SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Party Basics for New Nesters {author signed copies}

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Party Basics for New Nesters

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much for all the great recommendations! I’m going to compile a list for everyone from them soon!  And the 3 random winners of the drawing are… Commenters #94 – Grace, #15 – April, and #116 – Barb. Congrats, ladies! We’ll be contacting you via email to coordinate your prize =)


I’ve been on a bit of a party/entertaining book kick lately, and am already bracing for the exasperated looks I’m going to get when my husband sees the multiple Amazon shipments start rolling in later this week… =)

And for those of you that can feel me on this obsession, here’s a fun new giveaway just for you… we’ve got THREE author-signed copies of a truly fabulous entertaining book – the creative DIY read by Maria McBride called Party Basics for New Nestersup for grabs! Want one?

Party Basics for New Nesters

A few projects from this book are featured above; click here for even more info & images from an earlier post. And really, the projects in this book should appeal to anyone that loves to entertain at home, not necessarily just “new nesters”!

How to Enter:


• Post a comment here and mention a party or entertaining-related book that you especially love/would recommend to others. It can be about food, decorations, weddings, flowers, tablescapes, party favors… basically anything to do with entertaining. (And it’s fine if you want to recommend something that’s already been suggested… it will actually be interesting to see which books are the most popular!)

Giveaway ends Thursday, October 15 at midnight PST. Winners will be announced Friday. Thanks in advance for your recommendations – and good luck!


Alternative Text
POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

245 responses to “SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Party Basics for New Nesters {author signed copies}”

  1. Laura B says:

    I love The Last-Minute Party Girl by Erika Lenkert. A handfull of neat little ideas ranging from elegant to just hanging out with some girlfriends. :)

  2. Danielle says:

    I would recommend any of Martha Stewart’s magazines. They always have such fabulous pictures and ideas. They always get me in the mood to throw a fun party!

  3. Amy says:

    Love love Hello Cupcake…such fun ideas in there for all your cupcake needs. Whether hosting an event or holidays or birthdays. It’s fun, even my three year old loves looking a the book.

    Thanks for the give away. Crossing fingers!

  4. Elizabeth Tipton says:

    How exciting!

  5. Erin says:

    Whenever I need ideas, I turn to Martha… You can find inspiration for any type of party. And Hostess with the Mostess, of course. :-)

  6. Jessica says:

    Me, me, me! One of my favorite books for entertaining is called “Food for Friends” and we received it as a wedding gift from friends (believe it was purchased and Crate & Barrel). It has perfect menu suggestions, decor and table setting ideas too. Loveit!

  7. Danielle says:

    Gotta love the DIY Bride book! So many cute, easy and useful ideas for your wedding day!

  8. Virginia says:

    David Tutera’s “The Party Planner”

  9. Amanda says:

    Ooh, I have been meaning to get this book!

    I love the Real Simple Celebrations book a lot, I refer to it pretty regularly.

  10. Valerie Allen says:

    One of my favorite books to help throw parties is “Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor.” There are such yummy recipes and cute decorating ideas in it, that I have come up with several party themes for my girls birthdays for the last couple of years.

  11. Heather says:

    Barefoot Contessa Parties always has great food options that are super easy and super yummy. Can’t have a great party without great food:)

  12. Brittany says:

    InStyle Parties–creative ideas that you can use as-is or tweak for your party or event. The pictures alone are inspiring!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I only have one entertaining book so far so I’d love to get my hands on this one it’s so cute! it’s Domestic Bliss by Rita Konig I got it as a housewarming present. We are having our first holiday parties and I’ve already started frantically thinking of what to do and timing..

  14. Bobbi says:

    I was at a Rachel Ray taping in April 2008 and that book was one of the giveaways to the audience. I gave it to my cousin and his new bride.

    So… a book I recommend for newlyweds? Definitely this one. I’ve got two weddings coming up… Maybe I’ll win and have another great wedding gift!

  15. april says:

    I don’t follow it down to every last detail, but I love using Preston Bailey’s books and InStyle Parties for inspiration

  16. Katie says:

    I like InStyle party book and the Cake Mix BIble. I’ve turned a basic mix into muffins, cookies, bars, and of course, cupcakes!

  17. Melanie Morales says:

    I subscribe to Real Simple magazine and I use a ton of ideas from there. I also have a book that I love called “Food That Says Welcome: Simple Recipes to Spark the Spirit of Hospitality” by Barbara Smith. Tammy Maltby has a new book just coming out called the Christmas Kitchen that I anticipate will also be full of great entertaining recipes and ideas for the Christmas season.

    I use this blog for a lot of the stuff I do as well – I love this!

  18. What a great giveaway!

    I always turn to the Barefoot Contessa party book :O) Love it!

  19. Danielle says:

    My all time favorite is InStyle Parties. I love the variety of occasions they have in there and time saving alternatives they give to their ideas.

  20. Deanna Katzung says:

    For planning a dinner party, I often turn to my “Effortless Elegance with Colin Cowie” and recently checked out David Tutera’s “Big Birthdays” which has some great decor ideas. And when the baby’s napping, I truly enjoy checking out your daily blog filled with modern & fun inspiration.

  21. Alysia says:

    I love Ina’s Back to Basics cookbook. She has great tips and tricks for the casual entertainer.

  22. Kirsten says:

    Ooooh I love, just recently engaged and looking for a house to buy. Then we will be broke and looking for ways to throw fantastic parties.

