An Organized Calendar Means Never Missing Out

10609811454_ddca54fcde_zLife is a busy busy thing. You may have noticed that I’ve cut back on blog posts, because life is busy and I make a point to live first and blog later.

The problem with busy is that it can be disorganized. From meetings, to parties, to dinners and other events, it’s necessary to juggle a lot. And sometimes things fall off or get forgotten and we miss out.

I’m constantly worried about not living up to my commitments, especially when it comes to both planning and attending events. So how do I stay organized?

My electronic calendar is my lifeline and keeps me from missing things… alleviating FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), which i’m prone to as a chronic worrier. I use my Outlook calendar to seamlessly manage my work commitments, personal plans and professional events. Some people use Google Calendar, iCal or Yahoo. Whatever works! From an attendance standpoint, this calendar is great.

When it comes to managing events, I need a few more tools, one of my favorites is Eventbrite. I’ve been using Evenbrite since college when we hosted a conference for our PRSSA chapter. It’s been a handy tool for both work events and events for our PRSA chapter. It manages the guest list for you, lets attendees send questions and allows you to send reminders so people actually come to your event. Continue reading

A Cooking-Themed Bridal Shower

Last summer, I worked with a great group of bridesmaids to throw a pretty large-scale garden tea bridal shower for my good friend Natalie. I loved how the theme of the shower carried through everything, so when my mom said that she’d like to have a small, Pampered Chef bridal shower, my sister and I cooked up an intimate cooking-themed shower for her.

It’s weird to plan a bridal shower for your mother. Let me just put that out there. But a lot of the stuff I’ve encountered related to my mom getting married has been a bit unusual so the only option is to just roll with it.

Since the guest list was manageable, I volunteered my home for it. I printed the invitations at home and included a card with parking instructions and notice that my home is a shoes-free environment, inviting guests to bring slippers or fun fun socks. Asking  people to remove their shoes in my home is a frequently misunderstood policy and occasionally upsets some, the best way of preventing problems with this is to give advanced notice of the policy, by inviting people to bring slippers or fun socks, they could plan accordingly.

One of my mom’s friends thought that the invitations were professionally made! Major compliment appreciated!

Because it was a Pampered Chef shower, most of the hard work was done by the Pampered Chef lady, who is my mom’s friend. She put together a board with my mom’s wishlist and brought items from it for us to look at and learn about. Continue reading

Friday Five: Tea Party Edition

I’m throwing a garden tea bridal shower on Sunday. Event planning is not new to me, along with being part of my job, I planned my own wedding and several events that go along with it. But I realize that party planning is not natural to some and knowing how focused I’ve been on this weekend’s festivities, I can imagine that for anyone who isn’t a “natural” it could be stressful. Without further ado… Five tips for throwing a party.

1. Stay organized. Have a place for your party supplies, keep an organized guest list for RSVPs (hello Excel!) and write things down when you think of them.

2. Prepare for everyone but expect no shows. Every bride knows that people are not always dependable for RSVPs, either they don’t RSVP or they don’t RSVP through the appropriate channel. (I saw someone RSVP to a wedding on the mother of the bride’s Facebook once.)

3. Plan to be ready to go early. Especially when people are going somewhere unfamiliar, they leave early. Try to have food ready and decorating done at least 30 minutes prior to the event. Once people start showing up, they like to socialize, so it can make set up difficult.

4. Over prepare. For events not at your home, have a bag of things you may not need that includes: Markers, tape, thumbtacks, pens, etc. For this weekend’s shower my in-case bag has tape, extra flowers, ribbon, markers and flats.

5. Enjoy yourself. This should go without saying… but it doesn’t. Even if you aren’t the guest of honor, you should enjoy the even you’re throwing. Not everything will go right, but it won’t be a big deal unless you make it that way. Relax.

Do you have any good event planning tips?