Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easy Tablescape

Home Decor.

I saw this tablescape on Pottery Barn’s website and really liked so many aspects of it. I love the fact that it shows that you can use a number of different styles; cast iron, aluminum, porcelain and wood and bring it all together for a cozy farmhouse brunch.

They added color by using fresh vegetables, cabbage leaves for napkin rings and a potted plant. The brown paper brings in a natural element and is much more economical than a tablecloth. Also, check out the website for an up close look at the silver bucket utensil holders. These adorable buckets can be found in many stores for around a dollar and can easily be used for outdoor picnics as well.

This is a great depiction of how you can pull various items from around your home and really create something special.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Specialty Bottle

Favor Supply Source.

One of the benefits of being an event planner is that I have an excuse to look at Bridal magazines over 2 years after my own wedding has passed. When I was flipping through the Martha Stewart Wedding Spring issue, I kept dog-earring pages that featured glass bottles from Specialty Bottle.

Specialty bottle is one of those sources that I love for event favors. They have a ton of different bottles in all shapes and sizes that are just begging for a little creativity and customization.

And that's the secret to creating something interesting and unique of your own for an event. Instead of spending hours upon hours trying to find a beverage company that's labeling works with your theme, just create your own label and slap in on one of these bottles. All of the control and a lot less research.

So what kind of projects would you do with these fun bottles???

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Strawberry Agua Fresca

Drink recipe.

This looks like the perfect, refreshing Spring beverage. I love the beautiful color and strawberries just hit the markets and grocery stores in full effect. This would make a fantastic addition to a mother’s day brunch or add a little tequila for Cinco de Mayo. Check out the recipe at Eat, Live, Run.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Date Night


I saw this idea at find joy in the journey and it really got me thinking. The goal of the above project is to put 12 date night ideas into envelopes. These date nights are pre-planned and pre-paid and opened at the beginning of each month so that a date can be set on the calendar.

The pre-planner in me loved this idea but then I started thinking, would I still be interested in doing something in August that I planned in January? Maybe or Maybe not.

My husband and I are pretty good about seeing a new restaurant or bar and checking out the scene. We also do a fair amount of planning for activities, especially in the summer months. However, we don’t have a lot of “date” nights where something is on the books and requires me to actually think about how I might wear my hair, get my nails done and definitely buy a new pair of shoes.

Plus I already give my husband a categorized spreadsheet when we get to the grocery store based on a divide and conquer system. I know, I know…but it really does get us out of the store in about 20 minutes. So, a part of me thinks that if I come to him with planned out dates, I might just get an eye roll.

Fellow Hip Hostess’, help me out, is this a good idea or not?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

This is Glamorous
What a lovely drink service!

Mason jars and flowers. A Hip Hostess favorite.

A DIY Table…with succulents. Love!!

Such a great idea…letting your child decorate their own cake with edible decorator pens. And a rainbow cake at that!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Baby Gifts.

Not every future parent is all into cotton candy pink and baby blue. Some are a little bit more Rock 'n' Roll. For those parents, you should most definitely check out Psychobaby.

Amidst some great boutiques on Damen Avenue in Chicago, Psychobaby elicited more squeals of delight from yours truly than a killer sale on a Helmut Lang jacket across the street. And that's saying a lot.

Here are some of my favorite items that are all available on their very user-friendly website:

Single Uncle Onsie
Personalize this for your future niece or nephew, and you have an instant wingman!

AC/DC inspired pacifier
Because you don't want your baby screaming like lead singer, Brian Johnson.

Rockabye Baby CD
Soft lullaby versions of your favorite tunes. My friends like the Nirvana version the best...

Johnny Case Onesie
Who doesn't love the Man in Black??

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mason Jar DIY

Mason Jar.

I have kind of a thing for Mason Jars. I use them for vases, yogurt parfaits and I pour my leftover coffee in one and store it in the fridge for ice coffee in the summer. I also use them for coin jars and glassware for lemonade in the summer. Whenever I run across these jars and the older the better in my book I always have a struggle…do I really need more…but they are so handy. Well, recently I have been leaving the little beauties on the shelf because I don’t need anything else to store without it earning its rightful place in the household.

