Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

LOVE-ly Tea Party Bridal Shower {Vintage Lace + Pastels}

tea party garden bridal shower table with umbrella decorations

If there was a visual definition for “gorgeous bridal shower”, I’m pretty sure this LOVE-ly Tea Party themed celebration would be it!

Styled by the talented ladies of Events in the City and featuring tons of DIY details by the mother of the bride (Lyn), there are seriously SO many lovely details to soak in here… it was all I could do to keep this post from being a mile long! I might be pushing that here anyways, but it’s all fabulous eye candy, so I figure it’s worth the “trip”. ;)

Special Note…

As lovely as all these party details may be, the sweet thank you message that the bride has for her mom is even lovelier. You’ll find it towards the bottom of this post, in the “Party Details” section below the images. (Lyn, if you’re reading this – better get a tissue ready first!) As a mom of 2 girls myself, I sure hope they feel the same way about me when they grow up… which is still quite a long ways off, but as we all know, it’s crazy how time flies! And now back to the pretty party details…

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Lacy umbrellas & colorful heart garlands “showering” a beautiful brunch table below
  • Straws with gold glittered hearts + gold “Love” signs hanging on the back of each chair
  • The cutest little tea pot cake pops + shortbread cookies with personalized “tea tags”
  • Pastel colored tulle dessert table skirt + pastel tissue tassels on the welcome sign
  • Stunning vintage garden inspired florals and lacy details carried throughout!

pastel lace bridal shower decorations

lace and floral garden bridal shower decorations

vintage lace bridal shower drink station

bridal shower - bride and mom dresses (more…)

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Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn Inspired 1st Birthday

tom sawyer party burlap banner

The phrase “truly spectacular party” was mentioned to me in a recent email, and even though that email was totally unrelated to this post, that phrase is all I could think about while working on it…

Patty Smith of Sweet Treat Stands definitely didn’t miss a beat with this first birthday party for her youngest son, Sawyer, starting with the oh-so-fitting theme of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin“. And from the incredibly artistic woodworking details to the storybook-inspired sweets and gorgeous outdoor location (that tree!!), what a creative adventure this party is… I mean, there’s even a little Tom & Huck sculpture made out of book pages! I’m pretty sure even Mark Twain would be impressed. ;)

Kudos to Wendhy Jeffers Photography as well, who did an amazing job capturing all the creativity and warmth in this celebration on camera.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Colorful Tom Sawyer tier cake, cleverly displayed on a super cool “wooden raft” cake stand
  • Homemade trifles in mason jars + a grapevine wreath chandelier with distressed mason jars
  • Incredible Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn “Book Sculpture” & Wooden Clothespin Dolls
  • Personalized wooden hearts on the straws + beautiful custom birch wood sign
  • Tom Sawyer inspired overalls on the birthday boy + an overalls piñata hanging from the tree!

tom sawyer party decorations and details

tom sawyer burlap first birthday hat

tom sawyer and huck fin party decorations

tom sawyer birthday party dessert table (more…)

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Spooky-Chic Halloween Wedding Inspiration {Round Up}

Halloween Wedding Bride - Couture Events

Only one more day until All Hallows’ Eve (yay!), and since most of you have probably either already satisfied your sweet tooth or are about to do it in a big way tomorrow, we thought it would be fun to TREAT you to a different sort of Halloween feast today…

So, Inspired By This is here with a round up of creative styling ideas for those of you looking to infuse a little Halloween or Day of the Dead inspired flair into your big day. From stationery suites to bridal fashion & tablescapes, read on for a festive – and calorie-free – dose of spooky + chic! ;)

1. (pictured at top) Styling by Couture Events, Photo by Bethann Greenberg

Day of the Dead Wedding - Bride & Groom

2. Photo by Studio EMP

Day of the Dead Wedding Stationery Suite

3. Stationery by Inviting Affairs

purple green outdoor fall wedding

4. Event Design by La Boheme Events, Photo by Amelia Strauss (more…)

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Rustic-Modern Superhero Party {+ Clever DIY Photo Booth}

custom superman party sign - wooden palette

There may be a slew of familiar-looking emblems flying around this party, but I think the real hero of Jett’s Rustic-Modern Superhero Birthday Party is the hefty dose of creativity and STYLE it brings!

