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FACEBOOK CONTEST: Win a Custom Party Plan! October 3, 2011


Are you hosting a party in the near future, but you’re uncertain about all of the details? If so, you’re in need of a Brilliant Bash Blueprint.


The winner will receive a Brilliant Bash Blueprint, which provides detailed suggestions for the event, including:

– Theme
– Colour Palette
– Décor
– Refreshments
– Entertainment
– Guest favours
– Bash Board
– Overall feel of the event
– Suggested preparation timeline
– Shopping sources for event preparation

I give you the party plan and you take the credit for the fabulous results.


Please “like” Brilliant Bash on Facebook , and then post on our Facebook wall the type of party you need some help planning for.  On Friday, October 7, I will select the post with the most “likes” and the winner will be announced.

Party Time!

The winner’s Brilliant Bash Blueprint will be featured on this site, and the winner will be given the opportunity to have his/her photos of their event featured in a future blog post.

I would love to get started on your personalized Brilliant Bash Blueprint!  Enter the contest now!

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

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SAMPLE Brilliant Bash Blueprint: Tiki Party September 12, 2010

I announced yesterday that I am now offering custom party plans. You can read more about the Brilliant Bash Blueprints here.

For those of you out there who have neither the time nor the energy to get obsessed with party details, let me do the work for you!  I love this stuff.

So you have an idea as to what a Brilliant Bash Blueprint may look like, I’ve created a sample for you.

Bash Board: Tiki Party

Each Brilliant Bash Blueprint comes with a custom Bash Board (as you see above), as well as a complete, personalized party plan, such as the one included below.  This sample Blueprint is for a busy, uncrafty couple who don’t want to spend more than $200 on the bash, and they have two weeks to prepare.  Please keep in mind that the formatting on this blog isn’t the greatest, so the actual Blueprint would appear much more attractive than this sample.

SAMPLE Brilliant Bash Blueprint: Tiki Party

Brilliant Bash Blueprint:
1st Annual Tiki Party
September 2010

Theme: Freaki Tiki

Colour Palette: Tropical colours – bright green, orange, red, pink and yellow

•    Tiki lanterns
•    Grass table skirt
•    Coconut cups
•    Leis
•    Fresh tropical flowers
•    Tiki bar sign
•    Brightly coloured candles
•    Punch bowl
•    Patterned napkins
•    Food picks
•    Themed cupcakes
•    Tiki pinata

Tiki Cakes - Via Cupcakes Take the Cake

•    Hawaiian pizzas (meat and veg versions)
•    Fruit platter (pineapple, melons and strawberries)
•    Coconut cookies
•    Themed cupcakes
•    Tortilla chips w/pineapple salsa
•    Tiki punch
•    Pineapple soda or pineapple juice w/pineapple wedge garnish

Limbo Time!

•    Tiki soundtrack
•    Limbo
•    Pinata

Guest Favours: Leis and pinata winnings

•    Outfits – Grass skirts and brightly coloured tops for the women; khaki shorts or pants and colourful hawaiian shirts for the men

•    Accessories – Leis, faux flowers in hair and around wrists and ankles, coconut or shell “bras” over shirts, fun jewellery and earrings such as these

Overall Feel: Colourful, fun, relaxed – not too cheesy or overdone with décor, but with an edge of spooky tiki (achieved via music, lanterns and candlelight)

•    Forego the usual paper or plastic printed cups and opt for plastic coconut-shaped cups instead.  These costs a bit more, but are much more fun and memorable.  If you can only afford a few, just start the night with the coconut cups and move on to paper or plastic printed cups as more guests arrive
•    As each guest arrives, greet him/her at the door and adorn him/her with a brightly coloured lei.  This is a great way to welcome your guests to the party.

Suggested Preparation Timeline and Checklist:

3-4 weeks prior: N/A

2-3 weeks prior: N/A

1-2 weeks prior:
o    Purchase décor items and soundtrack (order any online items as early as possible)
o    Purchase attire
o    Purchase pinata contents
o    Purchase small bags for guests to place their pinata winnings

Week of:
o    Stuff pinata
o    Purchase pineapple soda/juice
o    Clean your home

Day prior:
o    Purchase and arrange flowers
o    Purchase necessary food items
o    Bake cupcakes
o    Create name tags for coconut cups (since there will be a limited amount of coconut cups, this will help to ensure guests continue to use the same cup throughout the party)
o    Place extra toilet tissue in the washroom
o    Prepare space for guest jackets in your front closet and shoes in your entryway
o    Start to arrange food table

Day of:
o    Hang tiki lights and pinata
o    Decorate cupcakes
o    Finish arranging food table
o    Prepare punch bowl
o    Pick up ice
o    Set up ice bucket
o    Slice pineapple wedges for drink garnishes
o    Place straws and cups for guests to self serve their drinks
o    Order pizza


Décor Items: Tiki grass table skirts, grass skirts, leis, themed napkins/cups/drink picks/straws, brightly coloured candles, plastic coconut cups, tiki lanterns and pinatas can be purchased at your local dollar stores, party stores or online via Party America , Luau Express or Party Mart (Canada).  And if there was ever a time to display your brightly coloured serving platters and bowls, this is it!

Flowers: One day prior to the bash, pick up brightly coloured flowers at your local grocery store or favourite florist.  If you have particular flowers in mind, order the flowers ahead of time, as early as your timeline allows.

