DIY Event Planning: How to Make a Candy Buffet Bar for Your Party Event
Instead of paying for someone to prepare and provide a candy buffet for your event you can easily make one yourself and it will also be a lot cheaper. A candy buffet really does add a special touch to an event such as a bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah or even an adult event like a wedding or office party.
Buying the candy for your eventBuy the candy for your event candy buffet from a wholesale store where you can buy in bulk and the candy will be cheaper. The easiest candy to arrange on platters and wooden skewers is gelatin based candy which is soft. The harder candy cannot be threaded onto skewers and because it takes longer to eat people at the event may avoid it. The candy should be small pieces which don't take a long time to eat and which can be picked up with the fingers as there will be no cutlery on your candy buffet. Also on the whole the candy should not be wrapped, again this is to make the candy a snack guests can grab and put in their mouths without looking for somewhere to put the wrapper. If your event is a Jewish one make sure the candy is kosher and that it is parve (not milk based which observant Jewish guests would not touch after a meat meal). For an event of about 200 guests you would need approximately 10 large bag of candy. You can include marshmallows, licorice all sorts, gummy bears and gum drops. You can also add jelly beans which can be served in bowls.
Use plastic or paper serving trays or platters as well as plastic see-through bowls and vases, you could also use glass containers. You will also need wooden skewers, aluminum foil and blocks of Styrofoam.
Prepare the candy before your eventColorful jelly beans, licorice all sorts and marshmallows can be served in "glass" plastic bowls or vases, with each type of candy in a separate container. Your candy buffet will be more attractive if you find containers in a variety of shapes and sizes.Then use about three large trays or platters to lay out your candy, vary the types of candy on each platter and arrange the candy in radiating circles or lines.
Prepare the candy skewers by threading about 5 different types of candy onto each wooden skewer. The skewers are then stuck into the block of Styrofoam which has been covered with aluminum foil. You could also use a different base to anchor your candy skewers onto but don't make the mistake I made the first time I prepared these. I used a green flower arranging foam base and when the skewers were pulled out the ends were all green where they had been in the base! You could find a base for your candy skewers which goes with your party theme, like half a football for a football themed party, you can also stand the skewers in a long vase.
Once at the event you can create different levels on your candy buffet table by placing boxes or other objects underneath the tablecloth so that the candy is not all lying flat on the table.
You should prepare the candy at home, cover it with cling wrap and then take it to the event venue. At the event venue lay out the candy on a table and have the event hall staff put the table in a side room or the kitchen. Then after the main course has been served have the event hall staff bring the candy buffet table out to the hall and place it near the dance floor. You will find that your guests will pick at the candy as they enjoy the event and pretty soon all the candy will be gone! A candy buffet table is definitely not just for kids.
- Have the candy buffet laid out at the reception of a wedding, or the beginning of your event.
- Choose your candy according to the color theme of your event (for example only black and white candy).
- Provide small bags and serving spoons for guests to fill up a little bag of candy to take home as a party favor.
- Instead of a candy buffet try a cookie buffet, popcorn buffet or chocolate buffet.
- Add labels to your candy containers so the guests know what they are eating!
Housewarming is an occasion when an individual or a family moves into a new residential address. Conveying housewarming congratulatory messages and best wishes to someone moving into a new home is an excellent way to express your warm and genuine wishes.
Housewarming messages help you to share a note of optimism, in the joyous occasion. Moving into a new home is a very important life event for everybody. To make this time special here is a list of few sample housewarming messages which can help you to convey congratulatory messages for the new home.
Whatever way you chose to send your housewarming wishes by card, text, or an E-Card, I am sure you will find the perfect saying to send your best wishes to the family or friends moving into a new home.
- Here's wishing you lots of happiness and joy in your new home. Congratulations!
- May those who visit your home feel the love residing there.
- May happiness & love move in with you and you create countless memories in your new home.
- Here's wishing you a new home filled with joy and cheer, bringing you happiness year after year.
- May your new home be filled with love and laughter, good fortune, sunshine, and happiness. Congratulations!
- A New Home! Well, I think congratulations are in order - even if nothing else is!
- May you and your family enjoy years of happy times in your new home.
- We’re happy and excited for you that your search is finally over and that you have found everything that you wanted in a house.
- Hope the move is just the start, of all that's closest to your heart. Wishing you a fruitful life in your new home.
