So you have a crafty kid, do you? A child who loves a home party, you say? No need to panic. Here's a suggestion for an easy and entertaining home party that anyone can host without busting your hump.
WHAT TO BUY:
A few themed party items. I bought tie dye cups, napkins and a table cloth from the party store on sale. Keep in mind, no child worth his sugar cares how the party is styled as long as there's cake.
Glow Sticks. I found star shaped sticks at the Dollar Store.
Tie Dye (for lazy people) Supplies... more about that in a second.
Loot bags. Haha, I kid. I don't do loot bags—unless they're a DIY craft like the ones we made at our party. Read on....
And of course sustenance: cake (I ordered a DQ ice cream cake adapted a 60s theme to look tie dyed), pizza, snacks, juice boxes and booze (for you.... this is optional, but recommended).
THE CRAFT: You could go nuts and buy one of these Tie Dye Kits—there are tons to choose from. OR you could keep your sanity in tact and your carpet in its original condition by doing "Sharpie Tye Dying."
Sharon suggested this awesome option. I owe her large. And you will too once you read how ridiculously fast, easy and mess-less these t-shirts are! Bask in her brilliance right here: HOW TO MAKE SHARPIE TIE DYE T-SHIRTS
TIP: Cover an ottoman in a plastic table cloth, put on a movie and let them eat while they watch. I'm telling you, the silence and absence of chaos is glorious.
Then let the birthday girl/boy open presents (If you even do prezzies that is. Some years we do, others we don't). This year we went old school and let Avery open gifts in front of her friends.
Here's a fun way to do it.
Have guests sit in a large circle with their gift in front of them.
The birthday person goes around the outside of the circle while singing "Eeny meeny" or spelling out B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y and tapping each friend on the head. The last head touched is the gift they open. If they land on somebody whose gift has been opened already, move onto the next person until all the gifts have been opened.
Assign one or two of the more "antsy pants kids" to be in charge of collecting the paper and gift bags.
Take a photo of the birthday child with each guest and the gift they opened to keep track of who gave what. Email the photo to each guest with your thanks.
Between gifts and guest pick up, send kids with glow sticks to a dark room (basement) for a game of Glow Stick Tag. What is that? Basically kids run around screaming waving their Glow Sticks in the air. They love it. I know. Kids are weird.
Send guests home with their tie dyed t-shirt in their personalized loot bag (coloured canvas bags from the Dollar Store decorated with puff paint and sparkly gems). When the last guest has been picked up, crack open your booze of choice and toast yourself for being such a fan-fricken-tastic party planner.
Thanks for reading. I hope you learned something new tie dye (Read that in an Australian accent). Heh heh...
Who doesn’t like cheese? And when it’s all hot and gooey...it’s tongue heaven. Here's how to make a HOT AND CHEESY SPINACH DIP that will have your guests begging for more! But ladies, I urge you to please step away from the dip. Too much cheese is binding and nobody wants to mingle with the bunged up party guest. Also, you *may* have a little something between your teeth...
8 oz low fat sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1 package of powdered ranch dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and strained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Allow cream cheese to soften a little.
Thaw spinach (leave out or thaw in microwave) and strain excess liquid.
In mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, and ranch mix.
Blend until well distributed.
Add one cup of shredded cheddar, one cup of shredded mozzarella and the spinach.
Mix well and pour mixture into baking dish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Top with remaining cheese and bake for 5 more minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread, or crackers.
This dish is very rich and serves 6-8 people easily. If you are making this for a small group, you can divide the dip in half and freeze one portion for another time. I mixed 1/4 cup of leftover dip the next day with pasta noodles and tomato sauce and discovered a new kiddo lunch fave—she didn’t even notice the spinach!
Taking this appetizer on the road? Top your pre-baked dip with remaining cheese and bake for 5 minutes right before serving hot at your party destination.
You put your hands upon your hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip... More Dip Recipes:
None of us feels 100% comfortable in every social situation. Most of us have to work at it. When I was a teenager, I used to practise aloud what I might say at a party or to a boy on the phone. It made me feel more prepared and ultimately more comfortable. What wasn't comfortable were the elastics wound tightly around my braces or the jeans so obscenely snug I had to zip them up with a wire coat hanger—my spleen still quivers at the memory.
Now, as a full-on grown-up (on the outside anyway), I'm fairly comfortable at most events. This doesn't mean I'm at all "cool." Oh no. Just the opposite. Name any outing and I can probably rattle off a list of awkward moments orchestrated by yours truly, from forgetting someone's name, to getting locked in a bathroom stall, to falling off a stage, I've done it. Years ago I would have been mortified. But not now. I figure life is too short to put much stock in what other people—especially strangers—think of me.
For those who fear saying or doing something dumb in a group setting—don't worry about it. We all fall on our faces at some point—some of us literally—and it's okay. We get back up, laugh, look for an ice pack, and move on.
The world won't end if you call a new acquaintance Brenda when her name is actually Barbara. Brenda, er Barbara, will get over it. Make a joke to soften the blow to her ego. Say, "Sorry Barbara. Listen, my name is Lisa, but feel to call me Lucy for the rest of the night." Tension broken. Booyah.
There's been a lot of chatter online about how intimidating it can be to meet the "cool" moms. What makes them cool? Their clothes, their confidence, their success? Who knows?
What I DO know is that there is really no such thing. Cool? Pfft.
If you're kind and friendly and real with a welcoming smile and a laugh on the ready, you're the coolest. Rather, the warmest. And that's cool. So say it with me, WARM IS THE NEW COOL!
See you at the next event! I can't wait to meet you. I'll be the one grinning (likely with spinach between my teeth), enjoying talking with you and basking in your warmness.
~ Lisa :)
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20 Ways To Feel Good About Yourself Right Now! by Gupreet Randev