Giveaway: Sol Republic DECK Wireless Speaker

Disclaimer: I was sent the Sol Republic DECK for purpose of a review and giveaway. All opinions are my own. I’m excited to bring my readers the opportunity to win one! Thank you for reading the sponsored content that helps keep this blog running!

DECK Giveaway from Sol Republic // Sponsored Giveaway on A Well Crafted Party

People are all talking about heading back to school again. It is all over the blogs I read and filling my email inbox with press releases. Because I’m out of college, not a teacher, and a mom of a toddler I haven’t really been thinking about the whole back to school rush. Instead… I’m dreaming of perfect camping supply lists and scheming ideas for this upcoming holiday season. Then I realized, really… that is my back to school! This time of year out come my notebooks and pens ready to study up and plan for ALL THE PARTIES.

A new addition to my study sessions is the Sol Republic x Motorola Deck wireless speaker. I was super surprised when opening up this little, portable speaker to find that it packs a punch. It would be perfect for using at home, camping, parties… the list goes on and on. Speaking of Back-to-School… I would have been so pumped to have this little speaker in my dorm room instead of the HUGE speakers that I had to get the same kind of sound back 10 years ago.

After using this awesome device for the last two weeks I am beyond excited to be able to introduce it to you and offering you a chance at winning it! It would make for a great gift to someone heading off for college, getting married, celebrating a birthday, or having a baby (white noise machine!).

Cool facts about the Sol Republic Deck Wireless Speaker:

  • Indoor and Outdoor settings
  • Connects to your music player of choice via NFC/bluetooth or by a cord!
  • Wireless connection has up to 300 feet range (meaning you can dj from another room!)
  • Up to 5 people can “heist” the music and take turns playing DJ
  • For the control freaks out there … there is also a single player mode
  • It is also a speaker phone! Hook it up to your cell phone and have a conference call!
  • Charges like a cell phone. Super easy to use.
  • Talks to you when turning on, connecting to a device, and changing modes
  • Comes with nifty little case
  • Can be purchased through Radio Shack (check out all the cool colors)

DECK Giveaway from Sol Republic // Sponsored Giveaway on A Well Crafted Party

Sol Republic Deck Wireless Speaker Giveaway:

Okay, here is the fun part… the giveaway! I know I’ve gushed a lot about this little guy. Maybe it is because I’m OLD and remember getting my tunes from a huge cassette player that had to be plugged in. Or, maybe it really just is that cool. You’ll have to try it out yourself to find out! A big shout-out to Sol Republic for providing a Deck Wireless Speaker for one of my readers! Thank you!

 

DECK Giveaway from Sol Republic // Sponsored Giveaway on A Well Crafted Party

* This giveaway is for readers 18+ in US and Canada only. The winner must not have won a Sol Republic giveaway in the past 6 months (spread the love!). Entries will be accepted until 12:00 AM Tuesday, August 19, 2014. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, the prize will be awarded to someone else. Please read all of the rules and regulations of the giveaway. This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Twitter or Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

 

From the Archives: Bike Themed Cocktail Party

I’ve had a few requests to see more photos from a Bike Themed Cocktail Party that I threw a few years back. I didn’t have the best photos unfortunately… the woes of a beginning blogger! But, I thought I’d post some of the few that I had in larger format than they are on the original post. I’ve also added a few tips for how to throw a themed party on an extreme budget! Enjoy!


From the Archives: Bike Party // A Well Crafted Party

From the Archives: Bike Party // A Well Crafted Party

From the Archives: Bike Party // A Well Crafted Party

From the Archives: Bike Party // A Well Crafted Party

From the Archives: Bike Party // A Well Crafted Party

From the Archives: Bike Party // A Well Crafted Party

Three Tips for Throwing a Themed Party on an Extreme Budget:

1. Use printables and/or photographs to drive a theme around your party on the cheap. Photographs can be printed out in a multiple of sizes for little money. For the bike themed party I went around town to photograph bike road signs. I printed some in 8X10 sizes and some in 4X6 sizes and used them throughout the room. Don’t have money for frames? Try backing your photos with a nice card stock weight paper like I did above. To get some free printables that work for bike themed party hop on over to my original Real Party post.

