A 22-ounce Beer Party

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

This past weekend I hosted another party about beer. This time the theme was 22-ounce bottles of beer. (Yes, I decided that can be a party theme. Hear me out.)

You know when you go to a restaurant that has a lot of craft beer and you start reading through the list and you want to try a bunch of them but realize that they’re all sold in the big bottles so you could barely commit to finishing one let alone trying more than one of them – partially because of the volume of liquid in the bottle and partially because the level of alcohol is usually higher in the big bottles beers. Well this party was designed to help with that.

I asked everybody to bring a 22-ounce bottle of beer that they wanted to try and decided that we would all share them. That way you could try a bunch of high-quality beers in one night at a minimal cost with minimal damage to your liver. (See, I told you it could totally be a party theme.)

This party was a little bit different than most for me. I’ve been looking at and reading many different sources of party inspiration recently. I’ve been pinning up a storm, recently just bought the book Great Get-Togethers by Anna and Lizzie Post of the Emily Post Institute, and have been talking to a handful of friends about parties that they want to host. So my brain has been spinning out of control with party ideas. I decided this was going to be the party I implemented all of my new ideas at. And you know what? It kind of made me feel like a brand new party hostess again. I was anxious/nervous/excited before the party started, and when everybody left I found myself with a decent-sized list of “I would totally do this differently next time” items. First, let me set the scene.

Sending the Invitations

I sent the invitations for this party two months ahead of time because my schedule was filling out quickly, so I had a feeling other people’s schedules would be filling up quickly as well. Evite has been my go-to way to send invitations recently. I’ve found it has the most successful response rate because it goes to everyone’s inboxes. I also like that it makes it very easy for guests to see who was invited to the party. I set the party start time to 7:00pm hoping that people would realize that they should eat dinner beforehand and made sure to include on the Evite that everybody should bring a 22-ounce beer for the party.

Making the Guest List

Usually when I get inspired to throw a party there is a specific set of people in my brain that I am already thinking about inviting. When I have tea parties I tend to think of the bloggers. When I have alcohol parties I tend to think of the folks I went to college with. I usually invite the core group I was thinking at the time that I sent the party list, plus a few folks from different groups that I think would get along well with them.

I set the party start time to 7:00pm and I invited 40 people. I usually invite 40 people to my parties. What usually happens is that I invite 40 people, 16 say yes, and the day of the event 10 show up. Well, it went a little bit differently this time. I invited 40 people, 18 said yes, and 15 showed up. That’s five extra people in my little row house. I was nervous. Especially because we just recently moved the futon from the first floor to the second floor as a guest bed so my living room only had one small love seat in it. And a dining room table right in the middle.

Preparing for the Party

The first thing I do after I invite the guests is make a list of food I want to serve. I decided to try to keep it to simple snacks to munch on for this party. I was once at a party where a friend had chili and really enjoyed that, so I added Trader Joe’s vegetarian chili to my list. I was inspired by a pin to recreate making pumpkin patch dirt for dessert (oreo crumbs, chocolate pudding, and candy corn pumpkins). I decided instead of pretzels this time to make corn muffins as my main carbohydrate to absorb the alcohol. Then I filled in the remainder of the food with cheeses, raw vegetables and hummus, brownies, and berries.

Once I had my menu, I went shopping a week beforehand for 95% of the groceries leaving fresh flowers and berries for later in the week closer to the party. I bought ice immediately before the party started.

The first issue I needed to deal with was the fact that I would have more people in my house than I’ve ever had before. I decided it was about time to buy some folding chairs. I purchased four, all of which we used throughout the course of the night, so that was a good decision. In addition, I decided I should make the back patio presentable in case the house got too crowded. We never actually ended up using this space.

