Monday, August 31, 2009

Real Parties: Swap 'til You Drop!

A few weeks ago, I hosted a clothing swap at my house and a great time was had by all. Friends were invited to mix and mingle and enjoy a cocktail or two while they "shopped" for items donated by friends with similar styles. Not only was it an excuse for good friends to get together, but it was an opportunity to lend a hand to The Salvation Army. Leftover clothing was donated to the annual style show luncheon put on by the organization. There are many pictures to share, so get ready...

These ottomans served as inspiration for the invitations and all of the paper goods to follow.

The play area for my kids was transformed into a boutique style atmosphere.

As guests entered the house, they grabbed a card from the tree. Inside was a number which let them know when it was their turn to swap.

Yummy spiked pink lemonade was the drink of the afternoon.

The girls grabbed guilt-free meringues as they left the party.

The current economy is hard on us all and this was a small, but wonderful opportunity for a group of girls to update their wardrobe without spending a penny!

All images by photographer Ellen Johnson
The paper goodies were made by Hayley Hardcastle

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Favorite Party Planning Books

I have LOTS of real parties to share with you this week! Coming up -- the clothing swap, an airplane birthday, a "tiny" party and an Elmo party done right. But for now, I wanted to share with you my favorite go-to party planning books. I have a big collection, but these are my favorites which are filled with lots of great details.

* David Tutera's books are filled with great party tips -- Big Birthdays, America Entertains, The Party Planner
* Celebrations by Real Simple magazine
* Harrison & Shriftman is a PR firm out of New York and LA. The two founders have published two great party books which I love -- Party Confidential and Fete Accompli

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Real Parties: A Progressive Birthday Dinner

All photography by MD Turner Photography

I love the idea of a progressive dinner to celebrate a milestone birthday! The guest of honor's sweet family and friends put together a SURPRISE progressive dinner for her 35th birthday! Carrie thought she was going over to her parent's house for a company party. Here Dad had fake invitations made that he sent out! Little did she know her nearest and dearest would be waiting to surprise her! After a few bites and bubbly, they headed to two different houses for dinner and then dessert.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sneak Peek: Swap 'til You Drop!!

Do you remember this pink inspiration board I made a month or so ago? Well, the party was this past Saturday and it was such a blast! I hosted my first ever clothing swap! It was a fun and different way for the girls to get together for an afternoon out and an excuse to "shop" while also helping out a charity. The leftover clothing that was not snatched up was donated to the
Women's Auxiliary Luncheon put on by The Salvation Army each year here in Houston.

I am so excited to share pictures of the party with you! I will post them as soon as the photographer, Ellen Johnson, has them ready. Until then, here is a look at the great invitation my friend Hayley designed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The TomKat Studio Etsy Shop Has Re-Opened!

I'm excited to announce that Kim from The TomKat Studio has re-opened her Etsy shop and is now offering DIY Printables and Projects!! I am sure most of you are familiar with her blog. If not, you MUST check it out (click HERE)! Here are a few examples of her designs that are too-cute-for-words...and now you can purchase the goodies in a DIY format!

Cupcake toppers from her daughter's party which was featured on Hostess with the Mostess!

These lollipop invitations (same party on the Hostess blog) will be available soon!

Be sure to check her Etsy shop often, as she will be uploading more goodies!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pencil Invitation

Don't you just love this save-the-date idea?! I have had it saved in one of my many party planning binders for years and have always wanted to find an excuse to use it. I have noticed many bloggers throwing back-to-school bashes. This pencil bundle would be a perfect invitation! Not to mention actually useful as well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Party Props

As I was looking through The Land of Nod catalog today, I came across a few items that would be perfect additions to several birthday parties...

These butterfly wings are precious and would look great hanging from trees or the ceiling at a garden or fairy themed party.
Lately, I have seen many sailboat themed baby showers and kid parties. This nautical banner would be perfect for that style of party.
Have fun with the decor at a race car party and use these removable vinyl decals on the walls of the party space.