December 28th, 2012 |

Kelly’s Christmas Eve Tablesetting

Good Morning, Everyone!  Although we are still technically on a little holiday break, I wanted to pop in to say hello and show you all a peek into my Christmas Eve party.  We hosted my extended family of thirteen for dinner and as always, I had fun setting the table!

My Kate Spade china gets used less frequently than I prefer, so I knew that I wanted to design the table around it.  I took inspiration from the tablesetting I did for last year’s holiday magazine, as well as incorporated a few new ideas.

Since my china is black and white, I wanted to introduce a pop color in the tablecloth.  Green is my signature color, and with Pantone naming it theirs for 2013, I figured it was perfect.  I had a hard time locating a tablecloth in the exact emerald green I wanted, so I had one made.  It actually ended up being a very cost effective idea – I found both 60″ and 120″ width fabric on fabricdirect.com in my desired color – so I was able to make one tablecloth to cover my very long, extended (via card tables) table.  I had a local seamstress hem it for me, and add a black and white gingham stripe ribbon trim.

I decided to forgo traditional floral centerpieces this year, and go for something a touch more modern.  I wasn’t sure what that was until about the 22nd, but I found these darling white trees at Z Gallerie (and they were 50% off at that point!) and knew they would be perfect.  I jazzed them up a bit with black and white stripe grosgrain ribbon at the bases, as well as added it to the base of black candles.  To add a touch of glam, I placed silver ball candles from Crate and Barrel on my polka dot tibit plates from Kate Spade as part of the centerpiece.

Instead of traditional placecards, this year I decided to have a little fun with my guests’ monograms.  I had a red monogram ornament from WH Hostess made up for everyone, and tied it along with a silver jingle bell to their napkin.  (and yes, if you look closely, you can see me photographing the table in the reflection on the bell!) The napkins were made from our black berries custom fabric.  It’s a pattern that I have always loved and was able to also carry over into Cake Plate Clings for the event too.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my holiday party….I wish their were more pictures, but once I started cooking I got too busy to take any more!

December 12th, 2012 |

The Hubby Turns 30

This past weekend, my hubby turned 30!  I’ve been waiting for him to catch up to me for a few years now….so of course I had to throw a party!  He specifically asked me not to….so it had to be a surprise!  ;)  I invited our closest friends and family over to celebrate with a cocktail party, and since the December birthdate lends itself to holiday decor, I had to be extra careful for my color palette and design to read “manly” and “winter” instead of “Christmas!”

I chose a grey, white, green and navy color palette, and used stripes and gingham check as my patterns to look a bit like haberdashery. I kept things VERY simple.  Three tables: a bar for beer tasting, a buffet table full of appetizers and small bites, and desserts.

The buffet table was anchored with three tall centerpieces featuring white hydrangeas and cotton berries, and I used all white serving pieces to give the table a cohesive look.  Green striped Cake Plate Clings lined the plates and tiered serving pieces for a little added pop.

I decided against traditional food tent cards to save space on the table, and instead opted to do plaques that I hung off ribbon.  These are just a few of the appetizers we served: beef tenderloin sliders, shrimp shooters, a cheese plate, crudités, a couple of dips, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts and stuffed mushrooms.

And for dessert….gorgeous macarons and one delicious birthday cake.

{please forgive the photography lighting….the lights were dim and there were tons of candles so although the room was cozy, it did not make for the best pictures!}

December 5th, 2012 |

Christmas Cocktails & Desserts

When it came to designing a Christmas party for the holiday issue of The Party Dress magazine, I decided that I wanted to put a chic, girly spin to it with a festive color palette of pink, red and green.  I also wanted to provide you with ideas that could be used for either an adult cocktail party or a family-friendly celebration.

The color palette was inspired by my favorite Christmas invitation of the season, the multi-colored ikat party invitation.  It’s crisp and modern and looks great mixed with lots of different patterns.

Welcome guests at the door with a tray of champagne!  (or Shirley Temples if it’s a kids party!) Our lucite tray looks light and airy and with removable inserts, you can change out the pattern to coordinate with any event.  An assortment of pink, green and red striped straws from Shop Sweet Lulu were dressed up with straw flags with cute sayings like “eat, drink and be merry” and “happy everything”.

You can incorporate your color palette into the gifts under the tree too!  Here are two of my favorite littles taking a peek at their Christmas gifts!

