Leda’s Bake Shop

Pretty & modern party cupcakes from Leda’s Bake Shop

Leda's Bake Shop

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Hostess with the Mostess: Full Week of Fabulous StationeryUPDATE: Giveaways are now going to continue THROUGH THE WEEKEND! Any giveaway posted Friday, Saturday, or Sunday will end Monday the 21st at Midnight PST. Giveaways posted Mon-Thurs of this week will end Sunday, May 18 at midnight PST.

Make sure to keep scrolling down so you don’t miss giveaways posted earlier this week!

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Hostess with the Mostess: Full Week of Fabulous StationeryUPDATE: Giveaways are now going to continue THROUGH THE WEEKEND! Any giveaway posted Friday, Saturday, or Sunday will end Monday the 21st at Midnight PST. Giveaways posted Mon-Thurs of this week will end Sunday, May 18 at midnight PST.

Make sure to keep scrolling down so you don’t miss giveaways posted earlier this week!

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Ephemera Stationery Studio

Ephemera DesignThe invitations & stationery from Ephemera Stationery Studio truly take the art of correspondence to the next level! Not only are the styles fun & modern, but the custom detailing is A-ma-zing! You’ll find stitching, glitter, layers, and mini accessories adorning the stationery at Ephemera. Click here to check out all the great stuff available on their website.

Ephemera DesignNational Stationery Show – NYC: Booth # 2068

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25% OFF at Minnie & Emma

Minnie and EmmaMinnie and EmmaThe world of fabulous stationery has a noteworthy newcomer! Accomplished graphic designer Meredith Levy recently launched Minnie and Emma Correspondence – a new chic new line of personalized stationery, invitations, and announcements. If you haven’t discovered Minnie and Emma already – here’s a great excuse to go check them out: they’re offering hwtm readers a 25% discount on EVERYTHING through May 31st! Just use the promo code “HOSTESS” at checkout to get your 25% off! (great graduation gift idea for students headed off to college!)

One of my favorite things about Minnie & Emma is the coordinating envelope liners. You get to pick your favorite liner to go with the style of invitation or notecards you want…and the patterns are all super cute!

Minnie and EmmaCongrats on the creation of a truly fabulous company, Meredith!

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good luck, Joy!

Nantaka JoyOne of my favorite bloggers – Joy Deangdeelert Cho of oh joy! – is debuting her brand-new stationery line at the National Stationery Show this weekend! Joy is super talented – just check out the style reflected in her blog, the gallery of work on her design website, and some of the beautiful details from her 2006 wedding. On top of all that – she’s really sweet! I think it’s safe to say her stationery line will be nothing short of amazing!

If you’re at the show – make a beeline for booth # 3472 to check out nantaka joy! Good luck, Joy – can’t wait to see pics after the show!

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Anna Bella Fine Stationery

Anna Bella Fine Stationery has been a trend-setter in stationery design since 2001, and with one quick peek at the exclusive collection of invitations & announcements on their website, it’s easy to see why! You’ll find styles that range from modern & elegant to playful & cute…for all types of occasions – weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, cocktail parties, beach parties, and so on…

Annabella Custom InvitationsHow adorable are these Animal Parade and Gingham Elephant birth announcements/shower invites?! (both designs available in boy or girl versions!)

Annabella Custom Invitations

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avie designs

Avie DesignsSo I have to admit it was love at first site when I first laid eyes on the personalized stationery from Avie Designs! Georgia-based designer Avie Wampler launched the company less that a year ago and has already built quite an extensive collection of fun, modern designs! Seriously – how often do you come across ENVELOPES this cute? I would absolutely love to recieve one of these happy little notes in the mail! Click here to check out all of the paper goodness in the Avie Etsy shop!

Avie DesignsStationery designs are sold in sets of 10 coordinating cards/envelopes and available with or without personalization. {$25 with personalization / $20 without) Great gift idea!!

Avie Designs

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boatman geller

Modern meets Preppy! For a fresh twist on traditional patterns – reinvented in bold, playful colors – check out Boatman Geller‘s HUGE collection of personalized social stationery, invitations, and announcements.

Hostess with the Mostess: Full Week of Fabulous StationeryDon’t forget to check out the fun extras too – calling cards, gift tags, note pads and more!

Hostess with the Mostess: Full Week of Fabulous StationeryNational Stationery Show – NYC: Booth #’s 2713, 2715, 2717

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a full week of fabulous stationery!

