Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

How to Make Grilled BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza {Video} + Free Farmer’s Market Party Printables

Grilled BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza Tutorial

Have you ever tried grilling flatbread directly on the BBQ? There’s something so great about seeing those beautiful grill marks on the bread…especially when you’ve made them yourself!

Grilling flatbread is surprisingly quick to do, but there are definitely a few small-yet-impactful tricks that will make the process a LOT easier – and I’m speaking from personal trial and error here! I recently teamed up with Krusteaz® to create a little video tutorial that highlights some of these helpful flatbread grilling tips, which you can watch below. Pay special attention to the method of oiling the grill and the style of baking pan used to get the dough on and off the grill grates… it’s a life saver. ;)

The video features a Grilled BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza using one of the brand new Krusteaz Flatbread Mixes (in the Garlic and Onion flavor), which makes it super easy to whip up the dough. This simple recipe is a tried-and-true favorite in my book, but of course you can change up the toppings on your own grilled flatbread however you like!

Free Farmer’s Market Party Printables + Weber Grill Giveaway

Another fun idea for grilling your own flatbread is to set up a little “Flatbread Social” station with all sorts of fresh toppings, then let your dinner guests create their own personal sized flatbread pizzas using their favorite toppings.

And… inspired by this fresh toppings idea, I also designed some Farmer’s Market Inspired Party Printables to go along with it! Scroll down to check them out, along with a few coordinating DIY party ideas like cut burlap “placemats”, kraft bag utensil holders, and a quick & easy veggie centerpiece that packs a very HEALTHY dose of color. ;)

You’ll find the download links for the printables at the bottom of the post, along with info on a Weber Grill Sweepstakes that you won’t want to miss!

farmers market inspired free printables from hwtm

a farmers market pizza making party with a toppings bar

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“Gametime!” Twin Boys’ Football Birthday Party

football birthday party dessert table

He’s at the 30…the 20…the 10…TOUCHDOWN!! Valerie Gimre of Charming Touch Parties styled DOUBLE the fun for her “Gametime!” Twin Boys’ Football Birthday Party! The whole day was centered around the big game — Alex’s team vs. Jack’s team in a flag football match. I love that the color palette focuses on the team colors rather than the traditional green & brown, everything would be so cute for a Super Bowl party! I’m sure both teams went home happy with dirt on their knees & cake in their bellies :).

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Chalkboard style, flag decorated printables + matching cookies & ‘penalty flag’ yellow napkins
– Flag topped football textured birthday cakes with frosting laces + Rootbeer floats & caramel corn
– Concessions stand with game day lunches + personalized game day jersey shirts for team & family members
– Floral centerpieces with football paper chain links & team flags in jars filled with color coordinating sand

football birthday cake

football birthday party concessions stand with lunch

personalized family football jersey shirts

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Playful Puppy and Kitten 2nd Birthday Party

puppy and kitty party decor ideas

Meow! Woof! All pets are welcome here :). Louisa Kopp from the adorable blog, Ice Cream off Paper Plates, styled this equally adorably Playful Puppy and Kitten 2nd Birthday Party for her son’s big day! Louisa put lots of love into this party, creating all of the food & sweets, the invitation AND just about every bit of decor! Using lots of yarn, newspapers, stamps and other common items was a super clever way for her to get the most out of similar things (i.e. yarn balls, yarn wrapped letters, yarn banners, etc.) and probably stay on budget! That’s what I call the cat’s meow ;).

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– DIY ‘Bow Wow,’ ‘Fancy Feast,’ & ‘Litter Box’ banners + DIY dog & cat plates
– Paw print napkins, picture mats & tent cards + yarn & paw print ‘2’ decorated party hats
– Dog collar wrapped drinks, cups & invitation + dog bone decorated tent cards
– Primary colored bday outfit, decor & M&M topped birthday cake + hanging 2s & a puppy piñata

dog and cat birthday party mantle decorations

puppy and kitten party invitation

second birthday party photo shoot

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Under the Sea Bubble Guppies Birthday Party

bubble guppies birthday party dessert table

We are so honored that the incredibly talented Marie Dannettelle of Sweets Indeed  decided to use one of our own party collections in her Under the Sea Bubble Guppies Birthday Party! Of course, it’s always fun to see your designs in use, but I especially love all of the creative ways she incorporated them into the table — with patterned paper wrapped wooden spoons, orange starfish & goldfish desserts to match the tent cards, and of course that giant backdrop sign! All a prime example of why she’s the Queen of sweets tables!

