So you or someone you know is retiring? Make sure the fun starts ASAP by throwing a party to celebrate the occasion. Here are some of our favorite retirement party ideas to help ensure your send-off is one to remember!
Thanks for the Memories
Ideal for: office parties, formal celebrations
An office retirement party is the perfect place to celebrate an amazing career! The party can serve as a highlight reel that celebrates the retiree and inspires his or her coworkers to reach for the stars. Make a slideshow or display board filled with pictures from in and around the office. Show off any special awards or recognitions the retiree has earned, and make sure to get a card or memory book signed by everyone at the office.
Get a Taste of the Good Life
Ideal for: celebrating in the office with colleagues and professional peers
You’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to enjoy the good life. Give all your coworkers a taste of the new life you’re about to embark on with gourmet food and drink. Host a wine tasting and spend some quality time figuring out the best pairings. Or, bring in cuisines from around the world for people to sample and savor. Bonus points for picking foods or wines from a region of the world you plan on traveling to when your retirement officially begins!
Ideal for: a special happy hour, a get-together with your closest office coworkers
If you were known around the office for being the class clown, let your colleagues return the favor by throwing a roast. Serve good barbecue or other grilled fare and let your peers tell their favorite cringe-worthy stories about you and your office antics. After you’ve taken your lumps, dig in to the food and top it all off with a special toast to your retirement.
Life’s a Beach
Ideal for: close friends and family helping you celebrate your newfound freedom
All your working life, you’ve been telling yourself it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. It’s never been truer than at your retirement party! If you’re looking forward to lounging on the beach or taking a tropical vacation, then make sure your retirement send-off has a laid-back luau vibe. Host the party at a lake, beach, or local pool. Have guests dress in their favorite Hawaiian prints and invite them sip margaritas and pina coladas as they relax by the water.
See You on the Fairway
Ideal for: playing a round of mini golf with fellow retirees and office workers you’re fond of
Get your golf game on with all your office-mates and professional peers by having a golf-themed party. You can host it in the office and have light summer snacks and finger foods artfully displayed among your golf decorations. Or for a more lighthearted feel, take an office field trip to the local mini golf course and see who really has the best technique!
What creative retirement party themes have you heard of? Share your ideas in the comments!
Nearly every bride experiences it as they plan their dream weddings, and it only tends to get worse the closer the big day gets…
We’re talking about nerves, of course – those dreaded wedding day jitters!
The great news is you’re not alone!
We’ve collected the wisdom of experts and your fellow brides to help you conquer a bad case of nerves. Here are their best tips to help you breathe a little easier right away.
Preparing The Day before Your Wedding
It’s important to mentally and physically prepare in the days leading up to the wedding so that the list of last-minute to-dos isn’t completely overwhelming. Take these steps a day or two before your wedding to get some of those minor little worries off your plate:
* Take time to relax. Get a professional massage, take a hot bubble bath, or whatever helps you unwind. And make sure to get a good night’s sleep!
* Make an emergency kit for your wedding day. Stock it with tummy and headache meds, an energy bar or dried fruit, bandaids, stain remover, safety pins, hairspray, makeup wipes, and samples of your wedding day makeup for quick touch ups.
* Remember to eat AND drink plenty of water. Avoiding eating in order to look great in your dress can backfire, leaving you prone to bloating, mood swings, and even fainting. To help reduce your stress the natural way, have plenty of bananas to snack on – foods high in potassium have been shown to act as beta blockers, which can reduce the amount of stress hormones in your body.
* If your wedding shoes are brand new, try this quick trick to stretch out your shoes and break them in faster: get a thick pair of socks and a hairdryer. Put on the socks, squeeze your feet into the shoes (it will be tight, but don’t worry), then set the hair dryer on low heat and slowly heat up any area that’s too tight. Wiggle your toes and move your feet – the heated material will stretch and mold to the shape of your foot so that it hurts less.
Early Morning Wedding Day Tricks to Try
* After getting plenty of sleep, wake up early and take some personal time. Try writing in a journal or doing some quick and easy yoga poses to de-stress and get the blood flowing.
* Say a prayer or affirmations with your bridesmaids and close family members.
* Look up guided meditation videos on YouTube and get in some relaxation time.
