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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Slainte! Serve up a Little Conversation this St. Patrick’s Day posted in: Decorating Ideas, Entertaining Essentials, Holiday Decorating, How To, How Tos, Party Ideas

Any St. Patrick’s Day celebration just wouldn’t be complete without raising your glass and making a toast to good health and good friends. Whether you go all out on St. Patty’s Day, or
if you’re lucky to even remember to wear green, here’s a festive way to serve up beverages that’s guaranteed to have your guests’ “Irish” eyes a smilin’.

Create conversion bottles that can double easy décor for your St. Patty’s Day celebration. Use them to serve up your beverage of choice – a signature drink, tonic, or simply chilled water.  I LOVE the ones I found on Bliss Bloom Blog. These festive flasks will have everybody talkin’, and they won’t cost you a pot o’ gold to create.

st patricks bottles - cover

All you need are green bottles and a gold glass marker or paint. Simple, easy, and inexpensive. Don’t have any green bottles? You’re luck (and in vogue) – be really “Green” and pick up a few bottles from your local recycling center.  This festive and eco-conscious project is easy to create. Follow  Bliss Bloom Blog’s how-to and in a few simple steps you’ll have an “upcycled beverage service”.

Oh, by the way, if you like what you see, remember to click and share with your friends!


Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven




Photo credit: Courtesy of Bliss Bloom Blog

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Holiday Door Decor – Inspirations and How-Tos posted in: Decorating Ideas, Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To, How Tos

Christmastime is one of my favorite times of the year. The magnificent decor is delicious eye candy and there’s an untouchable special  magic of the season that brightens faces, warms hearts and evokes a sense of harmony among fellow man that makes me feel sparkle on the inside.

Speaking of the magic, anyone ever wished for cheery little elves to appear, sprinkle some magic Christmas dust  that  instantaneously decks your halls (and doors) in holiday splendor? Well, in the event that the elf on the shelf doesn’t help you out this year,  here are six easy steps to dress you door for the holidays.

holiday door 2013

You don’t need a lot of time (heaven knows this is the item with the highest of price tags these days) or items – my design has @20 total pieces! So if you’re home needs a little help finding Christmas this year, it’s not too late.

You’ll need:

  • Hooks, anchor clips
  • Garland
  • Lights (optional)
  • Decorations – bows, ornaments and other decorative accents of choice. I used 8 bows (10 including the two for the planters) @10 ornaments/accessories
  • Step ladder
  • Floral scissors (to cut fresh garland)
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters


Holiday Door Decor How-To

The Process: Attempts to distract my supervisor were futile 😉

The Steps:           

    1. 1. Install your mount(s). Nails, brick clips, mounting rod, etc.
    2.     Nails (I recommend as small as possible to support the weight), brick clips mounting rod, etc .
      2. Frame the door with garland
    3.      If you will be using twinkle lights in your design, I recommend wrapping these int your garland before hanging.
    4. 3. Select a starting point and work balancing your design as you go.
    5.      I used bows in different sizes, textures and patterns as my main decor element and accented with coordinating accents. The key is to have a common denominator in
    6.      your design to tie everything together. In this case mine was the color story of bold red and lime green.
    7. 4. Secure your largest or feature pieces
    8.      Again, for this design, mine are the bows. I began by hanging the largest bow in one of the corners of the door, then used one medium and   two small bows in the opposite      corner to achieve balance in size with more of a whimsical look.
    9. 5. Add accent pieces


Now your door is all dressed up for the holidays! A simply charming and warm welcome to those who come calling this Christmas, wouldn’t you agree?

Warmest of wishes for a magical and blessed holiday season,

Tanja & Co. Events & Etiquette




For tips on how to decorate your mantle for the holidays, check out our video on Tanja TV !

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Primp Your Pumpkin: Virtuoso of the Vine posted in: Decorating Ideas, Halloween, Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To, How Tos, Uncategorized

Here’s another costuming idea for your autumn-themed home adornment. Meet Vincent, Virtuoso on the Vine. This squash has swagger!  He has a cultivated appreciation of artistic excellence – a connoisseur of objets d’art.


Virtuoso on the Vine


To create this artiste, you’ll need:


virtuoso supplies


  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2-3 large black beads
  • 1 beret (fascinator or child’s doll clothing fashion)
  • 1 piece black felt
  • Mustache stencil
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • White paint pen



  1. Mark (or place by sight) the features – eyes, nose, mustache
  2. Glue on eyes
  3. Draw on nose, or use another bead, etc. I used a small bat sticker to complement my bat wing beret fascinator.
  4. Trace stencil onto felt
  5. Cut out felt mustache then adhere to pumpkin using glue
  6. Affix your topper

And you’re done!

He would be perfect company to the the candy dish in your gallery and is perfectly suited for the drawing room. This Virtuoso is also quite popular with the pretty pepons – paired together they make quite the IT couple to greet guests in your entryway. For our “Gourd”geous Gourd how-to, click here.


 "Gourd"geous and Virtuoso on the Vine


If you have other thoughts for creative fashions for your pumpkins, please share in a comment below. And if you have photos of your festive fruits, we welcome you to share them with us on our facebook page.



Signature Tanja & Co. Events

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The Official Color of 2013 is an Enchanting Empress- Are you Green with Envy? posted in: Entertainment, Events, Fashion, Holiday Decorating, Trends, Uncategorized

The 2013 Color of the Year is Emerald (PANTONE 17-5641), a lush, lively, radiant green!  We love this luxurious and sophisticated color!

