Monthly Archives

July 2008

BABY showers ENTERTAINING

Menu Ideas for a Baby Shower and Tea Party

sunflower cupcakes :: lemon cakes ::tea sandwiches by martha stewart :: penna cottaAs I laid my eyes on these sunflower cupcakes by Joycelyn of Kuidaore, I knew I found the topic for a post.

Be ready for seeing your guests in awe if you bake and decorate similar sunflower cupcakes.

Prepare in advance you dessert table, the sunflower toppings look too great to not show off your cupcakes.

Menu Ideas

Here are some recipes with simple yet stylish food presentation. This menu can be an alternative to the real-life sunflower bridal shower party and gerbera birthday theme I shown you this week.

Sweets

Kuidaore gives no recipe but the site lists the ingredients for the sunflower icing. If you have some experience, you probably can concoct your own version.

Tea Party Sandwiches

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Cool Cupcakes at Les Glaceurs

les glaceurs on saint-sulpice street in old montrealAfter lunch, my friend H. wanted a cupcake. This is how I discovered this cool ice cream and cupcake place in the heart of Old Montreal. You can see the side of Notre-Dame Cathedral while you are eating sweets at Les Glaceurs.

I was not hungry so I did not taste one. After the fact, I was hungry around 5pm. So I regretted not having bought a cupcake for take-out.

For your information, we typically eat dinner between 8 and 10pm so eating a cupcake at 5pm would not have ruined my appetite.

The Décor

The fun décor and girly colors please me. Instead of the retro vibe, they went with modern counters. The eating area has reference to the French bistro.

In fact, you could reuse their color palette for a birthday party or a baby shower. It looks festive. The palette is ideal for any kids party. The medium to dark wood brings sophistication to the decor.

A rough estimate tells me that they serve between 8 and 10 flavors every day. I spot on Les Glaceurs Web site 18 flavors.

Since their next door neighbor is a wonderful Chinese tea house, I can plan an tasting excursion another day.

MORE READING:
+ Les Glaceurs – site only in French

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

5 Cool Products for Your Kitchen

Zyliss Easy Spin Salad Spinner :: joseph folding colander ::Thurø serving tray :: lemon run :: Bosa\'s Meilito Honey Pot

The top 3 are Red-Dot Design Award winners and an honorable mention. The fifth is there because it is cute and original.

Zyliss’ Easy Spin Salad Spinner

On my book, noting beat a Zyliss salad spinner and I got a 10 year old model. Zyliss won in 2004 for its Easy Spin salad spinner.

The latest model, the Zyliss Smart Touch Salad Spinner won a Red-Dot in 2008. Sadly, the consumer reviews are mixed so far.

Everywhere I checked, people were more than satisfied with the Easy Spin Salad Spinner. So I will say to go with the previous edition (the ones I am showing you).

Joseph Joseph’s Folding Colander

Anthony Joseph designed for Joseph Joseph the ultimate space saver colander. This innovative colander folds completely flat for easy storage. Moulded from polypropylene it uses 12 live hinges to achieve its transformation. It took 149 prototypes to arrive to this solution.

Joseph Joseph folding colander is available in five colors: black, white, green, light blue and hot pink.

Thurø Line Serving Concept

An outstanding and innovative design characterizes the Thurø Line by Rauff & Møldrup. This is for an entire serving ware collection. This aesthetic serving concept includes a serving wood tray, a cooling tray and a set of blue glass dishes. Finishes in pale, medium and dark wood are available.

They are so much to say about the Thurø Line Serving Concept that I am preparing a post just about it. As far as I know this is only available in Denmark and maybe in a few Scandinavian stores.

Lemon Run Lemon Squeezer

I am glad that a product I introduced earlier this year received a Red-Dot Design honorable mention. Lemon Run designed by U.I. Design for KEDO makes your dining experience an easy and relaxed one.

KEDO describes their invention in those terms: “The design of the Lemon Run lemon squeezer is inspired by the traditional Chinese platter art. When squeezing the pouch, which is shaped like a ginkgo leave, on both sides a drip of lemon juice will run down along the ginkgo stem into the meal. This playful yet useful device makes a slice of lemon a decorative object on the table before and after it is used.”

Bosa’s Meilito Honey Pot

I always want a small honey pot to put on my table. Until now, I never find one that captures my attention. The ceramic dipper tips of this Italian design honey pot are dipped in bright colors: yellow, green, blue plus the typical black and white.