- A new environment, new experiences, new responsibilities, new pleasures, and new life are yours now that you have a new house.
- You made it! Wishing you all the warmth and happiness for you in your new home.
- May your troubles be less, And your blessing be more. And nothing but happiness, Come through your door.
- Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
- Relax and enjoy your wonderful new home!
- May your new home be a foundation for many happy memories
Whether your friends, relatives or coworkers buy or rent a new home, it is a great feeling to show them how much you care and feel for them. It can be the right thing to do, and it gives everyone a great feeling about moving into a new home.
Moving and residing into a brand new house is generally a special event which totally creates lots of pleasure. Express your happiness too by congratulating your friends or relatives on their house purchase. Here is an excellent collection of congratulatory messages for new home which are perfect for you to be able to convey and show your feelings.
Housewarming messages really help you to share a note of optimism, in the joyous occasion of buying a new house. Read on to choose the perfect housewarming card message from the sample of housewarming messages right here which can really help you to convey your congratulatory messages for new home.
1 Congratulations on your new beautiful house! It is true that a new house brings new special moments, security and happiness. Enjoy your new house and more blessings to come!
2 Congratulations for moving into your new house! I wish that you may only experience all the sweet comforts and happiness as well with your entire family member. May your new house be filled with love and care! All the best wishes in your new house and new life!
3 Wow! Your new house is really incredible! Actually, it’s also one of my dream houses. The interior is really beautiful and your new house is really a comfortable and safe house to live in. Congratulations and may your new house be filled with love, understanding and trust.
4 Moving to a new house will definitely starts you a new life. Leave all your worries behind and embrace the new scent of success in your new house. All the blessings and happiness in your new house! Congratulations!
5 Wishing all the best for your family as you live in your new house. My warmest congratulations for buying a new house. Start a new life and feel the great scent of new ambiance of your new house.
6 Wow! It is incredibly exciting to see you moving in a beautiful new house! Congratulations and your new house is indeed a great place to live in.
7 I’m happy for your family that you will be moving into a new house. I hope that all of you may well be adjusted and get yourself settled there smoothly. Your new house is indeed a blessing from heaven so I think the next move is to definitely have little celebration to give thanks.
8 We would like to extend our heartiest congratulations for having a new beautiful house. We wish you all the best in making your new house a great place in raising a perfect family.
9 I pray to God that as He grant your family a big blessing and that is your new house, may He as well bless each your family member with joy and success. I also pray that may your new house be a place of love, care understanding and trust. God bless!
10 I’m so happy to see you prosper and that you can be able to buy and move into a new house. Congratulations to your new house and may you find more blessings as you live in your new house.
So whatever way you chose to send your housewarming congratulatory messages by card, text, or email, I am sure you will find the perfect words to send your best wishes to the family or friends moving into a new home.
It is always a nice gesture to show family and friends that you care about them when they move into a new home. You can also find all kinds of cards and home warming gifts at Hallmark.
A pantry party is a great way to get items for your new house or apartment without having your guests feel burdened in this difficult economy. Unlike a housewarming party a pantry party is where invited guests bring gifts for your pantry. Ideas include canned goods, frozen foods, soups, stews, boxed meals, canned meats, pastas and sauces. Other items which are always needed when you are moving into a new home are paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, cleaning supplies, and cloths/sponges.
It is much easier for a guest to grab you a loaf of bread or a block of cheese at the grocery store then it is for them to go to a large home goods store and purchase you a set of towels or a can opener. With a lot of people downsizing and moving into small more affordable housing it is very likely that your host will not need many items for his or her home and be in greater need of things to feed their family or items to keep their home running smoothly.
Hosting a pantry party is as easy as calling a friend over for coffee. With the social networking as huge as it is it can be as simple as creating an event and inviting your friends through the internet. If internet invitations are not your cup of tea, traditional invitations work just as well. Purchase a couple packs of party invitations from your local superstore and mail them out. I found that instead of setting a “party time” a drop in time was more appropriate. With every weekend anyone has the time is cherished. Many guests may have prior scheduled events, children’s activities or work and not be available for a set party time. I scheduled mine between eleven and four with a drop in invitation.
