“It’s All About Me!” Personalize Your Bestie’s Night Out


Besties Forever!

Whether you meet them in high school, in college, at work, or you’ve known them as long as you can remember, your best friends are what help shape who you are. Make it a point to get together with your best friends every so often to remember just how much you mean to one another. Whether it’s for a birthday party, a bachelorette party, bridal showers, or a variety of other reasons, girls’ nights out are great ways to show your friends how much you appreciate them.

Team Bride!

Show your support for your best friend before she gets married by throwing her a bachelorette party to remember! Planning a night on the town for your bestie and her closest friends doesn’t always require decorations, but it definitely requires fun party favors. The easiest and smartest favor to give to the guests is a personalized water bottle so all the girls can stay hydrated. A Girls LED Engagement Ringwine bottle with a personalized label can also make for a great souvenir for your bride-to-be—she’ll be able to hold onto the bottle for a long time. You can’t forget the light-up engagement rings for all the girls to wear!

You can also plan a bridal shower to remember with a few creative details. Bridal showers are typically more about the bride than anything, but look for a cute picture of your bestie and her future husband and have it made into a life-sized cardboard standee. Depending on your venue and theme, some of the same favors can work for a bridal shower as well as a bachelorette party. Personalize bottle labels, for instance, would be a cute touch to add to the wine, water, and pop bottle at the bridal shower as well as a favor for the bachelorette party.

Happy Birthday, Bestie!

When the time rolls around to plan the perfect birthday party for your best friend, go all-out. Plan the birthday bash of the year, making it all about your bestie! Start by choosing the venue you want for your bestie’s birthday party. Whether you want to hold the party at your house, your bestie’s house, or rent a venue, you can make a variety of decorations work in a variety of places.

Start with a banner, personalized for your best friend. Whether in a house or a rented venue, a banner will be a good signal to party guests of where the party’s at! Regardless of your venue, you have two options for your theme—you can either create a party theme around your bestie or you can pick a theme that seems to fit her personality. Once you have a theme chosen for your best friend, start planning activities or fun favors for everyone to take part in. For example, pick a giant birthday card to personalize and have all the guests sign it, either before the party (if it’s a surprise party) or throughout the night.

Show your best friend that they mean the world to you every day—not just on their birthday or at their bachelorette party or bridal shower. Best friends are a great part of life and a huge influence in who we become—give them a time to say “it’s all about me!”

The Ultimate Mardi Gras Cocktail Party


Mardi Gras Party Recipes and Ideas

The ultimate Mardi Gras cocktail party requires the ultimate selection of Mardi Gras cocktails and appetizers, served in an environment totally decked out in the ultimate Mardi Gras theme. Purple, green and gold are traditional background colors for this carnival of carnivals. However, Mardi Gras cocktail recipes tempt pallets with bourbon, rum and fruit juice, while popular appetizers are made with spicy, New Orleans essence.

Festive Mardi Gras Cocktail Party Recipes

Hurricane

Classic Mardi Gras Hurricanes are made with 1 part rum (equal portions of dark and light), 2 parts fruit juice (orange, pineapple and passion preferred), a dash of grenadine syrup and a hint of fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, squeeze fresh lime juice over the top, add the rest of the ingredients and shake thoroughly. Pour hurricane cocktail into festive Fat Tuesday tableware cocktail glasses, garnished with an orange slice and topped with a cherry to serve.

Tiger Paw

Mix equal parts Southern Comfort, pineapple juice and raspberry wine over a shaker filled with ice. Strain cocktail into a martini glass garnished with fruit and serve on personalized Mardi Gras coasters.

New Orleans Hand Grenade

Mix equal parts gin, grain alcohol, melon liquor, rum and vodka over ice. Add water and sugar to taste and stir well. Guests drinking these powerful cocktails are likely to enjoy wearing festive Mardi Gras glitter masks, and lots of Mardi Gras beads, celebrating the true spirit of Mardi Gras well into the evening.

Easy Crabmeat Spread

 Combine 6 ounces of flaky crabmeat (fresh or canned) with 8 ounces of soft cream cheese and ¼ Cup salsa. Heat mixture in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until warm, but not hot. Serve with an assortment of crackers.

Golden Triangles

 12 sheets frozen phyllo dough

½ cup melted butter

Cajun Pork Filling

Apricot Dipping Sauce (optional)

Lightly brush one sheet of phyllo dough with some melted butter. Place another sheet on top of first sheet and brush with butter. Cover remaining phyllo dough and set aside. Cut buttered phyllo dough into six equal, horizontal strips. Place 1 tablespoon Cajun pork filling approximately 1 inch from end of strip. Fold one corner over, diagonally, lining it up with edge of strip to create triangle. Continue folding up the strip, until phyllo dough has many layers and is a single triangle appetizer. Repeat for remaining strips. Use rest of phyllo dough to make many more appetizers. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for approximately 10 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with Apricot Dipping Sauce if desired.

Cajun Pork Filling

Thoroughly cook 8 ounces ground pork in a medium skillet. Add 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and cook for another minute. Stir in ½ Cup soft cream cheese, 1/3 Cup grated carrot and a few dashes hot pepper sauce to taste. Mix well.

