How to Become a Party Planner

How to become a party planner

A career as a party planner?

Do you enjoy planning parties, bridal showers, or other celebrations? Do friends and relatives ask for your help in planning their parties, too? If you said yes to either or both of those questions, you fit the profile to become a party planner. (Photo Credit).

If you are creative and organized, detail orientated and have a great personality, you could be a party planner for fun and profit. Being a party planner is quite similar to being an event planner. The difference is that as a party planner you will specialize exclusively in planning parties; unlike an event planner you won’t also be planning festivals, grand openings, corporate events, galas, weddings, or business conferences. When you become a party planner, you are part of the event planning industry, but you focus on a specific niche (parties), rather than handling all kinds of different events. Another more niched sub-set of the event planning industry are wedding planners, who focus exclusively on planning weddings. If your true passion is parties, as opposed to events of all kinds (including corporate events like meetings and conventions), then you’d be best suited to becoming a party planner, not an event planner.

Why People Hire Party Planners

In this busy world we live in, there are many people who love to host a good party but just don’t have the time for handling all the details of the planning and preparations. Generally, these are people who have more money than time – career people, busy working couples – or even housewives in upwardly mobile families.  So they hire a party planner to take care of all the details that go into throwing their parties and special celebrations. That way they can focus on just having fun, and leave the “work” of planning a party to someone else.

See If You Have What it Takes for a Career as a Party Planner –  Check Out These Six Must-Have Personality Traits:

If you’re thinking you might enjoy a career as a party planner, first determine whether you have what it takes to be successful and actually do this as a business. It’s one thing to plan parties on a personal basis, and quite another to do it professionally.

See if you have the six personality traits you need if you want to become a party planner and earn income planning parties for other people (don’t worry, if you don’t have them – any of them can be developed if you put some effort into those areas of self-improvement).

5 Fabulous Father’s Day Recipe Ideas

Fathers Day Recipes - Juicy Burger and Double Fried Chips

Fathers Day Recipes - Juicy Burger and Double Fried Chips
Need ideas for tantalizing Father’s Day recipes that will get Dad’s taste buds going and win the whole family’s approval? Dazzle Dad this year with a Father’s Day feast he’ll love. From the Ultimate Burger with juicy Double-Fried chips, to Mexican Chimichangas, check out our Top 5 Father’s Day recipe picks and break out of the same-old-same-old — without having to spend all day in the kitchen.

The Ultimate Burger With Double-Fried Chips

Classic burgers and fries are an all time favorite among dads for Father’s day, but this is no run-of-the-mill burger and fries platter.  This super-juicy beef burger is topped with a yummy combination of spicy home-made tartare sauce, sliced beets and purple onion for an amazing taste-fest.  For a healthier, leaner version (gotta take care of Dad and the kids!) use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef – just as yummy and better for them.  The thick-cut potato fries are double-fried  and sprinkled with sea salt (a much healthier alternative to table salt). Use either coconut oil or peanut oil for the fries as a healthier oil choice for your family. The ultimate burger, this baby requires two hands to eat — but the best bit is licking your fingers at the end!

We’ve adapted this recipe from Colin Fassnidge as published in Taste Magazine – November 2014.

Ingredients

1kg potatoes, peeled, cut into thick fries
600g either lean ground beef, or ground chicken or turkey
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
1 egg yolk
Coconut oil, to fry the chips
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
100g cheddar cheese, sliced
4 brioche rolls or Kaiser buns, halved, toasted
Lettuce leaves
2 cooked beets, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Spicy Tartare Sauce

3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce

Directions:

Grease a baking tray with oil. Boil potatoes in pot of boiling water for 12 minutes or until tender and starting to break up. Drain. Cool slightly. Place on tray. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to dry out.

Meanwhile, combine the beef (or chicken or turkey), marjoram and egg yolk in a bowl. Season well. Use your hands to combine. Shape into 4 patties. Cover. Place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Make the Sauce:  Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover. Place in the fridge to allow flavours to blend.

