Tag Archives: play

Get Gushy: Love Parties

3 Feb

Just to be clear, this post is about Valentines Day and thus, love. I’ma get gushy. You’ll find no anti-VDay, black armband, burn-all-the-relics-from-the-shrine-you-created-for-the-man-you’re-stalking suggestions here. The only thing I find more annoying then people that treat Valentines Day like a serious holiday is people that get pissy about it and spread their doom and gloom around like peanut butter on hot toast (unless you’re a teenager, then you’re excused because you have to put up with competing for how many carnations you have sent to you, an evil popularity plot, probably set into motion by that cheerleading coach from Glee).

So if it’s a pity party you’re looking for,  you’ll find more solace in the hot deli at your local grocery store. But if it’s lovey dovey-ness you crave, well you’re in the right spot! Here are some excellent Valentines Day party themes for the ol’ 14th of Feb.:

1. Past Their Prime (Time): TV Couples Costume Party

Famous movie star couples have been done so why not have shindig dedicated to the great loves of boob tube past? Have guests dress as their favorite twosomes. For example:

  • Sam and Diane from Cheers (I get dibs on that if you invite me)
  • Kevin and Winnie from The Wonder Years
  • Sandra and Elvin from The Cosby Show
  • Blanche from Golden Girls and every male senior citizen from Miami (group costume)
  • Charles in Charge and the sisters because you know that’s what he was in it for
  • The Nanny and Mr. Sheffield
  • Burt and Ernie

I could go on all day, but everyone has a favorite so let them decide.

Invites and Decoration: If you want to get fancy and make invitations, style them after a TV Guide. You know, like 6:30-7: Live in the Kitchen with Appetizers!; 7-7:30: So You Think You Can Drink, so on. Decoration and atmosphere can be low key. Check out some classic TV theme song CDs from the library for background music and also find a recording of canned laughter and play it every time someone makes a lame joke. Create a makeshift photo area with props and a TV screen cut out from cardboard that guests can stand behind. Constantly interrupt your guests for commercial breaks. Make sure and do product placement all around your house. For example, make little cards in your bathroom that say “Your bathroom break is sponsored by Charmin Toilet Paper and a box of matches!”.

Food and Drink: Serve “Let’s go out to the kitchen” snacks on TV trays throughout the room. Choose foods that you would eat while watching the telly: popcorn, candy, whisky straight from the bottle, etc.

Extras: Make a trophy by gluing an old thrift store remote to some sort of platform and give it to best costume or do a TV trivia quiz for a grand prize.

2. Why Must I Be A Teenager in Love?: School Dance Party

Invites and Decoration: Style this party like a 1950s dance held in the high school gym. Send invitations made out of notebook paper and folded up as a note you would pass in class. Guests can check yes or no for their RSVP. Encourage people to dress up in old fashioned prom outfits: chiffon dresses, ducktails, pockmarks. Hang tissue paper streamers and a big paper heart that guests can tape their senior pictures up to for everyone to laugh at. Play doo-wop records for the dance floor and make sure there’s lots of slow dancing. Keep the lights low. Make your old friends be chaperones.

Food and Drink: Spiked punch, obviously. Other than that you can go two ways with the menu. Either serve 1950s cookbook style items: Jell-O Molds, entrees with two kinds of meat in one dish, roll #$%@ up in ham, use fancy toothpicks. OR, theme your dishes after 1950s pop songs. For example: “And They Called it Puppy Chow”, “Johnny Angel-Food Cake”, “Leader of the Pack-et Taco Seasoning”. That kind of thing.

Extras: Station someone in the bathroom to hide out and offer people cigarettes or give them swirlies. Call everyone’s parents to pick them up.

3. Love Potion #9 Party

It’s possible that your guests don’t really feel like dressing up. In which case, a Love Potion #9 party is the one for you. You can go as simple as a punch bowl with a Post-It that reads “Hey guys this is love potion”, or really get into it and throw a Mad Scientist /Gypsy blowout.

Invites and Decoration: Just call your friends and invite them. Haven’t I thought of enough ideas for you? Decorate your home like a bordello: scarves draped over stuff, lots of lamps, incense burning, and some sort of glass globe (magic ball) or tarot cards strewn about. Designate someone Madame Ruth (you know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth?) to pass out random future readings to people. Definitely designate a makeout room with trippy music playing in case your guests start “kissin’ everything in sight”.

Food and Drink: This seems to me mostly a drinking party. Mix up several different punches of all different colors (use food dye to make them really distinct). If you want to stay true to the song, mix one punch up “right here in the sink”. Place cards in front of each punch that says what type of “potion” it is: Love Potion, Unrequited Love Elixir, Stalker’s Brew, Tonic for Commitment-phobes. Include little snacks to soak up somma that potion so no one get’s pulled over by “a cop down at Thirty Fourth and Vine” on the way home.

Extras: Do NOT actually drug people.

That’s all for now! I won’t invite myself if you throw one of these, but I will hold it against you forever if you don’t let me come.


Pop the Bubbly: Cheap and Distracting Fun for Kids

16 Aug

You’ve been to the zoo, the farmer’s market, the fireworks, and the water park. You tried to start a fun summer school thing, but it never really took off after the nature walk lesson you planned where it took you a half hour just to get everyone sunscreened and bug-sprayed and the neighbor kid complained the whole time and no one could find the right shape of leaf to trace and you ended up getting them ice cream in the hopes that they would become lethargic enough to pass out on the sun-porch while you dabbed calomine lotion on your mosquito bites and cried to yourself.

If the only activity you’ve got left up your sleeve is crossing off the calendar days until school starts again, if  you started empathizing with Betty Draper when you watch Mad Men on Netflix Watch Instantly,  if you’ve found yourself yelling, “Godblessit, can I just finish my damn wine cooler?”,  then you are officially sick of your kids.

