Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Trend Alert: Tween Party Bars (“Kittylicious” Pink Cat Birthday)

cat party

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 setting up self serve Tween Party Bars a fabulous addition to any Tween party!

Throwing a party for a tween is hard! They are at that age (between 10-12) where they are in between being a young kid and a teenager.  They don’t want “baby” themed parties anymore, they want a bit of independence and they definitely don’t want mom hanging around during the party.  So what do you do?

Set up Tween Party Bars which are self-serve activity stations that the kids can do and enjoy on their own. To pull this off in true Tween Scene style, make sure to create a party space transformed just for them in a not-so-kiddy theme.  The look and feel should be grown up, yet age-appropriate and trust me, your kid and her friends will think you are a total rock star!

cat cake

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Trend Alert: Designer Buttercream Frosted Cakes!

buttercream frosting

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 Designer Buttercream Frosted Cakes and how this new trend is a fabulous budget friendly option!

Buttercream frosted cakes are my FAVORITE and they just so happen to be making a big splash on the party scene with many designer finishes. They are also a more affordable option to fondant covered cakes. The versatility and creativity available now with buttercream frosted cakes is definitely a Look for Less option as opposed to pricier fondant covered cakes. Designer buttercream frosted cakes range from $70-$100 while fondant covered cakes are an average of $250.

My favorites are from My Sweet Things… they are as yummy as they are gorgeous! Check out how Kathi has transformed traditional buttercream frosted cakes into designer works of art by using these FABULOUS frosting techniques. Who knew buttercream could look this good! (more…)

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The Look For Less: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party

ninja turtle favor bar

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Look for Less” series sharing Part 2 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party featuring affordable DIY decor! In my Trend Alert earlier this month I shared how TMNT were making a HUGE comeback! There are TMNT parties popping up all over the web right now. If you missed it, click here for all the party details.

My own 10 year old daughter requested this theme for her birthday party this year and I was more than happy to take on the challenge of transforming our unfinished basement into Faith’s Sewer! For those of you who don’t know, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live in the sewers of NYC. I created a design plan that would incorporate urban city elements like graffiti brick walls, streets and manhole covers and TMNT elements like turtle shells, pizza and green ooze!

Inspired by this, my assistant and I set out to create some affordable unique party decor that you can easily make yourself to make your next TMNT party AWESOME & unique AND in true “Look For Less” style, each item we created is a double duty decor piece!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle DIY Decor:

– 3D Sewer Manhole Cover Wall Hanging
– Graffiti Brick Wall Photo Booth Backdrop
– Sewer Manhole Cover Cupcake Stand
– Pizza Favor Boxes

ninja turtles party (more…)

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Party Trend Alert: Bling Sticks!

pop arazzi baby shower centerpiece

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with a brand new series “Trend Alert” where I share with you some of the hottest trends in party planning and give you my twist on how to use it in your next party!  Today’s guest post is all about Bling Sticks! These beauties come in all kinds of colors to match any party theme and are making a big splash in party world!

They are actually made to hold cake pops, but they are so fabulous I had to come up with some other ways to use them as party decor! I was in the middle of designing my new “POP-arazzi BABY!” printable collection when I came across these bling sticks online from Made by A Princess. I knew right away that these sparkly babies would be perfect to use along with the printables to add that extra bling to the party’s decor! Your girl loves her bling after all!

bling place card

Why not throw a “POP-arazzi BABY!” celebrity themed baby shower to welcome your new baby in celebrity style!  Bling sticks are the next big thing in party trends! Bling sticks match our printable collections perfectly and are so easy to use. See how I used them with printables at a celebrity themed baby shower to add an affordable wow factor to your next party!    

bling baby shower (more…)

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Trend Alert: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party

teenage mutant ninja turtles party ideas

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with a brand new series “Trend Alert” where I share with you some of the hottest trends in party planning and give you my twist on how to use it in your next party!  Today’s guest post is all about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! I know, I know, you’re thinking…THEY’RE BACK??? YES! My 10 year old daughter Faith requested a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party this year and I had to do a double-take! My 16 year old son used to LOVE TMNT when he was little! They are making a HUGE comeback right now and are fast becoming a very popular kid’s party theme!