2. Don’t worry about changing an entire space to fit your theme. Instead focus on a few areas to decorate. I like to focus on food and drink areas. Tables where people may put down their beverages are also a good place to focus your decorating attention.

3. Use what you have on hand. This party we utilized the guest of honor’s LARGE bicycle part collection to decorate the space. We also spray painted beer and wine bottles to create vases for the wildflowers we picked locally. We made drink areas utilizing existing furniture and artwork.

What are you budget party tips? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger Beaux and Belles: How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Photographer

I’d like to introduce to you Brittany from Beaux and Belles– she is A Well Crafted Sponsor and has taken the opportunity to guest post here on the blog. If you haven’t been over to Beaux and Belles, but you love parties, then you should hop on over. Brittany features events, party trends, and tons of inspiration. Today she is sharing her tips on choosing the perfect wedding photographer.

Photographer

Photo via Pixabay

Determining which photographer to choose for your wedding or event can seem like a very daunting task. With these questions, you will be prepared and well-equipped to make the right decision!

Ask the Photographer about his/her experience and style…

  1. What do you do to make your images unique?

  2. Why are you an events photographer?

  3. What is your photographic approach/style?

  4. Are you full-time or do you hold another job as well?

  5. Do you have a portfolio I can review and may I have a list of references?

  6. Have you ever photographed my venue before? If not, will you do a site inspection before?

  7. Have you ever worked with my other vendors?

  8. Can I provide you with a “must-have pics” list or inspiration board?

  9. Do I feel a connection with this photographer? Am I comfortable?

  10. Does the photographer listen well and address my wishes?

Ask the Photographer about his/her contract and pricing…

  1. Do you have my date(s) available?

  2. How far in advance do I need to book with you?

  3. Can I see a sample contract?

  4. What travel fees do you charge if my venue is out of your area?

  5. Are you photographing any other events on the same day?

  6. If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay longer? Do you charge extra?

  7. What packages do you offer and can I customize it?

  8. How much is the deposit? Do you offer a payment plan?

  9. Do you have liability insurance?

  10. What is your refund/cancellation policy?

Ask the Photographer about his/her day-of procedure…

  1. What time will you arrive and for how long will you shoot?

  2. What do you suggest as a timeline for the day?

  3. How many photographers will be at my wedding and who are they?

  4. How many pictures will you take?

  5. Do you bring an assistant to the event?

  6. How will you be dressed? (Should be professional.)

  7. What information do you need from me before the event day?

 

Ask the Photographer about his/her after-event procedure…

  1. How extensively do you edit images for the final album?

  2. What does the final product look like? (album, digital CD, etc.)

  3. How long after the event will I receive the photos?

  4. How long are online copies available for viewing/ordering?

Photo via Pixabay

Photo via Pixabay

I hope you found this post helpful in your search for the perfect photographer. The most important thing is to find a photographer that is professional and that you are comfortable working with. And don’t worry about bombarding the photographer with these questions – most photographers have a lot of information in brochures and on their website that can help you find the answers to each of these questions before you even set up an appointment!

About the Author: Brittany Ryan is the founder and editor of the event planning blog, Beaux and Belles: An Event Planning Blog. It is an inspiration and reference site for all things related to event management and entertaining. At Beaux & Belles, you can find everything from tabletop settings for the home to stunning layouts and visual displays for the weddings and corporate events. On a more personal note, Brittany uses this space as her creative outlet to document her journey towards becoming a certified Event Planner. Brittany currently caters to the DFW community. With every event, Brittany’s aim is to plan something that is meaningful, memorable, classy, and fun! In her spare time, Brittany enjoys fine dining, traveling, a glass of red wine, and creating fond memories with loved ones.

 




A big thank you to Brittany for sponsoring A Well Crafted Party and sharing her tips!If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of A Well Crafted Party then hop on over to my ad page to see what I have to offer!

Featured: Three Tips for Making Kid’s Parties Fun for Everyone on Cup of Ting

3 Tips for making kid's parties fun for everyone // A Well Crafted Party featured on Cup of Ting

 

I was thrilled when Ting of Cup of Ting asked me to share a kid’s party post with her readers. One of the hardest things for me to learn when I went to having all adult parties to parties that also included kiddos was HOW to throw a party in which everyone could still enjoy themselves at.

