Tag Archives: holiday council

Last Minute Holiday Organizing + Organizing for the New Year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe holidays sneak up on us fast. Being prepared is a MUST! Even though we are all very aware of what the season brings, the busyness can still take us by surprise. This is where I swoop in to help. Over the last six weeks, as a part of Staple’s Holiday Council, I have given you the tools and a plan of attack to handle the holidays with ease.

Here are a few last minute things you can do to prep for the holidays like a pro:

1. Wrap and stack your gifts in a central area. I wrap a few presents each day so it’s not so overwhelming. Your gift wrap area should be stocked with wrapping paper, ribbon and tags, scissors, tape, washi tape and other festive accouterments.

2. Restock your Party Pantry. Most likely you’ve already hosted at least one party for the holidays, so stock back up on your depleted essentials. Check out the supplies list on my earlier post: Holiday Party Pantry and Party Toolbox. If you’re feeling really industrious, go ahead and set up your Party Pantry for a years worth of celebrations and parties. Happy New Year, now Let’s Party!

3. Go through your wrap and decor stash to see what is missing. This is a great time to restock on paper, ribbon, and holiday decor because most of it will be on sale. There are some seriously great buys to be had. Psst Staples always has great prices and a nice selection, so your wrap stash should be set for the rest of the year.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here are some great gift wrap accessories from Staples that I hand-picked to wrap my presents with this year. I got sensational results with this kraft paper with gilded ornaments wrap. It’s so pretty. I also love these really cool labels from Staples and Martha Stewart, their washi tape is one of my go-tos and I love their ribbon as well.

* note you can turn the kraft paper inside out and use the plain side to shake it up a bit.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA To organize for the New Year, make sure you shop for your holiday essentials in advance, that way you will have them tucked away waiting for you! You can now look forward to enjoying a pretty and nicely stocked Party Pantry. It’s such a wonderful surprise when the occasion arrives to be prepared. Make sure you keep your pantry tidy by disposing of any ragged bits of paper or wrap. Think about investing in a space-saving shredder to do the job (love the orange!). The shredder could also double as a confetti maker… hooray!

Have you heard of the Staples Copy & Print? You can actually upload and design everything from mugs & water bottles to wall art and even phone cases. It’s a really fun and creative way for you to organize your work space. I’m going to be sharing more organizing tips as we head into the new year, but why not start dreaming and designing for a little office update? Everyone could use a little inspiration there, that’s for sure.

*Everything you will need is at Staples (in stores or order online at Staples.com with free delivery for rewards members or for orders over $19.99 for non-members). This post is in partnership with Staples. All opinions are my own.

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holiday office party tips and tricks part deux

By now the holiday season has kicked in and if you don’t have a date on the calendar for the office party… it’s time to panic. Just kidding. Kind of. Regardless, I am here to help plan and tackle any last minute details that may crop up with these quick and easy tips. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In my last Holiday Council post I talked to you about some holiday party organizing ideas (with help from my holiday go-to Staples). You should now have a fully stocked “party pantry” in place, in fact you’re feeling like a pro with stocking plates, napkins, and holiday wrap. You’ve also narrowed down the games and even added plenty of drinks and snacks. Everything you need for your party is at your finger tips!

Here are the final checklist items:

1. Enlist help. Pick 3 people to help set up and another 3 to help break down. (Hint* Pick the more “crafty” bunch for set up) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 2. Make these flower arrangements. Psssst… you can use them as prizes for the games, too! What a pretty way to perk up a cubical and it’s a frugal idea if your budget seems stretched. If you need a refresher just take a piece of wrapping paper, cut to the width of the vase, roll the vase onto the paper and secure with washi tape. Add water and flowers et voila! Drama and decor in 2 minutes flat. _FRJ5228 _FRJ5231 3. Get your beverages organized! Pull together your favorite bottles of wine and use these Martha Stewart for Staples tags as wine markers! Yes please and make mine a white wine. 🙂 _FRJ5230 4. Wrap up any staff presents, prizes, or takeaways (think good chocolate, wine, locally made preserves). Have I mentioned how much I love washi tape?! The perfect accessory for wrapping presents. jingle 5. Make sure you have the playlist queued up on your Pill Speaker System. Poll the office for some of their favorite holiday classics.
snacks 6. Stock up on plenty of sweet and salty snacks. Think popcorn, nuts, peanut butter-filled pretzels, and yogurt covered pretzels.

