Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Maritime White

sea urchin and driftwood vases

There’s something so chic about natural elements that have been recast completely in white, like these delicate, yet contemporary maritime-inspired vases and home accessories. Pictured above: gorgeous porcelain Driftwood Vase, Bowl, and Votive, porcelain Loofah Vases, Small/Medium Sea Urchin Votives, and Large Sea Urchin Votive. Pictured below: Decorative Coral Accessories and remarkably lifelike Coral Candleholders.

sea urchin and driftwood vases

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Simply Stated: Cheers to the Cosmopolitan

modern table linens

Thought you might be interested in some Cosmopolitan recipes today for some reason… so I featured a few ideas over at Simply Stated! Click here to check the out.

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Modern Table Linens by Unison

modern table linens

…absolutely loving the bold colors and modern silhouettes in these organic & graphic-inspired table linens by Unison! Pictured above: Martin in Aqua and Larch in Moss. Pictured below: Lush in Orchid and Sky Blue, and Larch in Blackberry.

modern table linens

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Sex and the City + Hansen’s Sparkling!

Update 6/2/06:
***This giveaway is now closed – thanks so much to all 846 of you that participated!! (a new record at HWTM!) Your recipe ideas were all fantastic – I think Hansen’s should create a "Sparkling Drinks" booklet based off of them! The lucky random winner is…Kim O. from Cary, NC. Congrats, Kim!

sex and the city giveaway

I’m so excited to tell you about today’s Surprise Giveaway!! In celebration of the upcoming movie release this Friday, Hansen’s is generously offering up the entire Sex and the City: Complete Series DVD Collectors Gift Set to a lucky HWTM reader! And wait, there’s more…!

sex and the city giveaway

The winner will also receive these fun Mikasa Cheers Martini Glasses (set of 4) – perfect for sipping cosmos with friends while watching your new DVDs – and four 4-packs of the new Sparkling beverage from Hansen’s…one pack of each flavor : blueberry pomegranate, cranberry grapefruit, valencia orange, and dragonfruit! The Sparkling line is made from fresh fruit & real cane sugar…with only 90 calories a pop for the regular cans and zero calories for the sugar free versions!

(Details for how to enter the giveaway after the jump…)

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Alison & Co.

modern paper plates

I was at (San Diego’s new 2-story!) Crate&Barrel last week and have to tell you that the adorable floral Alison Paper Plates pictured above are even cuter in person than they look online! Great choice for girlie graduation celebrations and backyard cocktail parties!

C&B actually has tons of other great outdoor entertaining products out right now too – several of which serve as great company for the Alison Plates, such as the coordinating Alison Napkins, bright red – and earth friendly – Preserve™ Flatware, Citronella Mini Torches, and classic Red Lantern pictured above.

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Joyful Little Things

recycled cotton totes

One of my favorite local designers – Mel Lim – has recently added some amazing new additions to her gorgeous Joy by Mel Lim line: a stationery, decor & accessories collection that seems to be expanding by the minute! And with good reason, I might add: Mel’s unique designs and passion for her craft definitely shines through in all of her products. She recently added these fabulous recycled cotton totes (2 of the 3 available designs are pictured above), and a sampling of her beautiful flat cards are pictured below. Click here to check out the entire Joy collection!

letterpress stationery

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Chip Cheery + Delightful Deal

modern storage containers french bull

As a thank you for all of the wonderful reader comments in last week’s Delight.com Surprise Giveaway, Delight is extending a special deal to HWTM readers for 20% off your entire through May 31st on orders $35 or more! Just enter promo code "HostessDelight" at checkout! Perfect timing for graduation gifts… but I have to admit I’m also tempted to "gift" this adorable Chip Cheery Storage Container Mega Set to myself! ;)

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Fabulous Wedding Contests

If you’re getting married soon or know someone who is, there are a couple of amazing sweepstakes going on right now that might spark your interest… The first is a luxurious Dream Honeymoon from Get Married – one of the coolest wedding planning shows/websites around… and the 2nd is a $10K Wedding Film Vignette package, brought to you by Style Me Pretty – another fabulous wedding website/blog! (Get the details for both contests after the jump.)

