Veteran’s Day is about a week and a half away. That means there’s still plenty of time to put a little something together for the veterans in your family or community. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, but a thank you and a tip of the hat go a long way nowadays. On November 11, 1918, World War I ended and that is what was originally celebrated on that day. The President of the United States later made it a national holiday on which we honor those brave individuals that have served our country. So, break out your flags, prayers and/or gestures of gratitude on Monday, November 11, to celebrate their courageous service to our country.
These last few days in southern California have been some of the hottest days we’ve had in quite a while. We’re used to nice, warm weather, but humidity? Not so much. We’ll pull through. Sorry for complaining, friends in the Midwest and on the east coast. It’s nothing personal.
A great way to kick off summer vacation for both children and adults is to either host or attend a pool party. Not everyone has a pool in their backyard, so it’s a real treat for some kids when they get a chance to go splash around in a pool with friends. If you’re hosting, remember that you can host a pool party at a community pool if it is not something that is available at home! Keep the following 7 tips in mind to ensure fun for everyone at the pool:
Summer officially arrived this past Friday. The children have been out of school for a little over a week now and if you thought you had a relaxing three months ahead, you’re probably wrong. Well relaxing, but busy. Tons of moms take advantage of kids’ time off from school to immerse them in summer sports, activities or play dates. The social calendar can fill up very quickly! Summer babies during this time have the lucky opportunity to celebrate their birthdays at the pool, the beach or the park.
While many are typically accustomed to going out of town for the weekend, these days many are more inclined to celebrate at home in the backyard. It’s more relaxing and economical to invite a few friends over for some afternoon gossip and barbecue. Set up some tables with disposable plastic table covers so the kids have a chance to unleash their creative side with some fun patriotic projects. I can guarantee some pretty snazzy flags by the end of the day.
Use 4th of July themed plates and napkins to add color and a festive touch to almost any outdoor event. If you and yours can’t go for that annual camping trip this year, let camping come to you. Pitch the tent and have an outdoor slumber party in the backyard. The kids will love it.
I remember loving the month of February in elementary school (through high school) because we had quite a few days off. Presidents Day was awesome! I also remember the school programs the teacher would put together. A few people would be selected to play the parts of various U.S. presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and they would recite famous speeches as the rest of the class sang various patriotic songs.
We have just introduced a couple new Patriotic themed party designs that would coordinate perfectly with any Presidents Day celebration. Don’t hesitate to add color and memories to your child or student’s school celebrations this year.
Besides, you can recycle the leftovers for 4th of July!
The first day of school is only a week away for many students, and the following week marks the 8th anniversary of one of the United States’ most tragic incidents. It is the fateful day on which a horrible act of terrorism took the lives of many individuals—innocent civilians and terrorist subjects who may not have known any better.
The point is that this day especially, requires a moment of silence for all of those brave civilians, firefighters and paramedics that put their lives at risk to save others. It is a wonderful opportunity for elementary, junior high and high school teachers to teach and remind students about the occurrences of that day.
A tip for elementary school teachers: add a twist to a lesson focusing on careers by having students write thank you letters to those individuals who risk their lives for the public safety’s everyday.
Finish off the lesson with treats served on patriotic party supplies.
Wedding season is just about over and upon returning from romantic honeymoons, it is time for the newlyweds to face reality. Although I’m sure all post-brides dread planning anything right after the wedding, a housewarming party is a great way to share your new life with friends and family (the gifts don’t hurt either ).
A housewarming is definitely not the time to invite the entire world—invite only close friends and family (people that you would normally want over for a visit/dinner). Provide advice cards or a small notebook where your amigos can leave words of wisdom to the young grasshoppers.
Bottom line, you’re just having friends over to hang out. Set out disposable bowls with yummy treats/snacks and/or appetizers, burn a custom CD with a favorites playlist (or plug the iPod into the speakers) and have plenty of lounging area. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures for the scrapbooks!
Dinner parties are usually meant to be fun and to provoke some sort of enjoyable bonding among the present guests. Usually. A few months ago, I attended a birthday dinner party at a restaurant and I came to the conclusion that guests tend to forget that restaurants charge tax and servers expect tips, regardless of the occasion. I always dread the part where the server places the check at the end of the table and almost no one reaches for their purse/wallet.
