I wish I threw more parties. I have a million reasons why I don’t. The house isn’t clean; I’m too tired; people are busy; the weather isn’t perfect; etc. It’s silly. No time is a good time, yet any time is the perfect time! I really enjoy having my friends over so I vowed to do it more frequently this year. (If I host two get-togethers in 2014 I’ll double what I did last year! I should be able to do that.)
I mentioned last week that I’m hosting my first-ever Oscar-viewing party. While I promise my next gathering will be more “pot-luck” style, for this get-together, I wanted to control the menu and decorations. But, I also wanted to avoid stress. Right now I am feeling pretty good about everything and think I’m ready. My secret to reducing the stress of throwing a party is simple – and may not be so secret to you: I planned ahead, spaced out the preparations (shopping, cooking, crafting), and out-sourced some of the work.
Planning is my favorite part of anything. In fact, I frequently don’t get past the planning phase because I tend to overwhelm myself with ideas. This time, after I made my menu, I deleted a few of the items. I did the same with the decorations (goodbye homemade photo booth). I think paring down the ideas helped keep my stress under control.
Pinterest really helped with my planning. It’s where I found most of the recipes for my menu including these yummy cucumber stacks by Bakin Bit. I chose food that can be served cold or at room temperature and decided to buy dessert: mini cupcakes from Vanilla Moon (a local favorite).
I made my own invitations, gift bags, and some simple decorations (like the Oscars VIP sign pictured above). I worked on everything over the course of several weeks and just kept a “party craft box” on my desk so all the tools I needed were in one place. Originally I was going to design my own Oscar ballots and bingo cards. Instead, I’m using these from How About Orange and I couldn’t be happier. They are perfect.
I scheduled a house cleaning, a well-worth-it luxury, so I’m not exhausted when my guests arrive. After my place is all shiny, I’ll put out the decorations including the plain glass votives and vases I dressed up with gold washi tape I had on hand. I also borrowed some serving items I needed from my mom instead of buying stuff I would rarely use and don’t want to store.
I’ll let you know next week how it turned out and share a few photos so you can see the finished product. If all goes well there will be more entertaining in my future!