I also made a party preparations list that was sorted by room. This is the first time I have ever done it this way and I really liked it. It looked a little bit like this:

  • Outside Front: Sweep front steps, Turn lights on
  • Back Patio: Weed, Sweep, Turn lights on
  • Living Room: Set buffet, Create a table centerpiece, Flowers, Set out cups and markers, Set out ice bin and water, Turn on music
  • Kitchen: Clean, Set out ice bin and water
  • Guest Room: Use as coat room, Turn lights on
  • Bathroom: Clean, Light a candle before the party

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel
This was an incredibly useful list to have. It helped me to realize things earlier than I normally would during the week; for example, I remembered that the front porch light had recently gone out so I needed to find a new bulb before the party. Also, it was super useful to have this list the hour before the party started because most of these things were things that needed to be done in the last little bit of time.

I also divided the food into four categories that arranged it by room, what needed to be done ahead of time, and what I needed specific servingware for.

  • Living Room: Cheese, crackers, carrots, hummus, snap peas, candy
  • Kitchen: Chili, dirt, berries, corn muffins, chips, salsa, hide beer I don’t want being drank
  • Make the night before: Oreo crumbs, pudding, corn muffins
  • Serving: Cups, dirt bowls, chili bowls, appetizer dishes, napkins

This was also an incredibly useful list. That said, I bought cookies that never actually made it onto the list so I didn’t remember to put them out. We also bought some extra beer because we were worried that 22 oz. per person wasn’t going to be enough. (Because remember, if everybody brings 22 oz. of beer and you split it evenly that means everybody leaves having had 22 oz. of beer.)

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

Kicking Off the Party

As the guests started to arrive I told them they could put their coats upstairs and offered them a beverage. Around 7:30 most of the guests had arrived and I interrupted everyone to explain how the evening was going to go down. This is something that you will pretty much always see me do at my parties. I think that it sets the stage to let everybody know what to expect and also gives you the chance to point out important things to everybody.

During my introduction I explained that there was food both upstairs and downstairs and downstairs guests could find ingredients to make their own dirt (I figured they’d be confused if they just saw all the ingredients, I know I would have), I told them there was chili downstairs, and I told them that the plan was for each of us to try all of the beers. I then reminded them that that meant that everybody should only pour about 1-1.5 oz. of each beer in their tasting cup.

Then we did an icebreaker. Everybody went around, said their name, how they knew me, and what the biggest lie they told as a child was. We got the inspiration for this question from a Table Topics game that I opened and put on the table right as the first people were walking in. A friend pointed out to me that since my parties are usually activity-based it’s always good for people to know everyone’s names before the party starts.

We kicked off the evening with Pliny the Elder, which was given to us by our Napa tour guide the week prior after we told him about the party. This was a beer that beer connoisseurs love that’s hard to get on the east coast because they only sell it in bottles from the brewery (which is in northern California). So it was awesome to get to start off with this one. We cheers-ed to our tour guide, Doug and the evening began.

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

What I Thought Was Going To Happen vs. What Happened

Here’s what I thought was going to happen. I thought that I was going to split all of the beer between an ice bin in the living room and an ice bin in the kitchen (which are on two different floors) and that was going to keep the circulation of the party moving. What actually happened was that everybody made themselves comfortable in the living room and we just passed the beer around and each poured it into our own glasses with the exception of three folks who setup shop for the evening in the kitchen. In fairness, there weren’t any more seats in the living room. Which was okay. It didn’t make for quite the mix and mingle atmosphere that I had hoped for, but considering that the purpose of the party was to drink beer, that was probably a mission accomplished.

Also, I was originally going to try to get the names of the beer from everyone beforehand so that I could make up tasting cards for everybody, but I realized about a week out that there was no way I was going to get this information ahead of time, which I realized was fine. However, a suggestion was made during the party to turn one of the walls in my living room into a chalkboard wall so that we could write important party facts and voting right on the wall. I think this is brilliant and I really hope we can make it happen soon.

