Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Labor Day Menu Idea: Gourmet Turkey Burgers & Oven Fries

labor day recipes

Looking for a way to fancy up your burgers this weekend? These gourmet turkey burgers from epicurious feature tomato jam, olives, and feta and look pretty tasty… and healthy!

You can even make them mini-sized and turn them into sliders, then dish them up with some yummy baked fries. Feel free to substitue your own seasoning for the one called for in this recipe – which sounds like it could be hard to find). For creative presentation, dish the fries into juice cups or mini takeout containers, as pictured below in the Labor Day Party segment…

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HWTM on KCRA: Labor Day Party Ideas

labor day party ideasI’m up in Northern California visiting family this week and had the opportunity to share a some Labor Day party ideas on Sacramento’s KCRA News this morning, which was so much fun! The focus of the segment was ideas for throwing a stylish & creative Labor Day party without spending a ton of money or “laboring” for hours in the kitchen…

labor day party ideas

I took a few pictures of the recording on my parents’ TV screen so that you can see the details a little better. (more…)

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Simply Stated: Bold Black & Yellow

black and yellow party wedding

I’ve been adoring black, white, and bright yellow lately, so this color combo was my focus for a party inspiration board over at Simply Stated today. Head over there for all the details, and if there are any particular color palettes that you’d like to see turned into a new inspiration board, please let me know!

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REAL PARTIES: It’s a Twin Thing

twins baby shower

When I posted this baby shower idea last month, inspired by these adorable Thing 1 and Thing 2 onesies, I thought it was a fun idea, but Amy from Stem Parties truly knocked it out of the park! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll just let you see for yourself… (more…)

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Think you’ve seen it all?

smock paper letterpress stationery

Think again! How creative are these cupcake burgers (or maybe “burger cupcakes”, as a reader pointed out) by cupcakequeen?!  Your vegetarian friends might even bite! Serve these up at your Labor Day BBQ this weekend…and be prepared for the compliments to come rolling in!

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Labor Day: Patriotic Beach House

modern twist silicone doileez

Because Labor Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day all fall in or near summer, these holidays offer a great opportunity to incorporate beach-inspired elements into your party decor. You can really use any type of party theme you want for Labor Day in particular, but patriotic or all-white themes seem to be the most popular, so today I’m going to share a patriotic theme with some fun “beach house” elements thrown in the mix.

And because Labor Day also was created to celebrate the hard worker and give them a day of rest, it’s also important not to stress yourself out if you’re playing host/hostess, so everything pictured here is quick and easy – no labor-intensive centerpieces that will have you working ’round the clock on your weekend off! Scroll down for more details…

modern twist silicone doileez

The beverage table is one place I always like to have some fun… An easy way to make a cool display is to serve drinks with stylish packaging. The new Sparkling drink by Hansen’s comes in a cool silvery-white can, and the Blueberry-Pomegranate flavor has touches of red and blue – so it’s a ready-made patriotic drink!  To go the extra mile, tie a straw to each can using red raffia or ribbon and line them up in neat rows.

modern twist silicone doileez

(more…)

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Harvey Wallbanger Cupcakes

Galliano Harvey Wallbanger Cupcakes

The Harvey Wallbanger Cake is one of my all-time favorite types of cakes – my mom makes them every Christmas and I can pretty much polish the entire thing off by myself (which is probably not a good thing…but sometimes you just can’t help it!).  Anyways, I was excited to come across these yummy-looking Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes in cupcakequeen‘s flickr gallery recently. The recipe is from the book Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn ($11.16 at Amazon). I’m thinking this is going to have to be a new addition to the library…

P.S. How cute is the presentation with the little straws?!

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Handmade Block Print Napkins

atelier lzc placemats

These artistic, hand-printed cotton napkins by Jessica Gonacha would make a lovely & unique hostess or housewarming gift – or a creative addition to your own kitchen! $30/set of 4 at Indie Fixx Shop.