* Listen to feel-good songs as you get ready.
* Pause and take deep breaths whenever you feel yourself getting stressed.
Anxiety Remedies for Wedding Day Nerves
* Take an all-natural anti-anxiety remedy. We found a great one recommended by Dr. Oz: mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and a half teaspoon of honey together for a light and tasty drink that soothes.
* Put a few drops of lavender oil on a handkerchief and keep it on hand to help calm nerves. Lavender has been shown to have a calming effect.
* Have some liquid courage. A small cocktail can help take the edge off, but remember – too much could give you a fuzzy head just in time for your vows. If you must have a drink, keep it small and limit it to just one. Make sure to drink plenty of water as well so that you don’t get dehydrated.
Advice from One Bride to Another
* Make sure to take a moment for yourself. Spend a few minutes alone with your thoughts in a private place – it’s the perfect time to give yourself a pep talk or try and clear your mind.
* Remember your family and friends – they’re here to help. When your nerves start getting the best of you, turn to them and let them help you out. Delegate some last-minute duties or simply let them encourage you and share their love. They will have plenty of love and comfort to offer just when you need it most.
* Spend a moment or two with your fiance before the ceremony. If you don’t want to spoil the big surprise, stand on either side of a door so that you can’t see one another. Hold hands, say a prayer, or take a minute to reassure one another and reaffirm your love. It will give you a boost of happiness and have you eager to walk down the aisle.
* Remind yourself that no matter what happens, at the end of the day you’ll be married to the one you love!
What advice helped you get over your wedding day jitters? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Planning kids’ birthday parties has become a little complicated thanks to crafters and DIY moms and Pinterest. That’s why instead of getting fancy, we think it’s a great idea to take it back to basics by planning a backyard camping party! What better way to unplug, unwind, and enjoy the simpler things in life without packing everyone off to a remote wilderness spot?
Setting the Stage
The setup for a backyard camping party is pretty simple and straightforward. You’ll need:
- A fire pit or flame-free candles to sit around when it gets dark.
- Seating – both folding chairs and tables (both picnic and card tables will work).
- Optional: a fun chalkboard sign welcoming everyone to camp!
To keep things simple, you can ask guests to bring sleeping bags and flashlights. Then all you have to do is keep everyone entertained!
A Campfire Feast Fit for Royalty
Meals are quick and easy. Kids will love roasting hot dogs over the fire, or eating hamburgers or sandwiches. For breakfast the following morning, scramble some eggs over the fire or have some grab-and-go pastries on hand to give out as kids start leaving.
The real key to a successful campout is having plenty of snacks on hand. For example, the kids can enjoy trail mix as they’re out on their hike or scavenger hunt. They can make post-dinner dessert with classic S’mores ingredients. Then, they can relax by the fire with fresh popcorn!
Just have plenty of beverages on hand to help slake their thirst – water, tea, juice, or whatever your child prefers. As a special treat, they can sip hot chocolate as they sit around the fire and tell stories.
10 Camping Party Activities for Guests of All Ages
The most magical aspect of a camping party is how easy it is to keep everyone occupied until it’s time for bed. We took inspiration from kids’ summer camps and came up with 10 fun activities everyone can enjoy:
1. Create a fun guest book for attendees by painting a picnic table with chalkboard paint and letting everyone draw pictures or write their names. After the party, you can wash off the table and use again for your next outdoor event!
2. Make rubbings – find leaves, flowers, and other items found in nature and make your own works of art the kids can take home. Simply place a leaf under a piece of paper, gently rub a crayon over the surface, and watch an image of the leaf magically appear!
3. Have an arts and crafts station. The options are endless – you can let the kids make their own friendship bracelets and necklaces to give to one another. You can let them create their own camp t-shirts with some blank tees and fabric pens. Or, you can let them decorate their own walking sticks by giving each child a dowel rod and letting them add ribbons, paint, stickers, and more. The best part? The kids can take these things home as fun souvenirs!
4. Help everyone make q-tip bow and arrows, then set up a makeshift shooting range and let them “hunt” to their heart’s content.
5. Experience nature by taking a long walk or hike in your neighborhood, especially if there is a nearby park where everyone can play. Make sure to have enough adults on hand to help wrangle any extra-energetic kids.
