Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just want to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! And remember, if you have any turkey questions, you can ask Butterball via @Butterball on Twitter or 1-800-BUTTERBALL or e-mail at You can meet the Turkey Talk Line experts here. The talk line will be open through December, so keep this information handy! :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Hostess Gifts

'Tis the season for parties! As you gather with family, friends, and co-workers to celebrate the holiday season, you no doubt have quite a few gatherings on your calendar. We all know how much work goes into hosting a get-together, and we all know just how stressful they can be on top of the holiday madness.

Quick Bread
Photo from (link below)
I believe it's important to acknowledge the host's and hostess's hospitality, so consider bringing along a hostess gift to each of your holiday soirees this season. I particularly like to share handmade gifts, so if your schedule allows, handmade gifts add a special touch to the gift.

Cocktail Mixers
Photo from (link below)
As usual, Martha Stewart and crew provide some great homemade ideas that make great hostess gifts. They also make it easy for you to make enough for multiple gifts, thus stretching your budget further (love it!). AND, you could even give these as small tokens to neighbors, co-workers, and your children's teachers.

Here are a couple of my favorite Hostess Gift Ideas from Martha Stewart:

Quick Breads - I love to bake!
Cocktail Mixers - Mmm!
Tea Sachets - Get crafty!

As you kick off this week with Thanksgiving, don't forget to share your gratitude with your dinner hosts! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

If you want more inspiration, please check out a previous Creative Entertaining blog post for Homemade Candy Gift ideas. These also work great as hostess gifts or even holiday party favors.
Do you have any great hostess gift ideas? Share them in a comment below!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Carving and Fall Decor

Halloween is only a week and a half away (yikes, why is fall moving so quickly??) so I'm here to help you with the oh-so-important task of pumpkin carving. If you're anything like me, you may have a love/hate relationship with the task of carving pumpkins. I love the experience of going to pick out my own pumpkin (or two), and I relish the end product of whatever design I chose to carve. But I get lost around the part of trying not to lose any fingers while using sharp objects on a slippery and gooey pumpkin... and then having to clean up my mess. :-)

But I digress...

Pumpkin carving is an integral part of the fall season. And while some may attribute this tradition specifically to Halloween, there's no reason to not include carved pumpkins as part of your general fall/harvest or Thanksgiving decor as well.

Witch Silhouette by

As always, the crew over at Martha Stewart has some great ideas for your carved pumpkins. They've even provided templates for you to help make the job a bit easier. And for those who are not so comfortable with carving a pumpkin (or for the little kids), browse through the templates and you'll find some that have been adapted for painting an image onto a pumpkin.

Haunted House by

Some of the templates will serve you well as a centerpiece for a dinner or dessert table. The one pictured below is the Vine and Leaf Centerpiece.

Vine and Leaf Centerpiece by

For those who are brave enough hosts, consider inviting others over to a pumpkin carving party. It doesn't have to be an affair just for the kids; it could also be a family party or an adults-only soiree.

Create My Event has a wonderful DIY project that I'm going to try myself, Haunting Halloween Hurricane Candles. I may have to adapt the project for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I do want to attempt this project soon. See the photo below...

Photo by Create My Event

Best wishes for a wonderful Halloween celebration!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Puppy Pawty

Thanks to Amy of Stem Parties for sharing this party from Dinner Bells (click on the Dinner Bells link to go to the original "pawty" post).

I thought this party was so creative that I wanted to share it with you as well. What I love most about it is that a pet's birthday is yet another great reason to throw a party! :) Like you need a reason to throw a party...

Photos by Dinner Bells; collage by Stem Parties
Pictured above is Jack, the birthday puppy, along with some features of his party. The theme was tennis balls because that is Jack's all-time favorite toy.

Photo by Dinner Bells
I really love how Jack's mom incorporated party treats for both canines and humans, making this a fun occasion for all who attended. Check out the Dinner Bells link above to read a first-hand account of Jack's party and to see more photos and details of the pawty.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Punchbowl Halloween Contest

Ok, you creative entertainers! I'm here to tell you about Punchbowl's Halloween recipe contest. It's super-easy to enter, and they are looking for FIVE winning entries to feature on Punchbowl! If you don't know what Punchbowl is, it's a party-planning website that let's you take care of all the details of your event in one place. Click the link above to head to their home page.