Pour enough peanut or coconut oil to come one-third of the way up the side of a saucepan. Heat to 160C. Cook chips, in 3 batches, for 2-3 minutes each batch or until starting to brown. Drain on paper towel.

Heat olive oil or coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook  patties for about 2 minutes on each side for medium doneness, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a baking tray.

Turn the oven to the broil setting. Place the cheese on the beef patties. Broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm and set aside.

Reheat peanut oil to 170C. Cook chips again, in 3 batches, for 3-4 minutes each batch or until golden. Drain on paper towel and season well with sea-salt.

Top the bottom half of the kaiser buns or brioche rolls with lettuce, then the patties, sauce, beet slice and onion. Place top of bun or brioche on the burgers and serve with the double-fried chips and any remaining sauce on the side.

Serves 4.

Barbequed Ribs With Sweet Corn on the Cob

BBQ Ribs with corn on the cop - best ever father's day recipes

What Dad doesn’t love ribs? This Barbeque Ribs recipe is really easy and uber-yummy. You can cook the ribs the day before and then grill them for dinner on Father’s day to cut down the prep time when you want to be kicking back with Dad and the kids. Keep in mind, the sauce is a basting sauce, not a dipping sauce, so it the taste comes in once the sauce has been cooked on the ribs. Also note that this recipe calls for CHILE sauce, which is not the same as CHILI sauce. Much, much different. Make sure you’re using Chile sauce (remember the “E”). You will usually find it in the “Mexican Food” area of the grocery store, and you it typically comes in both mild or hot varieties, which you can select according to your preference. If the kids aren’t into spicy stuff, stick with the mild to play it safe.

The Barbeque Ribs

    4 pounds pork spareribs

1 cup brown sugar (we suggest diet brown sugar)

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup reduced soy sauce (for even lower sodium, use Coconut Aminos)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup rum

1/2 cup chile sauce

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon dry mustard

dash ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cut ribs into serving size portions, wrap in double thickness of foil, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Unwrap, and drain drippings. (You can freeze the drippings to use later in soups if desired.  Place ribs in a large roasting pan.

Mix together brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, rum, chile sauce, garlic, mustard, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Generously brush ribs with sauce. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight.

Preheat grill for medium heat. Position grate four inches above heat source. Brush grill grate with oil. Place ribs on grill, and cook for 30 minutes, basting with marinade.

The Sweet Corn on the Cob

This quick and easy corn on the cob recipe employss a sneaky little secret that produces the  sweetest, tastiest corn on the cob ever.  It’s super easy and way more tasty than regular corn on the cob. What’s the secret? A ‘lil sugar and some lemon juice! Serves 8.

Ingredients

   8 cobs of corn, husks and silk removed

   2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons white sugar

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Fill a large pot about 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Stir in sugar and lemon juice, dissolving the sugar. Gently place ears of corn into boiling water, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the corn cook in the hot water until tender, about 10 minutes.

Serves 8.

Credits: Ribs Recipe adapted from Seesign; Corn on the Cob by HeatherJane; Image Copyright by Dreamstime.

The Best Steak Ever

Best steak recipeCan Dad say “O-M-G”?  He will when he sinks his chops into this little number. Don’t be fooled by the ease and simplicity of this steak marinade recipe, it truly does qualify among the best steak recipes EV-ERRRR.  And its sooooo easy so you can spend more time with Dad and the kids, and way less time in the kitchen. Makes about 1 1/3 cups of marinade.

Ingredients

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)

Directions

Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and pepper in mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly mixed. Add hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired.

Pour marinade over steak meat. Cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours or over night.  Broil or grill steak to desired done-ness.

Suggestion: Serve with sauteed mushrooms and a baked potato, complete with sour cream, green onions and bacon bits.

Makes about 1 1/3 cups of marinade.

