Showing posts with label Mandee Sears. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mandee Sears. Show all posts

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Theme Parties are the Best!

Party occasions come in all shapes and sizes but party theme ideas will always out number them. Themes can bring fun, whimsy and an opportunity to embrace a different time or place or can bring a fantasy world to life.

They can also be less dramatic but still there -- bringing cohesion to party organization, decorations and even the food (if you choose to go that far)!

During my years in the event industry, I was constantly asked if a theme was "necessary" for parties and events from birthdays and showers to reunions and weddings. The short answer is -- no, they are not necessary. The longer answer is -- a theme can actually help a host/hostess when planning a party.

What the heck do I mean by that? Let me explain...

Do I have to have a Theme for my Party/Event?

Certainly not. However, a theme can actually help with the planning and pulling off of a party. Parties are usually planned in advance and include some or all of the following elements:

  • Invitations
  • Set up and Decorations
  • Food or Meal
  • Cake or Desserts
  • Favors or Guest Gifts

The occasion of your event or party can give you some help or direction when planning but a theme can really bring it all together.

With a central theme, it narrows the vast choices out there for the above mentioned elements. It gives you a starting point and a finish line. And, it can help rein-in ideas and keep you focused on the big picture you are trying to create.

What is a Theme?

Kids birthday parties are definitely theme occasions but adult parties and events can benefit from a theme as well. A theme can be whole hog or subtle, your choice. But, most parties have some sort of a theme.

Even when you simply choose a color scheme and coordinate the above elements with that scheme -- that's a theme too. It's a subtle theme, but a theme nonetheless.

Theme Ideas Abound

Luckily for us and everyone searching for party/event ideas, here are some articles that share a plethora of information that can help. Do you like Tea Parties?  Christine shared her ideas for a child's birthday with a tea party theme in her lens, "Planning an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party".

Got someone that loves guitars and music? PartyBuzz helped plan and execute that theme for her grandson's birthday. The lens is titled "Teen Party Ideas: Guitars and Music Notes".

How about a Las Vegas theme? That one can be loads of fun, especially for adult events like birthdays, reunions, fundraisers and more!

Have you hosted a great theme party? I invite you to write about it. Use lots of photos too! As the Party Planning Contributor, I would love to help you promote your lens when it's finished.

What are you waiting for? Start writing!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Time for Luau, Tiki and Tropical Parties

Having Fun with Fruit and Veggie Displays
I live in the Midwest but that doesn't mean I can't attend a Hawaiian Luau or Polynesian Tiki party. Themed parties are great for transporting your guests to another time or place for a short time. We get to let loose and embrace our imaginations!

Mid-Summer is the perfect time for luau or tiki parties. Whether there is an actual occasion or not, is not important -- it's Summertime!

As usual, I ran over to Squidoo to see what advice lensmasters have shared about hosting a luau or tiki party -- and there is a ton of information! Here's a virtual lei for you to wear as we take a look at some of the lenses (articles) that could help anyone hosting one of these type of parties.

Aloha! Time to get Your Luau On

Lensmaster themeaparty has a wonderful lens full of luau party ideas titled Luau Summer Party Ideas. I love the little history lesson included explaining the origin of a luau.

Additionally, there are suggestions for drinks, decorations, food and more -- all necessary items for any party. Check this one out!

Luau Style Party Games

Halloweenkitchenwitch has a lens full of luau game ideas that can be incorporated at any tropical party in her lens Luau Party Games. The rules and how-to's for games like a hoolahoop or limbo contest, carnival style luau games and a "Pass the Coconut" game.

Whether your party is for kids or adults, there are some awesome games suggestions here.

Expert Advice for Tiki Parties

EditorDave is an expert on tropical parties. He and I have in common the fact that we lived on the island of Guam -- not at the same time. He shares lots of his first hand experiences from attending the Guamanian parties (referred to as "fiestas") as well as hosting lots tropical themed parties over the years.

In his lens "Tiki Party Props and Decorations!" he shares some of his favorite ideas for achieving that tropical look for a tiki party. He is spot-on if you want some authenticity added to your party. I always say, learn from those who have done! They are the best teachers.

