“Be Mine” Party Time

Next on the checklist of epic parties would be the traditional Valentine’s Day party. A lot of times, people who do not have a “Valentine” take this day harshly. But why not celebrate it, single or not? For this event, all are welcome. You can have single, married, or just dating couples come to the event and there will be enough fun for all!

To start off: the colors will, obviously, be shades of pink and red. Heart shapes, cupid’s arrows, and candy will be predominantly seen throughout this party. Having a few vases of pink and red roses throughout the home won’t hurt to set the mood as well.

As for the dishes being served, you can never have too many sweets present! Below is a list of some of my personal favorites that I have accumulated over the years

Heart shaped Rice Krispies treats: It is very simple to make these sweet-tooth addictions. All you need is a heart shaped cookie cutter, a box of Rice Krispies, a bag of marshmallows, white baking chips and sprinkles. First, you will want to melt down the marshmallows. This may be done over the stove or in the microwave. Whichever way you choose, you must be sure to combine butter with the marshmallows to keep evenness and the right texture. While melting, stir periodically – if in the microwave, stir every minute. If on the stove, stir periodically. During this time, pour the box of Rice Krispies into a mixing bowl. After completely melting the marshmallows, pour solution over cereal and nead the two ingredients together until the marshmallows are evenly dispersed throughout the Rice Krispies. After doing so, place the mixture onto a flat cookie sheet. Make sure it is spread evenly throughout the pan in a flat manner. Then start cutting into the morsels with the heart shaped cookie cutter. After doing so, you may melt down the white baking chips (in the same manner as the marshmallows) and cover the Krispies completely, or only half, and then add sprinkles on top of the chocolate! Let the sweets refrigerate for an hour and then they will be edible!

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White Chocolate Chex-Mix: This is one of my ALL time favorites that my mom has made since I was a little girl. It is the perfect snack around any holiday! Ingredients needed: 10 cups Cheerios, 10 cups Corn Chex, 4 cups roasted peanuts, 2 pounds (or two bags) chocolate M&M’s (depending upon what event you are making this delicious snack for, you may buy M&M’s with according colors: Christmas-red & green, Easter-pastel pink & purple, Valentine’s Day-pink & red, etc), 2 packages of mini pretzels, 4 packages of white baking chips, 6 tablespoons canola oil. How to: In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients; set aside. In a bowl, heat the white baking chips and oil for 1 minute then stir. Repeat until evenly melted. After melted, pour over the first 5 ingredients and mix very well so that, just as you did for the Rice Krispies, the melted mixture is even over all of the cereal and Chex Mix. After doing so, spread onto sheets of waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cool; break apart. Then it’s ready to serve! (the above ingredients make 3 gallon zip lock baggies worth. You will probably have some left over – store in an airtight container.)

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Next are the games you can play: for couples, as well as singles

Lovers Line-Up: for this game anyone can play, just as long as they know their partner well. Couples, friends, etc. It’s all about seeing how well you know the partner that you choose. Beforehand, you will need to prepare a list of random questions for each guest to answer on a separate piece of paper. Examples include: “What is your favorite thing to do when alone? What is your favorite color? What is your middle name? Where were you born? What is your eye color? What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? The participating guests will write down their answers and put their name on the paper. No one is to discuss their answers, just write down their answers. You will then have each team sit in a chair back to back. Keep each of the participants answers together. Now, take turns asking them the questions and seeing if they can guess correctly what their partner said about them. The team with the most correct answers wins.

Name that Love Song: Pick out several famous lines from popular love songs, write them down on sheets of paper and place them in a hat or bowl. You can use old songs like “I Will Survive”, “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch”, “That’s the Way Love Goes” or more current songs like  and “Drunk In Love”, “All of Me” and “Look at You”. Each guest picks a song from the selection in the hat/bowl and they are to do a dramatic enactment of the song. Then, the other players are to guess the name of the song. The one with the most correct guesses at the end of the game wins!


Sing Your Heart Out

Another top-of-the-list party that is bound to leave you with nothing but laughter and loony pictures is a Karaoke party. It doesn’t take anymore than any of the other events below, aside from purchasing a karaoke machine. And it is guaranteed to be worth it, without disappointment!