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Gorgeous Paper Placemats

atelier lzc placemats

…absolutely loving these fabulous Jardins Japonais and Fruits Deguises paper placemats from French design house Atelier LZC!  At $20 & $25 per set of 8 though, I might be more apt to frame these and hang them as art – or decorate with them in other ways that might go a little further (wrapping vases, creating table runners, etc).  Available at bunnymaxwell.com.

atelier lzc placemats

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Simply Stated: 5 Classic Cocktails

cocktail recipes

Margarita, Mojito, Classic Martini, Gin & Tonic, Cosmopolitan… familiar with these popular cocktails but not quite sure how to mix them up on your own? Find out how on today’s Simply Stated: Celebrations feature – 5 Classic Cocktails!

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Fresh Finds at Urban Outfitters

urban outfitters home decor

Style + Affordability = Reasons to love Urban Outfitters. Here are a few favorites from the current collection: Mod Blossom Square Potholder and Round Potholder ($8 each)… the perfect accessories for this fun, retro 50’s Lightning Apron! ($24)

urban outfitters home decor

Pictured above: more fun textiles to style up your kitchen: colorful Birdie and bold Polka Dot Berries Tea Towels.

Pictured below: Frying pans for fashionistas!  Fanciest Fry Pans – available in Blue Floral or Red Bandana – $25 each.

urban outfitters home decor

Add some artistic flair to your glassware collection and sip from these fun, graphic Front Porch Tumblers – available in Birds, Leaves, Tickets, Water Tower or Ferris Wheel prints.  ($6 each or 4/$16)

urban outfitters home decor

And speaking of sipping…these are not your grandfather’s flasks! (more…)

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Guest Post at decor8

hostess with the mostess guest post

I was really excited for the opportunity to guest blog on Holly’s wonderful design blog – decor8 – while she takes a (much deserved) mini-break from blogging to get settled in her new apartment in Germany. Since decor8 is primarily interior-design focused, I thought it would be fun to take a well-designed space and try to model a party after it to capture the same feel. The inspiration: Nicky Hilton’s gorgeous Hollywood Hills dining room (pictured above). The party elements: head over to decor8 to check them out!

Nicky Hilton’s Hollywood Home, Photographed by Paul Costello for InStyle – March 2008.

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Bowling Party: Big Lebowski Style

bowling party ideas

There was such a great response to the Wii Bowling Tournament post yesterday, so I was really excited to stumble on this fabulous Bowling Party: Big Lebowski Style inspiration board over at The Finer Things this morning! Seriously…how fun is this?! I definitely predict this party happening over here in the future… especially when my husband – a big “Big Lebowski” fan – get’s a glimpse of this post. Get more info and all the resources over at The Finer Things.

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Simply Stated: Bird-Inspired Entertaining

modern bird plates aprons entertaining

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations – find 10 Modern Bird-Inspired Entertaining Finds, including 5 favorites from the always-creative Etsy shops!

modern bird plates aprons entertaining

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HWTM & Candyland on Extra TV tonight!

candyland party

The Candyland party we helped create for Max Sutter this past Saturday will be featured on Extra tonight! {click here to view online} …and also in this week’s issue of Life&Style magazine. HWTM gets a little shoutout in both… we’re super excited! And thank you so much to everyone for all the nice comments and emails!

candyland party

{click image to view larger}

P.S. The cute & colorful soft toys from the party were from IKEA and ranged from only $3.99 for the small ones to $9.99 for the giant ones. They are so adorable in person… I definitely recommended them for affordable kids party decorations – or even a fun baby shower!

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GlamDish: Kitschy Kitchen Stuff

frozen smile halloween ice

Today on GlamDish, check out some quirky & clever Kitschy Kitchen Gadgets from perpetualkid.com…including a kitchen scrubber that blows bubbles and this equal parts clever-and-disturbing Frozen Smiles ice cube tray amongst other things. (Who else is thinking “Halloween”?!)

