It seems like only yesterday that we were sunbathing by the pool, grilling burgers at picnics, and vacationing at the beach. Now, it’s time to give summer the awesome send-off it deserves. Gather your friends and soak up some of the last bits of summer fun with a rocking party that will be remembered for many seasons to come. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Set the Scene

First, look for inspiration. Think about what summer means to you and use it as the back story for your décor.

Hawaiian-themed glasses

Photo from JasonLangheine via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Yearning for some sun-drenched tropical fun? Plant down some Tiki lights, prop up your old surfboard, and have guests dress up in sundresses and Hawaiian shirts for a luau-style bash.

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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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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.