Posts tagged ‘party ideas’

Easy 4th of July Centerpieces

If you’re running low on inspiration for your Independence Day celebration, here are some quick ideas for easy 4th of July centerpieces. Notice the everyday containers used? I’m sure you have something laying around the house that would work just as well. And yes, food can make a great centerpiece, especially when it’s this cute!

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July 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment

Fun, Sexy Adult Shipwreck Party Ideas

When I was younger and single, I often fantasized about being shipwrecked on a deserted island along with scantily clad castaways and a band of handsome, swashbuckling and marauding pirates. I don’t know. Perhaps it was the result of watching The Blue Lagoon or the Pirate Movie too many times as a tweenager, or taking Rex Smith too seriously in his Pirates of Penzance role. It might also have had something to do with being a child of the 80s and LOVING the new-romantic look. (Despite what the Seinfeld friends have said…Pirate Shirts rock!).

I often thought my teenage fantasy would make a great party theme and this month on “Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party!” I’ll be sharing with you the six elements to creating a “family” version of a shipwreck party. In the meantime, here are some deserted island ideas that aren’t appropriate for the whole family, but would be great fun for the adults.

Invitations – Request that everyone come dressed in their skimpiest stranded island or sexiest pirate costumes. Hold a contest and award prizes for the best costume, the smallest costume, the best chest, the hottest legs, and for the most likely to invade.

Decor & Ambiance – Consider having your party on the beach. There’s nothing like a little sand between your toes and the fresh sea air to get a sultry party started.

Food & Beverage – A “Shot Luge” is a must! If not that, body shots at the very least. (Be sure to check out this month’s recipe for “Blue Lagoon” and consider “Tan Titi’s” for your shots. The Tan Titi’s coconut rum, vodka and pineapple juice will go nicely with the two rums in the Blue Lagoon.)

Activities – A live island music band would absolutely pump up the fun to a whole new level, but a DJ or recorded dance or pirate music that includes songs like Sea Cruise, Gilligan’s Island Theme, Limbo Rock, and Day-O The Banana Boat Song would be great too. (Don’t forget to check out this month’s iMix playlist for a fun selection of party tunes!) Be sure to encourage slow dances. Have a “Dirty Dancing” contest for couples, a limbo contest, and even a hula hoop contest performed in grass skirts and coconut bras, of course. Again, be sure to award prizes for the best and worst performance.

For a fun game idea be sure to check out this month’s “Ask Shelby” column under the RSVP Club tab. If you’re not a member yet, it’s easy, just choose a user name and password.

Special Touches – Just because you’re throwing a sexy, alcohol-filled adult party doesn’t mean it can’t have heart too! As the host or hostess, give your guests a special memento of the evening like a group photo to take home or better yet, give them something to wear and enjoy during the party. A favor bag full of personal items is another fun idea. Who couldn’t use mints, sunglasses or a shot glass necklace?

As with all my Party Plans for YouCanPlanAParty.com, this one is intended to inspire you! Considering your friends (and family) and your party style, do what works best for you. Mix and match these ideas with the ideas from this month’s videos and add a few of your own, and you’re sure to create a party people will be talking about long after they’ve returned to civilization!

June 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

YouCanPlanAParty Wins Award!

YouCanPlanAParty.com just won another award! Come check out all our amazing party products at PartyMerch.com and see how we bring parties to life!

June 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm 1 comment

Taking Mom Out For Mother’s Day?

If you’re taking Mom out to a restaurant with a group tomorrow…here’s a great way to make it special and honor Mom as the special guest – Photo Menu or Seating Cards. See how we made these and get the template in the RSVP Club’s “How To” section for FREE at YouCanPlanAParty.com. This special touch is sure to add a festive touch to any gathering!