Karaoke machine prices range anywhere between $50-$250. If you’re on a budge like me, you won’t see a need to spend oodles of your precious dollars to buy a karaoke machine that you will probably use 10 times a year. (Until you have kids, because goodness kiddo’s love the karaoke machines!) So, theres an alternative to entertain this party theme: Karaoke games. If you look on Amazon, or any Gaming store around – you can find Karaoke games. They vary from the Wii equipment, to the PS2’s and PS3’s. All you have to do is buy a couple microphones with speakers that you may connect and the party is on! If you do not have any of the above electronics, you can get on amazon.com and purchase the Singing Machine SMG. The price ranges, depending on the model, between $35-120. This system has the words on the screen and also attaches to your TV for visibility as well!

To begin this party, the invites themselves can be creative and impossible to decline. The idea of inviting to them to a “concert” can’t get any better. Have the invites be tickets to this concert, entailing the date, time, location, and what is to follow at the event.

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With parties such as this, a lot of the time your guests will be timid to get on the mic and sing their heart out. That is where you as a hostess need to break the ice by volunteering first and dragging a friend or two up with you. Also, alcohol always loosens up the nervous jitters for people that are a little more timid than most to sing.

The perfect concoctions for this fun filled festival:

Sidecar Serenade

Berry A’Peeling

Breathe Easy Aquatini

And to top off the yummy drinks: Spiked Fruit Cups

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In addition to the drinks, provide fun props for your guests to use when they “take the stage”. Some great ideas include: crazy colored wigs, plastic microphones for back-up singers, sunglasses, blow-up guitars, obnoxious beads to throw to your fans, and much more.

Hawaiian Luau

When thinking of the dream vacation I immediately picture myself on a beach somewhere hot and sunny. I don’t know about most of you, but Hawaii is an ideal spot to vacation in my eyes. Well, because I’m a broke college student, that isn’t very realistic right now. So what better than to bring the beach to you with a Hawaiian Luau themed party?

The main focus for parties such as this are bright colors, grass table skirts, and lots of fruit and flowers.

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ABOVE: Perfect example (found on uncommondesignsonline.com) of a Luau table serving drinks and finger foods. The bright flowers convey the flowers you would find in Hawaii and cost under $10 to make! All are made out of tissue paper and are quick and easy to create; refer to previous post Cinco De Drinko to find instructions to make tissue paper flowers. There are also videos on youtube.

Depending on the weather/season that you decide to throw this party, it may be indoors or out. If outdoors, set up picnic tables all with similar decor as above. If indoors, the decor may be dispersed throughout the kitchen, dining room, living room, etc.

A great list of ideas for food at a Hawaiian Luau are:

ANY sliced fruit: pineapples, strawberries, watermelon, bananas, etc. Even better is to create little shish-kabobs of fruit. Layer from top to bottom your favorite fruits. Another lovable shish-kabob is chocolate covered fruit. Mix and match the two, with half plain fruit and the other half chocolate covered shish-kabobs.

Spicy Hawaiian Chicken Burgers: This recipe is to die for, no matter the event. However, it seems quite fitting when throwing a Hawaiian Luau. What you will need (measurements of ingredients differ according to how many guests you are expecting/how many burgers you want to make) – Ground chicken, pineapple rings, pepper jack cheese, hamburger buns, paprika, chili powder, seasoned salt and garlic. To make (ingredients following are in order to make about 6 burgers) – Mix 2 lbs of ground chicken, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp of seasoning salt and 1 clove of garlic into a mixing bowl. After mixing, portion mixture into 6 balls, then flatten. Grill burgers over medium heat for about 6 minutes each side. In the last 2-3 minutes, place pepperjack cheese atop the burgers to melt. After the burgers are cooked, place on plate covered with aluminum foil for a few minutes. Meanwhile, grill pineapple slices, turning carefully after 1-2 minutes. After this, your dish is complete!

Other dishes include: Macaroni salad, Ham and Cheese sliders, and Pimento Cheese Crisps.

For the drinks served, we of course stick with the theme. A yummy adult beverage is the Sea Water drink.

Ingredients: Blue Gatorade, Blue Hawaiian Punch, Vodka and Sprite layered over ice.

Another guaranteed hit is the Paradise drink.

