April 30, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - A Delicate Light Blue Wedding

Here is the next edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I take one invitation and create two different event themes. Today we're featuring this light blue invitation from FineStationery.com inspired by eyelet lace. The card is white but it is accented by a light colored ribbon and a matching blue envelope. This event theme would be lovely for spring and summer weddings with the azure blue or periwinkle but could also be translated into a winter wedding by opting for slate blue details.

My favorite part of today's post is the top left image featuring the most beautiful wedding dress. I love the dramatic light blue bow and vintage brooch paired with the lace top. So gorgeous! The bouquet in that picture would be lovely for your spring or summer wedding. This other bouquet (bottom right) features the slate blue accents I was describing above that would be appropriate for a winter wedding.

Let's not forget the groom- Choose a simple boutonnière featuring white and light blue flowers. Carry the light blue into the groomsmen attire and the bridesmaid dresses.

At the reception, opt for a light blue tablecloth and a mixed color place setting. I love how this setting pairs square and round plates/chargers for a very dynamic look. Select a favor that features your signature blue or maybe opt for a candy buffet as there are a lot of blue candies. Serve a signature drink such as this white Two Doves cocktail alongside your light blue and white flower wedding cake.

Lastly, I pictured an accessory item to the eyelet invitation. It is shown as a matching response card but could easily be printed with just the bride and grooms' names and used as thank you notes.

Make sure to check out The Finer Things to see Kati's pretty event theme based on the same invitation. She definitely wins the perfect cake award this week! Here are a few of my favorite parts...

April 29, 2008

Teal & Peach Wedding

I was inspired today by this unique teal and peach table decor. This color scheme is fresh and lovely for spring and summer events. You could also use deeper shades of teal and orange to make this combination work for fall.

April 25, 2008

Red & Purple Wedding

Unfortunately I ran out of time this morning so the written portion of today's post will be very quick and to the point. Please check out the following links for more details about each of the images shown above.

- Place cards pinned to red roses floating in water
- Pomegranate Autumntini
- Red Vera Wang invitation with red and purple striped liner from FineStationery.com
- Small red and purple floral centerpiece
- JS Boutique red beaded waist bridesmaid dress
- Red favor box
- Multi-tier cake with purple bands and red floral accents
- Red and purple bridal bouquet

Sorry for the lack of ideas and description today! Hope you enjoy the images and perusing through the links!

April 24, 2008

Pretty in Pink for Mother's Day

Today's post is a pretty in pink party for Mother's Day! My inspiration for the pink theme was this beautiful pink and orange floral table decor. The tweed-wrapped vases are a DIY project from Martha Stewart. (iWrap fabric around inexpensive glass containers.) Place an assortment of pink hued carnations, dahlias, tulips and spiky gerbera daisies into the vases for a lovely spring look. Set your floral arrangements atop a blush pink tablecloth accented with white plates and white napkins. Set a floral-adorned favor on top of each folded napkin.

On a table off to the side set out an arrangement of place cards. For more intimate family gatherings I would allow guests to select their own seats. Just make sure to sit the guest of honor, your mom, at the head of the table. On the other end of your place card table, display your dessert, a sweet pink 2-layer cake decorated with gum-paste rose petals.

Serve a pink cocktail or whatever drink is Mom's favorite. This pink cocktail entitled the Long-Stemmed Rose is just rose flavored vodka garnished with a rose petal.

Lastly, though this is the probably one of first things you would do, is choose from FineStationery.com. Also, as an added bonus they include pink colored envelopes which are bright and cheery to receive in the mail.

April 23, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Colorful Dots Engagement Party

Welcome to the next edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I take one invitation and create two different event themes. Today we're creating an engagement party around this Vera Wang invitation with pink dots liner from FineStationery.com. A neat thing about this invitation is that it features a 'motif' or a little graphic that is interchangeable. I chose toasting glasses for an engagement party but you could chose an umbrella image for a baby shower, a slice of cake for a birthday party or just a pretty flower or a palm tree for any occasion(there are tons of options.) For today's post I decided to pick up the design of the envelope liner and focus my theme around multi-colored dots.
I love paper lanterns and tend to use them frequently in my event decor suggestions. They're relatively inexpensive and easy to find in any color or pattern you may need. Try using pink, yellow, green and cream paper lanterns placed evenly across your ceiling to perfectly represent the multi-color dot theme. [image via Rebecca Thuss]

For your table, select some polka dot plates to accent your main dinnerware. These polka dot dinner plates would be great chargers to a small matching solid color salad plate. Above each place setting put one of these personalized dot cluster mint tins. Use tins featuring different colors that fit your theme and be sure to alternate from place setting to place setting.

