Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Summer Entertaining Contest: 5 Finalists {Voting Begins on Facebook!}

summer entertaining contest finalists

First of all… WOW! We had some truly amazing entries in the Facebook Summer Entertaining Contest… and WAY more than 5 stand-out parties, so let me tell you this was seriously a hard one to narrow down to just 5 finalists. We had several different people help with the process of narrowing it down though, and the top 5 picks of each person were often very different – so the finalists you see here are the parties that had the most overlap amongst everyone’s lists.

These 5 parties are an eclectic mix – from birthday parties to baby showers to 4th of July… but all of them show great creativity, originality, relevance to summer, & good old fashioned effort! Here they are, in random order: (more…)

Share it:

Modern Moroccan-Inspired Dessert Buffet

Moroccan Inspired Candy Buffet by Amy Atlas

Amy Atlas has done it again! Her recent Moroccan-Inspired Dessert Buffet is quite possibly one of my favorite dessert buffets she’s created yet… not only because of the fabulous pattern that is incorporated throughout the entire thing – but also due to the vibrant aqua and orange color palette. Yum! It’s ultra-contemporary, yet warm & inviting all at the same time.

Moroccan Inspired Candy Buffet by Amy Atlas

The work of some other very talented creatives went into this visual feast as well…

The gorgeous custom pattern (and inspiration for the entire buffet) was created by Erica Bohanon Miller of Thoughtful Day, and the Moroccan mum centerpieces are by Jessie Weidinger of Rountree (more…)

Share it:

HWTM Facebook Contest: Summer & Outdoor Entertaining

hostess
The HWTM Facebook community has always been so warm & welcoming – and we’ve been wanting to do something to thank the FB fans and help showcase all the great creativity they’ve been posting lately!

So… last week we launched our first-ever HWTM Facebook contest, and there are 2 ways to win: 1. by submitting party photos related to “summer entertaining” to the Fan Photos section, and 2. by simply voting for your favorite of the 5 finalists. Tomorrow (Thursday, 8/13) is the last day to submit photos for the contest and then the finalists will be announced and voting will start on Friday! Get more details here.

Both of the prizes up for grabs: home spa packages worth over $300 each! Each prize includes premium skincare products from MD Confidential, salon brand haircare products, and a light-weight adult coverup by Little Giraffe.

Tags:
Share it:

Roy’s Aloha Kitchen Challenge

Roy's Aloha Kitchen Challenge

Last week, my husband and I attended the “Aloha Kitchen Challenge” at Roy’s Restaurant in La Jolla, which felt a little bit like experiencing an Iron Chef event first hand (or an episode of Hell’s Kitchen where the head chef is a whole lot nicer!).

The “Aloha Kitchen Challenge” is actually a gourmet competition that Internationally-acclaimed Chef Roy Yamaguchi has been hosting at different Roy’s locations throughout the country (and more are in the works if you’d like to attend one of them!).

Roy's Aloha Kitchen Challenge

3 culinary students local to the area are partnered with top chefs from local restaurants, who act as their mentors for the event, then they compete for the chance to win a year-long internship with Roy’s expert chefs. The students were all from the Art Institute of San Diego: Grant Toraason, Athena Gilson and Bruce Ricketts – and they were paired with top chefs: Jason Knibb of NINE-TEN; Bernard Guillas of Marine Room; Brian Malarkey, of Oceanaire; and Garrett Mukogawa of Roy’s.

Roy's Aloha Kitchen Challenge

Guests of the event are treated to a fun – and highly creative – 5-course meal, along with champagne and wine pairings for each course, if desired. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th courses were created by the 3 students, and all of the dinner guests + some special local celebrity judges voted on their favorite dish at the end of the meal.

Here are the 3 contenders… how great is the presentation on each of these dishes?! (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Fairyland Birthday Party

fairy birthday party theme

This adorable “Fairyland Birthday Party” was created Adriana Arabia by for her daughter Isa’s 6th birthday. Here are all the magical details, as told by Adriana!

