Entertaining

 Summer is here and I know many of you will be hosting fabulous summer parties! We asked Diane Gottsman to share some useful tips for summer entertaining with us! Diane is an etiquette expert in modern manners and owner of the Protocol School of Texas and has years of experience in entertaining etiquette! Study and learn! And […]

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10 Useful Summer Entertaining Etiquette Tips
Entertaining

Is there a baby boom happening right now?! I feel like I know SO many people who are expecting this year. Both my sister and my sweet friend are just a few months apart, both due with their first little babes! Of course, I love to buy items off a registry for close friends and […]

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Charming Baby Gift Ideas!
DIY

It’s always greatly appreciated to receive a handwritten note or thank you card from someone, especially ones that have a little humor that bring a smile and laugh to someone’s day. I’ll be honest, lately I’ve slacked immensely on sending out cards and thank you notes. I actually feel terrible about it because it’s not […]

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Put Together a Card Box
Home

After cooking and prepping for a party, the house is usually a mess! I leave myself about 20 minutes to straighten up, do a quick cleaning, light a fragrant candle and prepare for my guests’ arrival. Over the years, I’ve learned some tricks for easy cleaning that allows you to do it quickly and efficiently! […]

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10 Quick Tips for Cleaning Before a Party!
Entertaining

Delivering a perfect toast can be a huge burden on many who are asked to speak at a special event. Most people are terrified of public speaking and try to avoid it at all costs! I was one who avoided speech class in college until I literally was forced to take it. This year we have […]

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10 Quick Tips for Giving the Perfect Toast
Holidays

My son started preschool this year so this was my first time buying Christmas presents and sending a little token of appreciation to his teachers! I think it’s important to “spoil” our teachers a bit and the holidays (as well as the last day of school) are the best time! Teachers work hard and make […]

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Teacher Appreciation Gift Box
Holidays

Easter is only a few weeks away and if you’re hosting a fabulous brunch you must start planning your menu soon! Easter is actually one of my favorite holidays so I’ve been Easter-pinning-crazy these past few weeks for inspiration. How does this sound? A simple, yet beautiful table setting with Farmers Market flowers and floral […]

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inspiration for an easter brunch
Entertaining

Shop this board here!    I wanted to create a board of the items I use most for entertaining. Basic, white items that will go with any theme or decor. They’re things that have versatile use so you can mix it up and grab a carafe if you need a quick flower vase. Below I […]

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my favorite party basics
Entertaining

Want to learn three easy ways you can spruce up the naked mini cupcake? Click here and enjoy our video on Lifetime Moms!  

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video: easy ways to spruce up the naked cupcake
Eats & Drinks

I’m obsessed and have gone Teavana crazy! No really, I’m drinking tea like I used to drink Starbucks’ lattes. I’ve always loved their teas, but these tea blossoms are just way too charming. The little green balls turn into beautiful flowers once hot water is poured over them! Amazing : ) By far the most […]

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floral tea time and party favors
Entertaining

Whoo hooo! Happy 2013! I had the best night hosting a little New Year’s party with our close friend Todd. We served mini apple martinis, wine and champagne. Todd cooked the most amazing food, like spinach balls, bacon-wrapped dates, a delicious risotto and more. I set the table and did the florals and Zan set […]

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happy new year!
Holidays

This is a gathering I would have loved to be at… this perfect, snowy Montana setting was complete with a centerpiece wreath chandelier that took center stage, a giant fire to stand around while sipping fresh cocktails created with homemade syrups! This diy project and simple gathering with friends that Mariah did has me dreaming of […]

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DIY Wreath Chandelier and a Simple Winter Wonderland Gathering
Entertaining

I put together some Thanksgiving Day table inspiration for you all! I wanted to create something that’s achievable and affordable for everyone. Of course there are millions of gorgeous settings, but often they’re not practical. It’s like the runway… beautiful clothes, but who’s actually going to wear it or can afford it? So hopefully you’ll […]

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An Earthy Thanksgiving Table
Entertaining

How many of you went apple picking this year (aside from getting an iphone ; ))? I went when we were in Ohio and had such a great time! I came home and researched places to apple pick in Southern California and luckily, we do have some “u-pick” apple farms! I thought it would be […]

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apple picking social inspiration
Entertaining

It’s the last weekend to throw a pumpkin carving social! Gather a few friends, buy (or make!) some pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin beer and create your favorite pumpkin carving designs! I put together a fun board that will hopefully give you some ideas and inspiration when throwing your pumpkin carving social. I love the idea […]

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pumpkin carving social
Entertaining

I’m thrilled fall is right around the corner! I started browsing the web for my favorite fall entertaining items and I noticed a pattern… gray! I love the color gray, so I let the color and my wish list lead to me the board above. Gray is a very nice hue for fall right? It […]

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Falling for Gray
Entertaining

I’ve been dreaming about a lake house. Probably because we usually go to Big Bear a few times every summer and we didn’t go this year. I absolutely adore the atmosphere of lake houses. I love the simplicity of the calm water, fresh air, bright stars, camp fires and the abundance of trees. I’ve always […]

