Friday, September 30, 2011

Answer: The Coat Closet

Have you ever arrived at a party, had the hostess or someone take your coat, and put it in a bedroom in a pile of everybody else’s coats.  Then,  at the end of the night when you can’t find your coat and spend a half hour hunting for your very cute Winter Pea-coat that is now SO wrinkly.  And then only to discover that one of the other guests had their spare lipstick in a coat pocket and it fell out and somehow left a huge mark on your sleeve!?
Coat Pile

I have found that this way of storing winter coats during a party is the biggest hassle!  I have a few tips and requests to help this issue for a hostess (and keep your guests’ sleeves lipstick free!

Answer:  The Coat Closet
Most homes (or apartments) have a closet near an entry way or front door.  However, like in my home, it is full (to about bust) with my own winter costs, umbrellas, gloves, scarves, random exercise equipment, etc, which means there is no space to put guests coats as they arrive. 
My suggestion for when you have a party, and the weather might not be great, (cold, snowy, or raining) consider your guests and remember to clear out as much space as possible in your coat closet!  I realize that this is going to add a yet another burden to your list of “Party Preparing To-Do’s”, however dealing with the trouble of cleaning up a bit up front solves any issues you could possibly have later!
Add empty hangers to the closet if you don’t normally store any in this closet.  Remember winter coats are usually heavy, and some people like to store their keys or other items in the pockets so use hangers than can hold a heavy load!
If you are expecting rain designate an area for wet umbrellas to either sit out or stand as to not lay all over the floor and create a slippery mess!  I use a plastic tote or bucket to hold the wet umbrellas and then just dump out the water after the party (seems a little weird, but at least my floors aren’t all wet!

Now you might be asking “What if I don’t have an entry way coat closet?!”  If this is the case, use other free closet space, either in a guest bedroom, or even your laundry room.  If you don’t want guests in these rooms, I suggest offering to take their coats at the door and labeling the hangers by who’s coat it is so it’s easy to find them when they are about to leave. 

Have you ever had the unfortunate situation of a ruined coat because of the dreadful coat pile?  Or perhaps almost slipped and fell because an entry way was wet from umbrella rain?  Share your horror stories in the comments!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Girls Night In: A Boo-tiful Evening! {Freebies}

I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween because I’m not very fond of scary things.  I usually have to turn off the TV during commercials during October because of all the scary movie trailers.  Due to this “dislike” of scary stuff and also because any non-scary Halloween theme is usually for small children, I decided to create a Girl’s Night In for mature, classy  ladies whom aren't a fan of scary movies.

I love Girl’s Night Ins, whether it’s for couple friends or a crowd, its the perfect way to chill with the girls.  I like to describe Girls nights In as a mature slumber party (where most of the guests usually go home) for adult females that just want to “chillax” at home and watch a movie with friends while eating junk food (well it doesn’t have to be junk food, but I like junk food!). 

Here is how I picture this event being organized:

Theme:  A Boo –tiful Evening…

Who:  You and your girl friends!

What:  GNI (Girls Night In) to celebrate Halloween, but in a not so scary way.

Where:  Your house or a friend’s house 

When:  A weekend in October

Colors:  Black, Lime Green, and Purple (I like this color combo rather than the typical Black and Orange.)

Entertainment:  Watch movies or just mingle with new and old friends.  

     Here is a list of not so scary Halloween Movies:
     Practical Magic
     Bed knobs and Broomsticks
     Hocus Pocus
     Corpse Bride
     Scary Movie 1, 2, 3 and 4

Decorations:  I have a few {freebie} ideas including matching water bottle labels, Cupcake decorations, and food labels if you are having using buffet style for food.  All you have to do it “Like” Classy Event Organizer on Facebook and they are yours!  {Now all you have to do it  download the file from the FREEBIES page!}  Have fun and be creative! 

Are you a fan of Scary Halloween Parties?  Have you ever had a Halloween Girls Night In?  Share some experiences or Comments below!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Star Wars Birthday

FINALLY, my boyfriend’s birthday is here!  I am SO excited to share this themed birthday celebration with you!  I put the final touches on the baked goods, made a birthday sign, and gathered up some star wars toys to spread around the house for easy and free d├ęcor! 

This is what I ended up with:

I currently don’t own a lot of plain white platters, so instead of spending a small fortune on new ones that I will only use a few times a year, I decided to cover my colorful cake platter with parchment paper.  Then for cup cake and cookie trays I turned pink paper plates (from a bachelorette party) upside-down. (can’t even tell!)  Look at all those yummy goodies and how cute are those Yoda cookies! 