Dim the lights, turn up the music, start pouring the wine and let the party begin! Happy Holidays from me and my partner in crime, Staples. Let’s Party!

*Everything you will need is at Staples (in stores or order online at Staples.com with free delivery for rewards members or for orders over $19.99 for non-members). This post is in partnership with Staples. All opinions are my own.

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Holiday Office Party Tips and Tricks

Sometimes in the work place the holiday office party can be the most dreaded event of the year. Someone has to organize and pull it all together, make it bigger and better than the year before. Well hold on because help is on it’s way! As a professional, I am constantly being asked… what makes a party great? What makes people talk about what a great time they had? How do we organize a simple but fantastic affair?

Here are my hard and fast rules for making your office party (or any party) really picture perfect. I have taught you how to organize your holiday party pantry and toolbox with the help of Staples, now here’s how to use it to its full potential.

Here’s where the fun begins: Theme your party, everyone loves a theme. Here are a few ideas that I think will make everyone at the office actually want to go to the party… R172502.jpg.rendition.largest 1. Host a cookie party where every one brings their favorite holiday cookie with copies of the recipe. Use these cool labels to make name tags for all the cookies on a long table. Make sure everyone uses the same cards to download their recipes onto. This uniformity will make for a consistent look on the party table (ie it will look pretty). I would use these. Take photos of everyone with their cookie using an instant camera and put them in frame note cards. Set these cute cards on the table next to the cookies (with the recipe and the name of the cookie inside). It’s a great conversation starter! Have a tasting contest and award a prize to the winner. Use a ballot box to collect the votes, and make the ballots cute by using colored card stock! (above photo of pretty package cookies from better homes and gardens) White+Elephant+copy 2. Everyone loves a White Elephant Secret Santa – draw names and then bring a gift that is funny, clever, vintage, retro or even a quirky gift. This is always a great party. Supply everyone with wrap, gift bags, and ribbon from Staples keep the gift under 10 dollars. Encourage people to shop at flea markets and supply prizes for the funniest and most creative gifts.  Find fun award prizes, I really like a pretty journal or a wristlet bag or dessert like a delicious carrot cake. Who would not want to win that?? You can use a cool graphic for the invitation and print them on these invitations. cropparty
3. Party with a Cause. Adopt a family in need. Start by sending out all the important information about the family in an email to the entire staff. I would also use a message board in the office, post pictures of what the family would like and could use and have the staff bring their gifts on the day of the office party. It’s so fulfilling and a great team builder to pull together and to give to people in need during the holiday season.

Once you’ve determined the theme, it’s time to utilize your party pantry.

Here’s what to prep the day before your party:

*Set out thetables and cover them with a paper table cloth. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA *Roll out some wrapping paper for a simple table runner. This is an easy way to create a holiday mood.

*Stack the plates, napkins, cups and flatware.

*Lay out kraft labels to tag all the food items on the table. It’s always a fun idea to label food on a buffet table, the when the food arrives you just stick the labels right next to the platters and bowls on the paper tablecloth. Easy!

*Place empty bowls on the table as well as drinks and unopened snack bags. Make sure to leave room for the warm dishes you’ll be serving when setting everything in place. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA *I like to do some flower arranging the day before. Simple glass cylinder vases with washi tape and wrapping paper embellishments work great. Simply wrap the vase with wrap and tie some ribbon or washi tape to attach the wrap to the vase. Place your flowers in them and voila! a great centerpiece for your holiday party is done. *Note: simple flowers from the grocery store work perfectly for this purpose, just keep your flower choices on point by using red and white. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Use these fresh decorations from Staples to bring instant life and cheer to your workspace. tree Setting up a beautiful fresh tree not only smells great, but it can be a team building event by encouraging everyone to make an ornament and place it on the tree. Buy wreaths and hang them around the office place for an easy and lovely decorative touch.

You’re ready to party, the table is set and you have a theme. Now enjoy and Happy Holidays!

* make sure you pin along with me on Pinterest for Holiday Essentials from Staples hope to see you there.

*Everything you will need is at Staples (in stores or order online at Staples.com with free delivery for rewards members or for orders over $45 for non-members). This post is in partnership with staples. All opinions are my own.

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Holiday Party Pantry and Tool Box Essentials

_FRJ5221I am known as the hostess with the mostess. As a prop-stylist, producer and entertaining guru, it is essential that I be ultra organized. In the next few weeks, I (along with a little help from Staples) will show you how to be the best producer of your own gatherings during the holiday season.

