Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

REAL PARTIES: Chic Halloween Dinner

halloween dinner party ideas

Kara from Kara’s Party Ideas hosted a “Chic Halloween Dinner” party last weekend that looks like so much fun! I’m especially loving the black & orange drip candles, shimmery accents, black crows, and wine glasses rimmed with orange sparkle gel.

halloween dinner party ideas

Read on for lots more images and details, as told by Kara… (more…)

Share it:

Simply Stated: 8 Tips for Last-Minute Halloween Party Hosts

last minute halloween party ideas

If your Halloween party plans are still in the works… or maybe you’re suddenly itching to host a last-minute bash since Oct 31st falls on a Saturday this year, check out today’s HWTM post over at Real Simple – Halloween Parties: 8 Tips for Last Minute Hosts!

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Wicked Bling Halloween {Part 2 – Tablescape}

wicked bling halloween dinner party ideas

Welcome to Part 2 of our “Wicked Bling” Halloween feature… Angela from Fantasy Celebrations is back with some creative ideas on how to incorporate this theme into a spooktacular dinner party tablescape!

wicked bling halloween dinner party ideas

Here are all the DIY details, as told by Angela: (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Wicked Bling Halloween {Part 1 – Cocktail Party & Candy Bar}

wicked bling halloween party ideas

I’m so excited to share this next Real Party with you… and there’s so much to share that it’s coming in a double-dose! (Part 2 coming later today.) This glitzy Halloween party is a sparkly, adult-oriented “Wicked Bling” bash created by the always-fabulous Angela of Fantasy Celebrations.

wicked bling halloween party ideas

Read on for all the spooky-chic details, as told by Angela herself… (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Sunday Funday Halloween

hostess

This fabulous new Real Party feature comes from Jessica of Party Box Design.

From spiked cider served in mason jars to the “caution!” candy buffet and “boo-licious” DIY cupcake & caramel apple tower, this party is loaded with tons of spooky-sweet inspiration for Halloween!

hostess

Read on for all the details, as told by Jessica herself… (more…)

Share it:

Sneak Peek: New Thanksgiving Themes

thanksgiving table ideas

Here’s a little sneak peek at some of the new HWTM Thanksgiving Themes that we shot on Monday…

thanksgiving table ideas

Full details & lots of pics will be included with each new theme. I’m hoping to have all of them uploaded to the Party Themes section by the end of next week! (more…)

Share it:

How Fast Time Flies: $250 GIVEAWAY

digital scrapbooking templates

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the randomly selected winner is… Commenter #240 – Stacey, who said, “I really like the HWTM SD-17. Those the aqua and brown together and cute design.” Congrats, Stacey!

*****

Fun new Surprise Giveaway for you today! This one comes from How Fast Time Flies, which is a fabulous digital scrapbooking website that carries cool designs for everything from baby books to wedding albums to memories of everyday life… there’s even a full HWTM collection (81 different templates) designed by yours truly. =)

This week, we’re offering up a $250 gift certificate to spend however you like at the How Fast Time Flies website… pages are $5.50 each, so $250 that should get you started on a fantastic memory album or two!

digital scrapbooking templates

Featured here are a few examples of pages created using some of the Halloween and Autumn-themed HWTM templates.

(More examples + details for how to enter below)… (more…)

Tags:
Share it:

Pink Ribbon Centerpiece – Version 2

pink centerpiece breast cancer awareness

We did a local news segment yesterday on pink party ideas for National Breast Cancer Awareness month and one of the ideas I shared was the Pink Ribbon Trio centerpiece posted earlier this month.

I wanted to try something a little different with it this time and was excited about the results, so we took a few pictures last night to share with you…

pink centerpiece breast cancer awareness

Instead of pink hydrangea and pink roses, a little tropical flair was incorporated with pink protea and papyrus leaves, which is the cool almost palm-tree-looking greenery pictured here. It’s really inexpensive too – I paid $3.50 for a bunch of 5, and they’re huge! Check out the cool view from the top: (more…)

Share it:

Creative Halloween Dinner Ideas

Halloween dinner recipes

We’ve covered a ton of Halloween dessert & treat recipes this month, but not a lot of ideas for when you (or your kids) need to eat something other than sugar! So here are 10 creative ideas for Halloween-themed meals that loved ones & party guests are sure to get a kick out of…

1. First up is this super-cute “Boo Spaghetti” idea from Jeanne Benedict. Gotta love it when something is this simple & cool! Dish up individual servings of pasta for your family or dinner party guests so that each person guests their own (pre-baked) “boo“.

Halloween dinner recipes

*****

Next up, some clever ideas from BHG that prove it’s all about presentation

2. Adam’s Ribs –  A knife stabbed into a sweet red pepper & displayed between 2 racks of spareribs makes for a decidedly Halloween-appropriate Halloween dinner!

3. Slithering Snake Sandwich – This pizza-like hoagie is such a cute idea – kids will eat this one up (both literally and figuratively)! (more…)

Share it:

Simply Stated: Eerie Eyeball Recipes

eyeball halloween recipes

On the lookout for some fun Halloween recipes? Check out today’s HWTM post over at Simply StatedHalloween Recipe Roundup: Eerie Eyeballs, for 8 creative eyeball-themed ideas that run the gamut from super cute to downright creepy!

Share it:

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…)

Tags:
Share it:

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…)

Tags:
Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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!

*****

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…)

Share it:

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

*****

“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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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 =)

*****

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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!

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it:

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…)

Share it: