Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

REAL PARTIES: Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower {Part 2}

Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower

And now for Part 2 of the gorgeous Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower! (See Part 1, posted earlier today, for more background on this shower & the creative women involved.)

Pictured here are some images of the fabulously creative party decor, which included a cool, vintage-style name banner and picture garland, as well as one of my personal favorite details of this shower – the adorable, handmade owl fans! So cute…

Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower {Part 1}

Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower

Blown. Away. Yep… that pretty much sums up how I felt after receiving images of this gorgeous “Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower“. Wow!

From frozen lemonade served in mason jars to owl-shaped paper hand fans to stunning floral arrangements displayed in pretty bottles and vintage vases, this party is overflowing with charm and thoughtful, creative details…

Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower

The baby shower was held in honor of Carlie from Gabriel Ryan, and it probably won’t surprise you to learn that there were some very talented people involved in putting it together… including Carlie herself, Jesi from Jesi Haack Weddings, Carissa of JL Designs, and Melody of Sweet and Saucy Shop (wait ’til you see the gorgeous dessert buffet, below!).

Anthropologie Owl Baby Shower

There are so many inspiring ideas and beautiful photos (courtesy of Gabriel Ryan) to share that I decided to break this post up into 2 parts.

Here in Part 1, you’ll find lovely images of the flowers, decor, jewelry favors, and dessert buffet… starting with this incredible shot of the table centerpiece that I honestly want to blow-up poster size and put on my wall! (more…)

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Fabulous Fall Party by Joyful Weddings

fall party ideas

Event planner & “seasonal party” guru Courtney Toney is back with another gorgeous fall get-together to share! (Click here to check out her 2008 fall party.)

From the vibrant sunflowers, custom fall banners, and creative mason jar candles to earthy details like twigs & raffia, there’s so much great party inspiration here for everything from Thanksgiving dinner to Autumn cocktail parties!

fall party ideas

fall party ideas

Read on for TONS of lovely pictures and and all the DIY details, as told by Courtney herself… (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Kir De Vries

Kir De Vries Giveaway

Winner Update 5/28/09: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is… Commenter #301 – Emily, who said, “I adore the little red riding hood lunchbox, as well as the roses calling card case! also, the water bottle with the paris scene is too cute for words!!” Congrats, Emily!

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We have a fabulous new Suprise Giveaway today! This one comes from Kir De Vries – a wonderful shop that we’ve featured before. They’ve got so much cool stuff to offer – from great gift ideas and home accessories to fresh entertaining finds and more… a great place to check out with the gifting season coming up!

And this week, Kir De Vries is generously offering up a $100 Shopping Spree towards anything on their site to a lucky HWTM reader!

Kir De Vries Giveaway

A few personal favorites from the shop are pictured here, including the guaranteed-conversation-starter Whisky Stones (pictured at top, left), and cheeky card holders & pocket cases (above). Also loving the adorable Pylones Paris Pie & Cake Server (below)… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Pinwheel Birthday Party

pinwheel first birthday party ideas

There’s something so fun & inviting about pinwheels… and I love that Anne from Hot Apple Pie was inspired to create a whole party out of them for her daughter’s first birthday! She also utilized tons of great Etsy shops for the pretty pink & orange celebration. Read on for all the details, as told by Anne…

pinwheel first birthday party ideas

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“When our darling daughter, Isla, turned one, I knew I wanted to do something special for her first birthday party. Our neighbor has pinwheels in his yard and she loves to watch them spin around, so I decided a pinwheel themed birthday party would be perfect for our little girl! (more…)

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Colorful Candy Buffet by Clau!

birthday candy dessert buffet

I’m excited to share some inspiring party pics with you today… Clau! created this wonderfully colorful candy/dessert buffet for her nephew’s M&M-themed birthday. Everything is bright & cheerful, just like a birthday should be!

