Sunday, May 30, 2010

Father's Day

There's only few more weeks until Father's Day, and that means it's time to get down and DIY for this home-made holiday.

Can you think of any traditional Father's Day decor? Neither can I! Ties are always associated with Father's Day, but instead of fighting this tradition, have some fun with a few thrift store finds or maybe Dad's old ties he no longer wears for some unique (and still manly!) decor sure to honor Dad!

tie wreath

tie gift wrap

hanging ties (I can think of a lot of decor possibilities for this)

Lots of fun, unique twists on the Father's Day card from Martha Stewart!

Easy tie cake tutorial!

For lots more tips and DIY gift ideas check out Tip Junkie.

Other Resources: father and son image

Monday, May 24, 2010

{REAL PARTIES} Peaches and Cream Party

Today's real party is a sweet peach birthday featured on Kara's Party Ideas which really has Peach Pizzazz! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) Thanks again to this feature for inspiration for my Peaches and Cream Baby Shower!

All of the details were hand-made, including the sign and custom invitations:

When combined with leaves, these paper lanterns became peach bunches hanging from the tent ceiling. How clever! She also made fabric bunting to hang all over the party with a variety of peach fabrics for a real country feel.

Sweets included: fruit arrangements, peach cake pops, cupcakes, peach candy necklaces, and...

....peach ice cream!

Table setting with hand-made runners, and wheat grass centerpiece with raffia flowers.

This party was held on a farm, and included, of course, peach picking!

Guests took home their fresh picks in adorable, fabric-covered bushel favors.

For more photos and party details, go here.

What a fun and unique theme for an outdoor party!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Memorial Day Ideas

Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means summer is just around the corner! Memorial Day has always had a specific image in my mind. I think of a sunny afternoon in the park or the backyard swimming, grilling, and relaxing. It's a great way to ring in the summer season, (and, if you think about it, a patriotic holiday falls at the beginning, middle, and end of summer. Isn't that nice?)

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Sources: Red, White, and Blue Parfaits, Patriotic Decor, Burger with Flag Picks, Hammock, Potato Salad, Patriotic Table Setting

Martha Stewart offers an array of patriotic crafts and decor ideas that are easy and unique that you can keep around for July 4th!

I plan to make a few of these star medallions for my own Memorial Day BBQ

Since grilling takes center stage at just about any Memorial Day event, try some of these fantastic-looking recipes and grilling tips from Martha Stewart:

The Perfect Burger

Cajun Kebabs with Chicken and Andouille

And for more fun, nontraditional recipes:

Grilled New England Seafood "Bake"

West Coast Grilled Vegetable Pizza

I can't wait to post more ideas for July 4th! Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hawaiian Getaway Party

I was recently contacted about helping to create a Hawaiian Getaway Party for a milestone birthday with the challenge to re-create the real Hawaii. I liked this challenge, because it would be easy to raid the local party supply store's Luau section and call it good, but how authentic or memorable would that be? Since this is a popular time of year for luaus and outdoor parties, I thought it would be fun to post the inspiration board I created for this Hawaiian party including lots of ideas and tips below!

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Resources: tiki head invitation, Hawaiian table decor, - great ideas found here, tiki torches, lava lamp, tiki statues, luau spread, Hawaiian shirt cake,tropical centerpiece, real flower lei

The big difference between a party-store luau and a fabulous Hawaiian Getaway Party is authenticity. To re-create the real Hawaii, you want to use as many natural elements as possible: river rocks, shells, wood, flowers, and fire - tiki torches throughout the party to light up the night! I also had the idea to use black craft sand like this one mixed with shells either loosely like the real black sand of Hawaii, or together in a vase with tropical flowers or a votive. When combined with a lava lamp as a focal point, black sand would really create interest!
sand and shell centerpiece

Since this party is a birthday for a man, I also liked the idea of using the more masculine tiki head motfi throughout the party to balance the flowers and lighter elements. Starting with the tiki head invitation, to anything from real wooden tikis as table decor to tiki head pillar candles this like one......found here.

hula dancers

If live entertainment isn't an option, look online for some authentic Hawaiian hula dances which you could display either with a projector for life-size entertainment or on a screen somewhere in the party!

Of course flowers! Bring Hawaii to you, even if you must use silk flowers, with Birds of Paradise, Hibiscus, Orchids, or Bamboo on the tables, around your tiki torches, etc. And if you really want a memorable party, check out this site where you can order fresh leis right from Hawaii!

Once you have your authentic elements in place, go ahead and use a few of the party story supplies, (you know you want to! Old habits die hard.) Grass table skirts, paper lanterns, or drink umbrellas would add some fun to the party without detracting from the style.

Now how about the menu? Your options are vast and include everything from spring rolls and pot stickers, fish, pork, Hawaiian rice or sweet rolls, to tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, bananas, pineapple, etc. Try this site for some easy and delicious recipes!

hele mei hoohiwahiwa!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bright, Colorful Birthday

This is a particularly fun time of year for me as my birthday falls in May. No matter how old I get, I can't help associating a birthday (especially mine!) as a bright, colorful time. Today's inspiration board features lots of fun, colorful details.

