Positive Attitude Month is an annual designation observed in October. A positive attitude is the best trait you can carry with you, because it makes any difficult or frustrating situation a lot easier to deal with. If you look at most scenarios as “glass half empty,” now is the time to change that! Looking at things with a “glass half full” perspective is a small thought process that makes a big difference. Research suggests there are lasting benefits to keeping a positive attitude. Read more: HERE
Let’s talk about engagement party ideas. Though before we even get started, I can see y’all out there cringing at the idea of more-guest-lists-more-parties-omg. I want to take a moment to hold your hand and say if you are throwing an engagement party, here are your priorities.
PRIORITY NUMBER ONE: Just make it fun. That means not being forced into planning a party fit for the Duchess of Windsor on a Jenny From The Block budget. Not being pressured to do All The Things. Not letting your stress levels overtake your excitement levels.
PRIORITY TWO: Sparkling wine!
PRIORITY THREE: Figure out what the heck you want to do. Because really and truly, often picking a theme for an engagement party makes it way easier to plan. Even if that theme is just “pizza and beer and celebrate the newly engaged couple,” you’ll know what your vibe is and what you’re doing, and the rest of
your decisions can flow from there. But hey. We’re going to do you one (or thirteen) better on engagement party ideas, to make the planning process easy.
Keep in mind: an engagement party can be as big or as small as you’d like. It can be thrown by the couple or for the couple. And, free pass, it doesn’t even need to happen at all. But if you (or the people who love you) want to throw an engagement bash, here are my favorite engagement party ideas right now to inspire the fun.
13 ENGAGEMENT PARTY IDEAS
Vintage Cocktail Party
Picnic and Bike Ride
Hygge It Up
Personalize This Thing
Food as Entertainment
Popcorn Bar and A Movie
Dessert as Decor
Is punch a theme? It should be. Make a fabulous punch or two, definitely with a decorative ice ring (aka people-pleaser extraordinaire). Or try including ultra-extra details, like garnishing with edible flowers that say, “Someone’s getting married and we’re not messing around about it.”
VINTAGE COCKTAIL PARTY
We’re talking old-fashioned cocktails here. Break out some gorgeous old-fashioned coupe glasses. Put together some old-fashioned appetizers, like cheese fondue or caviar-topped canapés or bourbon nuts. Don’t forget the elegant, ostentatious cocktail garnishes. Wear a velvet pencil skirt. Pearls. You get it.
BIKE RIDE AND PICNIC
Pack twee picnic baskets and meet at a bike rental shop, or just arrive at the picnic spot early to set out your red gingham blankets, baguettes, and strategically placed wildflower bundles. This is an easy one to keep the menu simple with bubbly wine, cheese, crackers, and some fresh fruit.
Break out the rose gold sequin dress from New Year’s Eve, and book the top-floor bar in the city center (the one with the really low mood lighting). You can even request guests wear black and white attire. There’s something about engagement parties that leans toward elegant as opposed to the garden party vibe of many bridal showers, and I say: Go for it.
HYGGE IT UP
Especially in the winter, we all want to get nice and cozy at our social gatherings. Capitalize on those warm feelings with an everything-hygge-themed event. Think: a coffee or hot cocoa bar (spiked!); bonfires outside plus the fluffiest blankets, of course; s’mores; a roaring fire; and hot toddies over good conversation.
You don’t want to attempt an engagement bash that rivals the wedding itself, so keep it casual. I love the engagement party idea of a chill beach cookout. Bring a few staples yourself, but ask guests to add in whatever they want to throw on the grill. For more fun, toss some volleyballs around, get your sangria on, and stay late enough to watch the sunset.
PERSONALIZE THIS THING
Did the couple have their first date at a zoo? Do they really love science fiction? Are they constantly traveling to France? Add in some thematic elements that will make people go, “That is so Chris and Malery.” Or, include little details about them in the decor, like photos of them as kids suspended on the strings of helium-filled balloons, or notes about why they’re a great team scattered on tables.
If your couple has more than a couple green thumbs, this could be the perfect engagement party idea. Some versions of this idea include succulent decor, seeds as favors, hanging air plants, or even cookies shaped like ferns. Consider hosting this party in a botanical garden, or even just a particularly lush stretch of public park.
Say it right with these bubbly, ultra-fun balloons. You can find cursive, metallic ones that say “love,” or purchase individual letters to spell out the couple’s name or a longer phrase (maybe try “CONGRATS LOVEBIRDS”). Set them over the dessert/food/booze tables, or line the phrase up as a trail from the front door, so that when the couple enters, they’ll be greeted with helium cheer ASAP.