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How to Pack a Perfect Picnic

19 May

Picnic-ing is one of my favorite things and an event I think everyone should have on their spring and summer to-do list. Whether it’s a romantic plan with your lovah,  an impromptu lunch break with your girlfriends, or you just made sandwiches for your messy kids and don’t want them to spill mustard on the carpet, a picnic is a great idea. It’s getting outside, it’s putting down your iPhone, it’s enjoying food without any distractions so you actually taste the food. It’s a picking blades of grass, having someone braid your hair, staring at the sky, deep conversation kind of time. And you should do it. You should go have a picnic right now.

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I’m Spendin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas: Kiddie Gift Ideas on the Cheap

15 Dec

Of the many many prestigious titles I hold (Domestic Macgyver, Queen of Sanford 2000, Person Who Knows a Surprisingly Large Amount of Information about B-List Actors), the one I’m most proud of is Favorite Aunt. Duties of Favorite Aunt include: rubbing your favored-ness in other aunt’s faces, keeping on top of Sponge Bob trivia, and providing awesome holiday gifts, the last of which, I’m going to discuss today.

Walking through the toy aisle during this time of year, it’s easy to fill your cart with big-faced dolls, computer games, and various movie-themed Lego sets. The problem is filling your wallet with the money to walk out of the store without getting tackled by a plain-clothed security card.

A girl can’t defer the student loan bill in the name of Bratz dolls. And she can’t spend Christmas hand-cuffed in the Target security office either. That’s why I’ve thought of some cheap but very thoughtful gift ideas for the little rugrats over the years. The following kiddie gifts are kid-tested and Favorite Aunt approved.  Because I have 9 nieces and nephews and another one on the way, I’ve given ya’ll 10 ideas:

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All A-Board Game: Arts & Scraps Pirate Bounty

27 Oct

I know that I’ve missed Talk Like A Pirate Day so stop your lily-livered yappin. Me thinks any day is sufficient for celebratin’ pirates.

I was inspired to make a pirate-themed gift for me land-lubbin’ mateys (the scally wags…) when I docked at the landlocked little gem of Detroit, Arts & Scraps.

Arts & Scraps is a hearty organization that takes donated recycled materials and uses them to help kids and grown-ups alike “think, create, and learn”. They make kits out of their scraps that kids can use to make wonderful art. They also throw birthday parties, hang student art up in their gallery, host field trips, AND have an entire fabric room stuffed to the gills with fabric. Well, shiver me timbers!!!!

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Paper Bag Writer: TV Lunches

16 Sep

When I was wee, I usually spent my early autumn evenings getting kicked out of the various rooms in my home for various annoying-little-sister atrocities like singing, whining, “I’m telling”, etc. I’d be exiled from both bedrooms where my three older sisters were practicing their marching band instruments, talking on the phone, or dying each other’s hair. Banned from the back porch where my brother constructed intricate Lego metropolises. And shooed out of the dining room so that my father could pay bills without being serenaded with a Patti LaBelle medley or a scene from Gypsy (because it’s weird to have your daughter sing to you in the voice of a vaudeville stripper).

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Summer Fun for a Song (and by song I mean movie title)

26 Aug

Note:  Do you usually only get through the first paragraph of my rant before you move on to Awkward Family Photos? Stick with it til the end this time and find out how to win a Thriftfulness prize (don’t just scroll, I’ll know)!

Besides the thighs on hot vinyl conundrum (sticky thighs…it ain’t a bbq recipe), I love summer. The smell of the inside of tents, wild flowers and charred hot dogs. Bare and filthy feet. Icee pops by the bulk section boxload. And the best part about summer is that it’s free to be outside! There are so many fun things to do that don’t cost a chunk of hot sweaty change. And we’ve got to get our Summer Fun in while the gettin’ is good!  We don’t have much longer before it’s time to unpack the thick socks again.

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First Anniversary of Thriftfulness!: Sweet Yes Tea Party

14 Apr

Note: Today, my blog is one year old. Happy birthday blog. I made you some springtime sweets. Thanks readers for continuing to read.

When I was a young’n, one of my favorite things to play outside was “Feed the President” with my cousins. I guess we chose him because he was the most important person we could think of, although we might not have actually known who “The President” was. We would walk down to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house and Grandma would give us empty butter tubs and jam jars to prepare our “meals” in. It was always a decadent multi-course affair: grass salad, ditch-water soup, pinecones wrapped in dirty empty candy-wrappers that we found in the woods. We had dead leaves for plates, twigs for silverware, but dessert was the best part because sometimes for dessert, Grandma would make actual food! Blueberries and milk with sugar were my favorite, so tasty that we ate Mr. President’s helping too…

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2010 Cheap Things: January

11 Jan

Martha has Good Things. I’ve got Cheap Things. Here’s a list of the stuff (and activities) we can love whilst wallowing in post-holiday, post-car repair, post-ridiculously expensive education debt:

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B & E is for Lovers

8 Sep

So, the CD player for my car is in the trunk which stinks because I don’t remember to put new music in and then I have to listen to same Beyonce mix or the same Dolly Parton song or the same “sad bastard” music I was in the mood to listen to last week but now find annoying.

Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, if I had someone to carry out this task for me? Wouldn’t it feel lovely to rush out of the house all flustered and tired and out of coffee and late and then to start my car and have “Rise and Shine” by the Cardigans playing? Or better yet, after work, even more tired and flustered and coffee-maxed and getting in and hearing “Obvious Child” by Paul Simon? This is what got me thinking that leaving a great song for someone to hear while they drive would be a stupendous way to show you care.

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