Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Handcrafted Serveware by Glasi

circus first birthday party

In an age where most products are machine-manufactured, there’s definitely something to be said for those who strive to keep handcrafted products alive. The artisans at Glasi Hergiswil on Lake Lucerne are just such people… and they’ve been producing high-quality, functional pieces from exclusively lead-free glass since 1817, despite the struggles they faced along the way.

circus first birthday party

Pictured above, from top: This dramatic cone-shaped server ($40) is a unique way to serve fruits & nuts… not to mention the perfect foundation for a very modern cornucopia display! (Modern Thanksgiving, anyone?) And the oblong Gondola server ($40) is perfect for serving simple bites like stuffed olives or dips such as guacamole and hummus. (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Modern Circus Soirée

circus first birthday party

Fun, festive, modern, playful, cute… this colorful Circus Soirée that Michelle Thornton created for her son’s first birthday celebration has it all! Better yet, Michelle was able to find that perfect balance between a whimsical, kid-friendly party that’s occasion-appropriate, and a stylish atmosphere that adults will find appealing as well…

circus first birthday party

Read on for LOTS of photos and all the details, as told by Michelle… (more…)

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Simply Stated: Fabulous Cake Stands

modern cake stands

Today over at Simply Stated: Celebrations – check out 5 Fabulous Cake Stands, along with a tip on how to  create quick & easy DIY cake stands using dishes you already own!

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Drink of the Week: Chocolate Raspberry Martini

chocolate raspberry martini recipe

I’m really excited to share the recipe for this Chocolate Raspberry Martini (or “wine-tini” as I like to call it) with you because it was a HUGE hit at the Modern Parisian event!

After each of the drinks that our mixologist, Tim, created as part of the demo, he asked if someone would like to be a “taster” and I think half the room instantly volunteered for this one… so he poured as many samples as he could, and every single person gave a rave review. But i guess with a combo like chocolate and raspberry, can you really go wrong?! So read on for the full recipe after the jump… (more…)

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NY Event Pics – Sneak Peek

halloween centerpiece craft project

halloween centerpiece craft project

As promised, here are a few snapshots of some of the NY event decor that we took with our own camera before the first party session on Tuesday night. This is just a little peek – the professional shots should cover all the different areas of the party, the entire tablescape, food, cocktails, little details etc… so hopefully those will be in soon! (As soon as I have them, “how-to” details, shopping resources, Chambord cocktail recipes, and all the info that we covered in the party demo will be published as well.)

halloween centerpiece craft project

In the meantime, these shots should give you a general feel for the overall look of the “Modern Parisian” theme, which was brought to life mainly through feathers and damask/scroll print scrapbook papers and overlays, which where applied to most of the vases, used as placemats and napkin rings, etc… (more…)

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DIY Craft: Paper Pumpkin Ornaments

halloween paper pumpkin craft project

Designer Vicki Shields from the creative Three Wheels Turning blog sent over a fun Halloween craft project idea to share with you guys today, and I’m so glad that she did, because while visiting her blog I also discovered her ridiculously cute stationery shop!

halloween paper pumpkin craft project

So you get a double dose of eye candy from Vicki today… read on to check out step-by-step instructions for the cool paper pumpkin ornaments pictured above, then scroll down to the post preceding this one for a peek at some of the fabulous stationery from Three Wheels Design. (more…)

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Simply Stated: Halloween Drink Labels

halloween bottle labels

Today over at Simply Stated: check out some easy ways to spook up Halloween cocktails & drinks!

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GlamDish: Cheesecake-inspired Recipes

cheesecake pops and cheesecake recipes

I have to admit that cheesecake is one of my major weaknesses. So rich and yummy…what’s not to love? (okay…except maybe the calorie count!)  If you feel the same way, check out this week’s post over at GlamDish…which features 5 different cheesecake-inspired recipes for treats like cheesecake pops, strawberry cheesecake smoothies, and chococolate chunk cheesecake…mmm.

