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Going to a party and heard that you may need a hostess gift? If you are like many people, you probably immediately went online, wondering what other guests were talking about and what sort of gift you are expected to bring. Let’s face it, none of us want to be that person who shows up at a party being the only person WITHOUT a gift. For those who had never heard of a hostess gift, they are a nice way of thanking a host for their hospitality and showing you appreciate the effort they put into a party. Usually it is a small, inexpensive, and classy gift. While they are very popular (and expected) in other countries, sometimes the lines can be bit blurred in the United States, especially with our mixing of cultures, since expectations can be a bit different. Just make sure it isn’t too personal (unless it is a family or friend), and doesn’t take much of your host's or hostess's attention during the party.
When Should I Have a Hostess Gift?
While hostess gifts are very common throughout the rest of the world, it can sometimes be a bit tricky in the United States to determine when a hostess gift is necessary. As always, your relationship with the host is important to consider. If you are having a casual dinner with friends that doesn’t involve a holiday, a hostess gift isn’t necessary. If it is celebrating a holiday, life changing event (meeting fiancés, family, etc), or meeting someone new, a hostess gift is necessary since the host is now entertaining. As well, a hostess gift is often expected if there is a business relationship.
In general, a hostess gift is needed in the following situations:
- Cocktail Parties
- Weekend or Extended Visit with Family for Friends (especially if staying at home)
- Housewarming Party
- First Time Visiting a Friend or Family’s Home
- Business Dinner Party
- Dinner Party Introducing New Friends
- Someone Hosting Visiting Family
That being said, if there is a party that is outside the home or gifts are being given to a guest of honor, a thank you note is all that is necessary for the host or hostess.
Hostess Gift Ideas
As a general rule of thumb, hostess gifts should be simple and you should not expect the host or hostess to use or display your gift. More than likely, they are not even going to give it any thought or attention until after the party. Consider going with small, inexpensive gifts that they can display in their home or at future parties, such as holiday figurines or even flowers with a vase (never bring flowers without one). If it’s a dinner party, wine is also a great choice, as long as you don’t expect them to drink it at the party. Just don’t forget to get a cute gift bag for your hostess gift as well. Just make sure it is classy and fits the party theme chosen by the hostess.
Do your children love Halloween? If you ask most kids, Halloween is likely one of their favorite holidays. Kids love being able to dress up in costumes and go trick or treating, hoping to get loads of candy with family and friends. While Halloween is a very fun holiday for kids, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its own risks. In today’s busy world and crazy schedules, it sometimes can be challenging finding safe areas for children to trick or treat, or times that are great for little ones to Trick or Treat without it being dark. Even the most attentive parents can even lose their kids on Halloween with the craziness. To make Halloween safer, we have included some of our favorite tips for keeping everyone safe on Halloween Night!
Wear Reflective/Light Up Items
Let’s face it, at the end of October, it gets darker much sooner than anyone wants, and children are usually trick or treating past dusk. To keep kids safe, especially while they are crossing the street, they should have on something reflective with their costume and/or something that lights up. Fortunately, it is easy to find light up jewelry and glow sticks. Kids love playing with these light up items, making it great for adults when it comes to keeping kids safe and findable. You can even find silly hats that light up, making it easy for adults to dress up too and keep kids even safer in the dark.
Check Candy Before Eating
While the really scary stories about Halloween candy are nothing more than urban myths, it is still a good idea for parents to check candy before anyone digs in. While most people have good intentions, that doesn’t mean that people know your child has a peanut allergy or that something in your child’s goody bag may not have accidentally contaminated something else. We all know kids can be kids, including sometimes putting things in their trick or treat bags that should not be mixed with food. Especially with younger ones, it doesn't hurt to limit candy eating to make sure there aren’t any tummy aches, too!
Safe Places & Trick or Treating as a Group
Even the best plans can sometimes fall apart. If you lose your child at a Halloween event or while out Trick or Treating, make sure to have a plan so everyone can find one another. Have it be a central place that your child can easily find or a house where they can find a trusted adult, such as a family member, friend, or neighbor. Also make clear to your child not to leave and who to talk to if they can’t find a trusted adult. Encourage children to trick or treat as a group so that in case someone does lose a parent, another parent can step up and be a contact person for someone else who may have lost their child. We all want to make sure Halloween is safe and happy for everyone, so make sure you have a plan (and maybe another plan, too) in case something does go wrong!