What I Would Do Again

  • I thought it worked out really nicely not having a specific type of beer that everyone was supposed to bring. It left us with a good variety. When we started tasting, somehow we ended up having the strongest, darkest beers last, which was a bit much for the end of the night. That said, if we had had them earlier in the night, we may not have appreciated the flavor of the lighter beers. So I’m not actually sure what the best way to facilitate this would be going forward. It might actually be to have less overall beers, but what fun would that be?
  • I really liked having a designated coat room with the lights on. I think it was good to have that set apart from where everybody was hanging out – mostly because there actually wasn’t any room in my living room for the coats.
  • I really liked having the candle lit in the bathroom. Yes, it helps to make it smell nice, but there were also way fewer “where’s the light in the bathroom” questions yelled down the stairs because people were at least able to see a little bit.
  • Having music on in the background was really nice too. It made it seem like more of a party atmosphere. I didn’t have time to curate a playlist beforehand, but whatever Pandora playlist Ben chose worked out pretty well.
  • I put out small quantities of some of the food and just kept refilling the plates. This worked really well for me because I could use smaller serving dishes and keep the rest of the food in my not-as-pretty storage containers in the kitchen. This worked great with crackers, brownies, and corn muffins.
  • Keeping the pitcher of water out and on the table was a solid choice. It kept people hydrated during the party.
  • Having the extra folding chairs was great. I love that they’re easy to move and that they pull up to the table nicely. This was a solid long-term investment.
  • I would absolutely consider just putting all the beer in the fridge to not need to deal with the ice bins. We only opened one at a time anyway. I could have kept it way less complicated.

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

What I Would Do Differently Next Time

  • I would buy 3 cheeses for 15 people instead of 2 cheeses. I figured since the focus wasn’t cheese that we didn’t need that much of it. False. I should have had 3.
  • This next one was poor form for an Italian. I only bought 5 cans of chili from Trader Joe’s, which was essentially 10 servings. I was originally thinking that chili would just be something that some people would want on the side. We actually ran out of this. In the future I would have definitely just gotten 10 cans and assumed that I would eat whatever didn’t get eaten for lunch during the week. That said, I ran out of food and the world didn’t end, so that was at least good to confirm.
  • I tried to be fancy and make corn muffins instead of buying my usual pretzels, but at the end of the day I think the pretzels absorb the beer better. Plus, I think they pair with beer a little bit better.
  • I would put the flowers in a different location. Before everybody got there I worked hard to set flowers all around the house and made a nice centerpiece in the middle of the table. However, almost immediately after the beer was broken out we moved all of the stuff off of the middle of the table to replace it with food. I’m not exactly sure where I would move the flowers to, but in the middle of the table didn’t end up being practical at all. People like food way better than flowers. (Understandable.)
  • I would open the windows with the screens instead of open the door for air. This is probably obvious to people, but I kind of forgot I had windows. The amount of bug bites I now have is actually ridiculous.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here’s all of the beers we tried in order:

Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

Hosting Your Own Party

  • Create an attending party guest list of 10-15 people. Any more than that and it’s an oddly small amount of alcohol to try. Any less than that and it’s not allll that many beers to try.
  • Have everybody post what beers they get so there aren’t any duplicates.
  • Find a quick and cheap dinner that you can make in a crock pot to serve.
  • Set your attendees up for success: get carbohydrate-y food and put out water pitchers.
  • Put out enough snacks to keep people well fed. Buy things that when you’re left with them you like the leftovers.
  • Lay out the rules for the games right at the beginning and everybody will get involved.
  • Come up with an icebreaker came right a the beginning so everybody will learn each other’s names.

All in all, the party was a lot of fun. It was great to try new beers that I normally wouldn’t get to try. It was really fun to watch people meet new people. And everyone said that they had a great time. So that was cool. Mission accomplished.

Do you have any favorite 22 oz. beers? Have you ever hosted a party like this? I’d love to hear what you think or any new ideas!

How to Throw a 1920’s Party – Part 2

Today’s blog post is a continuation of how to throw a 1920s party – part 1, which included colors & theme, food, drinks, and music – playlist included!  It is written by my friend Miranda.  She is awesome and blogs at  The Good Groupie and she threw herself a really awesome 1920s party themed 30th birthday party with the theme of saying goodbye to the roaring 20s.  I definitely have some tips to learn from her, the girl is good.  Enjoy!

How To Throw an awesome 1920s Party including the decor, activities, and tips and tricks to make it awesome by The Good Groupie via Chrystina Noel.

