Sneak Peek – Harry Potter Birthday Party

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The older I get, the more celebrating my birthday becomes less and less of a priority.  Because of that, I’m less inclined to figure out what to do for my birthday when my friends and family ask me.  Of course, my family and friends have the best intentions, but sometimes I really would rather sit at home in my fat pants after a long work week and binge watch my favorite shows on Netflix.  Isn’t it my day after all?

 Sometime last summer though, I was browsing through a friend’s Pinterest page and found all these brilliant recipes and other cool ideas based on the Harry Potter series.  I really am such a nerd for Harry Potter and was easily taken away by the magic at Hogwarts and the rise of an unsuspecting hero.  So, in turn, I was eager to recreate what I found, but was completely unsure of when it would be appropriate to serve something like butterbeer.  Soon enough, lightbulb popped up – I’m going to throw my own Harry Potter themed birthday party!!

 I know most people would think I’m weird and crazy for planning my own birthday party, but even someone as self-involved as P. Diddy throws his own birthday bash.  He just has more money and servants to make it happen.  Fortunately though, I love party planning and creative crafting, and I was relieved to finally know what to do for my birthday this year.

 Funnily enough, a good bulk of my ideas for the party came to me while getting a massage.  It’s the most interesting feeling being inspired while relaxing.  I wrote down every idea I had when the massage was over and researched further online (Pinterest is such a God send to craftsters).

 So as a sneak peek of things to come, here is a pic of my friends with their special invites.  The invitation replicates a special owl post fit for a wizard.  This idea has been recreated on many blogs, but I enjoyed the pictures from lizzy writes the most.  The balloons were only about a $1 each and the drawing was easy enough to copy on the balloon.

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To make the party more “adult,” I’m not enforcing any costumes and setting it as a “Dinner with the Professors” in order to assume the roles of the adult characters.  Each guest will be assigned a Hogwarts professor role, just for fun, and there will be several other surprises along the way.

I’m super excited for my party, which is this upcoming Saturday, and really hoping that all the hard work will pay off.  This party is many months in the making, so I’m expecting it to be an epic birthday!

Check back next week for a detailed account on my party.  Look forward to seeing several additional posts with links and tutorials of my own (including the owl post invitations) as well.

Have a magical day! =)

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12 Foolproof Tips on How to Throw a Successful Oscars Party

Hello, Craftster Chic Readers ~

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Another blog post like I promised based on the Oscars.  If you are planning to host your very own Oscars bash this Sunday, here are 12 helpful tips on how to throw a successful Oscars party.  I tried to come up with tips that specifically cater to Oscar parties and not bore you with the same old party planning advice.  Let’s start the show!

1)      Oscar Menu.  The most fun but also the most stressful part is the food.  Unless you have TV dinner tables for everyone, it’s better to have smaller bites of food instead of a full-on sit down meal.  Since it’s a viewing party, think more finger food and munchies style, but still keep people full by offering a variety of options and not just appetizers.  Serving small bites also keeps the meal very posh.  If your food needs to be eaten with utensils, make sure it’s not too messy nor requires much effort to jab your fork into.

2)      Your Sanity.  If you absolutely can’t stand cooking or find cooking a whole meal stressful, consider takeout or catering and add one or two dishes of your own.  Also, consider enlisting a friend to help you out.

3)      Ambience and Décor.   Since the Oscars are so high class, I believe that less is more when it comes to décor.  The look should be clean and pristine without being too stuffy.  Instead of glitzing everything in gold, go for gold touches or outlines.  Last year, I used dinnerware that was mostly clear or white with gold rimmed edges.  Leave the all-gold items for the Golden Globes.

4)      Guestlist.  Know who to invite.  Don’t drag someone to the party who can’t stand long awards shows.  Also, keep in mind of your own expectations for the night.  If you care about who wins what and want to hear each speech, you can’t expect a chatty Cathy to sit quietly.  But, also, understand that the more people there are, the more excitement there is to see each other and have separate conversations.  Just go with the flow.  You can always tape the show.

