Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Summer Cocktail Recipes {Celebrity Style}

blackberry collins recipe

Happy Friday! I thought it would be fun to do something cocktail-related today… seeing as it’s the weekend and all!

While going through some saved emails this morning, I stumbled on 4 cocktail recipes that were sent to me earlier this summer (Pom-Tini, Blackberry Collins, First Class Punch, & Cherry Bomb) under the subject line “Summer Drinks the Celebs are Sipping“. While I honestly don’t know how often these specific people really sip on these particular drinks, that really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things – because any of us can enjoy them… and they all look pretty tasty!

cherry bomb cocktail recipe

All 4 cocktail recipes are below… which one looks best to YOU? (I’m thinking Cherry Bombs are a good choice for my girls trip to Vegas next weekend!) (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Cowboy Baby Shower

cowboy western baby shower theme

This Backyard Barbeque Baby Shower that Beth Helmstetter hosted at a residence in Shawnee, Kansas is super creative, inviting, and full of down-home country FUN!

Guests sat on pillow-topped hay bales, mini bouquets of white daisies were lined up neatly on vintage cowboy print linens, invitations were handmade on pieces of wood, and adorable mini pies were served up for desserts…

cowboy western baby shower theme

Read on for lots more photos and party details from Beth! (more…)

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Mod Monkey Baby Shower – Part 2 {Downloadable Signs & Tags}

mod monkey baby shower

Welcome to part 2 of the Mod Monkey Baby Shower recap! (Click here for Part 1, which recaps the centerpieces & table settings. You can also see more pics of this party over at the Mod Monkey Facebook Gallery.)

Below you’ll find free downloadable PDFs for all of the different framed 5×7 and 8×10 signs used throughout the party, as well as the napkin ring embellishments (also used on the candy buffet jars), goodie bag embellishments, and welcome sign.

mod monkey baby shower

Note: Several of these signs originally featured the name of the baby that I threw the original shower for, but I changed the wording on the downloadable versions to be more general so that they can be used for anyone. Everything is set up in Adobe PDF format and zipped since the high-resolution file sizes are pretty large. Hope you’re able to use these for your own Mod Monkey baby showers… enjoy!

(more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Moments of Elegance {Favors & More}

Moments of Elegance - party favors

This week’s Surprise Giveaway could come in handy for so many people… especially if you or a friend has a wedding, bridal shower, bachelorette party, baby shower, or birthday party coming up!

Moments of Elegance is offering up a $100 Shopping Spree towards anything on their site – which includes stylish party favors, favor packaging, personalized gifts, and more. There’s even an entire Holiday section with cool finds like Glitter Snowflake Favor Boxes and Merry Martini Bath Salts!

Moments of Elegance - party favors

There are so many different types and styles of products to choose from that it was honestly hard to narrow down what to feature in this post, but a few favorites are pictured above and below. (I especially love the “She’s about to Pop!” favors for a circus or “Big Top” themed baby shower.) (more…)

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New & Fabulous from cb2

vintage mod juice glasses

I love it when cb2 (Crate & Barrel’s sister store) comes out with a new collection because you can count on them to always be modern and always be affordable! Here are a few fresh NEW finds from their kitchen & dining collection:

Pictured above: colorful, vintage-mod Lable Glasses ($19.95/set of 6).

takeout plates - cb2

Pictured above & below: clever Takeout Appetizer Plates ($2.95 ea) available in blue, green & orange. (more…)

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Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge – The Decor

socialluxe lounge centerpieces & decor

Last week was a bit of a light posting week because I was pretty much consumed with last minute details for the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge – the “pampering party” kick-off for BlogHer ’09 that I co-hosted with 5 other bloggers in Chicago last Thursday…which ended up attracting over 500 guests!

socialluxe lounge centerpieces & decor

My main responsibility for the event was the party decor & room set-up. The set up became just a tad stressful when we decided to move to a larger room – with a completely different layout of course – the day before the party :0 We had to rent lounge furniture and a zillion power strips & extension cords to accommodate all the vendor & beauty station needs, but in the end the new space worked out great – blessing in disguise! (more…)

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Cirque du Bebe – Sneak Peek

French Circus Baby Shower - Tisha Campbell

Here’s a sneak peek at the French circus-inspired “Cirque du Bebe” baby shower that I styled for Tisha Campbell Martin & Duane Martin last weekend. This theme was so much FUN to work on!

French Circus Baby Shower - Tisha Campbell

With a guest list of nearly 200, this baby shower was extremely large and more like the size of a wedding, but you can definitely recreate this look on a much smaller scale too!

French Circus Baby Shower - Tisha Campbell

LOTS more pics and tons of DIY details for all of the centerpieces & special decorative elements to come soon… (just as soon as I get back from Chicago and am done with the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge event tonight!) (more…)

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LEGO Kitchen & Dining Accessories

lego home accessories

Most of us immediately think of kids toy sets when we hear the brand name “LEGO“, but did you know that they also make fun kitchen & dining accessories too?! Here are a few fun LEGO entertaining finds for the young & young at heart!

