*Since I will be away from my computer for the next few days, I decided to pick the winners early, because, I just KNEW you would all be on the edge of your seat until I announced the winners and I didn’t want anyone to have a miserable weekend. I’m nice like that. I’ve contacted the winners (#127 Kristi H., #159 Jennifer R., and #719 Jenny). Congratulations!

I’m not going to lie: I can make a mean cupcake. And I can even pipe a swirl that is pretty darn cute. But in honor of staying honest, I have to confess that beyond that, I’m a terrible party planner. I envy those gifted folks who can put together a party table that is filled with decorations, food, and a real, live tablecloth – and all of it coordinated in the cutest of ways. I’m lucky to get the cupcakes or cake slapped onto a cardboard round and transported from here to there before one of my kids’ gouges a taste with their pudgy, smudgy fingers.

A week or so ago, I saw Amy Atlas’ new Sweet Designs book highlighted on several blogs and decided I had to get my hands on a copy. I ordered. It arrived. And my life and party planning skills are officially changed for the better.

Seriously, this book assures me I can be a party planning rock star. And trust you me, I will become just that if it kills me. All because every single step, decoration, idea, and recipe is laid out in the book. The level of detail is astounding. Granted, some of the ideas/tablescapes are completely over-the-top but my new party planning motto is go big or go home and this book proves that is the way to live your party planning life. I cannot wait to put the brilliant ideas in this book to use. I just have to find the perfect occasion now (oh, and the time…you know…cause having a new baby and four other rugrats running around isn’t enough on my plate right now – ha!).

In honor of my bursting love for this book, I’m giving away THREE copies to THREE lucky winners. Simply leave a comment on THIS post and tell me what kind of party planner you are. Do you go all out, including hot gluing miniature flags onto drinking straws? Or do you stay simple, simple, simple? Spill the beans. And enter to win a copy of this book that will make all your friends jealous of your mad party planning skills.

Winners will be announced tomorrow. Or maybe Friday. Depending on my mood. Love ya!

Pssst: Giveaway sponsored by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (a.k.a. me). Amy Atlas and her book have no idea who I am and they don’t realize that not only am I envious of the party planning ideas, but I desperately want Amy Atlas’ hair. Peace out.

843 Responses to Super Spontaneous Giveaway: Sweet Designs – CONTEST CLOSED!

  1. Holly says:

    I like to go all out with food, but never do much with decorations…

  2. Hilary says:

    Me? I’m a horrible party planner!! IF, we have a party, and thats usually a big IF, its a either a cookout outside or a potluck – no decorations at all, just maybe some color coordinated plates , forks and napkins! Parties totally stress me out!

  3. Cindy R. says:

    No decorations for me, lucky to get food and house cleaned.

  4. Lisa says:

    I love throwing parties, but the only part that I’m successful at is making a lot of good food. I am terrible with decorations and coordinating things.

  5. Mary says:

    I love having a dinner party, but my decorations are usually simple candle arrangements. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have this book!!

  6. Liss V says:

    I try to just go with what the kids want…it’s their special day!

  7. Dawn says:

    I always wait till the last minute and then run around trying to throw things together, or see something and though ooh that is simple and cute too bad I didn’t know about it then. thanks for a great blog!

  8. Julie R says:

    I used to go all out. Now I aim for simple.

  9. Dana says:

    I enjoy attempting to coordinate food/decorations and such but it always turns out semi-kidish..haha, I blame it on my being a teacher! Generally the results charming enough, but never exactly what I have envisioned in my head! I bet this book could help! :)

  10. Karen says:

    I could really use that book as I’m in the process of planning a graduation/welcome home from your mission party for 2 of my sons. I’m good at the food and logistics…not so good at the decorations.

  11. amy marantino says:

    i stay pretty simple… i stick with lots of balloons and festive drinks and snacks

  12. Cynthia H says:

    Love to entertain! Summertime is the best time- easy throw together at the last minute parties is what I usually do- if it is a holiday, then we go all out!

