Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

HWTM Holiday #1 – Berries & Branches

berries & branches
Hi Everyone –
We’re still working away on the main website…It’s proving to be more of a daunting task than I anticipated as the workload seems to just grow and grow – but the progress is exciting and can’t wait to share it with you when Phase 1 is ready!

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a sneak peek of what the site is all about, so I’m planning to post a few official Hostess with the Mostess™ holiday tabletop designs this week. The first design – featured today – is called "Berries & Branches " and is more of a playful design. I’ve posted a few images here, but you can get full details of how to create this tabletop by downloading the pdf (3.1 M) – which has some tabletop tips and more extensive imagery. The pdf actually follows the website template – so it should give you an idea of what’s in the works – and even more details will be available for each party theme when the website launches – including coordinating recipes & signature drink ideas for each theme.


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simrinI got my first peek at the fabulous simrin textiles collection from Grace at design*sponge a couple months ago and was thinking about them again recently, so I thought I’d share these beautiful images from their catalog with you. How often do you see tabletop linens – including coordinating table runners! – that are this fun and modern?! Their pdf catalog lists some sales and contact reps – so that might be a good place to start, but I’m having trouble finding retail locations that sell them. I’ll do some investigating in the next few days though and let you know if anything pops up…or if anyone already has some tips on this, please do share!


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rockett st. george

Ummm…!! Many, many thanks to Holly for recently sending over info on Rockett St. George – an amazing British-based design retailer. Their selection of products are a modern-design-lover’s dream! Of course I’m especially loving the entertaining products – as you can see from the fabulous dishware pictured here! – but Rockett St. George offers everything from furniture and home accessories to clothes and gifts. Click here to visit their website and experience eye-candy overload for yourself!

rocket st. georgerocket st. georgerocket st. georgerocket st. georgerocket st. georgerocket st. george

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anthropologie aprons

It becomes increasingly more clear to me why half the world seems to be obsessed with Anthropologie…for example, these super cute, retro-modern aprons and dish towels


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cup couture!

cup couture

Give your favorite hot drink a cool shot of design with a fabulous fabric cup sleeve from Cup Couture! Not only do these insulated drink sleeves look great, the fact that they reduce paper waste makes them great for the environment too…which should warm you up even more! ($12/each at Satinbox ) **Use promo code HOSTESS for 15% off your entire order at Satinbox!**

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wine and cheese soirée

wine and cheese

Whether you’re going fancy-shmancy or hip and casual, wine & cheese parties are always a great way to entertain and sure to be a hit with your guests because of all the interactivity and excuses to mingle. Here are some fun products to liven up your next wine and cheese soirée…


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a rock scissor paper holiday

Put your guests in the party mode with these fun & festive holiday invites from rock scissor paper! Only $24 for 10 custom-printed invites & envelopes… and they’ll even custom-print your return address for only $5 more! Shown below: fireworks, holiday jewels, golden starburst (which comes with hand-applied glitter details!), and a pattern close-up from the retro-modern starfire.

rock scissors paper holiday…and a couple more fun invites: decorate and yummy:

rock scissors paper holidayrock scissors paper holidayMake sure to check out their string tie gift tags and enclosure cards too (how the cute is the holiday owl!). Actually, their entire holiday gift wrap collection is fantastic! Why not just check it all out!

rock scissors paper holidayrock scissors paper holiday

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“real simple” centerpieces…

Looking for some holiday centerpiece ideas? Here’s some inspiration from the folks at REAL SIMPLE magazine, using easy-to-find elements and just a few key pieces for each design. This goes to show how beautiful simplicity can be!

real simpleWho knew produce could make such a great centerpiece? The key is in the way you display it: For a modern feel, group the same types of edibles together in tight bunches or think geometrically and line them up in neat rows. These centerpieces would look great on your Thanksgiving table…

real simplereal simpleWith their bright colors and cool bottle designs, a group of Izze soda on display always makes for great party decór…

real simpleGroups of faux “gifts” have always been one of my favorite easy centerpieces. I like how they stacked a bunch of small boxes together to create the gifts in the photo below. You can use this idea for any of your celebrations – baby showers, engagement parties, holiday parties…the sky’s the limit – just grab some empty boxes and great designer gift wrap in a few coordinating patterns, then add a fantastic fabric ribbon or bow, and that’s it!

real simple
(All photos by Maura McEvoy for REAL SIMPLE magazine. Click here to view the full gallery on

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for very merry gifts…

…wrap them up in oh-so-cheery holiday wrap from snow & graham and hello! lucky Favorites shown here: S&G berries and cardinals gift wrap and coordinating blackberry tiny cards and cardinals tiny cards (which also work great as place cards!)…

snow&graham gift wrapsnow&graham gift wrapsnow&graham gift wrap
S&G birch, partridge, and ornaments prints…

snow&graham gift wrap
hello! lucky holiday cheer and festive deer & bird gift wrap…

hello! lucky gift wrap

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pretty plates from mayfair avenue

