Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

{Recipe} Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

ginger spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Is it just me or did Thanksgiving totally sneak up on us this year?! If you’re looking for something yummy to take to round out your Thanksgiving dessert table – or for a tasty edible gift idea for friends & loved ones, here’s a sweet & spiced-up Ginger Cupcake Recipe that’s perfect for this this time of year. Brown sugar, Karo Syrup, and a and a dash of orange juice provides the sweetness, while ground ginger, Saigon cinnamon, and cloves add the spice!

Top the ginger cupcakes off with a healthy dose of rich cream cheese frosting and printable Thanksgiving cupcake toppers for a pretty, festive finish. {Full recipe below.}

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Geometric & Bright Southwest Style Thanksgiving

southwest thanksgiving

Inspired by the fresh color palette of the Southwest, Margaux of Harmony Creative Studio combined geometric elements and vibrant colors for a Southwest Style Thanksgiving. To brighten the days following, she included heartwarming ‘Thankful Journal” favors to share the Native American belief that we should be thankful everyday, not just on Thanksgiving!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– “Free floating” feather backdrop & ombre paint chip decorated “Thankful” letters
– Hot + low budget pepper crate table centerpiece
– Modern Thanksgiving Meal: salmon, wild greens, squash & Three Sisters Stew
– Bright linens, red diamond-folded napkins and contrasting square plates
– Name stamped feather place cards & paint chip embellished leftover boxes

southwest pepper tablescape

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{Party of 5} Thanksgiving Desserts, Pink Ballerina, Superhero Birthday, Dainty Brunch & Vintage Car

autumn desserts

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:

– Fall Thanksgiving Dessert Table
– Pink Ballerina Party
– Superhero Birthday
– Pastel & Dainty Brunch
– Vintage Car Party

1. Autumn Harvest Dessert Table & Printables (pictured above) by hellomysweet

2. Ballerina Party by That Cute Little Cake

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Fall Pumpkin County Fair Birthday Party

pumpkin county fair invitation

Step right up! Fall is in the air, everyone come on down to the Pumpkin County Fair! Wendy Updegraff Photography brought the gang over for a backyard bash with bundles of hay, pumpkin accents and seasonal treats + a pop of PINK to celebrate her daughter’s ninth birthday!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Carnival ticket backdrop and “paper chain” rope
– Mini cheese “pumpkins” on crackers and Cinnamon bun pops in ribbon wrapped hay
– Drink station covered in stripes, polka dots & paper rosettes
– Decorative polka dot ribbon prizes + boxed candy apple favors
– Horse back riding, balloon animals, bobbing for apples, sack races & more fair fun!

carnival popcorn bags

fall carnival activities sign

pink carnival candy apples

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Rustic Backyard Kids Thanksgiving

kids thanksgiving turkey activity

Karen sure knows how to whip up a kids party that still looks elegant enough for the adults to love! Her Rustic Backyard Kids Thanksgiving has a full picnic spread of themed treats (I am loving the mini “Pilgrim Ship” pies!) elevated on eclectic kitchen canisters and outdoor fun (painting, swings & teepees!) to make a memorable holiday for the little ones!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Highchairs wrapped in burlap & orange ribbon and “Thankful” placemat word scramble
– Place settings with festive paper plates, mini pies, mason jars and burlap “Be Thankful” wrapped favors
– Reeses, candy corn and oreo turkeys + waffle cone and candy cornucopias
– Turkey ceramic painting activity and playful teepee tent

rustic kids thanksgiving

kids thanksgiving tablescape

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Vintage Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

queen of hearts scepters

Welcome to Madeline’s very merry Vintage Alice in Wonderland Tea Party! Mom, Linsey of Lux Events and Design thrifted the perfect vintage china, crafted pink ruffle printable embellishments and organized a magical day fit for an adorable little “Alice” ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Queen of Hearts Scepters (magic wands with scrapbook paper & gold trim)
– Gorgeous gold painted and vintage floral teapots as flower vases
– DIY mushroom toadstools for chairs & a rose embellished birthday girl chair
– Tea bag sugar cookies, Cheshier Cat color changing crayon, & white rabbit cracker favors

gold teapot vase

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New HWTM Party Printables Shop + BIG GIVEAWAY!