P.S. Make sure to check out Marie’s adorable Dogfish popcorn boxes below, which she has generously turned into a free printable for you all! :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Hanging plastic ‘bubbles,’ Bubble Guppy silhouettes & fabric ‘jellyfish tentacles’ backdrop
– Amazing Bubble Guppies birthday cake + Bubble Guppy character cookies on a bed of blue sixlet ‘bubbles’
– Clamshell & bubble macaron topped parfaits, crab topped cupcakes & confetti jello dessert shots
– Starfish rice krispie treats & starfish decorated risers + seaweed & goldfish decorated party hats

crab topped cupcakes

under the sea bubble guppies birthday cake

confetti jello dessert shots

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Dreamy Pink & Gold Glam Pajama Birthday Party

girls pink fabric tent

Here’s to soft pinks, softer pillows and the sweetest dreams :). Pamela Dawkins of Pamela Simone Events dreamt up this Dreamy Pink & Gold Glam Pajama Birthday Party for her precious daughter Cailey’s 7th birthday. I love the idea of having an “almost sleepover” for younger girls — all of the fun of a slumber party for girls in that in-between stage. Mom and Cailey’s older sisters generously served as the ‘Glam Squad,’ passing down their tried and true beauty secrets to all of the little beauty queens — such a sweet way to celebrate your little girly girl!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Pink fabric tent with fluffy pillows & faux sheepskin rugs + gold glitter & ‘Dream’ pillows
– Gold glitter invitation, pink & gold glitter pennant banners + pink & gold honeycomb poms & tissue tassels
– Makeover station with makeup, nail polish, feather boas & jewelry + glamorous cookies
– Gold tablescape with a glitter runner, gold chairs, glittered cups & utensils + a light up ‘diamond’ ring

gold glitter birthday party invitation

dreamy pink and gold birthday party

gold glitter table runner and tabalescape

girl's slumber party tent

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Twins Super-Sized Rainbow Art Birthday Party

artsy paint can and rainbow splatter birthday cake

It’s time to get messy with this Super-Sized Rainbow Art Birthday Party styled by Valerie Cianci of Top It Off Designs for the 5th birthday of two identical twins! How much fun would it be to put down those thinking caps and pick up a (ginormous) crayon to let your inner child go crazy!? That’s exactly what Valerie created when she combined fun activities, bright rainbow colors & whimsical oversized art supplies! I am seriously in need of a giant easel like that — think of all the possibilities! :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Fondant paint brush & paint can topped rainbow paint splatter cake + tons of rainbow paint palette desserts
– Large hanging crayons & an oversized easel & paint tube backdrop + an impressive rainbow balloons backdrop
– Rainbow sand art, painting & cupcake decorating activities + crayon & marker tiered
– Crayon shaped bubbles & lip balms + aprons & goody filled paint can party favors

rainbow painting birthday party dessert table

DIY art supplies centerpiece

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Spooky & Silly Monster Mash Halloween Bash

halloween party dessert table

For our very first Halloween post of the year, we are SUPER excited to showcase one of our own Hostess INK paper collections, “Monster Mash,” as expertly styled into this downright EYE-dorable Halloween Bash by Laura Aguirre of LAURA’S little PARTY!

