Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Happy 2008!

modern new year's eveJust want to take a minute to thank you all for such amazing support in 2007 – and to wish you a very healthy & happy 2008…filled with lots of reasons to celebrate! :)

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New Year’s Cheers

New Year's Eve cocktailsJazz up your midnight toast this year with some festive, toast-worthy recipes from cocktailtimes.com:

*All recipes above except for the Junior Lava Lamp are champagne-based. To create mocktail versions of champagne-based cocktails, substitute ginger ale or lemon-lime soda for the champagne.

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Circle of Friends confetti

personalized picture confettiI love this “circle of friends” personalized confetti idea from Martha Stewart, which you can create using photos that have been shrunk down on your computer, vellum paper, and different sizes of circle craft punches. It’s listed as a New Year’s party idea on marthastewart.com (featuring photos of your party guests) – but I think this would also adorable for a bridal shower, engagement party or birthday party!

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Christmas to New Year’s Eve

One of the great things about holiday decorations is that they can often transition nicely from your Christmas celebrations to New Year’s Eve soirées with just a few easy tricks! For example, my mom did a multi-color Christmas tree this year, using the exact same elements I used on the New Year’s Eve tablescape below {click images to view larger}:

new year's eve decorationsThe main part of the centerpiece is created from decorative sequin spray bunches, ornaments, and an ornament stand. To recreate, align the base of the spray with the stem of the ornament stand, then bind them together with elastic gold ribbon to match the stand. Hang ornaments in coordinating colors on the stand hooks, and you’ve got a very fun & festive centerpiece!

new year's eve decorationsNext, set glass ball ornaments on both sides of the centerpiece, down the length of the table. Use tealight candle holders as a base for the ornaments to keep them in place. Varying the sizes of the ornaments will also make the design more interesting; both extra-large and regular sized ball ornaments are used here.

Tip: For a super-easy table-runner, just use gift wrap that matches your color palette!

new year's eve decorationsFinishing Touches:

  • Decorate napkins and the “table runner” with strands from the sequin spray or coordinating sequined gift wrap ribbon, as pictured here.
  • Wrap the stems of wine glasses or champagne flutes with metallic chenille craft stems (pipe cleaners). This also makes for a cute bar display when all of the glasses are lined up together!

Product Resources:

  • Ornaments, ornament stand, sequin spray, sequined ribbon, charger plates, white napkins, and giftwrap ALL from Target.
  • Aqua tablecloth – $26.99 at Plum Party
  • Metallic chenille craft stems – Michael’s
  • Gala Wine Glasses – $3.95 ea at Crate & Barrel

Note: This design also looks great with a gold/silver, silver/red, or silver/hot pink palette!

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happy holidays!

Happy HolidaysHappy Holidays, everyone! I’ll be taking a much needed break for a few days in the coming week, but will be back before New Year’s with some fun new things to share. Hope you get to enjoy some time off and do lots of celebrating! Merry Christmas!

{This is one of my “kids” in the picture above, sleeping next to our Christmas tree.}

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holiday recipe inspiration

creative holiday recipesIn case you’re looking for some last-minute holiday recipe inspiration, here are some tempting treats from Everyday with Rachael Ray…{clockwise from top left} Saffron Scallops, Italian Cheesecake, Caramel Tower, and a new way to enjoy your pecan pie – a Pecan Pie Martini!

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homemade infused vodka

new years decorations There’s a great article in the December/January issue of Rachael Ray and online! – about how to infuse your own vodka , then turn your homemade concoction into a fun gift by attaching a cute cocktail recipe that features the flavor of vodka you made to the gift bottle, as pictured above . This is an especially cute idea for a Host/Hostess gift – and a great alternative to the standard bottle of wine if you really want to get creative!

Infusing the vodka is quite simple actually… According to RR: "Just place 1 liter of vodka and your infusion ingredients in a large bottle and seal shut; let rest in a cool, dark place for 2 to 5 days, depending on your desired strength." Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the following vodka flavors:

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dress it up with gold

new years decorationsAdd some sparkle to your Christmas or New Year’s table – or under the tree – with these golden beauties: {clockwise from top left} Gold Glass Table Turnings (on sale for $10 each at West Elm), Gold Electroplate Candlesticks ($70/set of 2 Rosanna), Iona 2-pc. Salad Server Set ($15 at Target), and Crustacean & Kelp Platter (porcelain plate with 23-karat gold design, $115 at Violet)

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Gold & Silver Shimmer Holiday

new years decorationsHere’s another shimmery holiday tabletop idea that would work for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Click here for the full scoop on how to recreate this Gold & Silver Shimmer theme.

