Archive for the 'Party Planning Tips' Category

Entertain Kids with Great Gifts 26Jun12

As I have told you before, this time of year is my favorite. I love summertime. It’s warm, it’s never cold, it’s sunny, friends and families get together for good times fairly frequently, and it’s generally just a pleasant time of year. But, let’s be honest, the start of summer isn’t just fun for me because of the gorgeous weather, it’s even more exciting for the teachers who are ready for the school year to be over and for their summer break to begin. And, even more excited are the students who can finally have their long summer vacation, and for the long awaited end of the school year. We can all remember what the last week of school felt like (torture!) when the sun was shining; all we wanted to do was go hang out with friends outside – not study in classrooms inside. Well, the time is finally here – the end of the school year.

entertain kidsWhat does the end of the school year mean? Well, for the parents out there, it might mean congratulating your own kids by finding a great gift to reward them for good grades from the past school year. And when that gift is purchased, you might want to make sure it is one to entertain the kids with for the whole summer – because two months is a long time to keeps kids entertained. But, in the same thought, the end of the school year might means finding a camp or a new hobby to entertain kids. There are many different camps out there from overnight camp, day camp, specialized camps for sports, music, arts, and really just about anything kids might be interested in learning more about outside of school. The end of the school year could also mean family vacations. Vacations are excellent ways to keep kids entertained and give adults the break they need from the regular work week. The end of the school year is also the perfect opportunity for grandparents to spend quality time with their grandchildren. Parents might need to work, and summer camp might not start for a while, so keep kids entertained by sending them to get spoiled by their grandparents. This is a definite win-win-win situation by all parties involved.

Whatever the end of the school year means for you, I hope if you have children, that they have something fun planned to keep them busy for the next few months, so you don’t have to find a way to entertain your kids daily. I hope that if you’re a teacher, the end of the school year means you have an excellent summer planned and you’re ready to enjoy some time off – and maybe that means you get some quality time with your own kids.

Super Bowl Party Food 06Feb12

The weekend is sadly over. I hope you had a good one. As usual, my weekend was buy but for great reasons. On Saturday I got to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of my oldest friends and, of course, it was Super Bowl Sunday.

I really didn’t care that much about the outcome of the Super Bowl. I wasn’t rooting for either team, but I am always in the mood for get-togethers at friend’s houses with food, beverages, fun, and football. This was a small party…I like it when things are simple. individual layer dip” width=My friend decided to make it a pot-luck party – this way everyone could bring something they were good at making (there was a rule that only one person could bring chips and salsa). My contribution to the party was a vegetarian 7 layer dip. Here’s the catch – my 7 layer dip came in individual plastic cups so each person could have their own, eliminating the double-dipping in a big dish of 7 layer dip. I cannot take any credit for this. Please check out the recipe here recipe, I highly recommend making these for your next party. Someone else brought a cheese boardcheese board
full of cheese and crackers. Someone else made bacon, and the host of course filled in odds and ends.

What’s your favorite dish to bring to a pot-luck party?

Salad Bowl 24Jan12

I am a very lucky girl. Just about every Friday I have the luxury of getting together with some of my girl friends for lunch…not just any lunch…sushi. This is our special time together. It’s a guaranteed hour of fun with unbelievable food. My friends and I try everything possible to not talk about work on our Friday lunches. So, naturally, we talk about what we have planned for the weekend. My one friend talks all about what she will do with her husband and 2 girls, another friend generally talks about planning her upcoming wedding, and another friend generally talks about how her husband encourages her to study for the graduate classes she is taking but how she wants to go out and enjoy herself. We have a great little mix.

Our favorite topic is discussing how great it would be to leave work on a Friday evening, go home, lay on the couch, and figure out what to order for dinner so the most time off the couch we would have would be to open the door for the delivery man. Since this never happens, it’s a nice dream to share with good friends who are all just as busy as the next.

These dreams got me thinking…why can’t we have a night in just for us? Why are we always hustle and bustle and on large bead rim salad bowl” width=the move to get something done. Which has led me to my next life decision: this Friday, whether I am alone or with friends, I will grab that large bowl fill it with popcorn and MnM’s and eat a delicious and balanced dinner of salty and sweet and either watch whatever TV is on or watch movies…because we all deserve a night in. Anyone want to join me?

