Archive | Inspiration RSS feed for this section

Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day

15 May

Today is National Chocolate Chip Day (#nationalchocolatechipday).  To celebrate … why not make something yummy with a bag of chocolate chips?  Of course you could make chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip pancakes or chocolate chip waffles.  But I have a family recipe that’s a HUGE hit with anyone who tries it.  It’s my Grandma’s Peanut Butter Bar recipe.  This recipe was handed down to me years ago and has been a favorite ever since.  People always ask me “Are you bringing your peanut butter bars?”  I could probably make them in my sleep (although I’d rather not).  If you make them, let me know how everyone liked (or LOVED) them!

75648_977Dorothy Congdon’s Peanut Butter Bars

3 c. graham cracker crumbs

1 stick butter, melted

2 c. powdered sugar

18 oz. peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

Frosting:

1 (12 oz) pkg. milk chocolate chips

1 stick butter, melted

Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, powdered sugar and peanut butter in a bowl until moist.  Press into a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Heat butter and chocolate chips until melted.  Pour on top and smooth with a knife.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Cut into squares and serve.  *You can substitute margarine for butter and use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you prefer.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Jennifer

Stationery for Couples

23 Apr

april-couples-cards-001Now that wedding season is upon us, our thoughts have turned to couples, bridal showers, weddings, and other celebrations that couples share. If you are considering a gift for an anniversary, wedding shower, or even for your own personal needs, consider note cards perfect for any couple. For special thank yous from two people, a great set of personalized stationery is a smart idea for gifts or for you to have on hand. Whether you select a monogram or a card which offer 2 initials or two names, you will love the versatility.

Before the wedding, such as for bridal shower gifts, feature the bride’s maiden name or maiden monogram. But for a modern approach, you can put his and her first names or initials on the cards like Jennifer and David, initials such as J&D or J+D. For couples’ stationery, there are many options that will provide a wonderful impression with each and every note.

Once married, it’s time to show off their shiny new monogram together! As shown in our Couples Stationery section, you can select more formal imprint like Mr. and Mrs. David Friedman or a more traditional three letter monogram such as JFD. No matter what your personal style, a great set of note cards is a smart and useful choice for a special couple.

For all the notes and thank you messages that a couple sends, it’s nice to have a box of pretty cards available. Make a chic statement with personalized stationery, which is ideal for most occasions. There are also some choices with unique layouts we think are very special. A great box of stationery is a classic and useful gift that will be enjoyed again and again.

Best wishes,

Renee

10 Tips for Spring Party Planning

13 Feb

Are you getting ready for spring to appear?  I know I am.  It’s still winter, of course, in Chicago and although we haven’t had a lot of snow, we have had our share of cold gloomy days.  We can all use some sunshine and flowers to cheer us up.  So it’s the perfect time to start thinking about planning a Spring Party.  We have a host of floral invitations which are perfect for bridal luncheons, spring birthdays, baby showers and other events you are planning for spring.  Won’t it be fun to start thinking about the pretty invitations, guest list and centerpieces?

Here are 10 Tips for your Spring Party Planning!Spring Party Planning

  1. Pick a fabulous party invitation! A pretty floral invitation works wonderfully for a spring party and can set the tone for your event.  There are so many and having them personalized adds a professional touch to your event.  Remember to mail out your invitations for a bridal shower, birthday or luncheon about 4-6 weeks before your event.
  2. Determine the type of party you are planning.   For bridal showers and birthdays and baby showers, it’s very nice to offer a pretty luncheon, either at your home, in your garden or at restaurant or club.  For luncheon menus, think light fare such as salads, grilled seasonal vegetables, grilled chicken or salmon and fruit salads.  Evening spring cocktail parties are nice too for adult birthday parties and couples showers. If you are hosting a cocktail party, consider bbq, sandwiches, fruit kababs, seasonal vegetable crudité, pretty platters of cheeses and grapes and chocolate covered treats.  Spring is a great time to lighten things up and cater the foods of the season.  Spring fruits and vegetables include  apricots, artichokes,  asparagus, avocados, carrots, pineapples, mangoes and peas.
  3. Select your party color theme.  You can use the tones for your pretty table cloths, place mats, candles, plates, napkins and other table accents from the flowers you want to use for your table or from the color theme on your invitation.  Using the right blend or colors will make your event pop and look like it is all pulled together effortlessly.
  4. Use spring flowers for your centerpieces.  From tulips to peonies to the lovely iris, the colors and shapes of spring flowers are gentle, feminine and very pretty.   Let the colors of the blooms set the tone for your upcoming spring event.  From the many shades of pink, purple, white, yellow and red, you can determine whether there is one that is your favorite or which ones you want to mix together for your party palette.  If you want a stunning and elegant option, select all white blooms and use white tea candles surrounding them. Very chic indeed.
  5. Consider the type of drinks you will be serving.  No need to go overboard on a huge bar and all those fancy drinks for luncheons.   Spring means a big punch bowl filled with Sangria, lemonade or ice tea.  Serve in great glasses or jars with straws and you will make a great impression.  We also suggest printed shatterproof disposable glasses themed to your event.
  6. Printed napkins can make the event very special.  Consider adding printed napkins for the cocktails and appetizers and select pretty colors that coordinate with your invitations and table decorations.  Imprint your event such as “Bella’s Bridal Shower” or something similar and they instantly become more than fabulous!  There are guest towel sizes and luncheon sizes that are wonderful for the meal and will be a great addition.
  7. Think about the table treats.  Remember to put out some pretty candies or nuts on your tables.  Or, those wonderful french macaroons are wonderful and come in all sorts of pretty spring colors, like pistachio, melon, lemon and more.  So elegant and fun.  Have you ever seen the ones from Ladurée?  They are a french pastry house since 1862 that makes the absolutely most gorgeous and delicious treats.  If you can ever try some or order some for an event, you won’t be disappointed!  Oh, what wonderful favors they would make for your guests!
  8. Desserts are very important.  Once your luncheon or cocktail party is in the final phase, you’ll want to bring out some pretty desserts, cupcakes or a large special cake.  Everyone loves their treats!  A cake themed to the event makes a for a special moment at the party.  Visit your local bakery if you are not planning on baking it yourself and you should find many wonderful ideas.  Or, consider a bakery which can create an edible photo on your cake, surrounded by pretty edible spring flowers.
  9. Thank You Notes are a special gift. It would be lovely to order a box of personalized thank you notes for the guest of honor.  That will be one present that will be unexpected and truly appreciated.  You can never go wrong with something basic and featuring their name or monogram.  You can be sure they will be used to thank all the guests for the presents they will be bringing to the party.
  10. Pick out a special favor for the guests. Anything small and pretty from a little jar of jam, a pretty candle,  a handmade craft item, or even a help-yourself candy jar with cute little personalized bags waiting in the ready are lovely as a party favor.  We also recommend fun little mason jars filled with cookies or little clear paint jars with gumballs.  They’re adorable and they come finished and personalized!  Personalized bags with imprints like “Love & Kisses from Bella and Jon” would be very cute on the bags as a final send-off.  Or, a personalized favor tag can do the same, when attached to your jar of jam or other treat.  Farewell favors are always appreciated by the guests.

Have fun and happy spring party planning!

Renee