Entertaining Ideas

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This post has a few themes, so hang in there....

Kate's "beautifull" lipstick
Just so you know~this is the kind of day it has been. Kate drew "beautiful lipstick" on her face while I was otherwise occupied (trying to catch a few minutes of Oprah but also helping with homework and vacuuming up the one thousand styrofoam balls that came in a package today and have taken over my home).  Look how proud she is of this mess!

I had two sick kids home from school today (one who was missing some important standardized testing) and I am one exhausted Mom who had nightmares all night last night. There has been too much to do lately and I feel very overwhelmed. I wish I had a personal assistant, don't you?

But back to the point of this post....

I want to share two of my favorite ideas for middle of winter entertaining:

When I first became a stay at home Mom 11 and a half years ago, I was really bored and really lonely. We had just moved into a new house and I did not know any "Mom" friends.  I had been a professor and all of my friends worked.  So, as a way to get to know some of the playgroup and neighborhood Moms better, I decided to host an Oscar party.  I ordered really cute invitations and made lots of yummy food.  I bought movie candy and put it out in pretty bowls.  I had ballots and prizes for Hollywood trivia, and other things.  I told all of my guests to wear pajamas (there were prizes for those too).  It was a blast.  I have had some version of that party every year since then.  One year I had a treatment for MS so I did not plan a party.  I was sick but still some friends came over to watch with me.  Even when we moved to VA and I knew few people, I had my Oscar party.  This year I will actually be out of town doing a photography seminar until just before the Oscars begin so I have not decided how to proceed. However, I encourage y'all to plan this type of party.  It is so MUCH fun...you will not be sorry.

I have a photo from that very first Oscar party somewhere.  If I find it, I'll scan it in and post it but I have not had any luck so far.  There are still some unpacked boxes though:(

An "Oscar" that my friends gave me when we left Houston 5 years ago.

Now for the second idea...for the past few years my husband has come up the most FUN way to spend Valentine's Day.  Dave recruits two or three other fun couples who live nearby and like food as much as we do.  Then the gentleman plan a progressive dinner.  They do ALL of the work!! They decide who will host which course, what the menu will be. They even get/arrange the centerpieces and set the tables.We begin with hors d'oeurvres at one home, then we have the soup/salad course at the next home, and move accordingly through the main course and dessert. One year theme was Italian and the next it was Continental. I have no idea what the theme is for this year. The first year, our sweet husbands sent us ladies to the spa for the day while they prepared the progressive dinner and it was all a TOTAL surprise.  That was the BEST (hint, hint Honey!) We had so much fun that Dave has continued the tradition and this year is including old friends in our new tradition.  So, have your husband read this and tell him what a great Valentine's Day it would be.  You'll be glad you did.  

My creation

Here are a few photos from last year's dinner.

And since some of you asked...Kate had a GREAT first dance class.  She LOVED it and has talked of little else. She kept her dance clothes and shoes on all day long and even showed Daddy her new moves when he got home from work. I could not really get a good photo of her during the class but here is one right after it ended.



  1. sounds like a full day. Thanks for the great ideas! I love the dance pic!

  2. Kim... the lipstick is priceless!! What a great picture! Sophie is sitting here saying "no no, we don't color our face" - LOL!

    And, I LOVE your party ideas! Especially the valentines progressive dinner! I don't have a sweetheart, but someday when I do, I will definitely try to implement this!! Maybe in reverse the first year :-)!

    Love Kate in her dance outfit! She is too precious!

  3. Wonderful ideas and I love Kate in her dance outfit....I knew she'd look just too adorable! ;)

  4. Kim,

    Kate could not look any cuter in her dance outfit- how precious!! I'm so glad to hear she enjoyed herself and learned some moves. I love the progressive Valentine's idea. Progressive dinners are so much fun I think and such a great way to get to know others. You'll have to be sure and post about this years menu and show some pictures. Hopefully Dave will deliver with your spa day or something special like that:) Great Post!
    P.S. I'm making your Tortilla Soup recipe for Superbowl- can't wait!


