Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of end-of-season sales and last-hurrah getaways. As we rush to make the most of the sunniest days of the year, here are a few party themes to consider for your Labor Day weekend party.

Americana

Nothing says “I love America” more than the ol’ red, white, and blue. Showcase the colors of the flag on your table setting, couch, and even on your walls. Stick little flags into gumball jars and arrange red, white, and blue candies into a flag for that patriotic touch. For the living room, add a flag crochet or quilt on the sofa and monograms with a flag pattern on your wall for a cozy, all-American look.

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Don’t let the scorching heat stop you from enjoying weekend get-togethers with family and friends. When the weather gets a little too hot to barbecue, invite everyone over for a good old-fashioned ice cream social. This type of party is a fun way to stay cool during the summer and it’s perfect for all ages. Here’s the scoop on how to throw a successful ice cream party.

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Lots of people consider Christmas in July as the perfect excuse to throw parties and have fun. If that’s the case, where do we sign up? People who celebrate this non-holiday do so in traditional Christmas party style—complete with the winter trappings. But if you find heavy sweaters, an open fire, and calorific eggnog way too warm for July, then a summer-friendly Caribbean cruise theme is what you need.

All Aboard

Get your guests on board with the cruise ship theme by sending out paper or email invitations fashioned as “boarding passes.” Choose from dozens of free online templates or create your own with cruise-related images, like anchors, palm trees, or ocean liners.

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Being a dad on Father’s Day can sometimes be rough. According to a consumer survey, over 75% of people feel that moms get more attention than dads on their respective special days. With those figures in mind, it’s time to throw a grand celebration to show your old man just how much you love and appreciate him. To make his party extra fun and meaningful, try incorporating his personality, interests, profession, or favorite hobby into the party’s theme. Here are few Father’s Day party ideas to get you inspired:

All-Star Sports Party

Whether your dad is a weekend warrior or an armchair athlete, a sports-themed party will make him feel like a winner!

Attire

Dad will get a kick out of seeing everyone wearing his favorite team’s uniform or apparel. If finding gear from his favorite team isn’t possible or practical, here’s a simpler option: ask guests to wear the colors of his team. Dressing up in club colors, whether it’s Liverpool FC’s red or the Los Angeles Lakers’ gold and purple, would be an awesome nod to your dad’s fanhood (even if you’re more of a San Antonio Spurs fan).

Décor

Embellish party banners, balloons, and table decoration with the same club colors. Hang pennants and jerseys on the walls, and scatter caps and sports gear around the room. If your dad loves golf, set up a putting mat and encourage his friends to aim for that elusive hole-in-one. Is your dad a sucker for soccer? Borrow or rent a foosball table and stage a Foosball World Cup in his honor!

Dinner

Prepare a dinner fit for champions by serving dad’s signature dishes with tasty stadium-style food. Fill up your Father’s Day menu with spicy chicken wings, hot dogs with toppings, and slices of pizza. Guzzle ice-cold beer in paper cups to wash it all down.

Happening Hippie Party

If dad was a hippie in his heyday, he’ll dig getting down to a far-out Sixties-style ball.

Attire

Ask party-goers to come in their grooviest threads. Men can wear bell-bottoms, classic-rock or tie-dye tees, suede vests with fringes, and beaded belts. The ladies will look great wearing caftans, sandals, and flowers in their hair.

Décor

Set the scene with iconic hippie imagery and objects. Think peace signs and smiley faces on streamers and balloons. A folksy beaded door curtain is the perfect entryway for a room decorated with lava lamps, guitars, vinyl records, scented candles, and Woodstock posters.

Cover the dining table with a tie-dye tablecloth or table runner, and set out placemats, napkins, and cups in psychedelic colors. For a dose of Flower Power, prepare a big floral centerpiece filled with colorful daffodils, dandelions, and daisies.

Dinner

You’ll want to serve healthy-yet-hearty grub, so don’t limit your party food to sunflower seeds and tofu. Instead, prepare a menu consisting of premium cuts of grass-fed steak, whole-grain pasta, organic vegetables, and fresh fruit.

High-Power Professional Party

Your dad could be a savvy business exec, a shrewd finance guy, or a marketing wiz. A high-powered “Mad Men”-inspired Father’s Day celebration at home will make him feel like a million bucks!

Attire

Channel old-school sartorial chic by requesting gents to come in their sharpest power suits, complete with skinny tie and fedoras. For the ladies, a pencil skirt with matching twinset is classy yet comfortable. Guests can also opt for turtlenecks, khakis, and shift dresses to keep things more relaxed.

Décor

No need to go overboard with the décor, but a few details can help evoke the right retro vibe. Get vintage copies of Vogue or Life from the thrift store to display on the coffee table. Hide remote controls, laptops, mobile phones, and other signs of modern tech. A rotary phone is a stylish statement piece that makes for a great conversation starter.

Keep your table setting simple and elegant with white china and your best silverware. Set up a snazzy home bar for your thirsty professionals by investing in some basic barware, essential spirits, and various mixers.

Dinner

Delight dad with some decadent dishes from yesteryear, such as a tangy shrimp cocktail, creamy Caesar’s Salad, prime roast rib of beef, and cheesy Potatoes au Gratin. Polish off a fine meal with an equally satisfying chocolate fondue.

Fun time with the family is probably the one of the best Father’s Day gifts you can give dear old dad. So try out of any these party ideas and throw dad an awesome get-together he’ll cherish forever.

