I collect cookbooks; some are recent publications, but many are vintage. I love reading a cookbook as a good novel. I love looking at the pictures or beautiful sketches.
Cookbooks are an excellent source of inspiration for a party. As I browse Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook , I can imagine making the tiny breadsticks for my Twilight Italiano party. Some recipes remind me of a special friend or family member, and I can mark that for their birthday celebration.
I used to keep a three-ring notebook of magazine clippings and recipes printed from the internet as my own cookbook. With technology, I use my ipad photo roll for this. I’ve taken these clippings, and some new ones, and stuck them in a related cookbook. I’m always delighted to grab a cookbook from the shelf and also discover some additional ideas!
Take a Saturday morning, grab a cookbook, get inspired…….
There are a ton of websites, books, and television shows that will list party themes and what to do to make that theme happen at your home. That is a little different than what I am suggesting in Pink Cloud Inc. blog (and hopefully a book someday). Just as I am writing, the writer was inspired to share with you, but every host or hostess needs their own personal, internal inspiration to throw a Killer-Super-Fabulous Party. You need to be stimulated and excited, so your next step is finding what inspires you.
Websites, books, and television shows are what I consider direct inspiration. At work, sometimes a designer will turn in a design that looks very similar to another designer’s look, and instead of calling it ‘copied’ or ‘knocked off’, we call it directly inspired. This is a good place to start. Look at other hostess’s parties and see if any of them really, really excite you, then plan one like it for yourself and your friends.
Here are some websites and blogs that I regularly browse:
Catch My Party
Hostess With The Mostess
Amy Atlas Events
This list of books are eyecandy to me:
David Stark Designs
Donna Hay: Instant Entertaining
I watch marathons on-demand of:
My Fair Wedding
March was an expensive month. I am so grateful that April has arrived to give me a ‘do over’ on my budget. Two fabulous birthdays and an apartment remodel just did me in! I am so grateful for Pinterest, because I can shop, plan parties, dream about vacations without spending a dime! In April, I’m looking for simple and small ways to celebrate everyday. I’m starting with the calendar:
April 1 is … One Cent Day
April 2 is … National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
April 3 is … Tweed Day and Don’t Go To Work Unless It’s Fun Day
April 4 is … Tell-A-Lie Day
April 5 is … Go For Broke Day
April 6 is … Sorry Charlie Day
April 7 is … No Housework Day
April 8 is … All Is Ours Day
April 9 is … Winston Churchill Day and Name Yourself Day
April 10 is … Golfers Day
April 11 is … Eight-Track Tape Day
April 12 is … Look Up At The Sky Day
April 13 is … Blame Somebody Else Day
April 14 is … National Pecan Day
April 15 is … Rubber Eraser Day
April 16 is … National Stress Awareness Day and National Eggs Benedict Day
April 17 is … National Cheeseball Day
April 18 is … International Jugglers Day
April 19 is … Garlic Day
April 20 is … Look Alike Day
April 21 is … Kindergarten Day
April 22 is … National Jelly Bean Day
April 23 is … Read Me Day and World Laboratory Animal Day
April 24 is … National Pigs In A Blanket Day
April 25 is … National Zucchini Bread Day
April 26 is … Richter Scale Day and National Pretzel Day
April 27 is … Tell A Story Day
April 28 is … Great Poetry Reading Day and Kiss-Your-Mate Day
April 29 is … National Shrimp Scampi Day
April 30 is … National Honesty Day
Which one is your favorite? How will you celebrate?
The difference between throwing a party and a Killer-Super-Fabulous party is inspiration. Anyone can throw a party, but only the inspired ones can turn anything, any thought, or any holiday into a Killer-Super-Fabulous party.
Inspiration is the reason for your party. The cause to celebrate. The being of the gathering.
Inspiration is contagious. “party. friday. my place” vs. “Did you know Friday is National Singles Day? I’m throwing a party to honor it…you are single, right? Please come and meet some friends and have a bit of Single Malt Liquor to celebrate our singleness!”
Inspiration shows. We have all arrived at a ‘party’ to find out that it is really a networking event or sales pitch. We have all walked into a wedding and started to feel ‘in love’ and extremely happy and hopeful for the couple.
And here is the textbook definition of in·spi·ra·tion (nsp-rshn) n.
1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
2. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
Are you inspired yet?
I told you in my last post that I love throwing a Super Fabulous Party…..it is in my blood. I love every part: the planning, making the invitations, the decorating, the cooking, the serving, the mingling, and even the clean up.
How many times has someone advised you to ‘do what you love’? Many. How many times have you filled your weeks and years doing something you ‘should’ get done, instead of something you love? I’m blessed to love life, and love soooo many activities that others might consider chores, or just do because they read a ‘How to ______’ and simply followed the directions.
My advice for throwing a Super-Killer-Fab Party is only do what you love and leave the rest.
- If you cherish your relationships, and love to talk: call them up and skip the invites.
- If you are a bit shy, quiet or maybe just really busy, use a website or pre-formatted invitation site like tinyprints.com to do the work for you; they will even mail them out!
- If you are a decorator, decorate, but if you don’t have the knack: just have a floral arrangement delivered.
- If you do not enjoy cooking, hire a private chef for the night, do your party potluck or progressive style, or have it delivered and present it on your fantastic plates. Costco has some great frozen-pop-in-the-oven creations to feed a full, fabulous party.
Get the picture? Its time to take my own advice: I promise to hire a cleaning service before the party so that I can enjoy my time decorating and cooking.
One of my favorite parts of a party is the clean up. Yes, the clean up. Guests and co-hosts are forever asking me if they can do the dishes or straighten up before they leave. I always say no!
I love waking up the next morning, seeing a vision of half empty glasses, dinner crumbs, and streamers or balloons littering my apartment. With every dish I wash, I remember a special moment from the event. With every half-eaten bite I dispose of, I taste the fabulous meal. I feel so loved and honored that I have such great friends to feel happy and at home in my home.
This is the moment I savour…..Then I check out all the pics!
I love parties. I always have. Some of my happiest childhood memories are of birthday parties, skating parties, and my parents semi-weekly Friday night ‘Mad Men’ parties.
My mother hand painted Paddington Bear train tickets for one of my birthdays. Katie DeNourie held a dress-like-someone-famous party and came down the stairs as Phyllis Diller. For Tina Duff’s birthday, guests performed a talent show.
Our home had a slate entry with coat closet, then guests (not kids) would take a step down into the sunken entertaining room: white carpet, a wall of white pinch pleat drapery, bright blue glass and bright blue wool furniture with white marble end and coffee tables. Friday nights, my sister and I were allowed to watch tv in the bedroom, and visit the event for some snacks from the buffet. The room came alive on Friday nights…..I couldn’t wait for the buffet trip and even dressed myself in church clothes for the moment. I was fascinated with the ‘life’ of the party….the drinks in one hand, a cigarette in another, laughing: babahahahabahhhaaaaaaa
This vision made a huge impression on me. I requested liver pate on mini-rye for my sack lunch. The first time I was allowed to babysit my sister, I dressed us up, set up the bar, made us some drinks, stole my dad’s cigarettes, and entered the forbidden entertainment room….laughing, drinking, emulating. I made formal invitations and hors d’oeuvres for meetings at work. I’ve pursued the perfect party for my lifetime thus far…..
Kim's First Birthday Party