For my 30th birthday, I decided to say goodbye to the roaring 20s with a 1920s party game night.  So far, we’ve covered the basics, food, drinks and music. Now it’s time to get down to the details that will help set your party apart and make your party space feel like your guests were transported back to the 1920s.

How to Throw a 1920s Party - The Decor

The Décor

The details of your décor will depend on what type of 1920s party you’re hosting. Speakeasies were dim, smoky places with an intimate feel while garden parties lend themselves well to a light and airy atmosphere. No matter which direction your party theme goes, there are few essential décor items you can use to give your party space a healthy dose of the decade:

  • Candles
  • Martini glasses
  • Champagne coupes
  • Mason jars
  • Strings of pearls
  • Peacock feathers
  • Empty champagne or gin bottles
  • Twinkle lights

Candelabras or using empty wine and liquor bottles as candle holders will elevate the feel of the party space. String costume pearls over chandeliers or light fixtures for some extra shimmer or wrap them around the neck of an empty champagne bottle for a centerpiece. Place tealights in martini glasses and champagne coupes for extra ambiance and glitz. Using strings of twinkle lights will also add a beautiful touch of glamour to an outdoor garden party or an indoor speakeasy party.

For my party, I bought martini glasses from a dollar store and added tealights I already had. Using plastic champagne coupes I bought at Party City, my friend Katie made a beautiful champagne glass tower and draped it with some gold ribbon I had on hand.  I also saved a few champagne bottles and oh-so-popular Mason jars to use for general decor. I bought two strings of pearl garlands at Hobby Lobby to drape over light fixtures, wrap around a champagne bottle neck and then drape in an over-sized martini glass I purchased (and shamefully returned the next day – because who actually has use for a plastic 64 oz martini glass besides martini drinkers?).

To round out my party décor and make it a little more birthday festive, my mom and I went on a garland making spree courtesy of Pinterest. We made these tissue paper tassels and these tissue paper fringe banners in my party theme colors – both of which require a lot of patience if you’re not a regular crafter. I’m also a pennant junkie and love buying large books of scrapbook paper to use for pennants, so I was thrilled when I came across an art deco book in black, gold and white patterns. Finally, I bought a Happy Birthday banner on Etsy (the thing that inspired my colors) and made a “Goodbye to the roaring 20s” banner myself using InDesign. I also made a few quote prints, put them in picture frames from a dollar store and scattered them around the house. Quick, cheap and easy touches that made the party feel special – and all of which you can download right here!

The great thing about most of these items is they’re relatively cheap and easy to find – or they might be items you already have or can borrow from friends.

How to Throw a 1920s Party - The Party Activities

The Activities

So you’ve made your deviled eggs, poured your guests glasses of champagne, hit play on that 1920s playlist and they’re dazzled by your décor.

Now what?

Here’s a quick list of great party activities for your 1920s party:

  • Games: If you’re hosting a game night, like I did, set up a few tables around your party space with various games. Dominos, Yahtzee and Bunco were all games that gained popularity in the 20s. Card games like poker, black jack or Canasta are perfect for this theme too.
  • Lawn games: Hosting an afternoon garden party? Enjoy a round of croquet or bocce ball in the back yard while you sip on your mint juleps.
  • Photobooth: I bought these cute 1920s photobooth props on Etsy, and with the help of my sister-in-law made them functional and durable with a little laminating and bamboo skewers! (To create my photobooth, I bought two gold metallic fringe curtains at Party City, strung them up in front of a window and then added one of the tassel banners I made – it was a huge hit!)
  • Murder Mystery Game: There are tons and tons of 1920s murder mystery games out there. I’d love to use this in a few years for my annual Halloween party!
  • Costume party: I loved seeing all my friends show up at my house in their 1920s costumes! Some bought a flapper dress or gangster gear. Others used what they had in their closet. Turn it into a contest with a fun 1920s themed prize, like a bottle of champagne or gin!

How to Throw a 1920s Party - Tips and Tricks

Credit: AJG Photography, Etc.

