Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where the Wild Things Party

For a look at an amazing party, head to Hostess With the Mostess to admire a modern Where the Wild Things Are themed party. You'll get great inspiration, and (even better!) there are tons of wonderful printables you can download. Not just one or two freebies, but downloadable signs, tags, and direction cards, plus a resource guide for throwing a similar party of your own! {Photo by Jackie Culmer of Jackie Culmer Photography and Design, via HWTM}

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cake Carriers You'll Covet

Okay, I know I have kind of been obsessing over Plasticland lately, but they just got these back in stock, and, frankly, you need to know it. I'm talking about their Deliciously Decorated Cake Carrier and their Cupcake Carrier! At $32 and $36 respectively, they're pretty reasonably priced. I'm craving these for my own collection, but with one painted carrier already and not a lot of storage space, I'll have to content myself with admiring yours...after you buy one and make me cupcakes, that is.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friday Giveaway Winner: Springtime Cupcake Kit

Congratulations to Cheryl, winner of last week's Friday Giveaway! Cheryl, you'll receive a springtime cupcake kit from The Bakers Confections. Please send an email to hostess @ to claim your prize.

Thank you to all who entered the contest. For links to readers' favorite spring tips and projects, check out the comments section after the post linked here! Don't forget, there will be more Friday Giveaways to come!

Cake Stand Love: Iacoli & McAllister Pedestals

I'm always on the lookout for a great new cake stand to admire. What just caught my eye—Iacoli & McAllister Pedestals. Classic styles with colorful bases make a great combination. These mini-pedestals are made from vintage brass candlestick holders that are sand blasted and painted with an industrial finish. I may not be able to swing the $120-$150 price tag, but these are great inspiration for picking up some new candlestick holders and spray paint colors!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kitchen Cuteness Face Off

Right now my online wishlist is bouncing back and forth between two shops: ModCloth and Plasticland. Up top we've got vintage and feminine fun from ModCloth's kitchen section. These colors are so pretty and peaceful! Below is Plasticland's take on feathering your nest. It's funky, kitschy, and colorful. I can't decide—I love both looks! I'll just have to find where the two styles meet in the middle...starting with that ice cream cone shaped kitchen timer.

Which kitchen collection captures your style? If not these, what stores do you love the most? Anthro? Pottery Barn? Or, even better, a store I've never even seen?

Photos via ModCloth and Plasticland.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Giveaway: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

During our last Friday Giveaway I asked readers to submit suggestions for what prizes they'd like to see in future giveaways. Cupcaking Your Face Off! said, "I'm a CupcakeAholic so anything Cupcake related would be awesome. Especially Cupcake Liners; There are so many different sizes, colors, themes etc I just want them all." And really, don't we all just love cupcakes? So, for this week's Friday Giveaway I'm putting an Easter Springtime Cupcake Kit by The Bakers Confections up for grabs! You'll get 30 cupcake liners (hello, polka dot!) and 2 jars of sprinkles in the shape of eggs, chicks, and other springy things.

To enter to win: Leave a comment below with a link to your favorite Easter craft or springtime recipe. It could be easter egg ideas, carrot cupcakes, DIY projects, anything! Find something you love out there in that world wide web, just be sure to include the link and tell us where you found it. The contest ends at midnight (PST) on Monday the 28th. You must be based in the U.S. to be eligible to win.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cool Cake and a Free Download

Here's one of the most beautiful images I've seen in days: this cake is a creation you'll find over at One Charming Party. Hie thee there to admire this photo and more. You'll die for the ice cream cone birthday hat. The cherry on top? One Charming Party even has free invitations and thank you notes you can download! Do it now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Traying Up

In my living room you'll find a giant ottoman in lieu of the standard functional coffee table. Consequently, I've developed an obsession with trays. Trays keep our drinks upright, corral our magazines and remotes, and hold my chips and salsa. In short, my life would be pretty glum without my collection of trays.

To feed my addiction, I popped by Fish's Eddy while in NYC last week. Fish's Eddy is one of my favorite stores, and I always find something to love there. This time I picked up the sweet little "Admit One" ticket tray above, perfect for a carnival party. Above are some of my favorite trays, all of which are available online at While you're there, check out their vintage-looking storage containers. I have a set that pulls double duty as both storage and cereal bowls. I adore them!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A recent trip to NYC included a trip to one of my favorite stores—the colorful and whimsical Pylones. Pylones is filled with giftable eye candy for the home and also for fun. Check out these products to get a feel for their style:


Ice Cream Scoop

Serving Tray

Ice Bucket

A little bit funky and fun, right? With most of their stores in Europe and Asia, those of us outside of Manhattan will have to make do with their online store for now: Check it out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Light Up, Light Up

Today we've got a quick round-up of excellent birthday candles that are oh-so-much-better than your standard grocery store find. Enjoy! (Up top: Matchstick Candles, $6.50)

Kaboom Candles, $8.95. They look like little Acme bombs—perfect for an old-school cartoon birthday cake!

