December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

[image via]

Happy Hanukkah, merry Christmas and wishes for a fabulous 2009!

I'll be on vacation and traveling from now through the New Year so look for regular posts to resume in January. Here's to a 2009 filled with excellent entertaining ideas and inspiration!

December 18, 2008

Elegant Appetizers

You can never have enough appetizer recipes, especially around the holidays with multitude of parties and get-togethers. Consider serving a few of these delicacies at your upcoming holiday gatherings.

December 17, 2008

Christmas Table Details

Adorn your Christmas tabletop with lovely place cards or place setting decorations. Here are several DIY ideas to inspire your holiday tablesettings.

- Paper plate angels
- Crepe-paper bells
- Vintage scroll with holly
- Christmas tree place cards
- Green bow napkin decoration
- Holly jolly place setting
- Candy cane place cards
- Paper tree place cards
- Tree-shaped napkin rings

December 16, 2008

A Glamorous New Year's Dinner

There's nothing quite like the elegant combination of black and white. It's sophisticated, timeless and, in the right setting, so very glam. So, what better combination than black and white for an extravagant and glamour-filled new year's eve dinner.

The images above all come from a 1940's inspired home collection by Ralph Lauren. (via Toast and Tables)

December 15, 2008

Handmade Hanukkah Inspiration

As time passes by, we are getting closer and closer to Hanukkah and Christmas. Today, I thought I'd feature some homemade elements to add to your Hanukkah celebration. All from Martha Stewart, these ideas are sure to add to you holiday fun.

- Paper chains and dreidels made of light blue, silver and white construction paper
- Glittered dreidels make a great centerpiece or decoration (made from plain wood dreidels with colored glitter)
- Craft your own stylish gelt wrappers
- A glittered Hanukkah dessert of sufganiyot (or jelly doughnuts)
- Assemble your own menorah made of water glasses, silvers beads and blue candles
- Dreidel gift card holders could also serve as a place card or as invitations

December 12, 2008

A Good Will Cookie Party

Cookies are a delicious and fun part of the holidays. I have many memories of spending time in the kitchen with my Mom learning to make our family's favorites. Cookies seem to have a way of bringing us together and are a perfect theme for a holiday party. You've probably heard of a cookie exchange party (where everyone brings a different treat to share) but why not take that concept and help spread joy this holiday season. Invite friends to bring a few dozen cookies in addition to supplies for making cookie packages. Group a few different cookies and spend time together wrapping them up in creative bundles or boxes. Then, target a group of people, whether you know them or not, and hand them out. Imagine the fun you'll have with your friends, in addition to helping make the day of those you give an out-of-the-blue gift of yummy cookies.

Above are a few new favorites from Martha Stewart to add to your recipe box. Pictures and recipes can be found here. Below are some suggestions for lovely ways to present your cookie packages (also from Martha Stewart).

December 11, 2008

A Stylish Snowflake Wedding

Today's post shows a different take on a snowflake-themed wedding for the winter season. Instead of using snowflakes in every element, use them conservatively for an elegant and lovely motif.

- This pretty centerpiece features some snowflake shaped votive holders in combination with holiday balls in shades of light blue, teal and brown
- Really neat DIY place cards that each feature a unique, creative snowflake
- A spread of cheeses, fruits, etc attractively laid out with light blue cards denoting each type of cheese [Martha Stewart via Snippet & Ink]
- Chocolate ganache cookies have a snowflake-esc feel to them (though you could use a snowflake cookie cutter to get the exact shape)
- Snowflake wine stopper cutely packaged and placed atop a table setting with a light blue napkin and white dinnerware

December 10, 2008

Christmas Lunch Menu

Today's post features a menu for Christmas lunch. Consider the delicious recipes below for your holiday gathering.

