Author Archives: Treetopia

Whatever the occasion, a game night is a great opportunity to gather friends, family, and new people together and have fun. Offering a night of entertainment for all ages, game night is often a popular choice over parties when it comes to catching up with family and making new friends. So if you want to get people together for a simple yet fun celebration, here are some tips on how to host a lively game night:

Choose an enticing theme

Setting a theme is a wonderful way to catch everyone’s interest in participating, and it’ll also limit what you need to prepare yourself. Besides, it allows participants to mentally prepare for the event, making the game more exciting when it’s finally time to play. Whether you’re playing classic board games, trivia games or modern games like Settlers of Catan, you’ll all get to know each other in a different way.

Select a suitable game

The kind of game depends on many things: the number of guests, the age group, and how long you want the activity to take. For larger audiences, opt for games that are more flexible and have simpler rules. Try classics like Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, and Pictionary. Board games like Monopoly and Scrabble are ideal for smaller, more casual or family-oriented gatherings, although kids may not be too keen on serious games. Wii games and other popular board games like Snakes and Ladders are great options if a lot of kids are on the list. You can also divide the night into different games based on age (example, grandparents’ round).

Have a game master

Just like quiz nights, game nights need a master of ceremonies to keep the event organized and rolling. This should be someone energetic who can establish a laid-back, fun ambiance. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if this person knows all of the participants and can put them at ease. The game master also clearly lays down all the rules of the games to avoid confusion.

Prepare your home 

Find the largest space in your home where you can set up tables and chairs or position rugs and pillows for people to sit on. Set a festive ambiance by providing upbeat music.

Serve sumptuous food

Food and drinks definitely spell more fun. Get an estimate of the number of people you expect to arrive so you’ll have enough (but not too much) food. Choose snacks that are simple to eat, like finger foods, and something popular with most people. Chicken tenders, salads, bread sticks with cheese dips, chips, and sweets like brownies are great energy boosters. Wine and cocktails are perfect for an adult audience, but if you’re serving alcoholic drinks, it may be wise to limit the amount available.

Get everyone over

With game nights, invitations need not be formal, though you still need to invite people early. Just make sure to have an RSVP so you know how many guests are most likely to make it.  

Careful preparation is the number one rule for a host. So get a team together, brainstorm, and plan all the details for a game night to remember.

Fall is such a lovely season – leaves change colors from deep greens to intense reds and yellows, the weather gets a bit nippier, and the sun starts to set earlier in the day. With all this natural beauty at your fingertips, it’s the perfect time to be inspired by the fall landscape and redecorate your home.

Since fall is the time for festive meals and harvest celebrations, we’ve put together a list of refreshing centerpiece ideas you can be sure no one else has. Sweet, simple and always stylish, these pieces will have your friends asking you where they can get one, too!

Pumpkin power!

Pumpkins are great not just for Halloween; they also make refreshing centerpieces. Hollow out a pumpkin and insert a florist’s foam block where you can stick stems of flowers. You can paint the pumpkin in autumn colors for a more subdued look, or , use glittery paint for a bit of glamorous shimmer. Perfect flowers for this kind of centerpiece include sunflowers, carnations, or Asiatic lilies. This centerpiece adds a welcome splash of color to otherwise lackluster tables.

Acorn autumn! 

For a fresh take on a candle holder, take a tall, clear glass jar and fill it with acorns two-thirds of the way up. The acorns provide a sturdy base in which you can insert brightly colored taper candles for a simple, chic effect. Wrap some tweed or jute rope midway around the jar for the finishing touch. You can also use pine cones in different colors if you can’t find acorns. It’s a rustic centerpiece that can stand on its own, and the candles make it great for cozy nights at home. It can also be used year-round; just replace the acorns with whatever is in season.

Fruit fiesta!

Take a small box and fill it with seasonal fruits. The more beat-up the box, the better – you can also take a newer one and stain it to give it some character. Dark-toned fruits make this centerpiece more interesting, so if you can, use blackcurrants, prunes, plums, and figs for a deep purple theme. You can also fill small wooden buckets with chrysanthemums and purple dahlias to go with the fruit crate.

