Make Your Oscar’s Party Nomination Worthy

By Kate Hoffman

Oscar night is full of glitz and glamour, thrills and excitement. It’s an old Hollywood tradition that dates back to the Roaring Twenties when the First World War had turned cold and motion pictures were hot. An opportunity for Hollywood’s elite to gather together to honor their colleagues and to celebrate the achievements in filmmaking from the past year. It’s a night that brings out gowns, tuxedos, high fashion, cameras, speeches, and emotions. For one night only, the stars come out to rejoice in their industry’s accomplishments.

But why should Hollywood have all the fun? Gather your friends together and host your own Oscars party! With these three criterion, your party will be worthy of the silver screen.

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huffingtonpost.ca
huffingtonpost.ca

Plan your menu around the Best Picture nominees. Each year, the Academy recognizes between five and ten films for the night’s most prestigious award. Use your imagination and create dishes that revolve around the film titles. This year, you have eight to choose from. (Birdman, Boyhood, Selma, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel, American Sniper, and Whiplash.) Break it out by course and be clever with the names. Maybe your main course is a chicken dish, loosely based on the nod to Birdman. Use The Grand Budapest Hotel title to incorporate a native dish from Hungary. (Perhaps goulash served in single-serve cups.) “The Imitation Crab Dip Game” is a cheeky title to use for homemade crab dip served up as an appetizer. Be creative! Give it a good think and you’ll discover that there are plenty of ways for you to make your menu fun and inventive.

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stepandrepeatla.com
stepandrepeatla.com

For the past fourteen years, the Academy Awards ceremony has been held in the Dolby Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. The lights, the splendor, the red carpet! With these decorating tips, create the illusion of grandeur by transforming your living room into your own Dolby Theater. Who doesn’t love to make an entrance? Convert a disposable, plastic tablecloth into your very own red carpet. Cut down to size and run it the length of your entrance. Your guests will feel as if they’re attending the Oscars firsthand from the moment they walk through the door. Create your own step and repeat banner and let your guests strike a pose. Adorn the walls with movie posters or cutouts of some of your favorite celebrities. Decide on a color scheme and utilize balloons and ribbon where desired. If you’re aiming for a more elegant atmosphere, have your guests dress up in their best Hollywood glam attire. Have fun with it! It’s your party and you can decide on the look and feel.

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http://oscar.go.com/mypicks

 

Care to make it interesting? Sure, the televised event provides more than enough entertainment for the evening, but having your guests predict the winners themselves adds an attention-grabbing twist. Visit http://oscar.go.com/mypicks for printable ballots. Have your guests fill out their own ballots before the show and award prizes to the one who predicts the most winners! This will not only provide for interesting conversations throughout the evening, but it will also keep your guests captivated through some of the less stimulating categories.

 

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Follow these guidelines and you’re sure to treat your guests to a party they won’t soon forget. Now go start writing your acceptance speech, because with these tips you’re guaranteed to nab the statue for “Best Oscars Party” this year!

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Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Award Winning Procrastinator

By Kate Hoffman

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away, which means if you haven’t picked up a gift for your sweetheart yet, you’ve officially entered into the danger zone. And since you’ve already proven yourself to be a first class procrastinator, chances are you haven’t even attempted to put some thought into a V-Day present for your beloved. (Ahem, no judgment.) Calm down, take a breath, and check out this list of last minute but gender-neutral gift ideas to help get you started.

Breakfast in Bed

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gentlemint.com

Forgo hitting the snooze button and plan to surprise your significant other with their favorite breakfast dish in bed. Rather than use the usual paper and plastic place settings, class up the breakfast tray with your best china, cloth napkins and finest silverware. Garnish the tray with a single red rose or flower petals. Don’t forget that clean up is part of the gift, too – wash the dishes when they’re done!

Movie Tickets

www.inquisitr.com
http://www.inquisitr.com

Before the big day, head over to your local movie theater and pick up a couple of tickets. Put together a movie night basket complete with popcorn, soda and all of your lover’s favorite sweets. Bonus points if you go see a romantic flick. (HINT: 50 Shades of Grey)

Booze

www.gotexanwine.org
http://www.gotexanwine.org

For the connoisseur of liquor, buy them a bottle of their libation of choice. For the beer drinker, indulge them with a 6-pack of their favorite brew. Decorate the bottle or pack with hearts, stickers, or romantic love messages. There are also plenty of wine or beer of the month subscriptions that will make the gift last all year!

Flowers

scienceofrelationships.com
scienceofrelationships.com

Okay, okay. Flowers certainly aren’t groundbreaking for Valentine’s Day, but most flower shops require orders to be placed days, if not weeks in advance. Luckily, most supermarkets house flower sections with a decent assortment. To dress up your arrangement, splurge on a decorative vase or jar and your Valentine will be none the wiser.

Spa Day

hideawayinn.com
hideawayinn.com

Who doesn’t love to be pampered? As a couple, leave the stress, anxiety and worries at home and spend a day of relaxation together at the spa. Celebrate with massages – the perfect gift for couples looking to connect on a deeper, more spiritual level.

Homemade Dinner

hercampus.com
hercampus.com

Most couples feel obligated to make dinner reservations at a fancy, new restaurant for Valentine’s Day. You go all out and get dressed to the nines only to find that when you get to the restaurant the wait time is outrageous and you’re forced to order off of a fixed menu that’s way overpriced. Skip the drama of going out and make a romantic dinner at home. Give your dining room the look and feel of that fancy restaurant and play some love songs in the background to set the mood. You’ll forget that you’re at home in no time.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

culinarytuesdays.com
culinarytuesdays.com

Society has deemed chocolate-covered strawberries to be a Valentine’s Day staple. But ordering from one of those big name companies can get real pricey, real fast. Why spend all that money when you can easily make your own? Pick up the ingredients and make beforehand to allow enough time for the chocolate to harden in the fridge. Mix it up by adding chocolate chips, sprinkles, or nuts. Serve with champagne!

