I have a real thing for hot air balloon themes. I almost did a similar theme for Amos's nursery using this wallpaper. This shower almost makes me wish I had.
I - I mean Griffin - really needs this A-frame tent by cakies.
I recently stumbled upon Craft Hope and think it is pretty much the most brilliant idea ever. If you are regular crafter like me, I'm sure you have those moments where you feel uninspired and need a little direction. What could be better than crafty ideas for a good cause?!?
I love this idea for a mother or grandmother with children and grandchildren all over the country.
Lie and tell me you wish you weren't invited to this party.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland
Image by Simple Bloom Photography via Bump Smitten.
Entries in party tips (2)
You’ve been meaning to have people over for a while now, haven’t you? Maybe you want to enjoy that new back deck, or finally use your wedding china or fancy kitchen gadget. Perhaps you want to host a dinner party instead of inviting people to a restaurant to celebrate a birthday. So what’s holding you back? It’s easy to get stuck when you see these fancy parties on the Internet or in magazines and decide that you don’t have the money, skills, or energy to pull off a party. Or maybe you have that one friend who goes above and beyond for her parties and you just don't know how to do it. Or maybe you are one way to0 busy mom. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that hard. Here are my five tips for low pressure hosting.
1. The potluck is your friend. Potlucks are fantastic for two reasons: cost and ease. If you aren’t particularly interested in sweating away in your kitchen for a week, or you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars to shop for or cater an event, just ask everyone to bring a dish. I’ve found that this does work better if you are having a larger size party, or if the guests have an idea of what to bring (more on that next). In the spirit of asking for help, don't be afraid to ask a friend (who hosts more often) to help you. In most cases they will be thrilled and honored to lend a hand.
2. Pick a theme, any theme. A theme doesn’t have to be cheesy, but it really helps you tie your party together and it provides inspiration. I remember a Hawaiian luau my mom threw for my dad’s birthday years ago. She asked everyone to bring a Hawaiian-inspired dish. The table was absolutely gorgeous with all the dishes spread out—ham, coconut rice, roasted vegetables and meats, tropical fruits, and many dishes served out of pineapples with fresh tropical flowers. Everyone wore leis and Hawaiian shirts and sarongs. It may have been May in Kentucky, but it looked like the tropics. Themes can be anything—desserts, Mexican food, Italian night, Greek Islands, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Southwest, Kentucky Derby, Oscar night, Superbowl, Mad Men, 1980s, etc.... As you can see from the list, your theme will inspire your food, your decor, your music, and your attire!
3. Don’t invite everyone you know...unless you aren’t feeling pressure already, in which case you don’t need to read this post! You know how many people you can comfortably fit in your house. Don’t try to cram more people in. If you just want to throw small dinner party to use your wedding china, then invite four to six friends over. Set the table with your nice dishes, light some candles, and cook dinner for an intimate group. No point in trying to have a nice dinner while people are trying to balance their plates on their laps in the living room. Save that for a more laid back cookout. Want something even easier? Order takeout and use it on your fancy dishes. If you want to have a few more people over, have a cocktail party for 10-20.
4. Make more of fewer things. If you do like to cook and you are catering a party on your own, you’ll save time by only serving a few things, and making more of it. Making multiple food items takes additional time and effort. Having a casual dinner? Make a big lasagne or bowl of chili and add a salad. Hosting a cocktail party? Put out big hunks of your favorite cheeses along with jams, breads, and vegetables. Make one type of specialty hot hors d'oeuvre. Lots of it. Having a fancier dinner? Stick with simple whole ingredients for dinner (grilled fish or meat or eggplant Parmesan, one seasonal vegetable, and whole grain bread). For dessert put a sprig of mint in a scoop of ice cream served in a special container (julep cup? martini glass?).
5. Turn off the lights. I’m a big proponent of good lighting for any party. Feeling like you can’t have people over because you haven’t dusted the baseboards in three years or vacuumed the floor in three weeks? Lower the lights, light some candles and put on some soft music. Just make sure the bathroom is clean and everything else can hide behind closed doors or low lighting! Or if you are like me, invite some friends over and then be motivated to get out that broom!
So, everyone, send out an invitation now! Sharing good food, laughter, and life’s events with those we care about is what makes us human. Author and women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup tells us that “community is immunity” and I couldn’t agree more. Host a party! It’s good for your health!
- Amy Hill Glasscock
Salt & Nectar thanks Amy for guest blogging today. Amy lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband Will and their cat Kira. During the day, Amy works as a Government Relations Representative for the American Public Power Association. At night, she morphs into an interior designer/party planner extraordinaire. You can read about her party planning adventures on her blog midcitysaturdays.