How To Do A Surprise Party In 7 Easy Steps

How To Do A Surprise Party In 7 Easy Steps

A surprise party is an amazing way to gather together your friends and family for a fun celebration. Surprise parties are generally held to celebrate birthdays, engagements, weddings, retirements, or holidays like Christmas or Easter. The biggest downside most people fear is that knowing it’s their birthday, engagement, or other special occasions most likely means the person will start trying to guess what is going on and ruin the surprise. The key to throwing an amazing surprise party is to keep it a secret and follow our guidelines for putting together all of the details, so nothing gets missed or messed up.

Surprise Parties – How To Do A Surprise Party In 7 Easy Steps:

Step 1. 

Speak with individuals who would like to attend the surprise party. This ensures that they won’t tell your loved one

Step 2. 

Decide on a date, time, and location for the party. It’s best to schedule it for some time when you know your loved one will be occupied or out of town. Also, make sure it is at an easily accessible location with ample parking nearby if you are throwing your party at a restaurant or other venue.

Step 3. 

Invite every person who will attend the party, even if you already know they can’t make it. The more people you inform, the better because that means that there’s less chance of someone giving away the surprise to your loved one before it happens. Also, be sure to include all of your loved ones’ friends as well as close family members.

Step 4. 

Plan out the surprise party as much as you can, without giving away what you’re planning to those that haven’t been informed. Decide on a theme for the party, whether it’s a birthday, engagement, or graduation celebration, and get started with food, drinks, and entertainment.

If you do not use caterers and want to prepare the food yourself remember to keep it easy, light and tasty. Try a barbecue, restaurant style hakka noodles or snack platters. Make sure you have presents for the guest of honor, and try to book entertainment, performers, or party games if you don’t want your guests simply sitting around talking all night.

Step 5. 

Send out invitations at least a couple of weeks in advance, planning it close to when your loved one will make their big announcement. That way, they are caught off guard when you tell them that it’s for their party instead of what they were expecting.

Step 6. 

On the night of the surprise party, make sure to capture every moment with pictures and video. The best way to do this is to have someone take pictures with a digital camera or smartphone while another person records things on video. This way, even if you forget to take pictures, your friend or family member can still have proof of the amazing time they had on their special day.

Step 7. 

Give your loved ones an incredible surprise party that they will always remember! Be sure to include all of their favorite foods and drinks as well as the people that matter most to them in their life. Having this moment will be an unforgettable memory for everyone involved, and you’ll all cherish this day forever.

There You Have It

If you follow these steps, your surprise party is sure to turn out great! Everything should run smoothly, so there’s no reason why your loved one should suspect anything!

6 Easy Tips for Your Meal Prep

6 Easy Tips for Your Meal Prep

Deciding what you and your family should eat every day can be challenging, especially if you don’t have much time on your hands. However, this task can be much easier if you consider planning your meals. Meal prep provides you and your family with several benefits, including helping you to be more conscious of what you eat, reducing unhealthy snacking, and helping you save time and money. Here are some straightforward tips to help make your meal prep as easy and effective as possible. 

  • Add each food group

No matter how long you’re planning your meals, be it for a week or month, it’s essential to incorporate each food group to make your meals as healthy as possible. A nutritious meal plan includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, protein, etc. It’s best to incorporate more of these healthy elements while reducing excessive sugars and salt. You can consider buying such ingredients in bulk to save you time and help you portion them so you can easily use them when the need arises. 

  • Make small changes

If you’ve never tried meal prep, you may feel unsure where and how to start. However, you don’t need to do everything at a go; you can start small and keep going at it consistently till it becomes a habit. You can get started with a brief plan on a few meals for the week, for instance, breakfast. As time goes on, you can eventually build on it to add more meals and get more creative. When you grow more confident, you can try simple, time-saving tricks such as how to roast turnips, to help you plan and prepare healthy meals. 

  • Organize your space

To make your meal plans easier and more effective, it would help to organize areas such as your fridge, kitchen, and pantry, to quickly find the things you need and feel less stressed during the process. It’s best to also set aside some time for grocery shopping, so you can buy the ingredients you need for your meal prep and ensure your pantry is well-stocked with all the essential items. Having a list will help you be more organized and reduce impulse buying. 

