There are a lot of things I consider unpredictable about myself. I don’t have one set style, I never sign my name the same way, and I always switch up what I drink when I’m out. But there are a few things in my life you can set a clock to, and certain rituals that have been cemented in my brain. I’ve talked about many of those city rituals here before, and one of the main themes throughout all of them is movies. The art of Chinese food and a movie on Christmas eve every year with my mom. Or watching the Oscars in her bedroom with snacks in hand, talking style and gasping at Joan and Melissa’s lack of knowledge. Today, the players and the scenery have changed, but that one thing remains. So every year I host an Oscars party and invite all my friends over for fun, laughs, lots of drinks, and of course a few silly prizes! This year, like every single year before, since I was in my late twenties, I prepared ballots, cut out decorations and eagerly await the evening of Oscars 2016. Like so many before it, it will become uneventful soon enough. But for now, the excitement is high, the style awaits the red carpet, and the little girl still watching from her moms bed gets ready for her own hosting duties. If Oscars 2016 is on your radar, here are some tips for making it a night for you and your guests to remember… at least until the next party.
1. Have a signature Cocktail. Whenever I host any party, I have Skinnygirl cocktails on hand. Firstly, there is a Skinnygirl for every occasion. Wine for book club with the girls, Vodkas for mixers during monthly movie night, and spicy lime margarita for… well any night, because its just so darn good! Secondly, it’s variety gives it the ability to please any palate at your party. If you want to make things a little easier though, take away that variety and have a signature cocktail instead. For this years Oscars, I’ll be serving the Best Picture Punch. It’s :
1 part Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka, 3 parts Cranberry juice, 1 part grapefruit, and a grapefruit twist for garnish. If you’re not one for cocktails, stick to wine, and take Skinnygirl and Bethenny up on her pairing suggestions.
2. Prepare Ballots for your viewing party. Preparation leading up to this annual gathering has matured drastically through the years. Maybe a symbol of how I’ve even grown in how I think, create and produce content. Or maybe my Pinterest game has just gone up a few, slight points. Either way, I’ve come a long way from writing out hand ballots for ten girls feverishly in a notebook, while delegating to others. If you host a party, it’s important to present things not just beautifully, but easily. Like so many things in life, it takes time to master an art, and hosting duties are no different. I did at least have some help, from Sugar and Charm whose gorgeous ballots I’ll be using on Sunday. You can download them here.
3. Hand out little gifts as prizes. I always love to give away little gifts during my Oscars parties as prizes for those who ace the ballots. It can be anything from a gag, to hand lotion, to a book. It can be 10 things from the 99 cent store. It doesn’t matter. It just shows a little effort, and people always love getting something for free. Plus, I love rewarding movie buffery.
4. Play games like Bingo during the show, or even better make them drinking games. I love seeing other people’s passion to Oscar traditions, so I was super excited to stumble upon How About Orange. Her love and dedication to Oscar Bingo has spanned eight years in the form of these fun printables and I’m just thankful to have discovered her going forward. Play along on social media using #haobingo.
5. Use the 99 cent store & Pinterest for affordable decor and app ideas. These days, whenever the next holiday, or celebration hits, I hit the nearby party store to see what seasonal decorations they have sprawled out all over the floor. I never used to pay these storefronts much mind, but in my new aforementioned growth, a lot of pre-work is done to scout affordable decor and content ideas. So when I knew the time for Oscars 2016 was coming close, I once again hit my store for some goods. I found paper popcorn bags perfect for making little snack favors, gold silverware (easier for cleanup) and a few items perfect for little prizes, plus a little Oscar man of course. Laughing cow cheese wedges from the supermarket are only $3.00 and yet in only a few steps you can create a cute appetizer worthy of any Pinterest board. Stay tuned for how that goes….
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