Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

napkins with a sense of humor

Funny Cocktail Napkins Add a splash of unexpected humor to your next get-together with beverage napkins that are witty, clever, and even a bit saucy! A few favorites are pictured here…find all of these and more fun designs at . (The cappuccino beverage napkins would be great for a baby shower, and cook for you is a perfect choice for a much needed moms’ night out!)


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graduation party centerpiece idea

Martha Stewart Book Stack This crafty home decor idea from Martha Stewart arrived in my inbox yesterday – and it immediately looked like the perfect concept for a graduation party centerpiece! You could even recover the stacked books with cool, modern gift wrap in various prints & colors to coordinate with your party’s color scheme – and then decorate the sides with designs and the guest of honor’s name using rubber stamps like they’ve shown here. If you really want to get into the "school" theme – try recovering the books "high school style" with brown paper bags or kraft paper and ink-pen doodles (you know – the kind you used to draw when you were really supposed to be paying attention in class!).

For a thoughtful touch, designate one special keepsake book and ask party guests to sign messages to the graduate on it "yearbook-style" (on the outside and inside covers). If you use a photo album as the covered keepsake "book" – you can even fill the album at a later date with actual pictures from the party!

{image from}

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blik glass sticks

Removeable decals are such a fun way to dress up your glasses – especially when they’re as super-cute as these “glass stiks” decals from blik. You can choose from several different, modern designs (each available in a variety of colors) – or order the mix pack and use the decals as drink markers! {available at blik: $4.50/pack of 12-20, (varies by design) – or $12 for a mix pack}

Blik Glass StiksBlik Glass Stikstons of fun patterns to choose from:

Blik Glass Stiks
Quick Tip: You don’t have to limit yourself to just drinking glasses to have fun with glass sticks! Glass vases, pitchers, carafes – and even windows make great canvases as well!
{images from blik}

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Clingy Thingy drink decals

Clingy Thingy Drink Labels

Here’s another fun way to adorn your drinks…Clingy Thingy Labels is a woman-owned company that just recently launched with the motto of "making everyday things easier" – which is exactly what they accomplish with their new drink and wine labels.


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map plates by notNeutral

These bold, graphic map serving plates by notNeutral have been on my wish list for a while. They’d look so great mounted on a wall – or would make a great gift idea for a travel connoisseur, modern design lover, or resident of one of these featured cities. Available designs include: Cairo, Los Angeles, Berlin, Shanghai, and a the limited edition Los Angeles 2006. 12″ diameter/porcelain. $48 each at

notNeutral Map Plates

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cool cocktails is a wealth of inspiration – whether you’re planning a wedding or not! Check out these gorgeous cocktail/mocktail presentations – just a few images & ideas from a stunning online drinks & cocktails gallery that features lots of differenty artsy drink displays and garnishes. (Those cool cube-things in the 2nd row of the image below are actually jello shots!) Cocktail GalleryThere’s also a really great article from Modern Bride called “Create Cool Cocktails” that features more cocktail inspiration {shown below} from mixologist David Wondrich, author of Killer Cocktails and consultant to 5 Ninth restaurant in NYC. Yep…I’m ready for a party! Cocktail Gallery{all images from}

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simple chic centerpieces

Went exploring on flickr for some centerpiece inspiration yesterday, and boy did I find it! These unique creations – which feature simple florals and greenery encased in minimalist glass displays – are both ultra-modern and gracefully elegant at the same time. This idea would look gorgeous at your own dinner party or Mother’s Day brunch, don’t you think? {Photos from Wedding photo set by Renataaaaaaa}

Simple Chic Centerpieces

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30% Off at Eleni’s!

Daily Candy DealsDaily Candy Deals announced a great discount today for everyone out there that’s planning a bridal shower or looking for a cute congrats gift for your favorite bride-to-be! They’re offering a special discount code for 30% off Eleni’s wedding themed cookies – which include this adorable “I Do” gift tin and tons of great designs for wedding or shower favor cookies. DC Deals discount codes typically last for one month. If you’re not already signed up to receive them (you get new deals in your inbox every Tuesday), click here to sign up!

Daily Candy Deals

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serious style for your salad

I’m in love with this innovative salad serving set by renowned Italian design company Alessi…the all-in-one, modern minimalist design is truly genious! Set includes 1 stainless-steel tray, 1 stoneware salad bowl, 2 sleek serving spoons and a condiment set for oil, vinegar, salt & pepper – all of which stack & fit neatly together. At $334 a pop, it’s not exactly in my personal price range (sigh)…but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming! If you’ve got money to burn or are feeling generous, this would make for one show-stopper of a wedding gift! {Available at}

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A little pep for your kitchen…

These silk-screened “happy kitchen towels” from PataPri come in ultra-modern patterns and fun, vibrant colors! All towels are hand-printed by designer Yuko Uemura and available for purchase in her Etsy shop. I’m especially loving the kirin (giraffe) and apple prints…and thinking they would look just as good framed on the wall as hanging in the kitchen!

