“This is your LIFE” Party!

This is Your Life!

Although this party seems only for older adults I have seen this for 13th, 16th and 21st Birthday Parties. It can also be used for honoring achievements (lifetime or not) of people both young and old. Invitations must include a couple pictures of the honored guest along with details. The highlighted area of the party will be a table with photos and mementos through the years. Make a timeline on butcher paper for the wall behind the Memorabilia table. Include world events, personal events, popular music and movies, discoveries, and photos for different years on the line. Set up a photo backdrop area for guests to get their picture taken with the honoree. To model your party after the famous 1950s television show, you will need to set up a stage area with a special seat for your guest of honor and a large curtain to hide your mystery guests. Hide your guests behind the curtain, and, if possible, have a microphone or karaoke machine set up so that everyone can hear what they will say. Then, one at a time, ask them to relate a funny story or experience that they shared with your guest of honor and let your honoree guess who is behind the curtain! As an extra touch, you might choose to softly play music while each mystery guests speak to further enhance the mood. A guaranteed tear jerker! Prepare a video montage of photos and/or video clips of your party honoree and have it playing throughout your event — If you have guests who were unable to make it to the party, you might ask them to videotape themselves giving a greeting or sharing a story or remembrance about your guest of honor to play as a “virtual visit”. At some time during your party, pass around glasses of champagne (or sparkling cider) and propose a toast to your guest of honor. The best menu choices for a This Is Your Life Party are your guest of honor’s favorite foods. Finger foods are also a good choice for a celebration because they allow your guests to mingle while grabbing a bite here and there.

Winter Graduation Party Ideas

Winter graduations tend to be overlooked because most retailers only carry decorations and supplies during the peak season of April, May and June. These ideas can be created with everyday materials and still make your Graduate feel special! We always carry our Graduation balloons all year long so don’t hesitate to call us for this portion of your event! We will be happy to eamil you a flyer with lots of ideas.

Last week’s tip showed you how to make your own tissue pom poms. Using this method, you can customize a Memory Table or cake table to match their favorite colors or school colors. Fold Poster board in three to make a collage of the persons photographs through the years. Hang the pom poms on a ribbon or rope over the table. Add any important mementos to your display. Since this party will probably be indoors (there may even be snow on the ground) a wonderful place to decorate is a staircase. Glue pictures onto wide colored ribbon and fasten to the staircase. You can attach balloons to the railing as well. A great idea for a Card box is to decorate a suitcase as shown. You can cut out letters from poster board and paint or glitter them. Serving a delicious soup (kept warm in a crockpot) is a perfect choice for a Winter Graduation party as well as the Pirouette Cookies made to look like diplomas. You can find the Pepperidge Farm brand in most large grocery stores or check a local bakery. Make sure you have plenty of seating for your guest. You can order linens in the school colors or if your budget doesn’t allow for linens you can purchase plastic table covers. For round tables buy a round table cover in one of the school colors and then cut a banquet table cover in half for the other school color. Place on top as an overlay. Inexpensive and impressive! We carry many colors of plastic table covers, just give us a call. Dress the tables with simple 3 balloon centerpieces to make the entire room festive and fun.

 

Do it Yourself Tissue Pom Poms

Napkin Tissue Pom Poms

Tissue Pom Poms are a great decoration for many types of events, however, the color choice is sometimes limited. Making your own is easy and you can blend colors and/or designs. By using napkins; your selections are almost unlimited!

  1. Purchase paper napkins 2ply is easier to work with than 3ply- any color, any design – whatever will work for your party theme and color scheme. Luncheon size napkins will make a ball approximately 12″ in diameter. Beverage size napkins will make a ball approximately 5” in diameter.
  2. Open each napkin up and stack them all together. I used about 15 napkins per pom pom. I suggest at least 10-15. Remember the more sheets you use the fuller your pom pom will be.
  3. Fold them back and forth-accordion style-like you would for a fan.
  4. Use a pipe cleaner or florist wire to cinch the middle. Leave enough wire to create a small loop that you can use to thread your ribbon through to hang them.
  5. Fan each side to cut the ends to make them have a rounded or pointed finish. I chose to make them pointed for this project.
  6. Attach the ribbon you will be using for hanging.
  7. Carefully start pulling apart each layer of one half to begin fluffing that side. You will want to try and make your shape as round as possible so vary the direction you pull and fluff.
  8. Flip it over and repeat the Step 7 on the remaining folded half.
  9. Continue fluffing until you get your desired shape and look. And WHALA!  You are done!

