While it’s simple to gather your family and head to your local orchard, you can make a day of picking apples and cooking the fresh varieties. Take some of our ideas and make them you own to ensure you’re making the best of your apple picking day!

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Picnic provisions
Apple orchards are popular attractions for families, so farmers may have cider and pies available. But that can get pricey when you’re toting your kids and their cousins. Try packing a picnic basket instead, with a blanket, cutlery and plates. Also, bring bottled water and snacks to fuel everyone for the day ahead. While dishes can be apple-based, it’s good to offer treats that pair with apples as well. A simple yet delicious sandwich is goat cheese topped with cucumber in a soft bread. Lastly, bring along apple dippers like chocolate and caramel to eat with the fresh-picked fruit. Try these delicious inside out caramel slices from A Cup of Sugar…Pinch of Salt.

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After you’re done at the orchard, it’s time to head over to your house to clean and pack all the apples. Set up different stations for washing and drying the fruit. Then, divide the bounty among everyone to take home to enjoy. If you want to extend the party, create a few dishes. Here is one to get you started:

Applesauce
Applesauce is relatively easy to make, and goes a lot faster when you have tons of people helping. Take 3 to 4 pounds of apples and peel and quarter them. Put them in a large pot with four strips of lemon peel, a cinnamon stick, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar. Next, pour 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt over top and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Once done, remove the lemon peels and cinnamon stick, and take a potato masher to the apples. Then, ladle the applesauce into mason jars dressed in customized labels.

applesauce
applesauce_labelIf you’re looking for a something a little more advanced, try these Cheesecake Stuffed Baked Apples from Creme de la Crumb.

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Or if you’re more in the mood for an adult beverage, try this Apple Cider Sangria from How Sweet It Is. Consider personalizing your very own wooden stir sticks to dress up your cocktails!

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Check out the wide variety of customizable koozies, boxes and other favors to enjoy for your next party.

This Halloween there is no need to visit a haunted house when you can turn your home into a spooky attraction. We want to show you how to create the ultimate eerie decorations perfect for the whole family:

Invitations
Take a photo of a haunted house and use it as a backdrop for customized post card invitations. You can set the font in an old fashion typeface and use classic Halloween orange to evoke the theme even further. Or go for an all-text invitation! You can even design and upload your very own on our website.

Tombstone yard
The creative minds behind the Martha Stewart website offer some tips to turn your lawn into a graveyard. Don’t pick up fallen leaves just yet - they help create the eerie scene. Stick store-bought tombstones in the ground and either rustle up the dirt in front or add fresh potting soil to look as if someone has been trying to leave their grave. For a fun party twist, buy blank tombstones and stencil on the names of your party guests. To anchor in the theme you can also place pumpkins and lanterns around the yard. This could also be a great DIY opportunity. Just buy some large styrofoam pieces to create your own tombstone shapes. Buy some gray spray paint and a black marker to finish off this erie project.

Entryway
As guests make their way to your front door they won’t know what to expect as they enter. Increase the drama with a cobweb-filled doorway. Also, take an old rocking chair out of storage or borrow a friend’s to cover in webs as well. Or if you’re looking for some fresh, new ideas try this trash bag entry way. Just cut up a black trash bag into tiny strips and twist and stretch the pieces for that erie look.

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Spooky silhouettes
Martha Stewart also creates interest on the second floor with peculiar-looking silhouettes. She creates these disturbing figures by painting an image of a man or woman on inexpensive drapes. Hang the curtains as you normally would and leave the lights on to showcase the figures. Or you could even try cutting shapes out of cardboard you have around the house, like this batch and witch window silhouette.

Do-not-enter stairwell
Another haunted house trick is to close off your upstairs stairwell. This keeps the party confined to one area, and is another place to show your Halloween decorating chops. Use cobwebs to make it look old and cover the area with caution tape.

Table Decor
You can’t forget about personalized napkins. We have so many great halloween themed designs for you. Order as is or customize your own! napkins_halloween

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Specimen jars
Here is a use for your flower vases: Turn them into specimen jars with red food coloring and strategically thought out “body parts.” Cabbage with the first few leaves removed works as a brain and a fennel bulb just needs its stems cut off to look like a heart. Martha Stewart has a great tutorial walking you through these steps.

