Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ask the Experts #2

(don't know what's going on over the next two weeks?  Read the intro here, read about our experts here and join the party here!)

I don't know about you, but I could definitely use some help when it comes to party planning.   I've asked several of my blogging friends:
What tips, tricks and advice do have for making your parties successful and (potentially) less stressful?
And now I'm going to share their answers with YOU!  You better pay attention too, because these guys are good.  

As if she needed an introduction...  Kimbo from A Girl and a Glue Gun is kind of a staple around the craft blog circuit.  She has amazing felt crafts.    She has frugal decorating ideas, like these cute cup pom poms.  She has cute favor ideas (can you imagine handing out these Fancy Nancy Pens at a Fancy Nancy Party??  She sews like the dickens (having a beach themed party this summer?  How about a cute cover up?)  And you can wrap your birthday presents up cute, thanks to her.  You know, along with the 50 billion other really cool things you can find over there.

(The yellow birthday box.  The rainbow-colored felt happy birthday banner.  The paper happy birthday banner)
i have a birthday box...I have made cute reusable (felt) birthday banners...and i store them in a box along with leftover balloons, blow horns, hats even party plates and tableclothes...any kinda extra party paraphernalia...so each birthday i don't have to spend a fortune on the basic decor and get to spend it on the fun part like presents, food and party favors!!!!  The box is just a huge shoebox wrapped in yellow wrapping paper.
Also, there's a great pin on pinterest where some brilliant lady prescooped the ice cream into muffin tins so when it was time to eat you just pull them out of the freezer and pass them around!

(and this is a great idea for so many reasons... first - you don't have to re-buy the same things every time, saving you money, also, it's all in one spot, ready and waiting for you, and three, it's perfect for impromptu parties or events that you - for one reason or another - just didn't have a ton of time to plan for!  And I pinned that pin she mentioned.  Right here.)

Hani's blog, Craftionary, is full of creative ideas.  There are her DIY felt hair clips, cute yarn rosettes, frugal mini jar banks from baby food jars (all of which would make fun favors, by the way...) and a whole lot more! 

I am so excited to be invited by my friend Kimberly to share a few tips and ideas on hosting a party at home. 
I love decorating and entertaining friends and family on special occasions, in my past experiences I have learned the following things you should do to have a perfect party with everything you have in your mind.
  1. Make a list of all important things
    The most important part is not to forget anything you've planned for the party. With busy everyday life, I believe we should start working small at least 2 months before the party. 
    2 months earlier
     Make a creative plan about the party, the theme and start listing important points that come into your mind.
    This helps keep your idea-flooded mind from mixing up old plans with new ones.
    1 month earlier
    When you get one month closer to the party, you will be glad and tension free. Why?
    Because you already have a fore-plan to work on. And have plenty of time to make and create what you want.
    Start first by listing the menu, that's the biggest decision, right? Once you are done with it, think about the party decorations and food serving things you need to buy and bring them first. I like to use disposable plates and cutlery, it helps keep the later work (unloaded and cleaning) easier.
    Party City is my favorite place to buy all the stuff. But I usually go buy random things from random places that match my theme that I can find for a good price, because I have my theme decided way earlier, right?
  2. Have a bright photo booth
    We all love beautiful pictures. We are so busy arranging the party that we sometimes forget this part. Happens with me all the time, so now I have learned my lesson and have kept this important part as the 2nd most important rank - before decorations.
    You can see my baby boy's race car themed first birthday party here and see the mistake of not having a bright photo booth and a few special ideas I had for his party that I was happy to make.
    Make sure you make a beautiful background in the most bright area of Your party location. So, you are done with worrying about not getting good pictures after a wonderful party that everyone enjoyed.
  3. Finally: Start Making Your own Creations
    Now all the less time consuming work is done and food can only be prepared at the last moment.
    You need to start making and customizing your party your way. I know we can not throw a party without that creative touch of handmade stuff you can't find elsewhere.
  4. Have fun entertaining. An organized and well-planned party always saves your time and keeps you tension-free. :)
A Tip for a last minute party:
If you do the same things I stated above on a fast forward switch for a last minute party you can get good results too.
Just remember listing and prioritizing the importance of tasks is the key.

Have fun partying.
P.S: I will be sharing my son's sports fun party this week on my blog. If You are interested please do come and see what I did.

(Hani's tips about planning ahead, prioritizing and paying attention to details doesn't really surprise me.  If you read her blog you'll see she's detail-oriented :)  I can't wait to set up a better photo area for my next party!)

The T-Shirt Diaries is home to the Stashbust series' along with a new competition going on now called Project Recycled.  Oh, and Robin.  It's home to Robin, of course!  Robin's the queen of Upcycle/Recycle/Stashbust.  She's the queen of frugal and "making it work."  She's got ideas for her ideas, there're so many ideas.

I don't have any grand ideas but I do have a few tips: 
1. Make a folder in pintrest of ideas that you like
2. Scour the blogging world to see who has done similar themes.
3. Always give credit to whomever you got the idea from
4. I always made graphics for cupcake toppers with picnik, and now that it is gone I have no clue what to do?? **
5. Cupcakes are easy and fun
6. No party will ever be perfect
7. Set up a prop area for fun memorable photos. For my daughters cat in the hat party I took an old frame, spray painted it aqua and took all the guests pictures while they were holding the frame and wearing a cat in the hat hat.

(I love the gentle reminders to give credit where it's due - don'tcha hate that?? - and that no party will ever be "perfect."  I have a significant issue with PPD - Post PARTY Depression - mostly because I hype it up too much.)

**And now, a note about picnik (since Robin brought it up):  You know how I feel about the whole thing already.  However, I've decided to quit living in denial and bemoaning the fate of my photos and instead do some serious comparisons.  I am going to give a longer explanation with my opinions, etc at a later date, but since Robin brought it up, you should know that I'm working on some options for us all!  Which means I'm doing a mad amount of "research."  There are a lot of free photo editing sites out there and if you stay tuned I'll show you the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Promise.

Let's here it for today's experts!  I'm getting excited to implement ideas already!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Hani said...

thanks so much for putting these awesome party ideas together Kimberly.. I also like reading what others have to say about partying.. :)
Have a nice day!

Hani said...

just shared the excitement with my readers..
P.S: Did you know I have a Friday Fun Party every week starting Thursday night? I would love to have you participate and it would be nice if you can have my button on your link parties page as a reminder.. :)
Have a nice day friend!

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