Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

REAL PARTY: Mod Menagerie Baby Shower

modern jungle menagerie baby shower

Today’s Real Party baby shower feature is especially near & dear… it was actually my own!

The shower was hosted earlier this month by 4 of my close friends – Leslie, Sarah, Mimi, and Jen… and they did such a great job – I was totally blown away! It was so odd to be on the receiving end this time… and I sincerely hope that the people I host showers for feel as special & loved as they made me feel at this one – thanks again girls! =)

modern jungle menagerie baby shower

Knowing my love for tropical flowers/foliage and all things giraffe, the girls created a “Modern Menagerie” (a.k.a. “modern jungle”) theme for the baby shower, which also coordinated with the nursery and felt especially thoughtful. I about died when I saw the huge giraffe-print paper lanterns!

The color palette was a fabulous bright pink, brown, and kelly green (no baby pastels!). The pink hue coordinated with the color of the gorgeous protea featured in the centerpieces (along with papyrus, china mums, & ti leaves)… and I absolutely adored the little toy animal figurines that were spray-painted copper and even glued to some of the vases! (more…)

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Sneak Peek: Masquerade Invites & More

masquerade theme baby shower invitations

Here’s a sneak peek at some new invites I recently designed for an upcoming baby shower… featuring a new masquerade-inspired party theme that’s been so much fun to work on!

For extra “festivity”, the final invitations were embellished with adhesive craft rhinestones (on the butterfly antennae), Opal Stardream Envelopes, and hand-stamping on the front & back of the envelope (images of ornate birds & butterflies).

The “Festival Du Bebe” theme will incorporate a lot of the same elements/ideas as Cirque Du Bebe (gotta love it when you can reuse!), but will feature a more extensive color palette and some fun additions like gems, glittery butterflies, and mardi gras beads.

masquerade theme party ideas

And because this theme could easily translate for a bridal shower or adult birthday/cocktail party, I’ll also be creating versions of both the invite & the theme that are tailored to those occasions as well…which brings me to another fun announcement that I’ve been excited to share for quite a while, but wanted to wait until we got a bit closer to being ready: (more…)

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Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktail & Mocktail

red pomegranate cocktail and mocktail recipe

With Valentine’s Day coming up, it feels like the perfect time of year to feature some pretty red drinks… like these sparkling pomegranate cocktails & mocktails from Judy Reyes’s Berry Sweet Baby Shower.

Both drinks are lovely, yummy, & super easy… just like we like them! (Full recipes below.) (more…)

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DIY Tutorial: Clever Dessert/Cake Stand

DIY cake stand tutorial

I’m so excited to share this fabulous – and super useful – DIY project with you today!

The tutorial comes from Jacinda at Prudent Baby, and features a clever & inexpensive way to create your own dessert/cake stands for all sorts of parties and occasions.

With all the fabulous scrapbook paper that’s available these days, the sky is the limit as far as aesthetics go… you could even add ribbon, craft gems, and other coordinating scrapbook embellishments to create your own completely unique look!

(more…)

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Modern Ladybug (or Lovebug) Party Theme

ladybug birthday valentines party ideas

I stumbled across these adorable nylon ladybugs recently and thought they’d be the perfect starting point for a Modern Ladybug party theme!

Ladybugs are always cute for kids birthday parties and “LovebugValentine’s Day parties, but this theme can even translate beautifully for a girlie baby shower or bridal shower.

ladybug birthday valentines party ideas

For adult-friendly parties, just make sure to focus on decorative elements that are chic & stylish, as opposed to overly “cutesie”; for example – the grass & gerbera flower arrangements pictured below, contemporary polka dot partyware, and a cool red signature drink like a Raspberry Collins or Watermelon Mojito.

Whatever your particular occasion may be – from a 1st birthday to a bridal shower – here’s some inspiration to get you started… (more…)

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Entertain at Home: Pretty Party Inspiration

purple and blue dinner party ideas

Megan from Real Weddings – (an Australian-based magazine that recently launched a shiny new website!) –  sent over some beautiful inspiration to share from one of their photo shoots.

