Here’s some more event design inspiration from The Special Event… These images are from the Exhibit Gallery we walked through after the Wedding Lunch. The first room was a contemporary silver & white design and seemed to be the “star” of the show… judging from the oohs and aahs heard whenever people entered!
The centerpiece pictured above is especially interesting to me: tube vases buried in sand act act as pedestals for a huge bundle of mitsumata branches laced with white orchids… gorgeous!
This next room is just pure GLAM! Rich reds and a retro lounge vibe in everything from the centerpieces to the walls…
I just uploaded some pictures from the “Wedding Lunch” event I went to this week at The Special Event 2009 – which was luckily held in San Diego this year! Talk about inspiration overload – I was like a kid in a candy store at this luncheon! It was almost dizzying… There were 16 different table looks throughout the room – all designed by different companies. You can check out many more pictures of this room in facebook gallery.
The lovely Carely Roney from The Knot and The Nest was the keynote speaker and provided lots of great info about wedding trends – most specifically how brides are more “techie” than ever. Did you know that 80% of brides use theknot.com to help plan their wedding? That number floored me! (Click here to check out the guest post that Carley did for us in December.)
Of course everything seen here was above and beyond: both creativity-wise and budget-wise. (Can you imagine how nerve-wracking it much have been to design a tablescape for an event filled with all event planners?!) I love finding inspiration for at-home parties from big events & weddings like this though…there’s always something new to discover, and seeing such creativity just gets the wheels spinning!
P.S. I went to a “Wedding Lunch” at an event planning conference in San Diego yesterday and will have tons more centerpiece inspiration for you soon! There were so many amazing designs to see, and I should be getting a disc tomorrow with some professional shots of them… can’t wait to share the pics with you next week!
In continuing with Part 2 of the Boston Chambord/Hip Hostess recap – here are a few more of the tips we shared for our “Entertaining on a Budget” theme…this time focusing on party decor & general concepts. (Find tablescaping tips in Part 1.)
Pictured above are a couple shots of the Party Decor Ideas table before the party started, and the image directly below shows everything lit up during the party, which helps to demonstrate the very first tip: “Let there be light. When you’re short on time or money for party decorations, candles & string lights will always save the night!” It really is amazing how much the soft glow of candlelight can do for the feel of a room…
Next up is the idea of Re-purposing:“Look around the house and use what you already have! Decorative vases, house plants, sculptures, and other accessories can double as fantastic table centerpieces or party decor.“
The cool “circular thing” (for lack of a better term) pictured above is actually a picture frame – but it easily becomes party decor when filled with the same decorative scrapbook papers used elsewhere in the party. You could also personalize something like this for the guest(s) of honor by mixing in a few photos of the birthday girl or happy couple in some of the circles.
The “pedestal candle holders” are actually simple glass cylinder vases ($1.50 – $3 ea) wrapped in scrapbook paper with candle-safe plates set on top of them. The plates are secured firmly to the vases with glue dots, which easily peeled off after the party was over.
Pictured above: more home accessories dressed up with paper, butterflies, & inexpensive vase fillers & grasses purchased at Michaels.
Speaking of vase fillers, here’s tip #3: “Opt for Botanical materials where a little goes a long way, such as tall branches (like mitsumata, curly willow, manzanita & bamboo).”
In other words, $10 worth of very tall mitsumata branches are going to make a bigger impact than $10 worth of flowers because of the height factor. Here are some mitsumata branches that I spray painted red for one of the table centerpieces (one set of three 48″ branches is only $6.80 at save-on-crafts.com): (more…)
So… I know we just got back from Boston and I’m still working on part 2 of that recap, but our Los Angeles event is already right around the corner – next Thursday, February 5th at the new SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills!
In honor of Awards Season and the location of this event, we’re doing an “Old Hollywood Glam” theme and will be sharing tons of fun ideas for hosting your own “Red Carpet” bash at home with friends. Of course there will also be yummy food & drinks, along with a cocktail demo from Chambord’s mixologist! (Side note: Since the theme colors are red, white, & black – a lot of the decor ideas & drink recipes could easily translate for Valentine’s Day celebrations as well.)
There are 2 available time sessions: 6:30-8pm & 8:30-10pm. Registration is now open and the event is free, but space is limited, so please make sure to reserve your spot online! (Must be at least 21 to attend.)
Official invite is below…. hope to see you there!