Share Your Own Experiences

Do/have you hosted a tropical theme party? You have some great money or time saving ideas you can share with readers? Hop on over to Squidoo and join for free. Them, start writing your ideas. Don't forget to add lots of pictures from the luau(s) you have hosted. Pictures bring ideas to life!

As the Party Planning Contributor at Squidoo, I would love to help you promote and share your new lens about tropical parties or any other theme or type of party you write about. It's a blast! See you there!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Patriotic Party Time

Happy Independence Day! 
As Independence Day approaches, I am both excited and a bit sad. It's always been sort of the halfway point for summer and I am NOT ready for Summertime to end. So, I am choosing to focus on the holiday and summer parties instead. Come along for some great ideas and suggestions from our Squidoo lensmasters.

Patriotic Parties Rock!

A patriotic theme is perfect for Memorial Day, Labor Day, and of course, Independence Day. However, it's also perfect for almost any summer celebration. You could use a patriotic theme for events like:
  • Family Reunions
  • Graduations
  • Retirement Parties
  • Picnics
  • School Reunions and so much more.
It really is a perfect theme all summer long. Let's look at some ideas for patriotic parties from lensmasters. 

What Say You, Squidoo? 

Starting with lensmaster angelastvs, we get a great overview and party suggestions. From decorations to games to food, she has included lots of ideas in her lens titled: Patriotic Party Planning

Partybuzz has some great ideas for a budget-friendly party. In her lens, How to Plan a July 4th Party on a Budget, she shares some of the ideas she uses with her own family parties. From centerpieces and decorations on through activity ideas -- all are easy on the wallet. 

Finally, Michelle_L shares ideas from her own 4th of July party. Grilling out, crafts and more food and decorations are suggested in this fun lens titled: 4th of July Party Ideas -- Recipes, Crafts and Decorations.

What About You? 

Do you have some summer fun family traditions incorporating a patriotic theme? For example, I shared my family's patriotic buffet at the beginning of summer. We'd love to hear about them! Join Squidoo and write your own suggestions and recommendations for free! As the Party Planning Contributor on Squidoo, I'll help you anyway I can as well as promote your party lens(es). 

It's all about sharing and helping. Happy Independence Day, America! 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, June 22, 2014

"I Don't Have Time to Write Online"

Contrary to popular belief, writing online does NOT require giving up anything/everything else in your life. We all have busy lives but write online to help others. As contributors at Squidoo, we do not spend 24/7 there writing and updating. We all have many tasks on our plates. It's about balance, sharing and truly wanting to share.

What Info Are People Looking For?

Internet searchers are always looking for information about their hobby, passion or even job. Whether it's ideas, suggestions or learning what others do when faced with a similar situation, we all seek assistance through the internet. Squidoo is filled with helpful information and people.

Here on the Review This! website, we have Squidoo contributors that write about a variety of topics. We share our real world experiences -- successes and those not so successful -- to help our fellow man/woman. In order to have those experiences, we have to have a life outside of our writing online life.

Life Outside the Internet

Of our Review This! authors for instance, two of us have recently moved into new homes; one recently returned from a wonderful vacation; another has been dealing with a physical ailment; one is working toward a professional license; another building room additions to her home and still another was busy with her Mother-of-the-Bride duties!

Yes, life goes on but it's the everyday choices, problems and events that make-up the fodder for our online writing. When you write about something you have experienced or are passionate about, your writing is much more natural and draws a reader in to your topic.

On Review This!, we have contributors in niche topics such as gardening, kids crafts, photography, kid's books, chocoholics, romance, home renovating and green living, travel, holiday cooking, recycling, baseball, glue gun crafting and parties and events.

Whew! That's a lot of topics but they are truly a passion of each of us -- that's why and how we can write about our respective niches.

Now it's Your Turn

Go on, give it a try! It's easy to write on Squidoo and it's free. The editor is easy to use and you will find lots of help for any questions you might have. Write something. You may find it addicting!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, June 8, 2014

June is Wedding Month!

I love weddings anytime of year but June holds a special place in a bride's heart. I thought I would look around at what helpful information and ideas Review This has to offer a bride, groom, mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom or other host of a wedding celebration.

Weddings

Let me just say, Review This does weddings up right and even has a category just for weddings. The main category is broken down again to 17 different sub-categories. This makes it so much easier for a bride (or whomever) to find just the right information for anything to do with weddings.