- Aromatic Spiced Ham
- Goat Cheese Mashed Potato Gratin
- Christmas Chutney
- Winter Salad with Toasted Mustard Seed Vinaigrette
- Poinsettia Cocktail
- Black Pepper Biscuits

December 9, 2008

A Classical New Year's Gathering

For this New Year's eve consider looking backwards instead of forwards (in your theme at least!) Gather some classic and golden elements to throw a glamorous old world fete for your closest friends and family.
- Gold brocade placemat and napkin from Crate and Barrel
- DIY round favor boxes filled with sparkly costume jewelry also serve as table numbers or place cards [via Matthew Mead]
- Decorative gold wall decor [via Matthew Mead]
- DIY varied old world gift or favor tags [via Matthew Mead]
- Golden mercury glass candleholders from West Elm
- Marie Antoinette ornamental gold border dinnerware by Raynaud

December 8, 2008

Holiday Host & Hostess Gifts

Ready yourself with some great host and hostess gifts for all the holiday parties you will attend this season. Here are a few new suggestions for any price range:

- President Brie and Camembert- great for any gathering, delicious gourmet cheeses and crackers can act as a contribution to the party or as a treat to be enjoyed afterwords by the hosts.
- Monogrammed colored glass cocktail shakers are a festive and personalized gift for the mixologist.
- Photo coasters in a wooden holder are perfect a family of hosts who want to showcase favorite pictures.
- Slightly more expensive but definitely a thoughtful and lasting gift, the hot sauce of the month club would be fitting for the experimental chef (For more cost-conscious giving, assemble a basket with a few select sauces instead.)
- Cute and clever, these number wine charms are the helpful hostess gift that allow every guest to know which glass is theirs.
- Holiday hand-dipped strawberries are an easy and delicious gift for any host or hostess.
- This lovely wine decanter is a luxurious but affordable gift for the wine connoisseur.
- Thinking outside the box is always appreciated. Subscriptions to food and entertaining magazines, such as Bon Appetit and Gourmet are a year-long gift for the ultimate host.

December 5, 2008

Holiday Cocktails

The holidays are a time to get creative with your cocktails! Play up the different flavors, color schemes and elements that are part of Christmas traditions. The cocktails shown above not only look delicious- they have equally enticing names.

- Gingerbread Apple Crisp
- Kentucky Egg Nog
- Two Turtle Doves
- Nutcracker Sweet
- Mistletoe Kiss

December 3, 2008

Oh Baby! Bright & Modern Spa Baby Shower

Daysi emailed in asking for some inspiration for a modern and warm multi-colored spa baby shower. There are many things you can do to make a home environment into a spa setting. Light tons of votive candles to create a nice ambiance. Purchase or create cds to provide soothing background music. Give each guest a pair of slippers which also can serve as a favor. Though this may be a little costly, consider hiring a masseuse to give 10 minute massages to the guest of honor and all guests.

- Modern and fun, this place setting combines a bright dotted placemat and a contemporary floral napkin [via HWTM]
- As a fun but low-key activity have guests help read a few children's books aloud. How great for your little one to have these recordings of friends and family reading to them as they grow older. Idea and cute packaging from Martha Stewart.
- Give the mom-to-be a color-coordinated spa gift basket [image via flickr user Gift Guru]
- Cute, modern silver favor bags can hold spa supplies like nail polish, nail files, samples of perfumes, etc
- Fresh florals in a vase decorated with a coordinating contemporary flower design [via HWTM]
- Customized water bottles fit the colorful theme and add the ultimate healthy spa beverage [via HWTM]

December 2, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas Party

Today's post is for a very merry Christmas party! Invite friends and family to celebrate the holidays with an evening of deep red and vibrant green Christmas spirit.

- Stunning centerpiece from Pottery Barn combining fruits, florals, candles, trees in shades of deep red, bright green and shiny silver
- Place setting consisting of birch dinnerware (ties in to the birch candles in the centerpiece) and an ecru place card adorned with deep red ribbon
- Holiday themed favors are fitting - consider this peppermint fondue wrapped in dark red
- Attractive and tasty, this cranberry punch is texture-rich and flavorful
- Bright green foil tray is a great solution for transporting appetizers, drinks or dinner dishes

December 1, 2008

3 Winners of entertaining simple!

Thanks so much to all who entered to win 1 of 3 copies of Michael Mead's entertaining simple. You all have so much good entertaining advice and tips/tricks to share - hopefully this helped others learn how to make entertaining a little easier. And now here are the 3 lucky readers who have won:

1) Melanie who said: I find that when I keep things simple, the food and colors etc, my life as a hostess is much simpler. I have a nice set of white china that I can use for ever occasion by changing my other decor and napkin colors etc. This also cuts down on price.

