Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Hip Hostess L.A. – Photo Galleries

Hip Hostess L.A. - Old Hollywood Glam

Finally received the disc from the Hip Hostess L.A. photographer last night! Two photo galleries of the event are now up on the HWTM Facebook page: Drinks & Decor and Guests.

Wish I would’ve had these photos for you well before the Oscars came and went, but “Old Hollywood Glam” is actually a fun theme for anytime of year, so hopefully you’ll still find some inspiration here!

Hip Hostess L.A. - Old Hollywood Glam

More DIY decor ideas…cylinder vases & frames adorned with pictures, ribbon, rhinestones & acrylic beads:

Hip Hostess L.A. - Old Hollywood Glam

One of the signature drinks  – the “Red Carpet Splash”, and a peek at the buffet table before everything started… (more…)

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Simply Stated: Mardi Gras Cocktails

mardi gras cocktails

Today over at Simply Stated, check out a few fun cocktail ideas for Mardi Gras: the Hurricane, Red Rooster, and Red Snapper.

And if margaritas are more your style, check out the Mardi Gras Mango Rita recipe right here at HWTM!

P.S. Be sure to check out RealSimple.com‘s fresh NEW LOOK while you’re over there!

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Red Carpet / Oscars Party Ideas

hostess

The Oscars are this weekend – and they’re also a great excuse to invite friends over for the evening, so I was really hoping to be able to do a full recap of our Feb 5th “Old Hollywood Glam / Red Carpet Splash” event before they arrived since the ideas were catered towards hosting an Awards Party at home. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting on the event photos, and since those will be the most important part of the recap, it looks like it will happen post-Oscars instead.

In the meantime, I still wanted to share some of the event’s ideas that you could whip up over the weekend before Sunday night, so that’s the focus of my post today over at Real Simple: Celebrations. Click here to check it out!

P.S. If you attended the Hip Hostess L.A. event and want to check out or purchase the photo booth pictures, you can view them here. The event key is “hwtm“. (They’re ordered in reverse, so the first pics you see are actually the end of the second session.)

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Fabulous Rainbow Cake Tutorial

rainbow cake

The Omnomicon has a fabulous step-by-step Rainbow Cake tutorial and the colorful pictures alone are positively drool-worthy! This recipe would be so much fun for a color party, a 60’s theme party, an art-lover’s birthday, or anytime you feel like brightening up the dessert table a bit.

rainbow cake

You could also take the same concept and apply it to just a few colors or a different type of palette – maybe various shades of green for St. Patrick’s day, red/white/blue for 4th of July, or the birthday girl’s favorite colors, whatever they may be…

rainbow cake

This next pic is one of my favorites… artistic, colorful, & all around delicious: (more…)

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Pacific Weddings: Madame Butterfly

butterfly wedding or bridal shower ideas

I’m seriously head over heels for this gorgeous red, white, and butterfly theme from Pacific Weddings magazine! How lovely would this look be for a bridal shower too?!

butterfly wedding or bridal shower ideas

For a stunning centerpiece, tons of faux red butterflies mixed with gloriosa lilies, roses and crystals hang from a manzanita branch, and pretty party favors are created from red & black favor boxes by Midori, adorned with ribbon and embellished with the sentiment: “Je t’aime”.

butterfly wedding or bridal shower ideas

For dessert: red velvet cupcakes topped with white frosting and an edible red butterfly! You can pick up the fabulous butterfly cupcake wrappers pictured below at Estilo Weddings…

butterfly wedding or bridal shower ideas

In keeping with the theme, red Pomegranate Martinis make for the perfect signature cocktail, and the menu and invitations feature a pretty red floral design.

butterfly wedding or bridal shower ideas

Click here for full “Madame Butterfly” details – and find lots more inspiration over at PacificWeddings.com!