Let’s start with the super awesome distressed wooden signs, shall we? Seriously L.O.V.E. the look of those… as well as the fact that they’re not something you see everyday when it comes to superhero birthday themes. Fresh ideas to the rescue! Then let’s talk about the cool superhero graphics and paper details from Posh Paperie, (which are also reflected in the design of those wooden palette signs). They add such a great, retro-mod vibe to everything from the food and drinks to the party favors… and you can now find them in the brand new Posh Paperie Etsy shop! Job well done, ladies. ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • AWESOME homemade cityscape photo booth + comic-style superhero photo props
  • Custom distressed wooden palette signs painted with superhero emblems
  • Captain America inspired cake, cupcake toppers, macarons, and “We Need You!” napkins
  • Colorful honeycomb garland + personalized Superman and Batman pinatas

captain america party sign and napkins

diy superhero party photo booth idea

rustic modern superhero party drink station

retro modern superhero cupcake toppers (more…)

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Win a Golden Ticket to BASH Conference 2015!

Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’ve got some fun news to share today! Have you heard all the buzz about the 1st annual BASH Conference?  It’s the premiere conference specifically for Party & Event Planners and Party Bloggers, and it’s coming to Phoenix, Arizona January 15-17, 2015, featuring some of the biggest names in the party world.

Tickets are on sale now at but today we are excited to announce that one lucky HWTM reader will receive a FREE Golden Ticket to BASH. ($350 value!) Enter for your chance to win at the bottom of this post… good luck!

What is BASH?

BASH will bring party bloggers and event planners together to learn, share, inspire and of course…PARTY!  Some of this year’s sponsors include Wilton, Koyal Wholesale, Sizzix and more.


Powerful Keynotes

Eddie Ross, East Coast Producer and Editor for Print and Digital of Better Homes and Gardens takes the stage on Friday night for a powerful keynote address sure to inspire and educate us all!

Then on Saturday, Amy Atlas, Entertainment & Stylist Expert as well as the pioneer of Sweets Tables and author of Sweet Designs,  takes the stage with an inspiring message and rare look into her successful business Amy Atlas Events. (more…)

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Crafty & Modern Train Themed 2nd Birthday Party

modern train birthday party ideas

CHOO CHOO… tons of crafty train party ideas coming though! From a homemade cardboard train (complete with steam engine!) dubbed the “Z-Express” to clever train-inspired names for the food & drinks, Zachary’s mom, Jennifer, put so much creativity into his Train Themed 2nd Birthday Party. I’m pretty excited to see our Hostess INK “All Aboard” Party Collection incorporated here too! ;)

Read on to check out all the of the playful details, as beautifully captured by Olivia Richards Photography.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • DIY cardboard box train, “Birthday Crossing” signs, & duct tape railroad tracks!
  • Steamhouse Sandwiches + Water Tower and Diesel Fuel (iced tea)
  • Clever “train cars” (made from kraft boxes + paper wheels!) carrying finger foods
  • Wooden train painting activity + train engineer hats with train themed favor tags

diy cardboard train for a birthday party

train party cupcake toppers

train party activity station (more…)

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{Soaring to One} Lovely Balloon Themed 1st Birthday

pink white red dessert table

For her daughter’s first birthday (and Korean Dol) Grace Kim crafted up a beautiful Balloon Inspired Celebration full of thoughtful details and sweet, handmade touches! I especially love all the creative ways she incorporated kraft paper textures – from the polka dot table runner and paper mache party hats to the totally unique dessert table backdrop – giving this party a look that’s lovely and chic, but also totally approachable. Nice work, mom! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Yarn letters + hand-painted paper mache party hats with yarn pom toppers
  • Personalized temporary tattoos, including a custom illustration of the birthday girl!
  • Inflatable balloon party invitation + giant 36″ balloons flanking the dessert table
  • DIY polka dot kraft paper table runner + laser-cut wood smash cake topper
  • Floral tube dessert table backdrop + simple-chic cake topped with fresh flowers

balloon themed birthday invitations and signs

pink smash cake and wooden 1 topper

hot air balloon birthday sign

pine white flower dessert table (more…)

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DIY Tutorial: Paper Pumpkin Favor Boxes

DIY Paper Pumpkin Favor Boxes

Stacie Keiffer of Fancy & Fold is here with a super cute seasonal DIY for us today! You might recognize these adorable Paper Pumpkin Favor Boxes from the Rustic Little Pumpkin Baby Shower featured earlier today. Read on for the details on how to make them yourself (as told by Stacie)!



This cute little Pumpkin Box is the perfect Fall party favor! Fill with treats for Halloween, Thanksgiving or a Pumpkin Baby Shower/Birthday.

