Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Childish Clothing – $500 Shopping Spree!

Childish Clothing giveaway

Update 4/21: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered – nearly 600 of you!!  Alas, there can only be one winner, and that lucky (and randomly chosen) person is… commenter #374 – Nikki, who said, “I think the WIllow-4 Sweet Cupcake onesie is adorable. It’s just one of the many items that I would purchase if I am selected for the $500 shopping spree! My little cupcake would look even sweeter wearing it!” Congrats, Nikki! And happy shopping!

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This week’s Surprise Giveaway is going to make a lucky someone VERY HAPPY! It comes from Childish Clothing – one of the hottest kids & maternity clothing lines around – and they’re offering up a whopper of a prize… a $500 Shopping Spree towards anything on their website! How much fun could you have with THAT?!

(more…)

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Modern Design… for the Birds

modern bird houses & feeders

I’m loving these ultra-contemporary bird feeders & shelters from cool online shop feel more human…especially the sleek circular feeder by Eva Solo ($60) pictured above!

modern bird houses & feeders

Pictured above: Nesting Bird Box by Eva Solo. (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Little Miss Birthday

Little Miss Birthday Party

Get ready for a dose of “Real Party” inspiration that’s pretty much beyond adorable… just like the pint-sized guest of honor!

Created by mom/hostess Jess Newman for her daughter’s 3rd birthday, this “Little Miss Birthday” theme would be fun for older girls too! Read on for all the details behind this perfectly sweet & sassy celebration, as told by Jess herself…

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Ready…Set…Party!  Little Miss Avery’s 3rd Birthday

I have to say that I obsess a bit about my kids parties. Not obsess in the way I have to have the best or anything over the top, but obsess meaning that as soon as one is over I start thinking about what I will do for next year’s party.

That sure came in handy this year when I found this Little Miss Birthday shirt at Gap Kids last spring. Although my daughter’s 3rd birthday party was 9 months away I knew it was perfect because we’ve called her Little Miss Avery since she was born, so I bought it on the spot. I am not one to be into theming a party around licensed characters, so I decided to make Avery herself the character for the party so that I didn’t have to put the actual Little Miss Birthday logo all over everything.

Little Miss Birthday Party (more…)

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Bright & Crafty Easter Eggs

modern Easter eggs

There’s more to Easter egg decorating than what comes in a box! Give your eggs a fun, crafty look this year by dying them in extra-bright shades of your favorite hues, then decorating them with ribbon, stickers, thin strips of scrapbook paper, and faux flowers. Use clear-drying glue to attach the details.

(more…)

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GIVING BACK: Operation Shower

Operation Shower

I’m really excited to share this post from Amy with you today. Hope you’ll take a few minutes to read on, get inspired, and learn how you can be a part of this celebration too!

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Hello, fabulous HWTM readers. It‘s Amy Belle Isle from Stem Parties again. How have you been? Me? Great! Thanks for asking. Today I want to share with you something as near and dear to my heart as entertaining:  Operation Shower.

Operation Shower is a non-profit organization that recognizes and honors the sacrifices military families make by producing and coordinating baby showers and “Showers in A Box” for pregnant and expecting military personnel and their families. I am so honored to be on the Board of this fabulous organization. Last year alone, we showered more than 100 deserving women from different branches of the military with thousands of dollars worth of baby and mom gear!

Due to the success of last year’s Mother’s Day showers, we have decided to hold an annual Mother’s Day event for the military moms to be whose spouses are deployed.  This year’s theme is “Boxes in Bloom” and we are excited to throw our very first Eco-Conscious Baby Showers in just a few weeks. They will be held at Fort Hood, Texas and Scott AFB, Illinois just in time for Mother’s Day!

(more…)

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“Barbie-licious” PINK Drinks (Barbie’s Birthday Party Recap – Part 2)

Barbie Party Pink Cocktails

Just realized that I forgot to post these pink drink recipes earlier from Barbie’s 50th Birthday Party – sorry about that!