  13. Leigh Ann says:

    My concentration is definitely on the food…other than that, I just try to make sure my house is clean!

  14. I try. I am simple but I do tend more to focus on the food. Wish I was better at the whole thing though. This book would help me I know (wink wink)

  15. Emily W says:

    I always think less is more. Find a few great food ideas a couple matching decor ideas and run with it. But too much can take away.

  16. Crystal D says:

    I love throwing a good party! There is something about going all out with every detail accounted for, just to make somebody feel special, that just makes me happy! It is such a great feeling. I typically start planning my little boys parties (or whatever excuse I can come up with to celebrate) months in advance. This book looks so fun! Thanks for offering such a fun giveaway!

  17. Katie G says:

    I’ve never been so good at decorations. Food yes, everything else, not so much.

  18. marcela says:

    No skills here. I just put things in plastic containers I found at big lots and basically call it good. Luckily the food makes up for the lack of decor but I would love to be able to decorate a table beautifully.

  19. Corrie says:

    My kids do suffer. ;) Their parties are “birthday themed” with a cake, maybe some balloons and streamers, and a game. My sister is the Go All Out-er. She throws real doosies!

  20. Sheri says:

    I’m a mix. I used to be more all out, at least when my energy was there. Now, well, not so much, but I’d like to get better. My kids would love it! In fact, my daughter turns 5 in a few weeks, this would be perfect! She would be so excited :)

  21. karen says:

    I think I am good with food, but decorations go by the wayside. Could use some serious help in planning 4th daughters 1st birthday which is right around the corner and haven’t even had time to think about it with baseball season in full swing:)

  22. Whitney L says:

    I definitely go all out with food. Decorations, not so much… I love hosting, though

  23. Jay says:

    I love having people over! I go all out with food and cooking. As for setting up the house, its TH’s department. Decorating food or presenting it – not much into it and I console myself by telling that its supposed to be “homey” :) This book could help ;)

  24. annie says:

    I am a details gal! I love doing all the little things that tie the theme together (food, decorations, little flags, whatever). But I don’t always plan far enough in advance to accomplish it all.

  25. Gail C says:

    I try to keep it simple. Never seems to be enough time for much more.

  26. Angela says:

    I go all out! And…I have to admit, I am pretty good at stretching a buck in a beautiful way. My wedding guests swore my $6,000 wedding was a $50,000 wedding. :)

  27. Bethany M says:

    I’m somewhere in the middle. I love hosting people and go all-out with the meal, but most of the time I don’t do too much with presenting it decoratively unless it’s a major holiday.

  28. Katie L. says:

    I really do try…I have big plans but I have to say that they are never QUITE executed in the way I really want. I need help!!! This book sounds very intriguing!

  29. Suzy says:

    I am not a good party planner, and need all the help I can get!

  30. Meggan says:

    I go for super simple…good food and good friends….the food may or may not be served directly from the stove :). I have a small kitchen :)

  31. Sarah says:

    I put more time and effort into the food than into the decor. When I try to decorate it never turns out quite how I envisioned. I usually claim that my preschool-aged children “helped.” So then people think it looks really good.

  32. I am the queen of great and giant plans…I can never quite pull it off like I envisioned, but in my head it looked fantastic!

  33. Ruth says:

    I would love this book! It would be a great inspiration!! I use to entertain quite often, but now not so much. My style is simple, colorful, and laid-back with LOTS of GREAT food.

  34. Jessen says:

    I’m Horrible at Hosting a Party. I’m usually behind on cooking when they show, and I’m in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying themselves. . . I prep ahead, but still fall behind everytime. So, I think the question about decorating is answered already – Definitely a big NO. I like to go all out on the food, sometimes going overboard and suffer for it!

  35. Stephanie Sparks says:

    I love to plan with a theme or style so that everything can coordinate. Pinterest has made me feel gallons more creative lately but I still need help with what to serve! Party planning can be scary business :)

  36. Kenna says:

    I usually have big ideas….the day before the party and don’t have time to do them. But I read or heard once that we shouldn’t do nothing just because we can’t do something big. It’s better to get together even if it’s simple!

  37. Merianne says:

    I love throwing parties! I go all out on food but have no skill when it comes to decorations. Please let me win this book….I need all the help I can get!

  38. Christine says:

    When I have parties, I go all-out on food but don’t really decorate. Hopefully my guests will be having so much fun they wouldn’t have noticed the decorations anyway.

  39. Kalie says:

    I like a simple theme with oodles of delicious food. I’ve been seeing this book in the blogosphere too and I would LOVE to win a copy! :)

  40. Mary says:

    In my mind I go all out. I vision the great dishes I’m going to cook, the decorations I’m going to make, and the cake, oh the cake. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t happen. I have tried so hard to do the cake, what a disaster! Cupcakes? Tried those too, not a happy story.

  41. Kim in MD says:

    I love, love, love party planning! I usually plan parties around a theme, and then make the food and decorations within that theme. Thanks for the opportunity to win this awesome book, Mel. I’ve had this book in my Amazon cart for at least a week, so if I don’t win it I am just going to have to break down and purchase it!

  42. Jesse says:

    I love to throw a party! However, until I discovered pinterest, I wasn’t very good. I’m still not very good, but the food is always good (thanks to your site) ;)

  43. m.e (cathie) says:

    i love to party plan in my head but in the end it just is all about the cake. spend so much time baking I forget those little flags everywhere.
    great give away…and everyone should have Amy Atlas hair!

  44. Martha says:

    I go simple, simple, simple, but I would LOVE to throw a killer party!

  45. Belisa says:

    I am definately a person that goes all out in my food spread, but am lacking the decorative style. I could totally use one of these! :)

  46. Amy says:

    I always get thees grand ideas and then can never seem to make it happen!:) So I am always happy when the food turns out delicious, the house is clean and the friends are enjoying themselves!! This book sounds like it would be a great motivator to pull everything together!!

  47. Terry A. says:

    I’m not a party planner at all. Too much added stress.

  48. Jenn W. says:

    I used to be all out, now I’m simple, fast, and easy–except when it comes to the food.

  49. Jill C says:

    I usually only concern myself with the food. I am terrible with decorating….. I just clean the house and get back to planning the food.

  50. Janelle Belka says:

    I would love to say that I’m an awesome party planner but I’m definitely not. I love parties but for the most part I stay pretty simple. I would love some new ideas, tips, etc.

  51. Melissa says:

    I love to have people over, and I have to admit I always focus on the food including desser (my favorite thing to made) :). I usually don’t do much for decorations, but if I do I keep it simple.

  52. Katie says:

    I usually aim for simple…but when all is said and done, end up going all out. :-)

  53. Aurelia says:

    Simple is the name of the game here, but I love seeing all the ideas and someday I want to throw parties like that.

  54. Leslie says:

    I love to plan parties! A few weeks ago I planned a Cinco De Mayo party for my bunco girls! I love to decorate and prepare food all with a cute theme!

  55. Party planning and me are not exactly on par. I do however always have great food at any get together. That’s how I roll. Good eats all the way.

  56. Katie Ault says:

    I love to cook, and tend to keep things simple. Would love to get some f
    party decorating ideas too.

  57. Sharon Myers says:

    I love hosting get togethers with friends and family, and since finding ur site I always fix food from ur “best recipes” with great success! My problem is that I think I fix too much and then haven’t a clue how to display it all! Would love some party display and decorating tips. Thanks for the chance to win this book Mel<3

  58. Terri Sullivan says:

    I can cook some pretty impressive meals….but I’m “decorator challenged” so I’d LOVE this book …if I don’t win, I think I’ll still order it….looks like a great book!

  59. Nancy says:

    I love a good themed party, but I usually tend to concentrate on the food end of things. Both of my daughters have July birthdays so I could use some great ideas!

  60. Angie H says:

    LOL….party planner does NOT equal me! I like to have people over and always make way too much food, but there are no decorations, no coordinating dishes or colors and definitely no flags hot glued to straws! So this book would be a lifesaver in my party planning world. Please random generator, pick me!

  61. Ryann says:

    I like cooking for parties but not the decorating bit. So if you like to eat, my gatherings are the place to be (just to look around so much:)

  62. Hayley says:

    Ditto on the hair! I feel like I always make good food and treats for a party… but the idea of even trying to decorate or theme or design just overwhelms me… so pretty much, I just don’t throw parties. But I would like to start.. maybe… if she makes it seem easier. :)

  63. Ilene says:

    I’m good at the food but bad at the decorations. In my mind it’s all about the food anyway.

  64. Meaghan says:

    I’m the type of party planner that has lots of great ideas, and high hopes and expectations of myself. Then the next thing I know I have 2 days to get everything done, and I fall short!

  65. Kitty harper says:

    Ummmm, I’m the planner that when their guests arrive I am still in sweatpants with flour on my face while trying to hot glue some grand idea I had together!! I always have the best of intentions but somehow it goes very very wrong! So I need this book!! Haha! Congrats on the gorgeous baby girl!!

  66. Katie says:

    I tend to lean toward the simple side, but only because I don’t know what else to do. This book looks like the perfect remedy for that. Thanks!

  67. Patricia says:

    My party planning skills are limited at best, but…I do make way more food for a party than twice the people could eat, then have the fun of sending a lot of it home with the party guests. I would love to be able to have a beautiful/clever/stunning party sometime. We are having book group here next week. I am hoping to make it at least nice. For sure we are having the blueberry, coconut cake with lemon sauce.

  68. Connie Blythe says:

    I am an awesome planner, I just don’t follow thru! My little post it notes look like they’d be a great time!

  69. Allison C says:

    We just bought our first house and our apartment was super tiny so I haven’t hosted a party in 10+years. The parties I did have were simple, but had ample food and drinks. I would love to learn tricks for decorating more and making our soon to happen first house warming party as special as I can.

  70. Chelai says:

    My biggest focus is making sure guests have fun and if they didn’t know about it, they won’t miss it. I do however, put a lot of thought into it but keep planning simple at the same time.

  71. Simply Susan says:

    Simple and thrifty.

  72. Tania says:

    I like to go all out but rarely have the time. It would be great to have ideas that I can implement and run with.

  73. Toni says:

    Honestly….I NEED this book…Putting a party together is so-oooo stressful for me!

  74. Debbie says:

    I love to prepare the food and am so so on the decorations. Prefer to leave those simple or to someone else.

  75. LeeAnne Tucker says:

    I’m a so-so party planner. I have great ideas and lofty goals but thy seldom come together. Fortunately my friends don’t care if I have matching plates or fresh cut flowers. We just enjoy each other’s company!

    when they come over for a party. We simply enjoy each others company!

  76. Melissa Hudson says:

    I go all out with the food but then stumble on decorations etc. Balloons and streamers. I figure that is all they need :)

  77. Tammy says:

    I try to go all out but lack of time almost always gets in my way!

  78. Jasmin says:

    As I’ve recently entered the “real adult” world, I’m excited to start planning parties! I would *love* to go all out, but definitely have no clue what to do… This book would be a life saver!

  79. Amy Reeves says:

    I always have great ambitions to throw a perfect looking party, but somehow it usually dissolves into cookies on paper plates, and maybe some balloons. :) whoops!

  80. Kellie Mecham says:

    I am an awful party planner. I always try my best, but usually it’s really very simple unless I can get my sister to help me.

  81. Alisha Broce says:

    I’d love to learn some tips. My husband is usually helping clean the house while I make fantastic food … pulling it all together is where we fall short.

  82. Tina says:

    Party planning to me means KISS although I would love to be one of those people who have it all together and make it look easy. Having three boys doesn’t help matters because all they care about are the cake and presents. For my youngest son’s birthday I went all out this year. There were balloons (but nothing else) everywhere and we still have some lying around (his birthday was in November). Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  83. Erin says:

    I love planning parties. Give me a theme, and I’ll run with it … invitations, paper supplies, decorations, cake design, party favors, hand-sewn “goodie bags” … all coordinate. Still, I always feel like there are more details that could enhance the event further, and I miss them either because they don’t occur to me or because of budget limitations. I’d love to get ideas from this new book – it sounds fantastic!

  84. Anne Marie says:

    I have to admit I am simple, simple, and more simple! This book is just what I need – thanks for the chance to win.

  85. Jaqui says:

    I’m not a party planner in any since of the word. Having people over for dinner stresses me out. For my kids birthdays we always go simple, simple, simple. I’ve been to a few really great amazingly planned parties and after each one I say to myself “someday I’m gonna do a party like this, someday I’ll go all out”. Maybe I’ll do better when the kids are a little older. ; )

  86. Deborah H says:

    I always do the same old thing…table of finger-type eats and a punch bowl of my Mother’s fav whiskey punch. So basically, I am in a rut. I NEED to move on and think this book might just be the ticket! Love ya, back!

  87. Bridget says:

    I love throwing parties and I keep it very simple and practical! That way, i’m not left with a ton of left-overs!

  88. Randi Marie says:

    Well, I am currently gathering inspiration for my baby shower which will be this July so this would be perfect!! I like to DIY crafts and decorations- it’s a lot of fun to see what I can create! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  89. Sara says:

    Love your site Mel! You are my go to site for any recipe! Love everything! My party planning always has BIG hopes! However, I too have little ones who need my attention. I always have a theme party, and do my best to tie everything in, but I would love me this book to help my creative juices! Right now in my life, simple is best!

  90. Linda Barnes says:

    I love, love, love planning parties and get- togethers! Unfortunately I don’t get to do this often, but when I do I like to go all out. I collect things for “parties I might have someday”. I am always looking for party and entertaining ideas. This is why I love pinterest! I love that people share their ideas and I can take ideas from different people and put together a wonderful party or family event. I love it all, food and decorating. I love making an event as special as I can for those I love. I would love to have this book in my hands to get ideas from!

  91. Kim says:

    Love to go over the top with the food, and leave the decorating to my mother. She is gifted that way!

  92. Tanya H. says:

    I usually stay simple, but I have big plans to get better! I’ve gotten pretty good at food and decoration for boys’ parties, but I could use some help with frou frou stuff for girls and adults! Thanks for the giveaway!

  93. Amanda says:

    HA! Party Planning? I’d love to but I am terrible at it. I am lucky if I get the cutlery out on time let alone match any of it. I never have any thing ready at the same time and I hesitate to invite many more than three people at a time because my skills are so blah! I’d love to be able to learn to plan. I love people and I’d love to be confident! This book was made for me! HA! But you give it to whom ever you like. :) Love your blog Mel. It’s change the way I cook!

  94. Laura says:

    Hi Mel! I try to be a simple planner – especially since our parties tend to have lots of little kids – but I usually end up going WAY overboard. :)

  95. Elizabeth says:

    I am a shamefully simple party planner. I make the cake from scratch but that is the most complicated thing I do….

  96. Candy says:

    The parties I throw are fabulous!…. Tho they only live in my mind :) not reality.
    All I need for a great party is a lot of my family members….. And the rest seems to fall into place.

  97. Chantal Coutu says:

    I always keep my party planning as simple as possible. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a couple of ideas and dishes that produce a great “WOW” factor, with little work on my part. I confess, I like to impress… but with minimal effort. ;) Unfortunately, because I have a lot of the same friends over regularly, I run out of tricks up my sleeve.

  98. Tina says:

    Trying to decorate my home a little more and to cook fun and at least half healthy recipes. We love to have people over and cook and bake for them…this book looks like it would help me decorate my apartment for guests in a unique way! =)

  99. Reine Birdsell says:

    I’m something of an in between party planner. I go way out for some things and keep it simple for others. Love this book and so hope I win! Thank you for the opportunity!

  100. Phyllis says:

    I’m good with the food, but could use ideas for decorating.

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