Archive | October, 2015

Halloween Week Hell and A Free Printable

This week has been a rough one, with everything from cleaning vomit off of our car seat (multiple times!), missed doctor’s appointments, packing/preparing for a trip, then add Halloween on top of it, it’s just been difficult.  Funnily, the most difficult thing has been trying to find a Halloween themed shirt for my daughter.  You’d think that a week before Halloween there would still be pumpkins, candy corn, and goblins found everywhere, but that has not been the case.  I went to five different stores to try and find something, but all I could find were things that were either too big for her or too small or nothing at all!  It’s been frustrating, luckily, the trusty old Wal-Mart came through for me and I grabbed the last Halloween shirt that would fit her at about 9:30 p.m. the night before I needed it.

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I was surprised that stores are making it so difficult when the holidays roll around because if you’re not planning weeks, dare I say months, in advance, they will just get rid of what you’re actually looking for and move on to the next holiday.  In my attempts at finding a Halloween shirt, I of course could find a million Christmas things.  I get that Halloween is only a couple days away, but why can’t we just enjoy it then move on to the next holiday?

Because it’s been so frustrating being forced to fly through the holidays, I’ve reluctantly decided to get on board with what the stores are doing.  There’s no other option, really.  I created a simple Christmas gift planning printable for you.  Hopefully, if we both start using it we’ll be (somewhat) ahead of the stores and be able to get what we really need when we need it.  I always have a goal to get all the Christmas shopping done by the end of November, but it usually doesn’t work out that way.  Hopefully, with a little planning I can actually accomplish that goal this year.

Christmas Shopping List PhotoJust click on the image above to download your copy of the printable.  Print off as many as you need to plan for all the gifts you’ll be giving this holiday season.  Hopefully, it will help all of us stay ahead of the game and get what we need before the stores decide it’s time to start celebrating Valentine’s Day, gheesh!

Do you have everything you need for Halloween?  Frustrated with the rate stores rush us through the holidays?  Is your Christmas shopping done, or at least started?

I wish you all a Happy Halloween and may your child trick-or-treat for your favorite candy to steal from them!  I’m looking forward to our little hula girl getting to experience her first time trick-or-treating because she was too little last year.  Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to “fall” back into daylight savings time this weekend.

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How to Make a DIY Fringe Garland

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Who doesn’t love fringe?  It’s all the rage right now and this easy DIY fringe garland is right on trend.  It makes excellent party decor for all kinds of events.  Put it on a table, hang it for a photo booth backdrop, or decorate for New Year’s Eve with it.  It’s very versatile and really easy to make.

The supplies you’ll need are:

  • tissue paper, wrapping paper, or foil paper
  • fringe cutting scissors (I have these and love them)

That’s it, just two things and a little time and you’ll have an awesome fringe garland to use so many ways.

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The first step to making the garland is to lay whatever paper you’re using out flat.

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Then, fold it over so you have the longest length.

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Fold it over again.

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Now, start using your handy fringe scissors and cut about 1/3 across the paper the entire length of the paper.  This is kind of a two hand task at this point because one hand may be needed to hold the tissue paper layers together in order to cut it.

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Once you’ve got one side of the paper cut lengthwise, flip it over and cut the other side.  Holding the paper as you go is crucial at this point so you can get clean cuts down the entire length of the paper and semi-regular sized fringe. Be sure not to cut all the way across the paper.  You’ll want to cut approximately 1/3 across from this second side, leaving about an inch of uncut paper in between each side of fringe.

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Once each side of the paper is cut lengthwise, all you have to do is twist the middle uncut portion of the garland to create a twisty, spiral look.  This step is much easier with tissue paper than it is with foil paper.  The foil doesn’t tend to want to stay twisted, so I had to man handle it a little bit to get the look I was going for.

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The bonus of using fringe scissors, besides making numerous fringe(s?) with one cut, is the potential for little glitter remnants once you’re done cutting.  This may not be a bonus for you though because cleaning all those little pieces up is kind of hard.

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Once you’re done making your garland, just hang it or lay it anywhere.  I made two garlands, stapled them together, and then hung it over the mirror.  Like I said before though, there are so many uses for something like this.  I can’t wait to make a bunch more and hang them vertically for a photo backdrop.  This gold foil would look so cool with a silver foil garland for a New Year’s Eve party, don’t you think?

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Do you think this is a DIY you’d like to try?  What would you use it for?  I’m off to go make a million more of these little guys!

