Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Modern Thanksgiving: Fall Favors & Treats

modern thanksgiving decoration ideas

In continuing our “fall-wedding-inspired Thanksgiving” series, this next post features clever fall favor & treat ideas from a beautiful, rustic-chic autumn reception.

modern thanksgiving decoration ideas

Style Steal tips for your home celebrations:

Candied apples look extra sweet when displayed on a tray of lined with crushed nuts and decorated with rose-hip berries and chrysanthemums.

Fill small burlap sacks with apples and your favorite apple pie recipe. Decorate the front of the sack with a fun label.

Decorate preserve-filled mason jars with stylish fall or Thanksgiving-themed ribbon & labels.

Fill mini favor bags with specialty trail mix (like cranberry nut by Archer Farms). Display the favors in a tray lined with the same mix!

Chances are good that you’re probably not going to whip up a wedding cake for Thanksgiving this year, but I couldn’t resist including this image because it’s just oh-so-beautiful and chocolate-y!

modern thanksgiving decoration ideas

Couldn’t resist including this next one either… and here’s a Homemade Caramel Apple recipe if you’re feeling especially inspired! (more…)

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Gilt Sample Sale: Kim Seybert

gilt

Designer Kim Seybert introduces her refined fashion sensibility and love of rich color and texture into her self-named line of luxury designs for the home. Pictured above are some of her stunning products that will be available during a Sample Sale on Gilt.com happening today at 12pm EST/9am PST. Be sure to check out other Gilt sales going on around the same time to snap up deals on designer duds!

Gilt.com is an exclusive online sample sale featuring the hottest designer clothing, accessories, jewelry and home goods available at huge discounts for a limited time. Gilt Group membership is usually by invitation only, but they have created a special VIP link for HWTM readers to sign up! www.gilt.com/hostesswiththemostess.  Happy Shopping!

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Modern Thanksgiving: Festive Florals & Colorful Details

fall wedding and party inspiration

It feels like most of the Thanksgiving-related entertaining and decorating ideas/articles I come across are very “country harvest” oriented and all start to look the same, but there are definitely some more modern, outside-the-box ideas to be found within seasonal “Real Wedding” galleries… thank goodness!

I’ve bookmarked a few cool ones to share with you over the next couple weeks, starting with this first shot of inspiration from a gorgeous autumn wedding featured on brides.com…

fall wedding and party inspiration

Style Steal Tips for Home Celebrations:

Paper lanterns in various shades of orange like mango & peach create a festive feel on a small budget!

Decorate the table with a variety of colorful orange, yellow, and green florals like calla lilies, tulips, freesia, hydrangea and dahlias. Mix them with autumn leaves & foliage for a season-specific look.

Instead of a “singular centerpiece”, create a beautiful multiple-arrangement table display. Set out one or more tall arrangements displayed in large trumpet vases, accented by several smaller arrangements  displayed in everyday glass stemware or inexpensive bud vases. (More images of this design are pictured below.) (more…)

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Simply Stated: Entertaining on a Budget – Part 2

entertaining on a budget ideas

Today on Simply Stated: check out a follow up to the “Entertaining on a Budget” article I posted over at Celebrations earlier in the year. “Entertaining on a Budget – Part 2” highlights some budget-wise ideas sent in by readers after the original post.

If you have additional tips & tricks for stretching your dollars when it comes to entertaining, please share them with us here or over at Celebrations. Something tells me people will be especially interested this year!

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Charming Cards

Update 11/17/08: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to all 400+ of you that entered!  And the lucky random winner is: Commenter #283 – Emily – who said “I would love the personalized fold over cards! I am getting married soon and they would make the perfect thank you cards, not to mention they have several in our colors! And the monogram stamp is awesome, I’ve become totally obsessed with any monogram details i can include in the wedding!” Congrats to Emily!

charming cards giveaway

So… while I was putting this new Surprise Giveaway post together, I decided that I’m already envious of whoever wins it because there’s so much great stuff to choose from!

