Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Drink Recipes to Warm Your Body & Soul

It is definitely autumn in Central Indiana. The air is brisk, and the rainy days have chilled us right to the bone! If you're like us, you're looking for ways to stay warm this fall.

We suggest trying one of these delicious warm drink recipes. They'll warm you up from the inside out. Try one after the kids' high school football game, after the the hayride or after a long day of raking leaves. The best part is, these sipable treats will continue to work their magic as winter approaches.

Our Favorite Warm Drink Recipes

Spiced Warm Cider: This drink from Country Living features warm apple cider, a splash of citrus and the perfect blend of spices. Dark brown sugar and fresh ginger make this a special treat.

Hot Mulled Pineapple Drink: A new twist on traditional apple cider, this drink from Reader's Digest gives you something a little sweet and something a little tart with a blend of pineapple and cranberry juices. You'll love the smell of this warm drink as it simmers on your stove top.

Hot Ginger Coffee: Spice up that boring old cuppa joe! This recipe comes from Taste of Home and can be dressed up with a simple whipped cream, orange peel, and cinnamon stick garnish. Yum!

Hot Chai Latte: You don't have to go to an expensive cafe to get a great chai latte--you can make a less expensivce (but very delicious!) version at home. This recipe comes to us from, and features just the right blend of milk, black tea, citrus and spices.

Hot Cocoa: No warm drink list would be complete without hot cocoa! This is recipe comes from Alton Brown at Food Network, and it features a secret ingredient we bet you never considered adding to your hot cocoa--cayenne pepper!

With these recipes you should be prepared to relish the cool autumn nights. Have a favorite recipe or a variation you'd like to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

Be sure to check out our website for fall themed 
Pinwhirls pinwheels, invites, favors and more!

image credit: CWMGary 

Monday, September 26, 2011

5 Tips for Setting an Elegant Table

Sometimes the Dixie plates and plastic utensils just won't cut it. If you're planning a more formal dinner or party, one of the best ways to set the mood is to create a stunning table setting. There are several things you can do to create a beautiful and elegant table. Often it's the little details that set the mood for the entire party. Here are some things to consider when planning your event:

5 Tips for Setting an Elegant Table 

Linens: Steer clear of rustic fabrics for your table linens. Opt for smoothly textured tablecloths and cloth napkins and skip the place mats. Fold napkins or use napkin rings that coordinate with your decorative theme. 

China: An elegant dinner party screams for the classic elegance of China. The pattern can be classic white with a silver rim, or something more contemporary. Leave the stoneware and disposable plates for another, less formal ocassion.

Centerpieces: Great centerpieces real make a table setting. There are a number of ways you could go, depending on your individual tastes. Floral centerpieces are a traditional favorite. So are centerpieces featuring an assortment of candles and glassware. You can also use fruits and vegetables to bring a splash of color to your centerpiece.

Stemware: Glassware and crystal stemware are another must have for an elegant table setting. Intricately cut patterns will sparkle in the right light, but simple smooth glasses also help you pull of a gorgeous presentation.

Additional Resources:

In case you've forgotten where everything should be placed on the table, you can use these additional resources.

Tips for Setting a Formal or Informal Thanksgiving Table

Don't forget to visit us on Etsy to see the newest Pinwhirl additions!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

After-Party Cleanup: Tips & Tricks

Last week we offered you tips for cleaning up the house before the big party. This week, we're sharing tips to help you clean up after the big party. Depending on the type of party you're hosting, this could be a really daunting task. So don't dive in without a plan of attack.

Here are some recommendations to help keep the mess from becoming too overwhelming:

  • Buy cleanup supplies when you purchase your decorations: Parties need trash bags, cleaning wipes and spot removers just as much as they need invitations, favors, and cupcakes! Put must-have cleaning items on your list.

  • Make it easy for guests to pick up after themselves: Put trash receptacles in several locations so that your guests can simply toss their used plates, napkins, and cups when they're done. This will save you lots of time when the party is over. Likewise, make cleaning wipes and paper towels available so that guests can wipe up any spills.

