It’s that time of year again!
Seven years ago I hosted our first ever Family Fun Fellowship Day in Shively Park (Louisville, KY). All sides of a very large family came together for the first time and for some were able to catch up with folks they hadn’t seen in many years. I thank God for that vision and being able to see it come to pass when it did. 2013’s FFFD was a major success, despite some issues with the shelter and we saw well over 50 family members in attendance. Well, it’s not the summer time yet, but FFFD 2014 is right around the corner and the most crucial part of this whole vision is the planning.
I will do my best to cover my process of planning my annual family reunion with you all. Hopefully this will inspire you to do the same or similar ways to incorporate bringing your family together for some fun & fellowship.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”…
- I’ve selected several dates, keeping in mind that summer months = HEAT and trying to adjust accordingly. It’s also a good idea to have a few dates in mind as you are searching for venues, this will give you some flexibility with their scheduling as well.
- 3 Options:
- Saturday, May 24th
- Saturday, August 23rd
- Saturday, September 6th
- Research is key! What kind of atmosphere do you want to have for your family reunion? Last year we were on the river (with an occasional breeze), there was plenty of parking, clean (I use that term lightly, it is a public bathroom) restrooms, playground(s) and a SPLASH PARK. This was a big hit with all ages so I am looking to have something similar this year, including reserving the shelter(s).
- My research for park venues looks a little like this:
- Central Park – 1340 S 4th Street, 40208
- Arbor, Pergola, Picnic tables, Playground, Restrooms, Sprayground, Tennis, Volleyball
- Cherokee Park – 745 Cochran Hill Road, 40206
- Ballfield, Basketball, Biking, Dog Run, Fishing Lake, Hiking, Horseshoe, Shelters, Picnic tables, Playgrounds, Restrooms, Spray pool, Tennis, Walking Path
- Central Park – 1340 S 4th Street, 40208
- Based on amenities I’d like to have, I have a list of 10 venues. Next steps will include driving by any parks I am not familiar with to do a visual and then checking with Metro Parks in regards to scheduling, deposits, etc.
- My research for park venues looks a little like this:
3. COLOR SCHEME/THEME:
- Colors/Theme dictate my entire brainstorming process. Before I can begin putting out any type of correspondence, I need to select a color scheme/theme for this year. I have already purchased some things for this upcoming year so I believe I’ll be going with those colors – teal/aqua, yellow, white. We shall see how that translates into the logo and more. For me, this is where I start before thinking about inviting or telling people about the upcoming event – it IS important.
- Proposed Color Scheme: Aqua/Teal, Yellow, White
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”…
This is what I have so far…
What do you think? How do you go about planning your family functions?
Long time no read, right?! Ahhh, it’s Monday, December 2nd, 2013 and Thanksgiving has passed us by already! We’re 22 days from Christmas and 29 days from 2014! Wow, where did 2013 go?!
What have I been up to?! – GEESH – What HAVEN’T I been up to?! Work, weight loss, more work, event planning and more. I’ve also officially started vlogging on YouTube. It is something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time, but never got around to it… Then Black Friday deals and a new camera later, I don’t have any excuses…So, it’s official! You can catch me on YouTube at SmplyAnita619… I’ll post links later…
I hosted Thanksgiving at my place this year…that was a lot of work, a lot of fun and definitely worth it! Thankfully I did a lot of prep and wasn’t rushed or stressed…we all know how the holidays can bring out the best AND worst in folks.
My niece’s 18th birthday is quickly approaching… I literally remember when she was born, when she was stepping on the step team in elementary school and her 8th grade promotion ceremony. And here it is, she’s about to be 18, working full time, school full time and about to graduate and go to college. I can and do tear up just thinking about it at times. Whew…Now to plan a gathering :).
That’s about it, I do believe… Another thing in the works is I’m planning to transition companies soon. I’ve been testing, touring, interviewing, etc. and awaiting further instructions… Prayers going up for that, please!
If you’d like to check me out on YouTube, feel free. Please like, comment, subscribe and let me know you came by! I really appreciate all of the love & support so far.
My Channel: (( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcgTfjmkf2KoFDecfTuGJlQ ))
My First Video – Intro 2 My Channel: (( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dUEhBoxbho ))
Vlog #1 : FancySchmancy – (( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yME4ifr4m9I ))
Vlog #2 : Weight Loss, My Story, Goals, December Challenge – (( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpHzA-RFWrk ))
Blessings & love,
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 –
Today’s the day!!! The party finally arrived…
The morning started off rather calm…I went to breakfast with a dear friend and relaxed for the afternoon. My friends were to arrive starting around 2 and begin the lovely process of making this event a success. We had to grab balloons, pick up a cake, decorate the venue and come back to my place to get ready ourselves. Piece of cake, right?! 🙂
Balloons…Surprisingly I was in and out. Thanks to Party City for being so helpful on a Saturday afternoon (one of their busiest days)….