designer party printables from Hostess with the Mostess

Winner update: 11/20/12: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winners are… Commenters #2 – NICOLE KUBON, #34 – SARAH, #29 – ELIZABETH, #89 – EMILY, #63 –LESLIE, #36 – SHAKARA, #39 – KIM, #59 – CRYSTAL C, #5 – MEREDITH KLOBUCNIK & #3 – TRINA. Congrats and thank you to everyone that entered our first HWTM Shop Giveaway!

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Hi Everyone! I’m really excited to bring you this giveaway today, because it comes directly from… US! :) A few weeks ago we launched our new HWTM Party Printables Shop on Etsy, but I wanted to wait to do a formal announcement on the blog because there were only a few designs added when we first launched it. These things always take soooo much longer than you want… I wish I could just magically “poof” everything into the shop, but so far it hasn’t been quite that easy! ;)

Anyways, we’re still in the process of adding new designs daily, but the shop is finally at a point where I’d like to share it with you… and what better way to do that then with a GIVEAWAY, right? And while we’re at it, I’m thinking we might as well make it a BIG one, SO….

TEN WINNERS from this giveaway will receive the Party Package of their choice from the shop! The winners can pick ANY Party Collection that they’d like from the shop PLUS two additional items like Food Labels, Invitations, Address Labels, etc. Scroll down for more info on the types of products we carry + details on how to enter the giveaway! And if you don’t have a party coming up soon you can always gift your prize to a loved one. :)

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Metallic Hot Cocoa Bar {with FREE Printables!} + Sparkly DIY Drink & Dessert Topper Ideas

hot cocoa bar printables

Need a fun {& easy} idea for your holiday party or wintery get together? Warm your guests up with a Gourmet Hot Cocoa Station where they can choose from yummy mix-ins like flavored marshmallows and spirits or liqueurs to create their own tasty drink.

We all know the little ones love hot chocolate, but I wanted to create something especially for the adults this time around, so this particular Hot Cocoa station (from our Sparkle & Shine Metallic Dinner Party) features gourmet peppermint, chocolate, and vanilla marshmallows and a pretty bottle of rum that guests can splash in to mix up a hot toddy! You can make your own flavored marshmallows – or just buy them to keep things easy – and get creative with the liquor mix-ins: brandy, coffee liqueur, raspberry liqueur, Peppermint Schnapps, etc. are all great options for flavoring hot chocolate.

FREE PRINTABLES & MORE

Scroll down for pics + links to download all the free Party Printables pictured here. You’ll also find ideas for some easy DIY metallic dessert toppers created from tinsel-infused yarn and craft poms + metallic gold pipe cleaners. ENJOY! :)

marshmallows

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Purple Polka Dot Croc Birthday Party

purple polka dot croc birthday dessert table

Jess of Party Box Design created this dazzling Purple Polka Dot Croc Birthday Party with sweet goodies inspired by one cute crocodile named CHOMP! Knowing party planning isn’t a one person production Jess is so appreciative of all her participating vendors, that she gave each one a thoughtful, wonderful review here. Keep reading to see all the amazing talent :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– AMAZING custom Chomp Chomp the Polka Dot Croc cookies
– Ombre purple chevron painted drink station
– Shiny tassel garland, polka dot balloons and lavender tissue poms
– Adult crocodile bar with “Croc-O-Jitos” on mossy grass drink coasters
– “Cupcakes to go” favors in twine tied gable boxes

crocodile cupcakes

purple chevron drinks

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WILD & Colorful Jungle Themed Dessert Table

jungle party dessert table

Welcome to the Jungle… or should I say the sweetest Jungle Themed Dessert Table with the cutest curly-mane lions! Stephanie of Spaceships and Laser Beams made a roaring statement with this bold, kid-friendly printable collection and easy desserts like zebra parfaits!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Savanna cloud meringues, caramel paw prints & lemon lion cupcakes
– DIY twisted brown paper “Jungle Vine” with printable flowers
– Monkey, giraffe and elephant fondant cupcake toppers
– Vanilla frosted cake guarded by a lion ;)