Tips & Tricks to make it awesome

You’re set! You’ve got everything you need to host an roaring 1920s themed party. But just to make sure it’s extra awesome, here’s a few more tips to make it awesome:

  • Silent movie: Find a silent movie on Netflix to play for background ambiance. Or, if you’re going to party Gatsby style, play the 1974 or 2013 version of the film on mute.
  • Secret entrance: Speakeasies often had a secret entrance to hide from the fuzz. If you’re hosting a party at home, create a secret entrance at your back door and placed a “closed” sign on the front door to redirect guests.
  • Speakeasy card, password: Many speakeasies also had secret membership cards. Make your party invitation your guest’s speakeasy membership card and be sure to include the secret password they need to get in!
  • Phonograph: This one is my dream party idea. Grab yourself an awesome phonograph speaker for your iPhone to play your killed 1920s playlist all night long.
  • Free printables: Need a little help with your décor? Here are printables of all the signs I created for my party, plus my “Goodbye to the Roaring 20s” banner and a blank drink menu for you to customize! All free for you to use at your 1920s party.

Hosting a 1920s party? I hope you’ve found some of my ideas helpful for your own party, and I’d love to see your photos! Tweet them to me – and don’t forget to have a roaring good time.

Miranda Enzor The Good Groupie Spooky Little HalloweenMiranda Enzor is a writer and blogger from Houston, TX. She currently writes The Good Groupie, a music blog for music fans, where she takes you backstage with up-and-coming bands, finds new music you’ll fall in love with, hosts a Rock Novel Reading Club and teaches you how to be a good groupie for your favorite bands. In 2015, Miranda launched Spooky Little Halloween, a blog for fellow Halloween junkies who believe in celebrating the magic of October 31st year-round.


PS. Don’t forget to check out How To Throw a 1920s Party, Part 1 if you missed it. It talks about colors & theme, food, drinks, and music (playlist included!).

PPS. Click here for more Party hosting tips and tricks.

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How to Throw a 1920’s Party – Part 1

Today’s blog post is brought to you by my friend Miranda.  Miranda is a music addict and blogs at The Good Groupie.  She’s got a few awesome series you should check out – #bestsongallweek and 5 Qs with the band, and my favorite post by her recently was 30 lessons I learned to become The Good Groupie.  For her 30th birthday party she decided to say goodbye to her 20s in style with a roaring 20s themed party.  Now, go grab yourself a French 75 or Sidecar and enjoy!

Click here for Part 2 of this post, which includes decor (with printables!), activities, and tips & tricks.

How to Throw an Awesome 1920s Party including the basics, food, drink, and music by The Good Groupie via Chrystina Noel.

Halloween parties are my thing. In 2009, I held a small weenie roast in my backyard with just a few friends for Halloween, and the rest is history. It’s grown into an anticipated annual event attended by friends who cross not just city limits but state lines to attend. Each one has its own unique theme, and I have a blast coming up with new ways to surprise and dazzle my friends each year.

So as my 30th birthday drew closer, I found myself being asked, “What kind of party are you having?” Not if I was having one – what kind. I guess I’ve made an impression.

I had already contemplated hosting a game night party when friends started asking about a theme, so I decided celebrating the big 3-0 was the perfect chance to say goodbye to my roaring 20s and party like Gatsby. I upped the ante of my game night, combining my love of costume parties with a chance to use one of my favorite writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his most famous novel for inspiration for the perfect party theme: a 1920s game night.

Want to throw your own 1920s bash? This one actually came together much easier than some of my Halloween themes! Here’s my tips and tricks on the basics of hosting this theme, plus the food, drinks and music that will make you feel like you’re partying at Gatsby’s in West Egg.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCredit: AJG Photography, Etc.

The Basics – Colors & Theme

I started planning my 1920s party by picking a color scheme. That might sound over-the-top, but I find that once I pick a theme and a few key colors for décor, everything else falls into place. Black and gold are a must for any 1920s party worth its salt gin – both are key in art deco designs. From there, white or red are great standard colors to add for accent. Because of some décor I found, I put a little spin on the colors and chose a pastel pink as my accent color.

