Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hostess With The Mostess

I adore party planning! There is something about picking a theme for a party and then going crazy picking out the perfect food, decor, etc. that just makes me feel alive! If I could have a themed party every month I would. It is just so much fun to throw myself into a "project" that is something people enjoy. Working with a limited budget, I try to get the most bang for my buck :)

I believe I inherited the "go all out" trait from my mom, but I definitely got the "Hostess with the Mostess" trait from my dad! Growing up I feel my brother and I always had the best birthday parties. All, and I mean ALL, of our friends were there to enjoy our special day with us. Every year was a different theme, unless of course we still LOVED the theme from the year before. They weren't these extravagant parties of today, but still very well planned and lots of fun. I have had quite a few memorable birthday parties in my day, but the few I remember the most are:

6th Birthday - I had friends from all over town that were at this party! I was only in Kindergarten, but it was amazing! I have pictures with each "group" of friends based on the schools they went too, etc. SO MUCH FUN!

1oth Birthday - It is was a surprise party with ALL my friends and even my "boyfriend"! The pictures showing the complete shock across my face are priceless. Of course it was a sleepover and we had so much fun doing each other's hair & makeup.

15th Birthday - I actually only had a few close friends over this time, but it was Karaoke Mania! I had my own karaoke machine at the time so we sang along to songs and danced all night long!

One more party I want to mention is one that my parents threw for my brother. His birthday is around Halloween so they had a party with that theme (must be when his obsession with vampires started!). Every kid showed up in costume, there was a bobbing for apples station, and tons of Halloween decor and games. Funny story...I dressed up as Janet Jackson for this party! Makeup and all! Thinking back it is hilarious and weird, but back then I thought I was so cool!

Now that I am older I get to do the hosting. Oh, did I mention that I LOVE to host parties! Of course once you are old enough to add alcohol to the parties you have even more possibilities to add items to your theme. Again, things don't have to be expensive or extremely extravagant to host a good party. Just show that you took the time to think it out, add a few extra special touches, etc.

I even like helping out hosting when we are at Cleveland Browns games tailgating! This is where my dad comes in. We usually head downtown and tailgate with his motor home so we always have food and drinks with us. My dad usually takes it a step further and assigns a theme of sorts with the type of food we will have each time. Usually there are a few other people involved so it makes for a really good time (at least for before and after the game, during the game is a different story. Browns fans know what I am talking about.).

Back to my love of party planning....

I have hosted small gatherings like introducing my bridesmaids to each other with cupcakes and sweets decorated in the wedding colors, Superbowl parties with the essentials = wings and pizza, New Year's Eve get togethers with a Rock Band area for guests to perform their hearts out before the ball drops at midnight, and a 30th Birthday Party for my husband with everything in his favorite color blue (even the drinks)! It is the little things that make a party stand out to me.

The two biggest parties I have planned so far have been my wedding and X's 1st Birthday Party.

My wedding took place in the fall of 2006 along the shores of Lake Erie. My favorite colors (red, black, and white) took over the wedding decor. I did add some orange for another punch of fall color. A few other key themes were my love of music, my dislike for flowers, my love of Lake Erie, and our love of cars! This sounds like a lot of themes, but everything went together smoothly. The tables had vases with tree branches in them with red and orange leaves attached to them. Tables were all named after cars, and had caramel and candied apples at each place setting for the guests to take home with them. Instead of a guest book we had cut out leaves for everyone to write us a message to put into a scrapbook from the day. Our cake had falling leaves draped all over it. We even had car keys and tags for each guest to find there assigned table. Here are some photos from our very Black & White (with a little red & orange) wedding :)

 St. Peter's United Church of Christ
 Lakeview Park gazebo
Lake Erie 

X's 1st Birthday Party took place just this past December, and what better way to celebrate than with a Winter "One"derland theme! Everything was again black, white, and red, but we added some blue this time for a winter feel. Penguins were the other big theme of the day from the invites to the thank you gifts. Penguins and snowflakes decorated our home, while chili & mac-n-cheese warmed our bellies. A friend from school made the cakes and cupcakes for the big day and they turned out perfect! Each family took home a little "Thank you" gift of a Smore's ornament with penguins on them. The children had holiday coloring books and crayons, while the wee little ones took home penguin sippy cups. All in all it was a very memorable day!

 Personalized invites from http://www.zazzle.com/
 Cake & Cupcakes made by Shawna Mack

The "sweets" table - cupcakes, cake, cookies, & candy
 Smash cake
Food table

 Thank you bags & penguin sippy cups http://www.christmasplace.com/shopping/ItemNumber/33544

 Cleveland Browns stuff is always a good choice!
 Favorite gift of the day!
Thanks mommy & daddy!

Looking forward to planning many, many more parties in the future! Maybe I can just invent reasons to have parties or get togethers....like a "Spring is finally here" party, or a "NFL Draft" party, or a "Pinterest" party. Too many ideas to type!

What kind of parties do you like to have? Any memorable get togethers you have been a part of? What kind of themes have you used before?

Until next time....

XoXo ~ V

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