Themed party thought starters

First of all, you may have to become a pack rat – a well organized hoarder of sorts! This is because I advise keeping everything. I’m always on the look out for something that might work well for a center piece or an inspirational object to kick off the planning process.

In my party closet I keep the staples for boy and girl baby showers, wedding shower basics and fun things for an impromptu bachelorette party or fun girls nights out. These are normally items I’ve found through out the year that were on sale or even things left over and reusable from previous parties. This way, when it comes time to start planning an event I have the staples I may need and can focus on the special parts of the party that specific to the event and the guest of honor!

Happy Planning!!!

Tailgating needs

It’s football season … finally!

It was a long summer, but the happiest of all happy times is finally upon us! Now, you better be ready for tailgate season as well! If you haven’t been planning your tailgate 09 season since last November, here are a few items that are a must:

  • a tent {not a camping tent} but a pavilion tent – you need something to claim your territory
  • lots of beverages of your choice – my choice would be alcohol, but you may pick other things such as soda or juice … I guess
  • even more water than you have other beverages
  • quick and easy snacks for grabby hand – this is only if you haven’t been planning for a few months and have a schedule of events directly related to specific theme days
  • sunscreen
  • a camera
  • a tailgating tv
  • a tailgating Xbox
  • another tent so the girls don’t have to sit with the guys, this is unlovingly called the Kitchen Tent in our circle
  • lots of tailgating chairs – here’s a tip – go ahead and write your name on them – with a marker, please don’t get them monongramed – and just keep them in your trunk – you’ll use them more than you’ll ever know
  • cute shoes, then “walking to the game” shoes – this is a must if you want to walk on Sunday
  • advil and vitamin c, maybe some b12 too
  • handiwipes
  • solo cups in your team colors
  • a marker to write your name on the cups, even though you’ll probably forget where it is
  • koozies for beer
  • a signature drink – I strongly advise sticking one {maybe 2} type of drink per tailgate – maybe it should match the theme of your outfit…
  • mascara, hell your whole bag of make up – you never know when someone’s gonna cry
  • bandaids, in case your cute shoes don’t last – or if you take a tumble
  • toilet paper! you don’t want to use the portapotty and most times its already gone
  • trashbags
  • germex

Well that’s whats in MY tailgate box – you may not use all of these items on the first tailgate but you’ll be prepared to help a fellow fan in distress – but don’t share your toilet paper with the opposing team fans – that’s their own fault!

Happy Tailgating!!!

Sangria Cheater

I have searched long and hard and experimented way too much {as well as to the chagrin of my guests} with a multitude of Sangria recipes… I have finally found the perfect substitute to doing any mixing at all!

Carlo Rossi Sangria, it comes in a gigantic jug – all you have to do is add a bag of frozen fruit or if you are feeling extra industrious, slice some fresh fruit. However with the frozen fruit, you won’t need ice.

"photo from Carlo Rossi Sangria"

"photo from Carlo Rossi Sangria"

Initial Letters

I love to attach initial letters as gift accessories. The kind you can get at the craft store, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc. It’s a great way to personalize your present and help provide a memory for where ever the giftee displays them.

If you use them on a baby shower gift, the mom will probably display them in the baby’s room. If you utilize them at a wedding shower, the new initial could be placed anywhere from the office to the kitchen to the nightstand.

Most times you can buy them in lots of styles and sizes but you can also buy them plain at the raw wood star and put your own flair on them.

Happy decorating your presents!

Stock your freezer

Hopefully you have a deep freeze or what some refer to as a beer fridge (with usable freezer space) in the garage. But even if you don’t, you can still make sure to have some handy items on hand ready to thaw and use at any time.

  • frozen juice concentrate, preferably lemonade and another juice
  • an extra pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
  • a bag of baby salad shrimp
  • a pint of ice cream, any plain flavor will do
  • pecans – or any nuts, but I like pecans
  • frozen meatballs
  • a can or two of crescent rolls
  • a bag of frozen mixed fruit

So pretty much with all these items, if you add vodka, you’ll have yourself a nice little party. Ok, fine not ALL the items, but definitely the juice and fruit.

Actually the good news is that all of these can be pulled, thawed and served on an individual basis or paired with something else. For instance, take the crescent rolls and wrap them around the meatballs and bake for about 30 minutes – you’ll have a hearty and meaty snack that you “made” in no time flat!

From sangria to fruit shortcakes, pecan crusted chicken to shrimp ceviche, you can make all this quickly if you and your freezer is prepared!

What’s in your gift closet?

Yes, you should have a gift closet or a give shelf or some place {that’s easy to get to} that you can keep a few gifts ranging in theme, value and sentiment for last minute needs.
You may need a quick gift when your child reminds you on the way out the door it’s their teachers birthday or you remember it’s your co-workers baby shower after any specialty stores are closed.

You never know when you’ll need to give a gift, even if there’s no occasion, sometimes, it’s just nice to surprise people with a little sign of appreciation!

If in doubt, dress like the invitation

It may sound weird, and maybe I’m one to over think things, but I put a lot of effort and sweat and tears into my invitations. Whether they are handmade or store bought or a combination of both, much thought was put into them. They are the essence of the parties theme! They are the first impression your guests will see.

So that is why I say, when in doubt, dress like the invitation. I also feels it goes without saying that if you are going to a baby shower for a baby boy, one should probably not wear pink. Any shade of blue or purple – or even yellow or green is A-OK, but really, surely you have something else in your closest besides pink.

For instance if you receive an invitation in the mail that is dainty and fine, it’s best to gather that you should wear a pretty tea dress, not your tightest, cleavage exposing LBD. If the invite is adorned with mug bugs and beer mugs, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that this is going to be a “hands on” event = blue jeans and tank, please no white! That only ends in disaster and laughter, and not the good kind.


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