A time saving Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been so stressful for me because I am usually the master cook – and trying to get everything on the table at the right time and making sure snacks and drinks are all out, I just go crazy! So, I have vowed to do less on the day and enjoy the people more! Here are a few tips that I am planning and maybe they will help you too! My plan is to only have to cook the Turkey and the Dinner Rolls (because we have to have Crescent rolls) on Thursday. I always Brine the turkey overnight and cook it by Spatchcocking it.  I tried this a few years ago and the difference in the juiciness is so tremendous I will never cook a Turkey any other way again. You can learn how to do this here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Lie172c3Y&t=3s . Because there are many ingredients for adding to the broth and roasting pan, I will precut all the vegetables and have them ready for the day. Simplifying the rest of the menu will help too. I know what my family likes and will make mashed potatoes and green beans with onions ahead of time. These can be microwaved just before dinner. I will get two dishes ready for the oven (they can go in with the Turkey) – Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes. The snacks can be simplified too and plated ahead of time so they are ready to put out. Purchased Cheese Ball and a Shrimp Ring are easy fixes. Dip with Chips and Veges are always a hit too and can be pre-made. Unfortunately, I am spoiled with homemade Cranberry Sauce but I make this early in the month and gift it to the mailperson and other service people before the holiday, so my jar is done too! A similar recipe to what I use is here (except I use Apple Juice not water)  https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/spiced-cranberry-sauce/ try it and you will never use canned again! Pies are a no brainer, with the magnificent bakeries locally I have that one wrapped up! We love Mulled Cider during the holidays so I prepare everything and throw in a Crockpot in the morning. Set it on low and guests can serve themselves when they want. Happy Thanksgiving!

Karaoke/Music Awards Party

Karaoke-Music Party

These party ideas can be used for a fun Karaoke party or for one on the many Music Awards Watching Parties throughout the year. This week the Country Music Awards is being held on the 14th.  This party screams glitz. If using it for a Karaoke party use the same style for a “Rock Star” theme. Gold, Black, Silver and White are good colors to decorate with. Use sequin table runners on your tables, you can find many online for as low as $10.00. Layer Plastic plates in different colors (like chargers) and make sure everyone gets a microphone favor (you can find at Windycitynovelties.com). Adorn the chairs with Vinyl Records you can find at a thrift store. Tie off with metallic ribbon to keep the glitz going. Make an impact with 3ft Helium filled balloons in the colors you have chosen. You can attach long metallic tails hanging off of them with metallic garland or make your own using Shimmer Curtains found at your local party store. You can view this video to see how to do it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGoDpXfRebQ . Add some fun party lighting you can buy or rent. Especially if it is a Karaoke party using the lights while singing makes you feel like a star! Another great addition would be a Photo Booth or Photo Area. Dig out your Halloween stash – sunglasses, feather boas and/or photos props you can find online or at your local party store. Make sure some of the lights shine in this area for amazing pics! Designate one person to take video of each guests while singing (if it is a karaoke party) and take digital photos. You can send these to the guests at a later date. Make cookies or cupcakes to match the theme, Cowboy Boots if watching the Country Music Awards. Use Guitars, Music Notes, Records and Microphones depending on the twist you have on the event. If your budget allows send your guests home with swag bags filled with a Music CD, Microphone Shaped Bottles of Bubbles and Rock Star Lollipops.

Balloon Centerpieces a great alternative!

Many events demand Centerpieces and Floral Arrangements can come at a high price. Balloons are a great, inexpensive, alternative and sometimes can meet the need even better than traditional methods. One of the most popular choices is a simple three balloon helium filled staggered arrangement on a weight. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other items matching the theme of the party. Other types of centerpieces are air-filled creations that have a topper which coincides with the theme, whether it be a kids, adult or business gathering. Air filled centerpieces can be made with a number of sized balloons, 5”, 9”, 12” and twisting balloons like the flower pictured. To make an impact in large ballrooms, single 3FT helium filled balloons can fit the bill! There are lots of You Tube videos available if you want to tackle these ideas on your own or you can give us a call and we will be happy to bring your concepts to the table! See more of our work on PJ’s Pinterest page…… https://www.pinterest.com/pjspartyrentale/

Day of the Dead – A Celebration of Life!

DAY OF THE DEAD

The Day of the Dead is becoming a popular theme for parties and events. Here are some details about this holiday. Enjoy and make sure your relatives photos adorn your walls for the 31st!

Symbols in Day of the Dead face-painting

Skulls – known as Calaveras or Calacas in Mexico – are an essential part of the symbolism of Día de los Muertos in Mexico. They are used not only as the basis for painting faces, but also are the shape of candy such as sugar skulls and for many skeleton-inspired decorations. The skull has a uniquely positive meaning in Día de los Muertos, very different from the skeletons and ghosts of Halloween.

The day of the dead in Mexico is a fascinating mixture of Spanish Catholic and Native Aztec traditions and beliefs. In Mexico, the Aztec culture believed life on earth to be something of an illusion – death was a positive step forward into a higher level of conscience. For the Aztecs skulls were a positive symbol, not only of death but also of rebirth.