kids jungle desserts

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Colorful Festa Junina Party {Brazilian Tradition}

festa junina dessert table

Cris of Crissy’s Crafts values the importance of sharing her Brazilian culture with her children and her party guests too! Her Festa Junina Party has it all… from the bright decor, & the traditional costume wear to the many authentic desserts, she gave this tradition the celebration it deserved!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Popcorn & marshmallow corn on the cobs with corn husks!
– Decorative corn husk flowers & festive bright banners
– Traditional sweets like Paçoca and Pé-de-moleque
– Festive costumes with straw hats and painted freckles
– Musical chairs, Hit or Miss + more kids games and prendas (prizes)!

festa junina corn husk popcorn

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Charming Hot Air Balloon Dessert Table {Baby Shower}

hot air balloon lollipops

Emily of A Silver Nutmeg takes us “Up, Up & Away!” with this charming Hot Air Balloon Dessert Table for a sweet baby boy shower. Her creativity soared with lovely details like pastel treats displayed in dainty dishes and a fabulous DIY hot air balloon centerpiece. This theme would be adorable for welcoming a little girl too. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– SUPER creative hot air “balloon” centerpiece made from string, ribbon & a paper straw!
– Frosted sugar cookie party favors that matched the {fabulous} printables
– Delicate sprinkle cake pops embellished with ribbons
– Pretty french macarons, hot air balloon lollipops & blueberry tarts

hot air balloon cupcake decoration

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Incredible Truffula Tree Inspired Lorax Birthday Party

truffula tree dessert table

From cookies to crafts, this Lorax Birthday Party has no shortage of what everyone needs… Truffula Trees! Mom Smita of The Party Wall crafted an incredibly thoughtful and detailed birthday party for her son, complete with a 12 page Lorax “book” invitation, upcycled decorations and a Lorax play acted out by all the kids in their handmade costumes!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– DIY Truffula trees made from recycled PVC piping
– “Thneed Cookies” displayed in a “Oncler Wagon”
– Lorax decorated candy jar, popcorn bags & feathered door wreath
– “Plant A New Truffula” Station, Save the Humming Fish & more themed activities!
– Lorax “show” complete with costume pieces & backdrop

Lorax party craft decor

Truffula tree planting activity

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Clever “Bee Thankful” Themed Thanksgiving

bee thankful thanksgiving dessert table

What’s covered in buralp, dipped in butter yellow and buzzing all over? This “Bee Thankful” Themed Thanksgiving by Jamee of Setting the Mood! It will bee sure to attract your sweet tooth and give you the crafting bug with her creative treat styling and packing supply material ideas! (P.S. This is great inspiration for bee themed baby showers and birthday parties too!)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Fabulous “honeycomb” backdrop created from cardboard and octagon craft boxes & lids
– Beehive cake pops and caramel apples displayed on a honeycomb sheet
– Burlap wrapped containers filled with candy & kettle corn in honeycomb textured cones

beehive party ideas

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Creative Sesame Street Inspired Birthday Party

sesame street dessert table

Can you tell me how to get to Mackenzie Street? This Creative Sesame Street Inspired Birthday Party is brought to you by mom – Kia! Big Bird led the way to birthday fun with playful Sesame street themed signs, kids activities and fantastic decorations, including a super clever “lamp post” cupcake display!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– “Bird Crossing” yield sign and yellow sidewalk foot prints
– Abby Cadabby’s Alphabet Matching Game & Sesame Street Coloring Station
– Yellow character party hats topped with green tissue poms
– Wooden Big Bird and Snuffleupagus characters + “Keep Calm and Play On” sign

sesame street party signs

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Kids Floral Decorating Party + Flower Buffet

