How to Throw a Lip Sync Party

IMG_7646I had been asking my sister, “what do you want to do for your 30th birthday?” for months (years really) when she finally answered my pressing question a little more than a month before her 30th birthday. “I want to host a lip sync battle 30th birthday party,” she said. Never one to shy away from any crazy party idea, I was immediately on board, the logistics already running through my head. We’d have to get someone to play DJ, everyone coming would have to practice their songs, and we’d have to be 150 percent into the idea in order to convince all those weary of lip syncing in front of a crowd to participate. We’d need ample amounts of booze, a venue that had some sort of stage, delectable hearty snacks that would ensure guests didn’t get too wasted before their performances, and an invite that got everyone excited about the opportunity to lip sync. Continue reading

How to Plan a Flash Mob

IMG_4967So I know that this post would have been better written in 2010, at the peak of the flash mob‘s coolness, but I’m writing it now in 2014 anyway. Recently, I was hosting a four-day birthday party with Saturday night being the biggest, most extravagant event. On Friday night a few of the guests came to me with an idea. They thought it would be fun to surprise the birthday girl with a flash mob the following night.

She loves to dance, so wouldn’t it be fabulous to have all of her friends bust out in the same choreographed moves?! As both a surprise and dance enthusiast, I appreciated the idea, but wondered could it be done? The answer is yes! I orchestrated, choreographed, and pulled off the whole thing and with a few basic dance moves, you can most definitely plan your very own flash mob surprise at your next event. Here’s how it’s done.

  1. What is absolutely essential to a flash mob’s success is to get everyone involved – even those people that don’t dance. A flash mob is an all or nothing sort of thing, so start by getting your crew excited.
  2. Pick a song (ours was Ice Ice Baby) and a special person, couple, or small group to start the flash mob.
  3. Make up a routine. Think about your group’s dance skills and keep things simple and easy to learn. Step claps, shuffles, punches, hip thrusts, and body rolls are a few basic ideas. Watch a video of my favorite cinematic flash mob, from the movie Friends with Benefits, below and if you need more inspiration, do a ‘basic dance cardio’ search on YouTube. Most dance cardio moves are easy enough for every skill level to master them. It doesn’t have to be long – mine was 32 counts.
  4. Teach everyone the dance! This is where things get super fun.
  5. Once everyone knows the dance, break the group up into 3 or 4 smaller groups, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4. The people who start the flash mob (these should be the strongest dancers) are group 1. The next best/most confidant dancers are group 2, with groups 3 and 4 being the weakest/least confidant dancers. You repeat the routine 4-5 times with every group filtering in on their respective rounds. So group two would join the dance on the second repeat of the moves, group 3 on the third repeat, and so on and so forth. Everyone should repeat the dance one time together after all dancers have joined.
  6. Figure out the time of the flash mob surprise and prep your DJ and any camera people. Make sure you have a space big enough for everyone to let loose — my flash mob was on the sand in front of the pirate bar that’s pictured above.
  7. During the party, do the flash mob!

How to Make a Seating Chart

IMG_2264It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of seating charts. Anyone who has attended one of my dinners knows that I love deciding where everyone will sit during the meal. Maybe it’s because I’m somewhat old-fashioned when it comes to entertaining? Or maybe it’s because I’m a bitch hostess who wants to control every aspect of the party? Or maybe it’s because I like an element of formality to my events? It’s probably a combination of these three factors, but simply put, I enjoy seating charts because they make everyone feel welcome. Each guest has a special place at the table that is showcased with a lovely place card — it doesn’t get much more fabulous than that! There is a process to my seating chart madness. Here’s how I do it:

1. Start by making a list of the guests in attendance. Arrange the females on one side, the males on the other side, and line up the couples. So if Melissa and Deiter Segura are coming, put Melissa in the female list and add Deiter as her counter part on the male side of the list. Let singles be in their own line.

2. Write each person’s name on a mini post-it. Use one color post-it for the males and another color for the females. Let a plain white piece of paper act as the table.

3. Since my parties are generally female heavy, I begin by evenly spacing the men post-its around the table (the white piece of paper). If you have equal amounts of men and women, arrange males and females alternating one than the other, male, female, male female, etc. around the table.

4. This is where things get fun! It’s traditional to separate couples and I always follow this rule. Couples come together and leave together and let’s face it: spend most of their time together! They should be able to have one meal apart from each other, right? Move the post-its around the table and try to engineer an arrangement that will promote conversation and eliminate awkwardness. It’s perfectly okay to play match maker between single friends or to seat people who have something in common, but have never met, next to each other. Take your guests’ personalities into consideration. If someone is super shy, seat them next to an extroverted talker. If another guest doesn’t really know anyone, seat them next to someone who knows lots of people and can conduct introductions. Guests who need special care should be seated next to the host or hostess. The guest of honor can sit at the head of the table or at the center of the action.

5. Once you’re happy with the seating chart, write it out on another piece of paper. That way if the post-its fall off, you’ll still have your seating chart in the correct order.

6. Make place cards and put them in place when setting the table. Be careful when it comes to name spelling. The last thing you want to do is misspell a guest’s name on their place card!

How to Make a Glittery Sign

IMG_2188When I moved into my apartment 3 years ago, I didn’t really think about decorating the kitchen. However, now that I’m remodeling, I’m leaving no area over looked. I plan to decorate the kitchen chicly with maps, chicken art, and a giant gold glittery sign. I’ve always loved simple word signs like the Be Amazing light sign at Chambers on Eddy, so I decided to make my own Eat sign for the kitchen. Here’s how I did it:

Supplies: pencil, tape, poster board, glittery paper (I found mine at Paper Source; it comes in plenty of great colors), scissors, exacto knife, cardboard, glue, push pins or double sided tape for adhering the finished sign to the wall, and a fun font to make the template (I used Katy Berry).

IMG_16001. Print out the word in a large size on a sheet of paper. This will be your guide as to what the finished product should look like. Next, enlarge the font to be 800-1200 times bigger and print. It should take a few pieces of paper to print out each letter.

IMG_15992. Tape the letters together, the best you can, to form a template for the sign. Cut the letters out.

IMG_16013. Using a pencil, trace the template onto the poster board. My sign fit just perfectly onto the poster board. Cut out the poster board sign.

4. Glue the poster board sign onto the glittery paper, backwards. You want the glittery side to end up facing out. Lay on a flat surface and weigh down with heavy books for a day or 2. Cut out the sign. For the middle of the letters e and a, place the letter on top of a piece of cardboard. Use an exacto knife to cut out the small middle ovals. (Someone forgot to take a photo of this step.)

IMG_05685. Hang in your kitchen (or wherever you want) with push pins or double sided tape. Enjoy!