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fun new "to-do":

These days everyone’s daily “to-do” lists seem to be never-ending, but here’s an addition that you might actually be excited about: SHOPPING! is a brand-new and brilliant website concept that puts a creative twist on typical internet shopping. Everyday at lunch (noon Central time) Delight features a fabulous new item that goes on sale for 24 hours. You can vote on it, comment on it – and (of course) buy it! And because Delight has an entire team testing products out before they’re featured, you’re sure to always find something good!

A few of my favorite recent product features that are still available in Delight’s 30-day store are pictured above. Click here to see what’s new today! And a big congratulations to Tracey Tee and Lynda Keeler for turning their novel shopping vision into a truly “delightful” reality! (yes, pun intended) :)

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Surprise Giveaway WINNER: Om Home

103 comments – nice!! Thanks to everyone that entered the Om Home giveaway! And the winner is… Taylor V, who said “I would LOVE these stylish placemats–perfect for a dinner party, and I really need to update my tabletop!”

Congrats, Taylor! Please email us your shipping info and placemat color selection with “I’m a winner!” in the subject line. And hope this is a good excuse for you to throw that dinner party :)

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Suprise Giveaway WINNER: Zanisa

Wow!!! Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful “green” tips and well-deserved kudos to Zanisa! The green tips were all so great – if you haven’t read through them yet and have a minute, please check out the comments on the Zanisa giveaway to read them – there are some really great ideas! When I have a minute of downtime I’m going to put the reader tips into a pdf and post it here for anyone that wants to keep them handy… If you have anything to add to the pdf and would like to be a part of it – please email your tips and name or username to [email protected] with “green tips!” in the subject line.

And now for the lucky winner of the random giveaway… The winner is studio wellspring, who wrote: ” this is completely awesome – thanks! and happy earth day!” Congrats! (and great blog, by the way!) Please email your shipping info with “I’m a winner!” in the subject line…and enjoy the lazy susan!

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earth-friendly goods from Branch™

For more evidence that “environment-friendly” can equal “design-friendly”, just check out the gorgeous product line over at Branch! A few favorites pictured here (how great are these cork surface tiles?!)…many more on their website.

{pictured above} Haute Surface Pack by Mio (made of 100% recycled cork); Off Pitchers and Slumped Vases (both made of recycled glass stock & processed in an electric furnace that’s powered by wind energy); Large Laquerware Bowls and Low Bowls from Bambu (100% organically-grown bamboo, non-toxic water-based adhesive, natural lacquer derived from the cashew nut tree)

{pictured above, clockwise from top left} Spoontulas, Utensils, Fork/Knife/Spoon Set, and disposable Veneerware Plates – all from Bambu, and made of 100% organically-grown bamboo. Veneerware will biodegrade 4-6 months after disposal!

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Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22…so it seems fitting to celebrate with a Surprise Giveaway from Zanisa – a fantastic company that strives to be a friend to the environment year-round. Click here to read about Zanisa’s environmental efforts – one of the highlights being that they will plant a tree for every order over $50 with the help of!

Today at HWTM, Zanisa is offering up this very cool & ultra-useful Lazy Susan Server, which comes with 5 organically shaped white porcelain bowls that fit into grooves on a renewable Acacia wood tray that spins for your guests…making entertaining all the easier…and all the more stylish! I don’t know about you – but personally, I really want this! If you do too, just make a comment on this post – it can be ANY comment – or you can say something about the environment if you have a “green” tip or story to share…up to you. Giveaway ends Sunday, April 22nd at midnight PST. Good luck!

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thé vert tea

There’s something wonderfully modern and serene about Villeroy & Boch’s “Thé Vert” teapot, sugar bowl, and tea cup… just looking at this trio makes me feel more relaxed! ($11.95, 19.99 & $49.95 at herb+ginger)

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speaking of tea….

Risa over at The ParTea Planner is sponsoring a giveaway in honor of Mother’s Day! She’s giving away lots of tea-related in goodies in an effort to rekindle the tea-party-lover in all of us! Click here to get the details.

And on that same note – I came across this fantastic funky tea party pic {above} from Adorn magazine on Risa’s blog. Rememember how fun it was to play dress up when we were little? Why don’t we get to do stuff like that anymore unless it’s for Halloween? Do we really have to leave all that creativity and imagination back in elementary school? Come on…amidst all the work, daily chores, bills and “practical” choices we’re surrounded with every single day, wouldn’t we all love an excuse to pile on 10 necklaces at a time, paint on fantastically bright lipstick, and adorn our hair with flowers and rhinestone barettes just because it’s fun?