Live it up with lanterns!

Hurricane lanterns have a particularly strong seasonal feel, especially since the wind tends to get stronger at this time of year. To make one into an intriguing centerpiece, take an O-shaped piece of floral foam, decorate it with autumn leaves, and place the hurricane lantern in the middle. Try surrounding the lantern with dried reeds, sticks, acorns, or pine cones for even more splashes of color! This is an easy centerpiece that looks great on the dinner table.

Autumn-themed centerpieces are easy to make and are even easier on the eye. Try these suggestions and bring the autumn outdoors into your home!

Oktoberfest Trivia 2012

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Oktoberfest Trivia 2012

Beer and more beer – the two things that often come to mind when you hear the word “Oktoberfest.” But if you think beer covers everything the fest has to offer, think again. There’s more to the biggest beer festival in October than lager and lederhosen. Here are some not-so-well-known facts surrounding this well-known event:

The first Oktoberfest celebrated a wedding

In 1810, the first Oktoberfest was held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. More than 40,000 citizens of Munich attended the festivities held in front of the city gates, which lasted 5 days.

Beer was not available at the first Oktoberfest

Only alcohol was available and it had to be bought outside the venue. Beer was only made available at Oktoberfest when organizers opened the activity to vendors and beer halls became popular.

Oktoberfest starts in September

Oktoberfest takes place over 16-19 days. While the first Oktoberfest was held in October, it now begins in September, with the last weekend of the fest held in October. This is to take advantage of better weather (it is less chilly).

Non-alcoholic drinks are aplenty

From coffee and tea to water and lemonade, other beverages are also available for those who choose to drink something other than beer during the festival. Sparkling wine, some of the best of which is produced in Germany, is also widely available. Average statistics for Oktoberfest show 222,725 liters of coffee and tea, and 808,765 ½ liters of water and lemonade are consumed at each festival, albeit this is a far cry from the approximate 6,940,600 liters of beer!

Oktoberfest is family-friendly

With carousels, carnival rides, parades, musical performances and the like, Oktoberfest is a fun festival for the entire family. There is even a Family Day every Tuesday when special discounts are given until 6PM.

The fest is also a haven for food lovers

Aside from the millions of gallons of beer downed at Oktoberfest, sumptuous food is also aplenty. From hendl (grilled chicken) to brezel (giant German soft pretzels), you’ll enjoy not only a variety of the best beer around, but also an array of specialty foods that are unique and simply delish! Relish Shweinshaxe (Bavarian pork knuckles), or try an oxen dish, Knockwurst (German sausage), or Kasespatzle (cheese noodles) while enjoying your beer or sparkling wine.

Oktoberfest hosts an annual crossbow shooting contest

Another anticipated event, this contest is held in the Armbrustschutzenzelt tent every year.

Festivities have been cancelled 24 times

Tragic events led to the cancellation of Oktoberfest, such as cholera epidemics in 1854 and 1873, the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II.

“O’zapft is” is Oktoberfest’s magic phrase

Meaning, “It is tapped,” this is the phrase that officially opens Oktoberfest. The mayor of Munich taps the first beer barrel and shouts this phrase to the crowd. What happens next is history.

Go ahead and join this famous food and beerfest. Just make sure to watch out for bierleichen (beer corpses)!

If you’re looking for a cool alternative to the traditional green tree, a pink Christmas tree is the way to go. It helps heighten the fun and usher in the innocent spirit of Christmas. Start the holiday celebrations early by putting up a pink tree and decorating it with these ideas:

Monochromatic

Pink trees are vibrant as they are and for some, adding more color can be overwhelming. Make it simple by using a monochromatic theme, like a variety of ornaments and garlands in varying shades of pink. The key is to add texture to the design by using ornaments of different shapes, sizes, and materials.

Whimsical

Create a whimsical look by using silver and clear ornaments. Combine large clear balls with smaller lilac ones. You can stick to Christmas balls only, but use as many as possible so the tree doesn’t look patchy and bare in some places. Decorate with crystal drops and garlands, then string clear lights to create more drama.

