Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006


Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!TGIF! And to make your weekend even happier, the ultra-hip designer gift wrap company, Whimsy Press, has put together an amazing giveaway for a lucky HWTM reader – including some of their brand-new products like Whimsy journals and notecards! Check out the complete list of goods below, then simply make a comment on this post to enter. Giveaway ends Monday, March 19th at midnight, PST. (and it’s St. Patty’s day this weekend, so maybe you’ll have a little extra luck on your side!)

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!HWTM Whimsical Gift Pack includes: a custom collection Modern Garden gift wraps with coordinating gift tag stickers, one of Whimsy’s stylish new journals, 2 large notecards, one notecard pack of 6 cards/envelopes, and one set of double-sided placemats! Good luck!

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Giveaway WINNERS: Kiwi Studios & Carolyn’s Kitchen

The winner of the Kiwi Studios tray is: craft & bake, who said: “So yummy looking, I could eat them!” and the winner of the Caryolyn’s Kitchen apron is Mary M who said: “I would absolutely LOVE to wear this apron and gloves. My husband and I just moved into our new house and we are having fun cooking & baking in our new kitchen. This set looks like something Christina Aguilerra would wear now that she is so “retro-glam”. Cheers! Mary”

Congrats to the winners! Please send your mailing address to : [email protected] so that we can get you your goods…

Also – if you’d like to sign up for the Carolyn’s Kitchen mailing list and keep up-to-date on specials and new items, please send your email to [email protected] with “email signup” as the subject.

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Soolip presents: A Green Wedding

blumeboxFamed paperie & press, Soolip, is putting on a fabulous event in Los Angeles this Sunday, March 18, called “A Green Wedding – which will feature a collection of resources suited for the ecological and socially-conscious bride and groom. Attendees will be treated to creative ideas for everything from invitations and party favors to catering, party decor, and overall “green living” caring/awareness, a fashion show featuring designs by Monique Lhuillier, makeup by Sephora, hair by Chris McMillan and more; and the schedule and list of sponsors/exhibitors looks fantastic. If you’re in the L.A. area and are interested in attending, you can click here to purchase tickets online! ($65 each)

For more information on A Green Wedding, click here to visit the event website.

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fabulous, yes – but really "not a fortune"?

blumeboxLike many others around the world, myself included – Oprah is a fan of the very talented celebrity event planner, Colin Cowie. On one of her shows, themed “Fabulous Without a Fortune“, Oprah featured a bridal shower designed by Cowie, as seen in the images here. While I’ll agree that this shower is fabulous – I’m not so sure about the “not a fortune” part. I recently helped my friend design her wedding, and, (at least at the place we were at) – the chairs seen in these images alone were $11 each to rent and another $4 each for the cushions. When you take into account the average # of guests at a shower – usually at least 20 or more, that can really add up for just chairs alone. Then factor in the “real” (sans paper) dishes (including chargers and salad plates), gold flatware, coordinating wine goblets, designer fabric, custom menus with easels, gorgeous green orchids, bunches and bunches of tulips….you get the picture.

So what I’m wondering is – what’s your take on the issue of bridal and baby shower budgets? As we’re putting together themes for the site, it’s been a struggle to find the line between what looks good and will be most inspiring for you – and what is truly practical for the budget of most people. Of course “real” dishes and flatware, huge bouquets of designer flowers, custom-printed menus and tags – all of this looks amazing and is ideal in general – but is it practical? Would you like to see these kinds of items used in the party theme images anyways because they look so great and it’s just a source for inspiration? Or would you like to see some more inexpensive items that you’re more likely to actually use mixed in – such as paper partyware, place settings that don’t always include all the extras like chargers and real flatware, etc? Your opinion on this issue would be much appreciated! Thank you!


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blumeboxNow here’s a fun way to add a splash of color to your party…the blumebox enables you to (affordably!) dress up your tabletop, floral gifts, wedding decor…even your appetizer display! These stylish & functional boxes are available in 2 sizes (6″ tall and 10″ tall), 18 radiant colors, and are made of 100% recycleable paper. They come packaged flat and lock into place in a snap. Fill them with your favorite flowers or snacks – and if you’re feeling creative, customize them to your theme with ribbon, craft embellishments, tissue paper, or anything else you can think of…the sky’s the limit! For some creative inspiration, be sure to visit the blumebox photo gallery. ($3.99 – $4.99 each at


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new from bumble ink!