Apricot Dipping Sauce

Combine ½ Cup apricot preserves and 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce in a 1-Cup glass measuring cup. Stir in 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced green onion and ½ teaspoon finely grated orange peel. Microwave on high for approximately 1 minute, until bubbly and warm.

Wow Your Guests! Maya Kalman’s Theme Party Tips


Maya Kalman’s Theme Party Favorites

She’s a theme party go-getter. Just read expert party planner, Maya Kalman’s ideas on the Swanky Planner and you’ll see why Manhattan’s award-winning Swank Productions puts the pep into plain.

When Kalman plans theme parties, she considers how guests view each event and she aims to impress.

“We never do the same event twice. Even if a client enjoys the look of a past theme, we change it up for new events.”

Kalman particularly enjoys Alice in Wonderland parties. “We’ve planned fundraisers, Bar Mitzvahs, and even the launching of a tea company with inspiration from the Mad Hatter theme.”

Moroccan, Arabian Nights, and Egyptian theme parties are also very popular. “We attack design from a different perspective. We consider all the things you might need for the theme party and then creatively find new twists on those items.”

Turn Party Essentials into Theme Motifs

Kalman suggests theme party planners “consider the wow factor and the experience of guests.  Shindigz offers so many great products to help you do that.”

With the Alice in Wonderland theme, you might need place cards. Add names to the backs of playing cards. If you want an ice bucket on the table, turn a top hat upside down and fashion it into an ice bucket. Think creatively with the staples.

Super-size or Minimize Theme Party Supplies
“Another trick we love is to make items really, really huge. We’ve used Shindigz cardboard cutouts to wow guests at entrances. You can do the same. We also like products that are really, really small, like a set of miniature teacups.” A tea cupcakes mold set could even be fun for presenting home-baked muffins during a morning meeting. “Whatever gets guests talking is successful.”

Play with your Theme Party or Consider the Help of a Planner
The opportunities are endless when creating memorable theme parties. Explore your options to dress up the ordinary.   “Remember the wow factor,” encourages Maya Kalman and “your theme party will create lasting memories!”  Tell us your favorite party themes and successful uses for props and products.

Bridal Shower Favors, Activities, & Games


Bridal Shower Favors

Most hostesses wish to provide all of the bridal shower guests with a small bridal shower favor for attending and honoring the bride. We offer a couple of choices for simple yet special wedding shower favors that make a perfect way of saying, “Thank you”.

  • Our Personalized Bubbles are adorable and a great reminder of the upcoming special day!
  • Fill frosted boxes with small candies in the colors of the wedding. These favors look great on the table at each place setting. You can attach a small card with the guest’s names on each one and use them as placecards for assigned seating if desired.
  • Give your guests a nice scrapbook to record all their memories of the shower and the wedding.
  • Another bridal shower favor idea that serves as a very nice keepsake and place to store precious memories are keepsake boxes. Your guests will be thrilled with these simple yet elegant boxes.

Bridal Shower Party Activities & Games

Play the Bridal Shower Game

  • A fun game that allows your guests to become familiar with the groom as well as the bride, is the “How Well Do You Know The Bride” game. Here’s how you play: Before the day of the shower, ask the groom several questions about the bride. For example, “What is her favorite flower?” or “What is her dream date?” Videotape his answers to each of the questions. At the shower, ask the same series of questions to the guests and have them write down their answers. After all the questions have been answered, ask each one to the bride and have her give her answer. Next play the videotape of her fiancee’s answers – just for fun. The one that gets the most answers right wins! Not only is this a fun way to include the groom, you learn more about the guest of honor!
  • Playing “Bridal Gift Bingo” ensures that the guests will pay close attention to the gifts as they are opened! Before the bride opens any presents, have each guest create their own bingo card (to make it easier, print up blank cards before hand for them). They must fill in each square with a shower gift that the bride might open that day. For example, one box would be bath towels, another box might be pots and pans. As the bride opens her presents, the guests can mark off a box if they wrote down that particular item. The first person to get bingo wins!
  • For this “Think Fast” game, everyone sits in a circle. The bride begins the game by throwing a garter to someone. While attempting to catch it, she must name something found in the wedding ceremony (i.e. flowers, alter, camera). Once the garter is caught, it is quickly tossed to someone else who must name something. If she cannot answer quickly enough, that person is out of the game. Play until one person is left!
  • “The Mystery Spice Game” is always fun. Before the shower, take the labels off of 10 spice jars and number them. Pass the spices around and have the guests guess what they are by sight and smell – but no tasting! The guest with the most correct answers wins!
  • For a funny yet meaningful moment, play “Name That Advice”. Go around the room and have the guests give the bride a piece of advice on marriage. The fun part of this is that the advice must be something that starts with the first letter of their name. For example, Jodi could tell the bride that “Jell-O is easy to make for a quick meal!”, or Laura could tell the bride to “Love him every moment”. At the end of this game, you could, as a group, award the bride with wedding favors.
  • This game works best if the attendees are good friends or all relatives. It brings a little embarrassment and lots of laughs! First, pass out 10 pieces of candy to each person. The object of this game is the keep your candy while making everyone else eat theirs! The guest of honor starts by stating something true about herself. For example, “I never dated two guys at the same time”. Any one that has done that must eat a piece of their candy. The game continues to the next player who makes a true statement about herself. After everyone has had a turn, the person with the most candy left wins.

