March 31, 2008

Blue Scroll Engagement Party

Today's post features an elegant blue scroll engagement party. This theme could easily be translated into a bridal shower, a reception, a rehearsal dinner or even a formal dinner party as well.

The invitation, a beautiful blue scroll letterpress card by Dauphine Press, begins the theme. I just discovered this letterpress company and am very impressed with their designs and the customizable options they provide.

Create your table decor by combining a light blue table cloth, a silver swirl overlay, blue cloth napkins, simple white tulips and floral-edged votives. Add some stunning Vera Wang Imperial Scroll Dishes to complete the look. Serve your favorite blue concoction in these silver filigree martini glasses.

This cupcake tree will build anticipation for your dessert- scrumptious blue frosted cupcakes. Lastly, select a blue scroll wrapped favor to send home with your guests. The cupcake tree and favor images are both by the amazing Rebecca Thuss. Check out her portfolio for a brilliant collection of event ideas.

March 28, 2008

Bold Brown Floral Wedding

I created today's post over this past weekend because I got so inspired by this lovely brown floral letterpress invitation by Smudge Ink. I instantly set out to create a wedding around this invitation though I had no idea how perfectly coordinated this event would become. My first find was this brown and white floral square ceramic plate from west elm. Shown atop a simple square white charger, this plate would really pop on your reception tables.

Next, I started looking for a cake. If you've read any of my other wedding posts you know I love finding the ideal cake for each theme and this post is no different. The floral pattern on this wedding cake reminds me of the nature silhouettes I've seen all over apparel and home items lately (especially on etsy).

While browsing for dresses I came across this gorgeous gown worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina. [photo from The Glam Guide] For the bride who's willing to add a little color and drama to her wedding wardrobe I present this as an amazing option. Though it may be a little pricey considering you would need to find someone to make the dress for you, the overall look would just be stunning.

Lastly, for your favor, send guests home with this brown and white floral pattern round tin. They'll be sure to remember your beautiful brown and white floral themed wedding forever.

March 27, 2008

Take-out Potluck Dinner

Today's post presents an interesting idea for a party - a take-out potluck dinner! Why not put a new twist on the traditional potluck dinner by assigning each guest a different kind of take-out food to bring.

Send invitations similar to the customized take-out menu below. This is a really basic example but you could seriously go all out with this- you could even create your own restaurant logo! If your guests live nearby drop off the menus/invitations by stapling a rubber band to the top corner and placing it on their doorknob. If you need to mail them instead, print out labels to attach to the back and send like a postcard.As for your decor try to find things that you associate with food service and take-out. To start select a tv dinner tray such as this stylish one made of bone china. These multi-colored utensils have a fancy design, similar to your best silverware, but they're made of plastic! What a neat look and you will certainly use them again.

The main focus of this party is the food so arrange it (in the authentic containers of course) in the center of your table and allow guests to serve themselves. For dessert purchase or make dipped fortune cookies. Send a few extra fortune cookies and/or some leftovers home with your guests in these Chinese take-out boxes. If you chose to make a logo, here is another chance for personalization - design and print out round favor labels to apply to the take-out boxes. Place the boxes in a classic white plastic bag printed with 'thank you' in red.
There are a ton of variations to this party theme. For inspiration head to your local paper and party supply store to see what you could use for your event. My local store has several isles devoted to food service supplies and I always enjoy browsing to see what I could use in a new way.

(Thanks to Kati for helping me brainstorm about how to implement my take-out potluck idea.)

March 26, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Dramatic Purple Wedding

It's time for the next edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I take one invitation and give 2 different event interpretations. Today's post focuses on this purple knotted ribbon wedding invitation from
My favorite part of today's post is this beautiful purple vintage-inspired bridesmaid dress. Pair the dress with this purple Gucci clutch for a truly stunning look.

I selected this floral bouquet that features a multitude of purple shades. This simple but pretty wedding cake is addorned with purple flowers and fondant polka dots. I really like cakes that have a understated background (the fondant dots) combined with one element that pops (the purple flowers).

Serve a signature cocktail such as the violet dazzle- a mixture of champagne, grape juice and some blueberries.

Send your guests home with a deep purple favor box tied with a matching ribbon.

Make sure to check out Kati's edition of Wedding Wednesday over at The Finer Things. Here's a little taste of a few of her great ideas...

