A Full Week of Real Parties!

modern party ideas

I’m super excited about next week at HWTM! In addition to our TWO Hip Hostess Series events happening Wednesday night in Chicago, the entire week on the blog will be dedicated to “Real Parties ” sent in by readers – and we’ll be featuring a new one each day! So it should be inspiration overload…hope you’re up for it!

Pictured above is a sneak peek at one of the Real Parties we’ll be featuring – a vintage baby shower created by Beth Helmstetter, which you will be able to see LOTS more of on Monday…

Happy Weekend!

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Simply Stated: 15 Creative Vase Fillers

cocktail garnish ideas

Today at Simply Stated…check out 15 creative filler ideas for centerpieces & decorative vases, or add some ideas of your own to the list!

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Cocktail Garnish Ideas

cocktail garnish ideas

This week’s HWTM feature over at GlamDish is all about dressing up your drinks! Click here to check out some fun garnish ideas or to contribute additional ideas of your own!

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Summer Fun from Whimsy Press

whimsy press modern gift wrap

One of my favorite gift wrap designers – Whimsy Press – is having a cute "Summer is Funner" special right now that’s worth checking out! Save $10 when you order their "Best Friends" or "Cutest Little Things " gift wrap collections. Both sets are absolutely adorable!

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Simply Stated: The Frazzle-Free Host & Hostess

wedding place card holders

We cover a lot of fun products & party ideas here at HWTM, but one thing I’ve been wanting to talk to you guys about for a while is the other side of entertaining that can arise and isn’t quite so fun…the stress! Time issues, budget strains, creative anxiety… these are all quite common when it comes to hosting parties and events – but there are definitely things you can do to combat them.

I’ve shared a few things that help me deal with entertaining stress over at Simply Stated: Celebrations today, and would love it if you guys have any tips (or frustrations) to share as well. Chances are good that someone else out there is feeling just like you! Click here to head over there and join the conversation!

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Stylish Placecard Holders

wedding place card holders

Place card holders are such a fun, easy way to add some personality to your table! If you’re on the lookout for cute designs to dress up your wedding or an upcoming party, check out the Place Card Holders gallery at InStyleWeddings.com for lots of great ideas, including the adorable chair & anchor designs pictured above.

{photos by Kang Kim}

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Krislyn Design: Floral Couture

krislyn floral couture

Feeling totally inspired by the gorgeous work of Krislyn Design today! Imagine walking into a party or wedding reception featuring some of their amazing, signature “moss and jewel trees”…

krislyn floral couture

Krislyn Design describes their LA-based studio as “a place where customers can step into a timeless space inspired by beauty without boundaries.” Sounds pretty cool… no wonder they’re able to dream up beauties like these:

krislyn floral couture

Want more eye candy? Check out this gorgeous floral artistry featuring wood, stone, and other natural elements… (more…)

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Little Boxes

party favor boxes

Why is it that mini versions of things are always so cute? Case in point: these adorable little edible favors from The White Aisle, which come with your choice of paper pattern, candy filling, and ribbon style! There are tons colors and styles to choose from too… here are a few of my favorite paper patterns:

party favor boxes

You can order the favors fully assembled and ready to gift, or opt for DIY kits that you can put together yourself. Either way, you’ll end up with adorable mini gifts just like these little cuties… (more…)

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Robot Party

robot cupcakes

Creative cupcake guru Hello Naomi is just the coolest! I wish I would’ve stumbled on her adorable robot cupcakes earlier – they would’ve gone perfectly with a robot kids party I recently created! (see below)

robot kids party

Quick party details:

  • French Bull Robots Plates & Robots Cups
  • “Robot Guy” centerpiece created using empty gift boxes wrapped with colorful gift wrap, googly eyes, metal favor tins, silver glitter chenille craft stems , and paper circles punched from shimmery silver cardstock
  • Packs of Pez and Pixie sticks
  • Yellow gift wrap “table runner” with circular silver paper “confetti”
  • Utensils wrapped with silver glitter chenille craft stems

More party pics below…

(more…)

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Beer Cocktails

Want to serve dad a special drink this weekend? Instead of a traditional cocktail, try something different and whip up one of these beer-themed concoctions! Here are some recipe links for you:

