Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

7 Inspiring Easter Desserts from Martha

easter treat recipes martha stewart

If you’re in the  mood to show off your baking skills this Easter – or just feel the urge to be extra creative – here are 7 seriously ingenious & inspiring Easter treat ideas from Martha that are sure to do the trick!

Starting from the top… how adorable are these Spring Chick Cupcakes?! Loving this idea for a barnyard-themed birthday party or “About to Hatch” baby shower too!

easter treat recipes martha stewart

Pictured above: These Flower Pot Cupcakesbaked in small terracotta pots & sprinkled with crushed cookie “dirt” – take “creative presentation” to a whole new level!

And another cute idea for the kiddos… adorable Butterfly Cupcakes. (also cute for baby showers & birthday parties!)

Next up – brilliant Easter Egg Cakes made from poundcake & custard (for yolks) look beautiful displayed on a colorful fruit plate: (more…)

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Real Parties: Sugar & Spice Baby Shower

sugar and spice baby shower ideas

Today’s Real Party features a gorgeous take on the popular “Sugar and Spice” baby shower theme.

This chic chocolate & pink celebration was coordinated by event planner & shower hostess Kelly Balfour of Eventology Weddings and includes tons of super cute & inspiring details – like a homemade cookie buffet + carafes of chocolate, strawberry, & regular milk, adorable pink & brown ribbon accents on everything from the florals to the napkins, and seriously one of the cutest baby shower cakes I’ve ever seen!

sugar and spice baby shower ideas

sugar and spice baby shower ideas

Read on for lots of inspiring images and all the party details, as told by Kelly(more…)

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Budget-Friendly Easter Kids Table Ideas

Easter kids table ideas

Even if you’re planning a fancy Easter brunch for friends & family, it’s always a good idea to have a separate table for the little ones… not only is it fun for them to have a playful, kid-friendly setting of their own, but it also reduces the risk of spills & slips with the adult table’s fine china & linens!

Colorful scrapbook paper is one of my favorite tools for whipping up super cute AND budget-friendly place settings in no time. There are so many great papers to choose from and you can use them for everything from the place mats to the place cards!

Easter kids table ideas

You can also create cute place cards from plastic easter eggs sitting on top of a strip of looped scrapbook paper. (These work great for DIY Easter Egg holders too.) Use a sharpie to write each child’s name on the eggs, and fill them with candy so they double as an after-meal treat or take home party favor. (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Ice Cream Shoppe Theme

ice cream shoppe birthday party ideas

Today’s Real Party is – in a word – DELICIOUS!

This Ice Cream/Candy Shoppe theme was created by Pooneh Shakoori and friend/event planner Sheri Valainis for her daughter’s 5th birthday party, and there’s actually also some great inspiration here for a Pickles & Ice Cream or Cravings baby shower!

ice cream shoppe birthday party ideas

Read on for TONS of adorable & inspiring images, as well as a description of the party as told by Pooneh… (more…)

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DIY: Modern Spring Centerpiece Ideas

spring centerpiece and cocktail party ideas

Looking for spring party inspiration? Here are a few surprisingly quick & easy centerpieces that I put together for a Spring themed cocktail party.

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, it’s probably no secret that manzanita branches & grapewood are one of my favorite elements for creating centerpieces… due largely in part that they make a fabulous “canvas” for all sorts of decorations. They’re also a quick, easy way to create large & impactful centerpieces at a fraction of the cost of big floral arrangements.

spring centerpiece and cocktail party ideas

Even better: these particular arrangements are made with just a few main elements: branches, moss balls, artificial butterflies, and orange mums.

I chose a contemporary palette of bright green and vibrant orange for this party, but – as always – this same concept can be tailored to any colors of your choice!

Full DIY details and shopping resources below… (more…)

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BHG Gallery: Quick & Easy Easter Ideas

Easter Party Ideas

BHG.com has a great photo gallery called Quick & Easy Easter Decorations that’s full of simple, stylish Easter ideas.