    I dont have a favorite book yet :( still learning.

  23. Jade says:

    I simply love Barefoot Contessa Parties , she always has the most delicious food recipes for entertaining! I’d recommend it to anyone who loves to cook and entertain!

  24. Jennifer Jenkins says:

    This is an older book, but I’ve never made one thing out of it that everyone didn’t love. It’s Emeril’s Potluck. I bought it on a whim and I love it. I’m from Louisiana and the jambalaya in this book is the best I’ve ever had!! Oh…and the bread pudding too!!

  25. LIndsey says:

    Cocktail Parties Straight Up by the Purcell Sisters is awesome. They are practical ad offer so many recipes, menus and theme ideas. The only thing I don’t like about it is there are no tablescapes or other photos.

  26. Joanna says:

    I totally love and would recogmend the Rachel Ray Magizine!
    I have loved having my subscription and have gotten so many great idea;s from there :)

  27. Ally says:

    Instyle parties is a great booK!

  28. Sarah Moske says:

    Real Simple and Martha Stewart Magazines are always a go to :)

  29. instyle parties is fantastic!! i always find myself using it.

  30. Heather says:

    I love Better Homes & Gardens magazines (or website) for entertaining ideas! They have cheap ideas, which gets an A+ in my book since I am broke haha! I also love ideas from Martha :-D

  31. erin g says:

    i love Barefoot Contessa Parties for her stylish, classy ideas.

  32. Michelle N says:

    I love the Real Simple magazines and Barefoot Contessa.

  33. MommaCari says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ‘Southern Weddings’ by Tara Guerard….amazing decor ideas for any kind of party.

  34. Vera Devera says:

    I recommend Tyler Florence’s Dinner at My Place and Martha Stewart’s Good Things for Easy Entertaining.

  35. I adore the Southern Living Christmas books! And, I’ve enjoyed reading the ideas you share — we utilized the butterfly shower decorations for an event and received many wonderful complements!

  36. Melanie Kahl says:

    For simple and lovely food – Real Simple Food by Alice Waters. Otherwise, I echo the cries of Ina Garten and Martha Stewart!

  37. Joy says:

    I like them all! But Martha is my go to girl until I met THWTM!

  38. Katy says:

    I don’t have a book for entertaining, but I always refer to Martha Stewart for inspiration, recipes and how-to’s on how to make a party fantastic.

  39. Natalie says:

    Love David Tutera’s Party Planner!!!

  40. Susan says:

    I enjoy the Gooseberry Patch recipe book. Has good recipes that are down to earth and helpful pics on how it “should look”!

  41. Tanaz says:

    ahh man i don’t have any entertaining books… but i would love one… i get all my great ideas from this website… and all my friends request me to do ALL their parties.. lol so thanks for the great ideas Jenn.

  42. Sarah says:

    I love looking at David Tutera, Williams Sonoma and the Barefoot Contessa books for party ideas and food!

  43. Allison says:

    I usually turn to any of Martha Stewart’s wedding magazines, she has wonderful hostess ideas!

  44. I love the “Spirit of Christmas” books by Leisure Arts. There must be at least a dozen of them, and they range from themed trees and decorations, to gifts, to food items for entertaining and giving. I have gotten so many wows from so much out of those books, with so little effort!

  45. Ring says:

    I loved InStyle Parties. They have tons of great ideas, beautiful photographs, and easy to throw parties. I really liked how they gave alternative ideas if you are short on time and they also provide timelines for each party.

  46. So, it’s not a book… and I think someone may have already said it… but I’m pretty obsessed with the Real Simple magazines. Page after glossy page they have not only tips for your home and your life… but also for throwing a pretty sweet party.

    Nothing compares to the gorgeous party inspiration on HWTM though.

  47. Megan says:

    It is not a book…but I enjoy Martha Stewart’s magazines for seasonal inspiration.

  48. Tegan and Tage says:

    The only one I can think of that I really like is one called “Food for Friends” and it has adorable gift ideas for hostess gifts and creative ways to package them.

    Thank you for the giveaway! (Obviously I need to expand my entertaining-book horizons. :)

  49. Kim says:

    I love anything by Sandra Lee Semi- Homemade, books and magazines. She has great (budget friendly) recipes and inspirational table settings for any party. She is my go-to girl whenever I am looking to throw a party or themed event!

  50. April T. says:

    My favorite entertaining resource are the Martha Stewart mags, weddings and living. Besides those I also love the Williams Sonoma Outdoor Entertaining book, and pretty much any other Williams Sonoma entertaining or cookbook.

  51. Nali P. says:

    Love Hello, Cupcake. It has the best recipes.

    Great giveaway!

  52. Stacey says:

    The only party I actually own is “The Millennium Party Book” which has lots of ideas for party themes… most are not new years parties btw. I’ve had it a while and still turn to it when I need a fresh idea.

  53. Malinda says:

    I LOVE Jo Gartin’s Weddings. To this day I still look at so many for her ideas for entertaining. The book was such a big help for my 2007 wedding in NYC. Its great for weddings and entertaining in general.

  54. Julianne Hendrickson says:

    fun!! i love barefoot contessa :)

  55. Lexi says:

    I love “The Little Black Apron” cookbook and entertaining guide for single gals! Great fun book with easy recipes and suggestions!

