Archive of ‘Entertain’ category

The Ultimate Host :: Challenge #2

As you know, I’m partnering with Sterling Vineyards, Padma Lakshmi and 3 other bloggers to help judge this year’s Ultimate Host Challenge and today, I’m announcing the second of four challenges that YOU can enter!

 

I know you are all capable of winning the title of Sterling’s Ultimate Host. You know how to put those thoughtful touches on your events and I know you are all great at finding inspiration. I’d LOVE it if one of you, my talented and charming readers, won this title … so please be sure to enter!

Padma explains the challenge in this video:

 

 

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Challenge 2: Dessert Pairings

“Will you pair zesty lemon squares with Sterling’s citrusy Sauvignon Blanc? Or will it be a romantic evening with chocolate and robust Sterling Merlot? Crafting the perfect dessert and wine pairings is just one hallmark of the Ultimate Host.”

How to enter: Simply submit your video, photo, or text submission to show us how you would complete this challenge. All entries should be submitted on Sterling Vineyards’ Facebook page here. Entries must be submitted by October 9, 2012.

What you can WIN: Winners from each of the 4 challenges win a Sterling gift basket and a chance to compete in a grand finale event in NYC for the top prize of $25,000 plus a trip for 2 to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival in Carmel, CA. PLUS, the title of “Sterling Ultimate Host” for the year.

I know you are brimming with ideas for this challenge! Submit your video, photo, or text entry with your great ideas for a Ladies’ (or Guys’) night in over on Sterling Vineyard’s Facebook page!

Okay tell me, who’s entering (’cause I really want to meet you in NYC!)?

 

 

 

 

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The Ultimate Host :: Challenge #1

Last week I shared that I’ll be partnering with Sterling Vineyards, Padma Lakshmi and 3 other bloggers to help judge this year’s Ultimate Host Challenge and today, I’m announcing the first of  four challenges that YOU can enter!

The Ultimate Host challenge 1

 

I know you are all capable of winning the title of Sterling’s Ultimate Host. You know how to put those thoughtful touches on your events and I know you are all great at finding inspiration. I’d LOVE it if one of you, my talented and charming readers, won this title … so please be sure to enter!

Padma explains the challenge in this video:

 

……………………………………………………………..

Challenge 1: Ladies’ (or Guys’) Night In

“Do your friends always congregate at your house for dinner parties? Do you make an effort to include special touches in décor and theme while creating memories in your home? If so, this could be your challenge to shine!”

 

How to enter: Simply submit your video, photo, or text submission to show us how you would complete this challenge. All entries should be submitted on Sterling Vineyards’ Facebook page here.  Entries must be submitted by September 20, 2012.

What you can WIN:  Winners from each of the 4 challenges win a Sterling gift basket and a chance to compete in a grand finale event in NYC for the top prize of $25,000 plus a trip for 2 to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival in Carmel, CA. PLUS, the title of “Sterling Ultimate Host” for the year.

I know you are brimming with ideas for this challenge! Submit your video, photo, or text entry with your great ideas for a Ladies’ (or Guys’) night in over on Sterling Vineyard’s Facebook page!

Okay tell me, who’s entering (’cause I really want to meet you in NYC!)?

 

 

 

 

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Could you be the Ultimate Host?

 

Do you love to entertain? Do you often gather friends and your favorite wine and make it an affair? Sterling Vineyards is searching for the next Ultimate Host …. could it be you?

 

 Sterling Wines Ultimate Host Challenge

 

I’m so excited to share that I’ve partnered with Sterling Vinyards along with 3 other chosen blogger experts  (see below) and the lovely Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef to act as the judging panel for the Ultimate Host Challenge!

 

 

So, get ready to showcase your creative flair for entertaining in four biweekly challenges announced here on Thoughtfull Simple and on Sterling Vineyards Facebook page. The winner from each of the 4 challenge rounds will recieve a gift basket from Sterling Wines AND will be joining the other finalist for a grand finale event in NYC this December (and I’ll be there too!) to compete for $25,000 and the title as Sterling’s Ultimate Host.

 Along with Padma, there will be a panel of judges for each round of challenges and for the finale event.

Meet Your Judges

Be sure to check out all the expert tips we’re sharing over on the Sterling Facebook page. And stay tuned for our announcement of the first challenge!

Update: Challenge #1 is live — details here.

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How to make tissue paper pom poms

I’m a big fan of using tissue paper pom poms in my party decor. What I love about them is that they are inexpensive and can be used in a wide variety of events. I’ve used them for birthday parties (like this candy party) and baby shower (like this spring shower) + many other events. I often get asked how I make them — so today, I thought I would share my tips for making and also for buying tissue pom poms.

how to make tissue paper pom poms

How to make tissue paper pom poms. They aren’t difficult to make, but I’ll be honest and say they are time consuming. If you have a couple nights to dedicate to making them while watching your favorite TV show, I say go for it. Here are the simple steps I follow:

how to make tissue paper pom poms

Aren’t those finished pom poms gorgeous?! They were used in a first birthday party I spotted over on The Sweetest Occasion.      The DIY method looks like this, not too much to it. It’s a pretty simple method and you can check out the full details and how-to here. Remember though to give yourself some time (and extra tissue for mistakes)! Also, I recommended finding a little higher quality (aka thicker) tissue than what you might typically use for gift wrapping. It’s easier to tear and the thicker paper tends to hold up nicer.