To start, gather all that you will need to construct the box.

pumpkin favor box materials (more…)

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Charming Rustic Little Pumpkin Baby Shower

homemade fall pumpkin baby shower cake

I always love seeing occasion showers with a seasonal twist, and this baby shower is a perfect example! Katie Farmer of Celebration Lane drew inspiration from fall colors, flavors, and textures to create a Rustic Little Pumpkin Baby Shower theme with just the right mix of sweetness and vintage charm. And as impressive as the styling and all these pretty treats may be (I mean, the fondant toppers actually have burlap and lace textures!), my favorite detail has to be the adorable Big Sis! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Simple naked cake with mini burlap & lace bunting + cute baby-sized pumpkin naked cakes
  • Fall-inspired rag tie fabric garland + bright orange mason jars wrapped in lace
  • Mini pumpkin donuts displayed on a bed of crushed Oreo “dirt”
  • Incredibly detailed lacy fondant toppers and lace-adorned onsie sugar cookies
  • Handmade paper pumpkins filled with treats (DIY tutorial coming soon)

pumpkin baby shower ideas

mini naked layer cakes - pumpkin

pumpkin baby shower cookies and decorations (more…)

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Adorable Little Pumpkin Birthday Party {Fall Harvest}

Little Pumpkin Birthday Party

Halloween may be right around the corner, but the inspiration in this adorable Little Pumpkin Birthday celebration will last all season long! Valerie & Jen of Charming Touch Parties found the perfect mix of rustic elements, vibrant colors, and vintage charm for this fall harvest inspired 2nd birthday party. And with an array of pretty treats and crafty details + fabulous paper elements to tie everything together, this is one “pumpkin patch” that’s definitely blooming with sweet style… just like the Lil’ Pumpkin of honor herself! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Gorgeous hand-decorated pumpkin sugar cookies + flavored popcorn bar
  • 3-Tier cake with mini fondant pumpkins, polka dots, & a cute “lil pumpkin” banner
  • Ruffled white dessert table skirt + colorful rag tie fabric bunting
  • Separate beverage stations for the “kiddies” and the adults (both beautifully styled!)
  • Signature drinks served in mason jars embellished with ribbon & burlap

Pumpkin Birthday Welcome Sign

Little Pumpkin Birthday Party Dessert Table

Pumpkin Birthday Royal Icing Cookies

Pumpkin Birthday Drink Station (more…)

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Monogram Birthday Slumber Party {Party on a Dime #6}

spa themed slumber party

For their Balloon Time Party on a Dime challenge, Anders Ruff definitely pulled out all the (budget-friendly) stops! To name just a few of them: scouring discount store dollar sections, making paper elements go a REALLY long way, personalizing things with stickers, and using paint to transform soda bottles and mason jars into lovely decor. The result? A dreamy Monogram Birthday Slumber Party for Adria Ruff’s daughter, Brynne, and several of her friends. Having such a resourceful mom is definitely the icing on the party cake, right Brynne?! ;)

Check out all of the Party on a Dime contestant features here.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Festive Balloon Decor (from fringe tassel embellishments to mini balloon bouquets)
  • Simple and inexpensive desserts + DIY cake and cupcake toppers
  • Recycled bottles & jars, painted and turned into adorable party decor
  • DIY party favors like gold glitter dotted favor bags, & monogrammed eye masks

pink and blue party mason jars

pink blue and gold slumber party

pink and blue spa party dessert table (more…)

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{Modern + Crafty} Geometric First Birthday Party

Geometric Birthday Party Dessert Table

Oh. My. Goodness! The first birthday party that Amy of Amy Stone Photography threw for her daughter, Hayley, is seriously the coolness. I happen to be a huge fan of geometric themes myself, so I might be a teensy bit partial in that respect ;) – but I’m sure that most anyone will appreciate the hefty dose of style, happy colors, and clever DIY projects that went into this spunky little celebration. There’s actually great inspiration to be found here for geometric themed parties of ANY occasion.

