Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Swarovski Cake Jewels

Swarovski crystal cake and flower bouquet accents

Here’s a new kind of "icing" for your wedding or party cake: butterflies, hummingbirds, and dragonflies adorned with glitzy Swarovski crystals! These sparkly creatures are part of the Swarovski Cake Jewels collection at EstiloWeddings.com, which also includes bejeweled monograms, hearts, lady bugs, and flowers in various sizes and colors…

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Gorgeous Cupcake Wrappers

laser-cut contemporary cupcake wrappers

These stylish, laser-cut cupcake wrappers just might outshine the treat itself! I’m amazed by the level of detail in the designs, which include intricate patterns like Filigree, Ivy Vine, and White Butterflies. They’d make a truly gorgeous cupcake tower or adorable party favor packaging – maybe filled with colorful candies or a stack of mini cookies. And check out all the different designs and colors that are available…

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Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey

sticky, chewy, messy, gooey desserts

An entire book dedicated to desserts that are "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, & Gooey "? Sounds like heaven on paper! Recipes include: Chocolate Caramel-Pecan Soufflé Cake, Cinnamon-Donut Bread Pudding, Double-Crumble Hot Apple Pies, Giant Coconut Cream Puffs…hmmm… did I say heaven on paper or hell for swimsuit season? We all have to indulge once in a while though, right? And what better excuse than a celebration!

sticky, chewy, messy, gooey desserts

Pictured above: All-Grown-Up Smores . Pictured below: Banana Bread Pudding with Hot Fudge and Toasted Walnuts and Quicky Sticky Buns , and more…

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Cute Utensils for Little Ones

party planning inspiration and ideas

If these cute utensils don’t make your little one want to open wide, then I’m not sure what will! Constructive Eating Utensils Set ($19.95) and Airplane Baby Blue Spoon ($16) – both available at spoonsisters.com .

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Simply Stated: Inspired Party Planning

party planning inspiration and ideas

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations, find tips on how to find inspiration for your next party and make planning much more enjoyable – as well as resources for the Mod Bunny baby shower pictured above and a great new website that makes it easy for you to create your own inspiration boards online!

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Lovely Day

little odd forest lovely day plate

This lovely day plate/tray is new over at little odd forest and has a carefree, whimsical design that should make "kids" of any age smile! ($18.50 at littleoddforest.com)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: The Last-Minute Party Girl + $100 Gift Card

the last minute party girl I’m really excited to share a great book by cooking & entertaining guru Erika Lenkert as part of our giveaway today! It’s called The Last-Minute Party Girl and is a fun, ultra-hip, how-to read that’s full of fabulous advice, witty anecdotes, and tons of great recipes. Here are just a couple of the of many rave reviews for The Last-Minute Party Girl :

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Marshmallow Animal Favors

marshmallow animal party favors

How cute are these marshmallow animal favors?! I saw them over at Kitchen Retro , who noted that they’re from a book called McCall’s Family Style Cookbook which was published in 1965. I couldn’t find the book on Amazon, but am hoping it might pop up on ebay. Either way, the images look pretty self explanatory if you want to try recreating these little toothpick & marshmallow creatures yourself! See more characters at Kitchen Retro.

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Creative DIY Swizzle Sticks

creative DIY swizzle sticks for cocktails These “flower flag” swizzle sticks featured in InStyle’s Southern Weddings gallery are such a cute idea! Created by attaching a small rectangle of paper to a wooden dowel and glue-gunning a yellow or green mum to it, these creative swizzle sticks are a great idea for dressing up signature cocktails and mocktails at any type of shower or celebration!

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tikoli: textiles for the modern kitchen

tikoli towelsThese ultra-contemporary tea towels by tikoli™ will add a splash of modern design to your kitchen in a snap! Influenced by Japanese prints and mid-century modern design, and printed on 100% cotton. $8.50 each at tikoli.com

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REAL PARTIES: Baby Gone Wild Baby Shower

modern baby shower Bye-bye pastel booties and teddy bears; hello bold prints and vibrant colors for baby-to-be! Today, guest blogger Amy Belle Isle recaps a recent “Baby Gone Wild” baby shower she designed that is nothing short of fabulous!
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Plastic pacifiers, baby-related stickers and creative centerpieces are all you need to turn a little zebra print into a co-ed baby shower suitable for any hip parents-to-be!

The Inspiration: Zebra print. Can you tell? I know…it’s subtle. Zebra got even wilder with the addition of the fabulously fun colors in the “Rings” pattern platters and napkins from French Bull.

