Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

MAD MEN Screening Party + 60’s Recipes!

Mad Men party ideas

As a fellow Mad Men fan, I’m LOVING these oh-so-fun party ideas from entertaining guru Jeanne Benedict (who pulls off “Joan Holloway/Harris” quite well, don’t you think?!). Added bonus – three 60’s-inspired recipes are included below too… perfect for pairing with those signature martinis! Read on for all the fun details, as told by Jeanne…

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I’m a big fan of the AMC TV Show MAD MEN, but it was my husband who got this 4th season premiere party together! Ya see, my husband and his college buds went to school with John Slattery, who plays Roger Sterling on the show (one of the head ad guys who just married the young secretary). Apparently, Slattery’s nickname in college was “Slats” because his eyes were like slits when he partied.

As you can see, I dyed my hair red ala Joan Holloway for the party and we went with a 1960’s menu from Clams Casino to Fondue! It was a hoot!

Mad Men party ideas

Given the graphic nature of this TV premiere party, I wanted to incorporate MAD MEN branding into the tabletop. I printed their classic Don Draper image on to photo paper and wrapped it around a cylinder vase topped with red roses for the centerpiece of the food table. (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Pretty Peacock Themed Engagement Party

engagement party peacock theme

The peacock-inspired color palette has always been a personal favorite for me – especially when it comes to holiday parties (see proof here and here). So of course I was instantly smitten by this gorgeous Peacock Themed Engagement Party styled by the talented Courtney of Pizzazzerie!

Rich jewel tones, hand-painted table signs, pinwheel drink stirrers served alongside a vibrant blue signature drink, and feathers galore… what’s not to love?!

engagement party peacock theme

engagement party peacock theme

Read on for lots more pics and all the pretty details, as told by Courtney(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: A Day in the Garden

garden themed birthday party ideas

This adorable “Day in the Garden” themed party – created by hwtm reader Dana Nussbaum for her daughter Maddie’s first birthday – is full of SO MANY creative details!

There’s a touch of the whimsical garden theme in absolutely every element of the party… from butterfly lollipops in the dessert buffet to garden themed board books and snail/butterfly finger puppets in the favor pails to themed activities like “flower potting” and “ladybug relaxation” stations.

garden themed birthday party ideas

I’m especially loving this bright & colorful cupcake tower and all the garden-themed accents worked into the treat buffet!

garden themed birthday party ideas

Read on for lots more pictures and all the creative details, as told by Dana(more…)

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Centerpiece Tutorial on iVillage.com + New Baby Shower Printables

manzanita centerpiece baby showers

Looking for a “grown up” centerpiece idea for baby showers? Check out my tutorial for this manzanita centerpiece right here at iVillage.com.

This type of design can be tailored to pretty much ANY color palette (or occasion!) that your heart desires, and the decorative elements on the branches can be worked into other areas of the party to help tie everything together.

You can also download the pink & red striped “BABY” print over at the tutorial post… and for those of you throwing boy or gender-neutral baby showers, I’ve included a few alternative colorways of the print below. =)

free baby shower printable sign

• Download the NEUTRAL: MULTI-COLOR version here.
*This particular print would pair well with branch centerpieces adorned with lots of colorful butterflies! (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Coco Chanel-Inspired Bridal Shower

Coco Chanel Bridal Shower Theme

This chic “Chanel Inspired” Bridal Shower sent in by Lucia|Paul Design is full of beautiful, striking details like towering black table vases filled with fluffy white hydrangea, linen napkins embellished with broaches & pearls, and an amazing “Chanel cake” complete with quilted handbag, pearls, and a bottle of COCO Parfum!

One of my very favorite details of this shower is the creative use of the bride-to-be’s first intial on the stationery accents… it’s displayed in the same “mirrored image” style as the Chanel logo.