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REAL PARTIES: Wii Bowling Tournament

Wii Bowling Tournament Party

From the second i laid eyes on the ultra-creative “bowling lane table runner” pictured above, I knew this Wii Bowling Tournament was going to be a fun party to check out! Even better, the party’s hostess with the mostess: Robin Chowaniec put the tournament together as a mini fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Wii Bowling Tournament Party

Read on for more for more info on all the creative details – from Wii controller candy dispenser favors to Margamiitas and Mowiitos – straight from Robin herself! (more…)

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Candyland First Birthday Party – Part l

Max Sutter's Candyland Birthday Party

UPDATE 8/13 – I’m allowed to put this post back up now! Yay! (was originally posted on Monday but had to wait until the MomLogic article was up.)

rainbow-dotted-divider-2

Hi Everyone – I’m back from Colorado and happy to report that Max’s Candyland Birthday Party went well!  We definitely ran into some hiccups with the weather (hello, sporadic thunderstorms!) and ended up having to move everything indoors at the last minute, but it all worked out in the end… more on all that later!

Max Sutter's Candyland Birthday Party

It will probably take me a couple days to get everything up in the Party Themes section with detailed “how-to” instructions and all that fun stuff, but in the meantime – to get something up quick – I added 2 photo albums of the pictures that Sonny took with our camera onto the HWTM Facebook Page: Candyland Birthday Party – Part l (featuring party decor, candy & favor shots) and Candyland Birthday Party – Part ll (Max, Trista & Ryan with the birthday cake).  (more…)

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Simply Stated: Black & White + Color

Let's Eat Cake! fundraiser

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations… check out lots of fabulous black & white dinnerware finds that are ready to be punched up with colorful linens and tabletop accents!

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Facebook Question: Bridal Shower Games

bridal shower games

There’s a discussion thread on the HWTM Facebook discussion board that I’m hoping some of you might be able to help with if you have any bright ideas… it’s something that comes up often actually – the topic of what types of games (if any) should be played at bridal showers & bachelorette parties (or baby showers)…and I have to say it most often seems to be discussed with a hint of dread.

bridal shower games

Here are the exact questions:

I’m responsible for two games for a bridal/bachelorette shower, and I would like to opt not to do all of the games that have been done before, i.e. birdal bingo, what’s in the bride’s purse, toliet paper bride. The shower is lingerie themed and in a hotel room. thanks for any ideas…”
– Amanda (click here to reply)

I need help with this also!! I am throwing a “stay-at-home” bachelorette party and I can’t find ANY games that aren’t super boring or stupid. Please help!!
– Jordan (click here to reply)

(more…)

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Let’s Eat Cake… for a Cause!

Let's Eat Cake! fundraiser

I’m really excited to share something extra-worthwhile with you today! I know this post is a little longer than usual, but I’m hoping you’ll take a few extra minutes to read through it…

Masterpiece Weddings, an event coordination agency founded by Melissa Margarita-DiStefano, is working really hard to put on an amazing fundraiser in February called Let’s Eat Cake! – which will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – an incredible organization that’s dedicated to treating children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

Let's Eat Cake! fundraiser

The goal of Let’s Eat Cake! is to donate at least $50,000 to this deserving organization (Wow!), and 100% of the proceeds will be directly donated to St. Jude. Let’s Eat Cake! will include a cake design and taste challenge, as well as a live cake auction.  Professional pastry chefs from all over the southeast will be competing, and aspiring pastry chefs and at-home bakers will also be invited to compete in the amateur division. Local and celebrity judges have volunteered their time to judge the event! Click here for full details (PDF).

Melissa & friends are making such a great effort here, and I wanted to reach out to HWTM readers and encourage you to support Let’s Eat Cake! and St. Jude. $50K is a big goal – let’s help them reach it! The event is a little ways off, but it will definitely take some time to reach the goal! Every little bit helps…and there are a few different ways you can get involved: (more…)

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Moda Bella

Family Tree Baby Shower

If you’ve ever visited the HWTM Party Themes section or have followed the blog for a while, then you probably already know that scrapbook paper is one of my favorite elements to decorate with; you can wrap vases with it, use the 12″ sheets as placemats, create napkin rings, favor tags…sky’s the limit!

There are tons of great scrapbooking companies out there, but American Crafts™ is one that never disappoints…just check out thier fabulous new Moda Bella collection pictured above!  Actually, just a snippet is pictured above…click here to check out the entire Moda Bella line. Can you imagine what a fabulous bridal shower/baby shower/birthday party these could inspire?!