If I’ve scared you or the DIY method just isn’t your thing, I suggest just ordering your tissue pom poms.  They are inexpensive and this will save you from having to trek to 8 different stores in 3 cities to find the perfect shade of teal tissue paper (not like I’ve done that or anything).

Whether you make them, or buy them … these tissue poms are a great way to add some flair without breaking the budget. My daughter even re-purposed her poms from her recent birthday party into decor for her bedroom — love that!

Tori Tait on Instagram

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How to host a pint size party & GIVEAWAY!

I recently partnered with Apartment Guide to bring you 3 party planning tips for hosting a entertaining in small spaces (check out my tips here). Today, I’m sharing more tips for entertaining & living in small spaces plus launching a $50 Target GIVEAWAY that you can use for your next gathering.

If you are planning a get together, party, or dinner for guests — make an effort to keep things simple, this will allow you to stay within a smaller budget. Here are a few easy ways to plan a great gathering without overspending:

pint size party

{tip #3 :: image from this 30th birthday party}

1. Reuse items from your home. Move around candles, decor items, and use older pieces from your kitchen in new ways. This prevents you from buying new pieces that you can’t afford (or store!).

2. Keep the menu simple. Serve just a few items rather than offering a ton of choices. A salad, burger, and dessert is plenty. Don’t get distracted by  thinking of all the sides and extras you can do. Keep the menu small. It will save you money at the store and time in the kitchen!

3. Choose a signature drink or stick to beer & wine. No need to stock a full bar. That will put a big dent in your budget (think of all the liquor and mix-ins you’d need) and take up valuable counter space in your home. Instead, create one signature drink or stick to the basics and serve beer & wine only.

I also love these simple ideas from Apartment Guide that will help you get ready for your next pint size party: get creative with frugal decor ideas & decorating a small space.

You can check out more tips at Moving Today and on the Apartment Guide blog

Target Giveaway

What are your tips for entertaining in a small space and/or on a small budget?

Comment below to enter to win a $50 Target gift card!

Contest is now closed – Congrats to Crystal!

{contest ends Sunday March 31, 2012 at 11pm PST}

Editor’s Note: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Entertaining: small space & savvy budget

I entertain in my home a lot — most often it’s the my go-to venue for hosting events. In fact, you can see that my home was the venue for parties here, here, here and here (just to name a few). One of the biggest challenges in hosting a party in your home can be lack of space. When I’m planning a party, I start out by thinking how I will break down the space in my home and let that lead me in deciding on other party elements like decor, food stations, activities, etc. By utilizing your space and also items that you already own, you can plan a great party — and stick to a smaller budget (a bonus!).

I’ve partnered with Apartment Guide to bring you party planning tips for hosting a pint-size party in a small space and on a savvy budget.

party planning tips - space

 

Here are  3 tips that have worked for me when planning a party at home.

party planning budget

1. Don’t be afraid to move things around. Shuffle couches, tables, chairs and take pieces of furniture from one room to the next to accommodate your party needs. For this birthday breakfast party, I wanted to rent a small child-sized long table but had no room to have it in our home. So, I temporally put our dining room table on the patio and placed the small table inside. It worked perfectly!

party planning tips - activities

2. Utilize your space. Whether it’s setting up a bar, food station, or place to do activities — just move stuff around a bit and use the space to have, you can make it work! For this baking and craft party, I turned our kitchen island into a cupcake decorating station. After the activity was over, I cleared the mess and used the same space to set out the party food. Simple!

party planning tips - space

3. Think outside the box. Turn “dead space” into a functional space. Use your mantel as a place to set arranged flowers or photos of the guest of honor, turn your porch into a decorated entrance to your party — just be creative! Here, we set up a DIY photo booth on the landing of our stairs. No one was going to be going upstairs during the party so we used this dead space to set up this photo booth. It was perfect and out was out of the main traffic areas of our home.

Want to find even more entertaining tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget-friendly ideas for people in any sized home on Moving Today and the Apartment Guide blog.

Get more:

  • Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide offers how-to tips for entertaining and making the most of your space on a budget.
  • If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.
  • “Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @AptGuide and “circle” them on Google+ for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space.

PLUS: Stay tuned for more party planning tips for living & entertaining in small spaces and a fun giveaway from Apartment Guide {coming soon!}

party planning tips

What’s your tip for entertaining in small spaces and on a savvy budget? I’d love to hear them!

 

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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