Modern Parties ~ ‘Feather the Nest’ Baby Shower

18 Apr

Sadie from Clementine Cupcakes hosted a baby shower for her sister-in-law this past weekend. She is expecting fraternal twins, a boy and a girl! I love the symbolic theme of birds & nests.

Blessing Tree: All the guests wrote quotes or special notes or advice on the tags and then hung them on the tree. A great keepsake. Juli (mom to be) picked one out and the person who wrote the note received a prize.

Gift Area: Sadie used a birdcage to hold the cards/gift cards.

Party Favor: Homemade tea (my mother in law owns a company called Nana’s Remeteas and blends all her own tea). I put the tea bags in “nests” that I found at the dollar store. (they are actually coconut fiber planting liners that you put your flowers in when you plant to hold moisture and keeps gophers away)

Centerpieces: Simple glass vases from the dollar store with rocks and a tree branch from the tree in my yard, mini wood birdhouses ($1 at michael’s), and green bird condiment bowls with chocolate eggs.

And of course she used the signature “modern hostess pompom” she loaded up a huge birdcage outside with them. Our Modern Hostess, Ari made the bunting and table runners.

Great work Sadie, you make me proud! 😉




S’mores Party

17 Apr Smores Party invitation design

I really enjoyed designing the invitation for our backyard S’mores Party. Yum!

Smores Party invitation design

50's style S'mores Party invitation

The sun is shining, and my family and I are starting to plan our camping trips for the summer. It reminded me of our S’mores Party we had at the end of the season last year. This was a simple yet fun party. We had a bonfire in the back yard, bundled up, roasted marshmallows and drank hot chocolate. My favorite s’more was definitely the Nutella-banana s’more! Check out a similar recipe at Sunset Magazine

nutella banana smores from Sunset

New twist on an old favorite

This will definitely become an annual tradition at our house. A desert-only party made for easy prep and clean-up, and fun for the whole family.

Chris at Graphic Bungalow

Husband Takes the Cake, part I

15 Apr

This is the first in a 2 part series about a friend of mine that builds the most amazing cakes.  I have a friend, John, that is a nuclear operator by day and a husband/dad by night that makes his family the most wonderful birthday cakes.    When I was discussing with him about his cakes he did comment that he generally doesn’t like to use fondant because he doesn’t like the taste of it.    Here are a few of his creations to share with you and more to come.  I think you will agree that this husband takes the cake.

Tractor Cake
This little cake was whipped up on a whim for his 5 year old son.  They had a surprise party planned for him the day after his birthday.  When John noticed his son mopping around on his birthday because it looked as if his birthday was overlooked he got to work.  This adorable little cake held his son over until his big birthday surprise the next day.

Stegosaurus Cake
Here is the cake that John created for his son’s surprise 5th birthday.  I love dinosaurs and this cake is nothing short of amazing.

Yellow Submarine Cake
Inspiration for John’s cake comes from his sons.  This year this son wanted a Yellow Submarine cake and that is what he got. This cake was complete with (swedish) fish and sharks, oh my!


There are more cakes where these come from!  Have a great weekend!

Smiles, Arianna

Busy Birthday Week!

14 Apr

Keeping in the Modern Hostess tradition this week we have another birthday!


Happy Birthday to my husband Steven! 


Looks like all three of us Modern Hostesses will be celebrating this weekend!



Happy 30th Birthday Stephanie!!!

13 Apr

Today is Stephanie’s 30th birthday!  And how does a Modern Hostess celebrate? All week of course.  Here we are having lunch at Pascucci’s in Santa Barbara over the weekend.

As for today all Stephanie knows is that she has to at my house at 8:15 in yoga attire, with a swim suit in tow, and that she will be gone all day. Can you guess what she will be doing all day?  The birthday surprises will continue through the week thanks to the planning of her wonderful husband.

Cheers to Stephanie on her day!

Modern Parties ~ Ninja Birthday Party

12 Apr

The party circuit is over in my house, well at least for my kids this year. My Birthday is tomorrow and it’s a big one. 30! 😉

I’ve had several inquiries on where my Ninja post is so I thought I better get this one finished up. I recently hosted a Ninja Party for my little Brayden’s 5th Birthday. He’s obsessed with Ninja’s so this theme was perfect for his party.

Invitation: For invitations I used DIY Invitations and ordered the perfect Ninja invite for only $6! I customized it to my needs and printed on photo paper, cut to size and they were ready to go.

Food: Sushi, Teriyaki Chicken Skewers, Edamame, Star Sandwiches and Ninjabread Men. The Teriyaki Skewers were a hit, I used this recipe from The Food Network.

Cupcakes: The fabulous Clementine Cupcakes created Red Velvet to match our theme.

Decorations: I ordered 100 Origami Cranes from Made by Jo on Etsy. All the proceeds went to the relief effort in Japan. We strung them on string and let them hang from the ceiling as decoration. I love how they turned out. I also hung japanese lanterns from the ceiling. Name tags and drink labels were all created by my fellow Modern Hostess, Ari.

The kids were all asked to come in black and each of the kids were given a black ninja warrior mask to wear for the training session.

Games: We had the stealthy ‘Snow Ninja Warrior’ come to the party to train the young Ninja’s. He did a great job and showed the kids some great moves. We had a Ninja training session with obstacle courses and a Ninja Star throwing competition.

Goodie Bag: Ninja Warrior Stars, Ninja Warrior Men, Ninja Silly Bands & Chop Sticks.

All in all the party was a hit! I had one tired little Ninja Warrior at the end of the day.

Make sure to check the Modern Hostess Facebook page for exclusive pics of the party.



Modern Parties ~ Sweet 16 party in 6 hours

11 Apr
Here is a post from our new contributor Chris. She threw together a sweet 16 party in 6 hours! Impressive. Check her out……
I had to work out-of-town and I planned to say at my parents house and have dinner the night before, as it would shorten my drive by a few hours the next morning. My parents were having a birthday dinner for their neighbor Deanna, who lived alone with her father. That week I learned it would be her 16th birthday dinner! And the night before I realized this little dinner for 6, would be her only birthday celebration. The next morning I called my mom around noon, to find out what decorations she had planned – one bouquet of flowers. Dinner was at 6pm and I had 2 hours of driving ahead of me, so 4 hours to plan and pack with a minimal budget. A quick look at Deanna (aka Ducky)’s facebook page, revealed she was a fan of lime green and turquoise and as a March baby I decided to go with a “spring” theme.
1. I used what I had – cloth napkins from Target, paper lanterns from World Market, green treat bags from Oriental Trading Company, and a stash of vases and cake plates
2. Flowers in season, Daffodils $10 for 6 bouquets at Whole Foods
3. Stationary store for a card, lime green cake plates and green ribbon for glassware
4. Gourmet Cookie favors by Dancing Deer Baking Co.
5. As a graphic designer by day, I quickly created personalized tags and printed them out on cardstock, attaching them to the treat bags.

Deanna loved it! She was “so happy” and really enjoyed her birthday celebration.

Cheers! Chris