Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

REAL PARTIES: Pink Lotus Lounge

lilygirl jewelry - backyard lounge party

These fun pics are from a “Pink Lotus Lounge” backyard party that was hosted by sisters & designers Lori Roark and Denise Haynes-Port. This party was held in celebration of a milestone anniversary for their artful, handmade jewelry line: LilyGirl, but it also serves as great inspiration for all sorts of special occasions that you might be hosting too – from summer cocktail parties to bridal showers!

LilyGirl has been a fun excuse for women (in the Southern California area) to gather for house parties for 5 years, so – given the special meaning behind this particular gathering – it was their biggest bash yet!  Lori’s Cardiff by the Sea home was brimming with their newest spring collections, original signature wire designs and their signature “Jewelry Bar” (a local favorite!).

lilygirl jewelry - backyard lounge party

The backyard conversion was inspired by their love of pink, orange and natural elements. IKEA finds include the banana leaf rockers and ottoman’s, white tab-topped curtains, the rag rugs and bright candles.

The ivory patterned sheers (below, left) and vibrant curtain panel with lotus designs (embellished with crystals for extra jewelry-like glam) were both purchased at Pier 1 Imports. (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: B is for Baby Shower

bee baby shower ideas

Alchemy Fine Events and Canvas and Canopy dreamed up this gorgeous “B”-inspired baby shower that’s just overflowing with creativity… and serious STYLE! Read on for tons of gorgeous pics and all the party details…

bee baby shower ideas

bee baby shower ideas

Baby is for Baby Shower …and Baby Boy Baron. We took the Birds & the Bees to a whole other level with this retro inspired baby shower featuring a warm yellow, white and gray color palette. We started off by finding adorable yellow and grey floral patterned fabric on Etsy and designed custom linens trimmed with bright yellow burlap. (more…)

Tags:
Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Monkey Business

Monkey Birthday Party

We’re going bananas over this monkey themed first birthday that Shawna Pardo, coordinator and owner of Trio Events, threw in honor of her son’s first birthday!

Shawna wanted to put a “swinging spin” on the usual jungle-themed children’s party. With a little help from some gorillas, orangutans and spider monkeys, Shawna turned her backyard into a wonderland full of primate fun. Here are all the party details, as told by Shawna herself…

Monkey Birthday Party

I’m all about atmosphere and dress up when it comes to designing children’s special events. I wanted to have a backdrop that transported guests to the treetops. I began by cutting out the shape of tree trunks from plywood and hand painted them to look lifelike but playful. The trunks were then attached with screws to the blue painted background. Once attached, I painted the grass blowing in the wind.

To give the tree murals a more life-like, three dimensional appearance, live tree branches were then attached with brackets to the ends of the painted branches. The plush swinging spider monkeys found this tree to be a perfect “hang out” spot for the party!

(more…)

Share it:

Style Me Pretty – Pretty New Site!

hostess

Congrats to Abby from Style Me Pretty on her fabulous new site, which she launched earlier this month! SMP was already great, but she still managed to make it even better with an updated site structure, pretty new logo, and gorgeous, inspirational photo galleries. Now there’s even MORE great wedding eye-candy to preoccupy yourself with at SMP. Kudos, Abby! (more…)

Share it:

Budget Savvy Bride: Cast Your Vote!

budget wedding ideas

Project Wedding has been running a wonderful contest called “Budget Savvy Bride” that’s full of great inspiration for throwing a fabulous wedding on a budget. I was honored to be part of the judging panel, and along with 4 other guest judges, we narrowed the entries down to 5 finalists. Now it’s time to VOTE for your favorite!