Halloween is one of our favorite times of year at HWTM, and we are over the (full) moon to see our party designs used in such a fun, creative way! I especially love how Laura incorporated playful googly eyes all over the amazinsweets & treats — they’re always watching. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Custom monster party crowns & iron-on ‘Monster Mash’ shirts for the kids
– Playful monster silhouettes + super cute (& perfectly coordinating!) monster sugar cookies
– Scrumptious looking candy apples with rhinestone sticks
– Spray painted & glittered mason jars + cool green & orange panted chandelier
– Chocolate eyeballs, white ghost cotton candy, & googly-eyed cake with patterns matching the paper decor

kids halloween place settings

halloween drink party flags

halloween decorated caramel apples

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Glittering Mystical Mermaid Birthday Party

vintage mermaid birthday party ideas

Dive on in to this Glittering Mystical Mermaid Birthday Party, styled by the ever talented, Missy & Kristen of Sweetly Chic Events & Design! This party took a village (as you can see in the impressive vendor credits), which means even more under the sea inspiration for all of us! :) One of my favorite bits of inspiration are those amazing handmade scale & mermaid silhouette backdrops — they definitely help to seal in the magical feeling of the party.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– An aqua tablescape with scallop seashell plates, mermaid silhouette mason jars & sea animal chair backs
– Kid’s teepee decorated with scale & tissue tassel garlands + filled with mini stuffed octopuses
– Glitter stick cake pops, under the sea cookies, painted mermaid cupcakes & chocolate seashell Oreos
– Coral nonpareil decorated birthday cake with an intricate fondant mermaid topper
– Teal tutu, starfish & ribbon wand + pirate hat party favors

mermaid lagoon birthday party welcome sign

under the sea mermaid dessert ideas

under the sea chocolate Oreos

mermaid topped birthday cake

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Cheery “You Are My Sunshine” First Birthday Party

yellow first birthday dessert table

Oh my sunshine! If this party doesn’t make you happy (when skies are grey), I don’t know what will! Ashley Joseph of Two Be Wed filled this Cheery “You Are My Sunshine” First Birthday Party with lots of sunny yellow decor, delicious mini brunch foods & plenty of love for her little ray of sunshine’s special day while Kimberly Lee of Kimberly Chau Photography beautifully captured it all. I am especially loving the paper details (no surprise there), like the crepe paper banners, custom garlands & adorable invitation.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– DIY yellow flower ‘1’ + yellow bow garland, photo garlands & patterned fabric banners
– Mini brunch foods like pancake stacks, chicken & wafflers, strawberry & donut hole kabobs & muffins
– Gold first birthday crown, custom stamped cake slicer + a yellow ombre birthday cake

you are my shine first birthday party

you are my sunshine first birthday party invitation

first birthday brunch menu

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“Let it Go” Frozen Birthday Party {Childhood Cancer Awareness}

frozen birthday party ideas

In honor of September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we thought it fitting to showcase this amazing “Let it Go” Frozen Birthday Party, styled (all out of the goodness of her heart) by Monica Bacallao of Moni’s Marvels for 2 year-old Daniella, who’s facing Stage III Neuroblastoma. Just like most little girls out there, Daniella is Frozen crazy, and in this case, the party gives a whole new meaning to the words “Let It Go.” Absolutely warms my heart to see Monica & all of these amazing vendors come together to make this day truly special for Daniella & her family.

To learn more about how you can help or to donate to families affected by Childhood Cancer, go to the ACCO’s website here.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Large glitter snowflake backdrop + a snowflake decorated kid’s sleigh & glittered everything
– Amazing Frozen castle inspired birthday cake with rhinestones, ribbons, snowflakes & a crown topper
– White floral centerpieces with character silhouettes, snowflakes, glitter branches & decorated ornaments
– Green dusted ‘magical troll’ rock truffles, a visit from Anna & Elsa + Olaf’s party favor table

frozen party ideas with olaf

childhood cancer awareness party

kid's sleigh for a frozen birthday party

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Trend Alert: Personalized Backdrops

Personalized-backdrops
Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Trend Alert” where I share with you some of the hottest trends in party planning! Today’s guest post is all about the hot new trend — Personalized Backdrops.

Leading the way in this trend is Kate Aspen who now makes vinyl backdrops in many different styles and themes that can be personalized to add that special touch to your next party, bridal shower or wedding. Any of these would also be perfect as a backdrop for a photo booth! Check out how I used these personalized backdrops 3 different ways for 3 different types of events

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Money for Christmas Giveaway {$500 Amazon Gift Cards}

Money for Christmas Giveaway

We’ve teamed up with some fabulous bloggers this week to bring you what I personally think might just be the very BEST kind of giveaway, especially at this time of year!