****

“My daughter is fascinated by fairies and I wanted to throw a memorable birthday party for her on her 6th birthday because it will be her last birthday as a single child and I guess I was feeling a bit guilty for what was about to come…

As soon as we had decided on a theme I started searching the web for ideas and inspiration and came across the fairy birthday party that HWTM organized. It happened to have the same color scheme I had planned and I totally fell in love.

fairy birthday party theme

I wanted to do everything from the invitations so I went to my local Michael’s store and bought card-stock paper, stickers and other supplies. (more…)

Share it:

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Cherry & East

Cherry and East - DwellStudio tableware

This week’s Surprise Giveaway is guaranteed to make a lucky someone’s table look extra fabulous!

It’s from a super stylish shop called Cherry & East that’s full of all sorts of cool & contemporary finds for the kitchen and table and beyond. The winner gets $200 to spend on their choice of mix & match tableware (placemats, napkins, coasters and runners) from the ultra-modern DwellStudio collection!

Cherry and East - DwellStudio tableware

Several shots of the DwellStudio table linens are pictured above and below… (more…)

Tags:
Share it:

Making Lemonade…Cookies for a Cause

alex's lemonade stand cookies

As a sugar-lover with a soft spot for a good cause, the pairing of these 2 attributes in a venture always seems especially sweet! For example…

The Flour Pot – an adorable cookie boutique – has teamed up with Alex’s Lemonade Stand – a foundation working to aid in the fight against childhood cancer – on this adorable lemon cookie gift set. ($25/set of 6)  Each set features 6 individually wrapped lemon shaped cookies, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each box is donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. (more…)

Share it:

Lemon-Lime Candy Buffet

candy buffet

Gretchen from b.a.s.h.ful Events sent over some pictures of this adorable Lemon & Lime Candy Buffet they created recently… how cute is this?! There’s so much great DIY inspiration in these pics – from the cute display tags that all feature the same fun pattern to the way everything was individually wrapped so that it all coordinated!

candy buffet

For the favor/candy containers, white takeout boxes (available at craft stores like Michaels) were embellished with the phrase “How SWEET it is to be loved by you!” along with the baby shower date & info.

I also loved how she displayed and individually wrapped the lollipops with tissue & coordinating ribbon… (more…)

Share it:

Summer Cocktail Recipes {Celebrity Style}

blackberry collins recipe

Happy Friday! I thought it would be fun to do something cocktail-related today… seeing as it’s the weekend and all!

While going through some saved emails this morning, I stumbled on 4 cocktail recipes that were sent to me earlier this summer (Pom-Tini, Blackberry Collins, First Class Punch, & Cherry Bomb) under the subject line “Summer Drinks the Celebs are Sipping“. While I honestly don’t know how often these specific people really sip on these particular drinks, that really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things – because any of us can enjoy them… and they all look pretty tasty!

cherry bomb cocktail recipe

All 4 cocktail recipes are below… which one looks best to YOU? (I’m thinking Cherry Bombs are a good choice for my girls trip to Vegas next weekend!) (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Cowboy Baby Shower

cowboy western baby shower theme

This Backyard Barbeque Baby Shower that Beth Helmstetter hosted at a residence in Shawnee, Kansas is super creative, inviting, and full of down-home country FUN!

Guests sat on pillow-topped hay bales, mini bouquets of white daisies were lined up neatly on vintage cowboy print linens, invitations were handmade on pieces of wood, and adorable mini pies were served up for desserts…

cowboy western baby shower theme

Read on for lots more photos and party details from Beth! (more…)

Share it:

Mod Monkey Baby Shower – Part 2 {Downloadable Signs & Tags}

mod monkey baby shower

Welcome to part 2 of the Mod Monkey Baby Shower recap! (Click here for Part 1, which recaps the centerpieces & table settings. You can also see more pics of this party over at the Mod Monkey Facebook Gallery.)

Below you’ll find free downloadable PDFs for all of the different framed 5×7 and 8×10 signs used throughout the party, as well as the napkin ring embellishments (also used on the candy buffet jars), goodie bag embellishments, and welcome sign.

mod monkey baby shower

Note: Several of these signs originally featured the name of the baby that I threw the original shower for, but I changed the wording on the downloadable versions to be more general so that they can be used for anyone. Everything is set up in Adobe PDF format and zipped since the high-resolution file sizes are pretty large. Hope you’re able to use these for your own Mod Monkey baby showers… enjoy!