Other good ways to be organized are to find what works best for you, make your space as decluttered as possible, and place items where you can easily find them. Doing this will also make it easier for you to take inventory of what you have, so you can quickly identify what you’ll need on your next visit to the grocery store. 

  • Get durable and quality storage containers 

The containers you store your meal prep items in are crucial, as they help ensure that your meals stay fresh for a while. Getting quality storage containers can also help you feel more organized during meal prep, as you don’t have to spend too much time looking for the right bowl or lid for your meals. It’s best to consider the purpose of the containers you want to guide you when getting the ideal ones. For example, if you’re using the microwave often or freezing some of your ingredients, you should get suitable containers for those purposes. Remember to get different sizes as well, so you’re not limited in your storage. This way, you can get large servings that last you a while. 

  • Ask for help when you need it

You don’t always have to do meal prep or think of exciting menus on your own. You can make it a fun activity by involving your family. You can ask them for their opinion on what they’d like to see on the menu, and also ask for their help in activities such as cutting up ingredients, packing the meals in different containers, etc. Doing this also helps you spend some quality time with your loved ones. You can also ask friends for ideas or check out food blogs whenever you run out of inspiration. Meal prep doesn’t have to be boring; asking for help can give you fresh ideas and make your meals enjoyable. 

  • Be intentional about your time

An essential aspect of successful meal prep is making time for it. Even a few minutes out of your busy schedule can help make the process worthwhile. Depending on your goals, you may need to take about 15 to 20 minutes, or a few hours, so you can make the most out of your meal prep and then not have to worry about it for the rest of the week. You only need to set some time aside and also remain consistent.

Creative New Year’s Party Ideas

Creative New Year’s Party Ideas

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with one of these fun party themes.

Five. Four. Three. Two. One! Say goodbye to 2019 and hello to the New Year by hosting a theme party for friends and family. Whether you’re looking for over-the-top fun or a more low-key celebration, the countdown to midnight will pass in a flash with these ten fun New Year’s party ideas. You won’t want the night to end!

DECADE PARTY

We may be heading into 2020, but who says we can’t party like it’s the ’60s or ’90s? Centre your New Year’s party theme around your favourite decade and invite your guests to come dressed to impress for your chosen time period. If the ’60s are your decade of choice, think retro, whether it be with psychedelic décor colours (think electric blue, orange, pink and purple) or food that defined the era like crescent rolls stuffed with hot dogs, also known as “Pigs in a Blanket.” The possibilities are endless with every decade, so be sure to get creative no matter which nostalgic way you decide to celebrate the New Year.

OLD HOLLYWOOD GLAM

Serve up some Old Hollywood glamour as you celebrate the New Year with this throwback-themed party idea. Encourage your guests to come dressed to the nines—think red-carpet-worthy gowns for the women and classic tuxes for the men. A cocktail-party setup works best for this theme, as it allows guests to mingle while they sip on drinks and munch on appetizers. For your décor, use accents in classic Old Hollywood colours like black, red and gold. Wow your guests by adding a red carpet to your front entryway and place lit candles around the party setting to create a romantic mood. Remember, it’s all in the details!

 

COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE WORLD

With the popularity of TV shows like The Walking Dead and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, zombie mania doesn’t seem to be letting up, so why not throw a zombie-themed End of the World party? Sarah Conley, owner and operator of Celebrations by Sarah in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, suggests inviting your guests to dress up as zombies or a character from their favourite zombie-themed show or movie. To achieve an apocalyptic atmosphere, Conley recommends staging areas of your home with overturned furniture, having almost-empty kitchen cupboards and a playing a video reel of a fake news broadcast about the rise of the zombies. “At midnight you could really freak your guests out by shutting off the power, getting a strobe light going and having zombie actors move through your space,” she says. It’s a fun and unforgettable way to ring in the New Year

POTLUCK PARTY

Invite your guests to contribute to the execution of a successful New Year’s party by hosting a potluck. Ask each guest to bring a savoury food dish, dessert or drink. Ensure there’s a variety of things to feast on by making a list of specific items you want (keeping in mind dietary restrictions) and assigning one to each guest. It’s the best way to make sure you provide options for all your guests to enjoy. These 11 potluck recipes are sure to be a hit if you’re looking for recipes that make great sharing dishes. Remember to let guests know ahead of time in order to avoid duplicate or disappointing dishes. In the end, it’s all about coming together and counting down to a New Year.

