Browsing Tag

bridal shower


Shower Them With An Ice Cream Party

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Not only is today the official start of summer, it’s the official start of shower season, when busy bridal parties fête the blushing bride-to-be, and soon-to-be-moms are celebrated.

If you think ice cream is just for kid’s birthday parties, take a peek at these perfectly planned bridal showers. This theme is a, well, cool alternative to the traditional tea party, adding a double-scoop of vintage charm and fresh elegance.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Since it won’t take more than a trip to the frozen food section to plan the menu, you can focus on adding extras to create a make-your-own sundae station.

ice cream party vintage outdoor shower

A muted chocolate-and-vanilla palette allows paper details on the containers and cones to pop. Ice cream cone cups also make clever vessels for sundae toppings.

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Dress Up Store-Bought Snacks
In this case, simple scrapbook paper, colourful twine and labels with an old-fashioned look go a long way in helping zero-effort store-bought snacks to look like too-good-to-eat treats.

ice cream party sandwiches wrap paper shower

ice cream party sundae bar paper shower

Again, look for creative objects to display ice cream extras. Here, a thrifted tabletop ferris wheel is the perfect carrier for candy toppings.

Ice Cream, Italian-Style

ice cream party gelato ruffled wedding shower

The creme-de-la-creme of ice cream parties doesn’t actually include ice cream at all. The pastel shades of gelato are the inspiration for both the menu and party palette in feminine shades of pink, green and orange.

ice cream party gelato shower paper invitations menu

Simple floral arrangements in paper cones are a creative nod to the ice cream theme, while tissue paper blooms create a pretty backdrop. The party planners kept things personal by including the guest-of-honour’s name on the paper cones and gelato containers.

ice cream party gelato shower tablescape

Mix-and-match dishes have vintage charm that reinforce the girly vibe.

Free Ice Cream Themed Printable
Put this cute collection of ice cream-themed printables from Eat Drink Chic to work as tags on shower favours or string them together as a banner.

ice cream party printable

+ Ice Cream Sundae Bar from The Sweetest Occasion
Ice Cream Birthday from A Subtle Revelry
+ Heels and Gelato Party from Ruffled
+ Free Ice Cream Printable from Eat Drink Chic


Wedding Gift Ideas for my Etsy Finds

wedding gift ideas found on etsy :: picnic set and blankets :: couple silhouette print

Giving something handmade or crafted feels more special. Picnics are about taking the time to sit, eat and talk. It is about making time for yourself and your loved ones. It feels right the perfect gift for newlyweds or a bride-to-be.

SewnNatural produced the retro style picnic blankets at the top. I am partial to the red gingham quilted picnic blanket. She always used a denim back for easy maintenance.

Then, fortyducks creates an updated version of the picnic basket. Since they are made to order, you can specify which colors you want it. Her Patricia Picnic set comes with a reversible tote, a picnic blanket with water resistant backing and coordinating storage sleeve, 4 plastic plates and 4 Place setting roll ups with utensils and cloth napkins.

I love the custom couple silhouette print by Nella Designs. You select the silhouettes from the template – 6 girls, 4 guys. For a little extra, she will produce the print with your own silhouette. I think it is cute and fun.

+ Picnic Blanket / Retro and Roomy in Red by SewnNatural $75 USD
+ Eco Picnic Blanket / Reclaimed Vintage Madras by SewnNatural $75 USD
+ Custom Couple Silhouette Print with date by Nelly Designs $20 USD, from your own photos $26 USD
+ The Patricia Picnic Set by fortyducks $150 USD


The Jewels of New York’s Food Styling for my Gastronomic Wednesday

home cooked winter menu :: the jewels of new york

The same women behind the Easter Egg cookies I showcased yesterday share every week recipes on The Jewels of New York. The photos look amazing.

Their farewell to winter meal caught my eyes. I would like to be invited to a feast like that. The menu includes an attractive glazed rack of lamb on a nest of pearl onions, warm cabbage salad with Carlo sausage, and chocolate pots de crème with rosemary whipped cream. Sounds tasty!

Their food presentation relies on using serving ware in an usual way. For their farewell to winter meal, all shades of gray were invited to the table. The regular pie pan helps to keep warm the warm cabbage salad. The ensemble reinterprets rustic elements and ends up feeling fresh.

Brunch Recipes

styled food at the jewels of new york

Whenever you are making breakfast, serving toasted baguette slices adds elegance. Plus the classic soup bowl fits better the dish. I often serve dish in bowl instead of plates. For your next brunch, their Smoked Salmon and Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes should be a hit.