(more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Dinner Among Friends

dinner party ideas

You might remember Michelle Schobert from the colorful, Tinkerbell-inspired party that she created for her daughter’s birthday. Well, she’s back with a gorgeous, adult-friendly soirée this time! Read on for the details, as told by Michelle…

*****

“Here is the first official event planned by the newly established Six Chicks Designs. With Interior Architecture degrees under their belts and an eye for design, two chicks set out to find something they would love and that would give them an outlet for their endless creativity. Inspired by their daughters, Cassidy & Courtney (Michelle’s daughters) and Madison and Emma (Jennifer’s daughters) the designers and best friends launched Six Chicks Designs, a collaborative design company specializing in interior, event and graphic design.

dinner party ideas

Dinner Among Friends” was an intimate dinner party for six dear friends featuring a black and white theme accented with bits of sparkle. The idea of the party was inspired by a fabulous set of black and white dishes handed down from a family member. (more…)

Share it:

Sneak Peek: French Circus Invitations

French Circus Baby Shower Invitations

Here’s a sneak peek at the invitations I just finished for Tisha & Duane’s upcoming “French Circus” baby shower, which will be mailed out in Stardream’s shimmery Onyx Metallic envelopes. (All personal info has been changed in this version… although it would be pretty cool if the venue was really on “Ringmaster Road”!)

I just gotta say that it’s been so much fun working on this theme!  Still in the preliminary stages, but so far the plan includes black & white striped fabric, brightly colored feathers, crystals, damask prints, mod animal shapes, and vintage-circus-inspired elements (with lots of playful ideas like appetizers on sticks and “magical, floating” popcorn cones a la Amy Atlas. More planning details coming soon… stay tuned!

Share it:

So Much for “Lazy Summer Days”!

hostess

So the summer has been off to a VERY busy start! I know the posting has been a bit lighter the past couple of weeks but promise it will pick back up soon… I just found myself in the middle of an insane start to June that can only be summarized by the following: Goodbye, sleep…hello, [lots more] caffeine. (Sorry, Mom – I promise to be better in July!)

Anyways, I wanted to give you a quick rundown of what’s been going on the past couple weeks… and what’s coming up!

hostess

June started off with a fun collaboration we’re working on with Chambord. I created some custom party themes for them, which we staged and did a 2-day photo shoot for here and at another location in LA. This was my first “full-blown” photo shoot – with a lighting team, production people, 14-hour days, etc. It was really fun, really tiring and really special to me because some of my friends were in it too! The first party theme will be running this holiday season, starting in September. Hint: there will be Peacock feathers! =)

Then this past Saturday I styled a party for Nancy O’Dell at her (gorgeous!) house in Pasadena for her daughter’s birthday. We did a Sesame Street theme featuring lots of bright colors… and a Sweet Factory CANDY BUFFET! I was really happy with how it turned out – especially given that it was planned & pulled it together in less than 2 weeks and there were nearly 100 guests!

hostess

Here’s a link to the facebook photo gallery with some pics from the birthday party taken by Gina Lee. I’ll be posting details, shopping resources, and “how-to” info for everything we did for this theme later this week, just as soon as I can catch up on my regular client work.

Also coming up this month at HWTM:
• a fabulous summer giveaway from Alice White Wines (next week)
• lots of new Real Parties and recipes (which my wonderful new summer interns, Sara and Robyn, are lending a hand on – hooray!)
• several new posts over at Real Simple
• an interview with Mindy Weiss
• behind the scenes details leading up to 2 big events we’re working on next month:
1. a co-ed, adult-friendly “French Circus” inspired baby shower for Tisha Campbell & Duane Martin
2. the Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge – the “pampering party” I’m co-hosting in Chicago the day before BlogHer ’09 starts.
Amongst other things. Phew! See you soon!

Share it:

People Style Watch Mention!

People StyleWatch June July 2009

HWTM got a little mention in the new People Style Watch issue (June/July 09)! Just saw it while checking out at the grocery store early this morning. Good start to the day! =)  Lots of fun, summery ideas in this issue, too!

People StyleWatch June July 2009

Tags:
Share it:

Baby Shower Theme – Which Do You Like?

mod monkey baby shower

I’m co-hosting a baby shower for a friend next month and having a hard time deciding which way to go with the theme, so I thought would be fun to see which theme YOU guys would most like to see all done up & photographed for future inspiration.

