Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Operation Shower: Mission Accomplished

Operation Shower

Amy is back with a recap of the fabulous – and inspiring – “Boxes in Bloom” event thrown by the generous team behind Operation Shower. Read on for her full recap… plus some great party planning tips that are both stylish AND eco-friendly!

*****

Operation Shower: Mission Boxes In Bloom Accomplished (In Eco-Chic Style)
{Event Recap by Amy Belle Isle}

I am so excited to bring you a recap of the recent success that Operation Shower and Cloud B had with our “Boxes in Bloom” Mother’s Day Showers at Ft. Hood and Scott AFB.  Between the attendees and the boxes we sent to moms who could not make it, we honored 65 women and families with amazing gifts for the new little ones. Just look at some of the wonderful donations from our sponsors!  We at Operation Shower cannot thank them enough for their contributions.

Operation Shower

Our goal this year was to not only throw great events but to make them as Eco-Friendly as possible. It’s really easier (and cuter) than you might think! (Go here for more ideas on throwing an Eco-Friendly party.)

All of the boxes and gift wrap are made of recycled materials. Nashville Wraps so generously donated recycled wrap and tissue that we used to make our boxes more special, and we used the whimsical Whimsy Press gift wrap for our centerpieces. Not only did they liven up the table, but they also contained raffle prizes and helped ensure everything we did had a dual-purpose. Don’t forget to recycle the little amount of recycled paper you do use!  (more…)

Share it:

Plush Penguin Party Theme

penguin party theme

What’s black and white and ridiculously cute all over? Well, this adorable Cow Penguin Plush and Penguin Pillow for starters! These cute little creatures from MyDearDarling are charming enough to inspire an entire baby shower or kids birthday party theme all by themselves, don’t you think? (Yes, that IS a penguin disguised as a cow!)

The classic b/w color palette looks great with bright orange accents alone – or you can add another fun color like pink or aqua to tailor the party more specifically for a boy or girl. Here are a few ideas that incorporate both pink & orange accents…

penguin party theme

Pictured above: 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental ($12.21 at Amazon); Just Dots Black Dinner Plates, Black Dessert Plates, and Pink Beverage Napkins ($4.50 – $5 at Gallery 19); Sparkling Black Raspberry and Mandarin Izze Esque; Sunkissed Orange Plastic Utensils, and organic cotton Penguin Onesie ($30).

Pictured below: Penguin Treats! (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Alison’s Baby Shower

baby shower ideas

Today’s “Real Party” feature is a sweet & sophisticated baby shower featuring some amazing culinary treats like Caramelized Tomato Tarte Tatins and a lovely display of Brie with Figs & Honeycomb!

This look would translate nicely for a bridal shower as well – and you can just switch up the colors for a girl or gender-neutral baby shower!

baby shower ideas

Lots more images + the details for Alison’s baby shower are below – as told by party hostess/sister Debbie! (more…)

Share it:

Working Class Studio: Ben Collection

working class studio fashion plates

Calling all fashionistas: Add some serious style to your table (or your walls) with these Ben Collection Fashion Plates by Working Class Studio! Each melamine plate features a sketch by the late Savannah College of Art and Design professor and distinguished illustrator Ben Morris. ($8.95 each at heliotrope)

These plates coordinate well with the rest of the stylish Ben Collection products, such as the Ben Bowls ($8 ea), Ben Dinner Plates ($10 ea), and Ben Tumblers ($4 ea) pictured below… all available at Velocity Art and Design.

working class studio ben bowls

(more…)

Share it:

Margarita Cupcakes + Lime Frosting

margarita cupcake recipe

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Here’s one of the treats we indulged in after our BBQ yesterday… Margarita Cupcakes! I’ve been wanting to try this concept out ever since last month’s margarita cupcakes post, and am happy to report they tasted great (and very much like their namesake)! I went for the “shortcut” route and modified a recipe that utilizes boxed cake mix as the foundation instead of doing everything from scratch (it was a holiday, after all!).

margarita cupcake recipe

Full recipes for the cupcakes & lime buttercream icing below…

(more…)

Share it:

New from Jessica Rust: Tattoo Collection

Jessica Rust Designs - Tattoo Plates

If you’re looking for a thoughtful, unique gift idea, the personalized dinnerware collections from Jessica Rust Designs are always a great option (and she’s got designs for all sorts of special occasions!).