For the next bridal/baby shower or just “anytime” girls night that you throw – why not have this as the theme – and request that people dress the part… Imagine a whole room full of your friends in their own personal versions of “tea party best”…whether it’s fashion-diva, princess/royalty, urban hipster, tomboy, goth girl or flower-child! A tea party can really be whatever you want it to be – casual, fancy, pretty, modern, chic, silly, and so on…just invite over some friends, set out a buffet of great teas (and tea-themed cocktails if you’re so inclined), and rekindle a little of that elementary school imagination that’s still hidden inside all of us somewhere…it will be good for your spirit! What do you think?

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Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways! Thought we’d start the week on a bright note today with a Surprise Giveaway from OM home! Designer Oorbee Roy is the creative mind behind OM home and its gorgeous collection of textiles and home accessories, which feature vibrant colors and bold patterns inspired by an age-old Indian technique called “Alpona“. Today, Oorbee is giving HWTM readers TWO reasons to celebrate by (1.) generously offering 4 of her embroidered C.C.F.C. Placemats to a lucky reader – $100 retail value! – and (2.) offering ALL hwtm readers a 20% off discount code for that’s good throught the end of April! Just enter the code “hwtm” at checkout. (might come in handy for Mother’s Day gifts!)

To enter the giveaway, make any comment on this post by midnight PST Thursday, April 18th. Good luck!

OM homeOM home

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Ruth Hyndman ceramics

I’m loving the ultra-hip engraved patterns and bold splashes of color in these ceramic-glazed “beginnings” coaster sets and “hefty” bowls by sculptor/designer Ruth Hyndman…who’s just added interior designer and architect to her list of creative talents!

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Laura Hooper

If you’re in need of a calligrapher for your upcoming wedding or formal affair – you might want to check out the beautiful work by Laura Hooper – a freelance calligrapher who is well-versed in several different styles of calligraphy – from cute & contemporary to elegant & formal. In addition to envelope addressing and complete invitation design, Laura also creates monograms, seating cards, and the cutest custom map illustrations so your guests can find their way around!

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This is just the beginning…lots more to come as…but we’re finally up and running at! Please come over for a visit and be our guest :)

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lace dinnerware

Lace has never looked so good! How pretty & wonderfully modern is this black lace china collection by Welmade Products…not to mention the coordinating fusion lace coasters and black glass dinner plate, which I’m thinking would look just as good on the wall it does on the table! Check out the entire collection at

Welmade ProductsWelmade Products

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Giveaway-A-Day WINNERS!

First of all – thanks so much to everyone entered the giveaways last week! It was so much fun to read the comments and see all the sign-ups…I wish I could give something to everyone! Maybe one day…you never know :) But for now, the winners of each giveaway are:

cb2 (margarita glasses & pitcher)
jmg, who said:
“I have NO festive glasses. None. So I would really love to win these. Congrats HWTM!”

Red Diamond Gift Set
Winner #1: Kate W, who said:
“Oooh…I love those Reidel glasses – gorgeous! I would love to have those to use for a nice dinner I will cook for my boyfriend in our newly purchased home.”

Winner #2: Newsletter subscriber: Miss Juligie {email address not posted for privacy purposes}

Inside Avenue
Sarah Cool, who said:
“hehe – that little black kitty looks like mine.
I love cheese PLUS WINE. :-)

Give Simple (Carnival Platters)
Becky, who said:
“I’m doing a little happy dance just looking at these platters! Brilliant!!”

Paula Espresso Set
Aimee, who said:
“OMG! These are the ONLY espresso cups my SO has EVER liked. EVER. He just added them to his Kaboodle list two weeks ago. We are going without espresso cups because he hates everything else out there. What a perfect gift these would be…Crossing my fingers!
I love this blog!”

If you see your name/comment posted here – please send over your shipping info so we can send you your winnings! Email your info to: [email protected] with “I’m a winner!” in the subject line. Thanks!

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here we go…

Hostess with the Mostess
Well, it’s 12:50 a.m., so April 9th is officially here! The site will go live late this afternoon (4:00 PST) – but I just got a heads up from my programmers that it can take anywhere from 1-6+ hours after the new site launches for it to be accessible everywhere due to “DNS propigation” and some other fancy programmer speak…so if for some reason it’s not there when you first visit, please check again later!

We’re calling this the “beta” launch because the site is still a work-on-progress…over the next few weeks we’ll be adding even more party themes and content and launching new sections of the site – but I hope this initial launch will give you a better idea of what the hwtm vision is all about and where we’re headed…

Last but not least, I really want to thank all my fellow bloggers and blog-readers for your kind words & encouragement over the past couple of weeks. Your comments and emails are so appreciated and always brighten my day – especially after running on minimal sleep for weeks on end…it helps make all the work worth it. Funny how much impact a little note from someone you’ve never even actually “met” can have – but it does! So, thank you…very much :)

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April 2-6: GIVEAWAY-A-DAY!