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Take home treats
At the end of the frightening evening, offer guests a candy-filled gift. Customize party bags with an image of a haunted house or spooky Halloween character. Then, fill with candy corn, popcorn, and other treats.

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Make your own black candy-holder cups, or consider using our black Stadium Cups throughout the part or as candy-holders. Try putting a jack-o-lantern face on them! Use these from This Heart of Mine Blog as inspiration.

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Check out all the customizable items we have to turn your Halloween or any other holiday bash into a memorable occasion.

It’s not too late to plan a fall baby shower! The leaves are just beginning to turn to their heavenly mix of autumn colors. When planning a season-themed shower, consider these party ideas to surprise the mom-to-be:

Autumn decorations
It’s always a great idea to incorporate elements of nature into the decor scheme. It you’re going for a traditional fall bash, consider gathering pumpkins to place around the house and use as a centerpiece. If you would like the colors to represent the arrival of a new baby, paint the pumpkins and gourds in creamy pastel hues, like these from A Bubbly Life.

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Choose table settings made up of raw fabrications like linen. Incorporate the theme into the invitations with fall colors and props. Try this tablescape idea but with fall colors, from Hostess with the Mostess.

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Also, don’t forget to repeat that motif in the customized napkins, coasters and party cups. For an even more rustic look you can hold the party outdoors. Try using our linen like napkin for an added elegance. Our Moss colored linen like napkins are perfect palette for fall. Use a Matte Pastel Pink or Matte Azure foil to play up the baby shower theme.

babyshowernapkinOur Blush Ornament Coasters are the perfect addition to a fall baby shower. They add just the right amount of a feminine touch.

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Pumpkin flavored treats
Incorporate everyone’s love for pumpkin flavored food into the menu as well. You can create a cafe at the shower and offer spiced lattes and hot cider for chilly guests. Or try making these adorably festive Mini Caramel Apples from At Home In Love.

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There are a range of party ideas to get you excited to host a seasonal baby shower.

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The Little Kitchen

We gave you tips for throwing the child in your life a surprise party, but now it’s time to throw a party for your best friend. There is no better way to show your best friend you really care than by throwing her a surprise birthday party. Whether you’ve been friends since you met on the playground, or your friendship began more recently, or in college, your friendship should be celebrated. Here are some tips for organizing the shindig your friendship deserves:

How to keep it a secret
Carefully crafted invitations – It’s hard to get everyone to keep a secret about a fabulous upcoming party. But make it fun and send out invitations that explain the importance of keeping quiet. Have invitees directly RSVP to your personal phone - this is especially important if your best friend is also your roommate. Another option that has gotten a lot of action lately is secret facebook events. You can change your events settings so that only people invited can see the event, so this may be an option if there isn’t time for paper invitation or you prefer paperless invitations.

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Plan a good diversion - Assign a person who is in charge of making sure the birthday girl will make it to the party at the designated hour. If you just tell her to arrive at a certain time, her plans might change. Maybe this means the assigned person takes the birthday day for dinner and is able to let everyone at the party know exactly when they will arrive.

Hide away extra cars – If you live in a rural area, be sure to hide the cars. The surprise will be ruined if she finds out about the party before she opens the door.

Decor
Don’t forget about all of the possibilities for fun decorations. It will be a lot more fun for the birthday girl if the room is decorated with balloons, streamers, signs, desserts, etc. Take some inspiration from these confetti-filled ballon decorations from Enjoy My Tribu.

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When the birthday girl arrives, you could give everyone some confetti, like this push pop confetti from Lauren Conrad to throw that would make for a big surprise.

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Personalized party favors
One way to make the guest of honor feel extra special is by creating a personal party theme.

Customized napkins – Do you two have a favorite movie you can’t get enough of? Grab a few of the most quotable sayings and place them on napkins.

