Posts tagged ‘planning a party’

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

Importance of Play

The National Institute of Play says, “Play refreshes a long-term adult-adult relationship; some of the hallmarks of its refreshing, oxygenating action are: humor, the enjoyment of novelty, the capacity to share a lighthearted sense of the world’s ironies, the enjoyment of mutual storytelling, the capacity to openly divulge imagination and fantasies,… These playful communications and interactions, when nourished, produce a climate for easy connection and deepening, a more rewarding relationship – true intimacy.”  I think a successful party or gathering can accomplish the same thing.

Think about it. The chance to laugh, tell stories, enjoy playful banter, feel like you’re not alone in your views, share yourself — this all leads to a wonderful sense of connection and sense of community. Where better then a party or get-together, especially when you and your guests feel comfortable, to provide an opportunity to enjoy all these experiences at once? A chance to play and create intimacy!

I hope each of you had a playful Memorial Day Weekend and may you enjoy its refreshing and oxygenating powers throughout the week.

May 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm Leave a 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

The Best and Most Beautiful Things…

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”  Helen Keller

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm 1 comment

Gather for a Cause

I can’t express to you in mere words what a visceral response I had to just the trailer for Miss Representation. This award-winning film is eye-opening and maddening about just how much power the media has in shaping our young people’s perceptions of the world in which they live. If you disagree, watch the trailer. It’s not just TV, movies and music anymore. It’s magazines, video games, online media, social networking, and all that comes along with that. 10 hours and 45 minutes a DAY of consumed media. Much of it is damaging our girl’s self-esteem and confidence, creating body-image disorders, and a sense of uselessness, and a climate for our boys that breeds a false bravado and total lack of respect for women because they are taught to believe it is okay to treat women like sex objects.

In this week’s video not only do I urge you to watch the trailer, but  I share some ease ideas to keep the “conversation” going. It’s such an important conversation…watch the trailer and the video blog and let’s chat. What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Movie Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFh5F8cFb3g&feature=share

Friends in on the conversation:

http://www.togetherthere.org/

http://gatecommunity.org/

http://www.missrepresentation.org/

February 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm Leave a comment

Finding Connection with Appreciation Texting

Get connected with your partner — with Appreciation Texting. Check it out. Based on Michael Fiore’s eBook, “Text the Romance Back: The 30 Day Digital Relationship Transformer,” appreciation texting has the power to bring you and your partner closer, and it’s so easy.

You can always find out more at YouCanPlanAParty.com

February 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm Leave a comment

From Party Planner to Brownie Leader

I am proud to announce I am a new Brownie leader for the Girl Scouts of America (GSA). As the Queen of Connection, committed to transforming lives, imagine my surprise to learn the organization’s purpose: to have girls discover new things for themselves, connect with them on a personal level, and take action to make the world a better place. I couldn’t be happier.

As I was planning my first meeting, imagine again, if you will, my surprise upon discovering that the GSA’s suggested meeting structure has six segments, just like my easy six-element approach to planning a great party.

I’m sharing my adventures in Girl Scouting this month from the perspective of a volunteer who is delighted to have found an organization with a vision that matches my own in so many ways. I love the possibility of a world where girls can grow to be committed to being honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what they say and do; where they can learn to respect themselves and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, and make the world a better place. This is what we teach in Girl Scouts, and we do it in a fun and playful manner. Each meeting is in essence a party filled with fun activities meant to inspire and fill the heart. I am delighted that my work contributes to the lives of 2nd and 3rd grade girls.

Following is my “party plan” for Brownie Meeting #1, as outlined using the GSA meeting structure.

Start-up

  • Name Tags
  • Tea Lights

Using 3×4 paper inserts, my co-leader and I had each girl make a name tag with brightly colored pens and self-adhesive stars. Once completed, the girls inserted them into plastic sleeves and put them around their necks in preparation for our special guests.

Then we moved onto painting glass tea light candleholders. We explained that the candleholders would be used in a ceremony later in the day and then suggested they paint a simple symbol that represents who they are or what it means to them to be a Brownie.

Opening

  • Snack
  • Leader Introduction
  • Attendance

With name tags on and tea lights drying, the girls ate their snacks. My co-leader and I introduced ourselves and I choose one of the girls to take attendance using a fun feather pen which everyone loved.

