Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

9 Ultra-Creative Halloween Cocktails

It’s amazing what a little creative presentation can do, right? Case in point: check out how clever garnishes like licorice wheels, chili peppers, cherries, and pickled beets can turn rather innocent-looking cocktails into something truly SPOOKTACULAR for Halloween! Which concoction looks most tempting to you? (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: “Hocus Focus” Halloween

Wizards & Witches Halloween Party Ideas

I’m SO excited to share this amazing Halloween party with you! Jackie from Jackie Culmer Photography recently designed and captured this super stylish & creative “Hocus Focus” party to celebrate the launch of her new business… and judging from the looks of these photos, I’d say she’s got some talent!!

For starters, check out the fabulous “witch’s house” & “graveyard” themed photo areas above, then feast your eyes on the gorgeous potions table below… I don’t think things like “Snake Venom” and “Coffin Syrup” have ever looked so good!

Wizards & Witches Halloween Party Ideas

Read on for lots more beautiful images and all the imaginative details, as told by Jackie… (more…)

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It’s “Ghoul’s Night”! {Pink & Black Halloween}

Feel like doing something fun to celebrate Halloween with your girls this weekend? Here are a few pink-and-black-and-girlie-all-over “Ghoul’s Night” ideas that are surprisingly simple and easy to pull together! Even though I took these pics a few years back, this concept is still one of my favorites when it comes to nontraditional Halloween…

SKULL DRINK CHARMS
Just add hot pink rhinestones to one of the eye sockets on thoses cheap plastic skull rings you can buy in bulk at party stores. These have kind of a fun girlie-skull-pirate look, which just might have to inspire an entire party theme of its own next year!

GHOULIE-GLAM WINE BOTTLES
Cover wine bottles in decorative paper and rhinestones with a Halloween motif. The skull & crossbone stickers pictured here were ready-made, so all I had to do was peel, stick, then pour! (more…)

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Mummy’s Night Out + Veggie Dip Recipe

Mummy themed Halloween Party ideas

This “MUMMY’S NIGHT OUT” theme from Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Halloween is such a clever & elegant take on Halloween, and a color palette of green, white, and black feels fresh & fun, but still very Halloween-appropriate.

The fabulous “Mummy Veggie Dip” tray pictured above is the first thing that caught my eye… such creative presentation! The full recipe is below, but you can really use any thick cream-cheese based dip that you personally love for this dish; the key lies is in forming the mummy shape with your hands, then piping on the top layer of cream cheese from a pastry bag fitted with a leaf tip (in order to mimic the look of cloth).

Mummy themed Halloween Party ideas

These Mummy Vases are super cute too – and surprisingly easy! All you need to recreate these at home are clear glass vases, cheesecloth, transparent tape, plastic eyeballs, and flowers. (Flowers pictured here: white Spider Mums, Dianthus Carnations, and black Kangaroo Paws.) (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Stix in the Mud {Chocolate & Cookie Clusters}

Stix in the Mud Chocolate Clusters

This week’s Surprise Giveaway is for my fellow choc-a-holics! It comes from the folks at Funley’s Delicious, who are offering up a 6-box-pack ($50 retail value) of their gourmet, all-natural STIX IN THE MUD® cookie clusters… dubbed “the Premium Crunchy-Salty-Sweet-Chocolate-Treat”.

Stix in the Mud comes in 3 delicious flavors: Original, Peanut Butter, and Caramel. (Added bonus: no preservatives, trans fat, or high-fructose corn syrup.) They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think that’s especially true when it comes to FOOD, so Sonny and I took these close-up shots last night so that you could really get a “taste” for them. =) It also gave us a great excuse to eat them after! (more…)

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Halloween Dessert Table + Treat Cones DIY

Stefanie from Anna and Blue Paperie sent in this festive Halloween dessert table that features lots of fun, affordable DIY projects – like chocolate-dipped marshmallow pops with colorful Halloween sprinkles, glitter pumpkins, and popcorn-filled paper cones displayed “bed” of candy corn!

