Those Little Touches

Hey Boos... This is a little party planning follow up from the previous post. :) 

With the holidays upon us there are some key party tricks I feel we all need to have in our back pocket should an impromptu parlay arise... or even a well planning soiree. 

There is a piece of advice I feel we should all consider when we party plan that I certainly take to heart in my own way when planning...

“Before leaving the house, a lady should stop, look in the mirror, and remove one piece of jewelry.” -Coco Chanel

This quote from a woman who certainly knew how to party like a lady in her day is completely spot on with attire. Now, let's apply this quote to the idea of party planning, but let's think the opposite. I know your immediate reaction is to assume that I like tacky things... but I swear in parties this theory is true. Your tacky assumption is correct in my love of glitter and sometimes I do remind myself to tone that down. Im thinking in more simple terms here... Maybe its one extra flower in your arrangement, a couple candles intermixed along your table, or maybe its as simple as changing the lighting just a bit. I love things to look full and plentiful because it seems like theres more than enough to go around. These are the "Little Touches" I end up finding myself engulfed in right before any party. These are also the things that literally bring my husband into his own personal hell because it typically requires an additional set of hands. 

There are a few staple pieces I have on hand at my house that I use as my "add ons" for a party on the regular. These are cost effective, simple, easy to store, easy to transport, and add that little extra touch anytime your husband comes home and says "I forgot to tell you, XYZ and their wives are coming over tonight." While you scurry around, mostly to make sure your underwear aren't the first thing sitting on top of the unfolded laundry basket for everyone to see, you can also throw these items out on the table and you look like the hostess with the mostess. 

Typically, 5 minutes before anyone comes in my house, I am still hiding things under our furniture and wiping dust off surfaces with my sleeves so they appear clean... but hey I look ready. Your friends will compliment you but secretly envy your preparedness for this impromptu event. Jokes on them if you are like me...

Important party success supplies include: 
  • Paper Straws in Multiple Colors - Who doesnt like drinking out of a fun party straw? I try to keep at least one box around, but I plan to add on with some multi color packs to really step up my straw game. Because thats whats truly important in life. Cheap and Fun. Ideal.
  • Mason Jars - Ladies we are in the south so these ALWAYS work. For those of you who aren't, they still work because mason jars are the shit, but as an alternative perhaps a stemless wine glass set. Anywho... stemless glass and/or Mason Jars are perfect for SO MANY THINGS! Think about is... holders for straws as mentioned above, holders for utensils, candle holders, mini vases, serving device for desserts, the possibilities are endless and these are REUSABLE which makes the investment worth it! Oh and also, you can drink out of them. Clearly. 
  • Folding Tables - Invest Girls! A Small plastic folding table is ideal for any occasion. Toss a table up and make it a bar, or a dessert scape, or even just have it handy in the event that a flip cup game ensues...preparation for a surprise game is clutch. You're setting the party tone and let's face it a drinking game is rarely not happening. 
  • Table Cloths/Runners - Tossing a table cloth on a folding table makes the the party look well planned and clean. Add a table runner and minds will be blown. People think runners are only for weddings... wrong. Runners are kinda my fav right now because they really step up the look of any get together and guests minds are blown... "OH My gosh... your table runners are so cute. " Swoon. I know girl. Grab ya some from Smarty Had a Party for quite the steal. 
  • Poster Board and Metallic Sharpies - Ladies, the main thing that can take your party from "Oh this is nice" to "Oh Wow, look how cute!" is labeling. I swear to the Lord above that putting a sign next to a bowl of Candy that says "Candy" is mind blowing for guests. Honestly there's something mentally for a guest who sees a label on something that draws the conclusion that the hostess spent time on this. I do. Im a slave to all marketing and in my mind a party label is just that. You are marketing to me your chips and salsa, and sister Im buying because of your delightful chalkboard mini stand labels. God, I love mini things too. That alone gives you hostess points. Labeling things is where I really loose control in parties. I love signs, labels, notes, directions, and most importantly glitter. I get crazed when drawing these out and I literally label everything.  I. Can't. Stop. Myself. 
  • Tea lights/Flameless Tea Lights - These are so fun for anytime people come over. Set them out in your stemless glass or mason jar and they just add a simple glimmer or planning to any event. Target and Crate and Barrel normally have good flameless tea lights, the Dollar Tree normally has real tea lights for very inexpensive...duh $1 for a bazillion.
Where can you find all this gear?
  • Ummmm The Dollar Tree - For any party you are planning go to the Dollar store First and Last to find items. If you go at the start of your planning you can save money on items you were planning to get and get ideas for other "Little Touches". After you do the rest of your party prep, breeze back through the Dollar Tree and see what other gems you find.
  • Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Nordstrom Rack - Places such as these alllllways have the key go to party accessories you never knew you needed. I can't tell you how many times I have kicked myself for putting down that $12.99 such and such that I didn't let myself buy, when now it would be perfect for a table scape. Just buy it. 
  • Save on Crafts, Shop Wild Things, Smarty Had a Party - I am obsessed with these sites. I buy things from these places for almost all parties. Whether its awesome lights to inset in a ice bin of cocktails or mini disposable serving pieces for appetizers... these are the bees knees. Shop them. And be glad you did.
  • Hobby Lobby - Needs no description. I could spend an entire day shopping there and small to moderate fortune. Much to my husband's dismay. 
Lady Bugs I hope these tips and tricks are useful in your party preparation for the Holidays and in having an impromptu party whenever you may need to! I am interested to hear your ideas on parties and your favorite places to find goodies! Where do you shop? What are you staples? I would love to add pieces to my party collection!