Recipes for all 4 (aptly named!) signature drinks from the Colin Cowie-designed bash are below. Cheers!

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Barbie Doll-icious!
1.5 oz Knob Creek
1 oz Cranberry
.75 oz Pineapple Juice
.75 oz fresh OJ
.75 oz fresh Lemon Juice
Ginger Ale

Combine all the ingredients except ginger ale in a shaker.
Shake well and pour.
Top with a splash of ginger ale.

*** (more…)

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Jonathan Adler: New Melamine for Spring!

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This new melamine dinnerware from Jonathan Adler makes me happy just looking at it!

The spring & summer-friendly patterns – “Acapulco” and “Stripes” (my personal fav!) – are both available in 2 colorways featuring vibrant shades of green, yellow, and blue.

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Prices for bowls, plates, salad plates, and trays range from $10 – $28 at jonathanadler.com. Happy dining!

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P.S. For more Jonathan Adler eye candy – check out these pics from Barbie’s Lifesize Malibu Dream House that he designed for her 50th birthday last month!

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Color Splash: Orange & Yellow

orange and yellow wedding or party

I’m absolutely in love with this beach-inspired orange and yellow color palette from Pacific Weddings… doesn’t it just have “Summer party!” written all over it?

orange and yellow wedding or party

With or without the waves crashing in the background, this look is fabulous inspiration for all sorts of summer celebrations – from weddings and bridal showers to swanky birthday parties & more…

Details, Details:

Menus, tags & place cards are given a colorful, contemporary design.

The party favors are perfectly tailored to the theme: miniature hourglasses filled with orange sand & embellished with a bright yellow message tag.

Clear vases are filled with orange, yellow and white sand to create a playful & artistic “wave” pattern.

orange and yellow wedding or party (more…)

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DIY: Chick & Bunny Treat Holders

Easter treat holders

This one’s for the kiddies… a fun little craft project + “friendly” holders for all those Easter Bunny treats!

(Full instructions for both versions after the jump…) (more…)

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Simply Stated: 5 Great Brunch Cocktails

brunch cocktail recipes

Easter brunch, Mother’s Day brunch, wedding brunches… they’re even better with a cocktail, right?!

Check out today’s post over at Simply Stated for 5 great brunch cocktail recipes. Have a favorite daytime drink that’s not on the list? Share it!

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DIY: Chipboard & Flower Field Centerpiece

spring & Easter DIY centerpiece idea

These fun, DIY centerpieces can be customized with your own favorite flowers, shapes, and papers to create a look that’s uniquely yours… and tailored to any occasion!

The example pictured above is for our Easter table this year, but this look would also be cute for a baby shower or “love birds” bridal shower…

spring & Easter DIY centerpiece idea

YOU’LL NEED:
Small Bedding plants (English Daisies pictured here)
Shallow rectangular vase
Die-cut Chipboard Shapes (pictured here: Maya Road’s Song Bird Coasters)
Decorative Papers (pictured here: Craft Fair by American Crafts)
Lollipop sticks
Glue stick or spray craft glue , Hot Glue Gun, Scissors
Faux flower or other embellishment for the vase (optional)

(more…)

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Host a Twilight Theme Party at Home

twilight party ideas

This past Friday I invited my local Twilight-loving friends over to watch the new DVD that just came out… and I’ve gotta say it was a fun excuse for a party! Although my husband wasn’t really surprised that I was decorating for this get-together, he still asked, “Why all the fuss to watch a DVD?“.