Champagne towers seem to be disappearing from wedding-related events, and, if you ask me, we need to bring them back, fast. They’re opulent things, though, so save this engagement party idea for your One Big Thing at the party, and bust it out just in time for the toast for fun. It’s a memorable way to congratulate the couple.
FOOD AS ENTERTAINMENT
DIY food stations are fun, but who doesn’t like to be a little spoiled? For this engagement party idea, bring in a pro, like a sushi chef, a stellar taco truck, or even a custom cotton candy maker for an indulgent treat that doubles as something fun to do at the party. (In Honolulu, you can hire an amezaiku, or Japanese candy art expert, and they’ll whip up lollipops on the spot, shaped as animals, people, and more!)
POPCORN BAR AND A MOVIE
But okay, DIY stations are also super fun. Popcorn is so easy, and so casual, and has a million ways it can be customized. (Sweet! Salty! Nutty! Spicy!) Then, use a projector play a flick on a sheet in the backyard, a la an old-school drive-in. Make sure you pick a movie that’s short and sweet, or keep the volume turned low enough to facilitate mingling and mixing throughout the party.
If you’ve never been tubing before, this is when you and all your friends each get an inner tube, tie them to each other, and either float lazily down a river or hang out in the ocean. It’s the best thing ever. It’s the engagement party idea to win all engagement party ideas. And it should be the theme of all your next parties.
DESSERTS AS DECOR
Again, there’s no need to go All Out In Every Way. Instead, go for one or two sweet touches. For example, opt for shaped, custom cookies, in an image that resonates with the couple (maybe they love hedgehogs, are serious dog people, come from California, or love bikes) or the generic-but-always-cute chunky, stylized engagement ring. Or how cute are these donut engagement rings? Yum!
Natalie Schack is an Oahu-based brunch enthusiast, full-time glutton, and freelance writer on the side, who’s constantly pumping out pages on topics ranging from all the pretty things, to some of the not-so-pretty ones. If she’s not in bed daydreaming about birthday party themes or biking through Honolulu with her untamable, impossibly lovable, rascal of a husband, you’ll find her locked in a heated debate about this or that science fiction film, hiking *all* the mountains, or drooling over a new, sexy slice of design that found its way over to her cozy corner of the Internet.”
Make sure you tell your Insurance Agent about your new Engagement Ring. If you’d like more information about insuring your jewelry, call Scott Lynch at (317) 886-0081 or visit him on line at: Scott Lynch Agency
Operation Song, the 2018 Hands on Nashville Strobel Award, “Civic Volunteer Group of the Year.”
Operation Song™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Nashville, Tennessee. Our mission is to empower veterans, active duty military, and their families to tell their stories through the process of songwriting.
Operation SongTM songwriting programs create an opportunity to transform service related issues, injuries and illnesses into a structured, musical outlet as an enhancement of traditional therapies and/or treatments.
Since 2012, we have written over 600 songs with veterans of WWII to those currently serving. We hold weekly workshops in Middle Tennessee and sponsor events and group retreats throughout the U.S. Those we serve need no musical background, only the desire to tell their story. http://www.operationsong.org/
The holidays are an exciting time of year full of get togethers, gifts and delicious food. While we’re focused on a season full of parties and fun times, a pet might think differently. Extra noise and visitors can leave pets feeling stressed. As we keep holiday and winter tips in mind for people, there are holiday and winter tips for our furry friends, too.
Here’s what to you need to know to keep pets safe this holiday season.
We all know there’s an overabundance of food during the holidays. From sweet treats, to delicious meals, it’s easy to give in to the begging eyes of a four-legged companion. However, it’s important to note that just because food and drinks are people-friendly; it’s not the same for pets. Here’s a list of what foods to avoid giving your pet.
Say no to sweets. We’ve all heard that dark chocolate is dangerous for dogs, however, bread dough and cookie batter are just as dangerous. Dough can actually rise in your pet’s stomach, casing bloating and severe pain. Plus, just like their owners, pets can get salmonella poisoning from raw eggs in cookie batter.
Bones and beyond. It’s tempting to offer your dog a special holiday “bone” right from the turkey your family just enjoyed. However, bones can get stuck in their intestines if they are brittle. On that note, make sure you dispose of bones carefully, just in case a sensitive nose goes sniffing where it shouldn’t.
Skin from a turkey is also a no-no. The skin is full of fatty juices and butter, and can be difficult for your pet to digest. High-fat foods can also lead to pancreatitis.
