The Art of Becoming the Hostess with the Mostest

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A special occasion should be just that – special. Actually, any ol’ excuse is a reason to throw a party. With my daughter’s upcoming graduation, I was thinking a lot about how we should celebrate with our friends and family. I was inspired by the Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge to throw the perfect family gathering to celebrate her milestone and new life chapters.

To make a party less about stressing and more about impressing, I realized that all you really need to do is keep a few easy steps in mind!

Step 1: Start Scheming
Until my daughter was accepted to the University of Hawaii, I wasn’t sure what our party theme would be. But after her acceptance letter arrived – Aloha! I now had an easy and instant theme.

When you choose a theme, consider ways to make it your own. A theme might involve


using certain colors or certain ingredients. The Hawaiian theme to us means pineapple, which happens to be my daughter’s favorite fruit. So I made sure the pineapple theme was woven throughout the food and drink menus for consistency.


Step 2: Create Invitations
Since we are in the digital world, I prefer digital invitations for parties. I used a free online source to create, send and keep track of my guests. In less than an hour, you can have your invites designed and sent, which allows you to focus on planning the rest of the party. Choose a cute invite that matches your theme so guests instantly understand the flavor of the party. This also helps them when it comes to thinking of gift ideas!

Step 3: What’s on the Menu?
Once you decide the time of day you’re going to celebrate, you’ll know if you’ll need a full menu, appetizers or both. I chose to serve appetizers at home before we made our way to the Hawaiian-themed restaurant.

I served bacon-wrapped pineapple and pineapple cream cheese dip (I sure hoped my guests liked pineapple). I pre-made the dip for ease throughout the day of the party. I chopped up fresh pineapple and stored it in Ziploc® brand storage bags ahead of time, so I didn’t have to do it when I was preparing the bacon-wrapped pineapple. Pre-make and prepare as much of the food as you can ahead of time, so you aren’t overly stressed, running around trying to get your food, the house and yourself ready for the night.

Step 4: Dolled Up Drinks
Don’t forget the libations to match your theme. I made pineapple cake martinis for the adults and non-alcoholic pina coladas for the underage group – yum!

Step 5: Enjoy!
With these easy party tips there’s no reason to cry.  Enjoy your guests, the occasion and toast to future excuses to get together and celebrate life!

Pineapple Cake Martini
1 ounce birthday cake flavored vodka
1 ounce whipped cream flavored vodka
1 ounce pineapple juice
Add all the contents to a shaker with ice and shake away. Pour into a fabulous martini glass and garnish with a piece of pineapple.

Pineapple Dip
Two 8-ounce packages softened cream cheese or the equal amount of re-constituted freeze-dried cream cheese
Two 8-ounce cans drained crushed pineapple
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons green onion chopped or 1 tablespoon freeze/air dried green onion (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Place all the ingredients inside a medium-sized bowl. Use a hand mixer to blend completely. Keep refrigerated stored in Ziploc® brand Containers until you’re ready to serve. Serve with crackers or veggies.

Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.



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