Bella Italia! The beautiful plates from the “Trattoria” collection – cheese plates, fruit dessert plates, juicy cherry dessert plates, and pasta plates – are elegant, simple, and design-delicious! (plates sold in sets of 4 for around $40/set)

trattoria dessert platestrattoria platesI’m also loving the zen-ish simplicity of the Antai Grass dinner and dessert plates (which, by the way, are currently on sale for 40% off)!

antai dessert plates

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whimsy holiday mats

whimsy press placemats The talented folks at Whimsy Press make me oh-so-happy! They’ve brought their hip, modern gift wrap designs to the table (literally!) with these fun & festive holiday placemats. And just like their wrap, all of the mats are reversible… (more…)

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modern harvest…

harvest table linens
Autumn entertaining gets modern with these richly-colored harvest table linens, which boast embroidered autumn silhouette graphics for a modern/minimalist appeal. I’m especially loving the dandelion pattern!

harvest table linensharvest table linensDon’t miss the coordinating harvest appetizer plates and divided dish too…more mod silhouette graphics…and this time with a glazed finish. Beautiful!

harvest platesEntertaining in your living room? Carry this look all the way to your couch with these coordinating embroidered harvest throw pillows and set your apps up on the coffee table!

harvest throw pillows

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sooo cute…

owl sake setHow cute is this owl sake ware set from Anthropologie? Even if you’re not a sake-lover, this little trio will look adorable in your hutch or on a kitchen shelf! For a super-cute gift idea, wrap this up with a bottle of chic sake like Gekkeikan’s Black & Gold.

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trick or treat!

happy halloween

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“Chinese Dress” inspiration…

Last week, my friend Jen convinced me to play hooky from work – (ok, she didn’t exactly have to twist my arm!) – to attend a M•A•C Cosmetics event in L.A. called Chinese Dress – which was a live body art installation featuring several models in beautiful, ornate “outfits” – which were created sans-fabric, using only M•A•C body paints, 24-carat gold leaf, and body crystals. Many of the “outfits” were dreamed up by popular designers such as Sue Wong and Juicy Couture – and the results were amazing! (which is a good thing, considering the poor models had to stand for nearly 17 hours while they were being painted…sheesh!) Anyway, I was so inspired by the beautiful colors that I decided to translate some of my favorites into tabletop collections just for fun…hope you enjoy them!

MAC - chinese dressPictured above: ice blue beeswax tapers, temptation martini glass, marrakech charger, marrakech centerpiece bowl, mini candle holders, and garden bowls.

MAC - chinese dressPictured above: blue & green candlescaping trays, dot votive holders, leaf plates, and green earthenware charger.

MAC - chinese dressPictured above: select pieces from the my china! emperor rim and my china! emperor coupe collections from Sieger. (as discovered via love made visible)

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asian trends 2: NEW from west elm!

tokyo plates

Swoon!!! Check out these gorgeous brand-new dishes and textiles from west elm! Asian-inspired entertaining trends seem to be popping up all over lately…and it’s the perfect time of year because the red and white color palette easily translates to your holiday table! Pictured below: tokyo novelty plates , square dinner plates , flower dishes , ceramic teapot + cups , and cotton lantern cocktail napkins .


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asian trends at c&b

The “asian-inspired” modern look has alwasy been one of my very favorite decorating styles, and the new “eastern influence” collection at c&b is no exception! How beautiful is this tabletop design and Yasashi dishware collection?! (SO beautiful!)

asian trendsasian trendsasian trends

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i heart iomoi

I remember a day almost 6 years ago now (seriously, where does the time go?!) that I received an adorable e-stationery note from my friend Liz Montna, telling me about this “great new online stationery company” that had recently launched. And thank goodness for all of us – this company – a little startup named “iomoi” – is now a hugely successful brand that we can turn to for oh-so-hip invitations and fabulous gifts! A few of my personal favorites pictured here: sweets sleeves, custom invites (from left: beach party, park avenue evening, pink invitation, and floral pattern chocolate), personalized coasters, and printed match box sets. (Be sure to check out their fantastic paper weights too!)

iomoiiomoiiomoiiomoi coastersiomoi coastersiomoi coastersiomoi

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colorful tuesday!

Brighten up your next party with some of these beauties from Zanisa! (a fantastic new website I recently discovered via design*sponge).
From the top: gold-trimmed Boxed Sake Set ($59/set), mod Hot House Serving Set (oversize tray and matching footed bowl – $79/set), Dots Hor D’oeurves Set ($69/set of 8), Dots Cork Coasters ($30/set of 4), and Dots Cocktail Napkins ($20/set of 4).

sake boxed sethot house serving setdot platesdot coasters and napkins

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let them eat cake!