These images are from an “Entertain at Home” feature that was a collaboration between British fashion designer Jasper Conran and Waterford Crystal.

purple and blue dinner party ideas

The tablescape & party decor was designed to coordinate with Conran’s Chinoiserie tableware (see below), and boasts a lovely palette of soft greens, purples, and periwinkle blues. Would this look be great for an Easter or Mother’s Day brunch?!

purple and blue dinner party ideas

I’m especially loving the gorgeous floral arrangements, which feature Delphinium, Lily of the Valley, Blue Bells, and Cornflowers(more…)

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“Gossip Girl” Inspired Bridal Shower {Part 2}

gossip girl bridal shower party ideas

In continuing with Part 1 of the gorgeous Gossip Girl Inspired Bridal Shower posted yesterday, here is Part 2: Menu & Activities.

Scroll down for details on the yummy food & drinks that the ladies were treated to, as well as the (non-cheesy!) bridal shower activities they participated in, as told by event designer Carolyn Chen

gossip girl bridal shower party ideas

gossip girl bridal shower party ideas

(more…)

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“Gossip Girl” Inspired Bridal Shower {Part 1}

Gossip Girl bridal shower ideas

Today’s Real Party feature is a gorgeous “Gossip Girl Inspired” Bridal Shower created by event planner Carolyn Chen of The Special Day.

The details of this party are absolutely fabulous… from the fluffy pink peony arrangements and aubergine ruffle placemats (swoon!) to the lovely guests who were all decked out in black & white “Upper East Side Chic” to match the party’s color palette & style!

Gossip Girl bridal shower ideas

This look would also translate beautifully for a wedding or other extra-special occasion or dinner party! Because there are so many pretty pictures & details to share, I’m going to split the feature into 2 parts… we’ll cover the Tabletop & Decor in here Part 1, and the Menu & Activities in Part 2 (posting tomorrow).

Read on for tons of gorgeous eye candy and more party details, as told by Carolyn(more…)

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Super Bowl / Football Party Cupcakes

super bowl football cupcake recipe

If you’re planning to host a get-together for the NFL Championships and/or Super Bowl, entertaining guru Jeanne Benedict has some absolutely adorable ideas for dessert!

Jeanne designed & whipped up 7 ultra-creative Super Bowl cupcakes for Celebrations.com, where she is a Lifestyle Party Expert, and she was generous enough to share them with us here!

super bowl football cupcake recipe

Read on for details on the Football Corset, Ref, Team Colors, Pizza, and Hamburger cupcakes, as told by Jeanne… (more…)

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Warm Up! Hot Chambord Cider Recipe

hot chambord cider recipe

I don’t know what the weather’s like in your area… but it’s POURING outside in San Diego today! The perfect weather – and time of year – to warm up with a yummy hot drink, like this creative cider-based cocktail:

HOT CHAMBORD CIDER

1/2 oz Chambord
1/2 oz Tuaca Liqueur
3 oz apple cider
1 oz cranberry juice

Heat ingredients over medium heat. Pour into a mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick. ENJOY!

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Polka Dot Design

modern valentines day invitations and cards

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky randomly selected winner is… Commenter #365 – Wendy Sue, who said,”love the hey cupcake mini petite pink card and the red love spouts mini card. so adorable!” Congrats, Wendy! Have fun on your shopping spree! =)

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We have a fabulous new Surprise Giveaway for you today – especially for all the stationery-lovers out there!

The giveaway comes from Polka Dot Design – one of my favorite places to shop for custom invitations & personalized stationery due to their vast selection of wonderfully modern designs….

