Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

iPod. iPhoto. iDo.

ipod wedding gift

If you’re looking for a a think-outside-the-box gift idea for an extra special couple or bride-to-be, here’s an idea that beats the heck out of another pair of fancy-schmancy crystal candlesticks: a blue iPod nano, custom engraved with their names & wedding date or another special message!

This would actually make a super thoughtful group gift from a bunch of close friends, the wedding party – or from the bridal shower hostesses to the guest of honor. Give the shiny little “Something Blue” to the future Mrs. along with a disc of digital photos for her to load onto it right away, featuring good times with her friends and future hubby.

Speaking of photos…you know those cool photo books you can order online where your photos are printed right on the page? Well, you can create and order those right within iPhoto now.

ipod wedding giftIt’s super easy – you basically just pick a design theme (13 styles to choose from), drag the photos that you want into the book, add text, select page layouts, and rearrange photos as desired. You can choose from hard cover, soft cover, or spiral bound books, ranging from $9.99 – $29.99.  My friend recently gave hard cover books of wedding photos as special thank-you presents for her parents and in-laws, and they turned out beautiful! This is also a great way to make keepsake books of the bachelorette party, bridal shower, and other pre-wedding festivities…

And while we’re on the subject of Apple, I just gotta give a shout out to my new favorite toy(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Sweetest Thing Shower

sweetest thing baby shower

In keeping with the candy theme we have going today, here is another sweet dose of inspiration for you… images from “The Sweetest Thing” baby shower recently thrown by the fabulously creative Amy Belle Isle for a friend that just welcomed triplets! Suffice to say, this shower needed to be extra special, or better yet… how about the sweetest thing ever!

sweetest thing baby shower

A few highlights from the oh-so-many clever details: giant “candy pieces” created from Chinese lanterns wrapped in cellophane and tied at the ends with ribbon, Jones Soda bottles used as vases, candy cane napkin rings and candy bracelets used as wine glass charms! (more…)

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Simply Stated: Candy Buffets

party basics for new nesters

I’m working on a Candyland party design right now, so I’ve been up to my eyeballs in candy lately…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, right? :-)

Anyways, one of the focal points of the party will be a candy buffet, so I thought it would be fun to discuss this increasingly popular party trend over at Simply Stated today.  Click here to check it out…and if you have any tips or advice to add, please share!

{bottom left photo courtesy of Lyndsey Hamilton Events and Artfool}

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Creative Cupcakes: Pucco & Ice Cream

party basics for new nesters

A little eye candy from my favorite creative cupcake guru – hello naomi – to brighten up your Tuesday: Pucco (Japanese candy) cuties (these are just screaming for an entire party theme to be designed around them, don’t you think?) and adorable ice cream cupcakes…complete with cherry on top, of course!

adorable cupcakes

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Party Basics for New Nesters

party basics for new nesters

This visually appealing book might be called Party Basics for New Nesters – but it’s full of great ideas and entertaining inspiration that should apply to pretty much anyone…even if you’ve already been a “nester” for quite a while! Author Maria McBride offers tips and instructions for creative, yet doable party decorations, crafty projects, and clever food & drink ideas.

A few favorites pictured below: Crudités served in votive holders, Canned Daisies, Origami Parasols, and Egg Salad served in eggshell cups…

party basics for new nesters

I’m also loving all these wonderful ideas for personalizing & dressing up basic glass votives; the transparent vinyl stickers (2nd row, far right) are an easy, yet elegant look for weddings and bridal showers… (more…)

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New Party Theme: Bedtime Story

modern bedtime story baby shower

Just added another new party theme to the HWTM Baby Showers section! This one is called “Bedtime Story” and features tables made up to look like beds, storybooks, plush toys, framed pics of sleeping babies, and more. This theme is super easy to put together – and you can tailor it to any color palette/fabric design you like… Click here for the details!

modern bedtime story baby shower

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GlamDish: Scorpion Bowl Cocktail

trader vic's scorpion bowl

For this week’s post over at GlamDish, I thought it would be fun to feature a popular exotic group cocktail from the world-famous Trader Vic’s Restaurants & Mai Tai Lounges. Be careful though…this one can bite!

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Comic Appetizer Plates

comic appetizer plates

These pop art Comic Appetizer Plates from cb2 are so much fun! Lithograph bright on high-gloss porcelain…and only $2.95 each! Available in the following sound bites: Yum!, Ooo!, and Mmm!.

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Simply Stated: Text Messages

subliminal dinnerware

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrationscheck out this clever Subliminal Dinnerware + some equally cool, coordinating pieces…

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Simply Stated: Candy Favors

candy party favors

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations – find ideas for unique candy-themed party & wedding favors, including mini cupcake lip glosses and cocktail-flavored jelly beans!