Here's how the contest works:
- Submit your most creative, scary, imaginative Halloween recipe.
- You have until 11:59 PM EST on October 25, 2010 to enter the contest.
- Recipes must include a list of ingredients and directions of how to make the recipe. You may also submit a link to a blog post about the dish.
- Winners will be recognized in a special pre-Halloween e-mail newsletter, and they will also win a free Platinum Punchbowl membership.

If you're interested in learning more or entering the contest, please click here. This will take you to Punchbowl's blog with the official details of the contest and how to submit your entries.

Good luck! :-) And if you are a winner, be sure to let me know!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tasting Parties

I was out of town two weeks ago and to kill some time one afternoon, I stopped by the local Pier 1 Imports store. I love this store because I always walk in and feel so inspired to entertain, and without fail, this visit created the same reaction. Or maybe it was worse this time. I. WANTED. IT. ALL. :-) In the words of Rachel Zoe, "I DIE!"

What's the big deal? See photo below. Pier 1 has a new line of tableware for tasting parties! 

What is a tasting party? This concept comes from the tapas and small plate trends in restaurants. I would personally host a tasting party and either a) have an excuse to make a bunch of different recipes that I love, or b) invite others to bring along their favorite dish to share with the rest of the party guests.

What makes this a fun concept is that a tasting party is meant to taste... so the portions are smaller, unluck a traditional potluck event. So if I love food so much, why would I want to eat less?? Hello, annual holiday season weight gain! :-) I love the tasting party concept especially for holiday celebrations for a few reasons...
  1. We all tend to groan at yet "another" holiday party.
  2. It will enable you to provide food for your guests without stressing over the party budget.
  3. It provides a variety of options for every palate.
  4. Since you will not be providing a full meal, you can host a tasting party at alternate time (like afternoon) which will help ease the stress for guests who have multiple holiday party invitations for the same evening. 
  5. You can elect to pair the food tasting with a beverage tasting as well. Try out some new concoctions or wines you've been wanting to try. Or, invite your guests to bring their favorite beverage to share since you'll be providing the food.
Photo courtesy of
What might possibly be the most fun part about a tasting party is the miniture dishware that Pier 1 Imports now offers for your convenience.... and just how CUTE are those mini spoons?? Click here to browse through Pier 1's online store to check them out for yourself.

Photo courtesy of
You don't need to limit yourself to hosting a tasting party solely during the holiday season. Use this concept for a chocolate tasting, a night with the girls (or guys), a child's birthday party, or a viewing party for the big game.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Masquerade Party Inspiration

I have some party inspiration to share with you! I was scrolling through some previous Hostess with the Mostess blog posts and came across this wonderful Sparkling Drink Station concept as part of a "Festival du Bebe" celebration.

Photo from Hostess with the Mostess

The sparkling drink station is a great concept in that guests can select from provided ingredients to mix their own beverages. This is a great way to satisfy many different tastes and also provide an interactive activity for your guests. The whimsy of the masquerade-inspired theme you'll see in the original post (click the link above) makes this concept a fun one to try for your own special occasion!

The link to the sparkling drink station above is Part 2 of the Festival du Bebe overview. Click here for Part 1 which shows the party decor (shown below).

Photo from Hostess with the Mostess

Also, you can purchase the printable party accents here. Yay!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Planning Ahead: Hostess Gifts

Photo from Soul of the Rose

I want to share with you a new discovery: Soul of the Rose Gifts. The photo above is of some gift items I received from them recently. The photo below is the super cute and fragrant packaging those gifts came in (they included a beautiful sachet that I could smell before I even got the box open!).

I highly encourage you to check out the link above to the Soul of the Rose blog. From there, you can visit the online shop, become a fan on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. When you visit the shop, click on "Gift Boutique," then select "Hostess Gifts" from the left hand sidebar. They have a variety of unique hostess treats that will surely be appreciated by any hostess.