(more…)

Share it:

New & Fabulous from cb2

vintage mod juice glasses

I love it when cb2 (Crate & Barrel’s sister store) comes out with a new collection because you can count on them to always be modern and always be affordable! Here are a few fresh NEW finds from their kitchen & dining collection:

Pictured above: colorful, vintage-mod Lable Glasses ($19.95/set of 6).

takeout plates - cb2

Pictured above & below: clever Takeout Appetizer Plates ($2.95 ea) available in blue, green & orange. (more…)

Share it:

Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge – The Decor

socialluxe lounge centerpieces & decor

Last week was a bit of a light posting week because I was pretty much consumed with last minute details for the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge – the “pampering party” kick-off for BlogHer ’09 that I co-hosted with 5 other bloggers in Chicago last Thursday…which ended up attracting over 500 guests!

socialluxe lounge centerpieces & decor

My main responsibility for the event was the party decor & room set-up. The set up became just a tad stressful when we decided to move to a larger room – with a completely different layout of course – the day before the party :0 We had to rent lounge furniture and a zillion power strips & extension cords to accommodate all the vendor & beauty station needs, but in the end the new space worked out great – blessing in disguise! (more…)

Share it:

Cirque du Bebe – Sneak Peek

French Circus Baby Shower - Tisha Campbell

Here’s a sneak peek at the French circus-inspired “Cirque du Bebe” baby shower that I styled for Tisha Campbell Martin & Duane Martin last weekend. This theme was so much FUN to work on!

French Circus Baby Shower - Tisha Campbell

With a guest list of nearly 200, this baby shower was extremely large and more like the size of a wedding, but you can definitely recreate this look on a much smaller scale too!

French Circus Baby Shower - Tisha Campbell

LOTS more pics and tons of DIY details for all of the centerpieces & special decorative elements to come soon… (just as soon as I get back from Chicago and am done with the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge event tonight!) (more…)

Share it:

Colorful Sesame Street Candy Buffet

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet

Here are some photos from the Sesame Street candy buffet that I created for Ashby O’Dell’s birthday party last month… which was so much fun to work on! You’ll find all the details below for this particular buffet, in case you want to create something similar for your own parties…

All of the candy is from Sweet Factory – you can buy in bulk on their website! I really wanted to play up the bright colors – just like you see in the Sesame Street characters. I was told that Ashby loves chocolate, so the first thing I ordered was candy-coated Decorator Sixlets in yellow, blue, lime green, red, and hot pink. You can buy them in 10-lb or 1-lb bags. (I used about 2-3 lbs per jar at a time, depending on the size.)

Sweet Factory Candy Buffet (more…)

Share it:

Belvedere Black Raspberry Julep + Girls Night Out Sweepstakes

Belvedere Black Raspberry Vodka

In celebration of Belvedere Vodka‘s hip new Black Raspberry flavor, which is made from raspberries and black currants (and tastes great in a vodka press!), Belvedere is currently hosting a “Girls Night Out” Sweepstakes where one lucky grand prize winner and 7 of her friends will be treated to a night out on the town!

Belvedere Black Raspberry Vodka

The prize night will include: 2 mini suites at a luxurious hotel, dinner at a fancy-shmancy restaurant, access to and bottle service at a trendy nightclub, and 9 hours of limo transporation – all in the closest major market city to the winner’s hometown. Sounds like fun to me! For complete rules & details on how to enter, visit macerationisnatural.com and click on the “win a private maceration party” link. (Contest ends July 31st.) (more…)

Share it:

Mod Monkey Baby Shower – Part 1

mod monkey baby shower theme

These pics are from a Mod Monkey Baby baby shower that I co-hosted for my friend this past weekend. I was in charge of the decor & desserts (my 2 favorite parts!), and you might remember this post where I asked for your help deciding on the shower theme.

Well, Mod Monkey won out…and it actually worked out really well because the baby’s name is Max, so it was also easy to play up the “M” factor in Max, Monkey, and Mom as a key element in the decor.