The cake!! Heitzman did a great job with my inspiration that I gave them…I told her, “can you take this & this and mix it together?” This was the inspiration photo I gave her… (the top row, last 2 were my favorites for a sheet cake blend)
Funny enough, and while I’d like to say I planned it – it was pure coincidence…The scroll work that I loved so much in the inspiration photos was very similar to my black and white print I picked for the themed decor…Haha, imagine that!
Now, off to the venue to set up…Let’s hope that the party that was booked in the room before me was done already. We arrive to Logan’s Roadhouse and I had the lovely task of carrying the cake in…while others offered, I did not want something to happen and me want to chop them in their throat (enter laugh, but I am somewhat serious), rather I carried it myself. To my surprise, the room was clear and ready for me. It turns out the party that booked the room ended up being smaller than they anticipated and it paid off arriving earlier than expected…Now, to get to work!
I had worked on the tablescapes in advance, hoping to make things go smoothly. This is where I MUST thank my diligent friends who have worked so hard to make this year (and years past) a success. Ashley, Brittney and Lindsey kicked it into overdrive and asked for direction and we got to work…I’ll show some pics here 🙂
Now, remember…all of these masks were made by hand. My sign at each place setting reads (see Mask Making Party – https://smplyanitascorner.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/masqueradewineanddine-masquerade-mask-making-party/ ) :
Dear Guest –
Thank you for attending my birthday celebration. In honor of the theme Masquerade Wine & Dine, please take this Mask as a gift from me to you for being here today.
Blessings & Love,
Anita L. Herron
The CAKE table! 🙂
Now that the decor is complete (again, big thanks to my wonderful support team). It’s time to get ME ready! One of my best friends, who happens to be a talented, fabulous makeup artist was already at my place getting ready herself and it was time to head there as well.
I’m all gussied up and ready to go…but first, a few pics… The party was set to start at 7p, but of course the birthday girl is allowed to be fashionably late… Thankfully, I don’t live too far from the restaurant though, LOL.
Remember the dress that said yes to me?! 🙂 Here it is! …
Some of the photos my friends took before I arrived…My beautiful niece modeling her mask…
My niece and her boyfriend, enjoying the theme, lol.
This woman became one of my right-hand women planning this event…I couldn’t have done it without her. She got ready and arrived before I did to make sure everything went smoothly before I arrived. Thank YOU Ashley!
Another dear friend was able to make it to the party and she snapped some photos… She owns and operates a WONDERFUL photography business – Black Butterfly Imagery. I’ll list some of her awesome photos here…
This sign was posted at my cake table…I wanted something to remember this day, and I thought, the banner! What better way to remember something than a giant birthday card… It reads:
Thank you for joining me to celebrate my birthday!
Please take a moment to sign the banner to help me remember the occasion!
One of my favorite photos to sum up the night…and all of the planning. Unfortunately I didn’t get everyone, as some people had to leave before the end of the event….All the same, I had a WONDERFUL birthday. Thanks to everyone who came out, who helped me prepare and execute such a lovely event…
Saying Yes to the Dress
I last left you with my lovely surprise from two of my very dear friends. That card? It made me cry. While, I do tend to cry at Gerber and puppy commercials, this card said much more than a puppy smashing into a can of kibble and bits. Without quoting, these women took time to celebrate and give back to me a portion of what they said I pour into others day after day. I tend to get teary eyed just thinking about that, because as women we usually don’t do what we do for recognition or thanks, but man to receive it is something else.
One of the things I’ve found that I have difficulty doing is receiving praise and gifts. Is that weird? I find that one of the things I do instead of simply accepting the praise/gratitude/compliment, etc. I often deflect and minimalize the notion. Is that humility or is that honestly not knowing how to accept something from others? Am I only familiar with the giver shoes that receiving is foreign and strange? Am I the only one like this? Surely not…right?
Anyhoo, enough of the little couch, rabbit session. I said yes to the dress and then it said yes back to me. After the gift from my dear friends, I placed this beautiful dress in the middle of my apartment, hanging on a closet door. I wanted it to be a daily reminder, a) of the upcoming party itself and b) that I am worth and deserve to be blessed by others.
