Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Delight.com

delight.com giveaway

You know the old saying, "It’s better to give than to receive."? Well, I definitely have to agree…UNLESS there’s another other option to both give AND receive! That sounds pretty good, right? Well, it seems that the folks at Delight.com think so, because they’re hosting a fun surprise giveaway for hwtm readers today and giving you the chance to win something for yourself AND something to give to a friend!

**Giveaway ends Sunday, May 18th!**
The giveaway is now closed, but as a thank you to everyone that participated, Delight is extending a special deal to HWTM Readers – 20% Off any order of $35 or more ! Just enter the discount code "HostessDelight " during the checkout process. (Offer good through May 25th.) Happy Shopping!

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Simply Stated: Summer Hostess Gifts

summer hostess gift ideas

Have a few summer soirées on the calendar? Check out my post at Simply Stated: Celebrations today For some think-outside-the-bottle (of wine) ideas for saying thanks to your favorite hostess with the mostess – like the fabulous expandable vases by Jill-able pictured above – or to contribute some creative ideas of your own!

summer hostess gift ideas

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Floral Centerpiece Inspiration

wedding and party centerpiece ideas

TheKnot.com has a fabulous “centerpieces” photo gallery that’s definitely worth checking out – especially if you’re looking for some inspiration for your wedding or next party! Even though some of the designs in wedding pictures can be overly difficult or expensive to recreate for everyday parties at home, there are almost always some doable tips you can pick up too… like the kiwi-lined vase pictured above, for example – or the tulip bouquet embellished with simple grass details for a unique, artsy feel.

wedding and party centerpiece ideas

Especially loving these Lemon/Orchid and Manzanita/Rose/Orchid designs…

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Modern Wall Stickers by Divider

pottery barn melamine fish dishes

Wall stickers are such a fun way to customize your living space, but I’ve always loved the idea of also using them as party decor…and these removable wall stickers by divider make that concept even easier! Imagine a baby shower or children’s birthday party with these fun animal (check out the cute elephant/mice decal!) or kids designs, or a bridal shower or adult birthday with ultra modern nature/floral silhouettes or cool graphic patterns. How cool is this skateboarder for a skater boy birthday party… (more…)

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Fish School

pottery barn melamine fish dishes

Pottery Barn has a truly fabulous outdoor entertaining collection out for summer, and I’m especially loving their bright, fun Fish School tableware! This festive pattern is available in Melamine Serving Dishes ($15-$19), Outdoor Barware (Blue Hawaii, anyone? $26/set of 6), outdoor Table Runners ($39-$59), and textured Glass Platter ($19)… (more…)

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Martha’s New Flowers

martha stewart 1-800-flowers lotus pod

Martha Stewart recently came out with a new line of floral arrangements designed exclusively for 1-800-Flowers , and I think this collection does a great job at bringing something new to the world of flower delivery! Several of the designs feature unusual florals, like the Lotus Pod Bouquet pictured above, which is a modern mix of Lotus Pods, jade green roses, ‘Kermit’ mums, green hypericum, and salal.

Even better are the unique styles of vases & containers offered in the line, which include an Asian-inspired, ceramic Bamboo Groove vase (pictured above) and a chic, matte ceramic Faux Bois ("false wood") vase , amongst several other styles .

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Simply Stated: Brighten Up!

party lighting

Today on Simply Stated: Brighten Up! Check out fun party lanterns and lighting ideas for brightening up your outdoor soirée!

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Cheesecake Pops

cheesecake pops

What is it about desserts on sticks that makes them so ridiculously cute?! First the adorable cupcake bites from Bakerella, and now these fabulous cheesecake pops from Mimi on the Move !

cheesecake pops

They even look cute undecorated… (and maybe dusted with some graham cracker crumbs!)

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Fruity Cocktails

summer cocktail recipes

Summer is the perfect time to serve up fruity cocktails at special celebrations or everyday get-togethers! For some festive, fruit-filled ideas, check out my Fabulously Fruity Cocktails guest post over at GlamDish today!