6. Set up a scavenger hunt by hiding toys and natural objects (like pinecones) in random places in the yard. Split the kids up into teams and give each team a list of items to collect and a bag to carry them. First team to find everything wins!
7. Wear them out with tag. As it gets dark and everyone needs to burn off the extra energy from dinner and birthday cake, give one child a flashlight and set them loose! The child who is “it” chases other children and tries to tag the next “it” person with the beam of the flashlight by shining it on them.
8. As everyone is winding down, it’s the perfect time to tell ghost stories around the fire. If that’s too scary for your group, tell jokes or funny stories instead!
9. Have a campfire sing-along! Let the kids pick their favorite songs to sing, and teach them some fun ones from yesteryear too.
10. Get everyone ready for bed by relaxing and gazing at the stars before tucking them in.
Now you have everything you need to host a low-key birthday party in your own backyard. All that’s left to do is get outside and go wild!
What fun overnight kids’ party ideas have you tried? Share your thoughts in the comments!
So many brides spend months (sometimes years!) picking out the perfect wedding colors, and it’s no wonder why…
One simple choice can drastically affect the atmosphere and mood of the entire affair!
Recently, one of our Facebook fans requested a blue and green inspiration board from our creative team. We loved the idea, but there was just one problem… there were almost too many choices!
We loved the challenge and with so many options out there, we decided to create not just one but TWO blue and green inspiration boards!
The results are pretty stunning – we wound up with one whimsical and flirty wedding and one upscale affair. We chose a bright, spring-y green for both and used only the shade of blue to change the whole mood of the event. Take a look:
Fun and Flirty Baby Blue and Green
This color combo is great for dreamers, artists, and the young at heart. When combined with the bright, floral green, this light blue really pops and gives the event a summery feel that is totally fashion forward. After all, bright colors and bold personality go hand in hand!
Sleek, Chic, and Sophisticated Royal Blue and Green
You could also choose a rich, deep navy blue to add significance to your setup. The bright green still adds a touch of summer to the decor, but the navy sets a more serious tone. Think about it – navy is a popular color for police and military uniforms, and is often used on yachts and other seaworthy ships. The names for this shade alone invoke an air of elegance – navy blue, royal blue, and midnight blue.
Like night and day, these two mood boards share a lot of the same elements but feel totally different. And if you’ve been wondering about wedding colors, these boards are bound to get your creative juices flowing!
Now it’s your turn – what kind of mood are you going for with your wedding colors? What creative color combinations are you using for your wedding? Share your ideas in the comments!
When the temperatures start rising, there’s nothing we love more than getting out and playing in the water to keep cool. You could play “Marco Polo” in the pool or toss around some water balloons, but we think you’ll be amazed how much fun you can have if you try these games next time you really want to get in the water.
Super Soaker Sponge Tag – Fill a container with water, then throw in a large sponge like the ones used for washing cars. First, designate someone as “It”, then invite them to grab the sponge and try to tag someone else by tossing it at them. If a player is hit by the sponge, they are “It”!
Squirt Gun Face Off – For this game you’ll need twohigh-powered water pistols, preferably the same model. Have two players stand back to back, and then take 10 steps apart. On the count of three, each player turns and fires! The winner is the person who is less soaked.
Beach Ball Race – Set up a couple of relay lanes with a start line and finish line. Place two beach balls at the starting line and arm each player with a squirt gun. Players must move the ball across the finish line by shooting it with the squirt gun. Play this game one on one, or make it a relay by having another player on the team fill in when one player’s squirt gun is empty. First ball to cross the finish line wins!
Icy Building Blocks – When it gets super-hot, ice is the perfect way to cool down. Ice cubes will melt a little bit when you sprinkle salt on the top. Then, you can two slightly melted ice cubes together and they will freeze together to form an ice cube block! Set up a building block station with plenty of ice cubes and salt and encourage everyone to build the best structure!
Sponge Relay Races – Fill two buckets with the exact same amount of water. Form two teams and give each team a big car-wash sponge. At the start of the race, the first person on each team soaks up as much water as she can in the sponge and carries it to another bucket, squeezes out the water and runs back to hand the sponge to the next person on her team, who repeats the process.