  56. Rebecca says:

    I also love Hello Cupcake…the recipes are pretty easy to follow, and any kids (or adults) you make them for LOVE them…another great book (well magazine really) that is a great source of inspiration is called Food and Drink and is a free magazine that the Liquor store in Ontario (Canada) gives out about 5 or 6 times a year – so if anyone’s ever in Ontario pick it up – it has GREAT recipes and table/place setting ideas!

  57. Brittany says:

    Actually, I’ve had this book on my list for a long time. I would love to add it to my collection!

  58. jae lindsay says:

    I’m just learning about all of this, I don’t have a favorite book yet, actually I don’t own any of these. Perhaps I will soon because I loved reading all the suggestions here.

  59. Maureen says:

    Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Entertaining book is my bible. It helps when there is family and close friends or more people at the gathering.

  60. T. Oliver says:

    I enjoy InStyle parties over and over again due to the lively pictures and guide

  61. Michelle says:

    I am constantly getting recipes out of “Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook” to use when we entertain!

  62. Carrie says:

    I love Real Simple Celebrations! It offers great ideas for the whole party, even down to the music! Would love some new inspiration.

  63. Lemi says:

    Being a souther girl that I am, I love the abundance of party ideas and fun decor presented in Southern Wedding Magazine an also on their blog. Also, being newly married, I’m experiencing terrible symptoms of party planning withdrawls =/ I am currently in search of an excuse, any excuse to throw the next fun shindig and always looking for whimsical party ideas.

  64. Natasha says:

    Karen Bussen Simple Stunning Showers has great ideas!

  65. Victoria Petersen says:

    Weddings Magazine from Martha Stewart is my favorite. The personalized decor and themes they weave through their events really inspire my creativity for any type of event. After that I love Special Events Magazine.

  66. Kate says:

    Love any Martha Stewart books and adore the Hello Cupcake book…I’ve made so many of them already for different events.

  67. Geri says:

    I’d love to read “Party Confidential”…I’m sure filled with some fun, outrageous ideas.

  68. Lyndsay says:

    I need all the help I can get when it comes to party planning. I’ve only had one so far and it turned out fine, but not what I was hoping. Since then I checked out InStyle Parties from the library and liked it, but don’t own it. I’d love to have a copy of Party Basics for New Nesters. Thanks for the chance to win!

  69. Briar says:

    I love the book Entertaining Simple. The pictures are so inspiring and the advice within has been really valuable when I throw parties.

  70. katie says:

    My favorite entertaining book is by Real Simple Magaine – Real Simple Entertaining. Everything is doable, but elegant.

  71. Katie says:

    Anything by Karen Bussen is great for inspiration. I love the resource guide in the back of all her books! Pillsbury’s “Come on Over” is also a great find for yummy, easy, and economical party food!

  72. Christina says:

    I’d love to win. My favorite entertaining book is “Time to Celebrate” by Hamlyn

  73. Stephanie says:

    Martha is my go-to gal! :)

  74. kateastrophe says:

    I have relied heavily on the book Williams Sonoma sells called the Bride and Groom first and forever cookbook. It’s got great recipes as well as awesome ideas for celebrations. I also lean on Martha, as I think many of us do!

  75. Abbie says:

    The Joy of Cooking — every recipe you’d ever need for an excellent menu.

  76. Angela says:

    I always get tons of ideas from Martha Stewart magazines! They’re amazing.

  77. Lezlie Blazzard says:

    I too always turn to Martha. There are always fun and inspirational ideas in her books and magazines.

  78. Amanda says:

    These days I always search online first, but I love Martha Stewart’s magazines and her website!

  79. Ashlan says:

    I love the InStyle Parties book. They have such great ideas for themed parties. I have been married for exactly 4 months tomorrow, so this book would be perfect!! My husband and I are definitely “new nesters!”

  80. Sarah says:

    I love The Last Minute Party Girl – which has great checklists and ideas to be party ready all of the time – and The Party Girl Cookbook – full of fun ideas for year round parties.

  81. Stephanie says:

    I would recommend William Sonoma’s Holiday Entertaining book. The photography alone is amazing! It gives you invitation ideas, menu suggestions, recipes, table decor, the whole nine yards! There are so many elements to planning a party from the invites, to the food to the party favors, and the book gives you simple, classy and elegant ideas and tons of beautiful pictures.

  82. Jeanee says:

    I received “The Hostess Diary” as a gift.

    :: ::

    It gives party tips but it has places for you to write to plan your next party, make notes on how to improve, etc.

    It’s a neat book for a person that gives several parties during the year.

    This is a great giveaway! I hope I’m a lucky winner!!!

  83. Laura P. says:

    I especially adore the book “Swell Dressed Party” — so fun!

    This book for new nesters is also precious and would be a great addition! I would definitely put this to good use!

    Hope I’m a lucky winner! Thanks!

  84. Lenette says:

    I love, love any of the Southern Living Best Of…they have such wonderful food ideas for any kind of party…from baby showers to Christmas.

  85. Kimmay says:

    I totally miss Blueprint and Domino for great party ideas… so now I read Rachael Ray. Plus, I LOVE this blog (duh!) and I am very fond of IDIY which goes beyond just Do it Yourself Weddings and has a lot of great party ideas. I haven’t purchased a hostessing book in a LONG time… but I inherited some 1950’s Home Ec books from my old High School and they give quite a lot of (outdated but extremely entertaining) ideas for hosting a party. They always give me a laugh- we have come so far, ladies!

    ps: for some reason it won’t let me put my url in the above box, so i’ll put it here:


  86. Jadey Ward says:

    Oh man I don’t have a book like this. And I’m about to get married so that’s wehy I need this so badly. I generally turn to here. Martha Stewart. Recipezaar etc for ideas that meld together.