Enter below to win $500 of spending money for you AND for the friend of your choice. What a lucky friend. ;)

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“Better than Football” Chocolate Cake Recipe

better than football chocolate cake recipe

We here at HWTM are pretty big fans of football, so you can imagine our excitement when Britni Vigil of Play. Party. Pin. offered to share the recipe for her “Better than Football” Chocolate Cake with us! I think it’s safe to say, we are now also fans of the chocolate caramel combo! ;)

“This cake is inspired by one that a volleyball teammate of mine and I made years ago. I thought it would be fun to recreate it for our pseudo sports themed party. It’s really simple and includes only five ingredients!”

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“BETTER THAN FOOTBALL” CAKE RECIPE:

chocolate cake recipe supplies

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“Chocolate is Better than Football” Girls Night Party

girly football party dessert table

Football parties can be such a fun way to get into the game — with yummy snacks, team decor and a house full of excited friends! But for Britni Vigil of Play. Party. Pin., football season means that much of her free time is devoted to watching the games at home, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for girl time. So as a last indulgent hurrah, she threw this Chocolate is Better than Football Girls’ Party filled with everything chocolate, including lots of her favorite — Snickers!

As an added bonus, Britni is generously sharing the recipe for her “Better than Football” Chocolate Cake (a bold statement, but I can’t really imagine anything better than the perfect chocolate cake). Check out some drool-worthy photos of all of the chocolate desserts below, and then get the recipe details for the cake right here.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Mini chocolate eclair footballs & football cookies + ‘Team Snickers’ cookies & cupcakes
– Chocolate fondue + strawberries, marshmallows & cookie dippers + chocolate sprinkle rimmed milk bottles
– DIY blue glittered football centerpiece, gold glitter dipped mason jars & glittered utensils
– Mini chocolate bar name card holders, chocolate two-tier cake + DIY sewn pouch favors

snickers themed chocolate dessert tab;e

chocolate themed party place settings

outdoor football party tablescape

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Belle Inspired Princess Tea Party Birthday {Be Our Guest!}

beauty and the beast tea party birthday tablescape

Missy & Kristen of Sweetly Chic Events & Design would like YOU to be their guest at Belle Inspired Princess Tea Party Birthday! So many amazing vendors were involved in piecing together this royal tea party for the little birthday princess (Sophia). Swathed in pink glitter & yellow fabrics inspired by Belle’s ball gown and covered with tons of ornamentally decorated desserts, everything is almost too beautiful to mess up ;)! And with five different tables, there is plenty of inspiration for your next Beauty and the Beast inspired princess soiree!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– DIY gold glitter utensils chandelier + gold candelabra centerpieces & pink carnation chair garlands
– Belle inspired cookies, rose cake pops, teacup cupcakes & rose topped chocolate Oreos
– Ornate gold decorated birthday cake, yellow & pink roses + gold framed Lumiere & Belle silhouettes
– Pink glitter favor table with a ribbon streamer backdrop, teapot cookies, cotton candy & tutu favors

pink and gold beauty and the beast dessert table

gold princess birthday cake

be our guest tea party drinks

kid's belle costume for a beauty and the beast birthday party

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Colorful Fruity Flamingo End of Summer Party

fruity flamingo birthday party dessert table

This summer, we have seen so many flamingo parties. From crafty to retro, tropical to glam, there seems to have been a never-ending stream of that stylish, pink bird! But as summer comes to an end, I think we may have saved one of the best for last. ;)

Dozens of party mavens lent their talents create this Fruity Flamingo End of Summer Party styled by Marie of Sweets Indeed. Marie’s daughter, Avie, wanted her 10th birthday party to focus on celebrating her younger cousin, Lily, instead, who had recently begun her battle with leukemia. In my opinion, there couldn’t have been a better, BRIGHTER way to celebrate life… and hope!

