09 August 2010

A Year of Celebrations (& a Giveaway)

September - Back to School
How lucky we are to have discovered the amazing celebration and party ideas available through PurpleTrail!

Talk about a key resource for a savvy host - PurpleTrail is a one-stop-shop for not only party details such as online invitations, printed cards, photo albums...but also a creative cornerstone for occasions to entertain with their holiday ideas, party basics, invitations wording ideas, and other celebration details!

We are thrilled to feature a FULL YEAR of celebration ideas that PurpleTrail shared with us as part of our series of Savvy Experts to rely on for your entertaining. Don't miss the very special PurpleTrail GIVEAWAY offering 3 prizes to our lucky readers.  So many reasons to celebrate!

August - Camping
We all know the major holidays to celebrate, but what about all those days in between?  Life is full of reasons to celebrate.  Even if there isn’t a holiday in sight, there is always a reason to gather with the ones you love.  In fact, at PurpleTrail, we think there are at least 12 reasons to celebrate every year outside of the holidays.  Starting now - this month - get inspired by these celebration ideas.

August. Long days and warm nights are perfect for camping.  Plan a camping trip and enjoy the offerings of summer.  Even if you go no further than your own backyard you can still enjoy all the great things about camping.  Ghost stories, sleeping bags, open fire, and of course s’mores!  If your destination requires a little travel, give guests 6 weeks or more notice.  If you are headed to the backyard, 2 to 3 weeks is plenty of time to gather up the campers.

September. Back to school! Send the kids back to school with one last summer bash.  Plan the event at least two or three nights before school starts.  Get party favors that are age appropriate school supplies (pencils, crayons, highlighters, paper etc.).  Play games like hangman, madlibs, apples to apples to get kids back in school mode (without the homework).  Send out invitations early - about 4 to 6 weeks in advance.  Summer is busy and the end of summer is even busier as families get ready for the fall. 
October - Girls Night In

October.  Girls night in.  So the fall schedule has kicked in and the crazy holiday season is fast approaching.  Plan a relaxing girls night in doing whatever you and your girls love to do best.  Movies, spa treatments, wine and dine, whatever makes it fun for you!  Get this on the calendar in September so everyone can arrange for a little me time.

November - Leftovers Party
November.  What are you going to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers?  Why, have a Thanksgiving Leftovers Party, that’s what!  Don’t let all that turkey and stuffing go to waste.  Invite your friends over and swap Thanksgiving family stories over a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving fare.  Send out invitations in the beginning of November.  Encourage guests to come up with new and creative recipes for their leftovers.

December - Cookie Exchange
December. The holidays are upon us and as we navigate through the stress this season can bring, add a little sweetness into the mix.  Host a cookie exchange.  Invite guests to bring 2 dozen of their favorite holiday treats and mix and match until you come up with a collection of sweets Santa will be jealous of.  As the host, provide cookie tins and waxed paper and plenty of coffee and tea to go with the baked goods. Don’t want the sweets?  Consider a wrapping paper exchange.  Instead of using the same paper from last year for your gifts, have guests bring their holiday paper and let everyone mix and match paper.  Send out invitations about 4 weeks in advance.  
January Sleepover

January.  Host a sleepover and welcome the New Year with new and old friends.  Kids will love seeing their friends after the long holiday break and will have lots to talk about.  Create a theme like, “Best Holiday Sweater” where everyone wears their tackiest holiday gear. Or, create a movie night theme and rent the entire series of your favorite movies or television shows.  Pop lots of popcorn, get out the sleeping bags and let friends stay up all night sharing stories and laughs.  Another hit with gals is a spa party sleepover theme.  Nail polish, hair accessories, and make up galore.  Create stations and give everyone a make over.  Hold a fashion show to showcase everyone’s new look.  Personalize the invites to your party with pictures and make these invitations irresistible.

February - Book Club
February. Host a book club.  The holiday season has subsided and it’s time for a good read.  Send out invitations mid January and host the event near the end of the month so guests have time to read your selection.  A great way to incorporate the book into your gathering is to have the food and drinks tie into the book.  It creates a great foundation for a lively book discussion.  Adding the title and author to the invites will make it easy for guests to reference the book selection.
March - Green Dinner Party

March. Host a green dinner party.  And by green we mean, green food, green drink, and making it eco-friendly.  Green beer, green punch, green beans, key lime pie, you get the idea!  And make sure you use eco-friendly party supplies.  Linen napkins, reusable plates, cups and flatware make Mother Nature happy.  Compost your scraps and recycle anything else! Use natural or candle light to create ambience.  Use potted plants or herbs instead of cut flowers for centerpieces.  Keep it simple and natural!

April.  Flower Power! Welcome spring by gathering your gardening pals and start those spring pots and gardens.  Provide a few small pots, plants, and potting supplies and let guests create a lovely addition for their porch or garden.  Another idea is to organize a neighborhood yard crew.  Rotate homes each week and help each other with planting and yard cleanup.  It makes the task so much more manageable when you have a little help and encouragement.  Online invitations are great for recurring events because you can update information as needed and schedule the invites to go out.  It also keeps everyone’s contact info in one place.
April - Planting Party
May - Girl's Night Out
May.  By now you are well into spring and about to enter summer, so the girls definitely need a night out!  Whether it’s a wild night on the town or a mellow evening of movies and quiet cocktails, take some time to reconnect with your girlfriends.  Get your invitations out at least 3 weeks in advance so you can get on everybody’s busy calendar.