One of the first things to catch my eye was this awesome Kit Kat / M&M birthday cake, which she found the tutorial for here. This one is definitely getting starred as a “must-try” in the kids party ideas archive!

birthday candy dessert buffet

Another eye-catcher… the florescent orange & yellow Oreos. (To make your own, melt colored chocolate chips or Candy Melts, or tint white chocolate chips with food coloring). (more…)

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Halloween BITES: Creepy Jigglers/Shooters

halloween jello jigglers shooters

Here’s a fun Halloween party idea that can be tailored to adults OR kids… Jello Jiggler “Bites” or “Shots” with gummy body parts trapped inside! I tried this idea both ways; the orange jigglers were non-alcoholic and the yellow ones were the “cocktail” version – utilizing water and vodka – and both worked out great!

halloween jello jigglers shooters

You could do the “trapped gummy” thing with regular jello shots (served from shot glasses or plastic cups), but the “edible” idea sounded especially appropriate for a jiggler/shot that calls for a gummy candy inside… and I also love the idea of serving them up in neat rows on trays, “appetizer style“! (more…)

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Free Printables: Enchanted Fairy Birthday

enchanted fairy birthday party

I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for downloadable versions of the posters from this Enchanted Fairy Birthday Party theme I did a while back, so…. here they are!

I made a more “general” version of the “Happy Birthday” poster without the name, non-birthday version for anytime fairy parties, and versions of the “number” birthday poster in ages 1-9.

enchanted fairy birthday party

The individual designs can be downloaded below, and each .zip file includes both a 20×24″ and an 8×10″ sized jpeg (high-res).

For the large posters (which will most likely need to be printed at a local print/copy shop) I’d recommend either mounting them on foam core or displaying them in a poster frame (all pictured below). (more…)

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Black Widow Martini and Screwed-Up Shooters

halloween cocktail - black widow martini

Ok, since we went for the extra-creepy cocktail look yesterday, here’s are a couple ideas for those of you that might not have the stomach for a “speared eyeball” garnish and like your Halloween libations on the “classier” side…

Both of these cocktails incorporate Blavod black vodka to achieve their perfectly Halloween-esque hue. Pictured at top is the Black Widow Martini, which is great with either blackberry or deep purple grape juice and a splash of Chambord (full recipe below).

And pictured below is the Screwed-up Shooter, which – you guessed it – is a layered OJ and black vodka shot!

halloween cocktail - screwdriver shot

Orange rimming sugar makes for a pretty presentation on these two-tone shooters, or you can also garnish them with a clip-on black spider like this: (more…)

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Pina Ghouladas with “Speared Eyeballs”

Halloween cocktail - pina ghoulada

Halloween is supposed to come with a little shock factor, right? That’s my excuse for this next creepy cocktail: Pina Ghouladas served in “blood rimmed” glasses and garnished with “bleeding eyeballs”.  I promise they taste way better than they sound! =)

The from-scratch drink recipe is below, or you can keep things easy and just use frozen or pre-mixed pina colada mix. Entertaining little ones or non-drinkers? Just leave out the alcohol!

Halloween cocktail - pina ghoulada

Full recipe & garnish details below… (more…)

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Halloween Cocktail: The Jack-o’-Lantern

halloween cocktail - jack-o-lantern

Looking for a fun Halloween cocktail? Here’s one we whipped up last night – the Jack-o’-Lantern! The cocktail recipe is below, but you can really achieve this look with any of your favorite orange-colored cocktails or drinks. This would even be cute with straight-up O.J. for a Halloween breakfast!

It’s really all about the “Pumpkin Top” garnish and using a short tumbler or rocks glass to allude to the shape of a jack-o-lantern. A stemless wine glass would actually work well too!

halloween cocktail - jack-o-lantern

Full details below… (more…)

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

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 =)

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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: (more…)

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8 Fashionably Creepy Halloween Treats

martha stewart halloween 2009 recipes

Here are a few new-found favorites from Martha that I recently discovered in her “Creepy Treats” gallery… which honestly leans more towards “clever & stylish, with just a dash of creep.” (Except for maybe the Ladies’ Fingers cookies, which easily qualify as full-on creepy!)

