ALL POSTS TAGGED "party"

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I rarely throw parties. Why? I love my friends, but so much work goes into hosting a get-together, from the food and cocktails to the entertainment and decor. It’s not cheap, either. To successfully throw an amazing soiree, every detail matters. Plus, my standards are very high, since I work in the design world. Fortunately, with an abundance of spring and summer festivities on the horizon, HGTV.com has created the go-to party planning guide for hosting casual get-togethers, dinner parties, bridal showers and more (without the cost and headaches!). Here are a few of my favorite ideas to get you started.

Simple Party Planning Table Place Settings

Welcome guests by creating simple yet eye-catching place settings and DIY centerpieces that coordinate with the theme of your dinner party:

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Are you expecting a gaggle of ghoulish guests for your fright-night festivities? Well then, you’re in luck! I have some fun (and free!) printables that will make throwing a party a little less scary.

I spied these cool, vintage-look potion labels courtesy of Love Manor on Flickr. Perfect for labeling the potent potables and monstrous munchies at your Halloween gathering.

I particularly like this one, I mean, it even comes with a recipe for Famous Dead Man’s Toe Pie (sounds delightful!). Cleverly sized to fit around a wide container, this would be a fun wrapper on a can of mixed nuts.

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Ok, I have to admit I’m already dreaming about the food that’s awaiting me this weekend. Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and of course, any dessert that’s red, white and blue. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for this year:

fruit-salsa-chips

I love this recipe for fruit salsa and cinnamon chips. Yum!

birthdayparty2Brooke Reynolds at inchmark threw a rocket-inspired birthday party for one of her kids, and I love the adorable cupcakes she made. They’d be perfect for a fourth of July celebration this weekend.

pa1208_watermelon-cooler-2

Paula Deen also has a fun recipe for watermelon coolers.

What’s your favorite fourth of July food?

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Last year my grandmother called me and told me that she was throwing a Superbowl party at her home. About 10 minutes into the conversation I realized that she had no clue what the Superbowl was. She was preparing a 4 course, sit-down meal for 12 people! So I staged a Superbowl party intervention.

The most important part of throwing a party is to understand what you are celebrating. In the case of a Superbowl party, you need to plan your event around the television screen. First, clear your knick-knacks off of every table that surrounds the television area. Those tables should be for food and drinks, because no one wants to walk too far away from the big game.

Designate one table for the main dish, in this case I ordered sub sandwiches. I like to figure 2 feet for every 5 people when ordering a Sub. On that same table you can put a nice big salad and some big plates, heavy duty napkins and cutlery. A few years ago I bought 2 dozen cafeteria trays, and every Superbowl I put a piece of construction paper (usually in my home team’s colors) on each one and stack them next to the sandwiches. This way, people know its okay to take their food back to the couch with them, and they have a tray to eat over.

It gives your party a fun and casual vibe. Cafeteria trays cost about $2 each at a restaurant supply store and they are sold online for about the same price. (Fun tip: use them for spontaneous backyard sledding when winter comes!)  Scatter salty snacks on side tables close to couches, so people can reach-n-eat.

Craque is a new snack sold on Etsty (HERE). It’s my Superbowl Snack Pick. They sell Craque Corn (popcorn dunked in chocolate and peanut butter, covered in powdered sugar) and Original Craque (chocolate and peanut butter in a thin crunchy shell, covered in powdered sugar). Put bowls of this delicious snack out on the table and it will be gone before half time. Added bonus, Craque is handmade, and supporting the Handmade Movement gives you big-time bonus points!

On the coffee table place a veggie platter with dipping sauce and hot wngs with dipping sauce. Because hot wings leave a mess, I put metal buckets on the ground under the coffee table to hold discarded wing scraps and napkins.

The buckets, like the cafeteria trays reinforce the fun, casual vibe of the party. Last, I keep coolers filled with beer and soda next to the couches to make it feel more like a parking lot tailgate party.

For game watching fun I hand out Bad Call bricks. They are really just pieces of foam painted in red. Whenever someone thinks the ref made a bad call, they can throw the brick at the television. A Superbowl Point Spread Pool is also a fun activity for the party. This pool calls for no skill or knowledge of the game of football, so it’s fun for everyone. Making one is super easy; all you need is a big piece of paper and a big marker. Learn to make one HERE.  Last but certainly not least, remember to have fun! If the host is having fun then the guests will follow!

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

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