5)      State of Dress.  Your party can be an opportunity to dress up and look glam or be a second Halloween and wear costumes based on the nominated movies.  It can be equally as fun though if everyone wears PJs, and you hand out big necklaces and rings to wear.  Big jewelry is key to notice the bling in photos.

6)      Red Carpet Moment.  Speaking of photos, pictures really are priceless.  You may have the greatest pics of your food and décor, but c’mon.  We all know that you dive right into the pics of yourself and your friends, every time you revisit them =P  So bring out the narcissism, and lay out a red carpet.  Silly photos are the best, and it’s also fun to reenact memorable red carpet moments.  Some weird but memorable red carpet moments include: Angelina Jolie making a too obvious effort to show off her slit by sticking out her bony leg; a disheveled Kristen Stewart hobbling awkwardly along on crutches and posing with some more awkwardness without them (I guess she at least tried); and Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as The Dictator and dumping Kim Jong Il’s ashes (really just pancake mix) all over Ryan Seacrest.

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7)      Arrival Time.  It’s best to start the party about an hour before the show starts to allow pre-show mingling.  It will also leave ample time for the laggers who always show up fashionably late.  If your friends like to watch the red carpet arrivals, you can start the party a little earlier.

9)      Food prep is key.  When prepping any meal for a party, be sure to get as much cooking done as possible 1 or 2 days before the big night.  Trust me that it takes away so much stress on the day of.  You already have to play hostess and may even have to drop by the store last minute.  Since this is a viewing party, you also need to make sure that all the food is done well before the show starts, so timeliness is crucial.  Most food should be reheatable.  If there is any food that has to be served right away after cooking, make sure that there is minimal cook and prep time.

10)  Hungry Guests.  Be sure that there is food to eat when the guests arrive.  Especially if you’re doing a glam dress-up party, your guests may have been more preoccupied with getting ready than eating lunch, and they’ll arrive huuuuunggrrryyy.  Just watch the Jennifer Lawrence GIF below to get the idea of what your guests will feel like.  I like to have all the food done by the time the guests arrive, but if you’re short on time, at least have appetizers set out for them.

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11) Oscar Prediction Race.  If you and your guests are game enough, compete against each other to see who can predict the most Oscar winners.  Predictions should be made BEFORE the show airs.  If most of your friends arrive late though and can’t fill out their entire ballot in time, pause the show every so often before they announce the winner.  Just watch out for cheaters and their smartphones!

11)  TIVO Reliant.  If you have a DVR, I would definitely recommend recording the show.  Many times, something comes up, or people run a little late, and it’s not much fun if you’re constantly watching the clock.  You also want to give people time to settle and take pictures.  Recording the Oscars lets you start the show on your own time.  {Keep in mind though that sometimes the awards show runs even longer than the extra half hour the DVR gives.  Last year, it cut out right during Ben Affleck’s closing statement when accepting the Best Picture award: “All that matters is…”  CUTTHE END.  FINITO.  So of course, we were left hanging and wondering if Ben Affleck had some sound advice.  Luckily though, you can find detailed Oscar coverage online.}

12)  Know your trivia.  If you’re going to host a theme party, you better know enough about it to keep it interesting.  There’s a wealth of articles dedicated to this special night, so at least skim them so you can dazzle your guests with a few cool facts.  In addition, brush up on who’s nominated and who’s the favorite.  Pick your own favorites too!  I personally like to root for the underdog or the unknown actor if they gave a meritable performance.

 

And there you have it!  Please check out my first post based on last year’s Oscars party, if you haven’t already.  If you decide to host your very own Oscars party, please share and send me links to your pictures!  I would love to see them and become even more inspired.

Still to come is how to make these star decorations and golden star stirrers.  Check back by the end of the week for the how-to!

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