One problem… kids are requesting this theme before Nickelodeon has caught on and made any party supplies available, so what is a parent to do? How do you decorate your party space when there are no TMNT party supplies out there? I must admit, this is my FAVORITE part of party planning! Coming up with creative ways to interpret a character themed party WITHOUT USING ANY traditional character party supplies and by making some of the decor yourself! It’s really easy if you follow my 5 steps! (more…)

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The Look for Less: Sand & Sea Turtle Party {Under $250!}

sea turtle party

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Look for Less” series sharing my Sand & Sea Turtle Party for under $250 using dollar store and thrift store finds!

This party is near and dear to my heart as I designed it for my 5 year old daughter, Riley. We recently moved to Minnesota from California in the dead of winter and Riley is a bit shocked by the climate change. She is a California girl for sure! So, while it’s still a winter wonderland of white snow outside, I wanted to create a warm, beach environment for her inside featuring her favorite animal… sea turtles!

birthday girl with a turtle

sea turtle party printables

sea turtle party activities

cookie coloring idea

sea turtle fondant topper

FAST Budget Party Tips!

Check out how I was able to pull off this party in less than a week and for a modest budget of only $228 for 8 guests! When I have to plan a party on a super tight timeline and budget, I always do these 2 things:

1. Check around my house and stash of party stuff for items I can use that match the party’s theme and colors.
2. Take a trip to my local Dollar Store and Thrift Stores to find inexpensive items that I can use in cool ways!

Keep reading for more tips + a budget breakdown of the party! (more…)

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The Look for Less: Noah’s Ark Baby Shower

noah's ark baby shower

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Look for Less” series sharing my Noah’s Ark Baby Shower with a Milk and Cookies Bar featuring Girl Scout Cookies!

Candy and dessert bars have become a must-have item at many parties, however, they can get pretty pricey! A less expensive alternative to candy is cookies. Girl Scout cookies just so happen to be my favorite AND it’s the only time of year you can buy them, so I’ve designed a high-end looking Milk and Cookies Bar for a Noah’s Ark themed baby shower featuring my top 3 favorite Girl Scout cookies: Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas! Be sure to scroll down for my 3 Look for Less Tips to creating a high-end looking dessert table for less.

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Trend Alert: Girl Scout Cookies Into Designer Desserts!

Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Recipes

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with a brand new series “Trend Alert” where I share with you some of the hottest trends in party planning and give you my twist on how to use it in your next party!  Today’s guest post is all about Girl Scout Cookies Transformed Into Designer Desserts! As a former Girl Scout troop leader, I saw first hand the amazing number of people who purchase boxes and boxes of these popular cookies to stock up since they are only sold once a year! Now what to do with all those boxes of cookies?

Jamie from My Baking Addiction has created some FABULOUS & YUMMY desserts from the top 3 most popular flavors of Girl Scout Cookies – Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Samoas! These fabulous desserts are as gorgeous looking as they are yummy! Designer looking dessert recipes using these popular cookies are popping up all over the web.

I’m sure we all have extra boxes of Girl Scout Cookies laying around and if not, it’s still cookie season and can still pick some up… now you’ve got just the excuse to buy more!  Check out these fabulous desserts and then click over to My Baking Addiction for the recipes. Enjoy! (more…)

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The Look for Less: “Sprinkles” Cupcake Decorating Bar

sprinkles cupcake decorating bar

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Look for Less” series sharing my “Sprinkles” Cupcake Decorating Bar! Today’s guest post is all about setting up a fun and creative party activity where your guests will decorate their own cupcakes and provide a decor WOW FACTOR to your party! Be sure to scroll down to read my 6 “Budget Chic” tips to pull off this table for less!

rainbow sprinkle cupcake

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Trend Alert: Doodle Cakes & Cake Bars

doodle-cake-fondant-art

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with a brand new series “Trend Alert” where I share with you some of the hottest trends in party planning!  Today’s guest post is all about Doodle Cakes! A doodle cake is a regular cake covered in white fondant icing that can be decorated with edible markers.