BLACK AND GOLD EVENT

Deck your home with black and gold accents to celebrate the New Year in luxe style. Start by incorporating black and gold helium balloons—they will float up to the ceiling and hang dramatically as your guests walk through your home. If you plan on having a sit-down dinner, your dinnerware should follow the same colour scheme as your theme. Adorn your table with gold candelabras and black candles to add a touch of sophistication and romance to the overall setting. Hints of gold glitter add an extra-special touch and tie the theme together. Stuck for ideas? How about edible glitter on the rim of cocktail glasses, or a DIY gold glitter ‘Cheers’ garland that can be used as a backdrop for a photo station where your guests can goof around with props and capture some of these memorable moments.

cheers

 MINUTE TO WIN IT GAME NIGHT

Who needs to get dressed up for a night on the town when you can stay in the comforts of your home and host friends and family for a fun-filled game night inspired by the popular show Minute to Win It? “Anyone can compete at these silly, yet challenging games, so this New Year’s Eve party idea would be great for families, especially those with tweens tagging along,” says Conley. The challenges require supplies ranging from pencils and plastic cups, to pantyhose and cotton balls—mostly items you’d have around the house or can be easily found at your local dollar store.

MASQUERADE BALL

Bring out the masks and celebrate the New Year in Venetian style with a masquerade ball. Adorn your home with table linens, pillow throws and props in jeweled-tone colours such as quartz purple, emerald green, ruby red and sapphire blue. And let’s not forget the most important element: the masks. Encourage your guests to come dressed the part and remind them that over-the-top masks and elaborate costumes are welcome. Create an extravagant menu made of simple foods like hors d’oeuvres and other light finger foods. Set the mood by serving champagne cocktails as your guests arrive. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the Phantom of the Opera theme song playing in the background to complete the overall atmosphere as you ring in the New Year.

INDULGENCE PARTY

Say one last goodbye to those decadent foods that most people plan on giving up after New Year’s with this indulgence-themed party. Are some of your guests cutting back on sugar? Dairy? Red meat? Create a dessert table with everyone’s favourite treats, or serve the cheese and charcuterie platters of their dreams! The possibilities are endless with this theme, so be sure to enjoy these guilty pleasures one last time with those you love before it’s time to stick to those New Year’s resolutions.

A DOWNTON AFFAIR

Celebrate the New Year and a new season of the popular British period drama Downton Abbey by throwing a formal dinner party based around the 1920s aesthetic of the show. To execute, Jordan Maxey and Devon Dunn of Smitten Events, a Vancouver-based event planning company, suggest you focus your attention on the details. “Think place cards, menu cards, beautiful place settings and multiple forks,” says Maxey. To create the perfect table setting, check out these helpful tips on how to set your dinner table. For the menu, start your posh dinner party off with class by serving up Raw Oysters on the Half Shelf as an appetizer. For the main, this Porchetta-Style Barbecue Pork Roast is the perfect dish to serve with sophisticated cocktails like this Orange Fizz. If a formal dinner party isn’t your style, an elegant tea party is another way to execute this theme. Of course, you can’t forget to look the part! Invite your guests to dress up in fashions from the 1920s: flapper dresses for the women and classic and sophisticated suits for the men.

COLOURFUL CONFETTI-THEMED BRUNCH

If you’re not a fan of staying up late and celebrating into the night, why not host a confetti-themed New Year’s Day brunch? To bring this theme to life, simply purchase ready-made confetti, or source colourful construction or scrapbook paper from your local craft store and do it yourself by cutting small circles out of the paper. Scatter confetti around your brunch table and fill clear balloons with it to create a festive atmosphere. Invite your guests to wear pastel-coloured clothing to complement your theme. Serve brunch in style by creating a buffet table filled with brunch staples like, pancakes, waffles, crepes. Let’s not forget the mimosas or Caesars—it wouldn’t be brunch without them!