Victorian

If you want to retain the traditional look, go for a Victorian theme. To achieve this, choose artificial Christmas trees in a soft shades of pink. Hang ornaments in hues of burgundy, old rose, cream, and gold. For an authentic Victorian feel, create your own garlands using cream-colored paper chains or popcorn and cranberry garlands.

Bring out old Christmas cards, border with lace, and hang as onrnaments. Hunt for vintage-style toys like metal trucks and mini-dolls. Make burgundy mini-cornucopias and place some candy. Light up this pretty tree with battery-operated tea lights, clear mini-Christmas lights, or LED candle lights.

Flower Garden

Another way to create a contemporary look is by decorating your tree with clusters of flowers in purple, deep pink, and red hues. Choose different kinds of flowers from small flowers in clusters to big, single flowers. Complete the garden feel with light green leaves.

Pink Wonderland

A pink tree is a beautiful backdrop for a winter wonderland design. To achieve this, use white and silver ornaments and garlands. Snowflake ornaments and silver tinsel garlands are perfect for this theme. Intersperse cotton on the branches to look like faux snow.

Sweet and Funky

Give kids a Christmas tree to remember with a candy theme. Pink trees often evoke thoughts of cotton candy and sweet treats anyway! Do your kids a favor by decorating the tree with ornaments in candy colors or pastel colors that remind you of cupcakes or ice cream. Hanging a few real candies won’t hurt, either!

As with any Christmas tree, decorating a pink tree is more fun when spent with loved ones. Ask family members for ideas and try to incoporate a little bit of everyone’s suggestions. This way, you’ll have a stylish tree that represents all your individual personalities.

Thoughts of the holiday season often include images of a winter wonderland. Many people anticipate Christmas not only for the festivities and gifts, but for the magical landscape that comes with the season.

Setting up a white Christmas tree is perhaps the best way to exude the whimsical flair of winter in your home. Here are some tips on how to decorate a white tree:

Decide on a Theme

The most important aspect of creating a stylish white tree is the theme. Colors vividly stand out on a white background and a few hues results in a captivating tree. A favorite design is the red-and-white theme. Hang red ornaments and garlands to create a fun look brings out the child in anyone. Santa ornaments also fit well in this color theme. Add some real peppermints for the kids, too!

Another delightful theme is the winter wonderland look with snowflake and crystalline drop ornaments as main decorations. You can achieve this by adding cotton flocking to the tree and placing reindeer or ornaments depicting winter festivities. For a more sophisticated look, go for a gold-and-silver theme with tinsel and glittery or metal ornaments. Those with a bold streak can completely go out-of-the-box and use vibrant hues like purples and pinks.

Choose Lights Wisely

Although white Christmas trees look brilliant enough even without lights, you can heighten the charm of these trees with clear or multi-colored lights. Make sure to choose lights with white or clear strands so they don’t stand out. For a well-lit tree, prepare at least 100 lights per foot height of the tree. Try out options like LED lights to save energy and globe lights for a more radiant look. As with other trees, string the lights before adding any ornaments.

Don’t Go Overboard with Ornaments

Depending on the size, decorate the tree with just enough garlands and ornaments so it doesn’t look weighed down. A well-decorated tree doesn’t necessarily have a lot of ornaments. As long as you choose lovely ornaments, garlands, and family favorites, your tree will be a hit.

Create a Balanced Look

Balance starts with blending small and large ornaments. This helps create a natural symmetry that isn’t too organized. Decorate from top to bottom, placing large ornaments first in a diagonal and evenly spaced manner. Counter these with smaller ornaments. A helpful tip is to place ornaments at varying depths, some near the trunk and some on the tips of branches so your tree looks fabulous at all angles.

White Christmas trees are elegant and serve as the perfect backdrop for any kind of ornaments. Think of it as a blank canvas and let your creativity flow to achieve the perfect White Christmas.

While fall isn’t as popular as spring when it comes to decorating, the beautiful colors that come with the season inspires many people to spruce up their homes. In fact, there are a host of ideas to bring in the spirit of autumn. Here are some to get you started.

