Get a kick out of these tips and tricks for hosting an April Fool’s Day Party

Now is the chance to call out your inner child and host an all-out April Fool’s Day party for you and your prankster friends. Check out some of the things you could do to prepare for the ultimate fun and funny party this year!


Photo by Sean MacEntee via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

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Whether you love Mardis Gras or simply enjoy colorful parties, Treetopia will show you how to plan a FUN-tastic Carnival party

You may have missed the festivities during this year’s Mardis Gras Parade but that doesn’t mean you have to wait another year to experience the glorious festive atmosphere that comes with it. Read on below for tips on how to organize your very own Mardis Gras, whether you’re planning for next year or you just want to host a carnival-themed party any time of the year.


photo by Vegan Feast Catering via flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

Food, Glorious Food!

Mardis Gras is not the English translation of “Fat Tuesday” for nothing. Since this day of celebration is held before Lent and fasting begin, it’s only natural to gorge on glorious food. So if you really want a carnival-inspired celebration, it is a must for your party to be filled (if not overflowing) with food. You can start off with a simple appetizer like this scrumptious shrimp canapé recipe from Leslie Styles’ blog. Caryn Ross also shares a couple of easy-to-make Mardis Gras recipes on her blog, Cooking with Caryn. Follow it up with three or four types of main dish until your guests reach the delicious moon pie dessert or traditional king cake. You don’t have to worry because there’s always room for dessert.


moon pie photo by steevithak via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0 (left) and king cake photo by syvwlch via flickr. CC BY 2.0 (right)

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Forget pity parties and anti-Valentine’s Day sentiments. Call up your best single girl friends for a Valentine’s Day party they will surely remember

If you’ve been single for a while and are about to do your best rendition of “All by Myself” a la Bridget Jones, stop, take a deep breath, and think about doing something more enjoyable and productive this Valentine’s Day. Since you’ve already decorated your home to reflect a romantic Valentine’s atmosphere, take it to the next level by hosting a terrific party for your fellow single friends. (If you haven’t decorated for Valentines yet, check out The Single’s Guide to Decorating for Valentine’s.)

 

The Venue: Your Home

When it comes to choosing a venue, it’s better to host intimate parties in familiar places. What other place would be more familiar than your own home? If you have a nice garden shielded from the cool winter breeze, you can host an outdoor party. If not, you can settle for a cozy party indoors. Glam up your home with lovely centerpieces and table decorations. We found this 11 unique table decoration ideas from the Inspiration for Home blog.

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When the festivities are over, it’s time to return your home to its gleaming state. Treetopia shows you how

Since 2013 has officially begun and the pressure is on to bring back your home to its fabulous, gleaming state, make sure that the season of festivities did not leave a permanent mark in your home. Treetopia has gathered some quick fixes for unwanted stains that usually come with amazing parties.

 

Sauces, Condiments, and Grease

We all want our food to have the most delectable flavors; however, sometimes the flavors roll off our plates to embrace our linen table cloths and carpets. Instead of allowing the stain to settle and spending a lot of time in an attempt to revive the initial glorious appearance of your fabrics and linens, do a quick first-aid rescue using ordinary household items. Use a paper towel to scoop up the excess sauce, condiment, or food grease, then dab the stained area with a dishwashing liquid solution. Rinse with cold water.

 

 

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Forget ghosts and ghouls! Here are some Halloween costumes that will surely get you noticed.

Halloween is creeping up fast behind you, getting closer and closer until you can feel its breath on your neck, sending chills down your spine. Are you prepared to go out on Halloween and show off your costume? If you haven’t prepared your costume yet, or have no idea about what to wear, here are some Halloween costume suggestions you can try out for yourself:

Photo from Bob Jagendorf via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Join the Horde
A classic Halloween costume, you will definitely come across a few people dressed as zombies in varying degrees of decay. Use your artistic skills with simple or prosthetic make-up to achieve the perfect look of decay. Top it off with tattered clothing, a splash of fake blood and a limp to give you that realistic zombie appearance.  Since it has been popularized by computer games, television shows and a few recent films, you will surely be a part of the horde.

Smooth Operator
Men can go for a classic crisp look with a tuxedo paired with a bow tie or a suit with a fashionable neck tie to give that sharp, smooth super spy James Bond look. Keep a stash of gadgets to impress the ladies or make a quick getaway. Don’t forget to call M to get briefed on your mission!

