Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Shabby Apple

Shabby Apple GiveawayWinner Update: This giveaway is now closed. While we hate having to pick only one winner, at random of course, we are excited to announce that Yanneris, who said, “Love both skirts, they look good on every body type.” was the lucky winner! Congrats Yanneris! We hope you enjoy getting to pick out your $100 worth of Shabby Apple Products!

Oh my goodness… I’ve spent the past couple hours browsing ShabbyApple.com trying to narrow down which favorite items to feature in this post to give you a good idea of what they’re all about, and I think I could’ve just posted the entire store if there was time (and room)!  There really are so many fantastic dresses, accessories, & more on this site though… in flirty, vintage-inspired collections like romantic Roamin Holiday & Oh la la, retro-chic 65, and the sparkly-glam Tinsel Town – which is especially fitting right now for holiday parties!

This week at HWTM, Shabby Apple is offering up a $100 SHOPPING SPREE for one lucky reader… how’s that for a fun holiday gift?! Or should I say holiday outfit? *wink* To throw your name in the hat, simply mention a favorite item from Shabby Apple in the comments section below… I can guarantee you that window shopping alone will be eye-candy-filled fun! :) Scroll to down check out more stylish pieces + complete giveaway details…

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Pictured above: fabulously creative rings! Pictured below: lovely La Vita é Bella (purple wrap dress) and Gondola from Roamin Holiday

Shabby Apple Giveaway (more…)

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DIY: Sparkly Faux Berry Treat Toppers

DIY Sparkly Berry Cupcake and Dessert Toppers

Looking for a creative way to dress up cupcakes and mini treats for the holidays? These Sparkly Faux Berry Toppers are super easy & inexpensive… and you can always switch up the colors and finish of the berries to anything you like!

All I did was pull individual berries off of those wired “holiday picks” that you always see lining the aisles of Michaels & other craft/floral supplies this time of year. Each pick was under $1 when I purchased them on sale, but I think they run between $1.29 – $1.50 regularly. I also bought a plastic glittered holiday leaf pick from the same section & cut all of the silver leaves from that, but didn’t have a full pick leftover for this materials group shot, so you’ll have to use your imagination. ;) (more…)

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Creative “UP” Inspired Wedding Proposal

Pixar Up! Inspired Marraige Proposal

Who doesn’t love the incredibly sweet and oh-so-in-love couple from Pixar’s adorable movie, UP?! Well, Steve new that his own favorite girl – Janel – happened to be a huge fan of this love story, so he decided to use it as the inspiration for a creative wedding proposal “adventure” of their own… SO fun!

Steve enlisted the help of The Yes Girls to help him pull off this surprise wedding proposal while the couple was on vacation in Las Vegas, and – from the signature balloon bouquet and Paradise Falls references to their own Adventure Book and fondant-topped cupcakes inspired by elements of the movie – it’s safe to say they did things up right! Oh… and i bet you already guessed this, but just to confirm… she said YES! ;)

Pixar Up! Inspired Marraige Proposal

Pixar Up! Inspired Marraige Proposal (more…)

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My Little Jedi Magazine – The {Extra Sparkly!} Christmas 2011 Issue

My Little Jedi Magazine - Christmas Issue 2011

Have you heard about the new online entertaining magazine My Little Jedi yet? This lovely, Australian-based publication – produced by talented designer/blogger Vesna Vasilevski –  just released their 2nd issue, which happens to be an extra-sparkly Christmas special that’s overflowing with beautifully styled holiday party inspiration!

I’m especially in love with the shimmery gold & blush cover shoot and the fabulous tassle garland strung across the front of the dessert table, which would be PERFECT decor for New Year’s Eve celebrations! A detailed DIY tutorial on this garland is included in the magazine (hooray!), along with other great holiday DIY ideas like Felt Holly Wreaths and the coolest little Modern Gingerbread House.