That is until I ran across this DIY from Blissfully Content. A Mason jar soap dispenser! We’ve been invited to a couple of rustic beach houses this summer and I have been searching for something that is a little more personal to fill the last spot in a hostess basket. Not only am I ahead of the game with my hostess gifts and I have a reason to shop for Mason jars again.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sparkling Summer Shandy

Cocktail Recipe.

Yes, I am aware that it is not Summer. And yes, I am also aware that the weather in pretty much all of the Unites States has been less than lovely as of late. But...I like to use any sunny day starting in April as an excuse to drink Summertime drinks...even if it is Sunny and 45 degrees.

Photo courtesy of Gourmet Patio.

Summer Shandy's are light, delicious and everything that I like about warmer weather. This mixture of beer and lemonade can be bought pre-made by many beer manufacturers, the most popular being Leinenkugel's version. And they are delicious.

But to bring up the "fancy factor" a bit, why not make your own at home? Here's a recipe for a Sparkling Shandy that is just as easy to make as it is delicious. Enjoy!

Sparkling Shandy
Serves 4

2 lemons (1 sliced thin for garnish, 1 for juicing)
1 16 oz pilsner beer
2 cups sparkling lemonade

1. Line a glass with with lemon slices and then add ice.
2. Fill halfway with beer, and top with lemonade.
3. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Giveaway: Weddingish


Attention all Brides, Bridesmaids, Mothers of the Bride, and the like...this is your chance to win a fabulous prize!, the online bridal emporium of fabulous apparel, accessories, favors, bridal party gifts and more, has been generous enough to sponsor a giveaway for our HH readers...a $25 gift certificate to use on their site AND free shipping for your order.

Here's how you enter:

Option 1: Facebook
2."Like" Weddingish on Facebook and leave a comment on any post
Bonus: Opt in to Weddingish's Newsletter

Option 2: Twitter
2.Tweet about Weddingish on your Twitter Account
Bonus: Retweet Weddingish’s tweet about this giveaway

Option 3: Blog
1.Visit the Weddingish Blog
2.Leave a comment on any post
** Bonus means that your name is entered in twice.

Then leave a comment on our blog, telling us which option you chose as well as an email to reach you if you win. You have until Thursday April 28th at 8PM EST to enter. We'll announce the winner on Monday, May 2nd.

To tempt you to enter, here are just a few of the fun wedding items that you'll find on Weddingish...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Modern Twist on the Easter Egg

If messing with dye is not your thing but you still want to have a little Easter Egg fun check out this tutorial. All it takes is a sharpie! Grab a black tablecloth and some egg cups and you have a totally modern tablescape.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Link Love

This lovely wine box garden is so inspirational.

Bakers Royale
Love this idea but couldn't find who it belonged to…see similar above.
Cute idea for a centerpiece for a spring event.

Hop and Peck
Adorable wooden egg cups.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bunny Ear Fold


I have to give props to my aunt for this discovery. Bunny-folded linen napkins. It's the perfect mix of kitch and elegance for an Easter Sunday Dinner. Love it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Edible Spray Paint

Food Find.

I saw this edible spray paint surface in Blogland a couple of weeks ago and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. At first glance my thought was, “that’s cool”; but I don’t know if I could bring myself to eat something that has been spray painted gold or silver…edible or not. As I was concepting events this week that pesky paint kept working its way into my plans. The truth is that it is genius idea for making a beautiful, unique table setting or buffet

So, I have decided that I am going to give it a test for Easter. I am going to attempt a white tablescape with gold accents. BUT I am going to spray paint hard boiled eggs and set them in egg cups. That way you don’t have to directly eat the paint. I’ll see how that goes over.
Fellow Hip Hostess’ what’s your thoughts on Edible Spray Paint?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Unique Wall Paper

Home Decor.

Yes, this is what you think it is. It is actually wallpaper that comes pre-printed and gives you artistic carte blanche on how you want the end result to look. Your child would never utter the words, “I’m bored” again.

The wallpaper is designed by a London based company called Ninteenseventythree. Each roll is approximately $70.00 for 1000cm x52 cm.
Because I look for fun finds and try to work them into an event of some type, this paper is no different. Wouldn’t it be cool to put some of the wallpaper on little canvas’ with easels for a kid’s art party? It gives you a project and a take home gift all in one.

***I had trouble navigating the website. If interested, you might need to call.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Athol Brose

Cocktail Recipe.