Have you considered having a holiday tea party? While many of us love holiday parties, it is sometimes a bit more difficult when you are an adult and wanting something that is not just nice, but classy. With tea becoming even more popular over the last few years, and many people avoiding alcohol, more people are forgoing cocktail and restaurant parties for a nice get together in the form of a tea party. When most of us think of tea parties, we think of the fancy, old fashion get together with everyone wearing their Sunday best. Luckily, this isn’t the case with a modern tea party and it is easy for just about everyone to throw their own holiday tea party!
Holiday Tea Party: Dress
One of the cool things about a holiday tea party is that you can be creative with how you dress. Unlike traditional tea parties that require your Sunday best, dress depending on the theme. If you are having a Halloween tea party, consider inviting guests to show up in costumes. As well, Christmas tea parties can be just as fun since your guests can wear their favorite Christmas sweaters. Just make sure you let guests know how they are expected to arrive on your invitations. Don’t forget too that you can also help guests dress up with fun party favors, such as hats, wigs, and even masks!
Holiday Tea Party: Teas
Along with decorations, it is important that you also consider your selection of teas. While it may be tempting to just go buy cheap tea for the party, it is important to pair teas with the available holiday foods, the season, and of course, what your guests may enjoy. Consider giving your guests a variety of teas to choose from, both in tea bag form and loose leaf tea. Don’t forget too that you don’t have to use fine china with your tea, providing hot water in tea pots and using disposable cups can make things cleaner for you, and easier for your guests.
Holiday Tea Party: Decorations
Like any party, decorations are important for setting the mood for your party, especially a holiday themed tea party. The biggest thing you want to do is make sure you stay classy. While scary decorations may be great for a haunted house, make sure to go with tasteful, and even cute decorations. Go with a Halloween centerpiece and stay simple with your tablecloth, going with black or orange. With a Halloween tea party, have most of your Halloween theme show in disposable tableware or even decorated finger food or cupcakes. These rules are the same for Christmas, Easter, and many other holidays – just make sure that everything is coordinated, cute, and relaxing for all of your tea party guests.
Are you struggling to keep your kids busy during fall break? While kids are excited to have a few days to a week off of school, it can sometimes be challenging for adults who are trying to not only keep kids busy, but out of trouble. Another challenge is keeping kids away from not just the computer, but their phones and video games, making family time challenging for busy families during fall break. We know that sometimes finding the perfect activities for kids can be challenging, so we created a list of some of our favorite activities to do with kids during the fall break!
Playing Dress Up
One of the cool things about fall break is being able to have friends over during the day and have fun playing dress up with adults. Girls love being able to play with makeup with mom, and dress up in fun outfits. It doesn’t matter if they are pretending to be princesses or doctors, they want to have fun playing pretend with their friends. Before your daughter’s friends arrive, make sure to have a variety of fun outfits and accessories that all the girls can use to make outfits to make their playtime even more fun!
If you ask many kids what they love doing during the fall, it is baking. They love making muffins, cookies, and even cute cupcakes in the kitchen with mom. Part of the fun isn’t just baking, but decorating cute treats for the entire family. Today, you can even turn baking into a fun art project with different colored sprinkles, cupcake skirts, and even other fun cupcake decorations!
Sometimes, fall days aren’t that much fun, especially if you are stuck indoors due to rain or windy weather. Rather than dealing with bored kids, this is the perfect time to get out craft projects. While small kids love coloring books or making fun crafts with construction paper, others may go for craft projects or kits. For older kids, this is the time to truly show their creativity and skills, especially if they love the idea of painting their own bank, a birdhouse, or more! Just make sure you have a variety of craft supplies available for your budding artists and craftsmen!