The tablesetting was a lot of fun to put together.  I had a tablecloth made with a hot pink, tonal polka dot fabric, and napkins made from our Christmas chevron fabric to play with patterns.  I tied the napkins with a green sequin ribbon, and a personalized monogram ornament (which also served as a party favor).  The centerpiece was made with white hydrangeas and red tulips and I flanked it with two white nutcrackers.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the delicious dessert table details!  Lots of yummy ideas that you can incorporate into your own holiday parties!

 

December 4th, 2012 |

Click to Print {Free Holiday Printables}

I know that the holiday season can be stressful.  You want to do SO.MANY.THINGS: bake cookies, cut down the perfect tree, select the perfect gifts and wrap them with unique trimmings, throw the perfect party for friends & family.  It’s takes a lot of time to be the perfect hostess, so I teamed up with HP Print this season to gift all of you a collection of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES.  5 darling designs that are sure to help you accessorize your party in a flash.

Whether you are planning a holiday dinner, a cocktail party or a family dinner, this set of FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES has 5 items that will dress up your event.  First up, a menu card in a crisp red quilt pattern with elegant touches of green.  This could be used on individual plates or in a picture frame on a buffet table.  The second item is a red name plaque that could be used as a placecard.  I used a crisp red and white stripe ribbon to weave thru the plaque to add a touch of holiday spirit.  Once combined, it’s the perfect size to lay across a napkin.

No party would be complete without some bubbly!  Welcome your guests in style with a tray full of champagne glasses.  Add some festivity to your display with striped straws embellished with our third printable item: straw flags.  Offered in both red and green, the flags offer up seasonal greetings such as “mix and mingle”, “happy everything”, “be merry” and “holly jolly”.

When dessert time rolls around, individual treats like cupcakes, mini tarts or pies, or cake pops are a great option.  Easy to serve, tidy to eat, and you as the host won’t get tied up slicing cake.  I designed a set of charming 2″ round tags featuring a bough of holly, and sayings such as “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Everything” that could be used for cupcake toppers, cake pop sticks or you could even use them as stickers.

Our fifth printable item is a 3 inch gift tag or sticker that could be used for party favors or gift giving.  Offered in three different sayings, they are a darling way to dress up gifts this season.

I hope you enjoy these FREE HOLIDAY PRINTABLES brought to you by WH Hostess and HP Print.  You can CLICK TO PRINT to use the files.  Have fun!

“This holiday season, let loved ones know how much you care. Use your favorite photos to create something personalized and unique for everyone on your list. Make it memorable. Make it meaningful. Make it matter. Go to hp.com/holiday for inspiration and ideas.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by HP via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of HP.

November 27th, 2012 |

Pier 1 Imports® Holiday Entertaining

Known for their colorful, one-of-a-kind-items and unique holiday decor, Pier 1 Imports is the perfect spot to head to when styling a holiday table.  When offered the opportunity to shop their latest holiday finds and put together a holiday tablesetting to inspire you, our readers, I jumped at the chance.

There are so many different ways you could go….sophisticated, glam, shabby chic….but I decided to go with a traditional red, white and green color palette.  Crisp and festive, I think this tablesetting would be perfect for Christmas brunch or a family dinner party.  I fell in love with their peppermint placemats.  Especially the beaded trim!  That set the tone for my table and I carried the stripe throughout in a few details.

I love a layered table….so I stacked together the peppermint placemats, my basic white plates, and then topped them with both my cloth napkin and a mini bowl full of Christmas candy.  I tied the napkins with a striped grosgrain ribbon and a large red jingle bell.  The bell added a touch of shimmer to the table, and also made for a festive sound when moved around the table.

I wanted a centerpiece with a little height.  I stacked two of Pier 1 Imports’ white, fluted edge cake stands together and arranged them with red candles, some peppermint salt water taffy, and red jingle bells.  It just goes to show you that you can repurpose your entertaining basics – cake stands aren’t just for desserts! I also added a few peppermint votive candles to the table to tie in the striped theme.

A textured white tablecloth really made all of the accessories pop and look very crisp and modern.  I encourage you to visit Pier 1 this season to pick up some extra-special accessories perfect for your holiday celebrations and gifting needs.