With your guests having family they want to spend time with it was also convenient to scheduled it when I knew there would be a football game on so the men could hang out and watch the game and the women could visit and chat without being rushed. I welcomed children into my home, had my daughter set up play stations with toys that she already had. Whether it was the Lite Bright, coloring books, radio with children’s music on, Barbies, or whatever you think your age group will be interested in. There were a few close friends that brought some appetizers and snacks, made a bowl of punch and were ready to go!
Always remember to take pictures for your memory books. Pictures are a great way to see what people brought you and who was at your party. Be sure to have a guest book, which can simply be a tablet and pen for people to write down their address for you. Then you will have no excuse to mail out thank you cards a week or two after your event. Happy partying everyone. I hope the next pantry party you host or attend is fantastic!!
There are few things better than a new baby. If someone you know is expecting a new bundle of boy, you'll find lots of inspiration in PurpleTrail's collection of boys baby shower invitations. From sweetly simple to refinded and elegant. You can customize of PurpleTrail's baby shower invitations to suit your baby shower theme and style.
Chalkboard B Is For Baby Shower Invitation. B is for boy and these chalkboard baby shower invites are perfect for a boys baby shower. They are simple and on trend. The chalkboard design highlights all the right things without being overly cutesy. All the party information is listed on the front of the card.
OH BOY! Blue Onesie (Set) Boy Baby Shower Invite. These baby shower invites are bright and cheerful. The onesie is decorated with all the baby shower details. The blue background has a great texture overlay giving depth to the overall design.
Turquoise Little Peanut Baby Shower Invitation. You can't go wrong with a sweet little elephant on inviting guests to celebrate a new little one. The baby elephant with a peanut in his snout is simply irresistible. The heart shape makes these cards even more unique. All the baby shower details are listed on the back side of the card.
Blue and Black Moustache Boy Baby Shower Invitation. These baby shower invites let you know a little gentleman is on his way. The black and white with blue accents give these invites a sophisticated feel. The pinstripes at the bottom of the design add a vintage touch and the moustache ties the whole little man theme together.
Orange and Blue Car Baby Shower Invite. These baby shower invites have a classic feel with the blue stripes and the car icon. The orange and blue are so complementary and the brown ties them together nicely. The circle shape gives them a playful appeal as well as an originality factor. All the party details can be personalized on the back side of the invitations.
Blue Whimsical and Scallop Boy Shower Invites. A striking baby boy shower invitation. The vintage style blue patterning on the letters is old fashioned and has almost a quilt style to it. The scalloped edges soften the steel gray background and are very complementary to the rounded corners of the cards.
Choose any of of theboy baby shower invites from PurpleTrail to personalize. All the designs can be customized to your shower theme. Many of these designs come in sets so you can order coordinating stationary elements like address labels and envelopes too.
Summer is the best time of year for sleepovers. The days and nights are warm and long, there's no school to worry about and you can sleep outside if you want! The designers at PurpleTrail have created a slumber party invitations collection that has a little something for everyone. Whether it's a backyard camp out for a girl's or boy's birthday party, or just because, there's a sleepover invite that's just perfect for you to personalize.
Green Outdoor Adventure Slumber Party Invitation. These outdoor themed camp out sleepover invitations are perfect for inviting guests to a outdoor birthday party. The evergreen trees against the light wood grain background are rustic and simple and let the party details shine. These cards are designed in a 5x7 size so they would make a great keepsake.
Brown and Green Wood Grain Camp Out Invitation. Another rustic style camp out sleepover invite, these slumber party invitations are simple and modern. The brackets are a common trend in stationary right now and give them a modern, playful feel. The tent embellishment is a throw back to the tent styles of yesteryear bringing in a retro element. The combination of modern, trendy, and retro elements keeps this design fresh and fun. All the party details are listed on the back of these circle cards.
Brown and Pink Wood Grain Camp Out Invitation. These sleepover invites are the pink version of the above design. A special nod to the backyard campers who appreciate a little feminine style. They are perfect for the little girl who loves to camp and isn't afraid of bugs and dirt.
Starry Night Camping Invitation. These backyard camp out invitations have all the quintessential elements a camp out should. A clear night sky, shining stars, a campfire, and a tent. Add in a space for a picture of the host and you've got a sensational backyard sleepover invite! This design is a 6x4 size and can be ordered for as low as $1.40 per card.
