Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

30% off at!

Daily Candy DealsGet 30% off at this week via Daily Candy Deals! is the online version of ATMOSPHERE – a hip store from Boulder, Colorado that offers “a fabulous mix of goods and things”. One look at their website and I have to agree! You’ll find great stuff for home, baby, him, and her. If you don’t already receive Daily Candy deals, you can click here to sign up.{shown above} super-cool puzzle wine racks, soho spices small spice board, and essence white wine glassware by iittalia (comes in sets of 2){shown above} These very funky light-up (and cordless!) “candeloos” by Vessel are usually shown in the kids sections of online shops, but I’ve always thought they’d make such a fun addition and conversation piece at a mod cocktail party or dinner party…available it green/blue or fuschia/orange

{shown below} Be sure to check out the baby section too – for cool, unique gift ideas that both baby and mom will love…

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valentine cupcake stencils

Sprinkle messages of love onto baked goods or coffee drinks with powdered sugar, cocoa or your favorite edible decoratifs! Valentine Cupcake Stencils from C&B…only $3.95 for a set of 3!

Cupcake Crazy

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crazy for cupcakes…

Cupcake Crazy For the past couple of years, it seems like the entire world has gone a little cupcake crazy…and for good reason; not only do these pint-sized treats taste yummy, but they typically come all decked out in colored frosting, sprinkles, mini candies, and more…what’s not to love?! Here are a few calorie-free ways to get your cupcake fix: Cupcake Candle Holders ($9.95/set), Cupcake Spatula ($7.95), and the oh-so-delicious looking Cupcakes! book by Elinor Klivans ($16.95). Last but not least, I’ve finally found a way to transport cupcakes from one place to another without making a total mess of the frosting (hooray!): the 24-Cup Cupcake Carrier ($19.95)


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blogging cupcakes…

For more cupcake inspiration, check out these great cupcake-themed blogs! You’ll find loads of recipes, wonderful photos, and step-by-step instructions at Cheryl Porro’s cupcake bake shop blog….

Cupcake Crazy…and at cupcakes take the cake, you’ll find “everything you ever wanted to know about cupcakes from true cupcake fans” (and I have to say it all looks pretty darn cute!)

Cupcake Crazy

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TearDrop Weddings

Teardrop WeddingsCheck out these adorable, unique designs from Holly Hatam of TearDrop Weddings! It’s always so great to discover new designers out there that are branching out with modern, innovative designs – and Holly’s collection definitely fits the bill…from cheeky illustrations to bold silhouettes like the chandelier design pictured below – you’ll find wedding invitations, save the dates, custom designs, and even baby announcements that are sure to stand out. If you have a minute, stop by Holly’s blog – “Brides in the City” – too. Such great stuff, Holly!

Teardrop Weddings

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Indie Fixx Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

If you’re looking to treat yourself or a special someone else today – check out the Valentines Gift Guide going on over at Indie Fixx. You’ll find special discount codes to use on lots of great gift ideas! I know this isn’t totally “hostess-related”, but I couldn’t resist passing along images of some of the cute stuff – especially the super adorable Red Bird Bag from Rosie Ro Designs! (on the “gifts for her” page)

Indie Fixx

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new from elum designs

I’m in love with the new butterfly collection from elum designs. The detail in the illustrations is absolutely gorgeous! These new letterpress notecards come in 2 different designs: Painted Butterfly (set includes 6 notecards and 6 coordinating enclosure cards) and Flutterfly (6 notecards).

elum designsSpeaking of being in love…don’t miss the the new Valentine’s greeting cards from elum either!

elum designs

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Valentine’s Day Ideas: As Seen on NBC San Diego

NBC San DiegoScroll down for info on HWTM’s “Setting the Romance” segment (as seen on NBC San Diego this morning!) – featuring the “Modern Romance” tabletop design and unique Valentine’s day treats & gift ideas…

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modern romance tabletop

Looking for a modern take on the traditional Valentine’s Day dinner for two?

Keep reading for detailed instructions on how to recreate the "Modern Romance" tabletop design shown here – and tips on where to find the things you’ll need!