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If you’re throwing a party this Halloween, do something unique that will make your party one to remember. Instead of just buying candies and chocolates from the store like everybody else does, have your guests take home some memorable homemade party favors. Here are some ideas for fun and sassy party favors your Halloween party guests will absolutely adore.

Design Your Own Coffin

Since Halloween is all about ghouls, ghosts, and vampires, make your guests design their own edible coffins. Bake a few batches of cookies, gingerbread, or whatever pastry you can cut into the shape of a coffin. When the pastries have been shaped and cooled, set them aside.

Don’t forget to buy materials for decorating the coffins. Chocolate or strawberry syrup, mini marshmallows, chocolate or rainbow sprinkles, crushed nuts, fruits – it’s up to you. Make sure you set up a separate coffin station so your guests can sit down while working on their designs.

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Halloween used to be more about kids wearing spooky costumes and going door-to-door seeking candy. However, now that you’re all grown up, you need an exciting and appealing substitute for trick-or-treating that will make your holiday unforgettable. Here are some off-beat Halloween party ideas that will help ensure you won’t miss the fun on October 31.


Image by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hogwarts Halloween

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling is not just young adult fiction; it is now also a cult classic that even grown-ups can appreciate. Have your guests come as Harry Potter characters, and serve snacks and cocktails like All Flavor Beans and Butter Beer. Place a sign above your door that says, “Platform 9 ¾,” and add an element of surprise by using a Sorting Hat to divide your guests into houses. Organize games such as Muggle Quidditch. The house with the most points at the end of the party gets a prize. You can even set up your house to look like the Leaky Cauldron!

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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.

Let’s be honest – Valentine’s Day drives everyone nuts. Every year, countless people make grand romantic gestures in the throes of this temporary insanity and wind up falling flat on their faces.

If you think getting rejected in front of all your friends is embarrassing, be thankful you’re not always in the public eye like celebrities are. While we always have the chance to conveniently forget our romantic faux pas the next time February 14 rolls around, the more famous folks among us have to live with each agonizing mistake recorded forever on tabloids, news sites, and artificial Christmas tree company blogs. This Valentine’s Day, we’d like to give you the gift of schadenfreude with this list of famous romantic mistakes:

Having a Spur-of-the-Moment Wedding in Vegas

So you meet someone and you feel like it’s love at first sight. You’re in Vegas and after three rounds of shots, you both decide it’s a good idea to tie the knot. Britney Spears did it with childhood friend Jason Alexander, and Britney had the marriage annulled just hours later. Pam Anderson had her own Vegas wedding after a night of bar hopping – she and short-time hubby Rick Salomon got an annulment two months later. See the trend?

Sure, less-famous people do the same thing every day, but their mistakes aren’t front-page tabloid fodder for the next week. Here’s a tip for you lovebirds out there: alcohol + wedding chapel doesn’t automatically mean romance. Stay clear of this gaffe and avoid the hangover of your life (along with some pretty hefty lawyer’s fees) by not partying too hard in Sin City.

Tattooing Her Name on Parts of Your Body

It’s permanent ink. It hurts. It’s usually in easily-visible parts of the human body. It’s a horrible, horrible mistake if you’re part of a Hollywood romance.

Johnny Depp was once so in love with his Edward Scissorhands costar that he had “Winona Forever” tattooed on his right bicep. Ten years later, he’s had kids with another woman and she’s been in court for shoplifting. The tattoo is still there, but he’s had to have additional work done to change it to “Wino Forever”. Denise Richards got “Winning” star Charlie Sheen’s name tattooed on her ankle. After their divorce, it was reworked into a fairy.

When you’re a big star and want to forget a failed romance, you probably don’t want to have lasers and needles involved. Instead of getting a tattoo of your partner, go for flowers and candy instead. They may not last forever, but your relationship might not, either.

Having an Affair with a Married Person

Husband-stealer, home-wrecker, tramp – there are dozens of words we wouldn’t want associated with us, ever. When you’re in the spotlight and dating someone else’s significant other, however, random strangers on pages all over the Internet get to call you that.

Leanne Rimes and Eddie Cibrian were the focus of an Internet mob when they were caught by their respective spouses cheating with each other. Adopters extraordinaire Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt supposedly started their affair while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith, despite Brad still being married to Jennifer Aniston at the time. What followed suit was a pop culture war between Team Angelina and Team Jennifer.

