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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!
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!
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!
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!
Lilly Deane has been a kids party planner for several years now. She shares her personal experiences as an events coordinator at Madfun and in blogs like this one to help parents throw the best party ever for their own kids. In this article, she will be giving tips on how to control temper tantrums in kiddie parties.
Kiddie Meltdown Alert: Ways To Keep It Down During A Party
A kiddie party is supposed to be anything but sad, grumpy, unhappy, angry, and out of control. Instead, this is supposed to be happy, light, enjoyable, and worry-free. How many guests are coming to your child’s kiddie party? How well do you know the guests? You see, although their parents are very classy, this is not an assurance that their little tots are the perfect princes and princesses who behave well in public. What will you do if someone ruins your supposed to be perfect kiddie party with a temper tantrum?
Ways to Control Temper Tantrum During a Party
Have a back-up plan as early as now. Don’t wait for it to happen when you can control temper tantrum before it starts. You may need to control this though differently during a kiddie party than you normally would with your own child on ordinary days. Here are some suggestions:
- Create a distraction. Get an entertainer. Clowns or magicians should keep the kids busy for an hour or two. It’s different seeing magic tricks personally than on TV. Other ideas would include photo booths, games, face painting, or games. Temper tantrums or crying could be contagious, but so is being happy. Keep most of your little guests happy and the others will be joining in the fun.
- Keep the music playing. Music is a very powerful tool that you can use to manipulate how people feel for a particular moment. You can use these two ways to control emotional outburst in kids. If you just want to keep them happy the moment they enter the venue, then play pop songs that convey happiness. Play these types of songs throughout the party and you may be able to send them home happy too. You can also opt to combine this with calming music. This should keep the kids’ energy at a low when their energies are too pumped up, one of the reasons why kids sometimes experience sudden bouts of outbursts.
- Don’t lose it too. Adding fuel to fire could make it worse. With one uncontrollable kid near you, it is very easy for you to lose your own cool, but don’t even think of taking that road. You could end up being your own party pooper and you definitely would not want your kid to remember you as the person who ruined his or her party. If the kid’s parent can’t control his or her child’s temper tantrum, you may need to take over and you won’t be able to do that with a hot head.
- Use rewards. Now, rewarding a bad attitude on normal days is definitely not recommended in controlling temper tantrums. But during a party, you need all the tricks you need up your sleeve especially when the problem is a yelling or crying kid. A small toy or sweet treats should stop the temper tantrum before the other kids start acting the same.
- Keep the party short.Long parties put a stress on the kids and parents alike. Keep the party short to about an hour or two. Although parties are fun for kids, there is still no place like home where they could get to do the things that they want such as sleep. Set it at a time where it’s not their nap time so that they won’t end up being crabby during the party.
Aside from kiddie meltdown control, make the party happier too by choosing a great theme. This should include your kid’s party costume, themed menu, and party décor. Plan ahead of time so that you don’t forget important details.
Is this your child's first or second Halloween? For many families, Halloween is the perfect time to dress up and have fun. The problem with many of the costumes out there for toddlers, however, is that with how quickly they grow, the costume you bought earlier in the month may no longer fit your child, or it's too cold on Halloween for them to actually wear said costume. Rather than pay for an expensive costume that your child may not even be able to wear, many parents have decided to go with homemade or semi-homemade costumes that are simple and allow their child to still wear fairly normal clothes as they go trick or treating with older siblings. You may even be surprised how easy many of these costumes are to make for toddlers!
Easy Halloween Costume for Toddlers: Clown
For many parents, nothing is easier and cuter than having their child look like a rainbow clown for Halloween. Not only are these costumes really cute on a little one, they are very easy for parents to put together without spending a great deal of money. For this costume, all you will need is some face paint and a rainbow clown wig. It is easy to find clown wigs this time of year, and sometimes even big red clown noses. To make your child look like a true carnival clown, use a fine brush and safe face paint to paint decorations like circles, stars and triangles on your child's cheeks. For an even sillier look add a clip on bow tie for fun!
If you would like a Halloween costume that is a bit more girly, don't forget that this is the perfect time of year to help your child look like a cute little princess or fairy. Many parents love going with a fairy theme, since it can be as simple or complex as they like. For those who would like a simpler costume, all you have to do is give your daughter a beautiful set of fairy or butterfly-style wings in her size, and a magic wand. By going this route, your child can wear whatever clothes you like, allowing them to be as warm or cool as they would like, weather permitting. You can also add a tutu, flowered skirt, or other cute accessories to give this outfit the finishing touches to help your daughter look like a real fairy!