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lake house entertaining
Entertaining

I was inspired by these elegant and charming floral arrangements. We usually leave these type of arrangements for weddings or “special” events, but I think they’re perfect for even the smallest dinner party. A gorgeous flower arrangement is the best way to add color and fresh decor to your dinner table. Some of the arrangements […]

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floral inspiration for dinner parties
Entertaining

My favorite party idea this summer is a pie social. It’s the perfect theme for a backyard get together and such a sweet way to gather friends, play yard games and eat some tasty pie. It’s also a fantastic theme to celebrate a birthday or any other special occasion. It gives you the opportunity to […]

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How to Throw a Pie Social
Entertaining

My little brother, Dustin, recently graduated from the UC Davis Enology program, where he studied the science of wine making. How amazing is that?! He traveled to France’s wine region and studied their wine making techniques in areas like Alsace, Jura, Beaujolais and the south of France. He is now interning at a winery in Napa, where […]

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wine and dessert pairings
Entertaining

 I fell in love with these heart shaped eating utensils that are biodegradable and reusable! Each heart snaps in half and becomes a utensil with a fork, a serrated edge to cut with and a flat area to scoop. They’re perfect for a romantic summer picnic, a birthday party or to break apart when dessert is served on a […]

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iHeart these
Holidays

No one ever said Easter baskets are just for kids! If I could fill my own Easter basket, the candy below would be my top picks! Gourmet chocolate bars, amazing toffee from See’s, my ultimate FAVE sea salt caramels,  mini Cadbury eggs (I scream for joy when I see these pop up in stores!) and […]

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Easter Candy for Adults!
Entertaining

I created this ‘party on a budget’ tips board for a General Mills post and I wanted to share it with you all! I’m always looking for the best prices on staple items when throwing parties, especially big ones where the budget can grow out of control! Below are a few tips and items I picked out […]

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party on a budget
Entertaining

I know fondue isn’t exactly part of an Irish meal, but I thought it would be a cute and fun idea for a Saint Patrick’s Day dinner. There are a variety of delicious Irish cheeses that can be used and besides just serving bread you could chop things like broccoli, green apples and even pickles to dip! It can be […]

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Pot o’ Fondue
Eats & Drinks

Whether you’re throwing a small Oscar party or just cozying up on the couch with your family to watch  the Awards this Sunday, below are two SUPER easy ideas to help make the night special : ) Mini bowls of popcorn with edible gold stars sprinkled on top and refreshing pineapple and ginger cocktails to […]

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and the award goes to… edible mini gold stars!
Eats & Drinks

I created this truffle bar last January for Style At Home and realized I never posted the photos on Sugar and Charm! Since Valentine’s Day is coming up in two weeks I thought I would share my idea for a truffle bar. I used Ina’s amazing truffle recipe and the placed them all on a plate. Then I set […]

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How to Set Up a Truffle Bar
Entertaining

Happy Wednesday! It’s been about 80 degrees in Los Angeles the past few days and it’s not getting any cooler! I even went on a walk yesterday and it was too hot to keep going, really? In January? Sounds like a good time for ice cream ; ) Although anytime is a good time for […]

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unique ways to serve ice cream
Entertaining

Below are a few of my party planning tips for hosting a dinner or cocktail gathering at your home! 1. Prepare: I don’t mean prepare day of… prepare weeks before. Make sure all of your shopping is done, menu is written out, house is cleaned, get all of the dishes out you’re going to use […]

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Hosting School
Entertaining

Since summer is coming to an end and we only have one more big weekend before fall officially starts (crazy how fast it went by!), I wanted to post pictures of a summer table setting I created for Simply the Sweet Life Magazine! The photos are featured in the mid-summer issue along with more beautiful ideas […]

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Summer Table Setting for Simply the Sweet Life Magazine
Entertaining

I’m going to start something new! I thought it would be a fun idea to create entertaining inspiration boards for different cities and holidays. I wanted to start it off with Palm Springs. When I think of Palm Springs, I think retro, lacquer texture, cocktails and funky patterns. I also think of bright, vintage colors, […]

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palm springs entertaining
Entertaining

I was wandering around Joann’s Fabrics the other day and I saw this ice mold. I thought it was pretty cool and even cooler (haha) to serve ice shots to your guests on a hot summer day! You can put anything you want inside the ice shot glass or to create it. A lemoncello sounds good, […]

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cold as ice – ice shot glasses
Entertaining

I’m a fan of super cute napkin folds and this one takes the cake!! After seeing this on Martha, I had to create one of my own! It can be a bow tie or a bow… works for a boy or girl : ) It’s SUPER easy to fold and so, so charming!   Bowtie Napkin […]

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Bow Tie Napkin Fold
Entertaining

Last weekend I was at the beautiful Sara Westbrook’s house (of One Charming Party) assisting her and the equally beautiful Brittany on some fabulous photo shoots! It was a great day and I learned a lot from them, but there was one very simple detail that really stood out to me. When the day was wrapped, […]