Brown Gingham and Marshmallow Skewers Camp Out Sleepover Invitation. These gingham camp out party invitations feature one of the best elements of camping, roasting marshmallows! The simple color scheme maintains a rustic feel with the brown and taupe hues. The circle card shape gives them a unique look too. All the party details can be customized using the PurpleTrail design center.
Black Chalkboard Camp Out Invitation. These sleepover invitations are a cute way to invite friends to your backyard camp sleepover. The black background was created in the style of a chalkboard and the lettering is designed as if written in chalk. It's a fun spin on the camping theme.
Take advantage of the summer weather and send your camp out sleepover party invitations to your friends so you can create a fun filled summer memory!
Regardless of the season, holiday, or just another day of the year, chances are it can be a good day for a barbecuing. Barbequing has become a standard tradition, especially for American families. Not only is barbecuing popular due to the delicious flavors involved the event gives a good reason for families to meet together. Some on the happiest family memories happen outdoors and at many get-togethers.
First, to complete a barbeque party, you would be need guests and suitable outdoors weather, although indoor barbecues are also possible with the proper equipment. Plan early, so you can check with your possible guests for the availability of schedules. Set a date and time that is right for everybody or at least the majority which should not be to difficult as long as you give everybody adequate advanced notice. Be sure to check the weather condition for that season of the year. If you live in an area with an unpredictable climate, you may need to have a backup plan just in case the unexpected weather happens. Because of this, it would be better to hold your barbeque around the time of year that will be viable to everyone. Should you insist on a barbecue party in an undesirable weather, opt to do it indoors instead.
Early preparation for a barbecue is important. About 12 to 24 hours prior to your plan on starting out the party, be sure to prepare, thaw, and marinate the meat you will be grilling. Once you have soaked the meat for marinating, then you must begin planning the side dishes you plan to serve. To be safe and to avoid too many leftovers, you may wish to stay with traditional servings. Traditional barbeque side dishes include potato-based dishes, coleslaw, and baked beans. Your condiment bar should have pickles, dips, relish, ketchup, and onions. These types of food are commonly served at barbeques because of the ease of preparation and availability. You may also want to cook other food items, but any regular barbeque is good with just the basic items listed above.
A themed barbeque party may present further opportunities to hold a festive occasion. With a themed event, you may splurge on the ambiance and decor. Coordinated tablecloths, table napkins, and plates can be bought at stores nearly everywhere. You could your décor to the party theme. Be creative and you can some up with endless possibilities.
Remember to set up the party area before guests arrive. The effort it takes to get everything ready will be worth it once you get the pleased reaction you will see from your arriving guests. It also depends on the situation, regarding the plan to have food already cooking on the grill or if you want everything already ready to eat once the guests arrive. The aroma will certainly be inviting if you start cooking just a few ahead.
Many people enjoy burning incense within their home. Cinnamon is a popular scent to use, since it’s such a pleasant “earthy” tone, but it’s difficult to find. Well, if your supplier only has those generic “lilac-ish” scented incense available, there’s good news. It’s easy, and cheap, to simply make your own cinnamon incense at home. All the tools you’ll need are readily-available or easily purchased. This is so easy you’ll likely wonder why you didn’t already think of it.
What you’ll need to make your own Cinnamon incense:
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon (It’s easy to work with more, but for simplicity of instruction, let’s go with 1 T this first time)
1 teaspoon water
Small bowl/saucer for mixing
Approximately ten minutes of free time to mix, plus fifteen minutes baking time.
How you’ll make cinnamon incense easily:
In the bowl/saucer, dump the cinnamon in the center, and mix with the water. Saturated ground cinnamon is similar to dissolving cornstarch in water, or maybe it could be compared to dissolving cocoa. The simplest way to mix it is just to use the thumb and forefinger. You’ll have to keep working it until the cinnamon seems about the consistency of wet beach sand that clumps without crumbling.
Of course, if the consistency is too mushy or runny, add more of the spice. If it’s too crumbly, just add a few drops of water at a time, and keep working it. When it can be balled between the palms of the hands then it’s just about right.
Here’s the easiest part of making your own cinnamon incense
With your hands, or with a mold, shape your cinnamon putty into the desired shape. Most folks who make this just shape it into a pyramid. You can try a cylinder shape, ball, or mold it to any shape you wish. Place your newly crafted incense on the cookie sheet.
