Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eco Friendly Plastic Bottle Blossoms

Make a point to check out Recycled Bride's blog today to see our friend's wonderful guest post about these totally unique decorative "blossoms."
Photo: Recycled Bride

Wooden Cake Toppers

Look for unexpected ways to slip some natural elements into your wedding celebration. We adore this simple, 70s-inspired wooden heart-shaped cake topper.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Eco Luxe Life

Planning your Easter brunch? Be sure to pay a visit to our friends at The Eco Luxe Life to check out SG's guest post about planning a green Easter brunch! Enjoy!
Photo: The Eco Luxe Life via Martha Stewart

Monday, March 29, 2010

Amazing Resource: Foodzie

Food tends to be a pretty big deal in my house. My love of entertaining frequently guides me towards interesting new culinary products that will inspire some sort of new themed party I'd love to plan. Additionally, my boyfriend is an executive chef, and thus, food tends to be the only thing that is ever on his mind. While many couples enjoy dates to the movies and the like, most of our couple adventures land us at local farmers' markets or browsing for (literally) hours at the nearby Whole Foods where we can explore and discuss all the new yummy products we can't wait to try.
It was my resident chef who introduced me to this fantastic resource last week. is a vast online marketplace where you can discover and purchase food directly from small food producers and growers. They feature everything from small batch coffees and teas to baked goods to produce and beyond. Not only would their website be the perfect "go-to" for your next dinner party shopping list, but many of their smaller goods, such as their honeys, jams and candies, would serve as beautiful (and inexpensive) favors for nearly any special event.
Photo: Foodzie

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recycled Décor

When planning a green event, it is important to purchase as many sustainably made products as possible. However, it is equally important to reuse as many items as possible in order to limit the amount of new products you actually need to buy.  Here are three examples of simple ways to reuse items you may already have (and if you don’t, they are easy to find at flea markets, garage sales, etc.) by transforming them into chic design elements.

Antique Keys

As strange as it sounds, I actually have a small box of antique keys, compliments of my grandfather. Here, the keys provide a (recycled) gothic, romantic vibe to an otherwise basic name card.

 Vintage Postcards

I often find stacks of vintage postcards hidden at the back of my family’s photo albums. Using clothespins, clip together a collection of postcards for charming vintage-inspired garland.


If, while walking through my basement or garage, I happened to notice an old wooden ladder or stepstool in a dusty corner, I’m not so sure I would pay it much mind. However, when coated with some fresh white paint, wooden ladders become a focal point for floating votives at an outdoor event.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Since childhood, I’ve adored terrariums and the way they capture and enclose a perfect little world for my viewing pleasure. Lately, terrariums are having a bit of a moment in the design world. LBRANDTerraria is one of my new favorite companies for chic terrariums and other gifts that embrace the natural world in their design. The next time you’re in search of a beautiful (and affordable) hostess gift, consider one of their minimalist glass bird feeders. Hosting a small party? Take a break from the flower “norm” and opt for a small cluster of conversation-worthy terrariums (I’m a huge fan of the coral reef inspired terrarium, pictured below).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cork Candles

Look for small ways to slip some eco design into your wedding or party with unexpected green touches, such as these cork candleholders. Cork, which is a 100% renewable resource, will add a bit of texture to nearly any table setting and, because of its neutral color, will blend with nearly any color palette.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! Here are some inspiring photos to get your week going on the right green path!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reused Fruit and Vegetable Can Centerpieces

Back in February, we created a post about tea tin centerpieces. We received a lot of positive feedback from readers about the tea tin centerpieces, and thus could not resist posting this similar party planning suggestion. Instead of tea tins, reuse aluminum cans as simple, yet decorative vases. I especially like the cans featured in this photograph, which still bear their colorful labels. Browse the aisles of your local ethnic grocer to find cans with unique labels that advertise unexpected contents, such as exotic fruits. Then, find creative ways to incorporate these treats into your party menu. 

Photo: Rachel Ray

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Confetti Eggs

Here is a fun idea for spring celebrations: confetti eggs. A Mexican tradition, the delicate, hollow eggshells are usually broken over a friend’s head. When the eggshell breaks, the friend is meant to make a wish. Fill your own confetti eggs with biodegradable confetti. You can find the directions to making and filling your eggs here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Vintage Guestbook

Over the past two weeks, I’ve come across typewriters in three entirely separate circumstances (which, you have to admit, is a little strange nowadays). The first time was while skimming the pages of Etsy, when I found an amazing aqua typewriter that I had to talk myself out of purchasing. The second time was last weekend while I was browsing through a consignment shop and found a (cracked) green typewriter that I considered picking up and placing on a shelf somewhere in my office. The third time was while I walked past a designer home furnishings store and noticed a brand new typewriter (fashioned to look significantly older than it actually was) staring me in the face. Of course, all of this got me thinking…

In lieu of a traditional guestbook, give new life to a vintage typewriter (which, as you can see from my experiences, apparently isn’t so hard to find), and allow your guests to type notes to you and your partner on your wedding day. Not only will this provide your guests with a seriously fun and unexpected icebreaker, but it will provide you with unique, vintage-inspired messages that can later be framed and hung around your home to be enjoyed for years to come. 