June - Bridal Shower
June. Babies and brides are bound to turn up in June.  Throw a spectacular bridal or baby shower for those anticipating either major life event.   If someone you know is expecting a second or third child, a great theme for a baby shower is food!  Ask guests to bring a healthy meal that can be frozen.  The expectant mom will be happy to have a stockpile of healthy options when she is sleep deprived and hungry!  For a bridal shower, check in with the couple and see what they need.  Are they in need of kitchen supplies?  Throw a kitchen themed shower.  If they are purchasing a new home or redoing a home, consider gift certificates to home supply stores or organizing a work party to help them.  Send out the invites a month or so in advance to give everyone enough notice.

July - BBQ
July. Summer is in full swing and it’s time to grill in that summer sun.  Organize a neighborhood barbecue or just invite friends and family.  A pot luck style meal always takes the pressure of the host to prepare everything.  Think outside the bun – consider kebabs, Portobello mushrooms, grilled fruit, grilled Caesar salad or grilled pizza as alternatives to hamburgers and hotdogs.  Remember to offer plenty of water and lemonade to balance out the hours of hot fun in the sun!  A barbecue can be more of an impromptu event so getting invites a week or two in advance is generally plenty of time. 

Who needs a major holiday?  Make your own reason to celebrate. At PurpleTrail we have a host of creative ideas and party planning tips to help you create a memorable event, big or small.  Invite guests with your own personalized invitations and cards.  Order eco-friendly and affordable printed invitations, download your card to print at home, or even send it online.  Happy celebrating from Purpletrail.com!

Ready to Celebrate?  How about a Giveaway?
PurpleTrail is a great way to organize and manage parties, get-togethers, events and meetings. With its fresh perspective, PurpleTrail brings together some of the best features and experiences to help you easily manage your events. 
  • 2nd prize - two (2) second prize winners will each receive $20 in gift cards towards the purchase of printed invitations and/or cards.
How to Enter
To be entered to win, simply follow EACH of these steps.
  1. Make sure you are following @SavvyHost and @Purple_Trail on Twitter (we will be DMg the winner).
  2. Share in the comments below, YOUR reason(s) to celebrate (IMPORTANT!!).
  3. Extra entry credit - Like PurpleTrail and The Savvy Host on Facebook and SHARE your reason(s) to celebrate.
  4. Extra entry credit - Like a PurpleTrail celebration blog post or invitation design.
  5. LAST STEPconfirm your enthusiasm for hosting great celebrations with the following TWEET:
    I'm ready to celebrate with #party ideas from @Purple_Trail @SavvyHost http://bit.ly/9ZAKzZ! #giveaway #invitations #entertaining

    Deadline for entries is this Friday, 13 August, at NOON EST.  The winner will be announced on Essentially Entertaining, Twitter and Facebook by close of business on Friday, 13 August.

    A random winner will be selected from all eligible entries.  Eligibility determined by validation of compliance with entry requirements. In addition to the public announcement, the winner will be notified directly through both Facebook message and Twitter DM (direct message).


    Jennifer said...

    I love all of you ideas for celebrating! We kicked off the first first day of school today & I celebrated all the way out of the middle school parking lot!

    We are always looking for a reason to celebrate whether it be one of the kids birthdays (or the hubby's), a fall hayride & weenie roast, a cookie swap for the Christmas holidays, or a simple dinner party for the adults. Celebrating is an emotion that needs to be shared because it is created from happy moments. And believe me, there are a lot of unhappy people that need to celebrate the unique and fun moments of life!

    Great giveaway!

    Monica said...

    following both on twitter!
    I like hosting parties for any occasion or just find a reason to have fun and make good memories! such as I want to host an end of summer party in backyard garden and the theme is all about summer food! healthy, fruits and greens, variety of salsas! and of course with good close friends! Purple trail sounds awesome! I will def have to use it in the future!

    Monica said...

    I clicked like one of the blog post about Catch My Party! that is cute idea! and like the pictures surrounding it. and its for any occasion to entice people to come! :)

    Anne M. said...

    I follow you both on twitter! Such cute things you have at Purple Trail- My Labor Day cookout would have an added touch by sending out some cute invites! @anniemos (twitter)

    Coryanne Ettiene | Kitchen Living with Coryanne said...

    Our old life in London was full of dinner parties for both the children and us, having just moved to a new town, and school starting today, I have decided to host a coffee morning with some of the mom's I will be 'picking up' at the school gates this week....I think I spotted about 4 that I will be approaching. Following that, I will be hosting a dinner party for my daughters new friends at the end of the month. But with immediate effect I am off to buy a bottle of wine for tonight...to celebrate the return of a calm house.

    I am now following you both on Twitter, and off to 'like' on FB..also sent off my Tweet.

    Kate, The Savvy Host said...

    Cheers to our GIVEAWAY winners! CONGRATULATIONS!!

    1st Prize Winner - Housewife Bliss
    2nd Prize Winner (1) - Anne M.
    2nd Prize Winner (2) - Monica

    We've been trying to reach you via DM - please email kate@savvyhost.com with your contact information by 9/1 so that we can arrange to get your prizes to you from PurpleTrail.

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