You’ll also want to decide what aspect of the 1920s you wish to highlight for your party theme. The great thing about using this decade for a theme? It’s incredibly versatile.

  • Birthday: Celebrating the same milestone birthday as me? Say goodbye to your roaring 20s. (Or use it for a 21st birthday theme – hello to your roaring 20s now that you’re of legal drinking age!)
  • Game Night: Want to put a spin on game night? Play card games popular from the decade.
  • Tasting party: Cocktail aficionado? Use the 1920s as a theme for your guests to sample a variety of cocktails featuring gin – the decade’s most popular spirit – or champagne. You might even consider sampling absinthe, if you’re brave!
    New Year’s Eve:
    Looking to add a twist to your usual New Year’s Eve party? Invite everyone to your speakeasy!
  • Halloween: Need a clever Halloween theme? Make it a haunted speakeasy – complete with a murder mystery your guests have to solve.
  • Wedding or baby showers: Hosting a spring-time bridal or baby shower or an engagement party? Host an afternoon garden party and play 1920s lawn games.

The possibilities are endless!

Because card games were popular in the 1920s and I was already thinking of a game night party, I combined the two and invited my family and friends to our speakeasy for a night of drinks, h’or d’oeuvres and games.

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The Food

Appetizers and h’or doeuvres were popular speakeasy fare in the 1920s – perfect party food! Bite-size foods give your guests the chance to sample lots of different things and easily munch on snacks throughout the night. Here are some items that were popular on speakeasy menus:

  • Deviled eggs
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Oysters Rockefeller
  • Cheese platters
  • Olive platters
  • Mixed nuts

For my party, I opted to start with deviled eggs and shrimp cocktail, then branched out to appetizers I love. Using some helpful Pinterest tutorials, I created a cheese platter featuring cubed cheddar and Monterey jack as well as Brie and goat cheeses, then added black grapes and an assortment of stuffed olives from a local Mediterranean market to complement them. I also made a charcuterie board with dry and hard salamis as well as prosciutto, also featuring stuffed olives and marinated artichoke hearts.

To round out my appetizers, I included a vegetable plate with hummus, made a batch of The Pioneer Woman’s stuffed mushrooms and finally got to make caprese salad skewers. Since I used a game night theme, I bought a pub snack mix and set a bowl at all three game tables. And, because it was a birthday party, my mom was kind enough to make me cupcakes (she makes the best cakes) which we decorated to match the party décor.

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The Drinks

You will have no shortage of drink options with the 1920s as your theme! Keep things simple for afternoon parties or baby showers with iced tea and lemonade – two drinks you can easily customize with fun fruit or herb flavors. (Mint is always a good option!) For parties with a bit more “roar” to them, here are some popular 1920s cocktails and drinks to choose from:

  • Gin fizz
  • Gin rickey
  • Mint julep
  • Planter’s punch
  • Bathtub punch
  • Absinthe
  • Moonshine
  • Champagne

This party turned me into a gin fan – gin fizz to be exact. I opted to have a gin fizz bar, giving my guests the option between blackberry or wild raspberry gin fizzes. Both were a big hit and equally delicious. (And one party leftover I’m happy to have still!) I have a few friends who don’t drink carbonated drinks, and since the fizz part of a gin fizz calls for club soda, I wanted to make sure they had a drink option too. Planter’s punch, a rum-based punch that was found on virtually every speakeasy menu in the 20s, was the perfect fit. Though some recipes I found called for optional club soda, I chose to leave that out.

Making bathtub alcohol became popular once prohibition took effect, so if it’s feasible, you might consider filled your actual bathtub with ice and offering canned or bottled drinks, like soda, beer or champagne to play on that detail. Since it wasn’t for me, I filled one side of the kitchen sink with ice for my beer and champagne.

Absinthe, also known as The Green Fairy, was a powerful hallucinogenic spirit that gained popularity with expatriate writers and artists in France in the 1920s. The effects of ingesting it were so powerful that the U.S. banned it well before the 1920s – 1915, to be exact – but the (greatly exaggerated) legend of its hallucinogenic properties lived on. The spirit experienced resurgence in popularity in the 1990s, and it can now be on liquor store shelves, though it won’t be the same recipe from the late 19th and early 20th century. Still, it’s a fun spirit to serve for friends who are adventurous cocktail connoisseurs.