2) Dawn who said: My entertaining trick is to have a signature cocktail/mocktail. Always have a fun drink to match your theme, even if it means giving a regular drink a new name and serve in a fun glass. In the past, we've had "Chocolatinis" at Christmas, apple-ginger sparklers garnished with cinnamon stick stirrers in martini glasses, and "Blue Lagoon" (blue punch) in clear tumblers with drink umbrellas.

3) Michelle who said: No party is good without candlelight! Candles make everything look beautiful.

Congrats to all the winners! Please email me at rebecca [at] with your name and mailing address so I can get the books sent out to you!

Thanks again to all who entered!

November 28, 2008

A Orange & Chocolate Rustic Wedding

Today's post features an orange and chocolate rustic wedding perfect for Fall.

- 4-tier chocolate wedding cake iced in ganache and topped with marzipan fruit
- Favor bags of berry and almond trail mix
- Strapless chocolate brown bridesmaid dress by Alfred Angelo
- Fruit decorates the autumnal centerpiece and serves as the place card holder [via Brides]
- Escort cards with fruit designs nicely laid atop a bale of hay
- Fall bridal bouquet mixing hues of orange, yellow, pink and burgundy-red

November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have a marvelous Thanksgiving!

[Image via Matthew Mead]

November 26, 2008

Oh Baby! Lavender & Brown Baby Shower

Niharika emailed in need of inspiration for a co-ed baby shower with a lavender theme. To make the color palette a little more male friendly, I added in the darker hue of chocolate brown.

- Chocolate truffles adorned with miniature lavender blooms are an elegant and color-coordinated dessert. A similar look could be achieved with mini chocolate muffins or brownie bites. [via Martha Stewart]
- White china with a subtle lavender flower and branch design would be lovely for serving dishes or each place setting. [via Michael C. Fina]
- These lavender and brown paper flowers are great as place cards or as table decorations. [via Martha Stewart]
- Striking table centerpieces made with lavender hydrangeas, sweet peas, manzanita branches and golden centre tail feathers. [via the Knot]
- Patterned chocolate cookies in a white favor box wrapped with a lavender ribbon [via Brides]
- DIY lavender booklets can be used as guest books or favors

November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Tabletop Inspiration

With Thanksgiving just 2 days away I thought I would provide last-minute inspiration for those of you undecided on your tabletop decor.

- Golden cornucopia place setting
- Turkey napkin fold centerpiece
- Modern Thanksgiving elements from cb2 (via HWTM)
- Acorns and leaves tablescape
- Gilded turkey centerpiece
- Felt leaf trivets for your buffet table

November 24, 2008

Entertaining Reads: entertaining simple + A Giveaway

Today's post is the next installment in my Entertaining Reads series! The featured book in this edition is entertaining simple by the ultra talented entertaining guru, Matthew Mead. And thanks to the Wiley publishing group, 3 lucky readers will receive a copy of this wonderful new book!

Anyone interested in entertaining should familiarize themselves with Matthew Mead and his massive portfolio of party tips and inspiration. His newest book, entertaining simple, is a great way to do just that! It starts by laying out everything you could need in your entertaining pantry as well as unique ways to organize it all. Next, Matthew Mead showcases a ton of ideas (all with lovely photos) for individual party elements - place cards, napkin rings and general tabletop inspiration. Lastly, entertaining simple provides a bunch of party menus with delicious recipes for several occasions. This a great book, packed with entertaining inspiration fit for the novice host or the expert hostess.

