Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Mel Lim at blik!

You gotta love it when great things happen to great people…which is why I was so excited to get an email from Mel Lim today about her brand-new line of ultra-cool surface graphics available at blik! Mel’s signature design style is 100% present in her blik collections, which feature familiar “Joy by Mel Lim” graphics such as lucky koi, giraffes and happy geese. All of the designs are available in multiple color combinations, and sets run from $24 – $50. Congrats on yet another great accomplishment, Mel!

Mel Lim at blikMel Lim at blikI pretty much decided in the span of a minute that one of these collections is going to be a necessary purchase! The only problem is how to ever decide on which one. Giraffes are my favorite animal, but I’m strangely drawn to the geese and koi for some reason too…which do you like best?

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and while we’re on the subject…

…here are a couple more reasons why I’m smitten with Joy by Mel Lim. :)

Joy by Mel Lim{pictured above} Giraffe Double and Giraffe Solo baby gifts, and Pink Giraffe and Raspberry Giraffe wraps + boxes,

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inspired accessories

I was browsing etsy today and discovered these gorgeous glass coasters & candles from gamiworks, a beautiful shop featuring a contemporary collection of Japanese chiyogami-inspired gifts and accessories. And at only $24/set of 4 coasters and $15/set of 3 candles, these pieces are definitely suited for gifting!


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Inspiration Tuesday: Think Bold

There are so many great books, magazines, and event planners out there – so I thought it would be fun to start a weekly inspiration segment every Tuesday to showcase some truly inspiring publications & events.

To kick this off, thought I’d share with you one of my favorite wedding designs from Simple Stunning Weddings, a gorgeous book from wedding planner Karen Bussen. Wedding books & magazines are actually a great place to find inspiration for any type of party you’re planning …and this particular theme does a great job of thinking outside the box – with unusual touches such as high-contrast colors, zebra print, and yellow feathers….all of which come together nicely to create a decidedly modern & chic atmosphere!

Modern Entertaining Inspirationpictured above: monochromatic colors and modern minimalist lucite servers & glass arrangements create an impressive drink display. (**If anyone knows where to find trays like the ones pictured above, please let me know!)

Modern Entertaining Inspirationpictured above: cattleya orchids with a collar of yellow ostrich feathers, and upside-down red heliconia submerged in water are sure to be conversation starters…

*side note: we’re actually creating an entire HWTM Christmas party theme based on this heliconia idea! The bright red and green colors naturally provide the perfect traditional color palette for a Christmas party, but the nature of the flower is a very untraditional element for the hostess that wants a fresh & unusual take on their holiday party :)

Modern Entertaining Inspirationpictured above: zebra print place cards add an unusual design element to the table in a small enough dose as to not overwhelm, and Italian poppies add a bold pop of color to the otherwise neutral table setting.

For even more imagery from this wedding design and several more themes, check out a complete copy of Simple Stunning Weddings.

*Photography by Ellen Silverman

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new stuff at Zanisa

One of the best things about a the start of a new season is checking out all the great new merchandise at your favorite shops, like these cool entertaining products from Zanisa. I get a lot of emails asking about hostess gift ideas, and all of the products pictured below would make great, unique gifts for your own favorite hostess with the mostess or entertaining guru! (scroll down for direct links to each product).

Zanisa - Hostess Gift IdeasZanisa - Hostess Gift Ideas{top image} Good Morning Set (perfect for breakfast in bed! – $55/set), Fluted Tea Set ($69/set) and Tumbled Stone Candle Holders ($14/set of 2 holders + 12 taper candles)
{bottom image} River Rock Markers ($16/set of 8 + markers) and Slate Markers ($15/set of 10 + markers)

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balé living

I saw the cute Mouse Paper Towel Holder (pictured below) in the current issue of O at Home and went online to dig up some more info on the company that designed it. As it turns out, this company – “balé living” – has a slew of these super adorable, contemporary products – at very affordable prices! A few favorites are pictured here – and you can view the entire collection of balé’s products for your kitchen, bathroom, office & more at

Dwell Table - BaléLivingDwell Table - BaléLiving

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Giveaway WINNERS:

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Thanks so much to everyone that entered the giveaway! (and apologies for the delay on posting the results – they were sitting in our office in SD while we were on the east coast…oops!!)