P.S. My advice is to come a little early (or stay late) and check out the hotel – the interior was designed by Philippe Starck and is VERY unique! I just saw it for the first time this weekend and felt like I had stepped into a grown-up Alice in Wonderland.
I’m so excited to share this latest “Real Party” feature with you… it’s a gorgeous ‘Under the Tuscan Sun” bridal shower featuring vibrant sunflowers and the rich colors of Tuscany. The hostess behind the party – Lina Wallace from A Stunning Affair – created this for shower for her sister-in-law and she did such a fantastic job…here are all the details on how she pulled everything together, as told by Lina herself:
Laura’s Bridal Shower
When my sister-in-law, Laura got engaged, I immediately started thinking about ideas for her bridal shower. I felt so honored when her bridesmaids asked me to create something that would be not only unique, but also a reflection of the bride. When compiling ideas for a theme I thought of all of Laura’s favorite things:
Favorite Color: Yellow
Favorite Food: Pizza or anything Italian
Favorite Flowers: sunflowers
Favorite Dessert: Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
Favorite drink: Anything with champagne =)
After much thought, I ended up with an “Under the Tuscan Sun” theme for the Bridal Shower. The color scheme was based on patterned ribbon, which was purchased from The Floral Supply Syndicate. Decorative candles and containers were all bought from Moskatels in Los Angeles.
The Bridal Shower was held at the Jerzy Residence (the home of her maid of honor). Upon arrival, guests walked down a pathway of sunflowers leading them to her backyard. Each place setting was topped with a sunflower that doubled as a bridal favor. All centerpieces had a Tuscan flare and also included lemons from the maid of honor’s garden.
The children sat at a separate table decorated with a centerpiece of flowers and lollipops, which they took home as party favors. (more…)
Also – as a side note – our next Hip Hostess event is coming up QUICK! It’s Thursday, February 5th (2 weeks from tomorrow) at the new SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills in Los Angeles – and registration just opened up! Space is limited, so please click here to reserve your spot soon! (The theme this time around is “Hollywood Glam/Oscar Party” in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards – more details to come!)
And now, back to the Boston recap…starting at the top with the 3 of the signature drinks that guests enjoyed throughout the night: Chambord & Champagne, the French Martini, and the Chambord CranBerry Crush. (With dessert we also served Chambord Hot Cocoa topped with whipped cream – a nice way to end the night before guests headed back out into the freezing cold weather!)
The theme of the night was “Entertaining on a Budget” – which basically meant that we demonstrated lots of ways to dress up your table and party decor using inexpensive elements like decorative papers, scrapbooking supplies and items that you already own (such as the square wall shelves pictured in the centerpiece design above, which were given a scrapbook paper trim to coordinate with the tablescape.)
In the “dinner party” table pictured above, scrapbook paper was used in place of linen placemats and also to create the “napkin rings”, stemware charms, and to cover die-cut chipboard shapes (butterflies and birds), which were used in the centerpiece and on the place settings.
The same concepts were used in the 2nd sample table, which was a little more fun/whimsical and would be ideal for something like a bridal shower or girlie birthday party…
In this table, acrylic silver charger plates (only $10/set of 4 at Macy’s) – were used to dress up the table. Circles of scrapbook paper peeked through beneath the clear glass plates ($1.95 each at Crate & Barrel), and the same papers were used to create coordinating drink coasters, napkin rings, & place cards – and to dress up wooden block letters from Michaels. The table “runner” was created from a roll of red gift wrap from Target.
The centerpiece featured a large cylinder vase filled with sand and spray-painted Japanese mitsumata branches, which make a very big impact for minimal cost, and the other 2 vases (red and blue) – are accessories from my home (once again playing on the idea of re-purposing things you already own.)
Here’s a pic of the same table once the lights were dimmed (and there are several more shots of the rest of it in the facebook gallery).
This next image shows part of the “Party Decor Inspiration” table. So many topics to cover here, so I’ll save them for the next post to avoid turning this one into a short novel!
Here’s me with Tim Laird – Chambord’s “Chief Entertaining Officer” (a.k.a. “fantastic mixologist”) – who always gives a fun presentation on how to mix up a few tasty cocktails right after I give some party decor tips.