Rosie from Sweetapolita created this gorgeous rainbow cake for her daughter’s birthday and then let the birthday girl decorate her own cake! How cute and creative is that!

doodle-cake-rainbow-art (more…)

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The Look for Less: “Puppy Luv” Valentine’s Day Party for $100

budget chic puppy luv valentine's day party

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Look for Less” series sharing my “Puppy Luv” Valentine’s Day Party for $100! Today’s guest post is all about LOVE…”Puppy Luv” that is! My daughters LOVE puppies! That was my inspiration point to designing a girly puppy playdate for my 2 daughters & their 2 BFF’s for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to scroll down to read my 6 “Budget Chic” tips to pull off a high-end looking event for less!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Blinged out dog bowls as serving bowls
– Give Back Activity: girls make Vday cards & accessorize puppies for local shelter
– Fondant topped Cupcake Parfaits
– Sparkly collar bracelet favors

budget chic puppy luv valentine's day party (more…)

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The Look For Less: “Bitten” The Gold Trend

gold snow white inspired party

{HWTM contributor Tonya Coleman of Soireé Event Design here}, and I’m back with a “Look for Less” post where I share with you my tips on how you can have a fabulous, high-end looking party for less! Today’s post is all about the GOLD trend! Gold is everywhere—in home decor, on the runways and in party design! No need to go out and purchase lots of gold decor for your next party which can be very pricey!

My “Budget Chic” Tip to get in on this trend for less: GOLD SPRAY PAINT!
Two cans of spraypaint for $7 each totally transformed these inexpensive items into fabulous decor for less:

— 3 artificial apples $3 (Dollar Tree)
— 1 large artificial apple $4 (TJ Maxx)
— Ung Drill frame $29.99 (IKEA)
— candlesticks, metal tissue box, ice bucket $6 (flea market)
— 8 martini glasses $8 (Dollar Tree)

See how I incorporated these inexpensive items into my party design: “Bitten” The Snow White Witch’s Lair, inspired by the glamourous and fashionable witch from the movie “Snow White & The Huntsman”. How fabulous would this be for your upcoming Halloween dinner party!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Snowy white backdrop encrusted with gold spiders and crystals
– Custom glitzy “Bitten” handbags & accessories
– Gold cake pops topped with shiny gold fondant apples
– Scattered “glass” (for some added sparkle!) & apples on gold chandelier pedestal centerpieces

golden apples and gold spiders

bitten gold tablescape (more…)

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The Look For Less: Girly Circus {+ Giveaway}

girly circus birthday party
{HWTM contributor Tonya Coleman of Soireé Event Design here}, and I’m back with a Girly Circus inspired “Look for Less”, guest post where I share with you my tips on how you can have a fabulous, high-end looking party for less!

GOING CUSTOM: HIGH END VS. BUDGET CHIC

All the rage right now are parties that feature custom items that have been created by designers that match the party’s printables exactly… from the guest of honor wearing a custom-designed outfit to favor boxes to cakes. Today I’ll show you two different takes on the same party theme – a high-end designer version and a Budget Chic version – both featuring custom elements created from my new printables collection: “Girly Circus!”  And be sure to see the end of the post for a fabulous “Girly Circus Party for 8” GIVEAWAY!

(more…)

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The Look For Less: Back to School Party Design Challenge

back to school
back to school sweets table with space themed sweets

{HWTM contributor Tonya Coleman of Soireé Event Design here!} In this month’s post, I challenged my friend, Michelle Burt, owner of Maddycakes Muse (a DIY craft blog) to join me in bringing you not just one, but TWO “Budget Chic” parties!