Ingredients: Light Rum, Malibu Rum, Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice and Grenadine.

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ABOVE: The Paradise drink.

Totally 80s!

Last weekend we were able to throw one of the most successful/fun parties of all time: A surprise 80s birthday party! Chris Lloyd turned 40, so what better way to celebrate that milestone than to surprise him with one of the best decades, the 80s.

Each guest was to dress up in their favorite 80s outfit and a prize was awarded at the end of the evening. The preparation for this party was composed with lots of creativity in the decorations. Decorations are not just for the looks and atmosphere, but also to get the guests to have more fun while attending the party. I believe our party nailed that aspect right on the head, as seen below. Every little touch matters!

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The first picture is an AWESOME backdrop for a photo booth. (May be purchased at any almost any party store near you) This allows your guests to be goofy with different props and poses. This also allows guests to loosen up and just have fun. The three pictures following that (above and below) are examples of décor throughout the house. The purple boom box is actually an iHome that hooks up to your cellphone through Bluetooth. It is bright purple and has the same look as the stereos found in the eighties, so we couldn’t resist blasting all the classic eighties hits through it’s speakers. As you can see, banners on the staircase, balloons galore, and tons of dangling swirl-tops that had sunglasses, boom boxes, and music notes on them. For parties with a theme such as this: MORE IS BETTER. There is no such thing as “tacky” when remaking the 80s!

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As for the food presented, we stuck with simple finger foods. Pigs-in-a-blanket, crackers and dip, mini sandwiches, and many more are good go-to’s. There were also plenty of sweets available.

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ABOVE: A cake made for the birthday boy! Classic stereo, cassette tape and all. BELOW: Props used in the photo booth. The buttons were bought at the same party store as the banner, for under 5$. The plastic 80s themed sunglasses were bought there as well: $3.99 for a dozen!

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The night overall was a complete hit and allowed everyone to relive the “glory days”! The poster made for Chris included pictures throughout the years, many of which were throwbacks. Because who doesn’t love the 80s?

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Cinco De Drinko

Happy Cinco De Mayo! (Hypothetically speaking) This holiday is predominantly celebrated by the Hispanic culture, however, in American it is often an excuse to throw a party, and have a blast while doing so. Although this holiday, as most of you are aware, is often celebrated with lots of tequila and tacos – you may throw a party with yummy food and non-alcoholic drinks as well! I will cover that base in this post as well.

The first touch for this event would have to be the decorations and atmosphere you create throughout the location. Begin with the traditional tissue paper flowers (pictured below), piñatas hanging above the food table, and top off the décor with playing Mexican salsa, mariachi, or merengue music. Celebrate Express (or any other party store) provides endless ideas for additional decorations. Fiesta fun table runners, taco napkins, and sombrero fanci-fetti are perfect for an event such as this!

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In the Hispanic culture, it is very common for the women to create these tissue paper flowers. It is a very simple decoration to include at your Cinco De Mayo Fiesta! Don’t know how? Follow directions here.

In correlation with the fun decorations, the food and drinks are the most important piece to the party being a success. For our party, we created an “All you can drink Margarita” station at our bar, a “Make your own Taco” stand on our center island, as well as a Tequila Tasting later in the evening. The guests loved the idea, and it was a sensation the entire night to allow the guests with ease to choose what they wanted, and when they wanted it, without limit. By convenience, we already had a Margaritaville machine at hand for our event. The machine allows making the bottomless margaritas to be very simple, however, you do not have to have this equipment in order to serve your guests endlessly. A simple blender, or Ninja blender work just the same! The ingredients for margaritas include:

1/2 part DeKuyper Triple Sec, 1 part Pucker Strawberry Schnapps (this flavor is dependent upon what flavor of margaritas you decide to serve. The options are sky-high!), 1 1/2 parts Sauza tequila, 3 parts Sweet/Sour mix. Place ingredients in blender/mixer with ice filled to the top. As the mixture begins to blend, you may add more ice, or more liquid dependent upon how thick or thin it is.