I’m splitting the recap of this shower up into a few posts or else this one would be a mile long… so to start out, here’s a rundown of the tabletop designs:

mod monkey baby shower theme

There were 3 different tables and the centerpieces all coordinated, but were a little different from each other. All of them featured a round placemat from Crate & Barrel (purchased earlier this year for a different party), a baby item (wash cloths or burp cloths) and framed custom signs I designed to match the party’s colors and monkey theme. (more…)

Share it:

SSL Party Inspiration Board – Sneak Peek!

Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge Party

Here’s a sneak peek at the inspiration board for the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge – a BlogHer kick-off party that I’m styling and co-hosting with these 5 wonderful ladies on July 23rd. (…which is suddenly right around the corner!)

This event is a “pampering party” but it’s also a place for socializing, checking out tech demos, taking photos, and sipping cocktails, so it was a bit of a struggle at first when trying to come up with a plan for the decor.  I definitely wanted to work the spa element in, but also have a good mix of “hip lounge” style in there as well so that the atmosphere still feels a bit glam too! So after playing around with things for a while, here’s where I ended up…

spa party orchid centerpieces

The colors are inspired by the party’s logo & invitation. Fortunately, the key colors – orange, vibrant purple, and black – work very well for both “spa” and “lounge” vibes, and they’ll be accented by punches of lime green (in honor of our title sponsor – Swiffer) and white.

Decor elements will include black linens, “zen” rocks, custom signage, “beautified” beauty tools (think blowdryers + rhinestones) and floral arrangements featuring varieties of white, orange, and purple orchids. (more…)

Share it:

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Rosanna, Inc.

Rosanna dinnerware giveaway

Announcing Rosanna’s Third Annual Tablesetting Contest and Summer Sale! This fabulous contest is underway and open until August 31st, 2009.

The Giveaway:
In conjunction with the contest, Rosanna wants to give one lucky HWTM reader a jump on the competition with her lovely Pasta Italiana Collection – so she’s giving away a fantastic set valued at $175! This surprise giveaway includes: 4 Pasta Bowls, 1 Large Pasta Serving Bowl, and 1 set of 4 Dinner Plates in the winner’s choice of  lovely Grass Green or chic Black. (Details on how to enter the giveaway are at the bottom of this post.)

(more…)

Share it:

Expert Tips: How to Put Your Best Face Forward in Wedding Photographs

wedding photography tips

Today’s expert tips come from Michelle Pattee, an amazing photographer that I had the good fortune of meeting at a Brides.com event in San Francisco earlier this year! You can check out more from Michelle at her portfolio website and wedding photography blog.

wedding photography tips

***

How to Put Your Best Face Forward for Your Wedding Photographs
by Michelle Pattee

I have been shooting weddings for almost fifteen years and have stared down many, many brides through my lens. Here I offer a few tips on creating wedding day images that will make you smile for years to come. (more…)

Share it:

Jonathan Adler Shakes It (In Style!)

Jonathan Adler Salt & Pepper

Jonathan Adler has been cranking out so much great new stuff this year, but these adorable salt & pepper shakers are probably at the top of my list. They’re like mini works of art for your table – complete with signature Adler style and fabulous coordinating gift boxes! Pictured above: Fish, Whale, and Penguin shaker sets.

Pictured below: Mr. & Mrs. Muse shakers (perfect gift idea for a wedding or engagement party!) and Lantern shakers, inspired by some of Adler’s most iconic pottery: (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Parisian Bridal Shower

Parisian Bridal Shower Theme

This week’s first real party feature is a pretty Parisian Bridal Shower that hostesses Becki and Christy threw for their friend Whitney, and I think you’ll find the details to be fun, flirty, and extra sweet… especially the heartfelt party favors. Read on for all the party details, as told by the hostesses…

***

“Our dear friend Whitney met her prince charming in the French pavilion at Epcot. The two fell in love and were engaged back in “France’ aka Epcot.  Because her fiancé was French we believed she needed a “Parisian” bridal shower to prepare her for the big day.

Parisian Bridal Shower Theme (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: 4th of July Brunch

4th of July table setting ideas

If you’re looking for some last-minute party ideas for your 4th of July celebrations, Angela from Fantasy Celebrations just uploaded a sneak peek of the patriotic table settings for a client brunch she’s styling this weekend – and the gallery is full of fabulous DIY inspiration!