Planning a wedding is a lot of work but can be a lot of fun as well. Gathering ideas and suggestions and then sifting through them can inspire your own unique ideas.

Maybe you are stuck for music ideas for the ceremony?   Or, perhaps you need some inspiration for your personal wedding vows. Reading what others did can unleash a person's creativity.

You can find help with wedding flowers, traditions, general planning and more. Themed weddings are very popular. Seeing what others did may spark something new and different for yourself.

On a budget? Got you covered there too! Budget Weddings is filled with ideas you can incorporate to keep costs under control.

Everything from music to vows to food and reception decor -- you name it and we have it covered! It is a wonderful resource brides and other make use of everyday!

If you are planning a wedding, or have a friend or relative planning a wedding that could use some inspiration, point them to Review This. The wealth of information makes it invaluable. Best of all: It's FREE!


It's almost summer -- jump right in, the water's great!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Celebrating the Day

U.S. Route 40 in Red
This week's event is not a party or a traditional celebration but one I enjoyed immensely and wanted to share with you all. It was a wonderful, late spring day. So, indulge me if you will with this story...

Mom had called last night and wanted me to go with her garage sale-ing early this morning. We live not too far from U.S. Route 40 as it passes through Indiana. This week, Wednesday through Sunday, is the 10th Annual U.S. Route 40 Garage Sales event. All she had to do was ask -- I was in for sure!

We set out around 7:30 this morning and were barely out of the driveway when one of my sisters called asking if we were going. We detoured by her house, picked her up and set off for our day of bargain hunting.

Having just moved into a new house (and having sold all our furniture when we moved from Florida) I had a long wish list. Mom is re-doing her guest room and my sister is always got her eyes open for a treasure she can't live without. We all very much enjoy garage sale-ing.

The Historical U.S. Route 40

We started out about 10 miles from home on U.S. 40 and headed east. I found out this annual event is very well attended.

The whole of U.S. 40 runs from Atlantic City, New Jersey to near Park City, Utah. It used to run all the way to from the east coast to the west coast (San Francisco, CA) but after some changes in the 60's and 70's, it now, officially, ends in Utah.

The Garage Sale Event is hosted in 7 of the 12 states that U.S. 40 runs through -- Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri (St. Louis.) The event promoters boast 824 miles of garage sales.

Our Journey & Our Finds

Nail Keg in disrepair
Now, we didn't travel even 10% of the way but found tons of sales along a portion about 30 miles long. We had a blast. Some of the loot we found and purchased includes: Mom: 2 night stands ($2 each), books, red kitchen garbage can ($2).

My sister is a chef wanna-be so she found a large Wolfgang Puck skillet for $4, a glass baking dish for $1 and some cookbooks.

Though I didn't find any big pieces of furniture I could buy (found some but too expensive for my budget) I did find a small refrigerator for $2 (yes, it works!) I plan to use in the family room wet bar, a goose down comforter for $5, and a large flash light for $4.

My favorite purchase was an old, falling apart nail keg. The metal strapping on top was completely loose as well as the 2 stabilizing wires. The wood ribs were flapping due to nothing holding them in place except at the bottom (that metal strapping was still in place and was holding).
Nail Keg as Garbage Can

The owner saw me looking at it and approached me saying the keg was falling apart. He told me I could have it for $1. I, of course, jumped on that! As soon as I got home, I repaired it as best I could with few tools (I needed Diana's tool cache) and it now sits in my office/craft room as the garbage can. I am looking at it now as I type -- the vintage feel is perfect for me!

Share Your Next Event

I had so much fun today. I look at it as a celebration of family. Mom, sis and I had fun talking, comparing, visiting and solving the world's problems as we perused U.S. Route 40's garage sales today. Events -- no matter the size, shape or occasion -- are a part of all our lives.

I invite you to write on Squidoo about your experiences. I am the Party Planning Contributor and would welcome your ideas, suggestions and experience with planning your particular event. But remember, Squidoo is a platform where you can write about ANYTHING -- we have categories for it all.

Happy Sunday and I hope to see you soon on Squidoo!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kick off the Summer with a Party!

Historic Falls Park, Pendleton, IN
I do love the summer! Here in the Midwest, we might not have a gorgeous ocean and beach but we do have our own great summer sights. The flowers, the creek falls, the kelly green grass, the blue sky, the vitamin D filled sunshine and 3 fun holidays to boot wrap up our summer season!

Memorial Day starts everything in late May, Independence Day is midway and the end of summer is signified by Labor Day every year.

Memorial Day/Weekend Party or Get-Together

Since we are smack in the middle of Memorial Weekend today, I thought I would take you through our celebration last year (this year's is tomorrow.)  Each year, my family gets together for and on Memorial Day. It's our "Kick Off to Summer Party" and one of my favorites.

I know I have mentioned it before but here I go again... I am a military brat -- specifically the U.S. Navy. My dad was career Navy. My parents actually met when both were stationed at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. Both my grandfathers were U.S. Navy veterans as is my only brother.

Suffice is to say, we are a patriotic bunch! So, because the Memorial, Independence and Labor Day holidays are patriotic in nature, that's the theme we use for all three. It's a lot of fun and we leave some of the decor up all summer -- red, white and blue is very appropriate for a summer season boasting 3 patriotic holidays.

Stars & Stripes -- Red, White & Blue

The color combination is timeless. The primary color scheme is used by Countries for their flag, sports teams and schools for their colors, in home decorating (especially in the cottage, vintage and nautical decor themes) and so much more.

Last year, I decided to use a "vintage feel" with the patriotic theme and loved the way it turned out. I wrote about it here: My Patriotic Buffet Table for our Summer party. Burlap, baskets, bandanas and mini flags come together to create a festive, fun and whimsical buffet table for our party. What do you think?
My Patriotic Summer Buffet Party


Summer Parties

The summer is filled with parties, occasions and get togethers in addition to the holidays mentioned above. Do you have a traditional get-together each summer or a special occasion you'll celebrate this year? Could be anything, like:

  • Graduation Party
  • Neighborhood Block Party
  • Birthday
  • Wedding
  • Baby or Bridal Shower
  • Class Reunion
  • Family Reunion
  • Annual Luau Party 
  • Summer Picnics

Think about sharing your ideas and experiences with others that want to hold a successful event. Do you have a favorite pot luck dish you always make or take? Are you throwing a shindig to celebrate your daughter's graduation or your son's wedding rehearsal dinner? Are you the "Picnic King/Queen"?

Being the Party Planning Contributor on Squidoo, I can point you to a great outlet for sharing your experiences with others here on the world wide web. Best of all -- Squidoo is FREE!!! You might even earn a little you can put towards your next big party!

Let me know (in the comments) if you write an article about a party so I can help you promote it! Most of all, have a wonderful summertime!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Graduation Party Ideas for Your Graduate

It's May and "graduation season" is just starting. If you have a graduate in the family, you may be in need of graduation party ideas. Luckily, Squidoo can help!

Whether graduating from pre-school, kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, a graduation party is in order. Graduating is a big achievement regardless of the level. Family and friends will love to celebrate with your graduate, so let's get started with some graduation party ideas.

Graduation Time!

This time of year, every time I check my mailbox I get another graduation announcement. Between friends and family, I definitely keep busy during May and June with all the graduations.

At this point, my kids have graduated from everything except college -- and that's coming soon enough. Graduation parties are one of my favorites. It's a time to let the student shine, show accomplishments and revel in the attention for their success.

A few years ago, I noticed there were hardly any lenses about hosting graduation parties. So, I wrote a lens sharing my experiences with the grad parties I have hosted and helped plan. It was and still is a popular reference for parents of graduates.

Today, I started looking around and realized there are a lot more lenses dealing with graduation parties. I decided to visit and maybe get a few new ideas I can pass along to friends and family.

Graduation Party Ideas

Here are a few lenses that should definitely be on your list if you are planning a graduation party.
My Daughter's Grad Party Memorabilia Table 

Graduation Centerpieces is an eclectic mix of ideas for table decorations for you party. Everything from very simple to ornate. Lensmaster celebrate has something for everyone.

Another great resource I found was Graduation Party Decorations. Every party needs decorations and lensmaster 3QuartersToday shares some of her ideas. Drawing from her experience hosting parties for her daughter and step-daughter, she has some great grad party decorating ideas.

