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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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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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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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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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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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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too-cute truffles

These adorable chocolate cat & dog truffles are almost too cute to eat! They’d make a darling hostess gift or stocking stuffer for pet lovers! $15/set of 4 at Williams-Sonoma.com.

Hostess with the Mostess + Yum Sugar Ultimate Holiday Entertaining Giveaway{via cool hunting}

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Kids Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Don’t forget about the little ones tomorrow! Here are a few of my favorite table decorating ideas from Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Tables for Kids gallery….

Kids Thanksgiving IdeasKids Thanksgiving Ideas

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HWTM Holiday Sneak Peek

The holidays are right around the corner… and here’s a little preview of 4 of the new holiday themes that will be posted on hwtm.com this December…

HWTM Holiday Decorating Ideas

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takeout martini glasses

Now here’s something you don’t see every day…martini glasses inspired by chinese takeout containers! Odd, but strangely intriguing. I think I’d still be more inclined to serve chow mein in these glasses than Cosmos, though! ($9/ea at Urban Outfitters)

takeout martinis

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adorable cupcakes

cherry blossom cupcakes

Inspirational images of the week…adorably creative cupcakes from the hello naomi cupcakes and cookies flickr gallery. Several more designs pictured in the collection – including super-cute Super Mario Brothers themed cupcakes !

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Rosanna, Inc.

Rosanna: 12 Days of Christmas Ready to get into holiday party mode? This fantastic giveaway from contemporary dish & tableware company: Rosanna, Inc . should do the trick! I have to admit I’m in love with this prize – Rosanna is offering up TWO sets of their super-cool 12 Days of Christmas appetizer plates AND another product of your choice to give to a friend ! So there will be TWO lucky winners that each get 2 prizes :)

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speechless.

dream party house Um…I just received an email forward that left me absolutely speechless. I wouldn’t mind throwing a party here one day! The title of the email is "The House that Golf Built ". However, based on this article sent in by a reader – it seems the suggestion in the email attachment that this home belongs to T.W. is innacurate info. Regardless of who the owner is, this 9000 square foot beach-front Maui rental estate is still one very cool space!

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pretty, decorative details

Decorative TraysThese beautiful and very out-of-the-ordinary Oval Deer and Round Louise decorative trays would make great gift ideas for the girl that already seems to have everything! The vintage-looking illustrations, rich colors, and gorgeous laser-cut detail makes these trays just as pretty for your wall as for your table. ($65/Deer & $85/Louise at Bunny Maxwell)

Also pictured above: pretty, decorative (and functional!) slate trivets in Lavender Floral and Green Dots ($45/ea)

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Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes

Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes
A few tempting signature drink ideas for your Thanksgiving Soriee, featuring some very Thanksgiving-appropriate ingredients…

Pumpkin Pie – features Kahlua, Malibu Rum, Milk, Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Pie Filling {recipe via cocktailtimes.com – see below for our modified version}
Gingersnap cocktail – features spiced rum, ginger brandy, eggnog, and a gingersnap cookie! {recipe via thebar.com}
Pumpkin Divine martini – features Grey Goose La Poire flavored vodka, pumpkin butter (!), Triple Sec, clove, and nutmeg – amongst other things {recipe via cocktailtimes.com}
• Spiced Apple mixer from Stirrings – a blend of real apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make life easy – just add vodka and serve!

Pumpkin Pie Cocktail Recipe Modification:
We tested the *original recipe for the Pumpkin Pie cocktail today – and found it to be way too “pumpkin-y” for our taste – so here’s a modified version of the recipe that we liked better, with a much more subtle hint of pumpkin:

• 1 oz Malibu rum
• 1 oz Kahlua
• 6 oz milk
• 1/3 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 to 1 tsp pumpkin pie filling (depending on desired taste)

Blend all ingredients together in a blender with a few cubes of ice. Serve in a glass rimmed with very finely crushed graham cracker crumbs. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top for garnish. Enjoy!

*(original recipe ingredients: 1 oz Malibu rum, 1/2 oz Kahlua, 2 oz milk, 3/4 oz pumpkin pie filling, ice, cinnamon for garnish)

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REAL PARTIES: Chocolate, Raspberry & Lime Baby Shower

Joanna Dyckhoff sent over pictures of a modern co-ed bridal shower she recently hosted – and I have one word to describe it – “Wow”! Everything was super contemporary and perfectly coordinated, from the hand-made invitations to the flower centerpieces, party favors…even the room decor! Check out how creative these invitations are that Joanna designed and created…

Modern Co-ed Baby Shower The invitation consisted of a printed vellum overlay which opened to a irridescent invite backed with chocolate colored cardstock and wrapped in wavy wire. Vellum, paper and cardstock from Paper Zone .

Now, on to the amazing floral arrangements & party decór…

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Indie Fixx Shop

Indie Fixx ShopCongrats to Jen Wallace on the launch of her new online shop! Jen created the Indie Fixx Shop as an extension of her blog, Indie Fixx, with the goal of supporting and promoting independent design and small DIY business people. You’ll find everything from bath & body goods to jewelry, stationery & products for the home. I’m especially loving the block print kitchen towels (pictured above) and recycled paper chicken scratch notepads (top right, below).

Indie Fixx ShopThese adorable, handmade lavendar patch and box of chocolate bon bon soaps would also make cute party favors or hostess gifts!

Indie Fixx ShopReader Discount! Now through Nov 19th, receive 10% off your entire Indie Fixx Shop order with promo code “indie_fixx_hwtm10%“. Happy shopping!

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deck the halls with Anthropologie

Anthropologie HolidayAnthropologie has some really fantastic holiday decór this year! A few favorites include…{clockwise from right} Lapland Candelabra (love this!! $48), Snow Like Honey Hurricane ($88), Alpine Votive ($6), Stitch and Sparkle Garland ($24), and Make-believe Mushroom ($14) & Felt Octopus ($12) ornaments….so cute :)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Anna Bella Stationery!

anna bella fine stationery giveawayI’m really excited about this giveaway because it should really comes just in time for the holidays…especially for those of you planning to send out some fabulous holiday cards or party invites! Anna Bella Fine Stationery is offering up the chance to “Stuff Your Stockings this season” with a $100 shopping spree on anything from their site – including holiday stationery, wedding stationery, personalized stationery sets, adorable wall art, and more!

Added bonus:
You also can feel good about giving Anna Bella this holiday season because their stationery comes with a green thumbs-up! Their papers are created using green steam and certified renewable energy to lessen greenhouse emissions and exceed the highest environmental standards for sustainable products. Nice! :)

anna bella fine stationery giveawayanna bella fine stationery giveaway
How to enter:
Post a comment with your most magical holiday wish for the world. Anna Bella will choose a winner at random to receive $100 good toward any paper stationery product at www.annabellastationery.com. Winner will also receive their signature “I heart paper” t-shirt that pledges responsible environmentality on the back.

Giveaway ends Saturday, November 10 at midnight PST. Good luck!

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Giraffe by Toss Designs

toss design giraffe shakerI’ve been eyeing these funky pink & brown Giraffe Appetizer Plates for a while now…so I was really excited to discover that there are tons of other coordinating products available sporting the same fun print – including the cool ceramic cocktail shaker and adorable notecard set pictured below. Super cute for holiday or hostess gift ideas!

toss design giraffe shaker

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