Celebrate Grandma with a Ya-Yas Party


As blended families are on the rise, increasingly the parents of the bride or groom find themselves become grandparents overnight. Whether related by birth or marriage, grandparents still want to spoil their grandkids, but preparing for multiple little ones arriving in one’s life at once can be difficult, especially for grandparents also helping to plan their child’s wedding. Hosting an “Instant Grandma Shower” for a friend or loved one in this very situation can be a heart-warming surprise to really help them out. Recently, a group of friends shared their story about hosting an Instant Grandma Shower for their friend, Cris.

Jacquie, Sarah, Sherrill, Stacy, Shelley, Carrie, and Cris play together as a tennis team, but are inseparable off the court too. The group was dubbed “the Ya-Yas,” by one of their daughters because their close-knit friendships, lively antics, and giggle fits are reminiscent of the women’s relationships in the bestselling novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The group includes women of different careers, faiths, and ages, but they spend their summers together by the pool laughing, trading books, and confiding in one another about family, husbands, and the ups and downs of life. When summer ends, they meet at least once a week for tennis and cocktails after, keeping their bonds strong.

This year, Cris’s daughter, Emily, married a man who already had three children, ages three, five, and eight. Though Cris had raised her daughter and a son, she at that point didn’t have any grandkids yet, so after the wedding she would instantly have three grand-kids to love all at once. She spent most of the summer preparing for the wedding, which was largely a DIY event. She assembled favors, helped plan the food, and even grew all the flowers for the wedding by herself. Meanwhile, she also ran her own wallpaper business. To say her hands were full is an understatement.

After seeing how busy and stressed Cris was, the Ya-Yas sprang into action and put together a secret Instant Grandma Shower. After tennis one

night, they surprised Cris with a “Three Little Monkeys” theme, as Cris was gaining three grandkids. For the t

heme, the Ya-Yas used ShindigZ Monkey Party Deluxe Kit-N-Kaboodle for tableware and decorations. They even ordered a cake with the three little monkeys design on it. For gifts, the group put together an assortment of supplies a grandmother needs, ranging from chalks, crayons, and other art supplies, to books, puzzles, and movies to keep the kids entertained. Now, when the three little monkeys come to visit, Cris is prepared.

It meant a lot that her friends thought not only of the stress involved in planning a wedding, but also of the unexpected joy of gaining older grandchildren. Helping her prepare for the kids in addition to supporting her through wedding planning showed how much they cared. You can also host an Instant Grandmother Shower.

Since the Instant Grandparent Shower is a new tradition, there’s tons of ways you can style it. Choose a traditional baby shower theme for younger kids and a classic look, or for a fun spin like the Ya-Yas took, choose a theme featuring a youthful character, such as Elmo party supplies. Keep the event simple, as the new grandparent is likely also busy with wedding showers, planning, and other events. The party should be a time for you to show support and have some de-stressing fun. For shower gifts, make sure friends bring a range of items and toys that are suitable to the grand-kids’ ages. Craft kits, games, and movies are especially fun ideas as they provide a way for the grandkids to interact with their new family members.

If you have grand-kids, share your favorite activities for grand-kids or crafts for grandparents and grand-kids to do together. Instant grandparents will appreciate the help with ideas on how to bond with a special child who’s just arrived in their life.

Are you an Instant Grandparent? What are some activities or ideas that helped you bond with your new grandchildren?

Find the Clues At A Murder Mystery Dinner


Did you ever think that your best friend could murder Mrs. Scarlet in the library with the candlestick? She can, and maybe she did. Or maybe it was your father-in-law who killed Professor Plum in the kitchen with the rope. Find out who did it when you host a Murder Mystery Dinner with your entertainment-seeking friends.

Who Done It?

Invite Your Friends:

You don’t need a reason; just grab some personalized invitations and invite your friends or family for an action packed night of your life…. or death. Who wouldn’t enjoy a night filled with good food and mysterious fun?

 Address your invitations to a few of your closest friends or family members. There are a few differing versions of a Murder Mystery Dinner game out there, so be sure to choose one that best matches your plans for the evening. Most games range from 7-13 players. Be sure to assign one friend or family member to a corresponding character alias. For some adding fun, leave a little message in your personalized invitations inviting your guests to come in their best alias character’s attire; just watch how much it adds to the ambiance of the night. Since each friend will be role-playing their assigned character, you may even want to have personalized name badges or buttons for them, so everyone will know who their fellow guests will be.

Don’t forget to request an RSVP to plan for attendance. Since the game depends on the players, you will want to ensure that you have the appropriate guest to player ratio.