Water Pinata – For a fun twist on the fun piñata party tradition, fill water balloons and hang them from someplace high (and away from anything breakable!). Remember, the water balloons will be heavy once they are filled, so use a sturdy string or twine to hold them in place. Then arm each player with a stick or bat and have them take turns swinging at the balloons while blindfolded. Eventually, someone will make contact and get soaked! Rinse and repeat until everyone’s drenched and laughing.
What fun water games have you played when it gets hot outside? Share your stories in the comments!
Travel is an amazing way to experience another region and culture, but what happens when you want to share the fun with all your loved ones but can’t bring them with you? You plan a travel-themed party!
Try these ideas out the next time the travel bug hits you hard:
Destination Wedding Bridal Shower
If you or someone you know is getting married, a travel theme is the perfect way to celebrate. Whether the bride and groom are traveling to a far-off place to tie the knot or they’ve selected a special foreign land for their honeymoon, you can bring those exciting travel elements a little closer to home by using the destination as a starting point for your planning. For instance, a honeymoon to Hawaii could be the inspiration for a luau-style feast complete with bare feet, leis, and colorful floral-print clothing.
Why wish someone well with a teary goodbye when everyone can enjoy a travel-themed before the retiree takes off? Often the retiree knows what they want to do with their upcoming free time, so plan a party around it. Are they traveling around the country in an RV? Rent a party bus and say farewell in style! Are they planning to take a celebratory cruise before returning to a life of leisure? Wish them “bon voyage” with a nautical party complete with Bermuda shorts, buffet-style food, and a photo booth so they can take silly touristy pictures.
Graduation or Farewell Party
Graduation means moving bigger and better things, whether it’s taking a new job in another state or taking some time off to backpack across Europe. Before your grad moves on to the next step in his or her life, celebrate with a travel-themed going away party based on their next destination! If they’re relocating to another state, put together a party that celebrates that region. Use the local landmarks, regional cuisine, or pro sports teams to inspire your party planning. If backpacking is the goal, have a get-together that helps your grad collect all the travel necessities he or she needs for a successful (and safe) adventure.
Your Passport to Party
And finally, sometimes you need to throw a party for no reason other than to have fun. Host a travel-themed party and get inspired by the joy travelers experience when they get their passport stamped. A passport to party theme is the perfect excuse to have the adventure in your own back yard for a fraction of the cost of international travel. Have a bunch of keepsake passports printed up for guests to take home as souvenirs, then dream up some fun activities that will allow them to add brag-worthy stamps to their party passports. Some options include a local scavenger hunt, an eating competition, or a secret recipe cook-off.
What other creative uses have you found for a travel theme? Share your party ideas, tips, and tricks in the comments!
Your bridesmaids have your back on your big day (and all the days leading up to it, for that matter!). To help you show her your love and appreciation, we came up with a list of our 10 favorite ideas for showing your bridesmaids how much you care.
1. Sneak in a Gab Fest
Even though she’s committed to being your bridesmaid, odds are she’s not in wedding mode 24/7. She has made room in her busy schedule to be there for you, so make sure you’re there for her every once in a while by calling to chat about her life – no wedding talk allowed!
2. Send Her a Special Bouquet
We’re not talking about the flowers she’ll carry on the big day, but rather a special “thank you” bouquet just for her. Have an arrangement of her favorite flowers delivered to her office or home just because – it’s a great way to really show how much you appreciate her help.
3. Throw a “Getting to Know You” Party
Your bridesmaids are your dream team, a gathering of your best friends and closest family members. And they’re all here for one reason – YOU! So if they haven’t all met before, it’s a great idea to throw a little meet-and-greet party. It will help foster a team spirit, and could introduce your friends to new friends!
4. Write a Personal Note
Taking a few extra minutes to write out a short thank you note on a pretty card can make a huge impact. Something about sitting down and writing out words by hand gives extra weight to kind words. Plus if she’s a card collector, she’ll have a special memento from your big day that was meant just for her.
5. Pick the Perfect Present
It’s traditional to get a gift for your bridesmaids as a token of your gratitude. Why not get a little creative? Instead of buying something, try making something small and practical by hand. We love the idea of surprising her with a bottle of custom-blended nail polish she can wear whenever.
