I’m Not Going to Lie…I Throw a Killer Party

So I know I promised months ago that I’d tell you about our housewarming party, but then LIFE happened…and the housewarming party came and went…and definitely got put on the back burner. But here it is in all it’s gaming glory.

I wanted to throw a game-themed party. And actually I wanted to get crazy into it with a different game theme in every room and people playing games everywhere. I had HUGE plans. I was going to set up a whole CLUE scenario. I was going to have little Jenga pieces for everyone to put house tips on. I was going to make cute little favors for everyone. But, as many of you already know…shit doesn’t happen the way we plan it. We closed on our house on October 15. We moved on October 25. And we threw the housewarming party on November 15. We’re lucky the house was clean and there was food to eat.

Throw an awesome housewarming party

Part of the quick turnaround was because I NEEDED to have an organized, put-together house in order to survive. I would have gone bonkers if we were living amidst boxes and bags that hadn’t been opened and organized. (There are still a few of those, but not many…and none of mine). Part of the quick turnaround was the timing. If it was around Christmastime, I would have had to have Christmas up and running perfectly…and then we were hosting Christmas dinner and it would have been a disaster of too many parties in quick succession. If it were after Christmastime…well let’s just say we’re still recovering and Christmas is still lingering in unseen areas of our home.

ANYWAYS. So we threw a party. Pretty quickly. And had about 65 people show up throughout the day (while expecting about 35-40!). We opened our house up to guests from noon until whenever (which ended up being around midnight), and ran ourselves ragged with tours and food replenishing and beverage duty. We had some wins and we had some fails, but all in all it was a total success.

While no one really played games, the theme was pretty evident throughout the house.

How to throw a game-themed housewarming party (without killing yourself or your partner)

Decor

Set up an AWESOME food display in an open area, where people can grab food, mill around and start one of the bazillion tours you’re about to give.If you don’t have a lot of decorations elsewhere, that’s okay (YOUR NEW HOUSE is the decoration that everyone’s dying to see). I was a caterer in another life, so the buffet set up can be super baller if you know how to use levels and fluff the hell out of tablecloths or fabric. (I use milk crates and similar containers to create my levels). Because I have so many Scrabble boards and pieces from my wanna-be-a-crafter box (and that one time I made Scrabble Christmas ornaments for everyone), I thought that using them on my buffet would be a hit! I labeled all the food with tiles (and even used the board to get all the ingredients for my Blue Cheese and Date Spread on Endive. I also pulled a few more game boards and pieces for good measure, adding just the right amount of nerdy gameyness.

Setting up buffet tables is one of my special skills. I used to be a catering manager so this sort of thing really tickles my jollies.

Setting up buffet tables is one of my special skills. I used to be a catering manager so this sort of thing really tickles my jollies.

dice and trvial pursuit

Food

Choose food that is SUPER easy to make and replenish. I’m a big fan of Crock Pot apps and snacks, so I went with BBQ weenies and buffalo chicken dip. I actually had another Crock Pot in the kitchen with more buffalo chicken dip for easy replenishment. My mom made several deli platters for sandwiches and it was cold enough that we could keep the reserves outside.Obviously there was a cheese platter. I like to to a lot of fan faves and choose one crazy concoction that I hope works out (that would be the blue cheese and date spread – which worked out). I made ALL of the food the night before, so the day of I could focus on the insanity of hiding all our crap in boxes and corners and shit.

BBQ weenies

Note the chess pieces, trivial pursuit cards and scrabble tiles for a mix of beloved classics

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Gratuitous cheese photo

Gratuitous cheese photo. Please note. I spelled cheese wring and am completely ashamed of myself. But don’t you love the risk board below?

Dessert

I REALLY wanted to make domino brownies. And I REALLY didn’t want to do a lot of baking. So I baked chocolate chip cookie bars and gluten-free brownies (both from mixes, homies) and picked up a giant brownie cake thing from Sam’s Club. I sliced the brownie in Domino-size pieces and dotted them with frosting. And it fucking worked.

Domino Brownies

I seriously thought these were going to be a huge Pinterest fail. And then they turned out alright.

mint chocolate chip cookie barsDrinks

We had wine galore. We had beer. We had the soda stream. We had two Keurigs. And we had some epic fails in forgetting to get bottled water and cans of pop. Not realizing just how many people would come, we thought that we’d be fine with soda stream and filtered water from the fridge… Go buy cans of pop and bottled water. Save yourself. Seriously.

