Thursday, January 28, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football?

You survived the holidays and have had some time to recover. Winter is dragging along and cabin fever is creeping in. Could the Superbowl happen at a better time? Especially when you consider how easy a Superbowl Party is to plan - your theme and entertainment are already determined!
The need for decor is limited because, let's be honest, everyone is really just looking at the TV. An easy but high impact suggestion from Thoughtfully Simple is to cover your table with some astroturf up your local hardware store. Use plates, napkins and cups in the colors of the teams that are playing. Don't forget to put out some permanent markers so guests can personalize their cups with a game-day message! Throw in one of these cupcake ideas from and everyone will be thoroughly impressed.

Besides a winning team, the other thing that will make your guests happy is plenty of food and drink. Beer is the obvious drink of choice for the big game. Choose some craft beers and microbrews for some variety. Diets go out the door on Superbowl Sunday choose satisfying finger foods like: Tiny Taco Meatballs, Pigskins in a Blanket, Chicken Quesadilla Pinwheels or
Spinach Artichoke Dip. Of course pizza, chili, veggies, wings, chips and dip are also welcome!
Last but not least, keep things simple for yourself so you get to enjoy the game and festivities as well.
Go Colts!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Linen Love

Is it strange that pictures of beautifully arranged tables make my heart pound and cause me to want to run screaming from my 9 to 5 so that I can launch a table-setting empire? Perhaps.
But I know there are plenty ladies out there who love you some party/wedding porn just as much as I do. And a girl can have a dream, right?
Well, Wildflower Linen, of California recently launched there new website and their gallery is full of devastatingly gorgeous designs using their products. While I can't post them all here - I thought a few of the photos would make great Valentine's table inspiration...

Maybe you want something romantic...

or feminine...

or just downright sexy...

Which one would you pick?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Party with Oprah (well, not really)

My friend Lesley recently introduced me to the idea of a Favorite Things party. We all know about Oprah's Favorite Things but I had not heard about the party concept before. I'm already in love! What a great idea for a just-because party with the girls!
Invite your guests bring their favorite things to share with each other. The favorite things guidelines can easily be adjusted to fit the budgets of your guests.
If you plan the party for a smaller group, let each one know how many people will be attending (send your invites well in advance so you have an accurate RSVP number). Have guests buy enough of their favorite thing for each guest. The cost limit can vary to suit your invite list.
After cocktails, treats, appetizers, etc. everyone ghas a chance to present the favorite thing they selected and talk about why they love it. The BEST part is that you send your guests home with one of everyone's favorite things!
A more budget-conscious variation would be to have each guest bring one or two of their favorite things for under X amount of dollars. Plan an exchange game so that everyone gets something new to take home.
Well, now that I'm starting to plan this in my head - these are a few of my (reasonably priced) favorite things...

I could eat a Cookie Jar Blizzard every day. I'd probably have to use a DQ gift card for party purposes. Kate Spade pencils for $8.00 from Just to to resist writing something with these.

Pretty much anything that's soft and warm will make my list. I live for cozy slippers!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bird Alert! Bird Alert!

The latest and greatest DIY project that is making the rounds in the event/wedding/craft blog world is an adorable twist on the as-seen-everywhere bird-themed decor. The fabulous Laurie Cinotto of La La Laurie (who, I just discovered, is originally from Iowa!) created these adorable scrapbook paper birdcages for The Bride's Cafe.

So many opportunities to use these! I am considering using them for some Valentine's decor. I wonder if the cardstock "bars" would hold up if you made a slightly larger cage? I'm thinking room for lovebirds inside...

In case these cuties haven't popped up on your Google reader yet, instructions are here.

Added bonus! Ice cream pint lids are recommended for the bottom of the bird cages. Bring on the cookies 'n cream!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Year of Turquoise

You may have heard (because strangely enough, this made national news) that Turquoise was named as Pantone's color of the year 2010. After a year of such depressing news, people are looking for an escape; something that turquoise symbolizes. I mean, who couldn't use a beach vacation after surviving 2009? "Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing."

Obviously island fun comes to mind when you think of turquoise. Some fabulous turquoise jewelry is always a welcome addition. But this festive color can be so much more. What doesn't it go with? Black and white, pink, yellow, green, orange, silver, gold, brown and let's not forget that it's instrumental in the getting-to-the-point-of-passe peacock theme.
It doesn't do a bad job standing on it's own either:

Needless to say, 2010 is going to be a year of weddings, parties and home decor shows smeared with variations of the blue-green hue. I'm guessing I'll find use for it in a shower or two.

Photo credits: Plate on doily-At Home with Kim Vallee; Peacock Invitations - lovetoprintweddings; candle centerpieces -; frame print - sycamore street press; cupcakes - belisacupcakes; headband - Plume and Bloom; Roses and turquoise - Turquoise Decor; menu - lisa3.7dean; chandelier-nay-k; dress by Lela Rose -

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Virtual Settings

Don't you just love technology?! Way back when I was a bride-to-be (a year and a half ago), you actually had to go into the store to pick your china pattern, flatware and stemware. Now, thanks to Bloomingdale's and this nifty little tool, those days are in the past.
You can play with chargers and wine glasses to your heart's content without your husband-to-be counting the minutes that go by before you find the PERFECT arrangment for your marital table.
Even those of us who have already sealed our place setting fate can play around and dream of what could have been. *sigh*

Of course, I would still recommend visiting a brick and mortar store. You have to see and feel the merchandise - that's all part of the fun! And while there isn't a Bloomingdale's anywhere near me, I am happy to say the pattern I selected, (via Bed Bath & Beyond) Vintage Jewel by Lenox, is featured on the Set Your Table Top tool. I'm still (slowly) collecting place settings and I'm still in love with this gorgeous pattern.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm Here for the Party!

I. love. parties.
And by parties, I mean it all - birthday parties, showers, holiday parties, just-because parties and especially (ESPECIALLY) weddings! By love, I mean every aspect - planning, preparing, decorating and of course, attending. Clean-up...not so much but it's a small price to pay to bring people together to celebrate.
I am fortunate that I get to plan events as my job (more on that another time) and I have a husband who indulges my party-planning need. I can't hold a candle to ladies like the Hostess with the Mostess, Mindy Weiss or queen-of-everything, Martha but I can dream, right?
So this will be my little spot to collect my favorite ideas and post a few of my own. Enjoy the party!