Let’s Talk Turkey – Top Tips for Hosting the Best Thanksgiving – ever posted in: Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To

Does the thought of hosting Thanksgiving leave feeling completely overwhelmed, or have you running around in a frenzy like a turkey with it’s head cut off (yes, you’ve just been hit with a bad pun). Well, don’t give up just yet. Hosting Thanksgiving can be fun  – for everyone…the host included!

Getting it right is all about planning and a little perspective. And when we do get it right, hosting a holiday celebration and meal can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life – truthfully. Think about it, one of the things that gives our lives real meaning and satisfies the soul is the time we spend making memories with the people who matter most to us. So here are my top tips to help you host your best Thanksgiving – ever.


1. Get a bird’s eye view
Think about the overview of the day – who will be in attendance, timing, activities, and of course the meal. And write down it down. Think of the who, what, where, how and how many. This outline will help you to plan properly and anticipate needs.

2. Carve out a plan
This is about logistics. Now that you have considered the number guests you will host , the time of day, the flow of meal service , what activities will keep your guests entertained prior to dinner, etc., take this information and formulate your plan. Detail what needs to get done, who will do it (remember, just because you’re the host doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Ask for help and delegate some of the tasks. Family and friends are happy to get involved. Having a plan will ensure that planning goes smoothly.

3.  Set the scene.
Spend time carefully laying out the linen and setting the table (we share how in this video). This is a holiday that’s all about togetherness, so a long feasting table and family style meal service works well. Scape the table with the colors of fall using seasonal flowers or pumpkins and squash, and personalize each place setting with a name card. And if you would like help to setting the scene with fine linen, unique tablescape and creative special touches, give us a call, and we’d be happy to help you make this year’s celebration a memorable one.

4. Mix it up
Who says it HAS to be parade, football, dinner, nap, more football, another nap. While that schedule is all well and fine, why not mix things up a bit. Make a plan for good ol’ fashioned fun and conversation. After dinner clear the table or gather everyone in the den for a game. Trust me – it makes for good times and fun memories, and I AM one of those family members or guests who secretly wants to run for the hills or cry tummy ache when I hear the words, from an uber-enthusiastic aunt,  “let’s play a game!”. It has always needed up being a memorable and special time. Also, though we love the same faces we see each year during the holidays, consider adding in some new ones. There are always people in town do not have family or may not be able to go home for the holiday. New faces bring new energy, new perspective and expand our gift of love.

5. Give ‘em the bird
…so to speak. Send guests off with a little goody bag (Note: Yes, this does require you to prepare a little additional, so adjust your shopping lists, prep time, etc. accordingly). Purchase inexpensive food containers, and send everyone home with a little turkey and maybe even some of the fixin’s, and include a note of Thanksgiving – reminding each person that they are special to you and having them with you makes the day complete.

Bonus Tip: Get perspective
This is perhaps the most important. Before doing anything else to prepare, take time to reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Yes, the day stands out in our minds as one of our favorite feasting holidays of the year, but I encourage you to take time out of your busy day to truly think about what Thanksgiving means – what it truly looks like to live a life of Thanksgiving. Taking this time to remind ourselves of the true meaning of the day and of the gift of family and friends helps us to keep things in perspective, and it also helps us to stave off the frenzy, fury and frustration that often comes with the pressures of achieving perfection – which in and of itself will be a blessing to you and everyone in your household !

So there you have it, keep these tips in mind when planning your holiday celebrations, and you are sure to be remembered as the hostess with the mostess savvy.

Do you have any other tips to share with our reader that would reduce stress or add fun to their holiday celebrations? If so, please share below in a comment.


Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven


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Forget Me Not posted in: Holidays, Uncategorized

Hi Society!

Today is Forget-Me-Not Day, a day to remember family, friends, and loved ones….and let them know that you are thinking of them.

2012-08-25 18.31.01

Not that we ever need an excuse, but this day of recognition serves as a great, gentle reminder to turn our attention to those who mean the most to us. So take this opportunity to get in touch with friends and family, especially those loved ones we haven’t seen in a while. After all, isn’t it one of the most wonderful feelings – to know you are loved and are being thought of?

Call a friend, write someone a handwritten note, meet in person – what’s important is simply to be in touch. Need a little inspiration, here are some ideas  of ways to celebrate family and friends:

  • Surprise someone with a fun balloon bouquet
  • Send an to your email address book to say, I appreciate you and are glad you are in my life.
  • Send  flowers
  • Have lunch or dinner with Mom or grandma
  • Deliver a sweet treat to a neighbor
  • Thank military personnel for their service
  • Bake cookies for your local law enforcement or fire department
  • Give Forget Me Not flower seed packets to family and friends. This is very popular. The seed packets are very inexpensive and easy to mail.
  • Phone people you haven’t seen in a while and share something that you appreciate about them, and even wish them a happy National Forget Me Not Day….they’ll get the message.

