Are You ObSeussed? posted in: Decorating Ideas, Events, How To, How Tos

dr seuss signage

A sure way to brighten things up…regardless of the weather outside is to celebrate one of America’s most beloved children’s authors.

This Sunday, March 2nd, is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, making it a great day to liven things up during the blah, post-holiday wintertime (and get kids jazzed about books in general).  So to inspire you, a little silly get ready to party prose. I’m no Dr. Suess, but I’ll give it a whirl…

From there to here, and here to there,
inspiring ideas are everywehere!
We’ve gathered together just a few
and posted them here especially for you.

Our ideas on how to celebrate Dr. Seuss Style…

Select a favorite Dr. Seuss book, or be full of fun and incorporate stories from several of his stories to set your theme.





Decor. Bright colors against a white base or backdrop  will really liven up the atmosphere.  Red and aqua are the classic go to. You could also add in yellow, purple or lime green taking from other characters as they suit your theme. follow your chosen theme. Color blocking different shades will have the greatest impact. And of course incorporating stripes and polka dots for whimsical flair!

  • Tissue Paper pompoms is an inexpensive decoration that makes a big impact.
  • Make One Fish, Two Fish….. Blue fish, Red fish using paper and hang from the ceiling.
  • Display theme colored candies in clear jars that will be a sweet treat and also add to the décor (mutli-purpose – ding!ding!)
  • You can also cut various-sized circles (there’s your polka-dots) out of paper and place on tables, stick on walls or hang for fun easy décor.

Easy Eats. Keep the food super simple. Something at least semi-nutritious (and if you can sneak it in there “Seuss-style” – Bonus!).

  • Green Eggs and Ham, of course (take it literally, or be creative and create a sweet treat)
  • Blue cotton candy
  • Goldfish Crackers in assorted colors
  • Adorble (and super easy) Lorax cookies and my favorite, Thing Cupcakes – complete with crazy hair!

Dr. Seuss Party Ideas.web

Fun Times
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun and mean the most, and the easiest thing to do would be to sit down and read together with your kids. But because I’m in the business of creating fun and memories, here’s a few more ideas to kick things up a notch on this fun afternoon…

  • Have an animated friend who would be willing and available to dress in character? If so, AWE-SOME! Have them come to the party as a Seuss character and read a book or two.
  • In true Dr. Seuss fashion, create a word together and give it a meaning. This could end up being something that really sticks – inside family joke in the making…
  • Write words from one of the books on plastic eggs (It is February already, so I’m certain the retail isles overflowing with Easter goods), making sure to make a few words rhyme. Hide the eggs and have a few little treats for the kids when they find eggs that rhyme.
  • If this weather is nice – Boil and color some eggs green, go outside in the fresh air for a throwback egg toss fun. If you have several kids together for the party, make it a competition. Have teams of two stand face to face and gently toss an egg to each other. Begin one foot apart to toss, taking a step back each time they successfully catch the egg.  Once a player drops the egg (and it cracks), that team is out. The last team with an unbroken egg wins.

Check out these links for more inspiration, recipes and how-tos:


So, what do you say – sound like a fun day? Leave a comment on here on our blog or chime in on our facebook page. Well,…

That is that
Not more tricks in my hat
but before I close
How’d I do with my prose?


Goodbye for now, I have places to go!

Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette




Photo credit: thing cupcakes: kitchendoughdough, tabletop: Stem Parties, goldfish: aturtleslifeforme, Lorax cookies: embracemyspace

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Host an Award-Worthy Oscar Viewing Party posted in: Decorating Ideas, Events, How To, How Tos, Party Ideas

Even if you don’t have an invitation to the Governor’s Ball on Oscar Sunday, it doesn’t mean you can’t be just as fashionable in your own home.  I’ve put together everything you need to host your own Oscar Viewing Party that’s sure to leave your guests speechless.

Host an Award Worthy Oscar Party
Get All Dolled Up. Doesn’t it feel good to get all dressed up every now and then? People just seem to be more outgoing and optimistic in a nice atmosphere. So rather than a casual get together, make it a more formal (well, in terms of dress) affair. Give people a reason and permission to glam it up and feel their best!

