Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

feathered inspiration

Feathers have been a hot trend recently – and they just happen to be a fantastic element to work into tabletop displays, flower arrangements, and even gift packaging! I’m particularly inspired by the vibrant teals, royal blues, and gorgeous greens in the naturally show-stopping feathers of the peacock. Choose from jewel tones and shimmer for a more elegant affair – or matte blues and greens for a more casual-mod atmosphere. Don’t forget to incorporate decorative feathers (available at most craft stores) into the party decor! Tuck them in floral arrangements, decorative centerpieces, napkin rings, and so on. (I’ve even fastened them to champagne flutes using chenille craft stems!)

A few of my favorites pictured above:
from cb2: Crackle Dinnerware by in both green and teal, Comma Plates in aqua and green, Tambien Drinkware, and Cubic Glass Blocks / from Crate&Barrel: Green Charger (earthenware), Miranda Vase (teal glass) and Mona Bottles (green glass) / from Pier 1: Capiz Spheres in mediterranean blue and pesto green / and from Patina Stores – the gorgeous Peacock Towels (set of 2 kitchen towels).

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shimmer and glitz

Bring some modern glamour to your table with sparkly silver and glitzy gold! I’m loving the starburst graphics on these Black Galaxy and White Galaxy vases from Sprout Home. For a beautiful centerpiece, mix them with some solid metallic accent vases – like this collection from West Elm (where they’re currently on sale!). These Jewel Bead Spray Cluster napkin rings from Crate & Barrel a great complement to the galaxy vase graphics and a fun accent to your tabletop!

More fabulous silver and gold products shown here: Della Glass Candlesticks by Crate & Barrel and Thread Vases, Crazy Wire Vases, and Crazy Wire Balls – all available at Chiasso.

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Satinbox favorites

Hi Everyone. Apologies for the delay on posting – out of town on a last-minute trip for a few days – but hope this will make up for it! If you haven’t heard of Satinbox yet, get ready to meet this great website that’s chock-full of fabulous entertaining finds! And guess what’s even better? Satinbox is giving HWTM readers 15% off all their goodies! Just enter the promo code “HOSTESS” at checkout to get your discount. Happy Shopping!

(A few of my personal favorites pictured here: Color Rings Cutting Board, Color Stripes Cutting Board, Emma Orange Peeler, April Beverage Stirrer, Jesse Steele Black/White Hostess Apron, Swirly Bird Kitchen Towel, and Revolution T-Organics.)

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chocolate moderne

The gorgeous and artful chocolates and chocolate elixers from chocolate moderne are a feast for the eyes AND the tastebuds! Many assortments to choose from – all of which would look amazing arranged on a tray at your next soriée or would serve as a delightful “thank you” or any-occasion gift for a deserving someone. Browse all of chocolate modern’s collections here. (Be sure to check out the amazing art deco prints in the “Hylas and the nymphs” collection!)

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yum box invites!

These “candy mail” yum box invites by Jill Smith Design are way too fun. Personally, I would be so excited to receive one of these 3-D invites in the mail! Each invitation includes 1 box, 1 invitation card, 1 envelope sticker and an edible treat..what a great first impression for your next party! Available at and sold in sets of 10. ($64/set) Yum boxes pictured here: bridal shower, baby shower, party, tea, and holiday. Several more themes available at plum party!

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fresh squeezed love

It’s sunny and beautiful in San Diego today and the weather is making me want to post about something bright – so I thought I’d share a few images with you from an orange-citrus themed bridal shower I recently hosted for my friend Sarah – featuring the bride-to-be’s favorite color.

For some reason the color orange seems to be overlooked a lot in the baby and bridal shower arena – but if you’re looking for something new – a palette of oranges and yellows provides a very cheery atmosphere! Here are a few ways I incorporated the colors into this particular theme:

1. Citrus Vase: You’ll need 2 clear glass vases – one of which is about 1/2″ smaller than the other in diameter. Place the smaller vase inside the larger one, then slice a bunch of oranges into circular disks, and drop them in the gap formed between the edges of the 2 vases. Finally, insert a tight flower bunch into the inside vase. Voila!

2. Citrus Centerpiece – Simply fill a large white bowl with a bunch of fresh oranges and tuck white flowers into the gaps between the oranges for embellishment. To add more height, turn a white bowl upside-down and set the larger bowl on top of it (so it becomes almost like a cake-stand). The white bowls seen in this image are both from IKEA – for less than $5 each.

