Holiday party shortcuts

Between decorating the house, setting your guest list,
sending out invitations, and cooking up a storm, it can be easy to overlook a
few easy holiday party shortcuts that will save you time and be a huge hit with
your guests. Jennifer Durbin, author of
Party Planning Tips for the Clueless Chick offers a few tricks to plan your
holiday parties.

Simply Personalized

Signature Drink:  A
fun and easy way to personalize your holiday party is with a signature
drink.  Your signature drink can be
alcoholic, kid friendly, original or a copycat – the options are endless.  An easy crowd pleasure is a fun holiday
sangria, like one of my favorite Martha Stewart recipes: 

Classic Sangria

  • 1 orange, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup green grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine, such as Rioja or Cabernet
    Sauvignon
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chilled lemon-lime soda
  • Ice

TIP:  A signature
drink is not only easier for you to manage because you can make it ahead of
time, it is often much less expensive than serving multiple drinks.

Creative Dessert Displays 

Cupcake Rack:  Have
you seen those adorable pictures on Pinterest of beautiful cupcake bouquets and
wondered how on earth they pulled them off? 
Well, now you don't even have to worry about finding a how-to guide, all
you need is a Cupcake Rack.  Just make
(or buy!) your favorite cupcakes or muffins, pop them into the Cupcake Rack and
you've got the perfect centerpiece for you dessert table. 

Something for Everyone  

Great Vegan/Paleo Options: 
If any of your guests have severe allergies or dietary restrictions,
have no fear, there are some new, YUMMY options.  Lucy's has these fabulous gluten, nut and
dairy free cookies that are just delicious. 
TIP:  Be sure to label all of the
food on your buffet to avoid any allergy mishaps.

Guy Friendly Food: 
When you are setting your holiday party menu think outside of the
box.  It is fun to surprise your guests
with some less traditional food options like beef jerky – why the heck
not?!  The guys will love it, as will
anyone who is avoiding carbs.  TIP:  Turn Krave jerky into a fun party favor by
simply adding a “Here's some protein for your late night present wrapping”
favor tag.

Cute and Easy Clean Up

Clean Cubes:  Keeping
on top of trash and recycling during your party can be a real pain and who
wants to ruin their carefully planned décor with an ugly trashcan?  All you need are these new Clean Cubes that
are cute, recyclable, reusable and disposable. 
You can get a small or large version in a variety of colorful designs.

So don't worry about taking a few shortcuts, it will make
your life easier and you will have more time to actually enjoy yourself!

Follow the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter for all of
Jennifer's great party planning tips.

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