Hop on over to Cup of Ting to read 3 Tips for Making Kid’s Parties FUN for Everyone!

Five Tips for Planning a Community Event + Portland Bloggers Picnic Review

Five Tips for Planning a Community Event + Portland Bloggers Picnic Review

I’ve been behind on posting about some of the many events that I’ve been attending lately. I don’t like filling your feeds with pictures of people you don’t know or things you may not care about. I try my best not to post ALL of the events at once. I also really want to focus on the things that you can use to celebrate one of your own life events, make in  your home, use as style or beauty tips, or at least find pretty to look at.

Near the end of July I posted a week of Picnic posts in honor of the Portland Bloggers’ Family picnic. I seriously have about 5 drafts of picnic posts I didn’t complete. I may have to save them for next Summer for another picnic week. And, while I shared some of the iPhone snaps of the event, I didn’t get the chance to post the gorgeous photos our amazing professional photographer shot of the event.

5 tips for planning a community event

Five Tips for Planning a Community Event

So, to make this post about more than just sharing photos of a whole bunch of (awesome) strangers, I wanted to share a few tips for hosting a community style event. Community events could include a blogging community, church group, Instagram meet-ups, block parties… you get the idea. ;-) Photos feature members (and their families) of the Portland Bloggers group and are taken by the lovely Portland Lifestyle Photographer Macey of Motormouth Studios.

1. Make sure you have the right licensing for your event.

Licensing? But, I’m just throwing a picnic! Well, once you get out of the small group of people that can go anywhere together part of a gathering then you need to make sure that you have all your legal bases covered. Portland Parks have a great website that allowed me to find the park with the amenities I wanted and the prices of the rental fees. Even block parties now days usually need to have some sort of licensing to protect everyone invested in the event. Check for information online first and then give potential venues a call.

planning a community event

2. Make sure your venue has a restroom and parking.

Oiw… this one is a toughie for a lot of venues. Restrooms and adequate parking are MUSTS for events. Yes, sometimes you have to deal with things like metered parking… and, it sucks, but it is better than NO parking or unsafe parking areas. Make guests away of the parking situation before hand whether in the invite, online message, or by phone.

3. Try to get an easy-to-find location or give REALLY good directions in the invitations.

Boy did this not go right for our event. I reserved a fairly popular park, but google maps sent everyone to a different part of the park and the park did not have great signage. It was a MESS. Thankfully everyone eventually found us! A way to avoid what we did is visit the site before your event and inform guests of special directions. Also, check to make sure you have phone reception at the venue in case people try tweeting, calling, or texting you at the event.

planning a community event

4. Put out items that guests can recognize to know that they are going to the right place.

Balloons, signs, and bunting are great ways of letting your guests know where you are visually. Our picnic space at the Portland Bloggers’ picnic was fairly recognizable due to its balloons and signage. As a matter of fact, we had several people come to our site while looking for a different group because they were looking for ANYTHING that resembled an organized event.

making community events potluck

5. Make it Potluck or BYO!

Unless you have a company or well-off organization backing your event then the question of who is going to pay for what is definitely going to come up. Making the event a potluck or a Bring-Your-Own event can help share the costs of the event. Be up front about any costs or expectations in your invitation of the event. We made our event a “bring-you-own and if you want to share extra, feel-welcome” event. Everyone brought picnic lunches for themselves and their family members and a few people brought treats to share!


About Portland Bloggers:

Portland Bloggers is a meet-up group and blogging resource for Portland, Oregon area bloggers and businesses. (Click the above “Portland Bloggers” tab for more information, a list of awesome Portland Bloggers, and to see more photos from our Portland Bloggers’ meet-up!

recomonk

Recomonk was in house at the Portland Bloggers’ meet-up sharing their brand new blogging widget with our group. Recomonk is an easy way to share reviews and recommendation for music, movies, books and products you love with your blog readers. Click over to find out how you can earn rewards and easily share YOUR recommendations with your readers by clicking over to Recomonk.com.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial compensation to mention Recomonk, but they did give away a free gift card at the Portland Bloggers’ event. I know that some of my readers are bloggers and might like the opportunity to discover a new resource. All opinions are my own.