Coco Chanel Bridal Shower Theme

Read on for more pics and all the pretty details, as told by Lucia|Paul Design(more…)

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Fun Gift Idea: Tiedye-Inspired Bowls

tiedye kitchen bowls

These cool, tiedye-inspired Streak-Dyed Bowls from Urban Outfitters will definitely add a fun splash of color to your kitchen! Great gift idea for the college-bound or your favorite artistic friends

4 colorways available (mix and match as you like)  / $8 each at Urban Outfitters

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Fab Find: Damask Butterfly Place Cards

printable butterfly place cards

Loving these printable Damask Butterfly Place Cards from The Posh Event’s etsy shop

These are a DIY project, so you’ll need to print & trim yourself, but it’s a mere $3.50 for the printable pdf, so you can make as many of them as you want! (Just enlist the help of friends or bridesmaids for a wedding or large event!)

printable butterfly place cards

P.S. Don’t have time for DIY? Check out Timeless Paper (also on etsy) for similar place cards that are ready-made, plus visuals of another option for displaying these within place settings.

*Update 8/18: See Brigette’s comment below regarding the free extra goodies!

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Knotted in LOVE Bridal Shower

Tie the Knot Bridal Shower Ideas

When it comes to creative bridal shower themes, this one takes the (elaborate, 3-tier with a cherry on top) cake!

A fun twist on the popular “Tie the Knot” theme, Victoria from The City Cradle came up with this wonderful “Knotted in Love” theme, and you’ll be hard pressed not to be “knotted in love” with this party too!

Tie the Knot Bridal Shower Ideas

Creative inspiration found here includes fabulous DIY projects like a ridiculously cool yarn maze backdrop, a giant yarn ball chandelier, and mini bouquets of yarn knot “flowers”. Added bonus – links to free printable downloads of the paper details!

Tie the Knot Bridal Shower Ideas

Tie the Knot Bridal Shower Ideas

Read on for tons of fun pictures (by the talented Jackie Wonders) and all the inspiring details, as told by Vicky(more…)

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Paper-licious: Fun “Recipe” Greeting Cards

letterpress recipe greeting cards elum

For a delicious twist on the standard greeting card, check out these fun new “Recipe Cards” by Elum…  gorgeous letterpress cards with coordinating recipes on the back!

Each card features a clever message on the front that ends in “just like the recipe on the back“. For example: “You Are Super HOT… just like the recipe on the back.” {Flip card to reveal Fire Roasted Salsa recipe.}

letterpress recipe greeting cards elum

Recipes include: Cherry-Almond Clafouti, Chocolate Heart Cookies, Super Simple Peach Cobbler, Melt-in-your-mouth Corn Bread, and Fire Roasted Salsa. (Wouldn’t these also be super cute on display at a kitchen or cooking themed bridal shower?!) (more…)

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Our “Wedding Hangover” – A Milestone Anniversary Celebration

Hangover Movie Party Theme

You know how sometimes you & your significant other will talk about a “BIG” idea that sounds incredibly fun, but that you secretly know will probably never happen due to schedules, finances, the daily grind, and the sheer process of taking the time to plan it all out? Well, this time it’s different…we really ARE making this idea happen!

The “it” in play here is our 10-year wedding celebration, which might sound innocent enough until you throw in the inspiration: The Hangover and the location: Napa Valley Las Vegas.

Ya… it’s safe to say we’re going to have some FUN with this one!

Hangover Movie Party Theme

(more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Invitations by MagnetStreet Weddings {425 Value!}

Pocket Style Wedding Invitations by MagnetStreet

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you so much to everyone that entered! After reading through the comments, I really wish we could give this prize away to EVERYONE because it looks like there are so many deserving couples! Unfortunately, we could only have one winner, and that lucky, randomly selected person is…

Commenter # 48 – Elizabeth, who said: “I love the autumn stamp invitations. The only thing I would add is a band of gold grosgrain ribbon around the pocket. I would love to win these for my sister. She could use some help with her budget and that would allow her a little more flexibility. Thanks so much for sharing – they are just beautiful.” Congrats to Elizabeth – and her sister!! =)

rainbow-dotted-divider-2

I always LOVE hosting wedding-related giveaways because it provides an opportunity to help out a bride-to-be in the budget department, which is pretty much ALWAYS a welcome thing!