Bake the creation at 350 degrees F for about fifteen minutes. Turn the oven off before removing your shapes, and let the oven cool with them inside. Isn’t the smell already great? This allows maximum evaporation of moisture. See? This is easy so far! If someone isn’t willing to use the utilities on something so trivial as making home made cinnamon incense it is acceptable to, just place your incense on wax paper, and let it dry for three days.
Once your cinnamon incense is completely dry, place it in an empty votive for safety. Lighting can be a little difficult, as cinnamon incense needs a good thirty to forty seconds of direct flame applied to ignite enough to “coal up” and smoke. The pleasant burnt cinnamon incense smell is its own reward. Most don’t find this comforting, homey scent as pungent, as many commercially made incense.
Many people believe in the saying, “No gambler has gotten rich gambling”. This is true but if the gambler knows what he is doing, you will probably envy how he accumulates money easily.
Most gamblers lose their money and even incur debts because they gamble at the wrong time and wrong plan.
Gambling is like investing in business, there should be a plan and you should know the right time when you should gamble. Most people gamble to win and have money but what usually happens is the other way around. There are people who use their hard-earned money to gamble because they wish to double or triple the money they have saved. There are people who bring their money that they had reserved for their kid’s tuition fee in school in the gambling den in the hope that the money will multiply. But those who do that are often greatly distressed and frustrated because they have squandered their money in the wrong way and the wrong time.
When is the right time to gamble to win money?
- Gamble only if you can afford it
People gamble in order to multiply their money so it is most likely that the people who lack money are the people who go to gamble. If this is the case, it is not advisable to gamble if you don’t have the money to gamble. This means that you should have money reserved only for gambling and you should not be using your money saved for your other needs to gamble. This is because if you lose the money, it will greatly affect your life. There are people who gamble everything they have in the hope that they will get back the money they have gambled but if you keep wishing to get back the money you lost by going to the casino regularly, you will end up being the loser. Casinos do not lose money; they win and collect money from gamblers so you should take precautions while gambling in order not to lose every penny you have.
- Gamble when you are already retired
The best time to gamble is when you are already retired and most likely free from any responsibilities to your children. Gambling becomes a relaxation activity when you are gambling only to pass away time and entertain yourself. If you have responsibilities to take care you should not be gambling. Money is harder to come if you want to gamble to win. If you are relaxed and you just play to relax and have fun, you will most likely win. Gambling is fun only when you are doing it to relax and enjoy; otherwise it will stress you and create problems if you lose all your money.
- Gamble if you want to have fun and enjoy
If you are gambling for fun and relaxation, that is fine. You can win or lose and still feel good about it because you had enjoyed playing. But if you gamble because you want to win big cash, forget about it because it is a one-in-a –million chance.
- Gamble a few times a year only
Do not make gambling a regular activity especially if you are employed and receive minimum salary monthly. If you are receiving minimum wage monthly and you go to the casino every pay day, make sure to leave your money at home and bring only what you think you can afford to spend. If you want to bring all your money because you are wishing to win, do not do it because gambling is unpredictable. You will never know what will happen if you gamble. You can win or lose, that’s for sure but you will never know if you are going to win. Keep your money in the safe so that you will not regret it.
- Gamble if you have a remarkable dream
Yes, it may be funny and many people won’t believe it but relating your dreams with gambling is oftentimes a good way of winning. If you dreamed of gathering plump or robust fruits and vegetables, you can rest assured try your luck in gambling. Many gamblers try this trick and are able to gain from it.
- Bring Home your Winnings
Many people are not contented with little winnings. When they win a hundred dollars, they want one thousand, if they won one thousand they crave for more. So the cravings do not stop and the tendency is for them to lose instead of win. If you are contented with little winnings then you have something to bring home but if you crave for the jackpot, that will take a long time to wait unless that jackpot is already scheduled to drop the moment you are in the machine.
They say that no one has gotten rich gambling. That is true. Only a few people get lucky in gambling. Most gamblers start on top and slowly fall down if they don’t stop the vice.
If you want to live a happier and more comfortable life, do not make gambling as your business but make it as a relaxation only when you have money to spend. Do not believe in the jackpot money that will make you rich because it is a one-in-a-million chance of a life time. Work and save your money and do not use it to gamble. Even if your friend or your neighbor won the jackpot money, you can never be like them.
It is better to be on the safe side rather than regretting what will happen if you try gambling to multiply your money. If you work hard to earn a living, stick to that and don’t be tempted to gamble and become rich. That will not come if you keep dreaming about it.