{the brands listed above are also interchangeable according to the user}

For the “Make your own Taco” stand, it is as easy as you can imagine. Place all ingredients from start to finish along a counter, bar, or table so guests may navigate with ease alongside while creating their perfect taco. An examples would include; Beginning the line with hard taco shells, tortillas – corn and flour, followed by bean dip, sour cream, melted cheese and guacamole. Continued with the types of meat you choose: Grilled chicken, ground beef, or fajita steak/chicken. Ending with grated cheese, chopped onions, and sliced jalapeños.

As for those that do not want to have any adult beverages present, you can stick with the exact same ideas as above! Nothing will change, aside from the ingredients in the drink. Virgin margaritas are made by purchasing the “Big Bucket Margarita” mix at locations such as Walmart and pour over ice in a blender for frozen virgin margaritas, or just over a cup of ice for on the rocks! Tastes the same, minus the alcohol. You may also provide both options if you believe any of your guests may not want to drink. It works for all those involved.

Casino Night

The first touch to have when planning a Casino night in your home is to have the right décor. Following are some very simple, and cheap ideas to add to the atmosphere when preparing for such a night!

Oversized dice: For this, all you need are Styrofoam cubes which may be bought at Hobby Lobby (normally priced around $2.50-$5) black acrylic paint, and a foam paint brush. To make: you simply paint large black circles on the Styrofoam cubes – Just as you see on the dice you play in board games. Wah-lah! You have the perfect oversized decoration to stack throughout your home and it takes very little preparation time!

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At a party such as this, the basis of the evening will be to enjoy the entities a casino provides. Great games include Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Black Jack. For these games you will need to provide playing cards, and for the prizes you may purchase chocolate gold coins at any Party supplies store!

As for food and drinks, it is easy to follow the theme with food and drinks that one may get at the casino. It is even more fun to give the generic dishes names that follow the casino “feel”. Such as, Poker Chips and Salsa, Texas Hold ‘Em Tortilla Rolls, Spin-It Spinach Dip, Ceasar’s Palace Salad, Black Jack Chicken and many more! You may label each dish with playing cards on sticks by writing directly on the card the name of each food. (As seen below)

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Winning with Wine

What better way to end a stressful work/class-filled week than a Blind Wine Tasting? In order for everyone to maintain budget, have each guest bring a bottle of their favorite wine.

Preparation before the party:

Buy a couple dozen paper sacks that are large enough to fit a wine bottle in them. After doing so, number off each bag from one to however many guests or bottles of wine you may have. (Numbering too many bags is better than not numbering enough)

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Provide simple finger foods that guests may munch on while present at your party. Any wine tasting is very laid back, so there is no need to cook excessively. Great ideas include: An assortment of cheeses and crackers (Club crackers, Ritz crackers and Triscuits topped with miniature blocks of cheese. Another great topping with the crackers and cheese are little slices of summer sausage), Spicy hummus, Cheese ball, barbecue Smokies, Pigs-N-A-Blanket, and any sweet fruit (Strawberries, pineapples, mangos, etc).

As guests arrive, begin bagging the wines into the paper sacks you have already numbered. Once your guest list is complete, the fun begins! Allow the guests to begin going from bag to bag tasting and sniffing the wines. As they do so, they will need to record the number of the bottle which they tasted from and what they think the wine is. If a guest is not aware of what the wine is specifically called, they may simply stick to whether they believe the wine is an expensive or cheap wine. (The fun isn’t in guessing each wine correctly, it’s the indulgence of yummy food and drinks with a good atmosphere.)

At the end of the night, once everyone has recorded their guesses, you will reveal what is underneath Bag #1..2..3..4..etc until you have revealed all the wines. Whomever has the most correct guesses is the winner. And what better prize at a Blind Wine Tasting than a fancy bottle of wine? The winner, and losers will all leave satisfied because no one can argue with a simple night of friends and wine.

Nothing beats the Nineties

Being born in 1991 allowed me to grow up with the best of the 90s and memories to last a lifetime. From bright-colored scrunchies (that were styled in the hair, as well as on the wrist), to pop rocks and Fun-Dip, followed by Saturdays filled with “Cat-dog” and “All That” marathons – Nothing beats the Nineties!