There were so many great drinks mentioned – some I’d never heard of before that sound particularly yummy – like the Watermelon Mojito from L.A.-based Katsuya that Anne mentioned, a “Rulolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that tastes like cinnamon and apples (yum!) – as described by Star, and the antibride‘s mango margarita with real mango chunks, which is served in a cocktail glass rimmed with chili pepper powder and salt. Overall popular favorites seem to be mojitos & margaritas – in both traditional and unique flavors such as mango, raspberry, pineapple and more.

And now, for the draw results! The lucky readers that each get $100 to burn at are…

1) Oh Happy Blog!, who said: “I would have to say that depending on the bartender… I love a good dirty martini… but will sometimes fall back on a gin and tangueray with extra lime…. and if I have too much fun over those- a bloody mary for brunch the next day…what lovely pieces… all of them!”

2) Alena, who said, “Oh wow, I simply must have those cocktail shakers! I love classic barware with a modern twist. My current favorite drink is a Dark N Stormy (ginger beer and dark rum), but I also enjoy mojitos, margaritas, and sidecars (although it’s hard to find a properly made sidecar…)”

Congrats, girls! Please send over your contact info with “I’m a Winner!” in the subject line so we can get your shopping spree set up! And for everyone else…more great giveaways coming this week :)

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Readers Ask, Readers Answer!

Hi Everyone – I’ve had so many reader questions sent in recently and it’s been hard to get to them while traveling, so I thought it would be cool to try something new and see if any of YOU would like to answer them or offer advice/ideas to fellow readers. Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated! Just post your answer in the comments section! THANK YOU! Here goes:

Question A: ———-
For the holiday season this year, I would like to send out cards to our family and friends. Last year was the first year we were married and I did not send out cards because 1) I was not sure if I should mail a picture card out or if that is something you only do with kids and 2) I wanted to do something more creative than a store-bought holiday card. Do you have any suggestions to sending out cards this year that may be creative and nice? I am not opposed to sending a picture card out…I know I am being picky but I want to send out something to those family and friends we do not see often!

Question B: ———-
Can you point me in the right direction for the kinds of hostess gifts that would be appropriate for when you are staying a few days at someone’s house?

Question C: ———-
Aloha! We’re planning a Las Vegas themed bridal shower in October for a friend with the emphasis on bright lights and gambling. We’ve been playing with “bet on love”, “lucky in love” as quotes. Think you can help us out with some decoration/favor/set up ideas?! Thanks!

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French Bull: Rainbow

Looking for something to brighten up your table? How about these fun new melamine Rainbow dishes from French Bull

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Three Potato Four (continued)

Hello from beautiful Chicago ! I was in such a rush this morning and didn’t have time to post all of the cool things from Three Potato Four that I had planned on sharing, so here are a few more stand-out products…

Three Potato Four {pictured above} adorable Melamine Zoo Tray , Melamine Ladybug Tray , and Cafemug Trees set – which includes a sweet mug and stackable mini dish engraved with the phrase "we love the four seasons in our forest…" – all by Shinzi Katoh. {pictured below} ultra-cool Urban Landscapes plates by London-based artist Snowden Flood


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cool shop: Three Potato Four

I just discovered a new online shop called Three Potato Four that carries the coolest tabletop items, home decor and more…like this Bluebird & Trees carafe and measuring glasses, and adorable Melamine Leaves Tray. I’m rushing to catch a flight right now – but more to come later tonight!

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new york and new stuff…!

Hi Everyone –
We’re in New York & Chicago all week, so the timing of posts might be a little sporadic for the next few days because our schedule is all over the place – so please bare with me! We’re going to an event at Martha Stewart Living tomorrow – (so excited!) – so hopefully there will be some fun stuff to tell you soon :)

In the meantime, there are some new articles up on, including how to throw a green party

throw a green party
12 cool baby shower gift ideas

baby shower gift ideas
kids birthday party ideas

kids birthday party ideasand more…so please check them out if you have a minute!

thanks & be in touch soon…
Jenn :)

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Chinoiserie Placemats

Dwell Table - Chinoiserie PlacematsThese Chioiserie Placemats by DwellTable remind me of something you might find at Anthropologie…and they look especially great when paired with Dwell’s simple & chic Pin Dot Napkins. (both avaliable at Design Public)

Dwell Table - Pin Dot NapkinsDwell Table - Chinoiserie Placemats

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home accessories as tabletop & party decor

One of the images on Design Public featuring the Chinoiserie placemats pictured above demonstrates a great concept for tablescapes: use decorative home accessories to create an interesting (and convenient!) centerpiece – rather than the traditional flower or candle arrangements. Look how great these artsy vases and figurines look lined up down the center of this table:

Dwell Table - Chinoiserie PlacematsThe best part about this concept is that you can look around your home and try to use what you already have. For example, one of our guest rooms is all done in orange & white – so for a friend’s citrus-themed shower I was able to grab all of the orange vases and candles from that room to use as decór for the food & beverage tables.