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Girls Night!

girls night party

Social Couture has a super-fun hot pink and zebra-inspired Girls Night theme that’s perfect for Sex and the City "pre-parties", bachelorette party festivities, or milestone birthday celebrations! Between the zebra cocktail shaker, marabou bottle slip covers, feather boas and mini disco balls, this looks like a fabulous way to party with the girls!

girls night party

{Don’t forget that Social Couture offers HWTM Readers 10% Off with promo code "HWTM"!}

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A Quick Hello + Chambord Berry Sorbet

tropical zen hip hostess event

Hi Everyone!

Sorry about the missing post yesterday – I’ve literally been up to my eyeballs in tropical plants and bamboo trying to get everything ready for our very first Hip Hostess Series event tonight at Balboa Park! Looking forward to meeting some of you!! And even thought the weather is not exactly cooperating in SD today – don’t worry – we’re going to make sure it’s still nice and summery inside the room!

For everyone that won’t be there tonight, we’ve hired a photographer to take pics, so I’ll definitely be posting some of those online as soon as they’re ready.

In the meantime, I featured one of the recipes that we’ll be serving tonight over at Simply Stated: Celebrations yesterday if you want to check it out . It’s a Chambord Berry Sorbet dessert cocktail and, trust me, it’s yummy!!

Cheers,
Jenn

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New Simrin Drinkware

simrin drinkware

I’m so excited to see that Simrin recently launched a new line of drinkware that coordinates with their fabulous table linens & serving trays! Patterns include Kelp, Surya, Icon, and Branch, and each design comes in 5 lovely colors: Ocean, Bronze, Moss, Saffron, and Soft White. (more…)

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Summer Cocktail: Pineapple Martini

chambord pineapple martini recipe

For those of you that caught our “Tropical Zen” segment on Fox 6 this morning – (or anyone that’s on the lookout for summer signature drink ideas!) – here’s the recipe for one of the cocktails we featured: a Pineapple Martini with a raspberry twist! It’s a quick, 3-ingredient recipe and looks super cute when garnished with a simple, very “zen-looking” pineapple leaf!

Pineapple Martini
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1.5 oz. Vodka
.5 oz. Chambord

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a wedge of pineapple or a pineapple leaf.

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SATC Soirée: The Cocktails

sex and the city party cocktails

As expected, the upcoming Sex and the City movie has inspired a slew of cocktail recipes around the web, and there’s much more than the tried-and-true Cosmo this time around!

Stirrings, a company that creates yummy drink mixes – which are great for making your life easier when mixing up “fancy” cocktails – has come up with some fun recipes inspired by each of the SATC gang: Samantha’s Punch, Carrie’s Cosmotini, The Charlotte, and Miranda’s Power Martini. Read on for recipes and fun cocktail garnish ideas…

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SATC Soirée: Cocktail Glasses

sex and the city party

Yes – I’ll admit it – I’ve been looking forward to May 30th for what seems like forever! But you know what excites me about the Sex and the City movie even more than the picture itself? The fact that it’s giving us a fabulous excuse to get together with the girls and inspiring all this great buzz around the web about planning girls nights and SATC soirées!

I love the idea of hosting a "pre-party" at home a few days before actually seeing the movie. No need to show up in the Manalos at this party (which is a good thing since I have yet to actually own any!) … just gather the girls, serve up some easy cocktails & takeout, kick back on the couch, and watch episodes from the last season to get everyone up to speed on where we left off with the SATC gang.

To add a festive touch to the party, "sass up" martini glasses with feathers & other girlie details. In the image above, taken at a friend’s bachelorette party, we decorated pink plastic martini glasses with black marabou craft boa, hot pink sequin trim, and craft rhinestones (all available at Michael’s). Suddenly the "regular" martinis just seemed way more fun!

What fun things are you doing to celebrate the upcoming Sex and the City premier? Throwing a party at home? Meeting for drinks with the girls?

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Grad Party Idea: Notes & Doodles

whimsy press DIY gift wrap

Whimsy Press has a great gift wrap design called DIY Design that features pre-printed doodles on one side and room for DIY doodles on the other. This design has always reminded me of the doodle-adorned notepads and kraft-paper-covered text books from high school and college years past, and it feels like a great element to inspire a girlie graduation party theme!