{Photography by David Murphey and Kara Matsunaga}

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Estilo Weddings

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone who entered! And the lucky random winner is… Commenter #8 – Amy – who said, “I am IN LOVE with the BEAUTIFUL cupcake holders!!! They’ll be perfect for my best friend’s upcoming shower that I’m hosting!!” Congrats, Amy!

Estilo Weddings: wedding favors and gifts

Hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend and a great Valentine’s Day!

To kick off the new week right, we’ve got another fantastic Surprise Giveaway from Estilo Weddings – a chic online shop that strives to make it easier for women to show off their sense of style when it comes to weddings, bridal showers, and other special occasions. This week, Estilo is offering up a $100 Shopping Spree towards anything on their site to a lucky HWTM reader!

Estilo Weddings: wedding favors and gifts

Whether you’re in the wedding market or not, there are tons of pretty things to shop for at Estilo Weddings, including contemporary invitations, custom stamps, cool guest books & photo albums, unique party favors, stylish shower & wedding decorations, sparkly cake jewels, clay flower cake toppers, beautiful jewelry, wedding party gifts, and more!

Estilo Weddings: wedding favors and gifts

The cupcake wrappers in particular have always been a favorite item of mine – and Estilo recently added several new designs – like the “Circle of Love” pattern pictured above. (more…)

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Valentine Guest Post: Dining in the Garden of Eden (+ Easy Chocolate Fondue)

romantic valentines day ideas

Julie Mulligan, lifestyle expert for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, is here to share her ideas for creating a romantic, indoor Garden of Eden for Valentine’s Day! Scroll down for lots of fun tips from Julie, plus an Easy Chocolate Fondue recipe, a Valentine’s Day playlist by R&B singer Robin Thicke, & a discount code for Valentine’s Day flowers.

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DINING IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN

Isn’t it wonderful that Valentine’s Day is in the middle of the winter? It’s such a great excuse to shut out the rest of the world and create a sanctuary where you and your love one can reconnect.

One of the most romantic ways to do this is to create your own indoor Garden of Eden. While this can be pulled off at the last minute the more prepared you are in advance the better it will be in the end.  Here is a list of items that will make for a smooth romantic evening set in your very own Garden of Eden (fig leaves optional).

Important elements:
• Picnic basket
• Blanket
• Oversized pillows
• Plants
• Flowers
• Candles
• Champagne or wine
• Ice bucket
• Glasses
• Music
• Sensuous finger foods

romantic valentines day ideas


If you are going to set this up in your home and you have children make plans to have them spend the night at grandma’s!
Of course in front of the fireplace works nicely but if you have the space in your bedroom that works too.  You really don’t need much space at all because you’ll want to have the feeling of being in your own little cocoon.

Following is an outline to help you get started and to provide some inspiration. This is all about you and the person you love so personalize as you go.  Choose foods that turn them on.  For example you might not think that chicken wings are romantic but if he loves them then they can be!

Step 1
Pull together all of the house plants that you already have into the area that you have selected for your Garden of Eden.  Use various size plants to form the perimeter of the space. If you don’t already have plants in your house this is the perfect excuse to buy a few. Growing and caring for indoor plants gives many a sense of pleasure, tranquility and peace. It connects us to mother nature in a desperate attempt to escape the chaos that we call life, but not only do plants calm our souls, they also bring us good health by improving the quality of the air we breath.

(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Pretty in Pink Baby Shower

Pretty in Pink - 80's Inspired Baby Shower

It’s no secret that Amy Belle Isle from Stem Parties is a creative genius when it comes to celebrating! I’m so excited (or maybe I should say “stoked“) to share her latest baby shower creation with you… it’s so much fun! Keep reading for lots of images and all the details, as told by Amy herself…

Pretty in Pink - 80's Inspired Baby Shower

“I am really excited that Jenn asked me to share this Pretty In Pink baby shower with all of her readers. This shower was such a joy for me to do since I am not only a child of the 80s but because it was also for a very dear friend of mine that I’ve known since Jr. High.

