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hot dots in the kitchen!

How cute are these “hot dots” kitchen linens from Chiasso? Coordinating oven mits ($13/2), dish towels ($22/4), and pot holders ($12/2) boast a contemporary polka-dot pattern and are available in red, lime, or black!

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think pink!

Treat yourself AND give back at the same time! Talk about the ideal situation :) With the cook for the cure products by KitchenAid – presented, of course, in signature breast-cancer-awareness pink – donating to a good cause has never been easier! The combination of clean, contemporary product design and a sweet strawberry ice-cream hue gives this collection a distinct retro-mod appeal!

Prices range from $9.99 (measuring cups & spoons) to $319 (Stand Mixer) – and a portion of the proceeds from every purchase benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. There’s even more fun stuff to be seen (like a funky pink toaster!) than what’s pictured here…Check out the entire collection at kitchenaid.com.

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swoon coasters

How cool are these mod silhouette “swoon coasters” by Gabrielle Jennings?! Featuring images inspired by magazine ads and fashion spreads and packaged in a cool box, perfect for gift-giving! Only $12 for a set of 4 – available at remodern.com.

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in the mix!

Decisions, decisions! They’re so hard to make when a super-hip brand like notNeutral has so many fabulous patterns to choose from. Thank goodness they felt our pain and decided to make it easy for us with the “in the mix” dinnerware collection that features 4 of their popular patterns – all mixed up to create a fantasic dinnerware collection! You can purchase the different elements separately (dinner plates, small plates, bowls or bowl sets, and mugs with (with lids!) or mug sets, OR get the whole she-bang with the 20-piece set for $208. Oh, how I wish Christmas was closer!

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hostess with the mostess on decor8!

A great BIG thanks to Holly at decor8 for featuring hostess with the mostess as her blog of the week! Click here to read the interview!

For those of you that haven’t been to the decor8 blog yet, prepare to be impressed with Holly’s great eye for picking out truly amazing “fresh finds for hip spaces”!

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a very mod picnic!

When you hear the word “picnic”, do visions of plastic red and white tablecloths dance in your head? I think not!…well, “notNeutral” that is! Check out this cool and very contemporary 7-piece picnic set by notNeutral. Comes with a rectangular tablecloth, 4 napkins, a coordinating apron, and even a lavendar-scented insect repellent soy candle! $65/set at designpublic.com.

notNeutral’s round melamine serving tray would make a great and durable addition to this modern picnic table too. Available in white or 4 other vibrant hues for $18/each.

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happy stripes

I have to admit that pretty much anything Jonathan Adler creates makes me smile, but I’m especially loving this multi-color stripe motif right now. Part of his aptly named “Happy Home” line, this striped “Italia” collection includes fabulous items like the unique cheese dome and cheese spreader (great gift idea!), mini square “tidbit bowls” perfect for party mixes or candies, and the vases trio – which would make a super-hip centerpiece for a fun dinner or even everyday! Check out the entire collection at etabletop.com. (Vases trio ($44/set) is also available at wrapables.com)

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"mod mom" baby shower

Tired of the same old baby shower “looks” and ready-made party supplies? Then it’s time to shake things up a bit and add a modern twist to your upcoming event by mixing just 1 or 2 actual “baby shower” items with some hip “anytime” party goods!

Here’s an example:
For this “Mod Mom” theme, you can take just the plates from the “Mod Mom Baby Shower” paper collection and build a funky modern shower theme around them, using unexpected elements like these bold black and white polka dot luncheon napkins, pink and white hanging paper lanterns, pink and white table runners on top of solid black table cloths (yes, you CAN use black tablecloths at a baby shower!), pink dots place cards, and this funky mod “blackberry” gift wrap from Luxe Paperie, which can be used as a cool surface to set beneath flower arrangements, shower favors, or desserts.

Speaking of shower favors, these black takeout containers would make a great favor wrap for this shower. Embellish them with a thick band of pink ribbon wraped around the center of the container and topped of with a sticker, like these sage circle stickers from Paper Source (which are a perfect spot to put baby’s first initial!)

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a whole "lotta" style

Thank goodness Lotta Jansson fell in love with screen printing (“it just clicked on me”, she says) – because we get to enjoy the results of her passion with her cool line of “Lotta Jansdotter” products – including these great table linens ($12 – $48), dishes ($24 – $46), and aprons ($44 – $58) – all adorned with her signature mod designs!

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pop art toast!

I’ll have scrambled eggs with a side of “Luv U” toast, please! How cool is this pop art toaster from Urban Outfitters? This very out-of-the-ordinary “toast art” is sure to put a smile on the face of your kids, yourself, or any special someone! The toaster ($40) is available in bright red or white and comes with 6 stainless steel removable plate designs: birthday cake, heart, snowflake, flower, smiley face, and “Luv U”. So cute!

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new table linens at west elm!