SOURCING:
+ Zyliss Green Easy Spin Salad Spinner – price: $24.95 USD
+ Folding Colander by Joseph Joseph – price: $29 USD
+ Thurø (Thuroe) Line Serving Concept
+ Lemon Run by KEDO
+ Bosa’s Meilito Honey Pot – price: $44 USD

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Gerbera Daisies Tablescape for Showers and Girl Birthdays

gerberadaisies_bridalteaparAfter the sunflower bridal shower, it is the turn of the even more popular and accessible gerbera daisy to be the center of attention.

I imagine this tablescape for a teen girl birthday party. The tablescape was designed by the team at Bellenza as a showcase for their party favors, place card holders and votive holders. The concept fits a Sunday family brunch, a lady lunch, a bridal or a baby shower.

Décor Tips

Wrapping your napkins with a ribbon and a fresh flower is easy. You must delay the execution until the last minute since you cannot hide a phial. The gerbera should be sturdy enough to support the lack of water. If you wish to preserve the flowers longer, put instead a low height bud vase at each place setting.

The fish bowl centerpiece produces great visual impact with a minimal effort. The materials are easy to find, even at a Walmart store. But be kind to wildlife and make sure to find a good home for the red fishes after the party.

Read Cause a Stir With Gerbera Daisies at a Bridal Shower Tea Party for more details of activities, menu and décor about a tea party theme.

I want to thank a reader, Dahlia, for directing me to the gerbera-inspired table scene from the Wedding Bistro. If you know great tips or inspiring Web places like that, do not hesitate to submit your tips. I am always on the hunt for more inspirations.

SOURCING:
+ Niña Kirei Rhinestone Candle Votive – price: $13 USD per set of 4
+ Soséya Rhinestone Daisy Place Card Holder – price: $11.94 USD per set of 6
+ La Dolce Vita Petite Silver Favor Basket – price: $9.95 USD per set of 5
Via Wedding Bistro and Dahlia’s Day

GIFT IDEAS HOSTESS gifts PAPER goods

Dozi Design and Syko | Etsy Finds

Dozi Design and Syko :: Etsy sellersI felt in love with the work of two more Etsy sellers today. I love to shop on Etsy as I am telling my girl geek friends at lunch today. I find that my friend Tanya is a huge fan too.

In her Etsy Take Five Tuesday, decor8 introduced five amazing etsy sellers. Simple design note cards and stationery usually grab my attention. That is why I enjoy the work of Wendy Chung for Dozi Design.

I have a thing for Finnish design. Syko stands for whimsical and happy designs in patchwork and appliqué. She sews hand made housewares. Her cushion covers are adorable. Her laundry bag and shoe bag would be practical when you travel.

I am in hurry so I will send you to decor8 to learn more. And do not forget to check the catalogues of these talented Etsy sellers.

Via decor8

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Two Bridal Showers | Real-Life Party

bridal shower party themes

Jaime of It’s a Jaime Thing sent me the pictures of two bridal showers she designed last year for a cousin and a best friend. They are lots of clues who can recycle for your own parties.

The Sunflower Sunshower

A hand-made tiki bar and lots of fresh sunflowers set the tone of this party. Her cousin, the groom to be, built the tiki hut for his father as a Father’s Day present. It is so cool to reuse his own creation for his bridal shower.

If you wish to host a tiki bar, check out ebay or your local kitsch stores to get your hands on a few tall tiki mugs. Get for the lucky couple a scorpion bowl for 2. These will make nice souvenirs to the couple.

The Blue and White Bridal Shower

Jaime did this tablescape for her very best friend. It was exciting for her. She did a great job working with a dual tone palette. The key is to create interest through layering, shines and textures.

When you spread glass nuggets and marbles along the table always remember to leave space for water jars, wine bottles and serving plates.

Working with clear dinnerware and flatware on a table emphasis what is the background. Take advantage of it when you have a beautiful pattern like those napkins. The clear flatware almost disappear which is a good idea in this instance.

Another option would have been to go with a sky blue flatware which would highlight the napkin pattern.

For a variation on this theme, you could use several tones of the main color. Because the party favors are silver, you could place a silver gray paper charger plate, a clear dinner plate and a blue salad plate underneath the heart.

Read the rest of her setting on It’s a Jaime Thing.