May 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm Leave a comment

End of Summer Party Ideas At Your Finger Tips

In this fast paced world of cyber-connections, I strongly believe that face-time is what we all need more that collecting friends online. We need to hang out with our friends and family in person. Unfortunately, getting together with friends and family can have its problems: (1) We are so busy that we don’t have time to plan a get-together; (2) We feel financially strapped and can’t afford to throw an amazing party; and (3) Many of us don’t come by entertaining naturally and would rather not try than to risk failure.

As an award-winning party designer, professional television host, and three-time author, I built my business and reputation around my easy six-step formula to creating parties from the heart that people will remember for a lifetime. I’m a wife and busy mother of two, so I know what it’s like to juggle my time. That’s why I created this great party system. Whether you’re a novice or a professional, or fall somewhere in between, YouCanPlanAParty.com offers something for everyone.

You can plan a party as well as a professional party planner can, but for a lot less money and also save time and minimize the risk of failure. Here’s how: You can watch a few quick video clips and get affordable and innovative ideas to pull your party together. You can be your own DJ and play fun, customized music mixes to coordinate with your party theme. You can plan a delicious menu easily around your theme with recipes and full menu suggestions. You can find unique party supplies your friends haven’t seen before.

I’m committed to transforming the way you think about parties. To that end, I offer you access to tools you can start using today and ideas for celebrating the special people in your lives. Tab by tab, here’s what YouCanPlanAParty.com, offers. To walk you through the six steps of a successful party, check out my video show, “Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party!”

THEME Tab – In this section, you’ll find my show which offers complete party plans from theme to party favors. Use my ideas or think of them as idea starters and add you own flair to create a cohesive shindig. Now playing, our End of Summer Party Plan, SOS Shipwreck Island Party.

PARTY PLANNING Tab – If you’re looking for ideas for one of my six party planning categories, then this is the section for you.

     Element #1 – THEME, MOOD, & COLOR – Every great party begins with a great theme, even if it’s as simple as a color. These videos share ways to come up with and further flush out an exciting theme.

     Element #2 – INVITATIONS – Since the invitation is the first thing your guests see, make it inviting and create some excitement. This collection of videos share clever ideas sure to get the party started.

     Element #3 – DECOR & AMBIANCE – Set and setting are everything when it comes to creating environments for your guests to play in. This group of videos show you how to transform your party spaces with easy, affordable items.

     Element #4 – FOOD & BEVERAGE – This eclectic mix of video clips provides loads of inspiration for your food and beverage needs, from unique serving pieces to recipes to food safety tips.

     Element #5 – ACTIVITIES – One of my secrets to a memorable party is to get my guests engaged in something. This group of clips show you ways to do just that.

     Element #6 – SPECIAL TOUCHES – What sets my parties, and now yours, apart from others is what I call the “heart element.” This collection of videos illustrates ways to give your party heart through special touches.

TRANSFORMATIONS Tab – To provide inspiration, this before and after section shows raw materials or typical rooms in your house, and what happens with a few easy steps…magic! This month, watch as artificial flowers and hair clips come together to create a lovely party favor for our shipwrecked ladies.

PARTY MART Tab – This exciting section offers access to my book series, The Enlightened Party Planner: Guides to Creating Parties from the Heart. There are three books to assist you in your quest to easily spend more time with the ones you love. The Six Elements of a Successful Party walks you through the approach in detail. Decade Parties: A Blast from the Past offers detailed ideas for theme parties from the 20s to the 80s, and Our Favorite Parties beautifully details the six-elements of fifteen party plans in narrative style.

This section also provides access to the YouCanPlanAParty Merch Mart on Zazzle.com. Loaded with literary thousands of party products from never-before-seen invitations, to sculptured centerpieces, to themed music speakers, the store is organized by party theme making it easy to shop for the items you want most. Plus, you’ll find supplies for every party outlined in my books, making it simple to make a party plan come to life.

This month check out our selection of Shipwreck products by simply clicking on Zazzle.com. Once there, select from main categories such as invitations, postage, centerpieces, party favors, etc., or type in “shipwreck” in the search box to see all the great products at once. Happy shopping!