 

Go Orange

Whether in stripes or solid hues, add a punch of orange to furniture and accessories.  If you’re planning a change in furniture, go for an orange dining set for a chic look. Remember to choose different shades and make sure the brightness suits your taste and overall design. To balance off the orange, mix in rusty reds, yellows, and browns. Turquiose and pink are also great colors to add. Red and orange stripes, for example, create a retro feel when mixed with hints of turquoise. Consider these colors for your wallpaper or accessories.

Color-Coordinated Furniture

Use your furniture as the base color for bright accessories. If you already have a vibrant sofa, use simple throw pillows with fall-inspired prints. Brown or beige furniture works well with orange and yellow accents.

Neutral tones that can be maximized in fall are those made of natural fiber, like a rattan chest that doubles as a living room table or a brown burlap armchair.

Nature-Inspired Prints

From flowers and leaves  to birds and butterflies, nature-inspired prints are perfect for autumn. Curtains or wallpaper with orange and pink flowers or leaf prints work well in bedrooms and living rooms. Add simple white cushion covers or bed covers with bird or leaf prints. Another great way to brighten the living room is by placing a plush rug with nature prints or an orange-based design.

Decorate with Flowers and Fruits

Fresh flowers in tall orange vases do wonders in sprucing up a bare cabinet or side table. A basket of oranges and lemons or a layer of pumpkins serve as beautiful table centerpieces. A strawflower wreath on the door is a welcoming sight for guests.

Put Up an Orange Tree

Orange Christmas trees reflect the beautiful color of trees during autumn. Simply put a traditional size or a mini tree in the living room or entryway to usher in the vibrancy of the outdoors. For small spaces, opt for slim trees like Treetopia’s Bunny Delight Pencil Tree which is tall, slender, and comes with clear lights. What’s great about these trees is that you can leave them up until Christmas and redecorate for a fuss-free holiday decorating.

You don’t have to overhaul your entire home to reflect the beauty of fall. Adding small pieces of decor is enough to exude a touch of autumn bliss in any home design.

 

When it’s time to redecorate your space, don’t undertake the project alone. Ask for help from your family and together, you can transform your house to a place worth coming home to. Here are a few ideas to get your started:

Brainstorm

Create a design plan with your family and figure out the priorities of each member. Knowing what your family wants to incorporate into the design not only helps designate the tasks better, but you’ll be assured of help since everyone will be looking forward to watching their design ideas come to life.

Division of Labor

Don’t try to control every design aspect in your home. Divide the labor accordingly. If your little girl wants to have a play area, assign the decorating ideas to her. Let her be creative and design the area as she pleases. Giving each member of your family a place in the house that they can call their own helps them warm up to the idea of decorating together.

Shopping

Grab a huge shopping cart and go shopping together. By doing so, your family gets a better sense on the wide variety of home décor products out in the market. This helps everyone come up with great and unique ideas for their own rooms. Let them pick out a few pieces that showcase their personality and place these pieces around the house. This way, everyone is represented in the décor of the home.

Treats

In the midst of decorating, prepare fun treats for everyone. Cookies, mini-cakes, and tiny rolls of pigs in a blanket are great snacks to keep everyone’s energy up. If you see your children getting restless, refocus their energy by creating fun games out of their design tasks, like seeing which of you can stick the most glow-in-the-dark stars on your child’s ceiling and walls.

Nothing makes a home feel warmer other than the fun family memories created within it. Decorating your home as a family leaves you and your loved ones with memories to last a lifetime.

Themed home designs are great for honing-in on design aspirations. Having a theme makes it easier to choose pieces and colors since you already have a goal in mind. If you’ve decided on a Winter Wonderland theme, for instance, you can simply head to the store and pick out snow-covered wreaths, off-white pillows, and a glittery Christmas tree. The theme guides your décor ideas and purchases, making it easier for you to pick out the necessary items to bring the whole idea to life.

Before you decide on a theme, consider the following factors.

Appropriateness

Many entertain guests in their homes, throwing frequent birthday and dinner parties. If your family is the type who loves having guests over, make sure you pick a theme that is appropriate for guests of all ages. You wouldn’t want your guests feeling out of place and uncomfortable in your home.