Bumble InkIf you’re into designer stationery, there’s a good chance you may have already discovered Bumble Ink, since their witty and unique holiday card designs garnered fans all over the place this past holiday – but what you might not know is that they recently added an entire collection of super-cute personalized invitations and announcements to their line! You’ll find everything from anytime party, bridal and baby shower invites – to super-cute baby and moving announcements! Click here to check out the entire collection for youself.

Bumble InkBumble Ink

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marigold glass plates

LOVE the design of these marigold glass plates by Sagaform! Bold, ultra-modern design – and only $25/set of four 7″ plates, or $30/set of four 10″ plates at a plus r. Gorgeous and affordable – what’s not to love?!

Sagaform's Marigold PlatesSagaform's Marigold Plates

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Carolyn’s Kitchen

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Ooh-la-la! Carolyn’s West’s unique, vintage-inspired “Carolyn’s Kitchen” aprons and gloves are reminiscent of the pin-up era and a fun way to play dress-up in the kitchen :) In Carolyn’s own words: “I wanted to bring back the glamour, sexiness, and cuteness of a bygone innocent era. The gloves and fabrics are new and nicer – it’s a new and improved version of the ’40’s. I let my imagination run, and originated the embodiment of that 40’s girl in the apron and gloves, living in our ultra modern age…”

Ready to play dress up? Just make a comment on this post and you could be on your way to winning your own Carolyn’s Kitchen apron and glove set – like the Rock-n-Roll Faux Fur Gloves and red, black and white Dorothy Apron pictured here. The winner can pick their favorite designs from the collection! (Giveaway ends Wed, March 14th at midnight PST)

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Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!You might have seen Kiwi Studios featured on Daily Candy Deals a couple weeks ago…and now’s your chance to win one of their gorgeous fused glass trays for free!! They have generously offered up this beautiful 6″ x 16″ Pink Stripe Slim Tray (a $120 retail value) for HWTM readers!

Kiwi StudiosHow to enter:
• Make {any} comment on this post
• You have until Midnight (PST) Wednesday, March 14th to enter.
• Anonymous comments cannot be counted – please use either your blogger account login, website URL, or first and last name (or initial) with your post so we can identity you if you win!

Many thanks to Chris Austin for the great giveaway!

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Surprise Giveaway: Red Diamond Wine

Looking for some great wine that won’t break the bank? Then you might want to check out Red Diamond next time

Red Diamond Wine

Red Diamond Wine

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TWO giveaways this weekend!

Hi Everyone – There won’t be any post today because we’re out all day for a photo shoot for the new site (!) – but check back this weekend if you can because we’ll be running TWO Surprise Giveaways tomorrow…and 2 MORE next week! Yay!

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pop ink plates & napkins

Pop Ink I just can’t get enough of Pop Ink and their hip & funky melamine plates and paper cocktail napkins. They’re packed with so much design in themselves, all you need to do is pair them with a few simple solid color vases for your centerpiece and you’ve easily got a fantastic, ultra-modern tabletop. A few of my favorites are pictured here, but there’s even more at Loft Party or French Paper . $39/set of 4 at Loft Party, or you can buy them in single designs at French Paper for $10/each.


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"spring-y" textiles at wrapables

How great are the patterns and colors in these ultra-modern kitchen & dish towels from Wrapables? I have to say I’m loving all the blue and green for spring! Patterns pictured below, clockwise from top left: Kapsela Bulbs & Pebbles, Magnolia, Carmela Floral, and Limes (each pattern sold in sets of 2 for $10-$11 per set)

WrapablesAnd now some blue and green for your table! Pictured below: Magnolia Runner and Haylee Dandelion Tablecloth


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thai garden

I stumbled on this “Thai Garden” everyday china collection at Mikasa yesterday and was immediately drawn to it. The pattern and colors are so modern and refreshing! Love the unique product shapes too – like the exaggerated curve of the creamer and slanted style of the bowls…oh, what a gorgeous tabletop this would make!

Thai GardenThai Garden

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KenzieKate Invitations

On the home page of the KenzieKate wedding invitations website, you’re greeted with the simple phrase “Nothing ordinary will do.” One look at Makenzie Sala’s gorgeous collection of hip, modern & elegant invitation suites and you’ll see that this sentiment couldn’t ring more true! I’m especially in love with the bold new Havana design (see first image below). Click here to check out the entire KenzieKate catalog.

Kenzie Kate InvitationsKenzie Kate InvitationsMackenzie also runs a fantastic wedding blog called “Something Old, Something New“, where she posts on “products and inspiration for modern weddings, parties, and big to-do’s.” Click here to check it out!