birthday girl flower decorating party and drinks

Photographer (and mommy of the birthday girl) Renee Bell teamed up with Rachel Bell and arranged a super clever & creative birthday celebration for Liana! Instead of a traditional dessert buffet, this stunning Kids Floral Decorating Party featured a fresh flower buffet where the girls got to pick out flowers for their very own floral creations. Something tells me “kids” of all ages are going to love this idea! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Dessert table with doily details and sweet snacks labeled with mini chalkboard signs!
– Fabric pendant bunting + various pink tissue poms,  lanterns & paper rosettes
– Burlap wrapped bottle centerpieces and white box “pots” for each girl to decorate
– Flower Power Juice served in glass bottles with pink stripe straws
– Elegant pink & beige ruffled birthday cake with a fresh flower topper

kids flower decorating party activity

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Dreamy & Delicious Fall Apple Picking Party

caramel apple desserts

Jessica from OhSoPrintable dreamed up this extra DELICIOUS Apple Picking Party from her cherished memories of fall. Dramatic reds and soft whites, paired with warm rustic elements (not to mention all the *crisp* sweets!) will make you fall in love with the season just as much as she did!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Donut tower topped with ADORABLE felt stitched apple
– Yummy treats like Rustic Caramel Apples, Salted Caramel Cupcakes, & Apple Pie Pops
– Vintage teal cabinet dessert “table” with a ripped fabric backdrop
– Cute ruffled chair backs + lunch packed in bushel baskets
– Apple cider served in mason jars with red striped straws

apple orchard dessert table

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Crafty & Colorful Kids Chevron Thanksgiving

bright chevron Thanksgiving

Cris of Crissy’s Crafts definitely lives up to her name with her latest party to share: a playful & modern Crafty Kids Chevron Thanksgiving (featuring an adorable printable set from Amanda’s Parties to Go)! What a fun way for the pint-sized guests to celebrate the holiday… making chevron-feathered hats, coloring printables, gobbling up treats, and keeping busy with lots more turkey business. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Turkey hat making, wooden Indian masks & more kids table activities
– Chevron & polka dot dessert table with mini pumpkins + a fondant turkey topped cake!
– Activity sheet placemats with dressed up pencils to match
– “Turkey Toe” favors (treat bags filled with candy corn!)

turkey foam kids craft

thanksgiving kids crafts

thanksgiving kids table game

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DIY Tutorial: Creative Wine Packaging for Hostess Gifts

homemade hostess gift idea: wine gift wrap

Jen here from Jen CYK Photography, and I’m back today to help you make things look extra pretty, with a super simple way to dress up a wine bottle! You may have noticed, I really like wine (see “Exhibit A,” my DIY wine cork succulent magnets). And you’ve probably noticed I like to make everyday gifts fun & pretty (see “Exhibit B,” my DIY paper flowers). Well today, we’re going to combine an awesome hostess gift, with great packaging, and get you lots of “oooohhs” and “ahhhhhhhs!”

DIY FABRIC WINE PACKAGING

Over the next two months, you’ll probably be attending A LOT of get togethers. Tis the season! If you’re like me, you like to bring a little contribution to each event. My go-to gift is always wine. So why not make it special, put a little extra effort, and package it pretty! I’ve got a great alternative to buying those wine gift bags, that’s cute and cheaper! (more…)

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Preppy Pancakes & Pajamas Party

pink pajama party cookies

If you give a cute little girl a pajama party… she will want it all in pink + a pancake breakfast to go with it! Jennifer of Jennifer V Designs whipped up a delicious Preppy Pancakes & Pajama Party for her daughter’s 4th birthday. Inspired by pink and navy, combined with chevron and polka dots, everything else seemed to fall perfectly into place!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Adorable pajama frosted sugar cookies!
– Bacon & Eggs (pretzels paired with candy!) and Fruit Loop treats
– Birthday cake with fabulous pink fondant ruffles
– Tulips in glass vases with Fruit Loops & pink gum balls as centerpieces
– Cereal strand necklace making activity!