1. Devil’s Food Cake with Flame Tuiles –Is is just me, or is this cake more gorgeous than creepy?! This look would actually make for a pretty Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert too.

2. I Scream Sandwitches – “wicked witches” with an eerie tendency to melt!

3. Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes – Pumpkin-flavored cupcakes topped with adorable marzipan pumpkins. Pressed for time? Substitute any ready-made pumpkin candy. (more…)

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Fall Decorating: The Simple Chic Approach

modern fall decorations

As someone whose personal taste leans much more contemporary than country, finding great autumn/harvest-themed decorating ideas with a modern vibe can seem like a difficult task sometimes… which is why I’m feeling especially grateful for all these gorgeous ideas from BHG and Sunset.

These looks are still warm & inviting, but they also have a fresh, chic feel that the modernists can appreciate too! I’m really feeling this Yellow & Gold color palette for a contemporary twist on the Thanksgiving table this year… (more…)

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Guest Interview at Pepper Design Blog

pepper design blog

Thanks so much to Morgan from Pepper Design Blog for inviting me to be a part of her Friday Guest Interview series! Click here to check it out.

Morgan has featured many of my favorite design/party people already – if you have time, check out these fun interviews with the following lovely ladies: (the links will take you directly to the interview)
Cortnie, Jen, & Vanessa from Lollipop Events
Chris from Celebrations at Home
Amy from Stem Parties
Kim from At Home with Kim Vallee

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REAL PARTIES: Alice in Wonderlandia

Alice in Wonderland party theme

The girls from Canvas and Canopy and Alchemy Fine Events dreamed up this fabulous, modern-meets-whimsical “Alice in Wonderlandia” theme… charming, stylish, and perfect for everything from baby & bridal showers to birthday parties or a ladies lunch!

Alice in Wonderland party theme

I’m especially loving the clever tea cup centerpiece and eclectic mix of vintage patterns & textiles! Read on for all the DIY tips for this setting, as told by the designers… (more…)

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Simply Stated: Preggatinis for Mom-to-Be

hostess

After a short summer break, I’m excited to be contributing regularly over at Real Simple again… starting with today’s feature – Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be.  If you think being pregnant means no “fun” drinks for 9 months, think again!

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Paper Culture: Modern Cards & Invitations

modern baby announcements

After discovering Paper Culture, I feel like I’ve died and gone to MODERN stationery heaven! Seriously… if you love stationery with a contemporary feel, take a peek at paperculture.com. The designs are so fresh and original; I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be stuck for a while!

Featured here are some favorites from the following categories: Baby Announcements, Adult Birthday, Kids Birthday, Baby Shower, Bridal Shower, and Personalized Stationery, and you’ll find lots more designs & occasions (including a fabulous Holiday Cards section) on their website.

modern baby announcements

Above: various designs from Adult Birthday. Below: Are these Baby Shower invites fantastic, or what?!  I’m especially loving the bold, bright color palettes (and the elephants!)… (more…)

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Sneak Peek: Woodland Forest Theme Invitations and Party Favors

woodland forest baby shower invitations

Here’s a sneak peek at the invitations for the upcoming Woodland Forest Baby Shower I’m hosting in November. The different elements are from a few illustrations purchased at istockphoto.com (see below), and I plan to create some coordinating signage and favor tags for the actual party. I also like the idea of mailing these out in brown bag kraft envelopes for a woodsy feel…

woodland forest baby shower invitations{pictured above: images 7430589, 5820871, 5295049}

Party Favors
When I posted on the inspiration board for this party theme last week (Part 1 and Part 2), Marian from the RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE blog, Sweetopia, emailed me a link to a Royal Icing Tutorial post that she created, which features woodland forest-themed cookies as the example! And, as luck would have it, we seem to be inspired by the same things…

woodland forest baby shower invitations

Seriously, could these be any more perfect?! Here’s how they look all done up with ribbon & cellophane as party favors… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Chic & Colorful Birthday

hostess

This gorgeous party that Linda Roos created for her 35th birthday is so colorful, chic… and versatile! Her tiered centerpieces – and this overall look – would also be great for wedding showers and anniversary celebrations. And how great is this homemade birthday banner:

hostess

Read on for lots of photos and all the details, as told by Linda herself… (more…)