  87. Marie says:

    Do magazines count? I hope so because I would recommend Southern Lady.

  88. Jamie Young says:

    My absolute favorite party I ever hosted was a “Christmas in July” party! It was so fun to take a break from the summer heat with cool thoughts of the holidays! Christmas music was playing, the frozen drinks were served and the fireplace was roaring (on the television!) I would love to win a copy of this book to help me host some fabulous events!

  89. Erin says:

    I don’t have any books to recommend, because I don’t own any! That’s more reason why I should win!

  90. Beth says:

    In Style Parties!

  91. Lindsay says:

    I’m planning my wedding and I LOVE LOVE LOVE “The Big White Book of Weddings: A How-to Guide for the Savvy, Stylish Bride” by David Tutera. He has impeccable taste and all those little details that you can take home! It’s the best.

  92. Jennifer says:

    A good book for party food is called Party! by Love Food. It has different types of events that you would have and different recipes of food to serve at those parties. It has great little tips too!

  93. Sara B says:

    One of my all-time favorite books to give as a gift is “Feast” by Nigella Lawson. Her recipes are fantastic, plus there is a story behind nearly every recipe. Also, the photos are incredible!

  94. Grace says:

    I love my Martha Stewart magazines!

  95. Monica L says:

    Please, me!! I love looking through Food For Friends and Simple Stunning Weddings! Please, me!!!

  96. Deidra says:

    When I need a dose of inspiration I look over my “Good Things for Entertaining” by Ms. Martha, herself.

    I’ve had my eye on this book though. I’ve perused the pages on Amazon and wished someone would have given it to us as a wedding gift!

  97. Tiffany says:

    I love the Domestic Divas Party Cookbook. It has amazing recipes and a fun party idea for each month of the year. Highly recommend it.

  98. Julie B says:

    Last Minute Party Girl is fantastic, and I have found some fantastic food ideas in the special edition magazines Taste Of Home has put out in the last year.

    Any resources are great (And Hostess With The Mostess has been a godsend!). We got married in November and had no idea how much we’d be entertaining. Love all the fresh ideas!

  99. Vivian says:

    I loved “The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner!”

  100. Laura Hit says:

    I would say Real Simple magazines and their books that they have every once and awhile. Or of course, Martha Stewart or HWTM!

  101. Melissa Irvin says:

    I love Real Simple Celebrations! Loaded with great ideas AND it has a party by numbers wheel guide in the back that makes estimation of quantity based on party size SO EASY!!

  102. I love Signature Weddings by Michelle Rago, because I love the pictures and also feel like the ideas translate well to just entertaining in general.

  103. Shannon says:

    I love ‘Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook” lots of yummy recipes and it will make your house smell amazing before company comes. The instructions are great and walk you through the basics.

  104. Sara Kent says:

    I LOVE The Swell Dressed Party written by Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenweig. This is not a wirdely known book but it is full of ideas for any occasion!

  105. Kendall says:

    I love Homemade Holidays, by Family Fun- since so many of our festivities revolve around our children- and we certainly love to involve them! Great ideas that the kids love- and easy to incorporate them into your more adult decorating!

  106. tara jenne says:

    I frequently turn to either Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, or any of Ina Garten’s books for entertaining recipe ideas. For whimsy, I just love Pad Parties by Maranian!

  107. Bobbi says:

    I like Hello Cupcake and all kid related party books. I get so excited when my daughters birthday rolls around because i have a reason to plan a fun and super cool party! I would love to have some more party planning books to add to my collection and use for other party i could plan! Excited about this giveaway!

  108. Michelle says:

    I like Martha Stewart’s stuff on entertaining. There is so many ideas in her stuff!

  109. DrDrama says:

    I love the original Martha Stewart Living cookbook for foolproof recipes for a crowd and guests.

  110. Ashlee C. says:

    I love reading about the fun events in Party Confidential by Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison.

  111. Jen S says:

    For food, I love any of the Junior League cookbooks. I have 3 from Colorado that I love and one from San Diego. The recipes are always dependable and tasty.

  112. Alicia says:

    I love Family Fun Magazine for kids party ideas. They’re always easy, fun, and very kid-friendly.

  113. Michele Larkin says:

    “Entertaining Simple” Useful ideas and successful recipes honed from many parties and compiled into one great book ~ yet somehow simplified to make everything easy!

  114. Love reading about these great event ideas..keeps me hip and fresh

  115. Vanessa - V3 says:

    I absolutely LOVE Real Simple: Celebrations! Such practical ideas and specific advice. For wedding eye candy and inspiration, I love Simply Stunning Weddings! For design and decor inspiration, I love browsing home decor blogs, clothing and furniture catalogs.

  116. Barb in CA says:

    “mention a party or entertaining-related book that you especially love/would recommend to others” … I like Karen Bussen’s ” Simple Stunning Parties at Home: Recipes, Ideas, and Inspirations for Creative Entertaining” – lots of yummy ideas for the eyes and tummy. Her Pomegranate Cherry Sakejito cocktail “makes” a party!

  117. Misti says:

    Since weddings have been on my mind lately, I’m going to have to recomend “The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner”. It’s full of checklists and step-by step advice on what needs to be done to plan an entire wedding. Such a big help to this already-scatterbrained-bride! :)

  118. Becca says:

    I love Semi-Homemade Gatherings by Sandra Lee! Makes it easy (and relatively inexpensive) to throw a theme party…and I’ve never met a theme I didn’t just love!

