When you have a ‘do it right or don’t do it at all’ take on life, you’re bound to go overboard in at least a few areas. As a whole, my family is quite guilty of said point of view, so it’s not uncommon for our ‘activities’ to end up being a little over the top. Whether we’re together celebrating a birthday, a milestone, or a Thursday there’s always the potential for hilarious, crazy, time of your life moment. This past weekend started off with about 15 of us having a picnic in the park, making some new friends, and signing a release for our picture to be featured in The Contributor (Nashville’s newspaper written and sold by the homeless community) under the headline ‘Family Love’. Next up was a birthday party for my cousin’s three year old son complete with pony rides, a bounce house, and mandatory cowboy attire.
Blake, my Dad and Taz the Pony
A couple lovely cowgirls
We ended the weekend with a roaring 1920’s Murder Mystery dinner party to kick off my cousin Jess’s 25thbirthday celebration week (yes, I said week).
My brother, Joey and I as our 1920’s alter egos
My favorite troublemakers
And things will surely only get more interesting from here. We have a good time together, really enjoy each other’s company and wouldn’t have it any other way, but having so many activities can be a lot of work. If you’ve ever hosted a party, you know what I’m talking about….there’s so much going on behind the scenes! Here are a few tips on preparing for a successful event, large or small.
-Work out your playlist well in advance- every party can use a little music. Have fun with your selections, but keep in mind they should be both activity and audience appropriate.
-Stock up on stain remover…there’s no telling what carpet, shirt, etc. will be in desperate need of it.
-Have a plan for guests that are prone to being late. If you’re preparing a meal ask guests to arrive at least half an hour before you plan to serve it (but make sure you have a few things prepared for your punctual guests to snack on in the meantime). Same rule applies for watching a sporting event, movie or TV program- ask guests to arrive at least half an hour before you really need them there to give some flexibility to stragglers.
-Party-proof the house by moving any vicariously placed fragile objects.
-Be clear on designated areas for coats, purses, etc. so there’s no confusion among your guests.
-Give yourself twice as long as you think you’ll need to get ready and try to do so as early as possible. It would be awful to prepare a wonderful evening and be unable to enjoy it fully because you were rushed in getting yourself fixed up.
-Have a blast!