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Sweet Images from Sweet Paul

Sweet paul

I recently discovered a fantastic blog called Sweet Paul that focuses on design, craft & food. Sweet Paul is authored by Paul Lowe, a talented interior and food stylist from NY. His blog is full of wonderful inspiration for food presentation – like the fabulous fruit ice cubes pictured above (from the cookbook Slurp ), which are definitely going on my list of things to try this summer!

These coconut cookie sandwiches are so pretty for a bridal/baby shower or all-white party..

Sweet paul

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It’s May 5th… Salud!

cinco de mayo

Treat yourself to some Chipotle Shrimp Tacos and Margarita Ice Pops today!

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Clever Designs at MoMA

index cutting board and chalkboard napkin rings

MoMA Store always showcases fantastic, design-forward products, but there are a few pieces I recently stumbled upon that also stand out as especially clever… (more…)

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Retro-Mod Melamine

modern melamine plates

These new "Late-for-Dinner" melamine plates from Anthropologie are perfect for retro-mod summer entertaining! Sold in sets of 4 for $24, each plate dons a different pop-art flora print… (more…)

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Happy Cinco de Mayo… Eat Up!

cinco de mayo recipes

As a certified Mexican-food lover, you don’t have twist my arm to convince me to celebrate Cinco de Mayo… but if your arm needs twisting, here are some mouth-watering recipe ideas (for everything from festive main dishes and cocktails to desserts) that should do the trick…

{pictured above} treats from Everyday with Rachael Ray :

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HWTM at Glam & Simply Stated

1. Today at GlamDish: Whim by Cynthia Rowley (highlighting some of the stylish outdoor entertaining pieces from Rowley’s new Beach, Picnic, and Party collections at Target)

2. Today at Simply Stated: Celebrations: May Flowers for the Table (dinnerware, melamine, table linens, and more – all featuring fun floral motifs for spring & summer entertaining)

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Capiz Party Garlands

colorful capiz party garland

These colorful capiz garlands are a party all on their own! In addition to working great as hanging decorations, capiz garlands are also fabulous as table decor – lay a few of them across the table to create a “table runner”, or try wrapping single strands around glass cylinder vases to create playful containers for your centerpieces! Fun colors like bright pink, lime green, and yellow are perfect for spring & summer parties… and at only $6.99 a strand, why not try them all?!

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Simply Stated: Earth-Friendly Entertaining Products

simply stated - eco-friendly entertaining

Hope everyone had a great “Earth Week”! It was so fun to hear all the “green” tips and ideas from around the blogosphere! To wrap the week up in theme, I highlighted a few more earth-friendly entertaining products over at Simply Stated: Celebrations today, and some rustic recycled glassware over at GlamDish .

Speaking of Earth Day , did anyone else catch Oprah on Tuesday when Julia Roberts was on with Sophie Uliano, the author of Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life ? (more…)

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Luscious Lemon Desserts

lemon dessert recipes

MarthaStewart.com has a fabulous Lemon Desserts gallery featuring lots of yummy-looking treats that should appeal to fans of this popular citrus flavor. The image above of Lemon Madeleines looks especially scrumptious to me for some reason, but the Glazed Lemon Pound Cake, Lemon Custard Cakes, and Lemon-Berry Pudding Cakes don’t sound too shabby either!

lemon dessert recipes

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Margarita Ice Pops

yellow party ideas

This unique twist on the frozen margarita sounds like such a fun idea for Cinco de Mayo or any casual summer get-together! The recipe from Bon Appétite couldn’t be any easier either: you basically take lime flavored ice pops or fruit bars, pour a mixture of tequila and lime juice over them, then lightly dip 1 edge of the pop into kosher salt.

Another approach could be to first mix up your own margaritas then freeze them into pops and dip in salt. Here’s a great recipe for this version from Emeril Lagassi {via Food Network}:

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Epicurious on Partying Green

sarah cihat rehabilitated dishware

A common misconception about "partying green" is that it means the look of the party has to literally be green – or at least based on earthy shades of green and brown. That’s why I was so happy to see this beautiful red and lilac table as the headliner image for author Danny Seo ‘s "How to Throw a Green Party at Home " feature over at epicurious.com!