Prepare Your Party

Since there are a few different versions out there, find out which game will work best for you and get Instructions to Host a Murder Mystery Game. The instructions will help you design the course of the evening. They offer everything from dinner plans to timelines for dinner preparation and when to begin each round of the mystery. Having a party planning template is sure to help you plan for the night. If you are feeling really crafty, you may even want to try your hand at writing your own mystery plot. Either way, be sure to create the murder scene with plenty of props. Have a dagger greeting your guests at the front door, and a pistol on the dinner table. Lay a lead pipe in the bathroom and a wrench in the living room. Let the night revolver around the atmosphere. You never know when one of the murder weapons can come up missing.

Since much of the night will be spent around the dinner table, don’t forget to set the scene in the dining room, too. Be sure to pick up black premium dinner plates,  napkins,silverware, and a black plastic table cover. You can often save on items such as these when you bundle them into packages, such as a black paper kit-n-kaboodle. You may also want to consider purchasing a party serving set. It may help to keep your dinner since you will be busy searching for which one of your guests murdered Mr. Green in the basement with a pipe!

Have fun sharing in the murder mystery; it will be a killer good time!

Did you ever think that your best friend could muder Mrs. Scarlet in the library with the candlestick? She can, and maybe she did. Or maybe it was your father-in-law who killed Professor Plum in the kitchen with the rope. Find out who did it when you host a Murder Mystery Dinner with your entertainment-seeking friends.

Invite Your Friends:

You don’t need a reason; just grab some personalized invitations and invite your friends or family for an action packed night of your life…. or death. Who wouldn’t enjoy a night filled with good food and mysterious fun?

 Address your invitations to a few of your closet friends or family members. There are a few differing versions of a Murder Mystery Dinner game out there, so be sure to choose one that best matches your plans for the evening. Most games range from 7-13 players. Be sure to assign one friend or family member to a corresponding character alias. For some adding fun, leave a little message in your personalized invitations inviting your guests to come in their best alias character’s attire; just watch how much it adds to the ambiance of the night. Since each friend will be role-playing their assigned character, you may even want to have personalized name badges or buttons for them, so everyone will know who their fellow guests will be.

Don’t forget to request an RSVP to plan for attendance. Since the game depends on the players, you will want to ensure that you have the appropriate guest to player ratio.

Prepare Your Party

Since there are a few different versions out there, find out which game will work best for you and get Instructions to Host a Murder Mystery Game. The instructions will help you design the course of the evening. They offer everything from dinner plans to timelines for dinner preparation and when to begin each round of the mystery. Having a party planning template is sure to help you plan for the night. If you are feeling really crafty, you may even want to try your hand at writing your own mystery plot. Either way, be sure to create the murder scene with plenty of props. Have a dagger greeting your guests at the front door, and a pistol on the dinner table. Lay a lead pipe in the bathroom and a wrench in the living room. Let the night revolver around the atmosphere. You never know when one of the murder weapons can come up missing.

Since much of the night will be spent around the dinner table, don’t forget to set the scene in the dining room, too. Be sure to pick up black premium dinner plates,  napkins,silverware, and a black plastic table cover. You can often save on items such as these when you bundle them into packages, such as a black paper kit-n-kaboodle. You may also want to consider purchasing a party serving set. It may help to keep your dinner since you will be busy searching for which one of your guests murdered Mr. Green in the basement with a pipe!

Have fun sharing in the murder mystery; it will be a killer good time!     

Six Popular Adult Party Themes


It doesn’t matter how busy your life gets, you always have to remember to take time to relax ad unwind with your friends.  Right about the time the adult world hits and work bogs you down and perhaps even college classes take their toll on your sanity, that’s when you need to step back, request a day off, and plan a fun get-together with your friends. (You might want to tell those friends to request a day off work, also.)  While there are many themes to choose from for your party, here are six great, popular party ideas for you to start with.