SOURCING:
+ Green Tiki Mug – price: $5 USD
+ Drei Moai Scorpion Bowl – price: $19.95 USD
+ Silver Gray Paper Luncheon Plates – price: $ 16.95 for 120 plates
+ Bermuda Blue Plastic Disposable Plates & Bowls
+ Sky Blue Plastic Cutlery – Silverware Disposable – price: $ 19.95 for 96 place settings
Via Sunflower Sunshower and Bridal Shower for my best friend [It’s a Jaime Thing]

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Out of Africa Party Decor Inspiration

Singita Lebombo Lodge plus out of africa  photographed by Nicolas Matheus

Look at this blissful vacation spot. It is easy to imagine the feeling of waking up on this 180-degree view luxury suite. You wake up looking at one of the most pristine wild territories in Africa.

This resort suite marries cool modern and contemporary furniture to a rustic décor. This is an amazing place is a member of Relais & Chateaux. My to do list grows bigger everyday. I would like to stay at the Singita Lebombo Lodge located in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Take clues from the room. You can reverse the process and add rustic touches to your modern house for the duration of an event.

Magazine Pictures

Paris-based photographer Nicolas Matheus took many pictures for French magazines. Looking at his portfolio, I recognized some of the shots. How the rooms are styled in magazines supplies us with inspirations not just for our home décor but also for party decor.

If you looking for party themes, looking at travel and lifestyle magazines can provide you with lots of inspiration. The canopy bed is something that you can reproduce at the cottage with the help of a handyman.

Pay attention to the little details to reproduce the right mood. A party décor is temporary; it only has to stay up for the event. Thus, we can go for easier to built construction.

You can fabricate a large canopy by tying sewed canvas between trees with ropes. Making a metallic support for votive lights is simple. It looks so charming.

MORE READING:
+ Nicolas Matheus – right reserved images
+ Singita Lebombo Lodge
Via The Style Files – singita lembodo lodge, south Africa

TRENDS

Cost of Living in Los Angeles is less than in Toronto

modern architecture houses in venice beach, california

An interesting fact from the 2008 Mercer’s cost of living report. I would not have guess that it costs a tiny more to live in Toronto (54th), Canada than in Los Angeles (55th), California. For the weather, I know which city I would pick.

But the Unites States exhibits more  discrepancies in the standard of living. Take Venice Beach for example. This is a town founded by hippies where you now have hippies, surfers, performers and modern architecture fans living in the same cities. Venice Beach is not huge.

I visited a 2-million modern house on my last trip for the pleasures of seeing real-life examples of my dream house. The house was at least half a mile from the beach on a residential street. I can imagine the prices of the ones facing the beach.

I took plenty of pictures as I visited the house. I forgot to write about it while I was traveling. I will try to show you this beautiful house in the upcoming weeks.

MORE READING:
+ Mercer’s 2008 Cost of Living survey highlights
Via swissmiss

FAMILY KIDS party

Kid Karting Birthday Party Captured By Top Wedding Photographer Jessica Claire

jonathan's race birthday party photographed by jessica cl

I imagine this birthday party to be every little boy’s dream. What a treat it must have been for all the kids who showed up.

Reproduce the Look and Feel

You can organize a go kart competition as long as you have enough land. To avoid the cost of renting go karts, you can organize a bike competition where each kid brings its own bike. For safety reasons, clock individual runs. You can use big wheel bikes and tricycles for the younger kids.

Simply construct a race track with road safety cones. Try the circuit a few times to make sure it is safe for the kids.

Flag Race Pennants are easy to find in stores or online. Pennants are available at toys stores and party supplies stores. Auto dealer supply stores carry economical triangular and rectangular race flag pennants with long ropes.

The Lego play station is a great activity where kids and adults can interact. You can set up a DUPLO station for the younger kids. Check Jessica Claire‘s Web site for more pictures about this kid birthday party.

Serving The Upscale Market

Jessica Claire was named one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers In The World: 2008 by American Photo Magazine. Her beautiful photographs show emotions. Her pictures are engaging. A glimpse at her portfolio will convince you of her talents.

Complete wedding experiences begin at $15,000. Portraits or Experience Sessions begin at $2500. All sessions include your shoot, online posting, a custom, leather book of our session. Naturally her clients host outstanding events. Jonathan’s 6th birthday party is the perfect example.

SOURCING:
+ Triangle Race Flag Pennant at Sid Savage – price: $9.90 USD for 60 feet
+ Rectangle Race Flag Pennant at Sid savage – price: $9.90 USD for 60 feet
+ Images from Jessica Claire – rights reserved