All of these themed paper details are also available in Stephanie’s etsy shop. (Don’t you love how the magic of etsy + printable pdfs makes last minute party details so much more attainable now?!)

Check out lots more images after the jump… (more…)

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Victorian Halloween Part 2 – Invites & Decor

Victorian  Halloween Party Ideas

In continuation of the beautiful Victorian Halloween Sweets Table by Sweets Indeed, here’s a peek at the coordinating invitations, escort cards (candy licorice pipes & paper butterflies!!), and accent decor from the same photo shoot…

Victorian  Halloween Party Ideas

{details from Marie at Sweets Indeed}
“The custom invitation was made with velvet-damask paper and is one of my favorite elements. Handcrafted butterfly and licorice pipe place cards help guests find their seats, as well as give them a place to leave wishes for the bride and groom or other guests of honor. (more…)

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Victorian Halloween Part 1 – Sweets Table

Victorian Halloween Table

A-MAZING! That’s pretty much the best way to describe this fabulous Victorian Halloween Dessert Table created by the sugar-style gurus at Sweets Indeed.

In addition to the cool black lace backdrop, the individual crème brûlées served in chocolate cups, and the ridiculously gorgeous cake, one of my favorite things about this table is how stylish and adult-friendly it feels. (P.S. – The black lace backdrop is a great idea for lingerie-themed bridal showers & bachelorettes too!)

Victorian Halloween Table

Read on for lots more dazzling images (photography by The Pixel Studio) and all the creative details, as told by Marie of Sweets Indeed

For this shoot, we wanted to create something that didn’t necessarily scream Halloween but had a subtle creepiness to it. We drew inspiration from the Victorian era and tapped into our inner haunted mansion.

After handcrafting our black lace backdrop and dessert stands, we decided on desserts for the more mature palette and made creme brulee in chocolate dishes, tiramisu, lavender ginger cookies, decorated lemon sugar cookies, monster-tini’s and an assortment of candy take away treats. (more…)

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A Lovely Pumpkin Harvest Brunch

I’m totally swooning over this gorgeous Pumpkin Harvest Brunch created by Vicky from The City Cradle!

Bundt cakes hanging from the trees, pancakes served in carved-out pumpkins (LOVE!), water bottles adorned in lace… what a sweet way to celebrate the season with loved ones. This would make for a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner table too…  just swap out the pancakes for a starter like pumpkin soup!

Read on for all the creative details, as told by Vicky, + more gorgeous images, {as captured by Carly Taylor}:

“I recently hosted a sweet fall harvest brunch that was chock full of handcrafted details.  It was a lovely morning to celebrate love and soak in the first morning rays of the fall season.

Using a coffee table, floor cushions and felt blankets, we were nice and cozy for breakfast! The pancakes took on a fall vibe when stacked inside small hollowed-out pumpkins and topped with a heart made from stiffened embroidery thread. Vintage mint serveware added a fresh touch to the warm colors of a harvest gathering. (more…)

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Pumpkin Mojito Bar + Recipe

In continuation of the Lovely Pumpkin Harvest Brunch by The City Cradle, here are all the details of the fabulous Pumpkin Mojito Bar, as told by Vicky:

“I had great fun dreaming up signature drinks for our pumpkin harvest brunch. I found a wonderful mojito recipe that included pumpkin and brown sugar – it made for a very unique & festive fall drink!

We pinned the drink recipe to a lace-covered vintage frame and let our small group of guests have fun mixing up their own drinks! They were even able to pick their limes right off the tree behind our little bar. We had a juicer for the limes, pureed pumpkin (served in a pumpkin!), and sprigs of mint. (more…)

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Fur Balls & String Monster Cupcakes

Fur Ball Monster Cupcakes

How adorable are these Fur Ball and String Monster cupcakes?! You could probably serve them any time of year, but they’d be really super-cute for Halloween too!

