Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Perfect-for-Summer Plaid

The cheery pink and green plaid motif on these plastic cooler cups and melamine plates is too cute for words! The cups are part of delight.com ‘s "Fabulous Mojito Muddler and Perfect for Summer Glasses "- and the plates come as part of the adorable "Perfectly Plaid and Pink Flamingo Melamine Plate Set ." The only thing that could make this scene even more perfect? You and 3 of your closest friends :)

cb2 oha placemats

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Surprise Giveaway WINNER: Violet.com

Hostess with the Mostess: Surprise Giveaways!The winner of the much coveted Violet.com giveaway is… Julie Robinson from Fishers, Indiana. Congratulations, Julie! You’ve got lots of fun stuff coming your way :)

For everyone else – don’t be too bummed because more surprise giveaways are coming up – including a great one TODAY! Stay tuned :)

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r. wood studio ceramics

cb2 oha placemats Not only does r. wood studio make gorgeous ceramics with a perfect mix of modern & traditional aesthetics, but they are also one of the very few studio potteries in America, where each piece is made by hand! A few favorites are pictured here…and you can find these beautiful products and more – including their new blues for fall 07 – at the r. wood studio website .

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Ann Kelle Designs

cb2 oha placematsYou may have already seen some of the bright, modern patterns from Ann Kelle Designs adorning stationery & note sets – but now you can also find Ann Kelle’s signature vintage flowers and bold graphics on great new products such as mugs, ceramic tiles, framed tiles, and magnets! Click here to check out Ann Kelle’s brand-new online store where you can find all this and more…

cb2 oha placematscb2 oha placematscb2 oha placemats

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cb2: oha placemats

With hot July days still in full-swing, it seems crazy to already be talking about Fall, but the new fall cb2 catalog just arrived and these fantastic oha placemats just had to be shared! Pictured here in white/green and black/white for $3.95 each.

cb2 oha placematsFor a very pretty table, pair them with cb2’s super-slick cayman dinnerware and ultra-versatile white square dinnerware. Very modern-zen!

cb2 oha placemats

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toasting ’round the world

Also new and fantastic from cb2 are the very modern – and very unique – cheers wine glasses. These bold hand-blown glasses let you toast in 6 different languages! ($19.95/set of 6)

cb2 oha placemats

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personalize your centerpiece

Rock Scissor Paper Home CollectionPhoto display stands are a great way to create a truly custom centerpiece that perfectly matches your theme and occasion! A few ideas include: clip on photos of bride-to-be or couple-to-be for a bridal shower/engagement party; baby pictures of famous celebrities for a hollywood-themed baby shower; for a birthday party, hang different cards or gift tags that say “happy birthday” along with die-cut numbers of the birthday being celebrated (such as “3-0” or “2-1”) – or favorite pictures from different stages of the birthday girl or boy’s life….and so on. If you’re really ambitious, decorate the photos like you would for a scrapbook with embellishments and colored paper/designs that match your party decór!

The cascading Desktop Folio Display Stand shown here is from the Container Store and currently on sale for $14.99! (regularly $19.99)

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rock scissor paper: Home Collection!

Susie from Rock Scissor Paper sent me an email on Friday with some very good news: the brand-new Home Collection from RSP is now available! I’ve been anticipating the arrival of this new line ever since Grace posted some sneak-peek snapshots from their tradeshow booth a few months back – and now that everything is here – the new problem is that I want it all! I have a feeling that hip hostesses everywhere will be digging these ultra-modern aprons

Rock Scissor Paper Home Collection
…and drink coasters

Rock Scissor Paper Home Collection
…and tea towels!

Rock Scissor Paper Home Collection
The Inspiration
I’m pasting part of Susie’s email below – in which she talks about what inspired herself and sister Heidi to create this new textile collection – because I thought you might enjoy it as much as I did:

“I just wanted let you know that Heidi & I just listed our new kitchen aprons, tea towels & coasters on to our site. This is our first foray into textile design and we are so excited about this collection!