“If it’s interesting, if it’s impressive, if it’s colorful and cute and one-of-a-kind—then odds are it’s probably from Pier 1 Imports®. After all, Pier 1 has been the place for unique finds for over 40 years. Our buyers travel the world’s major capitals and small villages hunting for the kinds of treasures you can’t find just anywhere—fresh and fragrant candles, exotic wicker, hand-painted dinnerware, gorgeous textiles and thoughtful hand crafted gifts. Find what speaks to you at Pier 1 Imports®.”

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pier 1 Imports® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pier 1 Imports®.

Resources: cake stands, mini white bowls, red jingle bells, peppermint placemats, peppermint votive candle holders (pier1.com), cake plate clings decorative liners on cake stands (whhostess.com), candy (candywarehouse.com)

November 19th, 2012 |

Thanksgiving Table

Can you believe Thanksgiving is in a few short days?  Although my parents host Thanksgiving dinner, I always help set a beautiful table. We tend to go more sophisticated and glam for the tablesetting (for 15!), so when it comes to my November dinner parties I tend to lean more towards the rustic, Fall look.

I recently styled this tablesetting for the Holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Using linens in rich, Fall colors, dark brown charger plates, and metallic gold pumpkins (I made those with a couple quick coats of gold spray paint), I was able to create a warm and inviting family table.

One of my favorite elements on the table are these bronze wishbone napkin rings from Pottery Barn. They complimented my tablesetting beautifully, and I know are going to become a cherished item for future Fall parties.

I would love to know: How do you set your Thanksgiving table?  Do you go rustic, casual, formal?  Share your ideas with us!

For more Holiday Entertaining Ideas, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

buy a printed copy   |   read the digital copy

November 7th, 2012 |

Thanksgiving: Placecards

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in just two short weeks?  I tell you, this Fall is flying by and I have a feeling the holiday season will too.  We have TONS of inspiration and ideas for you to celebrate the holidays this year, and can’t wait to jump into sharing!

The holiday issue of TPD Magazine is launching VERY SOON, and is full of fabulous ideas for you.  (have you pre-ordered your copy yet?) Until then, I thought I would share a couple of placecard ideas for your Thanksgiving tablesetting.  Looking for something a little different this year?  These are the perfect solution.

I love this little banner placed on the silverware.  It’s sweet, doesn’t take up valuable table space and you could really customize the look of it to coordinate with any color palette.

For a more rustic tablesetting, I love the idea of incorporating gourds and mini pumpkins {especially white ones}.  Attaching a paper leaf personalized with your guest’s name is a lovely touch.

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving ideas, and make sure to follow our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board for new additions daily.

Images: tablesetting (westelm.com), banner placecard (stylemepretty.com), pumpkin placecard (becomingthemrs.com)

October 23rd, 2012 |

Halloween Family Dinner

Halloween is typically a busy, busy day for moms. The pre- Halloween costume preparation, the day of school parties and parades, and the afternoon full of trick or treating. By the time dinner rolls around, who has time to pull together a special meal? You ALL do! Our goal is to celebrate family and with these simple ideas, you can do just that!

I like creating a table full of seasonal colors and fall touches.  Layering the dinner table with a spider web tablecloth, orange chevron paper placemats, and centerpiece of pumpkins, flowers and candy. Yellow sunflowers add a pop of color, without being too matchy-matchy.  Pumpkins covered in glitter add a touch of glam and sparkle, and what kids wouldn’t be exited to see bowls of candy?!

Speaking of candy….carry the theme throughout the placesettings by using a big pumpkin lollipop (we got these from candywarehouse.com) and tie a cute tag with each person’s name on it for a creative placecard.

Delicious sugar cookies from Estelle and June served as dessert…don’t you love those black pumpkins?!

Candy corn-flavored salt water taffy from Candywarehouse.com served as both a dessert on the table for our guests, but also boxed up for a party favor.  You can find our cute Halloween gift stickers here.

Stay tuned this afternoon for a creative, simple idea for making Halloween pizzas for your family dinner party!

October 19th, 2012 |

DIY Halloween Milk Bottles

With Halloween quickly approaching, it’s time to start gathering up some simple ideas that you can recreate for a classroom party, a neighborhood gathering, or even to create a festive family dinner.  These ruffled paper bands from Jenny Dixon of Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line is PERFECT for any of these occasions.