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

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

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To Bee Named

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

(more…)

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napkins with a sense of humor

Funny Cocktail Napkins Add a splash of unexpected humor to your next get-together with beverage napkins that are witty, clever, and even a bit saucy! A few favorites are pictured here…find all of these and more fun designs at broadwaypaper.com . (The cappuccino beverage napkins would be great for a baby shower, and cook for you is a perfect choice for a much needed moms’ night out!)

(more…)

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graduation party centerpiece idea

Martha Stewart Book Stack This crafty home decor idea from Martha Stewart arrived in my inbox yesterday – and it immediately looked like the perfect concept for a graduation party centerpiece! You could even recover the stacked books with cool, modern gift wrap in various prints & colors to coordinate with your party’s color scheme – and then decorate the sides with designs and the guest of honor’s name using rubber stamps like they’ve shown here. If you really want to get into the "school" theme – try recovering the books "high school style" with brown paper bags or kraft paper and ink-pen doodles (you know – the kind you used to draw when you were really supposed to be paying attention in class!).

For a thoughtful touch, designate one special keepsake book and ask party guests to sign messages to the graduate on it "yearbook-style" (on the outside and inside covers). If you use a photo album as the covered keepsake "book" – you can even fill the album at a later date with actual pictures from the party!

{image from marthastewart.com}

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cool cocktails

Brides.com is a wealth of inspiration – whether you’re planning a wedding or not! Check out these gorgeous cocktail/mocktail presentations – just a few images & ideas from a stunning online drinks & cocktails gallery that features lots of differenty artsy drink displays and garnishes. (Those cool cube-things in the 2nd row of the image below are actually jello shots!)

Brides.com Cocktail GalleryThere’s also a really great article from Modern Bride called “Create Cool Cocktails” that features more cocktail inspiration {shown below} from mixologist David Wondrich, author of Killer Cocktails and consultant to 5 Ninth restaurant in NYC. Yep…I’m ready for a party!

Brides.com Cocktail Gallery{all images from brides.com}

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A little pep for your kitchen…

These silk-screened “happy kitchen towels” from PataPri come in ultra-modern patterns and fun, vibrant colors! All towels are hand-printed by designer Yuko Uemura and available for purchase in her Etsy shop. I’m especially loving the kirin (giraffe) and apple prints…and thinking they would look just as good framed on the wall as hanging in the kitchen!

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fun new "to-do": Delight.com

These days everyone’s daily “to-do” lists seem to be never-ending, but here’s an addition that you might actually be excited about: SHOPPING! Delight.com is a brand-new and brilliant website concept that puts a creative twist on typical internet shopping. Everyday at lunch (noon Central time) Delight features a fabulous new item that goes on sale for 24 hours. You can vote on it, comment on it – and (of course) buy it! And because Delight has an entire team testing products out before they’re featured, you’re sure to always find something good!

A few of my favorite recent product features that are still available in Delight’s 30-day store are pictured above. Click here to see what’s new today! And a big congratulations to Tracey Tee and Lynda Keeler for turning their novel shopping vision into a truly “delightful” reality! (yes, pun intended) :)

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earth-friendly goods from Branch™

For more evidence that “environment-friendly” can equal “design-friendly”, just check out the gorgeous product line over at Branch! A few favorites pictured here (how great are these cork surface tiles?!)…many more on their website.

{pictured above} Haute Surface Pack by Mio (made of 100% recycled cork); Off Pitchers and Slumped Vases (both made of recycled glass stock & processed in an electric furnace that’s powered by wind energy); Large Laquerware Bowls and Low Bowls from Bambu (100% organically-grown bamboo, non-toxic water-based adhesive, natural lacquer derived from the cashew nut tree)

{pictured above, clockwise from top left} Spoontulas, Utensils, Fork/Knife/Spoon Set, and disposable Veneerware Plates – all from Bambu, and made of 100% organically-grown bamboo. Veneerware will biodegrade 4-6 months after disposal!

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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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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: info@hwtm.com 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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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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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 weddingfavorites.com 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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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 kitchenkapers.com. (A few of these little guys would make a clever housewarming gift too!)

Animal House Kitchen GadgetsAnimal House Kitchen Gadgets

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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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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!

blumebox

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blumebox

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 blumebox.com)

blumebox

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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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