Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

zanisa spring

One of my favorite online shops, Zanisa, has some great entertaining finds for spring right now…like this bright kiwi serveware set from Bambu ($45/set), fun & slightly off-center euro sphere vases ($12/ea), Rae Dunn porcelain herb markers with dots & stripes ($25/set of 8), and hand-painted, translucent botanical glasses ($56/set of 6).

Zanisa…and I’m especially loving these cute test-tube magnet vases! With fun spring-y colors and at only $15/set of 5, these little guys are a great way to add a splash of color and modern decor to your refrigerator or office magnet board, as well as a great gift idea! (Available in round or square.)

Zanisa

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NBC San Diego: Hip Housewarming Gifts

NBC San Diego Moving into a new home is a time for celebrating, but many people seem to be stumped when it comes to figuring out the "perfect" housewarming gift for others. In reality, there are lots of items that would make great housewarming gifts – so don’t stress so much about finding the "perfect" one…just remember to consider your recipient’s sense of style when choosing the gift. Things like kitchen tools, barware, serveware, plants, and candles are always smart choices for a housewarming.

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Surprise Giveaway Winner : Satinbox

The winner of the Satinbox giveaway is anne – who said ” OMG so cute! I want this for my Easter brunch :)”. Congrats, Anne! Please email your shipping info to [email protected] so we can send you your new Rosanna Tea set and Butterfly Dish Towel!

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a playful easter tabletop…

If you have kids or are just looking for something simple and fun to do for your Easter tabletop, here are some quick, easy ideas for a cute tabletop design, utilizing a few inexpensive elements that can double as gifts and treats for your loved ones…

Playful Easter TabletopThese adorable little stuffed bunnies (purchased in-store at Hallmark for $8 each) were the inspiration for this tabletop and immediately give it a playful feel. To give the table height and help the bunnies sit upright, set them on top of little pails (available at Michael’s for $1 each). The pails were embellished with fabric ribbon and cute little self-adhesive chick decals from The Container Store, which were also affixed to green ribbon to create coordinating napkin rings. Colored eggs in white ceramic egg cups are an easy, fitting decorative accent. (Egg cups from at IKEA for $1 each.) The lime “table runner” is actually a folded twin sheet and could also be used as a full tablecloth!

Playful Easter TabletopPlayful Easter TabletopSalad plates and place cards are great places to add a pop of color to the place settings. The contemporary wire flower placecard holders pictured here are available at weddingfavorites.com for $2.50 each. Purple, yellow, and lime flowers make for a beautiful “springy” arrangement. For the tabletop, a couple stems of gerberas and tulips in a glass vase is all you need to make a refreshingly simplistic statement.

Playful Easter TabletopPlayful Easter TabletopLast but not least, whether you’re a fan of the taste or not, a tray lined with neat little rows of brightly-colored Marshmallow Peeps makes for a super inexpensive, yet ultra-modern display!

Playful Easter Tabletop

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one smart brownie (pan)

Now here’s a simple, yet incredibly clever idea! With The Edge Brownie Pan, those of us who love the chewy edges of homemade brownies don’t have to settle for just the “border” of the pan anymore…the unique zig-zag structure of this non-stick pan gives you 2 chewy edges on every serving! (Use it for your favorite cookie bars too!) $39.95 at The Baker’s Catalogue.

The Edge Brownie PanThe Edge Brownie Pan{via boing boing}

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easter brights & treats

I was so excited to see these bright & cheery glazed ceramic eggs in my inbox this morning. What a fantastic centerpiece these would make…especially with each one in a white ceramic egg cup, all lined up in a neat little row.

Bright Easter Eggs from Red EnvelopeAlso found some other fun easter treats on the red envelope website: {clockwise from top left} easter cactus (LOVE the colors in the arrangement!), chocolate egg & chick, spring egg candies in pretty soft pastels, and easter cookies by Eleni’s.