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Stadium cups – Maybe you met your friend back during your college days and are part of the same sorority. Host a big bash with all your sisters and put the emblem and name of your chapter on stadium cups. Not only will this bring up memories from the good old days, but each party goer will also have an instant gift to take home.

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Check out our easy-to-design party favors in a variety of colors and customizable options.

Do you have an anniversary coming up and are at a loss for what to gift your significant other? You could always go with the traditional anniversary gifts, but how about spicing up your gifts and giving them a more modern twist? We’ve got some great ideas for you!

1st Anniversary: Paper

In honor of your first anniversary, the traditional gift is ‘paper’, why not try some of our personalized Notecards? We have a wide selection of paper colors, textures, and foil colors to create the perfect combination. You could keep it simple with a short word or phrase, or take the personalization a step further and add your last name or monogram.

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2nd Anniversary: Cotton

We love all things personalized, so for your 2nd, cotton anniversary, why not try a personalized throw pillow with your initials and anniversary date? Get some inspiration from this throw pillow by JolieMarche on Etsy.

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3rd Anniversary: Leather

We have some great leather accessories for your 3rd, leather anniversary, that are perfect for your significant other. Our leather coasters are perfect to have around the house and make beautiful gifts. Personalize them with your monogram, last name, or special phrase. We also offer leather classic box matches, which are always a treat to have around the house. You can personalize them as well!

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leathercoaster leathermatch4th Anniversary: Fruit & Flowers

Your 4th anniversary is an easy one, you can just pick some flowers and arrange them into a beautiful floral bouquet for your sweetie! Make your gift more personal by creating some personalized ribbon. We have a wide variety of satin ribbons that are sure to compliment your bouquet of choice.

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5th Anniversary: Wood 

If you’re anything like us, we love a good handmade, DIY project. The traditional gift for your 5th anniversary is wood, so try any one of these wooden DIY gifts from Babble. We especially love this up-cycled wooden photo holder.

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Another idea for your wooden gift anniversary is any of our wooden products! We offer a variety of wooden stir sticks that look great at any home bar.

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Don’t feel pressured to stick to these traditional gifts! You can use them as inspiration to help you find the perfect gift for your significant other that they are sure to love. We have great gift options on our website, don’t forget to take a look!

Many know it’s customary to show your appreciation when you’re a guest at a party by bringing a gift for your gracious host or hostess. Of course a nice bottle of wine or a homemade dessert come to mind, but where we really struggle is with the more creative, unconventional gifts. Well we’re here to provide an extensive list of creative gift options for your hostess.

Before you set out to buy anything from a store, trying to find inspiration for a more personalized gift.

Nature
Plant - If the hostess spends lots of time in the garden, a natural gift would be a good option. Instead of an ordinary plant, Martha Stewart recommends replanting special arrangements into a wooden sake box. It a simple gift, but this adds a personal touch by replanting it in something you may not be able to find at the store.

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Tea – An alternative is giving the hostess a mix of planted herbal tea. Then she will have a seemingly endless supply of her favorite varieties.

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Flowers – If you are short on time and are heading out to purchase a bouquet of flowers, go an extra step and have the florist arrange them in a vase. This will free up the hostess to entertain guests, instead of finding an appropriate size holder. A simple glass vase is a fine choice, but anything too stylized may clash with the home’s decor. You could even try a simple, but interestingly shaped vase, like this glass cube vase floral arrangement by Diane James.

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Literature
For those who are more acquainted with their host, why not gift a few vintage books? They look great sitting out on a coffee table or bookshelf and can inspire the hostess to reread a favorite story.

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Homemade
Food – A baked sweet treat is always an appropriate gift for a hostess right? Not necessarily. While many would love to nosh on something sweet, consider diet and lifestyle choices. If you know your hostess is watching her caloric intake, try baking a low fat or sugar-free dessert. Or you could try a light, airy dessert, like macarons (try these strawberry & cream macarons from Tutti Dolci), which are adorable as well as delicious.

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Herbs – Spices and herbs are a trendy gift item, and you can repackage them in fun customized boxes and create your own unique blends with clever names. Use this lovely arrangement from Naturally Ella as inspiration!