THE CHALLENGE: 1 WEEK + 1 THEME + 1 BUDGET + 1 STORE

We both had just one week to use $100 to pull together our Budget Chic “Back to School” party design for four guests while shopping in just one store. Michelle chose to shop in Dollar Tree and I chose to shop in Target. We could interpret the “Back to School” theme any way we wanted! It’s so exciting to see what creative ideas two different designers with two different styles and specialties come up with when given the same challenge! Be sure to go to the end of the post to see our budget breakdown.

THEME INSPIRATION

Michelle created a Back to School “School is a Blast!” Theme where she incorporated space elements to create a really cool and fun party! Michelle says, “I had no idea what direction I was going for the Back to School challenge until I saw the Planet Wall stickers at Dollar Tree. I immediately thought of “School is a Blast!” as my theme.

And that’s ironic, because the same thing happened to me while in Target. I came across a notebook that had drawings all over it and thought about my 9 year old daughter who draws constantly… and knew right away a Back to School “Doodle Party” would be my theme!

back to school party with a spaceship theme (more…)

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5 Tips For Throwing a Cool Teen Party (+ Electric Guitar & Amp GIVEAWAY from PBteen)

pb teen giveaway

Winner update: 8/16/12: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is… Commenters #25 – CAROLYN HORTEN Congrats!

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{HWTM contributor Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design.} One question I get the asked all the time is: “My teen wants a party… What do I do? Help me please!” As a mom of a 16 year old, I know that planning a teen event is hard.  Let’s just say – you must AMP UP the cool factor!

I teamed up with PBteen to show you how to take items from your teen’s room and use them in your party design to throw a fabulous teen party. {Be sure to go to the end of the post for details on a cool PBteen GIVEAWAY!} When I begin to design a teen party for my clients, I always ask to see the teen’s room. You can get an idea of what style they like, what colors they love and what things they’re into to get you started on the party’s look and feel. I’ll walk you through a music theme that is one of my most popular themes & give you 5 tips for creating the look….

TIP #1: MUSIC IS KEY!

Here I designed the entire party around music by pulling in several instruments and using them in unexpected ways. Make sure your teen creates a playlist of all of their favorite songs ahead of time and have them playing during the party. (You can also have the playlist burned on cds to give away as party favors.)

5 tips to a cool teen party decor with a rhinestone encrusted pug (more…)

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The Look For Less: “Ice Age” Movie Inspired Snowball Bar

ice age inspired dessert table

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design and I’m back with this month’s Look For Less “Budget Chic” guest post where I share with you my tips on how you can have a fabulous, high-end looking event for less! Today’s post is all about how to get in on the party trend- Self Serve Party Bars without breaking the bank. Be sure to click over to my blog, “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Party Planning” to find out where I purchased everything!

Here, I was inspired by this high-end DESIGNER Sweet 16 “Mock-tini” BarI designed for a group of teens recently, to create The Look For Less: Self-Serve Ice Age Inspired Snowball Bar for tweens to celebrate the release of my daughter’s favorite movie: Ice Age Continental Drift!

Self serve bars can range from Drink Bars, Popcorn Bars, Candy Bars and Snack Bars to Craft, Activity and Favor Bars. The idea is to have an impressive looking table that does double duty to offer guests something to do. Remember, self-serve bars should be just that… self serve… so they must look fabulous, but also function well on it’s own. (more…)

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The Look For Less: Lalaloopsy Party Button Backdrop

cute as a button lalaloopsy inspired backdrop with paper plates

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with a {Lalaloopsy Dolls} Inspired Button Backdrop guest post where I share with you my tips on how you can have a fabulous, high-end looking event for less! Today’s post is all about how to create an amazing wow-factor using a high-impact, low-cost backdrop.

