Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

REAL PARTIES: Vintage-Inspired Tea Party

Vintage Tea Party Birthday Ideas

Get ready for a serious dose of adorable!

Sarah from a Very Story Photography created this whimsical, dress-up “Vintage-Inspired Tea Party” for her daughter Emma’s birthday… and fans of the vintage-eclectic style of Amy Butler, Liberty of London, and Anthropologie should especially love this one!

From pink lemonade served in mason jars and handkerchief “napkins” to tea sandwiches and colorful paper flowers, the attention to detail here is fantastic! This is also a party that “girls” of all ages can appreciate – it’s full of lovely inspiration for occasions like bridal & baby showers too… or even a Mother’s Day brunch.

Vintage Tea Party Birthday Ideas

Vintage Tea Party Birthday Ideas

Read on for lots more pretty pictures and all the party details, as told by Sarah(more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: LilyGirl Jewelry

LilyGirl Jewelry Giveaway

Winner Update 8/4: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the winner is… Commenter #93 – Mimi. Congrats!  And here’s a special message for everyone else from LilyGirl:

“Please tell them how much we love them and appreciate all of the entries! We would like to thank everyone by offering a special 15% discount with the promo code “hwtm15. (good through Friday 8/6 at midnight)

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We have a new Surprise Giveaway for you that I think you’re going to LOVE! This one comes from LilyGirl – a fabulous jewelry design company founded by sisters Lori and Denise – who just happen to create their gorgeous, handmade pieces right here in San Diego County. =)

This week at HWTM, a $100 LilyGirl SHOPPING SPREE is up for grabs for a lucky reader! The shopping spree is good towards anything on www.shoplilygirl.com.

And there is LOTS to choose from…starting with their newest collection: A Bit Bohemian, which is full of intricate metal detailing mixed in with bright splashes of color (examples pictured above and below).

LilyGirl Jewelry Giveaway

Next up: a few examples from the Celebration Series and Celebrate Love collections: (more…)

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Ants on a Cupcake + Busy Bees

Summer Party Ant Cupcakes

Waiter, there’s an ant on my cupcake!” That was one of the comments I got on twitter last night after posting these “Ants on a Picnic” cupcakes from What’s New, Cupcake?. =)

But wait… these are the kind of bugs that you actually WANT at your party! You know… the kind that are made from chocolate covered almonds and dark chocolate frosting and that aren’t really bugs at all! Added bonus… they come bearing CANDY FRUIT.

Summer Party Ant Cupcakes

I love the idea of serving these up as a sweet, creative ending to your family picnic, summer BBQ, or a fun “bug themed” birthday party!

And if the picnic ants are feeling a little lonely as the only bug at the party, you can give them some company with this adorable Busy Bee Hive, which is also perfect for Bee or Garden-themed baby showers:    (more…)

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DIY: Stacked Box Bridal Shower Cake

Bridal Shower Centerpiece Idea

Here’s a different kind of bridal shower centerpiece or accent decor idea that is cute, quick & easy, and can be customized to your own theme in so many ways…

I found this cute set of round red nesting boxes at IKEA for $9.99, stacked them, and wrapped each tier with a band of decorative paper that coordinated with the rest of the party.  For the “cake topper” – a framed print featuring a photo of the happy couple. This particular frame is double-sided and also from Ikea… and at only 99¢ you can’t beat the price! (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Dino-ROAR Birthday!

Dinosaur Birthday Birthday Party Ideas

Oh my goodness… this dinosaur-themed party by Kim from The Celebration Shoppe is SO amazing! Such a fun theme for a birthday boy too! Absolutely loving it…from the happy colors and treats to the kids photo booth. Read on for tons of great photos and party details below, as told by Kim.

(Added bonus: to make things especially easy if you want to recreate this party for your own little one – you can purchase a lot of these party details!)

Dinosaur Birthday Birthday Party Ideas

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“Well, it is official. My youngest son is four… FOUR. And of course we celebrated in true dino-ROAR style, his absolute favorite. I shopped for just the right fabric, props, gifts, favors and activities for months and here are a few of the things I came up with. Let’s start at the candy table, the kids’ favorite… and maybe a few parents’ favorite too.