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Rocket Pop Molds

Family Tree Baby Shower

These Rocket Pop Molds are so much fun for kids… of all ages!  Each set of 6 reusable molds comes with a custom mold stand and drip guards. $16 per set at Urban Outfitters.

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Family Tree Baby Shower

Family Tree Baby Shower

Here’s another baby shower idea that I recently worked on for Parents.com… This theme plays on the idea of Mom-to-be’s expanding family tree and is full of bright colors, mod tree patterns & accents, and lots of pictures to celebrate past, present, and – of course! – future generations.

While working on this “Family Tree” shower, I felt like it was both an obvious and unusual theme idea at the same time…what do you think? Have you ever been to a shower that used this theme? {full theme details over at parents.com}

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Sugar Rush…

Just found out that I need to wait a couple more days before sharing the pics from the Candyland party with everyone, so I had to set that post back to draft status – sorry about that!  The pictures and full recap will be up later this week…stay tuned!

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Thursday Update…

Hi everyone! Apologies for the lack of posts the last couple days… I left for Colorado this morning to work on the birthday party for Max Sutter this Saturday and had so much to do before I left! I didn’t even go to bed last night if that’s any indication of how the week has been, and I’m actually attempting to blog from my iPhone right now while waiting in line at the car rental place… Gotta love multi-tasking!

Anyway, I plan to take lots of pictures of the candyland theme to share with you and will try to get a little preview up tonight or tomorrow if I have Internet access. Okay… I think I’ve reached my max of one-finger blogging now ;) Be in touch soon!

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Sprinkle Baby Shower

sprinkle baby shower

Parents.com recently asked me to create some new baby shower theme ideas for their website, and the first round launched yesterday! Here’s a peek at one of them – a “Sprinkle Shower“, which is an increasingly popular theme idea for repeat moms who already had a big shower the first time around, but still want to celebrate the arrival of baby #2 (or 3 or 4!) with friends…you might call it a “shower lite”.

This theme features fun elements like colorful umbrellas, blue signature drinks, “raining” paper lanterns, and sugary treats covered in sprinkles (of course!)… and the fabulous illustrator from Parents even came up with the super cute, coordinating invitation design pictured above, which you can download straight from their website!

sprinkle baby shower

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ISAK…beautiful, happy things

isak

When you arrive at the website of Sandra Isaksson’s gift & home accessories line – ISAK – you’re greeted by a little sign that says “welcome to our world of beautiful, happy things” – and that’s exactly what you’ll find there! The ISAK products feature wonderfully cute, creative & contemporary patterns that you just can’t help but swoon over a bit…  A few favorites are pictured here – check out isak.co.uk for the complete line & retail info.

isak

isak

Pictured above: Kids Animal Cups, Kids Animal Tray and pink & yellow Daisy Plate. Pictured below: Tulip Cutting Board, Bird Plate, Apple Cutting Board, and Blossom & Bill Tray. (more…)

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iPod. iPhoto. iDo.

ipod wedding gift

If you’re looking for a a think-outside-the-box gift idea for an extra special couple or bride-to-be, here’s an idea that beats the heck out of another pair of fancy-schmancy crystal candlesticks: a blue iPod nano, custom engraved with their names & wedding date or another special message!

This would actually make a super thoughtful group gift from a bunch of close friends, the wedding party – or from the bridal shower hostesses to the guest of honor. Give the shiny little “Something Blue” to the future Mrs. along with a disc of digital photos for her to load onto it right away, featuring good times with her friends and future hubby.

Speaking of photos…you know those cool photo books you can order online where your photos are printed right on the page? Well, you can create and order those right within iPhoto now.

ipod wedding giftIt’s super easy – you basically just pick a design theme (13 styles to choose from), drag the photos that you want into the book, add text, select page layouts, and rearrange photos as desired. You can choose from hard cover, soft cover, or spiral bound books, ranging from $9.99 – $29.99.  My friend recently gave hard cover books of wedding photos as special thank-you presents for her parents and in-laws, and they turned out beautiful! This is also a great way to make keepsake books of the bachelorette party, bridal shower, and other pre-wedding festivities…

And while we’re on the subject of Apple, I just gotta give a shout out to my new favorite toy(more…)

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