Serve a champagne drink that plays up the dots theme such as this lava lamp cocktail. The sweetened dried cranberries actually float up and down in your glass! And lastly, celebrate your engagement with an elaborate dot themed cake. The dots are actually just frosted sugar cookies!

Make sure to check out The Finer Things to see Kati's engagement party theme featuring the same invitation! Below is a little taste to whet your appetite!

April 22, 2008

Cinco de Mayo Dinner

[Margarita invitation from FineStationery.com]

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by staying in and hosting a dinner for friends and family. Here are some great recipes for your menu!

- Sake Margarita
- Pink Margarita
- Frozen Margarita

- Chorizo, Bean & Cheese Nachos

- Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde
- Chicken Enchiladas

- Mojito Cupcakes
- Kahlua Flan

April 19, 2008

Cupcake Extravaganza! (Part II)

Welcome to Part II of my Cupcake Extravaganza! I hope you enjoyed Part I and are ready for more cupcake fun! And now, without further ado, cupcake presentation...

Food presentation can be as simple or complex as you want. I try to always remember the fact that people eat with their eyes first so presentation really does matter! One of the first things I bookmarked for this post were these laser cut cupcake wrappers. ShopBakersNook offers 16 different varieties including baby, graduation, wedding, floral and many generic pretty designs. This week, I noticed that Hostess with the Mostess also featured cupcake wrappers on her post, Gorgeous Cupcake Wrappers.

Who can resist a cupcake on a cupcake plate? Here are two adorable options: Shaped Cupcake Set and Hand-drawn Scalloped Edge Cupcake Plate Set.

Giving your cupcakes as favors? Try these perfectly sized boxes by Sprinkles Cupcakes. Easily take your cupcake for lunch with these Cup-a-cakes from Williams-Sonoma.

Serve cupcakes at your next party with a lovely cupcake stand. This simple, white 4 tier stand will work for any event theme. Or try making your own to acheive the exact look you want. This cute pink polka dot cupcake stand was handmade by Louise at CakeJournal. She even includes a supply list and full instructions (with pictures!) If you're looking for a more horizontal presentation, use this bright blue cupcake tray. I love how it has little cutouts for each cupcake.

My last tip for food presentation is about cupcake flags. There are literally tons of decorated flag options. To personalize your cupcake try these baby shower flags from Notepolish.

Who says all cupcakes have to be edible? If you love cupcakes, accessorize your life with these cupcake-themed items:

- Cupcake notecards from FineStationery.com
- Pink bordered cupcake note pad from FineStationery.com (you can never have enough note pads, especially if they're this sweet!)
- Lime green cupcake gift tags from FineStationery.com (with the adhesive back these could also be used as party favor labels)
- Cupcake pincushions
- White cupcake apron
- Cupcake bowls (the icing is the lid- how cute!)
- Pink vintage-styled cupcake apron
- Cupcake spatulas
- Cupcake timer (unfortunately this is sold out, but they have many other food-shaped timers)
- Pink cupcake themed rain boots (currently out of stock -they're that popular)
- Cupcake coin purse (only $1.98!)

I hope you've enjoyed reading Cupcake Extravaganza as much as I have enjoyed creating it! I encourage you to go and bake some cupcakes or better yet gather some friends for a cupcake party. Send invitations asking your guests to bring one dozen of their favorite cupcakes undecorated and any decorating tools they own. As the host, you will supply the frostings and adornments. You each will have 12 trial runs to learn new decorating techniques. Share tips and tricks with each other and above all enjoy some good times with your friends. Oh, and don't forget to take pictures of all your creations! If you host a cupcake party, send me pictures of your groups' cupcakes and they may be featured in a future post!

April 18, 2008

Cupcake Extravaganza! (Part I)

Today's post begins a special feature on Tastefully Entertaining entitled Cupcake Extravaganza! You'll see the first part of this cupcake celebration below and the second part tomorrow (that's right- on a Saturday!) And now...on to the cupcakes!We'll start with the beginning of a cupcake- inspiration. There are so many resources available with recipes and design ideas for cupcakes. I've gathered a few of my favorites:

Every baker needs to have a good set of supplies to make and decorate cupcakes (and any desserts). To start, acquire a full set of mixing bowls. I'm a fan of these multi-color melamine mixing bowls by Martha Stewart- they're fun, durable and useful for all your cooking/baking needs. Next, select your baking essentials. The baking set shown above includes a 12 cup cupcake tray, a 24 cup mini cupcake tray, a cooling rack and 12 silicone baking cups (can stand alone or be used in the pan.)

