Party Book Must Have: Eat More Dessert

I am always in search for great party books, and my favorite are ones that have recipes. Since I started blogging, I have always admired the work of Jenny Keller, dessert designer to the stars. She has made gorgeous cookies for Tori Spelling and Lisa Rinna, just to name a few (I'm obsessed with Lisa's disco fiesta themed birthday) and has been all over the web for her tiny baked works of art. This local Seattle girl is a dessert decorating genius and not to mention the sweetest gal in person. She shares my love for cake plates and I was thrilled when she told me that she had a book coming out, Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Stars. This party book is full of great party themes and ideas to turn your next party into something delicious and handmade. I just had to share it with you!

Eat More Dessert comes out next week and I got a sneak peek copy. Full of ideas and recipes, this book makes it easy to throw the fun homemade party you have always wanted to have. You don't need to be a master baker to recreate these great treats, they are easy and amazing. How's that for perfect?

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One of my favorite parties in the book? The ice cream party, so many sprinkles it just makes me smile. I absolutely adore the details in this dessert table. The pink and white tent is amazing and the various "ice cream" treats? So cool (get it?) and perfect for Spring/Summer parties and socials. How fun would this be for a bridal or baby shower?

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Jenny gives all the details to each delicious morsel so that they are simple and easy to make. She has even given away her secrets and tricks to beautiful and yummy desserts. This girl knows how to keep it real and make it gorgeous.

The best part? Jenny is giving one lucky Hank + Hunt reader a FREE copy of Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Stars. (Page Street Publishing; April 2014) Enter below to win, there are a few options so get ready! Giveaway ends midnight on 4/3/14 PST. Winner announced Monday morning on this post. Good luck!

I received a copy of Eat More Dessert: More than 100 Simple-to-Make & Fun-to-Eat Baked Goods From the Baker to the Stars (Page Street Publishing; April 2014) to review. Printed with permission. All opinions are my own and I only share what I truly love. Honest. xo

Make Your Day: DIY All Day Long

Have you been looking for a few good DIYs? Maybe you have been searching for that special project to decorate your home or you are looking for gift ideas as we approach the holiday season? Either way, Make Your Day is here to save the day. A fabulous new e-book by Chelsey Andrews, of The Paper Mama, and Chelsea Costa, of Lovely Indeed, Make Your Day is packed full of simple and easy DIYs. Everything you need to make something fun off the cuff one afternoon or gather supplies and throw a little crafting party this season. It is filled with some great gift ideas that even the reluctant crafter can make. Add a little spunk to your house or knock out the holiday gifts, this book makes it easy and is just a delight to look at. Have a crafter in your life? This amazing e-book  would be a great gift to give! Don't forget it is holiday party season, what better way to thank your gracious host and hostess than by bringing along a handmade present? These easy ideas will get you invited back for certain!

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Written and produced by some of the coolest chicks around, Chelsey and Chelsea are creative and talented ladies that know their way around a DIY. No doubt about it, these girls are witty and charming and cute to boot, it even shines through to their DIYs. I met Chelsey, of The Paper Mama this year when we went and roomed together in NYC for the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemakers workshop. She's a doll and we had a hoot! Now, Ms. Chelsea Costa, well, I have known her from the first beginnings of my blogging endeavors, we met when were both contributing to The Sweetest Occasion, way back when I first got my start. Both gals are the type that you instantly love and want to call them your best friend. Their warmth radiates through their projects in this book. Make Your Day "serves up a batch of fresh, fun DIY projects with a side of occasional wisecracks." It is full of creative ideas to use every day or any day for that matter; like a crafter handbook of awesome.

To prove it, I want you to share in this fabulous craftiness from two of my favorite people ever. For a limited time you can use the code: MYDAYISMADE20 and receive 20% off!  That's a whole lotta cheap fun and your don't want to miss it! Personally I will be snagging a few copies for friends and family and those acquaintances that I never know what to get them, boom. Problem solved. Be sure to snag yourself (and everyone your know) a copy of Make Your Day: DIY all day long.

And by the way, Chelsey and Chelsea...GREAT job girls!! xoxo, your biggest fan.

Spooky and Bright: Halloween Giveaway

If you have been reading H+H for a while, you know I love a good book. I have tried to push Halloween back as far as I can, but I just can't hold it back any longer. It is officially October tomorrow and we've already started decorating. This year I want to try a more sophisticated approach to Halloween. Nothing too gory, but a spooky blend of black and white. My inspiration? Spooky & Bright, from Country Living, was the magic this witch was looking for. If you want Halloween to be elegant, but quirky and fun, you have to grab this book. Or you can your very own FREE copy in this here post. See below for details.

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"To make your holiday marvelously macabre" there are 125 chic ideas to decorate for Halloween, recipes for ghoulish libations and treats. Not only do they show you bewitching photos of beautifully styled, yet spooky, vignettes, they have all the templates in the back of the book so you can recreate it yourself. I had the hardest time narrowing it down to just a few projects to share as my favorites. I remember this project from Country Living a few years ago, and I am doing it this year. How spooky and how incredibly easy!

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I am leaning more towards this version below. Just throw a sheet on it and boom, instant abandoned abode. The kids will get a kick out of this and it will protect against spills, win win. Buy a few packages of white sheets at Marshall's or the clearance rack at Target and voila.

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Crepe paper flowers are so hot right now, and I'm dying for black flowers. This is the perfect solution. Sure you can pay for the premium calla lilies in that deep dark purple hue or you can grab some black crepe paper and whip up your own. Another benefit? These will last you all season so for those of us that decorate a smidge early (like now) we are all set. Aren't these gorgeous in a low bowl?