  5. We are talking about a progressive dinner in our neighborhood....they are so much fun......I think I am going to pass on the idea of having the husbands do the cooking....thanks for that tip:)

    Kate looks adorable...glad she liked her first class!


  6. I laughed out loud when I saw Kate's face! You are right....she looks quite pleased! :)

    She looks so adorable in her little dance outfit....and how awesome that she is having fun too!

  7. I love the lipstick! She is obviously very proud of herself!

    I love your Oscar party idea. If i could count on Jeff being home from work, I might try to do it!

    Hope everyone is feeling better.

  8. So many great ideas!! And great photos as usual. Kate looks so cute in her dance outfit! Hope the boys are feeling better soon!


  9. I absolutely love the photo of Kate with her lipstick. Isn't it amazing what children can do in a very short amount of time?

  10. I sooo remember these events that you had done..
    They are WONDERFUL ..
    You are soooo creative..
    Love Kate in her dance outfit.. she is soooo cute..
    and the lipstick.. LOVE IT..
    Have a great week..

  11. Oh she's so proud of her lipstick. Great entertaining ideas and I love her little dance attire.

  12. Wow! I always thought your hubby sounded wonderful, but this idea takes the cake!! What an awesome idea that the men plan the party. My husband is pretty amazing, too, but I would have to say that it's not gonna happen here, but it's a fabulous idea! I hope Dave catches the spa hint.

    Tomorrow night, we're doing a regular Ladies' Night Out in our neighborhood, but this time with a lot of new women who moved into a second phase of our neighborhood. We have all been asked to bring a wedding photo and family photo album so we can get to know each other. I thought that was a fun idea. I'm sure there will be lots of laughs looking at old wedding photos. :)

  13. Good lordy, Kate looks adorable in those ballet shoes.

    I love progressive dinners and movie nights with the girls. I've never tried an Oscar party, but it sounds right up my alley!

  14. Oh my gosh...I about died when I saw that first picture of Kate's face! lol
    Love the much-deserved Oscar trophy!

  15. Sweet Kate!! That is some beautiful lipstick, girly. You and Em would get along famously.

    Love the party ideas too...

  16. Oh my...she was having fun huh? I love her in her little leotards!

    You are such a fun fun person...I don't enjoy entertaining but I can tell it is your gift!

  17. Love Kate's lipstick. Isn't black the new pink? :) Can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. I think that color of lipstick is in this winter!! Emanuiel's legs looked just like that a few days ago after he had some fun with a pen.

    Great party ideas!!

  19. Great entertaining ideas : ) I love the picture of Kate with her lipstick LOL Priceless...Kate looks adorable in her ballet outfit. I'm happy she enjoyed herself today. Thank you Kim for taking the time to post some many wonderful ideas and decorating tips! I really appreciate it,

  20. I love the color of Kate's lipstick :) I hope the boys are feeling better soon!

    Your Valentine's Day sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing...


  21. Black lipstick and all she is just adorable!

    Hope you have a better day tomorrow!

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  22. Too cute! It sounds like your husband may be the metrosexual I've always dreamed of! I cannot, in my wildest dreams, ever imagine my husband coming up with such a great idea!

  23. Love the lipstick! So creative!

    Thanks for permission to copy your parties! We love progressives!

    And Kate looks so confident. I can remember wanting to show my daddy everything, too ;)

    Happy Day!

    I'm working through your favorite decorating blogs (Thank You!) but now I really really want to gut my big 80's kitchen!

    We received new photos of our waiting daughter. Come by for a peak if you have time!

  24. I LOVE that Valentine's Day idea!! Great idea!!

    I also love Kate's beautiful lipstick! Too cute.

  25. Kate is too cute, her ballet ensemble is adorable. Brings back such sweet memories for me.

    Love the Oscar Party, I've been to a few but would love to go in my PJ's!

    I must say, I'm so impressed by your hubby. So nice. Does Mr. Peanuts have any available friends?!? Just kidding, sorta! ;-) This Valentine's Day is going to be me, myself and Godiva! :-)

  26. Oh, speaking of the Oscar's, have you seen many of the films that will most likely be nominated? A few weeks ago I saw Doubt, The Reader and Revolutionary Road all in one week. I don't recommend this as I was in a funk all week.

