It’s Party Time

By DeDe Hausmann

You’re hosting a party for your child’s graduation OR maybe a dear friend is getting married and you’ve offered to have a wedding shower and this lovely occasion that you thought would be a “piece of cake” to plan has become OVERWHELMING!!!! Don’t fret.  According to, there are just a few things you need to keep in mind.

Tip # ONE: Develop a plan that includes your budget, a checklist with all that you want to do, and a timeline for getting things done.  A realistic budget will help you decide how much you can spend on decorations, food, etc.  and a timeline will keep you on track regarding getting things done in a timely matter.  The checklist allows you to feel great after accomplishing such tasks such as getting invites out, deciding on a menu, allotting time for shopping and preparation, etc.

Tip # TWO: Don’t do it alone!  I bet there are some family members or friends that would love to help you pull off this fun occasion.  LET THEM!!!  Maybe your sister is a fabulous baker and loves to bake scrumptious and dazzling cupcakes (fancy cupcakes seem to be the rage now).  Let her help.  I’m lousy when it comes to decorations so I always look to a creative person to assist.  Want to do a slide show highlighting favorite photos of the honoree and you aren’t computer-savvy?  You know someone who can do that for you.  Get the pics to her/him, give them a due-date and let them be creative.  AT THE PARTY, MAKE SURE TO GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.

Tip # THREE: Pick a theme.  There’s loads of party planning websites that can help you match up your guest of honor’s likes and style with related themes.   If the high school grad is a nut about animals, go for it.  If your child loves soccer, than use that as the theme re: invitations, decorations, and have the party at a park where the kids can play soccer.

OK—let’s talk about some nutritious and tasty food ideas.  Kids of all ages love dips so put out fruit and vegetables galore.  For an easy fruit appetizer, take strawberries, grapes, pineapple and banana chunks, and guests dip them (via toothpicks) in fat-free vanilla yogurt that has a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg added.  Fresh veggies dipped in a non-fat, plain yogurt mixed with dry vegetable soup mix is another great muncher.  For easy main dish ideas, how about Pulled Pork (or beef or chicken)? The internet has loads of recipes for these and all are easy, are cooked beforehand, and just heat and serve with multi-grain rolls and condiments.

So get going and plan that party.  By following simple tips, you can pull off a fun, creative, and on-budget event that everyone, including YOU, will enjoy.

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