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

You can view the video clip here, but it’s a little fuzzy online, so 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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GlamDish: Beer-Inspired Cocktails

beer inspired cocktail recipes

Today on GlamDish: check out some fun beer-inspired cocktail recipes, like this Guinness Float from Everyday with Rachael Ray!
{Photo: Tata Donne}

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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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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Smock Paper

WINNER UPDATE:
478 comments – wow! I had a feeling you guys were going to love this one :)  I wish I had a gift certificate for everyone, but – as always – we’ve got to narrow it down…so, the lucky random winner of the Smock shopping spree is: Heather Moss (commenter # 197), who said “If I won, I would get those adorable Horsey cards and turn them into birth announcements for my brother and sister-in-law’s new baby who will be born in October. Awesome stuff — saved to Delicious!” Congrats, Heather!

smock paper letterpress stationery

We have a fun new giveaway going on today and I think you guys are going to LOVE it! It’s a $100 Shopping Spree from the wonderfully stylish, contemporary, and eco-friendly letterpress company: Smock Paper. Smock has gorgeous letterpress designs for everything from custom wedding invitations to social notes and party invitations to beautiful gift wrap! And on the eco-friendly front, they’re actually the very first print shop in the U.S. to offer printing on luxury bamboo paper!

smock paper letterpress stationery

Pictured above: stylish social notes by Smock. Pictured below: chic party invitations – perfect for baby showers and kids’ birthday parties! (More designs & details on how to enter the giveaway after the jump.) (more…)

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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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Mozi = Love

shop mozi

I stumbled upon the MOZI website yesterday and am smitten with their products, to say the least!  Seriously…did you ever think that olive oil decanters (pictured above) could be this dreamy?!  And pictured below, just a few of the very many fabulous tea towel designs

shop mozi

And guess what…there’s much more!  MOZI offers 3 core collections based on pattern – the colorful, mod Secret Garden collection (which most of the above tea towels and the olive oil decanter on the right fall into), the Casablanca collection (red, white, and blue motifs), and a pretty Botanical Australia collection.

Pictured below: Secret Garden mugs, placemats, and oven mitts and aprons

shop mozi

(more…)

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Simply Stated: Modern-twist

modern twist silicone doileez

Modern-twist really does crank out some amazing home & dining products! Check out today’s Simply Stated: Celebrations post – Modern-twist: Innovative Product Design – for a closer look at their contemporary collections.

Pictured above: clever Doileez surface covers – and pictured below: 5 favorites from the super-artistic Modern-twist Placemat designs: (more…)

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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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The Recipe Box: New Additions

s'mores recipe

We just added a bunch of yummy new recipes from some fabulous cookbooks to The Recipe Box!

On the Desserts & Treats front: (pictured above and below)
All-Grown-Up S’mores
Caramel Nut Popcorn
Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chunks and Bananas
Gorgeous Caramel and Cream Layer Cake
Better-than-classic Butterscotch Pudding
…and more!

dessert recipes

And on the Appetizers & Entrees front: (more…)

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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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Fabulous White Wedding Inspiration (DIY!)

DIY white wedding theme

We’ve got some wonderful new wedding/party decor inspiration for you in Entertaining 101 today! The super-creative Morgan Spenla shares some fabulous ideas and imagery from her very gorgeous, very “DIY Bride” wedding…and I really mean DIY – this ambitious 22-year-old bride even made the fondant cake herself!

Click here for details on everything from the 3 different – yet equally charming – table centerpieces to the sweet “tribute to heritage” dessert buffet and thoughtful guest-bathroom goodies (how many of us wouldn’t be overjoyed to find complimentary foam flip-flops in the bathroom after hours of dancing in heels?!).

DIY white wedding theme

…and thanks again to Morgan for all the creative inspiration!

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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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Colorful Friday Cuteness

wish come true mini figurines

These make me so very happy just looking at them! Wish Come True Mini Figurines…$9 each at Fred Flare.

Work them into your party decor (maybe sitting on upside down bowls or votive holders all the way across the table or placed next to colorful blumebox vases filled with lollipops), and turn them into a party with one of these coordinating partyware sets: (more…)

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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.)

***

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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Floral Eye Candy

Waterlily Pond Floral Design

If you’re planning a wedding or special party soon…or just love looking at amazing floral eye candy… the Waterlily Pond Floral Design website is just bursting with inspiration!  There are several showcases of weddings they’ve done – from colorful Orchids and Feathers to the pretty & lush Pinks to the creative & chic China Red, as well as a gorgeous “favorite bouquets” archive.

I thought this was a fun idea for personalizing a centerpiece…

Waterlily Pond Floral Design

And this art installation that Waterlily Pond did for the deYoung museum is just so cool & creative I had to share… (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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