I’m especially loving this colorful, new Tattoo collection – which is the sort of thing that’s just perfect for a certain type of person, and if you have that particular friend yourself, you’ll instantly think of them when you see it! (BTW – if they like this they might also love this “Eclectic” shower theme that we featured a while back.)

Jessica Rust Designs - Tattoo Plates

The Tattoo Collection from Jessica Rust consists of personalized Dessert Plates ($98/set of 4), personalized Mugs ( $72/set of 4 – pictured below), or a complete set of 4 Plates + 4 Mugs for $160. (more…)

Share it:

Dabney Lee at Home: Preppy Meets Hip

Dabney Lee at Home - custom tray

Serve cocktails in style with this fabulous Monogrammed Lucite Tray from Dabney Lee at Home! ($120) This hip, personalized tray also makes for a great home accessory or unique gift idea for weddings or new nesters…. and just check out all of the great customization options…

Dabney Lee at Home

Pictured below – more favorites from the Dabney Lee collection: Monogrammed Recipe Cards + Box ($80), Monogrammed Drink Coasters + Box ($80 for 125), Monogrammed Wall Art ($120), and another great gift idea: Monogrammed Playing Cards + Box ($50). (more…)

Share it:

Surprise Giveaway: The Celebration Shoppe

celebration shoppe

Winner Update: 5/29: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is… Commenter #529Nicole F, who said, “I LOVE Sweet Treats … its absolutely adorable!”. Congrats, Nicole!

*****

I’m really excited to share this week’s Surprise Giveaway with you – because it comes from a fabulous company that makes party planning for all sorts of occasions a whole lot easier!

The Celebration Shoppe is all about unique custom invitations AND party supplies that coordinate with the invitation design. For example: Want to create a cupcake themed birthday party? Not only will you find a Cupcake invitation at The Celebration Shoppe – you’ll also find coordinating invitations, plates, napkins, cupcake wrappers, thank you cards, candles, and theme ideas… all in one spot! How easy is that?!

Even more good news: This week, The Celebration Shoppe is offering up a $100 shopping spree on their website to a lucky HWTM reader! (Find the details on HOW TO ENTER below.)

celebration shoppe

There are tons of different theme ideas at The Celebration Shoppe – from the modern red & white Movie Night and Pirate Ship themes to the bright, colorful Birthday Bash and Spooked Pumpkin {Halloween} themes. A few other favorites are pictured above and below… (more…)

Share it:

Summer Cocktails: Red & Yellow

red and yellow cocktails

Whether the color is coming from the drink or the garnish, red & yellow sure makes a bright, lovely combo for summer cocktails, don’t you think?

{Pictured above} Fuzzy Navel garnished with lemon peel and raspberries. {Pictured below, clockwise from top left} Pomegranate Martini & Yellow Passion Fruit Caipirinha {via Brides}; Tequila Sunrise; Bloody Mary “Light” feauring organic tomato water as the “juice”; Screwdriver & Ruby Red Grapefruit cocktails on the rocks.

red and yellow cocktails

Share it:

Set Your Table Tool + Event Recap

brides set your table tool

Here’s a little recap of the May 7th Bridal Registry event at Bloomingdales San Francisco that I participated in with Michelle Prelli from Brides.com and Christy Weber from What Junebug Loves (both fabulous women, BTW!). The crew from Bloomingdales (pictured below) was quite warm & welcoming as well…

brides set your table tool

The main purpose of the event was to introduce brides-to-be and engaged couples to the new Set Your Table tool on Brides.com, which basically allows you to mix & match china patterns and tabletop elements online to come up with your own favorite look…. while in the most comfortable setting possible – like at home in your PJ’s! {Pictured below, from left: Michelle, Christy, and me during the bridal registry discussion.}

brides set your table tool

For those of you that have seen the movie Clueless, the Set Your Table tool reminds me of (a more sophisticated version of) the “outfit matchmaker” program that Cher had for that all-important task of figuring out the perfect ensemble to wear when you’re a sophomore in high school! Here’s a screenshot… (more…)

Share it:

Artist Series Glass & Coaster Sets

limited edition artist series glass and coaster sets

These Limited Edition Artist Series Glass & Coaster Sets are just plain cool. Not to mention a fabulous, unique gift idea for your favorite people that love one or more of the following: 1. modern art 2. design 3. entertaining 4. neat stuff!