Since Kacie’s favorite movie back then was Pretty in Pink and she was having a girl, it was a given what the theme would be. The trick was combining the movie and the era with a baby shower and make it all work. Okay, the trick was really making the 80s seem anything but tacky neon!

Pretty in Pink - 80's Inspired Baby Shower

I decided to really play up the pink and add in different touches from the 80s along with a few baby related items. Remember, baby showers don’t have to scream “BABY” to work. Subtle works, too!

Pretty in Pink - 80's Inspired Baby Shower

Guests were treated to homemade box lunches with cassette tapes tied on top with pink and white ribbons. I bought a lot sale of 50 cassettes from an eBay seller for $10 and painted them all different shades of pink. Be patient, it takes several coats of paint to cover these babies! Boxes were from The Container Store and the Pretty In Pink label of front is easy to make with these round labels from Paper Source.

Pretty in Pink - 80's Inspired Baby Shower

The pink linens were set off with old albums covered with round pink labels custom worded for the occasion, table “runners” made from photocopies tiled with the Pretty In Pink movie cover, simple floral arrangements and pink pacifiers. (more…)

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Simply Stated: Hello, Cupcake!

Hello Cupcake book

This week over at Simply Stated – check out the details on Karen Tack & Alan Richardson’s super creative Hello, Cupcake! book – featuring some of the most clever & adorable cupcakes you ever will see! (Great price too)

Hello Cupcake book

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Beau-coup

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the random winner is: Commenter # 290Annie – who said “I’m the maid-of-honor in 2 weddings and a bridesmaid in another, all in a row (July/August/Sept) and would LOVE some of the adorable wedding shower favors to make each shower personal.” Congrats, Annie – and good luck with all the wedding showers!

Beaucoup wedding favors

We’ve got a fun new Surprise Giveaway for you today with PARTY written all over it!

Beau-coup is a fabulous website that carries tons of stylish favors, decorations, and gifts for weddings, bridal/baby showers, birthdays, and beyond. This week, they’re offering up a $100 Shopping Spree towards anything on their site (and trust me, there’s a LOT!) to a lucky HWTM reader!

You’ll find everything from unique party favors & favor packaging to bridal party gifts, placecard holders, wedding decorations, and more at Beau-coup, and if you or a loved one has a party or wedding coming up – this shopping spree could be a nice boost for your budget!

Beaucoup wedding favors

Pictured above: various Favor Packaging ideas. (How cute would the Mini Rolling Suitcase Favors pictured above be for a destination wedding or going away party?!)

Pictured below: a few examples of Beau-coup’s Wedding Decorations and Wedding Supplies:

Beaucoup wedding favors

(More examples & details for HOW TO ENTER after the jump…) (more…)

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Earn Your Angel Wings! {Let’s Eat Cake! Silent Charity Auction}

let's eat cake

Let’s Eat Cake! is a fabulous wedding cake competition & fundraiser event happening next Tuesday, February 17th to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The producers of the event have worked so hard on this and are currently seeking additional products and service donations for the silenty charity auction. Let’s help them out!

Do you create a product, run a store/shop, offer a service, or represent a client that might be interested in participating?

Examples: cookware, clothing, stationery, toys, games, handbags, custom gift sets, vacation packages, massage certificates, dinners for 2, dinnerware, wine-of-the-month clubs, etc… You get the idea! Big or small – EVERYTHING HELPS – and 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude!

If you’re interested in donating to the charity auction, please email Melissa Margarita-DiStefano (the event producer) to work out the details. (The timeline is urgent since next Monday is a holiday and the event is Tuesday.) Thanks so much for your consideration!

P.S. If you’re in the Gainesville, FL area and would like to attend Let’s Eat Cake! (Wedding Cake Design Competition, All You Can Eat Wedding Cake, & Cake Auction) – tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door.

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Fabulous Event Inspiration: Artfool Events

artfool: modern event inspiration

If you’ve got a wedding to plan, a big party coming up, or just love looking at gorgeous design, the artfool events website is full of amazing inspiration! Click here to check out their online portfolio…this should keep you busy for a while!