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Simply Stated: Slate & Stone

grobalThe use of natural elements in tableware, serveware, and decorative fillers makes for such a pretty, almost tranquil atmosphere and is a trend I’m really loving. For some stylish products featuring earthy materials like slate, stone, and marble, check out today’s “Entertaining Trends: Slate & Stone” post on Simply Stated: Celebrations, and feel free to add to the list!

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GroBal: Cultivate Style

grobal Good news for those of us with "not-exactly-green" thumbs! GroBal and GroBal Baby are stylish, ultra-modern planters with a unique watering system that does the work for you… just check the water filter indicator and refill when needed! Thanks to GroBal designer Karim Rashid, my houseplants might stand a chance at staying lush and green after all. ;) (more…)

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Throw an Eco-Chic Baby Shower

eco-friendly baby shower ideasLooking for earth-friendly ideas for welcoming baby-to-be in style? Check out my Eco-Chic Baby Shower article over at TheCradle.com for some inspiration… And if you have any favorite “green” products or ideas of your own that would be great for baby showers as well, feel free to share them here!

eco-friendly baby shower ideas

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Spring Party Ideas from Martha Stewart

spring party ideasIf you’re hosting a party or shower this spring, the Spring Parties Ideas gallery on marthastewart.com is full of inspiration! I especially love the idea of the butterflies on the paper lanterns (pictured above), and would love to try a super contemporary approach to this idea: maybe all-white butterflies on vividly colored lanterns like fuschia, bright orange, and lime, or vice versa – vibrant butterflies on white lanterns. Click here to check out the ideas gallery!

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Ren Noodle Bowls & Tea Set

asian tea set and noodle bowlsThis contemporary Ren Noodle Bowl & Chopstick Set is made especially for serving Asian noodles and already has me craving Pad Thai at 9 in the morning! ($29.95/set of 2) I’m also loving charming, zen-like quality of the coordinating Ren Teapot and Cups Set. ($39.95)

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Bamboo Brights

Colin Cowie ChicWhen I hear the words “eco-friendly” used to describe a product, visions of natural, earthy tones are usually what come to mind – which is why these vibrant, colorful, and sustainable bamboo serveware products from Delight.com are a breath of fresh air!

Trio of Colorful Sustainable Bamboo Nesting Bowls (in azure, tangerine, and watermelon) – $16.95 at Delight.com
Eco-Delightful Sustainable Bambu Serving Set – $42.95 at Delight.com

*Find more eco-chic entertaining products on my Eco-Friendly Entertaining post over at GlamDish.

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Colin Cowie Chic

Colin Cowie Chic For the past couple weeks, I’ve been trying to peel myself away from the computer long enough to spend some quality time with the latest book by lifestyle & entertaining extraordinaire Colin Cowie , aptly named: Colin Cowie Chic: The Guide to Life As It Should Be . The problem is – with everything going on in the hectic thing that is my life lately, "life" is exactly what kept getting in the way of trying to review this "guide to life"!

Thank goodness things changed this past weekend and I finally had the chance to focus on Chic , because it was great! Between the fabulous faux crocodile-print cover and reputation of the author alone, I pretty much expected that to be the case – but I’m happy to say that it even surpassed my expectations… (more…)

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Simply Stated: Be My Guest!

entertaining and hospitality for overnight guestsWhen it comes to entertaining overnight guests, kicking hospitality into high-gear is key! My post on Simply Stated: Celebrations today addresses this topic, and we’d love to hear your thoughts as well. If you have any special things you do to make overnight guests feel especially welcome – or maybe a great example of hospitality that was shown to you – please share your ideas on the Be My Guest post at RealSimple.com!

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New Cocktail Recipes

party centerpiece ideasNew cocktail recipes are up in The Recipe Box! A few favorites pictured above include:

  1. French Martini
  2. French Kiss (cute for bridal showers & weddings)
  3. Basil Grande
  4. Chambord & Champagne (super easy – just like it sounds!)

More newcomers: Raspberry Manhattan, Midorita, Midori Melon Ball Punch, and Chambord Margarita.

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Jamali Garden

party centerpiece ideasJamali Garden is a fabulous resource for party and wedding decor – you’ll find everything from great centerpiece containers in (natural, ceramic, and metal finishes) to floral supplies, candles, and decorative accents like feathers and seashells.