Portland Bloggers 2013

I’ve been so lucky to have been a part of the Portland Bloggers’ meet-up groups for some time now. We have such a great, supportive community and some of my dearest friends have been made through my participation of this group. Sometimes blogging can feel like a very lonely job. While it is great to be your own boss and have full control over content and the likes… it can also become daunting, boring, or just plain un-inspiring at times. Getting out into the real-world and meeting fellow bloggers— people who understand why you continually check twitter and bring a camera to dinner— can help inspire better content, relieve some work stresses, and help build your audience and connections. I’d highly recommend finding a meet-up group in your area.

If you are in the Portland, Oregon area then we’d love to see you get involved with the Portland Bloggers’ group or one of the other many meet-up groups out here. If you live in the Pacific Northwest then the PNW Blogger group is a great one to get involved with!

Portland Blogs you should know

Portland Bloggers You Should Know:

Below is a list of many of the bloggers that showed up to the Portland Bloggers’ picnic. (My memory is a little fuzzy… so, please forgive me if you were there and are not on the list. Email, Tweet, or comment that you were there and I’ll make sure you get added!) If you are looking for some new blogs to peruse and follow then definitely check these out or pin the above photo to come check out later!

  • 12oz Beehouse— A place for Coffee, Style, Crafting, and lots of pictures of beautiful Portland OR
  • A Tiny Rocket—About a girl chasing after art.
  • A Well Crafted Party— Oh wait… you are already here. Haha. ;-)
  • Adventures in Dressmaking—Sewing, DIY, Décor
  • Capturing Grace — I photograph portraits (family, maternity, newborns and seniors) and I shoot editorial assignments and love photographing food. My simple, “Photo Blog”, is where I share my favorite images from my photo shoots. Enjoy!
  • Chic Steals— Staying on-trend with a hefty dose of creativity and a ton of DIY- find some fabulous fashion steals and Chic Steals.
  • Dress This Nest— Fashion buyer turned Portlander and stay-at-home mom renovates a Cape Cod home in Laurelhurst
  • Mind Fit Move— Home of Mindfulness based Fitness.
  • Motormouth Studios— Lifestyle, Family, Children, Senior and Event Photography and Graphic/Web Design
  • Pea Roo—A blog boutique and kids’ fashion, preloved
  • Pechluck’s Food Adventures—A blog that chronicles adventures in eating in Portland- dining out and cooking and imbibing with appreciation for local Portland deliciousness.
  • Pepper Scraps— Healthy Mom = Heathly Family
  • Rain OR Shine— A family blog with a Northwest perspective.
  • The Boho Mama— I’m a free-spirited mama of twin girls writing about motherhood and our daily adventures, coffee in hand.
  • The Spicy Bee— A food blog featuring recipes, restaurant reviews, and events. Introduce some spice to your cooking repertoire.
  • Thyme of Taste— We are foodies from the PNW, who love food to share our food recipes, reviews and everyday adventures!
  • Tossing the Script — Positive body/self image blog- writing a new story one day at a time.
  • Word Savant— Thoughts and Tips on Writing from a Fiction Writer, Blogger, and Writing Coach

The blogging resource that allows bloggers to easily share reviews and recommendation for music, movies, books and products you love
with blog readers and get rewards, Recomonk, was also in attendance at our meet-up!

great picnic recipes

The thing about picnics is that it is all about the food and all about portable food. You can’t have a great picnic without some delicious recipes! Well, actually, I guess you can… you can totally get some yummy sandwiches like my good friend Bee did. Or hit up your local deli and fill your basket with small tastes of delicious delicacies.

Picnic food sandwiches

Great Picnic Recipes:

Many of the bloggers brought tasty treats that they made and then blogged about it after which made it super easy to create a list of some great picnic recipes that are portable and easy to make.

Picnic Recipes - Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers from Pechluck’s Food Adventures

Picnic Recipes Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars from Thyme of Taste

chocolate chip cookie recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Made by me from Alton Brown’s Recipe)

Puff Pastry

Cherry Tomatoes, Herbed Goat Cheese with Puff Pastry (Made by me and featured on Live The Fancy Life)

Featured On: Being Frugal

Check out my guest post today that is featured on Being Frugal and Making it Work! I wrote a few frugal party tips that I use and love.

