Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Tabletop Decorations: Series #3

Cheers to the blue sky and sunny day in Des Moines today! {Happy!}

After the cute chicky Tuesday, I am thinking of a little girlie stuff for today which is butterfly-themed Easter tabletop decoration!

If you are going to be out of town and unable to celebrate Easter with your family this year. That is okay and don't be sad. You do not have to celebrate alone because I am sure your girl friends in town would love to join you at your beautiful butterfly Easter brunch party! Wow...I can already smell the spinach mushroom omelet, fruity yogurt parfait, dark chocolate truffle, and also a glass of peach
Bellini (Wikipedia: Bellini is one of Italy's most popular cocktails; a mixture of sparkling wine and peach puree). Hmm...what a perfect brunch on Sunday morning! Yummy-licious!

Southern Living shows us how to set up your own Butterfly Garden Party at home; and adorn your party favor with a personalized butterfly place card I found at Burda Fashion!

Garden Arrangement:
1. Start by positioning water-soaked florist foam in a pedestal bowl. Any ceramic container will work. Cover the top of the foam with decorative sheet moss, hiding all edges.
2. Cut snapdragon stems at an angle, and insert them into the foam. The flowers and stems should be 12 to 15 inches long. You will need about 12 stems spaced evenly.
3. Repeat with ranunculus, varying the stem lengths. Use taller flowers in the center and shorter ones on the sides.
4. Carefully hold the bottom of each ranunculus stem when inserting it. If it is crushed, insertion will be difficult and blooms will wilt quickly. You will need about 24 ranunculus.
5. Finish by adding silk butterflies.

Candy Nest:
1. Taking a ball of green Spanish moss in your hands, hollow out an opening with your thumbs.
2. Hold the formed nest in place by wrapping a single strand of florist wire around the outside edge of the moss.
3. Place twigs cut from the garden on a salad plate, top with the nest, and fill it with pastel Jordan almonds.
4. Finish with a silk butterfly and a personalized butterfly place card on top.

Butterfly Ornament on Champagne Glass:
1. Wire silk butterflies to the stems of Champagne glasses.

Trying to be a thoughtful hostess and want to forgo the high calories chocolate candy for your girls? I found these pretty party favors your girl friends would love to add to their dressing table collection. The first one is an egg-shaped box with speckled paint, butterflies, and a rabbit cut from decorative paper from Martha Stewart. This can also be used as jewelry box, isn't pretty and multifunctional? Whereas, another party favor which also comes from Martha Stewart, it is more like a decoration than something fancy like the egg-shaped box. It is a purple paper butterfly floats from a wire attached to a pearl glued inside the bottom of a plain white egg.

Hope you have a Fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Tabletop Decorations: Series #2

Chicky Tuesday!
We are going to show you some cute Easter decorations by incorporating birds and chicks into the theme.

Willow tree and bird nests for living and dining rooms, anyone?

And how about a bird tree and some bird houses in pastel colors for Easter kids table, Bridal or Baby Shower? Instead of Easter buckets, we are giving the kids bird houses (with candy, of course!). I am sure they will love it.

Giving out bird nest candy as favor? Why not double it as place card for your guests? People like things that are personally related to them. So lets personalize the favor by attaching a card with your guest's name on it.

For decor purpose, we have chick and eggs in a doily nest as well as new born chick and chocolate decorations. These are some pretty and inexpensive ways to dress up your house for Easter Sunday.

Happy Tuesday,

Photo Credit:
1. Martha Stewart Living
2. Torie Jayne Blog
3. Lotus Haus Blog

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Tabletop Decorations: Series #1

Spring time is here and it is the best time to do some cleaning. Have you done cleaning up your house and clearing up spaces for some new festive items to celebrate the first Spring event - Easter?

If you have not done the research, we will show you some tabletop decorations for Easter this week. Hope they will give you some inspirations to decorate your Easter dining table.

To me, this is a traditional Easter dining setting. Everything in pastel blue, pink and yellow. And of course, a pair of white Easter bunnies!

Photo Credit: Easter Tabletop Design from Bliss Weddings Market; Easter Candy Wreath by Good Housekeeping via Delish; Beaded Place Card on Napkin and Easter Table Setting from Better Homes and Gardens

What if you are an artist who always looking for something new and creative? We found you a new color scheme for your Easter egg decoration. Check out the idea and step-by-step instructions of making the marbled Easter eggs here!

Photo Credit: Marbled Easter Egg Tree and Centerpiece from Quick and Simple; Beaded Place Card on Napkin, and Easter Chocolate on Vintage Cups from Better Homes and Gardens

Photo Credit: Decorated Easter Eggs and Egg Holder Centerpiece from Better Homes and Garden; Place Card on Decorated Easter Eggs from Quick and Simple

Did you find yourself an unused candle holder during your Spring cleaning? Have you been keeping it in your storage room for quite some time? Sometimes we just got so busy and forgot that we have some "treasures" in our own storage room. So it is time to bring out the old candle holder and re-purpose it to a lovely Egg Holder Centerpiece for Easter!