Emerald - 2013 Official Pantone Color of the Year

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, has this to say about Emerald: “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.  As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”  We couldn’t agree more emerald is an enchanting empress – holding high rank, commanding adoration and attention. Timeless and with aplomb, she radiates good energy and success. She is heralded as haute, adored by the masses, secretly making other colors green with envy of her royal beauty. Expect to see lots of this captivating color in event decor as well as in fashion, beauty, and home interior design in the coming year!

Emerald pairs beautifully with sunny yellow, bright orange, and other shades of green. The key to creating a palette that plays well together is – proper proportion.  Pink and green have a longtime relationship and navy and green are an all-time favorite as favored color combinations. When teamed with a soft muted tone such a grayed jade, the result is elegant, easy sophistication. Beiges, browns, grays and other neutrals work perfectly as an anchor with emerald in color palettes.

What’s great about Emerald is that it is a wonderful color choice for women’s formal and everyday wear, and especially accessories!  For men, Emerald also makes a strong statement in sportswear and ties!  It’s balanced and sophisticated and will make a great statement in spring, sumer, fall and winter!

Put this color on your radar. In coming weeks, we will post beautiful color stories for events using this haute hue.

To awaken and arouse your senses, we’ve put together a Pinterest board full of this beautiful Emerald hue to inspire you in 2013!  Take a look at our Emerald Envy.  Is this a color you will embrace in 2013?  Let us know in a comment below!

Have a colorful day!

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Celebrating Election Day posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Food and Beverage, Holiday Decorating

Today is Election Day here in the USA!  At Tanja & Co, we are excited to celebrate our right to vote!  We’ve put together some really great ideas for celebrating election day and wanted to share them with you!

Let Freedrom Ring!

When you think of America, you probably think of Red, White and Blue!  So, be sure to decorate for Election Day with these festive colors!  If your political party has a mascot (think elephants or donkeys), find cute ways to incorporate these into your décor!  And, be sure to fly your American Flag high!

Election Day Treats

Don't Bite My Head Off!

If having guests over to watch the election results come in, serve simple Americana foods!  We love the idea of adding a festive touch with some adorable cake pops from Candy’s Cake Pop’s (pictured above)!  We also have pinned some really cute patriotic treats on our Election Day Pinterest Board!

Celebratory Cocktails

Let's Celebrate!

As adults, we all have the right to vote….and the right to enjoy a nice cocktail too!  At your Election Party, why not serve some delicious festive cocktails?  We’ve pinned some really great recipes for Election Day cocktails here!

All In Favor of Music Say ‘I’!

If your atmosphere and guests are open to music (not advisable for those hosting die-hard information hounds), we suggest fun tunes similar to Party in the USA!  Other great songs would be the National Anthem and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”.  If music isn’t right for your crowd, be sure to tune TVs to your election coverage of choice in every room guests will be in during the evening – because this audience typically doesn’t like to miss one minute of commentary and poll updates.

Regardless of any party affiliation, we can all celebrate this wonderful country we live in, and send out our best wishes for a positive and prosperous future!

Happy Voting!

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Happy National Candy Corn Day! posted in: Food and Beverage, Holiday Decorating, Recipes

Did you know that October 30th is National Candy Corn Day?  At Tanja & Co, you know we love celebrating unique holidays and are really excited to celebrate this one!  Yesterday on Facebook we posted about doing a Candy Corn manicure in honor of this fun holiday!  Check it out here in case you missed it!

Today, we wanted to offer a few more ideas on things you can do to celebrate National Candy Corn Day!  See below for 3 ideas for celebrating all things Candy Corn!

Have a Candy Corn Cocktail!

We love this recipe for a Candy Corn Cocktail!  If you are a fan of pineapple, you will want to be sure to check it out!

Decorate with Candy Corn!

On Pinterest, we’ve posted some really cute Candy Corn Candle displays!  Check them out – they are all so cute and would make great decorations for both Halloween and Thanksgiving decorating!

Take a Bite of Candy Corn Cake!

What’s a party without a little cake?  We’ve pinned some adorable Candy Corn Cakes here.  Which cake looks most delicious to you?

We’d love to know how you plan to celebrate National Candy Corn day!  Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook page!

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Pimp Your Pumpkin: Masquerading Melon posted in: Holiday Decorating, How To

Want to add some festivity to your fall with pumpkins, but haven’t the time or talent to fuss with carving? Skip the monstrous mess, make like the Maven and ‘Pimp your Pumpkin’!  We’ll again share designs that take a fraction of the time it does to carve a pumkpin and what’s better still –  these creations don’t  require knife skills worthy of a top chef.

We’re kicking off this season’s festive how-to blog series with our masquerading melon – and she is one Posh Pumpkin!

So, if your idea of Halloween decorations is more glam than goth, then this look is for you. This design is super simple to create.

What you need:
1 small to medium sized pumpkin
1 mask
2 medim black buttons (for the eyes)
all-purpose glue
tape (optional)

To create, begin by slipping your mask (you can buy one already adorned with pretties, or opt to make your own) onto your pumpkin. If you like, you can use a little glue or tape to the the back of the mask strap to keep n in place if needed. Next, put a bit of glue on the back of the buttons and place inside the eye openings of the mask. All done – it’s that easy!

Decorate one,  two or ten of these masked melons to greet guests in your entryway, and you’ll still have plenty of time to trick or treat this season.

Send us pics – we’d love to see your creations!


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