And if you’re a bit of a cocktail groupie like me, you’ve probably noticed a resurgence in moonshine’s popularity in the past year. Though they are not for the faint of heart, serving your guests a hint of moonshine, straight up, at your 1920s speakeasy might lead to some fun stories later. (Firefly is my favorite of the ones I’ve tried.)

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Credit: AJG Photography, Etc.

The Music

Music is always the heart and soul of my parties. (As a music blogger, how could it not be?) And while I enjoy a wide variety of music and could listen to the likes of Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Gershwin all day, I wasn’t sure my party guests would feel the same.

Using the hotly debated Great Gatsby soundtrack as a starting point, I compiled a playlist that mixed classic 1920s songs with electroswing (my new favorite genre!) and songs from the most recent cinematic incantation of Fitzgerald’s novel.

One party guest told me she could have listened to this all night, which thrilled me. My personal fave? “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie.

That should get you off and running towards a roaring good time. Stay tuned for my next guest post where I’ll share décor and party activity ideas as well as tips and tricks to make your 1920s themed party a roaring hit with your guests.1

Miranda Enzor The Good Groupie Spooky Little HalloweenMiranda Enzor is a writer and blogger from Houston, TX. She currently writes The Good Groupie, a music blog for music fans, where she takes you backstage with up-and-coming bands, finds new music you’ll fall in love with, hosts a Rock Novel Reading Club and teaches you how to be a good groupie for your favorite bands. In 2015, Miranda launched Spooky Little Halloween, a blog for fellow Halloween junkies who believe in celebrating the magic of October 31st year-round.


PS. Don’t forget to check out How To Throw a 1920s Party, Part 2 if you missed it, it includes decor (with printables!), activities, and tips & tricks

PPS. Click here for more Party hosting tips and tricks.

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Rainbows & Unicorns

a rainbow and unicorn party

One of the parties over the past year that I went to that completely inspired me was my friend Carly’s birthday party.  She blogs over at The Floridelphian and is awesome.  (Favorite post by far is her one on online dating.)  Despite entering her late 20s (her words, not mine, I think she can still rock mid-twenties), she decided to host a Rainbows & Unicorns themed birthday party. I was a little bit skeptical at first (I kept having Lisa Frank flashbacks), but she completely rocked it.  She found a way to take our childhood, kick it up a notch, add some wine, and keep it classy.  She used white as the main color as opposed to the rainbow, which made all of the colors appear to be a ‘pop!’ added to the backdrop.

Some of the ideas she got from Pinterest, but some she kept from previous parties that she knew worked for her and her space.

4 Things to Make the Day Festive:

  • She sprinkled confetti on the floor, which looked magical when you walked in the room
    Rainbows and Unicorn Party 3
  • She developed and I assembled rainbow fruit skewers, which looked gorgeous; strawberry for red, cantaloupe for orange, pineapple for yellow, honeydew for green, blueberries for blue, grapes for purple
    Rainbows and Unicorn Party 6
  • She drew out a pin the horn on the unicorn game, which we definitely actually played
    Rainbows and Unicorn Party 4
  • She asked everybody to wear a color of the rainbow, and then took a picture in color order with her guests

4 Party Standards:

  • A crock pot full of chili from Trade Joe’s.  It’s just so easy and so yummy.
  • Bite-sized mozzarella, basil, and tomato snacks
    Rainbows and Unicorn Party 2
  • A tub full of ice for the alcohol and drink station
    Rainbows and Unicorn Party 5
  • Rearranging her room to provide the best circulation for the party guests

Something else that Carly commented on that made me smile was the fact that one of her good friends from the city wasn’t able to make the party so she provided a playlist for the day.  So even though she couldn’t be there, she was still there in spirit.  So cool, right?

I can’t wait to see what theme she decides on next 🙂

Have you been to any cool birthday parties recently?

Themed Party Ideas Cover