People in Mexico wear traditional skull masks, and the tradition of painting faces to look like a skull has grown up as a variation to this. The wearing of masks has been a powerful symbol throughout traditional cultures, of the ability of humans to get in touch with their darker, chaotic side.  Face-painting as skulls is a chance to overcome the fear of death, act recklessly and get up to the mischief that is forbidden at other times of the year!

La Calavera Catrina (‘The Elegant Skull’) is a 1913 etching by Jose Guadalupe Posada. The image showed a skeleton dressed in the finery of a wealthy lady- reminder that even the rich and beautiful carry death within them. Nowadays La Calavera Catrina is a source of inspiration for women’s skull face-painting which is both scary and beautiful at once.

Flowers – are also symbolically important part of day of the dead. Many face-painting designs of skulls incorporate flowers, and this symbol has a meaning of its own to overcome the fear of death and celebrate life! The flower most associated with Día de los Muertos in Mexico is the marigold, or Cempazuchi which is known as the flower of the dead. In Aztec belief the marigold was sacred to Miclantecutli, their god of the dead. According to Mexican belief, the souls of departed family and friends return to earth on the day of the dead, and it is believed the strong scent of marigold helps to guide them back. In western culture the flower is associated with life and love.

Have a Halloween BASH!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year! There is such a vast amount of ideas for great Halloween parties, I hope these concepts will help you put together an amazing event! Do you want to make a realistic looking ghost? These spirits are perfect placed outside wandering around your Halloween graveyard! Shape chicken wire into a ghostly figure and spray it with glow-in-the-dark paint. It will look like a real ghost standing in your yard. This is also a great prank idea! Conjure up a terrific entrance and have your guests walk through a Halloween themed Balloon tunnel using pearl arches in Halloween colors. We can help you with this, give us a call! These are impressive for school dances too! Glow in the Dark Star latex balloons added to Halloween Colored helium filled latex balloons become remarkable arrangements that can be placed around the room or use several as a backdrop for a photo booth area. Make your buffet a gruesome and tasteful display by making a zombie meat presentation. Meat selections are placed in aluminum pans and wrapped with real clothing you can buy at the thrift store. Add our custom Balloon Vampire for a fun sculpture the kids will love! Run classic horror movies on your DVD player during the party for conversation starters and have a howling great time!

“Smile” Your on Candid Camera!

Candid Camera Party

Smile you’re on Candid Camera! I have such fond memories of the silly faces and circumstances captured on the show. Bring some of this fun to your kids today with a Photo Themed party geared towards 10 Years plus. Invitations can be made up on your computer with Film Borders you can find online. Add some silly photos of the Birthday Child and the party information. Snacks can be Photo/Movie themed items like popcorn, hot dogs and how about trying some Camera themed Brownies! The main event can be a Photo Booth. There are many ideas for photo booths online but a Balloon Photo Booth can be something very special and kids LOVE balloons. Pick up some inexpensive photo props at a local party store and add anything you have around the house like hats, shawls, glasses, Boas etc. Have a digital camera set up specifically for the photos. Do this at the beginning of the party so you have time to print out one photo of each child for a craft project later. More can be emailed to them at a later date. A fun party game for the kids is a Candid Camera list for them to take on their cell phones during the event. Give each child a list of the specific type of photos to be taken when they arrive (they will check off as they take the pictures and you can view on their cell phones), the child who takes the most pictures at the end of the party wins a prize. For a craft project have them make a photo frame with craft foam, buttons, markers, paint, glitter and anything else kids can create with. Hot glue their picture with a carboard back to the frame for a take home souvenir. Have fun and Snap Away!

Adults like to play games too!

Why is it we only think of games at children’s parties? Pin the Tail on the Donkey and such are fine but I think adults would like to laugh and carry on too at social gatherings. Here are a few ideas for your next get-together (that don’t include alcohol). Card games are always fun but one unconventional game, that causes constant laughter (by how silly we look), is “Blind Man’s Bluff”. Everyone gets dealt one card, you are not to look at it, and they put it on their forehead facing out so everyone else sees it. Bets are placed based on what cards are showing, the person with the highest card wins. Have a “Scavenger Hunt”. You can find ideas online (try scavenger-hunt-guru.com) and make it in the neighborhood, around the property or trek out to another location. “Charades” is a classic game which one player pantomimes the word or phrase chosen and the others try to guess it. This game can be played in teams and can match a theme you might have for the party (IE. Academy Award party = Actors or Movie names). A challenging and hilarious game is “Pass the Orange”. It is exactly what it says but the Orange is placed under your chin and it has to be passed to the next chin, without the use of hands. You make teams for this and the first team to pass it to all the players and back to the front without dropping it wins. And how about trying to keep a straight face during the “Laughing Game”? Players take turns saying Ha, Ho or Hee, anyone laughing is knocked out. You can have prizes or not, the most important thing is having fun!