Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

that sky blue

What do you get when you combine friendship + design + a shared love exquisite paper? In this particularly fruitful example, you get a fantastic, contemporary letterpress stationery company called “That Sky Blue“, founded by good friends & designers Litsa Babalis and Ana Duque…

That Sky Blue: Fine Letterpress StationeryThe readers that sent in tips about That Sky Blue had nothing but rave reviews for this talented duo – who offer both custom/wedding collections and a social stationery collection. Click here for a list of retailers, or view/purchase the social stationery online at maisonneuve.

That Sky Blue: Fine Letterpress StationeryNational Stationery Show – NYC: Booth # 2787

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a full week of fabulous stationery!

Hostess with the Mostess: Full Week of Fabulous Stationery
To all the Paper-Lovers out there:
A lot of you have been asking to see some more great stationery and invitations, so next week (May 14-18) the blog will be showcasing a full week of fabulous stationery – everything from gorgeous wedding invites to funky party & shower invites and modern everyday notes! We even have a couple great stationery giveaways to throw in the mix…so if you’re a paper-lover, this is something that should be right up your alley!

And if you happen to know of some super-cool & unique stationery companies that really deserve a shout-out, please feel free to shoot an email to [email protected] with their info or post a comment here. Thanks!

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To Bee Named

To Bee Named: Personalized Napkins Personalization is a great way to make the guest of honor feel extra-special! You might think that something like custom-printed napkins is just for big anniversary parties and weddings – but with companies like To Bee Named , you can customize cocktail, guest and luncheon napkins with a name, monogram or favorite saying in quantities as low as 20! There are lots of fun colors & patterns available – so you’re sure to find something just right for pretty much any special occasion!

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dream dining & entertaining outdoors

Hostess with the Mostess: Dream Outdoor DiningSummer is quickly approaching – and in the world of entertaining that means we get to start taking our get-togethers from the dining table to the patio table! Poolside cocktail parties, Sunday afternoon BBQ’s, and kick-back backyard dinner parties – complete with frosty beverages of course – are just a couple of the perks that the warmer weather brings.

Some of you may already have that great backyard with tons of open space to fill with lots of fantastic outdoor furniture and friends – and some may just have to plan for “one day” (you know, when you hit the jackpot in Vegas, get that hefty promotion, or hit it big with that genious invention of yours). In any case, it’s fun to dream! Here are some ultra-cool outdoor settings that I personally find dreamy for entertaining…

{pictured above and below: modern outdoor furnishings from Design Within Reach} above: Bubble Club Sofa ($889 ea), Prince Aha Stool $(87 ea), and Luau Portable Lamps ($250 ea); below: Primary Pouf benches ($330 ea) and Jellyfish Chairs and Ottomans ($600/set)

Hostess with the Mostess: Dream Outdoor Dining{pictured below: contemporary outdoor furnishings from West Elm – click here to view all}

Hostess with the Mostess: Dream Outdoor DiningHostess with the Mostess: Dream Outdoor Dining

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last minute deals for mom’s day gifts!

Aside from the 80-degree weather outside, I seriously feel like it was February just yesterday! Is it just me, or is this year going by ridiculously fast?! In reality, we’re 1/4-through May already, which means that Mother’s Day is just a few days away! For those of you who are still needing to do some last-minute shopping for mom, here are a few fun ideas and some special discount codes that should help offset any rush shipping costs you might endure!

10% OFF at givesimple.com

Hostess with the Mostess: Mom's Day Deals
15% OFF at Delight.com

Hostess with the Mostess: Mom's Day Deals
20% off at funkyoysters.com

Hostess with the Mostess: Mom's Day Deals
25% off at rockscissorpaper.com

Hostess with the Mostess: Mom's Day Deals

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colorful mom’s day centerpiece idea

A new centerpiece idea for Mother’s Day is up at hwtm.com! Click here to get the details

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Surprise Giveaway WINNER: Pinkerton Design

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!The random winner of the Pinkerton Design giveaway is… Becky, who said ” Love the cards! Very cool. Love the blog! I’d enjoy seeing more ideas on casual entertaining. :) Thanks for all you post!” Congrats, Becky! Please email your shipping info with “I’m a Winner!” in the subject line so we can send you the goods!

To everyone else – we already have more great giveaways lined up and coming soon…so please keep playing – you never know! :)

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marthastewartcrafts.com

The powerhouse that is Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia recently unveiled yet another great website for all of us that love to craft and entertain! Checkout marthastewartcrafts.com for some cool new options in party favor packaging , gorgeous gift wrap , creative craft projects , and complete kids party sets !

Martha Stewart Crafts Website I especially love these Tissue Paper Pom-Poms and Tissue Paper Flower Favor Boxes

Martha Stewart Crafts Website Martha Stewart Crafts Website How cute is this Monkey Party In A Box kit?!

