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Sunday, November 27, 2011

#33: Pre-Christmas Part 3: Why didn't I think of that?

Funky ideas that might not have crossed your mind.

1. Video Marathon: Have you always wanted to see the Star Wars trilogy again? Comedy, films, noir, B-grade, sci-fi, art films or Julia Roberts – just make sure that your theme will interest the majority of your guests. If possible, borrow another couch and some large pillows from friends, so everyone can sit comfortably and snuggle up. Then settle down with some popcorn and enjoy being couch potatoes!

2. Karaoke Nights: Turn on your karaoke machine too early in the night and it may well kill the party. But wait until guests have had a few drinks and they'll be fighting over the mike! Make sure you have a good range: from the Beatles to the Spice Girls and Celine Dion (oh, the horror!). If friends are too shy, get the ball rolling by suggesting duets, or starting yourself,

3. Quiz Night: A night of intellect? Scary! Get each of your guests to prepare 10 of their toughest questions, like “Who said what in each film?” or “What was Forrest Gump wearing when the feather landed on his head?” Don't forget the most important part – fun prizes. It's one way to ensure your guests will sharpen their brains before the party.

4. Slumber Party: When was the last time you had one of these? Invite all your girlfriends in their best sleepgear and cram them all into your room. You can sit around and watch chick-flicks or tell ghost stories till dawn. It's a great way to catch up!

5. Childhood Party: Ditch decorum and become a child for one night! Play all those games you've almost forgotten about, such as zero point, charades, musical chairs, hide-and-seek and medicine ball! Let your inner child roam free...

6. Spa Party: You're in the mood to splurge and spoil yourselves – just club together and raise a few hundred dollars, to get a few professional masseurs and manicurists over to pamper yourself and your galpals as you lounge around in robes and sip fruit juices!

7. Swap Party: Get your friends to raid their wardrobes and gather the clothes and accessories they don't want any more. Throw the stuff into a big pile and spend the evening buying each other's things, at the cutthroat price of $2 a piece! Remember, one woman's horror may be another woman's fashion miracle.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

#32: Pre-Christmas Part 2: Oh, behave!

Guest Code

1. Be on time or up to half an hour late, but never early. The hostess might be unprepared and you will just be in the way.

2. Don't drink beyond your limit. You'll embarrass both yourself and the hostess.

3. If food is provided, bring a gift. A bottle of wine would do nicely.

4. Thank the hostess personally before leaving the party.

5. At a dinner party, you should stay for at least an hour after the last dish has been served. If it's a cocktail party, stay long enough to mingle with the guests.

6. Unless it's specifically a pet-party, leave the pets at home. No-one wants a soiled carpet.

7. Don't take a bite off your stalk of celery then dip it back into the guacamole again!

8. With guests you're not familiar with, stay away from topics like sex and (potentially explosive ones like) religion and politics.

Hostess with the mostess

1. When serving food on a tray, place dry food (crackers, sandwiches, cakes) on a paper doily. When serving oilier foods (brie or camembert cheese, chicken wings), skip the doily – your presentation won't look pretty if the paper is stained with oil.

2. With guests who overstay their welcome, say something like “Oh no, I have to get up really early tomorrow morning to do X”. Most people will get the hint and start moving!

3. Unless it's against your personal beliefs, it's polite to offer your guests alcohol, even if you don;t actually drink it yourself.

4. Don't be tense – your guests can sense it. So what if the sausages weren't served on your favorite square plate? No-one probably noticed.

5. It's a house party, not a neighborhood street party. So keep the music at a reasonable volume, especially if it's past midnight.

3 no-fuss party pointers

1. Get to the point on your invite. Be direct, like “Come to my place for tea at 4pm”. This way, your guests will know what to expect and not stay till midnight.

2. Serve simple drinks. Forget having a fully stocked bar and bury those Coyote Ugly fantasies. It's best to stick with just a few simple cocktails, like bourbon coke (bourbon + coke) and gin tonic (gin + tonic water + slice of lime). Throw in some orange juice, wine and soda, and you're set.

3. Chuck the chairs. Not enough sitting space? Don't worry about finding more seats. Standing allows guests to mingle much more. Try and place different appetisers in different spots around the room so that people have to move around to nibble.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pre-Christmas Part 1: Let's Party!

What's more fun tha going to a party? Throwing one, of course! Here's an ultimate guide to doing that Martha Stewart thang- only decades younger!

Cool Party themes

The most enjoyable parties are always those with themes, as they get both host and guests involved in the shebang! Almost any idea can be worked into a theme. Here are soem cool suggestions to spice up your party:

1. School Night: Get your guests to dig out their school uniforms for a night back in school. Want more fun? Make sure one of your guests is previously from a boys-only school. It will be hilarious seeing everyone at their nerdiest!

Make it unforgettable: Serve up school canteen fare, and don't forget the dessert du jour! Then gather round for a game of Pictionary, complete with blackboard and chalk.

2. Back in time: Hark back to any era you want and develop your themes to make them more interesting. For example, instead of just throwing an 80s party, have a Shoulder Pad bash. Your guests will have a great tiem picking their outfits.

Make it unforgettable: Pay attention to detail. If it's a 70s do, get bean bags, a lava lamp and transform your house into an incense den. Then kick back and smoke some pot. Kidding. Find out what food was popular in each decade. For example, sausage rolls, party pies, fondues and pavlova desserts were big in the 70s.

3. Hollywood glamour: Everyone loves the chance to ham it up for a night of glamour. Have an Academy Awards party. Alternatively, you can centre the theme around a film. You just know that an X-men or Star Wars party is going to be a scream!

Make it unforgettable: Literally lay out a red carpet in front of your door to get your guests going. Make sure you have a camera or a videocam (borrow them!) and record your guests doing their best impressions of whichever star they're dressed up as.

4. Gender swap: Get all the girls to turn up as men, and the guys to come as drag queens for a night where the roles are completely reversed! Scatter make-up all over the place, especially that ultra-shiny blue or green eyeshadow (to glam up the boys) and black eyeliner (to draw moustaches on the girls).

Make it unforgettable: Go all the way and make it a sexist party, where the guys do the dishes while the girls sit around the TV, belching and watching MTV Style.

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