5 Ways to Make Family Game Night More Fun

Family Game Night

Is your Family Game Night feeling a little stale? The kids aren’t that excited about it anymore? Or, do you have a hard time convincing the family to even have a Game Night? Here are 5 ideas to inject a little more fun and creativity into your family’s special evening.

1. Put on a Costume.

Why just play a game when you can play the game in a silly way? For example, if you are playing a pirate game, have everyone wear pirate hats or eye patches. If playing the Snorta animal game, wear an animal mask. Make them out of paper plates before the game begins.
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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Fun Ideas · Family Game Night · Friday Night Fun · Games

5 Easy Family Party Ideas for Labor Day Weekend


We’ve got a long weekend coming up and I’m in the mood to party. Summer always seems to fly by so quick and I feel like we should do one last fun activity to usher Summer out and welcome Fall in! If you feel the same way, here are 5 easy party themes to help you have some fun with friends, family or neighbors this Labor Day weekend.

1. Beach Party – Didn’t get a chance to go to the beach this summer? No problem. Bring the beach to your backyard with this easy party idea.

2. Football Party - While this is more of a fall theme, college football starts this weekend. Invite some friends over for an impromptu kick-off to the season.

3. Neighborhood Firepit Party – Keep it super simple! Set up a firepit on your driveway and invite the neighbors to bring a dish, some drinks, and chairs for some family-friendly fun.

4. Back-to-School Themed Bash – Celebrate the fact that school is back in session. Mari over at Inspiredbyfamilymag.com created a super cute Back-to-School dessert social party. Grab all of her ideas on her site.

5. Pretzel and Beer (or Rootbeer) Party – This party is one of the cutest ideas I’ve seen for a party theme from Deanna and Deanna Moore Designs. It’s sure to be a big hit with both kids and adults.

Have fun this Labor Day weekend! If you aren’t going to throw a casual party, what are your plans for some fun?

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5 Fun, Easy Ways to Entertain Friends, Even if You Hate Entertaining

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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Party Ideas

Family-Friendly New Years Eve Party

Miami Herald logo


I was thrilled to be included in an article in the Miami Herald on Throwing a Kid-Friendly New Years Eve Party. Check it out and grab some ideas for next year.

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Tags: Family Party Ideas · Holiday Celebrations

Creative Football Party Decoration and Food Ideas

The college and NFL football seasons have kicked off, fall weather is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to throw a family-friendly Football Themed Party. We had family in town last weekend to see the Iowa Hawkeyes play at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was a blast! But afterwards, I realized that I should have made some football themed cupcakes or decorated the house for our football weekend. So, to inspire myself for a future football party, I found some super creative ideas online. Whether you’re throwing a party for family and friends to watch that special game or you have a child who’s dying for a football themed birthday party, you’ll score big with these party ideas. Psst! I have a lot more Football Party ideas on my Sports Themed Party Board on Pinterest. Check those out, too.

DECORATIONS

    These free football party printables from the Hostess with the Mostess blog are awesome. She has some good looking snack recipes on the site as well so check those out.

    These aren’t free but I love the retro design to these Football Party Printables from LilSugar.com.


    How cute are these football juice box covers! Kate at the AndEverythingSweet blog tells you how to make them.

    Football party table decorations

    Jackie Fo shows how to grab some Astroturf flooring from your local Home Repair and Hardware Store to make a cool looking tabletop on her blog. She has some really cool decorating ideas so check out her site.

    You’ll find some great kid-friendly decoration ideas here, as well.

FOOD

Which idea would you make at your next football themed party? What are your ideas for hosting a football themed party?

I’ll share ideas for games and activities for your football party in my next post, so check back. Or, I have a lot more football and sports themed party ideas on my Sports Party Pinterest Board. Come follow me and get pinspired!

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Tags: Fall Season Family Fun Activities · Family Celebrations · Family Party Ideas

5 Fun, Easy Ways to Entertain Friends, Even If You Hate Entertaining


My husband and I love to entertain. We enjoying cooking, throwing parties, and spending time with our friends … both with and without kids. Entertaining gives us the motivation to clean up the house once in a blue moon, as well. But, every now and then we get frustrated because it seems like we never get invited to anyone else’s house. We finally asked some of our friends about it. Are we bad guests? Do we smell weird? Do we plug the toilet? Do we bring bad wine?