Do you have other ideas of ways you can celebrate others today? Then share your ideas below in a comment.

Oh and as always, we invite and encourage you to share this message with your friends and social circle!


The Tanja & Co. Team

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Just Hear Those Registers Ring-aling……Holiday Shopping Had Already Begun posted in: Cool Products, Great Products, Holidays, Inspiration

Yes, your read it right. Holiday Shopping – Yes, It Has Begun…

While today is Halloween and some people haven’t even chosen their Halloween costume yet, 26 percent of consumers have already begun their holiday shopping – that’s one quarter of Americans!…and half plan to start their research before Thanksgiving. While Black Friday, the once one-day event notorious for cutthroat competitive shopping has historically served as the kick-off of holiday commerce, the season has now evolved into a near month-long spree of holiday shopping promotions that begins in early November. With electronic devices connecting us to the world wide web at our fingertips nearly 24/7, the prediction that “this holiday shopping season will  be our most connected ever”, isn’t surprising. For more on the research Google’s Holiday Shopper Insights research findings (it’s quite interesting), check out this article.

And if you’re among those already in the spirit of the holidays, may we recommend starting here with Tanja’s Favorite Things 2013  list for inspiration and great gift ideas that are still totally cool and some dare we say even covetable treasures. And stay tuned because the finishing touches are being put on this list list, and will be released soon for your inspiration and shopping pleasure!

One more thing before we go – we hope that you enjoy a safe and Happy Halloween!


The Tanja & Co. Team


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Are You Ready for the Trickiest Holiday of the Year? posted in: Events, Halloween, Holidays, Inspiration, Party Ideas

EEK! Halloween is next week, are you ready for some fun?

Everyone is looking for easy ways to build employee engagement and infuse fun into the workplace. And Halloween offers a great opportunity to encourage engagement, build team morale and make fun memories!

Here are 5 Easy Ideas for Celebrating Halloween in the Workplace (no. 5 is always a hit!):

1.Host a Halloween lunch or afternoon break complete with fun themed food and decor.

2 Pimp Your Pumpkin. Provide a pumpkin to each department to decorate as a team. This also makes for a great contest activity.

3. Have a themed contest. Encourage Employees to dress up, and hold a costume contest – think Most creative costume, Best Character costume, etc., or decorate office doors or cubicles.

4.Schedule volunteering activities. Have your team dress in costume and “treat” the community with the gift of time and fun in support of a favorite or company supported cause.

5.Host a Secret Trick-or-Treat Exchange. Much in the fashion of a Secret Santa or White Elephant Party, have staff bring a trick or a treat to exchange during your party (see no. 1)

What other ideas do you have to bring a little festive fun to the office? Share with us in a comment below!

Hope you have a frighteningly fun work day this Halloween!

Signature Tanja & Co. Events




P.S. Like what you see? Consider sharing this post with your friends. Sharing is caring!

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5 Top Tips for a Happening Holiday Party posted in: Events, Inspiration, Party Ideas


Holidays are some of the most exciting and memorable times of the year, and taking advantage of this excitement as an opportunity to enhance your business and build relationships is something well worth focused effort. Hosting a holiday party can be a great way to do this, but it’s quite possible that the best of intentions won’t produce successful results. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine where to host and what to do to make your holiday party something that will appeal to your audience with lasting impact, but with these five tips you’ll be well on your way to throwing the best party your employees have ever experienced (oh and these tips can apply to your social soirees as well!).


1. Keep Your Vision Centered

It’s still a party thrown by your business, so this is the perfect time to reinforce the value of your company and speak to the direction you want the company to be heading toward in the New Year. Knowing exactly how to do this can be a challenge, but when your goals are outlined and communicated to a skilled event planner they will be able to help you creatively and subtlety craft  these messages into your event.


2. Choose the Right Food for the Occasion

This isn’t as much about the particular food selections you choose, but more about whether you want your employees and guests to be mobile – mixing and mingling, or if you want them seated at large tables. Your goals and also the work environment you have will play a large role in this, and if people are already grouped off by who they work worth, it might be a good idea to either have smaller tables, or to have food that causes people to move around and interact a lot more.