Ginny is having a boy (Max) – so my first thought was to do some sort of “We’re Going Monkeys for Max!” theme. The first 2 inspiration boards below are variations of a monkey theme: Mod Monkey and (traditional) Sock Monkey. The third concept – Woodland Forest – is inspired by an adorable Colorbok scrapbook collection called “Friendly Forest“, which I’ve been antsy to use in a party setting for a while.

Anyways, here are my 3 “starter inspiration boards” – which theme do YOU like best?

Theme A: MOD MONKEY

mod monkey baby shower

(more…)

Share it:

Loving Green (& saving it too!)

z gallerie

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just been loving BRIGHT green this year – from lime to kelly to grassy hues!  Here are a few favorites from Z Gallerie… and – added bonus: they’re all on sale! I just picked up the Green Giraffe Tray ($19.99) recently and it’s just downright fabulous in person… especially when “topped” with French Martinis!

Also pictured here: Kai Lanterns ($12.99 -$29.99), Bird Napkin Rings (so cute! – $2.99 ea), and 10″ Casablanca Lanterns ($7.95 ea).

z gallerie

(TIP: – Even if something is sold out online it might still be available in stores. I saw lots of stuff in-store recently that’s listed as out of stock online – including the Casablanca Lanterns!)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Spring Celebration

spring outdoor party ideas

I’m so excited to share this new “Real Party” with you! Courtney Toney from Joyful Weddings & Events is back with one of her fabulous seasonal get-togethers. This time the party is all about Spring, but I think this look would translate quite nicely to summer bridal showers, birthday parties, and celebrations as well!

Read on for lots of photos and all the party details, as told by Courtney herself…

spring outdoor party ideas

“Some of you may remember me from Jenn’s post on our Fall Party. If not, I am thrilled to introduce you to our little tradition. At the beginning of every season, my husband and I host a party to celebrate and capture the essence of that season. The fall party was the first, followed by our winter soup party, which was amazing!

To celebrate spring, our immediate thought was to have a picnic. And picnic in style we did. We held it at a neighborhood park on a beautiful May Saturday. (more…)

Share it:

Outdoor Entertaining: Venezia Pavilion

z gallerie outdoor pavilion

In the world of entertaining, the arrival of summer often means bringing the party outside! This fabulous Venezia Pavilion from Z Gallerie is definitely a fun excuse to do just that.

If you’ve got an extra-special celebration coming up like an engagement party, milestone birthday, or wedding – or if you just love to entertain outdoors – this super stylish striped pavilion is guaranteed to be the talk of the party! Use it for an intimate dinner party, as shown above, or as a special area to highlight the cake table, wet bar, guest(s) of honor, etc. ($599 at Z Gallerie – sold online only)

z gallerie outdoor pavilion

Pictured above: these cool black & white accessories look fabulous as accents to the Venezia Pavilion – or all on their own! Clockwise from top left: Venezia Umbrella ($199); Elephant Umbrella Stand ($89.95); Winslow Vase ($49.95); Winslow Canister ($49.95); and Winslow Pillar Holder ($29.95).

Share it:

Simply Stated: Chalkboard-Inspired Finds

chalkboard napkin rings, place cards

Today over on Simply Stated, check out 8 Cool Chalkboard-Inspired Finds for entertaining. It might be partially nostalgic, but I’m loving this white-on-slate trend!

Share it:

Swiffer SocialLuxe Lounge… Be Our Guest!

SocialLuxe Lounge

Exciting news to share! I’m co-hosting a pre-BlogHerpamper & primp party” on July 23rd in Chicago along with these 5  fabulous women bloggers! This is your chance to kick back, relax, and mix & mingle with other bloggers (including some of your favorite names from the blogging world!) before the conference starts.

SocialLuxe Lounge

The party will be held “open-house style” from 3-8pm in the “Monarch Suite” (2500 sq ft!) at The Hyatt Regency Chicago (within strolling distance of the convention). Guests will be treated to mini spa treatments, great food & drinks, live music, demos from our wonderful sponsors, and more!

