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Friday, September 3, 2010

Make Your Graduation Party One of a Kind!

Graduation party season is on the horizon. Start planning now with these great ideas to make your high school or college graduation party an extra special celebration. High school and college graduations are looming on the horizon. These are special and momentous events for both you and your graduate. Planning you graduation party should be a fun and exciting project. Don’t let your graduation party get lost in the crowd; with some early planning you can host a fabulous celebration. Here are some great tips to make your party one of a kind.

Having four children who graduated two years apart, I have been planning high school or college graduation parties for over a decade. The two most important pieces of advice I can offer is to set a budget and plan early. Figure out how much money you have to spend on your celebration. This is critical, as your budget will determine the number of guests you can have and the venue you will use to host your party. Many families have their parties out at restaurants, in halls or other locations. These will cost more money. With four who graduated within a 7-year span, we knew with our oldest that we couldn’t set a precedent that we couldn’t continue with the rest. So the idea of the "Backyard BBQ" took shape. It’s easy, casual and relatively inexpensive. Plus the outdoor theme allows for a larger guest list for your graduate. Our kids invited their friends, fellow grads, teachers, coaches, and of course, all the family. We ran it like an open house.

Once you have a budget and have decided on your venue, then settle on a date and do it early. You will be competing with lots of other parties this time of year and by getting yours on the calendar first you will avoid conflicts. Next decide on invitations. You can order them online or buy them in the stores. However to save money, you can make them yourself on the computer. There are numerous invitation products available in office supply stores that will give you templates to make your own. Be creative… add graduation clipart, a logo from the college or high school of your graduate or even inset a photo! Unless you have room in your house or are having it off site, ALWAYS plan a rain date. Also make sure you have an RSVP with a date deadline and add your email as well as your phone number. A ‘regrets only" RSVP system makes for tricky planning. Recently, I have even seen people use free online invitation services.

For food, your options are numerous if you are hosting your graduation party at home. You can have it catered, you can cook or our family favorite for our barbecue theme is hamburgers, hot dogs and heroes. Add some salads, fruit platters and a graduation themed dessert and you have an easy, inexpensive menu. We set up a "stadium" food booth near the grill. My husband and his buddies were grilling to order, with the condiments and rolls set out at the booth. You make a poster and name your area. For example, at our party for our youngest who was going to DePaul University in Chicago.. we set up the "DePaul Dug Out" and decorated the table with the school colors. For our son, who was headed to Rutgers University, we had a "Knight Stand" as their school mascot is the Scarlet Knight. For another of our parties, I bought cases of bottled water, took off the store label and made my own personalized labels celebrating the graduates!

For your graduation themed dessert you can always make or order a sheet cake. However, I have received great kudos with my graduate cakes. I make dozens of cupcakes and make tags on card stock with the high school or college logo. When our daughter was headed to Chicago for college, I made tags with pictures of Chicago landmarks. I then tape the tags to a toothpick and insert into the cupcakes. Make sure your tags are small enough that they don’t cause the cupcakes to tip over. Display on a platter and you have a unique dessert plate.

One last area that I always budget for is graduation party favors. I have always felt like all the guests should take home a fun gift.

There are some creative and unique ideas for making your own graduation party invitations and favors, a fun graduation party decoration and some suggestions for graduation gifts at Celebration Ideas Online. There is also an idea on how to host your college graduation party right on campus. These ideas are sure to make your party a one of a kind celebration for both your graduate and your guests. By Carol Eiseman

Friday, July 23, 2010

Make Every Day a Celebration Day

Why Make Every Day a Celebration Day?
Great question, huh? So, why make every day a celebration day?

I'll answer that question with another question, "Why not?"

Seems like the past couple of days I've had an over-stimulated reticular activating system. From the movies Maggie and I watched over the weekend to the articles and books I browsed today, they all seemed to be pointing towards this question. Heck, even the guy in the food court steered my attention with his call, "End of day special... END OF DAY SPECIAL!"