Here are a few favorites from the gallery… starting with the chic “New Leaf” napkin fold, which is topped with a pretty flower bloom – like the yellow daffodil pictured here or another flower that matches your table’s color palette. (They specify using a floral tube inside the napkin for fresh cut flowers, but you could easily swap fresh flowers out for quality artificial blooms and skip the floral tube all together.)

Also pictured above: the “Glass Act” design featuring a daisy and colored rubber band wrapped around a glass votive holder. Cute & easy! (This would also be cute with raffia in place of the rubber band.)

Next up – Lovely blue & white ideas make for a fresh take on the traditional Easter color palettes:

Easter Party Ideas

(more…)

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Pretty Easter Egg Tree Centerpiece

Easter Egg Tree Centerpiece Ideas

This pretty Easter Egg Tree centerpiece idea was sent in by HWTM reader Virginia Bell. I love the simple-chic style and the fact that she included the phrase “I literally pulled it together in about 10 minutes!” with the submission. Gotta love quick & easy! =)

Easter Egg Tree Centerpiece Ideas

Read on for the DIY details, as told by Virginia… (more…)

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Zoology Tableware by Boston Warehouse

zoology tableware by boston warehouse

Loving this super-cute Zoology tableware by Boston Warehouse… the contemporary shapes and all-white finish reminds me of Jonathan Adler’s fabulous signature style, but these pieces are a lot easier on the pocketbook! (Prices range from $9.95 – $24.95 at Heliotrope) Clever gift ideas for hostesses & new nesters too…

Pictured above: Rhino Butter Dish ($9.95), Giraffe Oil & Vinegar Set ($24.95), and Mouse & Cheese Salt/Pepper Set ($9.95).

zoology tableware by boston warehouse

Pictured above: Turtle Jam Jar ($9.95), Elephant Teapot ($9.95), and Whale Cream/Sugar Set ($9.95). (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: A “Curious George” Inspired Birthday Party for Grant

Curious George birthday party ideas

Today’s Real Party feature – a colorful Curious George-inspired birthday party – comes from the talented Esther of My Bride Story.

There are so many things I LOVE about this party, but here are a few stand-outs:

1. From the “milk shooters” topped with chocolate chip cookies to the colorful & contemporary DIY felt garlands, this party is filled with wonderfully creative ideas that are both stylish & budget-friendly!

2. In lieu of regular birthday presents, all gifts were given directly to charity.

3. The concept behind the party is very inspiring…and is even reflected in the chosen venue. More details on this below, but here’s one of my favorite comments from Esther: “It has been an incredible journey for our family this year, and we wanted to use this occasion to honor those who have supported us and Grant with their gracious support and wisdom.”

Curious George birthday party ideas

Curious George birthday party ideas

Read on for LOTS more pics and all the party details, as told by Esther(more…)

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What a Difference A Day Makes…

baby macy

I’ve been a little light on the posting this week and just wanted to share the reason why… our new addition to the family arrived a little earlier than expected!

Sonny & I went to a routine doctor appointment on Monday and got sent straight across to labor & delivery due to some safety concerns. I have to admit that was a little nerve-wracking… but by Tuesday morning Macy arrived – completely healthy & happy!

baby macy

We’re taking a few days to adjust to being new parents and all that entails – especially the fact that she seems to have her days and nights absolutely, completely switched :0 Sleep has been pretty much non-existent since Sunday night :0 – but I know all of that is to be expected at the beginning.

I’ll still be posting regularly again starting tomorrow afternoon though… there are some fabulous new Real Parties to share! =)

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Easy Leprechaun Hat Party Centerpiece

leprechaun hat centerpiece - st. patrick's day

Another quick & easy St. Patrick’s Day centerpiece idea and this one literally takes about 5 minutes to put together once you have the elements!

YOU’LL NEED:
1. Pillar candle holders in 2 different heights
2. Sparkly leprechaun hats – around $2.50 at most party supply stores
3. Bright yellow ribbon – 1.5″ wide
4. Something to use as a “buckle” – You can either make your own using cardstock, or use sparkly gold chipboard pieces like the ones I used here – which are part of K&Company’s Twinkle Type Letters and were purchased at Michaels.