1. Beer Margarita or, as I like to call them "beer-garitas")
{via Rachael Ray}

2. Strawberry Panache – strawberries, lemon-lime soda, & beer
{via cocktailtimes.com}

3. Chambeer – 1 part Chambord, 3 parts beer

4. Basil Shandy – lemonade & lager, garnished with basil
{via cocktailtimes.com}

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Party Packs by Erin Condren

Personalized stationery guru – Erin Condren – has come up with a way to make customizing your next party or shower – from the invitation to the thank you notes – super easy! Her new party packages come with coordinating invitations, place cards, notecards, and labels that are perfect for customizing party favors and bottled bubbly or cider…

(more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Invitation Consultants

Winner Update – 6/16:
This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone who participated! The winner is… commenter # 42 , Rachel , who said: "planning a 2nd birthday party for my little man…this would be a great way to start!!!" Congrats, Rachel! And happy early birthday to your little one!

orientales monkey & banana collection

If you’re planning to host a soirée this summer, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to need a fabulous invitation to kick things off. Well, this could be your lucky day, because Invitation Consultants is giving away a $100 shopping spree towards anything on their site! And if you don’t already have a summer get-together on the calendar, this could be the perfect excuse to start planning!

orientales monkey & banana collection

You’ll find loads of invitation designs at Invitation Consultants for everything from outdoor summer celebrations like July 4th BBQs and pool parties or tropical themes to special occasions like bridal showers , baby showers , birthdays , graduation parties , and more. And of course there’s a whole slew of gorgeous wedding invitations and party favors !

(Find details for how to enter the giveaway after the jump.)
(more…)

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Simply Stated: Father’s Day Gifts

macbeth collection party tray and party tub

On the lookout for gifts for dad? Check out my Father’s Day Gift Ideas post over at Celebrations today to find some ideas or to share ideas of your own.

You won’t find any boxer shorts or coffee mugs emblazoned with "World’s Greatest Dad", but you WILL find cool things like a turtle-shaped tool that creates the perfect "black and tan" and clever grilling tools that help to keep burns at bay!

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A Baby Shower for Twins

twins baby shower ideas

I recently stumbled across these these adorable “Thing 1 & Thing 2” twin onesies (based off the characters in The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess), and thought they’d be the perfect inspiration for a baby shower for twins! The colors are spunky and fun, and I love the idea of incorporating a “wild thing” vibe with zebra prints as a play on the character names. Here are a few ideas for bringing this baby shower to life… (Click on “Read More” at the bottom of the post for detailed ideas & product info).

Centerpieces & Party Decor:

twins baby shower ideas

Tabletop:

twins baby shower ideas
(more…)

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blumebox ribbons & inspiration

blumebox

Reusable pop-up Blumebox vases are already a super easy & affordable way to create stylish centerpieces, but they recently came out with a way to make customizing your design even easier: Personalized Ribbons! These 1.5″ wide ribbons come in TONS of patterns and colors, including birds, damask, mod dots, and more. $2.49/pack of 4 at blumebox.com.

blumebox

And here are a few other fun ways to customize blumeboxes for all sorts of occasions…

blumebox

Minimalist cactus centerpieces have a cool eco-chic vibe that’s perfect for bridal showers and engagement parties, and decorative scrapbook paper and gift wrap takes customization to a whole new level for pretty much any occasion or theme you can dream up… (more…)

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HWTM Elsewhere

lemon desserts

A couple other places ’round the web to find HWTM content this week…

Luscious Lemon Treats over at GlamDish
Hip Hostess Threads over at Simply Stated: Celebrations

modern aprons

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The 2-Carat Cup

tropical zen party ideas

Don’t you just love super creative companies that make gifting so fun? I can’t wait for my next friend to announce their engagement, because I’ve already discovered the perfect congratulations gift! This 2-carat cup is just the cutest thing ever – with a handle that looks like a sparkly diamond ring and adorable packaging that looks like an oversize ring box – all you see is the ring when the box is first opened up! Available at shopmodi.com for $16 each.