Our father was a textile designer and manufacturer in the 1960’s-80’s. His specialty was knit fabrics in prints. He made his fortune (a very small one) on double knit fabrics in the 70’s. You know the fabric of the infamous leisure suit. He designed double knits to look like denim, in 70’s op-art prints and gingham to name a few. You can only imagine what our childhood wardrobes looked like when our Mom made our clothes from our Dad’s fabric!

Our father is no longer alive, but he definitely was there in spirit when we were designing this line!”

Rock Scissor Paper Home CollectionLast but not least, in celebration of the new home collection, Rock Scissor Paper is running a special deal where you get a surprise goody bag filled with assorted RSP products when you spend $40 or more between July 7 – 20th! With all the cool stuff at RSP, I’m pretty sure these goody bags will be good :)

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Rock Star Momma – Book WINNERS!

Hi everyone – sorry for the delay on posting these winners – this week has been a little crazy! Anyways, here are the winners of the RSM book giveaway – if you see your name/comment here, please send me an email with your full name & mailing address and put “I’m a Winner!” as the subject line. Here goes:

lichys, who said…
I would love the book!! especially ’cause i’m trying to get pregnant and would definetly want to be a really cool mom :D

ashlynn, who said…
I am so excited about this book – I have to have one! I saw a quick interview on TV from the party – everything sounds wonderful!

TinkerBlue, who said…
The night looks like it was alot of fun. A close friend of mine has just announced she is pregnant. At 37 she has been waiting a while for this news! I would love to give her a copy of this book (along with some other goodies). Not having any kids myself I need to quiz other friends on what they most wanted/needed when they were pregnant. Not something for the baby, but something for her.

Nancy Comelab, who said…
Let me tell you that you looked fabulous, Jen! ;) I’ve enjoyed reading your post about this amazing event. And yes, I would LOVE to go in the draw to get this book. Thanks so much! Nancy
{thanks, Nancy!}

crissybug, who said…
I rarely win anything, but it is worth the shot. We are trying to get pregnant, and this book looks like so much fun!

Thanks for everyone’s comments & congrats to the winners! Hope you enjoy the book :)
{Please note that if prizes aren’t claimed within 2 weeks, replacement winners will be drawn.}

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hostess tips for a stress-free 4th

San Diego’s Fox in the Morning news recently invited us to share some tips for stress-free 4th of July entertaining! Here are a few screenshots from part of the segment and some tips to help you spend more time at the party and less time in the kitchen:

4th of July Entertaining
1. Don’t feel pressured to make everything from scratch. For example – one of our desserts for tomorrow is a store-bought (and super yummy!) Strawberry-Topped Boston Cream Cake. Between the white whipped frosting and the strawberries, we already had our red and white – then we simply lined the edge of the cake with blueberries and voila! A scrumptious patriotic dessert in 5 minutes flat . {Check out the screenshot above to see how it turned out!}

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starfruit cocktail garnishes

4th of July DecorationsFestive fruit garnishes are an easy way to add some 4th-of-July-flair to your Independence Day beverages. This simple carambola (starfruit) garnish a great example – and the perfect accent for your red and blue themed drinks!

4th of July Decorations

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REAL PARTIES: Vintage-Mod Bridal Shower

Hostess with the Mostess: Real-Life Parties When the first “Real-Life Parties” post went up a few weeks ago, HWTM reader Karen wrote in with a tip about an awesome bridal shower she just saw that “could be your next “Real-Life” party!” Well, Karen – you were right! I knew it the second I laid eyes on the amazing pictures from photographer Jennifer Skog ‘s gorgeous bridal shower . First I had to make sure I was actually looking at pictures of a bridal shower and not a wedding reception – but lo and behold it was a shower – and it looks like Jennifer just has some VERY talented loved ones! Want some proof? Just check out these pics!

