Menu Theme Ideas for Your Next Celebration

I love coming up with new ideas for feeding everyone when we have people over. My favorite is when I can serve food buffet style and make it easy for everyone to put toppings on so that picky eaters can enjoy as well.

Here are a few ides for you that I have come up with:

  • January
    • So many Soups!
    • Meal Prep Party
  • February
    • Brunch / Breakfast
  • March
    • Sushi Night
  • April
    • Desserts, Desserts, Desserts
  • May
    • May’d in a Muffin Pan
    • May-ke your own Pizza
  • June
    • Super Salads
  • July
    • Wine Tasting
    • Grill Off
  • August
    • Fair / Festival Food
  • September
    • Cooked on a Campfire
  • October
    • Crock-Off
  • November
    • Holiday Cookie Exchange
  • December
    • Chili Cook Off

What are your favorite items to serve at parties??

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Seasonal Must Have Items

I like to keep things really simple. I don’t keep much stuff we don’t NEED around the house. The minimalist lifestyle is something I strive for BUT there are a few items that I rotate around the house on a seasonal basis to make sure that it still feels like home. As I continue to build my baskets and find my favorite items, I will make sure to share the links below.

  • Welcome Mat
  • Wreath
  • Outdoor Catch All Basket
  • Vase
  • Family Photo
  • Table Cloth and Placemats
  • Cookie Jar
  • Salt and Pepper Shaker
  • Apron
  • Hand Towels
  • Set of Coffee Mugs
  • Couch Pillows
  • Blanket for Lounging
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Soap Jar
  • Bath and Hand Towels

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

When I had my baby shower I got some amazing gifts and it inspired me to create a list of different things that I could get for friends and family when they were celebrating their little additions.

Here are a few of the items that I got that I really loved!

Something made by hand:

  • Crochet a blanket
  • Sew a bib (or pick up one of my hand sewn bibs here)
  • Cross stitch a towel
  • Growth “chart”
  • Stuffed animal

Things mom doesn’t know she needs kit (you could call this the “oh shoot” bag):

  • Baby Aspirin
  • Bandages (you will need all different shapes, sizes and of course cute patterns)
  • Breastfeeding lotion (Lanolin was my favorite)
  • Teething Rings
  • Safety Pins
  • Burp clothes
  • Bleach Pen
  • Wet Wipes (not the diaper kind, but the kind they give you when you get ribs – to eliminate anything sticky)
  • Headphones
  • Chocolate and Wine (basically every “survival kit” should include these items or it’s not really a survival kit – think how much easier the girl from “The Hunger Games” would have had it if she had some Chocolate and Wine…

A “memories” basket

  • Baby book
  • Photo frame
  • Something everyone who visits at the hospital signs
  • Gift certificate for family/baby photos
  • Tooth Fairy Jar
  • Elf on a Shelf
  • 12 seasonally relevant outfits (one for each month of their first year – the more I think about this the more I think I might make a blog post about this alone – the cuteness I see in my head is making me giggle)

Filing System

  • Basically a containment system for the flood of paperwork and “I made this just for you mom” items that will be coming through the door over the next few years

Something Special

  • A Jar of Pennies – Read Why Here!!
  • Something passed down (or a tradition)

Something for Mom AFTER baby

  • Certificate for massage, pedicure…etc.

Something Practical

  • Wholesale store membership (Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco)
  • Something from the registry
  • Clothing they can use down the road (no need to get small sizes – they do grow)

What are some of your best baby shower gift ideas??

Party Planning 101

Once you have a child, you can expect to have a house full of people every year for their birthday.

Here are a few of the things that I have learned that make party planning a whole lot easier.

Here are a few of the items I know I will always need to put on my shopping list:

Decor:

  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic Silverware
  • Plastic Cups
  • Table Cloths

Food/Beverages:

  • Food (see ideas below)
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages
  • Alcoholic Beverage
  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Condiments

Other:

  • Game / Cards

Here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned over the years:

  • You can always put out more food but you can’t always save extras that sat out all day
  • If you have helpers, assign everyone a job for the day as soon as they get there so that you don’t have to keep reminding people what you need help with throughout the day  (greeter, filling up empty food dishes, emptying the garbage, writing down who gave each gift)

I have come to find, that when it comes to the food that is provided at parties people love variety. Here are a few of my favorite party menu themes:

Cheese Burger Bar

  • Beverage: Milkshakes in Mason Jars
  • Items in Bar: Burger Toppings (relish, mustard, mayo, pickles, fried eggs, onion straws)
  • Side Dish: Season your own French Fries
  • Decor: Cookout/Grilling, red and white table cloths, baskets instead of plates)

Sundae Bar

  • Beverage: Soda (of Juice) in Tall Ice Cream Glasses with Red and White Striped Straws
  • Items in Bar: Multiple Flavors of Ice Cream, Sprinkles, Waffle and Cake Cones, Fudges, Syrups and Sauces, Marshmallows, Fruit and Candy.
  • Side Dish: Small Sandwiches
  • Decor: This could go two different directions
    • Option A: Sprinkle Theme – Bright Colors and “Sweet” Quotes
    • Option B: 50’s Sock Hop / Retro
  • Notes: I avoid inclusion of Peanuts unless you are certain all of your guests are positive they don’t have allergies.

Taco Bar

  • Beverage: Margaritas (or beverages in Margarita glasses)
  • Items in Bar:  Meat/Seafood, Salsas,
  • Side Dish: Chips and Salsa
  • Decor: I like to go with bright fun colors (orange, red, yellow) and white table cloths.
  • Notes: If you are putting out a variety of salsa flavors, make sure to label them so everyone knows what to expect.

Cookie Exchange

  • Beverage: Milk in Mugs
  • Items in Bar: Cookies from each participant (for the tasting contest of course)
  • Side Dish: Chicken Noodle Soup in Mugs
  • Decor: Think simple and romantic. You should feel like it’s the night before Christmas. Excited but SO comfortable.
  • Notes: Tell everyone to wear their pajamas (assuming that’s appropriate for the crowd).

What are some of your favorite tips, tricks and tasty treats?