Modern Romance
How to recreate this setting at home:

1. Start with a palette of black and white dishes, linens, and accessories. Keep the setting primarily black and white with bold splashes of red. If possible, incorporate some unique dishware – such as the shimmery black charges and lotus-shaped bowls shown here. (Since you only need 2 of each item for your "dinner for two", it’s a good opportunity to splurge some creative dishes!)

2. For the centerpiece, find a few vases and pillar candle holders with unique shapes and clean product lines. Fill one of the vases with red berry spray (available at craft stores). Embellish the vases and candleholders with a some bold, eye-catching details – such as the patterned gift wrap and ribbon shown here – introduced in very small amounts to keep the design from getting overly busy.

3. Up the romance & glamour factors with a little sparkle – glittery candles and ready-made rhinestone stickers (with clear adhesive backings) are a great way to accomplish this. To make this design a little more "Valentine’s" – embellish one of your vases with a heart shaped rhinestone motif.

4. Tie everything together and fill empty space with 4 or more tealights (clear holders with red tealights pictured here) and decorative black rocks.

Modern Romance
Resources for products used in this design:
1. 12.5" White Chinois Vase – Z Gallerie
2. Mod Red Candleholders – Z Gallerie (in-store only)
3. Red Bubble Vase – Target (in-store only)
4. Black Lotus Bowls – Pier 1
5. Black Charger Plates – Pier 1 (in-store only)
6. Square Wire Napking Rings – Pier 1
7. Red Napkins – Macy’s or Target
8. Lace Noir Gift Wrap – The Container Store
9. Rhinestone Heart Icons – Scrapbooking Warehouse (online) or The Container Store (in-store only)
10. Clear Tealight Holders – Crate and Barrel / Target
11. Red Tealights – Target

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unique valentine’s treats

{click on images to view larger}

This Valentine’s day, up the wow factor on your edible gifts by choosing creative alternatives to the typical heart-shaped box of chocolates. Here are a few yummy Valentine’s gift ideas with unique packaging and presentation!

Product Resources:
1. From Eleni’s Cookies: Sweethearts Red gift tin, Love Birds gift tin, and Hugs & Kisses gift tin
2. From Michael’s Cookies: Triple Chocolate Chunk and Chunky Chocolate Chip gift boxes (13 cookies per box)
3. From Red Envelope: Valentine Carmel Apples, Romantic Fortune Cookies, and Valentine Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

*Quick Tip: Most perishables require 1-3 day shipping to keep fresh. Expedited shipping for these types of edibles can run $15-25, so remember to factor that into your budget!

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romance from red envelope

Stressing about how to add some romance to your Valentine’s Day? Well, this very clever Couple’s Bath Caddy from red envelope should do the trick! Comes with 2 acrylic champagne glasses and slots to hold them firmly in place (so you can enjoy your bubbly amidst actual bubbles!), a glass dish perfect for floating candles, and room for the always-necessary indulgent edibles…such as rich belgian chocolates or chocolate covered strawberries. And at only $60, the bath caddy is a lot easier on your wallet than an expensive meal out. {depending on your choice of bubbly, of course!}

Couple's Bath CaddyWine on the beach or a romantic picnic more your style? These steady sticks should make your outing a lot easier. Designed to be embedded in a sandy beach or grassy patch and keep messy spills from messing up the mood. ($30/set at red envelope)

Steady Sticks (Wine)

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Zanisa: "Share the Love"

Zanisa: Share the LoveZanisa has their wonderful annual “Share the Love” campaign going on right now – where 20% of every “Share the Love” product purchase goes to a designated organization – which this year is Doctors Without Borders. There are lots of great Valentines gift ideas featured in the campaign – including jewelry, red travel chopsticks, letterpress cards, heart-shaped soaps, and more. And if you have a furry friend or two like me (see below), you can share the love to them as well: check out the Dog XO Treats and Kitty Treat Trio!

Zanisa: Share the LoveZanisa: Share the Love

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rock scissor paper: who loves you?

As always, rock scissor paper comes through with a stellar collection for our favorite holidays. Visit their 2007 Valentines collection and see for yourself! And just to prove how much they love you, they’re giving a way a free gift with purchase of any regularly priced item until Valentines Day. Note to RSP: we love you too!