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Gorgeous Ideas for Green Weddings & Eco-friendly Parties

eco-friendly wedding ideas

Brides.com has a wonderful "Go Green" gallery featuring fabulous and creative ideas for eco-chic weddings (and parties)! Pictured above: bouquet of lotus blossoms (known as "the symbol of cosmic harmony"), green glass goblets & tumblers, potted Irish moss party favors, organic cotton napkins tied with leaves, biodegradable plates, and an exotic bamboo-themed cake.

Pictured below: Yellow Pepper and Arugula Soup served in cucumber cups (cute!) and Chickpea Fries dipped in saffron aioli.

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Recycled Six-Pack Coasters

recycled coasters

These cleverly-packaged, contemporary coasters were inspired by the conventional 6-pack, but come with an unconventional twist – they’re made from recycled rubber! Talk about the perfect gift for your favorite eco-chic hostess!

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Organic Cocktail: Country Thyme

organic cocktail recipe square one vodka

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, we’ll be featuring lots of earth-friendly and eco-chic entertaining ideas this week! First up is the "Country Thyme " lemon-berry organic cocktail recipe that we featured on KUSI News this morning! This recipe was created by the Mixologist Joseph Ehrmann for Square One Organic Vodka . Click here to download a print-friendly version of this recipe.

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Wine-O Cards

wine-o

Tired of hiding those great bottles of wine in gift bags? Graphic designer Stafford Lombard has the perfect solution for you! Lombard came up with these super hip & creative "Wine-O " cards and I have to say that I’m seriously loving this idea! Wine-O cards slip perfectly onto a wine bottle neck and come in fun shapes and contemporary patterns like "hexy" and "organic" (both pictured below) . Better yet, they open up so that you can write a little note inside!

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Simply Stated: Serving Tea in Style

modern tea pots If you’re a tea-lover yourself, or just love to check out fabulous dishes in general, check out today’s post over at Celebrations ! You’ll find lots of fun teapots, cups, & accessories for serving and sipping in style! (Or maybe ideas for gifting in style too… Mom’s Day is coming up!)

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Swarovski Cake Jewels

Swarovski crystal cake and flower bouquet accents

Here’s a new kind of “icing” for your wedding or party cake: butterflies, hummingbirds, and dragonflies adorned with glitzy Swarovski crystals! These sparkly creatures are part of the Swarovski Cake Jewels collection at EstiloWeddings.com, which also includes bejeweled monograms, hearts, lady bugs, and flowers in various sizes and colors…

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Gorgeous Cupcake Wrappers

laser-cut contemporary cupcake wrappers

These stylish, laser-cut cupcake wrappers just might outshine the treat itself! I’m amazed by the level of detail in the designs, which include intricate patterns like Filigree, Ivy Vine, and White Butterflies. They’d make a truly gorgeous cupcake tower or adorable party favor packaging – maybe filled with colorful candies or a stack of mini cookies. And check out all the different designs and colors that are available…

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Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey

sticky, chewy, messy, gooey desserts

An entire book dedicated to desserts that are "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, & Gooey "? Sounds like heaven on paper! Recipes include: Chocolate Caramel-Pecan Soufflé Cake, Cinnamon-Donut Bread Pudding, Double-Crumble Hot Apple Pies, Giant Coconut Cream Puffs…hmmm… did I say heaven on paper or hell for swimsuit season? We all have to indulge once in a while though, right? And what better excuse than a celebration!

sticky, chewy, messy, gooey desserts

Pictured above: All-Grown-Up Smores . Pictured below: Banana Bread Pudding with Hot Fudge and Toasted Walnuts and Quicky Sticky Buns , and more…

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Simply Stated: Inspired Party Planning

party planning inspiration and ideas

Today on Simply Stated: Celebrations, find tips on how to find inspiration for your next party and make planning much more enjoyable – as well as resources for the Mod Bunny baby shower pictured above and a great new website that makes it easy for you to create your own inspiration boards online!

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Lovely Day

little odd forest lovely day plate

This lovely day plate/tray is new over at little odd forest and has a carefree, whimsical design that should make "kids" of any age smile! ($18.50 at littleoddforest.com)

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