Dynamite Candles, $6.99

Blokz Party Candles, $8.95

Flikz Lighter Candles, $8.95

Cupcake Candles, $10

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love: Bloggers Day of Silence

Looking at the aftermath of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it's hard not to want to help in any way you can. Tomorrow, March 18th, I'll be participating in the Bloggers Day of Silence. Organized by Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours, it's a day free of the usual inundation of fluffy blog posts, with a focus instead on raising funds to help the victims in Japan. Head to their fundraising page if you're interested in donating to the cause. They've teamed up with ShelterBox, an organization providing emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to disaster victims (more information here). Host-It Notes will be back on Monday, and until then I encourage you to donate!

Maid of Clay

I thought I'd seen it all before when it comes to monograms, until I spotted these amazing Monogram Vases by Maid of Clay in Poppytalk's online handmade market. One of these with a new couples' initials would make a killer centerpiece at a bridal shower or wedding, or just a wonderful, unique gift for the bride and groom. Click here to shop Poppytalk for yourself (or for me). Or head straight to Maid of Clay's Etsy shop:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Twine-Tastic Blog

We've talked about The Twinery and their amazing products before (if you missed that, click here to visit the post)—but can we talk about their blog? Because it's awesome. I hadn't noticed it before, mainly because it's not in-your-face advertised on their site, but it's now a must read for me! It's full of fun projects that make use of their great twine. To check it out for yourself head to {Photos via The Twinery blog}

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Friday Giveaway Winner: Ice Cream Treats

I'm so thrilled with the response to the latest Friday Giveaway! I promise to keep your great suggestions in mind as I shop for future contest prizes.

Now, without further ado, we have a winner! Congratulations to our randomly chosen winner, eclairre, who suggested that cupcake toppers be offered in a future giveaway. Eclairre, please send an email to hostess @ to claim your prize.

Thanks to all of you who wrote in with your suggestions! Look for some of them to be offered as prizes in the months ahead!

Lover Dovers Aprons

I'm just learning to sew, and my next big project is going to be an apron. In the meantime though, I can't help but think I absolutely need one of these ultra-fabulous retro aprons by Lover Dovers. Check out their Etsy shop here—it's a must—and in the meantime feast your eyes on these fancy designs (Up top: Retro Red Apron). These just might win my award for Hostess Gift of the Year! (Hey, should we have awards?)

Snow White Inspired Apron

Orange Mushroom Print

Retro Pink Apron

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ask Your Hostess: What To Serve When Meeting the Parents

Host-It Notes reader, Jessica, asked for a bit of advice this week: I'm hoping you can give me some suggestions. My boyfriend's parents are flying in to town in a few weeks, and I have invited them to my house the day they arrive. They'll already have had dinner before they come over, so I am looking for any suggestions you might have on food/beverages to serve them. I was thinking maybe some desserts and wine but other than that I have no idea. Here is the other complicating factor: I will only have about an hour at home before they ring my doorbell.

Thanks for writing in, Jessica! You'll want something a little more special than standard choco-chip cookies, but you don't want to be baking as they arrive. Consider a modest cheesecake bar. Buy or make a plain cheesecake ahead of time then offer it up with caramel, chocolate, and raspberry toppings or crumbled chocolate wafer cookies. If that seems over the top for the occasion, just serve single slices of cheesecake drizzled with a topping and add a few berries and a sprig of mint to the plate. Get yourself a little squeeze bottle so you can make the drizzle pretty. This is a great excuse for buying a large, lovely tray to carry out all the slices at once!

Cookies are also a good make-ahead option, but make it a mini dessert bar presentation—lemon bars stacked on a small cake stand with some colorful macarons or brownie bites on a plate below. Have pretty cocktail napkins on hand.

A third option is an angel food or bundt cake. Make the presentation special by placing a small bouquet of flowers in the center of the cake. I used a small jam jar as the vase in the photos.

Offer your guest after-dinner coffee/tea and wine. Maybe even pick up a nice port. The trick is to be prepared and have choices but still make it all look casual so they feel comfortable.

Good luck, and happy hosting!