West Elm just added some cool new table linens to their collection! Rich orange and playful sequinned circles add a bust of sunshine to your table! Sequin floral runner ($34) and sequin placemats ($10/ea) both available at westelm.com. For a coordinated tabletop, pair with West Elm’s new fringed napkins in Cinnabar or Espresso ($16/set of 4)!

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urban chic

Gotta love Urban Outfitters – hip, funky style at an affordable price! Check out this cool Graphic Plates Set and wrapped cocktail shaker from their Kitchen & Barware collection. Vintage vibe + sleek shapes = perfect vintage mod! To play up the modern factor, pair the plates with solid table linens in extra-bright hues like lime or aqua. Wrapped shaker ($24) and Graphic Plates ($24/set of 4) – both available at urbanoutfitters.com.

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unfed table linens

unfed loves you” is their tagline…and guess what? we love them back! How could we not when they have such cool stuff – like these funky linen table runners and matching napkins. The dark olive cotton twill runner (aptly named “oh they are a runnin”) has funky printed deer in vivid orange and bright aqua, accented by subtle embroidered green mountains in the background. Comes in 2 sizes to best fit your table ($89 – $111). Coordinating “Fancy” dark olive cotton twill napkins with hand-stiched orange trim. ($28/pair)

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feeling the blues…and loving it!

Now here are some blues I’d love to have! These delicious blue & white porcelain dessert plates each come in sets of 4 mix & match designs! The porcelain Sausalito Dessert Plates from uncommongoods.com boast mod floral designs inspired by pop art ($35/set). Or check out Crate & Barrel’s Blue and White Plates – inspired by antique Japanese linen handkerchiefs, updated with a modern, crisp feel ($29.95/set). CB’s plates also come packaged in a fun round box – perfect for gift-giving!

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a (clearly) impressive display…

These minimalist “floating” platters are a seriously fabulous find! Sleek glass with polished aluminum and chrome – guaranteed to take your hors d’oeuvre display to the next level! Cubist Platter and Chrome Ring Platter – $38/each at chiasso.com

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loving letterpress!

Impress your guests even before the party starts with gorgeous, modern imprintable letterpress invites from Elum Designs. The luxurious look of letterpress at an affordable price! I’m loving “Le Belly” for baby showers, “Good Food” for dinner parties and “Groovy Celebration” or “Party Horn” for any special occasion!

Also – be sure check out their great selection of letterpress thank you cards and everyday notes – great gift ideas!

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Turquoise Delight

When I get an email from West Elm that boasts “up to 75%” off, it’s a great start to the day! Check out the great deals at their Summer Sale – like this brilliant turquoise Capiz Serveware crafted from colorful capiz shells. Both the round platter and the serving bowl dropped from $29 each to only $7 each! Makes a great gift for a wedding/bridal shower (something blue!), birthday or housewarming.

And if you have a few dollars more to spare, pair the serveware with turquoise striped decal glasses – $10 for a set of 6 – also from West Elm. Happy Shopping!

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Shake Shake It! (salt & pepper, that is!)

Designer Stefano Giovanni really knows how to shake things up with his line of modern, playful objects for your kitchen and table! This “lilliput salt & pepper set” is a guaranteed conversation starter – cute little characters with magnetic feet that stick to their metal base in a variety of configurations. Go ahead…play with your food! (Available in blue, green, yellow, and orange; $29/set at hivemodern.com).

Who could resist Stefano’s mandarin citrus squeezer either? This clever invention is a one-stop-juicing-shop! Just flip the hat over and you have a citrus juicer which juices directly into the goblet base….so cute! ($39 each, also at hivemodern.com)

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That Drink is Mine!

When everyone is setting their drinks down on the same coffee tables, kitchen counters, or patio tables, drink mix-ups and abandoned “still-practically-full” bottles are sure to follow. Never fear – help is finally hear – in the form of 2 great “drink claimer” gadgets!

“Mine” beer bands are stretchy, molded rings sized to fit your Corona bottle OR your Coke can! Each band comes in a bright hue and simply reads “mine”. Short, sweet, and to the point! Sold in sets of 12 for $10/each at plumparty.com.

Princess? Daredevil? Rockstar? Flirt? Pick your favorite personality, hang it on your bottle, and make sure no one takes your drink! “Claim Your Drink” bottle tags from wrapables.com are sold in sets of 6 for $9.95/ea. Two sets of “personalities” to choose from!

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Orange Zen

Orange and black is such a great color combo – why should it’s only appearance be at Halloween?! Add some bold splashes of yummy orange to a sleek black and white palette and you’ve got the perfect setting for your next Asian-themed dinner party! For an affordable and very appropriate centerpiece, simply fill a large black or white ceramic bowl with lots of fresh, bright oranges. Here are some other great pieces to adorn your tabletop with:


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Table Talk!

At some point in time, you will inevitably encounter those moments at dinner parties or casual get-togethers that the conversation starts to lull – or maybe it never really got off the ground in the first place. Well, awkward silences be gone! This conversation-starter game is such a great invention. Funny and thought-provoking topics to keep your guests laughing and help them get to know each other better….which is, of course, the point of any great party! The Table Topics Game is packaged in a cool acrylic box that fits neatly on your table and comes in 5 different versions: Original, Family, Teen, Girls Night Out, and Couples – all of which are available at www.wrapables.com for $26.95 each.

