Thursday, September 2, 2010

Throw a theme party!

I just love planning parties. Oh, it's my absolute favorite thing in the world. That's probably exaggerating just a bit, but you know what I mean. But I won't throw a party without a theme. Nope. Won't do it. Why, you ask? Because theming a party makes life so.much.easier. And it's funner that way. (Yeah, I said it.)

I haven't been in this wife and mom role for long, so there haven't been an abundance of opportunities for me to entertain. And I plan a party MONTHS in advance. From the menu, to the decorations, to the activities...I'll spend days brainstorming and hours making invitations and favors. It's what I do. So though there aren't a ton to choose from, I do have a couple of examples of parties I can show you to get your creative juices flowing.

The first party I threw once we moved back home and had our first baby was a Wild West theme. I chose it because the menu, activities, and decor would fit in perfectly with the season. (We were in mid to late October at the time.) Starting with the menu:
For appetizers I set up a table with an assortment of chips and salsas to fit our western theme. Using cast iron pots, an overturned cowboy hat with a bowl inside, handkerchiefs as lining, and a little bit of raffia, I was able to tie in the decor with the theme.              
Hot dogs, chili, and cornbread muffins were on the menu! It was a quick and easy way to feed a group and stick with the theme. (Though, I think the bottom of the Chili may have gotten burnt as this happy hostess neglected her pot after a while. Sorry to the late arrivals. I have a feeling you ate some nasty chili but were too kind to say so, haha.)                        
Drinks (not really shown here) were 2-liters of soda and juice pouches for the kiddos in our *eventually* ice-filled metal tub. 
Outside we had hot chocolate, cider, and s'mores waiting for our guests who would eventually huddle around our campfire. (The radios you see everywhere were playing some country western tunes throughout the evening!)
For the rest of the decor, I hung red and cowhide balloons around the house, as well as "Wanted" posters of all of our guests. It took forever to make those darn things, as they were a surprise, and I had to track down pictures of everyone from the internet. I distressed them a bit to give them more of a western feel. (I also meant to send them home with our guests as favors, but somehow between hosting and taking care of my then 4 month old baby that just didn't happen.)               

After dinner we had a campfire with s'mores for dessert. 

There are a lot more pictures of this party, which I believe my friends can find on my facebook page, but that's the general idea. Choosing the Wild West theme early on helped me to plan the menu, figure out decor, and gave me an excuse to light a fire...which is all I really wanted to do in the first place. ;)

My daughter also had a themed birthday party this summer for her 1st birthday. I chose a Candy Shoppe theme and made all of the decor myself. I was trying to be thrifty, but really, I just needed an excuse to make some stuff. Did I mention I like party planning? At the risk of making this post even more ridiculously long than it already is, I'll spare you ALL of the details and just show you a few things. 

Basically, my goal was to make everything as super sweet and bubble gum pink as possible. (For more pictures, see my facebook page!)

There were a lot of details that went into this party, and each and every one was fun and full of love for my baby girl!

So are you getting any ideas yet? Getting the itch to throw a little shindig of your own? I know I am! Yes, it's true. Another theme party is in the works for this Fall. I can't help myself! Here's a little hint: It's in November, and the decor may resemble something like this....

So I've gotta get to planning! I have a baby coming soon, and most of the details need to be ironed out before her arrival. (Would you make fun of me if I told you I already know the theme for Gracie's 1st birthday? Gah! I really can't help myself.) 

Your turn, ladies! Throw a theme party. Try it out. And then don't forget to share your details with me. I'm just nuts about this stuff. 

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