My stylist secret number 1 is to be prepared. Preparation takes all of the stress out of any party or last minute gathering. Being prepared makes you look like a star and if you’re relaxed so are your guests. Let me walk you through a few steps that will help take the guess work out of being ready for anything. You can start by visiting Staples Holiday Center to pick up your supplies… _FRJ5249 Prepare by stocking a “Party Pantry” using my supply list:

I have broken it down to 3 components: Prep, Party, and Clean up (the full list will be at the bottom for easy shopping!). As a host, being organized means less stress more fun. I like to place all of my supplies in an actual Party Pantry. This means placing all the elements of a party in one easy location to make for effortless entertaining. You just pull everything you’ll need from a central spot stocked with all the items you’ll need to assemble a party in a snap. A relaxed host is a happy host, that’s my motto. _FRJ5233 _FRJ5228 _FRJ5230 _FRJ5231 Here’s how to assemble your “party pantry and tool box” :

  1. Find a central place to put everything. It can be a storage room, spare closet, or even the garage. If it’s a room with shelves… it will work.
  2. Now load up your pantry with the following items according to categories: Prep, Party, and Clean up.
  3. Prep will include invitations as well as a nice notebook and pen for organizing tasks.
  4. Party will include party supplies like paper plates, cups, napkins, and tablecloths. Party will also include wrapping paper and washi tape (perfect to use as holiday runners or for wrapping vases or gift boxes). Utensils and snacks, drinks, wine markers, playlists (check out the portable beats pill for an amazing sound) and party favors for the guests will all live here as well. I like going the extra mile and wrapping candy or popcorn and creating a unique tag, a great inexpensive way to make the event special.
  5. Clean up will include: paper towels and liquid cleaners (I love Seventh Generation) and trash bags.

Being prepared well before the party begins is the key to enjoying your own party. I suggest that you have your party pantry set up year round, make sure to keep it stocked and then you will ready to party at the drop of a hat. _FRJ5238 Staples makes that part easy. Now Let’s Party!

PARTYPANTRY Notebooks – for jotting down guest lists, brilliant ideas, and to-do lists. Here are some of my picks: Pink Patent Leather , Red Damask , Simple Red by Martha Stewart

Pens – I love a good pen like these AvantSyle with SilkScribe. Luxurious!

Scissors – invest in a good pair of scissors like these Wescott all-purpose scissors that will make tireless cutting feel less like a chore.

Washi tape – there are about a million uses for washi tape. I’m loving this variety pack by Scotch Tape .

Invitations + cards – if you are on a budget, this gorgeous black and white damask kit will surely fit the bill. Includes 50 invitations. You can also make personalized holiday invitations, holiday cards and even thank you cards, through Staples Copy & Print Center where they have hundreds of different holiday styles.

Labels – keep your party pantry organized with these chalkboard labels.

Paper Plates – paper plates are a huge time saver and make clean up a breeze. Here is a pack of 50 plates that are stylish and easy.

Paper Napkins – same goes for paper napkins. Easy breezy.

Tablecloth – tablecloths are a total Godsend. Roll up and toss when you’re done with your fabulous party. 

Cups  – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve benefitted from having stocked plenty of SOLO cups in my pantry. Always a winner.

Utensils – make sure to have plenty of plastic utensils on hand.

Wrapping paper – like I mentioned above, wrapping paper has so many uses. It’s a real multi-tasker. Love this reversible polka dot paper.

Ribbon – have a good variety of ribbon on hand. Here are some of my picks for the holidays: Holiday Raffia, Red + Green reversible ribbon, and classic Green Satin.

Tags for wine markers – these large red ElastiNotes tags make fabulous gift tags!

Food items – stock up on snacks like popcorn, pretzels, and nuts.

Drinks – make sure to keep plenty of drinks in your pantry as well. I love a good iced tea with lemon.

Paper Towels – paper towels are imperative to quick and easy party clean-up. 

Cleaner – I love using eco-friendly cleaners like this All-purpose cleaner from Method

Organizing boxes – stock up on great organizing boxes like these Stack + Fit boxes and this home organizer.

*Everything you will need is at Staples (in stores or order online at Staples.com with free delivery for rewards members or for orders over $45 for non-members). This post is in partnership with staples. All opinions are my own.

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