The majority of them told us, no (phew!), it was because they are intimidated about entertaining people at their house. They want to be hospitable and see friends more often, but they are afraid to invite anyone over. It means they have to clean and they don’t know how to cook a big, fancy meal. While we understand and emphathize with the sentiment, my husband and I need to get out of our house every now and then! We want to socialize with friends … in a different setting. I read all of the time that cocktail parties are popular again, people are coccooning and staying in more, and that intimate gatherings are all the social rage. Really? I also heard a comedian one time do a bit about how Americans spend an obscene amount of money on our houses and then never let anyone see them.

So, I have put together 5 fun and easy ideas on ways to entertain friends (ie. invite us over) at your house, without a lot of hassle. Before we get into the ideas, though, get over the fear of cleaning up your house. As long as there isn’t mold growing out of your guest bathroom toilet, your friends won’t judge you. They just want to spend time with you. Your other parent friends are incredibly forgiving. We have piles of toys, papers and other gear laying around our house just like you do. We are also sleep deprived so we don’t even notice what we are sitting on most days.

1. Soup Recipe Party - Make a soup. Your favorite, fail proof soup recipe. Or your Mom’s recipe. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Then, ask your friends to bring their favorite soup and to bring a copy of the recipe to share. Buy some French bread or corn bread as a side. Buy a ready made salad and some bottles of salad dressing. Throw it in a large bowl. Buy some styrofoam cups. Everyone can then use the styrofoam cups as their soup bowls to take a sample serving of each soup at the party. The styrofoam cups sit on a strong paper plate fairly nicely. Pass out the recipes to all guests. Viola! You have dinner served and you only had to make one soup. (You can also do this with chili. Everyone makes chili differently.)

2. Burger Bar - We have these burger bar parties all summer with our neighbors, friends, and family because it is easy. Get some ready made burger patties and buns. Then, buy some wild toppings and set them out on the counter so people can build their own burger. Pepper jack cheese, white cheddar, blue cheese, and smoked provolone are all good. Add bacon (buy ready made), grilled or raw onions, and even avocado slices. Then add sauces – BBQ, chipotle mayo, steak sauce, and salsa. See what you can find at your grocery store. The only cooking you’ll do is throwing the burgers on the grill. Buy some prepared cole slaw, chips, and brownies. You’re done. Low fuss but maximum impact. You’ll seem like a gourmet cook, when all you did was not burn the burgers.

3. Order In - When we have invited friends over and then were too tired to pull off cooking a big meal, we order in from a favorite restaurant. We usually provide the appetizer and dessert ourselves. You can buy some great prepared ones at Costco. Then, we order in the main meal. It’s less expensive than meeting friends at the restaurant because you’ll save money on the drinks, appetizers, and dessert. Nobody cares whether you cooked the meal or not. It’s all about the getting together.

4. Cocktail or Dessert Party – It’s easier to host a cocktail party or dessert party than to plan and cook a full dinner. So, invite people over after 7:30 p.m. for drinks and/or dessert. Bake a cake or a few different cookies, add coffee, and you’re done. Make or buy 3 or 4 different appetizers, whip up a pitcher of cosmos, and you have a cocktail party. Put out some small napkins and you’ll look like a pro. Prep time and clean-up for these parties is a lot easier than full dinners. It’s also easy to buy great tasting appetizers and desserts, if you don’t want to cook.

5. Parties. They’re not just for dinner anymore – - Host an afternoon tea party or cookie exchange. No dinner necessary, just some light snacks. Have a wine tasting party in the late evening and just provide cheese and crackers. Host a card party and provide nuts, pretzels, chex mix, and brownies on the tables. Invite another family over on Sunday afternoon for an ice cream sundae. Entertaining doesn’t always mean dinner, so be creative with your time and theme.

I hope these ideas have given you the confidence to go pick up the phone and invite someone over. Don’t forget about us. Have any other ideas on simple ways to entertain? We’d love to hear it.

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Tags: Entertaining at Home · Family Party Ideas

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