monogram ones from myself!)

We have a few big client parties that are in the works that have the makings to be just amazing. I am hoping my clients allow me to share pictures with all of you soon!

Speaking of pictures, one of the best parts of my job is receiving photos after a party – I just love seeing how our party goods are used!  Just this week, I received photos from 3 amazing parties….stay tuned, they will be up on the blog soon!  (one hint, check out our new barnyard farm animals collection!)  Have you used our products for a party?!  We would LOVE to see pictures!  You can e-mail them to parties@thepartydress.net.  Who knows, they may just end up being featured on the blog!

The biggest news this month is that the Spring 2012 issue of The Party Dress Magazine is now available for pre-order!  This issue literally makes me smile every time I think about it.  Amazing contributors.  Amazing parties, photography and ideas.  Trust me when I say, each issue is getting better and better….and this one is going to knock your socks off!  The digital issue will launch on Monday, March 12th and the pre-ordered printed issues will ship on or before that date.  Charynn and I are finishing up photo shoots this week and it’s going to be very hard not to share the ideas with you just yet.  Maybe we’ll have to do a little sneak peek!

Texas fans, take note:  I am headed to Ft. Worth the last weekend of February to speak on hosting stylish parties at the Project Mom conference.  In the area?!  Come join me!

We are SO close to hitting 10,000 fans on facebook!  CRAZY!! Are you a fan?!  If not, join us!  If so, please pass us along to your friends!  If we hit 10,000 by the time the magazine launches we are going to have one BIG celebration + giveaway!

That’s it for today, my friends!  I look forward to a month of creative ideas, trends and new parties to share!  Happy February!

 

 

January 31st, 2012 |

Party Perfect Palettes – Part II

Did you enjoy Part I of my Party Perfect Palettes from last week?  I’m back today with two more bright and cheerful palettes to inspire Spring parties.

Put on your sunglasses. Spring is all about bright! Here are some tips when working with brights:

All About Tangerine

All about Tangerine! You know with Pantone’s Color of the Year being Tangerine Tango — it will be everywhere. But, it’s like pink – you never get sick of a beautiful bright & cheery color. For a oh-so-chic look pair Tangerine with a light seafoam. Perfect inspiration can be found on PizzazzerieNeed more of a pop? Call on Magenta. She’s your gal! This is where you mix-and-match patterns & prints to make that dessert table really stand out. Kelly’s Pink Orange Ikat invite would be perfect to send to guests. To really top it off, add a pop of turquoise for one perfect trio. Tangerine with a splash of hot pink ikat and turquoise accents is your go-to inspiration board for Spring.

Images:Room InspirationIkat FabricPink & Orange PartySomewhere SplendidHot Pink Ikat TablescapePink Orange Ikat Invitation 

Neon

This would be where you will definitely need those sunglasses. We are headed to the bright side this Spring as neon colors are sure to make a splash this Spring. For some of us, it’s a major flashback to the eighties but has totally gotten a makeover. You may remember neon making an appearance last summer but this year, the eye-catching fluorescence are even better. {if that’s even possible!} Can you handle it? I think so!

Images: Brian Atwood HeelsNeon PartyNeon ColorsNeon PipingNeon Flatware 

Don’t forget when hosting a party, make sure you find the perfect party dress — after all, you must be the hostess’ with the mostess’. Not just in the kitchen, that goes for style too!

 

 

 

 

 

January 27th, 2012 |

Super Bowl Desserts

Can you believe that the Super Bowl is next weekend already?  January can be such a boring month, so Super Bowl Sunday can be a great opportunity to gather friends for some snacks, cocktails and fun.  My sweet tooth got the best of me today as I was searching for creative food ideas with a football theme…..take a look at the ideas I have put together!

Football whoopie pies….darling, delicious, this idea from Make Merry Events is sure to please a crowd! For a quick dessert, make (or pick up some store-bought brownies) and use a cookie cutter to cut them into the shape of a football.  You can embellish them by piping white royal icing on to them. For a more mature crowd, these turtle bars sound DELISH!  Everyone loves a root beer float!  I love the idea of making a root beer float cupcake!!

Are you throwing or attending a Super Bowl party this year?  If so, what do you plan to make?

Images: football whoopie pies (makemerryevents.com), football brownies (bhg.com), turtle brownies (bonappetit.com), root beer float cupcakes (bhg.com)

 

January 25th, 2012 |

Creative Window Seating Chart

When it comes to seating a large party, whether it be a wedding, birthday party or even charity event, placecards can be quite an expense.  I love the idea of creating a visually appealing seating chart for guests to view during the cocktail hour.  Take a few creative cues from this one made from old windows.  Back the windows with a solid fabric, and write on the window panes with a paint pen.  Simple and stunning!