3. Orange Tabletop – This was quite a large shower, so shelling out the dough for 30 orange placemats wasn’t exactly in the budget. Instead, I bought a package of orange dinner-sized paper napkins from Party City, opened them up and folded one side down part way to make them standard placemat-size. Place the napkin fold-side down on the table.

4. Mod Napkin “Rings” – For a twist on the standard napkin ring – and a fun, affordable option, simply roll up paper napkins and tie patterned ribbon around them to secure.

5. Mimosas, of course! We toasted to the bride-to-be with the classic champagne/orange juice cocktail (fresh-squeezed is best!) – and embellished the glasses with an orange wedge. Since I like to entertain often, I sprung for actual glasses that I could use again later ($10/4 at target) – but you can also get clear plastic champagne glasses at most party supply stores.

Hope you find some inspiration for your next party here!

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perpetual kid is one of my new favorite websites for fun kitchen & entertaining products. Great stuff for the young or young at heart – the name says it all! For example, who wouldn’t get a kick out of the “Lift & Shake” salt and pepper shaker set? Witty and charming with a sleek mod design! And the “Frog and Dog Hot Heads Oven Mitts” are too cute for words…but the item that made me smile the most today has to be the “Dinnersaurs Utensils”. SO cute and clever…every kid (of any age!) should be so lucky as to have a set of these to accompany them to dinner!

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more trishmix!

After just posting about Target’s Trishmix dinnerware collection yesterday – I was so excited to visit the oh-so-amazing print & pattern blog this morning and find the same Trishmix collection – but in a fun new color scheme! This mellow-yellow and aqua palette is fantastic – and, even better – the whole collection is on sale at Macy’s right now! Thanks, Bowie – for the fabulous find!

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j+k…a very mod engagement party

My good friend Jen recently celebrated her engagement to very cool fiance Kevin – and I have to give her kudos on the amazing – and very modern! – job she did with the party decor…fantastic color palette of fuschia, lime & chocolate…easy & affordable, yet gorgeous centerpieces (simply wrap fabric ribbon in varying widths around clear glass vases – and fill with a monochromatic flower arrangement in a tight bunch)…and of course, lots of candelight to set the mood.

Here are some photos (thanks, Anasuya!) from the party that hopefully will inspire you for your next soiree!

Ceramic votive candle holders shown here available at IKEA for only 99¢ each! Mod circle hurricanes from Target (in-store), and Bamboo Tiki Torches available in-store at Party City for only $1.99/ea!

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asian inspiration

There’s something so appealing about the brand-new Trishmix Asia dinner and drinkware from Target…it somehow seems both delicate and bold at the same time! Pretty asian-inspired line graphics + vintage colors + sleek design = a modern eclectic mix! (and makes for one gorgeous tabletop!)

The Trishmix collection is available in 3-piece place settings (in 2 different patterns – mix & match!), assorted nibble plates, bowls, mugs, coasters, and a beautiful lacquer tray. Prices range from $9.99 – $24.99 per set. So new they’re not available in stores yet…but you can reserve your goodies online now!

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more target lovelies…

Thank goodness for Target! Affordable design and always something fabulous to discover! For example, these beautiful new melamine dining pieces from their “metallic collection” (which includes dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls) and coordinating acrylic tumblers! Each dinnerware piece in the metallic collection is sold in sets of 6 plates or 2 bowls, with prices ranging from $14.99 to $17.99/set. Floral, Gold, and Plum drinkware sold in sets of 6 large or small tumblers for only $14.99/set!

**Couldn’t find them on Target’s website, but in-store I also found some gorgeous 16-piece shimmery copper flatware sets that look great with the metallic collection for only $12.95/set. Recently gave them as a gift along with some other coordinating serving pieces from Target and the package was a big hit!

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it’s poker night…ante up in style!

HWTM reader Hayan Design , recently inquired about ideas for a poker-themed party. Hmmm – where should I start? With the huge surge in poker popularity over the past few years, party suppliers have followed suit – and there are so, SO many fun things to choose from for your next card night get-together. Here are a few of my favorites for a traditional poker night…and fab finds for a girls-only poker night (including personalized PINK poker chips) will be coming within the next few weeks too!


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ice cream excursion!

Now here’s a cool twist on the typical "lets go out for ice cream" scenario. Red Envelope’s "ice cream excursion basket " has everything you need for your own little ice cream outing – wherever you may choose it to be. This sturdy wicker basket comes complete with six cone-shaped cups and matching saucers (all in delightful, sherbert-esque colors of course), six spoons and an ice cream scooper – and of course an adorable insulated ice cream sleeve! Tote this charming ensemble it to the beach, the park or the home of a good friend that needs some cheering up!