This is what I especially love to see… lots of happy guests enjoying themselves and having fun… (more…)
Ready for some seriously cute eye candy? Check out the yumi yumi shop over on etsy…it’s so fun! I’m completely smitten with their whimsical & contemporary illustrations… especially the Owl Prints (a few of which are pictured here) – and the Berry Monster Prints – which have a bit of an animé flair. (Giclee prints are $10-$20 each.)
In addition to making the walls look prettier, any of these designs would serve as a great inspiration piece for an adorable baby shower or kids birthday party!
You’ll often stumble on the most adorable & unusual items while browsing etsy… for example, these fun blackbird & canary Interspecies Bird Coffee Coasters, which are “upcycled from a preppy boiled wool blazer” and backed in mustard yellow and black felt. Too cute!
Okay, here goes: My name is Jenn, and I’m an unhealthy snacker. There… I said it. That’s the first step towards recovery, right? We’re a few weeks into the new year now, and I’m realizing that my “healthier eating” resolution has been a tad (okay more like completely) non-existent. How about you? The problem on this end of the computer: it hasn’t been a priority because there’s so much going on and an endless to-do-list that I’m always distracted with… but does that ever really change?
When I say “healthier eating” is the goal – don’t get me wrong: I love enjoying food and have no intentions of becoming a walking calorie and sodium calculator deprived of all the culinary world has to offer. BUT, I could use some serious help in the “everyday” eating department and am thinking it’s time to actually kick things into gear… Here’s the situation:
My approach to snacking right now is almost 100% “convenience” based, paired with an insane sweet tooth which often threatens a sugar-induced coma. Looking back on the past week, for example, I realized that my between-meal snacks have consisted of what has added up to a box of See’s Candies Nuts & Chews, a bag of conversation hearts (yes… Valentine candy already…eek!), tons of Hershey’s Kisses leftover from the holidays (we wouldn’t want those to go to waste, right?), and a Fiber One bar thrown in for good measure now and then (oats-and-chocolate flavored of course in case the word “fiber” threw you off).
Ugh. After reading this back to myself, I think the only thing keeping me from massive sugar crashes is all the Diet Coke and Lo-Carb Monsters. Thanks, caffeine? (Question mark intended.)
The one thing I HAVE always been able to make a priority is this blog, so I’m thinking that if I address the issue here, I might be a tad more accountable or even get some great tips from you guys… and maybe we can inspire each other along the way. So if you have any suggestions for quick, easy & healthy snack ideas – emphasis on the easy (grab-n-go is important here) – I’d love to hear them!
Pictured below are 5 snack ideas I think I can swing, but I’d love to expand the list with your suggestions…
1. Hummus with Pre-Cut Veggies or Baked Pita Chips
I seriously envy those people that adore vegetables and reach for the naturally. I am so, so very far away from that place… but I do love a good roasted red pepper hummus dip, so maybe that will do the trick!
Only 80 – 150 calories, lots of different flavors to choose from, doesn’t require refrigeration, and you can just pop them in the microwave then sip as-is… perfect! Soup always fills me up too… added bonus. (more…)
We’re in Boston now for the Hip Hostess event tonight at KO Prime/Nine Zero hotel – and I’m so excited to meet some of you very soon! I have to say that this city is gorgeous – this is the first time I’ve been here since around age 7, so it’s been a while! The architecture is amazing and we had fun strolling the streets & parks yesterday… and dining at a fantastic Italian restaurant last night in Boston’s famous “North End” area…yum!
The 12º temperature is a BIG change from the 78º weather we left in San Diego, but it’s actually been fun to bundle up for a change and see snow all around… it IS January, after all!
Well, I’m off to finish getting everything ready – hope you’ll join us for yummy food & Chambord cocktails tonight if you’re in the area! For everyone else – photos and recaps will be posted online next week.
Umbra just came out with a fabulous new line at Target called Umbra Loft – and lucky for us, this bold, modern-meets-elegant collection is just as affordable as it is stylish! The overall look of the Umbra Loft reminds me of Nicky Hilton’s fabulous black and white dining room… so if you’d like that look for less, then this is a great place to start! Here are a few favorites from the (quite extensive) collection:
Winner Update 1/14: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I can’t believe how many fantastic budget tips were posted in the comments… great stuff!! And the randomly selected winner is:
Commenter # 251 – Melissa F., who said: “My budget tip would be to purchase one really nice serving piece that you could use more than once for many different occasions. I have one dish that I used for spinach salad with strawberries and then again for favors at a baby shower and My fave theme would be Hollywood Glam I LOVE Sparkle and color!!”