For many girls, nothing is more fun than having a long sleepover with friends. With Halloween right around the corner, this is the perfect time to make fun treats with grownups, put on makeup, and watch scary movies. To make watching some of these scary movies more fun, it doesn't hurt to have cuddly stuffed animals for all the girls. Of course, no wants to go to sleep right after watching scary stories, so this is a perfect time to wind down making fun jewelry crafts with friends, or write and draw with unique stationery. Just make sure all the girls involved are doing age appropriate activities and having fun!
While many of us celebrate Halloween, very few people celebrate an upbeat, Spanish holiday that happens not long after one of our favorite days of ghouls and ghosts – The Day of the Dead. For those who don’t know this holiday, it is a celebration of the life of those who have passed. Rather than being sad, however, it is a day of celebration, dancing, and food. It is believed in this Mexican tradition to be a day where the spirits of loved ones come back to celebrate with those they were close to in life. In a way, it is a mix of Cinco de Mayo and Halloween all in one, without the scariness! Best of all, it is a way to teach children about death with a sense of hope, and that it is alright to remember those who have passed with a fun party!
Day of the Dead Party: Food
When many people think of the Day of the Dead, they think of skull shaped candies. Candy molded in the shape of skulls is very common for this holiday, as well as people baking treats that look like skulls or graves, including cupcakes, cookies, candies, even cakes! While these desserts are a must of the holiday, it is also important to have a variety of dishes available, including traditional breads like Pan de Muerto, corn quesadillas and enchiladas. This is a great time to have fun in the kitchen making fun Spanish inspired dishes!
Day of the Dead Party: Decorations
Part of what makes The Day of the Dead so fun is the mix of fun colors and decorations. Consider decorating with colored beads, skulls, and marigolds. As well, balloons and live flowers can be another fun decoration to have as table centerpieces. Many people who invite guests for a Day of the Dead party also love using grave style decorations to invite friends and family to the party. Just make sure to be creative, festive and cheerful with your decorations. In many cases, Cinco de Mayo decorations can be reused for the Day of the Dead when it comes to colors and overall theme of the party.
Day of the Dead Party: Crafts
One of the things that is really neat about the Day of the Dead is it is a time to decorate the graves of those we love. For kids, this means that they can decorate with fun, colorful skulls and make crafts to put on the grave(s) of those who have passed. Some Halloween crafts are great for this, especially if they have a skull theme. If you can’t find one, don’t worry, kids can make their own decorations with construction paper, markers, and the help of adults. If celebrating the day is personal, you can even add these crafts to flowers for the grave of the deceased, letting children have fun and pour themselves into decorating, while learning to respect those who have left their lives on this special day.
Did you know many of today's new moms love Victorian Baby Showers? For many busy moms, it's tough sitting down and relaxing with friends, especially while planning for a new baby. Since new mothers barely have time for themselves away from kids, consider creating a baby shower with a more relaxing, elegant theme that focuses on talking and enjoying time together with friends. Best of all, it is fairly inexpensive, allowing you to put on a fun, picture-perfect baby shower without spending a fortune on the baby shower itself.
When it comes to food for your party, elegance is key. Go for foods that are beautiful and decorative, like tea cakes or cupcakes. When it comes to drink, make sure to also be careful with your selections since most soon to be mothers are restricted when it comes to caffeine. Just to be safe, have a selection of caffeine free and herbal teas available so that everyone at the party, including the guest of honor, has a chance to enjoy a nice, hot cup of tea as you play baby shower games and talk. Also, don't forget the little details, like baby shower themed sugar cubes for the tea!
Victorian Baby Shower: Decorations
Like any party, decorations are key to setting the mood for any baby shower, especially a Victorian baby shower. For this type of baby shower, vintage colors and flowers are a major part of the decor. Various shades of pinks, red, and purples should be focused on when picking out decorations. If you can find it, also things with a lace like look to make the party room look as elegant as possible. As well, try encouraging those attending the party to pick wrapping paper and decorative bags with these themes, to keep everything cute and elegant, to help the new mom feel special.