Professional event design portfolios are always a great place to gather ideas for color palettes & floral design. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here goes with the proof:

artfool: modern event inspiration

I’m loving the artistic, contemporary vibe and fiery orange accents in the book launch party design pictured above… and the whimsical, fairytale-like table centerpiece pictured below:

artfool: modern event inspiration

Sky blue, lime green, & white create a lovely, easy-breezy atmosphere for the Benefit Party pictured below… (I’m thinking this look would also be perfect for a spring/summer wedding, bridal shower or Mother’s Day brunch.)

artfool: modern event inspiration

artfool: modern event inspiration

Feeling inspired yet? Wait… there’s more! (more…)

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Cherry Baby Cakes Recipe + 11 More “Best Cupcakes” from BHG

best cupcake recipes

Better Homes & Gardens has a truly mouth-watering recipe gallery out called “Our Best Cupcake Recipes” that’s full of creative, sweet treat ideas for Valentine’s Day, birthday parties, baby showers, or really any time you feel like whipping up something special! Some favorites from the gallery (with recipe links) are pictured above and below…what looks good to you?

Pictured at top:
1. Cherry Baby Cupcakes {so cute!! see recipe below, after the jump…}
2. Red Velvet Sweetheart Cupcakes {romantic red velvet mini cupcakes with chocolate heart toppers}
3. Easy Topped Cupcakes {butter pecan ice cream + caramel sauce + chocolate cupcakes = YUM!}
4. Sweet Potato Cupcakes {cinnamon-spiced cupcakes topped with luscious cream cheese frosting & orange peel}

best cupcake recipes

Pictured above:
5. German Chocolate Cupcakes {with chocolate-pecan ice cream, toasted nuts & caramel sauce!}
6. Brownie Surprise Cupcakes {fudge brownies with a creamy chocolate candy center}
7. Choco-Zucchini Cupcakes {with peanut butter frosting}
8. Rosemary Mini Cupcakes {vanilla cupcakes flavored with garden-fresh rosemary & topped with orange glaze}

(more…)

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Hip Hostess L.A. – Sneak Peek

Chambord Hip Hostess Event

Hi Everyone – I want to start the new week with an apology for the light posting last week. I was pretty much consumed with getting everything ready for Thursday’s Hip Hostess Event at the SLS Beverly Hills – and since this party was so soon after the Boston event, I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with everything…including regular posting, sleep (zzzzz), and a truckload of emails from the past few weeks!

Chambord Hip Hostess Event

Anyways, I’m very happy/relieved to report that the event was a success – despite the substantial rain, even-heavier-than-usual L.A. traffic (due to the weather), and very last minute swap of our party space from the hotel’s outdoor terrace to the indoor ballroom…thank goodness it was available! I actually think the ballroom worked out even better than the original space though, so these particular rain clouds really DID have a silver lining!

Chambord Hip Hostess Event

Given the event location and the fact that we’re right in the middle of Awards Season right now (with the Oscars coming up soon!) – we went with an “Old Hollywood Glam” theme and featured ideas for hosting an Awards Party or Red Carpet-themed bash. Many thanks to Chambord for generously sponsoring the evening!

I hope to have our own photographer’s pictures back soon to do a full recap of the event & party ideas, but in the meantime, one of our guests – who also happens to be a photographer – was kind enough to share her own photos with us so I could give you a little preview today. (Thanks again, Pamela!)

Chambord Hip Hostess Event

Tic-Tock Couture Florals made the fabulous – and huge – chandelier tree pictured above – and I gave tips on how to easily create a scaled-down, DIY version for at-home parties during the demonstration portion of the evening (more info on that to come soon). We also had a photo booth and life size cardboard cut-outs of Old Hollywood movie stars around the room for fun photo opps! (Cardboard cut-outs from HollywoodMegastore.com)

(more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Kir De Vries

Kir De Vries $100 Giveaway

Winner Update: 2/10/09: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all 600+ of you who entered – WOW! And the {very} lucky, random winner is: Comment #142 – Tawnya, who said “The chandelier print is to DIE for. My husband is a painter and I would have paint a special wall (red) just for that amazing print.” Congrats, Tawnya!”