  • After the guest leave, make a quick run-through with a garbage bag: Leaving garbage bins out during the party will help, but you'll probably still find stray cups and plates scattered here and there. Start the cleaning process by removing any trash.

  • Assess your home, and look for things that need special attention: While you collecting the trash, did you notice any spots or stains that need special attention? Get to those right away. The longer you let them sit, the harder it will be to remove the stains.

  • Follow-up with routine cleaning: Chances are that after the party you will need to do some light vacuuming and dusting. You will probably have dishes to do as well. These things can be done quickly once you've taken the other steps in order.
With a little planning and forethought, you can make cleaning up after your guests easier. Happy cleaning!

You can find great party invitations, party favors, and more at the Pinwhirls Shop on Etsy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Carrie & Sean: Happy Wedding Day

Carrie & Sean Wedding Large 6
I began working with Carrie, an Australian Bride, back in June of 2010 on pinwheels for her September wedding. From the colors and designs selected, I just knew that her wedding was going to be a happy and whimsical garden affair. Fast forward to July of this year ... I received an email from Carrie letting me know that her wedding was featured in Cosmo Bride Australia's My Day. Yay! One look at their wedding photos, and I began to learn why. It was filled to the brim with lots of unique, fun, and whimsical handmade items - lots of them from Etsy. For more photos, of their happy day visit MissPrintDesign. 
Carrie & Sean Wedding Large 5
We provided Carrie and Sean with Large Handheld Pinwheels, which they scattered amongst the walkways and gardens.
Carrie & Sean Wedding Large 3
We also provided them with handheld pinwheels which they placed into pitchers.
Carrie & Sean Wedding Large 1
Didn't they make the cutest centerpieces?
Carrie & Sean Wedding Large 2 I especially loved the seating - long, narrow tables instead of the traditional rounds. 
Carrie & Sean Wedding Large 7 Thanks Carrie and Sean for allowing us to feature your wedding on our site. Thanks also to their photographer, You Can't Be Serious, for allowing us to feature their beautiful photos.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pre-Party Cleanup: Tips & Tricks

Everyone knows that there's a lot that goes into hosting a great party: invitations, menu planning, cooking, decorating, and more. But before the party starts, most hosts and hostesses find themselves stressing over the state of their house.

Clean homes are welcoming, so it's a good idea to get things in order before the big event. However, cleaning up for guests shouldn't throw you into a complete tailspin. Here are a few simple tips for pre-party cleanup when you're hosting at home.

Pre-Party Cleanup Tips & Tricks
  1. Strategize: Before you dive in and start remodeling the nursery, sit down and make a list of the rooms that will be used and seen by your guests. Put those at the top of your list and work in order. If you don't get to the rooms at the end of your list, it's probably not going to mean the end of the world.

  2. Knock out the big stuff first: Remove clutter and big-ticket eye sores that hinder the flow of your home before you dust or vacuum. People will notice clutter immediately, without even looking for it. However, your party guests aren't likely to notice that you didn't scrub the grout in your kitchen with an old toothbrush before they arrived.

  3. Get help: Pre-party cleanup can actually be a pretty huge undertaking, especially if you share space with roommates or family. Get others to pitch in and help and the job will go a lot faster. After all, if you're not the only one making the mess, you shouldn't be the only one cleaning it up!

  4. Prepare in advance for mishaps: Get the SpotBot and the paper towels ready ahead of time, maybe during your decorating phase. Spills are almost inevitable, especially at parties where children are present. If you have the cleanup tools stashed in a convenient place, you have a better chance of lifting the stain before it sets--and you won't have to go digging for the carpet cleaner.
By keeping these simple tips in mind, you can whip your house into shape before your guests arrive. You'll also have more time for the fun stuff, like decorating, cooking, and visiting with your guests.

Photo credit: lusi

You can find great party invitations, party favors, and more at the Pinwhirls Shop on Etsy!