To purchase entertaining simple head over to Amazon. For more information or inspiration from Matthew Mead check out his main site or his page on Facebook (where you can become his Facebook fan).

Now, I mentioned that I get to giveaway 3 copies of this great new book! Entering to win is very simple and each reader has 2 opportunities to win:

1) Head over to the Tastefully Entertaining page on Facebook and post a comment about something that no good party is without.

2) Post a comment on today's post (11/24) about a tip or trick that makes entertaining more simple.

To double your chance of winning leave a comment on both pages. Each reader can enter once on the Tastefully Entertaining page on Facebook and once on the Tastefully Entertaining blog, for a total of 2 entries. Please be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you're a winner. Entries will be accepted up until 7:00 pm Eastern on Friday, November 28th. Winners will be selected by a random drawing and will be announced on Monday, December 1st.

November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Cocktails

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving festivities and determine which dishes to serve, don't neglect your cocktail menu. Fall is a wonderful time for warm beverages and rich autumnal flavors. Here are a few cocktail suggestions for your Thanksgiving gathering:

- Hot Apple Cider with Rum
- Pumpkin Martini (via Hostess with the Mostess)
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Cranberry Bog Cocktail
- Mulled Red Wine Sangria
- Gobble-tini
- Vanilla Milk with Chocolate 'Ice' Cubes (via the French blog, Le Petrin; the recipe is in French but you can get the general idea and/or improvise slightly)
- Cran-Apple Cobbler

November 20, 2008

Holiday Tabletop Inspiration

Today's post shows some lovely holiday tabletop ideas from Pottery Barn. They have a great Holiday Centerpiece feature that includes the images below as well as links to purchase individual items so you can replicate the look.

November 19, 2008

Oh Baby! Red & Pink Valentine Baby Shower

Melanie emailed me searching from some red and pink heart inspiration for a baby shower she's planning around Valentine's Day. The theme really couldn't be more perfect as the couple's last name is actually 'Hart'. So, though no typography is used in the images above, I would definitely take advantage of that fact and use the last name spelling wherever possible in the party elements.

- A scoop of red sorbet looks extremely elegant when placed in a lovely white dish and garnished with a pale pink sweet-pea. [via Brides]
- Homemade stained glass heart card [via Martha Stewart] - using this as your invitation is a great way to uphold the traditional element of hand-making valentines
- Pink floating heart candles could be set on the table on placed atop water in a low rectangular vase

- The Mom-to-be should be stylishly comfortable - this red, soft knit maternity dress from Olian fits the bill
- Seating cards attached to strings adorned with clear, pink beads and pink roses. Not having assigned seating? Use this idea for a photo wall instead. [via Brides]
- Beautiful red and pink floral arrangement for a centerpiece [via]
- Raspberry macaroons are a lovely and delicious dessert. [via Brides]

November 18, 2008

A Blue & Gold Thanksgiving Dinner

For Thanksgiving this year stray from the traditional Fall hues to consider a light blue and golden dinner theme.

- Clever light blue wishbone napkin rings
- Golden pumpkins adorn this tabletop decor made of blue linens, gold and blue dinnerware and a unique white charger [via Martha Stewart]
- Shimmering Calvin Klein dress is perfect for the hostess
- Pillar candles with a golden line design combine with Mercury glass balls
- Glazed crackle platter for elegant turkey presentation

November 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just about 2 weeks away! Here is Food Network's more unique take on the traditional Thanksgiving menu:

- Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus
- Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce
- Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale
- Marinated Butternut Squash
- Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
- Panettone Stuffing

November 13, 2008

Orange & Brown Wedding

Fall weddings need not only include dark shades. Today's post features a contemporary wedding based on bright and light shades of orange paired with the dark fall hue of chocolate brown.

