My daughter Coletti's first birthday party is definitely one of my favorite themes.  Coletti is the type of kid that always had (and still has) food all over her face.  She has a definite LOVE of food that she inherited from her foodie parents (sorry, honey, you may weigh 400 lbs. someday.)  It is only fitting as an Italian girl, that one of her first solids was pasta and she inhaled it.  So we started calling her Coletti Spaghetti and it stuck.  In fact, so much so, that now at almost three, if you say her middle name she corrects you and tells you its Spaghetti.  So when it came time for her first birthday, we knew we had to have a Spaghetti party.  

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If there is one thing I've learned from joining an Italian American family it is that food is very important and is the center of any gathering.  So it was fitting that our Italian Princess' party was completely centered around food - LOTS of food.   Starting with appetizers - antipasti, bruschetta, and caprese salad and finishing the main meal with spaghetti, of course. 

Guests washed down all that food with their favorite "bevande" - Italian beer, Italian soda, Italian water and of course wine.    We set up our living room like a little Italian restaurant for the kids to eat at.  

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After dinner, we enjoyed a gelato bar, cannolis from Sugar Sisters, and "Spaghetti" cupcakes, (recipe from Hello Cupcake Cookbook) paired with espresso.  My husband has inherited quite the collection of espresso sets, so it was fun to get to use these! 

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Although eating was the focus, we did enjoy some Italian games like Bocce and our favorite card game, Briscola.  

For decor, I wanted to use the green and red from the Italian flag, but didn't want too much of that and definitely didn't want a lot of the red checkers. So I tried to use lots of wood accents, wine crates for displays, and pictures of our baby girl.   My good friend, Mollie Wetta, arranged some beautiful flowers to tie it all together.   I also created a Coletti Spaghetti sign out of chipboard letters and beige yarn to mimic the invite. 

The focal point, though, was the Colitti family crest.  My mother-in-law had it framed for us, and it was fun for all of our friends to see the history behind Coletti's name!  

It was a fun party to throw, and Coletti Spaghetti enjoyed all the spaghetti!

Posted
AuthorGretchen Postiglione

Wanting to throw a Fondue and Fabulous Shoes Party?  Here are some beautiful products from Etsy that would really make an impact at your party!  

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1.  Amethyst Drink Glass Set, Hazel Atlas "Moroccan" Purple Glasses - Vintageeclecticity

These would be perfect for displaying "fondue dippers" like fruit or pretzels or for small floral arrangements.  

2. Purple Passion Stiletto High Heel Shoe Favor Boxes - shadow090109

How cute would a few truffles stuffed into the toe of this shoe be on every guests plate.  Add a little nametag to it and it could double as a placecard!  

3. Large Paisley Scarf Pashmina - LePetitMonkey

The texture of this could add a lot to the decor draped over a chair or as a table runner!

4. Moroccan / Arabian Candle Lanterns - MoroccanArganOil

A few of these lanterns would make a big impact on the drama in the space.

Posted
AuthorGretchen Postiglione
TagsFondue

Macarons are something we didn't really see in The States until a few years ago.  Now these little pastries are popping up in bakeries everywhere, and are one of the hot items on a sweet table at any party. I think the appeal is two-fold.  Visually they are wonderful to look at with vivid colors and identical size and shape.  Second, they are amazing tasting: crunchy on the outside, and then a layer of gooey flavored cream or fruit spread.  There are so many creative ways to display them too.   Displayed in small bowls or simply lined up on a plate looks great. 

mint chocolate chip macarons made by  Sugar Sisters Bakery

mint chocolate chip macarons made by Sugar Sisters Bakery

For a more dramatic look, you could make an amazing macaron tree like this one!  Only takes two minutes :) 

They can be expensive, but a few can make a big impact.  I am usually an avid DIYer - thinking I can "do anything cheaper" - but unless you are a professional pastry chef, I wouldn't recommend making these because they are one of the hardest cookies to make. 

Posted
AuthorGretchen Postiglione

For the Fondue and Fabulous Shoes Shower we wanted all different shades of purple and pink sugar for our truffles to sit on.  However, when I went to the cake store I was disappointed in the color selection: pink and lavender.  I wanted some deeper colors, so I experimented with what has become my new favorite thing: powdered food coloring.  Below are the steps to creating the super vibrant colored sugar shown here!   