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Simply Stated: Gothic Glam Halloween

modern gothic halloween decorations

For today’s post over at Simply Stated: Celebrations, I focused on some fun gothic glam Halloween finds… if you know of any cool product finds that go along with this theme, please share them either here and/or over at Celebrations!

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Get Inspired: Modern Halloween Tabletop!

modern halloween decorations

Denise Baker from Little Ant Design sent in some pictures of her new Halloween table… and – seriously – how fun is this?! I’m especially loving the bony silver hands that are “holding” the utensils (clever!) and the cool skull & crossbones labels wrapped around the soda bottles…

modern halloween decorations

Where does one get those cool modern trees used in the centerpiece? (more…)

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Candy-Corn-Inspired Halloween Decor

candy corn decorations for halloween

Hi, everyone. It’s Amy Belle Isle, from stem parties, and I promise that no paper lanterns were harmed or even used in this guest blog post. (If you’ve seen any parties I’ve done that Jenn has posted, you know how hard that was for me.) In fact, this guest post was almost an entire post about ways to use those bad boys. Instead, I’m keeping it seasonal and featuring a few ways to work with the controversial Candy Vegetable of the Gods: Candy Corn.

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying it looks festive! Here are just a few ideas: (more…)

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Colorful Birthday Party + DIY Project

colorful birthday party

Hi! I’m Jessica Jones, a graphic designer with a blog called How About Orange, featuring lots of make-it-yourself projects. Awhile back I helped plan a “Colorful Birthday Party” for a friend. This included simple decorations and invitations I could print on my home inkjet printer. Imagining that other folks might find this useful, I’ve converted them into an editable PDF you can download here. Open the file in Adobe Reader (download it free right here if you need it) and edit the text fields to customize for your party. Print page one, flip the sheet over, print page two on the back, and slice the sheet into quarters. Insert into colored envelopes (A2 size is perfect) and you’re done.

You can print the flower pages (also in the pdf) double-sided, cut them out, and hang them in windows or doorways. Tape a series along a string to make a garland, or print them at a reduced size, laminate them with clear contact paper, trim, and you’ve got matching drink coasters.

izze soda

Be sure to provide plenty of brightly colored snacks and fruity drinks for the party! Use a bright table cloth and plates, a rainbow array of lit candles, and tell your guests to pull their red pantsuits out of the closet.

colorful birthday party

A playlist of songs with colors in the lyrics would be the icing on the cake: Pink Cadillac? Purple Rain? Yellow Submarine? Leave your suggestion in the comments!

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“Dessert Towel” Party Favors

sweet cake roll party favors

How brilliant are these charming “dessert towel” party favors? Soft terry washcloths cleverly arranged to look like desserts and topped with cherry or strawberry magnets…available in strawberry or chocolate cupcake, chocolate or strawberry cake roll, and cherry or custard mousse.

$4.50 – $5.00 each at AmericanBridal.com… or turn these into a fun DIY project!

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“bot” Drinks & Robot Games

bot beverages: robot party drinks

I’m totally smitten with the equal-parts-cool-and-adorable packaging on these super fun “bot” drinks for kids! bot fortified water was dreamed up in 2006 by the husband and wife team of Cricket and Brian Allen, who wanted a healthy, low sugar alternative to juice boxes for kids. bot comes in kid-friendly flavors like berry, lemon, grape, and orange, each with it’s own fun “bot” character on the label.

I know these cute little characters aren’t technically robots, but I can’t resist the play on words, and think they’d be the perfect beverage of choice for a robot themed party!

robot party games and ideas

And speaking of robot parties, Lisa Kothari from Peppers and Pollywogs recently wrote another fabulous article for us on robot party game & activity ideas to coordinate with this robot theme party idea! Thanks, Lisa!

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Simply Stated: Rainbow-licious Kitchen Tools

colorful kitchen tools

Today over at Simply Stated: Celebrations – get the scoop on all of the deliciously colorful kitchen tools pictured above & more!