Centerpieces & Tablescapes
Now that the dress was in place, it was time to make more party decisions. Location was shaping up to be a challenge as I really prefer to go the local venue route, however restaurants aren’t always equipped to handle large parties (I was looking at 30-50 attendees) and/or sometimes they simply aren’t large party friendly. 3 places fell through in a matter of 2 days for some of those very reasons.
I decided to bounce back from the disappointment by inspiration shopping, and here’s what I found…
The black and white print that I fell in love with, hot pink and silver accents 🙂
I came up with the idea that I’d get as much of the décor preparations done prior to the event as possible so that my team and I could go in, set up and be out as soon as possible.
Here’s my thought on creating the tablescapes…
Using rectangle tablecloths I trimmed them in half…
Excuse the clutter, I took my coupons/tablecloth off my dining table to work on this…My dining room actually became Birthday Party Command Central over the next few weeks….
On top of that I created a “runner” by trimming the black and white print (which happens to be gift wrapping paper by the way) the length of the table cloth. My thought process: alternating b&w print per table/tablescape…
Using some of my FAVORITE vases (that I purchased as an investment in my event planning business at one of my favorite budget friendly stores-The Dollar Tree) I placed that on top of the mirror centerpiece. But it wasn’t enough…
Attempting to incorporate the silver, I remembered I had the b&w print in the tissue paper as well…hmm, nope not this way…
And then it hit me: Masquerade Masks as centerpieces…
This isn’t the final “centerpiece” but I was headed in the right direction…Now to make a minimum of 40 masks for party favors and finalize the venue. I was planning a “Mask Making Party” the weekend before the actual event and was planning on hand-crafting masks as party favors, why not add a few more as centerpieces, right?! Ha…Okay…
Next at SmplyAnita’s Corner….Making Masquerade Masks…
So every year I like to plan a rather “large” birthday gathering to celebrate myself. I look at it like this: 364 days of the year is about everyone else, but for a few hours on the day I choose to celebrate, it’s about me :-). So, another year wiser and older means another celebration.
25 has been interesting, to say the very least. There has certainly been more good than bad, and for that I’m grateful. People have come and gone in my life, friendships strengthened, loved ones lost, but all the same I am STILL here. Each year brings new trials, triumphs and victories and as a reminder of what I’ve gone through, I CHOOSE to celebrate. So whether I consider these celebrations a reminder of all of that, as a ‘pat on the back’ for the thankless job I do daily, a time to prepare for what’s to come or simply a day to just relax and ENJOY those around me is as good enough reason as any to celebrate on such a large scale year after year.
Last year I decided to do my first “themed” celebration opting to go for a 50’s Pin-Up look. I went all out with the makeup, searching for a pencil skirt, the whole nine. To my surprise, most of my friends went along with the theme and definitely enjoyed searching for something to go along with the 50’s looks. From blue suede shoes and pin-curls to red lips and high heels, okay, maybe the high part was added.
In years past I’ve done things as simple as a color scheme for decor based on my dress choice – my yearly installment of “say yes to the dress”, but with the 50’s Pin-Up from last year I couldn’t NOT do it big again this year.
I’ve always wanted to do something with Mardi Gras, masks and the like and why not go with the theme for my party —- Masquerade Wine & Dine, that’s it! Now, to choose the usual suspects, my party helpers, a color scheme and to find a DRESS! That proved to be the harder part of the whole shindig, the dress. All the same, I had to get the date out there so I worked on a quick flyer, a “save the date” if you will…
That set the tone for my upcoming soiree – or so I thought… More on that to come.
I started dress shopping with my sister from another mister rather early, early to mid May I’d say and while some dresses were amazing, they weren’t evoking what I thought I wanted. It wasn’t until I found this photo when googling images for a masquerade party… and I stumbled across this…
Aha! That’s it! #MasqueradeWineAndDine was the theme, but black, white & hot pink could be the color scheme. My mind was running wild with the options and it was only a few days later that I went shopping for inspiration and decided ultimately on a black & white print, hot pink and accents of silver. This made it that much easier to give direction of my dress hunt – something dainty, feminine and a statement all its own.
I hit up every fluffy girl’s friend, Lane Bryant to try on dresses, and just felt underwhelmed. A few days later my sister from another mister, the same one who went dress shopping with me earlier that month was at a new LB and let me know she saw this dress I found online that I wanted to try on before ordering. Low and behold I go and try it on, and I almost cried. This was IT! But, not that price. I sadly put the dress away, telling myself I’d order it later on when it was more wallet-friendly, I was searching early on after all. And what do you know, the very next day I get in the car to go to dinner with my girlfriends and THIS was in the back seat…
To be continued…