Lensmaster, DinosaurEgg, has some great suggestions for a graduation cake for the party. In her lens titled, Graduation Cakes -- Hooray!, we find everything from sheet cakes to shaped cakes to candy all appropriate for graduation. 

Check out all that Squidoo has to offer on the subject of graduation parties. Your party will be a resounding success when you use Squidoo for ideas!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Party Ideas for Mother's Day

First of all:  Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Now, I realize that today is actually Mother's Day so these ideas for a Mother's Day shindig will probably go on the back burner until next year. Still, it'll give you plenty of time to come up with something to blow mom's socks off with next year!


A Party? For Mother's Day?

Sure! A party is really just two or more people celebrating something -- a holiday, milestone, achievement, success, etc... Mother's Day certain falls in this realm. Mother's are forever planning parties and events for their children, why not plan something in her honor?

I ran over to Squidoo to see what suggestions were available. As always, I was not disappointed. Squidoo really is a fount of information. If you search for "Mother's Day", you will be rewarded with ideas for gifts, crafts, trivia, cards, poems, songs, gift baskets and, of course, food.

Then, I searched for Mother's Day Party and was pointed towards some really cool ideas for celebrating this wonderful person in your life.


A Mother's Day Tea Party

WriterJanis tells us, "This is a chance to get dressed up and give Mom an elegant celebration"  in her lens titled How to Throw a Mother's Day Tea Party. She gives us ideas for invitations, decorations, which teas to serve, food and dessert ideas as well as music and even games.

This lens is truly a one stop shop for inspiration for your Mother's Day celebration. Bookmark it for future reference!


Mother's Day Picnic

A cool and different idea for celebrating mom's day is a picnic. It's May, warmer and people are itching to get outside. The Perfect Mother's Day Picnic by vermontmom has a host of ideas to choose from, even getting the kids involved in the preparations.

As she says in her intro, you'll find some tips and ideas to make your picnic "almost as special as your mom." What a sweet sentiment. 

Do Something for Mom

Moms are great and we should celebrate them more than once a year but doing it up nicely on Mother's Day can't hurt. Take some time to research and plan a wonderful party or get-together for your mom. She'll always remember...

Wishing everyone and their mother a wonderful Mother's Day, 2014!



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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reviews of Movies about Parties and Occasions


Wedding Movies



The Party Planning niche on Squidoo has had a very busy couple of weeks. I published my newest curation list filled with party movies and have had people write some terrific reviews.

The movie list has a little bit of something for everyone including all sorts of parties and occasions like:

  • Weddings
  • Graduations
  • Anniversaries
  • Baby Showers
  • Bachelor Parties
  • Beach Parties
  • and even children's parties
With such wonderful participation, I wanted to make sure I highlighted some of the reviews this week. I will include the remainder in next weeks post. I don't want to leave anyone out!


My Big Fat Greek Wedding


I love this movie and so does Lensmaster wir55. She wrote an awesome review of the quirky, romantic comedy.

I agree with her (and the story line) that families are so very loving but can be overwhelming all at the same time. Sorting through the emotions can lead to some humorous incidents in our lives.

I think this film brings home the fact that you marry the whole family when you marry your spouse!

I think one of my favorite parts of the film is watching Toula grow and change into the self-confident person her mother always knew she was. Yes, mothers know more than any of us give them credit for, more often than not.

Like the movie, this review is definitely worth reading. Thanks wir55!



Runaway Bride


This review was by our very own BuckHawk -- aka Susan. I love Julia Roberts and have seen every single film she has made. There is just something about her that comes across the screen as genuine.

As Susan said in her review of the movie, it's a film you can watch over and over. I still laugh at all the same parts but usually find a new bit of humor each time I watch.

The pairing of Julia and Richard is classic. Their chemistry and penchant for straight-faced humor is unmatched. It's definitely one of my all time favorite romantic comedies.

Thanks for the review, Susan. I really enjoyed it.


Monster-in-Law


This movie about an interfering mother-in-law was reviewed by VeganEater. Again, a cute movie with a wedding and romance as a central theme. This time, it also involves a mom professing to be protecting her son from his future wife.