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Pretty, pretty star anise. They look like tiny little tissue paper fans. I really want to try the Apple Cider Punch, the perfect concoction for a Halloween party. Need a kid-friendly version? Just leave out the rum from the main punch bowl and put it in a decanter with a fun "poison" label.  Those who dare can add the extra punch in their punch.

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One more of my favorites, I love the idea of specialized black and white art as a spooky replacement to your usual decor. It looks like it has always been there and adds a nice finished look to your Halloween decorating. The best part is you can just replace the art in any of your existing galleries in your home. No remeasuring or hanging new frames, just swap out the art. Easy and awesome, that's my style.  

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Feeling inspired? It's time to take back Halloween and put a modern sophisticated spin on it. 125 projects and recipes in Spooky & Bright will get you headed in the right direction. You can grab a copy here or enter to win your very own!

GIVEAWAY: Enter here! Contest goes until midnight on October 2nd.  

I was given a copy of this book to review but all opinions are my own.  

Trophy Cupcakes & Parties Book

Today is the very special day that Trophy Cupcakes & Parties goes on sale. It's been months waiting and anticipating and now it's ready to go people! It was a crazy few weeks at the beginning of this year that almost killed us, but it was oh so worth it! The beautiful party ideas from Trophy Cupcakes owner, Jennifer Shea, are pretty and easy. This beauty of a book, with photos by my friend and talented photographer, Rina Jordan, will walk you through a party start to finish. Each theme has crafts, recipes and ideas to make your party the best ever. We ate many, many cupcakes during the making of this book, and I have to say Trophy Cupcakes are my favorite cupcakes in Seattle and still are, even after eating a bazillion. The best part is, the recipes are right in the book. From Salted Caramel to Smores, each delicious tiny little type of cake is ready to make, no secrets here. Yum.

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This is just about the best book ever, and I am not saying that because my name is in it. Seriously, my name is in this book. Personally, I can't stop smiling about the fact that I can look at each photo and see something I made. As a craft stylist, it is absolutely the best feeling ever. Of course, I'm a little extra excited about the whole thing, but I will refrain myself from walking you through each page and pointing out my goodies. Those who have been to my house recently have not been so lucky.

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See that tiny hand? That is Hunter's!

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It's a beautiful book, thanks to the prop styling by Jenn Elliot Blake and the pretty little illustrations from Julia Manchik. Just check out these lovely sneak peaks! Fun, fun, fun. Are you in Seattle? Be sure to swing by the launch party this Saturday! You can get your tickets here and I'll see you there! Woo hoo!! Not in Seattle, bummer, you can pick up your copy of Trophy Cupcakes & Parties here or at your local book store.

A huge thank you to Jennifer and Sasquatch Books for having me be a part of such a wonderful project. You have made my dreams come true and I will always be grateful for this amazing opportunity. xoxo

Paper to Petal: Best Crafting Book to Add to Your Wishlist

My favorite stylist / photographer team is Thuss + Farrell. They have just released their new book, Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Paper Flowers to Craft by Hand. The cover of this book is gorgeous. I had a hunch that the inside was a sight to see. Since I have gazed and soaked up each and every page of this beauty of a craft book since I received it to review last week, I have to recommend this to anyone who loves photography, styling and crafting. If you just like pretty books, well this is the prettiest book I have EVER seen. Now, you might be saying that I am just saying this. I assure you, this is the most beautiful book. By crafting book standards, it sets the bar and is beyond anything that is out there. What is better than just me saying it? I can prove it. You can win your VERY OWN COPY of this amazing book right here. Yep. One copy could grace your shelves and completely change the way you see crepe paper.

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I have a love of vintage crepe paper books and I collect them. My most recent acquisition was a Dennison Crepe Paper Flower book. At our recent crafting club, I just watched as the girls made some right from the book, wishing that I could, too. You see, there are a few skills that I still want to add to my crafting repertoire, and paper flower making is one of them. This book is just what I needed.

What those vintage books lack, is a detailed description, with pictures about how to make each and every flower they show. The book Paper to Petal covers everything. It even has pages upon pages of crafting supplies you will need. If there was a textbook for paper flower making, this is it.

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As you first open the book, this is what you see, beautiful sweet mess. I'm a crafter, you know I can find beauty in everything, including the scraps from gorgeous projects.  

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Have you died and gone to heaven yet? I mean, come ON! The styling is beyond and the crafting is impeccable. I have been running H+H for four years this fall, and I have never been hit with so much inspiration at once. Every image in this book is amazing. I could barely even choose just a few to share.  

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This is what completely blew my mind...you can paint and draw on crepe paper. Why something so simple hasn't been shown before?  I have no idea. It has forever changed the way I see crepe paper and I'm calling it right now. Crepe paper with hand painted details is the next craft sensation. Trust me on this. Paper to Petal will show you everything you need to know to do it, even what paint to use. You too can make this incredible bouquet.  

So how do you get your hands on this, the new standard of crafting books? If you need one right now, hop on over to your bookstore and snatch up a copy. Or order one online here. Or try to win one below.

GIVEAWAY: Win one copy of Paper to Petal {ends 9/12/13, midnight}

Just leave a comment below saying telling me the first thing you would decorate with paper flowers for and that's it! Be sure to leave your email in the comment field, I need to be able to contact you if you win. Only one entry per person please! Giveaway runs through next Thursday, September 12th, at midnight. Winner will be announced right here and on Twitter and Instagram first thing Friday morning. I will also email the winner. Good luck!

UPDATE: Contest is now CLOSED. Congratulations to our winner Carrie! I can't wait to see what you make! xo