Kenzie Kate Invitations

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hooray! Simrin at Plum Party!

Simrin at Plum PartyI first learned about Simrin via design*sponge back in October last year, and was so excited to see such great, modern table linens – but then immediately disappointed because there was no where to purchase them retail yet. But happiness is here once again – I unexpectedly stumbled on them at Plum Party yesterday – and they’re available to purchase! The credit card will be burning today :) The patterns and colors are absolutely fantastic and – in addition to kitchen towels, placemats, and napkins – I’m really happy to see them available in tablecloths and table runners too, as it’s not nearly as common to find these items in great patterns. Click here to check out the entire simrin collection at Plum Party. (scroll to about 1/2 way down the page – that’s where the simrin products start).

Simrin at Plum PartySimrin at Plum Party

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Surprise Giveaway WINNER {Espresso Set}

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!The winner of the French Bull Espress Set giveaway is… Rachel, who said:

“I have to say G. It is so hard to find exactly what I want online. I end up searching through tons of sites that have nothing I like and then have to piece everything (games, servingware, favors) from a billion different places. And what do I google “hip baby shower“? “hipster wedding party” so I don’t get 89,000 Disney responses or or over the top cutesy fluff? What’s a stylish, modern girl to do?”. {just for kicks, I actually googled these search phrases Rachel mentioned so you can see what the search results for them really are}

Rachel – I sooo feel your pain! Please send your mailing address to [email protected] so we can send you your espresso set!

For everyone else – thank you so much for all the great comments – it was so fun to hear your opinions – and good to know for the future. All of the “frustration options” were picked at least once – and it looks like there’s a general dread felt around the world when it comes to baby and bridal shower games and activities. Going to have to start brainstorming some solutions for that!

It was also interesting how many of you brought up the RSVP (or lack there of) issue. I’ve noticed this too – about 15 people even showed up to my wedding unannounced until the day of! I have to say, that was definitely a seating-chart nightmare at the very last minute. 2 of my poor bridesmaids even skipped their hair appointments to help me out with fixing that at the last minute, for which, 6 years later, I’m still grateful! For showers and everyday parties, I can’t figure out why this is so difficult to get guests to do with the options of both phone and email nowadays…maybe we can start putting the “Please RSVP” info in even bigger letters than the party info….think that would help? (j/k!)

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springtime at west elm

West Elm Butterfly DishesEven amidst all the wintery weather that we’re seeing all over the news these days (and that a lot of you are seeing outside your window!) – spring has definitely still sprung in the world of entertaining already…case in point: these new butterfly dishes and pretty, blue-sky colored square plates from West Elm…I can feel the sunshine already!

West Elm Butterfly Dishes

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tropical ice cubes

I saw these tropical ice-cube trays on Houses, Couches, and Babies recently and thought they were so cute! Absolutely perfect for your Malibu and 7Up or the Hawaiian Punch bowl at your Luau…summer is calling already! $10.95/set of 2 at Amazon

Silicone Zone

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kiwi studios + 25% off!

I was so excited to see kiwi studios featured on Daily Candy Deals this week! Not only because they’re a fellow San Diego company, but even more so because I’ve been addicted to their hip, vibrantly-colored jewelry and home accessories ever since I first laid eyes on them a year ago :) Click here to check their entire line of fantastic fused glass platters, trays and candle holders for yourself…and don’t forget to get your 25% off coupon code from Daily Candy Deals! (*discount applies to home accessories only)

Kiwi Studios

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: French Bull Espresso Set

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!Give your java a playful boost with this oh-so-modern espresso set from French Bull! Comes with 4 vibrantly-colored cups and saucers in 4 different designs. Simply answer the question below for your chance to win! (giveaway ends midnight EST on Wednesday, Feb 28th)

What are the biggest frustrations you’ve run into when planning a baby shower, bridal shower, or holiday party? Please pick one or more from below… You can simply answer “A, B, C,” etc – or feel free to write your own or elaborate if you’ve really got something to vent about!

I get frustrated with:
A. Finding/thinking of interesting themes. I’m tired of the typical wedding bells and pastel baby rattles, etc…
B. Finding cool themed partyware (i.e. paper plates, napkins, etc) that I really love
C. Figuring out what to do for the party favors
D. Trying to find party decorations that aren’t super cheezy
E. Spending WAY too much time planning & prepping for the party
F. Figuring out what to do for games or activities
G. Wasting time looking for ideas on the internet and not being able to find what I’m looking for.