P.S. I just noticed on Amy’s blog that little Hayley already turned 2 last week! How time flies, right? Happy belated, little one!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Colorful hexagon photo booth backdrop + color-blocked hexagon cake toppers
  • Super cool translucent geometric mobile hanging above the dessert table
  • Homemade hexagon smash cake with pink, orange, and yellow layers inside (details, details!)
  • Clever table mats fashioned from wooden paint stir sticks & painted with a geo pattern

Geometric First Birthday - Photo Backdrop

Geometric Birthday Party Smash Cake

Geometric Birthday Garlands and Centerpieces (more…)

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How to Make Your Own {Creative} Custom Party Plates

Custom Party Plates Tutorial - by HWTM

I’m excited to share one of my VERY. FAVORITE. “party tricks” with you today! You can make such a big impact to table place settings or food/dessert buffets with these DIY Custom Party Plates. All you need is decorative papers or stylish gift wrap + spray adhesive to transform clear plastic plates into unique decor that perfectly matches your party! And worth noting: I tried several different types of adhesive the first time I made these and a light coat of spray adhesive was the best and most streak-free solution by far.

Sure – this takes a little extra “crafty” time and might not be ideal for your 200+ person affairs, but for smaller celebrations like baby showers, milestone birthdays, and celebratory dinner parties, this is such a great way to make a BIG creative splash. You can also add a thoughtful touch by incorporating names or photos of the guest(s) of honor into the plate designs. :)

Read on for the instructions + a few examples of how I’ve used this project at events in the past. (more…)

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“Foxy Baby” Baby Shower {Woodland + Pink + Orange}

Foxy Baby Shower Dessert Table

Girlie fun meets woodland charm in this fantastic “Foxy Baby” Baby Shower that Petite Party Studio hosted for their co-owner – and fellow “Foxy Mama”! – Shannon. ;) They did such a great job here of incorporating stylish ideas that are super budget-friendly too… from a colorful honeycomb-and-tissue-daisy dessert table backdrop to simple-chic baby’s breath bunches displayed in mason jars. And all of the details coordinated perfectly with the help of their adorable fox themed baby shower printables, of course!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Gorgeous fox-topped cake and royal icing fox cookies + homemade Hershey Kiss “acorns”
  • “We Want to Keep You Foxy” beauty bar favor station with nail polish, lip gloss, & more
  • Muslin favor bags embellished with an adorable fox and “stay foxy” iron-on graphic
  • DIY burlap placemats with tissue fringe trim + DIY flower pins for baby Liv’s family members

Foxy Baby Shower Theme

Foxy Baby Shower Beauty Bar

Foxy Baby Shower DIY Flower Pins (more…)

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Pineapple Fiesta Birthday Party {Party on a Dime #5}

pineapple fiesta birthday party

Our 5th Party on a Dime feature comes from Vanessa Diaz of The Queen of Swag, and after checking out these pics, she also looks like the queen of FUN to me! I mean, there is seriously SO much creativity in this budget-conscious Pineapple Birthday Party Fiesta, and it’s bursting with happy colors at every turn. My favorite detail, though, has to be the store-bought yellow macarons that she cleverly transformed into darling little pineapples. They also happen to pair very nicely with her watermelon manicure. ;)

{See all of the Balloon Time Party on a Dime contestant features here.}

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Homemade pineapple shaped funfetti birthday cake + “pineapple” macarons
  • Sparkly pineapple and flamingo photo booth props and novelty sunglasses
  • Little plastic fruits (filled with candy powder) displayed in upside down mini sombereros
  • Pineapple shaped place cards & table confetti + pineapple-stamped favor bags

pineapple fiesta party photo booth

DIY pineapple macarons

tropical fiesta party decorations (more…)

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Despicable Me Evil Minion 2nd Birthday {Terrible Twos}

evil purple minion birthday cake

First off, I want to say a HUGE thank you for your kind words & support after our announcement last night. Making a big change is never easy, but it has been much easier knowing I have all of you behind me and HWTM. Like I said, although we are taking an indefinite break from accepting others’ parties, we are still honoring all of the parties already accepted (which will hopefully make the transition smoother for everyone) :). So without further ado…

Drexelle Park of D. Park Photography is back with another amazing birthday party! (We featured the adorable Dumbo-themed first birthday party for her son, Knightly, a while back.) Now entering his (terrible) twos, they decided to celebrate with a crazy-adorable Despicable Me Evil Minion 2nd Birthday, which was fabulously styled by Wendy Allen and just looks like a good time all around! Rather than the traditional yellow Minions, this party featured their evil twin — the purple Monster Minions (which can be found poking around every corner of this party). I just love when you can feel all of the love & warmth coming through the photos… scroll down to see what I mean!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Evil Minion silhouette & striped popcorn box centerpieces + adorable custom Evil Minion pillows
  • Purple Minion beach balls & hanging tissue poms + purple table cloths & large paper ‘goggle’ table decor
  • DIY Evil Minion construction helmets with yarn hair & googly eyes + birthday overalls & purple Minion shirt
  • Purple minion eye cake with Evil Minion topper + a “normal” yellow Minion smash cake

evil minion terrible two birthday party photo shoot

purple minion despicable me birthday party decor

DIY evil minion construction helmets


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Why We’re Taking a Break from Featured Parties + Stepping Up to the Plate All Over Again