- Wedding party attire in bright orange (picture by uber photography)
- Stuart Weitzman brown peep-toe pumps from Zappos
- Brown, orange and white floral centerpiece also serves as a table number (via Social Design)
- Lovely cupcake display made out of terra cotta pots and trays (via Brides)
- Up close shot of the bridal bouquet (via Social Design)
- Paper lanterns for reception decor (via Social Design)

November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Family Dinner

Hello and happy Wednesday! You may notice that today's post isn't part of the regular Wedding Wednesday series. I have decided that, though Wedding Wednesday has had a wonderful run, it's time for some fresh and new series, special features and theme ideas. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks and months for Holiday gift guides, budget-based entertaining features, the next edition of Entertaining Reads (with a GIVEAWAY!) and much much more. I have loved showcasing wedding themes each week and will certainly continue to provide wedding-based inspiration. So keep coming back to Tastefully Entertaining because I promise some exciting months ahead!

Thanksgiving dinner parties are a time to showcase the rich hues of fall as well as the main symbol of the season - leaves.

- An embroidered leaf table runner and mahogany dinnerware unite on this Thanksgiving tabletop from Crate and Barrel
- Sweet-gum-tree spurs make for a unique and textured place card (via Martha Stewart)
- Tall candlesticks with golden-orange tapers and vine adornments to line the center of your table and cast a warm glow (via Martha Stewart)
- Leaf plates are perfect for serving bite-size appetizers or desserts (via Crate & Barrel)

November 11, 2008

Green & Black Damask Party

This lovely combination of bold hues and the class damask pattern is an elegant theme for many types of parties - bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, dinner parties, engagement parties, holiday gatherings, etc.

- Black and white damask 4-tier cake can be scaled down depending upon the occasion (image via Tres Chic)
- Gorgeous table decor from HWTM- green linens, a black and white damask runner, square black plates, damask menu cards, votives and small floral arrangements
- Green and black initial favor (also via HWTM)
- Black and white damask zipper pouch from Etsy seller louloubell
- Black chandelier from taylor creative inc

November 10, 2008

Crayon 1st Birthday Party

A reader left a comment the other day in desperate need of some inspiration for a crayon/color themed 1st birthday party for her daughter. Here are my suggestions:

To start, I would pick up some card stock and make your own invitations. Be creative with this- maybe trace your child's hand and hand-write the party details. Show the crayon theme as opposed to stating it by using crayon as the only medium on the invitations.

For decor, find a large roll of craft paper and use it as your table cloth. There is nothing more fun (for children and some adults) than doodling on the table with crayons. Use crayons as your centerpiece - try using clear glue and rimming a low clear vase with them. Then fill the vase with the crayons for use on the table. Also, tie up a bundle of crayons (maybe make these a special edition like glitter crayons or special colors) for a favor at each place setting. To help fulfill all these crayon needs select a larger quantity pack such as this 400 piece crayon set from Oriental Trading.

Hang large crayon shapes such as the ones picture above to add to the room's crayon decor. (image via flickr use Kid's Birthday Parties) Can't find these? Make your own- this theme should be all about creativity and artistry!

Dress the birthday girl in this adorable crayon carrying apron.

An excellent idea for special crayons are these 'crayon cakes'. No, they're not edible but they are super fun to use and easy to make at home. Baking tray image, finished crayon cake image and idea all found at Providence Homemade. These will certainly add to your table display too!

Lastly, as far as food think anything with multiple colors. Maybe make a candy buffet based on the primary crayon colors- M&Ms are perfect for this. For dessert, ask your baker if he/she can make a crayon themed cake or use a homemade favorite and top with these crayon candles from Everything But Cake.

November 7, 2008

Guest Post on Hostess with the Mostess!

Head over to HWTM to check out my guest post featuring a lilac
and grey evening bridal shower! Thanks so much Jenn - I'm
thrilled and honored to contribute to your amazing blog!

November 6, 2008

A Hanukkah Dinner Party

I know it may seem a little early for Hanukkah dinner party inspiration but if you're throwing an event in December you better get invitations out now. As in every month, there are only 4 weekends available so your guests' schedules are probably already filling up.