Tabloids love it when celebrity couples ruin their marriages, and people just love to eat these stories up. Having illicit affairs with paparazzi following you around will make sure that it all gets discovered and airs on television the next day. So as a helpful reminder from us here at Treetopia, please don’t like it if someone else put a ring on it.

There are countless other stories out there, each more cringe-inducing than the last. This Valentine’s Day, let’s all take some time to be thankful our romantic faux pas aren’t plastered all over magazine covers.

 

Image by Dewet, accessed via commons.wikimedia.org.

Super Bowl XLVI promises to be an epic battle between the New England Patriots (Go Pats!) and the New York Giants, and we all know what that means – it’s time for a Super Bowl Sunday party! There’s nothing like watching a thriller in the company of good friends and good food, unless of course you’re lucky enough to get tickets to the big game. For those of us who’ll be stuck at home watching the game on TV, things can be just as fun with a few party tricks:

1. Plan Your Guests

The people you invite make up the bulk of your party’s atmosphere, so it’s really important that you get the right folks to come over. From my experience, it’s always good to have some of your loudest, most raucous friends watch the game with you. Noisy fans tend to have contagious energy levels, which is key to creating that stadium feel at home. Besides, who watches football quietly seated in the corner?

You have to make sure, however, that whoever you invite is a good sport. You want this in case your team loses (Brady isn’t going to let that happen, of course); bad sports make for bad company in these situations. They’re either big downers or so full of anger that their moods will actually spread throughout the party.

This is especially important if you have friends rooting for the opposite team. The occasional ribbing is part of the fun with sports, but you don’t want anyone starting fights in the heat of the moment – especially when you have the safety of your furniture to think about.

2. Put Up Some Unique Decorations

While the game and your guests set most of the party’s atmosphere, your decorations will go a long way into creating the mood, particularly during the pre-game.  Put things over the top by using a unique focal point to the decorations, along with some other unconventional items throughout the house. Not only do these pieces keep everyone’s minds on football, but their wow factor also serves as a conversation starter.

This year, I’m bringing out my red, navy and silver Christmas trees and setting up a sort of “Super Bowl nook”. It’s always fun to see your team’s colors where you’d least expect them. I even bought some cute tree ornaments from the NFL shop to spruce things up.

If you have kids, you can gather up some clothes in your team’s colors and dress up some of their stuffed toys. Give the toys their own “bleacher” – an unused chair or sofa – and craft up some handmade pennants and signs. This will give you a second group of adorable fans to watch the game with.

Feel free to experiment and indulge your creativity. The more out there your ideas are, the more interesting your décor will be.

3. Go Overboard with the Food

By “overboard”, I mean both in flavor and in quantity. Savory food like buffalo wings and pizza always add to the energy of the affair, and they taste fantastic to boot. You’ll also want to prepare food for more people than you’re expecting; people tend to get peckish before, during, and after the game. You also never know who’s going to bring a surprise plus one to the affair.

For my parties, I also like to toss in a quirky item into the menu. Last year, I made perogis stuffed with 3 types of Wisconsin cheese and jalapenos in honor of the Steelers and Packers. This year, I’m baking up a batch of gingerbread men wearing Patriot and Giant uniforms. This way, the Patriots will be with us in more ways than one, and we can bite the heads off of the Giants. It’s win-win, in my opinion!

4. Have Extra Entertainment Handy

It’s crucial that you don’t depend entirely on the game to keep your guests entertained. Not everyone enjoys the halftime show, and some people tend to linger for a while after the game. We typically fire up the kids’ Xbox for a little football gaming after the final whistle, but I’m thinking of doing something different this year. We bought a couple of new board games recently, so I’m probably going to try them out with everyone once the game’s done.

Of course, what you do at your party is purely dependent on what your friends are interested in. If you have a bunch of budding singers at your party, renting out a karaoke machine is always a good idea. Cocktails are also always welcome, and you won’t have to strain your imagination too much. What’s important is that you always have something fun to break any possible lull moments with.

Hopefully, these tips have given you a few ideas on how to make your own Super Bowl party extra special this year. Let’s hope Sunday’s game is just as good!

 

Trophy photo by pkeleher, pizza photo public domain. Both accessed via commons.wikimedia.org.