Easter treats from Red Envelope

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Surprise Giveaway: Satinbox

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Happy Friday! Got another great surprise giveaway for you today. This time it comes from Satinbox, a stylish online shop (that also recently opened their first brick-and-mortar store in Cambridge, Massachusettes!) – which offers everything from home decor and entertaining products to fashion accessories and beauty products. For their giveaway, Satinbox is generously offering up this cool, vintage-modern “Tea’s Me” Teapot and Teacup Set by Rosanna™ – in addition to the adorable Polka Dot Butterfly Dish Towel pictured above. Such a fun gift!

To enter simply post any comment – we’ll keep this easy since it’s Friday and all :) Remember to use your blogger login, full name, or first name/last initial so that we can identify you if you win. Giveaway ends at midnight PST on Tuesday, March 27th. Good luck!

Also – if you’re on the market for wedding or party favors – Satinbox also recently launched a Favor Salon with tons of favor options for a variety of themes and budgets. Click here to check it out!

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!

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animals in the kitchen

The current issue of O At Home features some of the cutest kitchen tools I’ve ever seen – they make me happy just looking at them! From monkey peelers and “punk-u-pine” scrubbers to hippo clips and shark-shaped paring knives, these witty “AnimalHouse” gadgets are guaranteed to make your time in the kitchen a little more fun! 18 different AnimalHouse tools range from $5 – $20 each at kitchenkapers.com. (A few of these little guys would make a clever housewarming gift too!)

Animal House Kitchen GadgetsAnimal House Kitchen Gadgets

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fontaine maury

How cute are these personalized melamine plates from Fontaine Maury?! Aptly named “Parker’s Plates” after the son of Fontaine Maury’s founder, Haile – these sturdy little plates sport your little one’s name and choice of several adorable illustrations, surrounded by fun, modern patterns. A few of the available designs are pictured here, but be sure to visit the Fontaine Maury website to view all of them. At $20/each or $60/set of 4, Parker’s Plates make a super-cute and thoughtful gift idea too!

Fontaine Maury

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Surprise Giveaway WINNER: Whimsy Press

Okay, so the response to the Whimsy Press surprise giveaway was amazing! I wish I had 135 packages to give out, (well, maybe 136 so I could keep one too!) – but alas, there can only be one winner…and that lucky reader is….hippieprincess, who said: ” I LOVE Whimsy Press! Beautiful graphics/prints. (keeping my fingers crossed)”. Congrats! Please send your shipping info to: [email protected] so we can get you your Whimsy goods!

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Easter entertaining from Sur La Table

I can’t believe that Eater (April 8th) is already just around the corner! Fortunately, there are lots of great Easter entertaining finds out for the season, like these cutie chick and bunny designs from Sur La Table. Shown below, clockwise from top left: 14.5″ peep! ceramic platter ($24.95), vintage easter towel ($9.95), hand-painted bunny plates ($19.95/set of 4), and adorable chick candles ($40/set of 8).

Sur La Table: Easter EntertainingAlso fitting for an Easter table are these beautifully simplistic porcelain double-egg cups – serve one egg on top while the other stays hidden and warm in the lower chamber of the cup. Very clever and just $7.50 for a set of 2. And if you want to get really fancy with your presentation, this gourmet stainless steel professional egg topper can help – just pull the knob to quickly & consistently cut a perfect circle from the top of each egg or eggshell, leaving you with a smooth canvas to decorate as you wish! ($54.95 each)

Sur La Table: Easter Entertaining

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style me pretty: cake gallery

oh my goodness…style me pretty posted one of the most fantastic cake galleries I’ve ever seen today – 31 different designs! this is a can’t miss visual treat…had to share! click here to ooh and aah to Abby’s picks too :)

Style Me Pretty

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clever cake stand…and more cool stuff

Hallmark™ is more than just greeting cards these days! You might be surprised to see how many great gift and decorating ideas are available on the hallmark.com website – like this unique “A Taste of Happy” square white cake stand and ribbon, or creative “A Day to Remember” marker and message plate. The cool thing about these products is that you can continually customize them to match your party theme decor or the style that your recipient loves!

