Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ask the Experts #7

(don't know what's going on right now?  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.  

Want to create a gorgeous party or shower with clever elements, charm, and serious color coordination?  Look no further than the eye candy on kojo designs.  You know kojo - sisters Kirstin and Jordan run this little haven of sewing, crafting, creating, photo-ing, decor and parties, parties, parties!   It's amazing.

Images from my favorite kojo party - "Hello Yellow Party"

My best advice for party planning is to tailor the party to the guest of honor. If you can center the theme around something they love, a hobby of theirs, even the chorus of their favorite song, perfect. If they love food, focus on the menu. If they appreciate little details, throw your attention into those. Remember, the party is about them. When it's over, you want to be able to say, "The guest of honor loved it." If you can say that, the party was a success!

A few of my favorite parties from kojo designs:
The "h" Party (so clever for Halloween!)
Lemons to Lemonade Farewell Party (creative idea to make the most of a bittersweet parting!)
Glitter Party (an entire party planned entirely around GLITTER??  Yes, please!)
Hello Yellow Party, Part One... AND Part Two (there is no better party than this.  The end.)
Around the World Party (when the littles get older, we are totally doing this.)
And this idea is insanely BRILLIANT - Ready Made Shower (a how-to, for those impromptu parties!)

(Love her ever-important reminder!  Of course, all the rest is important - eye candy, photos, food... but if it doesn't MEAN anything to the person you're celebrating, what's the point?)

Amy writes a deliciously mouth-watering blog, u  It is full of gorgeous food photography of her amazing and delectable creations.  I could get lost in her archives for days, planning menu after menu for any kind of extravaganza you could concoct.  I'm thrilled to share her with you... click those links.  You won't be disappointed.

I'm obviously no expert either, although I love hosting parties every once in a while.  Anyhow, here are my 2 cents, things I've learned from previous parties.
1) No stress menu--I love a mix of home made and store bought varieties.  Store bought ideas such as preparing an antipasto platter or a cheese platter.  Simple and elegant.  Simply get different type of cheeses, crackers and fruit for the cheese platter & olives, baguette and salami for the antipasto platter.  As far as the home made items, I love recipes that can be made a day or two in advance.  That way, I can join in the fun at the party.  Here are the links to some of my make ahead and easy party recipes:

2) What is a party without a signature cocktail?  Here are a few of my favorites, they are all easy to put together.  Some even with non-alcohol versions.

3) If someone offers you help, by all means, go for it!  My guests always love to help out in my kitchen and we always had so much fun cooking together.
4) I'm not a crafty person, so, all my invites are actually done using online services.  Easy and no trees killed!  LOL
5) Relax and enjoy with your guests.  That's the whole point of having a party, right?  :)  

(My gosh, Amy can cook.  And more than that, she makes it look soooo good.  I would take menu advice from her ANY DAY!   Also, I can't help but love the tips to mix home made with store bought - but make it LOOK "party perfect"  AND that reminder to accept help?  What great advice!  How many of us think we have to "do it all"??)

When you visit Simple Simon & Co, you will NOT walk away without pinning something.  Or multiple somethings.  She's got sewing in the bag.  She also shows you how to make her lovable peggy people and she can craft too.  I've decided to end our expert advice with Liz, because, simply put, I really loved what she had to say.

I'm not a party planner but if I was going to give advice it would be this:
Remember why and who you are planning the party for....sometimes we get wrapped up in the planning and the decorating and the favors and the blahbitty blah and forget what we are celebrating in the first place - like a baby blessing for example.  We can get so wrapped up in the invites and the decor and the food and we forget that we are celebrating the baby who is left in their crib whilst everything is getting arranged.  Or with a kid's party---are we planning the party to make the child happy or us? 
That's my's not cool but I think I learned that lesson the hard way.  Now when I plan parties and get-together's I try really hard to think about who the party is for and what we are celebrating and then plan from there.  My kids are going to have a far better day on the day of the party if we are having fun together instead of me running around like a crazy person trying to make sure all the decorations are perfect.
Ok, so that's my totally unfun, lame answer.  

(I've got to say, I don't think it's lame at all.  I actually loved reading this because even though my parties are nothing spectacular, over the past two years I've bitten off more than I can chew many times.  And because I am a procrastinator, that equation doesn't work well.  I've found myself getting upset when things don't go as planned, or when I have to skip something I wanted to make or when the kids don't appreciate the "perfect color coordination" (they're KIDS for crying out loud) or the "stick to the exact schedule."  In those moments I've had to tell myself to RELAX!  If you look over Simple Simon's blog, I think you'll know she's not lame in the least and we can definitely ALL take a page out of her book, any day!)

And that, my dear friends, is an expert WRAP!

Tune in tomorrow for my party culmination post - the Christmas Carnival!  (which I was going to post on Saturday but really, honestly, just couldn't do it in time...)

OH!  Would you like to know who won that super adorable giveaway?? 
The Random Number Generator says it was:
Who is:

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Wow! Tough to pick a favorite- I think I'd go with the toaster, too, though! It's the one thing missing from Princess' play kitchen!

Thanks for reading throughout my party series, everyone!

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

1 comment:

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Yay! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

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