Another cute Halloween costume that is perfect for boys and girls alike are superhero costumes. With these movies so popular for the last several years, it is very easy to find superhero sweatshirts, t-shirts, and other clothing made for children and adults of all ages. To add the finishing touches to a superhero costume for toddlers, make sure to get a superhero costume kit, which usually includes a cape and mask. If this doesn't work, you can find masks in the form of sunglasses for toddlers. For children who are uncomfortable wearing anything over their face, you can also use washable paint to paint a little mask around their eyes, allowing your toddler to look like a miniature of their favorite superhero!
With fall right around the corner, it's time for us to put away those summer decorations and welcome autumn with some fun fall decor. Of course, some of the most cost effective and fun decorations for the season are pumpkins. Slowly, stores are getting their stocks of pumpkins, but many orchards are already selling pumpkins of different varieties and sizes, making it the perfect time to get some pumpkins and make decorating the front of your house with pumpkins a fun weekend project!
Decorating with Pumpkins: Display
One of the easiest ways to give your house an autumn touch is with an autumn display. For most people, this includes having pumpkins of various sizes displayed in front of your home, possibly along with hay stacks or a simple scarecrow. The trick with this is making sure you have a display appropriately sized for your home. If you live in an apartment, one large pumpkin accompanied by smaller, hand size pumpkins is perfect. You can even mix some other gourds in to add color and give the front of your house a cute look. Depending on how early you start you might even reuse the pumpkins later for Halloween pumpkin carving or for making pumpkin pie!
With Halloween being next month, many kids are already looking forward to pumpkin carving. While you can use a normal kitchen knife for carving, we highly recommend getting a pumpkin carving kit if the kids are helping. These kits are usually a bit safer and give you everything you need for creating the perfect pumpkin. Before starting to carve your pumpkin, however, make sure you draw guide lines, since once the pumpkin is cut, that is how your pumpkin is going to look. We personally also like to highlight our carved pumpkins with paint to give a creepy or cute look to our own fall pumpkins.
Decorating with Pumpkins: Painting
If you have small children and want them to be more hands-on with your outdoor display, you may want to consider painting rather carving your pumpkins. While it can take a bit more work at times, it can not only be fun, but a chance for each of your children to show their creativity. It isn't uncommon to see pumpkins painted to look like cartoon characters, or with silly faces during Halloween. For small children, allow them to show their creativity with safe and fun paints. One of the cutest ideas we saw last year was a family that decorated a pumpkin in finger paint, with each of the kids having a hand print on the larger pumpkins, giving it a cute family vibe. When looking for paints, make sure to find things that won't easily wash off the pumpkin, or get a special paint to help set the paint on the pumpkin. We highly recommend permanent makers as well, and most traditional art paints. Just make sure to get them in a tube since you are likely to use a lot more paint than you think! With the right amount of preparation, though, it is easy to create adorable pumpkins that you will be happy to display outdoors!
Looking for ways to entertain kids at your outdoor wedding? While many of us love children, they sometimes need distractions at long social events, especially weddings. We have almost all been to a wedding where children were out of hand or just not cared for, which can leave adults feeling especially uncomfortable at an outdoor wedding since they feel someone should be responsible for the children. Rather than leaving kids to run crazy during your outdoor wedding you may want to consider having fun activities for children at the reception area, allowing them to have fun while adults enjoy the main event. You may even just be surprised at how easy it is create the perfect entertainment for kids at an outdoor wedding!
Have a Craft Area
It is quite common for children to have their own table at the reception, but sometimes it can be difficult to encourage them to stay at the kids' table. Rather than just trying to keep kids busy with bubbles and little activities, consider having a craft table with special activities going throughout the wedding and party after. Having children make jewelry, little wooden craft kits, or even cute photo holders for the bride and groom to display their wedding pictures after the big event can keep their imagination engaged and their attention focused. Kids will love having the opportunity to make unique gifts that they can give the bride and groom to open later! Not only will it keep kids busy, but they will look forward to showing off all their unique creations!
Hire an Entertainer
Over the past few years, more couples have been hiring entertainers for children at their wedding. These entertainers can include clowns, puppeteers, or even costumed characters. While this option can get pricy if you aren't careful, it is something many kids will love, especially if you have children of your own involved in the wedding. Just make sure you are clear about the ages of the children who will be attending, what you are expecting the entertainers to do, and how long they will be at your reception. You may even be able to get a quick picture of you with your child's favorite character while in your wedding dress, creating an adorable wedding picture of you and the child(ren) at your wedding.
Sometimes one of the best ways to keep kids busy is by making sure they are physically active. If your outdoor wedding is a bit more casual, consider renting activities for the kids, such as bouncers and inflatable slides. These activities are relatively inexpensive if they are rented for only the time of the reception and allow kids to have fun while adults enjoy the wedding reception and socializing themselves. Just make sure to tell parents to bring an extra set of clothes if kids will also be attending the actual wedding ceremony as well. This will make sure children look perfect for pictures but are also able to have a good time later when they are playing outdoors with new little friends!