  119. Eve says:

    My favorite one party book is Instyle Parties. They are perfect for cute parties with style.

  120. Mandi says:

    The Martha Stewart A to Z encyclopedia is a great resource for me-lots of good basic ideas that can applied to almost any situation!

  121. LisaT says:

    Years ago I picked up a book during a trip to Williamsburg VA that has proven itself helpful on many occasions, it was simply titled Entertaing in Williamsburg.

  122. dymphna says:

    i don’t have a book that I use, but lately i have been going to
    I hope this counts

  123. Aubrey says:

    I love “entertaining” from Williams-Sonoma. Lots of great food ideas and tablescapes!

  124. Jenn says:

    Hostess with the mostess is my first stop :o) I also rely on Martha Stewart, Colin Cowie, a book called Food for Friends….the list is endless. This book also looks fantastic!

  125. Teresa says:

    Love Hello Cupcake

  126. Tracy says:

    Last minute Party girl is good. (forgot Author’s name)

  127. Joanna says:

    “Hello Cupcake” has the cutest cup cake ideas for all occasions. I love it.

  128. Christy S says:

    I like InStyle Parties. But, I only have one entertaining book and would love to win this one.

  129. Angie says:

    Martha will, hands down, always be a place look to for inspiration! And blogs, including Hostess with the Mostess (of course!,) Amy Atlas, and Bakerella!

  130. mindy m. says:

    anything by good ol’ Martha Stewart, magazines included! I love flipping through her mags, so easy to buid a party/theme around her craftiness!

  131. Jen says:

    I love the In Style Parties book! I use it all the time for ideas.

  132. Anastasia S. says:

    One of my all-time favourites is Dorothy Draper’s ‘Entertaining Is Fun’ and I always look to Martha Stewart for creative ideas as well.

  133. thesmurfettechronicles says:

    for chic and modern….can’t go wrong with Instyle Parties….first book i checked out of the library once i got married and had to start entertaining…. :)

  134. Megan Simpson says:

    I love semi-homemade Sandra Lee. All her recipes are so simple and so delicious.

  135. Kristen Mantovani says:

    Fondue is the perfect party food – I recommend Fondue, by Lenny Rice.

  136. Becky says:

    the Southern Living entertaining books have great recipes and decorating ideas that I have used quite a bit!

  137. jill says:

    I get my inspiration from so many places, like Instyle Parties book, Martha Stewart & Rachel Ray. I also keep a binder full of pages torn out of random magazines that i come across – one of my favorites is the pottery barn catalog, so many cool/trendy color combinations and centerpiece ideas in there!

  138. Alexson says:

    A while back I picked up a tiny book called 500 Appetizers. I LOVE it. It’s basically fifty reciepes then they give you ten or so ways to change it up and make something completely different using the same technique, but different ingredients.

  139. Martha says:

    I love Martha Stewart. My am constrantly borrowing the book from the library –

    Good Things for Easy Entertaining: The Best of Martha Stewart Living

  140. Matilda says:

    I have “InStyle Parties” and it has been wonderful for my little get togethers. However,I am running out of ideas from it and would love a new book full of ideas!

  141. Jessica F says:

    Anything from Martha, and I love the Southern Living books too

  142. Kate Lehnhof says:

    Real Simple Celebrations is where it is at!

  143. Nikki says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of Martha Stewarts Magazines! She has such creative ideas that are sooo inspiring!

  144. My entertaining bibles are “Party Confidential” by Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison, “InStyle Parties”, “Real Simple Celebrations” and anything by David Tutera. I would love to add “Party Basics” to my stash!

  145. Melissa C says:

    Pick me! Pick me!! I love to throw parties and entertain!!

    I get most of my inspiration from HWTM blog, but also from books like, Buffet Parties, Shower Themed books, Family Fun has some great books too!!!

  146. Eliza says:

    My absolute favorite is Barefoot Contessa Parties. SO many fantastic ideas for any kind of party–her ideas are always a hit :)

  147. May-May says:

    I love InStyle Parties! The book has so many great recipes–I loved how easy the BLT tomatoes were and the pictures are so helpful and inspiring.

  148. Kristal says:

    I love “Paperie for inspired living” by Karen Bartolomei. The invitation & decor ideas are absolutely amazing!

  149. katie says:

    Google Reader. I am a young professional living on a tight budget and I find that I can get all of my tips from decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas to fashion and lifestyle budgeting advice from my favorite blogs.

    It also helps with time management because I get quick reads throughout the day instead of taking the time to sit down and read a book or page through a magazine.

    However, I still treasure the opportunity to spend a weekend afternoon at Borders picking up coffee table inspiration or sitting down on the couch to page through a new recipe book. From there, the possibilities are endless!

  150. Melissa says:

    I LOVE anything Martha Stewart,and now you can get her do-it yourself kits at Walmart and Micheals.So it is even easier to let my inner Martha shine! I have to say i do find myself logging onto this site more and more as i can get my martha fix and all the other great ideas in one spot! Thanks for this !! (and the great list of books to go and buy!!)

  151. cshteynberg says:

    Though I don’t typically cook too much out of the Silver Palate cookbooks anymore (though I have my tried and true recipes I still use from there), they have great tips for entertaining–their hand-drawn pics of crudite platters, hollowing out artichokes and peppers for the dips, and their vegetable and flower centerpieces are so inspiring, even decades later!