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Store-bought
It is perfectly fine to gift store-bought items but be sure to include a personalized touch. For example, when giving candles wrap each with a customized label. This also works with mini loafs of pound cakes and banana bread. Additionally, you can design gift sets of personalized napkins and coasters. Just look at how lovely some of our Fuchsia Cocktail Napkins look in our gift boxes.

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There are a variety of customizable party favors for your next hostess gift.

If you’re having a destination wedding, don’t forget to make welcome gift bags for all your guests! As they help prepare your friends and family for your wedding weekend, They are a bit different than regular goodie bags. Here’s all you need to know about building your own welcome bags!

Bag
First you need to choose the container that will hold everything you plan to give to your guests. Design personalized bags with the names of you and your future spouse. Or you can write a simple “Welcome Bag” message on them. Make sure you select something big enough to hold what you want to put inside. Our Euro Tote bags are the perfect size and of a higher quality material than your standard goodie bag, so they make a wonderful first impression on your guests.

eurotote

Contents
Local treats - Find some sweet treats and salty snacks from the wedding locale. You can order some items ahead of time or have your wedding planner find them for you. For example, if you’re having a Mexican wedding on the beach you can place some spicy candy in your welcome gift bags. Additionally, this food can serve as a much needed late-night snack during hotel stays. Here is a lovely arrangement of welcome treats from Southern Weddings Magazine.

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Refreshments - Don’t forget about providing something for your guests to drink. Place a bottle of water inside the bags and a bottle of soda or juice if you wish as well. Consider providing a specialty drink, like this adorable mini bloody mary kit from Scheme Events. It will add character and is sure to be a hit with your guests! If you want to include a cute something extra, our striped straws or stir sticks would complement this idea perfectly! You could even consider personalizing your own tea favors! We offer three different delicious flavors, take a look!

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teafavor

Pampering products – You want your wedding guests to be comfortable during their trip, so make sure they have what they’ll need. Pack deodorant, sunscreen, lip balm, lotion, slippers and anything else you think they might appreciate.

Toys – Be sure to make separate welcome bags for the kids that are invited to your wedding. Place toys like noisemakers, model airplanes and miniature board games inside.

Tourist items – If you know your wedding guests will have some free time during your wedding, send them on a tour of the town. You can set them up with a map of the area and a list of tourist attractions. Also, you may even want to place a transit card with preloaded fare inside each bag. Try what this bride did and include sunglasses, some treats, postcards, and a magazine with things to do in the area, from Jennifer Eileen Photography. Our luggage tags are a perfect addition to this tourist idea, they keep with the travel theme while also adding an extra dose of personalization.

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luggage

Souvenir – Consider picking up some souvenirs to place inside the welcome bags. They will be a nice memento for your wedding guests. For example, your guests might enjoy a location-themed coffee mug.

Itinerary – Don’t forget to place a timeline of your wedding’s schedule of events in the bag. You may even want to add a map to the venue if you know your guests will be renting a car.

Contact information – Place a sheet with your contact information in the bag. It should contain the email addresses and phone numbers of you and your spouse-to-be. If anyone is helping you organize the wedding, include their information as well.

 

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Looking for a some inspiring pieces for your upcoming bridal shower? Look no further, our talented team of designers have designed this lovely suite of Paris-inspired bridal shower accessories featuring our matches, gift tags, new coasters, and of course, our napkins.

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Starting off with a beautiful Green Tea Dinner Napkin with our Shiny Rose Gold Foil. We’re setting the mood with a beautiful Eiffel Tower motif and a great font combination (Mrs Eaves Petite Caps and Buttermilk)

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We can’t forget about accenting our cocktails! Try one of our straw tags. Here, we are using our Rectangle Straw Tags in Stardream Chambray with Shiny Rose Gold Foil. We are complementing the Paris theme with our Chandelier motif, creating a classically beautiful design.

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Our new blush colored Ornament coasters are gorgeous and a perfect choice for a feminine event such as this one. We are using our Shiny Champagne foil to create a softer look next to our greens, blues, and pinks.

