A Year in Review Part 3

Happy mid-January 2018 to everyone!  On Monday we remembered and honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the peace and equality he stood for and gave his life for.  Meanwhile the eastern half of the US is getting pounded with snow, ice and incredible weather.  To my friends and family impacted, prayers that you are staying safe and warm until this passes.

Here is the last recap of 2017.  Thank you to all who posted comments over the year.  There were some great suggestions and thoughts in your comments!  2018 will be an exciting year with updates on Plan Perfekt, guest bloggers, what’s new in 2018, and more tips and fun ideas to help you make planning your next party fun, easy and most of all efficient!  So stay tuned and tell your friends to join in.

It’s Game Night! The timing of this blog was the beginning of fall and moving parties indoors.  How appropriate for the beginning of the year with the snow and cold weather and on the west coast we are getting hit with rain.  I discussed having a game night that ranged from card games to board games to a casino themed party.  This is probably my favorite theme – along with Backyard Olympic Party since I LOVE LOVE LOVE to play games.  I discussed different cards games – hearts, bridge, spades, and then newer card games such as Cards Against Humanity, Bad Campaign, Just Spit it Out.  With board games there was Telestrations, Taboo, and Catch Phrase.  And for the casino games – all the way from sitting around a dining room table with poker chips and a deck of cards to renting casino tables and dealers. It all comes down to how many people you will have and your budget.  For details on the games, please read the blog!

Hors d’oeuvres – Keeping it Simple! & Main Dishes – Keeping it Simple!  When writing these 2 blogs – California was fighting horrific fires, the south was under water, and the worst massacre in current history had just taken place in Las Vegas.  It was quite a time for our country.  In these 2 blogs I discussed how the tendency is to try and out do ourselves when we entertain at home.  The goal of our parties should be to have time, as hostess or host, to enjoy our company and not be exhausted from all the prep work.

Some of my suggestions for keeping hors d’oeuvres simple – put together a cheese board with your favorite cheeses, cold cuts, fruit, olives, nuts and perhaps some preserves, jam or mustard.  I provided some great cheese options from Trader Joe’s.  The big tip here – don’t crowd your presentation!  Spread it out on multiple boards if necessary.

In Main Dishes – Keeping it Simple! I provided a couple of tips from a very experience home entertainer. First don’t try a new recipe out on your guests unless you are 100% confident that it will come out great.  I shared how when trying new recipes, in my experience, they always take longer to prepare than the time you may have allotted.  Her 2nd tip was to purchase a fresh whole roasted chicken and spruce it up a bit. As you present the cut up chicken on a platter add fresh herbs (sprigs of thyme, rosemary, parsley) around the chicken, drizzle some lemon juice on top of the chicken and sprinkle with sliced almonds.  A couple other thoughts were to have meat already on the grill when your guest arrive or prepare food that you can just pull out of the oven or crock pot when you are ready to serve.

A Tribute – Firetrucks and A Fireman! This blog was a tribute to my cousin’s son, Nate, who lost his short battle with cancer at the young age of 29.  In this blog I discuss how to have a fireman/firetruck themed party.  Decorations for this type of party include fireman hats, boots, fire trucks and stuffed Dalmatian dogs.  You can use a fireman’s hat to hold chips or sliced bread or…be creative!  Boots can be used as vases to hold flowers or helium balloons.  After the party is over, donate the stuffed animals and firetrucks to your local women and children’s shelter or hospital.

Clean Up and Clean Out! What always feels soooooo good is to clean out drawers, closets, basements, storage units and cupboards and especially as we start a new year.  You just feel lighter.  In the blog I discuss cleaning out your pantry or food cupboards so you always know what food you have on hand and that it has not expired!  As it relates to party planning – the worst thing is thinking you have an ingredient for a dish and pulling it out to use it, only to realize it expired in 2016!  Oops!!  I am definitely guilty of this.  The other reason is if you need to improvise during your party and you know you have something you can pull from your cupboard – you do not need the stress of pulling your lifesaver out only to find that it may make your guests sick!!  And don’t forget to check on those things that get pushed to the back of your refrigerator, like sour cream that expired a month ago, when you were going to use it to whip up a quick dip! Lastly I suggested as you go thru your cupboards, fill a bag with items (non-perishable) that you can donate to your local church food pantry or food bank to help families in need.

And that wraps up 2017!

Stay tuned for more fun info coming your way!  Happy Planning!! What’s your next party?

“The time is always right to do what is right.”  Martin Luther King Jr.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.

One thought on “A Year in Review Part 3

  1. PatThompson Reply

    Think I’m going to blame you, Jill, for the push to spend my precious time cleaning up and cleaning out. And then I’m going to hug your little heart for making my life so much easier. I thought I was organized (and safe with unexpired food) until I emptied the kitchen pantry. Only a few things went to the trash, but how I put things back is making a huge difference. We also started with our clothes closets, with a laundry basket of too small stuff going to our local charity resale shop. It feels good! Now to party a little with the coming winter games!

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