An Easy Springtime Buffet and a Painterly Cake Stand DIY

Spring is here and so are yummy brunches and parties. Whether you are hosting Easter this year or just snag a sunny day and throw an impromptu party for the fun of it, I have a few tips for bringing it all together. I love throwing parties, I suspect you already knew that, so hosting a quick Springy get together on a breeze and a whim, is my forte. I wanted my party to feel like Spring without pastels. I have had this great fabric for years and used it as my inspiration for the color palette of yellow, chartreuse and leaf green. Paired with bright white and springtime florals, it was a winning combination. Speaking of winning, don't forget to enter our giveaway for a Cut Crystal party pack and $100 to throw a killer party, details below.

The key to sneaking in single use products at your party? First, make sure they are pretty and blend in. I love the Cut Crystal line from Chinet because it is a great addition to any party closet. Since it is clear, I can have it on hand for anything and not have to worry if it will match, because it always will. It's sparkly clear and mimics my crystal pieces without the hassle of "special" cleanup. As a mom of two, when I get form and function, I am thrilled, which is why I was extra excited when Chinet told me about their new Cut Crystal cutlery. It's clear and just melts away into the tabletop. It also has a great swirl cutaway handle that makes it look like fancy hollywood glam acrylic perfection.

The second key to success? Great details. A fabulous tablecloth and coordinating napkins are a great way to add color to any party. Notice how my vintage napkins mimic the color palette but don't match it perfectly. Building layers is essential to making your party feel and look effortless. The best part about clear plates? Your amazing tablecloth and napkins show right through as if your desserts are floating on air.

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The third key to success, don't forget to decorate the whole room. Get a little carried away and add color to your bar cart with seasonal flowering branches from your yard and some colorful mixers.  Create a stunning buffet with lots of pops of color.  I turn my dining table into a buffet, I just love round buffets, everyone can reach anything on the table from any direction, and it looks amazing from all angles. It's a bit different from the usual counter top or sideboard and that makes it feel lighter and more relaxed.

I decided to add a pop of color to my standby easy instant cake stand. Since the Cut Crystal plates are clear, I can paint the bottom of the plate and have a food safe surface on top. This is a perfect way to customize and personalize a small platter, dinner plate or cake stand.

You will need: craft paint, a paintbrush, Chinet Cut Crystal Dinner Plates and Cups, and XL Glue Dots

Choose 3 colors, 1 light, 1 medium and 1 dark, and add a large drop of paint to an extra plate for your palette.

Flip over the dinner plates and add the lightest color in strokes (or whatever pattern you would like) in various spots across the back of the plate. I wanted an abstract and painterly look to it.

Add the other two colors, alternating and over lapping slightly. Cover the entire plate. Let dry.

Once dry, add a second plate to the bottom of the painted plate. This completely seals in the painted edge so you are protected from scratches and spills.

Flip over a cup. Add a giant Glue Dot to the bottom of the glass and attach to the center of the bottom of the bottom plate. Instant cake plate.

Don't want to paint? I added a few plain cake stands by using the Cut Crystal dessert plates, I varied the heights, for a more interesting buffet, by using both the 14 oz. cup and 9 oz. cup. I mixed in one colored stand with a bunch of unpainted, clear ones. This let the already colorful desserts pop off the table. Keep your added details simple to keep it elegant, but I can never resist adding great flowers and a quirky hand vase to hold the straws.

I'm a sucker for anything elderflower, and this lemonade is delicious, not to mention the gorgeous packaging.

So, are you ready to throw your own Spring party? Snag a party package and a little fun money to throw your very own sSpring shindig! Get Carried Away with Chinet!

One lucky winner, chosen at random will win a Chinet® Cut Crystal® party package and a $100 American Express Gift Card.

Party Package includes: 1 package Chinet Cut Crystal® Dinner Plates, 1 package Chinet Cut  Crystal® Dessert Plates, 1 package Chinet Cut Crystal® 14 oz. Cups and1 package Chinet Cut Crystal® Cutlery

This post and giveaway was sponsored by Chinet. All opinions are my own.

Giveaway: Throw an Easy Holiday Party With Minted

I love Christmas, it is my absolute favorite time of year. I'm drawn to vintage Christmas, that classic nostalgic feeling. My favorite holiday crooners are Ella and Dino and I just can't help myself to sing along. I tend to decorate with a modern touch and a nod to vintage classics and that's why I love this party collection, A Season for Stripes, from Minted.  If you are looking for beautifully designed party decor that you can personalize for your holiday festivities, class parties or even an office function, Minted makes it effortless. Pick your design, have it shipped to your door and hang. How easy is that? Remember when I was searching for white Christmas trees way back in August? This is why. I got the chance to style some of my favorite holiday party goodies from Minted. This retro stripe collection is merry and classic but in a clean modern way.