  152. iasha says:

    Party Like a Rock Star : by Jes Gordon

  153. MC says:

    I don’t have any books… I rely on blogs/websites like hostess with the mostess and better homes, i hope i win to jump start my party book collection.

  154. Ivy says:

    This book looks so fun! I just got married and don’t yet own any party books but this would be an excellent book to start with! I do however love this blog and have tucked away many ideas for future parties! I also love the Williams and Sonoma cookbook we received as one of our wedding gifts – the recipes are easy enough to make and we will definitely use them in the future when entertaining!

  155. Melanie says:

    Love “Party Confidential” by Laura Shirftman and Elizabeth Harrison. Features ideas, recipes, and a vendor guide.

  156. Rachel says:

    I love the book “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence” by Amy Sedaris. She is hilarious, her writing style is awesome, and tips are fabulous!

  157. Jessie says:

    I love InStyle Parties and Hello Cupcake (which is sitting on my counter right now!). Such stylish and fun ideas.

  158. Stacy Hofman says:

    What a fun book! I have had a lot of success with NIGELLA BITES from Nigella Lawson. The “Good Thing” compilations from MS:Living are always fun entertaining books too. I hope to add this one to my favorites!
    Thank you HWTM & PBFNN!!

  159. Sil BsAs says:

    I LOVE hello cupcakes, it has so many possibilities!

  160. Paulette says:

    Real Simple Celebrations – received this book when I hosted the Saturn House Party and it is full of great ideas and suggestions to supplement your plans

  161. Ashley says:

    I always turn to anything by Martha Stewart. Any book or magazine by Martha is always a source for great ideas.

  162. cairtree says:

    real simple magazine!

  163. Cheryl says:

    For entertaing family, friends or just because, I always turn to “taste of home” magazine or cookbooks. They offer great tips on entertaining and the recipes (from real cooks) always satisfy my family .

  164. Michelle T. says:

    I really love InStyle Parties, great ideas for decor and menu for several different themes.

  165. Katie says:

    I love Martha Stewart’s magazines, and web site She always has ideas that fit my budget, and usually the projects are fairly simple.

  166. Maryanna says:

    I don’t really have a favorite entertaining “book,” so I go to Hostess w/ the Mostess website mostly. I’m not saying that b/c this giveaway is on their website. They really do have some amazing ideas.
    I also go to the Martha Stewart website, as well.

  167. Shana says:

    I may be alone, but I really loved Amy Sedaris’ :”I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence”. Its a good read, contains recipes, and makes me laugh so I don’t stress out!

    I am still only an ameteur at party planning, so this website is usually my go-to-source for inspiration!

  168. says:

    Every time it’s shower/party time– the two places I refer to most are hostesswiththemostess for theme inspiration and martha stewart. I don’t really own any party planning/hostessing books– but would LOVE to!

  169. Val says:

    Anything by Martha Stewart… she’s the goddess of decorting and party ideas, mostly out of my league, but I like the pictures :)

  170. Lindsay says:

    I like InStyle Parties as well as Real Simple magazines and Martha Stewart’s Wedding magazines. I’m going to be a newlywed soon so I could use this book! :o)

  171. Angie says:

    Well I don’t get to entertain as much as I would like and my entertaining guide books are not new and not exclusive to living but Alexandra Stoddard books on living a good life always have helpful hints.

  172. Danielle says:

    I love the book Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A-to-Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration for all things party, entertaining and overall craftiness! It is a great DIY instruction book to get creative and hands on! I also Love Real Simple’s Celebrations book!! Great ideas!

  173. Julie Turner says:

    What a fun giveaway!

  174. Julie Turner says:

    I would love this

  175. tiombe paige says:

    After reading all 170 comments i only saw 3 that mentioned one of the greatest books/ entertainers. Harrison and Shriftman a public relations and special events firm. They’ve published Party Confidential ,Fete Accompli and Fete Accompli Workbook. These books have saved my career. If you dont have them…get them!!! Worth every penny!

  176. Roxy says:

    Barefoot contessa all the way! She has the best ideas and all her recipies are delicious!

  177. Jessie Fernandez says:

    I highly recommend “Hello Cupcake” by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack. They have wonderful recipes that would surely spike up any party, and the best thing is that they are soooo easy to make. :o)

  178. Kristin T says:

    I love the Hello Cupcake book

  179. Rachel S. says:

    Since most of my entertaining these days involves my 2 and 4 year old boys and their friends, I have found Hello, Cupcake! to be a lifesaver for me. The kids all think I’m the coolest mom!

  180. Jasmine in Australia says:

    For me, Donna Hay is the quintessential guide to delightful cooking and entertaining with style, even if it’s gorgeously simplistic. Think of an Aussie Martha Stewart. Donna’s magazines are so beautiul- even if you didn’t cook one recipe, it’s so addictive to just get lost in each page.

    But her recipes (mostly simple recipes but presented like a fine dining restaurant would) are too lovely to not want to try and make (and eat!).

  181. Laura S says:

    I just bought a neat book last weekend. “Nesting. It’s a chick thing” It has lots of really neat tips

    I would love this book! I am not sure what happened…but even since I was married in August, I have had nesting fever! :-)

  182. Jessenia says:

    OMG, Thanks for posting this giveaway!!!!!!