Three Frugal Party Tips on Being Frugal and Making it Work

Three Frugal Party Tips on Being Frugal and Making it Work

 

Have you seen Being Frugal? If not, check out these great posts:

Summer Entertaining Series: First Birthday Photo Booth Fun from Life By Lindsay

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her tips for a First Birthday Photo Booth. Please welcome Lindsay of Life By Lindsay to A Well Crafted Party!


When I started planning my daughters first birthday, I decided to take the risk that every Pacific Northwest Mom does: plan for a birthday party outside!!! Luckily the weather cooperated that day, and we had a full on BBQ in the back yard!

First Birthday Details

 

Continue Reading…

Summer Entertaining Series: Summer Bar Cart from Sam Rosen

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers (& friends) sharing her favorite Summer Essentials. Please welcome Sam of Sam Rosen to A Well Crafted Party!


Hi everyone! Thanks to Jenni for having me! I usually blog about fashion and parties so I knew exactly what I would share when Jenni asked me to share with her readers. I am a big fan of the bar cart trend right now! It’s perfect if you don’t have room for a full bar in your house, it’s always party ready! If you’ve looked into buying a bar cart, you probably found a large amount of gorgeous carts that are extremely expensive! I suggest looking into thrift shops. I am lucky beyond words because this was my grandparents bar cart and when my grandma passed my dad made sure this bar cart got back to Oregon {from Florida} for me. I immediately started to fill it. I had most of this stuff already, just waiting for a bar cart. I am obviously a champagne drinker and eventually I’ll get a few more alcohols and bar accessories but until then, this is what I’m working with. I found most of these items thrifting, given to me by family. or at stores like Target/TJ Maxx/West Elm.

Tips for Creating a Summer Bar Cart

Continue Reading…

Summer Entertaining Series: Summer Essentials from Cupcakes & Cutlery

As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers’ sharing her favorite Summer Essentials. Please welcome Sharon of Cupcakes & Cutlery to A Well Crafted Party!


Hi guys! I’m super excited to be contributing to A Well Crafted Party today! I’m from California so we can pretty much entertain outdoors all year long. My design style doesn’t vary that much by season. I generally gravitate towards a boho vibe and this summer is no different. These are my summer entertaining essentials:

Continue Reading…

{Inspiration to Reality} Sketched Wedding Vignettes

In August of 2012 I was fortunate enough to get to help my friends Alishia and Ryan with their beautiful wedding. I posted a few sneak peek photos from my camera a while back. I’m excited to finally be able to share some of the wedding photos (from the photographer) and the process behind the event! Check back tomorrow for the full {real party} post— today I want to focus on the process of before and after. I hope that if you are planning a  DIY wedding some of these tips can help you with the process.

Continue Reading…

New Year’s Eve Party Tips for a Last Minute NYE Bash

There is nothing quite like a fabulous, last minute party. I love planning out a party as much as any party-obsessed person out there. But, sometimes, I decide at the last minute that I want to throw a shin-dig and I pull out some items from my party closet, print off some free printables, use my home (and holiday) decor items, and whip together a few easy recipes (or have people bring some food items). There is NO reason you can’t throw a fabulous, inexpensive New Year’s Eve bash…. even if you didn’t decide to do it until TODAY! Check out these easy tips (and beautiful photos) on how to throw a festive NYE event in just two days.
This post is super image heavy with beautiful photos from Motormouth Studios. This party was first featured on Pizzazzerie.com.

Quick New Year’s Eve Party Tip #1:

Use your home decor and your holiday decor to round out your party decor! Take out those few items that are SUPER Christmasy and leave out the pretty baubles that fit with your color scheme. All metallics work great for NYE! The lovely home decor pictured above is from the home of Adi from Garden of Edlen.

Quick New Year’s Eve Party Tip #2:

Make super easy appetizers and treats that don’t require a lot of prep time or cook time. OR have guests contribute by bringing some treats. Check out The Spicy Bee and Fork & Vine for some recipe ideas!

