Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Show & Tell Tuesday: Grown-up Parties

Hello party people! Thanks for joining me today as I link up with Andrea at Momfessionals to share about the grown-up parties I've thrown. To see my previous Show & Tell Tuesday posts, check them out here:
Steal and Splurge
My Loves
Most Embarrassing Moments
Top 5 Pictures
Prom(s)


I've shared about the kid parties I've thrown in THIS post, and I talked all about Ari's 5th birthday HERE, and Trip's 7th birthday HERE. I love to plan a party and enjoy hosting friends and family in my home, but as much as I love to make things perfect, I sometimes go a little nuts and can't wait for it to be over. Here are some of my tips for hosting parties big and small:

1) Invitations



If I'm having a casual brunch, lunch, or dinner, I like to use Paperless Post to email out invites. In this day in age, I've found that a lot of people from my generation are incapable of responding to a paper invite which is very unfortunate. If I need a super easy invite, I create an event in Facebook because it'll bug the invitees about the party to get a response! Ha! 

When I want a beautiful paper invitation but don't want to pay a lot of money, I use PowerPoint, Pinterest, Google Images, and free font websites like 1001 Fonts. I print the invites on cardstock and use colored or specialty envelopes from Hobby Lobby. I appreciate a physical invitation- it's definitely a lost art that I want to see make a comeback!

2) Theme Parties




Pick a theme and go with it! For a casual party, I don't pick a theme, but for a wedding or baby shower, I usually like to pick a theme that I think the lady being honored would appreciate. I threw a baby shower last year for a friend who loves all things superheroes, so I ran with that. I also get inspiration for a shower theme from completely random things like a t-shirt! Pinterest has countless ideas if you're stumped! Check out the ideas I've pinned on my Showers & Parties Board! Pins about flowers are also a good jumping off point to get ideas for color themes.

3) DIY vs. Sanity







If you hate planning and hosting, outsourcing decorations and food may be a good call for you! If you love to plan but your wallet doesn't appreciate your love to party, then DIY-ing might be a good fit for you. I like to do some custom decorations that can be gifted to the lady of honor so what I have in my head might not be something I can search and find online to buy. Also, half the time, something I want to have at the party is cheaper for me to make than to buy online. For example, a burlap banner will run you $16+ on Etsy, but you can make and customize your own banner for about $5. 

Stores like Dollar Tree, Five Below, and Target have tissue poms, paper garlands, and felt decorations quite cheap. I've made a bunch of poms by hand, but the older I get and the less time I have on my hands, the more I'm willing to purchase pre-made decorations and mix and match it to my liking. 

4) Re-purpose Decorations




I have a holiday closet where I store holiday and party decorations. Once I've taken the time to either make decorations by hand or spend money to purchase pre-made decor, I want to use the decorations again. When I've had a pink party, I re-use the decorations for Valentine's Day. My friend's superhero shower left me with decorations that I was able to re-purpose for Trip's Olympic birthday party. So, unless your decorations are super specific, hang on to them- you'll probably be able to use them again soon!

5) Map It Out 




To save money, I usually cook and bake everything, so I spend a LOT of time planning the menu. I scour my Pinterest boards and hit up friends at school for ideas and recipes to develop a menu. Once I have my menu planned, I make a grocery list with every ingredient needed. I also plan out what platters, bowls, and plates will be used for each food.

Then, I make a timeline. I list out everything that needs to be accomplished starting a few days before the party. For the day of, I have a list with to-dos by time so I can ensure that each dish gets cooked and warmed as close to guests' arrival as possible. Lately, I've come to the conclusion that I do best when we clean the house and set the tables the night before. Then, we head out to dinner so we don't have to do any extra dishes or extra clean-up. 

Did you notice that I didn't have any pictures during the parties? That is one of my biggest regrets! I usually get so wrapped up in hosting and hanging out with friends that I forget to take pictures! Maybe I'll make that next year's New Year's resolution! What are your top party hosting tips? Tell me in the comments below, and make sure you stop by my Tuesday Training post from this morning! I'll see you back here tomorrow for the What's Up Wednesday link-up. See you soon!

20 comments:

  1. I love that you mentioned re-usable decorations- so true! I bought yards and yards of blue tuille for my daughter's Frozen Bday party a few years back and I have since used the same tuille for every party I have thrown- including adults parties- for the win!

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    1. That's awesome! We lost a bunch of poms this last year when it started pouring rain, but luckily Trip has decided to have a few friends to sleepover this next year and won't require decorations!

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  2. Repurposing is a great idea! I love throwing parties but usually end up with more Pinterest fails than successes.

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    1. I doubt that, Tara! I've been lucky as a teacher to have a projection screen to help me out with tracing a bunch of things for parties, but in the summer, my drawings are pretty terrible!

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  3. I'm a big re-user too, I have an area in the storage area downstairs where I keep everything, so handy! I just pulled out a bunch of stuff I used for my husbands 50th wedding anniversary and used it for the girls' bday decor, lol!

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  4. GREAT TIPS!! The Dollar Tree is my go to for fun things to Jazz up decor and I love their gift bags that are sturdy and plates. You are one fabulous party hostess lady!! I bet your parties are always a blast!!

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    1. They have really cute wrapping paper- not the best quality but still cute! My husband and kids go nuts in that store!

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  5. Love your ideas!! I'm a total sucker for the Dollar Tree for party decor since it's so cheap :) Love your decorations closet.. I need to do that! Mine is all under the stairs in random bins :( Love your kitchen table decor in the last picture!!

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    1. Thanks Kristi! I want to knock out the wall so my dining room is less crowded and so people can mingle better, but we've gotta make it work!

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  6. You know they say a crafter holds on to EVERYTHING. I think that's a true blessing and curse...LOL. I'm a huge recycler too. I want to come to your next party😉

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    1. Come on down to Texas! I definitely have some random envelopes and ribbons laying in my kitchen drawers- oops! But then, a few years later I find a use for them!

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  7. I love to repurpose stuff! I save EVERYTHING! I just can't bear to get rid of stuff like that!

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    1. I love the endcaps at Target- I find so much on clearance that I'm able to use and re-use for parties. I just saw your winter baby shower post- LOVE IT! Your tree looks gorgeous!

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  8. Great ideas! I make a lot of the food myself also and I am all about re-using tings from previous parties!

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    1. It takes up a little bit of space, but it also helps save time, money, and sanity to repurpose decorations!

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  9. I love getting a mailed invitation and all of the cuteness that goes into making them! In addition, I love reusing decorations. I threw a little bridal dinner for one of my friends last fall, and I show up at her bridal shower and find the little wood heart confetti and bridal shower banner that I used, she reused for her actual shower. A mom near me liked the wood heart confetti and was wanting to use it for one of her daughter's bridal shower or reception too!

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    1. That's so neat, Beth! My friend used one of the banners for the gazebo at her wedding, so it was fun to see my handiwork on display!

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  10. Those invitations are beautiful! I'm with you, I love sending out invitations and wish more people did!
    Erin
    http://theeverydayevents.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Erin! Can't wait to check out your blog!

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Hi friends! Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you!