I personally love the idea of giving a new life/look for something old/antique that has been keeping in the garage or storage room for a while. (Thanks to the weekend read! I have been reading tons of Country Living, and Better Homes and Gardens magazines lately. Love them all!)

To begin with, we have a few simple steps to creating the lovely Egg Holder Centerpiece from old candle holder.

1. Brush new paint on your old candle holder.
(If the candle holder turned rusty or you simple love to apply a new color on it just to match your furniture at home.)
2. Leave it aside and let it dry.
3. Meanwhile, choose the pattern and color to decorate the eggs.
(Personal preference.)
4. When both candle holder and eggs are dried out, use super glue or wax to secure eggs in place.
5. And you are ready to show your guests the beautiful egg holder you have created for Easter!

This will probably take you about two days (the drying process) to complete the DIY project. So please make sure you set aside enough time for it.

Hope you have fun doing it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jill Brown Photography . Des Moines . Iowa

Alright I know Winter is over and everyone is cheerfully waving in the Spring days. But I have had to share the following gorgeous Winter Engagement Photo by Jill Brown Photography with you!

I am sure there are millions of ways to capture the love of a couple; but this particular one captured my attention today (a white backdrop (snow), snow-dusted trees in the wood, fiery red wool coat, and a lovely couple). Thumbs up for such beautiful pictures, Jill! And congratulations to the engaged couple, Linsey and Jon!

Happy mid-week!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Epicurean Wednesday: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Luck of the Irish!
Whether you are heading out to join the parade, stay home watching the parade via TV, or going out to work; a piece of Irish soda bread and a glass of Irish coffee will be your companion of the day!

Here's a little history about Irish Coffee and Soda Bread:

IRISH COFFEE was invented by Joseph Sheridan, a head chef at Foynes, County Limerick after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat on a miserable winter evening in the 1940s. Sheridan then added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. Since then, this coffee named as Irish Coffee and to be served in a mug shown in the picture below.

The coffee combines hot black coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and top with thick double cream poured over the back of a spoon. The coffee is drunk through the layer of cream.

IRISH SODA BREAD is a type of quick break (fast rising) made of flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Its history dates back to approximately 1840, when bicarbonate of soda was introduced to Ireland.

If you notice the cross on top of traditional Irish soda bread, there are a couple theories as to the significance of the cross. Some believe that the cross was placed on the bread to ward off evil spirit or to let the fairies out of the bread. Another probable approach says that the cross is used to help with the cooking of the bread by allowing air circulation so that the bread rises better. (This one sounds more logical to me ^.*)

Photo Credit: Irish Coffee and Irish Soda Bread

As for those of you who fancy about GREEN appetizers for after-work party rather than coffee and bread, here we found five "
Get Your Greens" finger food from Food Network. They are hearty, delicious, and most importantly, they come with a touch of GREEN to dress up your St. Patrick's Day Party!

First Row (from left): Beer-Battered Broccoli, Spinach-Pesto Ravioli, and Irish Grilled Cheese
Second Row: Emerald Eggs, and Avocado Hummus

Happy St. Paddy's Day to everyone!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Perfect Blooms & Decor Tuesday - St. Patrick's Green

How about a DIY project today?
How does a personalized shamrock boutonniere for each of your invited guests sound like? Isn't it lovely (away from the usual name tag sticker at most social events)?

Here's Martha Stewart's Shamrock Boutonniere How-to.

Next up, let's dress up party accessories with shamrock motif or real shamrock leaves! It can be shamrock-stamped napkins, coasters, skewers for fruits, or a real shamrock leaf embellishment on napkin ring.

Martha Stewart St. Patrick's Day Crafts and Decorations

Irish Napkin Decor from Better Homes and Gardens (BHG)

To complete your tabletop decor, a simple flower arrangement in shamrock shape can be used as centerpiece for the dining table - a combination of naturally green Prado carnations and regular white carnations that are dyed green. You can make it a floating one by placing the flower arrangement in a bowl filled with water too.

Here's Martha Stewart Shamrock Arrangement How-to.

Flower is not right for you? I think some different green glasses and bottles will be great for you too. You do not necessary have to buy new green glasses; any green beer bottles (such as Heineken) will do the job very well!

Green Glasses from BHG

Even though you are not living in Ireland, you can still celebrate St. Patrick's Day by filling your house/room with all decors we mentioned above, as long as you have a little Irish at heart ^.*

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fashionista Monday: St. Patrick's Green

Happy Monday to all my dear readers out there! Did you have a fun weekend? I hope you did. I personally had a fun and busy weekend started from Friday night - ladies cooking/baking night (learned the making of German Chocolate Bars), grocery shopping with the girls for all things dessert (made a Tiramisu cake on Saturday night), attended a tabletop decoration class at Pottery Barn on Sunday morning (including Easter Dining Table and Farmhouse Brunch decor), went to the gym, and ended with Wedding Sunday (WEtv) last night. Love it!

