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 broadwaypaper.com . (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 marthastewart.com}

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cool cocktails

Brides.com 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!)

Brides.com 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!

Brides.com Cocktail Gallery{all images from brides.com}

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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": Delight.com

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! Delight.com 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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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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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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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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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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