6. Prepare Her for Anything
No matter how well prepared you are for your big day, some not-so-awesome things are bound to happen. Set her up for success by making her an emergency kit to help her cope with wedding day disasters. Some ideas for a super thoughtful kit:
-Travel-sized stain remover to clean up the inevitable mess.
-A small sewing kit and safety pins to hold it all together.
-Band-Aids and antibacterial ointment to cover up any accidents.
-Small lotions and hand sanitizers to keep her hands clean and soft.
-Headache meds and a small bottle of water for the bachelorette party hangover.
-A small energy bar to keep her going when she gets tired.
-A pair of comfy flip flops so that after a long day of making sure everything runs smoothly, she’ll get to enjoy dancing.
7. Make Her a Snack Pack
Sometimes she gets so busy on the big day that she may forget to eat. Keep her well-nourished by packing a small lunch box with some nice (stain-free) nibbles along with some napkins and perhaps a small beverage. Think portable – things like crackers, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, and mini sandwiches will work much better than something that needs to be refrigerated.
8. Give Her the Heads Up
No one knows your new family better than you and your groom. If one of the groomsmen might make a perfect match for a single bridesmaid, there’s no better time to introduce them! You may just help her find her own perfect match so you can return the favor of being a bridesmaid.
9. Take Her (Pro) Picture
Talk to your photographer about taking some extra portraits for her on your big day. After all, she looks amazing and has helped you out immensely – why not give her an extra-special reminder?
10. THANK HER
The simplest way to show you care is to thank her early and thank her often. For every request, every shopping trip, and every bridal meltdown, make sure you take two seconds to sincerely thank her for doing her best to help you out. You may even consider offering a heartfelt toast during the reception – after all, you couldn’t have done it without her!
What are your creative ideas for showing bridesmaids a little love? Share your thoughts in the comments!
We’re wild about watermelon! The bright pinks and greens are a classic summer combination, and since we love bold color combos we decided to take it one step further.
We’ve found the perfect use for watermelon…a hot summer wedding!
Why not? This super tasty fruit has delighted people for years, and makes an especially refreshing treat on hot summer days. It features one of our favorite fun and flirty colors – pink. Pink is ultra-hot right now, and bold brides are using it to add a touch of girlish sassiness to their big days.
Face it, pink isn’t just for little girls. Fun-loving brides can easily take this color and apply it across the board. Hot pink bridesmaids’ gowns and chic, glossy nails add a flirty, feminine touch to your ceremony. It can bring a bold pop of color to table-top floral arrangements, and makes a stunning accent to your favor presentation.
It’s both a delightfully tasty addition to your reception and the perfect finishing touch for a sweet and summery outdoor event. Fun fact: watermelon has been classified as both a fruit and a vegetable, and was even declared Oklahoma’s state vegetable in 2007.
And the bonus? After showing off your style in your favorite hot shade of pink, you get to satisfy your craving for watermelon with creative culinary dishes like the ones seen below. Watermelon mojitos? Yes, please!
Sometimes it’s hard to shop for Dad and it’s tempting to fall back on the tried-and-true tie. To help you look like a hero and toss the tie, we came up with some gift ideas for different types of Dads based on personality. If you’re stuck on what to get Dad this Father’s Day, check out these gifts (and more) in our special Father’s Day gift shop.
Is your Dad:
If your Dad is a practical jokester, always plotting the perfect prank and planning his next tall tale-worthy trick, he is probably part of our silly category. He probably owns all the classic prankster must-haves – whoopee cushions, a disappearing ink pen, and trick cards. After he’s pulled his latest laugh-worthy stunt, give him a personalized beer belt. He can strut his stuff attached to his favorite brews, and for a change you get to have the last laugh!
If your Dad is a walking encyclopedia of sports stats and owns a jersey for each of his teams, he may be part of our sporty category. It’s likely he has season tickets to his favorite local teams, and has made it his mission to meet his sports idols someday. For your favorite sports nut, we recommend a personalized NFL medallion beer mug. This gift combines two of Dad’s favorite things: athletic competition and adult beverages.