4th of July table setting ideas

There are 2 different red, white, and blue table designs, both of which would work well for anything from brunch to lunch to dinner parties… (more…)

Share it:

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Magnet Street Weddings (Invitations & More)

Magnet Street Weddings

Winner update 7/13: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is… commenter # 90 – Kristen Mantovani. Congrats, Kristen!

*****

Just in time for the holiday weekend, Magnet Street Weddings is back with another $175 Shopping Spree towards anything on their website! You’ll find everything from Save the Date Cards and Magnets to Holiday Cards, Thank You Cards, Party Favors, gorgeous Wedding Invitations, Labels, and more.

At Magnet Street Weddings, everything is completely customizable. Using their online design studio, you can change fonts, colors, photos, and text to make each design completely your own! A few favorites are pictured below, as well as details on how to enter the giveaway…

Magnet Street Weddings

Pictured above: various  Save The Date Magnet designs. Pictured below: the pretty (and contemporary!) Birdies pocket wedding invitations. (more…)

Share it:

Simply Stated: 4th of July Cocktails

4th of july cocktail recipes

Ready to say “Cheers!” to the Red, White and Blue this weekend? Me too! If you’re on the lookout for some festive signature drink ideas for your 4th of July party, check out these fun, patriotic cocktail recipes blogged over at Real Simple today.

(Tip: to give all-red drinks a more patriotic look, simply garnish with blueberries or blackberries, or serve with a blue straw!)

Share it:

Patriotic Dessert Roundup (Take 2)

4th of july dessert recipes

While working on the 4th of July dessert roundups this year, it quickly became clear that Martha deserved a post all to herself! There were just too many great ideas to choose from in her Red, White, and Blue Desserts gallery…here are 8 of my personal fav’s:

Pictured at at top: Individual Red, White, and Blueberry Layer Cakes and Vacherin with Whipped Cream and Berries (which is a gorgeous display of meringue layers adorned with raspberries, strawberries, currants, and blueberries).

4th of july dessert recipes

Pictured above: Vanilla-Raspberry Sundaes served with adorable COOKIE SPOONS; and quick & easy Mixed Berry Salad with Mint.

Pictured below: Red, White, and Blue Stars (crisp, buttery sugar cookies oozing with berry jam), and stylish, yet simple Fourth of July Cupcakes: just spread white frosting generously onto cupcakes then use fresh berries to create mod patterns on top. (more…)

Share it:

Patriotic Dessert Roundup (Take 1)

4th of July dessert recipes

Looking for some patriotic treats to serve up this weekend? Check out these colorful, berry-licious ideas from ’round the web!

Pictured at top: fresh & healthy Red, White, and Blue Parfaits, Berry-Lemon Napolean featuring lucious lemon filling & flaky pastry, and Cinnamon Candied Apples displayed on tray of blueberries – all from BHG.com.

4th of July dessert recipes (more…)

Share it:

Simply Stated: Garden Party Finds

garden party finds

Today over at Simply Stated – check out some colorful garden party ideas to help inspire your summer celebrations! {Three stylish, floral-inspired partyware collections, plus coordinating drinks, favors, and decor ideas…}

Share it:

Seaside Wedding + Behind the Scenes!

modern ocean themed wedding

I’m just loving this gorgeous – and ultra-modern – Seaside Story wedding theme from the knot, so I was really excited to stumble on this knot tv video that gives a “behind the scenes” peek at the photo shoot for this theme! (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Star Wars Birthday Party

Star Wars birthday party ideas

Attention MOMS… if you have an aspiring young Jedi on your hands, he’s guaranteed to love these Star Wars party ideas from Marie LeBaron of Make and Takes! Read on for all the creative details – as told by Marie herself – plus a links to a few Star Wars-inspired craft tutorials on her blog…

“When my son turned 6, he really wanted a Star Wars themed birthday party. Even Dad got into the action, being a Jedi at heart as well! Here’s some of the fun things we did that had the kids excited from the get go!

Star Wars birthday party ideas

On the Menu:
Galactic pizza – just plain ol’ pizza, but given and super cool Jedi name!
Yoda Sodas – I found this idea listed on lots of different party idea sites. You just mix Lime Sherbet with Sprite. It was a big hit! (more…)

Tags:
Share it: