If you’re interested in the glitzy and glamorous world of styling, party design, and decor, then entertainment guru Courtney Whitmore of Pizzazzerie just may be your go-to girl. With a flair for party planning, dessert, and much more, Courtney sprouts invaluable advice and tips on her website, ranging from how to throw a vintage-inspired Coney Island carnival party to vibrant and classy weddings ideas. With two books already under her belt, Courtney’s latest, Frostings, is set to release this spring. We had the chance to ask this busy girl a few questions!
You are a woman of many talents and ideas! Tell me about the path that led you to become the amazing entertaining and lifestyle expert that you are today?
Thank you so much! My path began after graduate school when I became a career counselor at my alma mater, Vanderbilt. I never felt creatively fulfilled in that job. So, that’s where the blog came in – to give me an outlet for creative party and entertaining ideas. I did watch my Mom throw amazing parties growing up (she used to write for magazines), so I think I always had the “hostess” gene in me somewhere. It wasn’t until the blog started doing really well that I realized it could become an actual business. It just has grown from there – no real secret – other than I work hard and love what I do!
There are many things to consider when throwing a memorable party: theme, decorations, food – the list goes on and on. With that said, what’s one of the all-around best parties you’ve ever attended?
One of the best parties I have ever attended was a Mustache Bash for one of my husband’s friends. There were Mexican details from garlands and lanterns to mustaches for everyone to wear. What I loved was how much fun the guys AND the girls had. The hostesses incorporated guests into the food by letting us all help make desserts. We had a blast!
I read that you’ve recently partnered up with Michael’s Craft Stores and will soon release a creative collaboration with them. What can we expect to see going on with this project?
Yes! I’m thrilled to be working with Michael’s Craft Stores. We began our collaboration in August to share bakeware and tablescape ideas for each month! You can find the ideas on the Michael’s Craft Store website under Projects! Michael’s is my “go-to” craft store, and I still remember saving all my allowance money as a little girl to go buy craft supplies at Michael’s. It’s an honor to get to work with their creative team on such fun projects!
It’s almost time for cozy winter party season! What are some of your favorite foods and cocktails to incorporate in a winter party menu?
Winter parties are some of my favorites! Some of my favorite food and cocktails to incorporate into winter parties are hot chocolate (set up a hot cocoa bar!) and mini comfort foods like mac+cheese cups and tomato soup with mini grilled cheese sandwiches. For adult parties, set up an Irish Coffee Bar with various chocolate liquors with matching treats (Kahlua cupcakes, anyone?).
Our very own dessert contributor, Tessa, flew to Nashville to help you style the photo shoots for your third book, Frostings, which is set to publish in the spring of 2013! How did the whole book writing process and photo shoots go this time around?
I absolutely loved the Frostings book writing and photo shoot. I love all my books, but this one might take the cake (no pun intended). It truly was a labor of love, and styling the shots was my favorite part. I had tables upon tables of party supplies, cake decorating goodies, etc. It was bliss. Tessa was an integral part of the design process, and I couldn’t have done it without her! The book will release March 2013, and I can’t wait! We just had a Food Network Star endorse it, so we’re on cloud 9 at the Pizzazzerie HQ!
When you’re not knee-deep in party-planning or book-writing, what are some of the things you like to do with your friends or family?
I’m a big “homebody,” so I love cozy Saturday nights in with my puppy (Henry!) and my husband (we’re newlyweds). We love watching movies, grilling out, and going on walks–typical things. When I get cabin fever, I’m quite a big shopper and love taking trips with girlfriends (many of my college best friends live in NYC, so I love visiting there). I also love buying magazines and browsing kitchen and cookbook stores! If a town has a kitchen store, I will sniff it out.
Keep up with Courtney Whitmore and Pizzazzerie