Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Bright New Year

A Simple New Year's Party

   Instead of the traditional silver and gold for your New Year's party, why not ring in the new year with hopeful bright oranges and enthusiastic reds.  Combine these bright colors with clean simple lines of modern-inspired decor, and add a little bit of whimsy to make your party a hit.  

Decor:  Orange and reds.  Floral arrangements include marigolds and hot pink chrysanthemums. Hang red paper lanterns from the ceiling (see for supplies) interspersed with bright orange metallic balloons in crescent shapes.  Luminarias also can make a beautiful warm statement at centerpeices nestled in betweeen floral arrangements.  Alongside the buffet table, place homemade orange peel candles.  For table linens, use Indian prints in gold, red and orange.  You can find affordable yardage at your local fabric store.  Merely hem the edges and you have an instant table runner. 

Favors:  I found these great party masks by Maro Designs on  Not only do they make unique favors, they provide a creative opportunity for photos of your guests!  

Cute party hats can be decorated with pink and orange feathers (see pattern and instructions at  

Another wonderful idea for a take-home reminder of your party is a small calendar for the new year.  I found these clean, simple calendars on by Jumping Jack Designs.  Use the brown box they come in, and wrap your own red and orange ribbons around the outside. 

Activities:  No New Year's party is complete without the iconic count-down to midnight.  Toast the new year with pink champagne with a sugared tangerine slice on the edge of the glass.  Purchase small individual confetti shooters (  for guests to be let off at midnight.
  Another fun item is a "cootie-catcher".  You can hand these out to your guests and then have them ask the question, "Will I keep my New Year's resolution?" and see what their fortune holds.  (See for instructions and a downloadable pattern.)  

Food:  Think simple and healthy.  After the over-indulgences of the holidays, most guests are looking forward to flat tummies once again. Help them with their new year's resolutions by providing salads, healthy finger food, fresh fruits, and light desserts.  Check out Cooking Light magazine for some great ideas to slim down your favorites.

Drinks:  Cognac Sparklers and Mandarin Cocktails from  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Now, What To Give!

1. Soup mix.  Some people may think this is a cop-out, but for a busy woman with a family, I love the mixes!  Anything to save me time is a great gift!

2. A trip!  (Just so long as it's not a cruise to Alaska.  I've lived there - yes, you can see whales, but it's too damn cold!)

3. Baby sitting services.

4. A foot rub - especially if you are my husband!  (I tell him every year, this is what I want - and a real one - not the 5 minute "I'm busy watching football" one.)  AND I want to watch HGTV during the foot rub, with a glass of wine in one hand.
5. A night out to dinner and cocktails, sans children.  (I do really love my kids, I swear!  Just need a little adult time every now and then!!)

6. A new computer!!  Preferable a very light portable type that doesn't crash every five minutes, take 20  minutes to load a web site, and have one million cords sticking out of it!!  

7. The Family Guy boxed set volume seven.  I know....don't tell anyone.  I'll just buy it for myself.
8. A custom paint job for my mini-van.  I like pink - maybe like the Charlie's Angels van!  Sweeeeeet!

9. Anything handmade from my children.  Love, love, love.

10. Wine - always the perfect gift.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Twenty Gifts Not to Give this Christmas

1. A Christmas mug - come to think of it - any mug.  

2. Footed one-piece jammies for adults.  It's a "no-do".

3. Any type of "all in one" tool that is $9.99 at this low discount price for one hour only.  Don't dial that number!!

4. A Snuggie or slankit, or whatever you want to call it.

5. Erotic apparel.  "Nipple-less" bras are called "nursing bras", and we would buy one if we needed one.   And your husband is not going to wear the satin boxer shorts, however cute you think he would be in them.

6. Anything personalized, to the point that it is kitchy.  Really, do you ever see anything like this in someone's office?  Do you really thing they are going to display it?

7. Re-gifted items. The recipient can tell that you didn't like it the first time, and now they are the proud owner.  If you want to be "eco-friendly" give a back-rub.

8. Christmas ornaments. OK, I'm guilty of this one as well.  I do like some ornament gifts, especially if they have my kids' name on it. 
9. The "cheese product" "meat log" assortment.  They neither taste like meat nor cheese, and you end up guiltily serving them to last minute guests because you can't find anything else in the fridge.


10. And yes, we all know your lovin' should be enough, but come on, go out and spend a little, ya cheapskate!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Holidays with Humor - Party Products Featurette

Naughty Betty is a retailer on-line that has some great products that will keep your holidays happy!

She has cocktail nakins, cards, magnets, paper plates, you name it.  I think a variety of the napkins would be great at a cocktail party.