Reggie Jackson Inspiratonal Quote - Home Run Hitters

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved inspirational quotes, but there’s one quote in particular that I’ve been leaning on heavily lately. I first stumbled on it in a random quotes tin that I bought somewhere way back in the day – pre-kids, pre-social media, and even pre-HWTM. (Told you it was way back in the day!)

Anyways, the quotes that fill this little round tin are printed on rectangular pieces of sticker paper about the size of a fortune cookie slip – and on one of these tiny slips, in simple black type, are the following words:

“Home run hitters strike out a lot.”
– Reggie Jackson

These 7 simple words have been an enormous sense of comfort to me personally lately, and I stuck it to the foot of my computer monitor, where I definitely can’t miss it, just to be safe:


Of course I had to beautify it up for you a bit more in the opening image. ;)

What a great reminder, though, that struggles and failures are a part of every journey in life – and that even the people that achieve incredible success – like the baseball greats that are remembered for their shining moments and not their strikeouts – do, in fact, experience them. (and in pretty decent volumes, considering the example!)

This reality of life is something we all probably know, somewhere deep down in the corners of our mind at least, but it’s really easy to forget. Like, REALLY easy – especially when you’re dealing with what feels like a pretty sizable struggle – or dare I say it – an actual failure – yourself. But we don’t have to let these swings-and-misses define us, OR be the last chapter of the story. We DO, however, have to stop and take a deep breath, adjust our stance, and rethink our plan.

And that’s exactly what’s happening with me right now.


If I spilled every single thing that’s currently running through my mind onto the screen, this post would be 10 miles long. (Plus I kinda prefer to do that kind of sharing across the table from a friend with a good bottle of Pinot!) So while I can’t go into every detail, I will tell you that things are going to be changing in a big way here at HWTM, and the first noticeable change will be in our blog content, so I’d like to share a little insight as to why…

Long story short: I’m exhausted. The end.

Just kidding… kind of. ;)

In all seriousness, we’ve enjoyed many years of sharing incredible party inspiration with you guys, and to this day I can genuinely say that I still get excited by the amazing creativity that floods our inbox. You’d think I’d be desensitized to it by now, but that’s honestly not the case.

However, you can only do things a certain way for so long, and I don’t want to be someone that just continues to do things for the sake of doing them, or that doesn’t know when to let go of something that’s just. not. quite. right. anymore – no matter how well it may have worked at one moment in time… OR how badly you want it to work.

Personally, I can relate to both of those examples right now. (more…)

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Twinkling Fairy Tea Party {Party on a Dime #4}

twinkle lights and pink for a fairy birthday party

For her Balloon Time party, Toni Roberts of Design Dazzle styled this absolutely adorable Twinkling Fairy Tea Party with soft pinks, glittering lights and tons of DIY (her tutorials are linked below)! I am just loving all of the whimsical decor & cleverly styled Dollar Store pieces — because really, anything amped up with gold glitter is a win in my book ;). Make sure to check out all of the other Party on a Dime contestant features right here.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • DIY pink flower seating + a DIY balloon & flower archway over a cardboard doorway entry & topiaries
  • Gold glitter decorated fairy wings, woodland animal figurines & a blossoming branch centerpiece
  • DIY glitter toadstools & flower headbands + ring topped cupcakes & sprinkled wafer cookies

diy pink balloon and flower arch over a cardboard doorway

pink fairy birthday party entryway

pink fairy birthday party dessert ideas


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Pink Chevron You Are My Sunshine Birthday Party

pink chevron you are my sunshine birthday party invitation and decor

With crisp air and cloudy skies creeping in, we’re loving this burst of sunshine from Paige Kepner of Paiges of Style! She celebrated her daughter’s special day with this You Are My Sunshine Birthday Party filled with cheerful decor, colorful chevron stripes & the cutest, “sunny” desserts (like those amazing sunshine cake pops). No matter the weather, it’s always fun to soak up some rays ;).