3. Tailor Activities to Your Company Culture

The right activity can make all the difference in whether or not employees have a good time, and whether you’re party is just meh or a truly memorable experience. The reason many corporate events seem so boring is that  they lack the element of interaction. There are a number of interactive options available to enhance party time fun.For example your crowd may be wowed by a custom arcade, think a larger-than-life multi-player Pac-Man battle or extreme pong. Or maybe you have a special reason to celebrate and an epic (yes, I used that word, but only because it is sooo fitting) Champagne service unlike any your guests have ever seen or experienced before, and one that NO ONE will ever forget…ever. The key is that the entertainment be authentic to your company culture and relative to any chosen theme. A skilled event professional worth their weight will be able to tune into your business and help you find the right activity for your company based on your audience and goals.


4. Timing is Everything

Though it’s not likely you would make a mistake as big as planning a party on Christmas Eve, you still have to pay very close attention to when you host your party. Just as the entertainment aspect, timing for your must also be carefully selected based on the audience as well as other events and happenings vying for everyone’s attention during those few precious party weekends before Christmas. Depending upon the goal and size of your event, a weekday luncheon and afternoon of fun may be ideal, or perhaps a big bash just after the New Year would be perfect to get employees motivated to go for new goals with gusto.


5. Revolutionize the Location

You’d be surprised how much the location of a party can impact one’s experience. If you always have a party at the same restaurant, things might tend to become mundane. Instead, try heading to a new location to make things more exciting. A few ideas off the top – a local museum, a cool gallery, an otherwise private club, or even a posh bowling center or amusement park.


Parties are fun, but they are also excellent tools to foster positive relationships at work (and in your personal life as well), increase energy levels of employees, and realize an overall positive impact on a company. While these tips are helpful, planning the right party goes so much deeper. Stay tuned for more tips and trends, and visit Tanja & Co to explore how we can help ensure you’re holiday party…and business is the talk of the town!



Signature Tanja & Co. Events

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Selfie Suite posted in: Cool Products, Decorating Ideas, Entertainment, Events, How To, How Tos, Inspiration, Party Ideas, Trends

From Homecomings to Holiday Parties, photo booths are still a popular feature at events. If you would love to have one at your next event, but are feeling a squeezed by the budget, I  have a cost effective way to still create an interactive, fun activity for your event that’s easy on the wallet.

Create a Selfie Suite! A dedicated and decorated spot at your event that provides the fun elements of a photo booth, think themed or styled backdrop and props with the ability for guests to casually snapping their own pics at leisure. If this sounds like exactly what will fit the bill for your upcoming fete, read on for more inspiration and my…

5 Top Tips to Designing your own Selfie Suite

moshe zusman for ghtv. pohtobooth backdrop1.     Find your Suite Spot.
As with the event itself, location, location, location is key. The area needs to be easily visible and just off from a high-traffic area. Corners of a room are a great option, and the reason is few-fold. Corners are often wasted space in a venue – the forgotten red-headed step-child when it comes to décor, not a gravitational traffic pattern, yet with the right accessories everyone in the room will suddenly take notice of the corner.

2.     Frame the shot.
Set the scene, per se, that will be in the background. He key here is to ensure that the area seen in photos has a finished look (you don’t see outside of the created staged scene). You can use fabric, wallpaper, ribbon, crepe paper, or flowers to name a few cost-effective options of materials that can be used to create your backdrop. Choose a color or colors and materials that work with the compliment the overall event’s style or theme.

Depending on the material selected for your backdrop, you can either hang it directly on the wall (if permitted) or attach the material to a frame system. The key here is to be sure that your backdrop is securely installed. A backdrop or décor collapsing on guests would not only be a safety hazard, but a major #partyfoul.

photobooth decor collage

3.     Prop it up.
When selecting the backdrop material keep in mind any other items that you may wish to incorporate into the framed background, such as event name, themed décor, logos, etc. and any anchor furnishings such as a chaise, or oversize martini glass vases filled with colorful gumballs atop pedestals framing either side of the setting. Props definitely add another element to pictures. They instigators of spontaneous, silly fun -providing an awesome way for guests to make wacky faces or pose or parade an alter ego. Funky glasses, assortment of hats, a few boas and paper-style props go a long way! Begin by looking around your own home – you may be surprised by the great props you have laying around. In the paper props department, check out PaperandPancakes on Etsy. She offers some adorable options like  the french-themed pieces featured in the above collage (and I just love her store name).

4.     Light it Up.strike a pose signage3
Good lighting is essential. Be sure to do a few test shot in the space (and consider the time of day your party will be hosted to ensure you get it right). Adding lighting will provide a more polished finish and ensure picture quality. Using specialty lighting (think uplights, diffused photography spots, etc.) will give the suite a polished finish. If you opt to keep it really low-key, ensure there is ample house lighting in the area.