    I read all the comments and my wish list for books just went thru the roof!!!!! (Not a good thing for my husband though) :o)

    My number one source for party planning has to be HWTM blog. No doubt about it… I love it and I am a faithful follower… However, the book I can recommend is Extreme Entertaining Made Simple by Eduardo Xol, it has great tips.

  183. Anisa says:

    InStyle parties is my go-to!

  184. Amanda says:

    Hello Cupcake. Cute cupcakes for about any occasion.

  185. Abbie says:

    I love the Hello, Cupcake cookbook and anything by Giada! What a fun giveaway!

  186. I love The Art and Craft of Entertaining by Kimberly Kennedy. More details…

  187. Kathy I says:

    This book looks incredible! I would recommend Colin Cowie Weddings. I used it for my own wedding and have been a fan ever since- and even though its been a few years, his ideas are timeless. Another good one is Instyle Parties. They cover every kind of party in a perfectly simple and modern way!

  188. Thuraya says:

    I am constantly collecting books on entertaining, but my #1 go-to book is Instyle Parties. It’s full of tips, recipes, great photographs, basic party structures, ideas on themes and how to make those themes special with unique details. It even has week/day/and hour schedules to follow so that when you’re party date arrives, you can enjoy it free of stress. I love just flipping through it for inspiration. My copies actually falling to pieces because I’ve flipped through it so much! It;s a must-have if you enjoy hosting parties!!

  189. Allison112 says:

    I absolutely swoon for Real Simple magazines. The ideas cover everything from prepping, celebrating and cleaning up, as well as appreciating the sentiment of get-togethers.

  190. Andrea says:

    I love this one! At Home Entertaining: The Art of Hosting a Party With Style and Panache — so good! a good standard!

  191. Hamari says:

    I love Not on Love Alone: A Cookbook: A Year of Delicious Dinners and More for Newlyweds by Jessie Carry Saunders. It is so witty and the recipes are great!

  192. Nicole says:

    The Illustrated Kitchen Bible by Brigitte Hafner and Victoria Blashford is a must-have. Any recipe you could ever want is in there, each with a picture of how it’s supposed to look. They are all dived up by starters, main, desserts, etc. and even further divided as meat-free, ready in…, for a crowd, and other categories. It even includes a ton of tips on prep work.

  193. Mirielle says:

    Martha Stewarts Encyclopedia of Crafts :)

  194. Nina says:

    I love Fete Accompli! by Shriftman & Harrison. It has great tips, recipes, sample parties they have thrown and excellent party sources. Great book from Party Planners to the stars.

  195. Erica says:

    Entertaining Simple by Mathew Mead is simply amazing

  196. amy says:

    real simple celebrations and anything martha stewart

  197. Christine says:

    I enjoyed reading Kate Spade’s Occasions full of tips on what she does when she entertains.

  198. Ashley B. says:

    I love Food Nework’s “How to Boil Water” – it is has such easy (but great) basics and ideas!

  199. Jenni B. says:

    I am always obsessing over one entertaining book or another–pulling out my arsenal of books and magazines any time there is a party-worthy occasion nearing (so, pretty much all the time). Currently I am loving “Entertaining Simple” by Matthew Mead. He has got great advice for stocking yourself with party essentials that will help create several unique party looks without breaking the bank each and every time. Then of course I love anything and everything by David Tutera…he is so over-the-top amazing I can’t help but be inspired!

  200. Cynthia Logan says:

    I always love Martha Stewart and Real Simple

  201. Kellee says:

    This book is one that I have given as a gift and I don’t even own it yet! I definately need my own copy.

  202. Down Pillow says:

    I’m, by no means, Martha Stewart, so I’d love one of these :)

  203. Angela Scheffer says:

    I wouldn’t throw a party or host a guest with out ‘Colin Cowie Chic’!! I’ve read it three times already, and was more than excited to get it for my birthday last year. I would recommend it to anybody…even to my single guy friends, who should know the basics to hosting a guest. It’s great because it goes through everything from home, to work, to travel, and of course entertaining!!

  204. Vinita says:

    This should inspire me to host a party;))

  205. Sarah says:

    I love looking at the Real Simple ideas and trying to implement them some how into either my life or my parties!

  206. lisa says:

    We live overseas and are only allowed so many pounds when we move- so I try not to buy too many books– I usually scour the internet- and find ideas from sites like yours!

  207. Marianne says:

    I have just started learning the art of cake decorating and my favourite books are those written by Elisa Strauss. I would also like to buy Peggy Porchen’s books, as I’ve heard they’re amazing!


  208. Megan G says:

    a long time ago my friend gave me a book “Katie Brown Entertains” and I still use some of her ideas when throwing parties…an oldie but goodie.

  209. Tara M says:

    I don’t actually own any entertaining books, but I’m a dedicated Real Simple reader and in every issue they have a section on entertaining…. for instance, last month had an article all about having a cheese and wine party– pair that will all their great recipes and I’ve got constantly chaning entertainment material! Real Simple is my Entertaining Bible.

  210. Nicole-Lynn says:

    I love Colin Cowie Wedding Chic: 1,001 Ideas for Every Moment of Your Celebration (Hardcover)! It’s a great book and I would reccommend it to those who love to entertain!

  211. Dessa says:

    Real Simple Celebrations

  212. Simple Stunning Wedding Showers by Karren Bussen is one of my all time favs!

  213. Amanda says:

    I love Occasions by Kate Spade. She’s so classy and simple and her recommendations for party planning are great!