I found this beautiful fabric in the early planning stages and it made me think of the undergrowth of an overgrown forest. Use your imagination a little and you’ll be able to see it. Let’s face it, my T-Rex is blue so why can’t my forest be elegant with a splash of whimsy. {wink}

So starting with the cake tier – the centerpiece for my candy table – I made a T-Rex and a Stegosaurus topper, both inspired by a fabulous tutorial at A Baked Creation.

Dinosaur Birthday Birthday Party Ideas

The table was teaming with treats, like salt water taffy, (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Summer Grilling Kit (+ BBQ Taste & Tweet Event!)

Grilling Taste and Tweet Giveaway Event

I have TWO fun things to share with you today, (both courtesy of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®)… a fabulous Summer Grilling Kit Giveaway for HWTM readers and a special Twitter Event coming up this Monday that I’ll be co-hosting!

Here are the details for both:

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BBQ TASTE & TWEET – Monday, July 26th:
With summer here, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® wants to help you get ready for grilling season with a fun Taste & Tweet Twitter event. We hope you will join us for a great evening of eating, Tweeting and sharing grilling and summer entertaining tips with @ICBINotButter, @HWTM_Jenn and @GrillCompanion.

The Taste & Tweet will take place on Monday, July 26th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm CST. Your first tweet including the hashtag for the event: #ICBINotButterBBQ, will automatically be entered in a sweepstakes to win one of two grand prizes. (Note – this sweepstakes is separate from the giveaway featured in this post.) (more…)

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Fabulous Find: TEACUPCAKES

cupcake hostess gift idea

Fun find of the week: TEACUPCAKES by Fred & Friends… ultra-clever bake & serve cupcake molds that come with matching saucers for an “elegant” presentation! Great gift idea for your friends that love to bake – or for the hostess that already has it all. ($17.95/set of 4 at heliotrope)

P.S. These would also be cute utilized as “vases” for tiny flower arrangements & worked into a creative centerpiece for a modern tea party theme!

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DIY: Easy Flowers & Candy Centerpiece

cute baby shower centerpiece idea

Here’s a fun centerpiece idea from a baby shower that I styled a while back (photo gallery here)…  These are soooo easy to whip out once you have all the elements in front of you – and can easily be tailored to match any paper pattern & color palette!

This design is also a great option for quick & affordable “mass” production due to the minimal amount of fresh flowers and candy that you actually need per centerpiece. (Most of the pot is filled with floral foam; there’s just a small layer of candy to cover it.)

cute baby shower centerpiece idea

And to help tie these in with the rest of your party, you can make additional “paper flowers” in smaller sizes to use as cupcake toppers OR a mix of small & large flowers to create an entire “flower bed” cake topper!

Find all the DIY details + free word label downloads below!  (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Modern Train Birthday

train themed birthday party ideas

Melisa from the ultra-creative Little Apple Design and Project Nursery sent in this adorable party she created for her son’s 3rd birthday that features a Thomas the Train theme with a modern, updated twist. This is such a great example of how you can “style up” any sort of theme to fit your own personal taste!

(Added bonus: – find free printables of the candy buffet labels below!)

train themed birthday party ideas

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

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DIY Tutorial: Mod Podge Tile Coasters

DIY Mod Podge Tile Coaster Tutorial

Jaime Curtis – one of the talented women behind the ultra-inspiring Prudent Baby – was kind enough to share this fabulous Mod Podge Tile Coasters tutorial with us!