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New Party Theme: Beach Baby

hostess with the mostess - beach baby shower

There’s a brand new party theme up in our Baby Showers section today – a Beach Baby Shower, which completely was inspired by an adorable Sea Critters feeding set by Skip Hop. Click here to check out detailed images and how-to’s…hope you like it! (more coordinating menu suggestions to come soon too!)

hostess with the mostess - beach baby shower

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HWTM Elsewhere

macaron party favors

Today on GlamDish: get the recipe for Steamy Kitchen‘s mouth-watering Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, and over at Simply Stated: Celebrations: check out super stylish partyware from Paper Table!

paper table

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Eco-friendly Designs at Paper-Source

recycled stationery and gift wrap

Paper Source, an ultra-stylish handmade paper company, is pursuing a commitment to going green and has a wonderful selection of recycled stationery, invitations, and gift wrap available on their website. A few favorites pictured above: Curry Party , and Spring Leaf imprintable invitations featuring a striking dark chocolate, white, and yellow color palette, adorable Goldfish gift wrap roll, and Red Flowers with Chocolate Dots gift wrap. (more…)

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Which Invite Do You Like Best?

max sutter's birthday party

MomLogic.com is teaming up with Trista and Ryan Sutter to throw their son Max his first b-day bash, and I was excited to be asked to help style the event! Even better, MomLogic is asking readers to help plan the party too – by voting on certain elements to select what will actually be used!

So for the first element of the party – the invitation – I designed 3 options that match the party’s “Candyland” theme. You can vote for which design you like best, and whichever design gets the most votes is the one that Trista & Ryan will send out. The 3 options are below (click to zoom), and you can vote here …we’d love to get your input! (more…)

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Rich Risotto Rice Pudding

modern placecard holders

Today on GlamDish: get the details for a delicious Rich Risotto Rice Pudding recipe from the fabulous Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey cookbook by Jill O’Connor!

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Party Rox

modern placecard holders

These Sassy Party Rox seating assignments by Sally Russell look like a fun way to spice up the table! $36/set of 8 at ThreeLovelies.com

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Summer Treats

rosanna shopping spree contest

I recently discovered FoodChannel.com and therefore have yet another excuse to remain glued to the screen!

Pictured above: Raspberry Granita & Cream Parfait, Chocolate Panna Cotta, Brown Sugar Peaches and Ice Cream and Classic Strawberry Shortcakes.

What looks good to you?

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Simply Stated: Go for Bold

hostess with the mostess at simply stated

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations – get the details on how to recreate this splashy "Red & Bold" tablescape and make a fashion-forward statement at your own special dinner party!

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HWTM on Facebook – Join the Party!

hostess with the mostess on facebook

Hostess with the Mostess™ has a brand-new fan page on Facebook!

We’re super excited about this because it’s a place where YOU can share your own "Real Party" pictures* (via the fan photos area), browse party pictures uploaded by others, post comments & ideas via the wall, and connect with other readers & fans by asking questions or starting discussion threads. Basically, the fan page is all about creating an interactive community designed especially for those of us that love a good party!

We’ll also keep you posted on upcoming events, new reader giveaways, and what’s new at hwtm.com, as well as highlight favorite recipes, products and entertaining ideas.

Click here to visit the HWTM fan page and join the party!

*P.S. We’ve received tons of emails asking about how to submit photos for a "Real Parties" feature – and posting pics to the "fan photos" area of the fan page is one way to do this. We’ll be constantly browsing the fan album, and new Real Parties will now be featured on the blog each week!

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Atelier LZC: Creative Service

steve kemble - entertaining tips

These gorgeous Nocturne and Parisian Gold melamine serving trays from fashion-forward French design studio Atelier LZC are almost too pretty to cover up! $45 each at Bunny Maxwell.

(Fabulous gift idea for design lovers & creative types!)

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Festive 4th: Sweets & Treats

4th of July decorations

Berries are an easy way to give sweets a patriotic feel! Case in point – festive treats from Martha Stewart’s Red, White, & Blue Desserts gallery…

Red, White, & Blue Parfaits
Red, White, & Blueberry Trifle (This dessert looks so pretty – and store-bought pound cake cuts down your prep time!)
Flag Cupcakes (Try substituting small blueberries for the piped “stars” to make the flag decoration even easier.)
Summer Shortcake

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Simply Stated: Sales & Sea Themes

summer entertaining sales

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations – cool summer sales & beach-themed entertaining finds from Pottery Barn & Crate&Barrel.