Its always fun to serve food & drinks that match the colors or theme of your party, like this yummy fondue dip for an appetizer or Glitzy Chocolate Puddings from Nigella Lawson for dessert! And to drink, try something swanky like a champagne-based Ritz 75 served in festive champagne flutes.

new years decorations

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Silvery New Year’s Eve

new years decorations I know that Christmas is still top-of-mind for everyone, but if you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve cocktail or dinner party, it’s a good idea to start planning now, or you won’t have much downtime to recover between the 2 celebrations!

New Year’s Eve parties are the perfect excuse to break out the glitz & glamour – but another thing that might need some time to recover from Christmas is your pocket book, so we put together a silvery-themed tabletop with this idea in mind, and kept all of the elements very affordable. (more…)

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Inspired Holidays from Vons

I stumbled on some wonderful holiday inspiration in the most unexpected place the other day – my grocery store’s website! I was trying to figure out if something I needed was sold at a regular grocery store, so I went to the VONS website, spotted a little section called “Inspired Holidays“, clicked on it, and was greeted by a bunch of fantastic (and doable!) holiday projects and recipes! Here are a few favorites:

vons holiday 2007{pictured above} adorable Joyful Orange Bowls, Fragrant Cloved Oranges, and Holiday “Sushi” Candy (made from powdered donuts, twinkies, fruit roll-ups, jelly fish, etc.)

vons holiday 2007{pictured above} Festive Candy Ornaments and Fa-la-la-la Fruit Bouquet

vons holiday 2007{clockwise from top left} Festive holiday cocktails: Hot Gingered Pear-Wine Cider, Sparkling Cranberry Punch, Pomegranate Margaritas, and Candy Cane Hot Chocolate (yum!). Visit the Vons Holiday section and click on “Wine & Spirits” to get the full recipes!

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Giveaway WINNER: Interior Style Home

Thanks so much to everyone that entered the Interior Style Home surprise giveaway! And the lucky winner that just scooped up a bunch of fun French Bull products is… Amber, from Sonoma, CA, who said “My holiday party would be brimming with style if I had these on the 22nd…my fingers are crossed!” Congrats, Amber!

And by the way – Amber has a super cute blog called “Daisy Chain” that is definitely worth checking out!

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DIY animal ornaments

modern holiday decorationsThese animal ornaments by Jennifer A. Bell are super cute and very contemporary! Click here to learn how to make them yourself…and simply change the color of your paper to customize the ornaments to whatever color palette you need!

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expedition plates

Take a whirlwind journey from the North Pole to the tropics with these porcelain dishes, populated with penguins, polar bears, giraffes and gazelles….not to mention beautiful lettering & scripty embellishments! ($12 each at Anthropologie)

modern holiday decorations

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little white teapots

My mom collects teapots, so I’m always on the lookout for cute ones at this time of year…like these fantastic, glossy white versions from Anthropologie:

modern holiday decorations{clockwise from top} Backyard Chickadee Teapot ($28), Seconds Teapot: Blue Jay ($88), Backyard Cardinal Teapot ($28), and Backyard Sparrow Teapot ($28)

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wishing big…

wish big birthday cardTaking the day off today to celebrate the big 3-0! I love this wish big card from Broadway Paper because that’s exactly what I’m doing for this new chapter in life ;)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and enjoy your holiday parties, shopping, wrapping, decorating and crafting… Try to make time for yourself to really soak in the season and all it has to offer…it’s amazing how fast the weeks – and years – fly by! (I could swear it was just yesterday that I turned 21!)

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HWTM Holiday: Santa, Baby

More holiday decorating inspiration for you! Check out our new easy & affordable Santa, Baby theme – featuring wrapped vases, contemporary patterns from American Crafts™, white boas, swanky cosmos, and more! Click here for full details :)

modern holiday decorations

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peppermint bark & pretty packaging

Another sweet treat to tempt your tummy…the always-irresistible Peppermint Bark, plus very pretty treat packaging ideas from Martha Stewart.

holiday icebox cookies

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colorful icebox sugar cookies

holiday icebox cookies How cute are these Holiday Icebox Cookies from Martha Stewart? I’m loving the fun colors and mod circles… You’d seriously be the star of your holiday cookie exchange if you arrived with these in-hand! And you could actually customize this idea for any occasion – Valentine’s Day, Halloween, 4th of July…sky’s the limit! Click here for the recipe .

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the modern poinsettia

I have to admit that I’ve never been a huge poinsettia fan, but after seeing these images from Domino’s “reconsider poinsettias” DIY feature…I have definitely reconsidered!

modern poinsettia arrangementsUpdate 12/13: Whitney from blumebox sent in a couple more beautiful pictures of contemporary poinsettia arrangements yesterday after seeing this post. One is pictured below, and you can click here to view the other one. Both are displayed using 4″ cube blumeboxes. Very cool!

modern poinsettia arrangements

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Interior Style Home

interior style homeinterior style homeWe’ve got a brand-new giveaway for you…and you can enter it right here! :) Interior Style Home – a fun website full of stylish Home Accessories, Accent Furniture, Lighting, Children’s Décor, and more – is offering up a fabulous giveaway featuring colorful tableware & kitchen accessories from French Bull! One lucky winner will receive all of the following:

  • Kitchen Utensil Set
  • Floral Salad Servers
  • Floral Trivet Set
  • 16-piece Multidot Stainless Steel Flatware Set

Click here for more details on all of the above ($106 value!), in addition to lots more great French Bull items!

