Archive | Party Planning

Neighborhood Fall Festival Party Plan Checklist

Well, the days have started turning more crisp and you can feel fall in the air here.  It’s such a nice change from hot weather, but I’m not looking forward to what comes next. Good thing I’ve got an area to keep winter out of my house.  To celebrate fall I created this fun party plan checklist to host a neighborhood fall festival.

Fall neighborhood block party ideas, neighbor gift ideas, neighborhood parties, neighborhood fall partyWe have a pretty active neighborhood and have started having neighborhood gatherings a few times a year.  Fall is a great time to get together and celebrate. Use this party plan as inspiration and to gather your neighbors and celebrate the cooler weather. Just click on the picture and download the checklist to start planning your party today!

Fall neighborhood block party ideas, neighbor gift ideas, neighborhood parties, neighborhood fall partyParty Theme and Decor

For your party you first need a theme.  There is nothing more synonymous with fall than plaid and pumpkins. Let those things be your guide for your party theme and decor.  Use plaid blankets as tablecloths and over hay bales for a fun seating area.  Set hay bales up in the street around a fire pit or bonfire to help you stay warm during chilly evenings.

Decorate the party with multi-colored mums and pumpkins. Create table runners from pumpkins for the dining area. The best part is that it will be heavy enough to hold down the tablecloths.

Guest List

Be sure to design an on theme invitation to send to all of your neighbors with all the details of the party. You can easily make one yourself with these tips and it’s free.  Walk them door to door or send them out via email. Because you’re inviting your neighbors there is no need to stamp an envelope.

Food and Drinks

Feeding a large group of people is hard, so don’t take on the task yourself.  Plan the neighborhood party as a pot luck.  I highly recommend assigning people a different dish or having categories that people sign up to bring.  Doing so assures that a full menu is covered and that there will be enough for everyone.

A delicious and on theme menu for any fall party revolves around soups, chili’s, and stews.  Start with that and then expand to include fall themed sides dishes.  Things like cornbread, stuffing, vegetable casseroles, and fall salads.  Check out my Pinterest board for lots of inspiration.

For dessert, you can’t go wrong with smore’s, especially if your party is set up around a fire pit or bonfire.  Another on theme dessert would be caramel apples.  You could make these ahead of time or set up a buffet station where guests could dip their own apples and cover them with a variety of toppings like nuts, chocolate, sprinkles, or crushed cookies.

Fall neighborhood block party ideas, neighbor gift ideas, neighborhood parties, neighborhood fall partyDrinking apple cider is kind of a must at this time of year so offering an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version will allow everyone to enjoy it.  You could also offer hot cocoa or mulled cider.

Activities and Games

If your neighborhood is like mine and full of kiddos, you’ll need some activities to keep the kids occupied so the adults can enjoy conversation and a bowl of chili.

There are so many fall themed activities you could include at your festival.  A pumpkin carving contest is a great way to get people excited even before the party since they’ll have to carve their pumpkin beforehand and then have it judged at the party.  You oculd elect judges or just do a simple voting system for the best pumpkin.

Bobbing for apples is a great game for the kids. Just be sure to regularly change out the water or have individual buckets for bobbing to keep things a little more hygienic.

Fall neighborhood block party ideas, neighbor gift ideas, neighborhood parties, neighborhood fall partyOrganizing a neighborhood hayride would be so fun.  If you don’t have a tractor and trailer, try making hayrides in wagons for the little kids or the back of a pick up truck for the older kids.

Other go to party activities would be to have someone talented do face painting or organize a fall themed neighborhood scavenger hunt.  Bike races for the kids are fun, and what toddler doesn’t love a bounce house?

Be sure to click the here or the image below to download and print your own Neighborhood Fall Festival Party Plan Checklist to start planning your party.

Fall neighborhood block party ideas, neighbor gift ideas, neighborhood parties, neighborhood fall partyA neighborhood party is such a great way to get to know your neighbors.  It helps to break from the monotony of just waving hello when you see your neighbors out.  It forces you to work together to put the party on, and get to know each other over a bowl of chili.  Who knows what you might find you have in common or what kind of friendship can be built.

Happy Fall Y’all!


My Favorite Resource for DIY Invitations

Have you ever known exactly what you wanted your party invitation to look like, but just couldn’t find the one?  I’m not a fan of those pre-made invitations at the store either.  You know the ones where you just enter the who, what, when, and where.

I’ve always felt that invitations were one of the most important parts of the party.  It’s the first thing people see.  It tells the story of what the party is going to be like.  Not only through the words used, but the design of the invitation, colors used, and how it feels.