On the DIY side of the wrap, you can fill in the bubbles with custom notes & doodles like little graduations hats, phrases like "Congrats!" or "2008", your guest of honor’s name, and even special messages to the Grad. Use the gift wrap to cover text books, wrap vases, create table runners, etc.

This same design also comes in double-sided, pre-cut placemats for easy table top decor… (more…)

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Simply Stated: Streamlined Party Planning

mississippi mud cake

Does party planning often become overwhelming to you? Trust me, I’ve been there myself – but there are definitely things you can do to make the process easier on yourself, which I’ve learned by the tried-and-true method of trial and error! Check out my post today on Real Simple: Celebrations today for some tips on Streamlined Party Planning.

{image from Social Couture}

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Refreshing Drinks for Hot Summer Days

The weather is seriously starting to heat up in San Diego and it’s feeling like summer! We have a few outdoor parties coming up, and – while I do absolutely love to entertain outside – I always find myself worrying about how to keep guests comfortable when the temperature kicks into high gear. You want to keep your guests happy and enjoying the party – not melting in the sun, then making a beeline back to their own air-conditioned cars and houses!

Aside from passing out hand fans, turning on misters (if possible), and timing your get-togethers towards the late afternoon/evening instead of the middle of the day, one of the best – and easiest – ways to keep guests cool is to serve lots of chilly & refreshing drinks! Here are a few of my favorite cocktail and mocktail recipe ideas for hot summer soirées:

MOCKTAILS:

summer cocktail recipes

Arnold Palmer (an easy, classic favorite!)

5 oz lemonade
5 oz iced tea

Mix and serve in a highball glass over lots of ice!

*****

Sweet & Refreshing Homemade Lemonade

1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice

Combine sugar and one cup of water in a small saucepan, then bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the syrup mixture to cool, then cover it and refrigerate until chilled.

Combine the chilled syrup, lemon juice (freshly squeezed or the store-bought, ready-made version), and 7 cups of water in a pitcher. Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy!

*For extra-sweet lemonade, increase sugar to 2/3 cup.

*****

COCKTAILS:

summer cocktail recipes

Strawberry Daiquiri

1/2 cup white sugar
4 ounces frozen strawberries
1/8 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup rum
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
6 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Add ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into a cocktail glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries.

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Chambord Berry Sorbet (a personal favorite!)

1 Scoop of Raspberry Sorbet or Sherbert
1 oz Chambord
Splash of Champagne
Raspberries for garnish

In a martini glass, add one scoop of raspberry sorbet (vanilla ice cream also works well).
Top with one ounce of Chambord and splash with champagne.
Garnish with fresh raspberries or blackberries.

*****

What are your favorite drink recipes for refreshing on hot summer afternoons?

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Mississippi Mud Cake

mississippi mud cake

Feeling chocolate-y today and this Mississippi Mud Cake is looking might tempting! Feel the same way? Click here for the recipe!

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Hip Hostess Series: San Diego

hip hostess series Chambord

I’m excited to share that HWTM is teaming up with Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur to host a series of events for readers! For this "Hip Hostess Series", we’ll be traveling to 7 cities across the US over the next 12 months putting on (free) entertaining workshops/parties where you can pick up tips and ideas for seasonal & holiday entertaining…and indulge in some yummy food and cocktails of course!

The first event is next Thursday, May 22nd in San Diego, and we’ll be covering ideas for throwing "Tropical Zen" summer parties – kind of a fusion of Hawaiian and Asian styles with a contemporary twist. (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Delight.com

delight.com giveaway

You know the old saying, "It’s better to give than to receive."? Well, I definitely have to agree…UNLESS there’s another other option to both give AND receive! That sounds pretty good, right? Well, it seems that the folks at Delight.com think so, because they’re hosting a fun surprise giveaway for hwtm readers today and giving you the chance to win something for yourself AND something to give to a friend!

