I jumped on the opportunity to throw my friend’s baby shower when I found out it was a girl. I usually strive for unisex in all things baby until their preference is obvious, but honestly, I wanted to tackle this girly party because I love a good challenge! I break out in an itchy rash whenever I see the “girl” aisle in the toy store even though I totally loved it as a kid. Now that I’m a parent, I’m definitely more sensitive to the gender specific stuff. Rather than give into the unisex themes, I thought it would be more fun to go straight at the stereotype with a tongue-in-cheek uber-girly party with all kitschy vintage teenage girl details. Think pink foam hair rollers, 60’s prom dresses, pleather diaries with locks…you get the idea. Since my friend is a fellow North Carolinian , the theme also accidentally took on a 60’s Southern belle vibe! Continue reading
Tag Archives: party
Back in March, I made my brother’s wedding invitations and they’re a great example of professional looking invitations that you can achieve with a home printer. Since watercolor washes and hand lettering are very hot right now, I decided to incorporate their wedding colors and greenery into something very modern and simple using both of those trends.
While I adore very traditional and clean invitations as well, those look best letterpressed on heavy paper which can be very expensive. If you were to print something like that at home, they would look really cheap and chintzy. By designing something a little bit more elaborate and colorful, printing on a home printer doesn’t effect the overall quality. The type of paper you print on also helps a lot, so think outside of the box. If you have a rear loading printer (which I highly recommend), you can jam fairly heavy paper through it. For these invitations, I cut down a Strathmore Watercolor paper to 8.5″x11″, but one of my other favorites for invitations is the Strathmore Bristol paper. I also mounted the printed invitation onto a heavy kraft chipboard to add some weight, making them feel more special and expensive.
Here are some other tips for tricking people into thinking your invitations were super expensive :
- Rounded or punched corners. There are so many paper punches and cutters available online or at the craft store. You can have eyelet corners or simple rounded ones like these or even full lace edges.
- High resolution printing. I’ve received too many handmade invitations that looked ridiculously cheap because the resolution was low and the images or text were pixellated. It’s one thing to make your own invitations, it’s another thing to not try at all! It’s your wedding, not your birthday pizza party.
- Get fancy with your address labels. Print well designed, coordinating labels or spend some money having your envelope addresses hand-lettered. Nothing says “cheap invitation” like Times New Roman on a clear sticky label from Staples!
- Buy paper from an art store instead of an office store. This is a gross generalization because there are nice printer papers out there these days, but there are definitely more options at an art store, from drawing pads to photo printer papers created for professional photographers. This is where your rear paper feed, ink jet printer will come in handy.
- Get a printer for crafting. I regret buying my high-end Epson everyday. I never use it because it has a front drawer feed so the paper has to make a sharp bend to get through the machine and the inks don’t work on specialty papers like water slide paper, vellum, or transparencies. I had to buy a separate printer that could handle all sorts of media and tasks and I love it, but I never expected to only use my Epson as a scanner. It’s pretty sad. Do yourself a favor and get the Canon I have. It’s tiny and a freaking badass workhorse.
- Get pretty stamps….and I mean actually pretty…not just those damn “love” stamps because you think you have to get those for your wedding. Some of the “love” stamps are super ugly! Take your finished product to the post office and ask exactly how much postage you’ll need on each one. If they only have ugly stamps, then order ones you like online at usps.com and combine them to get the postage you need. There are also much prettier “love” stamps online than there are in most post offices.