Charming Cards is a super cute shop that features everything from custom stamps and Holiday Cards to personalized stationery, accessories, and gifts. This week, Charming Cards is offering up a $100 Shopping Spree to a lucky reader to spend on anything at charmingcards.com! Decisions, decisions…

charming cards giveaway

(See more products & details for HOW TO ENTER after the jump…) (more…)

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Ribbon-Inspired Holiday Decor

holiday decorating with ribbon

Ribbon has always been one of my favorite tools for dressing things up without breaking the bank. Use it to create a makeshift table runner, tie napkins, or to transform your everyday serveware or home decor into pieces that perfectly match your party theme. Example: everday white vase + red ribbon = instant “candy cane” container!

holiday decorating with ribbon

Better Homes & Gardens has a fabulous gallery called “Easy Holiday Decorating with Ribbon” that’s full of fun ideas like this! Favorites pictured here include:

Top image:
1. Ribbon Table Runner
– (Budget tip: use fabric or gift wrap paper for the widest piece)
2. Ribbon-Accented Table Setting – Another option is to put the ribbon under the main plate so that it’s only covering the charger, which won’t require removal to eat!
3. Elegant Ribbon Roses – made from 5-inch wide wired ribbon (more…)

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Paper + Buttons = Super Cute

handmade paper

I’m totally smitten with these cute handmade designs from aruricards over at Etsy and DaWanda! (The button design on the “Forever” card above would be cute idea for a DIY baby shower invitation or party favor.)

handmade paper

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REAL PARTIES: Retro Chic Bridal Shower

retro chic bridal shower ideas

This super-stylish bridal shower was designed/hosted by Alison Donahue and features the always-fabulous color palette of chocolate and blue, plus tons of pretty details like parasols, retro-chic coasters, paper-wrapped vases, and polka dots. Read on for tons of photos and a full recap, in Alison’s own words…

retro chic bridal shower ideas

“I wanted to host a beautiful bridal shower for my dear friend Merritt.  Merritt is sassy and fun so no ordinary shower was going to do it for her. A lingerie themed shower was in order!

Since her wedding colors were blue and chocolate brown I decided to incorporate them into the shower. (more…)

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Weekly Round-up + Pretty Cocktails

pretty cocktails

Since it is Friday and all, thought I’d send you off in to the weekend with some pretty cocktails to enjoy… even if it’s just visually! Want to take the next step and actually try some of these out? It’s your lucky day – here are the recipe links:
Triple Shot Espresso Martini, Long-stemmed Rose, orange-flavored Bronx Cocktail, and Saketini with super-cool cucumber garnish!

And now for some highlights from here at HWTM and beyond…

Baby Shower Inspiration: Check out a sneak peek of the decor and diaper cake from Alison Sweeney’s baby shower last weekend!
Win it:
$100 worth of fabulous personalized stationery from PosePrints!
Guest Blog: Rebecca’s gorgeous Lilac & Gray Inspiration Board is party-perfect!
Event Recap: Part 2 of our Dining by Design Recap features a table so pretty it deserved a post all to itself!
Everyone Loves a Deal: lots of great discounts happening over at decor8!
Little Black Dress: This time the wardrobe must-have is inspiring super-chic wedding themes over at Style Me Pretty!
Modern Thanksgiving Inspiration: Host a stylish fall fete this year with ideas from our latest Real Party feature!

Have a great weekend, everyone… see you Monday!

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Nutty Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

nutty peanut butter caramel bars

Looking for a way to sweeten up your weekend? Here’s an idea…

nutty peanut butter caramel bars

Chocolate chips swimming in caramel atop a peanut-buttery cookie crust… These Nutty Peanut Butter Caramel Bars look like a mouthful of heaven! (Good one for the holiday baking file!)

{photography by desertculinary}

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The Modern Thanksgiving Table

modern fall table & party ideas

Does the phrase “Thanksgiving decor” bring visions of illustrated pilgrims, paper turkeys and country home dinnerware to mind? Well, think again! Tap into a bold autumn color palette of vibrant orange, rich chocolate, and earthy shades of green for a modern take on your Thanksgiving celebration this year.

Here are a few ideas:

modern fall table & party ideas

Pictured at top: I’m loving this khaki Blowing Leaves invitation to set a stylish tone for any autumn get-together.

And on the table front: The always contemporary-and-affordable cb2 sets a gorgeous fall-friendly tablescape with comma plates ($0.95 – $1.95 ea) in orange, green, and bark (brown), giant monstera leaves, and trendy square Edge Dinnerware ($3.95-$5.95). (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Fabulous Fall Get-Together

fall party inspiration

We have a fabulous new real party to share with you today… just in time for your upcoming Thanksgiving & fall celebrations! This one comes from Courtney Toney of Joyful Weddings & Events, and it’s a whopper of a post with TONS of pictures – so get ready! Here goes with the details, as told by Courtney:

My husband and I decided to start the tradition of throwing a party on the first day of each new season. We love the change that the start of a new season brings: the freshness, the excitement, the inspiration! Although we do not really experience season changes much in Southern California, we still get excited for the things that each new season brings.