This week at HWTM, Polka Dot Design is offering up a generous $100 Shopping Spree for a lucky reader! The shopping spree can be used towards ANYTHING on the PDD website – and they carry everything from holiday cards & personalized stationery to birthday party invites, wedding collections, address labels, paper partyware, custom stickers, and much, MUCH more!

modern valentines day invitations and cards

Since Valentines Day is right around the corner and some of you might be on the lookout for “sweet” cards & invitations, some favorites from Polka Dot’s Valentines Day collection are pictured above and below:

(Scroll down for details on how to enter the giveaway.) (more…)

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REAL WEDDINGS: Dashing & Diverse

pink and orange summer wedding ideas

Today’s Real Wedding feature is one of those celebrations that makes you happy just looking at it!

Coordinated by Paige Galla, the vibrant color palette in this “Dashing & Diverse” affair {for Heidi Larsen & Patrick Collins} boasts brilliant shades of fuchsia, orange & green.

pink and orange summer wedding ideas

Some of the many creative & unique details included… flower girls wrapped in kimonos, adorable drink umbrella place cards, a midnight Indian feast and an ultra-colorful, exotic cupcake tower!

pink and orange summer wedding ideas

Read on for LOTS more gorgeous pics {by photographer Wendy Hithe} and all the details, as told by Paige(more…)

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Affordable, Hip & New from CB2

cb2 - modern entertaining

You can always count on the products at Crate & Barrel sister store – CB2 – to be ultra-contemporary and very affordable, so it’s exciting when they come out with a new collection! Everything in their new line is really very cool, but here are 12 stand-out favorites:

Q Dinnerware ($3.95 – $5.95 per piece) – White porcelain origami in motion, ringed concentric with a slashed overlapped rim reminiscent of the letter Q.

Petal Green Dinnerware ($2.95 – $5.95 per piece) – Organic shapes triangulate with glossy pear green glaze interior, semi-matte white exterior that peeks just over the rim.

cb2 - modern entertaining

Kabuk Bottle Opener ($4.95 each) – Unique & different… and a cool host gift idea to pair with a 6-pack of the their favorite brew! Each stainless steel bottle opener has a different kabuki face design that reverses to another kabuki face. (more…)

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Simply Stated: New Rosanna {Sneak Peek}

rosanna inc spring 2010

Today over at Real Simple… check out some of the fabulous new tableware & serving designs from Rosanna‘s upcoming collection (due out next month)!

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Jonathan Adler – Cool Stuff on Sale!

jonathan adler sale

I know we just came off the holidays… but man is it hard to resist a Jonathan Adler sale!  Especially when everything is so happy & bright… or features giraffes! (see pop ornament below)  Here are a few favorites from the current JA sale – going on right now through January 17th.

Pictured at top:
Stripes Cup & Saucer Sets {Reg: $18 / Sale: $13.50} – I love the idea of using these cool ceramic cups & saucers as centerpieces for a modern tea or garden-inspired party theme. Just fill them with a small bunch of “fluffy” flowers like hydrangea or peonies.
Ojai Teapot – {Reg: $68 / Sale: $27.20} great gift idea and pretty enough to double as kitchen decor when not in use! Available with green, yellow, or orange tops.
Stripes Dinnerware {Sale: 25% off; each piece sold separately} – Go BOLD with your dinnerware! Available in black/white or grey/white patterns.

jonathan adler sale

(more…)

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TEN – Days, Resolutions, Experts, Prizes

TEN Design Days

I’m really excited to be participating in a fantastic online event called “ten“, which is a collaboration between 2 popular design bloggers: Benjamin Moore’s Sonu Mathew of Living in Color with Sonu and Kathy Barlow of HomeWorkshop.com.

Over the course of ten days, (January 4-8 and January 11-15), ten is featuring design ideas to help us stick to New Year’s Resolutions in style. Each day of ten you’ll learn from one of 10 top design experts – about a fun New Year’s Resolution that relates to home design, decorating and color. I will be covering the resolution “Make Time for Family and Friends” TODAY (Wednesday, Jan 13th)!