Rock Scissor PaperRock Scissor Paper

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Jayson Home & Garden Lovelies

Check out these floral beauties from Jayson Home and Garden! The colors are so rich…and I love the clean, modern look. Shown here: Red Tulips ($60, includes delivery) and Pink Monochromatic Spring Blooms ($75, includes delivery). I think it’s great that they include the delivery fee in the price so you know what to expect right from the start . Always a bummer to suddenly run into a $25 delivery fee on top of your order!

Jayson Home & GardenJayson Home & GardenI’m also thinking these D.L. & Co. Etched Glass Candles from are looking pretty lovely with their intricate patterns and extravagant packaging…4 designs available. ($70/each at JH&G)

Jayson Home & Garden

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“Joy Love” from Joy by Mel Lim

Joy by Mel LimJoy by Mel LimOne of my favorite designer stationery companies – Joy by Mel Lim – is sharing the love for Valentines day with a special 3-day “Give and Get Some Joy Love” sale! Just enter the coupon code “JOYLOVE” at checkout for 25% off your order. {Don’t miss the super-cute handmade plushes with little heart and flower appliques… perfect valentines gift idea!}

Joy by Mel LimJoy by Mel Lim

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spicebox: inspired gift-giving

Shop SpiceboxI’m so excited to tell you about a brand new company called Spicebox – which was founded by two women under 30 and recently launched one of the cutest websites I’ve ever seen! Spicebox offers creative & modern themed gift packages for Him, Her, Tots, and Family. Each gift comes adorably wrapped and delivered with a hand-written note. A few of my personal favorites (pictured here) are the Bayleaf Baker, Savory Surroundings, and Tarragon Tubtime. Click here to visit the Spicebox website and check out their entire collection of gift packages – just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Shop SpiceboxShop SpiceboxShop Spicebox

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Tagged! Yikes…

I recently got “tagged” by Jessica and Holly – which means I’m supposed to post 6 strange, weird, or interesting things about myself on my blog for all the world to see…yikes! It’s a game/epidemic that’s hit the blogging world…so I’ll succumb to the peer pressure and play along :) Here goes:

1. I went bungee jumping at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe when I was 17. What was I thinking?! I was tempted to bail once I got to the top of the tower, but the lady going before me kept freezing up when they told her to jump and wouldn’t go, and there was literally a 6-year old making fun of her down below – so I was determined not to be mocked by a 6-year old (!). I was so scared when I first jumped that I tried to scream and nothing came out – but about half-way through it I realized I was (thankfully) still alive and suddenly it was so much fun :)

2. I met my husband on spring break in Cabo San Lucas my junior year of college. We’ve been married for 6 and a half years now. Guess some “flings” on spring break really do last!

3. I’m absolutely addicted to Diet Coke and Low-Carb Monster energy drinks. I probably keep them in business by myself!

4. I’m a semi-certified insomniac because I can’t get my brain to calm down and stop thinking when I’m trying to go to sleep (the Diet Coke and Monsters probably don’t help much either!) But sometimes I’ll get up and 2 or 3 in the morning and have to write an idea down or go on the computer because I’m not sleeping anyways, so might as well be productive!

5. I can’t whistle and am endlessly frustrated with trying to figure it out :0

6. I let my 2 yellow labs take over my side of the bed at night. (probably not helping with the sleeping either). But they’re just so darn cute I can’t bring myself to make them move!

Okay…so now I’m supposed tag some people myself…so I choose Leslie and Suzy. Let’s see if they play along!

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fabulous blank cds

Jessica from “I Do Declare!” has some great new designer CD’s in her Etsy shop that would be perfect for your favorite party mixes! Make some for yourself or burn mixes as creative party or shower giveaways…or make a slideshow of fun pictures with your friends and send copies to them on these cute CDs as thoughtful “thinking of you” gifts. The designs were inspired by the ladies of Sex and the City and are – quite appropriately – named Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda! ($8/set of 4 at Etsy)

Crate & Barrel Valentines

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c&b valentines

modern valentine wishes from Crate&Barrel…heart plate ($7.95 ea), dip mug ($6.95 ea), heart stirrers for 2 ($2.95/set), valentine dish towels ($9.95/2), and double-heart spatula ($6.95)

Crate & Barrel Valentines

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sam the cooking guy

Sam the Cooking GuySonny and I had the best time last night at a cooking class by Sam the Cooking Guy – a self-proclaimed “regular guy” from San Diego who also happens to have a popular TV show, a book deal, and more exciting ventures coming up including a new show on The Discovery Channel and a promotion with Newcastle Brown Ale. Despite all this success, I have to say Sam really does come off as a “regular guy” who genuinely loves what he does and just wants to share it with anyone who’s interested.