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hostess tip… packaging leftovers
Entertaining

I bought this vanilla lemon cake from Trader Joe’s yesterday, because I wanted to show you all how you can easily change the look of this cake in about 10 minutes! If you’re busy and don’t have time to make and decorate your own cake, you can buy a plain white or chocolate one and […]

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transform and decorate a supermarket cake
Entertaining

Flowers are a typical, but nice hostess gift. Sometimes the store-bought flowers, that come in boring plastic wrap, need a little revamping! I bought a bouquet at Trader Joe’s for $5 and arranged them two different ways for a fresher looking and more thoughtful hostess gift.   Take the flowers out of the plastic, cut […]

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sprucing up store-bought flowers
Entertaining

For me, tulips can be difficult to arrange and gain full control over to make gorgeous centerpieces. I find myself fighting with the droopy flowers trying to get them to stand up straight! So this year I decided to make a few tulip arrangements that don’t require any arranging! Individual tulips that can be placed […]

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tulip "arranging"
Entertaining

I saw this graphic over at a blog I like to read called Little White Whale and I was so inspired by it!! I’ve done a few etiquette posts in the past, here and here, but this is by far the cutest illustration I’ve seen. How perfect is this for a little girl’s room too?! It not only teaches the […]

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etiquette school: pretty table setting
Entertaining

Happy April 1st! I’m excited that Spring is finally here and Easter is just around the corner 😉 I saw this idea on One Charming Party last week and I thought they were sweet details for an Easter brunch. I usually don’t post any food items that aren’t sugar-related on this blog. However, I made […]

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bunny ears and cabbage centerpiece
Holidays

The bunny fold is an easy and charming way to dress up your Easter table this year! It’s so cute, you think it might hop right off your plate : ) Better Homes and Gardens made an easy to follow video on how to create this fold… Click here to watch! Once you get the […]

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It’s the… Bunny Fold!
Entertaining

Yesterday I featured these inspiration photos for a St. Patrick’s Day table setting on Style At Home. I  love the way everything turned out, so I couldn’t help but share them today! I wanted to create something that would inspire all of you wonderful Charmers to cook up a traditional, hearty Irish meal and set […]

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st. patrick’s day entertaining
Entertaining

Antiquaria is a new online store that sells gorgeous dinnerware, china, vintage Pyrex, unique drinking glasses and much more! I was extremely excited when I browsed through the online shop, which is bursting with color and beautiful design, and I had to share! There’s nothing better than a well-dressed table and I’m thinking Antiquaria is […]

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antiquaria… a vintage dinnerware shop
Entertaining

Sorry I’ve been a little laggin’ on the bloggin’! I’ve been on the East Coast visiting with family and planning a 60th birthday party for my father-in-law! We had delicious food catered and plenty of wine and vintage sodas to go around! I made some personal details, printed old photos of the birthday man and […]

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60th birthday party
Entertaining

I came across these two savvy tips for serving cake and ice cream on the Real Simple site and they are so unique! Ice cream can be so messy to scoop and serve, especially when there are impatient little kiddos tugging at your leg ; ) So why not get it out of the way […]

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unique tips for serving cake and ice cream
Entertaining

I’m usually against “boxed cake” because I love the taste of homemade desserts so much. If you’re hosting a large party you might be overwhelmed with the thought of baking from scratch, on top of the other things you need to prepare for… So, if that’s the case then I guess (haha) it’s okay to […]

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The Boxed Cake
Entertaining

I paid a little visit to one of my fave hangouts, the Cheese Cave in Claremont, to learn a few tips from the experts on creating a very special cheese platter for your guests! Marnie (left) and Lyddie are the lovely ladies (and sisters!) behind this amazing cheese shop and they are an absolute joy to be […]

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Cheese Platter from the Experts
Entertaining

Today… is hosting day! I’m going to give a few tips for being a better host next time you have guests over! And I accompanied it with this cool retro photo because I’m kind of obsessed with these retro housewife pictures : ) Anyhoo… read my hosting tips below and have a wonderful Tuesday! By […]

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hosting school
Entertaining

So I covered table-setting and now I am going to introduce you to the fabulous world of napkin folding and displaying. There are several classy and traditional ways to fold a napkin for a dinner party or event. There are also many styles you can choose from when displaying a napkin. To help you out, […]

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Etiquette School 101: Napkin Folding and Displaying
Entertaining

This post might be considered a little boring (and sort of long) to some people, but I happen to believe table setting is VERY important to know, haha! It will also help to refresh my own memory of setting the table. I actually learned how to properly set a table in one of my college […]

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Etiquette School… Table Setting 101
Entertaining

Entertaining can be quite a bit of work and stress! It’s always wise to hire a party planner or someone to design and coordinate a big event, but it’s never a bad idea to hire one for a dinner party… That way you can enjoy the night with your guests and let the planner (me, […]

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Party Planner

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