I’ve found a great resource within the past year or so that is excellent for making your own invitations.  I’ve been using it for a while, so I feel like I know how to use it really well and I want to share some tips and tricks with you.  The program is called Canva.  There is a free version which can accommodate pretty much everything you would need to do.  There is a paid version, but I haven’t felt the need to use it (or pay for it) yet.  It’s an online program with pre-made and do it yourself graphic designs.

Here are a few of the invitations I’ve made for my own parties and others using Canva.  I’ve blurred out some of the personal parts of the invitations.

Custom DIY Invitations

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I love the variety of templates that Canva has to use.  Plus, it’s really easy to customize the colors, fonts, and most other parts of the invitation.  Below is a quick tutorial on how to make your own custom invitations using Canva.  Just go to to get started.

Step 1-Find your invitation template

DIY Invitation, how to make customizeable invitation, DIY Graphic Design, how to use CanvaAfter going to, you can click on “create a design” to create a one of a kind design for anything you may need.  Canva specifically has invitation templates you can use by clicking on the invitation option under the “Events” section.

Step 2- Choose an invitation template

DIY Invitation, how to make customizeable invitation, DIY Graphic Design, how to use CanvaScroll through the pre-made invitation templates to the left of your screen.  There are a ton of options for all kinds of parties and celebrations.  Just be sure to select an invitation that has the little “free” sign in the bottom right corner, otherwise you’ll have to pay a small fee to download your invitation once you’ve completed it.

Step 3- Customize your invitation

DIY Invitation, how to make customizeable invitation, DIY Graphic Design, how to use CanvaYou can customize the invitation you chose by clicking on any of the elements within the invitation.  Feel free to change the font, font color, size, alignment, background colors, design colors, and position of most elements.

You can also delete anything by clicking the little trash can in the upper right hand corner.  Other options like grouping elements together, changing the transparency or moving elements in front or behind each other are available.

DIY Invitation, how to make customizeable invitation, DIY Graphic Design, how to use CanvaYou can even create custom colors with hex codes by clicking on the “+” sign in the color section.

Step 4- Download your invitation

This program is super easy to use.  A little clicking around and you’ll be making your own invitations in no time. Once you’ve created the exact invitation you want click on the download button.  Once it’s downloaded you can print the invitations our at home or send them to a printer.  One trick I like to use is downloading the invitation as a JPG then having them printed at Costco.  Printing the invitations as pictures that are 5×7 is only a few cents per invitation.

Need Another Shortcut?

If you don’t want to hassle with creating invitations yourself you can always ask me. I’ll need a few details to start, then I’ll give you an option of three different invitations to choose from.  Once you decide which invitation you like, I’ll send it to you to download. All you have to do then is print them off at home or send them to a printer, stuff some envelopes, and send to your guests!

I’m excited to offer this new service and hope that it can help take some of the stress away from your party planning. I love playing around with invitations and am excited to make something beautiful for you!  Email for pricing and invitation details.


Party Color Scheme: Pantone Color of the Year

I’m back to end the week with another round of Party Color Scheme.  This week it’s all about Pantone’s color of the year.  Have you heard of it?  Or do you have any idea what I’m talking about?  Every year, Pantone, the world’s leading authority on color picks a color that they see as culturally significant.  This year the color is Greenery.

Use the Pantone Color of the Year Greenery for a Party Color SchemeAccording to Pantone, greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

For today’s Party Color Scheme, greenery is the focal point, and I’ve paired it with some great color combinations.  I’ve included some inspiration photos and have lots of ideas of how to incorporate these colors into a party!

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Greenery +Black & White

The first combination is a classic black and white with greenery. You can never go wrong with black and white as a base for anything really, a party, an outfit, decor, etc.  Here are some party inspiration photos to get your creative juices flowing.

I love the idea of black and white decor or furniture and using plants to incorporate the greenery color.  There are so many ways to use this color scheme for a party.

  • Tablescapes with this color scheme would be great for a dinner party or adult birthday party
  • Wrapping paper with green ribbon
  • Balloons
  • Black and White gift bags with green tissue paper

Greenery + Blue & White

Again, blue and white is a classic color combo, but mixing in the color of the year gives a fun, new, twist.

I’ve started to use more blue and white in my home decor, because I feel like it’s classic and will last the test of time.  With this color scheme, it’s so easy to mix in the color of the year through foliage, like on a mantle, in a vase, or even a throw pillow.  Try using these three colors for a party too.

  • Any nautical themed party usually includes blue and white, so mixing in some greenery in the form of foliage is a great idea.
  • How about a joint bachelor/bachlorette party with a Stripes and Plaid theme?  Women wear blue and white stripes, while the men wear green plaid.
  • A graduation party is a great time to use these colors especially if your school colors are blue and white.  Use blue and white balloons in front of a greenery inspired dessert table or picture backdrop.