Bookmark Soul of the Rose on your web browser. As you get into the busy holiday season, you'll appreciate having a go-to shop for your hostess (and holiday!) gift needs. :-)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Margarita Cupcakes- Tasted and Approved!

In a recent post, I shared with you some birthday inspiration in the form of margarita-flavored cupcakes. Well, my friend and I got together to make some of these treats, and LET ME TELL YOU... they are DIVINE!

We used a recipe found on the Homemade by Holman blog. Click here for her Margarita Cupcake post. We didn't follow the icing recipe exactly because we experimented with some other icing options, but the end result was delicious. We topped off the icing with yellow and green sugar crystals and a lime wedge... ole!

Here are some photos of the end result...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Twitter, what?

I've been on a mission to make some updates to this blog recently, and I hope you've noticed! Please feel free to leave comments/ideas/suggestions if there's anything you would like to see.

One new addition is your ability to share this blog and specific postings you like on various social media outlets (over to the right). Also added on the right side of your screen is a link to follow my personal Twitter account (@jaime_events). If you have a Twitter account, please leave me a comment, and I would love to follow you too!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ode to Cupcakes

Today is my birthday, and I'm taking three whole days to celebrate this year! Why? Well, because I feel like it. :-)

I started the celebration yesterday with my best friend. There is a new cupcake boutique in town called "Celebrations." Isn't that a cute name? Here's a photo of our cupcake selections.

On the left is the lemon cake with raspberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting, and on the right is a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and a little chunk of a Reese's on top.

If you've followed my blog for awhile now you know that I ADORE cupcakes. Seriously adore them, and I'm convinced that cupcakes make every problem better. The world will eventually be a better place because of delicious and CUTE cupcakes.

So, I set out on a quest to find my ultimate birthday "must-have." I searched through blogs for anything that might inspire me and trigger the "aha!" response. Well, I finally found two birthday must-haves... and they are both cupcakes. :-) I'd like to share them with you.

(Photo courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess)
The first must-have is margarita cupcakes with lime frosting. This inspiration came from Hostess with the Mostess. I'm so curious if a cupcake can truly taste like one of my favorite blended beverages.... I'm very lucky to have a best friend who will be making me her own version of margarita cupcakes today. Mmmmmm, I can't wait to taste them!

(Photo courtesy of Bakerella)

The second must-have is Aloha Cupcakes by Bakerella. Just by looking at them, I want to stop and have a luau on the spot! And, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, the pineapple cake with mango frosting? I'll be lucky if each of them even makes it out of the mixing bowl!

I definitely have a fruity cupcake theme going on here, but hey, we've gotta get our "fruits" and vegetables somehow, right? ;-)

Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day. Enjoy those cupcakes!

Friday, August 20, 2010

End of Summer Celebration

Did I just say that? The END of summer? Well, try as I might to deny it, the end of summer is quickly approaching... so, what is there to do about it?? Throw a party, of course!

(Photo from Skip to My Lou)

I came across this awesome and very easy idea from Skip to My Lou that I wanted to share with you. I just love the simplicity of the Shrimp Boil concept! Click on the link to read about it. If you must, add a few decorative elements, but I like the fact that this concept is so laid-back, just like summer.

So, take a look, pick a date, and gather a group of family and friends to celebrate another fantastic summer.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wedding Theme Idea

(Photo from Hostess with the Mostess)

I. LOVE. THIS. IDEA! Check out a recent post from Hostess with the Mostess. She shares her concept for her upcoming 10th wedding anniversary, a "Wedding Hangover" theme. Click on the link to find out the details.

I also think this could be a fun concept for a "morning after" brunch after the wedding, as a way to relax with family and close friends while reliving the memories of the big day. Or, for the adventurous folks who will have a Vegas wedding, this theme could be incorporated all in the name of fun!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Paper Pans


I need an excuse to bake. Well, I guess I have one since it's been raining here for what seems like AGES. And it's supposed to keep on raining, for DAYS, so maybe firing up the oven would do a soul some good! :-)

So why do I have the urge to bake? It's Bakerella's fault! She shared a new discovery with the world, paper baking pans!

