Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

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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DIY: Creative Wine Stem Labels

DIY wine stem labels

{by guest blogger Morgan Spenla}

Unique wine stem labels are easy to create and a fun way to personalize your party. Your guests will love the idea and have a blast picking out their party-themed drink decor. Plus, everyone will now be able to easily identify their own glass after setting it down, so you can cut back on dishes too!

DIY wine stem labels

(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: Trick or Treat Ensemble

halloween centerpiece craft project

Elizabeth Gray from Stampin’ Up! sent over instructions for how to recreate this adorable “Trick or Treat Ensemble“. I’m especially loving the DIY Halloween-themed wrappers on the mini chocolates! (I’m not sure what brand the chocolates in the picture are, but they look about the same size as Hershey’s Nuggets, which come in lots of yummy flavors and are available at most grocery stores.)

Read on for step-by-step instructions, after the jump! (more…)

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Dining Table Round-up (Let’s Eat!)

modern dining room table

Well hello there, readers (*waves hand*)! Jaime here from the art & design blog, design milk!

When I was asked to be a guest blogger on HWTM, I thought, “what the heck do I know about entertaining?” When we have guests, I’m the one who suggests we either go out to dinner or order in a few pizzas. However, the more I thought about it, I began to realize that without furniture, there isn’t much entertaining that can be done!

The dining table is typically the foundation upon which all linens, serving dishes, centerpieces, and place cards are set. Therefore, what better place to talk about dining tables than here?

I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite tables, from inexpensive to barely affordable by the Pitt-Jolies, and from traditional to ultra-modern. I hope that this gives you some inspiration for your own dining spaces! Here goes: (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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Modern Paper: Three Wheels Design

three wheels design modern stationery

If you love (1) modern style and (2) all things paper, then here’s a third thing you just might love too: modern paper shop Three Wheels Design! The personalized stationery, invitations, and announcements at Three Wheels have a wonderfully contemporary + whimsical flair. Take, for example, this fabulous plaid bird design

three wheels design modern stationery

…or these equal-parts-hip-and-adorable giraffe notecards (pictured below), which feature the original Three Wheels funky floral pattern… and pretty much instantly secured a priority spot on my own shopping list! (more…)

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Halloween at Martha Stewart Crafts

martha stewart crafts Halloween

Martha Stewart Crafts has the cutest new stuff for Halloween this year – not that we’d expect anything less! There are so many great things to choose from that I’ll probably have to do a follow up post soon to fit them all in… but here are a few favorites for today:

Pictured above: super cute Ghost Puppets that you could also use as party decor by slipping them over glasses or candlesticks to keep them standing up. I think these would pair especially well with Martha’s Boo-nilla Shakes (the faces are made from melted chocolate!).

martha stewart crafts Halloween

Pictured above: Broom Favor Bags (so clever!), Halloween Cupcake Stencils, contemporary Halloween Cupcake Wrappers, and Halloween Cake Stencils. (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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Fashion as Event Inspiration

modern entertaining

Hi, I’m Kati Driscoll, author of The Finer Things, an entertaining and design focused blog for FineStationery.com.

Although stationery is the primary influence for many of my posts, the trends that I see in runways, in shops and on the streets play a big part in inspiring many of my posts – especially Tuesday Trends. It’s no secret that the patterns and colors we see on the catwalk eventually find their way into textiles, home goods and, yes, even stationery. So how can the designs of Marc Jacobs, Monique Lhuillier or Dolce & Gabbana enliven and inspire your event?

1. Play with Pattern
Whether it’s festive florals, folk patterns or sweet and simple stripes, let patterns and motifs be your guide.

Pictured above: lace pottery, a look from Isaac Mizrahi’s Spring 2009 ready-to-wear collection, lace napkin rings, yellow and gold dinner plate, yellow lace invitation

Pictured below: Taika plate and pasta bowl, Kate Spade Oaxaca invitation, scrimshaw serving set, cobalt glassware, a piece from Anna Sui’s Spring ’09 RTW collection (more…)

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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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Style Spy: Pampered Inspiration

spa party ideas

{by new HWTM event correspondent: Jennifer Berson}

I was so excited when Hostess with the Mostess was recently invited to attend an exclusive spa event called Pamper Me Fabulous, styled by the ultra-creative Fresh Events Company. As a new HWTM event correspondent, it’s my job to attend fabulous fetes & chic soirees and share tips with you for recreating these events yourself.  (I know, how lucky am I?!)  But I truly was there in “style-spy mode,” checking out every delightful detail, culinary component and embellished element to report back to HWTM readers!  We hope this inspires you to throw your own Spa Party for your next bridal shower, baby shower, milestone birthday or bachelorette bash.  And when you do, please share pictures with us! Okay…here goes: (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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HWTM at How Fast They Grow!

hwtm modern digital scrapbooking templates

The new line of Hostess with the Mostess® digital scrapbooking templates is now available at How Fast They Grow! And to help celebrate, HFTG is offering HWTM readers 20% off with discount code: HWTM922“! {good through 10/22/08}

hwtm modern digital scrapbooking templates

For those of you that didn’t see the sneak peek from a couple weeks ago, here’s a quick recap: There are 81 new HWTM templates that fall into 3 different categories categories: Mod Squad (blue, green & chocolate tones), Metro Sorbet (berry, pink & orange tones), and Mostess Days (holidays & celebrations).

For the template designs, I tried to keep the focus on modern colors & patterns so that they can be utilized for a variety of ages…from the very young to the young at heart! Here are a few sample pages… (more…)

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Pop Up Placemats + New Holiday Designs

pop up placemats

I’m excited to see that 3 new holiday designs have been added to this line of charming Pop Up Paper Placemats from Publique Living. Pictured below: new Reindeer, Fireplace and Festive Feast Banquet Table, along with the original Birdcage, Tree, and Mailbox designs.

pop up placemats

$24 per set of 10 {recycled paper} placemats at WeddingThings.com.

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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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Organic Table Textiles

modern organic table textiles

…beautiful new organic tabletop collection by amenity: placemats and runners made from textural hemp blended with organic cotton and soft, organic percale napkins…

modern organic table textiles

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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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Good Times…and something new

Hostess with the Mostess

Something new is happening here at the blog later today! Please come back and visit us this afternoon (around noon PST or a little earlier) to check it out!

{Pictured above} How cute is this “good times” Swing Set letterpress card from Elum? Wishing you many of those ;)

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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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