There are tons of baking cup options in many different styles and shapes. I've shown pink stripes baking cups and springtime floral baking cups (with matching toppers) above. For both simple and sophisticated designs, cupcake aficionados should have a decorating set. The 52-piece set pictured above is by Martha Stewart and is a great combination of a little of everything. You can learn to use many different tips and colorings all from one kit. Plus it comes with instructions!

A quick and easy decorating option is stenciling. This collection of spring shape stencils is very sweet but don't feel limited to specific cupcake stencils. Really, any craft store stencil could be used as long as it's small enough to fit the top of a cupcake.

Lastly, for those who want to bake one cupcake on a larger scale, try the giant cupcake pan. Put your batter in both parts of the pan and join together with a thin layer of icing.

I hope you enjoyed part one of Cupcake Extravaganza! I have to say that part 2 is my favorite half so be sure to stop by on Saturday to see the grand finale to this delicious feature.

April 17, 2008

May Day Celebration

May Day originated in Europe as a holiday to celebrate the end of the cold winter and the beginning of the fruitful spring. Today it is celebrated all over the world in a variety of interpretations. Many May Day parties include decorating the maypole, basket making and giving, singing, dancing, games and pretty spring dresses.

My post was inspired initially by this May Day cake and cupcake display. Martha Stewart provides both the recipe and instructions on how to create this adorable look. After finding dessert first, I had to go back and start from the beginning. This multi-color floral letterpress invitation from Elum Designs has the perfect design for a cheerful party celebrating spring.

Though not traditional, how about presenting each guest with a floral corsage handmade from various fabrics, buttons and beads. Make them yourself or purchase from etsy seller, Sew Recycled! These bright and fun corsages will look lovely paired with your guests' spring fashions.

Set your table with a light colored tablecloth and various hues of spring flowers in wood vases. DIY project instructions for how to make these wood veneer vases are available at MarthaStewart.com.

For more information about May Day and how it's celebrated throughout the world, check out this Wikipedia page.

April 16, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Elegant Gold Affair

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 theme revolves around this elegant gold invitation by William Arthur (from FineStationery.com).
Let's start with the dress, probably one of the best parts of wedding planning! This gold silk dupioni gown by Justin Alexander perfectly portrays the classic style introduced by the invitation. Coordinate the bridal bouquet by adding a satin gold ribbon. For the groom, try this handsome gold tie with the traditional black tux.

At the reception, decorate your table with a striking gold tablecloth and and gold candle centerpiece. Select this lovely Vera Wang place setting and top with a gold ribbon adorned favor.

Mini sylk cream liquor shakes presented atop a cream and gold tray make for a tasty and attractive cocktail. For your cake festivities, choose a delicate look such as this textured cake made with white chocolate shavings. Serve individual slices with some extra white chocolate sprinkled on top.

Kati's Wedding Wednesday post is lovely - she found the perfect cake! Make sure to check out her event interpretation at The Finer Things. Here's a little sneak preview...

April 15, 2008

Birthday Dinner in Black

Today I'm starting a new feature on Tastefully Entertaining entitled 'Birthday Dinner'. Each month I will do an birthday theme specifically for that month and each edition with focus on a particular color. For instance, this month's birthday dinner showcases the stunning color black. Though not necessary a Spring color, black will always be popular and transcend from season to season. Personally, black is one of my favorite colors. Even my wedding colors were black and white! Ok, enough about my love for black, on to the event theme!

We'll start today with the invitation. This beautiful black and white invitation ensemble from Nicole Scott Weddings is one of my absolute favorites! I've admired this invitation ever since my wedding planning days as I loved the unexpected black card with white text.

Set your table with these beautiful floral DIY centerpieces. Place black river rocks at the bottom of a clear square vase. Add some water and set in a bouquet of white carnations. Tie a white grosgrain ribbon with black stitching around the vase right where the river rocks end. Center your creation on your table atop a black and white patterned tablecloth. Mix up with some black taper candles or a black candelabra.

Use these black and white memo cubes for holding placecards. You could use the traditional white card with name or print out a black and white picture of each of your guests for a really personalized touch. Set a black and white hued favor on each place setting.