Tip:  The cup cake stencils were a BIT disappointing because the image didn’t come out right every time.  If I were you, I’d skip the cup cake stencils and create/buy some tooth pick decorators instead.  They are much cheaper and easier to use!)

For the Birthday Sign, I decided to stick with the black and green theme from the Yoda and Darth Vader cookies and cupcakes.  The Star Wars font was downloaded from a free font website and I taped some construction paper together.     

I have a bit of a “coffee nook” in my kitchen (I LOVE lattes!).  I used the Starbucks Star Wars picture in this area to bring the theme into another room. 

I also decided to display my Star Wars apron for the occasion as well.  

Lastly, I placed some Star Wars toys on my sofa table.  (Doesn't that flameless candle look familiar?)

Now I'm going to go eat the scrumptious goodies

Have you ever had a Star Wars party?  Or do you want to see how a classy low-budget party can look?  Leave a comment below!  I’d love to hear from you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Star Wars Birthday - Preview

My boyfriend’s 28th birthday is tomorrow!  He’s the same “Mr. Fix it Boyfriend” that helps me with EVERYTHING from unclogging sinks to picking up ice for my parties!  I decided to celebrate the day of his birthday, 28 long years ago, by creating a Star Wars celebration for him (because he likes Star Wars, but mostly because I like planning parties!) 

I gathered up all of the supplies I had to make some Star Wars goodies and then went grocery shopping.  Here is what I ended up with:

I already have an R2D2 cake pan so I decided to make a funfetti cake (everyone LOVES  funfetti cake, right?)

Tip:  Make sure to spray a cake pan with PAM  or other non-stick cooking spray before adding the cake batter.  This will help release the cake from the pan after you take it out of the oven.  

I still need to add a few final touches, but it looks rather tasty from here...

I also have the William and Sonoma Star Wars cookies cutters (a Christmas gift from my boyfriend’s sister)

And the cupcake stencils (a gift for myself that I bought just for this occasion).

I'll be adding the final touches (cocoa and powered sugar) to these scrumptious goodies tomorrow too!

Using the supplies from the store I created “light sabers’ from the pretzels, dipping chocolate and food coloring (I used red and blue).  

Tip:  After dipping pretzels in chocolate, lay them on on a plastic wrap covered plate/platter ,and then put them in the freezer.  This will let them dry and harden faster, and not stick to the plate!  

Lastly, some clip art that I found online and turned into party decorations…

Stay Tuned for the Star Wars Celebration Tomorrow!!

P.S.  My entire townhouse smells like ICING!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Well Stocked Pantry: Foodless to Fabulous

About a year ago, I was honored with the task of helping a very good friend’s MOH (maid of honor) with planning the Bachelorette Party.  Seeing as how we were all laid back girls, we decided to have a fun night in (trust me it was FAR FROM BORING) instead of perusing the town.

Set Up of Party Decorations
I decided to hold the event at my apartment and I offered to make a cake, supply the games and entertainment for the evening.  The MOH was in charge of food and drinks.  I had decorated my apartment with streamers, balloons, colored lights, and some naughty but fun games.  I had created awesome party favors, decorated the cake, and arranged the table for the food that was to arrive via MOH. 

However.. to my surprise... when the MOH arrived over, about a half hour before the rest of the guests where to arrive to pass off the goodies, she had forgotten ALL THE FOOD!  Yes, not some, but ALL of the delicious finger foods that we had discussed for a couple week prior were NOT with her.  All she brought was Pina Colada mix, Rum and a blender (not even ice!)

With only 20 minutes until the Bride was supposed to arrive, I was a bit frazzled (as you can ONLY imagine!), but then I calmed down and had a solution, because I was prepared.  I had my Mr. Fix it boyfriend (who helped me hang the really high streamers and arrange the colored lights) go get a bag of ice for the drinks.  The MOH was tasked in picking up the “to-be bride” already so I had to pull everything together.  I was left running around my apartment trying to gather up some food. 

Lucky enough I was prepared, thanks to Emily Post!  (Who would have thought that Emily Post would have helped me with planning a Bachelorette Party!?) 

In “Emily Post: Entertaining“ she explains how a good hostess keeps a well stocked pantry for last minute celebrations.