The answer is simple of course: for fun! The way I see it is this: I can sit on my couch in my regular living room and watch a movie any ol’ Friday night, so when the movie lends itself to a fantasy-type theme that’s the perfect excuse for breaking out the twinkle lights and red martini’s, why the heck not? Life is too short not to mix things up when you can… and there’s no reason why we should save all the fun for just birthdays and holidays!

twilight party ideas

The main elements of this particular Twilight party were:

mood lighting created with white twinkle lights & candles
red (blood-themed) cocktails, favors, & drinks
apples & Italian food
framed quotes from the book & movie (pictured at top & below), which I dressed up a bit in photoshop, then printed out & framed. (The framed quote above is a line from the movie that Edward says when he catches an apple in a manner that mimics the book cover.)

Want to use these movie quote designs for your party? Download all of them right here: 8×10 quotes (3.1 M pdf) / 5×7 quotes (6.3 M pdf). *If you have trouble opening the files once downloaded, please see the “Download Tips” note at the bottom of this post.

 

twilight party ideas

I designed these downloadable blood-themed drink labels a couple weeks ago and mocked them up digitally in an earlier post, but they look way better in person when wrapped around bottles of red sodas,  juices, and cocktail mixers! (more…)

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Stuffed & Deviled Eggs 4 Ways

deviled eggs

Serving egg-based appetizers for Easter is pretty common, but there are so many different ways to get creative with them, including pumping up the color! Here are 4 yummy ideas from ’round the web {clockwise from top left}:

1. French Style Stuffed Eggs {via Cooking Light mag}

2. “Pink” Deviled Eggs, colored with beet juice (via HWTM Facebook Fan Chantal Sokora and her lovely Pink Party) Learn more: Pink Deviled Eggs Recipe.

3. Chipotle Deviled Eggs {via Epicurious.com}

4. Rachael Ray’s Deviled Egg Recipe {via Rachael Ray mag}

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Mini Egg Tarts for Easter Brunch {recipe}

egg tart recipe

These Egg Tarts from Sunset Magazine are perfect for Easter brunch.  Egg yolks, sugar, and milk in a light filo crust; prep time + cooking = 30 minutes. (Full recipe after the jump.) (more…)

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HWTM in Pregnancy Magazine: Owl-Themed Baby Shower

owl themed baby shower

Have a baby shower in the works? If you’re looking for a fun concept, here’s an owl-themed baby shower that I created for this month’s issue (April 2009) of Pregnancy magazine, featuring super-cute plush owls, colorful feathers, woodsy elements, and more!

owl themed baby shower

{view the article at a larger size}

P.S. This could also be a fun theme for a kids birthday party… just change the title to something like “Look Hoo’s Turning ONE!”

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Link Love: 5 Fabulous DIY Projects

homemade Easter Peeps

Feel like being crafty & creative this weekend? These 5 fun projects from ’round the web are great inspiration for Easter projects and beyond! Pick your fav:

1. DIY Homemade Marshmallow Peeps (via Twig & Thistle)

2. Photo Lantern Tutorial {via decor8}

photo lantern tutorial

3. Paper Bunting/Banner {via tiny décor} (more…)

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DIY: Paper Bunny Garland / Runner

Easter bunny garland

Here’s another easy Easter project for you: Paper Bunny Garlands!

The best part about this craft is that you can tailor it to any colors & patterns you want… and there are SO many great papers available. I used the new Craft Fair papers from American Crafts™ for this one (and also for the Terra Cotta Easter Baskets featured earlier this week).

I’m actually going to use this as a table runner for Easter. The bunnies are connected with ribbon and can easily be slid apart & adjusted to make room for a centerpiece in the middle.

(Full instructions & downloadable template after the jump.) (more…)

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Simply Stated: Dining Meets Mod Art

modern dinnerware and tabletop

Today over at Simply Stated: check out some clever & unique “Dining Meets Mod Art”  product finds from A+R. (Yes – those are PANTONE MUGS!!)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Salus Bath & Body

Salus Bath and Body Care

WINNER Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winners are… Commenter #36: Erin – and Commenter #350: Beverly M. Congrats, ladies! Salus will be contacting you directly to coordinate your bath & body shopping spree!