My Little Jedi Magazine - Christmas Issue 2011

I was honored to be a contributor to this issue, along with Kim from The TomKat Studio, Courtney from Pizzazzerie, and several other creative women that produced some seriously inspiring eye candy! Here are a few favorite spreads from the magazine (followed by a note from Founder/Editor Vesna)… but please note that this is just a small sampling… there’s SO much great stuff to soak in, so please click here to view the Christmas Issue in its entirety and check it ALL out! (more…)

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Colorful Crayon Themed Birthday Party

Crayon Birthday Party Rainbow Cake

Get ready to brighten up your day with a peek at this incredibly fun & colorful Crayon Themed Birthday Party that Lindi from Love The Day threw for her daughter, Ella, who happens to be a huge fan of… COLORING! :)

Everything about this party just over-the-rainbow creative…from the fabulous crayon cake, rainbow swirl cookies, and rainbow jello cups to the adorable hand-sewn decor by Lindi’s mom – including crayon pillows, crayon wands, tool belts & aprons for the kids, and more! I’m especially smitten with the adorable kids tablescape, which was set with the cutest rick-rack embellished placemats (also handmade), colorful craft kits for each of the kids, and personalized birthday hats topped with fluffy yarn poms.

Crayon Birthday Centerpieces and Apron

Rainbow Jello and Rainbow Marshmallow Pops

Read on for lots more colorful images + all the creative details… (more…)

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{Party of 5} Christmas, Butterfly, Safari Baby, Woodland, & Housewife

Red and Aqua Christmas Party with Birds

Here we go with the latest round of Party of 5 picks from the incredible submissions that come our way! This week you’ll find the following creative themes:

1. Christmas Party – Red & Aqua by Suzanna – Mon Tresor (pictured at top)

2. Butterfly 1st Birthday Party by Delicate Details

butterfly first birthday party (more…)

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“Tres Shabby Chic” Baby Shower Brunch

Pink and Blue Vintage Style Baby Shower Dessert Table

There’s so much pretty eye candy to share in this gorgeous Tres Shabby Chic” Baby Shower Brunch for the sweet & talented Andrea from Dolce Drive! I love how incredibly soft and romantic this celebration feels (which is why I’m filing it under Bridal Shower inspiration too) – from the beautiful cakes embellished with fondant peonies & lace to the crystal-adorned branches and candlesticks and paper flower-topped party favors.

Andrea’s sisters and closest friends hosted the brunch and served up all her favorite foods, and several talented treat vendors that she works with created the most beautiful array of sweets – including lace-covered milk chocolate letters and Oreos! Being an event planner herself – Andrea couldn’t resist having a big hand in the design & styling of the party, so everything you see here bares her signature touch as well. Read on for lots more lovely imagery + all the pretty party details…

Tres Chic Baby Shower Chocolates

vintage baby shower cookies - pregnant belly and roses (more…)

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FREE Holiday Printables: Peppermint Twist

 

Update: 11/26/12 – This collection is no longer on Facebook. You can download it right here instead. BTW- If you end up using these I’d love to see pictures of the party. Happy Holidays! :)

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Want to host your own holiday get together with a “Mod & Merry Peppermint Twist”? This should put you well on your way… you can download the entire printable collection – as featured in the recent NYC Starbucks Holiday Partyfor FREE!  The party suite contains 15 high-resolution PDFs for everything from place cards and cupcake toppers to favor tags and decorative papers.

Scroll down to preview the collection, then click here to download it. I designed this collection with my fellow modern-design-lovers in mind…hope you like them! Happy Holidays :)

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Table Place Cards (or Food/Drink Labels) – 2 Designs

Free Holiday Printables - Place Cards - Modern Peppermint Twist

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Drink/Straw Flags – 2 Designs
These can also be attached to the stems of wine glasses, glued to bamboo skewers to create cocktail stir sticks, or glued to toothpicks to create food flags.

