Tuesday, November 30, 2010

5 Christmas Party Theme Ideas

Want to have an unique and awesome Christmas party but don't have any ideas? Here are five that'll set yours apart:
  1. Reverse Christmas in July. Many people choose summer's hottest month to pretend it's Christmas. You can flip this tradition by having a beach-themed soiree in the middle of winter! Consider including mojitos (or other summery beverages), beach balls and bottles of sunscreen.
  2. Trim the tree party. Since putting up your first Christmas tree as an adult is kind of a big deal, you could have a "tree-trimming ribbon-cutting of sorts." Set up your tree with garland and lights, and ask guests to bring an ornament to hang on your tree. When the final one is hung, put on the tree topper, and plug in the lights.
  3. Christmas cookie swap. What says holidays more than homemade cookies shaped like gingerbread men and Christmas trees? Host a cookie swap, and have guests bring their homemade specialty like oatmeal raisin cookies or even fudge brownies.
  4. Holiday movie marathon. Gather a group of friends to watch movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf or Miracle on 34th Street just to name a few. However, be sure that you watch no more than five-- you want to prevent "merry movie fatigue."
  5. Christmas carol karaoke night. Go to a karaoke bar with private rooms, or buy/borrow a home karaoke set, and "rock out" to the holiday's best songs. To keep this from going on all night, consider using a theme.
For more ideas, check out our source, 12 Christmas Party Themes You Haven't Thought Of Yet.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Newlywed Advice: Choosing Where to Go for the Holidays

The holidays are stressful for most everyone, but they can be even more so for newlyweds who now have to decide where and which side of the family to visit and create the standard for future holidays. This issue should be resolved with the three C's: compassion, communication and compromise. Here are some solutions to common situations:

If you live a long distance from both sides of the family. You both may have family all over and find yourselves at a total loss during the holidays. You want to visit everyone, but it may be too expensive to travel; and depending on the distance, it might even be physically impossible to get from one place to another. In this situation, many couples switch up where they go every year. So, for instance, this year, you could visit your family in California for Christmas and your spouse's family in New York next year. Or, if you enjoy having guests from out of town, you can invite both sets of parents and siblings to come to you for the holidays.
One other option: You can choose to have a romantic holiday at home with just you two. This can be a great idea if there's tension between your spouse and the in-laws or if you're saving up for the future.

If you reside in the same city or town as one side of the family, but the other is far away. This could be a situation where one side of the family controls the couple's life. If this is the case, the spouse whose family is always around should do his or her best to accommodate the other spouse's desires during the holidays. So, if your parents are at your house a lot, you should visit your in-laws to celebrate Christmas-- it's only fair.
Another option: Ask family who live far away to stay at your home as guests. And if everyone gets along, have the "in-city family" join you for dinner, and you can celebrate the holidays together.

You live close to both sides of the family. When everyone lives close to each other, deciding where to visit can be very hard. Family on both sides likely feel you should choose their side because it's convenient. If both sides are amicable, having a joint get-together is a good idea. If not, one idea is to spend Christmas morning with one side and Christmas night with the other.
Another option: If you're expecting or have a newborn, think about establishing your own traditions. For example, invite all the grandparents to come over on Christmas morning to see the baby receive his/her gifts.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wedding Cake Alternatives

Don't want a traditional wedding cake? You don't have to. Here are a few wedding cake alternatives:

Having a dessert bar is an awesome way for your guests to get a taste of some sweet treats. Want something less traditional? Consider having a tray of bite-sized treats passed around rather than a buffet. This is more formal and allows guests to feel as if they're being pampered. A few ideas: bite-sized cupcakes, bite-sized ice cream sandwiches and donut holes. Also, think about providing more decadent treats like mini creme brulee in finger-sized dishes with petit spoons.

If you're having a heavy meal, and the cake is your central focus, let your cake be a gift that guests can take away. Give each guest a small, empty baked-goods box, and place a tag on it with an explanation (that guests can take extra cake home).

One other idea is to place baked goods at the valet. You can make this poplar trend more creative by using carnival treats like a cotton candy machine or a kettle corn stand.

Any of these ideas are a sweet way to thank your guests!