CONTEST Tab – Cool prizes are awarded each month, usually props from the show, to an entrant who has used the six-step formula in one of their parties. This month’s prizes are a set of round raffia place mats, palm leaves, and palm fans…perfect for adorning a shipwreck party table.

MUSIC Tab – Clicking on this tab takes you to our essential End of Summer Shipwrecked Island Party music playlist which can be downloaded from iTunes. Thirty handpicked songs for $34.50, or simply buy the individual songs you need.

RECIPES Tab – In the Food & Beverage video clip, I introduce a cocktail called Blue Lagoon. By clicking on this tab, you’ll have access to the recipe, plus the non-alcoholic version.

RESOURCES Tab – We’ve assembled over 60 affiliate resources to help make your party special. This section makes searching for something specific easy by simply going down the list of providers and using their research functions. You’ll always return to the YouCanPlanAParty page when you use the back arrow function, allowing you to quickly check the next provider on the list.

RSVP CLUB Tab – This is a very special “back stage” section to the site. Sign up and you’ll have access to:

     ASK SHELBY – Ask me anything! I’ll post my answers here. It’s like having a free consultation with a professional party designer!

     HOW TO – This month, learn how to put a treasure hunt together and access the archives of great how-to projects.

     MENU SUGGESTIONS – Check out the full, tasty menu for an Island Shipwreck Party, as well as past theme party menu ideas.

     SHOPPING WITH SHELBY – A fun gorilla video section where I take you rogue shopping with me. Hear how a party designer thinks as I consider how raw materials can be used in a party setting.

     BEHIND THE SCENES – A fun and eclectic section of videos of various professionals chatting about different aspects of planning parties.

     FORUM – Share ideas with others members of our party community.

No matter what tab you click, YouCanPlanAParty.com makes throwing a party easy, affordable, and fun! Nothing provides connection more than sharing quality time engaged in conversation and laughter with people you care about. So gather your friends and family, and throw an end of summer party. Make it simple or go all out…it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re together in person and having fun face to face.

August 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm 4 comments

Celebrate Anywhere With These Menu Photo Place Cards

Making a Menu Photo Place Card that you can use at any home gathering or restaurant, helps to make your guests, or guest of honor, feel special. They are unique place cards because they are personalized with a pop up photo, event name and date, and planned menu.

If you aren’t computer savvy, or your home color printer can’t handle heavy card stock, you can opt to have your local print shop, Kinko’s or other speedy printer, set them up for you. Be sure to specify that the paper has to be heavy for these place cards to work.

These instructions will demonstrate how to create Menu Photo Place Cards for each guest using a photo of the guest of honor. Begin by clicking this link to retrieve a Word template from the How-To section on the YouCanPlanAParty.com website, or make your own by following the simple directions below. Remember to use paper and ink colors that are complimentary to your chosen theme.

You’ll need a photo of the guest of honor, or one that is fitting for the occasion, that is approximately 3×5 inches for best results. Using your word processing program, center the photo at the top of the page then drop it down about two to three inches. Centered just below the photo, type in the event name. Under the event name, type in the date. For an added touch, skip a line and then list the menu, centering one item per line. Skip another line and type in a guest’s name. Print the card out on glossy card stock for a high-end look. Remember to make one for each guest by name.

The important thing to note here is that the trimmer (or thinner) the place cards are, the more professional they will look. Carefully trim each side of the paper however much you feel is best. Now for the fun part – on a cutting mat, cut around the photo using a metal ruler and an Exacto knife, a little more than half way down on each side and across the top. When you’re finished, fold the card in half to see the photo pop up from the top.

Some variations to consider: (1) Do this all by hand. Write the information on a fold-over card and glue a photo on each so it extends above the fold. (2) Use different photos of your guest of honor or of each guest for fun and variety. (3) Depending on the occasion, use vintage photos. For example, for an Easter table, choose a photo from a Victorian postcard, or use a lovely photo of the Sader plate for Passover. (4) Experiment with colored card stock and ink colors that coordinate with your event theme, and the colors in the photo(s). (5) If hosting a large party at a restaurant, take your place cards with you for an added special touch.