 

Festive Feasting Ideas For 2021

Festive Feasting Ideas For 2021

Drawing nearer to the end of the year, we all have some time to reflect on the year that was while laying down our plans for 2022, and all around the country, we’ll be exchanging thoughts, celebrating victories, and yes, mourning losses too.

The sticky gluey stuff that’s going to keep it all together? Food. Certainly in the United States, we’re a nation of hearty eaters that covers the entire culinary world of experiences.

But we also know that bringing it all together requires more than just great food – it requires a party. A fest if you like, and to that end, we’re going to give you just a few ideas to get you inspired to create one of your very own.

FIRST, ORGANIZE YOUR DATES

If you’re only planning one party this season, or you fancy yourself the host with the most you’re going to save yourself endless drama by taking a look at your calendar and getting a few dates (or just the one) locked and loaded. This will allow you to plan your catering and entertainment accordingly, taking care not to repeat anything and keeping all of your ideas in one strategic place.

PLAN YOUR MENUS

Now that you have your dates down, you can start planning your menus. Exciting, experimental, traditional, fusion – whatever you’re planning on as a theme for your party, your menu should reflect some of it, or be a combination of a couple of different styles. Be cautious not to design an overstimulated menu. Too many rich, starchy dishes are not going to score you any points at all, while an entire menu comprised of the ubiquitous rabbit food is the other end of the extreme and your next RSVP should probably turn out a little thin as a result.

Festive fare doesn’t have to be waistline busting, you can prepare healthy and hearty meals too, just like this homemade cream of chicken soup recipe.

DESIGN SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

Libation is an essential element of a good party and when enjoyed responsibly can be something of a highlight in and of itself. Try out this take on the Moscow Mule.

Any cocktail that you can make with alcohol, you can make without so don’t feel pressured to create boozy menus if you’re not a drinker or if your guests are not either.

IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE

As you’re working through your holiday schedule and planning your parties, remember to plan your music too. It’s not a party without music and investing some time into creating themed playlists that start more chilled and relaxed and build-up to more appropriate party music is a great way to set (and manage) the tone of the evening.

Remember that responsible entertaining is not just the right thing to do as the host of the party, but it is also the legally required thing to do, and if your guests have enjoyed a little too much of the party then be the host that takes the lead and have a taxi service on standby or the guest room with fresh towels.

However, you celebrate this season, be well, blessed, happy, and safe.

How to Host the Perfect Dinner Party

How to Host the Perfect Dinner Party

If you plan to host a dinner party, you may or may not be aware of how stressful it can be. If this is your first dinner party, then don’t be fooled. There is a lot of time and preparation that needs to go into the organization of such an event if you want it to run without a hitch. If you want our dinner party to wow everyone invited, make sure the night is fun and relaxed for everyone, and most of all, you want to make it look as if you have not been stressed out at all, then you need to take a look at the tips below:

The Guests

The first thing you need to do is decide who is coming. The more people you invite, the more difficult it will be. If this is your first dinner party, it is probably best to play it safe and invite around four to six guests. Remember you will all be sitting around the dinner table, so it is probably a good idea to invite people who know each other and already have that rapport. Then you could add one or two extras. You are basically considering the flow of conversation, so think about people who are naturally talkative too. When it comes to creating the invites, then up to a month beforehand is a good shout. This gives everyone a chance to clear their diaries. Ensure you consider any dietary requirements here, so ask the question.   

The Menu

So, you know the dietary requirements of everyone, now it’s time to start preparing what you are going to cook. You are going to want to wow everyone, so lots of time to practice is a must. Going for Tapas or meals you have cooked before may be an idea if this whole process is new to you. However, you can always find excellent recipes like how to roast a cornish hen. For the dessert, ensure you make this around two days before the big day. 

