It’s all about thinking outside the box — but even that box needs to have glitz and glamor to give it a festive feel.
If you are planning on having a Christmas party this holiday season, make it one that your guests will remember — and it doesn’t have to be expensive or really complicated.
It’s all about planning ahead, being creative and complimenting your own individuality.
“If you are not experienced with a lot of entertaining in your home, don’t stress yourself out by being over ambitious and planning too many things,” says Shelly Coyle, owner of VIP’s Gourmet Catering.
“Give yourself lots of time before the party date planning and organizing. Make lists — and use them!”
In fact, says Dave Howard, president of The Event Group, “your holiday dream event can be fun and exciting — but you need to have a plan.”
We talked to a number of experts in holiday entertaining on topics ranging from setting a fabulous table, to the food that will put the party ‘over the top’ with friends, to decorating your home and creating themes. Besides Coyle from VIP’s Gourmet Catering and Howard from The Event Group, we asked designers Alykhan Velji, principal of Alykhan Velji Design, and Monika Siebert of Monika Siebert Design Planning Inc. for help.
Here are some of their hints to creating that ‘Wow’ factor for your party.
Create a theme
This is the first place to start. “What is your own personal style?” asks Coyle. “What is the goal or purpose of this gathering?”
From there, decide on a theme — and it can be anything from traditional to off the wall, says Howard. If traditional, “every faith carries a number of traditional décor choices. Follow through your theme with your plates, glassware, napkins, and so on.”
Be bold, if that’s your personality, he says. “A theme can set the tone for your party before it happens and create your party’s atmosphere.”
How about a Karaoke Christmas? Rent a Karaoke machine from your local music store and have holiday classics as part of your music selection. How about Holiday Charades? Make up your own personal holiday charades.
Or why not have a Bad Sweater Night? “Everyone has the ‘bad’ holiday sweater,” says Howard. Invite your guest to break out their favourite and give out prizes for the oldest, cutest, best overall, etc. People can even shop at their local next-to-new shop for one. It will add to their fun.”
Having a theme helps you pull all items together for the party, says Velji.
Siebert has a wealth of tips to help transform your home — and your party — into a Romantic Christmas theme. It starts with colours — and they are used in every room, on the table, and even in the food choices. She uses red, green and purple throughout (even in her prize potato dish — a smashed potato sundae with purple, white and golden potatoes mashed separately and layered in a clear sundae glass with red and green accents between layers (tomatoes and chives). Festive, fun and carrying the theme throughout.
“My holiday tip for the dining room table: Combine rental pieces with dollar store items and your own collectables — in your theme colours,” Siebert says. It makes it interesting, eclectic and inexpensive, yet still carrying out your theme.
(Blog by Kathy McCormick)
What’s the best part of a “Dining Out” meal for you? If you have a sweet tooth its likely: Dessert! When dining out……I quickly check the menu, and then ask for the dessert menu, thinking they may have exceptional dessert….I will order an appetizer and perhaps a small salad and then dessert…or large salad and dessert. While in Dallas ….. the Sugar Designers.. didn’t fail to impress!
While @ the Dallas Reunion Tower: I had the most incredible Coconut Cream Pie – designed by Wolfgang Puck, in the Five Sixty restaurant! Notice the coconut is toasted and sprinkled on top…caramelized popcorn is part of the Design.
Special stop at Biernat’s to check out the Texas Steak—and of course their dessert list , that’s where I discovered the Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Peanut Butter pieces too delicious for words. This Dessert Design was almost to pretty to eat….and way to large for one person to consume.
Hotel Desserts often are missed……but this one just had to be mentioned. The Hilton Anatole had the best Chocolate cup, with vanilla mousse and white chocolate chunks……ummm, such heavenly taste and Design!
Hope you are inspired too,
Arriving in the beautiful city of Dallas, in April, I was immediately absorbed into this city’s lush vibrant landscape which showcases its Design flair everywhere. From the newest architectural addition via a enormous 400 foot arch on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by Santiago Calatrava to the Omni Hotels rockin’ light show which flashes on the buildings exterior’s in the evening. I’m convinced this city has the VIBE on par with New York!
The Hilton Anatole is TEXAS Size! It’s like a small city within a hotel, I shouldn’t have expected less…..from Sandi Krakowski’s great choice for me: from the mammoth twisting Light Art piece, hanging in the atrium to the Sculpture Garden, with its running track. In this great Hotel the Sculptures were prevalent everywhere, even in the furnishings that decorated the hallways and rooms. Maybe I felt so special staying here, because the Presidents of the USA used to always stay here.
Amazing Light Sculptures!
Dallas – one of the days I explored the Dallas Design Center my first stop was Edelman Leather®, they are after all the worlds finest tanners. Having used their product many years ago for Calgary’s first leather floor installation, it was a delight to finally be in their Dallas showroom! I was pumped when I saw the original piece of Artwork by Andy Warhol. He was friends of the family and created this striking piece, especially for them, which now hangs in their Dallas showroom. Their latest creation is stenciled and etched leather, amazing for chairs or walls, seen in Architectural Digest.Certainly a product I will spec and have in my design trays for clients.