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metallic chandeliers

This gorgeous metallic chandelier gift wrap is a treat in itself….

metallic chandelier gift wrap…but it would look even better wrapped around this Platinum Chandelier tea set from Rosanna! What a pretty gift… {set of 4 cups/saucers, $40; teapot, $40}

metallic chandelier gift wrap

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rock star momma book release party & BOOK GIVEAWAY!

rock star momma party This past Thursday, Joely Fisher hosted the official book release celebration for Rock Star Momma – a brand new pregnancy fashion and beauty guide by maternity/kids fashion designer and author Skye Hoppus . The party was held at The Treehouse Social Club in L.A. – a very fitting location seeing as it caters to hip moms and kids! Treehouse closed to the public at 3:30 and the event started at 5:30 – so getting the entire party put together in a 2-hour timeframe was more than a little nerve-wracking! Especially since our tasks within that timeframe included moving furniture, removing a chandelier from the ceiling, setting up lighting, and clearing off tons of merchandise from the store shelves! Talk about a workout… But I’m happy to say that in the end, just like Rock Star Momma – the party went over very well! Here’s a little recap just for you…

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out for a couple days…

Hi Everyone –
Headed up to LA this morning to help with the Rock Star Momma book release party tonight – so I won’t be able to post today, but I’m planning to take lots of pictures of the food, party decor, and goody bags so I can give you a full party recap over the weekend!
See you soon…
Jenn :)

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paper table

Painter & entrepreneur Robin Simon sent over an email this morning to introduce me to Paper Table – a fantastic new paper tableware company that she recently co-founded with graphic designer Sonia Biancalani-Levethan. One look at the images in the email and I was immediately smitten! Can you blame me? Take a peek for yourself…

fish puzzle serving set

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whale pitcher

How great is this new whale pitcher by Jonathan Adler? This one’s going on my JA favorites list right next to the fantastic giraffe sculpture… {via design*sponge}

jonathan adler whale pitcher

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birthday wishes

Sending a little birthday shoutout today – to my wonderful husband, Sonny – and good friend Kim O’hara…June 15 is a good day! In celebration, a few favorites from broadway paper’s birthday card collection

b is for birthdaypictured above: b is for birthdayand below: birthday dog, birthday dance, 30 ish, happy birthday monkey

birthday cards
pictured below.
..birthday birdies: birthday bird, birthday song bird, and birthday tweetings

birthday cards

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shoshona snow ceramics

I’m loving this unique tableware from ceramic artist Shoshona Snow… Mod black & white patterns on the outside meet big splashes of bright hues on the inside. Click here to visit Shoshona’s etsy shop and check out more of her work!

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setting the table for dad…


Father’s Day is this Sunday – so a lot of you are probably gearing up for some sort of family celebration – which more often than not will include a special meal…which of course deserves a special table! Chances are that Dad might not get quite as excited about those stunning floral centerpieces as mom would, so you might have to think outside the box a little when it comes to choosing your Father’s Day tabletop theme.

The pastime my own father loves most is golf, so the golf-themed tabletop design you see here was created with that in mind. This tabletop was fun & easy to put together – and I’ve included a few instructions below if you’d like to recreate something similar at home… Remember that even if your own father/husband/SO isn’t a golfer, you can still adapt this concept for whatever sport or hobby he loves most!


For the Golf-themed Centerpiece:
You’ll need:
• 2 plastic box picture frames (1 ea: 8×10 / 5×7)
• small flat of sod (any kind) from your local nursery
• 1 tall bamboo skewer
• 9 golf balls, 1 golf tee
• solid craft paper & sticker numbers
• 3 small clear bowls
• 2 sheets solid 12×12″ scrapbook paper for “table runner”

Directions: Remove the back (chipboard) of the picture box frames and replace them with sections of sod, cut down to fit within the plastic frames. This will create your “tee box” (larger box frame) and “green” (smaller box frame). Insert the golf tee into the “tee box” and place a golf ball on the tee (secure with glue if you like). Next, cut a skinny diamond-shape from your construction paper, fold it around the blunt end of the bamboo skewer and glue the ends together to create the flag. Embellish the flag with numbers or your dad’s initial(s), then stick the flag into the “green”. Flip one of your clear bowls upside down and use it as a “pedastal” to elevate the “tee box” and give the arrangement some dimension. Place the entire centerpiece on the scrapbook paper “runner”. Fill the 2 remaining bowls with 4 golf balls each and set them on either side of the main centerpiece.


