Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

LEGO Kitchen & Dining Accessories

lego home accessories

Most of us immediately think of kids toy sets when we hear the brand name “LEGO“, but did you know that they also make fun kitchen & dining accessories too?! Here are a few fun LEGO entertaining finds for the young & young at heart!

Pictured above: Kitchen Storage Set – 4 stackable acrylic containers in 3 different sizes with 4 colorful lids ($29.99/set), fun Egg Timer (currently sold out at lego.com but can be found elsewhere), 1×1 Salt & Pepper Set ($4.99), and Kids Cutlery with Silicone Studs – make mealtime more fun ($24.99/set)! (more…)

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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…)

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SURPRISE GIVAWAY: Cards Direct

cards direct - custom greeting cards

This week’s Surprise Giveaway should come in especially handy for those of you that love to (or have a need to) send out personalized greeting cards & announcements. Cards Direct is offering up a $100 shopping spree towards anything on their site – which includes general holiday cards, Christmas Cards, photo cards, birthday cards, super-cute baby announcements, and more!

There’s a huge range of styles on the site – from elegant to mod/contemporary… and even a lot of great recycled choices! A few of my favorites are pictured below.

cards direct - custom greeting cards (more…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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

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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…)

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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…)

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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…

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“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…)

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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…)

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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!

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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…)

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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!)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…}

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Colorful, Outdoor Summer Party Set!

Alice White Wines - Colorful Summer Party Giveaway

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to Alice White Wines and to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is… Jennifer Irvin from Texas, who said, “YELLOW…….Bright summer sunshine, lemonade, chardonnay, grilled squash, sunflowers….. Nothing better!!!!!”  Congrats, Jennifer! Now you have a great excuse to throw a colorful summer party!

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Hope you’re ready for some summer fun, because Alice White Wines – one of the United States’ leading Australian wine brands – is here with an amazing giveaway full of all sorts of fabulous reasons to bring the party outdoors!

Alice White Wines - Colorful Summer Party Giveaway

This “Colorful Summer Party” package makes me feel sunnier just looking at it… how about you?

Wait – there’s more…Yep, these fantastic, melamine Jonathan Adler dishes and colorful Alice White Wines beach tote and beach towel are included too! (more…)

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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

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…

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“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…)

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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!

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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!

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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

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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…)

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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!)

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