We had a wonderful 1st birthday party for Little Bear this past weekend and with the events fresh in my mind I am so excited to link up with some of my favorite bloggers for their "Oh What Fun it is to..." series this week! Today Nina is hosting about all things entertaining!
I LOVE to entertain...but with two little ones I don't get to host parties nearly as often as I would like. Which in turn, I believe, makes me go a little overboard. I put together a list of some tips that I find helpful when I'm planning a party...and I'll mix in some pictures from LB's party!
1. Find your inspiration, and find it early!
I decided very early that I wanted Little Bear's first birthday to have a polar bear theme (he may or may not have still been in the womb.) I was on the lookout for a smocked polar bear outfit
I found this cuteness way back in February!
You can find inspiration anywhere...a color scheme, invitation, tradition, anything! I know how to take a theme and run with it...as you will see!
Once you have the inspiration for your party you can keep your eye out for details to pick up ahead of time. I bought blue and green platters in the front dollar section at Target months ago and found a polar bear jack in the box on Zulily. The longer the have the more potential to find cute items!
2. Don't be afraid to try something new!
For this party I really wanted to try making frosted sugar cookies.
not perfect, but completely delicious!
As with anything new it's a good idea to do a trial run first. I tried one cookie recipe that didn't work and settled on the second...along with the icing instructions from Bake at 350. By the end I actually had a lot of fun making the cookies and look forward to making more iced cookies in the future!
So try a new dish or craft, serve the meal in a different room (a friend did this recently and said her guests were all confused because the food wasn't in the "usual" spot!) or change up your normal New Year's Eve party for a New Year's Day breakfast!
3. But don't be afraid to recycle either!
When I found the polar bear longall I was beyond excited that the bears were wearing the most adorable blue and green scarves...because for Big Bear's first birthday EVERYTHING was blue and green! So I reused a ton of elements (and no one noticed!)
You can recycle menus and serve the same meal every year or always host a tacky sweater party...people will begin to look forward to your annual party!
4. When kids are involved- plan an activity!
Obviously this was a kids' party, but even at parties that are more for the adults make sure that the littles have something to keep them busy!
It doesn't have to be complicated at all...I picked up some foam polar bears and other Artic shapes that the "older" kids glued down on construction paper. Simple, right? I was astounded when kept them occupied for most of the party! Well that and cupcakes.
Or....maybe you hire a babysitter to entertain all of the kids at your house. I know your friends would love that!
5. Enlist help, and lots of it!
Just because you're hosting a party, that doesn't mean you have to do all of the work! For me that meant a few things...having my sister-in-law make the smash cake
adorable topper from Sugar Dough Designs
putting Bestie to work the minute she came in the door- she's an awesome cupcake decorator!
asking a friend to be in charge of taking all of the pictures--this is priceless, because if it were up for me & Mr. Banker to take pictures we would have no food (Mr. is usually in charge of that!) and no sweet pictures like this (+ ~300 more!)
I'm sure your friends are always willing to help with party details! For you it may mean that everyone brings a dish or someone helps you design the invitation.
6. Don't overstress and have fun!
So what if you don't have time to make that cute door hanger or whitty, theme appropriate labels for the food? Don't worry if the meal isn't served on time or if someone cries during the prayer. And most of all don't freak out if your 2 year old throws up at the end of the party (not that I know anything about that. Ahem.) Your guests will feed off of your energy and if you seem uncomfortable they are going to feel uncomfortable! You should enjoy being surrounded by people you care about and enjoy celebrating whatever the occasion!
Super cute polar bear shirt by Lulu McGee!
I hope you enjoyed by wannabe-entertaining guru tips and will hop over to Nina's blog to get some great advice from some other bloggers!