When your little brother and his fiancée ask you and your dad to make their wedding cake, you say “of course”, but when they ask if you can make THREE, you choke a little, then smile and still say “of course”. They insisted that they wanted something simple and rustic, but when you have to make cake for 150 people in a rented home kitchen, things will always get a little interesting. We had made three cakes for our wedding as well with only a few hitches, but we rented an industrial refrigerator for them and bought vanilla buttercream instead of making it ourselves (a huge time and money saver!). These two crazy kooks wanted flavored buttercreams and one carrot cake, so everything was made from scratch in many, many batches. Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but I love Pinterest. LOVE IT. But for a while there, I think I was just creating an internet-only beautiful life that I wasn’t fully living. Virtual life no longer! I’m cooking the recipes, crafting the crafts and using the inspiration boards for my own decor. Here’s what I tried out for my latest party! Continue reading
Just before Thanksgiving, I co-hosted a high tea baby shower at Hotel Bel Aire and the holidays got in the way of me sharing how lovely it was! This was a small shower for a second baby, so the mother-to-be wanted something intimate at a restaurant…which was a strange new world for a DIY party gal like myself! I was put in charge of invitations, favors, and simply making the table more personal. It has been a long time since I threw a small party, so being able to spend a little more money and time on these things was a nice change. Here’s the intimate tea shower round-up: Continue reading
By: Jeff Hinchee
As someone who reads Delia’s blog, you no doubt spend your free moments thinking about how lucky her friends are to regularly indulge in her epic and well conceived parties. We ARE very lucky. Delia and (husband) Jeff are really amazing friends, so I wanted to throw them the baby shower they deserve. Actually, when Delia and I were in California last year throwing baby showers she pulled me aside, looked me in my eyes and said— totally deadpan— “Take notes. This is your job when I’m pregnant.”
Throwing a party for such a seasoned party planner is a daunting task. Even though I knew she would be happy with anything, you would never invite the Queen of England to stay in your railroad apartment and sleep on the Ikea mattress on the floor that you call a bed. And so I enlisted the help of some other devoted friends, referenced Martha Stalwart frequently, and proved that you, reader, CAN throw these parties too!
We figured it was time to find a new place to decorate, cozy up and entertain in since we aren’t quite edgy enough to raise a baby in a garage loft. For now, enjoy this holiday party post, use the recipes (everything was delicious!) and next year, get ready for new-apartment posts and baby nesting!
Our party had a much looser theme than last year, but we encouraged people to wear “vintage holiday” attire….any decade would do. Jeff and I channeled the 60’s, mostly because it was the only vintage maternity dress I could find! Here’s what we served:
- Hot Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips and Toasted Baguette Slices (Martha Stewart)
- Cheese and Meat Plate (Trader Joe’s cheeses, salamis, fig butter and hot pepper jelly)
- Dill Dip With Veggies (recipe below)
- Marcona Almonds (Trader Joe’s)
- Glazed Ham with Mustard (Trader Joe’s)
- Roasted Winter Vegetables (recipe below)
- Butternut Squash and Turnip Gratin (Wine Garage)
- Classic Stuffing (recipe below)
- Touch-of-Grace Biscuits (from The Bread Bible, but these are similar)
- Yule Log (Cake, Filling, Icing (whip this until light and fluffy once it is thickened at room temp), Mushrooms)
- Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake (Martha Stewart I also added a simple orange juice and 10x glaze)
- Hot Chocolate with Gingerbread Snowflakes (Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Snowflakes)
We served this with raw veggies at the party, but traditionally, my family serves it in a rye or pumpernickel bread bowl with rye and pumpernickel bread cubes (it’s the best!).
- 16 oz. mayonnaise
- 16 oz. sour cream
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry dill weed
Mix everything together in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving.
- 5 cups whole cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 6 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into hunks
- 1 large acorn squash, seeds removed, cut in wedges along grooves, peeled and cut into hunks
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 425. Line 2 sheet pans with foil and put the mushrooms on one and the sprouts on the other. Drizzle both with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Roast both for 15 minutes, stir and flip and continue roasting until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Dump both into a serving dish or casserole and toss to combine flavors. Lower the heat to 400 and repeat the process for the parsnips and acorn squash. These will take longer than the mushrooms and sprouts. Toss everything together and add more salt if needed.
I made this vegetarian this year with veggie stock, but I recommend using chicken stock if you have meat eaters around…it’s a lot tastier that way!
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup butter
- 9 cups soft bread cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread cubes, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage in a large bowl. In a large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter over medium heat until onion is tender. Pour over the bread cubes and toss until coated. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish, drizzle with stock and bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to 375 and bake until browned and crispy on top, about 10 minutes.