Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Planning a Holiday Party for the First Time (Pt. 4)

Christmas is our traditional season of thanksgiving and giving. Throughout the sixty three days from Halloween to the New Year many will prepare the best celebrations of the year. Hosting the holiday party this year may have you right in the middle of planning and execution.

All Recipes: Christmas Dinner Articles

This party is ready to feed the guests. The tables have been set and all that has to be done is the preparation. Timing is everything and when you find yourself six hours away from the first arrival you should be well ahead of the game. Hopefully you have everything you need or you have more time to plan. Some of the most requested items can be forgotten just because they are the most requested.

You may remember the most obscure food item for one guest but please remember the wine that everyone loves because everyone loves it and you're the only one who serves it.

Top 100 Wines of 2010 from Wine Spectator.

Hot foods hot and cold foods cold is the key to food service. Chaffing dishes can keep food hot using individual Sterno heaters that are easy to use. Ice chests can be hidden under tables. Having a source of cold and hot away from the refrigerator and stove is almost as important as plates and silverware for guests invited to a casual dining party where a buffet is served.

Food Network Christmas Dessert Menu

Waste management and lavatories well maintained and marked will assist you in managing the particulars. Preparing foods yourself will test your cooking skills but cooking makes some of us enjoy the party more. Cook if you can, experiment and explore your sense of style. Accept the movement of the party until everyone is there and then be a great host or hostess by knowing how to move from one segment of the event to the next if you are planning to serve food, cocktails and share gifts all in one night.

Holiday wine
Holiday food
Holiday dessert

Holiday cheer from the PARTYLETTER.

I'm going to visit my facebook profile next and then my twitter account to tell my friends what I just wrote and see what they have to say about it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First-time Holiday Party Planning (Pt. 3)

Everyone has to start somewhere. Party planning during the holidays is important to every host and hostess who sponsors a gathering because the energy is received all year long from the occasion.

You're on your way now but you need some motivation at the right time to go from a gathering of friends to something special. Inviting those friends to a carefully crafted home and hearth can be rewarding in more ways than you think.

So far your guests are invited and your home is decorated or planned to be decorated to match the season AND the event. You have the groceries on a list. Now is the time to organize everything to do with the food service of the guests.

Rooms with tables, chairs with side tables and standing cocktail hours all must be managed in a way that does not take away from the conversations and revelry being enjoyed.

Party rental companies will have every kind of glass and flatware you can think of for as many guests as you have coming. Selecting the right one will improve your chances of coming under budget as the planning progresses.

Table linens, napkins and screens. Centerpieces, lighting and sound. All the senses can be entertained and for the most successful gatherings all the senses are entertained. It IS the holiday season after all.

Have the experience or learn about the experience for yourself. Expect to pay for help if you want to be sure you get a good result.

Before inquiring an event planner you should learn how to get good information that you can use from websites and blogs like this. Learn it and then make it happen.

A first-time holiday host or hostess has the tools available for free, the budget you have to enjoy at your gathering will determine what you will offer. It does NOT determine the level of enjoyment of your guests.

Tomorrow we move away from the table and into the kitchen!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Party Plans

The PARTYLETTER is a combination of real-world experience and creative design for the special events of our lives. Houston Banquet Planner has been creating distinctive parties since 1994 under the direction of Francis Damian Walsh.

Mr. Walsh has over 15 years fine dining and catering experience. He learned from Mr. Ronnie Berhmann of Maxim's Houston from 1994 until 2001 when the restaurant closed its doors forever.

Some of the elaborate designs can be seen here. The PARTYLETTER will be filled with content from party planners like Mr. Walsh with their tips for success and plans for fantastic parties.

Merry Christmas

Michelle Lee
Houston Banquet

Friday, December 17, 2010

Decorating for the Holidays

This year we have something special to be thankful for; our first home. This year our blessings were many and as the holidays arrive we are sharing more of ourselves with others inside and out of our new home.
Decorating for the holidays is up to you and your family traditions. Ours has always included warm highlights made inside and out; even when our house was much smaller. Now that our space has grown our ideas about decorating have changed as well. Our favorite decorating ideas come from tradition and knowing how to bring it all together is key to making spirits bright this Christmas season.

Christmas decorating was once not so much about decorating a space as it was a time of reverence to those who had come before and those who would come after. Before the celebration was holy is was holy. The observers of Christmas past decorated with reverence to the environment and some of those traditions still hold true today.

Our holiday presents, spirits and bows are spread among the green boughs of fir and pine. Garland hangs around the corner of our warm fire. The banisters that children will look through to catch a glimpse of ole St. Nick have them too.

We share in these traditions and in our home our decorations show the appreciation we have in the past and the future.

Our hallways have garlands strung over the doorways and more leading guests through the foyer and into the great room. Garlands can be freshly picked in the North East. Look for light green vines that run in great distances over the ground and under the fallen leaves of New England.

Imitation garlands can be purchased for reasonable prices at JC Penny and of course our favorite dollar stores. Getting to the stores first is sometimes key to getting as much of the green stuff as you need. Buy the garland in bulk and decorate later with Holly and berries of crimson.