If your Dad is always polished to perfection and never has a hair out of place, he may just be in our stylish category. Chances are he has the ideal suit for every situation, and owns a collection of chic accessories that make his outfits super snappy. For your fashionable father, we recommend a gorgeous engraved silver plated pocket watch. It makes a stunning addition to any suit, and later on can be a treasured family heirloom.
Serious About Grilling?
If your Dad is attached to his grill or smoker during the summer months, he may fit into our smoky category. Odds are he has a special technique for preparing the perfect ribs every time, or created his own secret (and addictive) sauce. If so, make sure you give him something that suits his grill-master status. We suggest a personalized grill and golf BBQ set, with all the tools he needs to fix up a feast, packed up in a neat golf-themed carrying case.
For more personalized gifts for Dad, make sure to check out our brand new Father’s Day pop-up shop. This year, we’re also giving Beau-coup fans the opportunity to WIN the perfect present – simply enter our Facebook contest before Sunday, 6/2/13, for your chance to win an awesome prize for Dad.
Family reunions are a great way to spend quality time with far-off relatives. We’ve seen them all – some super structured with detailed daily itineraries, and some pretty chaotic with nothing set in stone. Whatever your family’s style, we have a few ideas to help you bring more fun to your family reunion.
T-Shirt Competition – We’ve all seen huge family reunions where everyone wears one matching shirt. Why not let everyone get creative with it? Have each branch of the family design their own t-shirt, and have family members anonymously vote on their favorites. Treat the winners to a nice dinner, or give the winning family a fun and functional gift like this personalized tailgate backpack cooler chair.
Family Olympics – Whether your family members are sporty or not, there are a ton of competitive games everyone can play. Set up a game of volleyball or football for the athletes. Host a family talent show and let members show off their special skills. Encourage the couch potatoes to compete with tug-of-war or a pie-eating contest. Winners get fun prizes!
Scavenger Hunt – The host family can put together a list of must-see places in the local area and send everyone out on the hunt. Alternatively, family leaders can make a completely customized list of things to find based on fun facts about the family and its members. Then, simply turn everyone loose with a fun personalized beach tote so they can start gathering their scavenger hunt items.
Sale-a-thon – If you have room in your luggage, why not bring along a few items you’ve been meaning to get rid of? Your relatives can bid against one another for a chance to take home something they may like. Bonus? You get more space in your home, and you can use the money raised to take the extended family out to dinner or pay for other reunion-related experiences.
Build Your Family Tree with a Twist
Story Telling and Trivia – Share your favorite stories from growing up, or retell your greatest adventure. It’s a great opportunity to start building a family history – simply record the stories of each family member and compile them into a living record you can revisit any time you want. Collect them with beautiful notes in a jar or film them for a special video family history. For a fun twist, gather some interesting bits of trivia about each family member and take turns guessing who the mystery person is.
Family Map – Odds are your family members are gathering from all over, sometimes from opposite ends of the world! Hang a large map on a prominent wall and ask each family member to mark where they live with a tag so you can see where everyone came from at a glance. For a fun twist, have instant cameras on hand to take funny family portraits people can pin to the map.
Heritage Cookbook – Do you spend all year looking forward to Aunt Sally’s famous blueberry cobbler? Reunion time is the perfect excuse to collect all those family favorites in one place, complete with pictures and special family cooking secrets. Then, bring it back year after year and watch the recipe collection grow!
Keep the Kids Occupied
Cool Off with a Water Pinata – Who needs a pool when you’ve got trash bags? Rather than filling the kiddos up with sweets, hang a thick plastic garbage bag filled with water from the nearest tree and let the kids take turns swinging. Eventually, someone will make contact and get soaked! Rinse and repeat until everyone’s drenched and laughing.
Outdoor Games– Sure, you could have them play tag. But why not do something a little out of the ordinary? If the weather’s nice, use some common household items to keep the kids amused for hours. One of our favorites is a fun take on bowling – with watermelons! Set up a few large plastic bottles on one end of the lawn, and place a couple watermelons at the other end. Contestants must crawl from the starting line toward the “pins” while pushing the watermelon with their heads. First one to knock down all their pins wins!
We believe in celebrating life - every occasion, every milestone, every laugh, smile and tear. We know that sharing these moments makes them extra special, and we want to be there to help you celebrate life, one event at a time.