(Photo by Bakerella)

They are so pretty... and FUN. What's almost more fun is her Yummy Bananaberry Muffin recipe.

(Photo by Bakerella)

Check out her blog post here for more information about the paper baking pans and to get her Yummy Bananaberry Muffin recipe.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"What Will It Be?" Baby Gender Reveal Party

(Photo by The Nature of Grace)

How CUTE is this party?? Check out The Nature of Grace blog for a bee-utiful baby gender reveal party concept. Click here to go directly to the blog post and read about the wonderful DIY projects that brought this concept together.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fun Giveaway from Hostess with the Mostess

Hostess with the Mostess posted a fun giveaway. Hurry, enter to win on her blog! These fun Persona gift pail kits make great gifts, party favors or take-home party favors. Check out Persona Gift Pails here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eco-Friendly Grad Party Inspiration

I was browsing through to find inspiration for spring and summer celebrations. I came across an Eco-Friendly Graduation Party concept from Martha Stewart Living's editorial food director Lucinda Scala Quinn, who coordinated this party to celebrate her son's graduation from the University of Vermont. Below are some photos (credits: to pique your interest. Click here to see the party details and more enticing photos of this event!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inspiration to the 50th Degree

I recently completed a fundraising auction/dinner for a non-profit organization. It was a fun event because the organization was celebrating a significant milestone of 50 years of service to the community. I thought I would share with you some of the elements of this event.

This year was the organization's 29th annual auction, but since they were celebrating the 50th anniversary, we decided to ditch the traditional Irish theme of the event (it is held in March every year) in lieu of incorporating elements of a "golden" anniversary. We traded the green decor for black, gold, and cranberry. The whimsical was elevated to classy, and party beads were exchanged for gold and glitz.

Champagne flutes featured a custom 50th anniversary logo; guests who purchased a glass were entered into a drawing to win a beautiful diamond bracelet.

We also had chocolates on the tables and gorgeous rose centerpieces with gold floral accents.

In a fun twist, the desserts even color-coordinated with the colors of our event!

This was an all-around inspirational event that reconnected donors to the mission of the organization. The hard work of dozens upon dozens of volunteers helped make this event possible!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

My favorite Mermaids recently asked if I would write another article for their e-zine, Mermaids of the Lake. This time they asked for a graduation party concept. My inspiration came from Dr. Seuss' book, Oh! The Places You'll Go!. Check out the article here.

Happy 2nd birthday to the Mermaids on the Lake! :-)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Have an Egg-cellent Easter!

This post is just a quickie today to wish all of my readers a wonderful Easter!

Annnnnnnnd, since I can't wait to share this with you, here's a peek at what I made to bring to a potluck Easter dinner tonight.  These Rice Krispies egg-treats are fun for kids and adults alike.  They were super-easy and fun to make!  Check out the Rice Krispies website for fun and creative ideas.



Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Update

Oh, where have I been?? The first four months of the year are usually difficult for me to maintain regular blog postings because that is my busiest season of the year at my day job. One major event down, two more to go! I recently completed a successful fundraising auction/anniversary celebration dinner, so I will post a recap of that event and pictures about in the coming weeks.

In addition, I'm working on getting some real life wedding stories to recap for you as well. I'll keep you posted on those.

Seeing as Easter is RIGHT around the corner, and if you're as busy as I am, it might have snuck up on you! I will be posting a couple of creative Easter ideas as well as some Spring decor and entertaining ideas for you.

First up: Eggshell Votives!

Photo courtesy of

I saw the above photo and thought this was a festive idea as yet another way to incorporate eggs into our Easter celebration. Follow the link here to get instructions on how to make these votive candles. Quick tip: hot glue your wick to the bottom of the shell before filling the shell with wax (this will prevent the wick from floating in the wax).

Next Up: Chocolate Eggs!