Make an entrance. Roll out the red carpet. While this isn’t a new concept, it’s always a welcome and adds festive flair. To turn up the effect, add paparazzi. Enlist a few friends, BFs and hubbies, or neighborhood teens to help.

oscar party decor

Deck out Décor. Purchase assorted-size stars (or make your own using metallic paper stock), attach them to fishing line, and hang them from the ceiling about the party space. Turn the lights down and light candles, the soft light will add to the atmosphere. Clear crystal gems filler is perfect for your candle holders. Fit your food table with a red cloth, accessorize with disposable top hats inverted and filled with gold tissue to use as serving pieces (great for those chocolate dipped potato chips), tie satin bows to the tray handles, and finish off with a sprinkling of star-shaped confetti.

 Cast Your Vote. It’s always fun to try and guess who the big winners will be and few can resist sharing with everyone that their instinct was right. Create a custom ballot (or print out ours– it’s FREE) and have them available for guests to cast their votes upon arrival to the party. For a twist, add in a few fun guest categories such as Best Dress, Best Bold Lip, or even “Best Actor/Actress Look Alike” and present the winners with your own version of an “Oscar” during commercial breaks.

Oscar Eats. Keep the food light and mingle-friendly – just as they do at the Governor’s Ball. A few canapés such as caprese skewers, shrimp cocktail shooters, and chicken satay with cucumber salad. A popcorn bar is perfect for the occasion. Set-out plain popcorn and a variety of seasonings and toppings so guests can create their own signature flavor.

oscar party food collageDecked Out Desserts. Glammed up goodies will have everyone seeing sugar stars. Think tuxedo cake pops, chocolate dipped strawberries or potato chips, and black and white parfaits. Add in a tray of petit peppermint patties, and a selection of black and white candies like m&ms, Jordan almonds, and you have a sensational showing of sweets.

 Dress Your Drinks. Bedazzle champagne flutes with a row of rhinestones or don stems with a tiny bowtie for your champagne cocktails. Another idea: serve mini champagne bottles (also called “splits”) with fashionable straws on ice (clear, disposable dessert cups work great for this).

oscar party bev collage

Get Snap Happy.  Make it easy to capture memories of the evening by having a photobooth. People can’t get enough! I’m always setting them for events, and if an event doesn’t have one, guests are asking about it. Hire a pro or create your own. To DIY, make a run to your local party or dollar store to pick up an inexpensive foil curtain for a backdrop, a few feather boas, fedoras, funky shades, some statement baubles, and an Oscar statue if you can find it. Hang your back drop in front of a blank wall, place a small table nearby to display your props, then setup your camera on a tri-pod in self-timer mode – and let guests start snapping!

Now all that’s left to figure out is what you willk be wearing to this award-worthy celebration!

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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Wedding Wednesday Inspiration: Lemon Zest Elegance posted in: Decorating Ideas, Inspiration, Weddings

The clear bright day and the warmth I actually FELT from the sun was my muse for today’s inspiration. Feeling the sun on my shoulders was a much needed hug from Mother Nature  that has me bright-eyed….and longing for more warm and sunny days.

The color story: primary shade: lemon zest, secondary hue: chambray, accents tones: white and gray.

I imagine a gorgeous sunny summer day on the grounds of a private estate. A simple ceremony in the courtyard – Guests are greeted by the sounds of the harp and the scent of fresh citrus rising from the lemon slice accents in the flowing arrangements of crayon yellow blooms lining the aisle. The wedding party dons the color of sunshine and it looks more elegant than ever.

Lemon Zest. Mansion Wedding


After the bride and groom say “I do”, guests make their way through the garden to the veranda for cocktails and light fare to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Ladies enjoy sparkling summer cocktail while catching up with dear friends and taking pictures by the fountain, while the gents answer to the playful call of the  patterned pillow collections (another big trend. see more here) atop the white leather sofas to “sit back and relax” with your buddies.    As the sun sets, guests are led down the grand halls of the estate house by roving electric violists to the dinner reception ballroom. You can hear the “Ooohs” and “this is exquisite”  softly whispered as guests are seated at tables topped white fellow and white silk shantung linen set-off by classic china and fine crystal stemware. After the bridal couple has been introduced and the final course served, the lights dim and a beautiful design illuminates the dance floor as the band turns up the energy in their sound. Guests take to the floor and the merriment continues til after the clock strikes midnight. It was a beautiful day for a wedding indeed.