For the Table Settings:

You’ll need:
• 12×12″ sheets of scrapbook paper to serve as placemats. Choose papers with a modern argyle pattern or other golf-themed print. *The colors in your “placemats” should work well with grass-green and will determine the color palette for the table.
• white plates
• utensils, napkins, construction paper, utensils, and cups in colors that match your theme
• golf tees and sticker numbers (for the placecard holders)

Directions:
Set the table just as you normally would – starting with the scrapbook paper “placemats”. Turn the napkin sat a 45º angles so they look like a diamond. Using the golf tees, construction paper, and sticker numbers, make little place card “flags” for each setting. Flip the tee upside down so that it stands on it’s head and glue the actual flag portion to the sharp end of the tee). If you have a hard time getting the place cards to stay standing on their own, secure them to the napkin with a little bit of glue from a gluestick.

**If you have a large family or are creating multiple tables, you can always name each table after a famous golf course and tell guests they are at “Pebble Beach, Hole 4” or “St. Andrews, Hole 9” – and so on…

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special deals alert!

Deal #1: cb2 sale – up to 50% off!

cb2 june salecb2 – a crate and barrel spinoff store – is one of my favorite online sources for modern entertaining products – so I’m especially excited about the great sale they have going on right now. When they say “up to 50% off”, they’re not kidding! Some of my favorites from the tabletop sale are shown below. Click here to view everything!

cb2 june sale

Deal #2: iomoi
There are a few great deals going on right now that I thought you might be interested in…the first is from iomoi.com and only lasts through today! Use code “private2007” for 20% off any order over $100. This site is great for personalized gift ideas – if you’re looking for something unique for a wedding or birthday gift – check out the custom drink coasters and personalized stationery / coordinating address labels

iomoi sale
iomoi has tons of unique invitation & announcement designs too..

iomoi saleAnd for especially great deals – check out iomoi’s *tag sale section! At $10 for 3 packs (8 cards per pack) – the paisley notecards actually make a great shower favor! (I have a set myself and the quality is great.) And the urban stripe barrel matches are very hip for a bridal shower or birthday party favor. At only $15 for a set of 9, I’m tempted to design a shower just around these!

iomoi sale*note: tag sale does not expire today – just the 20% off discount code for anything on the site

Deal #3: To Bee Named – 10% off

to be namedTobeenamed.com features a variety of entertaining-related products – from solid or patterned napkins and guest towels – available with or without personalization – to star-shaped bowls, wine tags and more. Enter promo code “TBN10” for 10% off all orders June 11-19th!

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french toast kabobs

I just love the look of these french toast kabobs from Martha Stewart! Shown here as a breakfast idea for Father’s Day – but don’t you think these yummy-looking treats would also be perfect for a 4th of July brunch?

French Toast Kabobs{image from marthastewart.com}

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Love Shak, Baby: Summer Giveaway

Shakadoo: Summer Giveaway
Our friends over at Love Shak, Baby are running their first-ever giveaway!

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25% off at plum party!

Breezy Cabana Stripe TabletopPlanning a graduation, Father’s Day, or summer get-together? Plum Party has tons of great party supplies – not to mention the some fantastic entertaining products from Simrin and Jonathan Adler! They’re currently having a 25% off sale – good through Sunday, June 10. Might have to finally get my hands on that Luna tablecloth I’ve been eyeing for months now :)

Breezy Cabana Stripe Tabletop

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summer dining: gender-neutral

Summer entertaining usually brings lots of bright colors, flowers, and modern floral prints – but chances are that most guys won’t appreciate how gorgeous those fuschia plates look with the orange trellis cocktail napkins nearly as much as the girls do. So if you’re looking for a tabletop design for an upcoming Father’s Day dinner or graduation party that’s summery and festive but not overly girlie – here’s a color palette from cb2.com that would work nicely: bright blues & greens toned down with neutrals like charcoal, ebony & white.

