Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Festive 4th: Drink Parasols

4th of July decorations

Martha Stewart has tons of great inspiration for 4th of July crafts (of course!) – but these adorable drink parasols look particularly fun! Learn how to make them here .

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The Patriotic Table

4th of July decorations

Social Couture has a fun Patriotic Party that’s perfect for making decorating & table settings super easy if you’re playing hostess for the 4th! The full Patriotic set comes complete with eco-friendly bamboo tableware, a sparkly red table runner, USA flags, white metal pails, super-cute striped grosgrain napkin rings, and more…or you can buy just the things you need a la carte!

*Get 10% off any Social Couture order with promo code "HWTM "!

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REAL PARTIES: Lingerie Bridal Shower

modern lingerie bridal shower

This fabulous "Sweet" Lingerie Bridal Shower hosted by photographer Melissa Rodriguez and friends looks so lovely & serene. They did a great job of creating a clean, contemporary feel with light pinks, blue, chocolate, and white. Read on for details of the gorgeous invitations, party decor, a creative desserts & treats buffet, simple-chic flowers and seriously adorable handmade party favors!

modern lingerie bridal shower

Serving desserts & treats on all-white platters like the girls did for the fondue bar really makes the colors and presentation of the food stand out, in addition to bringing a clean, modern feel to the buffet. And a chocolate fountain always creates the feel of a special occasion… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Modern Garden Birthday

modern garden birthday party

Today’s featured “real party” is ridiculously cute! This contemporary Garden Party theme was created to celebrate the first birthday of Mark & Mandy’s adorable daughter, Elsie – but the look would also translate beautifully into a bridal shower, baby shower, or birthday for older girls as well…

modern garden birthday party

From the get-go, Mandy paid attention to all those little details. How cute are the invitations pictured above?! That’s the birthday girl featured on the invite, wearing one of the flower headbands that were the inspiration for the entire party.

(more…)

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Simply Stated: Tropical Zen Table

creative eclectic baby shower

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations, check out step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the place settings from the the Tropical Zen tablescape that we’re featuring tonight at the Hip Hostess/Chambord event!

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REAL PARTIES: Hot Pink Bridal Shower

creative eclectic baby shower

If you happen to be familiar with graphic designer Jessica Jones and her fabulously creative blog How About Orange, then it should come as no surprise that any party she creates is equally fabulous. I’m excited to share some details for you to from a super fun bridal shower she and her buddy Jill hosted for a friend last year.

I especially love the cool tissue pom arrangement pictured above, where the poms were attached to tall branches (which you can purchase at most craft stores & floral supplies, or online at places like Save-On-Crafts.com). Creating a tall arrangement like this as party decor is a great idea because it really makes a dramatic impact on the room and instantly serves as a focal point.

creative eclectic baby shower

(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Eclectic Baby Shower

creative eclectic baby shower

From the minute I laid eyes on the first few pics of this gorgeous baby shower, I was so excited to share it with you guys! From the handmade pillows and custom skateboard to the super-fun, makeshift “photo booth” complete with props for guests to wear, there is so much creativity going on here!

creative eclectic baby shower

The creative mind and Hostess with the Mostess behind this “Eclectic Baby Shower” – event planner Beth Helmstetter – sent in a great write-up on the event, so I’m actually going to let her tell you all about it herself. Here goes, in Beth’s own words: (more…)

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Hello, Chicago!

modern baby shower

I’m so excited to be in Chicago today, getting ready for the Hip Hostess/Chambord event this Wednesday night at The Ivy Room! We had such a warm welcome from Chi-town that Chambord graciously offered to expand the event into 2 sessions – 6-8pm and 8-10pm – hooray! We hit capacity for both sessions, so the RSVP lists are closed online, but if you still want to come you can send an email to [email protected] and she will do her best to accommodate everyone as much as possible.

modern baby shower

On a side note – any great restaurant recommendations we should try to hit for a fun dinner while we’re in the Windy City? I’m really hoping to make it to Japonais one night…but would love to get some input on other favorites too!

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REAL PARTIES: Tropical Baby Shower

modern baby shower

You might already be familiar with the creative talents of Joanna Dyckhoff from her inspirational design blog, LotusHaus, or from the ultra-contemporary Chocolate, Raspberry, & Lime Baby Shower she threw that we featured here at HWTM in November. Well, I’m very happy to be able to share some details today from yet another fabulous baby shower that Joanna hosted earlier this year: a modern, tropical co-ed soirée! Here goes:

The Vibe: sunny & tropical

Colors: turquoise, tangerine, and green

Invitations: Digital invites were custom-designed by Joanna, a few of which were printed and showcased at the shower, along with a coordinating buffet menu.

modern baby shower

Menu:
• Tostones (crispy fried green plantains with garlic cilantro sauce)
• Pastelitos (pastries stuffed with savory fillings)
• Shrimp Skewers with jalapeno glaze served from a pineapple
• Fruit & Custard Tarts
• Special Beverages: mango juice drinks & mojitos

(more…)

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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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Contribute to Erika’s New Book!

modern party ideas

If you’re into entertaining, chances are good that you may have stumbled upon a book, recipe, or article written by entertaining & lifestyle expert Erika Lenkert. Amongst the many publications she writes for (including Everyday with Rachael Ray and In Style) and lifestyle books she’s authored (including a personal fav: The Last Minute Party Girl), she’s also a a featured expert – alongside Mandy Moore! – for the uPumpItUp campaign from Crystal Light.

As a follow-up to her latest hit book – The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy – Erika is now working on a new book about what happens AFTER pregnancy , and she’d love to get your input! So for all you parents out there who would like to share some insight and advice, click here to check out the online survey. Survey password: realdeal

Big thanks from Erika!

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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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The Chin Family

In collaboration with the National Palace Museum of Taiwan, Stefano Giovannani designed this fun "Chin Family " collection for design-forward Italian housewares company: Alessi. Pictured above: egg cup, salt & pepper set, kitchen timer, and king & queen spice grinders (click here to view all). Pictured below: king & queen bottle caps.

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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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Spring Green

macbeth collection party tray and party tub

Lovely inspiration from the knot’s Spring Ahead gallery, which would be equally fabulous for summer soirées too. (How great is that cake?!)

{photography by Mary Ellen Bartley}

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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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More Creative Sipping…

cat and fish cup

Speaking of creative cups, here are a couple more witty ideas from shopmodi.com… the Predator or Prey 3-piece tea set turns the table on the whole "cat and fish" relationship and puts the cat on the inside of the glass for once! ($22/set)

And the Gun Mug pictured below features a clever trigger handle and encourages you to "kill time with a cup of coffee"! ($16 each)

cat and fish cup

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