Serve cute little desserts in white paper cups set on a black platter. [image via Rebecca Thuss] Shake up a ginger martini or come up with a custom black and white cocktail with your favorite ingredients. Cheers and happy birthday to those celebrating in April!

April 14, 2008

A Striking Purple & Orange Wedding

This bold floral paper lantern inspired today's post - a purple and orange wedding theme appropriate for spring and fall weddings. Lanterns are so versatile in event design. Instead of hanging it, set it on a buffet table or your gift table to add a blast of color and style.

Carry a striking bouquet made of orange, purple and cream cymbidiums, lilies, hydranges and roses. Accessorize your table with place settings of purple accented menu cards and orange ribbon. Add some drama with hanging flower balls in vibrant hues of burnt orange, deep purple and soft cream. [images via Agape Events]

These cake slices look so delicious! The top left slice features 3 flavors of buttercream-- vanilla, light coffee and dark coffee -- in between layers of devil's food cake. The colors also somewhat fit into the design scheme. Not your ideal cake flavoring? Instead, try the blackberry buttermilk cake (bottom left) or the white chocolate pistachio cake (top right).

Give your guests a gift of good fortune with these purple favor boxes filled with traditional and purple fortune cookies [image via Rebecca Thuss]. Consider customizing the messages inside for an added personal touch.

I discovered this purple and orange dress after I had finalized my inspiration board but I wanted to include it as well for those of you looking for bridesmaid attire to fit this theme.

April 11, 2008

Cupcake Craze!

Cupcakes seem to be taking the world by storm. They are easy to bake and the options for decorating and flavoring are endless. Today's post features some of my favorites from around the web. This also serves as a hint about a special party theme I'm working on for next week. If you like cupcakes (and really, who doesn't) be sure to stop back and check it out!

- Baby Shower Animal Cupcakes
- Two Color Buttercream Frosted Cupcakes
- Swirly Cupcakes
- Polenta Cupcakes with Mascarpone and Mixed Berries
- S'mores Cupcakes
- Diva Pink Velvet Cupcakes
- Black and White Cupcakes
- Carrot Cupcakes

April 10, 2008

Pink & Green Shower (Baby or Bridal)

This post began as a pink and green baby shower but I realized it would work well for a bridal shower as well so let's just call it a pink and green shower. I'll start today with this green and hot pink invitation by William Arthur (from FineStationery.com). I love invitations that feature ribbon. It's such a simple added detail that can take a plain card and turn it into an elegant invitation.

The green and hot pink color combination is very fun and is easily translated into every element of your event. Start with your table decor by layering a green runner and pink napkins on top of a subtle white striped tablecloth. Center a bright bouquet of pink flowers in a clear vase in the center of your table [flower image via flickr user mairose]. Place a fresh green pear at the top of each place setting to serve as both a favor and a place card. Carry the decor above your table by placing solitary pink roses into small clear round vases and hanging them from the ceiling by hot pink ribbon [image via Brides].

Serve food in coordinating pink and green containers like those eloquently photographed by Rebecca Thuss. Pink Rhubarb Punch will refresh your guests and fit the color scheme nicely. Add some limes or mint to tie in the green. Lastly, end on a sweet note with a piece of this cake decorated with green textured frosting and pink flower adornments.

April 9, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Yellow Bridal Shower

Welcome to another edition of Wedding Wednesday, where Kati of The Finer Things and I select one invitation and create two different event interpretations. Today we're featuring this beautiful yellow floral letterpress invitation from FineStationery.com for a bridal shower.

Let's start today with the table decor! This elegant yellow candle and flower centerpiece would look lovely atop a white table cloth. The bouquet of yellow calla lilies is held together by a band of Swarovski crystals and placed inside a unique clear glass vase.

Champagne looks extra classy with a great tip from Martha: Soak sugar cubes in fruit concentrate or puree (she suggests cranberry, pomegranate or apricot) until they're completely saturated. Let dry overnight on a wire rack. Serve one at the bottom of your champagne glasses for a touch of color and flavor.

For dessert, serve some impressive yellow and orange floral cupcakes. [image via flickr user { karen} ] For a final sweet touch send guests home with a clever assortment of truffles. Every time a truffle is eaten a word is revealed on the bottom of the favor box. What a neat idea!

Lastly, for the bride who wants to stylishly fit into the yellow theme, try this fun dress by Shoshanna.