Dining Chair Covers 07Nov11

It’s a funny thing that happens once Halloween is over–everything goes immediately from fall to winter even though winter doesn’t begin for nearly two months! Look around, listen to everyone talk…all of a sudden we went from fall and pumpkin flavored everything to holiday shopping and winter seasonal items. And I am not exempt from the chatter.

I started thinking about the holiday party I am hosting—my annual friends gathering. I have probably seen each of these people at some point throughout the year, but this is the one time of year when we are all in the same place at the same time. I have many of my decorations, serving pieces and table sets ready, but as I looked at my dining chairs, SHORT SUEDE DINGING CHAIR COVERS” width=I thought they looked very old, drab, stained. I can’t have company over to sit on these dirty chairs! And I definitely don’t have money to have them recovered or to purchase new ones. But these dining chair covers will do the trick! And I always have to use extra chairs to fit everyone around the table. These chairs don’t match my existing chairs, but with these long chair covers LONG DINING CHAIR COVERS
I can mix and match, and no one will be the wiser.

Hooray for DIY easy fixes that won’t cost me a fortune! Best of all, this is a lasting, year-round solution, not just for the holiday season.

Inflatable Salad bar 19Sep11

INFLATABLE SALAD BARI came across an article on MSN a few days ago that I think contains great information for everyone. Read the 5 Foods That’ll Make You Look Younger here.

I look young for my age, but the older I get, the more and more I do appreciate being carded at bars. After reading this article I realized, however, it might be more than just my genes…I LOVE these foods that are listed. Salmon, for my whole life, has been by far one of the foods I would always eat. Leafy greens are part of my life daily – if not twice a day, and 3 times a day if I make a smoothie, I put spinach in it. The article even says that ingredients in red wine and beer can help make you look younger too! This is all very exciting.

So, my suggestion for this week: plan a look young party for next weekend. Make a guest list, invite your favorite people, blow up your inflatable bar, and come up with all different recipes using sweet potatoes, salmon, beer, red wine, citrus fruit, and leafy greens. Keep you and your friends young with some fun and some good food!

Labor Day Weekend BBQ’s 02Sep11

GRILLINGLabor Day weekend is upon us. The sad news about Labor Day is that is means summer is ending. The good news is that it means we have a whole long weekend left of summer to enjoy it while it lasts.

To be honest, I have no idea what I am up to this weekend. Last weekend I went on my first vacation in a very long time. I went to Florida for a 4 day trip to visit a friend. Before I knew it, it was almost the next weekend, and I have 3 full weekend days and I had almost no plans. But what is Labor Day weekend without a BBQ? I am certain at some point I will attend, what very well may be, my last BBQ of the summer. Maybe I’ll go shopping for a little while, because nothing beats a holiday weekend sale and I need some fall clothes. Otherwise, maybe I’ll have a nice and relaxing Labor Day weekend.

What’s your plan? TABLE & CHAIR COVERS” width= I hope at least some of you are all ready to break out your grill and BBQ for your friends and family. Maybe some of you are on your way to purchasing grill covers and table and chair covers to get ready for the cold weather.

Whatever you’re planning to do this weekend, I hope you have a great one!

Party Treats! 12Aug11

The weekend is here! After weeks of heatwaves and generally hot and humid weather, its going to be a fair weather weekend! Highs in the mid 80’s, sunshine and no humidity! This is great news considering I have two parties to attend on Saturday and both are outdoors.

CAKE POPS MAKERThe first party is a child’s birthday and the second is a dinner party for adults. It has been a busy week and I knew I wasn’t going to have time to put a lot of effort into preparing dishes or shopping for hostess gifts. I knew just the quick and easy treat to take to the kids party! The Cake Pops Maker makes the perfect snack for kids. Just pour cake batter into the Cake Pop Maker, insert a lollipop stick and decorate. For the kids, I’ll dip them in white chocolate and sprinkles. For the adults, I’ll dip them in rich chocolate, shaved coconut and chopped nuts. My mouth is watering just thinking about them! These are definitely a treat and more fun than plain old cupcakes!

WINE COLD SACK” width=For the dinner party, I figured I’d just take a few bottles of wine off my wine rack here at home that I’ve been saving for a special occasion. But I’ll need to keep the white wine chilled while I’m party hopping. These Cold Wine Sacks are great for that. They’re stylish, a terrific hostess gift in addition to the wine and can be reused. Just store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

This weekend should be a great one! What are your plans?