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Above all else, it goes without saying that no matter what you procure your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, no gift is complete without a handwritten (and heartfelt!) card. Enjoy the day with your love! Just remember that when it’s all over and done with you only have 364 days left to plan for next year.

Reinventing the Mason Jar

By Kate Hoffman

Ask grandma what a mason jar is used for and she’ll likely say canning jams or preserving food. Ask almost anyone else and you’ll learn that canned jams are a thing of the past. The mason jar has unquestionably been reinvented in the 21st century. Weddings, baby showers, birthday parties – mason jars are hitting the party planning scene in a huge way. Once a practical container, now a stylish and trendy must-have at any social gathering. Here are just a few ways the mason jar can be integrated into your next party or event:

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brides-magazine-maine-real-wedding-corbin-gurkinAfter an event, no one will be raving about plastic or paper cups, and boring drinkware certainly won’t coordinate with the décor. Take a more rustic approach by serving up fruity beverages and cocktails in mason jars to enhance your theme and impress guests with your attention to detail. Design a signature cocktail and add colorful straws or umbrellas to personalize the drink and add your own touch.

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Mason jar centerpieces recently took hold of the wedding planning scene. Wedding planners can use mason jars to add rustic flare by arranging a bouquet of favorite flowers, accenting with scented candles or bringing the beach inside with sand and seashells. Get creative and design the outside of the jars, as well!

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Who says that food has to be served up on a platter or in a bowl? Mason jars can be used to serve your guests appetizers or desserts in a single serving fashion. Pasta salad, layered dip, cake, pie or ice cream – arm your guests with a fork or spoon and let them nosh on homemade goodies in a unique and innovative way.

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If you’re aiming for an urban or bucolic setting for your special event, then mason jars could add the perfect touch. Fill them with white or colored Christmas lights and scatter around your party to illuminate the room. If you’re hosting a large, sit down gathering, fasten some tags to the lids or draw on them with chalk to artistically create homemade table numbers. Or if you’re feeling extra ambitious, fill with candles and string some together to hang high above your guests to accentuate the space of your party.

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Finally, no social gathering would be complete without party favors to close out a successful event. Leave your guests with a reminder of the memories they made with mason jar manicure and pedicure kits, single serve hot cocoa mix with marshmallows, candies and treats or a DIY cocktail gift for your adult friends. Add your own personal touch by decorating the outside of the jars or adding on a makeshift handle. Little mason jars hold endless possibilities.

 

 

So the next time you find yourself hosting a party, remember to pick up your mason jars. You can usually buy them in bulk at your local supermarket. If you have any leftover, well, you know you can always send them to grandma!


 

Photo Credit

Mason Jar Drinking Glass http://hope.ly/1M4wW2r Mason Jar Flowers Centerpiece http://hope.ly/1M4xm8M Mason Jar Candles Centerpiece http://hope.ly/1M4xpBL Mason Jar Desserts http://hope.ly/1M4xqFB Mason Jar Hanging Lights http://hope.ly/1yYTWXp Mason Jar Table Numbers http://hope.ly/1M4xyVG Mason Jar Cocktail Kit http://hope.ly/1M4xCF2

Who Wore it Best: The Grammy’s vs The Walking Dead

By Samantha Sineni

The Grammys always bring out beautiful people showing off the hottest trends of the new year. We watch elegant celebrities in stunning designer gowns and the daring taking memorable fashion risks. The Grammys sure do showcase the best of fashion, but let’s not leave out the other major event of the season, the premier of the Walking Dead season five. The Walking Dead brings us an apocalypse-chic that cannot be ignored. Let’s see who wore it better in a Grammys vs Walking Dead showdown.

Ariana Grande vs Judith

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The youngest of the best dressed, Ariana and Judith both sport a mature look. Adriana adds a little tasteful sex appeal, while Judith goes for grandmother-chic.

Miley Cyrus vs Eugene

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Miley’s iconic hair definitely draws attention, but it can be argued that Eugene rocks it even better. Though both Southern, Miley gives a high fashion edge to the high-head poof, and we see that Eugene takes a more intellectual approach.

Kim Kardashian vs Hometown Zombie

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Earth tones compliment almost anyone’s skin tone and fit every occasion. As we see here, Kim’s outfit says, “I’m cold, but I still want to look hot” and this fashionista to the right combines fashion and functionality.

Chrissy Teigen vs “There’s No Way Tyreese is Going to Make It Now” Zombie

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Wavy blond hair isn’t just for the ladies, even though Chrissy Teigen gives it a polished, classy feel. The surfer look might have started in California, but this elegantly disheveled mister on the right brings the laid-back vibe to Atlanta.

Gwen Stefani vs the Governor

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Adding asymmetry can funk up any outfit. Gwen bends a lined pattern to create a flattering shape. The governor’s eye patch brings back a look reminiscent of the late 1600s to prove that you can be stylish no matter what life throws at your face.

Jessie J vs Gabriel

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Black on black is no risk, all reward in the realm of fashion. An elegant black dress or suit brings a touch of class to every occasion. You can edge it up with light-catching shine or keep it traditional, proving that loving God can also mean looking your best.

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So there you have it. Six of the best dressed people in the public eye battling it out for the top spot. So who wore it better? Comment below to tell us who will win it all.

 

See the real top 7 best dressed from the Grammys here.