Talk about creating urgency. I kept thinking, "What's with all this celebration day nonsense?"

You see, if you had asked me to create a celebration day around the middle of last week, I probably would have clocked you. I was in one of those funky moods that we all have from time to time, "Celebrate? Are you kidding me? With what's going on in my life right now?"

"Celebration day, indeed!"


"So what made the big diff, Russy?" I hear you ask.

I know you want to know.

Are You Ready for a Change?

Well, I think I was ready for a change. You know, after spending a couple of days mired in the lower extremes of the emotional spectrum, I simply decided that I had had enough. Without realizing it, I said "Yes" to change, and put a moratorium on my anger and ill will, in essence unwittingly creating a celebration day of sorts.

Now hold on. Here's where it gets a little 'Woo-Woo' weird.

The two movies Maggie randomly picked out for our Saturday night viewing were, "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey and "Last Chance Harvey" featuring Dustin Hoffman. Keep in mind, I had already made my decision to change, so both of these movies were sort of confirming the wisdom of my new choice.

"Laughter is the best medicine", they say. I don't think I have ever laughed as much for a movie than I did for "Yes Man". Simply by changing from his usual "No" reply to always saying "Yes", Carl's life (hilariously portrayed by Jim Carrey) transmuted into something so wild, wacky and... wonderful!

Throughout the movie I repeatedly thought, "THIS is why I need a celebration day! WHAT IF I my life could change as easily and dramatically?"

As for the second movie in our Saturday night double header, just the title alone got me to thinking - Last Chance!

Whoa, pretty heavy stuff. I was getting a nudge from both ends...

"WHAT IF I did... and WHAT IF I didn't?"

It's now two days later and I'm happy to report that I'm enjoying yet another celebration day. That's three in a row so far.

And my reticular activating system hasn't slowed down one iota yet either. Today as I was skimming some articles, I was reminded of one of my favorite authors, Og Mandino. I've read most of his work in the past but in recent years Og had slipped off my radar.

So why did he come back into my field of attention today? Was this simply coincidence, or "Yes Man" serendipity?

I Googled Og and quickly found his website. The very first thing I saw was a chapter title from one of his most famous books,

"I Will Live This Day As If It Is My Last!"

I sincerely believe somebody trying to tell me something.

Spooky enough, right? But this next part will REALLY get you thinking.

Why Are YOU Reading This Now?

Are you ready to start up your own celebration day? Or are you still stuck like I was a week ago, bemoaning how bad life is trampling you?

If so, here's another little movie tip that will surely help you to get unstuck, no matter where you are right now. This film will help you put things into perspective and take away ANY and ALL of your reasons for complaining.

The film is hilarious (satisfying the 'laughter is the best medicine' prerequisite) and heart-wrenching all at the same time. I mean, how could anyone use his sense of humor and clamorously creative imagination to get himself and his young son through one of this era's most horrific experiences... the Holocaust?

If you haven't guessed already, the movie I'm referring to is the multi-award winning, "Life Is Beautiful".

So that, my friends, is my bottom line. Why make every day a celebration day?

Now you know. Say it with me, "Life IS Beautiful!"

The world can seem like a crazy place sometimes... OK, a LOT of the time! However, no matter what is going on in your life, magic happens when you learn how to choose better feelings now! You're Gonna Love That Feeling All the best from Toronto Russ Hamel

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Smallest Politician In Nigeria

My GrandSon Celebrating His One Year BirthDay

The Happiest Boy In Nigeria

The Boy Is Determined To Be The Greatest On The Earth

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Cause of the Escalating Trend of Multicultural Relationships

Enlarge ImageWith close to two million interracial marriages in the United States, it is apparent that people are not letting the differences in culture hold them back from falling in love. These proportions are on the rise and are attracting a lot of attention from social scientists, marketers and politicians. Determining the reasons for the escalating trends of multicultural relationships will help to better predict the social structure of the future.