Simply Spring

Reused cans and low-maintenance daises…

The perfect, simple spring centerpiece. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Personalized Vermont Soaps

Because I attended college there, I am a complete Vermont enthusiast. I tend to think of Vermont as my home away from home and, as a result, am a total sucker for anything and everything deemed “Vermont-y.” My freezer endlessly boasts various tubs of Ben & Jerry’s. I take great pride in the fact that I only pour real Vermont maple syrup on my pancakes. On particularly clear nights, I’ve been known to point out that the star-filled sky “looks like a Vermont sky” and on particularly gray winter days, have been known to tell at least one story about one of the five long winters when I lived in the Green Mountain state. You can thus imagine my excitement when I discovered Carved Solutions while browsing at the New York City Gift Show back in January. Carved Solutions is a Vermont-based, family owned and operated company that specializes in all natural, custom-carved, handmade soaps and candles. I particularly like their soaps, which can be personalized for nearly any event – from weddings to baby showers and beyond. And as if their “Vermont-y” quality isn’t enough, their soaps have a subtle, clean scent, making them perfect favors for everyone from an allergy-sensitive grandmother to a queen of the fragrance counter best friend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cute Favor Idea: Seed Matchbooks

In a world where everyone seems to be smoke-free, health-conscious and eco-aware, these adorable seed matchbooks are a cute and inexpensive favor option. A play on the traditional matchbook favor, this version offers guests a tiny packet of forget-me-not seeds, which they can sprinkle across a small garden and enjoy for months to come.

For easy to follow directions, templates, etc., click here.

Luck o' the Irish

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Here are a few inspiring and low-impact ideas to help you celebrate the day!

Photos: Wolaver's & Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

DIY: A Warm Centerpiece

Create a warm and intimate tabletop for your next party by forgoing flowers and instead creating this quick (and heart-healthy) centerpiece: gather a collection of (preferably recycled glass) votive holders. Place a soy-based or other petroleum-free votive into each holder (earth-tones will work best here) and then pour lentils into each holder to surround the candle. Organize a neat row of votives down the center of your table or arrange in a cluster (as pictured below).  

Photo: Rachel Ray

Monday, March 15, 2010

Get Your Shine On

Over the weekend, I was busy browsing in a nearby secondhand shop when I stumbled across a box filled with beautiful silver flatware and serving pieces that were just a bit past their heyday. The pieces would be perfect for holidays, and really, for any other time of the year worth celebrating with a good party. Although the pieces were beautifully ornate and decidedly cheap, I have to admit that I simply bypassed the whole lot because I could not bear to think about having to sit and polish each piece with stinky (and toxic) silver polish. Which, naturally, led me to come home, feel guilty about bypassing said silver pieces, and then research nontoxic ways to clean silver without having to huff any fumes. 

Photos: Pottery Barn

Five Simple Steps for Green Silver Cleaning

Step 1: Wash all silver pieces in soapy water (to loosen any dirt and grime)
Step 2: Line a large pot with aluminum foil and place the silver pieces on top
Step 3: In another pot, mix about a quart of boiling water, ¼ cup baking soda and 2 tablespoons of salt.
Step 4: Pour the solution onto the silver pieces and let stand for about five minutes
Step 5: Rinse each piece with clean water and then hand dry with a soft, cotton towel

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Last Minute DIY Centerpieces: Branches

If you find yourself with some last minute company in the coming weeks, embrace the tail end of winter by collecting fallen branches. Simply cut the branches into equal lengths and tie a bundle of them together at the base to create a sense of uniformity before placing each bundle into a transparent vase.

Photo: Rachel Ray

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Making a Comeback: Cloth Napkins

Growing up, cloth napkins were always reserved for special occasions in my home. However, today, as more consumers are making an effort to reduce their daily waste, cloth napkins are making a pretty noticeable comeback. When shopping for décor for your next event, opt out of paper napkins and instead look for cloth napkins, tablecloths and table runners that are made from organic cotton and eco-friendly, low-impact dyes.

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