Party Elements by Shandra Ward

http://www.partyelements.net

Party Elements is an online resource that features the details of creating a fabulous party at home. Party Elements includes ideas and inspirations for invitations, menu options, drink selections, party themes, decor, gifts, hosting

Of all the parties you've thrown, which was your favorite?

My Favorite party was my son's Game Truck party. It was so much fun. A large truck as big as a bus was designed like a small game room. Four 50 in flat screens inside, two 50" flat screens on the outside of the truck, nice comfortable seating for the gamers, flashing lights, music and AC! He still talks about that party.

What's a great tip for keeping a party affordable?

A great way to keep a party affordable is to limit the number of guests. That will save money on food.

What are some unique ideas for party favors?

Creating party favors was the best part of planning my son's bday parties. For his 4th party, I gave away little folding stools with animal faces on the seat. They were $1 each from the dollar store. For his 11th bday, we had a game truck come to entertain the kids and for favors I bought $10 gift cards from Game Stop.

How do you celebrate New Year's Eve with young children?

Shandra Ward, Event Designer

This year we are celebrating New Year's at home with family. The theme this year is "game night". We have lots of board games, had held games, Wii, dominoes, and cards. I am preparing kid friendly food like, turkey sliders, ham and pineapple skewers, and honey fruit salad and other bite sized foods. My 12 year old son is in charge making his secret punch, helping prepare the food and assist with decorating. For the past 3 New Year's, that night has been focused on the children in the family. This year is my turn to host. as a matter of fact, it's starting to become a new tradition with our family. Everybody looks forward to great fun, food and time well spent with the family.
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What are your tips for planning an affordable birthday party?

Shandra Ward, Event Designer

Depending on the age of the child, you can plan an affordable birthday party. The key is to get creative with your budget. Keep it simple and try to handcraft most of the decorations by shopping at the dollar stores. They are the best when it comes to planning and designing parties on a budget. Use crepe paper and curling ribbon to accent tables and the ceiling. Find fun wrapping paper and wrap a few boxes for a quick centerpiece or they can be used to display cupcakes. Parties are suppose to be fun, not time consuming
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Please share a link to a photo of a great birthday cake you made or bought.

Shandra Ward, Event Designer

This cake was part of a candy buffet we created for a client. The theme was inspired by the animated movie "Cars". This is one of my favorite candy buffet designs. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=140790242707617&set=a.140788929374415.27540.136337623152879&type=3&theater
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What item should moms splurge on?

Shandra Ward, Event Designer

Moms should splurge on mini-vacations with her friends. Take a trip to a fabulous spa or a fine winery for 3 or 4 days. These getaways can be local or within your region. We all need to getaway to recharge. Spa: http://www.latorrettalakeresort.com/ Winery: http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/food-wine-categories/wine/
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What are your best tips for birthday party invitations? (What to include, where to make them online, etc?)

Shandra Ward, Event Designer

I love to create my own invitations. Before my son became a tweenager, he would help me design his party invites. We would use cardstock, construction paper, and embellishments purchased from the dollar store. The guests loved our fun and one of a kind designs. Visit the dollar stores, they are a chock full of ideas and inspirations. Sometimes they have the cutest birthday invites. You can get 8 to 10 invites for $1 with envelopes.
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Do you make a treat that's inspired by a Girl Scout cookie flavor? Please share a link to your delcious recipe with a picture.

Shandra Ward, Event Designer

I love to make Lemonade cookie ice cream sandwiches. All you have to do is scoop homemade vanilla ice cream between two Lemonade Girl Scout cookies and eat. DELICIOSO!
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