Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LoveLee Party Favors

I'm always on the lookout for a cute party favor. If it is in keeping with the theme of my party, even better! These creative soaps by LoveLee Soaps really fit the bill for a lot of events. Check out some of my favorites:

Building Block Soap, for Lego parties

Button Soap, for a "Cute As A Button" baby shower

Fruity Bear Gummy Soap, for dessert bars and Candy Land parties

There are tons more to see, from cookies and cupcake soaps to footballs and robots. Find them all at www.etsy.com/shop/LoveLeeSoaps

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cupcake Cookery

Gadget Alert! How do you feel about appliances that only serve a single purpose? What if that purpose is to bake delicious cupcakes? I for one am in favor. That's why I have my eye on this Sunbeam Cupcake Maker. It's like an Easy-Bake Oven for grown-ups (and cupcakes). This little machine bakes 6 cupcakes in about 10 minutes, and looks delicious on the outside too! If you have one of these (or end up buying one now) please leave a review in the comments—I'm on the fence, but leaning toward yes!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fort & Field

I'm stumbling across fabulous find after fabulous find these days when it comes to online shops carrying party supplies. My latest love?: Fort & Field, a treasure trove of party pretties you have to see. I love the ABC Paper Cups shown above. I'm planning an alphabet kids party in my head already.

I'm a big fan of their polka dot paper straws as well—a fun change from the typical striped straw.

They also have cupcake liners...

...and to-be-adored treat bags!

Head to https://fortandfield.3dcartstores.com for the full selection.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Superhero of Party Banners

You'll love this tutorial by Brittany of One Charming Party. Making superhero themed bunting out of comic books is a cinch, and a great use for any non-valuable comic book collections or yard sale finds. Click here to head to the full tutorial.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cake Stand Love: Felt So Good

Yesterday's post about felt food led to a helpful tip from Host-It Notes reader Morgan who suggested we check out Sweetie Pie Bakery. What's so special about Sweetie Pie Bakery? They go beyond felt food to make felt cake stands! And we all know I love a good cake stand! They also sell kits to make your own. Check out this pattern set for making and decorating your own felt cake, baking pans and monogrammed cake box—perfect for kids, or, you know, me!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Felt Food!

Here's a must-see online store filled with adorable, party-perfect felt food. They're just right for baby showers and kids parties. The Pop-Tart-esque ones just kill me with their cuteness. These things look even better than the real thing! Head to BeckyM's Etsy shop for the full selection: www.etsy.com/shop/BeckyM. You also might like Becky's blog, www.allinonedaystime.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Something Sketchy

I love the site Just Something I Made. Cathe Holden is extremely talented, and so generous when it comes to giving away her creations for free! Don't you love her latest share? She's offered free downloads of images from a Belgium sketch instruction book from the 1920s. Use them in your own creations, then don't forget to share them with us! Click here to head to JSIM for all the downloads.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friday Giveaway Winner: Cupcake Time!

Congratulations to our randomly generated contest winner, Lisa! She's won a super cute cupcake shaped kitchen timer! Who doesn't love a tasty-looking cupcake? Thank you to all who entered. We'll have another giveaway soon!

Oh, Hello Friend!

Maker Fair was last weekend! What did I buy at the Bazaar Bizarre, you ask? Honestly, there was not much that really knocked my socks off. Perhaps I've been around the handmade circuit too long. But I did pick up some really fun stuff from Oh, Hello Friend (www.ohhellofriend.com). I haven't taken my own pics so I borrowed from the Oh, Hello Friend blog to illustrate. I picked up a set of tiny air mail envelopes like the one seen above to use as name cards at a future party. My favorite though, was the baggie of wooden to/from tags I purchased. They look like smaller versions of these magnets shown below. The hot air balloon is to die for! Check out their blog to get an idea of what Oh, Hello Friend has to offer (their Etsy shop only seems to have the jewelry, but I'm sure they could sell you some tags if you reach out to them). Love it! Best in show!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brilliant Bows

I've been hard at work on crafts for a few upcoming features, so today's post is short and sweet so I can get back to my sewing machine! I admire these beautiful hand-folded paper bows by Avie Designs. Find these and more (like bookplates! You never see bookplates anymore!) at http://aviedesigns.bigcartel.com.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Giveaway: Cupcake Time!

This week we have a new Friday Giveaway! Up for grabs is this super sweet kitchen timer in the shape of a cupcake. To enter to win, leave a comment below saying whatever you please ("Gimme, gimme!" is acceptable). Want an extra chance to win? Follow @hostitnotes on Twitter and send me a tweet to say hello!

The giveaway ends at midnight PST on Monday. I'll announce the randomly chosen winner Tuesday morning. Good luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Paper Crush of the Day

I just found, and fell for, the cute and quirky paper goods you'll find online at BeanPaperDoll. Most of the items are hand stamped cards and tags, with some kicky little stickers to boot. The party banner tags up top were enough to secure my affections, but I'm also loving these:

Pinwheel Tags

Beetle Stickers

Forest Animals

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zara Home

When will Zara Home come to my neck of the woods? I remember first discovering Zara in Italy years ago during study abroad. I was thrilled to find the clothing store in New York when I moved there, and equally pleased to have it here in SF. But when, oh when, will Zara Home arrive?

