10 Simple Steps to Prepare for Your Party

I was so excited when Jennifer Tankersley of List Mama Blog agreed to share one of her oh-so-organized lists with Throughfully Simple readers! Anyone who knows me (just ask my Host… aka Husband) will tell you that I make lists for just about everything. The difference between my lists and Jennifer’s..well hers you can understand and they are fun to read! Here is one of my favorites that you can use time and time again.

List of Steps to a Fun Night of Entertaining Friends

{via Jennifer at List Mama Blog}

I love the idea of having friends over. I like the planning and the scrambling. I think for me it is a bit like running a race – kind of painful preparing, but always worth it! It is easy to get overwhelmed with what may seem like a lot of details in the planning. If you break the planning and preparation up into smaller parts, then you will see that entertaining friends in your home on a Saturday night can truly be an enjoyable experience for the whole family. Here are some of the steps to entertaining in your home.

  1. Decide on the menu. This will indicate how formal the evening should be.
  2. Create the guest list. Will it be an intimate gathering or more of a party?
  3. Decide on a date and time.
  4. Invite your guests. The final number will help you know how much food you’ll need to prepare.
  5. Create a shopping list. Don’t forget the beverages, napkins, and even candles.
  6. Make your cleaning list. I love having people over because it is the only time I am truly motivated to deep clean my house. Look at it as an opportunity!
  7. Plan some entertainment. Browse through your favorite tunes to find some appropriate music. Rent a movie for the kids. Dust off a game or two.
  8. Make ahead anything that can be made ahead: dessert, cut vegetables, casserole or soup.
  9. Create a timeline so that you are not preparing up to the minute your guests arrive.
  10. Enjoy! This is supposed to be fun, remember? Relax and enjoy old or new friends.

ListPlanIt.com has many of the pages you need to plan a fantastic evening with friends. You’ll find party planning pages, grocery lists, cleaning lists, and even a timeline to plot your preparation and party. Use promo code “listmama” to get a yearly membership for just $19.95.

Tell me, wouldn’t this list be super helpful? Well, go ahead print it out and use it :).

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Cookie Favors You’ll Crave!

While browsing around Etsy {my favorite way to procrastinate discover fab finds}, I came across Cakebox Cookies. Let me just say, they make fabulous cookie favors that you will crave! Check out a few of my favorites:

Bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, or even just a sweet tooth- it seems to me Cakebox Cookies has got your cookie favors covered! I only wonder if the are simply too cute to eat?!

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Wedding Inspiration: Yellow and Blue

I have seen this color combo around lately, and it really grew on me. Something about the yellow and blue pair is unexpected and I like it! In all shades, I think this color combo gives off a preppy (yet fun) vibe!

The yellow and blue table inspiration above came right from the pages of InStyle Weddings. Listed as the editors favorite and I can see why! The beauty with this color combination is that you can play with it. Love Yellow more than blue? No problem! Want more blue and just a touch of yellow? This will look great too!

Bring your color theme together in the small things. Serve a yellow cocktail {like this Margarita} and serve yellow desserts. You can even add pops of color like above with this cobalt blue cake stand and stemware. I am loving how unique these are and how they tie they tie in perfectly into the wedding theme.

Hostess Tip:

You can find many, many more cobalt pieces to accent your wedding or give as gifts to your wedding party! Here is my favorite place to shop!

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DIY Bookmarks With Some Color

I have become a huge fan of Jessica Jones and her very crafty blog How About Orange…. Not only does she have fabulous style (I happen to love the color orange myself), she shares some super cool DIY projects that you can try even if you are not Martha Stewart. I am loving these DIY bookmarks…..so SIMPLE!

Made from old paint chips, this project is not only clever, but earth friendly- how thoughtful!

Read the original post to get the inside scoop and DIY instructions.

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Snack Food: Spicy and Sweet

Perfect snack for family night or a big get-together!

Spicy and Sweet Popcorn

{courtesy of Martha Stewart}

Ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated brown sugar (or light-brown sugar, sifted) 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels

Directions
Combine sugar, salt, garam masala, and cayenne in a large serving bowl.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add popcorn, and cover. Cook, shaking pot frequently, until corn has finished popping. Add to bowl, and toss.

Makes 12 cups; serves 4 to 6
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