Available in 4 different styles, each glass & coaster set comes in a special clear-top cardboard canister that features info on the artist. $24.50 each at Delight.com.

Share it:

Reception Style: Modern (Yellow & Black)

modern black and yellow wedding reception

There’s a great feature on Brides.com titled “What’s Your Reception Style?” that highlights 3 different styles of receptions: Romantic, Modern, and Natural.

There are really so many different ways that you can interpret each of these 3 styles – and many of us might lean towards a combo of the two – but for this particular article the “Modern” example won me over, hands down! How about you?

modern black and yellow wedding reception

Of course it doesn’t hurt that they used a color palette that’s always been near & dear! I love this bold look for an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or milestone birthday party too…

P.S. Does that cake look familiar to you? You might have seen it used in this fabulous dessert buffet over at Amy Atlas Events!

{Photos by Jeff McNamara}

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Lollipop, Lollipop….

lollipop birthday party

Today’s Real Party feature is pretty much the cuteness. Wait… make that the sweetness!

This “Yummy Lollipop Birthday” theme was created by the ultra-creative Kim from TomKat Studio for her daughter Kate’s second birthday celebration! Everything from the invitations & decorations to the food & favors played up Kim’s colorful lollipop theme. (P.S. You can purchase a lot of this stuff in her Etsy Shop!)

lollipop birthday party

The base for the fabulous “Lollipop Cupcake Tower” pictured above is a basic, all-white cupcake stand purchased at Michael’s for around $20. I love the versatility in this item because you can use fun decorative papers to tailor it to any sort of theme!

Kim also designed cupcake toppers that read “kate’s sweet shop“, “k“, and “kate“, which were added to the some of the cupcakes via lollipop sticks.

lollipop birthday party

On the menu: Adorable marshmallow pops (inspired by Bakerella), a rainbow jello form that was stuck with a lolli stick, fruit on lollipop sticks, and pink snowballs turned lollipops… (more…)

Tags:
Share it:

Guyot Designs: Smart + Cool + Eco-Chic

guyot designs

I came across an image of these “Squishy Bowls” in this month’s issue of Real Simple (June 2009) and was instantly intrigued by both the name and mod look. You can use these bowls to serve dishes like pasta & salad on when your on a picnic/at an outdoor BBQ, then squash them into your bag for hassle-free, space-conserving transportation on the way home. They’re made of food-safe silicone, easy to clean, and come in fun colors like Tangerine and Tomato (see bottom pic).

A little investigation into the company behind these bowls – Guyot Designs – revealed lots more “smart+cool” designs like the Squishy Bowls. For example, the Firefly accessory turns your wide-mouth water bottle into a lantern!

guyot designs

The Firefly lid is retro-fitted with an LED light that spreads a warm glow throughout the bottle, and you can control/adjust the levels from “nightlight” to “reading light”!

Save money, save the earth: Guyot’s TapGuard accessory (pictured below) replaces hundreds of disposable bottles. Add it to your widemouth bottle and you’ve got carbon-filtered water from any safe source! (more…)

Share it:

Outdoor Entertaining: Twist, Axis, Hammered

melamine dishes west elm

These fabulous new dishes from West Elm are the perfect excuse for a backyard party! Made from sturdy, outdoor-friendly materials like melamine and acrylic, there’s no need to worry about slippery hands or broken glass ’round the pool. More bonuses: cool, contemporary designs + affordable prices!

Pictured above: Twist Melamine Dinnerware ($14 – $18 per set of 4). Pictured below: Twist Melamine Salad/Serving Bowl ($12) and Round Platter ($14).

melamine dishes west elm

Pictured below: Espresso & white Axis Melamine Dinnerware ($14 / set of 4), Square Serving Bowl ($14), and Rectangle Platter ($12).