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The Patriotic Table

4th of July decorations

Social Couture has a fun Patriotic Party that’s perfect for making decorating & table settings super easy if you’re playing hostess for the 4th! The full Patriotic set comes complete with eco-friendly bamboo tableware, a sparkly red table runner, USA flags, white metal pails, super-cute striped grosgrain napkin rings, and more…or you can buy just the things you need a la carte!

*Get 10% off any Social Couture order with promo code "HWTM "!

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REAL PARTIES: Lingerie Bridal Shower

modern lingerie bridal shower

This fabulous “Sweet” Lingerie Bridal Shower hosted by photographer Melissa Rodriguez and friends looks so lovely & serene. They did a great job of creating a clean, contemporary feel with light pinks, blue, chocolate, and white. Read on for details of the gorgeous invitations, party decor, a creative desserts & treats buffet, simple-chic flowers and seriously adorable handmade party favors!

modern lingerie bridal shower

Serving desserts & treats on all-white platters like the girls did for the fondue bar really makes the colors and presentation of the food stand out, in addition to bringing a clean, modern feel to the buffet. And a chocolate fountain always creates the feel of a special occasion… (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Modern Garden Birthday

modern garden birthday party

Today’s featured “real party” is ridiculously cute! This contemporary Garden Party theme was created to celebrate the first birthday of Mark & Mandy’s adorable daughter, Elsie – but the look would also translate beautifully into a bridal shower, baby shower, or birthday for older girls as well…

modern garden birthday party

From the get-go, Mandy paid attention to all those little details. How cute are the invitations pictured above?! That’s the birthday girl featured on the invite, wearing one of the flower headbands that were the inspiration for the entire party.

(more…)

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Simply Stated: Tropical Zen Table

creative eclectic baby shower

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations, check out step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the place settings from the the Tropical Zen tablescape that we’re featuring tonight at the Hip Hostess/Chambord event!

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REAL PARTIES: Hot Pink Bridal Shower

creative eclectic baby shower

If you happen to be familiar with graphic designer Jessica Jones and her fabulously creative blog How About Orange, then it should come as no surprise that any party she creates is equally fabulous. I’m excited to share some details for you to from a super fun bridal shower she and her buddy Jill hosted for a friend last year.

I especially love the cool tissue pom arrangement pictured above, where the poms were attached to tall branches (which you can purchase at most craft stores & floral supplies, or online at places like Save-On-Crafts.com). Creating a tall arrangement like this as party decor is a great idea because it really makes a dramatic impact on the room and instantly serves as a focal point.

creative eclectic baby shower

(more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Eclectic Baby Shower

creative eclectic baby shower

From the minute I laid eyes on the first few pics of this gorgeous baby shower, I was so excited to share it with you guys! From the handmade pillows and custom skateboard to the super-fun, makeshift “photo booth” complete with props for guests to wear, there is so much creativity going on here!

creative eclectic baby shower

The creative mind and Hostess with the Mostess behind this “Eclectic Baby Shower” – event planner Beth Helmstetter – sent in a great write-up on the event, so I’m actually going to let her tell you all about it herself. Here goes, in Beth’s own words: (more…)

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Hello, Chicago!

modern baby shower

I’m so excited to be in Chicago today, getting ready for the Hip Hostess/Chambord event this Wednesday night at The Ivy Room! We had such a warm welcome from Chi-town that Chambord graciously offered to expand the event into 2 sessions – 6-8pm and 8-10pm – hooray! We hit capacity for both sessions, so the RSVP lists are closed online, but if you still want to come you can send an email to [email protected] and she will do her best to accommodate everyone as much as possible.

modern baby shower

On a side note – any great restaurant recommendations we should try to hit for a fun dinner while we’re in the Windy City? I’m really hoping to make it to Japonais one night…but would love to get some input on other favorites too!

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REAL PARTIES: Tropical Baby Shower

modern baby shower

You might already be familiar with the creative talents of Joanna Dyckhoff from her inspirational design blog, LotusHaus, or from the ultra-contemporary Chocolate, Raspberry, & Lime Baby Shower she threw that we featured here at HWTM in November. Well, I’m very happy to be able to share some details today from yet another fabulous baby shower that Joanna hosted earlier this year: a modern, tropical co-ed soirée! Here goes:

The Vibe: sunny & tropical

Colors: turquoise, tangerine, and green

Invitations: Digital invites were custom-designed by Joanna, a few of which were printed and showcased at the shower, along with a coordinating buffet menu.

modern baby shower

Menu:

  • Tostones (crispy fried green plantains with garlic cilantro sauce)
  • Pastelitos (pastries stuffed with savory fillings)
  • Shrimp Skewers with jalapeno glaze served from a pineapple
  • Fruit & Custard Tarts
  • Special Beverages: mango juice drinks & mojitos

(more…)

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