Hallmark Cake StandsAnd if you’re looking for some fantastic ribbon patterns, check out the ribbon selection at scrappingrannies.com – a great website I recently discovered that carries the full line of American Craft scrapbooking supplies – maker of so many truly wonderful, modern paper designs it’s honestly overwhelming!

Hallmark Cake Stands

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Whimsy Press

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!TGIF! And to make your weekend even happier, the ultra-hip designer gift wrap company, Whimsy Press, has put together an amazing giveaway for a lucky HWTM reader – including some of their brand-new products like Whimsy journals and notecards! Check out the complete list of goods below, then simply make a comment on this post to enter. Giveaway ends Monday, March 19th at midnight, PST. (and it’s St. Patty’s day this weekend, so maybe you’ll have a little extra luck on your side!)

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!HWTM Whimsical Gift Pack includes: a custom collection Modern Garden gift wraps with coordinating gift tag stickers, one of Whimsy’s stylish new journals, 2 large notecards, one notecard pack of 6 cards/envelopes, and one set of double-sided placemats! Good luck!

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Giveaway WINNERS: Kiwi Studios & Carolyn’s Kitchen

The winner of the Kiwi Studios tray is: craft & bake, who said: “So yummy looking, I could eat them!” and the winner of the Caryolyn’s Kitchen apron is Mary M who said: “I would absolutely LOVE to wear this apron and gloves. My husband and I just moved into our new house and we are having fun cooking & baking in our new kitchen. This set looks like something Christina Aguilerra would wear now that she is so “retro-glam”. Cheers! Mary”

Congrats to the winners! Please send your mailing address to : [email protected] so that we can get you your goods…

Also – if you’d like to sign up for the Carolyn’s Kitchen mailing list and keep up-to-date on specials and new items, please send your email to [email protected] with “email signup” as the subject.

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Soolip presents: A Green Wedding

blumeboxFamed paperie & press, Soolip, is putting on a fabulous event in Los Angeles this Sunday, March 18, called “A Green Wedding – which will feature a collection of resources suited for the ecological and socially-conscious bride and groom. Attendees will be treated to creative ideas for everything from invitations and party favors to catering, party decor, and overall “green living” caring/awareness, a fashion show featuring designs by Monique Lhuillier, makeup by Sephora, hair by Chris McMillan and more; and the schedule and list of sponsors/exhibitors looks fantastic. If you’re in the L.A. area and are interested in attending, you can click here to purchase tickets online! ($65 each)

For more information on A Green Wedding, click here to visit the event website.

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fabulous, yes – but really "not a fortune"?

blumeboxLike many others around the world, myself included – Oprah is a fan of the very talented celebrity event planner, Colin Cowie. On one of her shows, themed “Fabulous Without a Fortune“, Oprah featured a bridal shower designed by Cowie, as seen in the images here. While I’ll agree that this shower is fabulous – I’m not so sure about the “not a fortune” part. I recently helped my friend design her wedding, and, (at least at the place we were at) – the chairs seen in these images alone were $11 each to rent and another $4 each for the cushions. When you take into account the average # of guests at a shower – usually at least 20 or more, that can really add up for just chairs alone. Then factor in the “real” (sans paper) dishes (including chargers and salad plates), gold flatware, coordinating wine goblets, designer fabric, custom menus with easels, gorgeous green orchids, bunches and bunches of tulips….you get the picture.

