We'll be working on getting photos up of 11 themes, then replace with party photos.
If You’ve Been Kissed By Cupid…
Invite a mix of sweethearts and singles to your love nest for a Dessert and Cocktails Party.
Check out my Dessert Party for some great tips. My biggest tip would be to stick to foods that don’t require much silverware - mini brownie bites, cheesecake bites, etc. People want to mingle, not try to balance eating off a plate with a fork.
Use cookie cutters to shape ice cream sandwiches into hearts, and roll the edges in red sprinkles.
Try a Celestial Fizz; cognac, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice, a Sweetheart cocktail made from fresh strawberries and strawberry liqueur, or chocolate martinis complete with chocolate syrup to coat rim of martini glass.
Set out these square votives, and beautiful red fishbowls filled with your favorite white flowers.
Turn off the volume and have a tear-jerker playing in background; classics like Casablanca or An Affair to Remember, or more recent flicks like Love Actually, or Sweet Home Alabama.
Play Spin the Bottle where players take a kiss, tell the truth, do a dare or take a drink.
Get everyone in the mood with such ballads as the before-mentioned "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, John Mayer's "Your Body is a Wonderland", Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love", "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles, and the oh-so-not-subtle "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye.
Have a heart or lip-shaped piñata filled with chocolate coins, condoms, small bottles of body paint and other adult goodies.
Misadventures of a Newlywed is having a Lilly Pulitzer stationery giveaway, with your choice of either Patchtastic or Lillywood. And if you don't know who Lilly Pulitzer is, then how can you call yourself a true event planner?
The Bushes, Sr. and the Clintons....
Grr, one more Tip for today, I promise, and it's a giveaway so how can you go wrong? Want a new pillow to snuggle up with? Check out the Valentine's Day Contest from 2Modern and win a Thomas Paul Pillow.
To enter, leave a post describing what special thing you are doing for your Valentine this year. They will post the winner's name with instructions for collecting your prize, on Valentine's Day.
Instead of different bars or bottles of body wash, try a liquid body cleanser, made from 100% biodegradable ingredients like Kiehl's Aloe Vera cleanser.
Instead of shampoo filled with foaming agents and other chemicals, check out Frederic Fekkai Au Naturel, which is infused with beneficial essential oils and organic ingredients, no synthetic fragrance, dyes, and additives and also comes packaged in a bottle made with 40% recycled materials.
For Your Clothes
Earth Friendly Ecos powder laundry detergent has a built-in softener and their filler-free oxygenater Oxo Brite is a perfect whitener and brightener.
Need something more brand-familiar? Everyone is jumping on the smaller-packaging band wagon like All Small & Mighty, which is 3 times concentrated.
For Your Home
Use green versions of your favorite brands like Clorox Green Works. Seventh Generation cleaning products, like their all-purpose cleaner, are non-toxic, biodegradable, hypo-allergenic and don't create harsh fumes.
If you are really looking to "rough it", check out an amazing article from earth easy on homemade substitutions for everything from air fresheners to furniture polish!
Recipe courtesy of The Gospel According To Party Basics for New Nesters.
3 blood oranges
small slotted spoon
bottle of well-chilled sparkling wine
1. Cut each orange in half, using a hand juicer to squeeze the pulp from each orange half into the pitcher. Use the spoon to remove any seeds or unwanted pulp. (Tip: Juice the night before and keep refrigerated).
2. Add sparkling wine to pitcher, 1 part juice to 2 parts wine.
3. Pour into flutes when ready to serve.
Being single (by choice or circumstance) on Valentine's Day shouldn't make you feel like an exhibit in a freakshow; people pointing and staring, inviting you to be their "third wheel", trying to fix you up with a loser they would never consider the other 364 days of the year, etc. etc. Take charge and throw an event every couple you know will be envious of. Get your single gals and guys together, and....
If You Think Cupid’s Stupid…
Host an Ex-orcism
Have everyone bring pictures of their most dastardly exes and let the ex-games begin! When guests arrive, give them each a heart cutout on which to write an embarrassing tidbit of ex-trivia, from "He has a few 'bedroom problems' " to “Her breath was kickin' like judo!" Have guests guess which juicy morsel goes with which ex.
Name That Song
Play down-on-love Charades with a selection of lyrics from tunes like, Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With it", "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood, or Beyonce's "Irreplacable".
Create "art" on your ex
Using their pictures, hand out some permanent markers and go crazy. Give them titles like, "My Ex Without Me" or "Without Make-up". A prize should be awarded for the best work of art.