Got a question? Looking for party inspiration? Send an email to hostess @—I'd love to help!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Giveaway: Ice Cream Treats

I scream, you scream...for Friday Giveaways! This week we're giving away a copy of Ice Cream Treats: Easy Ways to Transform Your Favorite Ice Cream into Spectacular Desserts by Charity Ferreira. It has recipes like Ice Cream Babas, Mocha Frappe, and a Boston Ice Cream Pie. Yum!

My prize shelf is running low and it's time to stock up, so to enter to win this Friday Giveaway leave a comment letting me know what kinds of prizes you'd like to see in future Friday Giveaways. Any books you've been wanting to read? Any little party items you've had your eye on? Share the love!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

DIY Moroccan Lanterns

This tutorial for glass jar lanterns is astounding!! Katie Steuernagle of Matsutake and OhDeeDoh took the most mundane supplies ever—we're talking spaghetti jars and puffy paint—and turned them into AWESOME lanterns! I can't wait to try this myself! Click here to head to Matsutake for the full tutorial.

{spotted via Design Sponge}

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Into Sweet Paul

Sweet Paul's Spring 2011 issue is up and it's awesome! Totally kid-tastic, it is full of ideas perfect for dishing up delightful dinners and parties for children. Here are the highlights from this Special Kids' Issue:

  • Mmm...Applesauce Cake (pg. 16)
  • Handmade Picks—including felt petit fours and gorgeous printed folding boats (pg. 24)
  • Eggs-cellent egg dishes (pg. 40)
  • Family-friendly recipes (pg. 58)
  • Frozen treats (pg. 88)

All this and more makes settling down with Sweet Paul worth the read!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Friday Giveaway Winner: Hello, Cupcake!

And we have a winner! Congratulations to Leslie, our randomly chosen winner, whose favorite frosting flavor is white chocolate and strawberry. Leslie gets a copy of Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson. Leslie, please send us an email at hostess {at} to claim your prize!

Thanks to all of you who entered. I especially love the boozy-flavored frosting recommendations from our readers. Michael Willen says, "On New Years I made champagne flavored frosting and it was BOMB" and cakeheaven loves "Vodka and lime frosting - the vodka really lifts the buttercream and makes it really light and frothy!" Recipes, please?

Eye Candy from Tofu Cute

I've just discovered Tofu Cute, an adorable UK-based online shop full of ultra-cute Asian accessories, stationery and toys. Their products are perfect for dessert-themed parties, tea time, and kawaii kids parties. All I can say is, "More, please!" Up top: Sweet Petites Pearl Macaron Charm, £2.99

Kawaii Tea-Bag Memo Note Set, £1.99

Kawaii Fried Egg Plush Keychain, £2.99

Super Long Kawaii Food Sticker Sheet, £2.50

Dim Sum Kawaii Buns Mini Card / Gift Tag, £0.75

Monday, March 7, 2011

Retro Tea Time

Tea parties don't have to be princess pink. What about a kicky retro look? Pick up one or more of these fantastic retro tea-themed posters by Handz ReStyle Shop. These prints are inspired by Scandinavian mid century modern design. Up top: Swedish Tea Time, $36; below: You Are My Cup of Tea, $19

Great Way to Enjoy Tea, $34

As for the tea itself, find a stylish old tea set to serve a cup in style, like this or this one. Pinkies up!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Giveaway: Hello, Cupcake!

Happy Friday, everyone! This week we have another book to giveaway, and naturally it's one of our favorites. Leave a comment after the post telling us your favorite frosting flavor and you'll be entered to win a copy of Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. The contest ends at midnight on Monday the 7th, so enter to win now!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

St. Patty's Day Cupcakes

I love St. Patricks Day-themed food and decor that's cute but not hokey. That's why I like Hello, Cupcake's Design of the Month—Blarney Stone and Shamrock Cupcakes. Sugared fruit jellies are rolled out to make the shamrocks. Loveable. Edible. Nothing wrong here. Well...I'm not quite as keen on the stone cupcakes, but I wouldn't turn one away if it knocked on my door. Click here to head to their site for the recipe and a link to the technique behind it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

St. Patty's Day Download

How Does She? has full and free downloadable set of printables by Chickabug to get you ready for Saint Patrick's Day. It's pretty cute, and did I mention it's free? Head to How Does She? for the link and password to download the images. Happy printable St. Patty's Day! {Photo: How Does She?}

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Artist Love: Isabelle Abramson

Artist Isabelle Abramson has some absolutely stunning pieces in her shop, I just had to share. Her porcelain pendant lamps are absolute show-stoppers. If you don't have a big chunk of change burning a hole in your pocket, you could opt for a small lotus bowl, or her gorgeous scalloped-edge berry bowl. If you're budget anything is like mine, we can at least indulge in this pretty $5 wrapping paper!


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