Business

  • Cadets
  • First Aid Game

Our special guests arrived during this portion of the meeting—a troop of Girl Scout Cadets. The Cadets recited the Girl Scout Promise and the Law, and reviewed the Make New Friends song. They also taught our girls the handshake and the important Brownie Smile Song. Then we played a little memory game that I’ve played at many a baby shower. We removed the contents of the Cadets’ first aid kit and placed them on a tray. Once each Brownie had a chance to look at the tray and commit the items to memory, the tray was removed. I wrote the numbers one through fifteen on a dry erase board and then asked the girls to tell me what they saw on the tray. These fifteen items would later make up the contents of our troop’s first aid kit. Each girl was assigned one item to bring to the next meeting when our kit would be assembled.

Activity

  • Sit-upon

In preparation for this Girl Scout tradition, my co-leader and I pre-cut oil cloth into 14 x 36 inch pieces for sit upons. Once folded into a 14 x 18 inch piece, we hole-punched the 3 sides about an inch apart. We also pre-cut carpet padding into 12 x 16 inch pieces making enough for two per sit-upon and coordinating yarn.

At the meeting, once each girl chose her materials, they were also given a Butler GUM Threader Dental Flosser to use as a needle. This was our secret tool to making this project easier to accomplish and in less time. 

Then we simply wrote everyone’s name with a Sharpie pen. The girls were so excited about their sit upons that we had to promise to use them at our next meeting!

Clean-up

Clean-up by the girls is an important element to any Girl Scout meeting. Once this was accomplished we moved into our special ceremony.

Closing

  • Ceremony
  • Brownies
  • Assignment Slips

All but three of my girls are returning to Girl Scouts, so for them a “Rededication” Ceremony was in order, my new girls — an “Investiture” Ceremony. Marrying the two was easier than I thought. I asked each girl to pick up her tea light and line up in a predetermined order.

“If you were a Daisy last year you are participating in a Rededication Ceremony today.” I said. “If you are new to Girl Scouts this year, you are participating in an Investiture Ceremony. Traditionally when you “invest” in something, you make a commitment or a promise. As Girl Scouts you have a very important promise that you agree to live by. Each of you has heard that promise spoken by our visiting Cadets and today you are being given the opportunity to invest yourself or rededicate yourself to the Girl Scout Promise and Law in this special ceremony.”

Girl Scout Law PDF  I used a long tapered candle to light each girl’s tea light while she repeated a line I gave her from the Girl Scout Promise and then the Law. For Example: One girl said, “I will do my best to be honest and fair.” Another said, “to be friendly and helpful,” and another said,” to be considerate and caring,” and so on. My co-leader followed behind them adding Membership Stars to their vests and turning their Brownie Pins right-side up. Once all the candles were lit, and with tea lights in their left hands and three fingers still raised on their right, my returning girls gave their promise. Girl Scout Promise PDF  I welcomed them back to the troop. Then calling our new girls forward, I asked them to repeat after me as I led them through the Girl Scout Promise. Once completed, I took their tea lights, shook their hands, and welcomed them to our troop. Congratulating our girls, I announced that they were all officially Brownie Girl Scouts and with that, they received a brownie cupcake as they left the meeting.

That was a very busy meeting. In two weeks, we’ll enjoy (to quote one of the girls) “sitting upon our sit upons” and taking time to get to know each other. I have to say, the best part of the day was having one of my girls throw her arms around me and say, “You’re the best Brownie leader ever!” How awesome was that? Parties filled with heart really do pay off.

October 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm 3 comments

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Online Invitations

Let me set the record straight. I love on-line invitations. I think sending an electronic invitation, or evite, is good for the planet, convenient, and extremely cost effective. However, the lack of etiquette that often comes with this modern convenience would not meet the approval of Emily Post. Here’s how to show good etiquette when using online invitations:

WHEN PREPARING AN ONLINE INVITATION
DO send a Save-the-Date evite if you need to get a head count well ahead of time.
DO ask for regrets with your Save-the Date evite. If not sending a Save-the Date, simply send out your evites two weeks ahead of time.
DO address your evite to a specific person or people. If you’re inviting siblings or a couple, be sure to use their names. This extra effort conveys that you care about your guests and really want them to be part of the celebration.
DO make your invitations inviting. Think about your theme and choose virtual paper, envelope, rubber stamps, postage, etc. that coordinate. If you can’t find something that matches your theme, choose a template that has the right colors and allows for a photograph instead.
DON’T just send an email. With all the great FREE online invitation services available, there are no excuses. A customized evite lets your guests know that you’ve put some thought into this party. I’m partial to PunchBowl.com, but some other’s include SmileBox.com, PurpleTrail.com, AnyVite.com, and of course, Evite.com.

WHEN WRITING AN ONLINE INVITATION
DO include the Four W’s. (who, what, when, and where)
Who is the party for? What are you celebrating? What is the occasion? When is the party, the date and time? Where is it being held? Evites are meant to be convenient but you still need to provide all the pertinent information.