We kicked off our new tradition on September 21st: the first day of fall. My job was decor, favors & other fun touches; his job was the food, drinks and music.

fall party inspiration

My Cricut was my best friend for this party. Not only did I use it to cut out letters for my fall banner, it got more use than it ever has when it cut out hundreds of leaves! (more…)

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Inspiration Board: Lovely Lilac & Gray

purple lavender gray inspiration board

Hi! I’m Rebecca Goering, author of Tastefully Entertaining, a blog providing ideas and inspiration for planning memorable events.  I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to guest post for HWTM today!

I’ve been extremely intrigued by the color gray lately.  It’s sophisticated, chic and compliments so many other colors – orange, green, white, blue, pink and lilac (just to name a few).  Today I’ve chosen a palette of gray and lilac for an elegant evening bridal shower.  Though bridal showers often occur in the afternoon why not host an nighttime gathering and take advantage of the glimmer of candlelight and the energy of evening.

Pictured above:
Lovely table setting and room décor featuring gray linens, a chocolate table runner, square white plates, white candles and a lilac floral centerpiece
This gray Adrianna Papell dress is perfect for the bride-to-be
Mini cupcakes covered with white icing and flavored sugars for a unique sweet ending
Lilac celery glasses are great for floral arrangements, candies or serving desserts

purple lavender gray inspiration board

Pictured above:
lavender satin heels by Glamour Original, accented with purple stone and pearl brooches. [via theknot.com – must be logged into their site to access the original page]
Try this grape spritzer for a color-coordinated cocktail
Letterpress invitation with a lilac antique lace design and grey text by Dauphine Press
Lilac, purple and grey favors adorned with an intricate ribbon in a contrasting shade [via Elizabeth Anne Designs]
Add some ambiance with votive candles in glass globes reminiscent of vintage candy canisters [via Elizabeth Anne Designs]

***

Thanks for the gorgeous inspiration, Rebecca! Be sure to check out Tastefully Entertaining for more great mood boards like this!

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First Attempt at a Diaper Cake…

baby shower diaper cake

Since Huggies was one of the sponsors that donated to St. Jude for Alison‘s baby shower (see previous post today), I was instructed to make a diaper cake for the shower…which made sense.

The only problem was that I’d never actually made a diaper cake myself before, and when I opened the Huggies packages the diapers had blue and green Winnie the Pooh characters all over them, which didn’t exactly match the pink/yellow/chocolate baby bird theme we had going…eek!!!! (more…)

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Alison Sweeney Baby Shower: Sneak Peek

alison sweeney's baby shower

Here’s a little sneak peek of the baby shower I decorated this past weekend for Alison Sweeney, which also benefited St. Jude Children’s Hospital! Since Mrs. Sweeney (a.k.a. “Sami” from Days of Our Lives) chose this design from tiny*prints as her baby shower invitation, we went with a modern take on a “Momma Bird/Baby Bird” theme for the party.

I can’t post too many details until the story runs on Access Hollywood this Friday and in Life&Style (either later this week or early next) – so here’s a little preview for now, with full details to come later!

alison sweeney's baby shower

The main decorative elements of the theme were feather bouquets, birds, pink/yellow/chocolate scrapbook papers, contemporary white vases/pots, and decorated birdhouses… (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: PosePrints

Update: This giveaway is now closed. And the lucky random winner is… Commenter #44 – Caitlin – who said “Wow I love so many! black + white paisley is my favorite!” Congrats, Caitlin!

Thanks so much to everyone that entered… and if you didn’t win… don’t worry – we’ve got more surprise giveaways coming up soon! You never know when it will be your lucky day!

pose prints

We have a fantastic new giveaway for you today! And seeing as it’s already November somehow… this is giveaway is going to make a stationery-loving and/or gift-giving someone’s holiday season extra-happy!

PosePrints takes personalization to a whole new level – first you choose your favorite background design, then you’re taken to a “sketch” page, where you can choose from facial variables, hairstyles, and accessories to customize your character… or both of your characters if you pick a 2-person design!

pose prints

This week at HWTM, PosePrints is offering up a set of 50 Personalize Cards ($100 Value) to a lucky reader with the design of their choice! Card designs are available for everything from holiday cards & invitations to baby showers, bridal showers, kids parties, moving announcements, personalized stationery sets, recipe cards and more!