Maybe you wouldn't want balloons, streamers, pennant flags, AND tissue paper poms, but any one of these, especially in rainbow colors would make a big statement, even for a small party. I'm making multi-colored tissue paper poms for my own celebration and I'll have to upload photos as they're already looking great! Very easy, very inexpensive, and fun to make! I'm a fan of the tutorial on Martha Stewart.

And how about that rainbow cake? Another easy way to create a colorful cake is simply to use food coloring in each layer and stack them in rainbow order. You could do all six colors or just choose a few. Easy!

When combined with green shamrocks and gold details, this party could also be adapted for a fun, child's St. Patrick's Day celebration!

Using color is always a great option for bringing lots of interest and style without breaking the bank!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

{REAL PARTIES}: Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

I've seen this party featured several places and I can't get over the fun, fantasy, and whimsical details! Perfect for an outdoor party, this event could be adapted for adults or left as is for a very special birthday! This Alice in Wonderland Tea Party was beautifully captured by Jessica Claire Photography.

The party setup. The multi-colored paper lanterns in various sizes really sets the stage.

This party was actually a triple birthday party for three little girls and each had a special "throne" decorated for her.

The birthday guests used real teacups and saucers and also got to make their very own fairy wands!

Giant flower garden and pony.

Drinks and treats with "eat me" and "drink me" labels.

One of the little party guests exploring the giant flower garden.

The full tablescape. Love the lollipop-flower arrangement as a centerpiece! The party also featured face-painting by Alice herself as well as a petting zoo (with rabbits of course)!

One of the birthday girls. I imagine this party was a big hit! Be sure to check out Jessica Claire Photography for more fabulous photos!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

French Country Mother's Day Brunch

This inspiration is a nod to my Lovely Lavender Post, and, admittedly, I'm a little crazy about lavender this time of year. But what mother wouldn't love a pretty (and unique!) Provincial brunch to honor her on her day? Inspired by beautiful Southern France, this brunch offers natural elements and french flair!

lilac arrangement that inspired me.

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Sources: french country kitchen, toile, crepe quiche lorraine, lavender sachets, wildflower arrangement, card, chalkboard sign, rustic pitchers, herb place setting

I love the tiered, fresh lilacs courtesy of Martha Stewart, but I love just as much the rustic feel of the wildflower and sunflower arrangement in the metal pail, (which could just as easily be created with silk flowers or arranged in a china teapot, pitcher, or glass mason jar. The more casual the look, the better!)
The combination of checkered patterns and toile, especially in blue or yellow hues, and particularly when paired together, is classically french-country and a fabric in either style would be perfect as a tablecloth or napkin.

A unique place setting idea or simply an addition to a stylish breakfast tray would be some dried lavender or even a sprig of fresh rosemary tucked into the napkin. Voila! Instant French Country style! (Not to mention very aromatic!)
The chalkboard sign is just adorable, especially when printed with "bon appetit!", your brunch menu or maybe "merci!" to a special mother. Yours doesn't have to be framed, chalkboard paint can transform any surface you choose to write on for a very reasonable price. Try this one.

And what about brunch? When thinking French Country, my first thought was crepes or quiche and I couldn't decide which was better, so I figured why not both? This recipe for Crepe Quiche Lorraine from the Food Network is sure to out-do the yearly pancakes!

As for last-minute gift ideas, why not give the gift of relaxation! A simple aromatherapy candle, soap, or spa item - especially in French lilac or lavender scent - would certainly be a welcome treat for a giving mother.

Or make your own! Check out this easy DIY drawer sachet courtesy of Country Living.

No time to send a gift? This free, customizable video is a great way to send thanks - and a little humor - to the mom in your life. Thanks to Robyn of Mix Mingle Glow for the idea!

Happy Mother's Day to all! Bonne FĂȘte!

Monday, May 3, 2010

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Last-minute entertaining ideas for your Mexican Fiesta!

photo: Southern Living

Martha Stewart offers easy tutorials for traditional paper decor like this fringed invitation and tissue paper banner.

I love how easy and inexpensive this idea is. A little tissue paper goes a long way on color and style! You can also find instructions for DIY craft-punch paper flags here from Style Me Pretty.

I might just have to try these punched tin napkin holders! A great accessory you can keep for future fiestas!

It wouldn't be Cinco de Mayo without some great Mexican recipes courtesy of the Food Network! The Mexican brownies are made using boxed brownies mixed with cinnamon and ground chipotle pepper! I can't wait to try some of these out!

Sources:Bobby Flay's Fish Tacos, Paula Deen's Chicken Empanadas,
Mexican Brownies,
Corn Muffin Churros

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day!

I've always wanted to throw a party for this lovely celebration of spring! I love the bright colors and sweet details in the flowers and ribbons.

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I'm crazy about this adorable, practical way to include a maypole into your party!

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