Free Holiday Printables - Drink Flags - Modern Peppermint Twist (more…)

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Mod & Merry Peppermint Twist – Part 2 {Starbucks Event NYC}

Modern Red and White Holiday Party - Bar and Cocktail Tables

In continuing with the new Mod & Merry Peppermint Twist theme posted earlier today, here we go with Part 2 – the Starbucks Holiday Event in NYC!  This was a cocktail & desserts party that Starbucks hosted as a special preview celebration for their new holiday selections, so we were really able to kick the theme into high gear for the event with eye-catching floral & branch decor, sparkly sequin tablecloths, festive mood lighting, a DIY Cake Pop Decorating Station, and more!

P.S. Download the stationery details from this event for free right here!

Modern Red and White Holiday Party - Cake Pops and Decor Table

Modern Red and White Holiday Party - Skinny Peppermint Mocha Shots (more…)

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NEW: Mod & Merry Peppermint Twist – Part 1 {Home Dinner & Desserts Party}

Modern Red White Christmas Holiday Party

It probably goes without saying, but I was super excited when the PR team from Starbucks contacted us about helping them style a special “Holiday Preview” event in NYC last month! In addition to creating a festive atmosphere for the actual event though, we also wanted to provide some great home entertaining inspiration that both event guests and HWTM readers could utilize at their personal holiday celebrations, so I have TWO versions of this new “Mod & Merry Peppermint Twist” theme to share with you…

This first recap is the home entertaining inspiration portion and features the tablescape and dessert displays that we shot ahead of time at our house. Everything pictured here is easy to recreate and budget-friendly! Especially since all of the printable elements will be available for free download later this afternoon… stay tuned! ;)

Modern Red White Christmas Holiday Party

Modern Red White Christmas Holiday Party

Scroll down for more images & creative details + a link to the full party album with more images of the tablescape design and DIY dessert displays… (more…)

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Festive Gift Ideas for the Holiday Hostess {Sponsored Post}

Pier 1 Hostess Gift Ideas

You may already be aware that Pier 1 has a fantastic {and huge!} selection of holiday entertaining tableware and decor, but for those of you that will be ATTENDING a holiday party  instead of hosting one, there are also lots of creative hostess gift ideas to be found at Pier 1! Here are a few fun ideas ranging from cute & casual to luxe…

1. Snowflake Bath Gift Set – Handmade, durable porcelain in splendid colors. A favorite among designers and stylists. ($12)

2. Plush Penguin in Hat – So soft. So cute. So cuddly. Should you get one to give and one to keep? (Hint: Yes!) (more…)

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Vintage-Glam Winter Woodland Dinner Party

Note from Jenn:  I am so excited to share this ridiculously gorgeous holiday party from Jessica Wilcox and her close friends – twin sisters Laura & Lindsey – with you today! Jessica is one of our regular contributors, and sooo very, very talented… it’s pretty amazing what happens when this trio gets together! Get ready to explore a truly dreamy holiday party filled with sparkly, vintage-inspired eye candy. And now I’ll let Jessica take it away with all the festive details…

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{by Jessica Wilcox}
This summer, I was asked to do a magazine shoot for the Party Dress Magazine. I eagerly agreed because I knew it was several months down the road and I would have plenty of time to prepare. Fast forward a few months, a few weddings, back to school festivities, and several parties later and we were one week before the magazine deadline. Ooops! Clearly time management is not one of my strong points…

Needless to say, I really wanted to submit something for the magazine, but couldn’t pull it all together by myself. I called my girlfriend Laura, whom you may remember from her Stunning Vintage-Modern Bridal Shower we threw this summer that was featured on HWTM. Her and her twin sister, Lindsey have been talking about starting a business for years. They have way to much creative talent not to share it with the world and get paid for their efforts. This magazine became a great motivation for them to get their website up and running. Thus, Double Take Event Styling was born.

They gave me a proposition I couldn’t refuse…plus, I didn’t really have a choice at this point *wink* I was in charge of all the party printables and graphic design work and they would style the shoot. I happily agreed, and we had about three days to get everything done. Nothing like pressure, right?