Pictured above: Kitchen Storage Set – 4 stackable acrylic containers in 3 different sizes with 4 colorful lids ($29.99/set), fun Egg Timer (currently sold out at lego.com but can be found elsewhere), 1×1 Salt & Pepper Set ($4.99), and Kids Cutlery with Silicone Studs – make mealtime more fun ($24.99/set)! (more…)

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Colorful Sesame Street Candy Buffet

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

Here are some photos from the Sesame Street candy buffet that I created for Ashby O’Dell’s birthday party last month… which was so much fun to work on! You’ll find all the details below for this particular buffet, in case you want to create something similar for your own parties…

All of the candy is from Sweet Factory – you can buy in bulk on their website! I really wanted to play up the bright colors – just like you see in the Sesame Street characters. I was told that Ashby loves chocolate, so the first thing I ordered was candy-coated Decorator Sixlets in yellow, blue, lime green, red, and hot pink. You can buy them in 10-lb or 1-lb bags. (I used about 2-3 lbs per jar at a time, depending on the size.)

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVAWAY: Cards Direct

cards direct - custom greeting cards

This week’s Surprise Giveaway should come in especially handy for those of you that love to (or have a need to) send out personalized greeting cards & announcements. Cards Direct is offering up a $100 shopping spree towards anything on their site – which includes general holiday cards, Christmas Cards, photo cards, birthday cards, super-cute baby announcements, and more!

There’s a huge range of styles on the site – from elegant to mod/contemporary… and even a lot of great recycled choices! A few of my favorites are pictured below.

cards direct - custom greeting cards (more…)

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Belvedere Black Raspberry Julep + Girls Night Out Sweepstakes

Belvedere Black Raspberry Vodka

In celebration of Belvedere Vodka‘s hip new Black Raspberry flavor, which is made from raspberries and black currants (and tastes great in a vodka press!), Belvedere is currently hosting a “Girls Night Out” Sweepstakes where one lucky grand prize winner and 7 of her friends will be treated to a night out on the town!

Belvedere Black Raspberry Vodka

The prize night will include: 2 mini suites at a luxurious hotel, dinner at a fancy-shmancy restaurant, access to and bottle service at a trendy nightclub, and 9 hours of limo transporation – all in the closest major market city to the winner’s hometown. Sounds like fun to me! For complete rules & details on how to enter, visit macerationisnatural.com and click on the “win a private maceration party” link. (Contest ends July 31st.) (more…)

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Mod Monkey Baby Shower – Part 1

mod monkey baby shower theme

These pics are from a Mod Monkey Baby baby shower that I co-hosted for my friend this past weekend. I was in charge of the decor & desserts (my 2 favorite parts!), and you might remember this post where I asked for your help deciding on the shower theme.

Well, Mod Monkey won out…and it actually worked out really well because the baby’s name is Max, so it was also easy to play up the “M” factor in Max, Monkey, and Mom as a key element in the decor.

I’m splitting the recap of this shower up into a few posts or else this one would be a mile long… so to start out, here’s a rundown of the tabletop designs:

mod monkey baby shower theme

There were 3 different tables and the centerpieces all coordinated, but were a little different from each other. All of them featured a round placemat from Crate & Barrel (purchased earlier this year for a different party), a baby item (wash cloths or burp cloths) and framed custom signs I designed to match the party’s colors and monkey theme. (more…)

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SSL Party Inspiration Board – Sneak Peek!

Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge Party

Here’s a sneak peek at the inspiration board for the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge – a BlogHer kick-off party that I’m styling and co-hosting with these 5 wonderful ladies on July 23rd. (…which is suddenly right around the corner!)

This event is a “pampering party” but it’s also a place for socializing, checking out tech demos, taking photos, and sipping cocktails, so it was a bit of a struggle at first when trying to come up with a plan for the decor.  I definitely wanted to work the spa element in, but also have a good mix of “hip lounge” style in there as well so that the atmosphere still feels a bit glam too! So after playing around with things for a while, here’s where I ended up…

spa party orchid centerpieces

The colors are inspired by the party’s logo & invitation. Fortunately, the key colors – orange, vibrant purple, and black – work very well for both “spa” and “lounge” vibes, and they’ll be accented by punches of lime green (in honor of our title sponsor – Swiffer) and white.

Decor elements will include black linens, “zen” rocks, custom signage, “beautified” beauty tools (think blowdryers + rhinestones) and floral arrangements featuring varieties of white, orange, and purple orchids. (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Rosanna, Inc.

Rosanna dinnerware giveaway

Announcing Rosanna’s Third Annual Tablesetting Contest and Summer Sale! This fabulous contest is underway and open until August 31st, 2009.