To donate or acquire updates on Lily’s progress, you can go here.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Pineapple cake pops & pineapple candy skewers + fruit shaped macarons & fondant fruit topped cupcakes
– Bright Oh Joy! place settings + pineapple cups & flamingo straws under a tropical tiki hut
– Mini fruit piñatas & large fruit honeycomb pom clusters + plastic fruit decorated party hats
– Sorbet station with fruity sorbet push pops & color blocked ‘Sorbet’ letters + bright sunglasses decorating
– Tropical flower & flamingo topped birthday cake, lollipic party favors + a fruit & photo garland

colorful summer birthday party ideas

tropical and bright flamingo birthday party invitation

summer fruity sorbet table with fruit poms

DIY mini fruit piñatas

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Party on a Dime Charity Challenge {Cast Your Vote!}

partyonadime_small

Hey, Party People… I’ve got a special announcement today that involves 3 fantastic things: creativity on a budget, a great cause, and YOU!

Balloon Time has challenged 8 talented party stylists to host a real event with one Balloon Time helium tank + a budget of only $100! I don’t know how many of you have ever attempted to stick to a tight party budget, but let me tell you, what these ladies pulled off is SO impressive and really shows what you can accomplish when you find creative ways to utilize the things you already have.

Now here’s the part where you come in! Check out some highlights from each party below, then go to Balloon Time’s Facebook right here and vote for your favorite party. The winner will receive $5,000 for the charity of their choice.

Some of the charities are particularly near & dear to my own heart, and ALL of them are wonderful causes. You can vote once a day, so make sure to check back often to see how your favorites are doing! We will also be featuring each one of these amazing parties in full detail on the blog once the contest is over. Voting ends on September 30th. Scroll down for a quick peek at the contenders!

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Fairy Tea Party from Design Dazzle

fairy birthday party

Garden Birthday Party from Smashed Peas and Carrots

garden party

 

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Lalaloopsy Birthday Party {with Budget Friendly Tips!}

lalaloopsy birthday party ideas

When styling a party centered around a popular character, it can be tempting to get everything from 3rd party vendors, since you know they’ll more than likely have things that will match. Nancy Pfeifer of A to Zebra Celebrations thought outside of the box by adding in a hefty dose of DIY details, like the glittered signs, button themed centerpieces & that amazing piñata for her daughter’s Lalaloopsy Birthday Party! I would say she struck the perfect balance between store-bought details (a huge timesaver) and budget friendly crafts, which add that personal touch :).

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– DIY button & ribbon table garlands + DIY button decorate yarn balls & glitter button centerpieces
– Button topped cupcakes, simple button decorated utensils & ribbon wrapped drink dispenser
– ‘Hannahloopsy’ birthday cake with fondant sewing details & button topper + Lalaloopsy birthday shirt
– Pin the Owl on Lalaloopsy game + Lalaloopsy doll & lunch box party favors

lalaloopsy birthday party dessert table decor and food ideas

lalaloopsy birthday cake

DIY lalaloopsy piñata

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Cute as a Cupcake Girly Sweets Party

cute as a cupcake party dessert table

We have been so busy lately working on a party, which of course means tons of baking. I didn’t think I’d be able to look at one more cupcake, until this delicious party came along! Amy Grout of SmashCake & Co. enlisted the help of her always adorable girls to create this Cute as a Cupcake Girly Sweets Party! With pretty pastels and picture perfect treats, this party serves as a great reminder to celebrate the sweeter things in life (family, friends and cupcakes) ;)!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Cupcake cookies & matching strawberry topped cupcakes + sprinkle rimmed milk glasses
– Yellow polka dotted patterned paper table runner + hanging tissue poms & pom decorated chair backs
– Giant swirl frosted ‘cupcake’ cake, mini cupcake topped cake pops & meringue topped yogurt parfaits

cute as a cupcake birthday party ideas

giant cupcake birthday cake

cupcake cookie for a party

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Modern Rainbow Art Studio Birthday Party

