Celebrate!

Ideas for Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties and Other Celebrations

Who doesn’t love to celebrate?!?! I enjoy any chance to bring the people I love together, to eat, drink and be merry.  With any successful event, planning is key! When bringing a group of people together its important to factor in participation costs so everyone can partake.  Many of the following ideas are more geared towards bachelor and bachelorette parties but can be used for birthdays, random acts of bonding, and just because days. Wether you are planning to celebrate the end of your single era with your friends the day before or months advance, its always good to have the particulars figured out as early as possible.

One Day Celebrations

When celebrating a birthday, engagement or connecting with friends it is always great to have an activity. Some fun interactive activities are  going to a local sports game, attending a painting class or craft night (drinking and creating? yes please!), having an arcade night, or hosting a cookout.

If you are into a craft night like Cocktails and Canvases it is always helpful to check Groupon or Living Social since they are almost always have deals available.  Before buying any deal make sure you check what classes they offer to ensure you will enjoy the subject, and check the dates against everyone’s calendar.

When planning an outing to a professional sports game to minimize costs it is good to try and go to soccer, baseball, or rugby games. These are typically the least expensive professional sports in most areas.  You can typically get tickets under $15 at most baseball stadiums, if on a budget stay away from Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium they are some of the most expensive tickets in the league.  Fun facts; the cheapest tickets in the league, Angels at $9.80, parking Tampa Bay at $0, hot dogs Cincinnati at $1, and the cheapest beer in the league is a tie between Cleveland and Arizona at $4.  Also if you are looking for atmosphere and not the big name athletes take in a minor league game or look into off-season

Something like a potluck or game night is also a great way to have fun and be budget conscious. When hosting an event at your house, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help, small things like bread, salad, beverages, and side dishes add up.  If one person doesn’t have to take care of everything the host/hostess is more likely to enjoy themself and not be ridiculously stressed.  Unless you are me; and then you will probably be stressed no matter what, but love every minute of it.

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Cocktails and Canvases in Denver, CO

Budget Friendly Trips

A trip is a fun way to “trap” people you love into a location and force them to do all the lame things you love, right? Or it could be a great time to have an adventure with some of the most important people in your life.  When planning a budget friendly trip for a group of people keep the following tips in mind.

Find Local Beauty

Instead of going to Las Vegas or Miami, try somewhere else just as beautiful and exciting.  Most people live close to a local beauty or a water source like a beach/lake, camp site, or mountains that will provide a wonderful backdrop to a trip filled with great memories.  If most of your people are in the same state road tripping is a convenient way to make it accessible to a lot of people. Also who doesn’t love a good road trip?? Another positive is that people can carpool which helps with keeping costs low.

Rent a House

Look into borrowing a friends second home or look into renting a house thru Airbnb, VRBO, Home to Go, Home Away or other house-rental sites.  Renting a house and splitting the cost between all guests can help make a weekend stay cheaper than one night in a hotel.  Another way to save is to rent a house during the off-season, also there will be less tourists around to photobomb your pics.

If you haven’t guessed it I think the best way to save money on a trip is to find ways to split the bill multiple ways! I was lucky enough to have a friend let me use her family cabin in Idaho to host my bachelorette, it was the perfect backdrop for relaxing, being silly, and enjoying the outdoors.

Food

Eating and drinking out can really make a trip or outing expensive.A good rule of thumb to ensure you don’t spend a fortune on eating out is to plan meals ahead and stock the fridge.  Eat out for one night only and savor it.  Partaking in nibbles and drinks at home really help with costs and saves everyone from taking taxis!  I love those intimate moments when you stay in with friends and create a meal together, no rush, just having great conversation and yummy food.

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Friends Family Cabin in Idaho

So, remember, when gathering your loved ones for a celebration, it’s best to start early to give everyone time to plan. Get creative with budget friendly options; everyone will be grateful for this! Plan activities that everyone can enjoy and partake in. Don’t be afraid to delegate small tasks when people ask if they can do/bring anything. And most importantly, remember to have fun and don’t sweat every single, minute detail. Your friends are there to celebrate, not to judge you for buying a pie crust rather than making it by hand!

Holiday Togetherness

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  Holiday season is here!  Christmas decorations are everywhere the Thanksgiving fixings have been picked over and the busiest traveling, shopping and eating season is upon us.  Sometimes with all the lights and presents we lose sight of what this time really means.  One of the challenges of this season is combining holiday traditions. Whether its friends, family or colleagues every group has its own way of celebrating and staying connected.  I have learned that by speaking up, compromising, and making a genuine effort to trying something new you can have a fulfilling and stress free season.