We’ll also be announcing the winners of the BlogLuxe Awards at the party. Even if you’re not attending the conference, you can still nominate and vote for your favorite women bloggers in each of the 8 BlogLuxe categories: (more…)

Share it:

Gorgeous Pucci-Inspired Dessert Bar

Pucci Dessert Buffet by Amy Atlas

Check out the latest amazing creation from the talented Amy Atlas! This fashionable Pucci-inspired dessert bar features gorgeous details like a custom cupcake tower, custom popcorn cone bar (so cute!) and custom cotton candy sticks.

{6/5 Update: Here’s what Amy said about the popcorn how-to: “I cut styrofoam to fit in the tray and then placed wooden skewers into the styrofoam. The popcorn cones had a small hole at the bottom so that they could be placed into the skewers.”}

Pucci Dessert Buffet by Amy Atlas

You can take cues from Amy for your own celebrations – such as wrapping different boxes with fabulous gift wrap & ribbon to create your own themed cupcake towers and custom bases/stands for jars of candy. (more…)

Share it:

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Hostess Jo

Hostess Jo - Entertaining & Gift Ideas

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so  much to everyone that entered! And the randomly selected winner is: Commenter # 235 – Lynn, who said, “I love the cocktail napkins and the drink me flutes :) What a cute selection they have!” Congrats, Lynn!

*****

If you love colorful, clever, and unique entertaining finds, then today’s SURPRISE GIVEAWAY is for you! HostessJo.com was born from Joanna’s passion for entertaining and it shows! You’ll find everything from hilarious Anne Taintor products to stylish Jesse Steel aprons to backyard BBQ accessories in her shop.

This week, HostessJo.com is offering a $100 Shopping Spree towards your favorite hostess gifts & entertaining products on their website! (A few of my personal favorites pictured below: Cork Cheese Spreaders, Girls Night Glass Stick ‘Ems, Casablanca Wine Glasses, and Colorful Stripes Coasters.)

Hostess Jo - Entertaining & Gift Ideas

(More products + details for HOW TO ENTER after the jump…) (more…)

Share it:

{Very} Pretty Party Centerpieces

pretty party centerpieces

Everyday with Rachael Ray just launched a brand new website – click here to check it out!

While browsing this morning, I spotted a few fabulous centerpiece ideas that look especially perfect for occasions like bridal showers & grown-up birthday parties. Here goes:

1. Bag It – made from cut-up plastic grocery & shopping bags; 2. Spool Days (LOVE this one!); 3. Tiny Baubles – designed by Project Runway finalist Daniel Vosovic; 4. In Living Color – design guru Christiane Lemieux, who also happens to be the founder of the fabulous DwellStudio.

Share it:

Operation Shower: Mission Accomplished

Operation Shower

Amy is back with a recap of the fabulous – and inspiring – “Boxes in Bloom” event thrown by the generous team behind Operation Shower. Read on for her full recap… plus some great party planning tips that are both stylish AND eco-friendly!

Operation Shower: Mission Boxes In Bloom Accomplished (In Eco-Chic Style)
{Event Recap by Amy Belle Isle}

I am so excited to bring you a recap of the recent success that Operation Shower and Cloud B had with our “Boxes in Bloom” Mother’s Day Showers at Ft. Hood and Scott AFB.  Between the attendees and the boxes we sent to moms who could not make it, we honored 65 women and families with amazing gifts for the new little ones. Just look at some of the wonderful donations from our sponsors!  We at Operation Shower cannot thank them enough for their contributions.

Operation Shower

Our goal this year was to not only throw great events but to make them as Eco-Friendly as possible. It’s really easier (and cuter) than you might think! (Go here for more ideas on throwing an Eco-Friendly party.)