rainbow painting birthday party art studio

Painting parties don’t always have to be messy (though some kids might disagree with that statement)! Monica Thomas of Discovery Lab styled everything while Cristina Gagliano of Studio Four 13 Photography photographed this wonderfully Modern Rainbow Art Studio Birthday Party for little Bella’s birthday. I love all of the clean lines of the set-up contrasted with the bright, rainbow colored flowers, decor & desserts. And seriously, those dessert could not have been done more perfectly — possibly one of the best rainbow layer cakes I’ve ever seen!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Chocolate dipped rice krispie treat paint brushes + a rainbow layered birthday cake ‘masterpiece’
– ‘Bella’ painted paint can garland + lots of frames & art supplies as decor & for the photo booth
– Rainbow paint palette cookies + rainbow cupcakes, cake pops & pantone cookies on palettes
– Felt flower decorated aprons + a My Little Pony painting activity

rainbow paint palette cookies and cake balls

rainbow layer birthday cake

rainbow art painting birthday party activities and favors

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Shabby Chic Garden Tea Party Wedding Inspiration

tea party wedding tablescape ideas

Pulling off the perfect tea party theme requires lots of dainty details! Kristen Janes of Kio Kreations included an assortment of vintage teacups, cake plates, bobbins and tea tins topped with decadent cakes, pies and cupcakes for this Shabby Chic Garden Tea Party Wedding Inspiration photo shoot. Filled with lush flowers and foliage, you’ll feel transported to a secret garden! Top it all off with the cutest teacup wedding favor bags and you’ve got the perfect reminder that ‘love is brewing’ :).

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Rustic shoot venue with brick walls & shabby chic doors + vintage shutters, bobbins & tin containers
– A floral head wreath, pleated sequin dress & fairy wand with flowers & ribbons for the flower girl
– Lovely naked berry, green ruffle & coconut cakes + mini berry pies + tea cup cupcakes

vintage wedding florals inspiration

garden ruffle cake with flower topper

flower girl's head wreath and floral wand

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Spooky & Stylish FREE Halloween Printables {+ Blog Hop}

halloween free printables blog hop

Bone Dust and Snake Venom and Zombie Brains, oh my! It’s hard to believe we’re talking Halloween already, but All Hallows’ Eve is right around the corner somehow… scary, right?! (Not as scary as when I walked into a craft store on July 5th and was greeted by multiple aisles of it though.)

Anyways, from wickedly cool signs to costumes for cheese (!) this month’s Free Printables Blog Hop is jam-packed with treats for all you Halloween fans. Scroll down for links to all of the projects – including my Creepy Potion Jar Labels in Black/Green + matching sign!

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Fall-Inspired Vintage Back to School Celebration

kids back to school party

With the start of a new school year, a great way to get the kids excited for their new classes, teachers & of course, back to school shopping, is to throw a little surprise party for them! Valerie Gimre of Charming Touch Parties and Candace Miller from Lillypaul Designs get an A+ for their cleverly styled Fall-Inspired Vintage Back to School Celebration! I love the old schoolhouse in the background & the school subject inspired dessert table sections (especially the ‘cafeteria’ lunches). Parents everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief that summer “boredom” is now over ;).

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– School themed joke cards & encouraging words for school lunches + ‘explore’ & ‘learn’ themed party flags
– A world map dessert table backdrop + metallic globe cookies & vintage globe decor
– Number 2 pencil candy skewers, addition & subtraction flashcard cookies & ‘molecule’ sixlet test tubes
– Vintage books, red apples, wooden crates & rag tie bunting + a vintage school desk bench

school themed party desserts

back to school cookies

school themed party flags and sayings

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{New Series} Parties in a Pinch: First Birthday

parties in a pinch: quick and easy first birthday party

{Quick Note from HWTM} We are thrilled to have Rachel Scott from RV Parties here today as our newest guest contributor, kicking off an exciting new series — Parties in a Pinch! It’s easy to feel a lot of pressure to put together a Pinterest-perfect event and then become overwhelmed by the planning process. Rachel’s advice will equip you with some tips and tricks to help you pull off a special, memorable party — in a pinch! Take it away, Rachel…

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One of my favorite sayings is: It can be good, cheap or fast, but it can’t be all three. This can definitely be applied to party planning!