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Who’s ready to be pampered?! Salus Custom Bath and Body Care is here to help… because they’re offering up $125 Shopping Sprees towards anything on their site to TWO lucky readers!

Salus is the leading custom, natural and organic bath and body care company, and you get to customize their premium, unscented bath and body care products with your choice of over 300 fragrances and essential oils. Choose from products like spa scrubs, salt therapy, organic artisan soaps & bath bombs, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and much more!

Salus Bath and Body Care

And for all HWTM readers, get 25% off your entire order at ShopSalus.com with the promo code “HWTM25“. (Expires April 30th)

(Get the details for how to enter after the jump…)  (more…)

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The Little Things We Do…

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Question for you: What are your favorite “little things” to do for the ones you love?

I think we all have certain “little things” that we do for others.  Some are conscious efforts – like cooking a special meal or treating a friend to lunch, and some are almost second-nature… like making sure the fridge is stocked with your SO’s favorite drinks, or relinquishing some of the blankets (without being asked) when you wake up at 2 a.m. and realize you’ve unconsciously stolen them all.

Personally, I’ve always loved the element of surprise, so the “little things”  that I like to do have always been somehow intertwined with surprises. However, as I was thinking about this today, I also realized something that seems unfortunate: I was way more creative – and frequent – with these “little things” back in high school and college than I am today! Sure, I’ve hosted my fair share of “big things” like baby showers and bachelorette parties over the past decade… but the last time I sent a simple “hello!” or “love you” card out of the blue? I’m drawing a blank. Shoot.

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Back in the day, I used to send little care packages or leave “surprise cards” for different friends on a regular basis – usually placed somewhere unexpected like a car windshield or doorstep. And of course the cards were always delivered in colorfully decorated envelopes and usually accompanied by something fun like gerbera daisies, candy, or a certain CD or lip gloss the recipient had been eyeing. These days, the closest I’ve gotten to surprising friends with “just because” treats is sending virtual Easter Peeps or throwing a sheep at them on Facebook. (If you’re not a Facebook user that probably sounds ridiculous, but trust me –  in that world it makes perfect sense!) (more…)

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Easter Pails + Window Gels

easy Easter centerpieces

In my quest to come up with easy & budget-friendly Easter decorations this year, here’s another idea that fit the bill and only took a few minutes to whip together: mini pails +  window gels + flowers = super cute Easter Centerpieces!

Shopping Resources:
Mini pails: $1 bins at Target
Window gels: Target ($1.99/pack of 2 bunnies + 2 carrots)
English Daisies – Home Depot ($3.49/plant)
Gerbera Daisies – grocery store ($5/bunch)

Use your own favorite flowers or bedding plants for these arrangements – tulips or marigolds would be lovely options for Easter too. For the window gels – just shop, peel and stick…can’t get much easier than that!

easy Easter centerpieces

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Easter Pops from Bakerella

Bakerella Easter Pops

Well, the Queen of baking cuteness has done it again! Check out these adorable new Easter-themed cake pop designs from Bakerella….starting with my personal favorite – the Spring Chickens! I just love these little cuties – both the “chicks on sticks” version (above) and the stick-free version (below).  This design would be really fun for baby showers and kids parties too!

Bakerella Easter Pops

Next up.. Easter Egg and Bunny Cake Pops, of course! Confetti sprinkles and colorful sanding sugar give the egg pops a fun, contemporary look…

Bakerella Easter Pops

I’m thinking this image needs to be my new screen saver…. (more…)

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DIY: Terra Cotta “Easter Baskets”

easy Easter craft & centerpiece idea

If you’re looking for a quick & easy Easter craft/centerpiece idea, these Terra Cotta “Easter Baskets” only take a few minutes and will look super cute on your Easter table! Added bonus: they’re really inexpensive! All you need are small terra cotta pots in various sizes, scrapbook paper, “grass” filler, and any embellishments you want to add (optional).