How to enter:
• Post any comment here!
• Remember that anonymous comments can’t be tracked/counted.
• Giveaway ends Friday, December 14th at midnight PST. Don’t forget to check back Monday to see if you won! Good luck! :)

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red & white cocktail party

Modern Holiday Decorating Ideas Festive & affordable holiday cocktail party favorites…all from C&B: samovaari paper plates and napkins , dizzy cocktail glass (only $3 each!), snowflake picks , snowflake spoons , shiny red bottle stopper , red foil wine & dine .

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new holiday themes!

Modern Holiday Decorating IdeasI’m so happy to finally be able to announce that there are new holiday themes up on hwtm.com! I’ve been trying to get these online for weeks, but so many other “urgent” things kept getting in the way :0 Anyways, I know we’re already well into December, but if you’re still looking for some last-minute holiday party inspiration or table decorating ideas for your Christmas dinner…hope you can find some inspiration here! The following new themes are up on HWTM: Peppermint Twist, Haute Cocoa, and Green & Serene, and one more to come this afternoon…{click the images to view full details on each theme}.

Modern Holiday Decorating IdeasModern Holiday Decorating Ideas

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LAST CHANCE to Enter the Giveaway!

Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway
Okay…I can’t believe I’m saying this – but the last of
The Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway prizes has been posted and there are only a few hours left ’til the contest ends! If you haven’t entered yet, you can click here to go to the contest entry page and enter up until 5pm, PST (Monday, December 12th) . Good luck to everyone! I really hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the prizes and hopefully even found some great holiday gift ideas along the way…

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Ultimate Entertaining Giveaway Prizes: Maeve Riley

Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway One of the best things about a party is that it gives you an excuse to dress up for a change or wear something new…which is always fun! And even BETTER than just wearing something new…is wearing something new and free !

Maeve Riley , an adorable women & men’s fashion boutique in San Diego, is launching their brand-new ecommerce website this Wednesday, December 13 – and one of the Giveaway winners is going to get to visit the new site and pick out $250 worth of stuff from Maeve’s stylish selection of apparel & accessories! (more…)

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Ultimate Entertaining Giveaway Prizes: Polka Dot Design

Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway If you’re hosting an upcoming party, in need of baby announcements, or still haven’t sent out those holiday cards, then Polka Dot Design should be a welcome resource for you! Polka Dot carries zillions – and I mean zillions – of stylish invitations and cards for all sorts of occasions (including holiday!) – plus contemporary partyware, stationery, gifts, and more.

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Ultimate Entertaining Giveaway Prizes: Little Giraffe

Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway Whether you hosted the party, attended the party, or had one too many pomegranate martinis at the party, chances are you could use a little R&R the next day! Well, R&R doesn’t get much comfier than in a super-soft satin & chenille robe from Little Giraffe

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Ultimate Entertaining Giveaway Prizes: L’ANZA

Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway Now’s your chance to become extra popular with your girlfriends this holiday – because if you win this huge prize package from luxury haircare company L’ANZA , then you’re definitely going to have enough to share! L’ANZA ‘s newest generation of healing formulas combine natural ingredients including botanical extracts, keratin amino acids and moisturizers with the most advanced ingredients science offers. (I have their Color-Preserving Trauma Treatment and really love it!)

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Ultimate Entertaining Giveaway Prizes: Ankh Royalty

Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway Designer Jennifer Grossman created Ankh Royalty – another favorite among celebrities – with the goal of giving women a line of clothing they could feel both comfortable and stylish in at the same time – instead of sacrificing one attribute for the other. Mission accomplished! You’ll feel super comfy and look great – at your after-party or anytime – in one of Ankh Royalty ‘s luxurious, rhinestone-embellished sweatsuits and or fitted long-sleeve tees.

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Ultimate Entertaining Giveaway Prizes: Enjoué Beauté

Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway
Celebrity make-up artist Elan Bongiorno – who has made everyone from Eva Longoria to Heather Locklear to J.T. look great for awards shows, photo shoots, and those glamorous-looking Hollywood parties – debuted her own line of luxury cosmetics – Enjoué Beauté – just a little over a year ago. This new, ultra-modern boutique collection is only available at professional spas & salons and few select retailers – but today you’ve got the chance to win a ton of it for yourself – $314 worth to be exact!

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