The best thing about this type of project is that you can literally tailor it to any style & color palette you want… there are so many great gift wrap & scrapbook papers out there, so the sky’s the limit! Added bonus: they cost less than $5/set & made for a great gift idea too. Here goes with the DIY details:

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DIY Mod Podge Coaster Tutorial

1. Purchase some tiles. I bought six of the cheapest tiles I could find in glossy white; it was under $2. (more…)

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Naughty Betty: The Brutal Truth (Prettied Up)

Naughty Betty paper goods

If you haven’t “met” Naughty Betty yet… prepare to be entertained! This line of “brutally honest” paper goods & partyware seriously has me cracking up…

And I’m particularly relieved to discover that inner peace starts with caffeine (see oh-so-wise mug, above). Thanks, NB for clearing that up… now I don’t feel so guilty about opening the zillionth Diet Coke of the day right now. Inner peace, here I come! =)

Naughty Betty paper goods

Founded by fellow moms & advertising veterans Christine Montaquila and Courtney Weinberg, Naughty Betty brings cool design and a sense of humor to many of the issues that moms – and women in general – deal with every day. They skip the sappy stuff and “operate on the simple notion that nothing, in greeting cards and in life, is funnier than the truth.”

With a fun array of affordable products ranging from cocktail napkins and tableware to memo pads, greeting cards, and more, this line makes for a fun addition to your party, desk, or a friend’s mailbox/gift. Here are a few more favorites to help get you better acquainted with Betty….  (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Festival Du Bebe {Part 3 – Favors, Menu, & Activities}

circus themed party ideas

In continuing with the recap of the Festival Du Bebe baby shower, here’s Part 3 – the Favors, Menu, & Activities

circus themed party ideas

The party favors were fun to put together… Clear plastic boxes were filled with colorful candies, tied with a ribbon and embellished with a 3″ artificial butterfly & personalized Festival Du Bebe favor tag (2 different designs – this one and this one).

I purchased the plastic boxes for the candy at Paper Mart – they’re the Clear Tuck Top Boxes and were only $13.50 for 50 of the 3x3x4″ size (several smaller & larger sizes available too). (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: “Bollywood Bling” Theme

Bollywood Bling Aniversary Party Ideas

Bird from Bird Crafts created such a fun, vibrant celebration for her wedding anniversary this year!  The party had an ultra-colorful “BOLLYWOOD BLING” theme that would actually work great for all kinds of summer celebrations – birthday parties, bridal showers, cocktails parties, etc.

I’m especially loving the giant paper pom poms hanging above the dessert table and the sparkly rhinestone details on the glass candle holders and blue paper elephant cut-outs!

Bollywood Bling Aniversary Party Ideas

Read on for more fun pics and all the creative party details, as told by Bird…  (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Festival Du Bebe {Part 2 – Sparkling Drinks Station}

circus themed party ideas

Instead of having a “signature drink” at the Festival Du Bebe shower, we had a Signature Drink STATION! This is a fun idea that you could really tailor to any sort of theme or occasion.

To play up the Mardi Gras/Masquerade element of this particular theme, I focused on SPARKLING drinks and COLORFUL containers

circus themed party ideas

The drink station offered sparkling water, sodas, mini cans of sparkling IZZE, and a DIY Champagne & Cider Bar where guests could choose their favorite mixer (juice or liqueur) then top it with their bubbly of choice (champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling cider) to create their own drink!

I don’t have a full shot of the finished table, but here’s a work-in-progress to give you an idea the set up:

circus themed party ideas

The juice carafes (pictured below) – Blueberry-Pomegranate, O.J., and Cranberry Apple – sat next to the Chambord and were elevated by a free-standing shelf from IKEA.  (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Festival Du Bebe {Part 1}

masquerade carnival baby shower theme

I’m so excited to share this party with you! This is a masquerade/carnival-inspired baby shower – dubbed “Festival Du Bebe” – that I created for my close friend Jen earlier this year to celebrate the pending arrival of her new baby boy (who has since arrived… healthy & adorable!).

When everything was spread out around our house in the last few days before the party I pretty much felt like a kid in a candy store… feathers, rhinestones, giant butterflies, flowers, champagne, monkey statues, loads of candy…oh yes, it was definitely a happy place!

masquerade carnival baby shower theme

masquerade carnival baby shower theme

Since there are LOTS of pictures to share – thanks to gracious & talented photographer Jillian Bisinger – I’m going to break this feature into 2 parts. We’ll cover the tables & party decor here in Part 1, and the food & drinks, party favors, and activities in Part 2.