Mexican Chimichangas

Chimichanga recipe
Ah, the good old days… Anyone remember, Chi’s Chi’s restaurants? Many a good time was had back in the day over a dinner of chimichangas and margaritas. Their slogan used to be “Come to the good times at Chi Chi’s”.  Create that festive and fun Mexican cantina atmosphere for Father’s Day and serve up some delicious chimichangas.  We turned this recipe healthy for Dad and the kids (and its figure-friendly for you!), by using ground chicken and baking the chimichangas instead of deep frying. They still have all of the awesomeness you expect from a Mexican Chimichanga.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (remove seeds for less heat)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash sea salt
1 small tomato, chopped, plus more for topping
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
1 (15-oz.) can refried beans
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
Mexi-sauce, for topping (recipe below)
shredded lettuce, for topping
Mexican rice, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet; transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno, cook over medium-low heat until soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt; toast 30 seconds. Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through. Remove from the heat.

Assembly and Cooking:  Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture. Spread 2 tablespoons refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold in the ends and roll up. Put the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush with the butter-oil mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip. Top with the sauce, more cheese, lettuce and tomato. Serve with rice and the remaining beans.

Mexi-sauce:
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of each: chile powder, cumin, sugar and salt
2 (4-oz.) cans green chiles, drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken broth

Make Mexi-sauce: Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a skillet over medium-low with heat in a tablespoon or two of vegetable/olive oil. Add a pinch each of chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt; cook 30 seconds. Stir in two 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer until thickened, then puree. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Serves 4.

Chimichanga Recipe by ExpertEntertaining.com. (C) All Rights Reserved.

Father’s Day Special Sloppy Joes

Father's Day Special Slopy Joes

1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef (or you can substitute ground chicken or turkey to keep dad lean and healthy!)

½ cup (125 ml) chopped onion

½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped sweet green pepper

1 (398 mL) can whole or diced tomatoes

1 ½ cup (375 ml) Kellogg’s All-Bran* Bran Flakes cereal

¼ cup (50 ml) ketchup or chili sauce

1 Tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp (1 ml) pepper

Dash of salt (easy on the salt – let’s keep dad healthy:)

8 whole wheat hamburger buns

Directions

1. In large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion and green pepper, stirring frequently, until meat is browned and any liquid has evaporated.

2. Stir in tomatoes; chop whole tomatoes into pieces with spoon. Stir in cereal, ketchup, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve on hamburger buns.

Recipe Courtesy of Kellogg’s® All-Bran®, and adapted by ExpertEntertaining.com

Lemon Dill Chicken Recipe

Lemon dill chicken recipe

Lemon dill chicken recipeThis lemon dill chicken recipe is a fabulous, yet fast and easy recipe for when you have dinner guests.  It’s beautiful on the plate, with flavor to match, and the fact that it’s so quick and easy to prepare is a definite bonus.  Healthy too!

I discovered this recipe on the health website WebMD.com. I’ve never known them to publish recipes, but this one is a gem. To “healthify” the recipe even further, I make a few of my own modifications, which you might want to do as well, especially if you’re interested in clean eating. Its easy to do, and trust me, none of the deliciousness is lost. 

Here’s how I adapt it:  I skip the salt and I only use oat flour (run oats through a blender to turn them into flour) or coconut flour – never, ever use white flour which is so overly processed, all food value has been depleted and only the bad stuff is left (which slows your metabolism, creates gut problems, and makes you gain weight. Just sayin’) .Use these simple tricks every day in your cooking and you’ll lose a few excess pounds without even trying!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1-1 1/4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped fresh, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken.
Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.
Recipe via WebMD and EatingWell.com. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Bear Butt Pancakes

Bear/ Bunny Pancakes

Bear/ Bunny Pancakes

Oh this is fun – cute and adorable bear “butt” pancakes!  Do these just to put a smile on some faces at breakfast. You could also make these for Easter and call them bunny butt pancakes.