March 24, 2008

Bee Baby Shower

Today's post centers around a Bee Baby Shower! I started by selecting this sweet invitation by simplyput (from I love the cute simplicity of the card paired with the polka dot liner.

Set your table with a white tablecloth paired with a runner in a pattern such as this yellow 'Bee de Lys' fabric. I chose this fabric because it presents a beautiful combination of a sophisticated bee image and the classic fleur de lis. Place clear serving dishes with molded bee images atop the runner. Serve your food selections on these yellow and white bee dishes to complete a perfectly coordinated table.

Try making and decorating cupcakes similar to these bee cupcakes. Create the hive with yellow buttercream frosting and place bees made of chocolate covered raisins and sliced almonds on top. Send your guest home with a few of these bee-adorned petits fours.

March 21, 2008

Cherry Blossom Wedding

Cherry blossoms are all the rage so I feel happily obligated to create a wedding theme based upon them!

My first selection is a cherry blossom guest book arrangement. Your guests would write messages on the slips of paper and place them on the branches. This same idea could be used for place cards as well. Either way this is a really neat look!

This cherry blossom-adorned favor box would look cute on your reception tables. Speaking of tables, make them truly stunning with this simple but beautiful centerpiece idea - cherry blossoms under water in 3 clear containers of varying heights. Incorporate these cherry blossom glasses for another touch of the floral theme [via Weddingbee].

I found this awesome cherry blossom cake and just love the funky size of the bottom layer. What a neat twist on the traditional cake shape.

Lastly, I am such a fan of this letterpress cherry blossom invitation set. Letterpress stationery is so elegant and stylish!

March 20, 2008

Delectable Desserts

I'm in charge of bringing dessert to my family's Easter celebration on Sunday so I've pulled together a few ideas and thought I'd share them with you. I'm currently leaning towards the Truffle Tarts but they all look so good!

Here are the recipes...Enjoy!

- Truffle Tarts with Raspberries
- Mango Strawberry Snow Cones
- Spring Celebration Carrot Cake
- Almond Blueberry Cookies
- Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pops
- Really Vanilly Whipped Cream

March 19, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Romantic Peach Rehearsal Dinner

Here's the next edition of Wedding Wednesday! Kati, of The Finer Things, and I each created event interpretations for a rehearsal dinner based on the this romantic peach invitation from

I started this event theme with this beautiful centerpiece idea from Martha Stewart. The peach-colored tapers tie in nicely to the invitation. I love the clear random-shaped candle holders in the varying heights. It creates such an sophisticated and interesting look while being rather inexpensive to pull off.

I selected this clear wine glass with a scrolling vine and floral pattern because the look is elegant and romantic. Bone china votives are a lovely addition to your table decor or would look good on your buffet or serving area to tie in the theme.

These silver-plated napkin rings/place card holders are a great find for this event and will also work for many future ones. They are universal and take on the romantic feel of this theme due to the scroll designs. Each of the 6 is a little different which definitely adds character.

Lastly, send your guests home with a flower-adorned favor box filled with chocolate truffles. The elegant peach flower will leave a lasting memory of a wonderful occasion and a beautifully designed event.

Make sure to check out Kati's Wedding Wednesday post too! She has a bunch of amazing ideas (as always!) Here's a little taste...

March 18, 2008

Classic Nautical Shower

This nautical shower theme is for the classy mom-to-be! I started today with this adorable die-cut sailboat invitation from I love the interesting sailboat shape and the sophisticated look when combined with ribbon and a card for your text.

I found these great nautical-inspired linens via Toasts and Tables. They're stylish and simplistically say 'maritime' without going overboard. Try creating centerpieces using these metal lanterns and pots filled with candles or flowers. This would be an easy DIY project.

Now I know not everyone will order a large cake from a bakery such as this lighthouse cake but some elements could be recreated by the home baker. Try making a 1-layer round cake with white icing. Pipe blue lines on the sides and add a nautical-themed topper such as a lighthouse, anchor or sailboat.

Lastly, I included this nautical compass stamp. This could be used for favor tags or on little favor boxes. It could be used to decorate shower game playing sheets or as a stamp on the back of your invitation envelopes. The opportunities for it's use are truly endless.