I’m super excited to kick off the 2009 Surprise Giveaways today with a fabulous “RED” themed dinner party set from the always-stylishSocial Couture!
HOW TO ENTER:
• Post a comment here telling us your favorite “entertaining on a budget” tip – OR your favorite party theme design from SocialCouture.com. • Giveaway ends Monday, January 12th at midnight PST. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced here on Tuesday, January 13th. Good luck, everyone!!
I’m loving the vibe of these chic chipboard postcards from Prismera. Available in Jungle and Heart, each card features a hand drawn illustration by designer Laura Su and is printed in soy-based inks on 100% recycled paper. $3 each at prismeradesign.com
We’ve been busy this week finalizing all the details for the Boston Hip Hostess event…which is already only a week from tomorrow! If you’re in the area, please grab a friend or 2 and come celebrate with us next Thursday night (January 15th) at the Nine Zero Hotel. There will be tasty cocktails, yummy hors d’oeurves by KO Prime, and – of course – a healthy dose of creative inspiration!
The theme this time around will be “Stylish Entertaining on a Budget” – and don’t think that just because the concept is budget-wise it means we’re going to skimp on style – because that is absolutely not the case…we’re just going to show you some fun ways to get creative with your party decor without breaking the bank.
The event is free, but space is limited, so please RSVP online soon to reserve your spot. Hope you can make it!
A pop-art/Warhol-inspired party has always sounded like so much fun to me….with all the vibrant colors and funky patterns/design elements that come with his style – it’s the perfect excuse to create a fun & genuinely “outside-the-box” experience for party guests!
There are so many directions you could take with this theme, but these cool new Warhol Quote Plates from cb2 (only $1.50 each!) inspired me to create a mini cocktail (or mocktail) party inspiration board with a few decorative ideas to kick things off. Feel free to add additional ideas in the comments! I have a feeling this concept may call for a full party theme in the near future…
1. Warhol-inspired Buttons
Use these – combined with wide ribbon or strips of decorative paper – to create themed napkin rings or as vase embellishments. ($1 each at Button Bunny)
2. Whimsy Fringe Ribbon
Perfect for dressing up vases, stemware, and party favors. ($4.99 at Container Store)
3. Go Bananas!
Warhol’s “Banana” is one of his most recognizable works. Play on this fun fact with banana-inspired decor. A few ideas:
• Fill bowls with colorful paper shred then place bananas on top.
• Fill wide glass cylinder vases with bananas, then embellish the outside of the vase with colorful fringe ribbon, striped or zig-zagged all the way up the vase.
• Serve banana-themed cocktails (Funky Monkey, Banana Split, etc) – or non-alcoholic Banana Smoothies.
• Set out bowls of banana-flavored candy like Laffy Taffy or Runts and/or an ice cream bar with all the fixings for guests to create their own banana splits.
In an effort to make sure we get the word out to everyone (and raise money), we are starting this chain-blog (Ok, not sure if that is correct terminology. But it’s like a chain letter so let’s just go with it, shall we?)
Here’s what we need you to do…Repost this post (or create your own new version) on your blog and ask others to post it on their blogs. Melissa will donate one dollar to the fundraiser for EVERY BLOG that posts on Let’s Eat Cake this week! With the power of the blogosphere, that can QUICKLY add up! Let’s make Melissa Pay! Once you have reposted it, leave a comment letting us know that you posted it along with the url to the blog. It’s for a great cause and it will be fun to see how far it will go! So lets do it… Lets blog it forward and raise money for a great cause!!!
I’m finalizing the details for the upcoming Hip Hostess Event in Boston (January 15th) and thought I’d share one of my favorite “Stylish Entertaining on a Budget” tips with you today – which is the theme of the Boston event.
Scrapbooking materials are a great resource for budget-friendly entertaining – and this extends way beyond paper! Rub-on transfers are also a great way to dress up glasses & dishware. They’ll stay on well at the party, but they’re also removeable from glass, ceramic, and plastic – so you can customize the drinkware you already own for each special occasion!
At Hostess with the Mostess®, creativity is always the life of the party! Here, you'll find stylish entertaining ideas & resources for everyone from the first-time hostess to the seasoned pro. We share imaginative events, DIY tutorials, recipes products, and a passion for great design that also makes people happy. :)