Photo courtesy of

This one's for the die-hard chocoholic! Warning: this project is somewhat labor- and time-intensive... but HOW can you resist the charm and beauty of your own chocolate eggs inside a REAL egg shell?? Follow this link to get the how-to from Martha. The instructions tell you how to create a chocolate shell within the egg shell so you can fill the shell with ganache (recipe provided). Be sure to read the comments for the instructions to get some good feedback and tips on how to make this project a little bit smoother the first time around.

**Both of these ideas can pull double-duty as table decor and favors. Consider making these as nice take-home gifts for family and friends by wrapping each in colored cellophane and a brightly colored ribbon.**

More ideas to come!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Image from

CHECK.THIS.OUT! What a fun addition to your child's birthday, a wedding, anniversary, graduation, or other celebration... Photofetti is photo confetti that you can customize with your own photo(s). They will mix your Photofetti with colored accent pieces to match your event and voila, you've got a party!

Visit Photofetti here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Food Fun

Whatever your plans are for Valentine's Day, here are a couple of quick and super-easy ideas involving festive food for the occasion.

Pick up a metal heart cookie cutter at your local store and use it to make a heart-shaped breakfast for your sweeties. This works well for pancakes and eggs. You can also use the cookie cutter to cut hearts out of slices of toast. Don't forget to spray the inside of the cookie cutter with a little bit of cooking spray so the food doesn't stick to it.

Another fun food idea is cutting shapes from brownies and putting a dollap of frosting on top. Wilton has combo cutters in two shapes, "minis" and hearts. I used the minis cutter for these Valentine treats for my co-workers. You can find the minis combo cutter here and the hearts combo cutter here at the Wilton website (see photos below). These cutters are so easy to use, and the three...yes, THREE... batches of brownies I made were cut up in a snap!

(Hearts combo cutter and minis combo cutter. Photos courtesy of Wilton. Links to photos are above.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Last Minute Super Bowl Idea

I was shopping at Cabela's a few weeks ago (it's an outdoor sportsman's store) and saw a display that they had set up for the Super Bowl. I really liked the "football field" they created, so I grabbed a quick shot of it on my cell phone (sorry for the photo quality).

You can recreate this same idea on a green table cloth or table runner to make it a fun tablescape. Use your creativity to add goalposts and team spirit. Don't forget to leave room for the yummy finger foods! If you are still in need of some ideas for your game-time eats, check out my previous Super Bowl post here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stop and Smell the Roses

This sweet display of roses is a sample centerpiece for an upcoming fundraising event I'm working on. We have such wonderful people who are sharing their talents with us to help us create a wonderful event. The inspiration for this event is the organization's 50th anniversary, so the color gold is being used to commemorate the "golden anniversary." Complimentary colors of red and black are also being used throughout the event.

As the event draws closer, I'm grateful to have this centerpiece nestled between my computer monitor and Rolodex. The roses make me smile, pause, and take a deep breath before I jump into the next task. I encourage you to take some time this week to stop and smell the roses... to relax and take a deep breath before moving on. :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010


In my day job I plan fundraising events for a non-profit in Washington state. We have a big auction coming up in a few weeks, so my days and work weeks lately have been looong. At any rate, I came across a really cool company in Oregon that is helping us out by printing custom champagne glasses for our event. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find someone who printed on glass. That was an interesting dilemma, and thank goodness we found a company, even if they are several hundred miles away from us.

Introducing: Tri-S. This company does some amazing print work for breweries and liquor companies (unfortunately, I am not able to re-post any photos from their website, so you'll have to click the link and check out Tri-S for yourself). As I was talking with them the other day, I discovered that they've also done custom print work for weddings and other personal celebrations. One couple had an image of their dog printed on beer glasses along with their names and their wedding date as favors for their wedding guests. I thought I would share the idea with you all and provide you with a quality, reputable, and environmentally responsible company that can handle the job.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Steal This Idea!

Photo from No Fuss Fabulous; link below

Ok, maybe it's not nice to steal, but definitely BORROW this one! How CUTE are these Cupcake Doilie Skirts???? Click here for the original post, photos, and instructions from No Fuss Fabulous. How's this for a fun way to jazz up those Valentine's Day cupcakes or Pretty Princess party cupcakes?