Quick New Year’s Eve Party Tip #3:

Glam up your service and dinnerware with some super easy DIY tricks. Check out the Festive Appetizer Plate Upgrade and the Easy DIY Food Platters tutorials for some fast and easy ways to upgrade your party!

Quick New Year’s Eve Party Tip #4:

Serve one or two signature drinks and then add in some sparkling water, soda, and champagne to even out your drink selection. The champagne ice above has frozen carnations in the ice! The Rosemary Bliss Cocktail was a fresh and delicious way to start a new year!

 

Quick New Year’s Eve Party Tip #5:

Use free printables to upgrade your party and set it apart! Check out my free NYE printables!

Quick New Year’s Eve Party Tip #6:

Have fun with New Year’s Eve traditions… such as, the midnight kiss! We set out a bowl of kisses and told guests “Don’t Wait for Midnight!” We also set out a bowl of chapsticks and mints for guests to get “Kiss Ready!”

 

Quick New Year’s Eve Party Tip #7:

Have fun!! Fun is absolutely contagious. Even if you didn’t get EVERYTHING you wanted to get done finished… enjoy your party and enjoy welcoming the New Year. Your guests will certainly enjoy themselves more if you are leading the way in having a good time!

 


If you liked this post then check out these posts from the same party feature!
This past week I featured tons of NYE party DIYs and Tips from this mock-party,
first featured on Pizzazzerie.com!
A BIG thank you to my NYE party collaborators— 
Check out their blogs!
Photography: Macey of Motormouth Studios
Event Styling: ME! of A Well Crafted Party
Menu: Bee of The Spicy Bee and Kate of Fork and Vine
Venue Styling: Adi of Garden of Edlen
Model Styling: Sarah of The Confessions of a Product Junkie
Models: Sarah, Carter, Kate, Will, Adi, Matt, Kayla of Fit Life Forward and Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking

 

Holiday Cooking Tip: Power up your Pepper

For the past two years my friend Joan and her husband Brandon have used Alton Brown’s Power Pepper trick to pepper our potatoes. They are always in charge of the turkey and the mashed potatoes each year… and, while they loved the taste of fresh ground pepper, they hated how much effort it took to grind enough pepper to properly pepper the potatoes.
Then… they saw Alton’s trick of attaching a drill to a pepper grinder and never looked back! They took the lid of the pepper grinder off and attached their drill to the rod that spins the grinder. Then, holding the grinder firmly in one hand, they pushed power. Not only did everything get properly peppered… but, they got to play with power tools in the kitchen. WIN WIN.

 

Tips for Hosting a Holiday Party

Ahhh…. the holidays! It is time for mistletoe, eggnog, cozy sweaters, sparkly dresses and PARTIES! I love the thousand excuses that the holidays give us for celebrating. Basically from October til February it is party central in my brain.

There is no end to the different types of parties that are thrown during the holidays. And, whether you are having a cookie exchange or an elegant cocktail party there are a few simple tips that can make hosting a holiday party less stressful and much more fun. The following tips are items I try to keep in mind when hosting events during the holidays.

1. Schedule well— Yes, the holidays are the time for parties…. which means that your guests will probably have other holiday parties to attend as well. You might have a few to attend yourself. I had a couple of good friends plan a holiday party (and invite people) just to find out that one of them had a company holiday party to attend. You don’t need to plan your event around everyone’s schedules (but, you might wanna check your calendar first) but, there are a few simple things that can ensure you and your guests a less stressful event.