And guess what? This is one deal that just got even sweeter…it’s on SALE ! Formerly $75/set – and now only $39.99! (fabulous gift idea!)

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new kitchen prints from c&b….

Crate & Barrel has come out with some great new kitchen textiles for fall! I’m especially loving these graphic dishtowels – a super-easy and affordable way to add a splash of great design to your kitchen! Shown here:
1. aspen dishtowels (gray, black & white) $3.95/ea
2. leaf dishtowel (bold green on green!) $3.95/ea
3. folia dishtowel (graphic botanical print) $3.95/ea

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paper brilliance

How gorgeous are these paper (yes – PAPER!) plates and napkins from broadway paper? Pair with a solid, bright tablecloth and simple floral arrangement for a seriously amazing tabletop! This beautiful “florenza” design comes in 2 color ways: green/blue or pink. Lunch napkins, cocktail napkins, guest towels, dinner plates, and dessert plates each sold separately in sets of 8 (for plates) or 20 (for napkins). Prices range from $4.50 – $6.50 per set. Affordable elegance!

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fabulous wrap at SPROUT

It’s no secret that the folks at Sprout Home have an amazing collection of home decor & accessories – but who knew they had such a fabulous gift wrap selection too?! So many amazing patterns to choose from…how does one ever decide?

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cool as ice…

Now’s here’s a fun “mixer” for your drinks…These funky ice kabobs by FRED double as swizzle sticks and add a very unique touch to cocktails or any cold drink! Or, fill the trays with juice or koolaid for a fun twist on your average popsicle! Each rubber tray makes 3 uniquely-shaped kabobs (squares, circles, and wavy). Trays available in pink, orange, lime or blue for $7.49 each at

Here’s another creative icy invention from FRED – check out these ice cube shooters – touted as “Quite literally the coolest set of shot glasses in the world” and I have to agree! Available on the website – which, by the way, has some very fun ideas for how to take these shooters above and beyone just plain old “ice”. For example, making frozen cranberry or orange juice shooters for Vodka shots – or frozen chocolate shooters filled with Baileys or Malibu! What creative combo can you come up with?! (available at and

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hot dots in the kitchen!

How cute are these “hot dots” kitchen linens from Chiasso? Coordinating oven mits ($13/2), dish towels ($22/4), and pot holders ($12/2) boast a contemporary polka-dot pattern and are available in red, lime, or black!

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think pink!

Treat yourself AND give back at the same time! Talk about the ideal situation :) With the cook for the cure products by KitchenAid – presented, of course, in signature breast-cancer-awareness pink – donating to a good cause has never been easier! The combination of clean, contemporary product design and a sweet strawberry ice-cream hue gives this collection a distinct retro-mod appeal!

Prices range from $9.99 (measuring cups & spoons) to $319 (Stand Mixer) – and a portion of the proceeds from every purchase benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. There’s even more fun stuff to be seen (like a funky pink toaster!) than what’s pictured here…Check out the entire collection at

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swoon coasters

How cool are these mod silhouette “swoon coasters” by Gabrielle Jennings?! Featuring images inspired by magazine ads and fashion spreads and packaged in a cool box, perfect for gift-giving! Only $12 for a set of 4 – available at

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in the mix!

Decisions, decisions! They’re so hard to make when a super-hip brand like notNeutral has so many fabulous patterns to choose from. Thank goodness they felt our pain and decided to make it easy for us with the “in the mix” dinnerware collection that features 4 of their popular patterns – all mixed up to create a fantasic dinnerware collection! You can purchase the different elements separately (dinner plates, small plates, bowls or bowl sets, and mugs with (with lids!) or mug sets, OR get the whole she-bang with the 20-piece set for $208. Oh, how I wish Christmas was closer!

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hostess with the mostess on decor8!

A great BIG thanks to Holly at decor8 for featuring hostess with the mostess as her blog of the week! Click here to read the interview!

For those of you that haven’t been to the decor8 blog yet, prepare to be impressed with Holly’s great eye for picking out truly amazing “fresh finds for hip spaces”!

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a very mod picnic!

When you hear the word “picnic”, do visions of plastic red and white tablecloths dance in your head? I think not!…well, “notNeutral” that is! Check out this cool and very contemporary 7-piece picnic set by notNeutral. Comes with a rectangular tablecloth, 4 napkins, a coordinating apron, and even a lavendar-scented insect repellent soy candle! $65/set at

notNeutral’s round melamine serving tray would make a great and durable addition to this modern picnic table too. Available in white or 4 other vibrant hues for $18/each.

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