  214. katherine m says:

    I love the books that Serendipity (NYC) put out. The latest is about parties and it’s great! Everything I’ve made from them is so yummy.

  215. sme says:

    Probably InStyle Parties.

  216. Kate Marshall says:

    I love Williams-Sonoma’s Food Made Fast: Small Plates cookbook. It has tons of easy but delicious recipes that serve as the perfect finger foods for any party.

  217. Cami says:

    Real Simple Magazine has the CUTEST ideas but they aren’t always real simple…still my favorite!

  218. SandyD says:

    I love Real Simple magazine and Martha Stewart to come up with ideas for entertaining!!

  219. Aisha C says:

    Make It Memorable: An A-Z Guide to Making Any Event, Gift or Occasion…Dazzling! by Robyn Spizman. Can you say LOVE!!! I am a cake decorator and true party girl!! I am all about the details!!! This book has everything you can think of to celebrate literally A to Z!!!!! Anniversay, Birthday, Christmas, … etc. you get the picture!! Like Rachel Zoe….I Die for parties!! LOL

  220. Allison says:

    I like the party and food ideas in the real simple magazines. I don’t know of any books but I want to check some of the ones out that people mentioned.

  221. Sarah Leigh says:

    I definitely recommend browsing Hostess with the Mostess & Martha Stewart sites & blogs for fabulous decorating and party ideas.

  222. Melissa says:

    I love my Hors D’oeuvres book by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille. I always look through it before planning a party. Every recipe is photographed beautifully and I’ve never been disappointed with the recipes. Plus, they have great ideas on how to style the food.

  223. Aubrie says:

    Of course, Colin Cowie is fantastic! I love his wedding book and website!

  224. Melissa R. says:

    I love David Tutera’s “The Party Planner.” Thanks for this contest.

  225. Carrie Hogan says:

    I have a stack of these entertaining bibles.
    Instyle Parties
    Pottery Barn Flowers
    Simply Stunning Wedding Showers- Karen Bussen
    Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell
    The Party Planner- David Tutera
    Colin Cowie’s Books
    Baby Showers by Gia Russo and Michelle Adams
    The Hassle Free Host- Christopher Lowell
    Martha Martha Martha- I go online for her crafts and Kids party ideas.
    Green crafts for Children- Emma Hardy
    You should see MY Amazon Wish list!
    Thanks so much.

  226. Molly says:

    I love Martha Stewarts Cupcakes cookbook – every time I throw a shower or a birthday party I opt for cupcakes instead of a full cake. I feel like when I make cakes, many people pass on having a piece – but a cupcake… I’ve never seen anyone turn one of those little cuties down!

  227. I love the Williams-Sonoma line of party books for inspiration. Heck, who am I kidding, I get inspiration everywhere … so many parties, so little time! This book looks like a must-have! Just got hired by Disney to write about parties, so more inspiration and parties can be considered research. :)

  228. Jill says:

    I really like the Real Simple Celebrations book. It’s got some great, easy things that anyone can do and some cool downloadable invitations available on their website.

  229. Kristen Alves says:

    I absolutely love anything by Martha Stewart. I also love InStyle Parties. This book looks amazing too!

  230. Marletha says:

    I would love this book. I love anything from Martha Stewart and I also like the Barefoot Contessa.

  231. Meg says:

    I love Real Simple Magazine and Sandra Lee’s Entertaining cookbook. Her tablescapes are fun inspiration!

  232. Ebony says:

    I love Real Simple magazine… and I just picked up a book from Costco believe it or not called Entertaining Simple by Matthew Mead. It has some really great ideas.
    This is a great post to see what books everyone likes…I need to go on a shopping spree! :)

  233. Melissa says:

    My In-Style Weddings book not only helped me plan my wedding, but has since been passed to each bride-to-be in my group to help them. It’s a great inspiration. :)

  234. Sarah says:

    I have to add another recommendation for Hello Cupcake. Such cute ideas and they give me a ton of inspiration, especially for parties involving my little girl!

  235. Carolina says:

    I am always in the lookout for new and original ideas. My favorite place is HWTM Blog. Also, anything that has to do with Daivd Tutera is always wonderful.

  236. Robin says:

    I would totally recommend the InStyle Party book, it gives very detailed instructions for various party themes and has great tips for throwing a wonderful party!!

  237. Kristen says:

    I like the Real Simple Celebrations book. It has a lot of cute ideas.

  238. Sara M says:

    I am a fan of the Colin Cowie books! Such beautiful ideas and pictures! Thanks!

  239. Angel says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Colin Cowie Chic! Not because it is anything we don’t already know but because he shows you how to make party planning manageable.

  240. Megan says:

    I always come straight to Hostess with the Mostess for party ideas…plus a little added inspiration from Martha Stewart.

  241. amanda says:

    I LOVE Simple Stunning Weddings, and actually use it for other parties. A great resource for sure.

    And this book looks amazing too! I must have…

  242. isela Espana says:

    I love the real simple magazine and web page they have really good recipes from newbee’s to difficult and a bunch of ideas on how to get organized to have people over. Oh and the playboy cocktail and party book, sounds cheesy i know but they have a lot of yummy cocktails.

  243. Stephanie says:

    Anything Martha. Love love love her.

  244. Maree says:

    Martha Stewart does it all. Great recipes and decorating ideas.

  245. Neelam says:

    I love Martha Stewart magazines!