 

Watching a movie at home with family and friends is a great to unwind after a busy week of work. With summer breezing in, why not make movie night more special by having it al fresco?  Watching a movie outdoors is a memorable way to catch up on Hollywood’s string of summer blockbusters. Here are some ideas to make your outdoor movie party an epic blockbuster:

Set the Stage

Whether you’re setting up an outdoor movie theater in the backyard, driveway, or the rooftop of a building, finding a spot that provides optimum viewing distance and lighting is important. Make sure your audience sits at comfortable distance from the screen, and avoid areas where street lamps or lighted signs can cast a glare on the screen.

Offer your guests a variety of comfortable seating options, such as folding chairs, ottomans, or lawn recliners. You can also lay down some mats, sleeping bags, or blankets for anyone who prefers to watch lying down. If the evening gets chilly, throw out some pillows, cushions, and quilts to keep everyone extra cozy.

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Super Bowl Sunday is fast approaching and everyone is excited to celebrate the biggest sporting event of the year. If you’re planning to throw a football-themed party at home, the first thing you’ll need is a good game plan. Here are some winning football party tips to ensure a fun and successful Super Bowl bash.

Draft Your Guests

The traditional Super Bowl party has become much more than watching the game with other football aficionados. It’s about letting loose and whooping it up with friends over an unending supply of food and drinks. So go ahead and invite your favorite relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues even if they’re not keen or familiar with football.

Football players running a play

Wear your favorite team’s colors proudly

Ask your guests to wear clothes in colors that represent the team they’re rooting for. Encourage them to put on face paint and even bring foam fingers to cheer their team on.

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The past year has been quite a roller coaster ride and everyone is looking forward to starting 2014 with a bang. Pulling off the perfect New Year’s Eve Party is easy if you follow these simple suggestions.

Décor

A simple way to enhance the festive look of your existing Christmas décor is to add balloons. Get helium ones in white, silver, or a color that matches your holiday palette. Allowing them to float freely on the ceiling instead of tying them to objects creates great visual impact.

A white table cloth helps reflect light to keep your party space bright. Embellish the table with confetti and a bit of glitter to give it a magical sparkle.

m_bartosch fdp

Party favors such as hats, tiaras, carnival masks, feather boas, horns, streamers, and noisemakers double nicely as décor. Get them in a variety of attractive colors and designs, and let guests take them home as parting gifts. (more…)

Our favorite Christmas songs, whether they’re traditional or modern, embody some of the best aspects of the holiday. This season, impress your guests with unique Yuletide party themes inspired by beloved Christmas tunes.

1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Let everyone’s favorite reindeer guide your holiday decorating and entertaining theme this Christmas.

Décor:

Use reindeer-themed ornaments on your Christmas tree, but keep it elegant by sticking to a single color family, such as red, silver, or gold. Brighten your tree with red and white Christmas lights by swapping out a few clear bulbs with red-colored ones. Create these handmade reindeer paper chains and use them as adorable Christmas mantel decoration.

Menu:

For a fun and easy appetizer, make cute reindeer faces with Laughing Cow cheese wedges, black olives, pretzels, and red peppers.

For dessert, try this recipe for Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies from Bakergirl. These cookies are simple to make, scrumptious, and super cute.

Drinks:

Bright red drinks help make your party theme pop! Cranberry cocktails, strawberry daiquiris, and raspberry martinis are great options. This lively Hibiscus-Honey Iced Tea has a lovely red color and contains a bit of light rum for a nice little kick.

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If you’re planning to host a Christmas party at home, make sure it’s stylish, stress-free, and bursting with Christmas spirit. Throw the hottest holiday bash without breaking a sweat with these quick and simple Christmas party ideas.

1. Make a list, check it twice

To keep your party manageable, limit your guest list based on the size of your dinner table. Any more than 6 will usually require catering, so be sure to invite only those you really want to spend the evening with. Be sure to send out invitations three or four weeks in advance as people’s calendars can fill up pretty quickly.

Prepare your menu and a corresponding shopping list, and then plot down a schedule for cleaning the house, doing the groceries, setting the table, and cooking the dishes.

2. Set the look

Christmas is often characterized by feelings of abundance, but you should avoid over-decorating. Instead, limit the celebration space to three focal points, such as the Christmas tree, the food table, and the fireplace. A lit fireplace makes your home warm and cozy, but if an open fire is not an option, you can cluster together tea lights and candles to create a relaxing mood.

For your table setting, choose a color scheme from your holiday decorating palette and apply this to your centerpiece, table runner, and napkins. Try to use space saving tabletops such as a small floral centerpiece to avoid overcrowding the table.

Don’t forget the music playlist to enhance the fun party atmosphere.

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Set a festive mood for your holiday dinner by offering a toast to the wonderful family and friends who have gathered at your Thanksgiving table. At the same time, tantalize them with delectable canapés to whet their appetite before the feast begins.

A Toast to the Holidays

Poinsettia Cocktail

This classic orange-and-cranberry flavored cocktail has a pretty rose-tinged tint that adds a beautiful blush of color to your dinner table.  Light, crisp, and fizzy, this holiday drink packs a lot of fruity flavor. Quick and easy to prepare, this cocktail is mixed directly in the drinking glass and doesn’t require precise measurements.

Poinsettia cocktails on dinner table

Poinsettia for cocktails and for holiday decor

Although recipe variations abound, this classic Poinsettia formula by TheKitchn begins by pouring two ounces of chilled cranberry juice and half an ounce of Cointreau in a champagne flute.  Top up with champagne or sparkling white wine, and garnish with a twist of orange and a fresh cranberry.

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