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Spooky Spider Eggs + More Scary-Good Treats!

halloween deviled eggs recipe

Who knew that black olives could make for such a spooky topper to deviled eggs? These Spooky Spider Eggs are the perfect appetizer for Halloween parties! Just slice up some olives to use with your own favorite deviled egg recipe – or even store-bought apps if you’re pressed for time!

halloween tombstone cookies recipe

I’m loving the combination of these Tombstone Cookies & “Dark Chocolate Graveyard Pots de Creme” for an impressive ending to a Halloween dinner party!

Make-it-Quick Tip: Use instant chocolate pudding mix topped with crushed chocolate cookies or Oreos (remove the creamy middles first) for the “graveyard pots”. For the cookies, try store-bought wafer cookies or Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, which have a nice “tombstone” shape.  (more…)

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Pink Your Drink {Cocktail Recipes}

pink cocktail recipes

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so you’ll most likely be seeing a lot of PINK over the next few weeks! Whether you’re planning a Pink Party of your own or simply raising a glass to someone special, here are a few cocktail recipes that will have you toasting in the signature color

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CHAMBORD PINK-TINI {pictured at top}

Ingredients:
1 oz Chambord
1.5 oz honey vodka
.5 oz lime juice
3-4 raspberries

Directions:
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass or crushed ice-filled rocks glass. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish with raspberries.

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pink cocktail recipes

(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Khaki is the New Blue

khaki and blue party theme

I’m just loving this khaki & blue party that Noel Culbertson put together to celebrate her husband’s birthday and recent promotion! The color palette is so crisp & chic… this look would also be gorgeous for a wedding or engagement party, or any nautically-themed celebration.

Read on for all the details, as told by Noel…

khaki and blue party theme

“My husband went through the grueling six week induction process upon being promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy. The process culminated just before his birthday, it seemed only natural to celebrate both. (more…)

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Berry Sweet Shower Theme {Inspiration Board & Party Ideas}

berry sweet girl baby shower

Here’s a peek at the inspiration board for a baby shower I’m styling in November. As you can probably guess, mom-to-be is having a girl! Chocolate-dipped strawberries and a pink & red palette were requested for the event, so I’m tentatively calling this theme “Berry Sweet“.

Pictured at top: Camellia Tissue Paper Pom Set; Boughs of Whimsy gift wrap (the “inspiration piece” for the theme / will be used throughout the party); Rectangle Mod Pink/Red & Red Disc beaded curtains (for table runners &  decorative accents), pink drinks with YUM! Stirrers; cupcakes by Whitney Burke; and sparkling Pomegranate Champagne Cocktails.

berry sweet girl baby shower

Pictured above: Digital mockups of concepts for the accent table arrangements – utilizing oversize red blooms, metallic fuschia vases embellished with gift wrap, pink swirl lollipops, and white mitsumata branches adorned with small red blooms and paper “leaves”. {Ruby dahlias in white vase pic by Floral Art(more…)

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Woodland Forest Party Theme – Part 2 {Creatures & Crafty Details}

woodland forest party theme In continuing with the Woodland Forest party theme ideas, here are a few cute critters, scrapbook papers, and embellishments that would make for great “guest stars” and party decor!