March 17, 2008

Easter Dinner

Today's post features ideas for both the meal and decor for your Easter dinner. My menu suggestion is as follows:
- Tangerine-Glazed Easter Ham with Baby Carrots
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Green Bean Salad with Red Onion and Tomato
- Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

For table decor try making some eggshell votives to use as a centerpiece. The eggs can be decorated in any color combo or in any style to fit your decor. Set your table with these pounded-grass place mats. Match the place mats to grass candles. Lastly, select simple yet stylish dinnerware such as this square scandia white set.

March 14, 2008

Host & Hostess Gift Ideas

Coming up with a unique and appropriate host or hostess gift can be a challenge. Today I've put together a board featuring several great ideas perfect for sending your thanks.

- Record Coasters - interesting and useful for the music lover
- Tasting Olive Oils - a delight for the gourmet chef or everyday foodie
- Schokinag Drinking Chocolates - delicious treat once reserved only for royalty but highly deserved by your host
- Table Topics Games - help fuel the conversation at the party with these compelling topic suggestions
- Spa Getaway Basket - treat your hostess to some relaxation after a busy evening
- Personalized Embosser from add some customized flair to your host's life - this embosser could be used for almost anything (book pages, recipe cards, envelopes, stationery, gift tags, favors and more)
- Kitchen Timers - your host or hostess will want to spend time in the kitchen with this contemporary and cute timer
- Cubist Appetizer Serving Set - Modern design meets classic function in this great gift for the entertainer

March 13, 2008

Luck of the Irish Dinner

Try out the following menu idea for a St. Patrick's Day last minute/simple dinner party:

- Shamrock Green Peppers - a great appetizer when served with dip; also good for making this nutritious snack fun for kids
- Corned Beef and Carrots with a Marmalade-Whiskey Glaze - a quick and easy meal with Irish flair
- Leprechaun's Irish Coffee - a delicious Irish inspired coffee drink, good for St. Patrick's Day and all year round
- Chocolate Guinness Cake with Ganache and Cherries - a scrumptious dessert made with love from Irish favorite, Guinness

Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day weekend!

March 12, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Green Florals

It's time for another edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I take one invitation and give 2 different event interpretations! Today's post focuses around this kate spade green floral invitation from

So, per usual for my Wedding Wednesday posts, let's start with the cake! After browsing through tons and tons of green and white cakes I chose this elegant white cake with intricate white flowers and petals. I just love the simplistic elegance of the all white look and the detail on this cake makes it so stunning.

Next I selected this green and white bouquet made up of green hydrangeas, cream roses, chinaberry blooms and artichokes. This place card table decor ties in the color scheme perfectly. Pair the beautiful green and white floral arrangement with the simplistic wheatgrass place card display for a great look.

For the tables, try using these hydrangea centerpieces/table number displays. They're a nice tie-in to the flowers in the bridal bouquet.

Lastly, send your guests home with a 'Please pick a flower' favor. This is a great DIY idea using fabric flowers attached to little white boxes.

Make sure to check out Kati's edition of Wedding Wednesday over at The Finer Things. Here's a little taste of her great interpretation...She has a lot of wonderful ideas!

March 11, 2008

Yellow & Black Dinner Party

I was inspired today by this beautiful black and yellow tablesetting from (I absolutely love the transparent black chairs!) I decided to construct a similar look using different elements. I began with this amazing Raynaud Ombrages dinnerware that features abstract leaves in hues of yellow, black and gold. As a centerpiece use a simplistic arrangement of canary oncidium orchids which resemble the leaf patterns on the china. For glassware, chose dramatic black cocktail glasses. Pretty much any cocktail you serve will instantly look more classy and appealing!

I came across these retro train seat place card holders and just had to use them in this mood board. I think they're very neat and are so unexpected.

Lastly, send guests home with a bottle of dessert? Well, at least a treat for use during their next meal. Try this cupcake chardonnay, described as 'decadent layers of butter, cream, bright citrus and vanilla that melt into a balance of oak and subtle spice." Sounds unique and your guests will definitely be anxious to give it a try!

March 10, 2008

Easter Egg Decorating Party

As Easter is right around the corner, I had to put together a board for an egg decorating party. This Easter activity isn't limited to just the 12 and under crowd anymore thanks to Martha Stewart. She has given us a ton of sophisticated dying techniques to try out this year.