This series will highlight how to throw a party that’s GOOD and either fast or cheap. (If you figure out how to throw party that’s all 3 — let me know!) First up? A good party that’s FAST. (For the sake of this post, we’re going to assume that a good party is one that has a bit of the wow-factor and makes the guest of honor feel celebrated.)

first birthday party decor and signs

My baby turned one a few days after we moved cross country. As a party planner, I couldn’t bear to miss the chance to celebrate him, but our house was in shambles and there wasn’t time to put together a huge bash like I normally would. The most important thing? Celebrating this sweet boy and a full year with him. And the other most important thing — getting a few pictures so that he’ll know he’s loved when he’s big enough to care!

Make sure to read below for some tips on how you too can put together a fast, memorable party.

simple and quick birthday party kids tablescape

first birthday smash cupcake display

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Nijntje aka Miffy Themed First Birthday Party

Nijntje Miffy themed first birthday cake

Although you never need an explanation for why you styled a party after an adorable bunny rabbit, Rena Tan of Sugarena :: Candy Buffet Stylist explains that Nijntje (more popularly known as Miffy) is to the Dutch what Hello Kitty is to the Japanese. So when a Dutch friend of hers wanted to include Miffy in her son’s first birthday, Rena jumped at the chance to create this Nijntje aka Miffy Themed First Birthday Party! Filled with minimalist style animations, primary colors & sweet white rabbits throughout, this party is sure to have Miffy fans worldwide swooning!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Miffy topped garden cupcakes + a birthday cake with Miffy floating in a balloon basket
– Custom Miffy backdrop & candy bar wrappers + Miffy stories themed food & candy jar labels
– Large stuffed Miffys & Miffy printed balloons + bright balloon clusters & colored wooden blocks

Nijntje Miffy party supplies

Nijntje Miffy themed dessert table

first birthday wooden blocks sign

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Up, Up and Away Hot Air Balloon Birthday

hot air balloon dessert table

This Up, Up and Away Hot Air Balloon Birthday will make you feel like you’re floating among the clouds! Bruna Sanches, the amazing photographer of Simply Lace Photography, had this theme picked out months before her son’s first birthday, so with all that planning time, it’s no wonder this party turned out beautifully! I absolutely love the hanging mini hot air balloon backdrop — adds such a fun touch of whimsy! And of course, the larger hot air balloon basket is just too adorable for words, especially when the mini pilot is included! :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Vintage pilot helmet & goggles for the birthday boy + world globes, vintage suitcases & toy airplanes
– DIY first year photo display & a hand-built lemonade stand with fresh squeezed mint lemonade
– A hot air balloon birthday cake with mini bunting topper + cloud & hot air balloon cookie pops

hot air balloon first birthday party

hot air balloon birthday cake

hot air balloon birthday party invitation

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Operation Shower “Baby Liberty” Event Recap!

DIY hot air balloon centerpieces

A couple months ago I flew across the country to Jersey City for the “Baby Liberty” Operation Shower event – a vintage Americana style baby shower that I styled in collaboration with Operation Shower‘s Amy Belle Isle.

With nearly 200 guests, a beautiful waterside venue, and all 3 Kardashian sisters co-hosting alongside Babies R Us, this was quite a production! It also took a small village of fellow “party girls” and volunteers that generously donated their talents and time to bring the event to life on this level – so a special thank you again to everyone that helped. :)

In all honesty, I was a little worried about tackling the vintage Americana look at first, as my style naturally leans very modern, but in the end I loved how it turned out! One of my favorite challenges was trying to come up with playful “on theme” phrases when designing the table signs – i.e. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Naptime” (so true, right?!) – and “Give me Hugs or give me Kisses” – which is much more powerful when you think it in a Patrick Henry style tone. ;)

P.S. The Americana Baby Shower Collection is now available in our Hostess INK store too!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– DIY hot air balloon centerpieces made from paper lanterns, dowels, & ribbon
– Eclectic mix of bottles + gorgeous patriotic florals (I just LOVE that blue thistle!)
– Pregnant wire form centerpieces dressed up with fabric rosettes & sashes
– Giant confetti balloons with fabric tassels + hand-painted burlap table runners
– Vintage bow cake pops, incredible royal icing cookies, & more amazing treats!

vintage americana baby shower table decorations

baby liberty shower centerpieces

patriotic baby shower (more…)

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“Ahoy it’s a Boy” Preppy Nautical Baby Shower

nautical baby shower dessert table

Welcome aboard this fun “Ahoy it’s a Boy” Preppy Nautical Baby Shower that Krista O’Byrne of Hoopla Events styled for her good friend, Joanna and her family’s newest crew member, baby Max! With a beautiful woodland backdrop, sea-faring decor like drift wood and seashells, and clean navy & white tablescapes, this party is the perfect example of smooth sailing ;).