Cutting your papillotte as a heart shape is a lovely idea for a romantic dinner, Valentine’s Day or a bridal shower.

+ Last Winter Supper
+ Farmhouse Breakfast
+ Sole en Papillote with Herbed Wild Rice and Escarole Salad


DIY Printable Table Numbers

diy printable table numbers

Table numbering is not just for weddings. They are a must for any big sit-down dinner from a baptism, a sporting club party to a wedding anniversary.

These table number cards are cute and modern. Except for the yellow-checkered oval table numbers made by Creature Comforts, they all came from Martha Stewart. I love them all.

The photo table number would be great for a bridal shower or a baby shower with a picture of the couple or the mom to be. You could replace the wine bottle by a reusable water bottle for an outdoor theme party.

Martha supplied two templates with no number, in case you need to add your own number or other text. If you have Photoshop, you can use any of these templates as the basis for making your own.

Scrapbook paper and wrapping paper create stunning background. You can either use a stamp or a printer to add the table number.

+ How to make the Photo Table Number
+ Table Number on Wine Bottles
+ Take a Number Templates
+ Mustard yellow-checkered Table Number Templates


A Talk with Jaime of It’s A Jaime Thing

Recall the Sunflower bridal shower with the tiki bar that I spotlighted this summer, today’s interview is with the talented blogger who designed that event.

Jaime is a happy housewife hoping to become one day a domestic goddess. When I asked her to talk about herself Jaime told me that she was very blessed to have a husband who supports her love for weddings and blogging. So you could say her day job consists of blogging full time and planning weddings and events for friends and family.  She can’t get enough of it! I can rely to that.


Let’s start with the interview about her blog and her tips for home parties.

At Home with Kim Vallee (AHWKV): When and how did you get into blogging?

Jaime: The wedding obsession started after I planned our own wedding back in 2003. After our wedding, I didn’t want to stop planning; I enjoyed it too much! I think it might be because I’ve always loved being “artsy crafty”, so our wedding just inspired me to use that love in a way to help others plan. Oh, how I do love it!

I started blogging as a way to keep all of my creative thoughts, ideas and finding in one spot – nice and organized.  It was also a way for me to share ideas for friends and family who were getting married, as I was helping many of them plan. I never expected it to take off like it has, but I couldn’t be happier! I absolutely love blogging about weddings and entertaining. I am happy that I get to help other brides.

AHWKV: What is the concept behind your blog?  What people can expect when they read your blog?

Jaime: The tag line for my blog, It’s A Jaime Thing is, “Wedding inspiration, ideas and all things creative”. That’s exactly what it is. I try my best to update my blog at least 2- 3 times a day (sometimes more) with fresh content. I love sharing pictures and ideas that are creative and unique – things that I’ve never heard of or seen before. I also enjoy posting about cool finds from fashion to décor. My hope is to be able to help brides personalize their weddings to make it their own, rather than just like everyone else’s.

AHWKV: How often do you entertain at home?  On a personal level, what kind of party do you host?

Jaime: I recently hosted a bridal shower at our home, however I normally entertain else ware. I’m not too domestic when it comes to cooking. So I’m always joking with my best friend (who loves to cook) that she can host the dinner parties and I’ll host the cocktail parties!

When I do host parties at home, I love to keep it simple and intimate. I focus on creating a nice, comfortable atmosphere for my guests with fun décor, good music and very yummy cocktails along with finger foods. Oh, and cookies too – while I have issues when it comes to cooking, I do actually bake pretty well. Is that strange? My favorite saying is, “when you’re sad and feeling worse, just keep a cookie in your purse!”.

AHWKV: What lessons did you learn from organizing parties?

Jaime: Don’t stress. If there’s something you wanted to do but didn’t get done in time for the party, it’s ok! Nobody but you will know.

Allow yourself enough time to plan and prepare! Entertaining can get costly, but if you allow yourself enough time you can shop around for the best deals.

Make lists! There is nothing worse than remembering to buy enough cups but not enough napkins. Keep the list with you, and as you shop for your party, check the items off of the list.

For serving cocktails and food, set up a few areas where guests can fill up so that one corner of the party doesn’t get too crowded. This also helps keep the party traffic flowing.

Have everything ready before the guests arrive, so that you can enjoy the fabulous soiree you’ve created!

AHWKV: When you are doing a party in Chicago, what are the best stores for party supplies?

Jaime: Believe it or not, I love Family Dollar! You can find fabulous party supplies there if you’re on a tight budget. I also love Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics and Craft stores have loads of items you can incorporate into your event, especially if you like to think outside the box. I’m in my own personal “heaven” when I’m at a craft store. Not only do they offer a lot, but it’s a great place to go to get inspired and get your creative juices flowing.

AHWKV: Which vendors do you use when you organize a party?

Jaime: Fresh and Silk Flowers located in Carol Stream, IL. – They offer excellent prices, wonderful customer service and the most beautiful flowers that you know, coming from them, will always be fresh!

DJ Jimmy Manno with People’s Choice DJ, located in Lombard, IL. – I’ve been to so many weddings. This is by far the best DJ in the Chicagoland area! He’s professional, talented and really knows how to keep the dance floor full. When he DJ’s an event, every guest stays until the last song. Even grandma! He knows how to choose the right songs to keep everyone happy. With him as your DJ, your wedding or event will be one people will always remember as “the best!”. Did I mention DJ Jimmy Manno is extremely affordable compared to the many out there? He even works well with vendors, which is really important too.

Patrick Kramford Videography, located in West Chicago is one of my absolute favorite videographers around. He’s professional, talented and through the beauty of his work you can tell he really cares about it. When you book with him, rest assured you’ll end up with a quality video of your event – and you’ll watch it over and over as if it were a movie. He’s that good! He’s also very affordable compared to many others.

Of course you have to have a photographer? But there are too many wonderful ones to name. We were thrilled with our wedding photographer, Maureen Martini, owner of Portrait In Time Photography, out of Lombard. Again, she’s very professional, talented and affordable. We took 2 years to plan our wedding so you better believe I interviewed like a crazy bride! I found the best vendors at the best prices – we couldn’t have been happier, they all truly did a wonderful job!

AHWKV: Which are the best venues? And what is so special about these places?

Jaime: Oh goodness, there are so many around Chicagoland that it’s hard to name them all – so I’ll name just a few of my personal favorites.  Of course I have to mention the venue we married at – Avalon Banquets in Elk Grove Village, IL. The entire staff was super friendly, helpful and professional, the food was amazing, the prices were great, and they’re newly renovated. We were so happy we booked Avalon Banquets for our wedding!

Two of my other favorite venues for weddings are Riverside Receptions in Geneva, IL and also Danada House in Wheaton, IL. They’re very scenic and both offer outdoor space for your event along with their gorgeous buildings. They’re lovely!

Part 2 of this interview, the city guide, is next.


Mad Hatter Tea Party for Moms and Kids

Mad Hatter tea Party for Moms and Kids

I found these pictures online on the Web site of Hallmark Magazine. You can throw an Alice in Wonderland Style tea party in a large backyard or rent a section of a city park.

The Tabletop

Create a long table with folding plastic table. The design calls for quirky elements. It looks even better with disparate chairs. Mix painted wooden chairs with garden chairs. Get a throne for Alice. Here, they use a wing-backed living room chair. You can use mismatched tableware.

Head to the flea market and find the classic style tea cup and teapots. Or ask a few friends, to bring their own set. You can borrow from the grandma style.

Having Fun

Organize some Alice in Wonderland inspired activities. A hat decoration craft session can be more for kids and moms. Ask the kids to read the book before the event. Then, put together a friendly book reading competition like a game show quiz with small prizes to the winners.

The Art of Making Tea

Count 3 to 4 guests per regular size teapot. You can serve a couple tea blends, if you wish to. It is time to stop at the tea house to get your tea. Opt for loose tea leaves. If you wish to follow the proper tea making technique, ask the tea house to write down the recommended water temperature and the number of minutes you need to infuse the tea blends you selected.

Remember that you must warm the teapot with hot water before making each run of tea. You should discard the water you used to warm the teapot.

On the menu

Stop at the bakery for freshly made bread. Tea party sandwiches are usually of triangular shaped, crust-less and made with thinly sliced bread.

Prepare tea sandwiches with flavored cream cheese and cucumber slices. Aim for two to three tea sandwich flavors. Making your own flavored cream cheese is fast and easy. Simply add finely minced garlic, freshly grounded pepper or spicy mustard with chopped fresh herbs or diced sun-dried tomatoes to 8 ounces of cream cheese. Adjust the quantity to taste. Smoked salmon and caper triangles are a favorite of mine. Chatelaine published twenty perfect tea party recipes.

Serve fresh baked scones or crumpets with homemade jams. Go whimsical by decorating cooking with King or Queen of Hearts illustrations.

You can do variations on the Mad Hatter tea party theme to create a lady like bridal shower party or a creative baby shower party.

+Top and Bottom rows: Images from Hallmark magazine
+ Alice in Wonderland Tea Set by Shinzi Katoh – $32 USD
+ Grain De Couleur Couverts Tea Towel Fork – $39 USD


Russell+Hazel Wedding Organizer And Recipe Binder

Russell + Hazel wedding organizer and recipe binder

I started using a Russell+Hazel organizer when I was an event designer. Storing everything I needed in a single binder works like a charm. Every page looks and feels great.

How I used Russell+Hazel Binder in the Past

The binder collection is extensive. You personalize by putting inside accessories and page types.

I filled my mini binder with a few mini SmartDate business card holder pages, five pockets to store loose paper, brochures and invoices, the punched and perforated note pages for easy sharing or filing, the sketch pages and the to-do-list pages.

What Is Inside the Wedding Organizer?

Uniting the chic modern style of Russell+Hazel with the wisdom of wedding editor Anne Chertoff of From “I Will” to “I Do” produces a fantastic wedding organizer.

It will be easy to shop and meet suppliers if all your inspirations and wedding details are stored in a single book. After your wedding, the organizer makes a great memorabilia. A cool green feature that I read on Feelgood Style is the whiteboard feature inside of the binder cover so that quick notes or sketches can be made easily and wiped away when finished.

The People+Places Set is a chic Rolodex. Select the multicolor of the kelp version.

Recipe Binder by Russell+Hazel

The Recipe Binder is still on my wish list. For a bridal shower, have all the guests write their favorite recipe to the happy couple. You can bring them in a beautiful filing system like the Audrey Expanding Five-file Tote or Eight Tote.

Since food is a matter of taste, let the couple decide which recipes they want to put on their recipe binder. This way, the newlyweds can adjust the ingredients or the instructions to their personality.

+ Wedding Organizer by Russell+Hazel – price: $75 USD
+ People+Places Set by Russell+Hazel – price: $56 USD
+ Recipe Binder Set by Russel+Hazel – price:$60 USD
+ Audrey Expanding Five-file Tote – price:$58 USD
Via Blue Orchid


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.


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


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.

+ 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


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.

+ 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]


Bridal Shower Party Themes

vintage housewife bridal shower :: vintage gloves and aprons by Carolyn\'s Kitchen :: tastebook

A bridal shower should feel special. Why not include a dress-up / costume session for the bride to be and develop your party theme around it?

Geisha Party Theme

A couple years ago, we dressed a girlfriend as a geisha. Her bridal shower occurred over a full day. It was split in 3 parts.

We planned a hair and makeup session at a beauty salon starting at 11 o’clock. Since it takes time to create the geisha look, a friend brings her lunch. She then wore the kimono. A toast with champagne completed the first round.

Then, eight girls participated at a genuine Japanese tea ceremony at my house. We had a tea tasting first. Then, the 45-minute tea ceremony took place. It was a fun experience for everyone.

The group expends for the evening party. We ate at a sushi and tempura restaurant. All the women and girls invited to the wedding came to dinner.

Vintage Hostess Party Theme

You can devise the same thing around the old-fashioned housewife’s role. The key to success is to add sophisticated humor with this theme.

The Baking Goods invitation by Dinky Designs announces well the theme. These Dorothy Kitchen Gloves in summer bright colors are adorable. The white gloves are vinyl hypoallergenic with a soft flock lining. Dress the bride sexy with the Marilyn Apron with a Bandeau Top. The Sorbet Colors match the summer bright hues.

Print Your Own Cookbook

Since girlfriends should offer advice to the future bride, have a custom made cookbook printed for her with all your favorite / secret recipes. Tastebook can deliver you a professional hardcover cookbook at an affordable price. The processing time takes between 3-5 business days. Each Tastebook can hold up to 100 recipes.

Announcing Upcoming Bridal Shower Showcase

If you organize a bridal shower this summer, I would like to hear from you. Make sure to take pictures because I am planning a Bridal Shower Showcase featuring your own submissions in August 2008. More details will follow this week.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Baking Goods Invitation by Dinky Designs at Fine Stationery – price: $64 for 25 custom printed invitations
Buy online: Dorothy Kitchen Gloves – Summer Brights by Carolyn’s Kitchen at Bunny Maxwell – price: $22 USD
Buy online: Marilyn Apron with Bandeau Top – Sorbet Colors by Carolyn’s Kitchen at Bunny Maxwell – price: $50 USD
Buy online: TasteBook Pricing Options – starts at $19.95 USD

+ Vintage Housewarming Party – with more details on Tastebook