How to Make Your Halloween Bash Wickedly Creative

Have you ever walked into a happening Halloween party bumping music like Kid Rock or Rebecca Black? Of course not. Party throwers, beware: the right spooky playlist can take a party from yawningly decent to over-the-top spectacular in moments.

But this isn’t just any party we’re talking about – this is Halloween, and your bash needs more than candy and crepe paper to be a hit. There’s a select number of Halloween party do’s and don’ts that all hosts and hostesses should be aware of. Music is critical, but it isn’t everything.

Throw a Birthday Party On a Budget

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A birthday celebration can be anything from a quiet dinner to an extravaganza with party hats, games and noisemakers – and you can pull off either one even if you are on a budget. Here are some tips:
* Set a budget. Before you do anything else, set a budget for food, drinks, decorations and other party-related costs. To avoid buying more than you need, confirm your guest list. If you don’t want guests to spend a lot on gifts, write a suggested spending limit on your invitations.
* Find affordable gifts. Retailers like Dollar General (www.DollarGeneral.com) offer many gift choices for both
children and adults. Many children’s toys are priced under $10, and birthday cards are always two for $1.
Grown-ups love getting personalized gifts, like framed pictures. You might also want to consider purchasing an item that will brighten up the birthday boy or girl’s home or office. Decorative clocks, lamps and other home furnishings are useful as well as aesthetically pleasing.
* Give back to the community. Announce plans to donate gifts to a good cause, and you’ll relieve your guests of the pressure and money that can go into choosing the perfect gift. Ask guests to bring cans for a donation to your local food pantry. For a child’s party, have guests bring a children’s book or stuffed animal that can be donated to a local children’s hospital.
* Let them eat cake. Saving room for dessert is never more important than when you’re at a birthday party. Stock up on an assortment of options, including cake mixes, pie crusts, fruit fillings, ice cream, cake decorations and more at a discounter such as Dollar General. That way, you’re prepared to create the perfect dessert (or two).
* Leave guests with a favor. Thank your guests for coming by surprising them with a little something to take home. Start with plastic fold-top sandwich bags, and fill them with simple goodies such as mini candy bars or homemade cookies. For kids, pencils, stickers or animal crackers are popular and inexpensive favorites. Tie up each bag with colorful ribbons.

Throw a Birthday Party On a Budget

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – A birthday celebration can be anything from a quiet dinner to an extravaganza with party hats, games and noisemakers – and you can pull off either one even if you are on a budget. Here are some tips:
* Set a budget. Before you do anything else, set a budget for food, drinks, decorations and other party-related costs. To avoid buying more than you need, confirm your guest list. If you don’t want guests to spend a lot on gifts, write a suggested spending limit on your invitations.
* Find affordable gifts. Retailers like Dollar General (www.DollarGeneral.com) offer many gift choices for both
children and adults. Many children’s toys are priced under $10, and birthday cards are always two for $1.
Grown-ups love getting personalized gifts, like framed pictures. You might also want to consider purchasing an item that will brighten up the birthday boy or girl’s home or office. Decorative clocks, lamps and other home furnishings are useful as well as aesthetically pleasing.
* Give back to the community. Announce plans to donate gifts to a good cause, and you’ll relieve your guests of the pressure and money that can go into choosing the perfect gift. Ask guests to bring cans for a donation to your local food pantry. For a child’s party, have guests bring a children’s book or stuffed animal that can be donated to a local children’s hospital.
* Let them eat cake. Saving room for dessert is never more important than when you’re at a birthday party. Stock up on an assortment of options, including cake mixes, pie crusts, fruit fillings, ice cream, cake decorations and more at a discounter such as Dollar General. That way, you’re prepared to create the perfect dessert (or two).
* Leave guests with a favor. Thank your guests for coming by surprising them with a little something to take home. Start with plastic fold-top sandwich bags, and fill them with simple goodies such as mini candy bars or homemade cookies. For kids, pencils, stickers or animal crackers are popular and inexpensive favorites. Tie up each bag with colorful ribbons.

Reward Children’s Accomplishments with Effective Incentives

Celebrating a child’s milestones does wonders for building character and self-esteem, but parents aren’t always sure how to acknowledge their child’s accomplishments. Will a quick hug suffice? Or do you need to throw a party for the entire school class?
Mostly, children just want to know that their parents take an active interest in their lives — you don’t have to rent a houseboat every time a child comes home with an “A” on a test. But you don’t want to ignore a big accomplishment, either, unless you want your child to think that nothing he or she does will ever please you. Besides, commemorating an extra-special moment could help preserve fond memories for years.
For example, if your child’s 4-H project or success on the basketball team ends up in a news article, you should consider getting the article matted and framed. One company, PlaqueMakerPlus, will duplicate the newspaper or magazine article with a full-color imprint on a metal sheet, then frame the article in an elegant black frame. The frame displays a metal plaque containing your choice of text.
Whether displayed on your mantle or on your child’s wall, the framed news article will become a keepsake commemorating your child’s accomplishment — someday, you may even want to show it to your grandchildren.
You can also frame certificates or ribbons, or give your child a memory frame in which to display Scout badges. You can even purchase your own trophies to give to your children.
If the way to the heart is through the stomach, cook your child’s favorite meal or visit a favorite restaurant to celebrate a big accomplishment. You can also reward your child with more of your time. For example, you could commit a day to an activity that your child enjoys, like visiting a theme park, shopping at the mall or going on a hike. Older children and teens tend to want to celebrate with their friends. For them, a sleepover or a party at a mini golf course might be the best way to celebrate their success.
For more information, visit www.plaquemakerplus.com.