These wide-eyed little creatures are from the book What’s New, Cupcake?, which makes for a great gift idea for your favorite hostesses, moms (of all ages!), and party lovers. This book and sister book Hello, Cupcake! are actually 2 of my favorite gifts to give out. There are tons of ultra-creative designs that make even just flipping through them fun, including these Ants on a Cupake & Busy Bee creations.

string monster cupcakes

Read on for the full recipe & details of how to make both styles of cupcake monsters! (more…)

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Party Design Resource: Mygrafico.com

Mygrafico.com stock illustration and design

Wanted to share a fun design resource with you today! This one that should come in especially handy for graphic designers & party planners that create custom invitations, cupcake toppers, banners, etc, for their clients…

Mygrafico Digital Arts and Crafts Store is a fabulous stock illustration & design site that features the work of several different designers in a huge array of categories – from Illustrations & Cliparts to Backgrounds and Patterns. Added bonus: everything is super affordable!

Mygrafico.com stock illustration and design

Don’t worry though… there are lots of great scrapbooking sets and ready-to-go party printables for non-digital designers too! For example… check out the adorable Monster Cupcake Wrappers & Toppers collection pictured directly above.

There are soooo many different designs to choose from… Here are just a few personal favorites to give you a little taste: (more…)

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Vintage-Style Monster Mash Bash

Monster Mash Halloween Party

With its non-traditional blue & yellow color palette and classic comic book vibe, this fun Monster Mash Bash printable collection from Spaceships & Laser Beams offers a refreshing twist on the typical Halloween party!

Monster Mash Halloween Party

Read on for more cool images and details from Stephanie (the designer of this collection)… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Bouncy Ball Birthday

colorful first birthday party ideas

Here’s about a fun dose of color to brighten your day today!

Amy from Amy Nichols Special Events sent in these fun shots of the colorful treats table she created for the first birthday celebration of her friend’s son. Sweet stuff, festive patterns, bouncy balls, playful pinwheels, animal crackers, a very happy birthday boy… it’s everything a first birthday party should be!

colorful first birthday party ideas

Read on for party details from Amy and more bright, fun pictures that will make you feel like a kid in candy store again! =) (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: A Playful, Sweet Soirée

Pink and Red Party Wedding Ideas

Leila of Be Inspired PR recently sent in this absolutely GORGEOUS outdoor party shoot styled by Love and Splendor that incorporates the creative efforts of some truly amazing vendors! (full vendor details below) Everything about this setting is pure delicious… from the ridiculously beautiful floral designs to the sweet treats and yummy paper details!

These oh-so-lovely images were captured by Becky Hill Photography (based out of Chicago & LA).  Read on for LOTS more images from Becky, and party details and resources from Leila…

Pink and Red Party Wedding Ideas

Pink and Red Party Wedding Ideas

(more…)

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Free “Grateful Mod” Party Printables for Operation Give Thanks

free modern thanksgiving party printables

You might have already seen the sneak peek from last week, but I’m excited to announce today that the new HWTM Grateful Mod” Party Collection to benefit Operation Give Thanks is now available for FREE download!

The collection includes: Fill-in Invitations, Napkin Rings/Vase Wraps, Place Cards, Square Favor Tags, Cupcake Toppers/Party Circles, Bottle Labels, Drink Tags, Paper Patterns and Party Embellishments. {See detailed views of everything below!}

FREE DOWNLOAD:
Click here to download high-res PDFs of everything (in one 26M zip file).

Please note: Because this collection was created in honor of Operation Give Thanks with the overall goal of benefiting military families, I would really appreciate it if you would consider making an online donation – no matter how big or small – in return for downloading the collection! (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Traylor Papers

Traylor Papers Invitations and Party Supplies

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is… Commenter #378  – Deede. Congrats!!

And as a thank you to everyone else, Traylor Papers is offering up a 15% off discount with the code “HWTM15, which is good through October 25th!

*****

I’m SO excited to share this new Surprise Giveaway with you! Traylor Papers is one of the very first websites that caught my eye way back in the day when I really started scouting out cool & contemporary party products online.