Longevity and Flexibility

Think about how long the themed designs can last before it gets tiresome. Changing your décor every few months can be tedious and not to mention, costly. Pick a theme that lasts throughout the changing of seasons and can easily be updated with a few accents here and there. For example, an autumn themed décor can transition over to winter with just a few changes in the furnishings and decorations.

While some themes are fun, especially those rooted in the holidays (like Halloween and Christmas), overusing them can be pretty jarring for your guests. Some may find it amusing, others may feel disconcerted. If you want your house to radiate warmth and comfort, limit your themed decors to pertinent seasons and holidays of the year.

A themed home décor creates the mood for the holidays and provides a change of scenery from the usual style seen in most homes. Just make sure to draw the line when it comes to choosing your theme.

The choices you make in decorating your home reflect a lot on your personality and your lifestyle. Adding personal style to home design adds a sense of warmth to any living space.

Following trends can be refreshing, but it may distract you from getting in touch with your personal style. Here are a few tips to follow to prevent blindly buying into trends,

Likes and Dislikes

Determine these two things by browsing home décor magazines or walking through showrooms. Do you prefer big, comfortable couches over smaller sofa sets? Which texture of carpets and rugs appeals to you? Do you find glass-topped tables difficult or wonderful?

By looking through the array of choices available and figuring out what appeals to you, you can narrow down your likes and dislikes. You can use this as a guide later on, when forming the base of your design aesthetics.

Color Palette

Color plays a huge factor in any design. Take the time to figure out how different colors make your feel and create a color palette around that. Surrounding yourself with colors that are specifically suited to your temperament is a great way to hone-in on your style.

For example, if the color purple brightens up your day, opt for a purple Christmas tree for the coming holidays. It’s unique and adds an instant pop of color into any room.

Passions

Bring your passion into play. If you love to travel, incorporate the various knick-knacks and souvenirs you’ve collected during your trips. By doing so, you surround yourself with the things you love the most and this creates a relaxed, homey vibe in your living space.

If you’re not into collecting souvenirs, use items that remind you of the destinations you’ve been to. For instance, you can recreate that memorable beach escapade by adding palm trees to a corner of a room. Place small stones at its base and relive the fun, warmth of summer no matter the time of year.

Experiment

Nothing helps you learn more about yourself than the thrill of trying something new for the first time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different furnishings and styles. Trying them out in your living space is the only you can really tell if something works for you; and if it doesn’t, you can replace the décor with something else.

Most importantly, have fun. By discovering your personal style, you can tackle any design projects in the future.

The colors you see every day affects your mood, with each color triggering a different emotional response. Red, for example, is known to increase energy and aggression, while yellow releases a feel-good chemical (serotonin) that instantly lifts your mood—much like how exposure to light and sunshine boosts happiness levels.

Since colors play such a vital role in setting the mood, it’s only natural to harness this into your home decorating plans. By tapping into the mood potential of colors, you can design your home to become a comfortable sanctuary attuned to your personality.

Complementary Colors

Colors complement each other, so use complementary colors when deciding on a color for a room. Too much of a single color can be overbearing to the senses. So mix and match to suit the needs of a room.

For instance, orange is a warm hue and spaces painted in a warm orange tend to look more inviting. However, too much orange, especially the kind mixed with a lot of red can be overwhelming. Tone it down with a kind of blue that complements the orange shade. Blue is a calming color and will detract any of the harshness from the orange

Personal Palette

Everyone differs on how colors affect them. Red may incite feelings of aggression in another, while another may feel a heightened sense of passion. Ensure that the colors you use are in sync with your personality by creating a personal color palette and using it in your home.

You can do this by sitting down with a bunch of color swatches and evaluating how each of the colors affects you. Keep a list of all the colors that are pleasing to you and work your color palette around that. If you live with your family, show them the colors you’ve chosen and ask them to evaluate how the colors make them feel as well. Since you’re all living together, the colors should be pleasing for everyone.

Have fun adding color to your home. You can either repaint entire walls, or just add little pops of color through furniture or wall accents. As long as the colors you choose work harmoniously with your mood, there’s no way you can go wrong with your home design.