Source; Photo Credit

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What You Should Know About Escort Cards

  1. Escort cards are sometimes confused with place cards; they designate guests' table assignments. Place cards tell guests exactly where to sit.
  2. They are sometimes referred to as "table-assignment cards" or "seating cards." Whichever term you use is fine.
  3. Place escort cards in alphabetical order according to guests' last names. Put them near the entrance to the cocktail-hour location (not by the door) or in the middle of the venue, so guests can come from all sides.
  4. One escort card will work for a couple since they'll sit at the same table. Otherwise, write out a card for each guest.
  5. Use titles like "Mr. John Doe" or "Dr. Jane Doe" at formal weddings. If the wedding is casual, use first and last names only like "John Doe."
Source: Brides magazine, June 2010; Photo Credit

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to throw a fabulous Christmas party

The holiday season is right around the corner, and you may be considering hosting a Christmas party at your home this year. When it comes to throwing a successful party, planning is very important. And planning ahead will save you time and headaches. Here are some tips for planning a fabulous Christmas party both you and your guests will remember for years to come:

Since the holiday season is full of parties, you should send out invitations three weeks in advance. Why? The earlier you send them out, the less likely it is that your guests will have committed to another event. The invitation should include the start and end time of your party, what food you're serving and directions to your home.

When deciding on a menu, choose items that can be made in advance, like certain appetizers and desserts that can be made and frozen weeks ahead of time. Other recipes can be created a few days before and kept in the refrigerator-- you can just bake and complete on the day of the party. Keep in mind that parties are not the time to try a new recipe. Try a new item before the party, or stick with recipes that work.

By serving heavy finger foods instead of recipes that need dinnerware, you'll keep the risk of spills down and lessen the amount of dishes you'll have to wash later. But if you do serve food that requires dinnerware, be sure you have table seating for guests to sit down-- it'll be easier on you. And if you really don't want to clean, use nice plasticware that can be thrown out.

Think about traffic flow. Put your bar near the ice and drinks, place dishes of finger foods on side tables and buffets throughout the entertaining area; supply enough chairs so at least half of your guests can sit at one time; place several trash cans discreetly near food tables and the bar to avoid plate pileups and kitchen traffic jams.

Set the atmosphere with holiday music in the background and/or by lighting candles throughout the house. Some other ideas: Personalize the event with a special activity; ask guests to write a holiday wish in a guestbook; or invite them to join you for caroling. Small details like these will help make your party an event everyone will remember.

Finally, remember that guests love party favors! You can send them home with homemade cookies or a small ornament.

By following these tips, you're sure to have a holiday party that's fun for everyone!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Choosing Your Wedding Flowers By Season

When it's time to decide on flowers for your wedding, choosing them by the season is a great idea! Select blooms that grow naturally and locally during the season of your wedding.

While it's possible to find most floral types throughout the year, seasonal blooms are easily accessible, cost less and frequently last longer.

The following are flowers that are in season each season:

Apple or cherry blossoms
Forysnthia Branches
Lily of the Valley
Sweet Peas

Calla Lilies
Jacob's Ladder
Queen Anne's Lace
Shasta Daisies

Gerbera Daisies


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ultimate Shopping Event!!

Ultimate Shopping Event, sponsored by Anointed Affairs Events, brings together the hottest fashion designers, boutiques and beauty service companies from across the U.S. to offer the latest trends in products and services at its fabulous shopping events held in major cities throughout the country. Shop with companies showcasing the hottest clothing, handbags, jewelry, accessories, lifestyle and beauty products all under one roof for discounts off their regular retail prices.

Join hundreds of fashion savvy shoppers as you enjoy complimentary beauty treatments, entertainment, goody bags and much more at our fun-filled shopping events that benefit local and well-deserving women and children's charities.

Start Your Christmas Shopping Early!
When: Saturday, November 20, 2010
10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Where: Sleep Inn & Suites
6860 Crain Highway, LaPlata, MD
Contact Information:
Vernesssa Blackwell
Phone: 240-274-5549

The cost for exhibitor tables is $75
(Cash, money order or credit card. See the sidebar to pay via PayPal or credit card).

Advanced registration is required, and space is limited! Please send the below information with payment to:

Vernessa Blackwell
P.O. Box 47
Temple Hills, MD 20757

We look forward to hearing from you!