How To Throw a Baby Shower

ID-10096030Baby Showers have been a tradition for many years throughout the world. Some countries celebrate after the babies arrival and others before the arrival. In earlier days, the baby shower before the babies arrival, was to educate the new mother to be on how to take care of the baby and to bring gifts she would need for the babies care. A blanket, booties, cap, etc.  In the Victorian era, new mothers were not allowed to be seen in public soon after the baby arrived, therefore their baby shower was a tea party with gifts and the tradition of the parasol or umbrella was created and filled with the gifts.

Today we have all sorts of ways to celebrate a baby shower and many themes to choose from.  The one key to a great baby shower is organization ahead of time. If you are going to have a baby shower for a new mom or mom having another baby, here are some steps you can take to make it a success.

Set The Date

Give your guests and Mom to be time to prepare for the party and mark their calendars. Try to set a date that is at least 6 weeks before mom to be’s due date. This way in case she goes into labor early, you run less risk of her missing her own party. This also gives her a chance to pick up anything she did not get at the party before the baby arrives. Also when letting her know about the shower, ask if there is anything special she wants for the baby or if she is registered at any store.

For the guests, this will give them time to plan for that day and purchase or make her a gift.

Invite the Guest

Put together a list of new mom’s friends and family. Place a note in the invitation of where the mom to be is registered or of certain things she really wants like, special diapers, bottles, clothes, etc and if they are choosing for a boy or girl. Include an RSVP so you can know not only how many will be showing up but this also helps with an idea of how much food to serve.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

Team up with another friend or a couple of friends and split up the responsibilities. Get together and make a list for Decorations, Food/Drinks, Games/Gifts and if it is a surprise party, who will be in charge of getting the new mom to be to the shower.  Split up the list between your team or just you and a co host. One can be in charge of decorations and decorating the day of the shower, another the food, and another in charge of finding games and gifts for the winners. When considering the food, have favorites included that you know the mom to be will like.

There are plenty of online sites that have baby shower games to get idea’s from. When choosing the prizes for the winners of the games, choose something that is not to expensive but useful. Scented candles, a gift card, a lotion and soap for the bath small gift basket, kitchen ware, pretty photo frames. etc.

Visit my board on Pinterest for Baby Shower Games Idea’s.

Say Cheese!

Take plenty of pictures at the baby shower and put them in a photo album for the mommy to be to have as a keepsake.


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How To Throw a Housewarming Party

housewarming partyMoved into a new home or apartment to upgrading a new landscape or even refurnished your abode, is a great reason to throw a housewarming party. Invite your family and friends for cocktail or a buffet and just have fun.  The more organized your are the easier and more fun you will have, here are some steps to help you out.

Week Before: Pick the day of the party and put your list of guest together. Send out the invites with RSVP. The RSVP will let you know how many people may attend and how much food and drinks you will need. Add a theme to your invitation like, We dug a hole in the ground and added a Pool,  Come see our new Landscaping or just Refurnished the house, come and sit a spell. This will give your guest an idea of what small gift to bring you.  Pool party, pool toys or big towels. Redecorated the kitchen,  small gadgets for cooking or a new cookbook. Garden party, plants or garden signs or garden decorations.

2 Days Before – Once you have your RSVP’s, take inventory of what you will be serving (for a causal and easy party cocktails and appetizers) and get together the dishes, crock pots for keeping dips warm, etc.  Set up your buffet with plates, napkins, cups, wine glasses, plastic-ware or silverware and any decorations to go with your theme.  This would also be a good time to clean your home and plan your menu.

Day Before – put your list of groceries together for the buffet. Keep your menu simple and delicious with an assortment of finger foods and have both alcohol and non alcohol drinks available.

The Day of– Get Cooking and Assembling. If you are having your party in the evening, choose recipes that you can make up ahead of time and just pop into the oven for a quick heat up or add to a crock pot. Last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen instead of enjoying the party.

Need Appetizer ideas? Check out these below.

Lara Spencer’s Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip – as seen on the Rachael Ray talk show

Bacon and Spinach Mini Quiche Appetizer– these are so easy to make and a big hit!

 BLT Stuffed Tomatoes

Instant Party Mix

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Green Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Skewered Shrimp Teriyaki Kabobs Recipe

Strawberry Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe – This can be made with or without Rum


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How To Host Your Own Oscar Party

ID-100230068This Sunday March 2, 2014 on ABC at 7:00 pm ET  is the annual 86th Academy Awards (Oscar Awards) hosted by very funny and much loved Ellen Degeneres.

For this special night why not invite family and friends to enjoy the Oscars with you. Make your party full of glitz and glamor by starting with the invitations?

Head on over to Evite where you can make them up just for the award show. You could also text your guest with an RSVP. Let them know that they do not have to stay for the entire show, since it can go quite late.

Setting Up the Party

This does not have to cost you a lot of money. You can save by buying supplies at a dollar store, like  paper plates, napkins, cups, spoons forks etc to fit your theme. You may even find your garland to hang from the ceiling and balloons.

First you want to make sure you have enough comfortable sitting places for each person with a good view of the TV and accessible to a snack table. When the awards get started and everyone is seated dim the lights a little but not too dark, you want your guest to be able to move around to the snack table or converse freely.

Decorate this area whether it be your den, living room etc with balloons and banners in Gold (for Oscar) and Black for the black tie theme.

Have a basket of goodies your guest can wear like, costume jewelry (get at any thrift store) black bow ties that pin on, boa’s, tiara’s etc

Just for fun, have a red runner you can put down at your entrance for your guest to walk on and get a photo as they come in.

