Top Six Block Party Cocktails and Smoothies Done Right


Choose Your Beverages Carefully

More often than not, the beverages are the last thing a party planner thinks of. This year, while you and your neighbors are planning your block parties, picnics, and cookouts, take a closer look at what drinks you’re planning on serving. Soda, while as easy option, doesn’t work well with summer heat. If you have kids at the party, you’ll have to have something yummier than just plain water. So, where does that leave you? Try turning to juices, various lemonades, and maybe even some smoothies for your summer get-togethers this year!

Fun and Tasty Summer Drinks

Here’s a list of six great summer drinks to get you started on planning beverages for your next summer party.  With some of these, the key is how youparasol picks present them—serving them in the proper glasses, placing little parasols in the drinks, and so on. These will definitely be the hit at your next party!

  1. Strawberry Lemonade: A timeless classic, not everyone thinks about lemonade or even flavored lemonade during the summer. You could also prepare the strawberry lemonade and then place it in the freezer so that it’s more of a slushy by the time you serve it to your guests!
  2. Cherry Limeade: Another classic, this is one better served over ice than frozen. Include a long stirrer with each glass so your guests can stir their drinks if the flavors start to separate.
  3. Strawberry Banana smoothie: If you’re planning a day-long event, plan to make smoothies for everyone at some point during the day. This way, you can remove the food, refrigerate items that need to stay cool, and bring new food out later. A smoothie is a great way to keep hunger at bay—a great snack for adults and kids.
  4. Crystal punch bowlMango Orange Pineapple smoothie: You could either make a second smoothie option or simply prepare a punch bowl full of orange juice mixed with pineapple juice with some mango juice added and serve it with a ladle.
  5. Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half iced tea): A summertime classic that more and more people are beginning to appreciate. Named after the professional golfer who enjoyed the beverage, an Arnold Palmer is made up of lemonade and iced tea—half a glass of each.
  6. Slushies: This takes a bit more preparation. Fill flat serving trays with cranberry juice, limeade, and orange juice and place them in the freezer. After they’ve frozen, scoop them into small clear cups, layer by layer. The clear cups are key—the kids at the party will be able to see that the layers are separated and they can either mix them or have fun eating the punch with a spoon.

These six summer drinks could make up your beverage menu at your next summer party—you’ve got the lemonade, limeade, and Arnold Palmer to go with good food and good conversation, the smoothies as snacks, and the slushies as dessert! Get creative with your mixology and find other juice combinations and smoothie mixes that fit your party.

Host a 4th of July Party- Seven Firecracker Ideas for the Neighborhood


Hosting the 4th of July with FriendsIMG_6665

When you begin planning this year’s 4th of July block party, start by doing some research—look at pictures from last year, chat with your friends, try to figure out just what you could do better this time. You could even see if your neighbors want to team up and host the block party together. By putting a few heads together, you may be able to come up with some ideas to plan the best block party ever!

As your neighbors and you begin the task of making this year’s 4th of July block party bigger and better than last year’s, try splitting up the workload. For example, if you and your neighbors are a team of three: put one person in charge of planning the food, one person in charge of decorations, and one person in charge of activities (whether just for the kids or for everyone at the party).

Fourth of July Party Ideas

There are a few great ideas that can quickly and easily help you and your neighbors plan the block party of the year. Here are seven suggestions to get started:

  1. Why not take care of two things at once? When you’re planning the activities for the block party, plan a cook-off! Whether it’s chili, burgers, or whatever else you can think of—this way, you’ll not only have a great activity planned to kick off your block party, but you’ll have quite a bit of food planned.
  2. Don’t forget all the supplies you’ll need when organizing the food—trays, tongs, spoons… To make your block party planning easier from year to year, buy these catering supplies in bulk (that way, neighbors won’t be mad if you lose their property, either).
  3. Depending on how large your block party is, you’ll want to place a few signs around the area—most likely in the yards at either end of the street (and on both sides of the street) so the partygoers have a good idea of how far the party goes on.
  4. When you’re planning the decorations, don’t go overboard! If your party has access to a few front porches to relax on, hang red, white, and blue bunting from the porch rails. This will aid the guests in determining what areas they are allowed in.
  5. When you’re planning activities, make sure they are kid-friendly! If you plan a cook-off, let the kids be the judges. Many potential activities are very kid-friendly, such as a fun block party parade or chalk art.
  6. USA cakeMake sure to create a few photo ops for your guests! Use a USA cake prop for families to gather around or a Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam couple stand-in to snap pictures with.
  7. Aside from the cook-off, why not try festival-themed treats? Popcorn, pretzels, cotton candy, you could ever serve root beer floats in old-fashioned soda shop glasses!

By planning the event with your neighbors, you’ll be able to pull off a well-organized and perfectly planned 4th of July block party for everyone to enjoy! Use these ideas as a starting point—if you start now, you’ll be able to plan the best block this year.

Invite Vintage Dudes and Vixens to Your Next Adult Birthday Bash


The Gang’s Here!

When you’re starting to plan your best girlfriend’s next birthday bash, put the popularity of mature women with witty sayings into your theme.  With paper products, favors, and a variety of bottle labels, you can create a great retro or days-gone-by party!

Ask your guests to get all dolled up.  The women can dress like vintage vixens by pinning curls to create finger waves.  Slip into heels, white blouses, and big skirts.  Men should dress as vintage dudes by wearing jeans, white shirts, and jean jackets.  Slick the hair back to be greasers or be squeaky-clean, run-of-the-mill students in nice slacks, loafers, and cardigans.  By adding costume components to your vintage party, the evening will be that much more memorable.