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Drink of the Week: Sparkling Margarita Floats

sparkling margarita floats by Erika Lenkert

I’m game for any recipe that has the words “sparkling” and “margarita” in the title! Here’s how to make this toast-worthy concoction by Erika Lenkert: (more…)

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Spooky Chic Halloween at PB

cool halloween party ideas

I have to say that Pottery Barn has really stepped up their game over the past year… the feel of the store is a little more contemporary than it used to be – so there’s nice mix of modern & traditional styles. Case in point: check out the new Halloween 2008 collection… it’s fabulous! (You can actually purchase the gigantic spooky house wall mural above – it’s not just a photo backdrop!)

cool halloween party ideas

{pictured above and below} Add some glam to your haunted house with this dramatic black feather wreath and black feather garland set.

Also pictured below: white pumpkin candles, black skull candles displayed on black archer pilllar holders, black candelabra centerpiece. and spiderweb table runner.

cool halloween party ideas

This black and white candy buffet is a fantastic idea for Halloween… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Art Nouveau Parisian Bridal Shower

art nouveau parisian bridal shower

If you’re looking for a chic new party theme for an upcoming shower or special event – check out this stylish & colorful “Turn of the Century, Art Nouveau Parisian” theme created by Kerri Butler for her friend’s bridal shower soirée. Inspired by the bride’s plans for honeymooning in Paris, Kerri used bright, rich colors, silk brocades, jewels, paper parasols, and gold leaf papers to communicate the luxury of that era!

art nouveau parisian bridal shower

THE DETAILS {by party hostess, Kerri}… (more…)

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Amy Atlas Dessert Buffets

candy and dessert buffets

Check out these gorgeous signature dessert buffets by Amy Atlas Events. I’m swooning over every single image in her ultra-yummy portfolio! This is fabulous inspiration for re-creating your own dessert buffets at home. {Notice how the monochromatic serveware makes the treats really pop!)

Pictured above: chic pink & brown buffet…yes, I do believe those are lollipop leaves!

Also loving this striking black and yellow design, which would be a perfect fit for this particular party inspiration board

candy and dessert buffets

This colorful & chic take on the traditional candy buffet would be perfect for a grown-up Candyland soirée… (more…)

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Simply Stated: Hip Hostess Gift Ideas

cool hostess gift ideas from Thomas Paul

Looking for some alternatives to scented candles and wine? Check out these fun, stylish ideas by Thomas Paul that are priced right and pretty much guaranteed to please!

P.S. The online shop that carries these items – Red Stamp – is super cute… I forsee my bank account being in trouble!

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SURPRISE! Our blog has a whole new look!

Hostess with the Mostess Blog - modern entertaining

If you’ve been here before, you might notice that a few things have changed… (if it still looks the same, try refreshing the page). We’ve been hard working on the new template for a while now…and hope that you like what you see! Here’s a list of the 10 main changes:

1. in the spotlight – new section at top where favorite articles, blog posts, and other features from throughout the entire hwtm site will be highlighted and changed weekly.

2. popular posts – new sidebar section where the most visited posts from the past month are highlighted for quick reference

3. recent comments – new sidebar section where the most current chatter appears

4. archive/search results thumbnails – little pics on post listing pages to make your searches easier. See an example now. (this applies to recent posts & future ones…might be difficult to go back and upload thumbnails for all previous 876 posts though…!) (more…)

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Baby Shower Idea: Little Birdie Soirée

Little Birdie Baby Shower

Here’s another one of the baby shower ideas that I worked on for Parents.com, which went live on their site earlier this week. This one is a hip “Little Birdie” soiree inspired by the idea of nesting and getting mom ready for her new little chick (or chicks!). Click here for full details.