How to Do It:

Just use your fave pancake recipe or mix to make the pancake batter.  Don’t have a “from scratch” pancake recipe?  Use the “Good Old Fashioned Pancakes” recipe further below – it’s a well-loved, long-time favorite recipe and, better yet,  its easy!  You’ll get awesome pancakes every time.

Create a regular round pancake for the “butt” and create two elongated oval pancakes for those cute little feet.

Place 3 raisins on each paw for “toes”, and a flat slice of strawberry to emulate those cute little pink pads on the bottoms of paws.

A dab of whipping cream makes a perfect puffy tale.

Then watch for big smiles.  So, so SO kewuuuute!

Old Fashioned Pancakes Recipe

Adapted by Expert Entertaining from a Recipe by Dakota Kelly

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.

Cover and cook til brown on both sides (flip the pancakes once the first side is browned and continue cooking til the other side is browned).

Serve immediately.

Makes 8 pancakes.

Tip:  You can prepare batches of the dry ingredients into plastic bags, and attached labels for the amount of milk, egg & butter, for easy, ready to go premade-homemade pancake mix that you can whip together in a snap.

Santa Hat Cheesecake Squares

Santa Hat Cheesecake Sqaures

Santa Hat Cheesecake Sqaures

Want a fun and festive idea for Christmas dessert?  Try these Santa hat cheesecake squares. (For that matter, you could do this with brownies or almost any kind of cake if you prefer – Strawberry Shortcake would be an obvious choice!). This is such an easy way to delight your guests and show off what a creative hostess you are.

Here’s How:

Start with your favorite cheese cake recipe.  See further below for the king of cheesecake recipes if you don’t have a favorite yet  – or even if you do, you’ll probably still want to try this one because its Fabulous (yes, with a capital ‘F’!); its also EASY which is a major bonus.

  • Cut the cake into little squares, just a little larger than the diameter of the largest end of the strawberries you are using.
  • Slice of the stem-end of the strawberry and place it on top of the mini cheese cake square.
  • Then fill a pastry bag (or you can use a Ziploc bag and cut a small tip off the corner) with sweetened whipped cream and pipe white frosting around the base of the strawberry to create the fluffy white fur trim on Santa’s hat.
  • Pipe a tiny dollop of frosting onto the top of the strawberry for the pom pom.

    You’re guests will think they are adorable.

The King of Cheesecake Recipes (and its EASY!)

This cake is easy to make, and it’s so delicious. Everyone that’s tried it has said it tasted just like a deli cheesecake! You’ll love it. And its guaranteed to impress your guests – big time.

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake in a springform pan.

Ingredients:

15 graham crackers, crushed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup milk

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  • In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Credits: Photo by CookingClassy. | Recipe by Taliesen

DIY Glittered Mason Jar Candle Holders

GLittered mason jar candle holders for Christmas

GLittered mason jar candle holders for Christmas

Mason Jars Go Glam!

These glittered mason jar candle holders would look totally terrific on the Christmas table, on the mantle, or outside the front door with battery operated votive candles inside. Or on the front steps to greet guests as they arrive, or…..

You get the idea, they’re awesome.  So many things you can do with these babies. And they are so easy to D-I-Y.

Here’s How:

Just use spray adhesive or brush craft glue on to the portion of the jar you want to glitter. Then simply dust with glitter in the color of your choice. Personally, I think either gold or silver is classiest, but its up to you.

Here’s a variation on the same idea, using a smaller jar, for a votive or tea light candle holder.  You could do a combination for your  holiday season table. Go with mason jars for the centerpiece, and then use the tea light candle jars at every place setting. Let your guests take them home as favors if you like. Either way, your table setting will  *S*P*A*R*K*L*E*.

Awesome idea for New Year’s Eve entertaining too.

And of course, there’s nothing to say that these glamorous little candle holders need to be reserved only for the holiday season. They’ll be awesome any time of year, when the mood calls for a bit of casual-glam.

Photo Credits: Mason Jar | Tea Light Holder

DIY Glitter jar tea light candle holder