Make sure to check out Kati's Wedding Wednesday edition too. Here's a little sneak peek of two of her lovely selections...enjoy!

April 7, 2008

A Vibrant Red & Aqua Wedding

This wedding theme is vibrant, fun and perfect for the bride who wants a blast of bold color. Now I must admit when I came across this color combination I was a little unsure but after finding some great examples I just fell in love with it.

I'll start with the invitation, part of a beautiful red and aqua letterpress invitation suite. The card is ecru with red text and features an aqua belly band and an aqua envelope. Bella Figura, the stationer responsible for this lovely card has rapidly become one of my favorite letterpress sites.

At your ceremony, hang these aqua and red programs over the edge of your chairs and request that your guests sign an attractive teal and aqua guest book.

At your reception, set your tables with white plates and red linen napkins tied with aqua paper bands that denote where each guest should sit. For centerpieces use small tight domes of red carnations inside white compotes. Finish the look by tying a red silk dupioni bow around the base of the compote.

Celebrate the traditional cake festivities with a non-traditional aqua and red wedding cake. And finally, say a sweet thank you to your guests with aqua and red jelly bean favors wrapped up in adorable matching paper pouches.

April 4, 2008

Spring Bridal Shower in Pink & Yellow

Today's post features a spring pink and yellow bridal shower. With warmer weather I cannot help but to gravitate to bright and fun colors. So, today's post is for bridesmaids who want to throw a spring-infused bridal shower.

To start, invite guests with an invitation that introduces the theme. This pink and yellow layered invitation features intricate patterns in hues of pink, yellow and brown.

Submerge a variety of pink flowers in
clear round vases of varying heights for a lovely centerpiece. Set your table with this sophisticated yellow edged dinnerware by Kate Spade. Place a pink napkin adorned with a linen flower atop each place setting. For place cards, slip your hand-written card between the prongs of a fork.

Now I realize not everyone will order a fancy large cake for a bridal shower but this white cake with pink and yellow flowers serves as a great inspiration. Ask your favorite bakery to make a smaller version or follow the latest craze and turn it into cupcakes! To continue and end on a sweet note, send your guests home with a small box full of these adorable petits fours.

April 3, 2008

The Best...Candle Table Decor

Today's post shows some great options for table centerpieces using candles. Using candles over flowers has it's benefits. First, they're much cheaper. Secondly, you can keep and reuse the parts. And lastly, you have ultimate creative control over the final look (no relying on what type of flower is in season or what your florist has available.) All craft stores have a large variety of ingredients for make-your-own centerpieces. Take a walk down their aisles for more inspiration. So here are my suggestions for lovely candle centerpieces:

- Porcelain Lanterns
- Sand Centerpiece
- Candle Slipcovers
- Leaf-covered Candleholders
- Yellow Flower Floating Candle Centerpiece
- Floating Candle Bowl Centerpiece

April 2, 2008

Wedding Wednesday - Green & Brown Wedding

It's Wedding Wednesday, a weekly feature where Kati of The Finer Things and I create two different event interpretations based on one invitation. Today's edition features this modern green and brown invitation from FineStationery.com.

Let's start today's theme with the attire! For the bridesmaids, I selected this classic brown tea length dress by Bill Levkoff. For the men, I love the idea of sporting brown suits! Pair the brown suit with a green striped tie and a green boutonnière for a stunning and unexpected look. [suit image via Style Me Pretty]

This theme would be beautiful for an outdoor wedding. If your location boasts lots of trees consider using brown crystal chandeliers such as these as shown on Brides.
This modernist cake features brown stripes of fondant in varying widths along with green and white flowers. [image via laist.com] It looks lovely set outside in front of the natural greens.

Provide an assortment of green, brown and cream candies for guests to assemble their own favor. Use these tan pouches for the favor containers or for your going away confetti.

Make sure to check out Kati's Wedding Wednesday post too! Here is a sneak peak at her wonderful theme interpretation:

April 1, 2008

March Madness Menu

For those of your partaking in March Madness festivities, I've put together some menu options to serve to your fellow basketball-loving friends.

- Chili in a Biscuit Bowl
- Kicked Up Pimento and Tuna Deviled Eggs
- Basketball Cupcakes [image via flickr user lorijohernandez]
- Cheesiest Fried Chicken Empanadas with Chili Con Queso Dip
- Guacamole with Cumin Dusted Tortillas
- Poblano Stuffed with Chorizo, Shrimp and Rice

Enjoy and good luck to your favorite team!


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