Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

July 4th favorites from Martha Stewart

4th of July Decorations

Looking for some weekend craft projects? Here are some of my favorite crafty July 4th entertaining ideas from Martha Stewart . How great do these napkins look?!

Clockwise from top left: ring tones napkin rings , easy sand candles , fourth of July votives , and can-do cans

{images from}

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modern hostess party set

4th of July DecorationsI’m loving “today’s delight” on! This Modern Hostess Party Set is the perfect gift for any party guru – including yourself if this means you! The set includes a Hostess Diary – a cute little journal with spaces to jot down memories from your party in addition to tips for yourself to remember next time – like the centerpiece that was such a big hit or the appetizer that wasn’t a hit at all – and two sets of Vinotagz – fantastically modern wine charms that also double as cool napkin rings. (6 tags per set)

4th of July Decorations

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4th of July – Star-Studded Centerpiece!

4th of July Decorations

4th of July Decorations

If you’re on the lookout for July 4th decorating ideas – here’s a super quick & easy easy idea for a festive & modern star-themed centerpiece. You’ll need the following:
• foam stars: 4"-5" or larger (available at Michael’s or other craft supply stores)
giant star craft punch (we used a 2.25" size)
memo clips ($1.95 each at crate and barrel)
• decorative paper with modern red, white & blue patterns (the paper used here is gift wrap by snow & graham and available at )

4th of July Decorations
Putting it together:
(This literally took less than 10 minutes to put together -without rushing!)
• punch stars out of your decorative paper (I reduced the gift wrap paper on the computer and printed it out at a smaller size so more of the detail would be captured in the stars, but this is an optional step.)
• affix the paper stars to the center of the foam stars with glue, double-stick tape, or mini pop dots to add a little more dimension
• insert the stars into the memo clips and line them up in a straight or staggered row. Flip a couple of clear glasses upside down to add height to the centerpiece, and you’re done!

**We used 5 stars here, but you can really make the centerpiece as long as you like! Line up 10 or more for a really dramatic display – and you can even use varying sizes of glasses to add different levels!**

4th of July Decorations

You can also use the foam stars as super cute and inexpensive drink coasters! And for an extra "wow" factor – create a table runner from the same scrapbook paper or gift wrap used for the paper stars. This ties the table together and increases the festive factor :)

**The red and blue melamine plates and cute polka-dotted straws also pictured here were all purchased in-store at Target . Have lots of people to feed? For a more inexpensive option just pick up disposable red and blue plates from your local party supply. White napkins from Vanity Fair are available at your local grocery store.

Happy entertaining!

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aluminum brights

I’m loving the vivid summery hues and simplistic design of these hand-painted aluminum napkin rings

Retata Napkin Rings…and spreaders

Retata Spreaders…and salad servers

Retata Spreaders…and bowls!

Retata Bowls

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Mesü bowls

Mesü BowlsI was watching The Big Idea with Donny Deutch this past Monday and saw a great interview with Jen Panepinto – creator of the Mesü bowls – an ingeniuos little set of porcelain bowls that make portion-control much easier and way more stylish! Instead of measuring your food into a measuring cup and then pouring in into another dish, the Mesü bowls pull double-duty as both your measuring tool and serving dish. Modern minimalist-style graphics denote the serving size of each dish – from 1/2 to 2 cups – so just pick the graphic that denotes the serving size you need, fill, and eat! $49.95/set of 6 nesting bowls or $16.95/set of 2 “singles” at

Mesü Bowls

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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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fish out of water

This fun fish puzzle serving set is perfect for modern summer entertaining! Includes 4 sleek dishes – in shades of green, aqua & white – which can be used separately or nested together…$45 at red envelope.

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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too cute for words….

sigh… :)

elum designs{Baby Birdie from Elum Designs}

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new from elum

In addition to the baby birdie above, a few more fabulous new releases from elum:

elum designsand even more…

elum designs**Coming soon – elum will be expanding their presence with a bunch of new types of products – get ready for some fantastic gift bags, gift wrap, journals, and complete desk sets…oh, boy is my wallet is in trouble!**

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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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the icing (off!) the cake…

Definitely two of the prettiest cake stands I’ve ever laid eyes on! Butterfly Cake Stand (top) and Black Lace Cake Stand (bottom).

pretty cake standpretty cake stand

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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)

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 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 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}

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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 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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Stefano Giovannoni

Hostess with the Mostess: Orange Citrus ShowerItalian designer Stefano Giovannoni is undoubtedly a creative genius. His extensive line of fun, light-hearted – and undeniably modern kitchen & home accessories (created for renowned designer/company Alessi) are just way too cute. Take this magic bunny toothpick holder, bunny and carrot paper towel holder, egg cup with salt spoon, and ship shape butter dish for starters. And I’m thinking the innovative cake stand pictured below is going to have to take a spot at the top of my wish-list…pricey, but definitely a conversation starter! Check out the entire Giovannoni collection at

Hostess with the Mostess: Orange Citrus Shower

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Indie Fixx Summer Wedding Guide

If you’re in the bridal market or know someone who is, Indie Fixx has a great Summer Wedding Guide posted right now that features fabulous finds for everything from cool shoes, jewelry, and invitations to creative gift ideas for the happy couple!

Indie Fixx: Summer Wedding Guide

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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:

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! 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

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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