All of the boxes and gift wrap are made of recycled materials. Nashville Wraps so generously donated recycled wrap and tissue that we used to make our boxes more special, and we used the whimsical Whimsy Press gift wrap for our centerpieces. Not only did they liven up the table, but they also contained raffle prizes and helped ensure everything we did had a dual-purpose. Don’t forget to recycle the little amount of recycled paper you do use!  (more…)

Share it:

Plush Penguin Party Theme

penguin party theme

What’s black and white and ridiculously cute all over? Well, this adorable Cow Penguin Plush and Penguin Pillow for starters! These cute little creatures from MyDearDarling are charming enough to inspire an entire baby shower or kids birthday party theme all by themselves, don’t you think? (Yes, that IS a penguin disguised as a cow!)

The classic b/w color palette looks great with bright orange accents alone – or you can add another fun color like pink or aqua to tailor the party more specifically for a boy or girl. Here are a few ideas that incorporate both pink & orange accents…

penguin party theme

Pictured above: 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental ($12.21 at Amazon); Just Dots Black Dinner Plates, Black Dessert Plates, and Pink Beverage Napkins ($4.50 – $5 at Gallery 19); Sparkling Black Raspberry and Mandarin Izze Esque; Sunkissed Orange Plastic Utensils, and organic cotton Penguin Onesie ($30).

Pictured below: Penguin Treats! (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Alison’s Baby Shower

baby shower ideas

Today’s “Real Party” feature is a sweet & sophisticated baby shower featuring some amazing culinary treats like Caramelized Tomato Tarte Tatins and a lovely display of Brie with Figs & Honeycomb!

This look would translate nicely for a bridal shower as well – and you can just switch up the colors for a girl or gender-neutral baby shower!

baby shower ideas

Lots more images + the details for Alison’s baby shower are below – as told by party hostess/sister Debbie! (more…)

Share it:

Margarita Cupcakes + Lime Frosting

margarita cupcake recipe

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Here’s one of the treats we indulged in after our BBQ yesterday… Margarita Cupcakes! I’ve been wanting to try this concept out ever since last month’s margarita cupcakes post, and am happy to report they tasted great (and very much like their namesake)! I went for the “shortcut” route and modified a recipe that utilizes boxed cake mix as the foundation instead of doing everything from scratch (it was a holiday, after all!).

margarita cupcake recipe

Full recipes for the cupcakes & lime buttercream icing below…

(more…)

Share it:

Dabney Lee at Home: Preppy Meets Hip

Dabney Lee at Home - custom tray

Serve cocktails in style with this fabulous Monogrammed Lucite Tray from Dabney Lee at Home! ($120) This hip, personalized tray also makes for a great home accessory or unique gift idea for weddings or new nesters…. and just check out all of the great customization options…

Dabney Lee at Home

Pictured below – more favorites from the Dabney Lee collection: Monogrammed Recipe Cards + Box ($80), Monogrammed Drink Coasters + Box ($80 for 125), Monogrammed Wall Art ($120), and another great gift idea: Monogrammed Playing Cards + Box ($50). (more…)

Share it:

Summer Cocktails: Red & Yellow

red and yellow cocktails

Whether the color is coming from the drink or the garnish, red & yellow sure makes a bright, lovely combo for summer cocktails, don’t you think?

{Pictured above} Fuzzy Navel garnished with lemon peel and raspberries. {Pictured below, clockwise from top left} Pomegranate Martini & Yellow Passion Fruit Caipirinha {via Brides}; Tequila Sunrise; Bloody Mary “Light” feauring organic tomato water as the “juice”; Screwdriver & Ruby Red Grapefruit cocktails on the rocks.

red and yellow cocktails

Share it:

Set Your Table Tool + Event Recap

brides set your table tool

Here’s a little recap of the May 7th Bridal Registry event at Bloomingdales San Francisco that I participated in with Michelle Prelli from Brides.com and Christy Weber from What Junebug Loves (both fabulous women, BTW!). The crew from Bloomingdales (pictured below) was quite warm & welcoming as well…

brides set your table tool

The main purpose of the event was to introduce brides-to-be and engaged couples to the new Set Your Table tool on Brides.com, which basically allows you to mix & match china patterns and tabletop elements online to come up with your own favorite look…. while in the most comfortable setting possible – like at home in your PJ’s! {Pictured below, from left: Michelle, Christy, and me during the bridal registry discussion.}

brides set your table tool

For those of you that have seen the movie Clueless, the Set Your Table tool reminds me of (a more sophisticated version of) the “outfit matchmaker” program that Cher had for that all-important task of figuring out the perfect ensemble to wear when you’re a sophomore in high school! Here’s a screenshot… (more…)

