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Snugly Winter Party Themes

Sitting here in my woollen winter coat once more, I thought that I'd put out a quick snapshot of party theme ideas for the upcoming chilly months. Best you sit down with a sweet cup of tea and take these in:

beatnik kit.jpg

Beatnik Party

Only the best party idea I've had yet! This is seriously my favourite theme of the original hipsters of the 1950s. Throw on some warm jazz and a cosy sweater, pour some liquor and yank out your creative side. You might even create a masterpiece to hang on your wall, or hear some impressionable poetry (as did happen at my last party; that guy blew me away!)

Christmas in July

Kinda corny, I know, but us southerners don't get Christmas holidays like they do up north. Why not give it a go? Those decorations only get out once a year, and you could even play Secret Santa to include the gift-giving sentiments. Plus, if you need any more convincing, there's EGGNOG!

Positive Party

This is another I want to run sometime soon. Happy moods only! Play the happiest of tunes, have colourful food and dress code; encourage compliments, and even have a sort of "swear jar" for anyone caught gossiping to add a penalty coin - you could later donate the contents to a local mental health charity or hospital. This theme would be more ideal for the absolute coldest months, or near the end of August to pull everyone out of any lingering SAD moods.

London High Tea

Get all fancy, Brit! I'm a massive T2 fan (oh, my GOSH, I could spend hours drooling on that website!), although you can find all sorts of scrumptious tea varieties in other stores around the country. Snuggle up with your favourite teapot, some sugar cubes, teaspoons and mittens. Might want to leave the croquet for the springtime, but cards or other board games would be great.

Or, if you'd like to try the other form of UK class, hit up a working class gig and go all Shameless on your mates with a bonfire in the back yard if it suits. The original though, not that US remake junk!

How do these sound? Do you have any creative themes for the seasons? It could just be the climate here in Australia, but I find winter ideas a little more difficult to think of. Half the fun is going all "trial and error" on your guests though!

6 Smart-Arse Language Resources

On the eve of International 'Correct Every Spelling Mistake You See on Facebook' Week I thought I'd take the time to share with you a few of my favourite online locales for the sarcastic and humourous correction of basic, written English.

Facebook Groups

Let's get the Internet's bumper stickers of the way straight up. I'm just going to nominate one that covers so many others out there: The correct usage of "You're", "Your", "There", "Their" and "They're". Surely you know a lot more and are part of a few!

The Oatmeal

Aside from kicking Justin Bieber's arse, this site just knows the grammar. There's comics on how to use an apostrophe, a semicolon;* ten words you need to start getting right (and an email response to it) and a quiz on your spelling on Twitter.

Hyperbole and a Half

This fantastic humour site gives you a few coping strategies for the spelling and grammar fails of others. Meet Alot; he is helpful in a number of ways:

So the next time you are reading along and you see some guy ranting about how he is "alot better at swimming than Michael Phelps," instead of getting angry, you can be like "You're right!  Alots are known for their superior swimming capabilities."

d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com

In case you ever forget, this is the classic and original spelling snark.

Synonyms for "Said"

A while back I posted a massive list of 234 other words you can use instead of "said." I don't know where it originates from, but I like it anyway.

How to Write a Passive Aggressive Note

Slashspot.com has an infographic posted from Column Five Media which can help resolve your lame-o house mate problems.

And that's it. Do you know any great resources that should have a mention here? I'd love to hear them!

*and I hope I got that right!

21st Birthday Venue Hunting 101

Goldfish Cocktails

A mate's 21st birthday party is coming up late June and she's a tad frazzled over how to go about finding a venue amongst the diamonds of possibilities in Brisbane. So I made this list!

  1. Determine your budget. Are your parents paying? Awesome! Now pay attention to this fact and ensure they're part of the decision-making process.
  2. List possible venues. It's all about your favourite places to be and favourite people to be around, so think about the crowd you're inviting and the suitability of the venue. I had my 21st last July at The Plough Inn, Southbank because I was inviting college friends, new friends, old friends and family members. The relaxed atmosphere was great for comfortable discussions and the service was superb. I loved it! Other cute 21sts I've attended have been at house parties, alleyway cocktail bars and more. Sure, be imaginative; but match your guests, not vice versa.
  3. E-mail for quotes. Take note of how quickly they can return the details. Don't feel compelled to do business with someone you do not like, but this depends on how much you'd love to party at their establishment.
  4. Shortlist. Try to get it down to about three, but this depends on how much time you have on your hands to look around.
  5. Venue test run. Go for a drink, meal, dance or whatever activity you're planning for your big gig. The aim here is to get a feel for the atmosphere. You wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without trying them on now, would you?
  6. Formal visit. Chat to the functions manager about what you require, who will attend, any special needs you have. Be specific and they'll be able to offer you better service.
  7. Negotiate. Do feel free to state that another venue is willing to do XYZ for a better price. If they want your business, they will do their best to accommodate. And don't forget to check with the parents.
  8. Confirm! In writing of course. Pay all deposits, etc as soon as possible too.

So that's the planning done of seeking a neat party venue. One last thing is to thank them after your 21st for their hospitality and perhaps even leave them a testimonial which they can use later on. But I know you'll all do that because you're a smashing party host!

Happy hunting!

Mexican Layered Chili Dip Recipe

I am still craving this! Unbelievably scrumptious and perfect for afternoon drinks over a game of croquet.

Serves 4. That's if you share, I guess.

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 can Mexican refried beans
  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 large avocados, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • corn chips (plain is best)
  1. Mix avocados, sour cream and lemon/lime juice.
  2. Place lettuce onto a large platter, leaving room around edges for some corn chips.
  3. Spoon refried beans on top of lettuce, then add chili sauce, avocado mix, cheese and spring onion.
  4. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. Before serving, add tomatoes and arrange corn chips around the platter's edges.
  6. CONSUME!