So what I’m wondering is – what’s your take on the issue of bridal and baby shower budgets? As we’re putting together themes for the site, it’s been a struggle to find the line between what looks good and will be most inspiring for you – and what is truly practical for the budget of most people. Of course “real” dishes and flatware, huge bouquets of designer flowers, custom-printed menus and tags – all of this looks amazing and is ideal in general – but is it practical? Would you like to see these kinds of items used in the party theme images anyways because they look so great and it’s just a source for inspiration? Or would you like to see some more inexpensive items that you’re more likely to actually use mixed in – such as paper partyware, place settings that don’t always include all the extras like chargers and real flatware, etc? Your opinion on this issue would be much appreciated! Thank you!

blumebox

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blumebox

blumeboxNow here’s a fun way to add a splash of color to your party…the blumebox enables you to (affordably!) dress up your tabletop, floral gifts, wedding decor…even your appetizer display! These stylish & functional boxes are available in 2 sizes (6″ tall and 10″ tall), 18 radiant colors, and are made of 100% recycleable paper. They come packaged flat and lock into place in a snap. Fill them with your favorite flowers or snacks – and if you’re feeling creative, customize them to your theme with ribbon, craft embellishments, tissue paper, or anything else you can think of…the sky’s the limit! For some creative inspiration, be sure to visit the blumebox photo gallery. ($3.99 – $4.99 each at blumebox.com)

blumebox

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new from bumble ink!

Bumble InkIf you’re into designer stationery, there’s a good chance you may have already discovered Bumble Ink, since their witty and unique holiday card designs garnered fans all over the place this past holiday – but what you might not know is that they recently added an entire collection of super-cute personalized invitations and announcements to their line! You’ll find everything from anytime party, bridal and baby shower invites – to super-cute baby and moving announcements! Click here to check out the entire collection for youself.

Bumble InkBumble Ink

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marigold glass plates

LOVE the design of these marigold glass plates by Sagaform! Bold, ultra-modern design – and only $25/set of four 7″ plates, or $30/set of four 10″ plates at a plus r. Gorgeous and affordable – what’s not to love?!

Sagaform's Marigold PlatesSagaform's Marigold Plates

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Carolyn’s Kitchen

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Ooh-la-la! Carolyn’s West’s unique, vintage-inspired “Carolyn’s Kitchen” aprons and gloves are reminiscent of the pin-up era and a fun way to play dress-up in the kitchen :) In Carolyn’s own words: “I wanted to bring back the glamour, sexiness, and cuteness of a bygone innocent era. The gloves and fabrics are new and nicer – it’s a new and improved version of the ’40’s. I let my imagination run, and originated the embodiment of that 40’s girl in the apron and gloves, living in our ultra modern age…”

Ready to play dress up? Just make a comment on this post and you could be on your way to winning your own Carolyn’s Kitchen apron and glove set – like the Rock-n-Roll Faux Fur Gloves and red, black and white Dorothy Apron pictured here. The winner can pick their favorite designs from the collection! (Giveaway ends Wed, March 14th at midnight PST)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Kiwi Studios

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!You might have seen Kiwi Studios featured on Daily Candy Deals a couple weeks ago…and now’s your chance to win one of their gorgeous fused glass trays for free!! They have generously offered up this beautiful 6″ x 16″ Pink Stripe Slim Tray (a $120 retail value) for HWTM readers!

Kiwi StudiosHow to enter:
• Make {any} comment on this post
• You have until Midnight (PST) Wednesday, March 14th to enter.
• Anonymous comments cannot be counted – please use either your blogger account login, website URL, or first and last name (or initial) with your post so we can identity you if you win!

Many thanks to Chris Austin for the great giveaway!

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Surprise Giveaway: Red Diamond Wine

Looking for some great wine that won’t break the bank? Then you might want to check out Red Diamond next time

Red Diamond Wine

Red Diamond Wine

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TWO giveaways this weekend!

Hi Everyone – There won’t be any post today because we’re out all day for a photo shoot for the new site (!) – but check back this weekend if you can because we’ll be running TWO Surprise Giveaways tomorrow…and 2 MORE next week! Yay!

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pop ink plates & napkins

Pop Ink I just can’t get enough of Pop Ink and their hip & funky melamine plates and paper cocktail napkins. They’re packed with so much design in themselves, all you need to do is pair them with a few simple solid color vases for your centerpiece and you’ve easily got a fantastic, ultra-modern tabletop. A few of my favorites are pictured here, but there’s even more at Loft Party or French Paper . $39/set of 4 at Loft Party, or you can buy them in single designs at French Paper for $10/each.

