When you decide to host a party in your own home, it's a big decision.
You ordered the invites feeling great about your decision. You just dropped the invites in the mail (or hit send via email) and instant regret settles in. What was I thinking? Hosting a party at home?! I have to clean the house before the party and then again when it's over?! What am I doing about decorations, food, etc.?
It's a lot to process and conquer. But YOU GOT THIS!
Here's a small list of Advice/Tips to keep you in check.
-Make a list. This should be a list of everything you need and want at your party.
-Take the help. If someone in your family is offering to help with food, cleaning, prepping, decorations, setting up, anything... TAKE THE HELP! Someone is always willing to lend a hand, and they will probably even ask what they can do to help. So if there is a tedious job you dislike, pass it right along. They may never ask you if you need help again, but take the win this time, LOL
-Plan your decor to fit your space and planned activities. For example, if you've hired face painting and they need to post up somewhere, make sure you are spatially aware.
-If you are planning for your party to be outside, make sure you have an alternate plan or space inside in case of weather issues. Also, if your party is outside provide shade for your guests.
-Buy generic plates, cups, utensils... this way if you have leftover, you can reuse for the next event. I typically buy large heavy duty oval plates for the adults. Let's be honest, those small 8" character paper plates are not holding up. If I can't pass up the themed plates, I provide those for the kids.
-Buy the correct coffee cups. Do NOT cheap out here. If you do, you will have guests doubling up their cups, so they don't burn their hands, or rummaging through your cabinets looking for ceramic mugs.
-Prepare to have people in the kitchen. For some strange reason people always congregate in the kitchen. Prep your space so you don't have to work around people, or be prepared to tell people to get out of your way!
I'm sure I can think of a bunch more tips, but I'll leave you with this last one and call it quits.
Take the time to enjoy the party. Whether that means sitting down for a minute, talking to the relative you haven't seen in months, or taking a dip in the pool- you deserve a breather too. Which actually gives me an additional tip, Hire a catering/serving company and a lot of these worries will disappear!
For more help, read the next article, where I give you local and online vendors to choose from!
**Check out the photos from my son's Curious George themed birthday we held in our home**
I utilized our stairs and buffet table as a photo op and display area.
My cake topper served as table decor as well
Playroom turned into kids' eating area
Party Wants and Needs Made Easy
Do you feel like kids' birthday parties these days are a smidge different than when you were a kid? I blame it on DIYers and social media. Not that I'm complaining... I'm just stating facts. Whether you are the ultimate DIYer and are excited to plan your kid's party yourself or you need help I'm here to let you know you are not alone in either category.
I am a Type A person- I need everything done a certain way and most often I find it hard asking for help. That being said, I don't do ALL the things (LOL) and I love supporting other small businesses. I'm going to share some of my favorite small businesses, most are local, some are online, so whether you are from Jersey or you found this page quite by accident, some of your party frets can disappear when you use these vendors I'm about to share.
Balloons, centerpieces, favor tags, event planning, most other party decor and needs:
Me- Mint Sprig Decor
IG- @Jills_sweet_kitchen (Central Jersey location)
Cakes, cake pops, other delicious treats:
Sweet and Flour
300 Front St.
Invites, welcome signs, favor tags, etc.
IG and Etsy @4evernalwaysetsy
Kids favors, woodwork, etc.
IG & Etsy TheCrowsNestPC
DJ- IG @Djexpressnj
Music for kids- Little Rockers- (732) 530-8600
Traveling Petting Zoo and Pony Rides- Mountainside Stables- (973)300-3307
Softplay IG- @Magical Dreamland Soft Play LLC
Party World Rental Garfield, NJ
Miller's Rentals Edison, NJ
One Stop Hop Party Rentals, NJ, NY, PA & CT
Karen Gaston (201) 370-4168
Kate and Ally's (609) 971-8888
Hope you are able to use some of these vendors for your party needs!
Party Planning Basics
In today's society, everyone is a DIYer. But we all need to start somewhere. When planning my parties and events I search everywhere for ideas. I pick a theme or two and "just look".
My initial "Go To's" to get my ideas started:
I try to see what's out there, what's been done, and how, if I can, make it better or unique to my own style/preferences. This is the time that I usually pick my color scheme. Some people prefer to start with a color scheme and go from there, (or perhaps you're only going with a color scheme) but I typically start with just a theme; ie. safari, dinosaurs, unicorns, etc.
The more specific you are, the easier it will be for you to search and find ideas similar to your "vision".
I make notes, save pictures or web pages and typically create a board on Pinterest where I put all my ideas together.
This process typically takes me days, sometimes weeks, depending on what my deadline is.
After the initial "save all", I weed out the stuff I no longer like, found something better, or took a different direction with.
If an idea isn't in the color scheme I want or isn't exactly what I'm looking for, I still keep it, so I don't lose my idea.
Once I get my party theme and color scheme down, then I do my shopping. I don't know about you, but I'm a list girl. My lists have lists!
I always think of what the party essentials are and then break those down even further.
My typical party essentials:
Serving dishes, spoons, sterno sets, etc (if catering your own party).
Once I have my lists ready, I shop. I shop everywhere! I do not limit myself and sometimes I buy stuff just in case I can't find what I really want so I have a fallback. You can always return stuff (well, most stuff).
Favorite places for party necessities:
Once I have items in hand, I organize them into bags or bins depending on what area/part of the party they are for.
If possible, I set up the night before when possible. If I have to set up the day of my event, I like to give myself as much time as possible to do so. This way, if I forgot something or something goes wrong I have time to figure it out before guests start arriving.
It's always difficult being the host/hostess of a party. Even if it's at a restaurant or venue where there are servers and such, you still run around a lot making sure everything is going according to plan. My advice - try to set aside some time to sit back and soak it in. You've earned that right with all your hard work!
P.S. If this is all too much for you... just contact me and I'd be happy to do all the planning for you! ;)
Counting down 'til Santa arrives
Just call me Mrs. Kringle. I am so OBSESSED with Christmas! I love everything about it... the togetherness, the lights, the events, the "magic", it all just makes me so happy. Last year I started a new tradition for my nieces and nephews... a Christmas party.
Last year we had a Santa, a scavenger hunt, foam crafts and more. This year I planned the party the day of our town's Firetruck Light parade. We ate pizza, went to the parade, decorated cookies, had a hot cocoa bar, watched a Christmas movie (the new Home Alone- pretty funny and interesting new take), had a ton of snacks (their parents wanted to kill me), and just had an overall great time. The kids watched the movie downstairs.
There was even something for the parents upstairs- spiked hot chocolate and Hot Toddies.
Check out some of the moments captured below.
Invites for event that doubled
as a Santa Countdown!
Mini cocoa mugs- HobbyLobby.com
Popcorn containers- HobbyLobby.com
Cookie and Marshmallow Mug toppers- Target
Cupcake funfetti mix- Shop Rite
Cupcake candy toppers- Target
Hot cocoa mix-ins- Walmart and Shop Rite
Snowman Marshmallows- Oriental Trading