**Giveaway ends Sunday, May 18th!**
The giveaway is now closed, but as a thank you to everyone that participated, Delight is extending a special deal to HWTM Readers – 20% Off any order of $35 or more ! Just enter the discount code "HostessDelight " during the checkout process. (Offer good through May 25th.) Happy Shopping!

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Simply Stated: Summer Hostess Gifts

summer hostess gift ideas

Have a few summer soirées on the calendar? Check out my post at Simply Stated: Celebrations today For some think-outside-the-bottle (of wine) ideas for saying thanks to your favorite hostess with the mostess – like the fabulous expandable vases by Jill-able pictured above – or to contribute some creative ideas of your own!

summer hostess gift ideas

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Floral Centerpiece Inspiration

wedding and party centerpiece ideas

TheKnot.com has a fabulous "centerpieces" photo gallery that’s definitely worth checking out – especially if you’re looking for some inspiration for your wedding or next party! Even though some of the designs in wedding pictures can be overly difficult or expensive to recreate for everyday parties at home, there are almost always some doable tips you can pick up too… like the kiwi-lined vase pictured above, for example – or the tulip bouquet embellished with simple grass details for a unique, artsy feel.

wedding and party centerpiece ideas

Especially loving these Lemon/Orchid and Manzanita/Rose/Orchid designs…

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Modern Wall Stickers by Divider

pottery barn melamine fish dishes

Wall stickers are such a fun way to customize your living space, but I’ve always loved the idea of also using them as party decor…and these removable wall stickers by divider make that concept even easier! Imagine a baby shower or children’s birthday party with these fun animal (check out the cute elephant/mice decal!) or kids designs, or a bridal shower or adult birthday with ultra modern nature/floral silhouettes or cool graphic patterns. How cool is this skateboarder for a skater boy birthday party… (more…)

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Fish School

pottery barn melamine fish dishes

Pottery Barn has a truly fabulous outdoor entertaining collection out for summer, and I’m especially loving their bright, fun Fish School tableware! This festive pattern is available in Melamine Serving Dishes ($15-$19), Outdoor Barware (Blue Hawaii, anyone? $26/set of 6), outdoor Table Runners ($39-$59), and textured Glass Platter ($19)… (more…)

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Martha’s New Flowers

martha stewart 1-800-flowers lotus pod

Martha Stewart recently came out with a new line of floral arrangements designed exclusively for 1-800-Flowers , and I think this collection does a great job at bringing something new to the world of flower delivery! Several of the designs feature unusual florals, like the Lotus Pod Bouquet pictured above, which is a modern mix of Lotus Pods, jade green roses, ‘Kermit’ mums, green hypericum, and salal.

Even better are the unique styles of vases & containers offered in the line, which include an Asian-inspired, ceramic Bamboo Groove vase (pictured above) and a chic, matte ceramic Faux Bois ("false wood") vase , amongst several other styles .

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Simply Stated: Brighten Up!

party lighting

Today on Simply Stated: Brighten Up! Check out fun party lanterns and lighting ideas for brightening up your outdoor soirée!

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Cheesecake Pops

cheesecake pops

What is it about desserts on sticks that makes them so ridiculously cute?! First the adorable cupcake bites from Bakerella, and now these fabulous cheesecake pops from Mimi on the Move !

cheesecake pops

They even look cute undecorated… (and maybe dusted with some graham cracker crumbs!)

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Pink Suede Keepsake Box… with Chocolate!

godiva chocolate keepsake box

This pink suede jewelry/keepsake box from Godiva is a fun twist on your typical box of chocolates! I received one of these keepsake boxes as a gift recently and loved it (Thanks, Lisa!). The quality of the box is great, and the truffles are, well…already gone! If that’s any indication of how they tasted! Great gift idea for Mother’s Day or a loved one’s birthday. ($65 at Godiva )

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Fruity Cocktails

summer cocktail recipes

Summer is the perfect time to serve up fruity cocktails at special celebrations or everyday get-togethers! For some festive, fruit-filled ideas, check out my Fabulously Fruity Cocktails guest post over at GlamDish today!

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Simply Stated: Fresh Fête

Sweet paul

Today at Simply Stated: Celebrations – check out my "Fresh Fête" post for some spring entertaining ideas & inspiration!

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