Pictured at top: adorable tweet & felt plushies by Etsy shop SleepyKing… Butterscotch Tweed Fox ($18), Belchick – The Mischevious Squirrel ($22), and Douglas Fir – “the little bear with freckles” ($24).

woodland forest party theme

Pictured above: This whimsical Woodland Trail Mobile features a tree stump, bear, bird, squirrel, and bunny… and the colors can be customized to match your theme! (…could also double as a special gift for mom-to-be – $82 at GiftsDefine.com) And pint-sized Pet Pals would make for charming additions to woodsy-themed table centerpieces! ($18 each)

Pictured below: I’m planning to use this playful Friendly Forest collection by Colorbok to create DIY placemats, napkin rings, and drink charms, and also to embellish vases and party favors…

(more…)

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Woodland Forest Party Theme – Part 1 {Woodsy Elements & Toadstools}

woodland forest baby shower

I’m in the midst of planning a Woodland Forest themed baby shower for a friend next month, and I gotta tell you this theme ha been so much fun to brainstorm! There are tons of different elements that fit with a forest theme – from nature-inspired elements such as wood, bark, moss, acorns, rocks and toadstools (all covered in this post) to cute “woodland creatures” like squirrels, owls, bunnies, hedgehogs, and more (see post #2, coming soon).

Here are some woodsy & toadstool-inspired items I’ve found so far that would be a good fit for this theme (which would also work well for a first birthday party or autumn get-together!)…

woodland forest baby shower

Starting with the image at top: flexible Birch Bark ($4.99); Moss Cobble Balls* ($3.99 – $22); 11.5″ Moss Bunny Topiary ($8.99); 12″ Wood Tree Stump ($19.99); 8″ Wood Tree Stump* ($11.95); and flexible 20×10″ Moss-covered Tree Bark ($11.99).

*I’m thinking that one of the medium Moss Cobble Balls + the 8″ Wood Tree Stump would make for super cute DIY tree centerpieces! (more…)

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Timeless Paper: Gorgeous Place Cards

creative wedding place cards

Creative place cards are always a great way to play up your party or wedding theme, and Etsy shop Timeless Paper offers countless – and extremely stylish! – ways to do just that.

These intricate place card designs cost about $1 each and range from peacocks and butterflies to nautical, flora, and more. You can even have a completely custom shape created for a $30 fee.

creative wedding place cards

Pictured above: Peacock, Suitcase, and Airplane place cards.  More favorites are pictured below, starting with the lovely Butterfly, Butterfly (tent-style), and Love Bird (tent style) designs… (more…)

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Entertaining Accessories: Everything Aviary

bird themed entertaining accessories

Bird motifs have always been great design inspiration…even when it comes to home entertaining! Here’s some proof from cool brands like Danica Studio, Dwell, and Shinzi Katoh…

Pictured above and below: Aviary Apron, Placemat, Napkin, Oven Mitt, and Table Runner (all from Danica Studio).

bird themed entertaining accessories

I’m also loving these adorable, porcelain Birds of a Feather Napkin Rings (such a fun way to dress up any table!)… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Butterfly Enchantment

butterfly party theme

This gorgeous butterfly-themed first birthday party was created by Patricia, Christina, and Shacia of Charm Event Design and is chock full of adorable & “enchanting” details like butterfly-adorned centerpieces and party favors, a butterfly activity table, butterfly-shaped PB&J, and more! (This theme would translate beautifully for a baby or bridal shower too!)

butterfly party theme

Here are all the fun details, as told by Charm

rainbow-dotted-divider-2

“Our latest Butterfly Enchantment Party was a first birthday celebration themed with a fall inspired color pallete of rich oranges, deep plums and reds. (more…)

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The {Modern} Giraffe-Inspired Nursery

giraffe nursery theme - inspiration board{click image to view larger}

When Tara from StrollerTraffic asked me to create a style board and design tips for a new nursery trend she was researching, it sounded like a fun project, but I got even more excited when I found out what this new trend actually was… because it just so happened to be my favorite {wild animal} already – the giraffe!

Since there’s so much cute stuff out there, I had a hard time making decisions (nothing new!) – so I ended up with 2 boards instead of 1.  You’ll find all of the nursery design tips + product links for Board A (pictured above) – over on StrollerTraffic.com, and Board B with product links/info is pictured below. (more…)

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