We selected a Vintage Winter Woodland theme because we didn’t want to do your traditional cookie-cutter Christmas dinner party. By using champagne, gold, and silver tones we were able to achieve a softer look, yet still very festive.
The invitation set the tone for our party. Since our style is eclectic, we always try to incorporate vintage pieces throughout – many of which we have been collecting for years at local antique stores and are a part of our everyday home decor. (more…)

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DIY Vintage-Style, Travel-Themed Wedding

Around the World Travel Wedding Theme

I am LOVING all the DIY elements of Jason & Catie’s vintage-style, travel-themed wedding… not to mention the fact that the bride and her friends/family did almost everything themselves – and pulled it all off for under $2K! {And another fun fact… this was a SURPRISE wedding for most of the guests! See full details from Catie below.}

From the passport-inspired invitations and dictionary guestbook to the book page bridal bouquets and heirloom wedding dress – which was designed by Catie and sewn by her mother, aunt, grandmother, & great-grandmother (!) this celebration is overflowing with thoughtful, fabulous handmade details. The adorable marble magnet favors were such a clever touch too… little pictures of the couple & their dogs + maps and travel words were glued to tiny marbles, then a magnet was affixed to turn them into creative favors for each guest!

Around the World Travel Wedding Theme

Around the World Travel Wedding Theme

Read on for more lovely photos + all the creative details… (more…)

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Merry, Mod & Bright Holiday Party + FREE Printables

Modern Holiday Party Ideas

We have a brand new holiday party theme and FREE PRINTABLES to share with you today! This “Merry, Mod, & Bright Holiday Party” is meant to be a versatile collection that could be used for anything from a casual holiday party to a family Christmas dinner. I kind of went paper and pattern crazy with the design of the printable collection this time around – there are 10 different patterns included + decorative banners, embellishments, place cards, and more. Hope you like! :)

To download any of the printable files in high-resolution PDF format, click on its preview image or on the link directly below it.

Decorative 4×6 Signs: Download Here

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Free Holiday Party Printables - HWTM

Decorative Banners: Download Here
Cut these banners out by hand. Leave a small white border all the way around the design when you cut, as opposed to trying to cut along the edge. This is much faster/easier and looks better! (more…)

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GIVEAWAY: Lux Archive {Limited Edition Contemporary Photography}

Lux Archive - Fine Art Contemporary PhotographyWinner Update 12/15/11: This giveaway is now closed. We know that all of you would have loved to win a $250 shopping spree to Lux Archive but we had to randomly pick just one winner. Can I get a drum roll please?!…. and the winner is… Melissa, who said, “I liked them!! And I love Frozen Life!!” Congratulations Melissa! We know you will enjoy new printed art work!

We have a fun & different kind of SURPRISE GIVEAWAY for our fine art and photography-loving readers today! Lux Archive is a really cool company founded by Brooklyn-based artist/entrepreneur – and award winning photographerZack Seckler. They curate limited edition contemporary photography, hand-selected from artists all around the world, with the goal being “to bring museum quality artwork to anyone from the seasoned collector to the emerging art lover“.

Each print from Lux Archive comes with a certificate of authenticity individually signed by the artist…and even though the prints are limited edition to ensure that the collector owns a unique piece of art, they are also affordable – with most images starting around $100. New images are introduced often, and each one is available in multiple sizes. Once a print sells out, it will never be printed again.

Lux Archive - Fine Art Contemporary Photography

One of my favorite aspects of this company is how supportive they are of the talent – the majority of the proceeds actually go to the artists that create the works! And that makes sense since the founder is an established artist himself. You can learn more about Lux Archive and the reasons Zack founded this company right here.

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY… we have a $250 GIFT CERTIFICATE to Lux Archive up for grabs today! If you’d like to own a piece of limited edition fine art photography – or gift one to a loved one for the holidays – now’s your chance! Scroll down for details on how to enter at the bottom of the post. (more…)

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Holiday DIY: Mod Paper Mache Reindeer

Modern Paper Mache Reindeer DIY Tutorial

You know those inexpensive gold paper mache reindeer that you see at all the craft & hoilday decor stores this time of year? Here’s an easy way to update them with a fresh, modern feel: spray paint + fun trims (ribbon, yarn, etc) + mod paper patterns!