90s r all that                                Cat-dog

The first touch for a 90s themed party would be the outfit one chooses to wear. Growing up, I remember styling overalls, high white socks, and Keds to top it all off. Perms and Barrett’s were the absolute must for us girls, and for boys it was frosted tips or hair gelled so perfectly that it didn’t move the entire school day. However, you can take this theme a little further and dress up as your favorite TV show and movie characters. From “Recess”, “Hey Arnold!”, “Rugrats” and “Saved by the Bell” to “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, “The Mask” or your favorite Disney movie – the options are endless!

The next touch that will be a complete sell out are some of the games you can provide at the party. Of course, it is hard to re-create the exact ways we played these games due to technology being in an entirely different universe these days. However, there are many gaming stores that still sell the classic 90s games such as Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man, Mario Cart, NFL Blitz, ATV Off-Road Fury, and the original Mortal Kombat. These games have been refurbished to be played on modern gaming systems, and are promised to create all the excitement at your party.

Lastly, the must-have finishing touches:

  1. A fun guest book –> Pages of black scrapbooking paper inside and guests sign with Milky gel roller pens.
  2. Splatter paint photo booth –> As simple as white construction paper as the backdrop and going crazy with neon paint colors in a splatter form. After dried, makes for the perfect background for your guests to stand in front of and hold up funny props!
  3. Dunkaroo funfetti dip –> Ingredients: 1 box of funfetti cake mix, 2 cups of fat-free plain yogurt, and 1 cup of lite Cool Whip. Mix the ingredients together in bowl and chill for about 4 hours, then enjoy the dip your mom never let you have with animal crackers 😉
  4. Put your favorite 90s candies in clear vases on decorative table –> Fun-Dip, Pop rocks, Push pops, Bubble Yum, Hubba Bubba, Bottle pops, Lemon heads, War heads, etc.
  5. Pop Rocks Adult Beverages –> does it get ANY better?? Several recipes may be found here!


Autumn is undoubtedly upon us. And you know what that means? Halloween is right around the corner! This is another one of my favorite party occasions, and has SO many different possibilities. Of course, it is just a given to make a Best Halloween Costume contest apart of the festivities.


First: It wouldn’t be Halloween without some Jack-O-Lanterns on the porch. If you have any little one’s or little cousins/siblings, this is the perfect “busy work” to give them to do and have a blast while doing it! You can buy pumpkin carving kits at Wal-Mart for very cheap. ($3-$15) Place pumpkins in arrangement on porch and if you’re feeling super festive, place a small CD player or iHome hidden behind the pumpkins and play on repeat some haunting music to give your guests a spooky welcome as they arrive! Also: another very simple and cheap decoration to have outside as your guests arrive are ghost lanterns. In order to make these come to life, all you need are plain white popcorn sacks, or white paper lunch sacks and a black sharpie. Draw whatever funny faces you want on each “ghost” (bottom of paper sack, or closed end, will be the top of the ghosts’ head, bottom needs to be the open end) and place them over the outdoor lights that align the sidewalk as approaching your home. If you do not already have outdoor lights, you can simply buy plastic candles (they look like already lit candles, but are just a lightbulb in the flame shaped topper) and place them along the walk-way up to your door step with the paper ghosts over them.

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ABOVE: Obviously, a bit excessive on the number of lights. However, you get the idea! You can cut shapes into the bags as well to project shadows.

Next: The games to play for a Halloween party can be so fun. Along with the contest for whoever has the best costume, you can give candy bag rewards for the winners! (It seems appropriate for Halloween, right?) The first game is the Halloween Guess Who game. As the guests arrive, have a bowl filled with folded pieces of paper that have a Halloween movie, character, phrase or word listed on it. The guest must choose a piece of paper out of the bowl, and without looking at it, tape it to his/her back. (You do not have to do this immediately upon arrival, although it is a great ice breaker for a mixture of friends, it can be started at any point in the night) Once each guest has a piece of paper on their back, they must have others act out their word/words or answer the guess-er’s questions with a simple yes or no. For example: “Am I a girl?”  “Am I a movie?” “Am I dead?” “Do I have hair?” “Am I an animal?” “Was I a human at one point?” etc! Another game that will gross your willing participants out a little is the Mystery Squeel-O-Box game. In this game you prepare by simply buying plastic Tupperware, (may be bought a dollar general – 3 for $1) cutting a large hole in the lids and spray-paint the containers orange. On each container, label the contents with things like: Vampire brains, Witch fingers, Witch tongues, Monster teeth, Vampire teeth, eyeballs, and skin. Each participant must stick their hand in the containers while blindfolded and guess what it is that they are touching. (They will be guessing the actual substance, not “vampire brains” or “monster teeth”)