For first half of the week, we are going to focus on Saint Patrick's Day celebration! We will be exploring the green outfit, green decor, green beer and Irish coffee, all things GREEN. Later of the week, the inspiration from real wedding/party will come back into place.

- - - - - - - - - -

St. Patrick's Day (a.k.a. St. Paddy's Day), an annual holiday celebrated by the Irish (originally) and people around the world (the holiday has become one of the biggest one-day celebrations worldwide).
An elaboration from Wikipedia:
St. Patrick's Day is named after the Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Christian holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland's culture.

One of the well-known scenes in the Midwest during St. Patrick's Day/Parade is the GREEN CHICAGO RIVER. Yes, they dye the river into green color! See photo below.

Photo Credit: Jaunted

In terms of outfit, you will see people wearing green, adorn with shamrock accessories, and some even dress like a leprechaun (a mischievous elf in Irish folklore). And there is a fun fact for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day in the United States traditionally - that is -
those who are caught not wearing green will be pinched affectionately.

So ladies. I bet you wouldn't want to be pinched nor wearing like a real leprechaun, and yet you want to feel like you are being part of the celebration. I created two fashion-inspired style boards via Polyvore for you from day to night.

First style board
Mood: Casual, Fun midweek working outfit
Color: Navy, Green, Teal, White, and Cream

I figure out St. Patrick's Day might not be a major holiday for some of you (still need to work from 9 to 5 as usual). Therefore, wearing green from head to toe does not sound right (imagine a walking green bell pepper in the office). So I put together a navy blazer, teal tank top, white skinny jeans and a pair of navy open-toe sling back heels for you. Since it is going to be in the office setting, you probably want to minimize the amount of jewelry, other accessories and make-up. And hence, a few strings of apple green pearls, a cream tote, and some green shades make-up will be perfect for this outfit!

Second style board
Mood: Grecian, St. Patrick's Party
Color: Sage Green, Black, and a touch of Gold

Tik tak tik is 5pm and it is party time (happy hours) on St. Patrick's Day! Head to the party right away from your workplace and do not want to have bunch of hassles to pack your party outfit in the morning?

I got you this simple three-in-one treat. A sage green chiffon dress, a pair of black with gold studs heels, and complete the Grecian-look with a pair of vintage-like earrings. If you happen to have a gold bangle or black leather bracelet with gold studs to match your party outfit, bring it on!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Inspiration from Movie: Alice-In-Wonderland-Inspired Party Ideas

Are you familiar with Alice in Wonderland (AIW)? Have you ever wanted to have your own version of Alice-in-Wonderland Garden Party?

Photo Credit: The Internet Movie Database

The following talented styling groups make it possible for us to throw a AIW party at our backyard! That is inspiring! Both style shoots were featured in Wedding Chicks stylish blog and Amy Atlas Sweet Design blog, respectively.

Here are the details:

1. Alice In Wonderland Bridal Shower Ideas

Featured in Wedding Chicks stylish blog

Event Design: My Sorted Affair
Jessica Frey Photography
Paper Goodies: The
Papeterie Store

Theme Shoot

Almond Orchard, Bakersfield, CA
Dishes and Props:
My Sorted Affair and Jessica Frey Photography private collections
Other Props:
IKEA and My Sorted Affair's Boutique at Etsy
Forever 21

2. Alice In Wonderland Party Feature
Featured in Amy Atlas Sweet Design blog

Event Design:
In Good Company
Andrea Carlyle Photography


Printable Party Collection, including invitation, note card, envelopes, food picks, cupcake rappers, book plates, bookmarks, favor boxes, bunting and patterned paper.

Created by:
In Good Company


Party TIPS
from Amy Atlas Events:

Styling Tip
Mix and match unusual vessels such as teapots, creamers, jugs, and hatboxes. The more mismatched the better!

Serving Tip
Offer a high tea buffet. Serve guests an assortment of teas, as well as tiny finger sandwiches, mini-quiche, scones, petit fours, chocolates, and cupcakes. Finish it off with a "Happy Unbirthday" cake, as was done in the Alice in Wonderland book!

Entertaining Tip
Have guests create made hats at the party and hold a mad hatter fashion show at the end of the event. Provide hats, pipe cleaners, paper butterflies, plastic bugs, flowers, scissors, and tape for each guest to decorate.

We are welcoming Spring in less than two weeks. I believed many of you (including myself) might already started planning your Spring/Summer outdoor parties. Isn't this Alice in Wonderland Party idea come in right on time for that?! As always, I hope these styling shoots inspire you to plan your next event. Be it a wedding, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner or a sweet sixteen birthday party; I hope you have fun planning it!

Have a fun weekend too, my dear blog readers!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moment-Capture Thursday: Literary Theme Wedding

I first saw this beautiful wedding via Snippet and Ink

Photo Credits:
1. Snippet and Ink
2. One Love Photo
3. Linda and Cameron Photo Slideshow by One Love Photo