Couple’s Shower Party Activities

Playing some games (no matter how silly they seem) will really liven up any shower. Here are some tried-and-true hits to really keep things going during your party!

  • Play the newlywed game! You’ll need four couples to play this game. The men leave the room and women are asked questions. (For instance, who is his favorite sports player? Who is her favorite male movie star? What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to him/her?) Be sure to record all of their answers! The men are brought back in and asked the same questions. Then reverse the whole process and have the women leave. The couple with the most matched answers wins!
  • For this “Ring Toss” game, choose as many couples that want to play. One person sits in a chair and holds a wooden spoon in their mouth with the handle sticking out. The partner stands 6-8 feet away and tosses 10 large rings, one at a time, attempting to hook them on their partner’s spoon. The person with the spoon can help to catch it by maneuvering their head, but cannot get out of the chair. The couple with the most rings wins!
  • See how many guests know their partners with this fun game! Hang a clothesline across your room and place a couple of sheets over it. Have the men stand behind the sheets, exposing their legs and feet only. The women need to identify their partner by his legs only. They must stand in front of the legs that she believes are her partners. When the sheets are removed, the prizes go to the women that were correct. You would be surprised by how many women cannot identify their partner’s legs!
  • Ask trivia questions about the bride and groom throughout the party — how they first met, color of their eyes, first date, likes, dislikes, etc. Give out small prizes for correct answers, or the person with the most correct answers wins.
  • Take a kitchen junk drawer and ask a specific person to walk around the room with it, allowing each guest to view the contents only for a few seconds (don’t tell them why they are looking at it). Then take the drawer away, pass out paper and have each person right down all the contents that they could remember. The person with the most correct wins. Or, you can add a twist to this and have the person that has passed the drawer around leave the room with the drawer. Then ask your guests to describe the person that was holding the drawer instead of the contents. This will really throw everyone off!
  • Host a karaoke competition! Have each person write down two famous songs about love or marriage on a piece of paper and put in a basket. Then have each person pick a slip and sing as much of the song as he or she can remember.
  • Create your own “Mad Lib” story by writing a story that tells the couple’s history as well as predicts the future. Leave out all of the important information and then, before reading it, ask the bride and groom to fill in the blanks. Remember, you ask them for an action, number, or noun for each of the blanks but they don’t know the sentence. When you read the story out loud (with the blanks filled in) it is hilariously funny!
  • Have each couple write something significant about themselves and the bride or groom. The bride then has to read each slip of paper and guess which couple wrote it.

 Share your favorite bridal shower games and activities.

Whoa Baby! A Zebra Party?


Looking for a wild, fun, unique party theme for a young girl, a teenager turning sweet 16, a long over due girls’ night out party, or even a bachelorette party?  A zebra party is just the wild theme to bring out the fun loving party girl divas, whether young, old, or somewhere in between!  The black and white random striped pattern is playful and coordinates well with any accent color, although hot pink is the hot accent color right now.

Invitations
These invitations say F-U-N from the get-go!  For a birthday party send out either of these zebra print invitations: animal prints zebra invitation or the super stylish invitations with a zebra print design and a pink center.  For a funky sweet sixteen party, send out the super stylish sweet sixteen invitations.  Girl’s night out invitations feature a pink background with a woman in a zebra print dress holding a martini, or opt for the martini vertical invitations or the high heels vertical invitations.  So many different ways to put together a sensational party atmosphere!

Decorations
Deck out the party space with zebra print decorations!  Start with draping zebra stripes print gossamer or zebra patterned flat paper on the walls of your party space.  Hang zebra print paper lanterns from the ceiling at different heights to create dimension and interest, or choose solid white and solid black paper lanterns.  Balloons are great, inexpensive fillers, so use a ton of zebra print latex balloons.  For a birthday party, add a few super stylish mylar balloons to a balloon bouquet.  There is even a special super stylish sweet 16 mylar balloon for a spectacular sweet 16 party.  The super stylish hanging cutout is a perfect cool decoration for a birthday party.  For girl’s night out or bachelorette party decorations, use the black high heel standee, the pink high heel standee, or the martini and cosmos standees. A zebra print banner will highlight your event with style and pizazz!

Tableware
The wild zebra print tablecover goes great with solid color plates and napkins, or switch it around and use a solid color tablecover with funky zebra print tableware.  The super stylish sweet 16 kit-n-kaboodle is a complete party tableware set for 8!  There are a few tableware items for girls night out occasions, including a martini and high heel centerpiece.  Another cool centerpiece for any event is the sparkling dot centerpiece.

Party Favors
We have tons of amazing zebra print party favors to thrill your guests!   Surprise your guests with personalized candy bars, chocolate lollipops, lip gloss, soap favors, notepads, drink mixes, travel mugs, candy jars, and more!

Don’t hold out on expressing your wild side, break free with these fantastic zebra theme party supplies!

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