Drinks

Red wines, white wines, rose, beers, and ciders, you are also going to want a few soft drinks for anyone you need a rest from alcohol. Think about wines that accompany the food you are making and buy those. Guests generally tend to bring bottles of wine they like with them, so that makes it a little easier.

Start the Preparations Early

You will want to consider the aesthetic and the atmosphere you want to create. Perhaps think about music in the background. You could create a suitable playlist. Then think about the table and candles, and other decor. Make sure you have enough tableware and cutlery for everyone, plus a couple of spares. You could plan a seated table to ensure everyone is in the best position. Think about anything extra such as special garnishes, tools, plates, dishes, etc. Make a list of all the things you need before you go out to buy it. It is probably best to buy the extra things, including the alcohol before you think about buying the food. The food should be bought a couple of days, maximum, before the event to ensure freshness and quality. Flowers for the table should be bough last, perhaps the day before the event or even that morning, if you’re brave. Another thing to ensure is that you have a bag of ice, which always comes in handy.

The Day Before the Event

This is when you need to give your house a thorough clean, especially the dining room and the closest toilet. You should start preparing the food too, anything that can be done now, do it, wrap and refrigerate. Remember to pick up any flowers you want for your table. It may be an idea to begin preparing the table too. That evening take all the rubbish out, so you have clear bins and wash all dishes and ensure that the dishwasher is totally empty. All these little things will make your life a lot easier on the big day.

On the Day

If you haven’t already done so, lay the table, that is your first job. Then set up the kitchen, cutting boards, and knives on display ready to be used. Ensure you have all the dishes out that you will need. Set up a snack station for your guests when they arrive. Don’t forget to get dressed, and it may be an idea to wear an apron in the kitchen. Remember, you are only human. Give yourself a break, weather any storm, and make sure everyone has something to drink.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Organizing A Secret Party

The Dos And Don’ts Of Organizing A Secret Party

Secret parties are a big thing right now. Many businesses choose to use them in their marketing, but you don’t have to run a business to enjoy the fun that organizing a secret party – or attending one – can bring you. In fact, a secret party can be used for any occasion and makes the event something that everyone will be talking about. 

 Organizing a secret party is something that more and more people are keen to try. It’s an exciting adventure to attend one, so organizing one must be even more fun. However, there are lots of considerations to think about before going ahead if you want it to be a success. Here are some of the dos and don’ts for you to get started with.

Do Have A Backup Venue

Anything can happen when your party is a secret one, so having a second (and perhaps even third) venue in mind can make a big difference. Since it is a secret, changing venues at the last minute will not inconvenience any of your guests, and it means that the party can go on even if there is a problem with the venue you initially chose. 

Do Choose A Date In Advance 

Although the venue can potentially change at the last minute, the date can’t. Once you have told people to keep a date free for a secret, surprise event, that’s what they’ll do – suddenly changing things will mean that many won’t be able to attend (especially if it’s close to the date of the party) and some will become annoyed about the change and decide it’s just not worth it. Once you have a date, stick to it and ensure all those who need to know are told in plenty of time. 

Do Serve Food And Drink

A secret party might sound like a lot of fun, but your guests aren’t going to be particularly happy if there is no food and drink or if you charge them for it once they arrive. Remember, if you take away the secret element of the party, everything else stays the same. So if you would typically find a recipe for lemon cake and bake it to serve, or you would hire in caterers, or you would order pizza for everyone, this is what you’ll still need to do. 

Don’t Tell Anyone Who Doesn’t Need To Know 

It may seem obvious, but in order to keep a secret party actually a secret, the fewer people who know, the better. So only tell those who definitely need to know. If you want to ensure that even these few people keep your secret safe, you can create an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) so that they can’t tell anyone what’s happening without serious consequences. 

Don’t Give Away Too Much At Once 

When you are trying to create excitement around a secret party, you need to release teasers and snippets of information slowly. Too much all at once, and you’ll destroy the atmosphere of mystery building up around what you are planning. It’s a fine line to balance on, but you need to give people enough information to get them interested in what will happen, but not so much that they don’t want to find out more.