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We have a fantastic new suprise giveaway for you today! This one comes from Kir De Vries – a wonderful  shop that I’m really excited to introduce to you, because it’s full of truly unique & refreshing finds for your living room, kitchen, dining room, jewelry drawer & more…

Today, Kir De Vries is generously offering up a $100 Shopping Spree towards anything on their site to a lucky HWTM reader! A quick glimpse at the small sampling of their products featured here should give you an idea of how fun everything is… for example: has your lunch bag ever looked this cool?

Kir De Vries $100 Giveaway

You’ll also find: handcrafted jewelry, cool collectible tea towels, cool stationery, adorable lunch boxes, Earth Lust water bottles, wraps and scarves, surface graphics, and more!

Kir De Vries $100 Giveaway

(Get the details for HOW TO ENTER after the jump) (more…)

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Simply Stated: Old Hollywood Glam… with a Mod Twist

hollywood glam party theme

With this week’s Hip Hostess Series event coming up quick – it’s probably no suprise that “Hollywood Glam” has been on the brain – and one thing I’ve discovered while putting everything together is how many different twists you can actually put on this theme! Today over at Simply Stated, check out some ideas for an Old Hollywood Glam theme… with a Mod Twist.

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Thanks, Amy! (+ Valentine Candy Buffet)

amy atlas events

One of my favorite eye candy resources – Amy Atlas Events – was just featured in the premier issue of Southern Weddings magazine (a new glossy that’s loaded with great material, by the way)! Click here to download a pdf of Amy’s article…aptly titled “Oh, Sugar!“.

I was also excited to discover that Amy listed HWTM as one of her favorite sources of Inspiration! Thanks, Amy…and right back at you!

amy atlas events

For those of you that have yet to see Amy’s drool-worthy portfolio of ridiculously creative dessert buffets…here’s a peek at a red, white & pink design she created that might spark some ideas for Valentine’s Day, which is coming up soon! (more…)

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Wedding Lunch – Exhibit Gallery

wedding design inspiration

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!

wedding design inspiration

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…

wedding design inspiration

(more…)

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Wedding Lunch – Black & White Room

black and white wedding ideas

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.

black and white wedding ideas

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.)

black and white wedding ideas

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!

black and white wedding ideas

Check out the rest of the black and white wedding images over at the Facebook Gallery.

black and white wedding ideas

{Photography by BarnettPhoto.com}

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Simply Stated: Manzanita Centerpieces

manzanita centerpiece ideas

Today over at Simply Stated: Celebrations – check out some fabulous manzanita centerpiece ideas!

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!

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New Party Theme: Modern Moroccan

Moroccan party theme ideas

Looking for a fun theme for your next dinner party or birthday/bridal celebration? Check out our brand new Modern Moroccan party theme – complete with lots of easy DIY ideas for tablscaping, party decor & more!

Moroccan party theme ideas

Pictured above: Traditional Moroccan Mint Tea (Get the recipe.)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: See’s Candies

Winner Update 2/3: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winners are: Commenters #150 – Amber, #376 – Ruby, #387 – Tonya, and #141 – Rose. Congrats, everyone! We will be contacting you via email. Hope you enjoy the winnings!

see's candies valentines day giveaway

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, See’s Candies is offering up $25 gift certificates to FOUR  lucky HWTM readers! Whether you’re shopping for Valentines Day Gifts or your own favorite treat (by way of chocolates, lollipops, peanut brittle & more) – doesn’t the concept of “free” make it sound even sweeter?!

see's candies valentines day giveaway

HOW TO ENTER:
Post a comment here telling us YOUR favorite flavor(s) or type(s) of See’s Candies. (Definitely brown-sugar-and-vanilla-buttercream Butterscotch Squares for me!)
Giveaway ends Friday, January 30th at midnight PST. Winners are chosen randomly and will be announced here on Monday, Feb 2nd. Good luck!