P.S. The whimsical, bird-cage-like lanterns pictured above are from Anthropologie. Although they’d make for some seriously fabulous centerpieces, (more…)

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Sneak Peek: New HWTM Collection at How Fast They Grow

Hostess with the Mostess for How Fast They Grow

Here’s a little sneak peek at the new “HWTM Collection” of modern digital scrapbooking templates that’s coming very soon to HowFastTheyGrow.com. Our first official HWTM-branded product…yay!

Hostess with the Mostess for How Fast They Grow

There are 81 different template designs in the collection that fall into 3 different categories – Mod Squad (Boy), Metro Sorbet (Girl), and Mostess Days (holidays & everyday celebrations).  The examples pictured above and below are all from Mostess Days…hope you like them! More info come soon… (more…)

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GlamDish: Autumn Treats

halloween and harvest party recipes

Today over at GlamDish: check out some fall-friendly treats & learn how to make homemade caramel apples!

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Sagaform’s Snack Set

sagaform snack set

This fabulously modern snack set from Swedish design company Sagaform contains 3 cool little serving bowls, each with thier own unique serving spoon/fork combinations… $40/set at aplusrstore.com. (Great gift idea!)

sagaform snack set

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Kids Party Etiquette

kids party etiquette and gifting

How many kids should you invite? Is it okay to expect gifts every year or should you try out the “no gift” trend? Gift registries for kids parties? What’s the best way to deal with rude parents?

Lisa Kothari from Peppers and Pollywogs – a wonderful kids party planning website/blog – wrote a truly fabulous article for us on Kids Party Etiquette that answers all of these questions and more. Click here to check it out!

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Estilo Weddings

Winner Update – 9/15: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to all 342 of you who entered! The lucky random winner of the $100 gift certificate is: Commenter #267Nicole E. – who said: “I love the Becky Pearl Necklace. It might just be perfect for my wedding day!”

Congrats, Nicole – on both the giveaway and the upcoming wedding!

giveaway - estilo weddings $100 shopping spree

How about we kick the week off right with a fabulous new surprise giveaway?! Super stylish online shop – Estilo Weddings – is offering up a $100 Shopping Spree for anything on their site to a lucky HWTM reader!

Whether you’re in the wedding market or not, there are tons of pretty little things to shop for at Estilo Weddings, including invitations, stationery, custom stamps, photo albums, party favors, shower & wedding decorations, cake jewels, clay flower arrangements that look just like the real thing (see top left image!), gorgeous jewelry, handbags, bridesmaid gifts, and more!

giveaway - estilo weddings $100 shopping spree

Check out all these fabulous fashion accessories…I’m especially partial to the sparkly Samba Ring (in the lower right-hand corner below) myself! Details for how to enter after the jump… (more…)

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New Party Theme: Candyland Birthday

candyland birthday party ideas

Full details for how to recreate the Candyland Birthday Party we threw for Max Sutter last month are finally up in the Party Themes section.  I’m so sorry it took me a while to get them up – the plate’s been a little overloaded lately! But as they say, better late than never, right? ;)  Click here for all the details…

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I Heart NY (see you soon!)

hip hostess chambord new york event

I have no idea how summer flew by so fast, but the good news is that there are lots of things to look forward to and celebrate over the next few months!  If you’re looking for some fun new ways to spice up your upcoming celebrations or holiday parties, please come join us for the next Hip Hostess Series event in NYC on September 30th, which will be held at the super stylish Luxe Laboratory in Midtown Manhattan! More info from Chambord:

hip hostess chambord new york event

The theme of the NY event is “Modern Parisian” and there will be lots of feather accents, damask-style patterns, and glittery things, in addition to food and Chambord cocktails, of course! Guests will learn how to create themed centerpieces, dress up glassware, mix signature drinks, and more… (more…)

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GlamDish: Eggplant, Tomato, & Mozzarella Stacks

feather flower wedding & party decorations

Veggie-lover? Not a veggie-lover? Either way, chances are good that you’ll enjoy this easy, delicious side dish recipe starring eggplant, tomato, and mozzarella cheese!

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