Martha Stewart Crafts Website

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the Kentucky Derby’s signature drink

Mint Julep RecipeSaturday, May 5th, 2007 is a very big day for celebrations this year…in addition to the various fiestas that will be going on across the country tomorrow, many of you will also have your eye on the prize – or should we say “roses” – as the 133rd annual Kentucky Derby takes place in Louisville, KY at 6:04pm EST.

Even if you can’t be one of the 155,000 fans that actually makes it to Churchill Downs to watch the race, you can still celebrate like them at home – with a great TV and your very own Mint Julep of course! The Mint Julep is widely-known to be the traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby – and Churchill Downs serves over 80,000 of them at the event! Click here to view the recipe for an “Early Times Mint Julep” – which features Early Times® Kentucky Whisky (a whiskey/bourbon mix) and seems to be the brand of choice at the KD. If you can’t find Early Times® Whiskey near you, just substitute your own favorite bourbon. Cheers!

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sammy-boys margarita

Sam the Cooking Guy: Sammy Boys-Margarita Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching this weekend! And I’m guessing a lot of you are planning to celebrate with the must-have cocktail of the holiday: the margarita of course! One of my favorite cooking gurus – Sam the Cooking Guy – has a recipe for one heck of a margarita – dubbed “Sammy-Boys Margarita ” – complete with a how-to video on his website.

Sam’s theory when it comes to cocktails is that one really great drink is better than 2 or more not-so-great ones, and this concoction is a great example – I’ve had one of these myself and have to say it went down easy (and he’s not kidding when he says it’s strong)! Sam uses good tequila, Grand Marnier, sweet & sour, lime, orange, and lime juice kosher salt. Click here to view the full recipe – and if you’re blog reading at work, be forewarned that the video – complete with sound – automatically plays when you arrive…so might want to turn the volume down first and re-visit later at home!

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Get 15% off at Delight.com in May!

HWTM Delight.com DiscountTo make your shopping experience even more delightful, Delight.com is offering HWTM readers 15% off all through May! Just enter the promo code “Hostess” at checkout to receive your discount. Might come in handy for Mother’s Day too! Happy Shopping :)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Pinkerton Design

Hostess with the Mostess Surprise Giveaway!I’m really excited about this week’s surprise giveaway because I think hwtm readers are going to love it! It’s right up the modern design-lover’s alley… The giveaway is sponsored by ultra-hip & modern stationery company: Pinkerton Design – and includes 2 sets of their super-cool “flips” notecard packs (each pack comes with 2 different, coordinating designs), 2 black and white boxed notecard sets (b/w pattern on the outside, bright hue on the inside), and 7 of their new greeting card designs – each individually packaged and off-set printed on heavy cardstock. (a $69 retail value!)

Hostess with the Mostess Surprise Giveaway!Hostess with the Mostess Surprise Giveaway!To enter, simply post a comment here – it can be any comment at all – or tell us what you’d like to see more of here at the hwtm blog. (wedding stuff, shower ideas, guest bloggers, gift ideas, product finds, etc – whatever you’re on the lookout for) We’re working on some special things to make the blog a better resource for you, and your comments & suggestions are always appreciated! Giveaway ends Friday, May 4th at midnight PST. Remember to use either your blogger name, full name or first name/last inital so we can identify you if you’re the winner…good luck!

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pure & natural at west elm

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of color, but sometimes pure white is just right… there’s something perfectly simple and comforting about the all-white palette and natural elements found in these dishes and serving pieces from west elm:

west elm tabletop{pictured above, clockwise from top left} pure dinnerware, white bamboo entertaining collection, artisan serveware (on sale!), acacia wood serveware (on sale!), artisan dinnerware, distressed wood serving trays, and pure white square dinnerware

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mom’s day gift guide part 1 – flowers

A gift of flowers is a typical way to show mom appreciation on her special day – but the arrangement can be anything but typical! Try surprising mom this year with a truly show-stopping bouquet of flowers with qualities that remind you of her. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Funny Cocktail Napkins{pictured above, from top left} Posh Pinks, Uniquely Chic, Butterfly Kisses, and Floral Fantasia – all from Teleflora

Funny Cocktail Napkins{pictured above, left to right} Calypso Orchids, Orchid Trio Sampler, and Bougainvillea Bonsai – all from Calyx Flowers

Funny Cocktail NapkinsGive a gift that gives back! At Flowers for Good, – a partnership between Organic Bouquet and Network for Good – a $5-$10 donation from each gift is donated to the charity of your choice from a list of 10 eligible charities. $5 will be given for gifts $39.95 or less and $10 for gifts over $39.95. {pictured above, from left} 20 Gerbera Daisies, Blue Iris Bouquet, and Assorted Roses

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Indie Babies – mom’s day giveaway

Indie Babies has a great giveaway from Vintage Body Spa going on for Mother’s Day! Hurry, though – today (May 1st) is the last day to enter!!

Indie Babies Mother's Day Giveaway

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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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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.com.

notNeutral Map Plates

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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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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 hivemodern.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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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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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Zanisa

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 americanforests.org!

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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