- Stylish menorah Hanukkah invitation from
- Cutely packaged, this batch of
Hanukkah cookies would make a great favor
- Modern menorahs are lovely as part of the dinner party decor
- Tabletop made of navy and silver place mats, navy napkins with star adornments, and shiny navy dinnerware
- Fun and stylish silver dreidel place card holders

November 5, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Luxurious Red & Gold Wedding

Today marks a new wave for Wedding Wednesday. Unfortunately, Kati is no longer blogging for The Finer Things. She will be dearly missed as her boards were always fun, unique and ultra creative. I admire her sense of style and loved seeing what she came up with each week. Though it's sad that I will no longer collaborate on Wedding Wednesday with Kati, she has left us in capable hands. Jess, the new blogger for The Finer Things, is a classy girl with an eye for easy sophistication and an amazing way with words. I am eager to see her take on our weekly invitation choices. This week we selected this elegant red and gold wedding invitation from Accented with a red foil design and an actual Swarovski crystal, this invitation is sure to bring about a feeling of subtle sophistication.
- Place setting featuring golden napkins, fine white china and decorative silver-leafed cocoa pods resting on eucalyptus leaves (sounds weird but looks lovely!)
- View of the entire tabletop with vibrant red roses and trios of tall taper candles
- Fashionable red pointed toe pump with gold stiletto heel by Stuart Weitzman
- Champagne glasses with a unique red topping [via With This Ring]
- Red candles with speck of golden brown can color and glowing light to your decor
- Give a sweet favor such as these beautifully packaged cherries
- Dress your bridesmaids in this beautiful Calvin Klein matte red pleaded gown
- Avoid the traditional cake for dessert and provide a table full of color-coordinated treats such as these chocolate-dipped strawberries on gold picks
- Stunning red and gold ceremony decor by the talented Preston Bailey

That's it for my picks this week. Be sure to head over to The Finer Things and see what Jess put together for her first Wedding Wednesday! Below are two lovely elements she chose for her board - the red rose in the boutonniere looks so rich and luxurious!

November 4, 2008

Oh Baby! Modern Animal 1st Birthday Party

As part of my Oh Baby feature I ask readers to submit baby shower or party themes they need help planning. If you have the general theme idea, I'm happy to put together an inspiration board to help get you started. Today's post is in response to an email from Danielle who wants to plan a 1st birthday based on these modern animal flash cards from MoMa. She mentioned they would be great as tabletop decor but they would also function as unique place cards or even as the invitations if you print the details on card stock and attach to the back. Other fun elements to these them could include animal print balloons and animal-themed cupcakes. These animal nose cups are realistic and provide a bit of whimsical humor- kids in attendance will definitely get a kick out of these! Lastly, give out animal adorned favor bags to serve as a great reminder of the event.

November 4th - Election Day

Today is Election Day. Don't forget to go to your local polling place and cast your vote!

(Look for a regularly scheduled post later this afternoon.)

November 3, 2008

A Christmas Wedding

A Christmas wedding doesn't need to abandon the traditional combination of red and green. Instead spice up your color scheme with deep rich hues of red and vibrant lime green hues. Today's post showcases a modernized Christmas wedding.

- Lime laser cut curtain provides a great and unique way to display your place cards
- Lovely tabletop featuring red linens and stunning lime and red floral centerpieces
- Mini organza tote bags in red and green can hold whatever favor you have in mind
- Place setting made of layered red square plates
- 3 tier white square wedding cake with lime banding and red floral accents
- Bridal bouquet made of gorgeous red and lime green flowers [via Lucky Me]

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday today! I wanted to share some Halloween themed tabletops to inspire you for any ghoulish gatherings you may be hosting this weekend. Enjoy!