Get step-by-step details after the jump…

easy Easter craft & centerpiece idea

(more…)

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Chalkboard Mustache Napkin Rings

chalkboard mustache napkin rings

Even your most refined dinner guests will have a hard time resisting these clever Mustache Napkin Rings! Each laser-cut, clear acrylic ring is fused with a chalkboard mustache that doubles as a placecard. Love it! ($24/set of 4 at Modern Dose)

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Baily Doesn’t Bark: Flamingo & Trees

Bailey Doesn't Bark: Flamingo and Trees

There’s something about the new Flamingo and Trees collection that Bailey Doesn’t Bark debuted this week that’s so delicate & lovely! I’m especially loving the chic color palette of soft pale pink, burnt sienna and gold that designer Re Jin Lee used for the hand-painted flamingos and decorative accents…

Bailey Doesn't Bark: Flamingo and Trees

(Prices are in the “luxury” range for these handmade porcelain dishes. $39 – $57 for individual pieces & cup sets / $165 for a 5-pc place setting)

P.S. Daily Candy Deals is currently running a discount code for 25% off your entire order at baileydoesntbark.com! Must be a DC subscriber to get the code from their website.

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Simply Stated: Darling Felt Toy Favors

felt toy party favors

No matter which critter you’re looking at, these colorful, felt toy party favors are pretty much the cuteness! Find out more about them over at Simply Stated today! (more…)

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DIY Wedding Challenge – Cast Your Vote!

Message in a Bottle Wedding Invitations

Project Wedding ran a fantastic DIY Wedding Challenge recently and the level of creativity in the 160 entries is truly inspiring!

I was excited for the opportunity to be a guest judge for the contest – especially alongside these 4 fabulous women: Bee from Weddingbee, Grace from Design*Sponge, Mackenzie from Something Old, Something New, and Emily from Once Wed. The 5 of us each picked our favorite project (not an easy task, I might add!) to come up with the 5 Finalists – and now the final decision is up to all of you!

My finalist pick was the ultra-creative Message-in-a-Bottle Invitations project pictured above. Seriously… if the invitation is this good, just imagine how cool the celebration will be!

Visit ProjectWedding.com to check out ALL 5 finalists and cast YOUR vote!

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Adorable & Creative “Egg Creatures”

Easter egg creatures

When it comes to decorating Easter eggs, I usually opt for the easy route, but these Egg Creatures from Martha Stewart are so ridiculously cute, I’m thinking they might be worth the extra effort! Especially the momma and baby pig design… how adorable is that?! (Cute decorating ideas for baby showers & kids parties too!)

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Flirty “French Candy” Party Theme

french candy party theme

This Black, White, and Pink wedding theme from brides.com is also fabulous inspiration for a flirty, “French Candy” themed birthday party or bridal shower (especially a lingerie-themed shower!).

Party Decor: Flower arrangements (roses, carnations, hydrangeas, peonies), party favors, and candy treats are all pretty in pink, and black stripes & polka dots add some fun, Parisian-cafe-inspired flair…

french candy party theme

What to sip? Flirty Pink Martinis and french-inspired drinks like Chambord and Champagne, of course!

Be My Guest: Here are a few invitation ideas to help set the tone for a fun, flirty get-together: (more…)

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“Sparkling” Sip & See Baby Shower

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How many of you have ever been to a “Sip and See”? A Sip and See is basically a casual type of baby shower that’s held AFTER baby arrives instead of before. Friends and family are invited to drop by “open house style” within a certain time frame to meet the baby (see) and enjoy light food & drinks (sip) .

When Tara from StrollerTraffic asked me to contribute some ideas for a Sip and See theme, I thought it would be fun to add a little twist on this concept and make it a “Sparkling Sip & See“, complete with lots of bubbly drinks, a pretty champagne-inspired color palette, and more sparkling ideas. Click here for full details!

{Image zoom: view the inspiration board at a larger size.}

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