Another fun activity - Write out your ex's full name, and create an acronym. For example: Clown-like, Hairy chest, Rude, Ignorant, Slovenly.
Take comfort in these "inspirationals"; Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone", "Cry Me a River" and "What Goes Around...Comes Back Around" by Justin Timberlake, Amy Winehouse's "Love Is A Losing Game" and of course Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name".
Set up a "Cheesy Valentine’s Day" spread. Set up a fondue station of your favorite cheeses with veggies and cubes of crusty garlic bread, so there is no chance of anyone trying to hook up at your party. Serve on this party set.
Line up bottles of your favorite spirits and label them Love Potions numbers 1- 8. Class up the joint with your own cool shoot glasses. Check out Fred's Cool Shooters fill and chill molds.
Steepster has great "Forget Him" tea packs. Bitterness reigns supreme over at Despair.com with their BitterSweets, featuring three unique collections - "Dejected", "Dysfunctional", and "Dumped". Candies are printed with such lovely gems as U LEFT SEATUP, BACK 2 KENNEL, and CELIB8 THX2U.
Need more inspiration? Check out my bitter break-up post.....
Next time, some more party ideas for the less-bitter.
My copy of Entertaining Simple by Matthew Mead I won a few months back from Tastefully Entertaining has arrived, and let me tell you, totally worth it to run out and get, plus with no Internet I read it cover to cover.So honored and thrilled; thanks to Chris at Celebrations At Home and Jamee at Setting The Mood With Jamee, for tagging me for a Blog LUV award. Now, here's my chance to pass the LUV on. I love these blogs, chock full of wonderful pix and party inspirations! And don't let the wedding blogs scare you, I love to scale down their ideas, after all they are still a party, just with alot more people.
So to you chosen few, please follow these instructions and share the LUV!
1. Put the logo on your blog or post. (You can highlight the photo and text of this post and copy/paste wherever you need to)
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show GREAT ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received the award.
1. Most Likely LATE
2. Cupcake Envy
3. Party Perfect
4. The Finer Things
5. Social Couture - the blog
7. Snippet & Ink
8. Tiny Talk
9. Simply Sweets
11. Southern Weddings - the blog
And lastly, fellow LUVer, Bakerella is having a Pick Mii Out and Wii-n Giveaway for a chance to win a Nintendo Wii system! Go check it out! And how fab are the cupcakes she made? The boy is sweating me for a video game birthday party and I wonder if she takes orders, because there is NO way I would even attempt these.
A pretty favor idea; crisp-apple scents are part of this beautiful soap, created with fragrance oil, hand cut and wrapped in handmade paper.
Calligraphed escort cards tied with green ribbon.
Simply gorgeous centerpieces on cake stands
A clever green apple cake from Kicca Cakes.
Mini apple candles double as escort cards and favors.
To-die-for green apple silk shoes from Nine West. The bride added crystal brooches to the sides for a bit of sparkle.
Square glass vases filled with green split peas and glowing candles, are surrounded by green apples and cymbidium orchids.
Printed using soy inks on 100% recycled papers and 100% recycled envelopes, these invitations are perfect for the eco-chic.
My favorite, a signature drink station with green apple martinis.
" 'I'm watching the news … Tupac Shakur was assassinated, Biggie Smalls assassinated, struck down by assassin's bullets … no, they wasn't. Martin Luther King was assassinated, Malcolm X was assassinated, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Them two [brothas] got shot! [Damn], I love Tupac, I love Biggie, but school will be open on their birthday.' "
On a serious note, remember the dream, more poignant now on the eve of an historical event.
Stars-and-Stripes (all recipes courtesy of She Knows.com)
2 oz Korbel Brut or Extra Dry
2 oz Cranberry Juice
Pour Korbel into large champagne flute. Slowly stir in cranberry juice. Garnish with frozen cranberries.
Apparently, this is what President Obama and guests at the Inaugural luncheon will be toasting with. Simply pour Korbel Natural into a champagne flute and garnish with raspberries.
3 oz Korbel Brut or Extra Dry
2 oz lemonade
1 oz blue Curaçao
In a tall glass, pour Korbel. Add lemonade, blue curaçao and ice.
Anyhoo, besides all of the cuteness, they are having a design contest. Her signature design is making fun and colorful socks that don't match and come in packs of 3 so that you can mix it up however you want. They are looking for a new design to put on one's toesies. The grand prize winning design will go into production and be part of her collection for sale to the public, $500 and five packs of your winning socks.
Some of my faves from their site...and get this, their 6-drawer dresser has a glossy white dry-erase finish so one can draw on the whole dresser with dry erase markers, then erase and start again. Plus, each drawer has two circle handles that can be filled with your favorite combination of patterns, colors and photos using my reversible or clear panels.
Votives and red rose pomanders hang from full-sized birch trees.
A variety of crimson blooms adorn this fab table courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings Special Color Issue 2007.
Inspired by the china, this table has a punch of orange courtesy of it's soup tureen centerpiece.
Tina Rupp's photo of a white table with a simple red branch.
(On the) Spot dinnerware by Fairmont and Main.
A cherry blossom motif adorns menu cards. Ladybugs appear to be crawling up the side of the cake towards the couple's monogram.
Take a peek at my previous post on a kid's bowling party, some great ideas to adapt for the ladies.
How awesome are these bowling shoe invites from Plum Party! If you are crafty enough, you could probably duplicate this.
And check out these strike-ing retro-inspired invites from Fine Stationery. For the Martha in you, try this bowling ball/pin invite, how clever!
Share these cute bowling cookies as a treat for everyone who is not the girl who walks away with the ultimate prize, a mini bowling-bag purse.
Need more sugary sweetness? Check out my previous post on a Candyland/Sugar Party.
My shero, Hostess With the Mostess helped create this fabulous 1st Birthday party for Max Sutter featured on Extra TV.
Check out this amazing party created by Stem Parties' Amy Belle Isle, my other shero.
2. The Lilac assorted gift set includes a notepad, business card holder and letterpress cards.
3. Good for you and the environment; a vintage engraving of a red strawberry, letterpress printed on recycled natural paper with recycled kraft envelopes.
4. Why is this kangaroo smoking? Don't know, but he is letterpressed on 100% cotton.
Sarah & Abraham have a number of personalized stationery, including 5. this fun children's flat card, and 6. one for yourself.
1/3 oz. grenadine
1/3 oz. blue Curaçao
1/3 oz. heavy cream
Layer ingredients carefully, in order given, so each ingredient floats on the preceding one. Slowly pour alcohol along long stemmed cocktail spoon or stirrer, and be sure it is touching the side of glass. It may take a while to perfect, but isn't drinking your mistakes half the fun?
Take a gander at my post on Asian-inspired parties to get you started, lots of great photos and tips.
A sparkling red and gold Chinese calligraphy pattern and bound with golden thread and leaf makes this invitation to-die-for.
Slide over the gold mirror-brite cover of this beautiful round invitation to reveal your wording, stamped in gold foil on a red mirror-brite background.
How fun are these Chinese take-out invitations, dim sum, anyone?
Send this list in your invitations to set the mood...(courtesy of Evite)
• Dress in red. Crimson clothing is said to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
• Open doors and windows, weather permitting. This lets the old year out and helps good luck find its way into your home.
• Keep lights turned on to scare away any ghosts and bad spirits.
• Don’t wash your hair—you could inadvertently wash away good fortune.
• Avoid mentioning the past. Keep the focus on the new beginning offered by this brand-new year.
Check out The Gospel According to Party Basics for New Nesters; they have a Lunar New Year party outlined with great details like dancing lanterns to greet your guests, simple no-sew napkin ideas, and origami parasols similar to these.
Check out this past Sunday's post for their tasty cocktail, Golden Orange Sake-tini.
Setting the Scene
*Use red ribbon to wrap around the branches of any indoor plants.
*For added flare, dust gold confetti over a black tablecloth covered with red and gold candles.
*Peonies symbolize love, affection and beauty and are known in China as “Flowers of Riches and Honor.” Float them in glass bowls or sprinkle them across your table. Or try stringing a flower garland to ornament your mantels or doorways.
*Let red and black balloons tied with long gold ribbons drift along the ceiling.
*Line your walkway with traditional Chinese lanterns to draw light and luck straight into your home.
Need party supplies? Asian Ideas.com has a plethora to suit your needs, including Year of the Ox products like red envelopes traditionally used to hold an even amount of money.
Look no further than this list of recipes from Epicurious.com as you invite friends to share a meal that mixes all sorts of Asian symbolism and taste.
Ring in the year of the Ox with your cookie creations using Fancy Flour's animal or zodiac wafer paper designs.
Family Fun's clever Chinese checkers cake has gumball checkers.
Send Them Home With a Smile
These bright Chinese coin purses make unique place card holders for guests to take home and enjoy. Or how about decadent chocolate-dipped fortune cookies from beau-coup?