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Thanks, Nesties!

tropical zen party ideas

I was so excited to discover that HWTM is featured as a favorite blog amongst “Nesties” in the new summer issue of [the nest] magazine! And I’m honored to be in such great company with the other blog favorites in the entertaining category: At Home with Kim Vallee, Definitely Not Martha, and Tastefully Entertaining!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with [the nest] magazine, it’s a super hip & modern quarterly glossy dubbed “the must have magazine for modern marrieds”, and is brought to you by the knot and thenest.com. If you like the style of magazines such as domino, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and the late Blueprint magazine (wistful sigh), there’s a good chance you’ll be right at home with [the nest]!

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Hip Hostess Event – Sneak Peek

tropical zen party ideas

Hooray! Some of the photos from our very first Hip Hostess Series Event (the "Tropical Zen Soirée" in San Diego) are back! The rest should be in this week and I’ll feature the full recap with detailed slideshows, instructions and product resources next week. Until then, here are just a few quick shots to give you a little preview of both the San Diego event recap and the upcoming Chicago event on June 25 (which will feature the same theme)…

(more…)

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Simply Stated: Cheers to the Cosmopolitan

modern table linens

Thought you might be interested in some Cosmopolitan recipes today for some reason… so I featured a few ideas over at Simply Stated! Click here to check the out.

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Modern Table Linens by Unison

modern table linens

…absolutely loving the bold colors and modern silhouettes in these organic & graphic-inspired table linens by Unison! Pictured above: Martin in Aqua and Larch in Moss. Pictured below: Lush in Orchid and Sky Blue, and Larch in Blackberry.

modern table linens

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Alison & Co.

modern paper plates

I was at (San Diego’s new 2-story!) Crate&Barrel last week and have to tell you that the adorable floral Alison Paper Plates pictured above are even cuter in person than they look online! Great choice for girlie graduation celebrations and backyard cocktail parties!

C&B actually has tons of other great outdoor entertaining products out right now too – several of which serve as great company for the Alison Plates, such as the coordinating Alison Napkins, bright red – and earth friendly – Preserve™ Flatware, Citronella Mini Torches, and classic Red Lantern pictured above.

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Joyful Little Things

recycled cotton totes

One of my favorite local designers – Mel Lim – has recently added some amazing new additions to her gorgeous Joy by Mel Lim line: a stationery, decor & accessories collection that seems to be expanding by the minute! And with good reason, I might add: Mel’s unique designs and passion for her craft definitely shines through in all of her products. She recently added these fabulous recycled cotton totes (2 of the 3 available designs are pictured above), and a sampling of her beautiful flat cards are pictured below. Click here to check out the entire Joy collection!

letterpress stationery

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Girls Night!

girls night party

Social Couture has a super-fun hot pink and zebra-inspired Girls Night theme that’s perfect for Sex and the City “pre-parties”, bachelorette party festivities, or milestone birthday celebrations! Between the zebra cocktail shaker, marabou bottle slip covers, feather boas and mini disco balls, this looks like a fabulous way to party with the girls!

girls night party

{Don’t forget that Social Couture offers HWTM Readers 10% Off with promo code “HWTM“!}

(more…)

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A Quick Hello + Chambord Berry Sorbet

tropical zen hip hostess event

Hi Everyone!

Sorry about the missing post yesterday – I’ve literally been up to my eyeballs in tropical plants and bamboo trying to get everything ready for our very first Hip Hostess Series event tonight at Balboa Park! Looking forward to meeting some of you!! And even thought the weather is not exactly cooperating in SD today – don’t worry – we’re going to make sure it’s still nice and summery inside the room!

For everyone that won’t be there tonight, we’ve hired a photographer to take pics, so I’ll definitely be posting some of those online as soon as they’re ready.

In the meantime, I featured one of the recipes that we’ll be serving tonight over at Simply Stated: Celebrations yesterday if you want to check it out . It’s a Chambord Berry Sorbet dessert cocktail and, trust me, it’s yummy!!