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!It’s official… is launching Monday, April 9! We’re really excited over here and wanted to do something to celebrate the countdown – so all this week, Monday, April 2nd – Friday, April 6th – we’ll be featuring giveaways every single day! You have until Sunday, April 8th at 6pm, EST to enter each of the giveaways, and all winners will be announced April 9th along with the launch of the new website. To enter the different giveaways, simply make a comment on the giveaway posts or sign up for the hwtm newsletter (which you can do in the upper right-hand corner of the blog – or on Comments and newsletter signups will count as 2 separate entries, so if you do both you’ll be entered twice! {current newsletter subscribers are automatically entered as well}. Good luck!

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Friday’s GIVEAWAY: Paula Espresso Set

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Happy Friday! Today’s giveaway is this adorable 12-piece Paula Espresso Set. This petite little set comes with 6 porcelain cups & saucers – each adorned with their own contemporary patterns in bold black & white. Too cute!

This is the final Giveaway-A-Day, so don’t miss out! You still have until Sunday to enter this giveaway and the other 4 from this week. Just make a comment on the post or sign up for the newsletter…you know the drill!

Have a great weekend everyone – can’t wait to see you on MONDAY! :)

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Thursday’s GIVEAWAY: give simple

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Today’s giveaway comes from give simple – a wonderful new website that I have a feeling HWTM readers will quickly fall in love with…I know I did! Between their fantastic selection of stylish, contemporary products, creative (and affordable!) gift ideas, smart “live simple” tips, and the clean, easy-to-navigate style of their website, give simple has already become a great resources for hip shoppers!

And for 2 more reasons to love them, here goes:
1. They’d like to give this hip French Bull Carnival Platter Set (one 9″ and one 11″ platter) to an HWTM reader! Perfect excuse for spring/summer entertaining with friends. Just post a comment here or sign up for the newsletter (at the upper right hand corner of the blog) by Sunday, April 8th!
2. For all HWTM readers, give simple is offering shopping discount for 10% off your entire order! Just enter promo code: HOSTESS (all caps) at checkout. The promo code is good through Mother’s Day :)

Pictured below is a small sampling of some more great products available at give simple. Click here to check out the entire collection…

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!

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Wednesday’s GIVEAWAY: Inside Avenue

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Today’s HWTM Giveaway comes from Inside Avenue, an upscale home furnishings store specializing in products that are “modern but not stark, warm but not fussy, stylish but not contrived. ” Sounds good to me! And hopefully the chance of winning some free stuff sounds good to you…cuz Inside Avenue is generously offering up this gorgeous, white marble Cat & Mouse Cheeseboard and gold-plated Mouse Knife by designer Michael Aram to a lucky HWTM reader…a set that retails for over $150! Simply post a comment or sign up for the newsletter and you could be on your way to a clever game of cat & mouse for your next wine & cheese! (You have until Sunday, April 8th to enter!)

Inside AvenueClick here to visit the Inside Avenue website and browse their entire selection of “warm modern” decor. You’ll find everything from upscale home accessories to bedding and furniture…each item carefully selected from unique & stylish boutique vendors. And for the scoop on the latest trends in home design, check out Inside Avenue’s home design blog.

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kiku & murano dinnerware

Kiku DinnerwareKiku Dinnerware

Kiku Dinnerware

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Tuesday’s GIVEAWAY: Red Diamond Wine

Red Diamond WinesHappy Tuesday! Today’s giveaway comes from the generous folks at Red Diamond – a cool, Washington-based winemaker with vineyards located near the Columbia River gorge in Eastern Washington state. Red Diamond wines are gaining popularity at rapid speed – largely due to their enticing combination of great taste and affordability. You won’t find any “wine snobbery” associated with the Red Diamond brand – just great wine designed to be enjoyed by all. Click here to visit the website and learn more about their Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet, & Shiraz (described as “The hottest thing to come out of Washington state since Pearl Jam…”).

For their giveaway, Red Diamond is offering up the following goods to TWO lucky readers!
– Set of 2 Riedel Stemless Wine Glasses
– OXO Steel Wine Opener
– Set of 4 Photo Coasters w/ Dark Wood Holder
– Red Diamond Women’s Fitted Tee
– Red Diamond Men’s Tee
{click on the images below to view larger}

Red Diamond WinesRed Diamond WinesRed Diamond WinesTo enter, post a comment and/or sign up for the hwtm newsletter. Comments and newsletter signups will count as 2 separate entries, so if you do both you’ll be entered twice! {current newsletter subscribers are automatically entered as well}. Giveaway ends Sunday, April 8th at 6pm EST.

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