 

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Our triangle matches are great for occasions such as these. They add just a touch of sophistication, while providing guests with functional and beautiful favors to remember the day by. We’ve chosen to use our Satin French Blue Foil on our Stardream Champagne paper.

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Our Stardream Notecards and the perfect way to say thank you to your guests! Here, we’re using our Stardream Chambray with Shiny Rose Gold foil.

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Don’t forget that small details make or break a party! These square gift tags add a perfect touch to your take-home sweets. Try using our Linen Pearl Cream with Shiny Green Tea foil for a soft, classic look with just the right amount of texture and a slight sheen.

 

savethedates
Save-the-Dates have always been a part of the wedding industry, however, recently, many brides are opting for less traditional and more creative save-the-dates. Well we’re definitely on board! Here’s some of our favorite save-the-date options:

Save-the-Date Cards
Let’s start with a crowd favorite, the save-the-date card. These cards are a great option for brides who love simplicity. Our 2-color foil stamp gives you the freedom to design beautiful cards with lovely accents. For a sophisticated look, try our more traditional designed cards. If you’re wanting a more modern vibe, try our chevron patterned cards.

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Save-the-Date Coasters
Our save-the-date coasters are a great option because they’re only informative, but they’re useful too! Your recipient will continue to be reminded of your special day every time they use it. We are able to offer them in both round and square formats, with any color foil of your choosing. Just look how beautiful they can be:

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Save-the-Date Photo Postcards
To add an even more personal touch to your save-the-dates, try our digitally printed photo postcards, they allow you to upload any photo of your choice and design your own text!

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Save-the-Date Photo
Magnets
We are very excited about our newly added Photo Magnet Save-the-Dates!  Use a photo of you and your future hubby, or upload your own custom designed save-the-date to be digitally printed on a magnet that will hang on the recipients fridge as a constant reminder!

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Save-the-Date Matches
Matches are an option that most people wouldn’t think about using for their save-the-dates, but they can make such a fantastic impression on your recipients!

savethedate9Luggage Tag Save-the-Dates
Having a destination wedding? We have the perfect save-the-date for you: Luggage Tags! They are the perfect way to inspire your guests to travel near and far to support you on your special day.

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Engagement parties serve a variety of purposes. First, they allow you to formally announce your great news to friends and family. Second, it’s a chance for the future bride and groom’s loved ones to meet.

Not sure how to prepare for the party? Here is a checklist compiled by Martha Stewart Weddings, detailing everything you need to know:

Two months before
Choose the host and date – Although tradition calls for the bride’s family to host the engagement party, times are changing and a lot of times the groom’s family will have a hand in the planning. But if either of those options are not possible, throw the party yourself! The date should be set around four months after the engagement.

Compile your guest list - While you may want to invite acquaintances to your engagement party, a good rule of thumb is for the guest list to only include people who will be attending the wedding.

One month before
Mail invitations – Try using one of our custom designed save-the-date cards or coasters, they can double as invitations! with a nice photo of the engaged couple. There is no need to make it too fancy - engagement parties are supposed to be a relaxed occasion for people to mix and mingle. However, it’s important to let guests know what type of party you will throwing so they can dress appropriately. Also, if you prefer that guests not bring gifts, say so on the invitation.

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Plan menu
- Even if you are simply serving appetizers at a cocktail event, still pay close attention to the menu. Have a variety of options on hand to cater to vegetarians and those with food allergies. We have various styles of menu to fit your occasion perfectly, whether its elegant and sophisticated, or simple and fun, we’ve got your menu covered.

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Choose decorations – Whether you are having a formal occasion or a few people over for drinks, you should add a personalized touch. Customized napkins and coasters can showcase the theme of the party in a playful way.

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Week of party
Go shopping – If the party is taking place at your house, buy the food a week before to give yourself wiggle room in case one store is out of a particular item.

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Setup – Arrange the decorations and food at least an hour before guests are set to arrive. If you feel like you need some help, don’t be afraid to ask your close friends to show up early to lend a hand!

Be sure to check out all of our great engagement party essentials to make your event a night to remember.