Archive for Party Planning
Last week you heard about the time we spent with Aaron and Kiori in Scottsdale for their Canal Convergence exhibit. In just a short five years of marriage they have developed a strong personal and business relationship with their company, Purring Tiger. They collaborate on their interactive art installations in a remarkable way. They are approaching their 5th anniversary so I thought I would share several of our most popular blog posts that revolved around their wedding cake.
Their wedding was very simple in Hernshead, a very peaceful location in NYC Central Park.
Their wedding reception was a picnic on the lawn. For this very casual setting they requested that I make a wedding cheesecake (their favorite “mom’s” dessert). Undaunted I set out to make this cake in NC and transport to NYC. Click here to read the story.
It was a real challenge but I was up for it. So, if you ever need to make a wedding cake cheesecake here are the details complete with the basic recipe.
I have used this same recipe over and over again adapting it from mini cheesecakes to a four layer wedding cake. The past few years I have modified the crust of the recipe to be gluten free. If you would like more information about GF options please leave me a response. Here is recent rendition of a mini-cheesecake with a GF chocolate cookie crust, raspberry sauce, and creme fraiche. Yum!
If you make this cheesecake please let me know how it came out. Don’t worry if it cracks or is not perfect. Berries and toppings hide everything. The pleasure is is n the taste. Enjoy!
On another note (and topic for a future post) I had a great fused glass experience last week. I made a 27″ tall glass totem piece. It has not been fired yet but maybe by next week I can share.
My best to all,
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
Working with you to create your lifestyle!
2014 has kept this girl busy. As Mary would say: “How do you even keep up with your social calendar, I would go crazy!” You could say I’m a bit of a social butterfly. I love parties, entertaining and being around friends and family. My mom has six siblings. Four of them are my next door neighbors. Naturally we have lots of family events and my house is party central.
This year so far I have helped host four baby showers, a bridal shower, served as maid-of-honor and attended several other weddings, birthday parties and cookouts. We are only at the halfway point of 2014! I am also a bridesmaid in another wedding in September. I am looking forward to helping host a baby shower for our very own, Autumn Wenger, due in December! However, I’m not complaining! It’s my next favorite thing to do besides designing.
I wanted to share some of the highlights and advice I could give from my experience with these parties. It’s nice to be behind the scenes, I always take mental notes of “what would I have done differently.”
1. Focal Points-something that catches the guest attention
It’s important to have a focal point at your event. This helps bring a “wow” factor to your party. You are certainly welcome to have more than one focal point depending on the size of your venue. Focal points come in all different shapes and sizes. A focal point could be the wedding cake, a floral arrangement centerpiece or a rustic chandelier placed above the dance floor.
2. Personal Touches-Additional touches that bring out the qualities of guests of honor
I would highly recommend this for your next party or event. Personal touches are a great way to add a special touch to make your event more memorable. Your guest will recognize and appreciate that you went that extra mile adding these into your planning and decorating.
3. Recruit A Team-Support system
No matter how small of a party you are planning, try to have a team. It’s okay to have a team of one or many, as long as you have someone by your side. I have been very fortunate to have been apart of some amazing teams this year already. It’s always nice to have a second opinion and a second set of eyes. Even if your teammate has possibly never planned a party, surely they have been to one. Their past experiences combined with your expertise makes a great team to help you create an amazing event. You will be glad you had these people to help you along the way.
4. Don’t loose sight-Try and remember “Why” you are doing this.
Sometimes the stress of projects can get to us. It’s hard to find time to plan these events between our normal daily routines. It can become stressful and tiring. However, it’s okay to take a break! We need to sometimes take a step back. I have been told many times in design school to walk away from the drafting table, go do something fun for a few hours and then come back to it. It’s almost like getting a second look or putting on a new set of eyes. One more thing you should do is take a moment and think about the people you are having the event for and the purpose. I’m sure there is a special reason behind the madness. This can usually help push you through.
5. Last but no least-ENJOY!
Once the party planning has come to an end and it’s now the day of your event. However, your behind the scenes duties may not be completely just yet. Please, remember to take a moment and enjoy the event you helped create! This is where you take all of your hard work in. This is important! There’s nothing more satisfying than realizing your efforts are appreciated. Trust me, the smiles you have put on your loved ones faces are a priceless, picture perfect memory. The months and prep for these parties that only last a few hours always seem to go by way too fast! So take a moment and enjoy them!