pajama party food and decor

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Out of this World SUPERhero Birthday Party

superhero cape party

Calling all superheros: meet at the “training headquarters” asap (aka Sky High Sports – an awesome trampoline center!). With a little help from Batman, Superman, AND Spiderman, Crystal “saved the day” for her son Zane with this amazing Superhero Birthday Party filled with out of this world crunch cookies, POW pops and tons of fun for the little heroes that got to ZOOM and SOAR around the trampoline park!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– “Superhero Cityscape” crafted from cardboard, paint & construction paper
– “Kryptonite” lime rock candy & “Ray Rings” Ring Pops
– Action-packed birthday boy superhero t-shirt
– Silver lightning bolt & red super hero cape chair backs doubling as party favors!

superhero fifth birthday party

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{Party of 5} Glam Thanksgiving, Modern Tablescape, Tattoo Parlour, Fall Birthday & Nautical Dessert Table

thanksgiving

Here we go with the latest round of Friday Party of 5 picks from our HWTM.com members! Just click on a party title or collage to check out the full album & details from the following creative events:

– Glam Thanksgiving
– Modern Thanksgiving Tablescape
– Tattoo Parlour First Birthday
– Fall Themed Birthday Party
– Nautical Dessert Table

1. Thanksgiving Tablescape Design 2011 (pictured above) by Delicously Darling Events

2. Giving Sweet Thanks by The Sweetest Affair

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“Sparkle & Shine” Metallic Dinner Party: Part 1 – Tablescape {with FREE Printables!}

metallic dinner party tablescape

If you need a little spark to help get yourself into “holiday mode”, we’ve got a brand new theme and FREE PRINTABLES that should help get you there! We teamed up with Pier 1 to create this “Sparkle & Shine Metallic Dinner Party“, as inspired by their beautiful new Metallic Bronze Dinnerware.

The party theme features a warm, inviting palette that works great for everything from Thankgiving & Holiday Celebrations to New Year’s Eve + lots of easy DIY decor ideas like glittered paper circle garlands, tissue tassels, drink stirrers, embellished vases, and metal flowers. And of course… can’t forget the free printables, which include everything from Hot Cocoa Bar signs to party circles and place cards. Scroll down for a sneak peek of the table or click here to check out full details on each element of the party + printables download links. ENJOY! :)

Party Highlights to look out for:

– DIY metal flowers created from decorative knobs!
– Festive printable place cards reading “Cheers to: {guest name}”
– Chair backs embellished with tissue tassels and sparkly craft poms
– Printable (double-sided) “Celebrate Together” centerpiece flag

diy knob flowers - hwtm

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Festive Kids Thanksgiving Table & Craft Ideas

kids thanksgiving table

If you’re hosting pint-sized guests for Thanksgiving this year, here’s some fun inspiration for you from Paula of Frog Prince Paperie! In addition to making the kids Thanksgiving table extra special with things like DIY fabric flowers and decorations that they can help create, Paula also has some fun Kids Thanksgiving Crafts in her “busy boxes” to help keep the little ones entertained at the table. Added bonus: more time for the adults to eat & chat in peace! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for….

– “Give Thanks” pie bar with pint-sized pumpkin pies for the kids!
– Billy balls & gerbera daisies in mason jar “vases” embellished with pretty fabric flowers
– Turkey themed utensil pouches & simple ribbon napkin wraps
– “Busy Boxes” with crayons, playdough, and a “We Are So Thankful” turkey craft

kids thanksgiving activity

fabric chair back fall

billy ball thanksgiving florals

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Favorite Detail: Magic Wand Cake Pop Sticks

magic wand cake pops

Laura of LAURA’S little PARTY got super creative for a Magical Fairy Themed Baby Shower for her sister! My favorite part? The clever Magic Wand Cake Pop Sticks! In place of stripe straws or lollipop sticks, Laura used star shaped silver wands to add a little sparkle to her sweet pink cake pops!

Click on the album image (below) to check out the full Fairy Themed Baby Shower!