Greenery + Pink & Gray

Another really fun color combination is mixing greenery in with pink and gray.

I think this may be my favorite color combination because it’s more unexpected.  Here’s how I’d use it in a party.

  • Gray table linens, with large green foliage and pink flowers in vases like the first inspiration photo
  • As a photo backdrop with gray fabric and faux flowers in pink and green similar to the second inspiration picture
  • As a Mother’s Day brunch.  Ask all of your guests to wear pink, then make a table scape using gray linens and green dishes.

Sometimes all you need to start planning a party is a great color scheme.  Taking a cue from the color of the year is a great place to start.  Then mixing in a few other coordinating colors becomes really easy.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  We have snow in our forecast, boo!  But I’m celebrating a big milestone today and throwing a fun party that you’ll get to see later.  For all the behind the scenes details be sure to check out my Instastories and Facebook page.




How to Make a Party Guest List

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when trying to keep track of your party guests?  I’m not talking about at your party, but figuring out who’s coming, who’s bringing what, what time they’re coming, and all of those other little things.  

Today I’m going to give you a few tips and details to help you keep track of all of that stuff and show you how I make a party guest list.

Track your party guest list with this spreadsheet, guest list categories, how to make a guest listFirst, I love a good spreadsheet, but doing this with pen and paper works too.  Find whatever method will help you remember to write things down and be able to refer to it often. Maybe keep it in a handy place so it’s easy to get to leading up to your party.

Guest List Categories

Next, here are some column headings that are necessary to track your guests if you are using a spreadsheet.  If you aren’t using a spreadsheet, these categories will definitely help you make a guest list for your party. 

  • Name
  • Contact Information (phone number, address, email, etc.)
    • This is good information to have in case you are mailing invitations or thank you cards.  It’s also great to reference if you need to call a guest before the party to get their RSVP information or ask them to help pick up a bag of ice on the way to your party. <- This always seems to be the one thing we need right before a party. 
  • Invitation Sent
    • I recommend just using a checkmark or X to indicate whether you’ve sent the invitation.
  • RSVP
    • In this column I typically indicate whether the guest is coming with a simple Yes or No.  Does anyone else feel like we’ve gotten away from RSVPing to the host?  I don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to commit to coming to your party or letting you know if they can’t.  A simple text would be fine, it’ so important to let the host know that you’re coming, so just do it!
  • Total Numbers
    • This column is where I like to break out exactly how many people are coming.  Mostly, separating adults and children.  Obviously, young children don’t eat as much as adults, so that plays a key role in how much and what kind of food to purchase and prepare.
  • Food
    • This section of your tracker may be fairly extensive, but it’s flexible depending on the type of party you’re having.  If you are having a pot luck, this is a great way to track what everyone is bringing.  If you’re providing the food, there’s really no need to include this section.  For a wedding or seated dinner, it’s a great idea to ask what choice your guest wants and track it in this area.  Keep in mind to use this section to track any allergies or food restrictions your guests may have to certain foods.
  • Gift Received
    • This section is great to include in your tracker if you’re having a wedding shower, baby shower, bridal shower, or birthday party.  Tracking what gifts you have received will help you to write the proper thank you card.
  • The last category to include in your tracker is a Thank You Card column.
    • This area is where you’ll track if you’ve written and delivered thank you cards to your guests that brought you a gift.  It’s only appropriate to send a thank you card.  Now you’ll be able to remind yourself by referring to the tracker you made.

These are all things that you are probably already doing, but sometimes just tracking people can be overwhelming.  Hopefully, you’ve found a category that you maybe haven’t thought of before.  If so, plan to add it to your guest list tracking system the next time you’re hosting a party.  


Party Prep Tips and a FREE Party Set-Up Timeline

Happy Monday friends! How are you adjusting to the time change? I was so tired yesterday! I hope you’ve recharged a bit.   How about a free printable to help you get ready for your party faster and I promise it won’t tire you out?

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.I find that anytime you search for a timeline or guide to help plan a party, everything you find doesn’t give enough detail for what to do right before the party. I always find timelines that are months and weeks ahead of a party. But what about those of us that tend to wait until the last minute to get ready to celebrate?  Or just need to know what to do once the guests have been invited?

I like to have a to do list for each day and hour leading up to the event. Today, I’m going to help you do the same. I’m also going to give you some awesome tips that will help you get your party ready and be done before your guests arrive. No more rushing around when your doorbell rings.

One Week

By the time your event is a week away, you’ve probably already decided on a theme, invited guests, and have a plan for food, drinks, and decor. So now you need to start executing your plan.