H2O only. While we know pets shouldn’t consume anything other than water, you may find your pet taking a sip or two from an unattended glass, filled with an adult beverage. While dogs love the smell of beer, the hops in beer are toxic to a dog’s system.
Spice is not so nice. On your pet’s digestive system that is. Sage is a popular seasoning used at Thanksgiving, and while it’s delicious for pet owners, it can cause pets to have upset stomachs or even more serious digestive trouble.
Nutmeg is another culprit that can wreak havoc on your pet. The popular spice used in pumpkin pie can cause seizures and central nervous system problems if your pet digests it. Pumpkin on its own is a safe treat for pets. Just avoid anything that is seasoned with nutmeg.
From trimming the tree, to stringing the lights and all the holiday ambiance we create in between, decorations definitely pique pets’ curiosity this time of year. Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re setting up and displaying your holiday décor.
Trimming the tree. Cats have been known for seeing a Christmas tree as the ultimate climbing tower. Make sure your tree is securely anchored to avoid a serious fall. If you have a real tree, it’s important to keep pets away from the tree water, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria, not to mention toxic depending upon the tree food you use. There are several recipes online for creating your own non-toxic tree food to keep your tree lasting throughout the holiday season.
Tinsel gets tangled. Tinsel is especially dangerous for cats. Its shiny appearance is a magnet for inquisitive cats. However, if ingested, the tinsel can wrap around the intestines or get balled up in the stomach causing severe pain and (expensive) surgical removal.
Ornaments are not toys. Holiday ornaments add an element of beauty and tradition to your Christmas tree, however, it’s important to recognize that glass ornaments could cut your pet’s mouth or digestive system if swallowed or damage their paws if stepped on. Other ornaments to watch for are homemade salt ornaments. While fun to make, salt ornaments can be fatal to a pet because of the high amount of salt at one time.
DeLIGHTful holidays. Lights are everywhere during the holidays—indoors and out. Try to keep electrical cords out of the reach of pets. Inquiring minds could confuse lights as a new chew toy and end up with a shocking surprise.
Adding spark to the holidays. Make sure your pets steer clear, or better yet, can’t reach any candles this holiday season. While candles are an integral part of holiday celebrations and traditions, our pets aren’t as careful as we are. Make sure candles are out of reach of paws (and tails), or better yet, choose a flameless battery option that you can “light” without worry.
Holiday plants are often purchased or given to enhance a home’s décor during this festive time of year. Here are three popular holiday plants that can be dangerous to pets.
Forgetta the poinsettia? Actually, this popular Christmas plant isn’t as dangerous for pets as people think, but it can make pets sick. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, poinsettias have milky white sap that when ingested can cause skin irritation and mild vomiting and drooling. There is a low level of toxicity, if a poinsettia is ingested.
Holly doesn’t equal jolly. Your pet will be feeling anything but jolly, if a holly berry or leaf is ingested. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea could occur almost immediately after your furry friend takes a bite.
Skip the kiss. If you find you and your pet under the mistletoe…run. Mistletoe, while fun to have around, is very dangerous for pets. If ingested, mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems.
Your best bet? Purchase silk or plastic versions of these popular holiday plants to avoid any unwanted trips to the pet ER.
It’s great to include your pets in family celebrations, holiday parties and holiday road trips. There are special considerations to keep in mind when your pets are involved with your holiday traditions.
Ringing in the New Year. Whether you’re ringing in the New Year with a small group of family or friends, or having a mini Times Square celebration in your house, make sure you think of your pet. Noise makers can scare pets or even cause damage to their sensitive ears, while confetti can get stuck in your cat’s intestines if ingested. An increased number of party-goers can also cause added stress to your pet. It might be a good idea to make sure your pet is in a secure and comfortable place before the clock strikes midnight.
Traveling with pets. From packing their “belongings,” to preparing for travel in a car or plane, pets have their own checklists for travel. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you travel with your pet this holiday season.
Keeping pets warm. As the temperatures drop, it’s important to think of our four-legged friends. From dressing smaller dogs in sweaters or coats (gift idea perhaps?) to keep them warm, or booties to protect paws of all sizes, there are many “clothing” items and options available to keep our pets warm this winter. If your pet has to be outside during the day, make sure their enclosure is protected from the wind. Finally, keep your pet’s age in mind. Just as humans are more sensitive to the elements as we grow older, so are our pets.
If you’ve read through this post, you know we love our pets! They have special places in our hearts during the holidays and throughout the year. Enjoy this holiday season with your pets (and family).
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