Have a ballot ready for each person and you can print them out Here. Have plenty of pencils and you may want to include a clipboard for each ballot. Decorate your ballot table with star confetti .

Good Eats

Serve finger foods at a snack table (buffet) with your plates, cups, plastic or silverware. If you are going to serve champagne or wine, put little bow ties on the stems to keep up with your theme.

For the movie theater theme, serve popcorn, movie theater box size candy, pizza, and soda’s.

If want another assortment of snacks, here are a few recipes you and your guest might enjoy:

Bacon and Spinach Mini Quiche Appetizer– these are so easy to make and a big hit!

 Lara Spencer’s Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip – as seen on the Rachael Ray talk show

Seasoned Popcorn – add a bit of flair to standard popcorn

Instant Party Mix

Mini Black Bottom Cheesecakes

Strawberry Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe – This can be made with or without Rum

Fizzy Sorbet Cocktail – easy to make with Sorbet and Champagne

9 Oscar Snacks Based on Best Picture Nominations

You may want to put out some cut up fresh fruit and a veggie platter and if you have friends who are Vegan or Vegetarian some dishes for them to enjoy as well.

Choose your menu a couple of days before the Oscar’s so you will also know what supplies you will need and what beverages you will want to serve with alcohol and non alcohol.

Have your guest arrive about 30-40 minutes before the awards to get situated and see who is on the red carpet.


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Your Home For Sale – Stage It – Price It – Sell It

ID-100306644If you are considering putting your home up for sale, follow along with these tips to help you get a better edge of the sale.

One of the first things you should consider is to contact a real estate agent.  Set up interviews and see who you think will work the best for you, personality wise and their experience.  Ask them to bring you a list of the homes they have sold in the past 6 months to a year, and then do a comparison to your home. What style homes did they sell, the location and the price.  Do not be in a hurry, check out their Facebook, website and background. You are not committed to a Realtor until you have signed the contract to hire them. Once you do that, you are committed for up to 6 months on some contracts and they get up to 6% commission of the selling price of your home.

Compare Your Home For the Right Price

Do your homework. Go online and look up homes that have sold in your area and that are comparable to your home. Try to stay as close as possible to the bedroom and bathroom count. One story or two, pools etc. Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with comparables  in your neighborhood and whether they are short sales or regular sales. Once you have a price average for your area, you may want to bring your price down just a bit to attract buyers. Or you can offer to pay part of the closing cost as another incentive. Your Realtor can help you with this.

Showing It Off

Home Staging is a must for presentation and bringing out the best of your home. Walk around your home and make notes of specialties or things that attracted you to the home. Is it the beautiful deck you added on to the pool area? New Air Conditioner, added on room or simply the style itself that makes living there so cozy. Ask some friends over and to give their thoughts on your home. This will come in handy later for pointing out the attributes to the potential buyer, the listing and a virtual tour.

Clean, clean, clean! There is nothing worse than someone coming in to look your house over and having to stumble over clutter or want to hold their nose from a bad odor. Do a through cleaning from top to bottom. Add fresh flowers, candles that are mild in perfume to various rooms.  Hide the kitty litter box, pets water and food bowls and have pets outside if possible. Someone allergic to animals will not want to stay.

Windows – Give them a good cleaning inside and out. Open the blinds, curtains and shutters and let in natural light all over the house. Having a showing at night? Replace your light bulbs with a higher watt bulb.

Bedrooms – make sure they are clutter free and the beds are made. Clear off the night stands and bureau’s of any papers, books, make-up etc. Put kids toys in the closet and give the room a neat appearance. Think of a hotel room when you walk in. Only the necessities should be showing.  Open the curtains and let in the natural light.

Bathrooms – clear off any make-up, medicine, tooth brushes, toothpaste, mouthwash etc and make the sink and bathtub clutter free and shine. Add fresh towels and clean shower door or curtain. Don’t forget to shine up the faucets and mirror too.

Kitchen – Open up the counter space by removing appliances like toasters, blenders, food processors etc and putting them in a cupboard. Wipe down the cupboard, counters, sink, etc and make what needs to shine, shine. Take down any magnets, pictures or kids art work off the refrigerator and give it a clean look. Give the inside of the  oven and stove top a good cleaning as well as the microwave. Yes, the buyers may want to peek inside these.

Living Area – Fluff up those pillows on the sofa, clean any rugs and carpet. Dust the furniture and check to see if the drapes, shutters or blinds need a good cleaning or maybe fresh paint added on those shutters. If you have glass doors, make them clean or if its a nice day open them up.

First Impressions

From the moment your potential buyer steps out of their vehicle, they are accessing your home. Make that first impression count and be welcoming. Have your landscape well manicured and kept up for the duration of your home on the market. Bushes trimmed, grass mowed and walkways edged and any flower or veggie planter boxes are full and pretty. When they walk up to your front door, have an attractive knocker or door bell and be sure that front door is appealing. A fresh coat of paint will make all the difference. Something we may not think is important may be to the buyer. Even upgrading the numbers on your house can make a difference.

Tell the World

The notes you have made about your home and the staging all done, its time to take pictures and video. Your real estate agent should be able to help you with these two very important details. Pictures and video should be clear and show off your home inside and out to its best. Add as many pictures as you can to your listing and other places online. With the Internet at our fingertips, more and more buyers are going online to search for homes and you do not want to miss out on this opportunity to show off yours. Your real estate agent will include you in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and there are more places online like, Trulia,, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate to name a few. Don’t forget Craigslist and Facebook, Twitter and where you share on Social Media sites.

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