Sam’s classes take place in “The Red Kitchen” – which is the same place his show is shot and great for attendees because it immediately feels familiar if you’ve seen the show. The atmosphere was warm and casual and Sam was just as down-to-earth and charismatic as he is on the show. Last night’s class was called “I’ve Got the Munchies” and we learned how to make 3-Cheese Garlic Pizza, Hot/Sweet Wings, Meatball Sands (mini meatball sandwiches), Fried Rice, Tortilla Soup, and something called “Shrimpy“, which was basically lots of butter and shrimp and oh-so-good! Come hungry, because you’ll be treated to a little plate or bowl of everything on the menu…not to mention a few tasty cocktails in-between. Besides how good everything tasted, the next-best-part about the recipes was how easy they were. Most of them incorporate frozen or pre-cooked ingredients to make life easier on you – and you’d never know the difference when it came to the end result. Sam has a ton of recipes listed online – click here to check them out for yourself!

Sam the Cooking GuyIf you happen to live in the San Diego area and would like to attend a class yourself, click here to view the upcoming schedule. They sell out fast – but keep checking back because he’s always adding new ones. And if you’re interested in seeing the Sam the Cooking Guy show, here is a list of markets where it can be found. If the show isn’t available in your area, you can still view a lot of recipes with videos on his website. Have fun!

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clio home

Neon pink and orange gourmet cheese knives,”shattered” vases, odd-shaped tea pots…you will find a truly eclectic mix of modern, unique and fabulous home accessories at clio home!

Clio Home{shown above} Rehabilitated Dinnerware, Tilt Bowls, and Cheese Knife Sets

Clio Home{shown above} Sculptural China Dented, Vase of Phases, and Mirza Teapot

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Vinotagz Kat from Modern-twist recently introduced me to new her line of contemporary entertaining products. When I visited her website I was immediately impressed with the fantastic modern-minimalist design! One of my favorite products – sets of wine markers called "Vinotagz" – is shown here. Each set of 6 basic or designed Vinotagz comes packaged in a fantastic storage case that cleverly fits on the neck of a wine bottle. (perfect gift idea!) You can even write on the tags with a ballpoint pen and the ink will erase with a damp cloth – or use them as super-cute napkin rings!


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website update & special preview preview Hi Everyone –
Well, as you may have noticed, even after what seemed like literally 56 straight hours at the computer over the past few days, the website did not launch this weekend as I had previously hoped – but in the big picture it’s actually for the best (promise!)…because what we’re working on right now is going to make it so much better!

After much stressing out this weekend, I finally stopped and took a deep breath, put things in perspective, and hashed out a new game plan with Sonny. We decided that we’ve invested so much time and energy into this project so far, that when it launches we should be excited about it and 100% sure we’re ready to go live – and it’s just not quite there yet. So instead of forcing the issue with a half-hearted launch, we decided that taking a few more weeks to get the site to “that” point is not really going to make the world stop turning :) So that’s exactly what we’re going to do…and we could really use your help! Look out for a big jump in posts over the next few weeks – including mini-polls, requests for feedback on theme and article ideas, opportunities for your own tips, stories or products to be featured on the site, and – last but not least…….giveaways!! (gotta love those!)

In the meantime, please come and check out the new preview that’s up on You can see screenshots of a few select pages/sections of the site, which should give you a better idea of what it’s all about. If you have any questions or feedback regarding what you’ve seen so far, please let me know! You can post them here or email me at [email protected].

