HOST AN OSCAR PARTY

I love this party idea for a girls’ night out.  A friend of mine hosted an Oscar party for just the girls a few years ago and it was a winner!  Because the Academy Awards are always held on a Sunday evening (technically a school night), I like a more casual approach and wouldn’t require guests to be red carpet ready in terms of attire.  But if your crew loves to be dressed to the nines, by all means, go for it!  

A red carpet to greet your guests is still a must whether you’re going casual or formal.  Party City has 15ft and 40ft options here

red carpet

Once your guests arrive, have each of them fill out their own Oscar ballot.  Click here for the printable version of the one below.

ballot

You can’t celebrate the movies without popcorn!  Offer several different flavors like cheese, caramel and cinnamon and set it up buffet style like the one below.  You can actually download this printable party kit here.  My favorite item is the popcorn cones with bow ties!

popcorn barimage credit: Bird’s Party Shop

A candy buffet is a brilliant idea for an Oscar theme because it requires no time in the kitchen.  The presentation possibilities are endless but I like the simple one below for this adult party.  Don’t forget the Junior Mints!

candyimage credit: life in yellow

Keep the beverage choices simple with a signature drink.  It wouldn’t be the Oscars without champagne and when I found this recipe called ‘Red Carpet-tini’, I knew I’d found the one.

red carpet tiniimage credit: Taste of Home

If you have any movie memorabilia around the house like film reels or prints, add it to your party decor.

movieimage credit: Shindig Events

At the end of the evening, tally up who had the most accurate predictions from their Oscar ballot and award that person the grand prize. You can include movie passes, theater candy or a DVD of last year’s Best Picture winner.

prizesimage credit:  Linen, Lace & Love

You can also put together “swag” bags of goodies for the rest of your party guests.  Make the one below by following the DIY steps here.

goodies bagimage credit: Studio DIY

More “nominated” ideas:

If you want to make your own popcorn, I found some unique recipes here.

To give your party a different twist, check out this Oscar PJS & Pearls theme – love!

Bingo is always a fun game to keep people engaged in the show.  Print these 2014 Oscar Bingo cards and you’re good to go.

Be sure to visit my Oscar Pinterest board for more inspiration.

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SUPER BOWL PARTY

Chips, dips, wings and beer…what more do you need for a Super Bowl party?  My husband would say “not a darn thing!”.  But if you do want to kick it up a notch, here are some suggestions:

Games:  Let’s face it, Super Bowl commercials are almost as big a part of the show as the actual football game.  Embrace it by playing ‘Commercial Bingo’.  Click here for a downloadable file of the game below.

sb gameimage credit: stylemepretty.com

Another activity that my entire family enjoys is “Prop Betting”.  Prop bets are fun little wagers to get people involved in the game when they could really care less about the two teams playing.  Have everyone kick in a dollar when they arrive and the person with the most correct predictions wins the pot.  An alternative to this is to buy a prize ahead of time vs. collecting money.  Print the sheet below here and you’re all set!

prop betimage credit: allthosethingsIlove.com

Food:  I’m convinced that the Super Bowl party is one of the main reasons so many diet related New Year’s resolutions fail.  But how can you not partake in the delicious junk food that makes it a Super Bowl party?  It would be un-American!

I think buffet style is the only way to go when it comes to Super Bowl party food.  My top two favorites are below:

1.  Taco Bar – most of it is make ahead and almost everyone loves tacos.

tacoimage credit: Pinterest pin

2.  Chili and hot dog bar – another good make ahead option and a favorite with adults and kids alike.

chili barimage credit:  sheknows.com

For dessert, decorate your chocolate covered strawberries to look like mini footballs.  It’s easier than it looks and now you can say you’ve had your fruit serving. 🙂

sb dessertimage credit:  dessertdarling.com (click for recipe)

Decor:  While it’s definitely optional, I think scattering a few football props on your serving table or a side table can add to the festive feel.  I love the idea (below) of using inexpensive green felt from the craft store to cover your table.  Add white duct tape for your yard lines.  Party City carries scads of stuff that can amp up your football theme. I also found this referee shirt bottle koozie that would help recreate the look below.

fb tableimage credit:  bitememore.com

Where there’s a party post, there’s almost always a Pinterest board.  Click here for my favorite Super Bowl party pins.

Wish List Wednesday

Holiday parties are right around the corner.  While it’s not mandatory to bring a gift for the host, it is a nice way to thank them for inviting you.  I have a friend that has a knack for picking the perfect hostess gift.  We’ve attended many parties together and I’ve never seen her give the same gift twice. She makes it a priority to put time and thought into selecting something unique that fits the personality of the host.  My goal this holiday season is to ditch the tried and true bottle of wine (not that there is anything wrong with that!) and come bearing a gift that is a little more original.  Below are some gifts I “wish” to give and they’re all $30 and under.

bev tagsThe holiday beverage tags above from Ballard Designs are a fun way to label your libations.  I also love the non-holiday version that can be used all year round.ks notebookGive your hostess a Kate Spade spiral notebook that adds a touch of glam to her to do lists.

henhouselinenes

This beautiful set of 6 cloth cocktail napkins from Hen House Linens gives the host a formal option for serving beverages and they’re environmentally friendly.beauty lotionThe Philosophy Holiday Handbook set of hand creams from Beauty Brands allows the hostess to pamper herself after the partygoers clear out.wine charmNo more mixing up wine glasses with these chalkboard wine charms from Mark and Graham.

cheers coastersRegardless of the celebration or time of year, the bubbly “Cheers” coasters from Nieman Marcus add some sparkle to the party.

Sales scoop on some of the items above:

Ballard Designs – 10% off entire site and free shipping (ends 12/3)

Nordstrom – free shipping, free returns (all the time)

Hen House Linens – 15% off with code 15OFF (starts midnight on 11/29 and ends at midnight 12/2)

Beauty Brands – $10 cash card with every order, free shipping on orders over $50

Neiman Marcus – free shipping, free returns, free gift packaging

Follow my hostess gift Pinterest board for more ideas.