You can even use very artistic/sculptural home accessories such as Jonathan Adler figurines or brushed aluminum fruit for creative centerpieces. More ideas pictured below…(scroll down for resources).

Modern TabletopModern Tabletoppictured above:
image 1: west elm’s small white ceramic vases, cb2’s Panda Vases, Jonathan Adler figurines ($24 ea), and mini Bubble Vase from Crate & Barrel.
image 2: modern table sculptures, dance sculptures, aluminum fruit sculptures, and neo sculptures (all from Chiasso) /

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more bright dishware

Uncommon GoodsWhile we’re on the subject of dishware with vibrant colors, here are a few more very cool, modern designs from Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goodspictured here: (top image) handmade black and white stripe mugs. (bottom image) touch/eat bowl sets,buddha bowls, and touch/drink cup sets.

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Terra Keramik

Terra Keramik Home If you love bright colors that pop and clean, minimalist design – then you just might fall in love with the fabulous homeware collection from Terra Keramik ! This eco-friendly tableware is widely considered to be functional art and comes in 8 brilliant colors, each accented with platinum and signed by the artist .

Terra Keramik Home


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party favor keychains

Party FavorsJessica – the ever-so-crafty designer from How about orange, sent over an awesome idea for custom party favors recently. She used ink-jet compatible shrinky sheets from ReadyMade to create custom key chains featuring designs printed from her computer – which is great because this gives you the opportunity to create party favors that perfectly match your theme! You can pull a cute pattern used in your tableware or party decor or even create personalized keychains for each of your guests using mongrammed initials. Click here for the step-by-step instructions. Thanks, Jess!

Party Favors

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Diana Fayt stoneware

Diana Fayt I’m loving this artistic stoneware by Diana Fayt . Everything is handmade, and the detail in the etched illustrations is amazing !! You can learn more about Diana on her website , or pick up some pieces for yourself in her etsy shop .


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Giveaway WINNER: Rosanna

Thanks so much to everyone that entered the Rosanna Boho Plates giveaway! Everyone at Rosanna was so appreciative of your comments and feedback – including (and probably especially) Rosanna herself! It’s always so nice to feel that hard work and creativity is appreciated…so you definitely brightened their week ;)

And now, for the winner… The lucky reader is: the girl about town, who said: ” My favorite is the Boho – what a great set! I also love the red dots! :)” Congrats, Amy! Please email us your shipping info with”I’m a Winner!”in the subject line so we can get you your beautiful new Boho set…hopefully you’ll be able to show off your pretty new table soon!

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Love cocktails? Love shopping? Love contemporary style? Then you should find today’s Surprise Giveaway worthy of a “Cheers!”.

CocktailVibe – a hip website featuring loads of contemporary barware – is generously offering up $100 shopping sprees on their website to TWO lucky HWTM readers! On CocktailVibe, you’ll find everything from funky glassware & shakers to hip serving trays and home decor – and you can spend your winnings however you like!
In addition to cool products, CocktailVibe also features a “vibe on location” section that highlights great bars and cocktail venues around the globe – as well as an entire section on cocktail trendspotting. And I personally love the explanation they give (on their “about us” page) – as to why they find the cocktail so facinating: “…Perhaps it’s the fact that cocktailing is an activity that involves people, conversations, depth and overall good times. There’s nothing better than getting together with friends and family, mixing a concoction of choice, sitting back, and relaxing.” I couldn’t agree more!

How to enter:
Post a comment here and tell us what YOUR favorite cocktails or mocktails are – whatever you like to make at home or what you’re most apt to order when you’re out. It will be interesting to hear what drinks are most popular these days… Also, please remember to use your blogger login or a name we can easily identify you with if you win.

Giveaway ends Wednesday, Sept 12 at midnight PST – so make sure to post your comment before then, and this time next week you could be hosting cocktail hour at your place with a bunch of new goods! ;)

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love & marraige

Love & Marraige by Whimsy PressModern patterns, fantastic colors, double-sided wraps…what’s not to love about the “Love an Marraige” gift wrap collection by Whimsy Press?!

