Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark are holiday party problem solvers. They will do the holiday party planning for you! They are friends, party planning experts and they've already thought of everything so you don't have to - from how to decorate and where to get the best decorations, to what to serve and how to keep your guests entertained all night.
Alie and Georgia say some great places to shop for decorations are online at www.Etsy.com and at local hip boutiques or vintage shops. An idea for a great centerpiece is to put evergreen branches or herb sprigs in mismatched vintage glasses decorated with a twine bow, or holes drilled in a split log and used as a taper candle holder. The website Pinterest is also great if you need some crafty artistic inspiration.
If you're looking for an icebreaker activity, create a cool photo booth corner where your guests can pose for their own pictures. Use mistletoe, a large chalkboard with holes cut out for faces and plenty of chalk for funny drawings, or fun accessories and toys to pose with.
Avoid spending time mixing up cocktails all night. You can pour Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo into a big
vintage punch bowl and dress it up by adding one large ice cube that's flecked with whole cranberries and
maybe rosemary sprigs for color. The large ice cube, which can be frozen the night before in a loaf pan, adds a beautiful visual touch and melts much slower than a bag of ice cubes. Serve with a spoonful of pomegranate seeds.
Plan to have a few appetizer dishes to serve while you finish up in the kitchen. Think fancy deviled eggs with caviar, or anchovies and a cheese plate. A cheese fondue station on a side table is also a great idea.
Music will help break the silence. Always have an emergency party playlist on your phone to save the mood. Or check out sites like Pandora or Spotify for your musical needs. For winter parties, think vintage holiday tunes or the Nutcracker soundtrack, mixed with fun surprises like tracks from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and old-school Hanukkah songs. It's also not a bad idea to have an upbeat, general party playlist that's not holiday-themed, just in case the mood needs brightening.
Invest in a case of wide-mouth Mason jars like Ball or Kerr, which you can pick up at some supermarkets, or order online from Amazon or the Canning Pantry . They are a hostess's best friend because they look hip and they can be used as candle holders, as rustic glasses, or even as containers for leftovers.
Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark are go-to gals when it comes to entertaining. The girls live in Los Angeles and Georgia writes a blog titled "The State That I Am In" at http://georgiaisyourfriend.blogspot.com . Alie is a former full-time staff writer for the LA Times and owns a company called Curiology. Together, they host "Drinks with Alie & Georgia" for the Food Network site, Food2, and have a new online series on CookingChanneltv.com .
You can learn more about Alie and Georgia online at www.AlieAndGeorgia.com .
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