Although multicultural couples still encounter racism and prejudice in today's modern world, things are much better than they once were. Before the legalization of interracial marriage in 1967, blacks and whites could not legally wed and mixed race children were considered abominations. Over the past forty years, the social response to the legalization of multiracial relationships has been a tenfold increase in multicultural marriages. Much of the public obviously approved of this change.

The increase in immigration has also been a significant factor in the escalating trend of multicultural relationships. Increasing rates of immigration result in growing populations of minorities within many large cities, offering a whole new spectrum to the selection process of dating. Immigration allows for a healthy racial mix to occur in many communities, resulting in a social desensitization to ethnic and cultural differences and an increased approval of mixed race relationships. Many people find the physical characteristics of different races attractive. Thus, the escalating social approval of mixed race relationships is helping to break down the social barriers that prevented many relationships from forming.

The media has promoted multicultural relationships via the power of role models. Celebrities, such as Tiger Woods and Mariah Carey (products of mixed race relationships) are popular role models that support the beauty and talent of multiracial people. Movies are also contributing to the social acceptance of multicultural relationships. "Jungle Fever" and "Guess Who?" are trendy movies that demonstrate the humorous side of interracial dating. While the films do poke fun at cultural differences, they effectively show that interracial dating is okay.

In order to maintain the successful acceptance of multicultural relationships, society should heighten its awareness of racial stereotypes and discrimination. The more aware people become of racial injustices, the less likely they will be to believe them. It is certain that multicultural relationships will continue to increase in number given that multiracial couples produce mixed race children. Due to their ethnic complexity, there is a very good chance that mixed race children will in turn marry someone of a different cultural background. Thanks to changes in society, multicultural relationships will endure. Interracial People Falling in Love
Although multicultural couples still encounter racism and prejudice in today's modern world, things are much better than they once were.
By Frank Duru

INTERRACIAL COUPLES: Multicultural Weddings - a New Kind of Celebration

Enlarge ImagePlanning a wedding is a very personal matter, and a stressful one too. Many interracial couples are encountering even more stresses when attempting to prepare a celebration that combines two cultures. There is little in the way of resources for those planning for a multicultural wedding, and thus, the current and past generations of planners can be considered pioneers of the multicultural wedding evolution. With over 1.6 million multicultural marriages in the United States, it is apparent that multicultural weddings will be the trend of the future. While many couples prefer their weddings to be culturally neutral, others are facing the multiethnic issue face on and are incorporating both cultures in a unique style of their own.

There are many cultural groups that are currently practicing multicultural wedding traditions, including Jewish-Korean, Japanese-Protestant, and Hindu-Catholic, just to name a few. These pairings are facing increasing social acceptance and as a result the popularity of having multicultural weddings is on the rise. Multicultural weddings are difficult to organize because a variety of factors, over and above the normal elements of cultural neutral weddings must be considered. Choosing the right mix of religious, ethnic and traditional parts of the ceremony is time consuming and emotional. Even the basics, i.e. location, food, and clothing can be the most strenuous problems to solve. Deeply cultural families and paying families tend to get involved and feel the most offended when portions of their traditions are omitted. Sometimes, the best decision is to compromise and create new traditions that are composed of both cultures.

Interracial couples do not necessarily have to be practicing members of their culture in order to celebrate with traditional customs. To give a wedding character and to celebrate one's family, couples will draw upon their favorite and most appropriate customs to include in the wedding. Multiethnic weddings can contain as much or as little cultural detail, giving the couple more control over the overwhelming interests of both families. Weddings consists of such a vast variety of factors from invitations, flowers and music to dress, food and the ceremony itself, that there are an infinite number of ways of adjusting and tweaking the wedding to suit everyone's desires.

Although there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter multiethnic wedding, there are still many ways of getting help with difficult planning choices. Wedding planners, caterers, friends and family are excellent resources for designing a custom multicultural wedding. Weddings are personal experiences, and the best one's are the most unique. Multicultural Weddings - a New Kind of Celebration
Planning a wedding is a very personal matter, and a stressful one too.
By Frank Duru