Cheers,
Jenn

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Summer Cocktail: Pineapple Martini

chambord pineapple martini recipe

For those of you that caught our “Tropical Zen” segment on Fox 6 this morning – (or anyone that’s on the lookout for summer signature drink ideas!) – here’s the recipe for one of the cocktails we featured: a Pineapple Martini with a raspberry twist! It’s a quick, 3-ingredient recipe and looks super cute when garnished with a simple, very “zen-looking” pineapple leaf!

Pineapple Martini
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1.5 oz. Vodka
.5 oz. Chambord

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a wedge of pineapple or a pineapple leaf.

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Grad Party Idea: Notes & Doodles

whimsy press DIY gift wrap

Whimsy Press has a great gift wrap design called DIY Design that features pre-printed doodles on one side and room for DIY doodles on the other. This design has always reminded me of the doodle-adorned notepads and kraft-paper-covered text books from high school and college years past, and it feels like a great element to inspire a girlie graduation party theme!

On the DIY side of the wrap, you can fill in the bubbles with custom notes & doodles like little graduations hats, phrases like "Congrats!" or "2008", your guest of honor’s name, and even special messages to the Grad. Use the gift wrap to cover text books, wrap vases, create table runners, etc.

This same design also comes in double-sided, pre-cut placemats for easy table top decor… (more…)

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Simply Stated: Streamlined Party Planning

mississippi mud cake

Does party planning often become overwhelming to you? Trust me, I’ve been there myself – but there are definitely things you can do to make the process easier on yourself, which I’ve learned by the tried-and-true method of trial and error! Check out my post today on Real Simple: Celebrations today for some tips on Streamlined Party Planning.

{image from Social Couture}

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Refreshing Drinks for Hot Summer Days

The weather is seriously starting to heat up in San Diego and it’s feeling like summer! We have a few outdoor parties coming up, and – while I do absolutely love to entertain outside – I always find myself worrying about how to keep guests comfortable when the temperature kicks into high gear. You want to keep your guests happy and enjoying the party – not melting in the sun, then making a beeline back to their own air-conditioned cars and houses!

Aside from passing out hand fans, turning on misters (if possible), and timing your get-togethers towards the late afternoon/evening instead of the middle of the day, one of the best – and easiest – ways to keep guests cool is to serve lots of chilly & refreshing drinks! Here are a few of my favorite cocktail and mocktail recipe ideas for hot summer soirées:

MOCKTAILS:

summer cocktail recipes

Arnold Palmer (an easy, classic favorite!)

5 oz lemonade
5 oz iced tea

Mix and serve in a highball glass over lots of ice!

*****

Sweet & Refreshing Homemade Lemonade

1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice

Combine sugar and one cup of water in a small saucepan, then bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow the syrup mixture to cool, then cover it and refrigerate until chilled.

Combine the chilled syrup, lemon juice (freshly squeezed or the store-bought, ready-made version), and 7 cups of water in a pitcher. Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy!

*For extra-sweet lemonade, increase sugar to 2/3 cup.

*****

COCKTAILS:

summer cocktail recipes

Strawberry Daiquiri

1/2 cup white sugar
4 ounces frozen strawberries
1/8 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup rum
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
6 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Add ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into a cocktail glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries.

*****

Chambord Berry Sorbet (a personal favorite!)

1 Scoop of Raspberry Sorbet or Sherbert
1 oz Chambord
Splash of Champagne
Raspberries for garnish

In a martini glass, add one scoop of raspberry sorbet (vanilla ice cream also works well).
Top with one ounce of Chambord and splash with champagne.
Garnish with fresh raspberries or blackberries.

*****

What are your favorite drink recipes for refreshing on hot summer afternoons?

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Hip Hostess Series: San Diego

hip hostess series Chambord

I’m excited to share that HWTM is teaming up with Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur to host a series of events for readers! For this “Hip Hostess Series“, we’ll be traveling to 7 cities across the US over the next 12 months putting on (free) entertaining workshops/parties where you can pick up tips and ideas for seasonal & holiday entertaining…and indulge in some yummy food and cocktails of course!

The first event is next Thursday, May 22nd in San Diego, and we’ll be covering ideas for throwing “Tropical Zen” summer parties – kind of a fusion of Hawaiian and Asian styles with a contemporary twist. (more…)

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