• You have until Midnight (EST) Wednesday, February 28th to enter.
• Anonymous comments cannot be counted – please use either your blogger account login, website URL, or first name and last name initial with your comment so we can identify you if you win. Thanks!

P.S. Nicole Davis – where are you?! Please email me with your address by midnight tonight (tues, Feb 27th) so I don’t have to give your Darlybird giveaway winnings away to someone else!

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missoni margherita

Missoni MargheritaHow beautiful is this floral mod “margherita” tableware by Missoni?! You’ll find everything you could dream of for a gorgeous tabletop in this collection…from dinner & dessert plates to tea cups, sugar bowls, pitchers, serving trays, and more. Click here to view the entire collection. It’s definitely not cheap…but a little window shopping never hurt anyone, right? :)

Missoni MargheritaMissoni Margherita

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cocktailvibe.comIf you’re into cocktails and unique barware, then you should definitely check out You’ll find tons of hip, modern cocktail glasses and bar accessories like the ones pictured here…I’m especially loving the retro-mod cocktail cubes (2nd pic from the bottom). also has tons of yummy drink recipes and info on some ultra-cool bar hotspots around the country. {Thanks, Rebekah, for the tip!}

cocktailvibe.comcocktailvibe.comcocktailvibe.comQuick Tip! If you’re at work and blog-reading on the sly – might want to turn your sound down before visiting – the music autoplays when you get there :)

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Surprise Giveaway WINNER

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!The winner of the Darlybird giveaway is… Nicole Davis, who said: “Absoultely DARLING stuff!! Could it be my lucky day?? When does the site launch? Thanks!!”.

Looks like it is your lucky day, Nicole! Please send your mailing address to [email protected] so we can get you your goods! Also – the site will be launching in March. No specific date set yet…will be announced the day before :)

For everyone else – not to worry…more giveaways coming up very very soon! Thanks so much for playing!

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in the round: placemats, trivets & coasters

I’m loving the funky graphic mesh pattern printed on these birch ply placemats, coasters, and trivets from Working Class Studio’s “In the Round” series. These and more great WCS goods are available at shopSCAD, a unique gallery store that exclusively features the artwork and designs of students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Working Class StudioWorking Class Studio

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HWTM Surprise Giveaways!

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!I’m so excited to announce the start of HWTM Surprise Giveaways! Starting today, chances to win fun gift and entertaining-related products will be popping up at surprise times…so be sure to visit the blog often so you don’t miss out on your chance! Ways to enter will vary between giveaways – simple things like posting a comment, giving suggestions, or participating in mini-polls. (Most prizes will be shipped directly from the vendors.)

Scroll down to enter our very first giveaway {shown below} – a fantastic hostess package from Darlybird!

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Hostess with the Mostess™ Surprise Giveaway: DarlybirdTalk about the ultimate hip-hostess package! Today’s Surprise Giveaway from adorable & design-forward online shop Darlybird comes complete with this sassy Cupcake Ruffle Apron, Vintage Keiko Earrings, French Bull Salad Servers, and the TableTopics Girl’s Night Out edition!

How to enter:
• Make {any} comment on this post
• You have until Midnight (EST) Tuesday, February 20th to enter.
• Anonymous comments cannot be counted – please use either your blogger account login, website URL, or first name and last name initial with your post so we can identity you if you win!

Hostess with the Mostess™ Surprise Giveaway: Darlybird
Click here to visit Darlybird – you’ll find everything from unique jewelry, modern baby & kid products, hip entertaining essentials, and great gift ideas…not to mention that the website is super cute.

Many thanks to Rachel for the great giveaway!

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happy valentine’s day!

Valentine's DayWhether you’re having an intimate dinner at home, a romantic night out, or a Sex and the City marathon (and Cosmos!) with your favorite single girlfriends…hope you a fabulous Valentine’s Day!

some valentine treats for your viewing pleasure…
{from; scroll down for links to recipes}

Valentine's Day{clockwise from top left} Pink Meringue Drops, Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts, Meringue Heart Ice-Cream Sandwiches, and Valentines Day Cake

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going green

everything is coming up green at cb2…with dishes, glassware, and home accessories in varying shades of lucsious lime!

Domistyle Aprons{shown above, clockwise from top left} haiku platter, green cayman plates, libertini cocktail glasses, verde dinnerware, bamboo pillow, and plastic ice cubes

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floral silhouette trays

These gorgeous serving trays don floral motif graphic wallpaper patterns by talented designer Susie Motif. Available in black or green at, for $38 each.

Daily Candy Deals

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