Each day, you’ll also have a chance to win a cool prize, relating to the resolution. Here’s a peek at today’s featured prize:

TEN Design Days

This “Signature Cocktail Set” features 8 Dizzy Cocktail Glasses, a copy of 500 Cocktails, Mojito Cocktail Mix, and Mojito Rimming Sugar (all from Crate&Barrel)… a wonderful excuse to invite some friends over for cocktails!

Learn more at tendesigndays.com.

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: HomeGoods

HomeGoods gift card giveaway

Winner Update 2/20: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And WOW – what a great response and showing of love for HomeGoods!

I SO wish I had gift cards for everyone, but as it would be there is only one… and that VERY lucky, randomly selected winner is… Commenter #673 – Rachel – who said, “I just love the purple and silver color combo and the cool dessert buffet! Sign me up!” Congrats, Rachel! Have fun shopping! =)

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We have a fun new Surprise Giveaway for you today! HomeGoods – the fabulous home decor store where everything is 20-60% off department store prices – is offering up a $100 Gift Card to a lucky HWTM reader… who’s ready to shop?!

And there’s more! The winner will also receive several of the tabletop items from HomeGoods that were used in the HWTM Silver & Lilac Wonderland party theme… including silver charger plates, dinner plates, flatware, crystal martini glasses, translucent lavender tumblers, and table linens! (more…)

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Pretty Almond Buttercrunch Toffee Recipe

almond buttercrunch toffee recipe

Homemade toffee always makes for a great party favor idea – or a welcome addition to the dessert buffet – especially when packaged up or presented in a stylish manner!

This super-delicious Almond Buttercrunch Toffee recipe is from one of my favorite recent cookbook purchases: Bite-Size Desserts by Carole Bloom. {$16 at Amazon}

Bite-Sized Desserts Cookbook

Party guests are sure to love this decadent candy treat, which features rich, buttery, crunchy toffee that’s topped with a layer of chocolate and finely chopped toasted almonds. Pretty AND delicious! (Full recipe below.) (more…)

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Turquoise Baby Picks {for StrollerTraffic}

turquoise baby gifts - StrollerTraffic

According to Pantone, turquoise is the latest “it” color for fashion & interiors in 2010, which is why the lovely Tara from StrollerTraffic recently asked me for a round-up of favorite turquoise baby picks. I’ve been shopping for a lot of pink & orange lately, so it was fun to make the switch over to a blue palette for a change!

turquoise baby gifts - StrollerTraffic

I do realize that my 10 product picks run the gammut from turquoise to aqua to teal… but the look of “turquoise” actually varies a lot from vendor to vendor, and it’s all in the same color family, right? =)

All the images are featured above and below, and you can find the specific vendor info/resources for everything right here on StrollerTraffic. (more…)

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Fun Valentine’s Day Recipes with M&M’s

valentines day ladybug cupcakes

You know those cute bags of  Valentines Day M&M’s that are popping up all over the stores lately? Here are some fun & creative ways to enjoy them (other than straight from the bag!)…

Pictured above: Adorable LadyBug Cupcakes – which also utilize malted milk balls & black licorice “antennas”!

Pictured below: Raspberry Almond Chocolate Crepes – This delicious-looking treat actually features Raspberry Almond M&M’S Premium Chocolate Candies, which look very elegant, but you could easily swap those out for the traditional Almond M&M’S (Valentines version) too.

valentines day recipes using m&m's

Pictured below: X’s and O’s Cookies, Edible Chocolate Cups, and Simply Sweet Cannolis. (more…)

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Sweets & Treats Inspiration Board

valentine's day party ideas

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day, but suddenly it’s only about a month away! So on that note… here’s a fun “Sweets & Treats” inspiration board that Tiny Prints put together espeically for HWTM readers!

