Throwing a party is my fave (by Nicole)

May 5, 2009

Nicole is one of those people that you want to go up to and say, “I’d be willing to trade my left arm and my first born child for just an ounce of your creativity.” She’s the ultimate party thrower who makes non-exciting holidays feel like Christmas. And she’s the best gift giver I know. Luckily I’m her sister so I reap the benefits.

First of all, I just want to say how fun it is to be part of Melanie’s blog. For the past year, I spent a lot of time wishing that I could do something cool enough to be included on here. A while ago, my son was going through and describing the traits of all my sisters. When he got to Melanie (the last one) he said, “and she’s just all the rest of you tied into one.” I thought that was a great description.

Organizing all the neighbors together for a fun party is my fave. I’ve been doing this since childhood. Since summer is hopefully on the horizon, I thought I’d give a couple ideas of what I’ve done for summer parties. Give them a try!

Ice Cream Party

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For this party, we invited several families on a warm summer night to come and eat ice cream with us. I made several kinds of homemade ice cream in advance. A couple batches of good old fashioned vanilla, of course. But then I tried a couple other tasty kinds. One of our favorites was Coconut Gelato. You can find the recipe here


I had my kids dip waffle cone bowls in melted chocolate and then dip them in jimmies.

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Next, was my favorite part—compiling a great assortment of toppings. We had Oreos, mini chocolate chips, gummy bears, jimmies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&M’s, maraschino cherries, nuts, Heath Bar, brownie bits and cookie dough (make into little balls and freeze beforehand). Guess which was the first to go? Gummy bears. Weird, I know, but there were a bunch of kids at the party.

You don’t even have to plan games because the main event is just eating ice cream. How great is that on a summer night?

Fourth of July Celebration

I love the 4th in a small town—a really small town. But since where we live doesn’t qualify, I came up with a way to celebrate like a small town would in my own neighborhood. Really, this doesn’t take very much work and is so worth it. First of all, a few days before the 4th I had my kids ride up and down the streets on their bikes, delivering handmade flyers announcing the events of the day.

The day starts off at 8:00 a.m. with a Freedom Run. All ages can participate and make sure to have ribbons or medals for all the finishers. Oh, and a finishing tape that everyone gets to break through is also a good idea.

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Next, we invited everyone back to the house for a good old fashioned pancake breakfast. For some reason, I like pancakes so much better when they are cooked on the grill.


After breakfast, everyone heads back down to the road for a parade. Strollers, bikes, skates, scooters, and wagons are all welcome. Hand out salt water taffy and Tootsie Rolls for the kids to throw at the spectators. This is where the flyers come in handy—hopefully, some of the neighbors who don’t want to participate will come out of their houses and be spectators. The kids need someone to throw candy to. Hand out little flags for everyone to wave and have someone lead the parade with a large flag. A Cub Scout would make a nice touch. Download some patriotic tunes to play along the way. And don’t forget to hand out red, white and blue popsicles at the end. The good thing about this celebration, it is over at 10:30 or 11:00 so there’s still time for everyone to go to the lake and have barbecues.

My philosophy is that everyone likes a party. If I don’t organize it, most likely no one will. So, go ahead, plan a party. Everyone will be happy.

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