(more…)

Share it:

Cute Enough to Eat (Fun Favor Ideas)

party favor ideas - erasers

Looking for a unique party favor idea? With designs ranging from “Enlightened Desserts” to “Sushi” to “Savory Foods“, these tiny, japanese-inspired erasers are sure to stand out!

party favor ideas - erasers

More favorites pictured below, like this pretty Tea Ceremony Set featuring Mocci, Matcha, Manju, Delicacy, and Pancakes: (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Li’l Tweet Baby Shower

Li'l Tweet Owl Baby Shower

This adorable “Li’l Tweet” Baby Shower was created by Kathleen Gibson of the wonderfully creative Twig & Thistle blog.  Read on for the details, as told by the hostess herself – plus info on where you can get these charming owl-themed invites & party supplies for your own celebrations!

*****

Li'l Tweet Owl Baby Shower

“Last year I had the honor of being asked to do the baby shower for my good friend Katie. Let me start off by saying that this was by far my favorite event to plan and design.

Katie knew that she was having a baby boy and his name would be Sebastian Sanchez. I decided to celebrate the new baby and his beautiful parents by illustrating them as a little owl family. I thought it would be fun to play up this icon and use it throughout the whole system.

(more…)

Share it:

Gorgeous Floral Artistry by Mints Design

Mints Design

The first time I stumbled upon the Mints Design website, it was love at first sight! If you’re looking for floral design inspiration that’s seriously beyond the basics and elevated to what really feels like an “artistry” level – get ready!  There’s so much visual eye candy over at Mints – from their stunning events & weddings portfolio to their gorgeous retail arrangements to the Mints Blog. Swoon…

Mints Design

Images from just one of their portfolio events are featured here to give you an example of their style. This “Citrus Meringue Cupcakes” wedding felt especially appropriate today with summer approaching and the weather warming up outside!

Mints Design

(more…)

Share it:

Just Because It’s Cute…

hostess

Inside reads: “now and always

I’ve definitely been having “one of those weeks” – so for anyone out there that can relate, hope this “Double Decker” letterpress card from Elum makes you smile too! (Or inspires you to send a similar message to someone you know that could use it right now!)

Share it:

Chocolate Graduation Cap Candy Pops

graduation candy pops

Is this one of the most genius candy creations ever, or what?! Something tells me these will be “popping” up at Grad parties ’round the world very soon! Bakerella… you’re a genius with the sweet stuff as always – thanks!

graduation candy pops

Share it:

Simply Stated: Jonathan Adler – Tabletop

Jonathan Adler Tabletop

Today over at Simply Stated – check out some fabulous tabletop pieces from Jonathan Adler that are sure to brighten up your summer table! (Seriously – how great does the tabletop ensemble pictured above look!) Simply Stated: Swoon.

Jonathan Adler Tabletop

Share it:

Surprise (Twitter) Giveaway: Elum

hostess

We have a new Surprise Giveaway for you today – with a twist! Our friends at Elum – the brilliant letterpress invitations & stationery company that creates gorgeous eye candy like this and this – are offering up one of their luxurious letterpress desk sets to a lucky Twitter follower!

Each desk set is valued at $150 and contains over 300 pieces of varying sized letterpress stationery & notecards, all beautifully encased in a special fabric-covered box with magnetic closure. The winner can pick their favorite design from the 3 available styles: lime & chocolate Woodgrain (above), pink & chocolate Boudoir, or yellow & charcoal Aviary (both pictured below).

HOW TO ENTER
1. Follow elumdesigns on Twitter.

2. Tweet the following message to your followers
:
Just entered the Elum Letterpress Desk Set giveaway! Win by following @elumdesigns and RT http://bit.ly/25L3

(more…)

Share it:

Big Screen Preview: Julie & Julia

The movie doesn’t hit theatres until August, but the trailer for Julie & Julia (as in blogger/author Julie Powell and noted chef Julia Childs) has been released and I think it looks great!

Of course it definitely doesn’t hurt that Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are in the lead roles… and I love seeing Streep & Stanley Tucci on the screen together again too (just like 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada). What do you think?

Share it:

Margarita Cupcakes

margarita cupcake recipe

After an exhaustive (in a good way) search for margarita cupcakes on flickr, I noticed that tons of people were crediting “VCTOTW” as their recipe source, which was a bit perplexing at first. Google came through as always though and quickly helped me decipher the strange code – which turned out to be shorthand for the title “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World“.