(See more designs & details for HOW TO ENTER after the jump…) (more…)

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Simply Stated: Rock the Party!

election day party

Is it just me or does today feel like a national holiday?! Come late tonight, it’s true that some will be celebrating more than others, but in the meantime, we can ALL celebrate the fact that we’re able to take part in what has already proven to be a historic day. Today on Simply Stated, get some creative inspiration for your own election bash!

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Dining By Design – Part 2

dining by design table designs

Jen B. has 4 more tables (along with style steal tips) to share in her Dining by Design event recap, but this next one was so great that I couldn’t resist featuring it all on it’s own…with LOTS of pics!

dining by design table designs

Here are the details, as told by Jen:

This “Modern Tablescape” design by Jennifer Dyer of Design & Style is my absolute favorite from the event! I wish it was my dining room… everything from the “Hollywood Dazzle” wallpaper, suspended blown glass spheres chandelier, banquette sofa, white patent pillows with scorpion accents, and sparkly black, silver & white color palette, was pure perfection! (more…)

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Simply Stated: Election Day Cocktails

election day cocktails

Can you believe that the presidential election is tomorrow… finally?! I don’t know about you, but I feel like this election has been going on forever! Today on Simply Stated, check out a few ideas for election day cocktails that you can sip with friends while glued to the TV tomorrow night!

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Weekly Round-Up + Happy Halloween!

halloween party ideas

Halloween Decorations: creative pumpkin decorating ideas from Good Housekeeping
Halloween Cocktail
: Ghoul-Aid with delightfully disturbing Eyeball Garnish
Halloween Craft
: super-cute Mummy Candy Holder
Win It
: Shopping Spree at Paper Shouts! (holiday cards, invitations & more!)
New Facebook Photo Galleries
: check out pics from our Modern Parisian Soirée in NY
Table Chic
: new collections from French Bull
CRAZY STORY
: Woman Finds Shrunken Moose Head in Frozen Green Beans (Good conversation starter for your Halloween party tonight, right?!)
Style Spy: Dining by Design – Part 1 (Part 2 coming soon!)
Kids Halloween: great halloween ideas for little ones at Peppers and Pollywogs
Fabulous Recipe: In the kitchen with design*sponge: Chocolate Swirl Gingerbread

Have a great weekend & a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Get Inspired: Style Me Pretty DIY Contest

DIY bride projects

Style Me Pretty is having a fabulous DIY Project Contest this week – so needless to say, the site has been chock full of great project ideas for both weddings & parties lately! Here’s a direct link to the SMP DIY Archives so you can check browse the ideas quickly and click on your favorites for full details.

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Super-Cute Halloween Treats for Kids

halloween kids recipes

Happy Halloween! If you’ve got little ones, here are a few fun ideas to try with them today… starting with the fun Slime Punch pictured above (love the presentation ideas on this one!).

Pictured below:
Batty Cake – This is both a dessert & a cool halloween decoration all in one!
Bat Cookies – How cute are the eyes on these little guys?! Get the cookie recipe + a fun presentation idea…
Hocus Pocus Hats – with a surprise inside!
Gummy Mummy Mini Cupcakes – gummy candy strips + m&m’s make for super-cute tiny treats!

halloween kids recipes

Pictured below:
Frosted Pumpkin Cupcakes – I love the super-easy decoration idea on this one. Parents includes a link to a cupcake recipe for these too, but to keep things easy just bake up a batch of boxed cupcake mix and then have fun with the decoration!) (more…)

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Simply Stated: Modern Fall Celebration

modern Thanksgiving decoration ideas

Today over at Simply Stated: check out some ideas for a bright & colorful Thanksgiving (or fall party) celebration!

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Halloween Martini – “Vampire Style”

halloween cocktail glass garnish

I featured this “blood rimmed” martini glass on a local news channel here in San Diego a couple weeks ago and have had quite a few people inquire about how to recreate the glass garnish, so here are the directions for those of you who’d like to sip your martini “vampire style” this weekend!

The “blood rim” is made from the same kind of mixture as you’d use to make hard candy. It’s actually pretty easy, but you will need a candy thermometer (which you can find at most grocery stores). (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Gothic Glam Halloween Dinner Party

gothic glam halloween party decorations

HWTM Reader Angela Hudson recently sent over some images of the Gothic Glam table that she created for her Halloween dinner party tomorrow night, and check out how cool it turned out!

gothic glam halloween party decorations

I asked Angela to share some details with us regarding how everything came together, so here are some shopping resources & “how-to” tips in her own words…

Glitter skulls: (from Marshall’s) The skulls are sitting on silver pillar candleholders to which I hot-glued about 6” of a feather boa. I liked that the candleholders gave the skulls a little height.