- Gothic Glam Tabletop [via HWTM]
- Elegant Green & Orange Table decor [via]
- Orange Pumpkin Table Settings [via]
- Vintage Halloween Tablescape [via Toasts and Tables]

October 30, 2008

A Thanksgiving Wedding

Today's post details a Thanksgiving wedding. Featuring rich autumn hues and the glow of warm light, this event scheme is perfect for any fan of Fall.
- Gorgeous reception tabletop and room decor amidst classic architectural columns [via SocialDesign]
- Unique cake design featuring roses in Fall shades
- Cream strapless satin knee-length bridesmaid dress with a chocolate brown sash
- Wheat and roses combine for an interesting autumnal chair decoration for the ceremony
- Copper and cream invitation with laser-cut leaf designs from
- Stunning bridal bouquet made of roses, leonotis, cosmos and dahlias

October 29, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Yellow & Brown Floral Wedding

Hello and welcome to this edition of Wedding Wednesday! This week, Kati of The Finer Things and I have selected this kate spade chocolate brown and yellow floral invitation from Perfect for a fall affair, this invitation is luxurious, classy and provides an interesting color pairing of bright yellow and dark brown.

- Chocolate brown 3-tier cake with yellow floral adornments
- Bright yellow napkins with a floral design that coordinates with the invitation
- Yellow bridal bouquet tied with yellow ribbon [via artfool]
- I love the brown satin bow on this bouquet as it would look perfect on the all yellow arrangement
- Tall clear cylinder vases filled with water and a variety of yellow flowers make a lovely centerpiece
- Texture-rich tabletop decor in hues of brown, white and yellow [via artfool]
- Triple shot espresso cocktail ties in our event colors nicely

You will love Kati's selections this week! Be sure to head over to The Finer Things to check them out. In the meantime, take a sneak peek at my favorites shown below.

October 28, 2008

Fairy Birthday Party

I received an email from Lenadri who is planning a fairy-themed 1st birthday for her daughter. She asked for some help with party inspiration so today's board shows a magical trip to a fairyland for child's birthday.

- No fairy party is complete without dressing each child (and adult if they're willing) with fairy wings, floral headpieces and puffy tulle skirts [image via]
- Invite guests with a pink invitation that features fairies and a mushroom stool (from
- Fairy wands are a must for party fun and as a favor. These are handmade wands that have flowers at the top as opposed to stars. It takes on more of an enchanted forest theme with flowers growing on the tips of wands. [image via flickr user zooloonaturals]
- Bright and fun tabletop decoration from Social Couture- star and globe-shaped lanterns create a bright and textured look above, while a centerpiece of grass and colorful butterflies decorates the table. (see close ups of the centerpiece and place setting below the main image)
- These adorable cupcakes each portray the details of a fairyland. [via flickr user gracescakes]

I hope this helps Lenadri! I certainly enjoyed putting this together for you! :)

October 27, 2008

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

It's been a while since I've put together a collection of dessert recipes so I thought I'd focus on cakes today! Cakes are often overlooked and seen as only a special occasion dessert but I disagree. Try out one of these delicious recipes for your everyday dinner or get-together.

- Angel Food Swirl Cake
- White Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Filling
- Coconut Cake
- Three-Layer Apple Cake (I think I'll try this over the weekend!)
- Genoise
- Silky Chocolate Cake

October 24, 2008

Modern Mama Baby Shower

Kati of The Finer Things created this fun and vibrant inspiration board for the more modern mom-to-be. She pairs red, black and white for a bold baby shower. Check out her selections below...I just love the invitation, the tabletop and the bag! Visit Kati's post for all the details.

October 23, 2008

My Interview in Stationery Trends!

The Fall 2008 issue of Stationery Trends magazine has just come out. Inside, you'll find an article about brides and blogs in which I was interviewed about Tastefully Entertaining! You'll also see scaled-down inspiration boards from 2 of my previous posts. It was a lot of fun being interviewed and I'm thrilled to be a part in this great new magazine for the stationery industry! Be sure to check out the Stationery Trends web site to preview other articles from their Fall 2008 issue.

Thanks so much Stationery Trends! I'm honored to be included! :)

October 22, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Hunter & Gold Engagement Party

Welcome to another edition of Wedding Wednesday! This week, Kati of The Finer Things and I chose to do an engagement party based on this hunter green and gold invitation from The dark green and glimmering gold make this engagement party perfectly suited for the holidays.