Victorian Baby Shower: Table Setting
As part of the decorations make sure you find appropriate tableware for your baby shower. While you may be tempted to get out the fine china for the baby shower, it isn't necessary. You can find beautiful, vintage-decorated paper and cardboard tableware that is not only beautiful, but elegant. This is a great way to reduce mess at the party and keep stress down for both you and the guest of honor since clean up won't take long at all. You can even find elegant plastic tablecloths that can be thrown away from the party, making things as easy as possible for you as the organizer. In the end, it's easy and inexpensive to create the perfect Victorian baby shower for your best friend!
Did you know buying in bulk for kids parties can save you a lot of money? When many of us start planning for a kid's party or large event, we can very quickly get overwhelmed. Buying for lots of children can quickly get expensive, especially if we want everyone involved to have a variety of fun prizes, party favors and candy. The problem, however, is that if you buy everything at normal prices, the costs very quickly add up, leaving you wondering what you have to cut to stay within your budget. One trick that smart parents, companies, and non-profit organization use to stay within a tight budget is buying everything they need for the party in bulk!
If there is one thing we love, it's cute costumes. Nothing is better than seeing the smiling faces of little girls as they pretend to be princesses, ballerinas, or even fairies at parties. The problem is that buying enough for every girl can be very pricy unless you start excluding some of your daughter's friends. Many people don't realize that we sell a variety of tutu, fairy wing, and other items in sets to allow parents to save money by buying multiple costume pieces at once. You can even make your own sets by mixing and matching colors! If you don't see the right sets you like, just contact us.
Things to Buy in Bulk for Kids Parties: Tableware
Even though many of us don't think about it, tableware can very quickly get expensive for large parties too. While you can buy things in sets, it doesn't always take care of everything. All too often, you find that you don't have enough plates, cups, or sometimes even plastic utensils. In many cases you can buy these items in bulk as well, allowing you to have a themed parties for lots of kids without a scary price tag, and ensuring you have enough of everything to go around!
While candy may seem cheap at first, it can very quickly add up. Buying candy for a few dozen, all the way up to hundreds of kids for an event can be downright frightening for party organizers. Even buying cheap candy to fill Easter eggs might leave you wondering how you are going to buy other items and stay under your Easter budget. Buying candy especially in bulk allows you to pick up a large variety of candy at a discounted price. Even if you don't see it in bulk on a site, always contact the company. We are delighted to offer bulk discounts on many of the products on Designed 2B Sweet, especially some of our candy!
Are you trying to put together a fairy princess party on a budget? On our daughter's special day, any of us would want her to feel like as much of a princess as possible. This means we want to give her the best party possible - adorable decorations, a beautiful cake, and even a costume for her so that she can act the part of a princess on her birthday. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard staying on a budget, especially if we want to give our daughter everything she dreamed of on her big day. Luckily, we have the perfect tips for helping you create the perfect fairy princess party on a budget!
Fairy Princess Party on a Budget: Party at Home
While you may be tempted to have the party at a venue or your child's favorite restaurant, you may want to consider keeping the party in your own home. By having the party in your own house you can control the cost of food, avoid courtesy fees for location, and avoid the costs of purchasing tokens for games. As well, many venues have restrictions about the type of decorations that can be used and have clean up fees that can be costly for parents. Best of all, you can easily turn a home birthday party into a sleepover, making for even more fun for your daughter!
Fairy Princess Party on a Budget: Clearance & Sales
Once you have figured out your budget for party supplies, including decorations, tableware, and games, start making a list of everything you need and take a look at sales and clearance items. Many people don't think to check to see clearance section, assuming that they won't find what they need for their daughter. In many cases you will find a lot of fun surprises, including discontinued designs and other items that can easily match your theme. Best of all, you can even find party favors and games in this area, allowing to fill goody bags with fun treats without spending a small fortune, even if you have lots of kids attending.
Fairy Princess Party on a Budget: Buy in Bulk
Want to know the secret to how many parents can have out of this world parties? They buy items for the party in bulk. By buying candies, tutus, wings, and other items in bulk, they are able to save quite a bit of money, allowing them to purchase items for all the kids at the party at a large discount. Instead of buying one or two fancy costumes for their daughter, they can buy tutus and wings for all the children at their party, allowing every little girl to be a fairy princess for a day at the surprisingly low cost of only a few tutus. While it may seem pricy at first glance, the individual cost of each item is much cheaper in bulk, allowing you to save time, money, and create picture perfect moments for everyone at your daughter's fairy princess birthday party.