Gambling could be fun but it is better not to try it.
In the past 15 years as home computers became a part of every household, our methods of communication have adapted with the digital age. eCards (electronic cards) are greeting cards, post cards, and invitations that can be created or ordered on many Internet sites and sent via e-mail. A digital eCard can be personalized, interactive, include music and video and are environmentally friendly as they use no paper.
Other websites offer custom designed greeting cards and other paper goods where you can select a design, add your own photos and create one of a kind greeting cards, birth announcements, party invitations, stationery, and calendars.
Blue Mountain was one of the first web sites to offer eCards or online greeting cards. For the first few years, Blue Mountain was associated with Microsoft which advertised the ecards on its free Hotmail Service. But as eCards became more popular and web sites expanded, Blue Mountain offered paid memberships, went through many changes and eventually was bought by American Greetings.
In 1998, when I got my first home computer, I was so impressed when my cousin sent me a “Hello Newbie” eCard from Blue Mountain. It was animated and played a cute tune as I read a personal message of congratulations on my first computer. I sent her a thank you eCard - and it was free! Today, Blue Mountain has a few free eCards but the majority of cards be sent only by purchasing a membership:
Blue Mountain E-card membership prices:
- 1 Month - $4.99
- 1 Year - $19.99
- 2 Years - $29.99
Blue Mountain memberships are a good value for people who buy a lot of greeting cards. Think about how many cards you mail and give to people every year: Most single cards cost around $3 - $4. If you buy only 10 cards a year, it will cost $35- $40.
Blue Mountain members can take advantage of these features:
- Printed Cards with personalized message, custom design and matching envelope
- Top quality eCards, Add-a-Photo eCards, Singing & Musical cards for every holiday, occasion or reason – no matter how eclectic or obscure (Pets & Animals, Vegetarianism, International holidays, etc)
- Address book with birthday and special date reminders.
- Huge selection of eCards
- Free 7 day and 14 Day Trial memberships
- Artist Gallery: This section offers unique collections of eCards by independent artists
- Free eCards available but the quality does not compare them to detailed, lush artwork and clever designs of membership cards.
- Customer service complaints: Blue Mountain seems to receive more than the usual amount of online gripes about automatic credit card payments:
I am currently disputing THREE payments to Blue Mountain. They charged me $19.99 twice, and $9.99 today. I am disputing this with my bank as they are unresponsive. Complaint Board.
This is the second year that I have been charged for BlueMountain Cards and I have not requested this. I DO NOT SEND E-CARDS. Last year I tried to contact them with no success. This year I am going to call my bank and tell them that the charge was not for me and will not pay it. Complaints Board.
Minted sells a variety of paper goods with hundreds of unique artistic designs. They don’t offer eCards but for those who appreciate hand written notes and paper greeting cards, Minted has a large selection of stylish eCards, stationery, invitations, etc. that can be personalized with sentiments, details and photographs. Minted was founded in 2007 by Marian Naficy who created a community of designers from around the world. By holding regular design competitions, Marian gave unknown graphic designers an opportunity to gain exposure and make money with their creative expressions.
Since 2007, Minted has received thousands of design entries and the best ones are selected by the Minted community to be used for the following products:
- Greeting Cards, Stationery, Thank You Cards
- Party Invitations
- Wedding Invitations, Save the Date Cards, Menu Cards, etc
- Baby Shower & Birth Announcements
- Holiday Cards
- Photo Cards and Calendars
The Minted “community” is comprised of many different types of people, some professional designers, parents and others with a passion for creativity. Anyone can submit a design; all designs are treated equally and given the same assessment whether they are submitted by a professional artist or a stay at home mom.
- Wedding invitations as low as $1.50 per invitation.
- Save the Date cards: 100 cards for $228 with free custom envelopes and free guest addressing.
- Prices for all cards vary depending on the customer's choices, and they offer many choices.
A large collection of unique paper products in variety of designs, everything from shabby chic to modern/hip designed by artists around the world
- Competitive prices with other online stationery companies
- Website is gorgeous and easy to navigate
- Design Challenges give artists and others the change to submit, critique and vote on designs. Winning designers are awarded cash prizes and paid commissions when an item with their design sells.