Once I started having kids, jewelry-wearing was down to studded earrings, as anything flashy or dangly was promptly yanked and/or put into the mouth. Since I'm allergic to cheap jewelry, (really! I'm allergic to nickel, the common component of cheap jewelry), sterling silver has always been one of my metals of choice. Ah, now if I could only afford these beauties, but alas, gotta keep the kids fed.
1. Sterling silver contour cuff from John Hardy.
2. The Links of London sugarcane cuff is an expandable diameter to fit most sizes.
3. Jill Patner's Venus is hammered silver on leather.
4. The Eva flower cuff is petal-like layers of precious metal form flowers atop an adjustable wire cuff base.
5. Lois Hill's orbital 6-layers culminate in a unique hammered bracelet.
I'm so getting into wall decals, and I L...O...V...E these! Check out their fun bedding and art panels.
Once again, up late last night, watching E! and Chelsea Lately, who to me, started off like another person from a funny show, getting their own not-so-funny show. But now it's growing on me. How was I missing their dead-on impersonations of the not-so-talented-sister of Lindsey Lohan and her equally untalented mother? Anderson Cooper knew just what he was talking about. Ah Anderson....anyways, look up the other clips, this is just the "season" finale.
1/2 ounce orange-flavored vodka
1 ounce orange liqueur or Triple Sec
1/2 ounce sake
edible gold leaf
Chill a martini glass, then rub the rim of the glass with the orange wedge. Roll the sticky rim in the gold leaf to coat lightly. Pour vodka, Triple Sec and sake into an ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake, strain, then pour into the martini glass.
Set the tone and then seal the deal by sending your guests home with an equally appropriate favor. A little inspiration from Parents.com and my own two cents should make baby's first blowout a blast!
Many a baby loves the big red noisy fire truck and will thrill to see a birthday bash in this theme. A firefighter party is easy to put together. And firefighters appeal to a broad age range, so this is a good pick for a party that will have older siblings in attendance.
Hello! tiny print's fire truck party invite is sure to capture guests' attention with vibrant hues of yellow and rich red.
Goodbye! Red plastic firefighter hats from Oriental Trading or a party supply store is perfect for a young age group.
Okay, this theme is twice as much fun for the parents and a good one to pick if your guest list is going to include a lot of dads. Ask your guests to bring their little ones dressed as a favorite superhero, past or present.
Hello! Another fab invite from tiny prints, comic-book inspired.
Activity - Photo op with a Superhero. Using a Polaroid instant camera, capture mini Superman and Wonder Woman on film. Superheroes can pose alone or in groups.
Goodbye! Create magnet picture frames for their photos.
Making the Band
Be sure to invite the neighbors -- this party is a noisy one! Babies love to make music and you can plan a party around that activity that'll be a blast. To make sure everyone has fun, have plenty of instruments on hand.
Hello! A fun music-themed idea from Ten Fingers and Toes.
Goodbye! Musical instruments like these plastic handled jingle stick cymbals. Keep it simple, so long as it can stand up to a good banging from baby.
King/Queen for a Day
This makes a good choice for an event where many of the guests will be too tiny to truly party. The mood will be festive and the party favors fun, but the little ones won't have to do much more than sit around and be cute.
Hello! An invite fit for a king or queen; includes a die-cut crown embellishment with jewels.
Goodbye! Darling crown cookies from Pink CakeBox.
An easy baby/toddler favorite. Sesame Street provides baby's first celebrities, and a party devoted to Elmo and friends is sure to be a hit.
Hello! These Sesame Street invites let you pick which favorite character to focus on.
Goodbye! Board books like these from your local dollar store are fun and durable.
Clear out a room and fill it will balls of all sizes (larger than a golf ball to avoid choking hazards, then let them at them!
Hello! Gather your child's "circle" of friends with an invitation in the round.
Goodbye! A few of these ball-pit balls are perfect to keep little guests active.
My all-time favorite holiday movie, Trading Places, has the scenes that play in my head everytime someone says "Happy New Year"
Billy Ray: [posing as "Nenge Mboko," an exchange student from Cameroon] Merry New Year!
Beeks: That's "happy." In this country we say "Happy New Year."
Billy Ray: Oh, ho, ho, thank you for correcting my English which stinks!
And the other favorite scene is when Dan Aykroyd's character Louis Winthorpe III, hilariously pretending to be an African/Jamaican man named Lionel Joseph with his skin was painted dark and a horrible dredlock wig and cap...ah the 80's. (starts at 3:01)