Breezy Cabana Stripe Tabletop {pictured above} striped lounge runner , palette dinnerware in blue and green, round rope placemats , straight-sided candleholder , taper wine glass , mudra placecard holders , and fresco vase in storm.

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high five low five

These “High Five Low Five” drink stirrers are the perfect drink accessory for a graduation party or congrats celebration of any kind…{$7.99/pack of 6}

Hostess with the Mostess: Real-Life Parties

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REAL PARTIES: Pink Bridal Shower

This beautiful “Pink” bridal shower was thrown by hip hostess Margaret Lee of the greengelato blog. Margaret did a great job on this pink-themed outdoor brunch, which – among other things – featured lots of tissue pomanders, gorgeous bunches of roses in varying shades of pink, an amazing food display complete with little marker flags, pink drinks, and adorable polka-dotted japanese sugar cups!

Pink Bridal Shower

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Ask HWTM {Citrus Shower}

I’ve been getting a lot of email inquiries about bridal showers and where to find things lately, so I thought it might make sense to start posting a few of them on the blog once in a while in case other readers have similar questions and might be interested in the answers as well…so here’s the first one, which comes from Tia, and is regarding chinese paper lanterns and a citrus shower theme…

Hostess with the Mostess: Orange Citrus Shower
{Reader Question}
“…I know there are a ton of chinese lanterns out there – I’m just wondering If there is a website you recommend for different types of chinese lanterns, I was looking for yellow. Also I’m throwing a baby shower and going for a citrus theme, lemons, limes and oranges, from looking through your site I have some great ideas. I was thinking hurricane vases with lemons, limes and oranges in them and going with yellow tulips for the flowers. Anything else you can think of would be great!…” – Tia

{HWTM Response}
Hi Tia –
Here are a couple places where you should be able to find the paper lanterns you need:
http://www.shojidecor.com/
http://www.paperlanternstore.com/section.html

I actually threw a citrus-themed bridal shower for a friend last year – so I attached a few pictures from that shower here in case they help. Her favorite color is orange so it was an orange-citrus theme, but lemons and limes are great to work with as well and enable you to incorporate even more colors into the theme. Anyways, one of the accent vases was lined with orange slices – which might be what you’re thinking doing for the tulip vases too. (There’s a skinnier vase within the bigger outer vase, and the slices were dropped into the space between the 2 vase walls, which is what keeps them in place.) For the table centerpieces, I used simple bowls of oranges with little white flowers tucked around in different spots – and gave them some height by flipping smaller bowls upside down to create a “pedastal” for the big bowl.

Also – Izze soda packaging is so great and makes the best party décor just by itself :) They make clementine, grapefruit, and lemon flavors that are the perfect colors & flavors for a citrus shower.

Good luck with the party!

Hostess with the Mostess: Orange Citrus ShowerHostess with the Mostess: Orange Citrus Shower

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recipe box has launched!

Hostess with the Mostess: The Recipe BoxThe Recipe Box feature has launched at hwtm.com! We’re really excited about this addition to the site and hope you like it! You’ll find lots of yummy recipes and great pictures for everything from main appetizers to cocktails & desserts – all from fantastic cookbooks and cooking-saavy readers/bloggers – and more are coming soon! Click here to check it out…

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rabbit toes personalized dinnerware

Designer Jessica Rust recently wrote in to introduce her fantastic line of cool, contemporary dinnerware – rabbit toes – which can be personalized in a very unique way! The personalization actually looks like part of the artwork in a lot of the avalailable designs. For example – check out this “birch” design below – where you can add you and your SO’s initials so it actually looks like they’re carved into the tree! What a fun, creative idea for a wedding or anniversary gift!

Rabbit Toes Personalized DinnerwareThere are tons of designs available for all types of occasions and celebrations – from weddings to birthdays to modern silhouettes of your kids and more! Click here to check out all of the collection at http://www.rustdesigns.com/index.html.

Rabbit Toes Personalized Dinnerware…and don’t forget your best friends! Jessica also recently launched a new collection of dog and cat mugs (also available for customization) for those of you that just can’t get enough of your pets…like me ;)

Rabbit Toes Personalized Dinnerware

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