    Much better now.

  27. Oh Kim, that picture is too funny!

    I loved your Oscar party last year would love to do one myself, but I have way too much on my plate to even think about it.

    Loved the ballet pic...I am sure she had so much fun~

  28. Sorry to hear you were home with 2 sick ones. :( That's no fun! Kate is precious with her "lipstick. Love the entertaining ideas. A friend once did an oscar party and we had to come all dressed up, love the pj idea. Actually C has a pj day at school today and was asking me as he left for school if I wished I could have a pj day too...hmmmmmm.

  29. Doctor's wife,

    I laughed out loud at your comment....
    Dave is not really metrosexual. He could care less about clothes, has no sense of fashion, would never EVER do a spa treatment or watch the Bachelor with me. But he is really thoughtful and a really good cook.
    He is a great husband and Dad but if you met him you would see he still a regular guy who prefers a threadbare flannel shirt and doesn't listen very well and wants to watch college football on the weekends. I am lucky though...he is the best!


  30. Great Valentine's Day idea. I can totally see my husband and a few of our friends doing this ~ if he is in town that is.

    Love the lipstick ~ I don't believe I have that color but, it certainly looks nice on your daughter :)


  31. First, thank you for your kind words on my blog. Meant much. This side of heaven I am very human and need much reminding that God is there. Much to say on the rest of your entry, but most to state that I love it that you are a Mom to a little girly from China that loves her choice of lipstick and looks amazing with it on and two amazing sons. What brand is that by the way, smile. I love it that you have close Mom friends as we need that in life and the oscar just is a tangible token of their caring toward you. I love it that your husband is romantic and plans something for you during valentines. You being a Mom deserve loving like that from your hubby. I hope your day is full of wonder and just good.

  32. Oh we had an incident marker yesterday too! Not the first I might add!
    I really enjoy your party ideas! And the Oscar's are great!

  33. I love Kate's handy artwork!! I have gotten off lucky, all Sophia has been doing is digging out all the lip balm out of the Burt's Bees container and smearing it all over her face and up her nose! :)

    Great party ideas..We are having a toddler Valentine day party!

    Love Kate in dance class, my monkey is starting tumbling tonight but insisted on the pink ballerina costume to wear...I think she is going to be disappointed and might be switching classes!

    Hope everyone feels better soon!

  34. You and your hubby are so creative - those are great ideas!

    I love the Oscar too, haha!

    It also looks like Kate has a super creative side too, i.e. the lipstick! She is just too darn cute!

  35. so precious seeing miss kate's ballet debut!!
    she's so precious.

    i know how you feel on those overwhleming days. i feel so much more all-together when life isn't that way.

    hope the boys are feeling better soon

  36. you sound busy!! kate looks so cute from ballet class! i love all of your entertaining ideas...i might need to pass this on to chris!

  37. I love the progressive dinner idea. It sounds like a blast. I could totally see Chef Daddy plan something like this, however, he will be out of town this V-Day. Maybe next year!

    Kate looks adorable in her dance outfit!

  38. Wow...you packed a lot into this post!!! First...Kate...Adrable in her dancy dance clothes...and well...the "make-up" job looks very...thorough indeed! :-)

    Your Oscar paarties sound fabulous...I remember reading about last year right after I discovered your blog...which is also fabulous BTW!!! :-)

    I hope all are back to "well"in your house...winter germies are no fun at all!!!


  39. You sound like someone I would love to hang out with! You always are doing such creative things for your family and your hubby sounds pretty clever to. Glad dance class was a sucess.

  40. I laughed out loud when I saw the picture of your darling girl Kate with pen ink all over her precious little face! :o)

  41. You are so full of great ideas! And the "lipsick" and dance class photos of Kate are,of course, precious. Thanks for sharing.

    Gin =)

  42. Love the photo of kate. Zoey has blue Melissa and Doug dinasour stamps all over her entire body (can;t get them off)- even her bottom and pee pee!!! How funny is that. We are being subjected to the naked phase in our house! AAGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    Thanks for all the tips- i am loving them


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