Tips for Inexpensive Outdoor Entertaining

<b>Tips for Inexpensive Outdoor Entertaining</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Celebrate the warmer days by hosting an outdoor summertime party or barbecue. It’s easy to add pizzazz to an outdoor party and stay on budget, with accessories and color.

Here are some inexpensive ways to add character to your outdoor get-togethers:

1. Make it colorful. For a fast way to give your party a sense of style, color-coordinate your bowls, plates and cups in attention-grabbing colors. Dollar General stores (www.dollargeneral.com) sell plastic tableware in bright colors and patterns. These items are inexpensive enough to buy in multiples, so if you plan on hosting several parties, you can use one color per occasion, then invite guests to your “pink party” or “orange party.”

2. Pep up your decor with peppers. Add a memorable touch by serving condiments or finger foods in hollowed-out green, red and yellow peppers. Simply cut the stems, and fill the peppers with ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce or any other condiment. Depending on the peppers’ colors, you may be able to coordinate them with the rest of your tableware.

3. Create a field of dreams. Silk flowers can create a beautiful centerpiece or be used in smaller arrangements around the table. Add a whimsical touch by purchasing a variety of silk flowers and planting them upright in the ground. Use them to mark paths through the yard or to the food tables and seating areas. Silk flowers are inexpensive at stores like Dollar General and are economical enough to buy in large quantities. They’re also more durable than real flowers and can be used again and again.

4. Find unique ways to deter bugs. Certain herbs and flowers repel insects. For instance, sprigs of parsley or tansy may help keep ants at bay, while lavender or mint could drive flies away. Set up decorative bowls of herbs in various spots near the guests’ seating. A larger bowl can be the striking centerpiece of a table. Keep your food safe from unwanted company with mesh food covers.

Tips for Inexpensive Outdoor Entertaining

div img class=”category-img” src=”http://ftper.newsusa.com/Thumbnail/InexpensiveEntertaining.jpg” alt=”Five words or less” width=”180″ //divdiv class=”category-listcontent”div class=”category-body” id=”ArticleBody” style=”display: block” (a href=”http://www.newsusa.com”NewsUSA/a) – Celebrate the warmer days by hosting an outdoor summertime party or barbecue. It’s easy to add pizzazz to an outdoor party and stay on budget, with …/div/div

Tips for Inexpensive Outdoor Entertaining

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Celebrate the warmer days by hosting an outdoor summertime party or barbecue. It’s easy to add pizzazz to an outdoor party and stay on budget, with accessories and color.
Here are some inexpensive ways to add character to your outdoor get-togethers:
1. Make it colorful. For a fast way to give your party a sense of style, color-coordinate your bowls, plates and cups in attention-grabbing colors. Dollar General stores (www.dollargeneral.com) sell plastic tableware in bright colors and patterns. These items are inexpensive enough to buy in multiples, so if you plan on hosting several parties, you can use one color per occasion, then invite guests to your “pink party” or “orange party.”
2. Pep up your decor with peppers. Add a memorable touch by serving condiments or finger foods in hollowed-out green, red and yellow peppers. Simply cut the stems, and fill the peppers with ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce or any other condiment. Depending on the peppers’ colors, you may be able to coordinate them with the rest of your tableware.
3. Create a field of dreams. Silk flowers can create a beautiful centerpiece or be used in smaller arrangements around the table. Add a whimsical touch by purchasing a variety of silk flowers and planting them upright in the ground. Use them to mark paths through the yard or to the food tables and seating areas. Silk flowers are inexpensive at stores like Dollar General and are economical enough to buy in large quantities. They’re also more durable than real flowers and can be used again and again.
4. Find unique ways to deter bugs. Certain herbs and flowers repel insects. For instance, sprigs of parsley or tansy may help keep ants at bay, while lavender or mint could drive flies away. Set up decorative bowls of herbs in various spots near the guests’ seating. A larger bowl can be the striking centerpiece of a table. Keep your food safe from unwanted company with mesh food covers.

Reward Children’s Accomplishments With Effective Incentives

<b>Reward Children’s Accomplishments With Effective Incentives</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Celebrating a child’s milestones does wonders for building character and self-esteem, but parents aren’t always sure how to acknowledge their child’s accomplishments. Will a quick hug suffice? Or do you need to throw a party for the entire school class?