- This pear tied with a golden bow and brown tag is both a favor and a place marker [via Snippet & Ink]
- 5-tier gold cake with ornate green swirling vine patterns [via Rebecca Thuss]
- Centerpiece made of golden roses and lush greenery [via Snippet & Ink]

Be sure to head over to The Finer Things to see Kati's version of the green and gold engagement party. I'm only giving you a sneak peek at one image today because I absolutely LOVE it! This dress is so unique, elegant and stylish. And look at the photo - don't you love the play with light and shadow on the balustrade.

October 21, 2008

An Election Party

I don't know about you but I will be watching the news all evening on November 4th to find out if my candidate has received the majority of votes. If you enjoy politics or are just concerned whether or not your favorite official gets elected, consider throwing an election party. Invite your friends and family for an enjoyable weeknight gathering with plenty of patriotic pride.

- Red, white and blue folded invitation with a customized ballot rsvp card [via]
- Obama and McCain themed cupcakes [via HWTM]
- Red cocktail with red, white and blue patterned umbrellas [via Martha Stewart]
- White pillow box favors can be decorated with this VOTE stamp from Paper Source
- Red and white stripe square plates and blue and white star square plates
- Democrat donkey and Republican elephant cocktail napkins [via Plum Party]
- Patriotic paper bunting (so neat that it's made of paper!) [via Target]

Please encourage everyone you know to get out and vote this November 4th. We have no greater civic duty than casting our vote in public elections. Never forget the men and women who fought so we have this unalienable right. We are privileged to take part in the democratic process.

5 Winners of Katie Brown Celebrates!

Thanks so much to all those who entered to win 1 of 5 copies of a great new entertaining book, Katie Brown Celebrates! It was a ton of fun reading about the best parties you've been to and the ones you can't wait to plan! Now, without further ado, here are the 5 lucky readers who have won:

1) beth who said: SO excited for the new book, looks lovely! Besides my own wedding :), the best wedding i have ever attended was definitely my brother's ... it was a small, intimate affair at a vineyard in Napa, the event was so filled with details that really remind me of who my brother and now sister-in-law are and what they love and it made all the guests feel included in their lives! from modern touches, to great wine and monograms everyone - you really got a sense of who they are. such good memories!

2) katie r who said: how super generous of you! The book looks wonderful. I am going to sound conceited and say the best wedding I ever attended was mine. It came off perfectly and was a perfect blend of traditional and SUPER FUN and was all totally us! It was also a ton of work and we did a lot ourselves, So I was pretty proud of how it turned out, on top of it being my happiest day ever!

3) Miranda Santiago who said: I would love to do a winter wonderland dinner party with tons of white christmas lights, large white feather centerpieces, DIY crystal beaded napkin rings, and peppermintinis garnished with mini candy canes. It's in the works... :)

4) rissa and jared who said: My favorite parties are the ones my mom has at her house with just some neighbors or friends. She always has great food and presentation. Plus, she is hilarious and can keep a party going all night!

5) Stacie Helm who said: I would love to host a fabulous baby or wedding shower. I have hosted a lot of events but have never hosted either of those. There are so many fun ideas I am dying to try!

Congrats to all the winners! Please email me at rebecca [at] with your name and mailing address so I can get the books sent out to you. :)

If you didn't win, definitely consider heading to Amazon and ordering a copy for yourself. This book is a great entertaining resource and is packed with tons of creative and easy ideas to make your gatherings extra special!

October 20, 2008

Halloween Menu Tricks and Treats

For those of you planning a Halloween dinner party here are a few ideas to add some trick to your menu of treats!

- Deviled Chicken Lollipops
- Vegetarian Tamales
- Vampire Blood Tomato Soup and Monster-shaped Muenster Sandwiches
- Ghostly Pumpkin Pudding
- Cinnamon-spiced Fritter Webs
- Caramel Pear Mice
- Chedder and Hard Cider Fondue
- Spiced Caramel Roulade

- Screaming Spice Cookies
- Hermit Cookies
- Ghoul Cupcakes
- Pecan-Caramel Spiders
- Pumpkin Caramels


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