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Beautiful pink peonies & other bright flower arrangement table centerpieces on a yellow striped runner
  • Color-blocked cake pops, cake parfaits, cotton candy topped cupcakes & a yellow striped sunshine cake
  • Tissue tassel chandelier & balloon garlands + a DIY gold painted foam core & dowel sun backdrop
  • Pink chevron birthday dress, a flower & sunshine headband & pom decorated chevron party hats

pink and yellow you are my sunshine birthday party dessert table

bright floral arrangements for table centerpieces

you are my sunshine birthday party dessert ideas

little girl's pink chevron birthday dress


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Country Farm Birthday Party {Party on a Dime #3}

farm birthday party dessert table

As the third installation of the Balloon Time Party on a Dime contest series, Michelle Burt of Maddycakes Muse has got a rootin’ tootin’ Country Farm Birthday Party to share with ya’ll! Michelle not only was able to stay under budget (just $84 spent!), but she also thoughtfully disregarded the loads of party supplies she already had (knowing that the average person doesn’t have that kind of stash) and used other common things around her house + lots of great finds from the Dollar Store! This is one party that definitely does not look like it came from a bargain bin! ;) See all of the Party on a Dime contestant features here.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Homemade corndogs on mini hay bales + homemade chili served in flannel topped mason jars
– DIY chalkboard chargers (+ chalk for decorating), bandana napkins & pie tin plates
– Flower filled cowgirl boot, popcorn filled bushel basket, a chicken wire backdrop & birdhouse painting
– DIY barn fruit ‘cake’ with watermelon slices & cookie cutter fruit animals + cow print juice & balloons

DIY cow print farm party decorations

homemade country western chili lunch


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Parties in a Pinch: Homemade vs. Store-bought vs. Custom

homemade vs. store-bought vs professionally custom made

Hello again! Rachel here from RV Parties with the latest installment of Parties in a Pinch. Today we’re looking at my favorite thing: SUGAR. Really, no party is complete without it!

When planning a party, every hostess has a limited amount of time and money. Savvy decisions must be made about where to spend them to make the biggest impact. We’re going to look at a few different treats today and compare how much time and money each option takes homemade, store-bought or custom ordered. Prices for all items are estimates for a dozen.


homemade versus bought cupcakes


Option #1: Homemade – $3 to 5

Homemade cupcakes are a great economical option, and if you are handy with a piping bag, you’re in pretty good shape. You should budget at least an hour and a half to bake and frost the cupcakes, plus more time if you are planning on doing any more extensive decorating. I’m terrible at frosting cupcakes and they always sink in the middle when I bake them, so I leave this one to the pros!

Best for: The budget-savvy hostess who is skilled with a piping bag and has extra time to bake.

Option #2: Store-bought – $6 to 8

Many grocery stores sell cupcakes at prices much more reasonable than the cupcake shops that have popped up everywhere. While they’ll probably do a better job frosting than the average person, it may be a struggle finding ones that match the theme. Your best bet may be to find some plain white ones to dress up!

Best for: The less crafty hostess who needs cupcakes quickly and doesn’t mind if they don’t match perfectly.

Option #3: Custom – $36 to 48

Chances are, there’s an adorable cupcakery just a few miles from you. If so, it’s likely you can walk in and find something that fits your color theme quickly. You can also place an order to get something in your exact colors and theme.

Best for: The hostess who needs treats that are perfectly coordinated to the party and doesn’t mind paying for them. 

Any way you get cupcakes, you can always dress them up with cupcake wrappers and toppers. Our Etsy shop sells a wide variety of printable decor and we love to have custom made fondant toppers made to match our theme!


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Girly Garden Birthday Party {Party on a Dime #2}

pink and sunny girly garden birthday party

For our 2nd Balloon Time contestant feature, we’re excited to share this adorable Girly Garden Birthday Party, styled by Maggie Brereton of Smashed Peas and Carrots. Maggie searched through thrift stores & her own vintage collection so that she could stay under the $100 budget (spending just $89.36 to be exact)! I love the relaxed mismatched chairs & bench seating outside combined with the bright wildflower centerpieces & lush greenery backdrop! See all of the Party on a Dime contestant features here.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Butterfly topped fruit skewers, flower shaped tea sandwiches & flower topped cupcakes
– Vintage floral sheet table cloth & vintage china place settings + a colorful paper pinwheel backdrop
– A birdhouse painting activity & birdseed favors + a balloon decorated chair for the birthday girl