5.     Signage
Let guests know about the photo booth when they arrive your party, sure, having signage at the suite is recommended. It’s the final touch to inspire guests to take advantage of this fun feature and to encourage them to share their moments with you on social media. To be sure that you and other guests can enjoy the photos, highlight your personal or company profile page. You can also create a special hashtag for the event and include it on the event signage


So while creating a great selfie suite will take some effort, it’s worth it – promise. This fun addition to your event will provide you and your guests a way to capture the moment with sweet reminders of a top night long after the last song has run through on your party playlist.

If you’re interested in more backdrop inspiration, check out our pinterest board here.

So, what do you think of the “Selfie Suite” – is it a must have at your next party?



Signature Tanja & Co. Events




Photo Credits: (T toB, L to R): Moshe Zusman for HGTV, Paper and Pancakes , T&Co., Peg Hardee, and SnapDen







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Much Ado about May posted in: Inspiration, Society News, Uncategorized

April Showers Bloom many reasons to celebrate in May. I don’t know about you, but with the frigid, frozen days of winter behind us (hopefully) it’s time to bask in days of sunshine and clear skies! Some of the recognition holidays in May are an entire month long, offering much opportunity to celebrate.

hello may

Two relationship-centered May holidays are Date Your Mate Month and National Recommitment Month.  Marriage and dating relationships thrive when properly cared for and fostered. One of the best things we can do to nurture our love relationship is to play together. Here’s a great article about the importance of time spent dating your mate. And because these relationships are an important part of our well-being, it’s natural that our recommitment to our health and well-being include goals – as a couple but also as individuals. Check out this post for more on recommitment to your goals. Take time to figure out what you want as a couple and what you need as an individual.

may 2nd blog post image

Since the 80s, May has also been recognized as National Photography Month, so break out the camera – capture moments of play and document times spent focusing on recommitment to your goals. It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. A national survey revealed that photography is one of our most powerful connections to our shared memories, emotions and self-expression. The findings reported that 83% of people use photos to connect with past memories. These visual memories are great reminders of those things that truly make our souls happy… the things that nourish our spirit, mind and body, and the people whose love and support encourage us to continue on and empower us to be all that we can be – to truly thrive in this life! k majakey cool selfie shot

And May is just getting your warmed up with reasons to celebrate. Several foods are also honored in May. It’s National Barbecue Month, National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, and National Candy Month. And these month long celebrations are only a start, there are many other days of celebration in May ranging from long recognized days of honor to more recent and light-hearted days of fun recognition. Mother’s Day, Derby Day, Cinco de Mayo, National Macaroon Day and Memorial Day to name a few.  There’s a party excuse for most every day.

Don’t worry about keeping it all straight – connect with us on facebook or with me on Twitter, to be sure you’re in the know when it comes to excuses to party and reason to celebrate!

Need a little inspiration of ways to celebrate and what to photograph this month? Here’s a few to get you thinking:

  • Enjoy a picnic in the park with your sweetheart
  • Take a bike ride
  • Plan a play date at home – put on your favorite album or playlist, open a bottle of wine, prepare a meal together – but before dessert, take a spin to “your song” in the living room.
  • No special someone to speak of? Take a look in the mirror – see that special person staring back at you? Give them a little love and attention. Take a quiet walk or hike with your camera and/or journal. Spend time refocusing on what it is that you really want or need – then go for it!
  • Look for special foodie events, festivals and capture a little food porn.
  • Submit images for a photography exhibit
  • Host a cooking contest or photography exhibition of your own
  • Dust of your camera and take a photo a day for the entire month

Whatever you do, make time for play with your special love, and allow yourself to live fully in these moments (deadlines, work and home repairs will be there tomorrow)! What other ideas do you have for celebrating this this bloomingly beautiful spring month?


Wishing you an inspiring day and entire Month of May!

Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven

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Pay It Forward posted in: Inspiration, Society News, Uncategorized


Today is Pay it Forward Day. While the day of recognition focuses on raising awareness of the concept of selfless giving for just one day a year, everyday can be Pay it Forward Day by being aware of the needs of others around us in the world and considering how our talents, resources and heart may be a blessing to others. Even the simplest considerations and acts of kindness can help anyone feel a little better. Always keep in mind that even the smallest gesture could make someone’s day. Here are a few ways ideas of how you can pay it forward:

Buy someone’s latte. At your local coffee shop, pay for someone else’s cup of coffee when you buy your own.

Send a Card. Write notes of appreciation to friends, family members, coworkers or neighbors, telling them why they are important to you.

 pink thank you card


Help out at home. Look around your own home to see what needs to be done – do an extra chore or two. It WILL be appreciated – guaranteed!  And it may make such a differnece so someone you love, you may be encouraged to make it a habit.