***** (more…)

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St. Patrick’s Day Centerpiece: Lucky Mugs

st. patrick's day party decorating ideas

Continuing with St. Patty’s Day inspiration today, here’s a quick, easy, & affordable idea for a party centerpiece/decorative accent.

All you need are glass beer mugs, small green plants, chocolate coins, and wood skewers.

These plants were only $2 – $2.50 each at Home Depot, and you can also find similar sizes/prices at IKEA. For the beer mugs, check places like HomeGoods and Target… this set of 4 was only $8 at HomeGoods!

I also designed some themed labels/wraps to dress up the mugs, and if you’d like to use them too, you can download them for free using the links at the bottom of this post.

st. patrick's day party decorating ideas

{More images + DIY details below.} (more…)

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St. Patrick’s Day Popcorn Ball “Beer” Treats

St. Patrick's Day Dessert Party Favors

Looking for some St. Patrick’s Day party inspiration? Here’s a fun DIY favor/treat idea for adult get-togethers: mini “beer pints” made from popcorn balls and punch-sized party cups!

The popcorn ball represents the “foamy head” of the beer. I used this Best Ever Popcorn Balls recipe from allrecipes.com, which yielded exactly 10 super-yummy-&-chewy popcorn balls in the perfect size for this project. (I did modify the recipe slightly by using 2 bags of light butter microwave popcorn in lieu of the 5 quarts of air-popped popcorn… gotta love shortcuts!)

I also designed some labels for the cups, which you can download for free at the bottom of this post.

St. Patrick's Day Dessert Party Favors

These would be great as part of a St. Patty’s Day dessert buffet, or you could also wrap them up in clear cellophane and send them home with guests as party favors – or even gift them around the office as a festive treat for co-workers!

I also like the idea of displaying them on cocktail napkins to play up the “beverage” theme… (more…)

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A Bright & Cheery Summer Wedding

pink and orange summer wedding

Today’s Real Wedding feature is guaranteed to add a little sunshine to your day! This “Bright & Cheery Summer Wedding” was coordinated by Courtney of Joyful Weddings & Events, and the attention to detail is fantastic!

Prepare to be inspired by things like gorgeous, vibrant flower arrangements, a fabulous wheatgrass cake stand and dessert and candy buffets that are nothing short of amazing…

pink and orange summer wedding

And even though this particular event is a wedding, remember that there are some wonderful ideas that can be incorporated into ANY spring or summer celebration (on a much smaller scale, of course!)… from bridal showers and cocktail parties to Mother’s Day brunch.

For example:
the simpler flower arrangements pictured directly above (each of which focuses on just one type of flower and adorable ribbon embellishments)
the paper lanterns and pictures of the guests of honor, both hung by fabric ribbon
cake pops from the dessert table displayed in decorative baking cups
… and much more!

pink and orange summer wedding

Read on for TONS of images and all the details, as told by Courtney(more…)

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Fabulous Cupcake Kits by Meri Meri

Meri Meri Cupcake Kits

Okay… so I’m TOTALLY in love with these new Cupcake Sets by Meri Meri! Such a genius idea, don’t you think?!

Each themed set includes 24 decorative cupcake cases (a.k.a. “baking cups”) and 24 assorted die-cut toppers. This is going to make dressing up homemade cupcakes for everything from kids birthdays to bridal showers super easy! ($11.95 each)

Meri Meri Cupcake Kits

Check out all these fantastic designs… starting above with Tweet Tweet Birds and Oh Baby Baby, and continuing below with 12 more fabulous designs for everything from Pirate and Robot parties to Luaus! (more…)

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Creative St. Patty’s Day Cupcakes

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

Looking for some creative party ideas for St. Patrick’s Day? Entertaining expert & cupcake guru Jeanne Benedict has some fabulous ideas in the dessert department… my favorite being the “Beer Cupcakes” pictured above – how fun are those?!

And don’t worry… these clever treats just LOOK like beer! This design is all about the presentation, so you can still stick with traditional cupcake flavors topped with a generous helping of vanilla or cream cheese frosting.

For the “beer” wrapper, look for scrapbook paper with a similar motif or purchase a beer background stock photo and print & cut them yourself.