DON’T forget to include other pertinent information when needed, such as: your theme, costume requirements, venue or parking information, request for dietary requirements, and anything guests should bring, like special group gifts or props, and registry info.

DO proofread your copy then have someone else proofread it. If that’s not possible, read the copy out loud, word for word, very slowly to make certain you’ve used your best grammar and punctuation. It’s always nice to put your best foot forward.

WHEN RESPONDING TO AN ONLINE INVITATION
DO respond as soon as possible to an online invitation. I always encourage my clients to respond to an evite as soon as they receive it. If you can’t make the event, respond “No” right away. This allows the host to invite more people if need be (especially important for children’s parties), and it helps with knowing how many supplies to purchase, how much food to prepare, and gifts to buy or make. If you have to check on dates or babysitters, then respond as a “Maybe” right away. This lets the host know that you’ve seen the invitation and that you’re trying to work it out. The “maybe” button was added as a courtesy. Use it! To not respond at all or wait until the final days before the event, is just plain rude. Don’t be rude.

Father’s Day is coming up fast on Sunday, June 19th, and since Father’s Day celebrations tend to be informal and often times planned at the last minute, this is a perfect time to practice these online invitation do’s and don’ts.

Speaking of Father’s Day, if you’re looking for some SLICK party ideas for Dad, check out my NASCAR Father’s Day BBQ at YouCanPlanAParty.TV. We’ll get you all REVED UP and RARIN’ to go with great ideas for honoring dad in a fun and colorful way! Here’s a quick peek…

June 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

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

Plan Back-To-Back Holidays With Ease


Spring is here and if you plan to host a Passover, Easter, Mother’s Day, or other springtime event, now is the time to start planning. Planning now will pay off big especially if you’ll be hosting all three back-to-back holidays, as I will be. My “easy six-element approach to party planning” makes situations like these simple to manage. Here are a few useful tips and tricks.

Time is a precious commodity. I’m a wife and an involved mother of two who works, I get it. That’s why I put together a beautiful Garden Brunch Party Plan for Mother’s Day which can easily be adapted for Passover or Easter.

TIPS & TRICKS #1 – Watch the six short video clips on this month’s episode of Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party! for loads of great ideas that you can use for your own spring parties. For example, you’ll learn how to: develop theme ideas that will please your guests or guest of honor; make long-stem flower invitations; create baked eggs that are fabulous centerpieces to any brunch; design an easily customizable photo place card for any holiday; give a unique keepsake sure to illicit emotions; and set a beautiful table.

TIPS & TRICKS #2 – One of the secrets to planning successful celebrations and keeping your cool, is staying organized, even for the simplest party. Staying organized is easy when you use efficient checklists and worksheets to help you stay the course.

TIPS & TRICKS #3 – Click to download the one form that will make your party planning life simpler, Quick Six Worksheet. It won’t do all the work for you and you’ll certainly need to make other lists, I’m sure, but it gives you a great place to start. Make a copy for each event you’re planning this spring and start working the six-step formula.

The Quick Six Worksheet is part of my Planner Pack. Learning to use the Planner Pack is one of the best ways to avoid getting stressed about your upcoming gathering, or gatherings. The reason the included worksheets and lists work so well is that they allow you to get your thoughts and ideas out of your head and onto paper so that you can stop worrying about them. Having all of your party planning notes and information in one location assures that what you need to accomplish gets done on time, allowing you to relax and enjoy the celebration along with your family and friends. The Planner Pack is available for download on the Party Mart Page at YouCanPlanAParty.com for just $14. Make a copy for every party you host. We also offer a matching three-ring binder to help keep it all together.

TIPS & TRICKS #4 – Whether Easter, Passover or Mother’s Day, think of your gathering as a gift you’re giving your friends and family. Then ask yourself “why?” Why am I giving this party? What is my intention? What experience do I want my guests to have? What do I want my guests or guest of honor to feel? How can I create a lasting impression? Having a clear intention for your celebration will help keep you focused on what’s necessary. It also helps with the budget, putting dollars where they’re needed. Most important, having a clear intention for your party goes a long way in making your guests feel special and important.

TIPS & TRICKS #5 – Here are some great shopping resources for unique items. Whether looking for vintage Easter stuff, cool Passover items, or one-of-a-kind Mother’s Days gifts, these sites have something for everyone.

www.blumchen.com/easter_shop.html
www.bargainjudaica.com/default.aspx
www.zazzle.com/shelbysemail2

April 4, 2011 at 4:29 am 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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