Modern Paper Mache Reindeer DIY Tutorial

These particular reindeer are from a brand new HWTM theme we just shot, where they were used as the table centerpiece. More on the full theme coming soon, but I wanted to highlight this project separately because it’s super easy and can be customized to ANY color palette and style you might be doing for your own home decor/party – from vintage to rustic to glam! I’m actually loving the idea of a vintage spin utilizing Anthropologie-like patterns & colors with lace & burlap trims.

And even if you don’t have time to bust out the spray paint or if you want to keep the reindeer gold, you can still dress them up with paper and trims to make them a little more exciting. Here’s an example sans the spray paint that was used as side table decor: (more…)

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Sparkly Vintage Movie Night 13th Birthday

Movie Night Birthday Party - 13th Birthday & Sweet Sixteen

It’s days like today that I am so thankful for my job! Krista of Blue Eyed Yonder threw the most exquisite, vintage-glam Movie Theater Inspired 13th Birthday for her little sister, Kameryn. Everything about this party makes my heart sing! Krista was able to capture all things glamorous, girly, and fun all bundled into one quaint party.

Vintage details like the old movie projector, checker board wooden dance floor, and vintage popcorn machine set the tone of this incredibly charming party. I’m also loving the canister floral arrangement, wire laundry hamper filled with vintage quilts, vintage theater seating, and the gorgeous pink tufted couch surrounded by giant sparkly balloons! The ombre caramel apple bar full of tasty toppings was a wonderful addition, and even the s’mores ingredients were also beautifully displayed over pink tissue paper!

Movie Night Birthday Party - 13th Birthday & Sweet Sixteen

Everything thirteen year old deserves 13-layers of chocolate heaven and this masterpiece is no exception. The unique handmade invitation is the perfect intro to this glamours bash. Other fun details include the custom made corn-dog stand, vintage eat sign, and the condiments placed in a mini library card holder – perfect!

Movie Night Birthday Party - 13th Birthday & Sweet Sixteen

Keep Reading for more sparkly eye candy + party details. . . (more…)

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Nostalgic North Pole Cookie Exchange

Kids Christmas Cookie Exchange Party - North Pole Theme

This new NORTH POLE INSPIRED holiday theme from Anders Ruff will have you feeling like a kid in a Mrs. Claus’ cookie shoppe! And speaking of cookies, there are some ridiculously cute versions that showed up for this party… from Gingerbread Man pops and “santa postage stamp” designs to traditional round cookies sporting glittery North Pole motifs (just to name a few!).

Some of my favorite party details include the hanging winter mitten advent calendar (which doubled as a super cute garland for the fireplace mantle), the hot cocoa bar complete with fun mix-ins like red hots, peppermint sticks, cookie crumble and fudge drizzle, the parade of shiny red cookie stands, and the feather and rhinestone-bedecked North Pole Pillows. Oh ya… and we can’t forget all the fabulous paper details, which are all available in the Anders Ruff Shop and include everything from recipe cards to milk carton shaped favor boxes!

Kids Christmas Cookie Exchange Party - North Pole Theme

Kids Christmas Cookie Exchange Party - North Pole Theme

Read on for lots more playful, festive images + all the creative party details… (more…)

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SUPRISE GIVEAWAY: Gifts Define

Personalized Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Winner Update 12/15/11: This giveaway is now closed. While we truly wish each and every one of you who entered could win, we just had to pick 4 winners, at random of course. And the lucky 4 are… Ruby who said, “I love love love Theme Feline Friends. This would be a perfect gift for any of the families in my playgroup. It would promote bilingual play and imaginative play. Definitely a versatile cute toy!“, Vicki who said, “LOVE THE NAME BANNER!!! Would be a great gift for my nephew due in DECEMBER!“, Brenda who said, “I love the fun animals name banner“, and Nicki who said, “Oh, I just love anything in the woodland creature line. It just embodies imagination and curiosity of the outdoors!” Congratulations ladies! Enjoy your customized baby’s first Christmas ornament!