(Side Note: This would also be a great dessert for an adult birthday or “big game party… or even a DVD viewing of The Hangover!)

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

For the little ones, how about Jeanne’s cute Leprechaun Hat cupcake idea (above), or a traditional cupcake topped with green frosting and mini chocolate chips: (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Bedtime Stories Birthday

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

I have to admit that today’s Real Party feature makes me extra-happy… because it was inspired by a theme found right here at HWTM! Jennifer Gentry took our Bedtime Stories Baby Shower and spun it into a seriously fabulous birthday party for her son!

There are so many clever elements to this party… from the “story book” style invitations and ultra-creative thank you notes to a ridiculously adorable fondant bedcomplete with pillows, books, teddy bear, and flashlight nonetheless!

bedtime stories birthday party ideas

Read on for lots more images & all the party details, as told by Jennifer(more…)

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Table Setting Inspiration: Think Green

spring green table setting ideas

Have St. Patty’s Day, Easter, or another spring celebration on your mind? This “Green Theme” tablescape from Southern Living is fantastic inspiration for all of the above!

The fresh, chic vibe of this (completely flower-free) table design is created with clear glass dishes & cylinders, white linens & candles, and LOTS of green foliage – including wheatgrass, fronds, and magnolia leaves.

spring green table setting ideas

You can find inexpensive glass plates & dishes at places like IKEA or HomeGoods.

For the foliage, the best place to start is your own backyard… take a quick peek outside and see what shapes and styles of leaves and grass are available to you for free.

Wheatgrass is typically sold in flats and can be purchased from places like local florists, nurseries, some health food stores, and online. (If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can even buy the seeds and your grow your own!) (more…)

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DIY Inspiration: Japanese Washi Tape

japanese washi tape DIY projects

Elizabeth from To Be Charmed sent over some fabulous DIY inspiration starring Japanese washi tape that she thought you guys would love – and I couldn’t agree more! In fact, I can’t wait to try this stuff out myself and just researched a bunch of different places to purchase washi tape (resources listed below).

If you’re not yet familiar with Japanese washi tape, it’s basically a multi-purpose adhesive tape (similar to masking tape) that’s used for things like gift-wrapping embellishments and arts & crafts projects.

japanese washi tape DIY projects

Pictured above and below are some fantastic examples from Elizabeth that demonstrate how the tape looks applied to vases and paper cups.

These examples utilize bright colors and fillers that are perfect for Spring… she even uses simple white eggs as a filler in of the vases – great inspiration for Easter celebrations! (more…)

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Simply Stated: Clever Kitchen Tools

contemporary kitchen tools

In today’s HWTM post over at Real Simple, check out 7 Cute & Contemporary Kitchen Tools – from ladybug mixing bowls to “angelic” colanders … great gift ideas for yourself or someone else! (Added bonus: they’re all super affordable!)

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REAL PARTIES: “Love Birds” Theme

Love Birds party theme ideas

Today’s adorable Real Party – created by Lindsey Mintrone of Bella Grace Party Designs – was originally designed as a Valentine’s Day celebration, but it would also serve as great inspiration for the always-popular “Love Birds” bridal shower theme!

From clever lollipop flower arrangements (so cute!) to a homemade “Love Birds Tree” centerpiece and adorable owl & birdie graphics, this get-together is full of charming details and great DIY project ideas…

Love Birds party theme ideas

Read on for lots more pics and all the sweet party details as told by Lindsey(more…)

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Real Parties: Alice in Wonderland Birthday

Alice in Wonderland Party Ideas

I stumbled upon this absolutely AMAZING Alice in Wonderland-inspired party on photographer Jessica Claire’s blog a while back, and even though it’s been almost 3 years since the party actually took place, it still remains as one of the most adorable kids parties I’ve ever seen…

Alice in Wonderland Party Ideas

It also feels especially timely to feature this theme right now with Disney’s new Alice in Wonderland movie by Tim Burton opening in theaters today… which I personally can’t wait to go see in IMAX 3D!