Today’s Surprise Giveaway is the perfect example… a very generous $425 giveaway towards 100 stylish Pocket-Style Wedding Invitations & Coordinating RSVP Cards from MagnetStreet Weddings!

Pocket Style Wedding Invitations by MagnetStreet

While MagnetStreet offers several different types of invitation styles – from square to layered, tri-fold, gate-fold, and beyond – the Pocket-Style Invitation has been particularly popular with brides. They also recently added a whole line of embellishments to compliment the Pocket Invitations, including Vellum, Labels & Seals, Vellum Bands/Wraps, Envelope Liners, and more…

One of the coolest things about MagnetStreet‘s invitations is that you can customize all of their designs in real-time, using their online Design Studio. Pick a design you like, change all the colors, the fonts, etc. in order to create something that’s exactly “YOU“.

Here’s an example: (more…)

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Get Inspired: Modern Rubber Ducky Theme

modern rubber ducky baby shower theme ideas

You know how sometimes you can take one look at something and just instantly be inspired? That’s what happened with me and this fabulous Floating Ducks bath toy from Giggle.  I absolutely adore the vibrant colors, the clean lines, the perfect blend of contemporary meets cute – but not cutesie. (Big difference!)

So….. this cool little bath toy became the jumping off point for a new “Modern Ducky Baby Shower” inspiration board. I’ve created a rubber duck theme before, but it’s been a while, so it was fun to come up with some new ideas. Here goes…

modern rubber ducky baby shower theme ideas

Floral Accents: Carnation Balls
I love the idea of utilizing round shapes for a rubber ducky theme to play up the “bubbles” idea, plus these carnation ball topiaries by pd Bloom are just plain cool! {The original image featured pink topiaries, so I digitally altered it to reflect the blue & yellow color palette here.}

Curious about those “twigs“? The carnation balls are actually being held up by white mitsumata branches, which are surprisingly lightweight and inexpensive. (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: My Little Sunshine Birthday Party

Sunshine Theme Birthday Party Ideas

This “My Little Sunshine” first birthday party is just too sweet for words!

Lindi of lovetheday designs created this happy little celebration for her daughter Ellason‘s first birthday, and – from the whimsical touches of lace and creative desserts to the “sunshine playlist” and adorable vintage bunting – the end result is nothing short of absolutely LOVELY!

I can also see this theme translating well to a baby shower or “You Are My Sunshine” bridal shower/engagement party.

Sunshine Theme Birthday Party Ideas

Sunshine Theme Birthday Party Ideas

Read on for lots more beautiful pics and party details/resources from Lindi…  (more…)

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Free Printables: Festival du Bebe Welcome Poster & Decor Signs

Festival Du Bebe Baby Shower

I’ve had several requests printables of the large Festival Du Bebe welcome poster and framed signs, so…. here you go!

The poster is 22×28″ so the file is large – you’ll need to unzip the pdf after it downloads. There’s also an 8×10″ version of the poster and 4×6″ signs in Boy, Girl, and Gender Neutral.

Festival Du Bebe Baby Shower

{And if you need a printer recommendation for the poster or anything else I highly recommend the printer that did these for me – Emagine Digital. They’re local to San Diego but ship anywhere in the US!}

Find detail views and links to download everything below…. (more…)

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s Bridal Shower

Breakfast at Tiffany's Bridal Shower

Jenna from Eat Drink Pretty recently sent over this absolutely lovely “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” inspired bridal shower that she threw for her bride-to-be sister Katie.