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A Beautiful Real Life Party

Here at The Daily Hostess I’m all about “celebrating every day!”  When it was time to officially launch the blog and put it out there to the masses, I thought there was no better way than to celebrate with a launch party.  We recently hosted the launch party in our home with some of our closest friends and family.  I’m really proud of how beautiful the party turned out.  I think the color scheme was perfect and reflected the blog so well.  We had yummy appetizers and a signature cocktail, and of course we had a champagne toast because no party in my opinion is complete without champagne.

Pinterest Graphic-Blog Launch PartyHere are a bunch of gorgeous photos from that night.  You can see how I planned the party by following my 5 easy steps here.  Stay tuned for tutorials on some of the decor that I diyed and a crowd pleasing, delicious, appetizer recipe in the near future.  Without further ado, take a look at The Daily Hostesses Blog Launch Party.

The entrance to the party.

The entrance to the party.

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There were several varieties of appetizers, dips, and a couple different charcuterie boards.  For something a little sweet we had mini-cupcakes from my local grocery store.

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I purchased flowers at wholesale prices at Costco and cut and arranged them myself.  It’s a cheaper alternative to buying arrangements from a florist, but it does take a little extra time.

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I placed my business cards with all of the blog information throughout the party so the guests could have an easy way to reach the blog and share the info with others.

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The tablescape was made using a wrapping paper runner, some gold candle holders, pink vases, and a few tissue paper garlands.  Tutorial on how to make those garlands will be posted in the next week or so, be sure to come back and learn how to make them yourself.

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For the “launch” part of the launch party, I did a quick tutorial on everything you could find on the blog.  I wanted to make the TV area where we were showing the tutorial a focal point of the party.  I loved the way those pinwheels and tissue poms looked so much that they stayed up for several days after the party was over.  I also made a quick banner with the blog initials.

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I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at one of my real life parties as much as I enjoyed planning and decorating for it.  Hopefully you’ve seen something here to inspire you for your next gathering.

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My 5 Step Party Planning Process

Sorry it’s been a bit longer since I posted last, but I’ve been dealing with a sick toddler 🙁 It’s not fun taking care of your baby when they have a fever and don’t feel good, although, I do secretly like all of the extra cuddles we’ve been getting.  Hopefully, she’ll be back to her active, happy self soon and we can both get back into our regular routine.

Today’s post is all about the planning process.  This is the part that I love about entertaining!  If you don’t love to do this, or don’t know how to plan for a party, I’m confident my 5 step party planning process will give you the start you need.

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How true is this quote when it comes to party planning?  So true, right?  You want to have a party or get together or invite people over for dinner so you have to do something about it now.  That’s planning.  Now, everyone talks about party planning, how they love to do it, but what does it actually entail?  There are a lot of ways to go about planning for an event, but these 5 easy steps are the main things that have to be done to “bring the future into the present.”

One major part of the process is to make lists or to have a central place to write down things or gather thoughts and information about what you’re planning for.  I’ve made a great printable to help you do that.  All you have to do to get it is to subscribe here.  Once you do that, the printable you see in this post will be emailed right to you so you can get started planning your Halloween party, or if you are way ahead of the game start planning for Thanksgiving or a Christmas party.

The Daily Hostesses 5 Step Party Planning Process:

1. Select Theme/Date/Time/Location

The first thing I always do when planning a party is decide what kind of party it is, then when and where it’s going to be.  Are you throwing a house warming party, a kid’s birthday, a holiday party, or a game night?  It helps to know the general theme of your party so you can plan everything else to be cohesive with your theme.  You also need dates and times so you have a goal to work towards.  I was planning for my blog launch party on the printable included in the post below.

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2. Figure out guest list and potential number of people

The next step in the process is to make a guest list and get a general idea of how many people are going to be attending.  The people attending make the party fun so that’s why this step is pretty high on the list of things to do!  It also helps to determine how many people will potentially be attending because you can’t adequately do the next step without having some solid numbers to prepare for.  Remember when you got married and your caterer or venue was constantly hounding you about how many people were coming and finalizing your guest list?  It’s because you can’t buy food, drinks, or figure out how many chairs you need unless you know how many mouths and behinds will be there.

I like to be specific when making my guest list, writing out each guest’s name and how many will be attending in their party.  The printable also has a spot to check off if you’ve sent an invitation and what the guest’s RSVP is, so you can keep track of exactly who is going to be attending.