P.S. Great hostess gift idea too!

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Food Storage with Style? Who Knew?!

Move aside, plastic wrap and boring food containers – these French Bull serveware/food storage containers are SO much more fun! With their heat-resistant, shatter-proof melamine structure and bold, splashy patterns like striped Cabana and funky Mosaic, fashion and function are in perfect synch! $32 for a set of 3 (Large, Medium, & Small) at plumparty.com.

Quick Tip: For a charming, unique gift idea, fill each container with goodies, stack them together like a wedding cake, and embellish with a wide fabric ribbon in a complimentary pattern or color. Perfect for a bridal shower, housewarming party, birthday, or “cheer-up-soon” well-wishes! No need to wrap this gift – yummy & adorable just as it is!

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Light Up Your Table!

These mod candles by Skeem Product Design ($18 each at Plush Pod) will add some serious spark to your table whether they’re on or off! Arrange 3 or more down the center of your table in a straight line for a super easy but ultra-cool centerpiece.

The fun, lively Circledots collection is available in 3 styles: Champagne Bubbles (yellow), Ocean Air (blue), and Green Pineapple (green). The playful Stripes collection also comes in 3 styles: Cucumber & Grass (blues & greens), Yuzu & Wild Mint (pink & orange), and Kumquat & Fig (Earth Tones).

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Opposites Attract

More and more black and white dinnerware sets seems to be popping up everywhere – and with their bold, sleek patterns, the black and white combo gives even the simplest patterns a striking appeal. You won’t miss the color on these fabulous dishes at all! Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Pinney’s Beach from Kate Spade
2. Elipse from Pier 1
2. Haiku from cb2 by Crate & Barrel
4. Mod Petal by Pier 1

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Spread the JOY!

Make a splash at your next get-together with creative carafes! The “JOY” Series from Boda Nova features sleek glass carafes in 4 colorful abstract patterns that coordinate with their original “Joy” glass sets. The names of each pattern say it all: (pictured above from left to right) FUN, HAPPY, PLAY, and SMILE. Both the carafes ($30 each) and the glasses ($30 for 4) come packaged in colorful tubes, perfect for gift-giving.

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In Love with LUXE!

It was love at first site when I stumbled onto Luxe Paperie! Their gift wrap selection is truly amazing…gorgeous, fun, bold, elegant, unique…and always with a cool modern touch. Place a 12″ square of your favorite pattern under a cool vase or flower arrangement to dress up any table centerpiece, insert into photo coasters for a cocktail party, or embellish with a coordinating fabric ribbon for a gift that’s too pretty to open!

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Hip Sips!

Think "tea-time" means dainty doilies and everything prim and proper? Think again! Every generation will love this funky-chic "Chandeliers" Tea Collection by Rosanna Bowles. Sleek white porcelain splashed with lively colors for lively conversation! Best of all, this high-design style comes without the designer price tag: Teapot – $25, Set of 4 Teacups/Saucers – $35, Set of 4 Dessert Plates – $35. Available at rosannainc.com .

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Seriously Cool Tabletop. Seriously Easy Cleanup!

Looking for an easy and affordable away to create a great-looking tabletop? Then check out these great modern designs from Caspari™ and the French Bull™ Paper Collection ! Caspari’s green "Basketweave" design is perfect for a cool "preppy mod" summer dinner party…or throw a funky mod cocktail party with the "Delight" set from French Bull. Both available at…where else? Plum Party!

Quick tip: Be sure to mix solids in with patterns so you don’t end up with a "too busy!!" arrangement. For example, layer patterned salad plates on top of simple one-color dinner plates, or pair printed dinner plates with solid napkins…easy!

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Mod Monsters = Super Cute Tabletop!

Who couldn’t fall in love with these adorably funky japanamation-inspired plates? Available at sparkability.com in both Monster and Superhero patterns that are too cute for words! Plus – sturdy melamine means stress-free entertaining.

A super-cool tabletop for “kids” of any age: Start with Monster and/or Superhero plates. For a cool centerpiece, mix 1 or more Ugly Dolls with framed postcards featuring mod japanamation illustrations, like this Takashi Murakami set. Tie everything together with solid table linens and bold splashes of color. Cool, easy, and anything but typical!

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Fun Stuff for Bachelorette Parties

Aaah – the bachelorette party…the one chance other than Halloween that you and your girls get to dress like video stars, adorn yourself with body glitter and neon eyeshadow and don feather boas or hot pink cowboy hats in public without looking like complete idiots. Aside from the actual wedding day, the bachelorette party is often the most-looked-forward-to wedding celebration for both the bride AND her friends!

The past few years of my life could be dubbed "the wedding era" – and with so many people getting hitched – I’ve just celebrated the 10th bachelorette party with my friends. For those of you looking for some creative bachelorette party ideas, here are some of my favorites:


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