Scroll down to check out more images, party details, and shopping resources… (more…)

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Stylish & Unique Wedding Stationery

designer wedding invitations by minted

Remember the days when the typical wedding invitation consisted of some sort of fancy script stamped in gold or silver on a simple background of white (or maybe even off-white, if you wanted to get crazy!)? Wow…. have times changed!

The wedding invitation suites available today are so UNIQUE and creative – and the great thing about that is that couples can pick a design that truly reflects their own style & personality. Case in point: check out these fabulous designs from minted.com. Pictured here are just a few favorites from the literally hundreds of eye-catching invite collections available (from some seriously talented designers!):

designer wedding invitations by minted

Pictured above: Block Print Waves by Bumble Ink and Sunkissed (orange) by Sarah Lenger.

designer wedding invitations by minted

Above & below: La Fete by Oscar+Emma Design (more…)

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Free Printables: Patriotic Party Printables

4th of July patriotic party printables

In celebration of Independence Day, here are a few more free printables that coordinate with the Patriotic Drink Parasols posted earlier – including 2 party signs for the food & beverage tables and a set of 6 place cards/labels).

Below you’ll also find a few shots of these printables in use at a party (but with a different color palette since they were originally created for this Color Your Summer theme): (more…)

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Free Printables: Patriotic Drink Parasols

4th of july cocktail drink parasols

If you’re on the lookout for some fun ideas for your 4th of July parties this weekend, here are some new free party printables for you!

I decided to create a more traditional red, white, & blue version of the printable drink parasols from our Color Your Summer party theme. Here they are…

4th of july cocktail drink parasols

4th of july cocktail drink parasols

(The original designs could easily work for 4th of July as well, but they feature a red/white/aqua color scheme with yellow accents for a twist on the traditional palette.)

You’ll find the download link & DIY instructions for the Patriotic Parasols below, and here are a few more shots of the original drink parasols in action:   (more…)

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REAL WEDDINGS: Cheery Summer Bicycle {Part 2}

ice cream buffet wedding ideas

In continuing with Part 1 of the “Summer Bicycle Inspired” wedding created by My Bride Story & team – here’s a recap of the “LOVE IS SWEETDIY Ice Cream Station, as told by Esther:

Kayla’s Kakes also came on board to create a one of a kind ice cream station, which couldn’t have been more fitting for this summer wedding. Don’t you think the white fence made for a perfect backdrop?! It was originally from my home, and Kayla had a handyman construct a backdrop from it especially for this wedding.

ice cream buffet wedding ideas

We also hand-picked our ice-cream scooper/high schooler (ha!). He scooped vanilla and strawberry ice-cream for each of the guests, then they got to add their own favorite toppings from a selection of choices that included sprinkles, coconut flakes, marshmallows, almonds, and a variety of fruits.”

Below are several fun shots of the Ice Cream Station, which also included an ADORABLE cake and fabulous signage/labels by Posh Paperie…  (more…)

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REAL WEDDINGS: Cheery Summer Bicycle {Part 1}

colorful summer wedding ideas

Esther Kim from My Bride Story Weddings & Events recently sent over pics from this fabulous “Summer Bicycle Inspired” wedding that she created… doesn’t it look like so much FUN?!

Along with the help of some talented vendors, Esther transformed the church courtyard where the wedding took place into a colorful, whimsical “playground” complete with GORGEOUS flower arrangements and playful bicycle and pinwheel accents.

colorful summer wedding ideas

colorful summer wedding ideas

There’s so much eye candy to be shared, so I decided to break the feature into 2 parts. Feast your eyes on the gorgeous flowers & decor here in Part 1… and then in Part 2 (coming later today), we’ll showcase the fabulous “Love is Sweet” Ice Cream Station by Kayla’s Kakes.

Read on for tons of AMAZING pics (by DonDavidStyle Photography} and all the fun details, as told by Esther(more…)

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