They specialize in stylish invitations, stationery, gift ideas, and more… Even better – check out this list of brands that they stock: Dabney Lee, Jonathan Adler, Lilly Pulitzer, Inviting Company, and Bonnie Marcus to name just a few!

Sound tempting? GOOD! Because this week at hwtm, Traylor Papers is offering up a $100 Shopping Spree to a lucky reader!

Traylor Papers Invitations and Party Supplies

A few personal favorites from the site are pictured above and below… (How fabulous is that Monogrammed Lucite Tray by Dabney Lee?!) (more…)

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Popptags: Wit + Wine + Design

Popptags - letterpress wine bottle tags

It’s always a great combo when good design & humor mix!

Case in point: Popptags – clever letterpress wine bottle tags that offer the perfect way to add a dose of style – and a dash of witty honesty – to that bottle of vino that you’re about to gift… or re-gift! (see image #3, below)

Popptags - letterpress wine bottle tags

Popptags are the brainchild of (Richmond, Virginia-based) Anya and Whitneytwo moms who both love wine… and design. Sounds like my kind of people! =)

There are currently 12 fabulous designs to choose from (3 for $9.95), each beautifully letterpressed on recycled paper.  You can also request custom orders for weddings, parties & events! Here are a few more fun examples: (more…)

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A Lush VAMPIRE-Style Dinner Party

vampire dinner party ideas twilight halloween

Courtney from Pizzazzerie recently styled an AMAZING Vampire-themed dinner party for a Nashville Lifestyles piece… how gorgeous is this?!

The shoot was inspired by Love at First Bite: The Complete Vampire Lover’s Cookbook, which boasts “more than 300 suckulent recipes” {very clever!}. I love this idea for a clever twist on Halloween celebrations… or a fun excuse to celebrate your favorite vampire themed books, movies, or tv shows (and there seem to be, oh… 1 or 2 of those!).

vampire dinner party ideas twilight halloween

Read on for more hauntingly beautiful images and all the creative details, as explained by Courtney(more…)

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Sweets Indeed Halloween Candy Skewers

Halloween Candy Skewers Party Favors

How FUN are these colorful Halloween Sweets Skewers from Sweets Indeed?!

The skewers hold over one half pound of candy each! The {limited edition} designs include Bats, Skulls, Pumpkins, Zombies, Caskets, and Eyeballs. Great idea for Halloween party favors & gifts! (Note: The ordering deadline for Halloween skewers is this week! – Friday, October 15th)

Halloween Candy Skewers Party Favors

Sweets Indeed offers candy skewers for other holidays & occasions too – they can actually be customized to any color palette or theme! Scroll down for more examples of both Halloween and beyond(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Carnival Caper Birthday

Carnival Birthday Party Dessert Table Ideas

This contemporary “Carnival Caper” birthday party looks like so much fun – it makes me want to jump right into the pictures!

Commissioned and organized by Bianca of Peekaboo Magazine (an Australian publication) and designed by Sharnel of Australia-based Sharnel Dollar Designs, the fabulous sweets table is filled with lots of bright colors and an aura of whimsy that’s conjured up through fun touches like vintage wind-up toys, creative “risers” created from rolls of circus tickets, and wooden spoons and labels that read “Eat Me!” and “Drink Me“.

Carnival Birthday Party Dessert Table Ideas

Carnival Birthday Party Dessert Table Ideas

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

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REAL PARTIES: My Little Buckaroo Is Two {Part 2 – Cake & Treat Buffet}

Country Western Birthday Party Ideas

In continuing with Part 1 of the My Little Buckaroo Is Two birthday party, here’s Part 2 – with details on the adorable barnyard cake & “General Store” Treat Buffet!

More details from Chrissy:
Becky Lugtu of Sweet Dreams bakery designed and made the red velvet cake, which was a huge hit with our guests! Every bite truly melted in your mouth – YUM!

Country Western Birthday Party Ideas

(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: My Little Buckaroo Is Two {Part 1 – Food & Decor}

Cowboy Barnyard Birthday Party Ideas

So… this has got to be one of the cutest country western birthday parties I’ve ever seen!