I took this little tid bit to heart and I usually have supplies on “stand by” such as:

Salsa and Chips
Skyline Chili Cheese Dip Supplies (a Cincinnati Favorite)
And some toll house cookie dough in the freezer…

Because I already had this food on hand all I had to do was toss everything into a bowl and the dip and cookies into the oven.  I had just enough time to pull it out before the Bride, MOH and other guests arrived.  Although this spread was not as classily table-scaped as one would have hoped, the party was not totally ruined due to a lack of food.  In fact, it was a rather appetizer party if I do say so myself!

This little tip by Emily Post SAVED my friend’s Bachelorette party from being “Foodless to Fabulous.”

Have you ever had this happen to you?  What type of supplies do you keep on hand for unexpected guests?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The "I Live Here" Clean

This post is not directly connected to party planning, but about cleaning your home for yourself (and your potential guests)!
Like many other women, I love looking at catalogs that feature furniture and new ways to arrange my home (currently my favorite is the IKEA 2012 catalog) however, no matter how hard I try, my house will NEVER look as good as the catalog!  I don’t understand how they expect my closet to only hold 4 shirts and 2 skirts, or ONLY 6 pairs of shoes!  When I look at home office pictures from “See Jane Work” collection I wonder how none of the computers have cords, and no one seems to own a printer!   The living rooms in these types of catalogs have NO personal pictures, the owners own 2 DVDs and one color of books.   
I collect these catalogs, rip pictures out and smash into my (very awesome) SMASH book, or add the picture to my pinterest board (For the Home).  However no matter how many of these types of inspiring pictures I keep, I realize that my townhouse apartment will never look like these grand pictures (very disappointing!) 
My house will not be like these pictures because I LIVE HERE!  (Yes a real person (me) lives in this apartment.  It is not a stage, nor a show room, it is a home in which I live.  Now, rather than trying to create a catalog picture perfect apartment, I clean, organize, and host with that idea in mind (I Live Here!).  My closet is going to be FULL of shoes and BAGS.  My book case will not only hold black and white bound books and DVD cases.  My computer does have cords and I indeed own WAY too many clothes.  I made a {freebie} printable for those out there that need a reminder that they do live in their homes and although those catalogs of inspiration are wonderful works of art to look at, they are NOT realistic.  (Mine is on the wall above my desk at home.) {Download the file from the FREEBIES page!}

Pick a color... any color... and share where you put it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Wrap Up

Happy Labor Day Classy Event Organizer Readers!!

I hope you enjoyed today by celebrating with family and friends or even with a nice evening of relaxation.  I know I did, and back to the grind tomorrow (but hopefully Starbucks has pumpkin spice lattes in your area starting tomorrow)!

The past six weeks of blogging has taught me a lot about blogging, social media, and the effort that the details of event planning needs.  This was the first holiday that I was able to share some entertaining ideas and {free} printables, but certainly not the last (Next up:  Fall and Halloween)

But, to finish out the Labor Day Celebration, here are some pictures of my dessert choices for the evening with a couple additions to my Labor Day motif!

How did you celebrate this long weekend?  Please share some pictures from your Labor Day!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bathroom Survival Kit

Party guests will usually venture to your bathroom at least once during your party.  Some might be “doing business” but others will venture into that room to freshen up, check their hair, or try and pick something out of their teeth!  For whatever reason they are in there, usually the room people think the least about becomes another area of the party.  Not only can you add decoration to the water closet, but there is a way to add a bit of a detailed hostess’ touch. 

A normal hostess would at least clean the bathroom and perhaps throw in an extra roll of toilet paper (one would hope, but I‘ve seen otherwise!).  A creative hostess might bring the colors/ decorations from the party’s theme to the room.  But a detailed hostess (like yours truly) adds a bit of a touch to make the party more enjoyable for everyone and perhaps less embarrassing.    

Create a survival kit in a basket, tub, or container.  It could match the theme, or just hold the supplies.  I add things that a girl, or guy, might need during the party that wouldn’t be “acceptable” to place on the dinner table:

Here is what I have added to mine:

-  lotion (both smelly and not smelly)
-  tampons and pads
-  aspirin
-  mints
-  ear swabs
-  disposable nail files
-  pair of nail clippers
-  mouth wash with some disposable cups
-  small pair of scissors
-  sewing kit
-  floss
-  extra rolls of toilet paper
-  stain removal stick

I have heard so many “thanks” for this little basket of treasure from my party guests, such as:  It’s so nice to not have to search the medicine cabinet for floss! (yeah, I thought that was a bit weird too)

This is a picture of what one of my "survival kits" looks like...

What would you add?  Have you ever wished a host or hostess would have had one of these?
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