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3. Make a menu and grocery list

Let’s be honest, food is a pretty big part of any gathering you’re hosting, even if the event isn’t centered around food.  No matter what the event is, most guests will appreciate some sort of something to eat or nibble on.  My general rule is to make/buy/order more food than you think you will need.  Who doesn’t love leftovers?  If you don’t, send everything home with your guests.  It will help with your clean up and your guests will get an extra parting gift.  There was a birthday after-party at my house a few years ago, and I didn’t adequately plan that fairly intoxicated people would be hungry late at night so I ended up making grilled cheese sandwiches at 3:00 in the morning because that’s all we had on hand.  I hope you don’t ever have to do that, so be sure to get more food than you’d think was necessary.

When it comes to food, if you are making the dishes make sure it’s something you are comfortable making, possibly a recipe you’re familiar with and have made before.  That way you’ll be less stressed preparing for your gathering.  If you are purchasing food or getting catering ensure you ask a lot of questions and are thorough in knowing what is included.  If you’re having a taco bar for example, are hard and soft taco shells included?  What about all the toppings, cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, etc.?

There is also an area on the printable to make a short grocery list that’s divided up into various categories like produce, meat, dairy, and frozen so you’ll be in and out of the store in a breeze.

4. Make a party design and figure out what needs to be DIYed and what needs to be bought

This next step of the process is where your creative juices can really start flowing.  Decorating or designing your party may not seem like a very important part of the party, but more often than not guests will appreciate how the party looks just as much as how much fun they’re having.  Once again, try to stay consistent with your theme so everything from the food to the decor flows.  I like to draw up plans of how the table will look, or where the flowers will go.  This has helped tremendously when getting ready for a party because I can just hand my husband the plan and he can easily see where to hang things or how to arrange furniture while I’m working on something else.  My biggest tip when it comes to decorating or designing a party is to have a main focal point.  One large focal point will clearly identify what you’re party theme is and it makes more of an impact than small items strewn about here and there.  It also makes it easy to put all of your efforts and energy preparing for your party into one large area to decorate or design.

You can see below how I drew a rough sketch of where I wanted decor around our TV for the blog launch party and how I wanted the table to look.  Please don’t judge, I’m obviously not an artist!  I also include an area to list out decor to DIY, to buy, and any decor you already have on the printable.

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5. Make a timeline to prepare for the party

You can do all of the planning process, but if you don’t set some goals of when you plan to accomplish tasks, you’ll be stuck scrambling to get everything done.  Making a timeline can seriously ease your party planning stress.  I like to do a few things everyday leading up to the event that way it’s spread out and not overwhelming as the event date gets closer.  If you plan to make any decor yourself, make sure you allot yourself enough time to get those things done, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before.  My typical timeline includes diying decor a week or two before the event, purchasing food (unless you are using catering, that requires more lead time) the week of the event so everything is fresh, and a day or two before the event cleaning the house or space that will be used.  You can even break your timeline down more specifically for the day of the event.  For example, decorate by noon, get all food prepared by 3:00, set out drinks by 5:00, then all you have to do is wait for your guests to arrive because everything is done.

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So that’s the process.  What do you think, is it manageable?  Do you do any of these steps already?  Do you think this printable will be helpful when planning your next event?  If so, don’t forget to go here, scroll down and subscribe to the blog to receive the printable free.

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Saturday Simple Celebrations: Banners

Saturday Simple Celebrations is a series where I share quick, easy, entertaining ideas to make everyday celebrations a little extra special.  See other simple celebration posts here.  What makes you feel extra special?  A small thought to show that someone cares? A surprise you weren’t expecting?  Do you want a simple idea to make anyone feel cared for and thought of on any occasion?

I recommend making a banner and surprising someone with it.  It screams “hey, I spent a little bit of time to show you that I care.”

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You could make a banner for someone’s birthday, anniversary, welcome home (even if it’s just in the evening when your spouse gets home from work), mother’s day breakfast, and on and on and on.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate banner, it could just be a quick sign on the mirror, or post-it note in the car.

I made this banner for my husband’s birthday this year and hung it from two saw horses (his birthday present) in the garage.  I placed it in the garage facing outward so when he got home from work it was the first thing he saw.  Just a cool little surprise to show off his new toys.

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How can you make someone’s day better this weekend?  Do it with a banner! Or note! Or sign of any sort!  Have a great weekend!

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Celebrating everyday!