Minted paper goods are lovely, ethereal, dignified and thoughtful…but you won’t find too many novelty or funny cards on their web site. If you have a wicked sense of humor, you may find these designs a little tame.
American Greetings is the largest eCard provider on the Internet. It was founded in 1906 by a Polish immigrant Joseph Saperstein who sold cards from his horse drawn cart. Still family owned, American Greetings is one of the world’s largest greeting card companies. In addition to selling cards in retail stores, AmericanGreetings.com offers eCards, evites (invitations) and cards you can customize and print.
American Greetings has a limited selection of free eCards, but their inventory of membership cards is amazing. There are cards for every type of personality: sentimental, goofy, romantic, serious. You may purchase and e-mail single eCards for $1.99 or buy a membership after your no obligation Free Trial:
- 1 Month - $4.99
- 1 Year - $19.99
- 2 Years - $29.99
- Membership costs same as Blue Mountain (which is owned by American Greetings) but they also have 1 month memberships that can be cancelled at any time.
- Single eCards can be emailed for $1.99 – cheaper than most store bought cards
- Special card collections (talking cards, celebrity themes, religious, pets, etc)
- Printable Cards: Design, personalize, print and save greeting cards. It helps to print on a high quality printer
- Invitations – e-mail customized “evites” for any occasion or event
- Free Trial requires a credit card to sign up. If you don’t cancel within the 30 days free trial period, your credit card will be charged. The only way to cancel is by calling and staying on hold for a long time.
Want to throw a New Year’s Eve party that will wow your guests but you’re afraid it isn’t in your budget? Think again. Throwing a chic New Year’s Eve party does not have to cost a fortune.
The first and most important order of business when it comes to throwing a great party on a budget is careful planning.
Planning the Guest List
- Figure out exactly how many guests you would like to invite, keeping in mind that just because you are hosting a party does not mean that every one of your friends or relatives has to be invited.
- Send out invitations early and request that the recipients RSVP so that you will know exactly how many will be attending before you shop for or prepare any of the party foods.
Decorations and Lighting
Having a color scheme and sticking to it will make decorating easier and be more visually appealing. When shopping for party decorations or accessories, the local discount or dollar stores in your area are your best bet. Many of them carry a wide range of party supplies as well as everyday household items that could fit into your party theme perfectly and at a reasonable cost. Craft supply stores are another good place to shop. Here are some ideas to keep in mind.
- Balloons and streamers in coordinating colors.
- Decorative shot glasses that can be purchased 3-4 for a dollar are perfect for personal size dips and sauces.
- Shrimp cocktail served in Martini glasses purchased for $1 each are an elegant way to serve your guests.
- Clear, unscented tea light candles in clear glass holders. Tea lights placed on mirror tiles make excellent mood lighting. These tiles are available at hobby/craft shops and are fairly inexpensive.
- Floating candles. Floating candles in glass bowls make lovely centerpieces.
- Plates, table cloths, cutlery and cups in matching colors. Keep in mind when you are shopping for these supplies that if you entertain frequently it might be a good idea to buy reusable instead of disposable plastic and paper. This may cost a bit more initially, but you will save money each time you entertain and keep the excess paper and plastic out of the landfill.
- Party favors and noise makers for midnight.
The best way to keep costs low when hosting a party is to keep foods simple and to prepare it yourself. A buffet is the cheapest way to go. Avoid buying things like pre-made deli, vegetable, cheese or fruit platters. They are easy to assemble yourself and will cost about ¼ of what they cost pre-made. Purchase as much of the food as you can several days before the party to avoid a last minute scramble and save buying perishable items until the day of the party. Here are some menu suggestions.
- Individual shrimp cocktails served in martini glasses.
- Platters of assorted cheeses, crackers pates and spreads.
- Platters of assorted thinly sliced deli meats, spreads and freshly baked rolls/breads.
- Platters filled with fresh sliced vegetable sticks and sauce for dipping.
- A variety of pickles and olives.
- Deviled eggs and canapes.
- A dessert tray with cookies, squares, chocolate and fresh fruit.
- Coffee and tea for the end of the night.
Another way to stay within your budget when hosting a party is to ask guests to bring their own alcoholic beverages, but advise them not to go overboard. The important thing with any party is that guests have a good time. Weeks after the party is over they may still be talking about what a wonderful time they had, but will have forgotten that your platters were plastic or that your party was not catered.