Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Inspiration

Loving this! I found this in the Pottery Barn Party Planning Section of my last catalog. I love the PB, I really do. Just imagine this table in shades of yellow and deep orange. Squee! I love fall and I love Harvest Parties. My favorite part about this setting, is that besides the flowers, these are all things you'd likely have around your house. I know I have an inordinate amount of decorative glass sitting around. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tips for Hosting the Perfect Halloween Party!

It's getting to be that time of year again, when ghouls, ghosts and goblins run amok in the streets! What better way to celebrate than with a swanky, chic party! That's what I'm doing and I thought I'd share with you some of my tips and tricks.

1. Send out Invitations. Send your invites at least two weeks in advance of the party. This gives people time to clear their schedules and gear up. Be sure your invites are clear. Make sure to include directions, costume policies and time frames. I feel as though I've been talking about ours incessantly, but if you'd like an example, you can find one here.

2. Have a Plan B. This is especially important for outdoor parties. Fall is notorious for being finicky and you don't want to get caught in inclement weather.

3. Get Lots of Pictures! Take pictures as your guests first arrive. Have a couple disposable cameras available for guests to capture your party through their eyes. Consider taking Polaroids and giving them to your guests as they leave. It makes for a cute, classy reminder of the fun!

4. Don't Underestimate Scary Food. Try giving goodies a scary makeover. Some of my favorites include; blood-like punch and candies dressed up like eyeballs. A friend of mine made little cake fingers with red velvet cake. Just don't agonize over the menu. It will take some of the fun out of the process. Try a mixture of new things and your signature dishes.

5. Decorate with Friends. Have a couple of your closest friends over early to help with the decorations. It's a big time saver and it's fun to get a bunch of creative minds working together. If you're working against the clock, set a kitchen timer to help keep you focused. Also, try making as much of the decor as you can. Handmade touches make the party unmistakably yours. It's also a great way to save a little green.

6. Try a Signature Drink. A fun drink with a festive name is a great way to keep party costs down. Turn your favorite cocktails into mysterious concoctions with custom labels that say things like, "Poison", Witches' Brew" and "XXX". Get creative with your glass ware, too. Test tubes and the racks that hold 'em are usually fairly inexpensive and always a great addition to the playful atmosphere.

7. Have Fun! Commit to your theme if you have one and go all out! Hosting in a pair or group? Think of a creative group costume and build it together. It will build excitement for the party and afford you an extra excuse to get together with your besties. Scheming, after all is best done with good friends! Need some ideas to get you started? Characters from Clue, The Addams Family, Sesame Street, ABBA, Sin City, just about any 80's movie ever, Family Guy..etc.

Well, there you have it. I hope this helps you to have a truly wonderful Halloween Extravaganza (I don't get to use that word nearly enough in my everyday life!)

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Halloween Central

Saturday, September 26, 2009

{Adventures In Cupcaking}

Hey everyone.

We all know how I feel about cupcakes. For those of you that don't, I'll let you in on the secret. I LOVE them! Making them, decorating them, presenting them, everything. Below are some pictures from my recent foray into cupcakes. These I made for a work party to welcome the new intern class. They seemed to be a big hit...only one left at the end of the gathering. I can't help but be a tiny bit proud and dare I say smug about it. Here you go!

Vanilla/Lavender and Chili Chocolate with Lemon. Yum! I've always been a big fan of Chocolate and Chili. Vanilla and Lavender just sort of happened. Another favorite flavor combo of mine. I was really very happy with the way the frosting turned out. I love making my own frosting and I was really happy with this.

A little menu list I made and some little placards. I forgot to bring the ones I had previously made with me to work, so I had to whip these up at my desk, 10 minutes before I had to take the cakes down to the picnic...I think it came out rather nicely.

A look at the cakes all together. I really ended up liking the peach and yellow frosting....these little cakes were easy to make and a big hit with the co-workers. A little fun on our 5th Floor oasis.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Little Update for your Friday Afternoon!

Hey there! Sorry about the silence, I've been knee deep in the planning pool. Here is the final draft of the invites for the cocktail party I'm hosting in October. Inspired by horror movie posters of the 50's and 60's, I think these little darlings will be a perfect introduction to the atmosphere of the party. I'm rather proud of them! Another big thank you to Allison C. Beilke for her help with these. They are exactly what I wanted.

Loving them! They're going to go in the Waste Not "Beet" A7 envelopes. I'll think they'll be super cute when paired with the custom envelope liners I'm working on. Squee! They're off to the printer Saturday morning and hopefully I'll have them in the mail October 1st.

Now I'm working on little serving skewers and title cards for the hors d' oeuvres. Pictures as the project progresses.

A note about wording: Address the who, what, when, where, why of your party up front. I wanted to be cutesy, but I needed people to know they'd be fed, celebrating The Hubbs' b-day and that costumes were encouraged.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Planning My Tushie Off!

Hey there, everybody. I just realized I haven't blogged in a few days. Boo me. I have just been up to my bottom in planning. I'm working on a super fab Halloween party with a campy-chic B Horror movie theme. It's also a birthday party for The Hubbs. It's coming together beautifully.

Here's the first draft of the invites. I love them! My friend Allison did them. You'll remember her from designing the banner for this blog and for Holy Matrimony!. She also designed our entire wedding suite from save the dates to escort cards. 17 pieces in all. She's brilliant and here is the post I did about her. You can check out her Etsy shop here and her website here. What do you think!
All the copy needs to be dropped in (hence the unclear half sentences), but that's why its a first draft. The envelopes are shown in "Beet" and come from Paper Source. I love this store! I really wish we had one here in MKE. *sigh* Enjoy! I'll get pictures up of the final draft when the copy is in.

Thanks, Allison!

The design belongs to Allison. No copying or stealing...I don't want to see this end up anywhere. Thanks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Daily {Dose of} Inspiration

Well, September is underway and today I am feeling a little fall-ish and Halloween-y and I chose today's inspiration based on that. Enjoy!

This reminds me, I'd better get planning...

Photo Credit: Country Living dot com

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Little Inspiration

I stumbled across this picture while cultivating ideas for a party I'm hosting in a month or so. Wow. The Golden Age of Hollywood has been one of the constant inspirations in my life. Stunning. And her shoes?! I die!

I know it's silly to get wrapped up in nostalgia, but oh, how I used to wish I could be her. My No. 2 favorite movie of all time is "A Song Is Born" (1948). Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo and just about every musical star in America at that time including Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong. My Mom and I used to watch AMC (American Movie Classics) all the time when I was younger and my daydreams used to be full of beautiful women in long flowing dresses, handsome men (Cary Grant, anyone?!), "dressing" for dinner and big band music (Benny Goodman and the Andrews Sisters are two of my favorites).

This photo brought it all back to me now. *Sigh*

I think I'll make "A Little Inspiration" a daily happening...but maybe without all my blathering. I might also have a bonus one for today. I'm feeling inspired.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Hello, lovelies!

I hope you've all been well. I am back in the saddle, so to speak, and couldn't be happier! Have I got news for you, and how.

Stay tuned for highlights from my recent trip to the Big Apple (aka Honeymoon-a-go-go), new party planning tips and tricks, as well as what I like to call the "Parties in a Pinch"series.

And away we go!