(Image from Barnes & Noble)
For my family, November is party month. Not only do we celebrate Thanksgiving, but we've also got birthdays galore. Although none of my children were actually due in November, three of the four decided to show up then anyway. The nerve! In my extended family, lots of nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. also have November birthdays (in fact, today is my mother-in-law's). All of which makes for a very festive month dedicated to honoring many of my favorite people in the whole wide world. Because three of these are my own children, I've had to do some serious November party planning over the years. Which turned me into a frantic, waspish, stressed-out ball of nerves and anxiety. Needless to say, my comfort zone so does not include throwing lavish parties. Or even casual ones. Hosting any kind of fiesta turns me into a panicked mess.
So, yeah, when Gemma Lynn Touchstone—a professional party guru from California—offered to help me get a clue, I accepted. Her book, Party Style, is the first in a planned series designed to help anyone (even me!) pull off a fun, organized, successful party. While this debut guide focuses specifically on children's get-togethers, the advice Touchstone doles out really can be used for all kinds of occasions. In four simple words, she advises hosts to: Prepare. Anticipate. Be flexible. The first is especially important. Touchstone provides numerous helpful organization tips on everything that goes into a child's party—choosing a theme, making invitations, picking a menu, selecting the perfect decorations, etc. She also includes fun recipes (my up-and-coming birthday girl would go crazy for the Gummy Bear Soda; I thought the Mason jar meals were especially clever), links to templates/printable decorations (for those of us who need
a little a lot of help), and a section of glossy party photos to give real-life examples/ideas (even I, the party Grinch, found them inspiring). Throughout Party Style, Touchstone maintains an upbeat, you-can-do-it tone that made me feel like maybe I actually could!
While Touchstone's easy-to-read guidebook is a quick, helpful read, it's not without its faults. The prose isn't the smoothest, and—as is common in books from this publisher—the text contains a number of irritating typos. I know the latter is not the author's fault, but I still shy away from purchasing and gifting books that have too many errors. I'm super picky that way.
Regardless of these complaints, I enjoyed Party Style overall. It's an instructive book in an accessible format that makes party-planning look easy. If you need some fresh ideas for children's parties, give this one a whirl. You'll also want to check out the author's website for lots of planning tips. Also, use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win some great prizes in the giveaway she has going on. Hurry, it ends soon!a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Readalikes: Hmm ... apparently, I don't read many books like this. Suggestions?)
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Party Style from the generous folks at Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!