Image via The Knot

January 24th, 2012 |

Party Perfect Palettes – Part I

Last week I shared with you how to entertain in style, keeping in mind the 2012 entertaining trends. And this week, it is all about being chic & loving parties! 

One of the very first things you decide on when planning a party is the colors. Recently, the colors we see in fashion have transferred into the home and served as inspiring color palettes. It’s important to remember that fashion – it’s not just clothes, you want to party in style too right? I am going to show you just how to pull color trends from Spring’s best-in-show hues found at home and in your wardrobe and see how fab they can be incorporated into a party!

Grey

Almost every nail collection we have seen for the Winter of 2012 incorporates grey, which I love by the way. In the fashion world, it is the perfect muted color to add a pop too. Well now, it’s about taking a drab color and making it fab. Pair a great grey with a bright yellow, or tonesd down mustard, purple, or turquoise  – a good contrasting pair that creates an ahhh as guest enter the room. Step out of the box and make a simple neutral shine.

Less is More

Sometimes you may just need a little dose of glamour in life — white, soft pink and a side of sparkle. Oh, and Audrey too. A classic palette gives you lots of options to fill your tablescape with pretties. It’s classy, chic and just simply elegant.
Stay tuned for more Party Perfect Trends later this week!!

 

January 23rd, 2012 |

Headed to Texas with Project Mom

Happy Monday, Everyone!  We’re starting this week off with some fabulous news…..I’m headed to Texas (twice) in the next couple of months to be a featured speaker at the Project Mom conferences!

Project Mom is an organization that provides valuable resources and enjoyable events for moms of all ages and stages. Project Mom events include one-day get-togethers and weekend-long getaways for moms who want to be inspired and rejuvenated while relishing some much-needed “me” time. The events include inspiring speakers, practical break-out sessions, a unique shopping experience and a whole lot of fabulous girl time!

I am thrilled to be hosting a session called “Stylish Inspirations for Everyday Occasions” and can’t wait to share some of my favorite party tips with all of the attendees!  I encourage you to take a look at Project Mom’s website and facebook page, and if you are in the Ft. Worth or Dallas area, please…..come join me!

 

 

January 19th, 2012 |

HGTV.com Game Night Feature

This post is a long time coming!  Last Fall, I was asked by the editors of HGTV.com to come up with some unique ideas for hosting a Game Night party for a feature they were doing on entertaining ideas at home, during the winter months.  I was thrilled to be asked, and of course quickly whipped together some ideas that I think you can all re-create for your game night.

I added a graphic impact with bold black and white striped tablecloths throughout the party.  I wanted a playful centerpiece for our dinner table, so I added black dot stickers to the side of a white vase to look like a dice.  A pomander of red carnations filled the vase and made a bold statement.

I tied the napkins with a little tag featuring playing card characters, and each placesetting included a cupcake accessorized with a fondant dice from Two Sugar Babies housed under a mini glass dome.

I created a small dessert table that would be readily available to guests so they could grab desserts in between hands.  Desserts included poker chip cookies from Allyson Jane, brownie bites accessorized with fondant dice, a jar of red hot candies from Candywarehouse.com, and cupcakes decorated with mini playing card cupcake toppers (which I whipped up in about 2 seconds!).

I hope you enjoyed viewing my ideas for hosting a fun game night.  What are some of yours?

January 18th, 2012 |

Game Night!

Most of us find January to be a bit of an “in-between” month.  The spirit of the holiday season has come to an end, and we are still a whole month away from the pink and red candy and candle-lit dinners of Valentine’s Day.  As I look out the window, snow is falling everywhere, and there’s no way I’m heading out the front door without bundling up in my Uggs and warm winter coat.  The idea of playing in the snow seems appealing for a while, but if you’re like me, you prefer to avoid the freezing temperatures. Which can only mean one thing, it’s time to get creative with some fun indoor activities!

Throwing a game night or poker party is the perfect bridge in your calender between the holidays and cold weather.  Gather up your closest friends to play some Blackjack, Texas Hold’em or even some good ole’ Crazy Eights! You can make a memorable night out of the spontaneous occasion with these cute and creative dessert ideas to set the casino mood from Kelly’s feature on HGTV.com! (more details coming tomorrow!)

I’m in love with these jam-filled playing card cookies! You can switch it up with whatever type of jam your guests desire from strawberry to apricot. I would recommend sticking with red jams such as strawberry or raspberry, and dark jams such as blueberry to create the classic red and black poker night theme!  You could even divide your guests up between the card shapes of hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds for a fun and competitive team event of Spoons (my personal favorite card game)!  Check out this recipe for the full how-to.

Image via Mocha Cafe

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