Invite your guests with handmade Easter cards. These cards remind me of the egg-shaped gift tags my parents would use to identify whose Easter basket is whose.

Decorate your home with this Easter egg tree. You could decorate eggs ahead to place on the branches or leave it empty and ask your guests to donate one of their creations to the tree.

Bring the Easter pastels into your menu with cupcakes iced with pastel frosting and banana-berry smoothies.

Now for the egg decorating suggestions! As I said, Martha Stewart provides many creative egg decorating tips. I've shown my two favorites above: Dripped-on Eggs and Marbleized Eggs.

March 7, 2008

Real Meal - Steak & Au Gratin Potatoes

Today's Real Meal post features steak with a garlic-chile oil alongside au gratin potatoes. My husband and I recently acquired a secret restaurant recipe cookbook and have been working our way through the recipes from our favorite restaurants. Our lastest selection was the au gratin potatoes recipe from Ruth's Chris Steak House. The Garlic-Chile Oil recipe is from Bobby Flay. Bon Appetit!

(The au gratin potatoes tasted really great, despite the fact that they don't make for a good presentation.)

March 6, 2008

Poker Night

Ante up for a poker party or tournament! Invite your players with this simplistic but stylish card suit-themed invitation from Keep snacks constantly nearby with these card suit-shaped dishes. Serve drinks from this glass card shark pitcher. As an added bonus it comes with a matching dice stirrer for use at your next game night. Have players set their drinks on these card suit coasters to keep your table clean and/or protect your felt. Lastly, serve up some appetizers on these black melamine dinner plates. The white-rimmed edge mimics the curved edge of playing cards.

March 5, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Black & Pink Bridal Shower

This edition of Wedding Wednesday is for a bridal shower based on this cute black and pink invitation from The pairing of black and pink is the multi-tasker of the event decor world. It works well for showers (baby and bridal), weddings, birthday parties, etc, etc. It's classic yet fun and the opportunities for items matching your theme are endless.

My first finds for today's post are these customized fondant-covered cupcakes from The site incorporates them as part of a reception but using them for a smaller gathering would work just as well and be much more cost-conscious. Try serving your cupcakes and other treats on this Pretty in Pink dinnerware.

To decorate your table, include a bouquet of pink and black anemones such as this one shown on the blog Faye and Greer. I just love the juxtaposition of the delicate soft pink petals and the dominant dark black centers.

To carry the theme to every available element, encourage the bride-to-be to wear a cute black dress such as this one by Diane vonFurstenberg. I absolutely adore every detail of this dress! You can also encourage bridal party members and other guests to dress in pink and black as well. Make sure to take a photo of everybody all together!

Send your guests home with a lasting memory of the party - this personalized CD favor from Checkerboard. The pink cover features a black floral design and allows for your customized text. The personalization doesn't stop there- include tracks played during the party (your song list would have to be predetermined) or songs special to the bride on the actual CD.

Below is a little taste of Kati's awesome version of Wedding Wednesday. Make sure to check out the rest of her ideas on her blog, The Finer Things. I just love how we start with the same invitation and come up with completely different ideas! Let us know what you think!

March 4, 2008

Teal and Brown Sip and See

Today's post will inspire you to throw a sip and see for the new baby in your life. This theme would also work well for a baby shower. Start with this cute teal and brown bird invitation by simplyput (from Have your guests write a little note for your newborn in this teal 3-ring album from Paper Source. Include the baby's photo on the front cover and it will serve as a great keepsake from the event.

This teal and brown paisley dinnerware set is the perfect addition to your decor, especially when used for these adorable cupcakes with teal and white frosting [via Crumbs and Doilies Cupcake Blog]. Lastly, send your guests home with a teal and white striped favor box filled with your favorite candy or treat.

March 3, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Brunch

Today's post is for those of you looking for a different way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. How about inviting friends and family over for a Irish brunch? Here are 4 great recipes sure to bring luck at your next Irish event: O'Larry's Potato Skillet, Irish Soda Bread, Blarney Breakfast Bake and Irish Creme Cafe.

The three food recipes are from Taste of Home. The Irish Creme Cafe recipe is from Cocktail Times. Another drink option is to simply add some Bailey's to your regular cup of coffee. Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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