Love & Marraige by Whimsy Press
Throwing a bridal shower? Why not use one of these patterns as the inspiration for your party decor? Create table runners from the gift wrap then find coordinating partyware and linens. For your centerpieces, fill one or more table vases with tight bunches of flowers then wrap a 2-3″ strip of the gift wrap around the center of each vase to tie everything together. For extra embellishment, tie another band of coordinating ribbon around the paper band – and use the same ribbon for your napkin rings.

And don’t forget to kick the whole thing off with a coordinating imprintable invitation!…

Love & Marraige by Whimsy Press

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Rosanna Boho Set
Ready to set a seriously chic table? Because with today’s fantastic surprise giveaway from Rosanna, now’s your chance to do just that!

Rosanna is a line of contemporary dishware and tabletop accessories by designer Rosanna Bowles. Spend just a few moments browsing their website, and you’re sure to discover fantastic designs that run the gamut from decidedly sophisticated to playful, modern & fun. Today, Rosanna is generously offering up their cool, eclectic Boho collection – which includes 6 porcelain dinner plates and 6 porcelain dessert plates – to one very lucky hwtm reader! ($146 retail value!) Check it out…

Rosanna Boho SetWith the Boho collection, several different patterns + several different colors come together to create one surprisingly cohesive – not to mention gorgeous – tabletop!

Ready to snap up the Boho set for yourself?
Tell us what your favorite Rosanna dinnerware design is – or just make any comment here to enter the sweepstakes! Remember to use either your blogger login or first name / last name or initial so we can identify you if you win.

Giveaway ends Saturday, Sept 8th at midnight PST! Good luck! :)

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Elum Giveaway WINNERS!

268 comments – wow! Guess you guys really DO love elum, huh? ;) Thanks so much to everyone who threw their name in the hat! And the winners are…

Gina Perry,who said…
“Those dogs are fabulous. And the gift bags are just beautiful.”

Melissa DiStefano , who said…
“Pick me! Pick Me!!!! Pretty please with sugar and a cherry!!! (I am chair hoping right now – literally!)”

Julie, who said…
“What Fabulous stationary! I spend time each week sending some elderly folks cards and letters – it makes their day and they have NO IDEA what e-mail is. It would be nice to revive the lost art of letter writing. Have a great day!”

Aimee said…
“Oh, my. It would be beyond lovely if I won–a delightful way to write out all the thank you notes after my birthday! (September 2, yay!) I have been in love with the hollywood regency set for a LOOOOOONG time. Completely gorgeous.”

thedailyobsession, who said…
“Sign me up! These are all gorgeous, but my fave is the Garden Regency.”

If you see your comment here – please email us your design choice and shipping address with “I’m a winner!” in the subject line. Click here to view the 4 prize options again. Remember that you can choose any of elum’s gift bag patterns for your 2 gift bags – they don’t necessarily need to be the one pictured with the stationery grouping.

Don’t see your name above? Don’t fret for long – because another GREAT giveaway is coming your way in less than an hour…and yet another one Monday morning (Sept 10th)…and you just never know when it could be your lucky day!

Oh – and don’t forget about the elum discount code that’s good for everyone through the end of September, too! Use promo code “HOSTESS” to get 25% off your entire order at Happy shopping! :)

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new at moma store

The always cool Moma Store has some great new arrivals for fall! Here are a few tabletop & entertaining favorites…(from top) Tiered Elliptical RayTray, Branch Spoons, Wine Carafe with Glass, and Animals Flatware (so cute!)

Moma StoreMoma StoreMoma Store

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Buttercake Bakery

Buttercake BakeryWe got a big box of treats in the mail last week from a place called Buttercake Bakery in L.A. – and everything was soooo good I just had to share! I think we got one of their “Mixed Basket” gift boxes because the package had bars, cookies, and little cakes…and everything was SUPER rich & indulgent – and very generously sized! (at least bathing suit season will soon be a thing of the past, right?!) If you’re looking for an easy alternative to baking for your next party or shower, you could easily divide Buttercake’s individual dessert bars and cakes into 3 or more smaller pieces to serve as part of a yummy dessert buffet.

My weakness is definitely chocolate, so these were the 2 treats I personally couldn’t resist: Chocolate Espresso cookies and Chocolate Marble bundt cake…delicious!

Buttercake BakeryThe chocolate, coconut, and almond “Dream Bars” (top left image below) were especially dreamy too…

Buttercake BakeryAnd if you’re looking for nice presentation – check out the tempting tart selections – they’re all available in 8″ rounds, 10″ rounds, and 5″ hearts if you’re feeling romantic :)

Buttercake Bakery

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