April 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm 2 comments

Event Planning Using a Party Design Board


To help visualize how all the elements for a party will come together, create a “Party Design Board.” Much like an interior designer’s sample board, you’ll need a 2 x 3 foot corkboard, two pieces of ribbon the length of the board diagonally, and push pins.

The first layer on the Party Design Board includes samples of things having to do with your Theme, Mood, and Colors, and Decorations and Ambiance. These elements of a successful party from the heart set the background—the tone, foundation, and backdrop—for your celebration. Using my Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as an example, I placed the special party napkin I’ve chosen in the middle of the board because it provides my color scheme quite nicely. Adding a photo of the scene-setter backdrop I’ll be using, a sample of the Astroturf, and maybe an artificial flower or two illustrates how I plan to transform my party room into an indoor garden.

The second layer divides your board into four triangular sections. These four sections represent the four remaining elements of a successful party: Invitations, Food and Beverage, Activities, and Special Touches. Make a giant “x” with the two pieces of ribbon by pinning one end of the ribbon in the upper left corner and bring it down to the lower right corner, and pin it. Repeat the process on the other side, bringing the second piece of ribbon from the upper right corner down to the lower left corner and secure with push pins.

The top quarter is for invitation items, such as paper materials, ribbon, stickers, and any other embellishments you plan to use, or simply attach a completed invitation.

The bottom quarter is for food and beverage items, such as a recipe card, photo of a special dish or serving piece, and/or a menu for the party.

The left quarter is the activities section. This is where you work out how to get your guests engaged in something, be it entertainment, games, or good conversation. I attached my music playlist, a list of skits for guests to perform for prizes, a sample riddle card to help them find their hidden prizes, and the teacup-shaped gift box I plan to wrap their prizes in.

Finally, the right quarter is the special touches section. Here, you place samples of items that add heart and meaning to your celebration; making it a gathering people will remember for a lifetime. For example, I added a photo of my whimsical party favor, a sample of the favor packaging, and a clever thank you note.

The Party Design Board is a valuable tool or exercise that allows you to “test” the materials you’re thinking of using to see if you’ve created a cohesive party plan. Once your board looks like fun, it’s time to get to work!

This is Shelby Phillips reminding you…when you think party, think easy…think fun!

March 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

The ABC’s of Planning a Party Inspired by Curious George

I was watching Curious George the other day with my daughters. On the episode, The Man with The Big Yellow Hat was having a birthday and George, being the generous, fun-loving monkey that he is, wanted to throw him a party to celebrate. The Doorman taught George that to throw a party he just needed to remember “ABCD.” With my ears perked, I listened closely.

“A is for Apartment,” The Doorman said.
“B is for Buddies,
C is for Cake, and
D is for Decorations.”

Brilliant, I thought. The Doorman distilled it down so that even a monkey can throw a party!

Because the parties I design, using my six-element approach, are theme parties from the heart, I’d like to offer letters E, F, and G to the mix.

E is for Environment. Pick a fun theme for your buddies to play in.
F is for Favors. Give everyone a token from your heart.
G is for Games. Get your friends engaged in an activity.

The alphabet of party planning inspired by a monkey…who would have thought!

March 2, 2011 at 7:01 am Leave a comment

The Holiday Connection

I love the holidays. Apart from the insanity of staying up past midnight for nights on end, secretly wrapping presents and shopping for last-minute “Santa gifts,” I love the holidays for the warmth and love the season brings.

The holidays are for thinking of others and for me, bringing joy to friends and family. It’s a time of year when we gather to celebrate one another. It’s also a time of year when we express our love for each other and our humanity perhaps a little more than usual. Add automobiles with antlers and wreaths, houses lit up like they’re on parade, decadent meals, sweet treats, and beautifully wrapped presents that sparkle under the tree lights, and this party designer is in heaven!