I’m not a vegan myself, but I did notice that this book happens to have a shiny 5-star rating from over 200 reviewers on Amazon (in addition to great reviews on this particular recipe), and I’m definitely intrigued…

All 4 of the margarita cupcake images pictured here credit VCTOTW as their recipe source (get the recipe below) – but a couple of the bakers that aren’t vegan substituted real butter & milk for the shortening & soymilk. Bottom line – make the recipe work for you – and ENJOY!!

margarita cupcake recipe

Pictured at top: Margarita Cupcakes by LaundryGirlPhotog. Pictured above, clockwise from left: Mucho Margarita Cupcakes by Seitti; Margarita Cupcakes by Crumbs&Pixels; Margarita Cupcake by t.sullivan photography.

(more…)

Share it:

DIY: Adorable Flower Cookie Pops

hostess

I’m so excited to share today’s guest post with you! The ultra-crafty & talented Meaghan Mountford – author of The Decorated Cookie and Cookie Sensations: Creative Designs for Every Occasion – is here with a fun DIY cookie project.

Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, Megan has personalized the downloadable envelope template in this project for Mom, but these cookies would also be great party favor ideas for bridal showers, baby showers & birthday parties! Get all the “how to” info below, as told by Meaghan…

hostess

*****

(more…)

Share it:

Bridal Registry Event with Brides.com – Thursday, May 7 in San Francisco

bridal registry event

I’m really excited to be part of a cool bridal event happening this Thursday, May 7th at Bloomingdales in San Francisco – especially alongside the company of Michelle Preli, Editor-in-Chief of Brides.com, and Christy Weber – CoFounder/Executive Editor of the fabulous Junebug Weddings!

If you’re in the area, please join us from 6-8pm for cocktails, sweet & savory tastings, and bridal registry tips & discussion. There will also be a laptop bar where you can learn the ins-and-outs of the exciting new online Set Your Table tool from Brides.com (see example below). Soon you’ll be mixing and matching place settings the same way you do outfits! (more…)

Share it:

Smocks…Entertaining in Style

Smocks aprons

Watch out boring, boxy aprons…there’s a new girl in town! Say hello to Smocks – and to flirty, smart designs for entertaining in style!

Smocks is a brand new company created by mother-daughter duo Christopher Ireland – a West coast techie & marketing/brand consultant – and Kelley Culp – a fashion editor & designer living in New York. After noticing a growing trend in the markets of cooking & entertaining, especially with more and more people entertaining at home these days, Kelley and Christopher decided to launch a line of stylish, affordable aprons that actually compliment your outfit rather than just cover it up. How’s that for a concept! (more…)

Share it:

Margarita Madness: 10 Unique Flavors & Recipe Ideas

pomegranate margaritas

Most of us have enjoyed a classic or strawberry flavored margarita at one time or another, but how about a Smoky Grilled Grapefruit or Honeydew Rita?

There are so many variations of this popular drink – and seeing how tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo – it seems like the perfect time to explore some of these unique flavors…especially if you feel like shaking things up this week! Here are TEN creative ideas from ’round the web:

Pictured at top: Pomegranate Margarita {via Skinny Chef} and Margarita Jello {via Use Real Butter}

smoked grapefruit margaritas

Above: Smoky Grilled Grapefruit Margarita {via Well Fed}
Below: Prickly Pear Margarita {via My Sweet and Saucy}

(more…)

Share it:

Simply Stated: Mint Julep Recipe

mint julep recipe

We’ve covered Mint Julep Cupcakes this week… but the cocktail itself is important too! Get the Mint Julep cocktail recipe today over at Simply Stated. Have fun tomorrow!

Share it:

Letterpress… with a Sense of Humor

funny letterpress gretting cards

Letterpress with a sense of humor… now THAT’S a good combo!

These fun letterpress cards & coasters from Zeichen Press don clever messages like “SURPRISE… I totally forgot your birthday” and “Hello? Is this the police department? I’m calling to report my missing youth“.

funny letterpress gretting cards

More favorites from Birthday and Baby pictured below… (more…)

Share it: