Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

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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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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"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

WrapablesWrapables

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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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cocktailvibe.com

cocktailvibe.comIf you’re into cocktails and unique barware, then you should definitely check out cocktailvibe.com. 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). cocktailvibe.com 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 cocktailvibe.com – the music autoplays when you get there :)

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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 wishingfish.com, for $38 each.

Daily Candy Deals

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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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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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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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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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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 the Cooking GuyIf you happen to live in the San Diego area and would like to attend a class yourself, visit his website 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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vinotagz

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!

(more…)

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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 http://www.orlakiely.com/. 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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aloha!

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 hwtm.com – 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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iFuseSolution at Etsy

iFuseSolutionI was checking out my friend Suzy‘s luscious Etsy Treasury today and fell in love with the shop by iFuseSolution. As a certified jewelry fanatic, I first clicked on the gorgeous glass pendant featured in the treasury – and I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the hip, modern, fused glass coasters and platters they carry too! The bold patterns and vibrant hues are fantastic! Click here to check out all the iFuseSolution goods and see for yourself :)

iFuseSolutioniFuseSolution

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american bungalow

If you’re a fan of mid-century modern design, then you might just fall in love with the American Bungalow collection from Rosanna, Inc! I’m definitely in love with the prices too…only $40 for sets of 5 color or white mini-vases! Vases range from 4.5″ – 7″ and come packaged in beautiful round gift boxes – just like the gorgeous pitchers and nesting bowls!

Rosanna Inc.Rosanna Inc.Rosanna Inc.

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a great way to start your day…

…drink your morning pick-me-up from an ultra-cool designer mug like the ones shown here by LSA International – available in sets of 6 from Tart on the Web!

Tart mugsTart mugsTart mugs

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