With the start of the new year, I realized, once all the decorations had been packed away and life returned to it’s daily routine, that all the reasons I love the holidays are also why I love my work. They are all parts of my message that I’m committed to sharing.

In fact, a cornerstone of my party planning philosophy, is to design gatherings around your guests’ likes, wants and favorite things. Fill the party with details that are sure to delight them.

I also believe that connection and sense of community are two of the human souls greatest joys and that they occur naturally whenever people gather together, especially in the spirit of celebration.

That said, there’s nothing quite like a party being thrown in one’s honor to convey to them, “You’re special and important to me.” It is a great way to express your love.

My resolution for 2011 is that this is the year for getting the word out about how important it is to bring the special people in our lives together and celebrating them as often as we can; inviting people to think about parties a little differently so that they can create memorable, heartfelt experiences at their gatherings; and teaching as many people as I can my six-element approach to making it all happen a bit easier.

To this end, I invite you to check out my newest article published at SelfGrowth.com called “Introducing the Six Elements of Party Planning from the Heart.” It’s a great primer of my party design philosophy and six-step formula that can transform the way you think about parties forever.

Here’s to happy beginnings — new years, new messages, new gatherings!

Currently the host of “Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party!” airing on YouCanPlanAParty.com, Shelby Phillips is an award-winning party design expert with over 20 years experience. Shelby has co-written a book series titled “The Enlightened Party Planner: Guides to Creating Parties from the Heart” and developed a 6-step formula for bring people together to celebrate. She has also been a host and designer on the Style Network’s “Big Party Plan Off,” and owner of a successful event planning and promotions company.

January 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

“New Year’s” Comes Early So Plan Your Party

As a parent of kids in grade-school, the New Year doesn’t begin January 1. It actually begins in September, for this is a time of new classrooms, new teachers, new friends, new play-dates, new clothes, new daily schedules, and everything else that comes with a new school year. Here it is early October and already my calendar is filled with fundraiser dates, school events, and vacation breaks—not to mention birthdays and other special occasions! Multiply all this activity times the number of kids you have, and before you know it, the remainder of the year and on into the next is booked solid.

So, in honor of all you busy, busy people for whom the New Year begins four months early, I offer you a simple Party Plan this month, one that can be used for a Back-to-School event, a Getting-to-Know-You party, a birthday, or a fun anniversary. On this episode of “Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party!” you’ll learn how to pull off a Jungle Safari Scavenger Hunt simply by watching six short videos.

My party design philosophy is simple. All details can be categorized into six elements: a great theme; inviting invitations; exciting decorations; tasty food and drinks; engaging activities; and heartfelt special touches. When planning a party with clients, we design each element to create a fun, memorable and cohesive Party Plan that guests will remember for a lifetime. Because I use this philosophy on my show, you get to watch the process in action! Six elements, six videos. Now that’s very cool and time efficient!

Our YouCanPlanAParty.com website further supports the Party Plan with specific themed food ideas and recipes, downloadable music playlists, and clever party supply resources. We’ve made throwing a themed party easier than ever, and when you’re a busy person with multiple parties to throw every year, that’s a very good thing to know. So bookmark YouCanPlanAParty.com today and make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to stop by at least once a month and see how we make planning a party fun and easy!

Currently the host of “Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party!” airing on YouCanPlanAParty.com, Shelby Phillips is an award-winning party design expert with over 20 years experience. Shelby has co-written a book series titled “The Enlightened Party Planner: Guides to Creating Parties from the Heart” and developed a 6-step formula for bring people together to celebrate. She has also been a host and designer on the Style Network’s “Big Party Plan Off,” and owner of a successful event planning and promotions company.

October 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

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Shelby L. Phillips

As an intuitive transformational messenger of hope, a communicative wife of 25 years, and an open-hearted mother of two, I take pleasure in telling good news stories, connecting people to the eight dimensions of well-being, and inspiring us to love ourselves and each other because life really is worth celebrating! Find out more about me at ShelbyPhillipsConnects.com

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