I’m SO excited to share this new giveaway from Gifts Define with you today – a ridiculously cute online shop I’ve personally admired for years! They create absolutely DARLING handmade products that make for the cutest personalized gifts, party favors, and nursery decor. I used some of their Woodland Wonder themed characters for a Woodland Forest Baby Shower I threw for a friend a couple ago, and she ended up ordering the matching deco mobile for her little one after the shower because she fell in love with theses little creatures too!

Just looking at all the whimsical, colorful collections is guaranteed to make you smile… You’ll find everything from Nursery Decor and Custom Name Banners to Tree Story Wall Art, Party Charms, Party Toppers, Keepsake Conversation Birds, and more, and everything can be customized to a specific color palette. I’m especially loving the brand new Nursery Art Box, which features a chalkboard front personalized with your favorite character/design and name. (In addition to the Nursery Boxes, Art Boxes are also available in these styles.)

Personalized Baby Shower Gift Ideas

The GIVEAWAY:

This week at HWTM, Gifts Define is giving away one of their charming personalized Baby’s First Christmas Bird Keepsake Ornaments to FOUR lucky readers! Whether you’ve got a new little one (or one on the way) yourself – or have a loved one in that boat, these sweet little birdies make for super thoughtful keepsake gifts!

Personalized Baby Shower Gift Ideas (more…)

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A Velveteen Rabbit Inspired Baby Shower

Velveteen Rabbit Themed Baby Shower

So… this just might be one of my favorite baby showers ever! That may have something to do with the fact that The Velveteen Rabbit was one of my favorite books as a child… (we had the audio version as well and I can literally hear it playing in my head as I’m working on this post!) – but there’s also no denying that this party is downright charming and gorgeous to look at either!

Kristeen from Kristeen LaBrot Events designed & hosted this rustic Velveteen Rabbit Baby Shower for her sister-in-law, and it’s obvious how much care & creativity went into bringing it to life – from the wonderfully unique floral arrangements displayed in birch-covered pots and vintage glassware, to the custom-sewn fabric napkins, handmade invitations, whimsical doily chandelier, and more!

Velveteen Rabbit Themed Baby Shower

Velveteen Rabbit Themed Baby Shower

Velveteen Rabbit Themed Baby Shower

Read on for more lovely images + all the charming creative details…  (more…)

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Rustic & Cozy Forest Whimsy Baby Shower

Forest Whimsy Baby Shower

This chic & rustic “Forest Whimsy” Baby Shower from Tie That Binds looks like such a warm & inviting way to celebrate during the cooler fall or winter months! In fact, it’s full of great inspiration for seasonal bridal showers or holiday parties too… starting with the beautifully presented selection of hors d’oeuvres – which included sweet & savory dishes like stuffed cherry tomatoes, bacon-wrapped potatoes & skewered donut holes (YUM!).

Other favorite details: burplap-embellished vases, miniature pine trees on the buffet table, and super stylish paper details carried throughout, featuring rustic-inspired elements like vintage moose graphics and a contemporary leaf silhouette pattern. (The full paper collection is available in their shop!)

Forest Whimsy Baby Shower

Forest Whimsy Baby Shower

Read on for more cozy party images + all the creative details… (more…)

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Cute & Clever Thanksgiving Treat Table

Thanksgiving Dessert Table Ideas

Even though Thanksgiving was yesterday, I still want to give a shout-out to party frugalista Norene from Party Pinching for these SUPER CREATIVE Thanksgiving Kids Treat Ideas she sent in! A few of them would actually work well for harvest/farm themed parties hosted at any time of year too… for example – the waffle “corn ears” with fruit roll-up leaves, marshmallow peep turkeys, and cute little “nutty” turkeys!

I often find that looking at outside-the-box ideas for one occasion can spur similar creative thinking for a totally separate occasion too… so hopefully these clever foodie ideas will get your creative juices flowing for holiday dessert tables or another upcoming celebration!

Thanksgiving Dessert Table Ideas (more…)

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Fabulous Find: The Key to Taking Pictures like a Pro Photographer {eBook}

Great photography is something we are constantly striving towards (and struggling with!) at HWTM, and I know that rings true you several of you guys as well… especially at this time of year when family photos and holiday photo cards are on everyone’s to-do list!