Mostly, children just want to know that their parents take an active interest in their lives — you don’t have to rent a houseboat every time a child comes home with an “A” on a test. But you don’t want to ignore a big accomplishment, either, unless you want your child to think that nothing he or she does will ever please you. Besides, commemorating an extra-special moment could help preserve fond memories for years.

For example, if your child’s 4-H project or success on the basketball team ends up in a news article, you should consider getting the article matted and framed. One company, PlaqueMakerPlus (www.plaquemakerplus.com), will duplicate the newspaper or magazine article with a full-color imprint on a metal sheet, then frame the article in an elegant black frame. The frame displays a metal plaque containing your choice of text.

Whether displayed on your mantle or on your child’s wall, the framed news article will become a keepsake commemorating your child’s accomplishment — someday, you may even want to show it to your grandchildren.

You can also frame certificates or ribbons, or give your child a memory frame in which to display Scout badges. You can even purchase your own trophies to give to your children.

If the way to the heart is through the stomach, cook your child’s favorite meal or visit a favorite restaurant to celebrate a big accomplishment. You can also reward your child with more of your time. For example, you could commit a day to an activity that your child enjoys, like visiting a theme park, shopping at the mall or going on a hike. Older children and teens tend to want to celebrate with their friends. For them, a sleepover or a party at a mini golf course might be the best way to celebrate their success.

For more information, visit www.plaquemakerplus.com.

How to Host an “Open House” Party

<b>How to Host an “Open House” Party</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Look at your holiday calendar, and you’ll likely see a tight schedule of mixers, parties, cookie exchanges and other holiday events. And it’s the same way for your friends and family members, making it difficult to get everyone together for the holiday party you want to host.

The solution? Instead of throwing a party with set hours, which will run into conflict with prior obligations, consider holding a holiday open house — a party that runs all day, allowing guests to arrive at their leisure.

A holiday open house also puts less stress on the hosts. With a little decorating, holiday libations and some simple snacks, you can easily plan an all-day get-together that allows you to mix and mingle, rather than watch the oven or shake cocktails.

Not sure where to start?

Pottery Barn offers the following tips to help you plan a successful holiday open house:

– Create a festive mood. Get your guests into the holiday spirit before they even enter your home by lining your walkway with Arches lanterns and pillar candles and hanging a wreath on your door. You can also decorate trees and shrubs with lights.

Use candles to infuse your home with warmth and light. Wrap garlands around banisters, and drape them over doorways.

– Set up a buffet. Use your dining table to present an array of delectables that do well at room temperature. A cheese board, for example, along with Marcona almonds, dried figs and sliced baguette, looks elegant without requiring anything more than the occasional refill.

– Create a bar. Pottery Barn portable Modine Bar lets you set up drinks anywhere in your home. Keep ice on hand for cold drinks and an electric kettle for hot ones. Select two or three drinks, and print out the recipes on cards, so guests can mix their own cocktails.

– Provide entertainment. No matter what time guests arrive, make them feel like they’ve experienced the best of the party by focusing the merriment on a few activities. For example, invite guests to bring a toy to donate to a local organization, and put all of the toys on one table, so guests can see the pile grow. Set up a craft table for children, giving them supplies to make paper snowflakes, simple tree decorations and homemade wrapping paper. And before the fun is over, hand out party favors, like ornaments, that your guests can take home.

For more entertaining ideas, visit www.potterybarn.com/stylehouse.

Budget-Friendly Entertaining Without Sacrificing Style

<b>Budget-Friendly Entertaining Without Sacrificing Style</b>“></td>
<td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Outdoor entertaining lends itself to simplicity, so throwing a hip garden party or an impromptu barbecue can be easy and budget-friendly.

Here are some tips for the outdoor party planner:

* Divide and conquer. To stay relaxed and keep the budget in check, invite a group of friends to help coordinate the party. Splitting up decoration and food-preparation tasks will reduce costs and the strain on the host.

* Keep drinks simple. Instead of over-spending on ingredients for signature cocktails, consider offering wine. Boxed wine has enjoyed increased popularity, and for good reason. Bota Box offers premium Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Old Vine Zinfandel in non-breakable packaging. Each box contains the equivalent of four bottles of wine and eliminates the need for a corkscrew.

Better yet, boxed wine can keep your party eco-friendly as well as budget-friendly. Bota Box labels are printed with soy-based inks on recycled paper containing 100 percent post-consumer fiber and is 100 percent recyclable.

* Keep the menu simple, fresh and laid back. Let guests mingle and eat at their own pace by setting up a centrally located table displaying small bites and finger foods. Ideas include an antipasto platter with an array of cured meats, hummus and olives, sliced cubano quesadillas, smoked salmon and dill on halved new potatoes, mini hamburger sliders, and chocolate chip cookies.

* Keep decorations simple. Simple décor is most suitable for outdoor entertaining — after all, flowers and trees provide a natural backdrop. Unpack white lights from holiday storage, and string them around the deck or bar area for a subtle garden glow. Take a peek in the linen closets for double-duty décor. Mix and match various shapes and sizes of white or clear glass plates, with a variety of fun, patterned cloth napkins.

For more entertaining tips, visit www.botabox.com.