Cleverly dubbed “My Little Buckaroo is Two” by the birthday boy’s mom – Chrissy – this ultra-creative shindig has everything from a General Store” treat buffet to adorable vintage stick ponies for the pint-sized guests to gallop into the party “cowboy-style”!

Cowboy Barnyard Birthday Party Ideas

Cowboy Barnyard Birthday Party Ideas

There are SO many fun images to share from this party that I’ve got to split this feature into 2 parts to fit them all in!

Stay tuned for details on the fabulous cake & party favor buffet in Part 2! Here goes with Part 1 – Food & Decor – as explained by Chrissy(more…)

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A “Cirque Du Bebe” Dessert Buffet

Circus Party Dessert Buffet

One of the most rewarding things about what I do is getting to see the ideas featured on HWTM actually in use at the parties of others – so thank you for that!

…and this is especially true whenever I spot HWTM printables or Personalized Party Collections in reader photos, because I always remember where I was and what was going on when I first designed those pieces, then think how very cool it is that those same designs made it all the way from that particular moment of mine to the home/party of someone I’ve never met before that might live all the way across the country – or even just around the corner!

Circus Party Dessert Buffet

Anyways, just had to have a quick sentimental moment this morning. =)

This Cirque Du Bebe dessert bar is the perfect example: It was created by Esther from Batch from Scratch, who ordered the personalized Cirque Du Bebe Napkin Rings and used them to create everything from the cupcake toppers and food flags to the favors! (more…)

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Operation Give Thanks + Grateful Mod

Thanksgiving Fall Party Printables - Operation Give Thanks

Just wanted to give you a little sneak peek of the new Thanksgiving/Fall Party Collection I recently designed in honor of Operation Give Thanks – which is a creative, nation-wide fundraising event hosted by Operation Shower and March of Dimes!

The FREE high-resolutions printables for this “Grateful MOD” collection will be available to you very soon… along with more detailed info on Operation Give Thanks, and ideas on how you can use your fall parties & celebrations as an opportunity to Give back while you’re giving Thanks!

Thanksgiving Fall Party Printables - Operation Give Thanks

The party collection includes: Fill-In Invites, Place Cards, Napkin Rings, Cupcake Toppers/Party Circles, Drink Tags, Scalloped Embellishments, Favor Tags, and Bottle Labels.

A few more close-ups below… (more…)

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A Vibrant & Artistic Wedding + 1300 Paper Cranes!

modern art wedding origami paper cranes

Oh. My. Goodness. Why, yes… that IS a CURTAIN of colorful origami paper cranes that served as the dazzling backdrop for the wedding of this lucky bride & groom!

And as beautiful as all of these floating creatures look on their own, they seem even more amazing when you learn about the special meaning behind them… all throughout the time they were dating, Jon sent paper cranes to Laura with secret messages hidden inside. Pretty sweet!!

modern art wedding origami paper cranes

Even if you don’t have the means to fold 1300 paper cranes like Laura did along with the help of family, friends, and a classroom of 5th graders (extra gold stars for them!) – this is still a fabulous idea for parties on a smaller scale too… for example a “Love Birds” engagement party or bridal shower, or a festive holiday soirée.

I’m also loving how the paper cranes look sitting on top of the wheatgrass below… almost like a contemporary flower field! (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Modern Orange & Navy Baby Shower

modern orange and navy baby shower

Oh my goodness… SO in love with this beautiful & contemporary Orange & Navy Baby Shower by Aisha Holly of Dooby Design Group!

The colors, the mod minimalist flowers, the fabulous use of fonts and pattern in all the paper details (signage, napkin rings, invitations, and menus)…it’s  just gorgeous. This would work just as well for a chic bridal shower or wedding too.

modern orange and navy baby or bridal shower

modern orange and navy baby or bridal shower

Read on for LOTS more eye candy from this party plus vendor details from Aisha(more…)

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