life isn't average. neither are we.
A Night of Fright, Frolicking & Fun!
Kristina Chau - Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Hey party people!

September is upon us and Toronto has been in full TIFF-mode. With all of these soirees and galas (and the occasional celebrity-stalking) one tends to lose sight on what's just around the corner - my favourite holiday of the year - Halloween!!

Throwing a great Halloween party can take a lot of time, creativity and let's face it - money, but most importantly it also can be a lot of fun! To help you create your own "not your average" Halloween party, here are 10 planning steps you should cover:

First you need to select a date. Halloween is on a different day every year so that gives you flexibility to host a party the weekend before or after, depending on when it lands. This year is looks like the prime dates are Friday October 29 and Saturday October 30.

Now you need to decide on a theme. A lot of people host just a Halloween party but why not have fun with it?! You could pick a theme like Zombieland where everyone dresses as zombies, or go elegant with a Black Masquerade, or have with a disco Boo-gie Bash.  The options are endless!

Next on the list is to decide where to host your party. If your home allows for it, throwing a haunted house party will be your most cost-effective option. Otherwise, start venue scoping and finde a space that fits your budget and needs. If you need ideas, contact this party guru

Compile your guestlist and decide how you want to send out your invitations. If you have a small guestlist and the time, creating DIY invitations can be fun. Check out Martha Stewart for some unique invitation ideas - my favourite is the severed finger in a box! Otherwise if you're busy like most of us are, buy your invitations at a store or you can also use an online invite such as Evite.

As a responsible host/ess you will need to serve food, especially if people are drinking alcohol. Plan ahead and figure out a themed menu to serve your guests. Here are some recipes on Epicurious or you can mix it up with some of the disgusting treats from this website.

Mad Eye MartiniAlong with the menu you serve, you may want to include beverages such as a witches brew, eyeball-tinis, or a shrunken head punch. Check out Canadian Living for some great cocktail recipes and get your mixology on but don't forget to also serve non-alcoholic drinks too.

Another party must-have element is good music. If you have any DJ friends you can call on, book them in advance because this is a busy time. Otherwise, have fun compiling an iPod playlist. Some of the more popular Halloween songs include the Monster Mash, Thriller and Time Warp amongst many more. To mix it up even further, add movie theme songs i.e. Halloween or the Exorcist.

Now it's time to to really get your creative juices flowing and start planning your decor. As this can be time consuming, ask your friends to help out. Ask them to carve pumpkins; donate old clothing and bedsheets to create a bloody murder scene; collect empty jars of all sizes to fill with old doll heads and dye the water with food colouring; use cardboard and garbage bags to cover the windows and give an abandon house feel; if you have a tv, put it on a blank channel so it casts the white light of a static screen. Other inexpensive items you can include are cobwebs, candles, black lightbulbs, plastic spiders and bats.

Trick or treat! Everyone loves treats so who says that they're only for kids? You can make up cute loot bags for guests to take away or create a creepy candy buffet full of gummy worms, eyeball jawbreakers, marshmallow teeth, candy corn, and other treats. Check out stores like the Bulk Barn, Sugar Mountain or Sweet Temptations to satisfy your ghoulish sweet tooth.

Ok so you're not a dog but how cute are these ones in their costumes?! As the host of your shindig, you better make sure you have one awesome costume! My friends and I love any excuse to get dressed up so Halloween is right up our alley. We get super creative and make our own costumes but if you don't have the time - check out stores like Party Packagers or Amazing Party & Costume, which also sell decorations.  To ensure everyone gets in the Halloween spirit, host a contest for the best costume.

So there you have it!  If you have any ideas or questions you want to share, please feel free in adding them to the comment section below.  Let the countdown to Halloween begin!  

For the life of the party,

La Reverie
Kristina Chau - Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I attended a great industry event last night -La Reverie at Andrew Richard Designs.  Located on Adelaide East, next door to Up Country, this gorgeous show room of chic and luxurious patio furniture is also a special event venue.

As I'm always looking for unique spaces in Toronto, Andrew Richard Designs Events is definitely one on my list as it can be used for corporate and social events of all kinds.  Coincidentally, I just executed a wedding there this past Saturday and it was gorgeous! 

Anyhow, back to La Reverie.  As we entered ARD we stopped to pose for a snapshot, and then took a moment to drink it all in.  There were two fully stocked bars and at least 10, if not more, caterers showcasing their culinary delights on the Atrium floor.  Needless to say, this party guru/foodie was experiencing sensory overload and I couldn't wait to dive in.  Here are some pics of some of the tasty treats we enjoyed:

Mini chicken souvlakia with tzatiziki and mini Greek salad.

Shrimp and Sweet Peat Parfait with a Savoury Whipped Cream & Cheery Tomato by L-Eat Catering.
BTW - Niki from L-Eat is a doll and amazing to work with!

Lobster Pot Pie.

La Piece de Resistance - An Amazing Cheese & Fruit Display by Pusateris.

Delicious White Chocolate Raspberry Tarts, again by L-Eat Catering.

Besides all of the wonderful food and drinks enjoyed by all, ARD showcased some ideas for added entertainment at an event.  There was everything from a live band, to fortune tellers.  Here are a few pictures:

Soular kicking off the party right with their soulful voices and funky sounds!

Upstairs in the Loft DJ Daniel Buckman of BELLOSOUND spins some great tunes.

I loved the pink lounge!  The beautiful draped fabric and flowers were designed by ARD with rented furniture from Contemporary Furniture Rentals.

A caricaturist creates a fun portrait for one of the guests.

Just outside the pink lounge were two very popular fortune tellers.

Miles plays his sax alongside BELLOSOUNDS and adds a nice bluesy tone.

Helping ourselves at the candy buffet!

How cute are these little windowed bags? They're from Creative Bags who have an assortment of custom bags, ribbons, tissue and wraps for all of your party needs.

To finish off a great night, I redeemed my ice cream coupon at Captain Cone for a yummy soft-serve twist cone!

As a party guru I know how much work it takes to put something like thistogether, so kudos to Andrew, his team and all of the vendors who did a great job!  

For the life of the party,
Welcome to Not Your Average Blog!
Kristina Chau - Saturday, May 01, 2010

I can't even begin to express how excited I am to finally have this website up and running!  It’s been a long journey but one that has been well worth it.  I hope you love it just as much as I do!

One of the great functions of this site is this blog.  I’ll be sharing ideas and tips to take your event from run-of-the-mill to ‘not your average party’. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free in posting questions you have and sharing your feedback in the comment section below.

Also, don't forget to follow me on Twitter @notyouraverageparty to get quick updates and see what's happening in the party world and join our Facebook Not Your Average Party fan page to see more event photos.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to partying with you all soon!

Party Pooper Warning:  While I have every intention to update this blog as often as possible, I am also planning events and attending as many of them as from time to time I may be a bit of a party pooper.  I hope you understand that it's not for lack of caring, but the complete opposite!  Besides party people, let’s face it, people hire me for my creative flare and attention to detail, not necessarily my writing skills ;)

not your average party