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GIVEAWAY: Pamper Me Fabulous Event Tickets!

pamper me fabulous

Winner update: 11/9/12: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered… I seriously wish we could give tickets to ALL of you! Sounds like a lot of you could really use a day like this right now… I can relate. :) And the lucky random winners are… Commenter #10 – PAULETTE and Commenter #34 KESHIA R. Congrats!

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Pamper Me Fabulous is the ultimate women’s day out  full of spa, beauty, shopping, gift bags, free flowing bubbly and… some entertaining tips from yours truly! ;) The event takes plase this Sunday, November 11 at the stunning Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. At 1pm in “The Expert Corner”, I’ll be hosting an “Inspiration to Celebration” panel featuring some seriously talented women: Melody Brandon of Sweet and Saucy Shop, Shirley Han of Fresh Events Company, and Jesi Haack of Jesi Haack Design!

WIN FREE TICKETS TO THE EVENT

We’re ALSO giving away 2 FREE pairs of tickets to the event on the blog this week! Grab a friend and spend a day getting pampered… how’s that for a plan? ;) This is an $84 value per winner. The drawing closes at 1pm PST tomorrow – Friday, November 9th – and the winners will be announced here shortly after.

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Dumbo Inspired Kids Birthday Party

Dumbo peanut birthday cake

This birthday boy loves Dumbo just about as much as elephants love peanuts! Mommy and creative party planner, Andrea of Where the Green Grass Grows Designswanted to celebrate her son’s 3rd birthday in a LARGE way with a Dumbo Themed Birthday Party wrapped in colorful ric rac & ribbon!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for….

– Fabulous Nutter Butter “Peanut Birthday Cake”
– Cupcake jars with custom wooden spoons
– Vintage popcorn & peanut treat bags in novelty orange & blue suitcases
– Story book party favors with custom bookplates

Dumbo party dessert table

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1950s Inspired Retro Wedding {Red & Turquoise}

turquoise retro wedding

Aubrey of Bride Meets Wedding paired bold colors and patterns for a fabulous Retro Wedding with lots of crafty DIY details! She shows how a bold color combo like red and turquoise can make a fun statement white still retaining the classy look of a wedding celebration. For more bright color combo weddings click here and here!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Chic red & turquoise retro cake with bold polka dots & fondant flowers
– Vintage escort card bottles that double as party favors!
– DIY napkin ring flowers made from red tulle, blue felt, and a button center
– Signature blue cocktails served in mason jars with red stripey straws

retro red wedding cake

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Chandelier Inspired Birthday Party {Korean Dol}

birthday streamer chandelier

DIY elements always add such a great personal touch to any party! Inspired by contemporary chandeliers, Angie of Angi & Co created bright pink and orange party elements and cool DIY paper chandeliers for a Modern Pink & Orange Dol to celebrate little Kiera’s milestone first birthday. For additional meaningful & homemade decor ideas from Angie, check out Lila’s Dol Birthday too!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for….

– Birthday Cake with a hand-painted chandelier design
– DIY vellum & crepe paper chandeliers
– Pretty pink & white Dol Go Ims
– Fringe crepe paper backdrop for the “smile booth” :)

pink and orange dessert table

pink DIY paper chandelier

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{Totally Groovy!} Vintage Barbie Camping Party

Barbie party activities

This 70’s inspired Vintage Barbie Camping Party is nothing short of totally GROOVY! Maria of Love and Sugar Kisses did an incredible job bringing this oh-so-creative party to life, with help from some amazing vendors, of course! From feathery details to the iconic ’71 Barbie Camper that inspired the entire theme, this celebration mixes natural elements, retro style, and girlie Barbie flair for a spunky & totally unique “glamping” style bash.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for….

– 70’s style feather hair clips, monogrammed canteens & fabric backpacks
– Nature walk, campfire songs & s’more relay race activities! 
– Glitter pine cones, the iconic ’71 Barbie Camper & colorful woodgrain paper details
– Barbie Camper inspired cookies, fondant feather embellished cake pops & s’mores on a stick!
– Chevron bunting embellished pot and colorful wrapped tin cans for subtle camping decor

Barbie camping party food

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