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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If your family and guests are tired of the same old Thanksgiving fare, it’s time to spice things up. Tickle their taste buds by accompanying your traditional turkey with a variety of classic side dishes jazzed up with exciting, new flavors. Try these simple and easy recipes to give your holiday feast a delicious modern twist.

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup

A hot bowl of hearty soup is a great way to whet your dinner guests’ appetites. This Butternut Squash and Cider soup is rich and creamy, and has a wonderful layer of zesty apple flavor. The mild curry powder adds a touch of spiciness that’s perfect for cold weather months.

White bowl of butternut squash soup with parsley garnish
Apples and curry make for a delicious butternut squash and cider soup

The recipe specifies that you use sweet McIntosh or Delicious apples, but feel free to substitute them with Honey Crisp or Granny Smith apples if you prefer a little tartness. Make sure to use plain apple cider and not the spiced variety to get that pure apple taste. Serve this soup with pumpernickel croutons to add a bit of crunch and a sprinkling of chives for color.

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Hosting a ladies-only Halloween bash? Read on as Treetopia shows you some wickedly smart tips for ensuring your party is a monster hit!

Pick a Theme for Easier Party Planning

Choosing a specific theme will not only make your ladies-only Halloween bash more cohesive, it will also cut the planning time in half. A theme gives you a nice start-up and direction, making the whole process so much simpler. If you like to have a party with some serious scare, why not center your ideas on scary female villains from books and movies? If you want a more historical approach to your party, ask friends to dress up as famous women throughout history. You can also host an Oscars-style gala if you prefer to party in Hollywood fashion.

house decorated with cobwebs and other Halloween decor Traditional Exterior by Atlanta Media & Bloggers Between Naps on the Porch

Don’t Do Everything Alone

Passing some responsibilities and tasks to your friends can relieve you from a huge amount of stress. Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done, and get things running smoothly by asking the help of reliable and capable people. Meet with your girl friends to talk about food, entertainment, and everything else on your list. Plan the menu as a group, and check if anyone has any special food preferences for their diet. Discuss who brings what if it’s going to be a potluck party. Other tasks to consider delegating are decorations, music that fits the theme, and the after party clean-up.

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After an evening of spooky ghosts and apparitions, you’ll surely want to relax in the company of other spirits. These creepy concoctions are simple to make and are perfect for livening up your haunted house party this Halloween. So, gather up your cauldron, some bat wings, and eye of newt, and brew these bewitching beverages.

Brain Hemorrhage

Shot glass filled with an alcohol mixture that looks like brain matter
Be inspired by a Brain Hemorrhage

Do you have the guts to gulp down this spine-shivering shooter? Designed to bring out the evil mad scientist in you, this delightfully gory glass of brain matter-like mass tastes just like peaches and cream.

Mix up your own Brain Hemorrhage by first filling a standard shot glass about halfway with peach schnapps. Next, carefully pour in a layer of Bailey’s Irish Cream and give it a few moments to settle. Finally, add a few drops of grenadine syrup to complete the effect.

To make an eerie Alien Brain Hemorrhage, slowly pour in a small amount of blue curacao before adding the grenadine syrup.

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Gathering your friends every now and then for a night of fun can help you feel invigorated to take on busy days ahead. This weekend, get your friends all glammed up for a night of lovely concoctions and a fun-filled dance fest.

Here are some tips on how you can graciously host a stress-free cocktail party right in your own living room:

Make Plenty of Room for Your Guests

Arrange your living room furniture so that guests can move throughout the area easily. Push big couches and other bulky pieces against the walls to open up floor space, if necessary.

Gray couches on the side and a bigger floor area

Remove area rugs to make room for a dancing area. The rule of thumb is three square feet of dance floor per dancing guest, so tuck away any thing that might get in the way of dance moves.

Scatter a few podium bar tables where guests can gather around to encourage party movement and conversation. Setting up these mini tables also provides space for people to put down their drinks in case they want to dance or need to go to the powder room.

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If cold autumn days make you yearn for sunny beaches, fresh tropical fruit, and island music, then turn your next party into a summer getaway with a hot Hawaiian theme. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, or promotion, a luau brings the fun and excitement of the tropics to your gatherings. Here’s what you need to do for a fun luau party:

Decorate your space

Embrace tropical kitsch, and place pink flamingoes and artificial palm trees outside your door to greet party-goers. Extend a warm welcome to your guests with a paper, plastic, or silk Hawaiian lei and a hearty “Aloha!”

Catalina breeze artificial palm trees

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