So… if you’d like to get a little better behind that DSLR camera of yours, learn how to make lighting work for you, and figure out what some of those crazy looking buttons actually do without putting yourself to sleep trying to read through the manufacturer’s manual – there’s a fantastic eBook by pro photographer Katie Evans that can help! The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer is laid out in a very clean & simple, easy-to-digest format that keeps you from feeling overwhelmed. It’s available in both eBook and hard cover formats, and the writing style is very “conversational” – kind of like you’re in a one-on-one training session instead of suffering through a wordy, formal lecture. Both formats of the book are currently on special for the holidays!

Here’s a quick overview of what the book is all about, directly from Katie: (more…)

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“Farm Boutique” Pumpkin Patch Birthday

Girlie Fall Pumpkin Themed Birthday Party

Before everything goes totally Christmas crazy around here like it already has everywhere else… we want to give fall a proper farewell with the CUTEST fall-themed birthday party by Nancy at A to Zebra Celebrations!

Nancy created this adorable & super girly, Pumpkin Patch Birthday Party for her daughter earlier this year and incorporated a “Farm Boutique” element complete with custom pumpkin bracelets and a kid-sized barn door constructed of wood… and painted pink, of course! All the little guests at this party had plenty to do, from decorating their own pumpkin cut-out masks and frosting pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies to gobbling down a yummy fall-inspired menu of mac-n-cheese, corn on the cob, chili, caramel apples, and darling treats like pumpkin-shaped marshmallow pops & more.

Girlie Fall Pumpkin Themed Birthday Party

Girlie Fall Pumpkin Themed Birthday Party

Read on for more festive images & all the creative details… (more…)

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Interview with David Stark: Creative Ideas for Thanksgiving Entertaining

David Stark

I recently had the honor to pick creative guru DAVID STARK‘s brain for some of his favorite fall holiday entertaining tips. True to form, his suggestions were anything but run-of-the-mill!

Read on for some cool, outside-the-box ideas from this highly accomplished celebrity event producer… including a fantastic, graphics-inspired Thanksgiving centerpiece that could easily be tailored to Christmas tables as well, and the cutest Turkey-and-gourd napkin fold idea that both young and young-at-heart dinner guests are sure to love. ENJOY! :)

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HWTM: You are known for your creativity and imagination. Can you share an idea for a Thanksgiving table centerpiece that’s unexpected and “outside-the-box (or cornucopia!), yet still appropriate for the holiday?

David Stark: “Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to use dry wheat to create a centerpiece that is both seasonal and really unusual.  We use glass cylinder vases but transform them with a graphic that we print out on a computer printer with a trompe o’eil image of an antique urn.  The illusion is modern and cool!  And people are often surprised because wheat  is generally not on the top of their list of floral materials!”

Creative Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece (more…)

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The TomKat Studio’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

TomKat Studio Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Who needs Black Friday crowds and congested parking lots when you’ve got the comfort of your home computer, PJ’s, and beautiful digital gift guides to pore through, right? :) Case in point – the 2011 Holiday Gift Guide from The TomKat Studio just came out this week and it’s full of wonderfully creative gift ideas (curated by wonderfully creative people!) for everyone from Newlyweds, Busy Moms and Cool Dads to Baking Enthusiasts, Best Girlfriends & many more of your favorite personas (see TOC screenshots at the bottom of this post). Click here to check everything out!

It was a blast to participate in the guide again this year with some fun new gift ideas for my fellow party-loving Hostesses! Here’s a sneak peek at my picks:

TomKat Studio Holiday Gift Guide 2011

And don’t worry – I’m not recommending a can of spray paint as a hostess gift idea… take a closer look at that one! ;) (more…)

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Modern & Colorful Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids

This cheery & bright KID-FRIENDLY THANKSGIVING shoot by stationery designer Lauren McKinsey is modern simplicity at it’s best! Lauren was able capture a very clean and contemporary look with great patterns and a vibrant color palette, but also threw in a few vintage pieces for added rustic charm and character.

