Smart Party Planning

Smart Party Planning covers every aspect of planning a party to enable you to create a truly wonderful party. Pop over to search for party theme ideas, tips, party printables and a printable checklist.

Catherine is a winner of Top 25 Party Planning Moms - 2013

What's the most creative dessert idea you've come up with for a party? Please share a link if you have one.

For those of you that know me, you will know that I am not a great baker. I can certainly appreciate fine looking and tasting desserts, but creating them is a different story! I therefore generally go with simple but effective ideas, that someone will any skill level can achieve.

I think the presentation of desserts is just as important as the dessert itself, so for instance using cookie cutters for different shapes can add an instant creative flare and also tie in with the party theme. Cookie cutters don't need to be used just for cookies, so you can be creative with shapes for fairy bread, fruit, brownies...the list goes on!!

Presenting fruit in a creative way will also make it look more appealing. Fruit kebabs or dipping fruit in chocolate can add instant appeal.

For Valentines I made some gorgeous red velvet cupcakes in a jar, which could easily be used as a party dessert or even a party favour. The great thing about it is that it is in a you don't need to be neat and tidy about it...great for those of you that struggle with making a masterpiece!

What's a cool DIY project you would recommend for party decorations?

Home made party decorations are not only budget friendly, but can be tailored exactly to your party theme, which is why I personally love them!!

I love making tissue paper pom poms and rosettes because they add instant colour and can also be made quite large to cover a lot of decorating space!! They are a win win!

My motto is simple is best, so I would definitely recommend tissue paper pom poms for easy styling with flare. An example of how great they can look in party decoration can be seen at this bee themed baby shower I recently held for a friend:

I also absolutely LOVE printables. Printables can be used for naming food items, having banners and welcome signs, cupcake toppers, and favour tags to name a few. Using printables running with the theme of your party can bring all the styling together, creating a wow factor with little effort and very little expense! I personally feel that printables finish off the decorations and add a professional look to the styling.

Another example of tissue paper pom poms and printables used together in a party can be seen at this Australia Day party I styled earlier in the year.

Party printables can also be used for the actual party theme itself. For instance this wine tasting party has printables for both the wine bottles and guessing sheets. A simple idea yet so incredibly effective.

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly party snacks that are healthy too?

There are so many options for kid friendly snacks, and the way you present them can make them appealing or not to kids! I love using cupcake holders for bite sized snacks, as they look great on the food table, but also make the food appear that bit more appealing to kids!

Fruit is always a winner and is a must for a kids party. Being creative with the styling of the fruit can also make it look more appealing. Kids LOVE fruit kebabs...their own little skewer which is brightly's like fun at the fair!

I always put out a selection of fritz and cheese for bite sized snacks, as well as butter popcorn. Otherwise anything mini, kids love. For instance we make mini quiche's and savoury muffins which always go down a treat!