Share it:

Artist Series Glass & Coaster Sets

limited edition artist series glass and coaster sets

These Limited Edition Artist Series Glass & Coaster Sets are just plain cool. Not to mention a fabulous, unique gift idea for your favorite people that love one or more of the following: 1. modern art 2. design 3. entertaining 4. neat stuff!

Available in 4 different styles, each glass & coaster set comes in a special clear-top cardboard canister that features info on the artist. $24.50 each at Delight.com.

Share it:

Reception Style: Modern (Yellow & Black)

modern black and yellow wedding reception

There’s a great feature on Brides.com titled “What’s Your Reception Style?” that highlights 3 different styles of receptions: Romantic, Modern, and Natural.

There are really so many different ways that you can interpret each of these 3 styles – and many of us might lean towards a combo of the two – but for this particular article the “Modern” example won me over, hands down! How about you?

modern black and yellow wedding reception

Of course it doesn’t hurt that they used a color palette that’s always been near & dear! I love this bold look for an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or milestone birthday party too…

P.S. Does that cake look familiar to you? You might have seen it used in this fabulous dessert buffet over at Amy Atlas Events!

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Lollipop, Lollipop….

lollipop birthday party

Today’s Real Party feature is pretty much the cuteness. Wait… make that the sweetness!

This “Yummy Lollipop Birthday” theme was created by the ultra-creative Kim from TomKat Studio for her daughter Kate’s second birthday celebration! Everything from the invitations & decorations to the food & favors played up Kim’s colorful lollipop theme. (P.S. You can purchase a lot of this stuff in her Etsy Shop!)

lollipop birthday party

The base for the fabulous “Lollipop Cupcake Tower” pictured above is a basic, all-white cupcake stand purchased at Michael’s for around $20. I love the versatility in this item because you can use fun decorative papers to tailor it to any sort of theme!

Kim also designed cupcake toppers that read “kate’s sweet shop“, “k“, and “kate“, which were added to the some of the cupcakes via lollipop sticks.

lollipop birthday party

On the menu: Adorable marshmallow pops (inspired by Bakerella), a rainbow jello form that was stuck with a lolli stick, fruit on lollipop sticks, and pink snowballs turned lollipops… (more…)

Tags:
Share it:

Cute Enough to Eat (Fun Favor Ideas)

party favor ideas - erasers

Looking for a unique party favor idea? With designs ranging from “Enlightened Desserts” to “Sushi” to “Savory Foods“, these tiny, japanese-inspired erasers are sure to stand out!

party favor ideas - erasers

More favorites pictured below, like this pretty Tea Ceremony Set featuring Mocci, Matcha, Manju, Delicacy, and Pancakes: (more…)

Share it:

REAL PARTIES: Li’l Tweet Baby Shower

Li'l Tweet Owl Baby Shower

This adorable “Li’l Tweet” Baby Shower was created by Kathleen Gibson of the wonderfully creative Twig & Thistle blog.  Read on for the details, as told by the hostess herself – plus info on where you can get these charming owl-themed invites & party supplies for your own celebrations!

Li'l Tweet Owl Baby Shower

“Last year I had the honor of being asked to do the baby shower for my good friend Katie. Let me start off by saying that this was by far my favorite event to plan and design.

Katie knew that she was having a baby boy and his name would be Sebastian Sanchez. I decided to celebrate the new baby and his beautiful parents by illustrating them as a little owl family. I thought it would be fun to play up this icon and use it throughout the whole system.

(more…)

Share it: