Archive for the ‘Party Ideas’ Category

Host the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering, Plus a Giveaway!

This giveaway has now ended. Winner will be announced shortly.
Host the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering, Plus a Giveaway from Layla Grayce

Photography and styling by Kate LandersIce Milk ApronPom Pom at Home White Mug SetPom Pom at Home Serving Plate SetRosanna Dessert Pedestals; and Rosanna Mini Domes

Host the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla GrayceHost the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla Grayce

Photography and styling by Kate LandersIce Milk ApronPom Pom at Home White Mug SetPom Pom at Home Serving Plate SetRosanna Dessert Pedestals; and Rosanna Mini Domes

Host the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla GrayceHost the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla GrayceHost the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla Grayce

Photography and styling by Kate LandersIce Milk ApronPom Pom at Home White Mug SetPom Pom at Home Serving Plate SetRosanna Dessert Pedestals; and Rosanna Mini Domes

Host the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla GrayceHost the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla GrayceHost the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla GrayceHost the Perfect Holiday Cocoa & Cookies Gathering from Layla Grayce

Photography and styling by Kate Landers; Ice Milk Apron; Pom Pom at Home White Mug Set; Pom Pom at Home Serving Plate Set; Rosanna Dessert Pedestals; and Rosanna Mini Domes

Kate Landers here again! I can’t wait to provide you with inspiration for your holiday gatherings. This month, I had the tremendous pleasure of styling some of the gorgeous products from Layla Grayce. The linen tablecloth, oval platters and mugs from Pom Pom at Home totally stunned me with their timeless beauty, and the “Frosty Tin Marshmallow” full apron from Ice Milk Aprons is beyond fabulous (The packaging alone is striking!). I have been a fan of the cake pedestals from Rosanna for years, and these absolutely darling petite pedestals with mini glass domes are no exception. Using these favorites from Layla Grayce, I’ve shared some ideas for hosting a Cocoa and Cookies gathering with your neighbors, family and friends below.

P.S. Scroll down below to learn how you can win all of the Layla Grayce products featured in this post!

1) Creating A Rustic and Sophisticated Style: I wanted to create a simple, nature-influenced dessert table inspired for the winter season. Products such as the natural linen tablecloth and classically elegant white crown platters and mugs were a fantastic way to create this look. A rustic wood planked backdrop, burlap ribbon attached to a dreamy green wreath and custom printables with a hand-painted feel added a variety of texture and style. Even desserts were created in warm earthy tones. Clean, pure, and sweet!

2) “Snow-covered” Desserts: Mounds of mini marshmallows look like snow on dark chocolate hot cocoa, and classic gingerbread cookies adorned with sugar crystals and white icing also showcase a snow-kissed look (snowflake shaped cookies only help provide a beautiful visual for this theme). To complement with extra sweetness, mini baked gingerbread donuts are blanketed in a white “snowy” frosting—how festive! Re-create the creamy white chocolate coating on the divinity puffs using icing, marshmallows and white chocolate drizzled over your desserts to add to the entire theme.

3) Dessert Presentation: I kept the desserts for this table very simple. Offering three desserts is the perfect amount to provide choices and a lovely look to your guests without overwhelming them. I opted for easy-to-grab desserts such as the mini baked donuts and divinity puffs stacked on pedestals and platters. One of my favorite details of this table (and perhaps the easiest to create!) are the mini dessert pedestals covered in clear glass domes, creating a “dessert snow globe.” To get this look, simply place your favorite sweet on a pedestal, coat with powdered sugar if you wish, and cover with the dome!

4) Hot Beverage Station:  Creating a hot cocoa toppings bar allows your guests to sweeten their cocoa with mint, caramel, whipped cream or marshmallows (among other sweet or salty treats!). I recommend also serving hot apple cider, coffee and tea to give your guests a variety of warm beverages to select from in addition to the cocoa.

5) Recipe Card Exchange: I absolutely love finding new recipes for the holidays, and cookie recipes are always a favorite! When mailing your invitation, include 3-5 recipe cards for the guest to bring filled out with their favorite cookie recipe. Then everyone at the party can go home with at least one new recipe to try at home. Share the yummy love!

6) Hostess Gift: I am completely smitten with the Ice Milk apron featuring that gorgeous large crisp bow front and center (though you could tie it a variety of ways). Packaged in an oversized Mason jar, it has such a beautiful presentation, and offers the perfect gift for the hostess. Another favorite detail: the apron colors are so neutral it can be used year-round!

Vendor Credits:

Design, Styling & Photography: Kate Landers
Printables & Backdrop Designs: Anders Ruff Custom Designs
Backdrop Printing: Print My Picture Online
Cookies: Flourish Sweet Shop
Baked Mini Donuts: Green Mountain Mini Baked
Divinity Puffs: Sees Candies

Enter to Win Kate’s Holiday Tablescape!

Bring delicious holiday inspiration into your home! Impress family and guests when you enter to win Kate’s essentials for a Cocoa and Cookies gathering, including Ice Milk’s Full Apron in Frosty Tin Marshmallow, a set of four Crown white mugs and Crown white oval serving plates by Pom Pom at Home, and pedestals and mini domes by Rosanna!

IceMilk Full Apron Frosty Tin Marshmallow Personalized: Layla Grayce
Pom Pom at Home Crown White Mug Set of 4: Layla Grayce
Pom Pom at Home Crown White Oval Serving Plate Set of 4: Layla Grayce
Rosanna Decor Bon Bon Hue White Small Beaded Pedestal: Layla Grayce
Rosanna Glass Mini Dome: Layla Grayce

To Enter:

*Limit one entry per person. You must have a Facebook account, like Layla Grayce, and sign up for Layla Grayce newsletters in order to enter this giveaway. Giveaway closes December 17, 2014, at midnight PST. Winner will be selected at random and announced by December 22, 2014. Click here for official Layla Grayce contest rules.

celebrate with kate: noah’s ark themed birthday party

Noah's Ark Themed Birthday Party from Layla Grayce
Styling and Photography: Kate Landers

Noah's Ark Themed Birthday Party from Layla Grayce
Styling: Kate Landers, Photography: Liza Voll

Noah's Ark Themed Birthday Party from Layla Grayce
Styling: Kate Landers, Photography: Liza Voll

Noah's Ark Themed Birthday Party from Layla Grayce
Styling: Kate Landers, Photography: Liza Voll

Noah's Ark Themed Birthday Party from Layla Grayce
Styling: Kate Landers, Photography: Liza Voll

Noah's Ark Themed Birthday Party from Layla Grayce
Styling: Kate Landers, Photography: Liza Voll

Noah's Ark Themed Birthday Party from Layla Grayce
Styling: Kate Landers, Photography: Liza Voll

This is Kate Landers, thrilled to share with you my son Noah’s second birthday party! Having a son named Noah who is turning two and is fascinated by animals, I thought a Noah’s Ark-themed birthday party would be perfect for him.

Here are a few special details from the party, plus helpful hints I learned along the way:

My dear friend and paperie designer Loralee Lewis created the most spectacular “Noah’s Ark” collection for our celebration, including a set of six animal prints we hung in his room. I love using printed items from my parties in a nursery, bedroom, or playroom to enjoy long after the party.

The cake topper, an amazing gift from one of the most extraordinary fondant artists in the world (Brenda of Sugar High, Inc.), absolutely took my breath away. You can keep an edible work of art like this one for many years; we store our ark under a bell jar for easy admiration.

Cupcakes are one of Noah’s favorite sweet treats, so we had the most adorable fondant animal cupcake toppers created by my incredibly talented friend Brittany of Edible Details. I love using desserts as a centerpiece for children’s parties, so in this case I stacked two graduated cake stands from Layla Grayce, creating a “tower” to display the darling cupcakes.

We kept party favors simple and age-appropriate, including a precious ark favor box filled with animal finger puppets and bottles of bubbles. To get the look, spray paint plastic animal figurines and attach to the top of the lids of jars or bottles full of your party favor.

