Category Archives: Entertaining

4 Simple Ways to Liven Up Any Party

We are in the middle of some of the year’s most anticipated gatherings. New Year’s Eve is just days away and Game Day festivities are coming up just a month later. If you want to throw a bash that everyone will remember, here are four tips guaranteed to liven up any party, big or small.

Set a Theme

A theme sets the overall mood of your event and can be especially helpful in breaking the ice if you are throwing a party where most of the guests won’t know each other. Whether it’s a costume, gift exchange, or treasure hunt, a theme can help establish a common ground or goal that will get everyone talking and laughing out of pure necessity.

Offer a Variety of Refreshments

A delicious spread is one of the single most important factors in throwing a good party. Keep in mind that different types of parties will create different standards and expectations regarding food. For example, an elaborate meal might be appropriate for a fancy holiday or graduation party, but casual snacks are better for a Game Day extravaganza. It’s also important to note that some of your guests may have dietary restrictions or allergies. A well-planned menu featuring an assortment of snacks and dishes will go a long way in making sure your guests are happy.

Turn Up the Music

Music is a must-have at any party, no matter the occasion. It can provide quiet ambiance for a black tie event, get the crowd moving during a festive celebration, or bring back memories during an anniversary party. If you’re planning a large enough party, hiring a DJ can help engage your guests with comments, playlists, song requests, and interactive dances. Who doesn’t love those?

Play Games

Games are another great way to entertain a group of any size. While there are a lot of great party games out there, card games have been making a comeback. While people have been planning small get-togethers around the game of Poker for generations, specialized card games like Cards Against Humanity have wide appeal and are basically guaranteed to have your guests in stitches. Children’s games like Uno and Skip-Bo can also provide quality family-friendly entertainment. If you’re wondering where to find Cards Against Humanity and other similar card games, click here.

These are just a few ways to bring new life to your parties. Whether you’re throwing a wild bash or a simple holiday affair, these tips will help keep everyone engaged and entertained.

Planning a Winter Baby Shower

Spring is a welcomed awakening after a sometimes daunting and seemingly endless state of hibernation, so it makes sense that spring is also prime baby shower season. But for expectant moms who will welcome a new bundle of joy during the winter months, planning a festive party can come with its own unique set of challenges and accommodations.

For moms-to-be whose due dates are more synonymous with snow and cold than the warm rebirth of spring, here is a quick guide and simple ideas that will help you make the most of a winter baby shower — no matter how cold it is outside.

Set a Budget

Before planning anything, it is wise to first set a budget, and then to decide who will ultimately be responsible for the bill. The baby shower could be the host’s gift to the parents-to-be, or funds can be pooled among close friends and family members.

When setting the budget, take into account:

  • Location fees if you are renting a hall or the back room of a restaurant
  • Invitations and thank you cards
  • Decorations
  • Craft supplies if you will be making any custom decor, as well as supplies you will need for games
  • Food costs — don’t forget the cake if you will be ordering it from a bakery
  • Disposable tableware
  • Party favors and goody bags

Decide on a Location

Many spring and summer baby showers are held outdoors, with smaller gatherings taking place in someone’s backyard, or a park to accommodate a larger number of guests. But the great outdoors is no place for a winter baby shower, limiting the number of available and appropriate locations for your event.

If there will be 15 guests or less, the host’s, expectant parent’s, or a family member’s home should provide enough room for everyone to fit and maneuver around comfortably in a relaxed environment. For a larger crowd, as we mentioned above, you can rent a hall, space at the honoree’s favorite restaurant, or even a board or business room at a local hotel. You should be able to rent a space at any location that usually hosts events, so don’t be afraid to look around and price check according to your budget.

Choose a Theme or Color Scheme

The traditional hatching chicks of spring might not be the best fit for a winter baby shower, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a lovely and fun party atmosphere. Keeping in mind the tastes of the expectant mother, the shower theme can be traditional, modern, or a mixture of both.

To evoke the spirit of the season, try incorporating traditional pastels with brown or gray to mimic the natural winter color palette. For a more sophisticated look, try a blue color palette with silver accents, or even an all-white color scheme with glitter accents that will remind guests of fresh falling snow.

Plan the Menu

The first step to planning the perfect baby shower menu is to ask the honoree what food(s) she is craving most these days and make those dishes the focal point of your menu. Round out the edible offerings with a selection of finger foods. You may also consider making it a potluck affair so that you won’t be taking on the entire menu by yourself. This will also ensure that any picky eaters in attendance won’t feel like “that person” who brings their own food to a party, and everyone who brings a dish is guaranteed to like at least one thing on the table.

To make things easier on yourself for the dishes you will be making yourself, try to choose dishes that can be made ahead of time and frozen, or can at least be made a day or two in advance. If you will be ordering a specialty cake or cupcakes from a bakery, place your order one month in advance of the event.

Prepare Games and Gifts

If the parents-to-be haven’t found out the gender of their baby, or just aren’t telling, unisex baby shower gifts like a diaper cake, wipes, bottles, onesies, and security blankets will always be used. To accommodate the gifts, decorate a table with linens and decor items that match your shower’s theme and place it as close to the party entrance as possible. This will save the honoree or host from the hassle of having gifts thrust at them whenever a guest arrives and having to walk each gift over to the gift table themselves.

Designate someone to help the honoree with recording the gifts they receive and who it came from. This will help tremendously when it comes time to write thank you cards with sincerity and thoughtfulness for the people who helped share in the excitement of welcoming the new baby into the world.

For a fun winter baby shower activity, buy plain white cotton baby hats and onesies and provide a variety of safe materials to decorate them. Guests will enjoy creating cute items for the new baby, and mom can show them off once baby arrives.

Every new mother needs a little advice, encouragement, or just a good laugh to get them through. Provide guests with pieces of paper or pre-cut stationary that matches your shower theme, like snowflakes, mittens, or baby booties, and have guests write down their most valuable pieces of motherly advice. Place all of the pieces of paper into a vase or jar and put it in the nursery so that the new mama can read through them when she needs to.

You can also give traditional games like “Don’t Say Baby” a wintery twist by having guests wear a snowflake pin and if someone says “baby,” they have to give their snowflake pin to the person who caught them. The party-goer with the most snowflake pins at the end of the shower will win a festive prize or favor.