Christmas is behind us and New Year's Eve is upon us! I always hit a slight after-holiday slump right after Christmas. It's such a magical time with friends and family celebrating our Savior's birth! There is so much going on that when it all comes to a halt after the holiday it can be a little depressing!
What I love about NYE is that it gives us all one last distraction from the responsibilities that lie in the new year ahead (I'm already getting anxious thinking about 2017!).
It's the last day of the year, a time to reflect on 2016 and get inspired and motivated for what you want to accomplish in 2017!
I feel that the older I get the less I care about going out on NYE. It is much more appealing to me to stay in and ring in the new year from the comfort of my home! That being said, regardless of what you like to do or what your plans are for NYE this year, I wanted to share a "how to" on hosting a simple NYE Soirée for those of you that might be having a few people over before going out or having all your closest friends over until the clock strikes midnight!
A few tips to keep in mind BEFORE committing to host a get-together:
-Clean your home - This might sound like a no-brainer, but try to think about the things that you don't clean on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Clean out your glassware and serving pieces if you don't use it regularly, it will be dirty and dusty!
-Think about your capacity, if you can use outdoor space, and what furniture you might need to move around to create space! You can always remove pieces and hide them in a back room and bring them back out after the party! think about if you were to stage your home, you want it to feel spacious and open and you might even like some of the changes you make for the party and adopt them into your new home layout afterwards!
-Make sure you have TP! - This may sound SO silly but you will be having more than the normal capacity in your home, everyone will be drinking, the bathroom will be used! Don't be caught without TP! It's more embarrassing for your guest than it is for you! lol!
-Don't overthink it! - No, not everything has to be perfect, you will forget something, and doors were made for hiding messy rooms! ;)
-The title in this blog post contains the world simple - I believe that for certain small events or get-together's that sometimes less or more. Now for other types of events or larger gathering's this can be a different story! It all depends on how much you want to spend and you are in control the degree of simplicity. If you want to do more then by golly go for it! :)
-Target Dollar Section
lol!! Ok I know those aren't really tips...But seriously those are my budget tips for an at-home party. For party decor and supplies for an at-home get together I don't go anywhere else! I can always find the items I need with the right look I am going for at Target and Home Goods.
SUGGESTED SHOPPING LIST:
-Toilet paper ;)
-Serving pieces if needed
-Disposable plates/cups/silverware if necessary
-Photo Backdrop (see my budget hack down below!)
-Additional Décor if necessary
The two most important elements of hosting that I believe are essential to hosting any type of gathering or event are LIGHTING and SOUND. Those may sound crazy to you but they are the two most important elements that set the tone and atmosphere for any gathering!
Lighting that is too bright is harsh, uninviting, and can make your guests feel overexposed. Lighting that is too dark can cause confusion, sleepiness, and can make your guests feel uncomfortable. The right lighting shows off your home or event space in the right way, sets the mood for the tone of your party, and creates an inviting and comfortable atmosphere for your guests. This includes candlelight as well, no matter what type of even your are hosting, candlelight should always be incorporated! :)
I always like to start with all the lights on, and then play around with key areas and lighting features that highlight certain areas of your home or space. For example, I usually always turn the brightest or main light switches off, and turn all of the lamps on in key areas and accent lights. If you just play around with the light in your home, you'll find a setting that works best for your home and party setting. Lighting is most important for evening gatherings. If you are hosting a daytime gathering or brunch then lighting is a different story. :)
No one likes being the first to arrive to a party, most times the host is still finishing up last minute details and might not be ready to entertain. I believe with hosting that there is nothing worse than having dead, awkward silence echoing throughout your home or space before your party begins. Music absolutely sets the tone for your guests the minute they walk in the door. Throw on some light dinner music, or the Michael Bublé Pandora station and you're good to go! Be sure to tailor the music as your evening progresses, most of the time one of your friends will pick up the role of DJ and it no longer becomes your concern. :)
Alright - now the part where I share some of my secrets with you! I made a few easy DIY projects that added some unique touches!
DIY FLORAL ICE CUBES
Yep - I totally did this. I've always seen it on Pinterest and wanted to try! It was super easy, affordable, and pulled off such a lovely look! I do have a few tips to help you if you try this.
Keep in mind that your blooms have to fit in an ice tray when choosing flowers. I just went for carnations as their blooms were smaller - they worked great. I purchased two ice trays, one traditional size and one larger size to test different options. The larger ice tray was definitely easier.
Another thing I realized is that your blooms will want to float to the top, defeating the purpose of them being frozen in the middle of the cube. I made sure to cut my blooms long enough so that I could wedge them between two sides and hold them in place. It worked great!
Sometimes the cubes can be hard to pop out of the tray, let them set on the counter for a few minutes before you try, or run hot water over the bottom of the tray.
These babies melt fast in alcoholic beverages so if you plan to do this for a get together, drop the cube in as you are serving drinks. If you just want the look, pop them into a clear ice bucket or beverage tub to show them off!
I don't think these will ever go out of style! They are super fun, a great way to encourage photos at your event, and give your guests an activity! Renting photo booths can get expensive, so just DIY and create a backdrop with supplies from Target!
I used leftover neutral wrapping paper from Christmas to create my backdrop (yes - leftover wrapping paper!)
Hit up the party section at Target and grab yourself a pennant banner, they literally have one for every color scheme!
I also snagged these adorable photo props from the Target Dollar Section for $3.00! This was the easiest photo backdrop I've ever put together.
LITE BITES + SWEET TREATS
If you are hosting a gathering but don't want to break the bank with the food - opt for an earlier or later start time to allow guests to eat before or after and just offer lite bites and sweet treats for them to much on!
I whipped up some spice cake cupcakes, snagged some adorable AND affordable macaroons from Sam's Club and set out some chocolate! (Ok so all of my treats are sweet...) BUT had this not been a styled shoot for y'all and I had more people to eat my lite bites and sweet treats I would have added a variety of chips and dips - always a great party munchies!
*Cupcaking Icing Hack* - spoon your icing into a plastic bag and mush it all towards one corner, snip the corner to a size you like and squeeze the icing out onto your cupcake in a circular motion - Voila! No more sloppy icing!
I got the marbled cupcake liners and cupcake toppers in a set from Home Goods! Too cute and super affordable way to add a festive touch to your sweet treats!
Lastly, I'm sharing all of my party supplies with you and where I found them! One trip to Home Goods and Target should to the trick! ;) Or you can shop most of my items below and I've linked similar ones too!
Copper Charger Plates - HOME GOODS
Marbled Napkins and Plates - HOME GOODS
Marbled Cupcake Liners - HOME GOODS
Black and White Striped Dome Serving Piece - HOME GOODS
Confetti Poppers - HOME GOODS
Copper Ferris Wheel- HOME GOODS
Marble Scalloped Board - WILLIAMS SONOMA
NYE Koozies, 2017 numbers, gold party hats - TARGET Dollar Section
Assorted Macaroons - SAM'S CLUB
Pennant Banners - TARGET Dollar Section + Party Section
Photo Props - TARGET Dollar Section
If you have any questions about my NYE Soirée or questions about something I didn't cover, comment below and I'll be happy to answer! I Can't wait to see what everyone cooks ups for NYE!
Wishing you all a happy new year! Y'all have fun and BE SAFE!
Stephanie Grace Benton