Archive | Printables

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.

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Party Rewind: Daniel Tiger Birthday Party with FREE Printables

Today, I’m trying something a little different.  I’m going to take you back to a party I did about nine months ago because I’ve added some things I think you’ll like!

Let’s travel back in time together and look at this Daniel Tiger themed birthday party I hosted for my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  Click here to see the full party.

In case you’ve forgotten how it was decorated take a peek at some of these highlights.

I loved how the teal blue and red color scheme really screamed Daniel Tiger without being overly cartoon-like.  I’ve since been able to pass along the trolley photo booth and color coordinating paper garlands for another little one to celebrate with.  It felt great knowing that something I spent time crafting was going to get more than one use.  And I’m sure be the hit of another party.

To share the love even more, I designed a few things for your Daniel Tiger themed birthday party.  Try using these cupcake toppers and food label tents at your party to help streamline your decor.  Just click on the picture to download the printable you like.  Print it out on cardstock, cut it out, and top a cupcake with it or label Prince Wednesday’s Pasta Salad.

With these two printables, you’ll be on your way to hosting a super cute Daniel Tiger birthday yourself!  I’d love to see how you use these printables. Be sure to take a picture and hashtag it with #thedailyhostess on Instagram so I can see how creative you are with using these!

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A Step by Step Guide to Writing the Perfect Thank You Card

Welcome back from the weekend!  First, I want to give a quick plug to my Rodan and Fields business and the awesome promotion I’m running until Tuesday.  Click here to hear all about it, and here to see what skincare would work best for you.

Now that that business is taken care of, let’s talk about probably one of the most important parts of parties, get togethers, and celebrating.  The Thank You card!  It’s so important!

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!I think it’s a bit of a lost art in this high paced, technology filled world, but getting that hand written thank you note makes you feel so good, right?

Below are a few of my tips and a template to help you write the perfect thank you card.  Using the template, you’ll be a thank you card master able to whip out a bunch of amazing thank you cards.

Thank You Card Tips

Emily Post says that the two most important things when writing thank you notes are sincerity and promptness.  So my first tip is to try and write the thank you note within a week of the event or receiving a gift.  Using the template I’ve provided it won’t take any time at all to write.

As far as sincerity goes, it’s best to add some sort of personal flair to your card.  Definitely mention the gift giver by name, but also talk briefly about them or your relationship.  Something as simple as, “It was great to celebrate with you,” or “I loved catching up with you at the party” work fine.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when the thank you note doesn’t specifically reference the gift given.  You should mention the gift specifically, like “thank you so much for the decorative vase,” not “thank you for the gift.”  I’ll be honest and say that I’m pretty judgemental when I get a thank you card and it doesn’t reference the gift specifically.  Not my best quality I know.

Write the thank you note as if you were speaking to the person directly.  Use your normal tone of voice, but be sure to be positive, it’s great that someone gave you a gift!  Just try to keep the note on the shorter side, it isn’t supposed to be a novel.

If someone gifts you money, be sure to tell them what you plan to use the money for.  Don’t say “thanks for the money.” Instead, say “thank you so much for the generous gift, I plan to use it to purchase a new coffee table for my apartment.”

It’s a great idea to give a thank you note or card not just for gifts, but lots of other occasions.  Be sure that if someone is hosting you for dinner, or overnight you write them a quick thank you.  Also if someone is hosting a party or gathering in your honor, you want to make sure to thank the host specifically.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Thank You Card Template

Now that you have a bunch of tips to make your thank you card writing great, use this easy template to crank out the thank you’s in no time.

Click the template I created for you below to download it. Keep it somewhere handy to reference while writing thank you cards.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Here’s a sample thank you note using the template above.

Dear Aunt Lisa,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful bottle of wine you brought to our dinner party.  We’re looking forward to pairing it with a great steak in the future.  It was so great having you at our dinner party. Your dinner jokes really kept everyone laughing and having a good time.  Thanks again for the wine, and we’re looking forward to spending time with you again around the holidays.

Love,

Amy

See how easy that was?!  Short, positive, named the gift, added some personalization, and wrapped it up.  You’ll be writing perfect thank you cards in no time using the template above.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Now, tell me your tips for writing thank you cards.  Or have you ever gotten a really good, or really bad thank you card? I can’t wait to hear all about it. There are a lot of Valentine’s Day posts coming up over the next few weeks. Just in time to help celebrate the love in your life!

 

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How I Meal Plan + FREE Meal Planning Calendar

Recently a good friend of mine sent me an email asking for recipe ideas to share with her group of friends as a way to help everyone get out of a dinner time rut.  In the email, she called me out about how I meal plan and that I’ve “got all of my s*** together” because I meal plan.  I don’t know if I’d go that far, but it did spur the idea to share my meal planning secrets with all of you.

