Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

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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Monday’s GIVEAWAY: cb2

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Give yourself another excuse to have friends over for cocktails with these ultra-hip translucent “tallritas” and cantaro pitcher from cb2! The giveaway winner will recieve the pitcher plus a set of 6 margarita glasses in whichever color(s) you prefer – choose just one or mix them up for a multi-color set! Tallritas are available in green, orange, and ice blue.

To 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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I discovered a great online shop called Pedlars recently {via Oh Joy!} and was instantly attracted to the cool, vintage-modern style of the products they carry, as well as the warm & inviting vibe conveyed through the site. A few of my favorites are pictured below…click here to check out their entire selection!

Pedlers{pictured above} large metal bowl and coordinating green metal branch hooks, chic retro plastic tomatoes (cute as ketchup/mustard or salad dressing dispensers!), egglings, flowers-in-the-wind wall stickers, and smiley mugs

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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.)


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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 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 (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 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 – 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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