Would you consider this sunny shade for your wedding?



Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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Pattern Play – A Hot Event Trend for 2014 posted in: Decorating Ideas, Events, Inspiration, Trends


Today’s events are really taking shape! Gone are the days of solid, stark, single color stories.  Well, not totally, but you can expect to see a continued rise in the use of patterns in event concepts this year. Fun geometric patterns like Caspian and geometric shapes, floral prints and polka dots and even wild specialty patterns in saturated in a multitude of color are being incorporated into events. You’’’ see patterns used in beautiful linen, worked into backdrops, in fun accessories and event cast onto dance floors.

pattern play in events

As Event Designers, we work to personalize events creating a bespoke experience reflective of our clients’ objective, theme, brand or personalities, and using patterns can be a great way to make a statement or evoke a specific ambiance. The picture below shows how we incorporated patterns to give a modern take on an event theme that gave a nod to the ’80s  through linen and event logo design.

gala images from mac

The thing to keep in mind when using patterns is volume and placement. Strategically placed patterns really add interest, but if one’s not careful they can become “too loud” per se in the overall concept. Certain patterns if not used in too great a volume, can even make guests feel dizzy (so choose carefully 🙂 . If you see a pattern that you like, share it with your designer, so that they can work with you on the best ways and areas the  implement them print or formation into your event.

What do you think about incorporating the use of patterns into event design? And what patterns are you loving right now?

Wishing you an inspiring day!

Signature Tanja & Co. Events




Would you like to use this article in your e-zine or on your blog?
Fantastic! Please do, as long as you include the following complete information along with the article: Tanja Lynn is The Party Maven. She is a designer, event planner, etiquette consultant, lifestyle expert and founder of Tanja & Co., a boutique event planning and image management event firm based in the Virginias that serves client worldwide.

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Toast to the Creator of American’s Original Mocktail posted in: Food and Beverage

Shirley Temple, arguably the most famous child star of all time. She quite remarkably began her film career at the ripe age of three and by the tender age of six she had received a miniature Academy Award and her tiny left and and footprints were cemented in the walk at the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Temple lifted the spirits of millions with her sunny disposition. Her cheerful, optimistic and innocence could bring joy to even the toughest of characters and love to all those who would welcome it in.

From this this pint-sized sweetheart, we also have our first mocktail. This drink is named for the best known, most innocent looking child star in history, and of course, contains no alcohol. The Shirley Temple is one of the most popular drinks of all time. A classic that most everyone both young and old know well.


Shirley Temple America's Favorite Little Sweetheart

America’s original mocktail requires only a few simple ingredients – ginger ale, a second favorite clear soft drink and grenadine. The resulting combination is one of the most innocently fantastic and refreshing  drink you will ever have.

This drink is super simple to make and can be ordered for yourself or the little ones at most any restaurant.

Ingredients: shirley temple mocktail

  • 3oz. gingerale
  • 3oz. sprite (or other lemon-lime soda)
  • Dash of grenadine
  • Maraschino cherry, garnish


  1. Pour ginger ale and  lemon-lime soda into glass (over ice is the traditional preparation)
  2. Add a dash of grenadine
  3. Stir
  4. Garnish with a cherry
  5. Serve with your best award-winning Shirley Temple smile

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 Drink

So mix up this classic today, don your best smile and spread a little cheer in the spirit of MS. Shirley Temple Black.



Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven


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Rose Gold Romance posted in: Inspiration, Trends, Weddings

All that glitters is rose gold in 2014 – and I LOVE it!

This color says to me, sophisticated, romantic, and it inspired this design board – modern-day classic romance.

Rose Gold Romance

Rose Gold Romance


In addition to weddings, this haute hue is also beautiful color choice for a bridal tea or even a social luncheon. So now to you, would you consider rose gold for your wedding or event? Tell me by leaving a comment below.


Wishing you an inspired day!


Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette

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  • Edwin: i love the rose gold theme any tips on how to plan a rose gold Bday surprise
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Superbowl XVIII – My Last Minute Menu Play Call posted in: How To, Recipes

This is my first at home-and non-event weekend since the beginning of December, so needless to say our Superbowl Sunday Celebration is going to be low-key. For those of you who totally “feel me” and still haven’t fully prepped what you’ll be serving come kick-off, and for those of you who already have everything ready already with time to spare (my hat’s off to you) you are certainly more than welcome to add any of these ideas to your spread.

So what will I be serving? Things that are quick and easy, fun and fresh.

superbowl XVI menu


What’s on my game day menu:

Pulled pork (prepped and ready from great local BBQ place)

Beer & Bacon Cheese Dip, soft pretzels

Bacon- wrapped jalenpeno poppers (hmmm, I’m seeing a theme here…)

Tortilla Chips and Guacamole and pico de gallo

Fresh cut veggies, Hummus

Vosges Bacon Chocolate Bars

No-bake cookies

Ice Cream with assorted toppings (chocolate sauce, sprinkles, whipped cream, fruits)

I’ll pair the above with a selection of domestic and import brew, soft drinks and of course bubbly because I always must have it.


If you would like to add the warm dip to your menu, here’s the recipe I’ll be using:

Beer & Bacon Cheese Dip:


  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 8oz. block of cream cheese, room temp
  • ½ cup prepared bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. dry ground mustard
  • ¾ cup beer, use your favorite ale or lager

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, warm the beer, stir in cream cheese and stir until melted, add in ½ bacon pieces, mustard, and shredded cheddar. Stir until melted and smooth. Top with remaining bacon pieces.  Serve warm – fondue pot works great for service.


For more inspiration, check out some of our previous Superbowl posts here and here! OK, I’m off to run a culinary Quarterback sneak into the kitchen to get the party fare prepped before the famished fans arrive! So what do you say…

Let’s get ready for some football!

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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2014 Wedding Trends: What’s New and Now in Nuptials! posted in: Trends, Weddings

Planning your wedding is not easy.  It is an important day that requires focus and attention to detail while planning to ensure that everything is going to be as you wish. There are many things that you need for the day, such as wedding invitations, cake, dress, bridal shoes, wedding hairstyle, and décor to name a few. Do you know the 2014 wedding trends to consider as you plan? Well, I’ve spent the past several weeks reviewing industry information, travelling about to personally see and experience the latest and greatest, and I’m sharing it all with you. I will go more in depth with some of the trends in future posts, but I’ll begin now with a rundown of the tops trends in all things weddings for 2014!

2014 Wedding Trends Collage

Color Me Happy
The 2014 palette is gorgeous! Many color options are available to suit a number of style preferences.

2014 wedding color palette

Among the hot hues: Blush (which is my personal pick for THE top color of the year), mint and coral are continuing to grow in popularity, and cerulean and dusty blue have made the top 10, and I am obsessed with the return of grayed jade. While 2013 was the year to return to gold (and it’s also still popular) all that glitters in 2014 is rose gold – expect to see it in everything from accessories to tabletop – to florals!

And of course Orchid, the Color of the Year for 2014 will be hot in weddings and all fashions. As for Radiant Orchid, while I’m not a raving fan, paired with platinum or mixed with other shades in the purple family in ombre fashion, I’ll work it.

Pattern Play
Patterns are making a big in everything from attire fabrics to lounge pillow, vases to of course simply stunning table linen. While we have seem pattern infusion emerge in the past couple with chevron making big waves. This year, thrown out the hard-edge look. The current style is softer trellis and floral motifs, tonal geometrics and stripes.

Personally Speaking:
We’ll continue to see steady increase in couples having weddings that celebrate either their own heritage or infuse elements from places that are special to them, and share fun or quirky interests or hobbies. Adding personal touches to your wedding makes your wedding “you”nique and allows you to share a little more of couple personality with your guests.

Dramatic Décor

Dramatic Decor
Ushers in a rekindles love for the formality of days gone by. Crystal is having a huge moment! Chandeliers suspended from everywhere and crystal candlesticks tucked in all around. Metallic-rimmed china and ornate pieces at the reception with dining service being offered by white-gloved staff whilst the sounds of big band….maybe mixed with a modern twist fills the air. Lounges continue to be popular and provide a great place to add character to your event. New for 20124, lounges for the bridal couple (among other listed trends, more on this one to come – so stay tuned!)