I’m especially loving Jamali’s selection of Natural Pots, which include vases and pots made from materials like bamboo, natural wood, and kiri wood. Favorites pictured above include:
Tall Bamboo Cylinders ($18 – $24 ea)
Blond Wood Vases ($10 – $20 ea)
8×6″ Kiri Wood Tray ($5 ea) What is Kiri?
Natural Bamboo Cylinders ($5 – $12 ea)
Matte Green Bamboo Cylinders ($5 – $18 ea)

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Giveaway WINNER: Divine and Branch

Thanks so much to everyone that entered the Divine and Branch Surprise Giveaway !

And the lucky winner of this super cute personalized prize package is:
Stephanie , who said, "I do believe that my pup will love the personalized dish! She is very diva! ;-)"

We hope your pup loves the dish too, Stephanie! Congrats!

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Fruit & Veggie Masterpiece

fruit and vegetable centerpiece ideaCan you believe this artsy bird-themed creation was actually carved from fruits and veggies?! Genius! The festive arrangement served as table decor for one of the food stations at the super stylish, Asian-themed wedding of Lisa Ling and Paul Song. From Lisa’s gorgeous red wedding dress to the fact that her invitations read – “If you’re cool, you’ll dress Asian chic.” – this wedding was anything but typical! Check out more images in her celebrity wedding gallery on InStyleWeddings.com.

{photography by Eric Lamph}

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Charming Cards

charmingcards.com
Happy Monday!
Thought we’d start the week off right with a fun giveaway from super-cute stationery boutique: Charming Cards ! Charming Cards is based out of Newport Beach and offers both online and walk-in customers a wide variety of personalized stationery and gift items from fabulous lines like Macbeth and Snow and Graham – all of which are hand picked each year at the ultra-popular New York Stationery Show.

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Sweet Presentation

food presentation ideas The presentation of these Fruit-n-Fluff Pops is so creative – and something you could easily pull off at your own parties! Even if you don’t want to get quite as fancy with the recipe as this one (sugarcoated frozen apricot Bavarian cream with velvety marshmallows Will Goldfarb ), you can easily incorporate this idea with your own favorite treats. (Bakerella’s bite-sized cake pops would be adorable!)

More tempting ideas from the Brides.com Sugarland gallery…

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Modern Stone Age Family

modern dinnerware I’m loving the offbeat shapes of this Wilma stoneware from cb2 – especially when the different pieces are stacked on top of each other, which makes for a great presentation. Orange and grey is actually a very nice color combo, so the 2 versions would look great mixed as well. A tabletop set with alternating place settings of orange salad plates on grey dinner plates and vice versa sounds especially chic! ($1.95 – $5.95 per piece at cb2 )

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First Birthday Party Ideas

First Birthday Party IdeasIf you’re on the lookout for some first birthday party ideas, here’s an article I recently did for TheCradle.com featuring 3 theme ideas and general tips for first birthday celebrations. Hopefully this will provide you with some inspiration! {Modern Tyke theme pictured here}

First Birthday Party Ideas

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Simply Stated: Entertaining on a Budget

Entertaining on a BudgetAs most of you probably know, hosting a party – no matter how small or large – can easily get a bit pricey, but there are actually a lot of things you can do to keep the credit card bill from getting out of control without skimping on style, thank goodness!

For example, in the image above we used apple green gift wrap to create the table topper, paper napkins folded into pretty 4-pt squares for a dressier look, and faux orchid blooms pulled from reasonably priced stems purchased at Target. (Click here for more info on this Love in Paradise party theme.)

For lots more tips on how to entertaining on a budget, click here.

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Modern Elmo Party Inspiration

It can be difficult to pull of a hip & modern version of an animated character. Usually you’re limited to pre-made paper party supplies, but both of these ladies did a great job at creating Elmo-themed parties for little ones that are both age-appropriate, but packed with some serious style!

First up is a super-cute Elmo party from Jenn of justJENN designs :

Elmo Party Cupcakes Seriously, how adorable and creative are these cupcakes?! Click here for step-by-step details on how to recreate them, and for more details on the entire party, including an impressive soft-serve ice-cream bar, check out the post on Jenn’s blog or her flickr gallery .

Next is this adorable “Elmo Chic ” birthday party that Courtney of Nesting-Instincts threw for her daughter’s 3rd birthday:

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Giveaway WINNER: Loft Party

Thanks so much to everyone that participated in the Loft Party Giveaway! 395 comments…so happy to see you guys loved the plates as much as we do! And the lucky winner is… Vanessa Cavaco, who said: “My four year old bouncing baby boy would love the robot plates…and maybe he would eat more too…”

Congrat’s Vanessa! Please send your shipping to info [at] hwtm [dot] com with “I’m a Winner!” in the subject line :)

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