Something tells me there are going to be a LOT of “Wonderland” themed celebrations popping up this year… and hopefully for all ages –  I love the idea of tailoring the Wonderland theme to adult parties too – like milestone birthdays, bridal showers, and whimsical engagement parties!

Alice in Wonderland Party Ideas

This colorful tea party was actually a combined celebration for 3 different birthday girls, and each guest of honor received her own fabulously decked-out birthday girl chair: (more…)

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Twilight Inspired Wedding Part 2: Cake, Drinks, Bridal Bouquet & More

Twilight wedding party ideas

In continuing with the lovely Twilight Wedding Tablescape posted earlier today, here are some additional – and equally inspiring! – details from this creative & romantic theme by Lina and Heather

Twilight wedding party ideas

Twilight wedding party ideas

(more…)

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Twilight Inspired Wedding Part 1: Tablescape

Twilight Inspired Wedding Tablescape

Today’s wedding feature is incredibly romantic and chic!

When Lina of A Stunning Affair and Heather of Events by Heather Ham first sent this over, I was immediately intrigued by the unique sound of the event… a “Twilight Themed Wedding“, and whether you’re a fan of the popular book series or not, chances are good that you’ll be visually inspired by all of this gorgeous eye candy!

Twilight Inspired Wedding Tablescape

Twilight Inspired Wedding Tablescape

Read on for TONS of beautiful images {shot by photographer Meg Perotti}, and all the creative details, as told by Lina.

(P.S. As an added bonus, there’s also a “Luxe  for Less” example that shows how to achieve the same look on a tighter budget!) (more…)

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Oscars Party Ideas: Manzanita Centerpieces

gold manzanita branch centerpieces

Continuing with the Oscars party ideas today, here’s some inspiration for glamorous red & gold centerpieces… starting with the gorgeous crystal adorned tree pictured above, which was created by Tic-Tock Couture Florals and is also from our “Old Hollywood Glam” themed Hip Hostess event in LA.

The key word here is INSPIRATION… I’m pretty sure that most of us won’t be creating something of this exact scale for our home parties!

However, the great news is that you can dramatically scale this idea down for your own get togethers – and it’s surprisingly doable. Promise! This exact project was actually part of the party decor demo I did at the event.

gold manzanita branch centerpieces

There are a few different ways to approach smaller versions of this look.

You can use a tall glass or ceramic vase filled with loose, decorated branches or fill a planter-style vase with floral foam to stand and secure 1-2 decorated branches in the center, then cover the floral foam around the branches with a pretty filler like moss, gold stones, red acrylic ice, or a tight “bed” of fresh roses.

Detailed DIY info below… (more…)

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Oscars Party Ideas: Photo Cylinders

oscars party ideas academy awards

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards are coming up this weekend (Sunday, March 7), and regardless of how into the actual ceremonies you are, the Oscars are always a fun excuse to have people over! You can chat with friends over casual cocktails & appetizers while the red carpet fashions and award presentations are going on, or create a more formal affair, complete with a fancy dinner party and Oscar Ballots for your guests.

So… for the next few days I’ll be featuring some different types of Oscars party inspiration for both casual & formal affairs, starting right now with one of my favorite (EASY!) decor ideas: Photo-Wrapped Cylinders.

oscars party ideas academy awards

This concept is simple, but there are so many great things you can do with it! All you need are inexpensive glass cylinder vases (widely available in craft/home stores and online) and images of movie stars or movie scenes/posters.

You can opt for current-day stars and films (maybe even some of the current Oscar contenders) or go for an “Old Hollywood” vibe as demonstrated in the examples shown here (which are from an event I did in LA last year). (more…)

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REAL PARTY: Vintage Circus Baby Shower

vintage circus baby shower party theme

This new Real Party feature is so much fun! It’s a Vintage Circus” baby shower theme that’s chic, sophisticated, and even a little bit GLAM… how’s that for a fresh take on the baby shower concept? =)

vintage circus baby shower party theme

The party was created by Sharon Taylor and features cool details like feather-topped cupcakes, kelly green paper pinwheels, and a vintage toy animal “circus train”.

Read on for lots of inspiring images and all the details, as told by Sharon(more…)

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