Football Will Go On! 27Jul11

FOOTBALL SHAPED CUTTING BOARD” width=Have you guys heard? Football will go on! If anyone was concerned that their favorite football team wouldn’t be playing this year, and all of our loved jerseys would just be sitting in our closest lonely and wanting to be worn, worry no more…Football is on!

I am not really sure what is more exciting than knowing football will be played this year. The thought of a lock-out was sad, but as time passed, I really worried that my dear jerseys would have to sit out this season. I love football. Watching, cheering, getting together with other fans. I love sporting my jerseys in support of my team.

INFLATABLE FOOTBALL MASCOTIf you’re like me, you care more about getting ready for football season to begin than you do about enjoying the rest of summer. Start dusting off your inflatable mascots to put on your front lawn, and bring out the football shaped cutting board to serve game time snacks, because football is on this year!

So, if you also didn’t hear the news, check out this article to catch up and get ready for some football!

Memorial Day Weekend Festivities 01Jun11

Welcome back from a great long weekend. I hope you didn’t have to work or spend too much time doing things that weren’t number one on your list. Long weekends, like Memorial Day weekend, are meant for family, friends, and fun. Mine was quite relaxing with a little fun fit in.

The most fun parts about Memorial Day weekend for me this past weekend were the BBQs. There were two that I went to, and they were perfect: fun, friends, good food, beer, and believe it or not a Slip ‘n Slide. Saturday’s BBQ was focused around a soccer game that was on TV, so the majority of the time was spent inside, and only the actual grilling was done outside. This was perfectly fine by me! While I love BBQs and hanging out outside, here, in DC it is like 95 degrees and humid.

Slip N SlideAfter a lazy Monday of Memorial Day weekend full of reading, laying low, and taking an early afternoon walk, it was time for BBQ number two. This BBQ started earlier in the day, but we were okay to wait until later. This evening BBQ was a lot of fun. There were a good amount of people, and the backyard was huge. The temperature was again about 95 degrees even after the sun went down and the humidity was making the air really thick. As we were sitting around and talking, one of the conversations was what we wanted to do in this heat. Stainless Steel TorchI said I wish we were allowed to run through the fountains around the city. Someone said they wanted a Slip ‘n Slide, and someone responded with “I have one here. I bought it today for $6.00.” I WISH I had a change of clothes! I wanted to play on it too. Next time, I am bringing spare clothing. While the host had tiki torches burning, it still wasn’t enough to keep the mosquitoes from biting our legs. I wound up going home with 6 bug bites on my legs.

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend. Hope yours was great too!

A Perfect Celebration, Times Two 08Apr11

Last night was a great night! Last night I had so much fun with my friends because we were celebrating. Last night was more than just a great night for me…it had absolutely nothing to do with me. Last night was more than a great night out with my friends on a Thursday evening…it had nothing to do with the group. Last night was great because it was my friend, Sarah’s, birthday and we were celebrating her. But, even greater than that – last night was great because Sarah and her boyfriend got engaged…and that is definitely a great event to celebrate!

About two and a half months ago, my girlfriends and I got word from our friend Sarah’s boyfriend that he was going to propose to her on her birthday, April 7th. Our role in his plan was to convince Sarah to meet up at our favorite bar to celebrate her birthday…on a Thursday, and to wear a dress (not as easy as it sounds). Fortunately, we were demanding enough to get her to have a birthday party on Thursday. The harder part was getting her to “dress up.” We told her “We are all going to wear dresses, so go out buy a new dress, and wear it. You only have your birthday once a year.” It worked! The hardest part since then: keeping the secret. We did it! Not only did we do it, but we convinced her that a proposal wasn’t going to happen and she would probably be waiting another year for it to happen.

Personalized Mr. and Mrs. FrameEverything worked just as planned. Boyfriend proposed, Sarah said yes, and we had a party with lots of friends to celebrate. Naturally, we planned ahead and ordered cupcakes for the occasion (what’s a party without cupcakes?). My friend and I got to the bar early to scope out the “best spot” in the bar, and it was a great night for everyone! Now Sarah has a wedding to plan, and as the friends of the bride, we get to do the fun things, like buy gifts such as the Personalized Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Frame.

I hope your weekend is starting off as great as ours! Happy Friday!