For now I'll have to settle for pining for their goods from afar. All the more reason to begin planning a trip back to Italy, right? Check out some of the goodies they have online at www.zarahome.com.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pretty Little Popsicles for Two

Clearly my husband "gets me." He went out of his way to make sure I knew a new Zoku Quick Pop Maker was out—this time a two-seater—and that you can MAKE FACES WITH IT. Faces on your popsicles, people. Adorable ones. Ignoring the fact that I should have thought of this myself, I am overjoyed at the thought of buying one of these! It's just that for now...a thought...but I've wanted one ever since I posted about the original back in December of 2009. Yup. That long. Don't you think it's time I give in to my obsession? Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker at Williams-Sonoma

Monday, May 16, 2011

This House Makes Your Home

Berry Tablecloth ($30)

Ooh! Here's a new shop, spotted thanks to Style Me Pretty, filled with fantastic, colorful home and entertaining goods. It's called House 8810 (www.house8810.com) and it's a little kitsch, a little cute, and big on cheer. Check it out for yourself—but meanwhile here are a few of my faves. Even better, get 10% off now with their promo code SUMMERFUN_10.

Laundry Basket ($90)

Picnic Tablecloth ($28)

Hankies ($30 for 16)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ask a Hostess: A Golf Themed Retirement Party

Sources: Drink Dispenser, Golf Visor, Favor Bags, Cupcake Wrappers, Cupcakes, Umbrella, Cake Pops

A friend wrote me this week for a bit of party advice: My father is retiring at the end of the month, and we're putting together a celebration for him mid-June. He's asked for something low-key and he's an avid golfer. He and Mom go wine tasting and are going to host a wine bar for the event, but I haven't pinned down any other ideas regarding food or decoration. It should probably be golf-themed and the food should be more hors d'oevres and snacks instead of an actual dinner. I saw a photo somewhere of cupcakes with green frosting and toothpicks with golf flags on them, which I will probably incorporate, but Dad likes pie better than cake, so I'm thinking maybe some sort of dessert bar would be in order.

Thanks for writing, Melissa! I did a little thinking and can't help but want to steer you to a retro summer golf party. All the more so if you can host it outside, which will give it a casual backyard BBQ feel perfect for an open house. Lime green and lemon would be great colors. Create golf flags to label each table "Food," Drinks" and "Gifts," or get creative and use retro fonts to print custom signs like "Chipping and Sipping" for your wine bar. Serve Key Lime and Lemon Merengue Pie, and pair them with your cupcakes or even golf ball cake pops. Let guests pour their own Arnold Palmers—half iced tea/half lemonade, named for the famed golfer—from a spouted drink dispenser.

Decorations can be simple and color driven. Make a lemon and lime party bunting to hang above a door or on an outdoor fence. Search secondhand stores and friends' attics for vintage golf gear to display. Put out colorful golf umbrellas with lawn chairs below for shady outdoor seating. If you have a cement patio, round the edges of some astroturf for a miniature "green" under a few of the chairs.

You can go any direction with food, but I say keep it light and easy to eat with a napkin or small plate. Serve club sandwiches pre-quartered and secured with a golf flag-topped toothpick. Scoop potato chips into favor bags or cones rather serving them in a big bowl. Serve additional hors d'oeuvres that don't require heating or chilling.

Congratulations to your father on his retirement! I know whatever you decide to do it will be a wonderful, relaxed occasion.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inspiring Original Art

I had the good fortune to attend the opening of an art show last night at Actual Cafe in Oakland. My friend Nissa Brehmer was the artist debuting her collection, and I purchased a piece of her amazing original photo art. Above is my own photo of my new prize. Below, is an inspiration board I made around its colors! I can think of nothing better than art that inspires me. I can't wait till I set a party table in these gorgeous shades someday soon. To see more of Nissa's art visit www.nissanicole.com.

Sources: Hobnail Lamp, Footed Bowl, Paris Papercut Map, Rosettes, Cake Stand

Friday, May 13, 2011

Making Faces - Printables for a Funky Photo Booth

Agence Eureka (one of my favorite must-follow sites) posts fantastic free printables from vintage and found papers. Head there now to pick up these kooky facial expressions from what looks like an old party game. Kids will have fun mixing and matching expressions on the bank faces. I have an even better idea, though. Print each piece and attach to dowels. At your next party place them in the photo booth. Viola! Instant kissy face, mustache mouth, glaring eyes, smiles and winks. Guests can try a new expression on for size.

If you print and photograph this look for yourself, be sure to send a photo to hostess@host-itnotes.com. Smile!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Get Minted

I just got back from a lovely, long dinner where I made a few new friends. Our tasty meal at SF's Flour + Water was hosted by Mariam Naficy and Natasha Lawther of Minted. For those who've never heard of Minted, prepare to bookmark a new favorite site. It's a fabulous, designer-driven source for one-of-a-kind stationery. Fresh designs are submitted by creative folks from around the globe, then voted on by users. The winning designs are produced and sold on Minted.

What I really appreciate? General party invitations—no theme needed—that are classy. So often you can't find a simple, elegant way to invite your loved ones to spend time with you. You may feel forced into selecting a thematic invitation, usually the most expedient option, occasionally to cheesy effect (I'm talkin' to you, Evite and Hallmark). Instead, you can order from Minted and support a budding new designer while nabbing a unique look for your party.

Minted has some truly gorgeous bridal and baby shower invites as well. These two are so pretty they have me party-planning in my head already, and I don't know any brides-to-be!

Find these designs and more at www.minted.com. As for you aspiring and established designers—Minted has great design challenges throughout the year. Click here for more details.


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