The top overall looks are rustic gone glam, romanticized classics and the industrial style continues to emerge. A good designer will be able to assess your true style and personality, pair it with your dream wedding day vision to create a gorgeous bespoke ambiance reflective of your style.

Flavor profiles get elevated, global flavors will influence menu design – expect to see Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods influenced menus. Clients will continue to prefer to pay more for quality foods, local foods because you care where your food comes from.

Made-to-order food stations, including one that let guests customize their own drinks including champagne cocktails (Yes!!), cheese and charcuterie buffet where guests top their selections with unique spices or flavored olive oils and vinegars. And it’s tough to get tired of favorite childhood treats, but they becomes even more appealing when given unexpected updates. Think mojito-flavored lollipops, homemade Pop-Tarts, freshly spun cotton candy of single-malt whiskey or salted caramel. Take us back to childhood favorite sweets, please.

Sweet Sensations

2014 Wedding Cake Trends
In wedding cakes, we’re seeing a return to the round and taller cakes with the designs now having a variation in the height of the layers. Metallic will be a popular finish and we’ll continue to see intricate designs of ruffles, lace and fondant ribbons. Right now flavor is being driven by the seasons with couples looking to showcase what’s fresh and organic.

And speaking of sweet sensations, did you seen the gravity-defying showstopper chandelier wedding cake that rang in 2014 weddings? Check out our post to get the skinny!

Laser-cut designs are taking wedding invitations by storm as this style offers the intricate detail that brides are looking for. Also, a more focused use of typography is becoming increasingly important. As for styles and themes, wood grain is gaining momentum as a unique look for a natural element – some invitations are even being etched directly into pieces of wood for the truly natural vibe. The combining of a garden theme and wood grain that radiates the vintage charm is getting a lot of notice, we’re still seeing art deco-inspired customization and lace continues to be popular.

Seating Software
While the concept of seating guests based on their social connection is not anything new, 2014 will be the year where more event professionals will be called on to assist with planning well thought out seating arrangements for their clients. I read this somewhere and love it – leaving seating to chance is so 1999. The hope is that awkward seating moments will be a thing of the past.

Picture Perfect

InstaCam Photobooth Experience
The InstaCam photo booth is where it’s at to capture event memories (just call us if you would like to have this for your wedding. We’ll hook you up!). This unique experience provides the traditional photobooth experience or a print that looks exactly like an Instagram post that can be customized, with the ability to take photos and print from any smart phone in the room! Guests can take pictures directly at the photobooth or following a few simple steps, they can take a photo with Instagram right from their smart phone, use a custom hashtag when posting your picture to Instagram and their photos instantly prints at the Instagram Kiosk!

Attire & Accessories
Three big trends in designer wedding dresses: Cap Sleeves, Coverlets and Convertible. Cap sleeves made a big appearance on the bridal fashion runways this season as seen in collections such as Maggie Sottero, Monique Lhuillier and Temperley London. Coverage with serious style hit the runways this season. Everything from boleros to full sheer jackets rocked the runways of Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, and Reem Acra, and trust us – these are not your grandma’s cover-ups! A few more trends to get used to seeing are the hi-lo hem, convertible 2 in 1 wedding dresses, and hang on to your garter….bridal pantsuits (yes, you read right) were seen on the runway.

You’ve Got the Look.
The 2014 bridal look will predominately reflect an effortlessly chic vibe, effervescent beauty. The focus being enhancing a bride’s best features so she looks and feels like the most gorgeous version of herself when she walks down the aisle. The makeup trends popular in fashion that are also expected to become popular in bridal looks this year is the cat-eye, the gilded lid, white eyeshadow and liner, and statement lips in notice-me berry and baby-pink shades.


So there you have it, a rundown of the top wedding trends for the year! It’s a lot of information I know, and no doubt some of the trends having you thinking, “What?”, “Cool!, but where or how?”. But not to worry, as I said at the start, I have lots of intel and will share more in depth detail on some of these trends in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!

So now tell me, what trends are you loving? Learn anything surprising?

Any that you say, “no way” to? Share in a comment below!



Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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