And who wouldn’t want to when these adorable cake servers are dishing it up?! Available in 6 fun patterns for $24 each at (cute hostess gift idea too!)

cute cake serverscute cake servers

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fun for your kitchen…

More clever products from Pylones to brighten up your kitchen!
Pictured below: veggie peelers by Créa Créa, coral towel stands, aqua coasters, vibrant snap-lock dishrack.

veggie peelersveggie peelersveggie peelers

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modern dots

These beautiful cut dot hurricanes feature a wave of pearlized cut-glass dots and add a splash of modern elegance to your table! ($20-$25 at Pier 1)

dot hurricanes

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amaryllis exotica

This peachy-orange flower is beautiful on it’s own, but the round, chocolate earthenware pot it comes pre-planted in gives this “amaryllis exotica” especially high marks in the “perfect gift” department!

black cat lanterns

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thomas paul goes gothic…

Thomas Paul puts a modern spin on gothic with these fantastic melamine dishes! Gothic Tray ($18 ea) and Gothic Side Plates ($28/set of 4).

black cat lanternsblack cat lanterns

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fun & festive weekend projects…

If you’re looking for something crafty to do this weekend – here are some fun fall holiday projects to keep you busy and get you in a festive mood. My friend and I are going to attempt to make these adorable black cat lanterns from Sunset Magazine…hopefully they turn out as good as the ones pictured here!

Black Cat Lanterns

black cat lanternsblack cat lanterns
Lace Pumpkins
If you’re and over-achiever and have LOTS of time on your hands, these beautiful lace pattern pumpkins might just be for you :)

lace patterned pumpkins
Glitter Pumpkins
These glitter pumpkins from Martha Stewart Living would be a gorgeous centerpiece for your holiday table…we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our entire family this year for the first time…and these will definitely be adorning our own table.!

glitter pumpkins
Funny Face Pumpkins
Absolutely adorable…’nough said :) Click here to for step-by-step instructions and templates from

lace patterned pumpkins

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regal style for your table…

working class studioFor a few months now, there’s been a teaser image of the fabulous “Kings Road” collection (pictured here) on the Rosanna website, with a “coming soon” notice…and I was SO excited to visit the website again recently and see that the collection is now available! I just think this design is so great – with its the festive gold-on-white colors and bold, oversize graphics! And – as is always the case with Rosanna’s collections – the pieces come beautifully packaged in sturdy gift boxes adorned with coordinating designs…gorgeous :)

working class studio

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haute holiday = seriously hot design!

working class studioworking class studio
I know, I know – it’s little early to be posting on winter holiday goodies – so I promise to try to restrain myself after this until post-Halloween – but I just couldn’t wait that long to give you a peek at this bold, modern “haute holiday” collection – also by Rosanna, Inc – which is a company I just can’t get enough of lately! And how great do these plates look with Rosanna’s Black Rococo Noir collection (cakestand, tea set, cream/sugar set) and Dauphine Candlesticks?! (which are also available in black and gold). Hmmm…I’m thinking this set up is a must-have… :)

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PRODUCT (RED): color for a cause

working class studioworking class studioSo this isn’t exactly a “contemporary entertaining” post – but PRODUCT (RED) – part of the philanthropic endeavor “(RED)” – is definitely still full of fabulous finds that you might really love (like this bright red iPod nano, for starters!) and – even more importantly – it benefits a great cause: helping women and children in Africa with HIV/AIDS.

In a nutshell, PRODUCT (RED) has teamed up with many of the world’s popular brands (GAP, Gucci, Converse, American Express, etc…) to create co-branded products. A percentage of the sales of each product sold is given to The Global Awareness Fund. So what this means is that you get to shop for things you might have purchased anyways – but with the added benefit of giving back at the same time…who couldn’t love this concept?! And with the holiday season right around the corner…the timing couldn’t be better :) Click here visit the PRODUCT(RED) website – or click here to check out their blog!

working class studio

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working class studio

working class studioworking class studioHow great are these colorful melamine “studio” plates from Working Class Studio? Available in salad plates ($6/ea – top pic) and dinner plates ($8/ea – bottom pic) – and sold individually so you can create your own favorite mix! I’m especially loving the hot pink crown design…which would be so cute with solid chocolate and white dishware/table linens for a hip, “regal” tabletop. Don’t miss the 12″ square studio platter either…with it’s monochromatic brown-on-white crown pattern and bold silhouette graphic – it’s definitely a fabulous find for mod-lovers everywhere…and only $12/ea!

working class studio

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under construction!

Hi Everyone –
Fabulous Finds is undergoing a makeover! Trying to make the blog more user-friendly and give it a little extra flair :) Still working on getting everything to work correctly with the new template – so please bare with me as there are still some glitches to work out! Everything should be up and running by Tuesday afternoon…hope you’ll come back and check it out – your comments/feedback are much appreciated :) Thank you!

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