15

How can I release my inner neat-freak and enjoy having people over?

My guy and I work from home — well, I work from home, he works from the shop in the barn behind our house, and it's SUPER awesome. People drop by all the time, and it's not unusual to have folks over 3-7 nights a week (people stay over 1-3 nights a week).

I come from a pretty traditional background and a clean freak mom so having an open house like this REALLY stressed me out, because I wanted the house to be clean and have snacks out etc. I've relaxed my standards significantly and now I'm wondering what kind of life-hacks I should be using to be prepared for guests?

25

Turn your wedding anniversary into a yearly party

Sometimes your wedding goes wonky, and you're left feeling less-than-stellar about the whole event. Which really sucks, because you put a lot of effort into that damn thing. But Offbeat Bride Christine (of Christine & Derek's misadventurous rainbow hodgepodge of freaks & geeks wedding) has a great idea about how to turn that frown upside-down… every year on your anniversary!

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The Shark Attackiversary: We use a brush with death as an excuse to throw a yearly party

In 2007 that guy I married was attacked by a tiger shark and survived! So every year, on the date of said attack, we throw Aaron a "Shark Attackiversary" party. It's much like a birthday party, except we celebrate the day Aaron didn't die instead of the day he was born. Since then I've really fallen in love with the idea of throwing a party that celebrates a traumatic life experience that you've overcome.

14

Throw this party: A Midsummer night's shindig

In the Northern Hemisphere, we're nearing the summer solstice. Balmy nights, cheerful crickets and dewy grass beg us to head outside and celebrate the season. Midsummer has its roots in Northern European cultures, though it's celebrated all over the world in some form or another, whether as a religious or secular holiday time. Some of the celebrations happen on the date of the actual summer solstice while others fall anywhere between June 19 and June 26. Want to host a Midsummer celebration? Here's some tips:

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Throw this party: Eating the Dinosaur

Every couple of months, I do a "Book Optional Club." The thing is, no one ever reads the books. It's really just an opportunity to get together and eat and visit. Being a little OCD, I like a themed party to match the books. The book for this Book Optional Club party was Eating the Dinosaur, by Chuck Klosterman.

1.2k

Throw this party: MINGLO!

When I first met with Kelli from Shindig EventsThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them to scheme my April staff/reader meet-up, we did a little brainstorming on activities, and it went like this:

Ariel: What if we did, like, hipster bingo cards but catered to Offbeat Empire reader interest? People could wander around being all, "You're wearing an octopus accessory! Are you lactating? Who here had a home birth?" I know my readers' tastes like the back of my hand [delicious!], and it could be fun! Sort of like… mingling bingo?

Kelli: YOU MEAN MINGLO!?

Me: I MEAN MINGLO!

And thus a party idea was born. And now you can steal it.