  1. Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Party:  With Cinco de Mayo rapidly approaching, start planning a fun fiesta for you and your friends!  Display cute fiesta candles all around your house or backyard, wherever you’re throwing your fiesta party.  If you choose to decorate your backyard, pick up a fiesta decorating kit to make your party planning that much easier.  Plan on serving chips, salsa, and salsa con queso for your guests to snack on.  Also, would it be a Cinco de Mayo party without drinks? Pick up margarita mix and daiquiri mix, but add fruit juice rather than alcohol for a fun, fruity summer mocktail—this way, your guests get the feeling of margaritas, but everyone stays safe for the entire day.  Serve those delicious mocktails in bright-colored margarita glasses to add to the fiesta-feeling of the day!
  2. Poker Night Party:  Who doesn’t love a nice, relaxing poker night?  It’s a night for you and all your friends to dress down, get away from work, and play some cards to relax.  While it doesn’t seem like something you really need to decorate for, the decorations are usually half the fun of a party.  Place a sign in your yard so friends who haven’t been over in awhile know right away which house is yours.  Decorate the game room with clear bulb lights to give the room a relaxed, fun feeling.  Designate a table to the side of the room as the snack table—cover it with a green tablecloth and then sprinkle it with blackjack confetti.  Invite your guests to partake in a potluck and have everyone bring a snack for the group to enjoy.   By the end of your relaxing poker night, hopefully everyone will have won some fun prizes and enjoyed some great food.
  3. Movie Night:  Make some popcorn, call your friends, and pick a few movies to watch!  Conduct a small survey of your friends prior to movie night to find out what genre everyone wants to watch—this way, you’ll know what extra funky decorations you can add, like cardboard standees of Marilyn Monroe, plus you’ll be able to pick out a few movies for your guests to choose from.  Offer up the following genres: horror, comedy, old Hollywood, and musical.  That way, the guys you invite won’t hear “romance” or “romantic comedy” and back out.  The next step is to put together little snack bags filled with candy for your guests to enjoy during the movie(s).  Finally, plan on providing soda and popcorn for your guests (hey, it gives you a reason to buy popcorn containers).
  4. Football Party:  Take a Sunday or a Monday off and plan a football party!  Get all the classic game day snacks: pretzels, potato chips, salsa, queso, and maybe even cook some hot dogs and hamburgers!  Set up a table with a serving tray so your guests can easily pick and choose what they want to snack on—and place some mug-shaped candles in the center.  Also, set up an inflatable mug-shaped cooler for your guests to grab beverages out of.  Give your guests foam footballs to toss around during commercials—but make sure any breakables are out of the room!  Place football-shaped mylar balloons and bunches of colored latex balloons around the room to give it that final, finished touch.
  5. Girlfriend Party:  Get all your girlfriends together for a girls’ night in!  A great way to relax with the girls is by putting in a romantic comedy, kicking back on the couch, and diving into some popcorn, chocolate, and girl talk.  Just remember, you can’t have a girls’ night without a lot of candy—chocolate lollipops, candy bars, and other types.  This also sets you up for adorable favors, like compacts, coasters, and mint tins.  Make the night memorable for your girlfriends!
  6. 80’s Party:  Create a fun, throw-back party by decorating around an 80’s party theme!  You can have all sorts of fun, dress up in 80’s attire and blast Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper on your stereo.  It’s all about neon colors, so bunch bright balloons together all around the room.  Hang a door cover on your front door to help set the mood for your guests.  This blast-from-the-past party is sure to make your guests feel like they stepped into a time machine, but a dance party will definitely help them relax!

Whatever theme you might choose, the main thing to remember is to not stress about the party planning.  Your guests will love to be able to just have a time to get away from their crazy, hectic, adult lives and have a little fun again.

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.

Princess Ideas for Her Girls Birthday Party


She’ll Always Be Your Princess!

“Yes, my Lady, your company eagerly awaits you and desires your presence!” Age matters not, because girls love to be treated like princesses. Whether they are gallantly riding horses in open meadows and fields, dancing merrily while hoping to meet prince charming or dining elegantly in serene surroundings, a princess party is the ultimate foundation for dozens of girl’s birthday party ideas.

Planning the Perfect Princess Party

Princesses have their own personalities, preferences and desires. Before anything else can be accomplished, the perfect theme, one that will please her grace beyond measure, should be determined, so that all party decoration supplies coordinate together.

Personalized invitations, menus, table decorations, activities, birthday party games and matching party favors will each add a touch of style and flair to the grand and wonderful celebration. Every detail should be considered including lighting decorations, balloons and even gift wrap supplies.

Decorating for a Princess Party

Begin by layering sheer, shimmering gossamer fabric all over the room, designing special photo corners, tying bows around chairs, covering unsightly areas and creating a soft and welcoming ambience for your majesty.

Determine the menu and how to present your offerings. Buffet style banquets are excellent for more casual and social events, while barbecues work well for outside gatherings. Princess parties needn’t always be formal. However, the elegance of hosting a sit-down meal should be happily considered as well. Consider the classic girl’s tea party, for example.

Use garland, balloons and ribbon freely, hanging it from light fixtures, draping it over curtains and swaying it in archways and doorways. Separate party events like eating, dancing and games, allowing guests the courtesy of enjoying whatever they are doing, at any given time.

Hosting the Ultimate Girl’s Birthday Party

It’s the little things that make all the difference, when planning a girl’s birthday party. Choosing the right colors, selecting her favorite foods, presenting the “to die for” cake and playing the perfect music all contribute to the overall success of hosting a girl’s birthday party every princess will love. Girls have a way of lighting up the room when they look and feel like princesses, which is why every girl deserves to be treated like royalty on her birthday.

Need a few more girls princess party ideas?  Check out these tips:

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