party planning

The Seriously Fun Way To Boost Your Blog

By Hipster Mum

There is a brilliant scene in the recent film version of the Great Gatsby where the main character, Nick Carraway, walks through a spectacular celebration. “Gossip columnists alongside gangsters and governors exchanging telephone numbers,” he describes marvelling at trays piled with cocktails, feather-plumed movie stars in shimmering frocks and glitter falling over everyone like snow. “All weekend, every weekend, the whole city ended up at Gatsby's.”

A great party is like that: something that everyone wants to be part of. And looking around at the success of party blogs like Hooray, Party With Lenzo, A Subtle Revelry, 100 Layer Cake and more - it’s clear that right now the pull of a great party is stronger than ever.

But what makes a stunning celebration? And how can you throw one that looks ah-mazing in a teeny space without breaking the bank? This is where bloggers come in. Where magazines and large websites might have big budgets to throw grand soirees, real people don’t. Real people look for inspiration and solutions that are, well, real. As bloggers we’re in the perfect position to experiment and document the secret sauce behind a celebration that works IRL - and thanks to the popularity and timeliness of the topic (hello Christmas and summer holidays!) - any content we create has shareability built-in. I know, because this month it happened to me.

Earlier in October through Instagram I connected with Kate and Ashley Lawrence - two sisters with an expanding tribe keen to launch their own children’s fashion website, billieandkate. When we were brainstorming how to promote their brand I suggested we throw a Halloween party and they jumped right on board. A few key elements to set the scene:

1.    Food

Collaborating via Pinterest, we stumbled across some delish inspiration - props to Kate and Ashley for bringing the ideas to life!

2.    Decorations

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We put the word out to local party supply shops and were so excited when the brilliant Shannon Kilford from Born to Party  and Alana from Poppies For Grace came on board. These guys are the decoration masters - their work made such a difference to the look and feel of the shoot!

3.    Clothes

I left this one to @billieandkate - and they killed it. Particularly when it came to the accessories. Often it’s the extras - think hats, sunglasses, etc - that take a good shot and make it remarkable, compelling and ultimately, viral.

4.    Photography

It might not be something you think of first, but great photography is an essential ingredient for blogging any party celebration - hell, it’s an essential ingredient to blogging in general! Not only does a good photographer know how to snap the little details that will make great pics on social, they also know how to collaborate and cajole guests, to encourage and coach them to get the best shots possible. That said, while a good photographer will show your amazing work as it is; but a truly rad photographer will make it look even better. I love snapping parties - and have a special fondness for kids celebrations in particular - so if you have a project in mind, get in touch!

Happy Halloween! (With big thanks to Billie (12 months), Valentine (15 months), Winifred (7), Willis (8), Hutch (10) and Eden (11), Kate and Ashley)

Jade Warne is a photographer, writer, mum of two and blogger at Hipster Mum. Through her blog she offers a creative guide to parenting and features two parts Tina Fey, one part Amy Poehler plus a pinch of Louis C.K! Check out Hipster Mum on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and and hit her up for collabs, freelance work & tacos anytime! hipstermum1@gmail.com

Events: A Pretty 60th Celebration

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By Brie Stanley

Hello Blog Society! I'm honoured to be here today to kick off Jaclyn's week of guest posts while she's in Boston and I'm looking forward to sharing some event pics and tips for the fabulous Blog Society community today!

My mum just celebrated her 60th Birthday and being an Event Stylist herself, we wanted to take all the planning away from her and put together a no fuss pretty lunch including great food, company and a few pretty things along the way.

The venue is always the most important choice, and we decided on a long Sunday lunch, so after some research, the warm, open room of the newly refurbished Centennial Hotel in Woollahra was perfect!  Once the table was booked, we worked on colour scheme, mum loves soft pinks and gold so we tied the two together with a few little table decorations.

Firstly, the cake, a gorgeous soft pink fondant quilt cake, topped with a sugar flower, made by the lovely Marie from Couture Cupcakes. Next, the florals, a centrepiece of white ranunculus and pink Blushing Brides, and Flower crowns for all the girls to wear made by my sister Nicola from Concrete and Honey, also posy cones wrapped in happy birthday paper as little party favours.

I made little ring boxes with gold sequins balls and popped a little eternity ring  in each one for the girls too. The boys received lindt balls wrapped in pink packaging. We shared Woodfired breads with olives, dips and a warm broccoli salad whilst sipping on white wine, and slowly made our way to our mains (the shared mac and cheese was a hit), followed of course by the delish chocolate ganache cake for dessert!

We had such a nice day and mum was touched to have all 5 kids, partners and hubby by her side. A few party tips I wanted to share too are:-

  • Always confirm booking and numbers the day before
  • Choose a colour scheme and stick with it….less is more!
  • Try and create something special for each guest, just a placecard, little chocolate or flower on their napkin can make such a nice touch
  • Don’t over do it! Even just a nice bunch of flowers can make the table look gorgeous

Good luck with your party planning!

Brie Stanley can be found over at Sugar Coated Events or on Instagram at @Beebees80

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Behind The Blog Scene // Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth

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Some blogs just make you happy. They are bright, bold and visually addictive. They provide an escape, can cause party planning envy or this case offer up endless inspiration. Today we say hello to Ashley from Sugar & Cloth, a US blogger who I've watched for a while and who consistently crafts up Pinterest-worthy projects and visual delights that I'm in awe of.  One of the things that I most admire is the way she effortlessly partners with brands - something I think Australian bloggers are still struggling to do or at least in a way that works so organically - we can all learn something from Ashley's partnerships - and don't even get me started on her new studio (I'm SO jealous).  So grab a cup of tea and enjoy her interview below... 

Describe your blog in 3 words… 
DIY inspired living
What is your blogging manifesto?
From home decor to recipes and all of the pretty things in between, Sugar & Cloth is meant to be a resource for modern and bright DIY inspired living.
Top 3 blogging essentials?
Your own creative, original ideas, a DSLR camera, and spell check ;)
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was....
Getting contacted by Martha Stewart Living to style a Christmas shoot as my very first brand collaboration after almost a year of blogging. So surreal! Looking back on it I was an uniformed mess, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
My dream collaboration would be?
HGTV! I would freak out, ha!
Right now I'm listening to...
Gungor, love them!
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
Don't underestimate the amount of time you'll put into, but you'll reap what you sew.
If I wasn't blogging I'd be...
Probably working a 9-5 graphic design job, no thanks! ;)
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like..
Organized chaos, but some might beg to differ, haha.
In 2014 I'm most excited about...
The new Sugar & Cloth studio. It's the most exciting and terrifying thing I've ever committed to, but it's already been the most rewarding step I could've taken for my business. 

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