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"spring-y" textiles at wrapables

How great are the patterns and colors in these ultra-modern kitchen & dish towels from Wrapables? I have to say I’m loving all the blue and green for spring! Patterns pictured below, clockwise from top left: Kapsela Bulbs & Pebbles, Magnolia, Carmela Floral, and Limes (each pattern sold in sets of 2 for $10-$11 per set)

WrapablesAnd now some blue and green for your table! Pictured below: Magnolia Runner and Haylee Dandelion Tablecloth

WrapablesWrapables

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thai garden

I stumbled on this “Thai Garden” everyday china collection at Mikasa yesterday and was immediately drawn to it. The pattern and colors are so modern and refreshing! Love the unique product shapes too – like the exaggerated curve of the creamer and slanted style of the bowls…oh, what a gorgeous tabletop this would make!

Thai GardenThai Garden

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KenzieKate Invitations

On the home page of the KenzieKate wedding invitations website, you’re greeted with the simple phrase “Nothing ordinary will do.” One look at Makenzie Sala’s gorgeous collection of hip, modern & elegant invitation suites and you’ll see that this sentiment couldn’t ring more true! I’m especially in love with the bold new Havana design (see first image below). Click here to check out the entire KenzieKate catalog.

Kenzie Kate InvitationsKenzie Kate InvitationsMackenzie also runs a fantastic wedding blog called “Something Old, Something New“, where she posts on “products and inspiration for modern weddings, parties, and big to-do’s.” Click here to check it out!

Kenzie Kate Invitations

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hooray! Simrin at Plum Party!

Simrin at Plum PartyI first learned about Simrin via design*sponge back in October last year, and was so excited to see such great, modern table linens – but then immediately disappointed because there was no where to purchase them retail yet. But happiness is here once again – I unexpectedly stumbled on them at Plum Party yesterday – and they’re available to purchase! The credit card will be burning today :) The patterns and colors are absolutely fantastic and – in addition to kitchen towels, placemats, and napkins – I’m really happy to see them available in tablecloths and table runners too, as it’s not nearly as common to find these items in great patterns. Click here to check out the entire simrin collection at Plum Party. (scroll to about 1/2 way down the page – that’s where the simrin products start).

Simrin at Plum PartySimrin at Plum Party

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Surprise Giveaway WINNER {Espresso Set}

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!The winner of the French Bull Espress Set giveaway is… Rachel, who said:

“I have to say G. It is so hard to find exactly what I want online. I end up searching through tons of sites that have nothing I like and then have to piece everything (games, servingware, favors) from a billion different places. And what do I google “hip baby shower“? “hipster wedding party” so I don’t get 89,000 Disney responses or or over the top cutesy fluff? What’s a stylish, modern girl to do?”. {just for kicks, I actually googled these search phrases Rachel mentioned so you can see what the search results for them really are}

Rachel – I sooo feel your pain! Please send your mailing address to [email protected] so we can send you your espresso set!

For everyone else – thank you so much for all the great comments – it was so fun to hear your opinions – and good to know for the future. All of the “frustration options” were picked at least once – and it looks like there’s a general dread felt around the world when it comes to baby and bridal shower games and activities. Going to have to start brainstorming some solutions for that!

It was also interesting how many of you brought up the RSVP (or lack there of) issue. I’ve noticed this too – about 15 people even showed up to my wedding unannounced until the day of! I have to say, that was definitely a seating-chart nightmare at the very last minute. 2 of my poor bridesmaids even skipped their hair appointments to help me out with fixing that at the last minute, for which, 6 years later, I’m still grateful! For showers and everyday parties, I can’t figure out why this is so difficult to get guests to do with the options of both phone and email nowadays…maybe we can start putting the “Please RSVP” info in even bigger letters than the party info….think that would help? (j/k!)

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