Noah loves building blocks, so we surprised him with wood grain-printed cardboard blocks for the party. He and his fellow party-goers were able to help “build the ark”, a PERFECT activity for toddlers. I suggest incorporating your child’s favorite type of toy into the party as we did for a fun surprise!

It was an absolute joy celebrating Noah’s second birthday. As a mom, I love each stage of his life more than the last, even when I didn’t think that would ever be possible. As an event stylist, I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to design such a special event for my own son. I cannot wait for his next party, when he can become involved in the planning process!

RESOURCE LIST

Entertaining with Kate: Do-It-Yourself Hobnail & Shabby Chic-Inspired Pumpkins

Kate Landers Halloween Pumpkin Decoration Layla-Grayce Photography: Kate Landers

Kate Landers Halloween Pumpkin Decoration Layla-Grayce Photography: Kate Landers

Kate Landers Halloween Pumpkin Decoration Layla-Grayce Photography: Kate Landers

Kate Landers Halloween Pumpkin Decoration Layla-Grayce Photography: Kate Landers

It’s Kate Landers here again, sharing some inspiration for fall and Halloween celebrations. I absolutely love autumn and the beautiful pumpkins and gourds it yields. I also adore all things “shabby chic” (including Shabby Chic designer Rachel Ashwell) and loved the idea of pairing my style with this season’s décor.

I am here to share two beautiful ways to dress up pumpkins. The first is a white hobnail milk glass look, and the second a shabby chic ruffled look inspired by my dear friends of the former Icing Designs.

These would be fabulous displayed on a hearth, mantle or tabletop centerpieces for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. I also love them as decorations for a fall bridal or baby shower, wedding or a little girl’s autumn first birthday.

Supplies Needed:

  • ~ 4″ and 8″ crafting pumpkins (I used ivory ones from Target)
  • ~ White flat-finish spray paint such as this one
  • ~ White upholstery pins (approx. 150 to make 1 large & 1 small pumpkin) like these.
  • ~ Needle, white thread, scissors and 1 yard white muslin fabric
  • ~ Lo-temp glue gun and glue sticks
  • ~ Black paper bat decorations (optional) from Martha Stewart found here

Instructions: White Hobnail-inspired Pumpkins

1. Insert white upholstery pins into pumpkins in vertical lines, each pin approximately 1/3″-1/2″ apart. For 8″ pumpkin, each row should be 1.5″-2″ apart. For 4″ pumpkin, each row should be 3/5″-1″ apart. There is no exact formula to this; these are basic guidelines, so do what feels best to you!

2. In a well-ventilated area, coat pumpkins (pins already inserted) with white spray paint. Allow to dry minimum 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Instructions: White Ruffled Pumpkins

1. In a well-ventilated area, coat pumpkins with white spray paint. Allow to dry completely, preferably overnight.

2. Fold yard of white muslin fabric in half (this yardage includes extra fabric if you want your ruffles wider or fuller).

3. Cut fabric into eight 1″ strips (fabric is folded over so there will be two strips one on top of the other, total 16 strips) for small pumpkin, and ten 1.5″ strips for large pumpkin (again fabric folded over, so there will be one strip on top of the other, total 20 strips).

4. With a simple needle and white thread, use a simple stitch (thread knotted at end opposite of needle) and thread needle through center of strips (having the two strips on top of one another creates a fuller ruffle), each stitch close together for tighter ruffles. After approximately 15 stitches, you can push fabric down thread and see it gather. Continue until you reach end of the strip and push down fabric so it all gathers. I recommend approximately 12″ gathered length of strip for large pumpkins, and 8″ for small pumpkins.

5. After you hold up your ruffled strips of fabric to the dried painted pumpkin to confirm proper length (you can elongate by making ruffles further apart or make shorter by scrunching ruffles closer together), knot thread at end so ruffle length stays in place.

6. Warm up glue gun, and carefully glue ruffled fabric strips onto each pumpkin, top to bottom, one at a time.

Enjoy your pumpkins!