  • Plan in advance…. like WAY in advance. Give a lot of notice and a few reminders if you know you want to have an event. Send out invitations at least 3 weeks early if possible.
  • Plan the event at a day and time that will be more accessible to your guests. There are going to be a ton of holiday events on the Friday and Saturday evenings in the month of December. If your event lends itself to a different time or day, try an afternoon party or a fun happy hour type event on a weekday. Or, set up an open house so that people can come and go as needed.
I used the white christmas lights and garland throughout my partyscape!
2. Use your holiday decorations in your party decor! No one wants to take down an entire Christmas tree and all the trimmings because it doesn’t exactly fit with their party theme. And, many venues will have holiday decorations up. Work with it! All the baubles and decor items that are already up can actually help save you a buck or two on the overall party while still keeping the mood festive. Move items around and restyle them to make the space extra special.
3. Limit Yourself! It is easy to go overboard with any party, but especially holiday parties… I make myself set a strict budget and limit myself on the “projects” I am doing for the party. A few ways to limit yourself and still have a successful holiday party include:
  • Do signature drinks! Instead of having a full bar or a crazy array of beverages choose one to two specialty drinks and serve with water and another popular non-alcoholic option. This is for parties with or without alchohol…. there are a lot of fun non-alcoholic specialty beverages that can be made into a delicious signature drink. Not only will you save a lot of money on beverages if you do signature holiday drinks, but you can also have some fun and make the drinks truly memorable. One of my favorite signature drinks that I’ve made in the past are the “Bubble Machine” and “Ginger Jenni” drinks I made for last year’s birthday celebration.
  • Only make a couple of food items… I am such a fan of homemade food for parties. But, spending two days in the kitchen is certainly not stress-free. If I am having an at-home holiday party I either buy at least half of my food pre-made (cheese, veggie, fruit trays are awesome for this– just take out and put on a different platter!) or ask a few guests to bring items. Having the holiday party in a restaurant? No worries! Let the restaurant do the work for you!
  • Limit myself to three DIY projects. This is the hardest part for me because I love putting DIY details into an event. Typically, I  choose to DIY some paper printables for the party, a favor, and a centerpiece item. I always want to also DIY my outfit, all the party decor, and the food and drinks… but, then I go crazy.

I hope these tips will help you in planning your holiday event.

 

 Check out my guest post of
 “Tips for Attending a Holiday Party over at Simple Moments Stick!

Today is my birthday!
Yep, my favorite day of the year… and since it is 12/12/12,
 it is also a day I’ve been looking forward to for YEARS.
I’m throwing a little birthday bash this evening
(Party etiquette says you don’t throw your own birthday parties.
But my hubby, friends, & family forgive this little etiquette misstep because they know that getting to plan a party, for me, is a gift in itself! Thanks y’all! )
Follow along my day and see lots of pretty party pictures by checking out my instagram feed @jennibost or follow the hastag #121212jennibday 

Happy 12/12/12!

First Birthday Activity Ideas

Ahhh… the First Birthday. Such a weird age to throw a party for! You get the food done and the decor done and then it is like…
What is everyone going to DO?
Often a first birthday will have an array of different ages of people. Our first birthday had about 20 adults, a teenager, a 9 year old, and 5 babies! I was completely stumped for a long while trying to figure out some fun activities for everyone. Mostly everyone chatted, played with the babies, and took a lot of photos. (Common… 5 babies together, not crying, is probably one of the cutest things EVER.)

Here is what we came up with for our particular spread of people….

For the adults—

  • We had lots of food and beverages. Some of those beverages were adult-only type beverages. It made the whole party go smoother in my opinion.
  • Instagram/ Twitter Hastag Fun— I planned this one, but then forgot to put out the sign with the hashtag or use it myself. But, Adi’s Where the Wild Things Are party did a GREAT job with this idea!
  • “I Remember When” and “Advice for your Birthday” slips for people to write memories or advice for the birthday boy. (Look for a free printable next week!)

 

For the Babies— 

We wanted happy and comfortable babies for the event. So, we wanted to provide shade, food, and toys. I don’t recall any of the five kiddos having a melt-down!
  • TOYS! Put out some baby friendly toys for the kiddos. We put out several of X’s stuffed animals, cars, and wooden toys. The main event though were the yellow beach balls!
  • Do a baby time with a story and some songs. If you have ever brought your kiddo to “Mommy & Me” groups, Gymboree classes, or Book Baby programs at the library then you know what I’m talking about. Pick out a few fun books to read (in excited voices with lots of movement). Break up the story time with songs that have movements. Of course, we had to sing “You Are My Sunshine!”
Books that would be great to read at a You Are My Sunshine First Birthday:
Songs to Sing:
 
You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine
You make me Happy, When Skies are Grey
You’ll Never Know Dear
How Much I Love You,
I Love You More, and More
Everyday!

* Photos by Motormouth Studio
** Some of the above links are affiliate links. Affiliate links help support the bloggers that post them. I do not link items I have not used and/or do not like. For more information on my Advertising Policies click HERE.

 
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