I’m especially loving the chic, monochromatic centerpiece featuring red carnations & red hots (so easy!), and the “Passion Pops” from Parents.com. There’s just something about putting a dessert on a stick that makes it all the more adorable!  Here’s the full list of resources for this inspiration board: (more…)

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DIY: “Berry Sweet” Grapewood Centerpiece

pink and red centerpiece ideas

I have somewhat of an obsession with grapewood branches lately… in addition to their naturally fabulous, unique look, they’re so versatile when it comes to the different ways you can dress them up for parties and weddings. They also make great LOW table centerpieces – which is wonderful when you want to do something different than the usual short bunch of flowers.

Added bonuses: Grapewood branches are affordable, easy to work with, AND highly reusable. (I actually use the ones I own as decor in our home when they’re not making an appearance at an event… makes storage easier too!)

pink and red centerpiece ideas

Pictured here are the grapewood centerpieces from the Berry Sweet Baby Shower.

Because we did several small tables at the restaurant where this party was held, I wanted to mix up the centerpiece designs so that the tables didn’t get too monotonous, and these worked perfectly for one of the 3 different styles… (more…)

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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Cups

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Recipe

When Natasha from That’s So Yummy offered up this guest post on Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Cups, how could I possible resist?!

Especially when accompanied by this description “…a chocolate chip cookie layered with creamy cheesecake mixture, then topped with fresh whipped cream and sprinkled with mini chocolate chips.Yum!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Recipe

Read on for the full recipe & step-by-step details from Natasha! (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Night Owl PJ Club Party

Night Owl Pajama Slumber Party Ideas

Today’s Real Party feature comes from Jamie at Giggle Dust Parties and is just WAY TOO CUTE!

It’s a super-colorful “Night Owl Pajama Club” theme featuring tons of adorable details (like that ridiculously cute owl pillow from Target!), a sweet make-your-own sundae dessert bar, and a fabulous bedtime-inspired table and “Night Owl Clubhouse“… does this sound like a little girl’s dream party or what?!

Night Owl Pajama Slumber Party Ideas

Read on for all the fun details, as told by Jamie…

(more…)

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{Guilt-Free} Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

low fat strawberry shortcake recipe

Even if your one of your new year’s resolutions is to eat healthier after indulging in too many rich holiday treats, that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy something sweet once in a while… especially when it comes from a book like Cook Yourself Thin Faster, which features “lightened up” versions of favorites like Tiramisú and Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes!

Read on for Cook Yourself Thin Faster‘s yummy Strawberry Shortcake recipe… less than 200 calories per serving and the perfect sweet treat for Valentine’s Day or bridal/baby showers!

(more…)

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DIY Tutorial: Eco-Chic Bouquet Alternative

eco-chic bouquet alternative

This fabulous new DIY Tutorial comes from the ultra-creative Jesi of Jesi Haack Weddings and features clever “paper bag flowers” crafted from brown Trader Joe’s grocery bags.

While the paper flowers are cool on their own, they also look fabulous when mixed with a few tissue flowers and fresh flowers for an eco-chic wedding bouquet or party centerpiece. Read on for all the step-by-step details (with gorgeous images!), as told by Jesi(more…)

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Joseph Joseph: Innovative Kitchen Gadgets

Joseph Joseph Kitchen Tools

One of my New Year’s resolutions has been to clean out the kitchen and update our cooking tools & gadgets since a lot of the existing ones filling the drawers & cupboards are circa our wedding registry from 2000… and some how here we are a decade later in 2010!

Joseph Joseph has always been a personal favorite when it comes to contemporary kitchen & cooking products. While they’ve got everything from cool prep bowls & chopping boards to modern bread bins and salad servers, here’s a peek at 7 innovative kitchen gadgets specifically…

Joseph Joseph Kitchen Tools

Pictured above:
Compact Herb Chopper
a cutting surface and curved cutter all in one neat unit! ($25)
Fold Flat Gratera traditional box-style grater that folds flat for easy, space-saving storage ($20, available in green, white, red, & black)
Spaghetti Measureinnovative, compact pasta measuring tool that provides an adjustable portion guide for 1-4 servings ($7) (more…)

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