One week before the event, purchase or start making your party décor. This will give you enough time to make homemade decor and not feel rushed to get it done.

If you plan on purchasing helium balloons, place the order now. Schedule to pick the balloons up a few hours before your event.

Four Days

Four days before your event is all about the food. By this point you’ve nailed down your menu and made grocery lists. So, purchase groceries and all the things you’ll need for drinks.

Once you’re home, be sure to prepare your food for the party. If things need to be washed, cut, or stored specifically for your party do it now to save you time closer to your event.

Two Days

A couple days before your event you’ll want to start preparing your event space. To do this cut and arrange flowers if you’re using them. Start decorating your tablescape or food/drink buffet area. This step is crucial because you’ll need it set up now to prepare for other steps in the days leading up to your event.

This is also a great time to set out anything on your table or food station that isn’t going to go bad in two days. Things like plates, cups, napkins, serving ware, flatware, and platters.

One Day

The day before your event is exciting! But there is a lot of work to do. First you’ll want to start making any of the food you’re preparing yourself. If it doesn’t have to be freshly cooked prepare it today.

Storage containers, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap are your friend. Wrap up your prepared food and store it in your refrigerator until the big day. You’ll have time to assemble and finalize recipes later, so use this time to do as much prep cooking as possible.

Once you’ve gotten your food prepared, it’s time to clean your event space. I highly recommend using this method to clean for guests. You don’t have to get carried away cleaning, focus on the areas that your guests will spend the most time. Typically, around the food and drinks, any sort of activity areas, and be sure to clean your most used bathroom.

Night Before

Are you ready for one of my biggest tips to party planning? The night before your event, label your platters and serving ware. It will save you so much time and energy. It also helps you plan out your table and spacing of food and everything else that needs to be on your table.

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.This is also a great way to help anyone that’s helping you. If you hand your husband a bag of chips and ask him to put it on the table, he’ll clearly see the bowl labeled chips and guess what? Those chips will be in the exact spot you want them to be. Amazingly reducing the amount of rework you’ll have to do.

Also the night before is a great time to put up all of your party décor. Doing so now will free up so much time the day of your event. It’s also a great way to see how well your décor is going to hold up. If you put everything up the night before and it has all fallen down by the morning you’ll know that you’re going to have to try some new ways to keep it up throughout your party.  Use this method to have everything you need handy and avoid running around after tape and scissors.

Four Hours

Whohoo, it’s the day of your event! Let’s get ready to party! At this point you are ready to go. Décor’s done, most of the set up is done, guests are on their way, now to put the finishing touches on your party.

It’s time to get all of that pre-prepared food together. This is the time to start putting salads together, mixing all your ingredients for dips, assembling sandwiches, or decorating a cake. It’s so much easier because you’ve prepped everything the day before.

If you have food that needs to be baked or cooked do it now, so all you have to do is warm it up later.

This is also a great time to set up your dessert bar or buffet. It’s plenty of time for your cake, cupcakes, or cookies to not get dry or melt. If you have desserts that need to stay cold, be sure to wait to put them out.

Two Hours

A couple hours before your party you should have almost all of your food taken care of, décor done, and desserts ready. It’s the perfect time to touch up any cleaning that you did the day before. Whether that be giving your bathroom a once over, fluffing your couch pillows, or cleaning up any messes in the kitchen.

It’s also a great idea to make sure all of your trashcans are empty and ready to be used at the party. Another great tip is to label your trashcans, especially if you plan on recycling. Cleaning recyclables out of a trashcan is not fun to do after a party.

One Hour

One of the last things to get ready is the drinks. Do this about an hour before the party so drinks are cold and ice hasn’t melted yet.

Also be sure you have plenty of cups, straws, glasses, and a way to label individual glasses. Great options are a sharpie on plastic cups, wine charms or these drink labels.

30 Minutes

Now, right before your party you’re going to want to just put the finishing touches on everything. This is when you’ll want to pull out any food that has had to be cold or warm up any food that needs to be warm.

It’s a great idea to use your oven on a low temperature setting, a warming drawer, or use a chafing dish with a warming flame under it.

Finally, my favorite part of party set up, is enjoying how your party and house looks before all of your guests arrive. It’s a great time to take a few pictures of all of your hard work. Let’s be honest, your house probably doesn’t usually look this good, right?!

Congrats!  You’re ready to party!

Here’s a handy dandy printable to help you remember all of the things you need to do leading up to your party. Putting these steps in place will definitely help you be ready for your party more quickly and be set to go before your guests arrive.  Just click the picture below to download a copy for yourself.

Click here for a free Party Set-Up Timeline printable, set up your party starting a week before the event.


Celebrating everyday!