My second stop: the Donghia® showroom, they are always a treat, and no less in the Dallas Center. From the knowledgeable staff to the great pieces displayed in their showroom. This was a exciting space to spend a hour , absorbing their new products, from soft seating, lighting, to fabrics, and wallpapers….and a bit more. A imaginative design style, was created by books striped of their covers and ends, displayed in a contemporary way on their book shelves. Love their beaded papers. I also got to other showrooms which had some terrific stylish pieces ,one could spend a week here see all the shops at the center, and surrounding.
Tornado sirens started on my last day. They started in the early morning while still at the hotel, at first I wasn’t sure what was going on – thought it was a fire. I quickly learned a TORNADO
Warning and we had to take cover in ballrooms, which was their version of a Tornado Shelter. The stay in there was relatively short, a half hour , then we were released. Leaving the hotel seemed fine, but a process as we all seemed to all want to leave at once. I got to my new destination a small shop everything seemed calm …too calm, and the tornado siren started gain. then…I did what the Dallas folks did.. watch it on TV.… the city was a mess with flash flooding …….the next morning I flew home, with out a hitch!…..
Recently a friend brought me, a beautiful Pink Gift bag, as I excitedly opened the birthday gift my discovery was: the most beautiful Cake Pops, I’ve ever seen.! These were specially ordered and created by Kari’s Kreations , she was inspired by my branding which she found used throughout my website ,blog, business card, and stationary!
The flavors are just as exceptional as the exterior design of these pops…from strawberry, vanilla, red velvet ……to chocolate , really 22 flavors in all . Surely to please every palate, and party theme, or business logo.
What’s not to love here? I’m so thrilled with her work I now
use custom cake pops with my logo designs and colors for special occasions and gift them to all my fabulous clients.
Whether you have a 500 square foot condo , a 2000 sq ft In fill , or sprawling 5500 sq ft home, a rambling cottage , or a combination those — On March 20th , you will gleen 7 ways to take your home from “Nice ” to ” WOW”,with “Whats Hot” now.
During the fun filled evening @ RE/MAX Mountianview.
I will present those secrets along with Calgarians: Mary Mosca Realtor,
Jason Kreiger Mortgage broker, Thomas Shibita Investor, you will end up with a plethora of information to get you ready to market your home this year or simply get educated!
Special surprises provided by the contributors of the evenings, sign up now before all seats are taken!
See the Flyer below for more information.
Registered by RSVP to Mary Mocca at 403-809-1190
or call me directly at 403-650-1514
Are you feeling the extreme need to be kissed by the sun? I recently did, and ended up heading over to Just Heavenly Spa, in Calgary and got a dose of much needed Vitamin D ! A Painless , quick, and relatively inexpensive experience standing in a tanning cage – that’s was how I absorbed the injection of Vitamin D! The tanning lotion, which is a prerequisite , smelled heavenly and was richly exquisite in its texture. Specially made by Snooki ( which would explain the cost factor) if its your desire to get some vitamin D – then you do require Snooki’s help!
When you step out of the private tanning room …… there is more to discover in this little boutique: Accessories, Books, Cards, Clothes, Massages, Purses, Stones, and much more ; you will even get tips on a Heavenly lifestyle by the knowledgeable proprietor: Joan Hehr , if you requested them or not. Seriously she is a source of knowledge you certainly can’t live with out , and once you have met her you will understand what I mean, and begin to wonder how you ever managed with out her.
The Spa owner has used her creativity in this space and has achieved success by drawing the neighborhood , much like a bee’s drawn to honeysuckle. Perhaps , its not a cliché as there is a jar of honey sitting on her window ledge, look for it when you go visit this Shoppe.
Spring 2012 …Its all about Feeling Fabulous and looking Healthy, –so go and get your VIBE on at Just Heavenly Spa.
NOW the secrets out …… hurry over, and you may still get your tanning bookings secured before the Spring Rush!
Needless to say it’s a fun colour . . . and works surprisingly well along side the past years Turquoise 2010 or Honey suckle 2011.
It brightens any room, makes you feel fresh and alive.
. . . crisp like a morning salad.
Perfect for Spring . . .
Tangerine Tango can go anywhere – be anything . . .
From Accessories: Purses, Ties, to Complete solid tones of clothing.
With Christmas approaching and festive thoughts in the air, Decorations arranged for to pleasure ones sightful eyes, Vibrant colors to catch ones attention causing all to stare, Flashes of sparkling red seem to catch you by surprise, As hues of passionate purple with some mossy greens, Share all thoughts and wishes for the Kids Help Phone, With giving color for the background completing scenes, For now is the season of giving and wish it to be known, Letting snowflakes drift down and sparkling gems to show, How a home was transformed and became so magestic, Giving all who chance to view the elegance and it’s glow, A delightful experience to be treasured from old Saint Nick! – Brian Moore
Photography by Michael Interisano of Mirror Image Photography