Even worse than the arrival of the check, is the fact that the brave person that actually reaches for the check usually decides to split the check evenly among the guests. Why does that person assume that everyone ordered within the same price range? A birthday dinner at your group’s favorite hangout or a birthday dinner at a splurge-worthy location is okay when it’s an occasional event, but sometimes you get an inbox full of birthday dinner invites and it adds up.
My birthday is coming up and I’ve learned to steer clear of the awkward bill-splitter moments. I figure, either only invite the closest group of friends or host a simple get together at home. If the birthday party invitations go out early enough, you have plenty of time to get a head count and you have plenty of time to throw some pennies in the piggy bank to cover the main dish. Have your friends bring the sides and some drinks to keep the cost reasonable. The point isn’t to break everyone’s bank account, but to celebrate another year of life.
Fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays traditionally mark the transition of a girl’s life and the festivities that follow allow her parents to introduce her to society as a woman. These parties, to say the least, are a big deal. In Latin America, this transition is celebrated on the young woman’s 15th birthday and the large party is called a Quinceañera. In the United States, this transition is celebrated on the girl’s 16th birthday and the party is called a Sweet Sixteen. In Jewish tradition, bat mitzvah’s mark this transition as well. Although the celebration age may be different, it’s safe to say the theme of the party is pretty universal.
These parties can range anywhere from a simple dinner party at a home or a restaurant to some exclusive and rather lavish events. The important thing to keep in mind about these milestone birthdays is the significance of the age. More often than not, these extravagant parties are jam-packed with traditions that indicate this major change, such as the moment when the father switches out his daughter’s flat-soled shoe for a high heel. When parents brush shoulders with their children on a daily basis, sometimes it is difficult to really stand back and realize the babies are all grown up. Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard though, they’ll “always” be your little girls.
Fifteenth and Sixteenth birthday parties are landmark events that have created so much hype that the media took advantage and created a very popular show, “My Super Sweet Sixteen.” Although I don’t have children of my own quite yet, I can fear for my life in advance.
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Although the celebration of Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May in the U.S. is fairly recent (established in the 20th Century), I’m sure a majority of people would agree that this holiday should’ve started ages ago. Being a mother entails a lot more than the birthing process, so for all of those individuals that feel a little left out when it comes to celebrating this holiday, don’t. Celebrate the special women in your life that have offered a nurturing hug, smile, advice or a home-cooked meal.
My co-worker, whether she likes it or not, always gets to hear about how much “I love that woman.” My mother, and I’m sure this applies to a lot of girls (or guys), was my first best friend and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. We bend over backwards sometimes for our girlfriends and buddies on their special days, why not make a triple-decker attempt to let our mothers know just how much we appreciate their love and attention.
A surprise Mother’s Day Brunch is an awesome way to give those ladies the royal treatment. Since brunch is a little later than breakfast, it gives them time to sleep in and it allows for a little extra time for decorating and preparations as well. With the current state of the economy, more and more people are entertaining at home these days, so when I say a special brunch, I don’t mean for anyone to declare bankruptcy the following week.
Start with a list of your mother’s closest friends and relatives and send either simple Floral Themed Invitations or create e-vites if you’d like to save a few bucks. Simple partyware is probably the best option economically as well as aesthetically. You can create fun centerpieces out of knick-knacks found around the house such as giant spools of ribbon:
- Use thick spools of ribbon in colorful shades of pinks, blues, yellows and greens
- Stack them from biggest to smallest (working from the bottom up)
- Use Disposable Plastic Plates (dessert or luncheon size) at the very top ornamented with mommy’s favorite treats
- You can have a breakfast food table, a luncheon food table and a dessert table
Mothers usually appreciate thoughtful gifts or get-togethers the most because they come from the heart and they show just how much you really know what she loves. This Mother’s Day, surprise her with a homemade card, perhaps laminated with your favorite photographs of the two of you. We know our mothers are special; let THEM know that they are.