pink, orange and yellow party dessert table decorations

birdhouse painting activity for a garden birthday party

butterfly topped fruit skewers


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Day of the Dead Party {Día de los Muertos}

day of the dead inspired party cake Since Día de los Muertos is right around the corner, Michelle Stewart of Michelle’s Party Plan-It honored the holiday with this Day of the Dead Party filled with colorful sugar skulls & tons of glittering sweets! The meaning behind Día de los Muertos is so interesting & I think it could be a great opportunity to include the kids in learning about other cultures! Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to pull those skeletons out of the closet (literally)! ;)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Bright paper flower arrangements & matching paper pinwheels + a gold glitter backdrop – Black sugar skull topped cake with fondant rosettes + golden skull topped chocolate Oreos – Vintage shutters with stained glass style tissue paper + a vintage style skeleton costume – Glitter skull topped candy apples & cupcakes + sugar skull placemats & napkin rings

dia de los muertos party dessert table day of the dead skeleton costume for kids dia de los muertos party tablescape and place setting ideas (more…)

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Dog Days of Summer Puppy Party {Party on a Dime #1}

dog topped birthday cake

As we previously mentioned, 8 talented party stylists were recently challenged by Balloon Time to design/host a real celebration using just one of their helium tanks + a budget of $100. The grand prize? A $5K donation to the winning stylist’s charity of choice! Now that the contest is over, we’d like to share each party in more detail with you over the next couple weeks, as they are all so unique and have some really great budget-friendly ideas… which we could ALL use, right?!

So, first up is the grand prize winner herself – Norene Cox of Party Pinching! For her entry, Norene styled this clever & colorful Dog Days of Summer Puppy Party, which benefited The Beagle Freedom Project. Congrats, Norene! And thank you for allowing us to share your adorable celebration. :)

Make sure to check out more of the party’s photos, along with recipes & tutorials for some of the treats seen here (including those famous ‘pupcakes’), over on Norene’s blog! Plus, check back for all of the other Party on a Dime contestant features.

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Darling DIY beagle balloons with Sharpie-drawn faces & paper ears
  • Clever Mike & Ike candy ‘popsicles’ on the cupcakes + popsicle shooters
  • Paw print Oreos + a fondant beagle topped cake adorned with Necco Wafers
  • Ice cream cone squeak toys for the dogs + ‘adoptable’ stuffed dog party favors

dog days of summer puppy party ideas

mike and ike popsicle topped cupcakes (more…)

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Free Thanksgiving Printables Blog Hop (+ Grateful Mod)

free Thanksgiving printables

I know that many of you probably don’t even have your Halloween plans figured out yet, but our 2014 blog hop crew is here with a head start on Thanksgiving! Don’t worry though, we just wanted to make sure you had ample time to put some of these fun creations to use next month. And if you’re still in need of Halloween printables, make sure to check out last month’s post! ;)

This month, I’m highlighting a modern Thanksgiving party collection that I originally designed for an Operation Shower fundraiser a while back. That fundraiser is over, but I still love this “Grateful Mod” collection… it definitely leans more playful and modern in style, but also utilizes a pretty script font for a dash of formal as well. Scroll down for a quick preview of some of the collection elements + links to the 7 other Free Thanksgiving Printables. Enjoy!

modern thanksgiving table

Here’s an alternate (and easier!) centerpiece I made from the patterned paper included in the collection. Check out the DIY tutorial right here: (more…)

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Charming & Lovely Ladies’ Garden Tea Party

girl's garden tea party

We’ve been having a bit of a heat wave here in San Diego, so while I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures & bringing out my fall wardrobe, I’m thinking one last afternoon in the sun will be a wonderful send-off to summer, and this Lovely Ladies’ Garden Tea Party by Lisa Lundqvist of Sockerrus is the perfect inspiration! With a lush garden venue & too-gorgeous-to-eat sweets, what an amazing way to celebrate the lovely ladies in your life. This would also make for a truly stunning tea themed baby or bridal shower!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Pink sparkling wine served in gold decorated champagne glasses + beautiful vintage tea sets
  • Powdered sugar dusted tea cookies, heart shaped tea sandwiches + chocolate dipped mini doughnuts
  • Gold candy ‘sequin’ decorated cake with pink & gold sugar roses + flower topped pink cupcakes
  • Hanging tissue honeycomb poms, gold painted bud vases & lovely neutral dresses on all of the guests

formal tea party tablescape decor

gold and white tea party cakes

tea party drink ideas like pink champagne


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3 Outfit Ideas For Your Holiday Photos {Advice from a Photographer}


Hey everyone! Jen here of Jen CYK Photography! Growing up, holiday cards would come in the mail for my parents with hand written notes. A few of the over ambitious folks would include their yearly newsletter, but most kept it pretty simple. Then one year the trend shifted, and pictures began to come with the cards! Nowadays, it’s not just a snapshot from your point and shoot camera — professional pictures are actually the go-to for most families! (You might be able to guess that I like this trend.)