Vintage Birthdays

If you’re celebrating a vintage milestone birthday, ask the guest of honor to be the one-of-a-kind person he or she is and dress accordingly.  Use phrases like “they broke the mold with you” or “you’re a legend” on banners and personalized items.  If your vintage honoree is known for a certain style of clothing, glasses, or shoes ask everyone to wear what the honoree wears on that day.  Shindigz sells Vintage Dude party packs and Vintage Vixen party packs that uphold aging with positive messages.

Vintage Decorations

As you search for the perfect vintage decorations for your vintage party, start with a solid-colored table setting to match your tablecloth. You could throw a backyard barbecue as your vintage party—if so, try a red-and-white or black-and-white checkered tablecloth with either white or blue plates. Instead of plastic cups, offer water bottles that can double as a party favor! Put personalized labels on the water bottles for your guests. There are a variety ofActually Yes water bottle label other water bottles that will fit the vintage party theme very well—you could select a few and make a lot of water bottle favors! Now, all that’s left to decide here is the menu. Do you want to serve small snacks, or would you rather do a meal, such as hamburgers and hot dogs? If you go for the vintage barbecue or vintage block party, hotdogs and hamburgers with fries fit in with the theme perfectly! If you do an indoor party, it’s easier to stick with snack foods. Either way, you could also serve root beer floats in vintage soda shop glasses!

Don’t Forget the Favors!

As the hostess, you can’t put together a vintage party without remembering I Have No Idea candy barsparty favors and gift bags! A great favor is a personalized candy bar. The witty saying on this one is “I have no idea what I want, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be happy until I get it”—absolutely perfect for the birthday girl! You could even put together small gift bags for the women at the party—don’t forget to lay out candy bars and things for the men, though! The gift bags could include travel mugs and coasters (both in a variety of patterns so yours guests can have a few different favors), stickers, and compact mirrors—all with the vintage women on them. You could also put personalized lollipops in the gift bags—because what woman doesn’t like chocolate? You can always add a few other extras in the gift bags, too.

The final touch for your vintage party is the thank-you note. As the hostess, you could either put in thank-you notes from you, or you could have the birthday girl go through and sign the notes, too. It’s the perfect way to finish off your vintage party.

The Top 5 Summer Birthday Party Themes for 2013


A Luau Themed Summer Party

A Luau Themed Summer Party

You’ve got one big advantage when planning a summer birthday party, compared to wintertime.

Warm summer weather which means you can include outside activities.  With a little planning and perhaps reserving a spot at a local park, your birthday party options have multiplied.

To help you narrow down the possibilities, here are the Top 5 Summer Birthday Party Themes for 2013:

  1. Buzz.  As in Buzz like a bee.
  2. Stars. Summertime is the best season for star gazing and a popular party theme.
  3. Patriotic.  With Memorial Day in May, Flag Day June 14th and Independence Day July 4th, there will be plenty of flags flying.
  4. Hollywood.  Walk the Red Carpet.
  5. Luau. The perfect outdoor party theme for all ages.

Explore in more detail each of these summer birthday party themes at our Birthday Decorations website.

Trek to the Stars for Graduation


The beauty of a stars theme for a graduation party is that there are so many directions you can take it. Trekkers, divas, science majors, and recruits headed for basic training are just a few of the young people’s current or upcoming roles for which a stars party might very well constitute a cosmic fit.

Set a slogan based on aiming high, reaching for the stars, or getting ready to explore new worlds. Then, go shopping for decorations and personalized products for a star bash to remember.

The Stars Store and Graduation Store make the best start, but you may also want to visit Hollywood, Patriotic or City categories, too, depending on the specific theme and slogan.

Backgrounds for star parties are generally blue, black or purple with star designs in white, gold or silver. Poly vinyl rolls, flat paper, corrugated paper, backdrop illustrations and gossamer all include star patterns so you’ve no shortage of materials in setting the stage.

Cover large areas with background materials but keep them in mind for coordinated “accessory” decorations, too. For example, you can cover a plain cardboard box in flat paper to create a greeting card box (and check out these DIY ideas for lollipop displays).

Perhaps you have caught on from previous posts that we are fans of gossamer decorating fabric. :0) We feel the bias is well placed as it is ideal for so many applications. In this case, we particularly like gossamer for outdoor venues. Choose gossamer for draping the underside of a gazebo, wrapping around picnic shelter columns or tent legs, or otherwise classing up a canopy, deck or garage.

Emphasize ceilings to encourage attendees to look up – perfect for this party theme, right? There will never be a better time for covering ceilings and/or dangling lots of hanging decorations.

For an evening party or open house, pair Glow Star gossamer with a galaxy of clear Stars Around balloons and add a black light or two for best effect.

Next, it’s time to start personalizing! Plant a likeness of the grad among the stars backdrop and effects as a surprise conversation piece. You have plenty of options in this area, too: Life Size grad standees, photo canvases and giant greeting cards are just a few ways to spotlight the guest of honor.

Do you have a telescope? Use it as a prop. Situate a Big Head standee with the telescope in front of your stars backdrop for a display that will have everyone in stitches.

With colors, slogan and major props settled, you can continue selecting supplies that will coordinate with the overall look and coordinate or match each other. Our “Twinkle Stars,” “Glitter Stars,” and “Under the Stars,” among others, are recurring throughout our product line so you can find invitations, banners and favors – even bottle labels! – in an identical design. Everyone will appreciate your attention to detail.

Are you ready to reach for the Stars party supplies for your star grad? So are we. Start exploring today!

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