Thanks so much,
Jenn :)

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ivy dinnerware

cb2‘s new ivy dinnerware is modern design to the core…a canvas of pure white with a pop of color and a few abstract graphics – these could just as easily be hanging on my wall! {…and for $2.95 – $3.95 per piece, maybe they will be!}

Ivy DinnerwareIvy Dinnerware

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back to reality…

So here we are in the Honolulu airport – waiting for our connector flight to take us back to San Diego…and back to reality… It was a great 9 days in the Aloha state though! It’s hard to believe that barely 24 hours ago I was swimming about 20 inches (literally!) from giant sea turtles, touring volcanic sea caves, and bouncing around the pontoons of our Blue Water Rafting boat (which is why it’s painful to sit down today!)…and now here I am back on dry land, laptop in hand – and now it’s my head that’s swimming with all the things I need to accomplish in the next few days before the site launches…yikes! {Note to self: stock up on energy drinks on the way home from the airport}

Anyways, I’m so, so sorry that I wasn’t able to post as much as usual while we were away. I had planned to keep blogging as usual and even brought a bunch of things to post on, but when we got here I had to jump through so many hoops to get the internet to work on my laptop – literally carrying everything from room to room, trying to get the signal to last for more than 2 seconds – that I finally decided to take it as a sign that on Hawaiian vacations you’re supposed to spend more time staring at the beach and less time staring at the screen :) So the posts will be back to normal come Monday…hope to see you all then!

Jenn :)

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russell + hazel

I can’t think of a much cooler way to store & organize recipes than these super-modern recipe binders from Russell + Hazel…Each set includes 2 slim binders – either Charcoal/White or Blue/Red (my personal favorite!) – and goodies like recipe tabs, menu planning sheets, and more. At $110/set, they’re a little pricier than your average recipe organizers – so I guess we can consider them recipe holder “couture” :)
{Available at Velocity Art & Design}

Russell + Hazel

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orla kiely

The bold & energetic patterns from Orla Kiely always make me so happy…thank goodness she adorns a few homeware products with her designs too…like these fun, modern mugs – sold in sets of 4 or 6 at Happy sipping!

orla kiely

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pinkerton design

Pinkerton DesignsHow great are these ultra-mod “flips” stationery sets {shown above} from Pinkerton Design? Perfect hostess gift idea – or even as a decorative accent to incorporate into your tabletop design or party decór. And Pinkerton helps you say thanks in the cutest way too…click here to check out all of their fabulous designs in hip graphic patterns – definitley a modern design-lover’s dream!

Pinkerton DesignsPinkerton Designs

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Pinkerton Designs…from Hawaii!!! So here I am in Maui with my husband, parents, aunt & uncle and cousins – and I’m thinking that life really doesn’t get much better than this! There’s just something about “island living” that puts you in a good mood, isn’t there? The Mai Tais maybe? :)

Anyways, I’m taking this time for a little R&R from my “day job” but also to focus on lots of writing, posting, and getting ready for the launch of – just a few days after we get back from our trip! If anyone has any entertaining-related questions you’d like answered or topics you’d like to read about, please do to send them – or any other suggestions – to [email protected] this week. I want the site to be as resourceful as possible for you – so it helps to hear what you’re interested in learning about!

Okay – aloha for tonight – more to come tomorrow – but dinner – and the Mai Tais – are calling about now!

Pinkerton DesignsPinkerton Designs{sunset views from backyard}

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michael’s cookies

Michael's CookiesNeed to send a gift but tired of the typical (and expensive!) flower bouquets and fancy gourmet gift baskets? Well, how do Fudge Nut Brownie, All-Butter Almond, and Chunky Chocolate Cookies sound for starters? Hungry, yet?! Then check out this next pic and keep reading…

Michael's CookiesI’m excited to introduce you to Michael’s Cookies – a San Diego-based company that delivers freshly-baked gourmet cookies by the bakers dozen in amazing flavors that taste just as good as they sound (let the rate at which they disappeared in my house be a testament to that!) Even better, the cookies arrive in equally yummy, modern gift packaging – vertical “towers” enveloped in hip stripes and metallic silver – the graphic designer in me was seriously impressed! Click here to learn more and check out all of the flavors Michael’s has to offer. Sometimes you just GOTTA indulge, right? :)

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