Follow Jenny’s quick tips below, and you can view more information in the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

October 15th, 2012 |

Introducing….CAKE PLATE CLINGS

The entertaining industry has pretty much occupied my mind for the last 3 years. Definitely before, but especially since I started The Party Dress blog in 2009.  I have always a fan of pretty things (I started collecting pieces of china as a teenager), and always the one to throw up my hand to host a party.  Over the years, my cake stands, pedestals and tiered serving pieces have grown to be quite the collection.  I am typically drawn to the basic white or glass, knowing that it offers endless possibilities in terms of embellishing with paper liners, ribbon trim, etc. to coordinate with my events.

After months (and months, and months) of development, I am SO excited to finally introduce you to my latest product and obsession: Cake Plate Clings.

Cake Plate Clings (patent-pending) are a novel series of decorative linings designed for cake stands, pedestals and serving dishes. They offer a fresh, reusable update to the traditional disposable paper doilies and liners. They are used for decoration, placed under the food for ornamentation. Offered in vibrant colors and patterns from WH Hostess Social Stationery, Cake Plate Clings are:

washable  |  reusable  |  non-adhesive

slide-free  |  residue-free

printed with environmentally friendly ink and material

Gone are the days of paper doilies and liners that slide off your plate, show grease and oil stains, and are one-time use.  With Cake Plate Clings, you can dress up your serving vessel on any given day to add a touch of pattern or color to your kitchen table.  Embellish a plate of desserts you are delivering to a friend, or color coordinate it with a party.  It’s the perfect way to dress up your basic white or glass cake stands. Did I mention that they can be personalized with a monogram, initial or name?

Offered in 5 different sizes, and multiple shapes (round, square and scalloped edge), dozens of gorgeous patterns (preppy & bright colors, graphic black & white, holiday patterns, and even Clings for Kids!), the possibilities are endless, making them customizable to your needs and style.  Prices range from $10 for a 6″ – up to $20 for a 13″, making they a very affordable accessory!They allow you to add a fashionable element to your tabletop display or serving desserts at any event, by clinging to your cake stand, pedestal or serving dishes without adhesive.

They are incredibly simple to use and to care for, making your job as a hostess that much easier. This is how you apply your cling:

Step 1:

Carefully remove your cling from the paper backing, hold over your clean serving piece to align it to one edge.

Step 2:

Gently spread the cling across the serving piece, pressing down along the way.

Step 3:

Continue laying the cling atop your serving piece, until it is completely covered.

Step 4:

Once your cling is in place, use your fingers to gently smooth away any air bubbles.  Your cling will stay in place until you are ready to remove it.

Care & Cleaning:

Gently remove the cling from your serving piece, and wash with warm water.  Dry and place on the paper backing to store flat for future use.

Cake Plate Clings are currently offered in a variety of preppy patterns, black & white basics, scalloped monograms and kid patterns.  We also have a gorgeous collection of holiday clings!  Offered in both round and square shapes, these festive clings will add to your holiday decor, and be the perfect accessory for parties!  You better believe that I will be gifting these to my friends this year!  Top a darling white cake stand (these are some of our favorites) with one of these…your gift will definitely stand out from the crowd!

What advantages do Cake Plate Clings have over traditional paper liners?

Paper doilies and liners are one-time use, disposable, show grease and oil stains from food, and can slide around on your cake stand or serving piece.  Cake Plate Clings grip your serving piece without adhesive, so they do not slide.  Cake Plate Clings can be washed and reused, giving you more bang for your buck!  Due to the material, they do not show grease and oil stains from food.

What does the material feel like?

The material used for the Cake Plate Clings feels kind of like a wall decal, with a nice smooth hand and glossy finish.  Both the material and ink used are environmentally-friendly.

Can I wash my Cake Plate Cling?

Absolutely!  Gently wash them with warm water, pat dry and then place on the original paper backing to store flat.

What if an area of my cling isn’t gripping to my cake stand or serving piece?

Apply a small amount of water to the back of the cling, and it will help grip to your serving piece.

Are Cake Plate Clings available for wholesale?

Yes!  Our collection of patterned Cake Plate Clings are available wholesale.  Please contact wholesale@whhostess.com for more information.

Can I find Cake Plate Clings anywhere else?

No!  WH Hostess has developed this patent-pending product, and are the only suppliers that we are aware of currently.

For more information about Cake Plate Clings, you can read our brochure here.

Visit whhostess.com to view the complete collection.

 

 

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