Windows are great places to hang wreaths made of garland or fir. The choice for us was to hang them inside of the house instead of outside. The fresh pine aroma leaves our house smelling of the forest long after the cherry pie has cooled on the rack. Ribbons of red and bows and balls can be hung from a great window wreath and the theme can move from one window to the next; making the design complete.

Fireplace decorations can include wicker boxes filled with pine boughs and pine cones dusted with glitter. Silver glitter and glue dabbed on the tips of each cones arms make them shimmer against a fire of warm lighting.

Decorate with lights for the holidays. Christmas lights come in every color of the rainbow and then some. White lighting inside the home brightens up corners when the main lighting is dim. White lights around picture frames and mirrors give each design element a new feel. Holiday decorating yourself is easy when you combine a few elements into a cohesive design.

Fill a fresh tree with hanging decorations and lights that match the rest of the traditional fresh-cut design. Tip your hat to your neighbors and invite them over for some friendship this year. Be inspired enough to inspire others.

Let your inspiration come from your tradition and revere the season with your decorating effort. Enjoy the rewards of gathering friends and family together during the best season of the year. Use these tips throughout the house and make your spirit bright this year.

Thank you to 1800flowers on YouTube for this video:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

First-time Holiday Party Planning (Pt. 2)

Hosting your very first holiday party this year? If so these tips will help you to organize your thoughts and get you moving in the right direction. Hosting a successful gathering of family and friends for the holidays is an important event that comes once a year; make sure you have it planned out before the day arrives.

Set a date and keep it.

Now that you already have a list of people who you will invite and even have thought about the kind of foods you will be serving the next thing to do is set the date and begin inviting people to come.

With all the connecting we do through computers you can utilize some of these technological tools to make the process of inviting friends to your first holiday party should be easy. Deciding who needs to be invited through snail mail who does not will make it easy for you to decide on the type of invitation you will send. In today's society it is recommended that you invite people in the most convenient way for the guest to receive and reply to the invitation. Using a unique electronic invitation is as efficient as it gets. Inviting and RSVP can be handled quickly and easily using email. For family and friends who prefer a paper invitation, select the appropriate stationary and make sure they are delivered at least four weeks prior to the event.

Use technology to your advantage when preparing for your very first holiday party. You use these tools everyday and they can now be used to make parties even better. With all the invitations sent you can begin to think about how to decorate your space for the party. In tomorrow's post you will hear about decorating for a successful party and what you need that you don't know you need.

Here's a short Holiday Foods video from WholeFoodsMarket on YouTube:

Francis Walsh
Executive Event Planner
Houston, Texas 77002

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First-time Holiday Party Planning

This is the season for gathering friends and family together for a holiday party. The best reason to get together is to share the holiday spirit. One of the first things new families will do will be to host an event of their own. This year's suggestions are for just that purpose. Telling you first-time holiday party planners what to expect and how to avoid hosting a less than festive event this year.

First-time Holiday Party Planning to-do list.

Figure out who's coming. Don't let the masses fall into your lap unexpected. Never leave an open invitation to your first Holiday Party. You should know who is coming and when they are expected to arrive. There is nothing worse than arriving to a party that starts in two hours. I know because it happened to me.

Write a list of friends and family you want to attend at least two months before the party. Take time to write out invitations and have them delivered with at least four weeks to go. The you can inquire from those people who have received an invitation to discover their plans for that day. Make sure to keep track of the replies you receive and know where you stand. Deliver more invitations within the last few weeks to fill in any guests that said they could not come. Hosting a great party means you need to have people there to enjoy it. Plan for and arrange for the right amount of guests according to the space you have to host the party.

Feeding family and friends is as important as having family and friends.

Every holiday party should feature great food to enjoy while attending the event. While there is no need to have a schedule of events, it is important that the choices of foods relate to the gathering and the ability of the host. never try to cook something you never have cooked before for a first-time holiday party planner. The result could be detrimental to your good time.

Part two of first-time holiday party planning will be posted on December 16th 2010.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Read CARNE VALE (Mardi Gras, Carnival season is here) Rick Waters Carny Fiction

The upcoming holidays are fast approaching.

Chinese New Year: Geng Yin (Year of the White Tiger) February 14th, 2010

Fat Tuesday February 16th (Mardi Gras)

Our favorite time of year is here. Not only do we have a new fiction titled CARNE VALE - Flesh Farewell, we also are fans of Geng Yin AND Mardi Gras. Next week will be spent celebrating just enough to be sure that we are really celebrating this year of prosperity and determination. "This year is the best year in a long time for an Aquarian born in the age of Aquarius. This year we say Farewell to the Flesh in the most symbolic and important festivals and celebrations of the year.

We welcome you to begin reading "CARNE VALE" and subscribing to the author of this and other great blogs online. The streaming information comes refreshed and uploaded daily via internet feeds, micro blogs, social networks, personal brands, and domains.

"Who Dat"

With the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl, expect Fat Tuesday to extraordinary indeed. We will report from Bourbon Street all next week. Subscribers to CARNE VALE get special content directly from the author upon request.

FD Walsh