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Who says all of your holiday parties have to be in the evening? Want to ensure to snag guests over the holidays? Make your party an early afternoon shindig! It is just as festive and feels a little more relaxed. You could even host an open house, where you pick and afternoon and let guest swing by between errands and more holiday parties. A simple set up with some delicious snacks and a hot spot of tea really helps welcome in your friends and family in from the cold. Find some beautiful vintage red tea sets and decorate the tea tags with cupcake flags. It's the tiniest details that make really make your event stand out from everyone else's. Make your party the memorable one.

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When choosing a color palette for a printable collection, stick within the shades of the printable and then add one color. Here I used pink. I love hot pink with the red, aqua and white because it evokes the vintage feel I am going for but in a nontraditional way.  Since it is so close to the red, it feels like it is part of the collection, but it is just adding dimension.

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Set the mood of the party with matching personalized invites. In the same beautiful paper as the cards you know and love from Minted, these invites are a gorgeous way to start your party. My favorite part are the matching envelope liners you can get, at Minted, every detail has been carefully thought out and coordinated; they make it so simple. Even as a gal that likes to plan, having a running start is pure heaven at this crazy time of year.

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In Minted's party collections there are treat signs, table runners and confetti scatters. I like to accent the bottoms of clear serve ware with the confetti dots. It accents the bottom, like it does here in a pretty aqua stripe, so it pops instead of receding into the table. Buy beautiful ready made treats, like this dark chocolate pistachio bark from Trader Joe's or those yummy red velvet cake balls from my regular grocery store. Look everywhere and snag some great deals on stuff you might think you need to custom order from a bakery. Search based on your color palette and you'd be surprised what you find.

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The table runner is a great way to top off your table, won't your guests be amazed when they see your name? It really adds something special to the table and it protects your favorite linens from inevitable spills and drips, perfect. A quick and festive way to take your party up a notch? Snag a tree and pop it in your dining room. Decorate it quickly and easily with coordinating garland from Minted. Add a few solid color ornaments and call it fantastic.

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Want to throw an easy effortless party? Enter to win $175 from Minted to use on anything; gifts, a fabulous party or those Christmas cards that you still have time to get out! Just go check out Minted and tell me what you'd buy if you won! If you share the love I'll give you a few extra entries too! Be sure to enter before midnight tomorrow (12/12) Winner will be announced here on Friday! Thanks to Minted for making our holidays so very merry!

This is a sponsored post from Minted. All opinions are my own.

Free Halloween Printables and Giveaway

Happy Monday folks! Have I got a little fun up my sleeve for you. It's been a while since I made a full set of free party printables so I figured it was about time.  I saw some fantastic silhouette art when I was in Vegas and I wanted to use it in my Halloween decor. I really loved the snake silhouettes and how they were spooky, but not too spooky, perfect for grown-ups and children alike. Bats will always have a place in my heart, with good reason (ha!), but explore less used creatures for more pop at your party.

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To celebrate Halloween I made a set of black and white place cards or food cards, cupcake toppers and some banner flags. All you need to do is print and cut! The key to making great looking printables? It's all in the printer. HP wanted to help bring some great printables to life and sent me a HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One printer to whip up some professional looking party toppers and the clarity is amazing. I thought my old printer was great, but once I tried out the new HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One printer, I realized what I had been missing. Don't believe me, check it out for yourself. Oh, the best part? You can make these exact printies, with your very own HP Photosmart 7520 , ink, and fancy paper too!  Just enter to win below with Rafflecopter and win.

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Let's get started: Download the free printable PDF file HERE.

The key to great looking printables? Use brochure paper. Regular paper is too thin to make into party decor, you need substance and stability. Brochure paper is perfect because it let's the print quality shine. Be sure to set your printer to High Quality Printing in your settings when printing printables, you want your party decor to look like it came from a professional printer, even if you just printed from home. Ssshhh...I won't tell.

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In the set are some cupcake flags, but don't stop there, use them in different ways, my favorite lately is labeling the paper cups. It makes them look more custom and fun. Just add to the paper cup with double stick tape and trim the ends off. Super easy.  

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I hope you have fun with these, and don't forget to enter and win a fantastic new printer. This bad boy is wireless (yep, print right from your iPad) and has all the bells and whistles you can imagine. It has a fax machine, a scanner and you can print lab quality photos, right from home! I love mine and i know whoever wins this will be giddy. It's just in time for the holiday hubbub and rush. What better way to get ready than with a great printer. Enter to win an HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One printer a full set of inks, brochure paper and photo paper. Woo hoo! Enter in Rafflecopter and leave a comment. Good luck!

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Giveaway ends Thursday, 10/25, at midnight (12:00pm PST). Winner will be emailed and announced on this post Friday morning.  

This post was sponsored by HP. They sent me an HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One printer, inks and paper to review and create these printables. All opinions are my own.  

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.  

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