Creative details like sprinkle-rimmed milk jars and colorful paper garlands were paired with fun activity ideas for the kids… including candy apple making and a homemade tent “storytime area” (great idea!) stocked with blankets, books, and pillows. There were also little cards for the kids to write down what they were thankful foraside from the adorable 6-layer cake they got to enjoy of course! ;)

Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids

Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids

Keep reading for more colorful images & creative details… and if you love this look, all of the stationery elements are available as PDF printables in Lauren’s shop, so there’s still time to recreate this look for your little ones on Turkey Day! (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: 150 Save the Dates from MagnetStreet

Save the Date Cards Giveaway

Winner Update 11/25/11: This giveaway is now closed. While we hate having to pick only one winner, at random of course, we are excited to announce that Lori, who said, “I love the Bride and groom save the date card” was the lucky winner! Congrats Lori! We hope you enjoy getting to pick out your Save the Dates!

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This one’s for all the BRIDES-to-be out there…or friends/family members of brides & grooms that would love to surprise them with a fun gift! I always love hosting giveaways related to weddings because we all know how quickly wedding budgets can skyrocket, so every little bit helps, right? :)

This week at HWTM, MagnetStreet is offering up 150 Save the Dates in any style/design of to one lucky bride… and the available styles range from Save the Date magnets and photo booth style cards to large flat cards, classic cards, folded cards, and postcards. {And for those of you beyond the save the date stage, MagnetStreet also carries a wide variety of wedding invitations, rehearsal dinner invites & more!}

Save the Date Cards Giveaway

Scroll down to check out more examples from the MagnetStreet save the date collections (some of my personal favs!) + details on how to enter the giveaway(more…)

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Crafty Read: MAKE and TAKES for KIDS

Make and Takes for Kids - Kids Craft Book

I’m excited to send a shout out and huge congrats to my friend & fellow blogger Marie LeBaron from the popular and super creative blog Make and Takes on the launch of her very first book: MAKE and TAKES for KIDS! I met Marie when we worked on the very first SocialLuxe Lounge party in Chicago at BlogHer 2009, and instantly fell in love with her crafty, family-oriented blog.

MAKE and TAKES for KIDS features 50 creative and approachable craft projects for kids for throughout the year – each centered around an upcoming holiday or season. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that each playful project requires little preparation, few supplies, and things that can be readily found around your house or at any craft supply store. There’s no need to spend tons of money on craft projects for kids, and it’s amazing what resourcefulness can do… for example check out the adorable little characters directly below (to the right), which are fashioned from egg cartons and googly eyes!

Make and Takes for Kids - Kids Craft Book (more…)

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NEW Vintage Glam Holiday Theme {+ Free Party Printables}

HWTM Vintage Holiday Glam Theme - Christmas Party Ideas

I posted a little sneak peek of our brand new Vintage Holiday Glam theme earlier this month – but the full details are now up! You can view them right here (in editorial style) and also right here (in photo gallery style).

My goal with this theme was to achieve a look that was a little bit rustic/country, a little bit glam, so I started with a mix of vintage & modern patterns like plaid, vintage scroll banners, and chevron stripes + a color palette of bright red, deeper red, tan, and silvery/gray. You can find download links for the free printables below.

HWTM Vintage Holiday Glam Theme - Christmas Party Ideas

Key decorative elements included: rattan, raffia, holiday berries, and natural “grassy” forest creatures from the Alpine Sparkle holiday collection at Pier 1, as well as DIY pinecone garlands, mason jar glasses, hints of snow-white feathers, and vintage-glam Christmas ornaments ranging from antiqued silver keys and plaid ball ornaments to shiny red stiletto boots!

The capiz shell and wicker ball backdrop (pictured above, left) was one of my very favorite details from this shoot, in addition to the cute little deer peeking out from the hutch and the White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse from the dessert table, which was garnished with pastry stars and candy canes and served in mini martini glasses (see link to recipe below). (more…)

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