VeganEater shares her impressions of all the characters as well as which are her favorite. Surprisingly, it's not any of the leads. You'll have to read her review to find out!

This movie stars Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. They are perfect and play very well off each other. It's funny how the son/fiance is oblivious to what is actually going on. (I think I know a few men that fit that can have the same problem at times...)



Your Turn


There's still plenty more party type movies on the list if you want to try your hand at reviewing one. It's easy! What are you waiting for?


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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Writing Online -- Learn by Example

Writing online, especially when sharing stories about a subject you love, is easier than you might think. Writing for the internet is a far cry from what was taught in English - Language Arts classing in high school.

While you should still watch your grammar (or have someone proofread for you), online writing is better described as "conversation writing". Write like you would tell a story to a friend. I actually have a friend that talks to herself while working through writing a story online. In essence she is dictating to herself as she goes.

It's funny, I read mine out loud after I've written it to make sure it's easy to understand -- she does it as she's writing. There is no right or wrong, just what works for you.

Storytelling Everyday


At parties, in the bleachers or around the water cooler at work, we tell stories everyday. Simply start writing the stories that can be helpful to other people in some way. The internet is about helping each other by sharing our passions, experiences, successes and even failures. (I personally believe there is no such thing as a failure as long as you learn something from it.)

I have recently written 2 articles (lenses) on Squidoo that revolve around party planning. One was about a baby shower I co-hosted and the other was my daughter's sweet 16 party. In both instances, I shared what we did and made suggestions others can use when they go to planning a party for any occasion.

They didn't take much time to write but can be found by the right person searching for ideas for their particular party or shower. 93% of online activity begins with a search engine. Hopefully, my stories -- my articles -- will be indexed and displayed for those searchers.

Learn by Example


The contributors on Squidoo write their own stories as well as promoting the stories of others to help get the word out. Learn by their examples and the examples they feature.

Writing a story from personal experience, about a topic you have passion for, and publishing it to the web will help others find you too. You can be a writer -- you just have to write from the heart!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Niche & Focus in Party Planning Articles

What is a niche? No, not the recess in a wall for displaying items but rather the definition as it pertains to writing for the internet.

Merriam-Webster defines a niche as:

: a job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone

: the situation in which a business's products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people

I think the contributors here on Review This! fit both bills. Our chosen niches are very suitable for us because we live them or are very active within the subject.

As the Squidoo Contributor in the Party Planning niche, I am always looking to hook up with others -- whether as readers or writers or both -- that are active within this niche topic.

If you are a young mom, you have lots and lots of birthday and other occasion party planning in your future and might could use some inspiration from others that have been there and done that.

Others of you might have already hosted a lot of different parties with great success. You have a sure-fire party food recipe or are super organized when it comes to planning and can share your tips or maybe you are a DIY Queen and want to share your party decorating ideas. All are welcome and encouraged!

There will always be people planning parties in need of inspiration and ideas. By sharing our personal experiences and knowledge, you help our fellow man/woman. What could be better?

Focusing When Writing in the Party Planning Niche


When we write, sometimes we have a tendency to include every little thing in our lens or article. What happens then is the helpful information a reader was searching for is lost in a sea of other information they don't really need. Result? Hitting the back button and no interaction or conversion from the article.

The best way to really reach our target audience is to focus on one or two elements instead of the whole. Squidoo used the example of a camera.

baby shower buffet table
My Sister's Baby Shower Buffet Table
Let's say you are taking a picture of a park playground. The whole picture involves lots of elements. This one might have a slide, a merry-go-round, monkey bars and swings. There's lots going on in the whole area. But, you can narrow the wide angle camera lens down to a telephoto shot of just the slide or the swings and have a much better chance of your target audience finding your article.

In party planning, there are tons of areas: Food, Games, Decorations, Invitations, take home treats, themes and more.

By narrowing the focus to one area, people that are looking for help in that particular area will find what they need quickly. They will also be more apt to interact or convert than they will if they have to sift through information they don't want or need.

I just published an article/lens in my niche this week. It had to do with a baby shower my sister and I threw for our other sister. But, instead of filling it chock full of ideas and possibly overwhelming a reader with unwanted information, I chose to focus or narrow it down to the baby shower food and buffet table we made for the party.