So here are a few tips to help with meal planning and how I typically create a meal plan that lasts almost three weeks!  Plus, you’ll get a great meal planning calendar for yourself.

Get a free weekly menu planning calendar and all the tips to help get your weekly dinners organized!First, I start by writing out a calendar for two weeks (bonus! Just download the one I made for you at the bottom of this post!), only planning dinners.  Then I start to fill in dinner ideas on various days.  I get a lot of dinner inspiration from Pinterest, see all of my dinner ideas here. I also ask my husband if he has any requests and he usually provides an idea or two.  Then I fill in what’s left with past dinners that were a big hit.

A couple tips, first, plan meals that are produce heavy towards the beginning of your two week meal plan.  This way you can use the produce before it goes bad.

I always leave one to two days empty.  Something usually comes up that fills up dinner for a night, or we’ll do leftovers.

Keep in mind days when you’ll be getting home late, or have events going on at night to plan simple and quick dinners.

I tape up my meal plan on the inside of my spice cabinet.  I also leave a pen in the cabinet as well.  It’s an easy spot to check in the morning to see if I need to set anything out.  That pen helps me cross off what we’ve already eaten for dinner. I also adjust the dinners throughout the week if I need to move something around.

Get a free weekly menu planning calendar and all the tips to help get your weekly dinners organized!I try to end my two week meal plan on a Monday or Tuesday because that’s when I tend to grocery shop.  So whatever day works best for you, start your meal plan and end it about two weeks after that.  Once you do it once, you’ll stick to that rotation.

Now, after I’ve written out my meals for two weeks, I start my grocery list.  I go through my meal plan dinner by dinner and add whatever ingredients I don’t have to my grocery list.

My biggest tip for grocery lists is to categorize your list.  I made one here for Thanksgiving that you can download and use.  It helps so much when you’re trying to get through the grocery store because everything you need in one section of the grocery store is in one place on your list.

Recently I’ve started ordering my groceries online and just picking them up at the curb at the grocery store.  I’ve found that it saves so much time and money.  No randomly throwing things in the cart that aren’t on your list.  Plus, grocery shopping with a toddler is NOT fun.  I do find however, that when ordering groceries I tend to not get things that I need. Mostly because I’m not reminded I need them while passing by them in the store.

If you dread dinner time, or dinner time is always chaotic try giving this meal planning thing a chance.  Doing so will help to organize that feeling of uncertainty around dinner time.  I love knowing I have an idea of what to make for dinner.  It’s also a bonus that I already have all of the ingredients at home.

I hope this FREE meal planning calendar will help you on your way to feeling like a dinner time guru!  Click here to download your meal planning calendar!

Get a free weekly menu planning calendar and all the tips to help get your weekly dinners organized!

Weekly Meal Planning Calendar

Have a great weekend! Let me know in the comments if you have any other meal planning tips. I’d love to incorporate them into what I already do.

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FREE Printable Christmas Bucket List

Happy December everyone!  Around here we are in full Christmas celebrating mode.  Decorating, gifting, lights, and baking, it’s all happening now that we’re 25 days away from Christmas!  Let’s all try and make the most out of the season this year and really celebrate it.  To help, I’ve put together a great list of things to get you in the holiday spirit.  Scroll down to see the 2016 Christmas Bucket List.

Get in the holiday spirit with this FREE Christmas Bucket List Printable. Click here for the download!My family has already crossed a few of these fun things off of our list.  Thanks to our cute little town, we’ve attended a tree lighting ceremony and did a carriage ride down Main Street.  Both were so fun and got our holiday season off to a great start!

This bucket list is a great way to make the season not about the “stuff” but about the experiences and memories for you and your kids.  Sitting around and listening to my husband and his siblings talk about their childhood is one of my favorite things.  It was chock full of memories and experiences, traditions and most of all love.  This is the time of year to make those memories with your own kids.

How great will it be in 10, 15, or 20 years from now to hear your kids talk about how every Christmas your family did X,Y, and Z.  They will love having the tradition and doing the same thing every year.

I hope this bucket list will get you excited for the season and give you ideas of traditions to start with your own family.  There are 16 ideas listed and plenty of time to do them all.  Even if you have to combine a few.  Make hot chocolate, then go around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights.  Or, put a puzzle together while watching a Christmas movie.  There are a lot of ways to cross all of these off throughout the season.

To download and print out your bucket list, click on the photo above.  What things would you add to your Christmas Bucket List?  What holiday traditions do you have?  Merry Christmas!

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Celebrating everyday!