Five-arm candelabra: (from Grandin Road) I embellished the candelabra with crystal drops from an old silver-plated candelabra.

gothic glam halloween party decorations

Gothic figurines for place cards: (from Michael’s) I loved the way these once-gray figurines looked once they were spray painted with metallic silver and glitter spray paints! (more…)

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Style Spy: Dining By Design – Part 1

{by HWTM event correspondent: Jen Berson}

I was lucky enough to attend Dining By Design’s Table Hop & Taste, in Los Angeles recently. DBD features amazing, over-the-top, and cutting edge table design installations created by talented & eclectic designers. Since there are so many inspiring entertaining ideas from this event, we decided to bring it to you in a three-part series. Here goes with part 1…

LOOK 1: Chic Aqua & Chocolate

modern dinner party ideas

I love the rich look of this first design, and the ultra chic chocolate and aqua color palette. The all-white floral centerpieces in various heights with wispy curly willow are simple & stunning…

modern dinner party ideas

Style-Steal Tips:

• A few drops of dye in the water of a clear vase adds a pretty aqua detail to a simple arrangement.

• Colorful square vases are elevated to new heights when stacked on top of candlesticks in varying lengths.  Secure vases with a bit of hot glue (which can later be removed), and add tea lights for a glamorous glow.

• Peacock feathers would be a nice compliment to this tabletop design.  Use them as floral accents, and tucked into folded napkins.

***** (more…)

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Halloween Dinner Menu: TRICKS and Treats!

halloween recipes

Whether you’re hosting an official Halloween dinner party or just enjoying a casual meal with family on October 31st, why not add some magic to the evening by bringing a few tricks to the table!

The October ’08 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray has an article called “Tricks and Treats” that is just pure genius! All of the dishes are a little…disguised. Not sure it’s such a good idea to serve “cupcakes” as part of the main course? Take a closer look… you just might change your mind!

halloween recipes

TRICK OR TREAT Dinner Party Menu:

1. Ham-and-Tomato Pie… anything but sweet!
2. Fudge Cookie Sliders
… burgers for dessert!
3. Savory Ricotta Waffles with Red-Hot Jam
… too hot for breakfast!
4. Sausage Meatloaf Cupcakes with Creamy Potato Frosting
… looks can be deceiving!
5. Strawberry Jam Tart
… dressed up like pizza! (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Paper Shouts

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered!

And the lucky random winners are: Commenter # 108 – Cathryn, who said “I love the cranberry polka dot holiday cards!”, and Commenter # 156 – Cherie B – who said, “I would love to win this giveaway! I want to use our ski trip to Breckenridge for our holiday card photos. I think the Believe or the Snowy, Starry Holiday would be perfect. Hope I win!!”

papershouts giveaway

For all you stationery lovers out there – we have another fabulous paper giveaway for you today! Paper Shouts – a super stylish custom stationery shop offering everything from personalized Holiday Cards & Holiday Party Invitations to Baby Shower Invites, Kids Birthday Party Invites, Wedding & Bridal Invitations, and more – is offering up $50 Shopping Sprees towards any of their products to TWO lucky readers!

Pictured at top are a few examples of the many available Holiday Shouts, and pictured below are a few of personal favorites from the Bridal Shouts category…

papershouts giveaway

(See more designs & details for HOW TO ENTER after the jump…) (more…)

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Ghoul-Aid Cocktail…with Super Creepy Speared Eyeball Garnish

halloween cocktail - ghoul-aid with eyeball garnish

Ewww!!! Who’d have thought that 3 such innocent ingredients as lychee fruit, raspberry jam, and blueberries could come together for such a disturbing result!  But hey… when it comes to Halloween cocktails – the creepier the better, right? Right!

halloween cocktail - ghoul-aid with eyeball garnish

Get the complete the Ghoul-Aid recipe and eyeball “how-to” after the jump… (more…)

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Simply Stated: New from French Bull

french bull melamine plates by Jackie Shapiro

Are you a fan of Jackie Shapiro’s French Bull tableware? Today over at Simply Stated, check out three new collections from this popular contemporary designer… including the fabulous black & white Felix pattern (pictured above), and two colorful new patterns – Iris and Regal.

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