Give the gift of books. Have books you’re no longer reading? Donate them to a library, or sell them to a used bookstore and donate the cash to an organization that sponsors reading programs.

Feed someone. When at lunch, buy an extra meal for a homeless person. This is not only kind, it’s also healthier and more constructive than just giving them money.

Share a sweet treat. Buy some cookies at your favorite bakery and ask the clerk to leave them out for other customers to enjoy.


Pay someone’s way. In line to pay for a toll or train ticket? Pay for the person behind you, too.


Make a Donation. Donate usable clothing and health & personal care products to a local shelter or charity.  Someone else will really appreciate the items you can’t use, and your donation will support vital community programs.


Be a voice for those without a voice. Contact your local animal shelter or rescue organization to find out which supplies they need most, and then donate them.


Help someone in need. Run an errand for someone, keep the kids for a friend, or visit an elderly neighbor who isn’t able to get out.


Share your favorite things. Buy two of something and give one away. If you love it, chances are someone else will, too.


Volunteer. Contact a local hospital or community organization to see how you can volunteer your services.

 Epsilon Community Involvement


Hold the door. Be aware of those coming through the door behind you. Look for people who are carrying things and may need extra help.


Let someone go first in line. When you’re in line at the grocery store with a full cart, allow someone with just a few items to go ahead of you.


Save a life. Donate blood, can’t be manufactured; it has to be donated – a true gift.


Be a courteous driver. Make the highway safer, and reduce your stress level, by letting other drivers merge in front of you.



Care for those who are sick. Deliver a meal and an easy read or movie to a sick friend or neighbor to enjoy while they recuperate.


Go Global. Make a contribution to a global charitable organization or reach out by email or phone to learn how else you may become involved in a worthy world-wide mission.


Your generosity will make someone’s day a little better. What other ideas so you have to add to the list?


And by the way, if you like and agree with what you see, share it with a friend!




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The “Man”gagement Ring posted in: Trends, Weddings

When you see a man wearing a ring on his left hand, most would assume he’s married, but he may not have made his way to the altar yet – he may be rockin’ a mangagement ring!

You read correctly, a “man-gagement ring.” Yes, it’s an engagement ring for gents!

Danhov Mangagement RingMany women dream of the day when her true love will present her with an engagement ring on bended knee. But what about the guy? What symbol of commitment does he receive to show the world his heart belongs to another? Enter the mangagement ring.

While this concept has long been recognized in a lot of countries around the world, such Argentina and Brazil, this notion may be new to many as it has not been our tradition here in the States. Amada Gizzi, spokesperson for the Jewelry Information Center, says the idea is starting to take off in America “, and a recent survey found that 5 percent of men are now wearing engagement rings. And you may recognize a few gents who’ve worn these rings. Singer Michael Buble (pictured) sported one when he became engaged to Luisana Lopilato, and Jennifer Hudson presented an engagement ring to her then fiancé, David Ortega before they were married. m. buble mangagement ring rz635x550

Mangagement rings are also perfect for the bold woman who turns the table in the relationship and pops the question to her guy, now she can present a ring to complete the proposal.

Jewelry industry insiders report that they’re starting to see a lot more female clients doing the proposing! (Of course in these cases the gentleman who says “yes” does reciprocate with
a presentation of a diamond stunner to his fiancée). “The idea that the man will also wear an engagement ring symbolizes to many a new sense of equality in the relationship. It is an outward aknowledgement of commitment, from both the man and the woman.”


What do you think – will this become the way of the future or is it just another fad?



Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette





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  • Leonore: Good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!
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One Smart Cookie posted in: Food and Beverage, Trends

The only thing we like more than cookies and milk, is milk and cookies. And Dominique Ansel creator of decadent dreams and the coveted Cronut is a man after my own heart…again.
This innovative chef is one smart cookie! His latest creation is a mashup of a classic, all-time favorite treat. Friends, I give you – The Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shot.

Dominique Ansels Chocolate Chip Cookie Milk Shot

It’s as simple as it sounds. He’s flipped the concept of this fan favorite. Rather than dunking a cookie in milk, how about pouring milk into your cookie. The savvy sweet is is a shot glass made out of a chocolate chip cookie, then filled with milk. A food mashup – genius!

If you’re planning an event and searching for a new spin on sweets, look no further. This creative cookie creation is bound to be a hit!

What do you think of this culinary creation? Tell us in a comment below. If you love this idea, share it with a friend! And when you’re in NYC, definitely make plans to visit Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette




Photo Credit: dominiqueansel Instagram


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