Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Hip Hostess Series: Hello, Boston!

Boston Hip Hostess

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!

Boston Hip Hostess

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.

{Pictured above: the Massachusetts State House, which I can see from my hotel window!}

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Umbra Loft at Target

Umbra Loft collection at Target

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:

Pictured at top: Vinotella Wine Rack ($19.99), Pinot Wine Rack ($19.99), and Photo Tray ($19.99).

Umbra Loft collection at Target

Pictured above: Piatto Platter ($29.99), Lulu Utensil Holder ($14.99),
Gemini Salt and Pepper Shaker Set ($14.99), and Nest Salad Bowl with Servers ($29.99).

Umbra Loft collection at Target

Pictured above: Umbra Loft Decorative VasesLarge Black, Small White, and Medium Gray ($9.99 – $19.99), Set of 3 Candelabras ($16.99), and Eternity Mantle Clock ($24.99).  (more…)

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Simply Stated: Bold Blue & Yellow

hostess

Today over at Simply Stated – check out some fresh kitchen & dining finds featuring a bold blue and yellow color palette and fabulous Scandinavian style!

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Junebug: Best Wedding Photos of 2008

best wedding photographers

If you’re on the market for a wedding photographer – or just love looking at stunning photos/visual eye candy in general – definitely check out The Best Wedding Photos of 2008 feature over at Junebug Weddings. It’s a gorgeous display of imagery from talented photographers around the world! For example: Amelia and Justin Lyon (pictured above), and…

Ben Chrisman:

best wedding photographers

best wedding photographers

Yervant Zanazanian:

best wedding photographers

(more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Social Couture

red dinner party giveaway

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!!”

Congrats, Melissa!

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I’m super excited to kick off the 2009 Surprise Giveaways today with a fabulous “RED” themed dinner party set from the always-stylish Social Couture!

This set features an ultra-modern Red Acrylic Candelabra (as seen here in the current issue of People Style Watch), 2 translucent Red Fishbowl Vases, and 4 shimmery Flake Red Napkin Rings….all perfectly hued for a chic Valentine’s Day dinner – or anytime get-together with friends! ($100 retail value)

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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!!

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Postcards from the Eco-Chic

prismera postcards

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

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Hip Hostess Series Boston – Jan 15th!

Hip Hostess Series Boston

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!

Hip Hostess Series Boston

For more information on the Hip Hostess Series – check out images from some of our past events:
New York San DiegoChicagoDallas

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POP! goes the cocktail pARTy

andy warhol cocktail party

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…

andy warhol cocktail party

Pictured above:

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.

(more…)

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Blog it Forward… for a great cause!

let's eat cake fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Hospital

Let’s Eat Cake, an amazing fundraiser hosted by the equally amazing Melissa Margarita-DiStefano, is coming up quick: Tuesday, February 17th at the Plaza Paramount Hotel! Let’s Eat Cake is a cake decorating competition with all proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Learn more about the fundraiser right here.

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!!!

**Kudos to Unique Designs for creating this fun chain-blog effort!**

P.S. Ok, Melissa… time to kick in another $1! ;)

P.S.S. If any business wants to help out with a matching challenge, Melissa would love to hear from you!

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Creative Sipping: DIY Glasses

wine glass embellishments

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!

The glasses in the image above are a great example of this technique. These are embellished using the “Catwalk” MiniMarks rub on transfers from American Crafts – and the fun “wine charms” are were created with “Fashion Flair Cool” Flair adhesive badges – also from American Crafts.

(Tip: To remove the transfers when done, use scotch tape to lift and/or hot, soapy water.)

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Ann Kelle Makes Me Happy

Ann Kelle mousepad calendar

The tag line for Ann Kelle Designs is “Paper to Make You Smile” – and their bright, fun, and oh-so-modern products definitely do just that!

Want to bring a little more cheer to your office this year? Check out the new Ann Kelle 18 Month Mousepad Calendar – featuring tear off calendar pages with a different design for each month. (It can also be mounted as a wall calendar.)

Ann Kelle mousepad calendar

I’m also loving these adorable Doodle Books, List Pads, and Mix-n-Match Note Card Sets, perfect for shopping lists, day dreaming/goal planning, and that new year’s resolution you made about making more time to correspond with friends…

Ann Kelle Designs

(more…)

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