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Anchor & sailboat cookies, sparkly cake pops, sprinkle rimmed cupcakes + blueberry & yogurt parfaits
– Sailboat & anchor painting centerpieces & utensils tied with sailor’s rope + a hanging lifesaver
– Onesie garland with onesies for every month + “Baby Boy” party flags & a sailboat pillow for his nursery
– A mimosa bar + mini jam jar party favors displayed in the cutest wooden boat

nautical baby shower invitation

baby shower mimosa bar

ahoy it's a boy baby shower

(more…)

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Family-Friendly Flatbread Tacos Recipe {+ Fiesta Inspired Decor & Free Printables!}

krusteaz flatbread taco recipes

Happy Thursday! I’ve got some fun news to share with you guys today about a different sort of project we’ve been quietly working on over here for the past couple months! ;)

Krusteaz® recently asked me to collaborate with them on a creative campaign starring their brand new Flatbread Mixes. The creative concepting & prep work has been happening for a while, and then a few weeks ago their team came to our house and shot a handful of DIY videos that will be released intermittently over the next several months. Each video has a totally different theme and features a simple, yet tasty flatbread recipe (who says everything we eat needs to be super complicated, right?!) + matching party decor ideas and DIY projects. Oh ya… can’t forget to mention the free printables too. :)

Theme #1 – Flatbread Tacos + Fiesta Inspired Fun!

I’m excited to share the first video with you today, which is centered around a family-friendly taco night with a creative twist. The Flatbread Tacos recipe is very straightforward (& super tasty!), but seeing it in video form should give you a good understanding of how to work with the flatbread dough. At the bottom of this post, you’ll also find links to the DIY decor projects and free party printables. I hope you enjoy them!

P.S. I’d also like to say a special thank you to Krusteaz® – it’s been an honor to work with such a wonderful company, and I look forward to working with them again next week at the IFBC!

fiesta succulent centerepieces

The Tablescape

My inspiration for the fiesta tablescape started with what looks like the “table runner” – but is actually a $14 scarf from Target! I just loved the color palette of the scarf, which ended up setting the tone the entire table and the printables as well. I also never pass up the chance to break out the aqua blue mason jars. ;)

Washi tape and tissue fringe were my other key element – they dressed up everything from tin cans and bottles to the DIY cork placemats!

DIY fiesta party decor

taco night dinner recipe

(more…)

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DIY Washi Tape Cork Tile Placemats

DIY Washi Tape and Cork Tile Placemats with Tissue Fringe

This is one of those projects that was kind of a happy accident, but it’s so fun & easy that I already know it’s going to become a staple in my bag of party tricks!

While “inspiration shopping” for our recent Fiesta party theme, I stumbled on a 4-pack of cork tile squares for less than $7 at Target. I already had a bunch of colorful washi tape in my basket, and suddenly Washi Tape Cork Tile Placmats just felt like a match made in {crafty party} heaven! And because fringed tissue paper was already the plan for the party garlands and centerpieces, we added tissue to a couple of the placemat designs too. I do feel like the fringe-y ones feel extra fiesta-like. ;)

Since the instructions for this DIY project are basically “buy cork tiles and decorate with washi tape + other (optional) crafty elements”, I’m just going to let a few images do the rest of the talking… enjoy!

DIY Project Materials - Washi Tape, Cork Tiles, and Tissue Paper

This next design is probably my personal favorite… I just like the off-center design & mix of so many different colors! I also accented it with some flat metal studs I found lying around:

DIY Washi Tape Cork Tile Placemat (more…)

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