It’s easy to see that a lot of love went into this sweet celebration…  makes me wish I had a sister! Lots of creativity went into it as well… from a fabulous white carnation ball centerpiece (which Jenna gives full DIY details for below) – to a fun champagne infusion table and frosted pink donut tower!

Breakfast at Tiffany's Bridal Shower

Breakfast at Tiffany's Bridal Shower

Read on for lots more pics & all the pretty details, as told by Jenna(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Fiesta 40 Birthday Party

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

LOVING this ultra-colorful “Fiesta 40” Birthday Party from Anneliese of Aesthetic Nest… what a fun way to celebrate your 40th! Added bonus for the rest of us: there are tons of great DIY projects and creative ideas to be found here to help inspire fiestas of all occasions. =)

Fiesta Birthday Party Ideas

Read on for lots of pics and all the festive details, as told by Anneliese…  (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Blue & Green Pool Party

modern pool birthday party ideas

Today’s real party feature is ridiculously fun!! It’s a birthday pool party created by Maureen Anders (and biz partner Adria Ruff) for her son Jeff’s birthday.

This refreshing take on the backyard pool party has great contemporary style and includes tons of creative details like cupcake “ice cream cones”, bagged lunches served in sand pails, and – my personal favorite – “don’t drink the pool water” water bottles!

modern pool birthday party ideas

modern pool birthday party ideas

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

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Fun Favors

personalized party favors

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winners are: 1st Prize ($75 shopping spree) – Commenter #257 – Sasha, and 2nd Prize ($50 Shopping Spree) goes to Commenter #203 – Diana. Congrats, ladies!

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If you’ve got a celebration coming up (or a sweet tooth!), today’s Surprise Giveaway should be especially appealing!

Fun Favors, a Jersey Shore-based creative shop dedicated to personalization for all type of events, is offering up Shopping Sprees of $75 and $50 to 2 lucky readers… This should definitely sweeten up your party budget!

Shop for cute edible designs for all kinds of themes and occasions – from baby/bridal showers and birthday parties to holidays and beyond… they specialize in custom orders!

personalized party favors

personalized party favors

{These ultra-creative Día de los Muertos cookies remind me so much of last year’s hilarious Community episode on NBC!}

And if you’ve already got the edible goodies covered – Fun Favors also makes personalized party decor like birthday banners, food flags, cupcake toppers, invitations and more.

Scroll down for a few more favorites, along with details on how to enter the giveaway(more…)

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Fabulous Find: Pink Daisy Grass Mats

When I posted this little sneak peek of the flower cookies (displayed on grass mats) from a new baby shower theme that I’m working on for iVillage, one of our lovely Facebook fans posted a link to these adorable Grass Mats from ButterflyCraze.com that come with cute little pink flowers attached.

enchanted fairy birthday party

I’m so glad she reminded me of these because they’re a great find to share! I actually used them a while back as part of the centerpieces for this Enchanted Fairy birthday party

enchanted fairy birthday party

They also look ridiculously adorable as a runner for a long table, or used individually as placemats! At $6.99 a pop, they can be a little pricey when used as placemats for a large party, but bulk pricing is available – when you purchase 6 or more the price drops to $4.99 each – which definitely helps!

Here are a few more shots of the mats in use at the Enchanted Fairy party:

(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Christmas in JULY

Christmas In July Party & Wedding Ideas

So… even though July just ended, I couldn’t resist sharing this ADORABLE “Christmas in July” photo shoot that Victoria from The City Cradle recently created.  Between the water balloon “snowballs“, mini “Christmas trees” planted in birdcages, cherry “mistletoe“, gift delivery via bicycle, and more – this concept is so much fun!

P.S. There’s lots of great inspiration in here that you could apply to Christmas in December (or August!) celebrations too. =)

Christmas In July Party & Wedding Ideas

Christmas In July Party & Wedding Ideas

Read on for lots more pics and all the creative details, as told by Victoria… (more…)

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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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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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