The Giveaway:
In conjunction with the contest, Rosanna wants to give one lucky HWTM reader a jump on the competition with her lovely Pasta Italiana Collection – so she’s giving away a fantastic set valued at $175! This surprise giveaway includes: 4 Pasta Bowls, 1 Large Pasta Serving Bowl, and 1 set of 4 Dinner Plates in the winner’s choice of  lovely Grass Green or chic Black. (Details on how to enter the giveaway are at the bottom of this post.)

(more…)

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Expert Tips: How to Put Your Best Face Forward in Wedding Photographs

wedding photography tips

Today’s expert tips come from Michelle Pattee, an amazing photographer that I had the good fortune of meeting at a Brides.com event in San Francisco earlier this year! You can check out more from Michelle at her portfolio website and wedding photography blog.

wedding photography tips

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How to Put Your Best Face Forward for Your Wedding Photographs
by Michelle Pattee

I have been shooting weddings for almost fifteen years and have stared down many, many brides through my lens. Here I offer a few tips on creating wedding day images that will make you smile for years to come. (more…)

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Jonathan Adler Shakes It (In Style!)

Jonathan Adler Salt & Pepper

Jonathan Adler has been cranking out so much great new stuff this year, but these adorable salt & pepper shakers are probably at the top of my list. They’re like mini works of art for your table – complete with signature Adler style and fabulous coordinating gift boxes! Pictured above: Fish, Whale, and Penguin shaker sets.

Pictured below: Mr. & Mrs. Muse shakers (perfect gift idea for a wedding or engagement party!) and Lantern shakers, inspired by some of Adler’s most iconic pottery: (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Parisian Bridal Shower

Parisian Bridal Shower Theme

This week’s first real party feature is a pretty Parisian Bridal Shower that hostesses Becki and Christy threw for their friend Whitney, and I think you’ll find the details to be fun, flirty, and extra sweet… especially the heartfelt party favors. Read on for all the party details, as told by the hostesses…

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“Our dear friend Whitney met her prince charming in the French pavilion at Epcot. The two fell in love and were engaged back in “France’ aka Epcot.  Because her fiancé was French we believed she needed a “Parisian” bridal shower to prepare her for the big day.

Parisian Bridal Shower Theme (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: 4th of July Brunch

4th of July table setting ideas

If you’re looking for some last-minute party ideas for your 4th of July celebrations, Angela from Fantasy Celebrations just uploaded a sneak peek of the patriotic table settings for a client brunch she’s styling this weekend – and the gallery is full of fabulous DIY inspiration!

4th of July table setting ideas

There are 2 different red, white, and blue table designs, both of which would work well for anything from brunch to lunch to dinner parties… (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Magnet Street Weddings (Invitations & More)

Magnet Street Weddings

Winner update 7/13: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is… commenter # 90 – Kristen Mantovani. Congrats, Kristen!

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Just in time for the holiday weekend, Magnet Street Weddings is back with another $175 Shopping Spree towards anything on their website! You’ll find everything from Save the Date Cards and Magnets to Holiday Cards, Thank You Cards, Party Favors, gorgeous Wedding Invitations, Labels, and more.

At Magnet Street Weddings, everything is completely customizable. Using their online design studio, you can change fonts, colors, photos, and text to make each design completely your own! A few favorites are pictured below, as well as details on how to enter the giveaway…

Magnet Street Weddings

Pictured above: various  Save The Date Magnet designs. Pictured below: the pretty (and contemporary!) Birdies pocket wedding invitations. (more…)

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Simply Stated: 4th of July Cocktails

4th of july cocktail recipes

Ready to say “Cheers!” to the Red, White and Blue this weekend? Me too! If you’re on the lookout for some festive signature drink ideas for your 4th of July party, check out these fun, patriotic cocktail recipes blogged over at Real Simple today.

(Tip: to give all-red drinks a more patriotic look, simply garnish with blueberries or blackberries, or serve with a blue straw!)

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Patriotic Dessert Roundup (Take 2)

4th of july dessert recipes

While working on the 4th of July dessert roundups this year, it quickly became clear that Martha deserved a post all to herself! There were just too many great ideas to choose from in her Red, White, and Blue Desserts gallery…here are 8 of my personal fav’s:

Pictured at at top: Individual Red, White, and Blueberry Layer Cakes and Vacherin with Whipped Cream and Berries (which is a gorgeous display of meringue layers adorned with raspberries, strawberries, currants, and blueberries).

4th of july dessert recipes

Pictured above: Vanilla-Raspberry Sundaes served with adorable COOKIE SPOONS; and quick & easy Mixed Berry Salad with Mint.

Pictured below: Red, White, and Blue Stars (crisp, buttery sugar cookies oozing with berry jam), and stylish, yet simple Fourth of July Cupcakes: just spread white frosting generously onto cupcakes then use fresh berries to create mod patterns on top. (more…)

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