Backdrops, when used correctly should visually wow your guests as soon as they enter the room. They can be as pricey as fabric draping with uplights for hundreds of dollars to as simple as using paper plates for a few dollars! First of all, let me say that I would have never thought of putting a paper plate on a wall until I saw Piggy Bank Parties begin this trend. Now… I’m hooked!

lalaloopsy doll inspired decoration (more…)

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Get the most out of your Printables! {+ Pop Star Party}

pop star party

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with another “Budget Chic” guest post where I share with you my tips on how you can have a Fabulous high-end looking event for less!  Today’s post is all about how to get the most bang for your buck when using Personalized Printables. Here I created a Pop Star Party using my “POP-arazzi” design collection!

I’m sure you’ve all seen printables used as cupcake toppers, signs, tent cards, etc… so, my mission is to show you a few out-of-the-box ways to use what’s included in your DIY printable package to create high-end looking custom items that you may not have thought of previously. (more…)

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A “Mommy & Me Playdate” for Mother’s Day

pink spa and nails day with mom

Tonya Coleman of Soireé Event Design here… and this time we’re talking about Mother’s Day… you know – the day when all of us moms are celebrated for all that we do all year long!

As a busy working mom myself, I actually think Mother’s Day should equal a “day off”! However, when you have small kids, they make you cards at school in anticipation of Mother’s Day and get all excited about spending a special day with you, so my daydreams of quietly soaking in a hot tub and sipping on tea at the spa are probably not going to happen! On the flip side, when you’re busy with work all the time, then a day that you set aside to just focus on and spend time with your kids one-on-one sounds pretty great too!

So, this is where the concept of “Mommy & Me Playdate” came from. Imagine you inviting your daughter to “hang out” with you for the day doing girly things. I can just see the huge smile that will be on her face! Scroll down for lots of Mommy & Me Playdate images, followed by all the creative details…

pink juice bar and sweets table with yellow accents

pink spa and scrapbook party (more…)

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The Look For Less: Sweets Bar Trend + $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

blue and orange dessert tables - party inspiration

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design – and I’m back with another “Budget Chic” guest post where I share with you my tips on how you can have a fabulous high-end looking table for less! And there’s an added bonus this time – I’m also giving away a $100 Gift Card to Target! See details on how to enter below.

Today’s post is all about the ongoing trend…sweets tables! What began as a trend has now become more of a staple at most events. If you’ve done them yourself before, you probably know the cost of sweets tables can totally bust your budget…especially when you’re matching the colors of your sweets to your event colors.

THE LOOK FOR LESS

Here I designed two different sweets tables at two different price points: high end and “budget chic”. For the high end designer table, I included treats by some of the most sought-after sweets designers.

For my “Budget Chic” table, I challenged myself to see if I could design a high-end looking, color-coordinated sweets table for less by purchasing all of the items from my favorite store: Target… affectionately known as “Targét!” (more…)

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The Look For Less: RUFFLES Trend!

pink and black crepe paper ruffles table

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design! I am so excited to be the newest Guest Contributor at HWTM and share my very first post – “Look for Less!” Today I’ll be sharing my tips on how you can have a fabulous high-end looking table for less. Yes…it IS possible and I’ll show you how.

This post is all about the current event trend: RUFFLES! Yes…Ruffles are all the rage right now. We see it in fashion, interior design and now in event decor with ruffled cakes, ruffled tablecloths, ruffled dessert table backdrops and more! Here, I incorporated ruffles on two tablescape designs at two completely different price points {see breakdown below}. One is the high-end designer table and the other is my “budget chic” table.

hot pink ruffle table skirt

The HIGH-END DESIGNER TABLE features a gorgeous lamour ruffled table skirt for $58, along with a fabulous ruffled table lamp for $90 and ruffled chargers for $35.

For the “BUDGET CHIC” table, I got creative with crepe paper STREAMERS – of all things! – to pull off the ruffle-look for less. I must say that I NEVER use streamers in event decor…in fact, it is one of my Top 5 “No-No’s” in event styling! BUT seeing how chic these ruffled streamers are from Oh Goodie Designs..I am a BELIEVER! Aren’t they just FABULOUS?! (more…)

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