•    Order the pizzas from your favourite pizza delivery restaurant
•    Purchase the remainder of the food and drinks at your local grocery store
•    Use a cake mix and store-bought icing for the cupcakes to make things easier for yourself.  Use tiki-themed drink picks as cupcake decorations.  I would suggest chocolate cupcakes with white icing, so they have a dark look, but the white icing will allow the tiki-themed drink picks to really stand out.
•    If you cannot find pineapple salsa, there is a great recipe here
•    Punch Recipes:

Tiki Rum Punch
4 Cups water
1 Cup lime or lemon juice
3 cups strawberry-flavored syrup
2 cups Jamaican white rum or Appleton Rum

Mix all ingredients together in a punch bowl. Serve over ice cubes with a piece of lime or lemon. Water and rum maybe added to weaken or strengthen as needed.  Serves 10-12

– OR –

Tropical Rum Punch
8 cups (2 quarts) guava nectar
6 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups coconut cream
3 cups light rum or Malibu Rum to taste

Chill all ingredients well before mixing.  Mix all ingredients well in a large punch bowl.  Float an ice mold or block of ice. Serve over crushed ice, if desired. Makes 40 servings.

•    Pinata – This can be purchased at your local dollar stores, party stores or online via Party America , Luau Express or Party Mart (Canada)
•    Tiki soundtrack – available via iTunes (Recommended: Kenny Saski & the Tiki Boys) or online via CD Universe or Amazon (Recommended: Drew’s Famous Original Tiki Bar Party Music CD)
•    Limbo – just a broom handle can work for this one!  Twist a lei around it if you would like to pull the party colours into the game.

Have a fabulous time!


If you are interested in learning more about Brilliant Bash Blueprints, please visit me here.

Thanks for reading!

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Brilliant Bash Blueprints September 11, 2010

Filed under: Planning — brilliantbash @ EDT
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Brilliant Bash now offers custom party plans!

If you are hosting a party in the near future, but you’re uncertain about all of the details, you’re in need of a Brilliant Bash Blueprint. A Brilliant Bash Blueprint provides you with detailed suggestions for your event, including:

– Theme
– Colour Palette
– Décor
– Refreshments
– Entertainment
– Guest favours
– Bash Board
– Overall feel of the event
– Suggested preparation timeline
– Shopping sources for event preparation

I give you the party plan and you take the credit for the fabulous results.

To create your custom plan, I get started by asking you a few simple questions about the desired results for your upcoming event, as well a bit about your personal style.  I then create your personalized party plan, as well as a Bash Board for the event (sample Bash Board pictured below). The creation timeline is approximately 3-5 business days, after which the Bash Blueprint will be delivered directly to your e-mail inbox.

I would love to get started on your custom Brilliant Bash Blueprint!

Bash Board Sample

Visit Brilliant Bash here.

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Best Books for Party Planning August 9, 2010

Filed under: Planning — brilliantbash @ EDT

The best books about entertaining include a wide variety of photos, detailed recipes for recommended party feasts, and step-by-step instructions for innovative crafts and DIY projects.

Two such fabulous books are Entertaining Simple by Matthew Mead and InStyle Parties from the editors of InStyle magazine.

Entertaining Simple by Matthew Mead

InStyle Parties by the editors of InStyle Magazine

Entertaining Simple opens with the key elements for your kitchen and explores how these elements can be used and reused in innovative ways (i.e. using votives as mini-vases or shot glasses; using a large vase as a punch bowl, etc.).  Each party idea and recipe includes a “simplify” option that makes the already fairly simple instructions even easier (and usually more affordable).  Love it!

InStyle Parties begins with party basics – how to choose the right wine or cheese; which glassware to use for which cocktail, etc., and then gets into the nitty gritty with fabulously complete party ideas.

Both books include a satisfying amount of photos, as well as very clear and simple instructions for the recipes and projects.  And they’re both so inspirational and creative!

Entertaining Simple – Notes from the publisher:

A beautifully illustrated guide to parties that are simply great-from a rising lifestyle and entertaining guru

With his popular book, articles, and design products, Matthew Mead is one of today’s leading experts on creative decorating and relaxed entertaining. Now, in his new book, Mead gives hosts all the know-how they need to entertain with confidence-without spending a lot of time or money.

Mead starts with the basics: the simple white tableware, clear glassware, and essential serving pieces everyone should have on hand for easy, laid-back entertaining. He then shows how, with a little imagination and very little money, hosts can dress up these plain table settings and create a stunning custom décor for any theme or occasion. To demonstrate how to put this simple entertaining philosophy into practice, Mead offers eight foolproof party plans, from a Lazy Day Brunch and a Summer Barbecue to a Good Spirits Cocktail Party and a Holiday Open House. For each sample party, Mead provides decorating ideas, serving suggestions, and delicious recipes-everything people need for a memorable, stress-free get-together. Throughout, more than 350 gorgeous color photographs by Quentin Bacon inspire readers and illustrate each party idea.

Complete with a comprehensive source guide as well as lots of practical tips on last-minute entertaining, stocking a bar, storage, linens and candles, and more, Entertaining Simple is simply indispensable for everyone who loves to entertain.

InStyle Parties – Notes from the publisher:

InStyle Parties: The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining is the one-stop guide to making every event stylish and personal, and it proves once and for all that entertaining at home can be easy, fabulous, and fun. Organized in three sections, the book includes:

* The basics of party preparation, including what to serve and how to create the perfect atmosphere

* Complete party guides for every occasion, from dinner parties for eight to cocktail parties for 30

* A listing of the country’s top resources for food, drink, and decor, from artisanal cheeses and exotic chocolates to flowers and flatware

With its elegant illustrations and vibrant images of celebrity-studded events, colorful drinks, luscious foods, and sophisticated decor, InStyle Parties puts the fun of parties first. This beautifully designed, all-purpose, indispensable guide shows readers how to think like a movie star while organizing like a caterer. The reward is in enjoying your own party as much as your guests. And InStyle Parties makes that a reality.

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