How to make the creepy crawlies:

  • Vampire brains: You make this one of two ways. First way, is to get a circular sponge and soak it. Once soaked, ring out a little and place in container. Second way, cook a package of spaghetti and place in container. It will begin to piece together after sitting for a while, that is perfect.
  • Witch fingers: Carrot sticks
  • Witch tongues: 1/4 of a banana. Cut the bananas in half, like a hotdog bun. Then, cut the half in half.
  • Monster teeth: Feed corn
  • Vampire teeth: Prongs broken off of plastic forks
  • Eyeballs: Peeled grapes
  • Skin: Flour tortillas with a little bit of vegetable oil spread over them. Break the tortilla into disproportioned slivers after covering in vegetable oil.

And to sum it all up, the drink of the night that is promised to be a sensation: Blood Sucking CocktailIngredients yielding 1 drink: 1 1/2 oz. Bacardi, 1/2 oz. Cointreau (or the orange-flavored liqueur of your choosing), 2 oz’s pineapple juice. After mixing above ingredients with ice, insert a plastic syringe filled with raspberry concentrate for decoration and for the guest to splash into their drink as a blast of flavor. (plastic syringes may be bought at any party store)

Fiesta Fun

Who doesn’t like Mexican food? Better yet, who doesn’t like margaritas? The next themed event chosen: Cinco de Mayo fiesta!

We will begin with the very simple (& cheap) decor that may go into a party like this..

Tissue Poms 

Table Streamers

“Dress up your drink”

Plastic Maracas

Tissue Poms and Table Garland: for both you will need select colors of tissue paper. In this case, you may want to choose generic red, yellow, green and white to keep up with the theme!

For the poms, you will need 1 package of tissue paper to make 1 pom, (each package has approximately 9 sheets of paper in it, you may mix colors if you would like) thin floral wire, as well as ribbon to hang the poms from the ceiling. First, cut a piece off of the floral wire – about a foot in length. Then take out the entire package of tissue paper (once again, approximately 9 sheets) and fold it accordion style, with your folds measuring about an inch thick. Once this is completed, you will fold your piece of floral wire over both sides of the paper and twist the ends of the wire together – like you would twist the tie on a loaf of bread. Follow this step with looping your ribbon through the wire, as it is easier to attach now to be hung, than later. Next, you must cut both ends of the tissue paper. If you want the pom to have pointed ends, you will cut the ends in a triangular fashion. If you want the pom to be completely round, you will cut the ends in a circular fashion. After doing this on both sides, you will stretch out both sides of the tissue paper – some way that you would a paper fan. When you’ve done this, all you have to do now is start carefully pulling your tissue paper layers apart in the directions you want them to face. Half will go up, the other half down to create the circle.

Blue poms

For the table garland, you need similar materials: tissue paper (how many sheets of paper is dependent upon how many garlands you would like to make, each garland takes about 2 sheets of tissue paper), floral wire, tape and a ruler. First, you will fold two pieces of tissue paper in half like a hamburger and fold it like an accordion as you did for the poms. Lay the paper flat after doing so and begin cutting strips about half-an-inch thick upwards, with the crease of the paper at the top of the paper and the open end where you begin the cut. Next, roll the paper up as you would a burrito and tape it off to allow it to stay. After doing so, you will attach the wire by taping one end to the top of the tissue paper, looping it over to create an oval (to allow the garland to be hung) and tape it on the other side as well.


As for the “Dress up your Drink” materials, all you need are googily eyes, stick on mustaches and tiny plastic sombreros. All of which can be bought at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Target, etc. And the plastic maracas may be bought at any of those places, or even dollar general!


The food chosen at a party such as this is completely up to you as the host/hostess! Enchiladas, Dirty rice, Quesadillas, Salsa, Queso, Spicy fajitas, and things along those lines are always going to be a first choice. If you are looking for more finger foods aside from salsa and queso: Mini tacos, 5-layer bean dip, Southwestern tortilla wedges and things such as this are always easy go-to’s.