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Party Decor on a Budget (+ Boston Event Recap Part 2)

entertaining on a budget

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…

entertaining on a budget

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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.

entertaining on a budget

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.

entertaining on a budget

Pictured above: more home accessories dressed up with paper, butterflies, & inexpensive vase fillers & grasses purchased at Michaels.

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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).

entertaining on a budget

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…)

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Hip Hostess Series L.A. – Feb 5th!

Hip Hostess Series - LA

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!

Hip Hostess Series - LA

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.

SLS Hotel Beverly Hills

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REAL PARTIES: Under the Tuscan Sun Bridal Shower

Italian sunflower bridal shower theme

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:

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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 =)

Italian sunflower bridal shower theme

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.

Italian sunflower bridal shower theme

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.

Italian sunflower bridal shower theme

The children sat at a separate table decorated with a centerpiece of flowers and lollipops, which they took home as party favors. (more…)

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Boston Hip Hostess – Event Recap

hostess

I’m so happy to report that the Boston Hip Hostess Event was a success! Everyone we met on our trip to Boston was so incredibly nice, the venue – KO Prime at Nine Zero Hotel – was wonderful to work with, and we had a fantastic turnout!  Here are some photos to give you a sense of what the evening was like – and there are more photos up in the complete galleries on the HWTM Facebook page.

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!)

table decor ideas

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…

table decor ideas

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).

table decor ideas

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!

table decor ideas

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.

table decor ideas

This is what I especially love to see… lots of happy guests enjoying themselves and having fun… (more…)

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yumi yumi shop: Owl Prints

yumiyumi modern owl prints

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.)

yumiyumi modern owl prints

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!

yumiyumi modern owl prints

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Wool & Felt Bird Coffee Coasters

felt coasters

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!

felt coasters

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Healthy Snacking… New Year’s Resolution Take 2

healthy snacking ideas

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).

conversation hearts

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!healthy snack ideas

Pictured below are 5 snack ideas I think I can swing, but I’d love to expand the list with your suggestions…

healthy snack ideas

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!

healthy snack ideas

2. Campbell’s Soup at Hand

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…)

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REAL PARTIES: Global Lounge Style

global lounge style party theme

I’ve been admiring this swanky party theme from the ultra-creative Joanna of Lotushaus for a while now.  She created this fun “Global Lounge” theme for Thanksgiving (yes, Thanksgiving!!), but don’t you think this look would also work beautifully for a variety of occasions? I’m thinking bridal shower, engagement party, or milestone birthday for starters…

What I love about Joanna’s designs are that they’re always so hip & contemporary – but also very “doable” – which is the perfect recipe for inspiring others! Here are some details on how her Thanksgiving “Global Lounge” came to be…

global lounge style party theme

The inspiration: A bolt of blue and brown satin ribbon that Joanna already owned is what kicked this whole thing off! She wanted to give the dinner a “hip hotel lounge” vibe incorporating these colors.

Design Elements: Global design accents such as origami, rattan, Chinese knots, classic patterns (like woven cane and circle medallions); DJ uplights were also used to jazz up the ambiance and provide mood lighting.

Joanna fashioned paper cranes (which carry a subtle resemblance to the shape of a turkey) from gift wrapping paper and used crimped silver wire to hang them from kiwi vines (available at Michaels stores and other florist/craft supplies). To keep the kiwi vines standing upright, they were inserted into floral foam placed inside of a drinking glass, which was wrapped in turquoise tissue paper. LED tea lights were dropped into the glass as well and gave the arrangements a cool, magical, “loungy” glow!

global lounge style party theme

Cane patterned fabric was used to create the napkins. (Joanna sewed the napkins herself, but you can also find similar designs in pre-printed paper or fabric napkins…no sewing skills required!) (more…)

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