Looking for some cute Easter activities for kids? As hard as it may be to believe, Easter is going to be here before we know it. For many families, this is the time when all the kids get together and have a fun day of family games and crafts. Since Easter usually involves lots of children of various ages, it is important that you think ahead and have a plan together to make sure all the kids involved have fun throughout the day, and even the days prior if you want to get your own kids assisting. Below, we included some of our favorite Easter activities that are perfect for kids of all ages!
Easter Activities for Kids: Baking
For many kids, nothing is more fun than making treats in the kitchen with mom and dad, especially if they know they get to enjoy them later with family and friends. One of the most simple baking activities that kids love is being able to decorate their own cupcakes. Instead of just having kids put just icing on cupcakes, find religious themed sprinkles or even sprinkles with a fun Easter theme. As well, decorate the cupcake with fun Easter themed cupcake toppers and skirts to give them a fun and festive look before putting them in cupcake boxes. Older kids may also enjoy making their own Easter themed candy in the shape of crosses, eggs, and Easter bunnies!
Another classic Easter activity for kids is making jewelry. Since Easter is mostly a religious holiday, many families like to remind children that it is more than just looking for Easter eggs and getting a cute basket from the Easter bunny. Rather than focus on a sermon for young children, it may be more effective to tell them the story of Christ as they make cross jewelry, teaching them the importance of the cross and why many Christians wear it as jewelry. Today, you can even find many individually pre-packaged craft activities where kids can make their own religious charm bracelets or cross necklaces in their favorite style. Best of all, these crafts are very inexpensive, allowing you to purchase a variety of different jewelry craft sets for all the kids at your family Easter event.
Of course, it wouldn't be Easter without an Easter egg hunt, and outdoor Easter games. Kids love being able to color their own eggs and then find them later. Older kids are even more motivated if they know there are plastic eggs hiding somewhere with little treats or money. What many people don't think about, however, are what games they are going to play after the Easter egg hunt. Many kids enjoy all types of field day games, including potato sack hops and even ring tosses. To make things even more fun for kids, have games that the whole family can play together, allowing everyone to play outdoors together. With the right planning, it's easy to make Easter fun for everyone!
Struggling to find the perfect snow day activities for your kids? With winter here, we are now enjoying more than just cold weather - snow is here again! For parents, though, snow isn't just a hazard but something that can be very stress inducing, since kids are stuck indoors or complaining they are bored since school is cancelled. While we may want to get kids busy with chores, we know it is all too unlikely to happen, especially if they are dreaming of playing outdoors in the snow. Luckily, it is easy to create a fun snow day for kids, even if you are on a tight budget!
Snow Day Activities: Build a Snowman
For many kids, one of the best part of having a snow day is playing outside in the snow. One of the most fun things about winter is actually building a snowman or having a snowball fight with siblings. To create a good snowman though, make sure you have plenty of snow and the right tools to help you sculpt the perfect snowman outside. Some kids even enjoy getting out their summer beach buckets to help them better mold their perfect snowman. Once your snowman is built, decorate with fun clothes and then take a picture so that your kids can enjoy their snowman art years later!
When it's time to stay indoors or its too cold to play outside, it is always fun playing classic board games as a family. Many kids love playing classic family board games and card games, especially if they know they can win delicious treats, prizes, or even just the chance to celebrate beating their siblings at their favorite game. If you want to get a bit more creative, you can also create your own board games using craft materials and poster board. This can also be a fun educational activity - have kids think out their own board games and create all the rules so that your family can later play together.
Of course, nothing beats being able to enjoy sitting inside and making something fun as the snow falls outside. If you don't have much time to prepare for the storm, you can make cute activities inside like coffee filter snowflakes or even draw fun pictures using markers or crayons. For older kids, if you have the supplies and time to prepare, you can also do more hands-on, time intensive activities like making their own jewelry or even photo frames that they can use to display their favorite winter memories - or summer pictures to remind them that warm weather is around the corner. With the right amount of planning, snow days can be fun for everyone in your family!