Remember, always tell people exactly what your article is about in the title and then deliver in the body of the article. Good luck and remember to contact me when you write in the party planning niche so I can help you promote and build a following!


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Writing for the Party Planning Niche

This week, I was asked the following question and I wanted to address it here on the Review This! blog. A visitor (lurker, really -- she reads a lot but is afraid to dive into the writing) asked me:

"How can you tell a story about party planning? You have a very hard task!"

Glad you asked! I'm gonna tell you.

The Basics of Storytelling

You can tell a story about almost anything. Stories are told day in and day out in print, online, videos, television and radio. Commercials are mini-stories -- or at least the good ones are. I apply the storytelling philosophy to everything write -- whether it's on Squidoo or on one of my websites.

People react well to stories. They look for parallels in our lives -- things they can relate to and then act or react accordingly.

So how does all this tie in with writing for a party planning niche? Easy. Tell the story.

Parties in Our Lives

Every single one of us has planned and/or hosted some sort of party(ies) in our lives. 1st birthday, a sweet 16, a weddding, a St. Patrick's Day party, an anniversary, a Super Bowl party...

Write about that particular party and your specific experiences.

For instance, last year, my niece turned 16. My sister asked me to help her plan the Sweet 16 party. I did, it was a blast and I wrote a lens about it -- Sweet 16 -- Let the Planning Begin.

It tells the story and gives examples (pictures) of ideas others can build on for their party planning needs. It also showcases some products I used during the planning. That's the key. Display products that you actually use(d) and tell people "How" you use them. Otherwise, your lens or article will sound like an ad copywriter spewing features of something they need to sell.

Yes, we sell. There is no shame in that. But, we sell what we use, have experience with and tell a story of what, where, why and how we used it. That's valuable to internet searchers. How do I know?

Because the Sweet 16 lens I just mentioned above --  on average, it stays in the high 2nd teir, makes sales and has been pinned 364 times from the Squidoo page (others repin the pin). I have had more than one person contact me (I do suggest you make sure your Squidoo contact button is turned on) asking specific questions and even sending me photos of their party my article inspired them to plan. That's a great feeling.

Start Writing About Your Parties

Think of the parties you have helped with or hosted. Did your neice just turn one? Did your sister have a baby shower? Are your parents celebrating a big anniversary? Did your brother have an engagement party? Did your son just graduate from high school? Are you hosting your annual St. Patrick's Day party?

All these life occasions usually involve celebrations of some sort. Let's hear about them, brag about what you did! It can help others that are looking for ideas and inspiration!

I came across a lens recently that does a great job of telling the story of planning her daughter's birthday party. It's titled Monster High Birthday Party Ideas written by BellaMommyDesigns. She wrote from her experience and shared photos, products and ideas to inspire others in their party planning.

So, as long as you attack the writing from the perspective of relaying personal experience or storytelling, anyone can write about planning parties! Come join me and let me help you promote your writing! Visit me at Party Planning Contributor at Hubpages. Can't wait to read what you write!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, February 2, 2014

How to Write for an Internet Audience -- Party Planning Niche

As the Party Planner Contributor on Review This, I have been spending some time on the topics that include parties -- checking out the articles, promoting them and seeing what areas/party topics are lacking in suggestions and advice.

Let me first say, there are a lot of awesome articles about parties. YAY! However, there are a few that niche that could use some help, as well.

This is what I want to talk about today -- giving people what they want and need in our writing. Being a successful and valuable addition to the internet.

Filling a Need with our Writing

You see, we (the Squidoo Community) know that internet searchers are real people looking for real solutions to real problems -- all sorts of problems. The bottom line is -- no matter the subject -- they value experience.

When you have done something and write about it on Squidoo, a blog or your website, you are sharing your experience, what you learned and how/if you would do it the next time. This is valuable information we can share with each other.

This, of course, includes party planning. When I search for ideas for parties online, I want to know specifics, read your real-life experience, the planning and the final outcome. I want to know what worked for you and decide for myself if it will work for me.

What I don't want to see is an article that isn't really an article but a glorified shopping list. Where's the value there? I can go straight to the party supply sites and order anything I might need.