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of some of the parties and events I have helped create! Party planning is my second love right behind design. However, my design degree sure comes in handy. I look forward to the other parties and events 2014 has in store! If you ever need advice or help creating your memorable evening, don’t hesitate to ask!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living-Working with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!
I attended an amazing Christmas party this past weekend, which gave me the inspiration for my blog this week. When I attend parties I am constantly taking mental notes of my favorite things. I’d like to think of it as a mini Pinterest board in my head. I’m constantly “pinning” these ideas to have for when I decide to host my own holiday party. Here are a few things I would keep “pinned” when planning your holiday gathering.
It’s always a good idea when you’re sending out your invitations to include a way for guest to RSVP, especially when you’re going to serve food. The Christmas party I attended this weekend was scheduled at 7PM with cocktails and heavy hor d’oeuvres.
Here are a few party planning rules of thumb to consider when planning your holiday menu: (refer to the chart to the right)
If you are planning to feature hor d’oeuvres, here are some other tips:
-3-7 bites per person when accompanied by a large dinner
– 10-12 bites per person when accompanied by a light dinner
-20 bites per person if hor d’oeuvres only
Remember to provide a variety of foods to please everyone. Try to have hot and cold foods, but also be considerate of vegetarians, vegans, and food allergies to keep everyone nibbling throughout the night. Don’t forget to have something sweet, too!
The Themed Christmas Party.
Tacky Christmas Sweater Party: I must say this party makes for the best holiday photos! I have been to a few of these, I try to make it a personal challenge to find the tackiest of Christmas sweaters. Just about any sweater with a Christmas tree, reindeer, or snowmen on the front will do. This would be the easiest of parties to host, just ask your guest to please wear a Christmas sweater.
Christmas Cookie Swap: This would be a great party with your girlfriends during the holidays. Invite your friends to bring their favorite Christmas cookies with their favorite bottle of wine, and you have an instant girl’s night. Don’t forget to have goodie bags for your guests to take their favorite cookies home at the end of the night. You can also ask the guest to bring copies of the recipe to share.
I love these cookies. I think they would be a great hit at your next Cookie Swap event!
There are lots of other kinds of parties you can host such as: 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Gift Wrapping Party, Ornament Making, and many more. Don’t forget the little ones. Let them join in the fun and host a gingerbread house making party or cookie decorating event.
Keep your guest active by adding games to your party schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed the games I part took in this weekend. Here are just a few games with their rules you should try to incorporate in your party planning:
White Elephant, Dirty Santa, & Chinese Gift Exchange: I have heard this game called by several different names, but these are probably the most popular. It’s ultimately a fun re-gifting exchange game, Click the link to find out how to play. http://www.wikihow.com/Organize-a-White-Elephant-Gift-Exchange
The Reindeer Antlers Balloon Game will be your new holiday favorite. I had never played this game before until this weekend. Let’s just say I wasn’t on the winning team but I had a great time participating! Here’s how to play: http://www.cookie-exchange.com/party_games/reindeer_antlers_balloon_game.html
The 12 Days of Christmas: We were divided into groups and given one of the 12 days of Christmas. We started off the song and when your number came up it was your turn to sing and act out your number! I must say this was a great hit, I definitely enjoyed seeing my cousin acting like a “french hen” for the third day.
There are many games out there, just make sure they are appropriate for the crowd you are hosting. There is no time limit to the games, but give your guests breaks so they don’t feel like Santa on Christmas Eve!
Favors are not something you have to do, but they are always a great way to say thank you to your guest for attending your party. Favors do not have to cost you a fortune. They can be easy to make and become little mementos for your holiday fun filled night. Here are just a few to consider:
Red Tic Tacs can be transformed in to “Reindeer Noses”. Just add a cute little label and “Wah Lah!” a party favor that will have your guest smiling all the way back to their homes. I have even seen green tic tacs labeled as “Christmas tree seeds.” So Cute!
Try tying a cute bow on different Christmas Cookie cutters for an instant easy party gift as well.
If you have a little more time on your hand, these sleighs made of candy are an awesome Christmas party favor.
Click the picture to find out how to make this tasty sleigh!
Good Luck Party Planning.
Just remember no matter what you decided to serve, what theme your party is, or what games you play, your party will be a success only because of the loved ones that attend. Tis the season to remember our friends and family which is the true meaning of Christmas! I wish you the best of luck and safe travels to all your holiday celebrations! Last but not least, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living, working with you to create your lifestyle!