One of my favorite local spots in Chicago is Bangers & Lace. They have a ridiculously long craft beer list, delicious food, and some rather tasty cocktails to boot.

Last week I decided to try an oddly named cocktail called the Improved Atholl Brose. Hello. Love at first sip.

Whiskey mixed with honey and topped with a foamy cream layer. I stopped myself at one because it was just way too easy to drink this one.

If you are in Chicago, definitely stop by and get the real deal at Bangers & Lace (and I highly advise trying the Truffle Grilled Cheese as well). If you aren't in the area, here's a link to a recipe so you can make your own Athol Brose at home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Wedding Salon

Ticket Giveaway.

Calling all brides to be. The Wedding Salon is thrilled to announce the first New York event of the year and it’s only a few weeks away on April 27th. The event is being held at Manhattan Center Studios and check out some of the talent that will be on hand; Sylvia Weinstock, Tao, Vera Wang Wedgwood, St. Regis and many more. The event will feature a Couture Fashion Show, Beauty Makeovers, Cocktails, Cake Tastings and fabulous goodie bags.

We have 10 tickets available to our readers, please leave a comment with how to reach you and we will choose winners via random number generator. Good luck and be sure to tweet about the event using Twitter hashtag, #WeddingSalonNY.
The winners will be selected on Monday the 18th

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.
Paint chips transformed into an Easter Egg Garland. Genius.

Autumn Workshop
Talk about a cool idea. A terrarium lamp. Love it!

Pinch My Salt
Banana Pecan Oatmeal Brulee…for breakfast. YUM!!

Sweet Nothings
Gorgeous dress. Ridiculously gorgeous lining.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Sponsor: The Whitehurst Company


We'd love to welcome a new sponsor on board at Hip Hostess, The Whitehurst Company. Family run by a father and daughter team, The Whitehurst Company wholesale/sell colored glass ornaments to gift shops, painters, designers, and individuals.

Now why should you be excited about "Christmas ornaments" in April? Because glass ornaments should not be limited to December. In event and home decor, I love to take something outside of it's normal element to create pop or visual interest. Glass ornaments are a great example of something that can do just that. Here are some of my favorite images of decorating with ornaments in a very Un-Christmasy sort of way:

And because Whitehurst offers over 115 colors in 3 different finishes, you can definitely customize a very unique centerpiece or focal display at any themed event.

And if you are planning a wedding or major event in December, there is no need to wait around until November to see what options will be available at the local Target or Walmart. Prepare in advance by shopping at Whitehurst.

Which has me thinking...wouldn't customized ornaments be a lovely favor for a December wedding???

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hostess Gifts

Gift Ideas.

Does anyone else keep a file of “cool finds”? I bring this up because Spring is the time when I go through that file and re-stock my hostess gifts for the upcoming season. It’s fun for me to peruse the materials and pick and choose unique and useful items that I can grab when running out to a party, a birthday that snuck up on me or even just a thoughtful gift to bring to lunch for a friend having a difficult time.

Many people think gift giving is for the receiver. But I think it is the giver that truly benefits. I love having special little gifts on hand that I know will make people happy. So often giving gifts takes on a negative overtone because it usually involves rushing around town at the last minute when you still have a million things to do.

So, Hip Hostess’ take my advice and spend a little time and money in early Spring to save yourself stress and overspending in the future.

Check out StudioPatro…they have fabulous products and have great tips for getting the most out of a tea towel.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Sponsor Love.

We recently checked in with one of wonderful longtime sponsors,, to see what's new in their wedding invitation and save the date card offerings and we found some really fun stuff.

I am LOVING these laser cut invitations that could not be more on trend right now, as I've also been drooling over laser cut leather shoes and bags for Spring 2011. And for a bold twist on this same look, it's also available in black. Gorgeous.

And for a new twist on pocket-style invitations, this beauty is a frame of white with two lace-like accents on the side that hold in your wedding invite insert. This is shown with a traditional silver insert, but i think a bold color would look fabulous against that white border accent.

And for a little whimsy, Storkie also offers some great illustration Save the Date Cards that are a wonderful way to set the tone for your big day. Because I have shoes on the brain this week, I'm loving these two below that show off some cobbler creativity for both a formal or casual event.