One of the most common questions I get is “What should we wear?!” So today, I’m here to share Three Outfit Options for Your Holiday Photos that photograph well and make you & your family look and feel your best!




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{Link Love} Weekend Party Mix + Adorable Halloween DIYs

DIY halloween party costumes and pumpkin ideas

Hooray for Friday! To keep with our (very new) end-of-the-week tradition, here’s a new batch of links we love from around the web! We’ve been having so much fun poking around our favorite sites (as well as discovering some new favorites!) & we hope that you’ll enjoy them too! Happy surfing… ;)


– Here’s how Jacque’s taco piñata turned out (SO cute!!)

– Looking for a quick & easy costume for little ones? Right here!

10 Commandments for the at home birthday party

– A Halloween Pop Up Table Runner

3 eyeliner looks to make you feel beautiful

 Bread as a {delicious} place setting accent

– The angriest cat in the world (made us laugh!)

Maple spiced almond milk with a hint of pumpkin (YUM)

– A whole new way to display pumpkins: Succulent Pumpkin Planters

– A wedding dress with a built in ‘party!’

– In case you missed it…3 Healthier Halloween Treat Ideas

– PLUS, Celebrate our Hostess INK store’s 1st birthday with us by using the code BIRTHDAY30 for 30% off your entire order — today through Sunday, Oct 12.


Photos above via Make it & Love it and Tidy Mom

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Trend Alert: DIY Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Party Decorations

day of the dead sugar skulls DIY

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 — Day of the Dead Parties. Day of the Dead parties are so hot right now they are everywhere and today I’m going to share with you my tutorial for creating your own custom Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Party Decorations made from laser wood cutouts.

At the forefront of this trend is Ten23 Designs who custom designs any image you want from 2″ to as large as 22″ that I used as a wow-factor backdrop for my Day of Dead Candy Buffet. You can see the full candy buffet and all the details on my blog here. Creating these custom sugar skulls is easy with my 5-step DIY plan!

Sugar skull craft supplies

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Big Game Cheeseburger Turnovers + Football Party Ideas & Free Printables

Football Party Printables + Cheeseburger Turnover Recipe

If you’re looking for something new to serve at game day get-togethers that’s creative, but also totally doable, look no further! These Cheeseburger Turnovers feature a tasty golden crust, lots of cheesy goodness, and a surprise pickle chip inside for added flavor. They encompass that great comfort food appeal that we all love – especially on a crisp fall or winter day – in a toasty little snack that fits right in your hands while you’re kicking back on the couch. How convenient. ;)

I used the brand new Garlic and Onion Flatbread Mix from Krusteaz® to make the dough for these turnovers, and you can check out the full recipe right here. And of course, you can always modify the filling recipe to your own taste!

And while you definitely don’t need to throw a party to enjoy these, I couldn’t resist including a few football geared party ideas and free printables too. They’re all very budget-friendly… and you might be pleasantly surprised at how far you can go with a simple roll of white duct tape. ;)

CREATIVE HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Kraft food trays lined with referee stripes for a little game day flair
– Minimalist “football field” table cover made from artificial grass + white duct tape
– DIY football mason jars and chip bags + a printable yard lines inspired banner
– Chipboard YUM letters spray painted gold & displayed atop embellished wall cubes

DIY Football Mason Jar Drinks

Use the aforementioned white duct tape to make “football laces” for standard mason jars. No need to be perfect – it’s just about conveying the general idea! And then fill the jars with dark soda or iced tea to reinforce the idea of a football. For the finishing touch? A party flag, of course! {You can download these party flags at the bottom of the post.}

Want a creative way to serve your turnovers? Try lining the bottom of simple brown food trays with “referee striped” paper…

Free Printable Football Party Banner + Food Trays

You can also use duct tape to make “football laces” for small brown kraft bags. Then fill them with your favorite snacks or party favors…

DIY Football Party Chip Bags (more…)

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