When I began dating, my now husband, I immediately was introduced to the world of sports and the outdoors.  At first I was extremely self-conscious of how I sounded when I tried to talk sports, or how out of shape I was. Being exposed to their family traditions allowed me to awaken a side of me that I had not to fully develop.  During our last visit to Colorado I opened myself to each experience, letting go of any self doubt.  I was able to knowledgeably support my husband’s alma mater, rush the field, and shoot a gun and loved every second of it.  When those opportunities for a new experience pop up grab onto them!

 

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For me the holidays are made extra special by scents and food.  Just catching a whiff of fresh pine, warm spiced sider, or fresh pumpkin pie transports me to childhood memories. So when I found out my husband is anti-tree murder, I was crushed.  While the adult in me understood that cutting down trees simply to decorate and then throw away is incredibly wasteful and bad for the environment, the child in me wanted to throw a tantrum and scream “you cant have christmas without a real tree!”.  Thankfully the adults in us have found a solution!  Fill the house will soy spruce and pine scented candles and have a fake tree.  We both were able to speak up and say what makes the holidays special to us without ignoring the other’s viewpoint.

It is really easy to get caught up in self imposed or assumed societal standard during the holiday season.  When it comes down to it the real purpose of the holidays is to enjoy each other to the best of everyone’s ability.   The best part of combining traditions is creating new ones, and celebrating the life that you have created with the people you have chosen to spend your life with.  As a new sports enthusiast and food obsessed individual I love when we can create ways to honor both of our backgrounds and traditions. Remember that the holiday season is about being together, and however you chose to celebrate it.

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Trader Joe’s Holiday Hacks

Sooo its that time of year, when you have a ton of gatherings, parties, and family dinners and you almost always need something to bring.  Year round I have a serious obsession with all things Trader Joe’s.  When it comes to hosting or attending  seasonal festivities TJ’s helps make everything bright.  These are the five ways that Trader Joe’s has saved my holiday season.

  1. So much holiday gluten free goodness! I am currently hooked on their new Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread/ Muffin Mix which is $3.99.  These babies only require 2 eggs, water and oil and in 22-25 minutes you have a fall celebration in your mouth!  They are super flavorful and seasoned to perfection.  They are so yummy and easy that my husband started baking them, and then ate the fruits of his labor…..
    • If you need other GF friendly holiday staples try their GF Cornbread Muffin Mix, Stuffing, and Pumpkin Pancake Mix.  All of these have been tested by gluten intolerant and gluten tolerant alike, and loved!
  2. Silk Almond Hazelnut Creamer $4.99 + Houseblend Coffee $13.99= a great start to your day.  Finally there is that autumn chill in the air that makes a morning cup of coffee extra rewarding!  I love sharing coffee and conversation when guests are visiting.  Whether it is a mid-day pick-me-up or an aid for early consciousness this combination is a fall hug from the inside out.
  3. Looking to roast your turkey with fresh organic herbs?? Organic Thanksgiving Herb Bouquet, $3.99 to the rescue!  Use this enticingly scented bundle of sage, rosemary and thyme for turkey, stuffing, or even butternut squash soup.  These savory herbs are also great for earthy aromatic table settings.
  4. Wanna be the hostess with the mostess?!  Keep on hand TJ’s Cranberry Chevre Log $3.99, Erath Pinot Noir $12.99, and their Fig & Olive Crackers $3.99, and you are sure to impress any friends and family that stop by unexpectedly.  The tart cranberries, atop the flavorful crackers, paired with the smooth fruity red is a well balanced combo that certain to leave everyone satisfied.  If you do not drink alcohol warm up some of their yummy Apple Cider which is $2.99 and throw in a fragrant cinnamon stick in for extra cheer.
  5. Carrot Souffle, is it dessert or an addition to dinner?  Thankfully this versatile deliciousness can cover so many bases you will be prepared for dinners and potlucks all season long.  This pre-made side-dish is great for those who don’t have time to cook but still want to bring a crowd-pleaser.  Only $4.99 TJ’s Carrot Souffle is a steal.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest.  Being prepared can help this season filled with memories and not stress.  Be sure to check in often for more hosting tips to ensure all of your events are beautiful and go smoothly.

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**I have included the  prices of these items at my local Trader Joe’s, sorry if they do not reflect the pricing in your area.