Coloring Sugar is the perfect solution for hard-to-find colors.  Photo by  Mollie Wetta Photography

Coloring Sugar is the perfect solution for hard-to-find colors.  Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

What you will need:

Sugar Crystals - You can use regular sugar, but the sugar crystals you get at a cake store work better - get clear or you can start with a color for a base for really rich colors.

Powdered Food Coloring - This seemed expensive to me when I bought it, but a little goes a long way and I've been using one pack of colors for a few years.  

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Step 1

Portion out how much sugar you need and pour into a Tupperware container or Ziplock baggie.  I poke a few fork holes in the foil on top of the food coloring to act like shakers.  

Step 2

Add 2-3 shakes of food coloring into the bag with the sugar.  Think back to basic color mixing from elementary school to achieve your desired color.  

Step 3

You can always add more color (if it is too light) and sugar (if it is too dark).  You can store the sugar in sealed containers just like sprinkles for use later on!  

Note: If you aren't plating the sugar right away make sure to re-shake right before use.  The coloring can pool at the bottom if you don't shake, giving you uneven color when you pour.

Also an added bonus: As the night went on, the truffles we made melted, and instead of sticking to the plates and making a mess for guests, they just stuck to a layer of sugar giving a nice added "sugar layer" to the bottom of the candies!  

Posted
AuthorGretchen Postiglione
TagsFondue

For the Fondue and Fabulous Shoes Party we decided we didn't want the little wooded spears -- we wanted real fondue forks.  But we needed a LOT of fondue forks.   So we started gathering all the mismatched sets we had. But they looked a little disjointed all together, so we took some extra fabric scraps from the tablecloth we made, and presto! They ended up being a last-minute detail that really made a big impact!  

Fabric-wrapped Fondue Forks - Easy DIY that added a lot to the look of the table!  Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Fabric-wrapped Fondue Forks - Easy DIY that added a lot to the look of the table! Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Posted
AuthorGretchen Postiglione
TagsFondue

I'm excited to share the this amazing party I helped host a few years back for my best friend since Kindergarten.  

Fondue and Fabulous Shoes dessert table features chocolate fondue, assorted fruits and items for dipping and decadent chocolates.  photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Fondue and Fabulous Shoes dessert table features chocolate fondue, assorted fruits and items for dipping and decadent chocolates.  photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

She was getting married and having a baby all in the same year, so we wanted a way to celebrate her and everything that was happening in her life. She didn't want gifts, just a gathering with friends and family to celebrate.  Her soon-to-be sister-in-law and another friend Mollie Wetta (Mollie Wetta Photography) and I put our heads together and came up with a shoe inspired party theme: Fondue and Fabulous ShoesFondue was the perfect food for people to mingle and visit...and of course take in all the fabulous shoes.  We wanted a very dramatic feel so we chose rich colors and Moroccan accents for the decorations.  

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Layers of  fabric, pashminas, lanterns and candles added dimension and texture to the space.

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Height was added to the tables by gluing plates to pillar candle holders.  Over-the-top desserts like macarons, truffles and the most beautiful cheesecakes (made by one of the guests) just added to the "richness" of the theme.  

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

We used flowers in the purple and pink color scheme to tie all the tables together.  Small containers like glass stemware and votive holders as vases made it possible to spread the florals out around a large space.  Side tip for party planning: anytime a professional photographer is on the planning crew it is a big perk!  All these beautiful pictures were taken by Mollie.   

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Photo by Mollie Wetta Photography

Posted
AuthorGretchen Postiglione

Probably my most popular invite, The Retro Housewife Bridal Invitation, was created a few years ago for a shower my mom threw for a friend's daughter.  The tongue-in-cheek theme was a cute way for her to get all the items she needed for their new home and some items to "please her man."

photos courtesy of  Mollie Wetta Photography

photos courtesy of Mollie Wetta Photography

They used carnations in antique milk glass vases  giving the florals a nostalgic feel.  Old cookbooks and kitchen appliances added to the decor. They set up an iron and drying rack for guests to place presents on.  My favorite detail: the bras and aprons on the clothes line. So cute!  

Posted
AuthorGretchen Postiglione