Oh. And get these shots – which were a HUGE hit.

Twisted Shots Twisted ShotsPlaying HostessI discovered Twisted Shots while at BlogHer in San Jose last summer. They actually sent me a lovely little box of these delicious treats for my housewarming party! After 7, I figured it was time to get the party going (and most of the touring had ended), so I brought out the shots. I played server and convinced almost everyone to try a shot or two. With flavors like Sex on the Beach, Buttery Nipple and Porn Star, you know you’ve got a good thing going. Almost everyone was down with these sugary sweet twisted shots full of colorful booze that tasted mostly like candy. Even my whiskey-loving friends found a few shots that were right up their alleys.

Tours

Plan on basically spending the majority of the time touring and put someone else in charge of food and beverages once the party starts. Even if there are two of you, you’ll be switching off with the tours on a pretty serious cadence…and I think there were a few moments when we ran out of food. But I don’t know for sure because I was racing all over and mingling and busy and reveling and all of the things! (Yes, that sentence is supposed to give you anxiety.)

In the end, though, all you really want is for the people you love to come over and eat your food, drink your booze, and tell you that your house is pretty. And that’s what happened. I heard all sorts of positive things in regards to our first event in the new place (and then we hosted Second Thanksgiving…and then we hosted Christmas. So there was that.)

Blog friends, tell me about your party throwing experiences? What have you learned? What have you done well? What would you have done for a game-themed party?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

What do a Glue Gun, an Exacto Knife and Pain Have in Common? A DIY Challenge. With Scrabble Tiles. And Christmas Ornaments. Obviously.

If you recall from two weeks ago, I joined some rockstar bloggers in a DIY challenge. Not a competition mind you, a challenge. I’m also pretty sure that by challenge, Joules meant, “I challenge you to make something artsy without hotgluing your hands to your forehead.” or some nonsense like that. Therefore, Joules, I call this a success. 2 cuts from an exacto knife, a cardboard paper cut and one tiny hot glue burn later…My hand is not hot glued to my forehead. AND I have FOUR masterpieces!

I started with a bazillion Scrabble games that I’ve collected through my estate-sailing, garage-sailing summer.  The below picture is a mere sampling. Each box is FILLED with either boards, tiles or tile slats.Scrabble Obviously, I had a lot to work with. Scrabble Tiles And so I took this challenge on with the goal to REALLY get going on my plans…of Christmas presents for everyone! (OK, maybe not everyone…but if you want a Christmas card and MAYBE a present (5 randomly selected Christmas card recipients are getting Scrabble ornaments!) e-mail me your address (quirkychrissy@gmail.com) and you’ll at least get a sweet holiday card, and you might get a sweet ornament for your tree!

How’d I do it though? Oh. Right. The DIY project. I got carried away with…well Christmas joy.

How to Make Scrabble Tiles Your Bitch…Err…Ornaments

This was SO easy! The hardest part was collecting the Scrabble Tiles. Something along the lines of hundreds of man-hours went into the hunt for all the games. I’m hardcore. I know.

I started with the exacto knife and one very unlucky Scrabble board. I cut out two pieces from the board to make two board ornaments, which I hot glued Scrabble tiles to for authenticity (and because I have a shit ton of tiles). This part was the hardest in the actual project, so I decided that I would only do two exacto knive pieces…Brian apparently thought that a dull blade would be better for me…didn’t he learn in school that the sharper the blade, the LESS likely to cut yourself? (Unless you’re me, and you’d probably cut yourself anyways…)

After the tricky pieces, I thought it would be fun to make some easy pieces.

scrabble Tile OrnamentsYou’re probably catching onto my theme, aren’t you? Well, wait my patient little pretties. I’ll get there.

After I glued all of my letters together for the final two words, I was ready to glue ribbon to them! I chose a more festive ribbon for the tiles alone and a simple gold ribbon for the tiles with board pieces (Mission: Not to have Polish ornaments that look how I dress. Goal: successful.)

For the travel edition tiles, I sliced the ribbon in half with scissors (no cuts!) so as not to be overwhelming.

The final products are the perfect addition to my mini book Christmas tree.

What do you think, Blog Friends? How’d I do? Do you want your own? Should I sell them on Etsy like a boss?

If you want to check out more of the DIY challengers, go visit them!

DIY bloggers headshots

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!