When I started my internet search, what I wanted was some advice, suggestions and assistance. Sure, if you are thrilled with a product that really made your party perfect... I want to know. But, if all you are offering me is a bunch of links to other sites, then why should I visit your article, page, website or blog in the first place? Again, there is no value.

Value is Real and Tangible 

Think about it in this context... The advertising world uses actors to portray real people in real situations to sell their products. Why? Because society is programmed to believe that an announcer "telling" us why the product is great can be deceptive. But, if we see people using it, happy with it, showing us how to use it -- we are much more likely to believe we need or want it.

I guess what I am saying -- and I, personally, think -- is that regardless of the topic you want to write about or whatever your niche is -- Be Real! Share your experiences, what worked, what didn't, how to is a wonderful format to write an article or post. Additionally, if you use "How To" in the title, internet searchers can see, right away, that they need the information.

Bottom line: make it personal, share your experiences, successes and failures. You've already been in our shoes. We can learn from each other and all be better for it.

Writing for the Party Planning Topic/Niche

What does all this mean to anyone wanting to write for the party planning topic on Squidoo? It means tell us about a particular party or event you planned or were a part of. Show us pictures, share your decisions -- good and bad -- tell us the story of hosting or planning that party for that specific occasion.

Instead of writing an article titled: Dora the Explorer Party Goods

Write this: My daughter's Dora the Explorer Birthday Party

Instead of this: Planning a Wedding
Write this:  How I Planned my Entire Wedding Myself

Instead of this: Planning a 4th of July Party
Write this: Ideas from our Annual 4th of July Patriotic Party

You get the idea... By sharing from first hand experience you build credibility and authority with searchers and with search engines. We'll believe you and listen to your advice.

Now, head off to Squidoo and write a party planning article that will help others. If you are not sure where to start or need inspiration, try reviewing a product you have used from one of the following lists: Party Planning Books, 3 Tiered Stands and St. Patrick's Day Party Items. Or, strike out on your own. Either way, I can't wait to read it! Good luck!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Let's Party! I'm the Party Planner Contributor on Review This

Hi there. Welcome to Review This! My name is Mandee and I am the Party Planner Contributor on Review This. I am tasked with recruiting more writers for the Party niche as well as getting our helpful articles out there to be found on the internet.

I currently also have a couple of websites in the party planning niche where I also write about all aspects of hosting parties. Anything from food/menu, decorations, themes, buffet table set up, gifts and more can be found on Squidoo as well as my sites.

I want to formally invite you to start writing with me! If you have ever held or helped with planning a party or any sort, you qualify. That means 99.9% of us are qualified. Sharing your ideas, suggestions and experiences with others from all over the globe via the internet will help us all when it comes to hosting our next party or event.

It's not hard, I promise. In fact, I think you'll have fun! You don't have to be a journalist, English major or have any other requirements. All you do need is to love helping others and sharing your experiences.

DebW07 did that here in her review of a party planning book: Top Tips for Planning a Memorable Party.

Parties Fill Our Lives 

All of our lives are filled with occasions that can be, and often are, celebrated with parties and get-togethers. Occasions like:

  • Baby Showers
  • Bridal Showers
  • Graduations
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Promotions
  • Retirements
  • Engagements
  • Weddings
  • Reunions (family and school)
  • Proms & School Event
Choosing decorations, colors and themes as well as planning the menu, guest list and activities can be a daunting task. Some love it, some hate it but we all seem to do it at one point or another. That's how we can help each other -- by sharing.

Sharing what worked, what didn't -- menu ideas -- diy decorating ideas & projects -- best sources for invitations, decor, gifts -- and lots more -- will only help the next time we plan a party.

Start Writing and Helping Others

If you are interested in helping me out, join Squidoo. It's a FREE platform where you can write about your experiences and share your advice. You can even earn a little money by featuring products you used to make the party picture perfect! What are you waiting for?

If you are charged up and want to get started right away -- here are a couple of ideas for you. You can review a party planning book you own or have read from this list or, if you have a favorite 3 tiered serving stand you use at all parties, choose it from this list.

So, start going through those picture albums of cousin Cindy's wedding reception, your sorority sister's baby shower, and little Lucy's 1st birthday party. If you helped plan and execute those events, you can help others with your experiences.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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