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co-ed baby shower

How to Throw a Successful Co-ed Baby Shower

More and more women want to celebrate the new life they’re bringing into the world with the women and men who will be supporting them on this new journey of parenthood with a co-ed baby shower.  It takes a village to raise a child.  For many women, there are loving men in their lives who are part of that village and should be included in this celebration of new life.  Below are a few ways to throw a successful co-ed baby shower.

Games

Mommy or Daddy?

Write out a list of funny facts and/or stories from the childhoods of the mom and dad. Guests can guess whether the story is about mommy or daddy.

Songs with “baby”

Give guests five minutes to come up with as many songs with “Baby” in the title as they can. Whoever gets the most at the end of five minutes wins.

Time Capsule

Have your guests bring something that is “cool” from the new child’s birth year to put in a time capsule for them to open at a predetermined time.  For guests who can’t or don’t bring something, they can write down some of the top music for that year or a sweet memory they have of the parents from that year.

Food and Drink

Mocktails

For the pregnant mama and those not drinking alcohol, “momosas,” or “mocktails” (crafty, non-alcoholic beverages) can be served.  Men and those who are consuming alcohol can have beer in honor of the baby “brewing.”

“Baby” food

Finger food, or small bites served as “baby” food can be a fun way to serve up some appetizers.  Baby carrots, sliders, and grilled baby broccoli are just a few ideas.

Baby-Q

Everyone, especially guys, loves a good BBQ.  Isn’t it convenient that it can easily fit into a baby shower theme?

Favors

Baby succulents

Tiny succulents are adorable, plentiful, and inexpensive.  Giving your guests a tiny life of their own to take home is an adorable, gender neutral way to send them off.

Baby drinks

Almost all hard alcohol comes in a convenient shot size that can be found at nearly any grocery store these days. Guys and alcohol drinkers will certainly appreciate these babies.

“Pop”

For kids or non-drinking guests, sending them home with a soda-pop and a little bag of popcorn is a fun way of saying the mom is about to “pop!”

Parenthood can be a tough, but rewarding journey.  If there are men in the village to help with that journey, they should be there to celebrate from the beginning.  A co-ed baby shower is a great way to honor all the men and women in the village.

Graduation Party

Tips for a Successful Graduation Party for Blended Families

When blended families get together for a big event, there can be a clash of traditions or expectations.  But it is possible for blended families to have healthy interactions and preserve the overall emotional wellness of everyone involved.  At this time of year, graduation is often an event that can bring joy—and tension—to family gatherings.  Below are a few tips for having a successful graduation party for blended families.

Keep the Focus

Remember what the celebration is about.  This party is about a milestone in the life of the graduate.  Whenever it seems like someone is losing sight of that, just simply bring the focus back to the graduate.  Ili Walter, PhD, LMFT of Family Therapy Basics urges, Keep your love for the graduate in mind as you collaborate with members of the blended family.  Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions and share the limelight. Perhaps one parent can host the graduation party, and one can host a meal. Separate events foster goodwill and give each parent the chance to honor their child’s accomplishment. Also, don’t forget to ask the graduate how they want to celebrate the milestone. An event designed around their desires will naturally invite a team spirit from family members.”

“Remember, the most important person in celebrating this milestone is the graduate.”

Keep It Light

The important thing to keep in mind during the graduation party are the accomplishments of the graduate.  Everything else can wait. Dr. Mathis Kennington, PhD, LMFT encourages all parents involved to lead through example,For blended families, happy and healthy graduations start from the top. To make sure your child experiences everything she or he should, parents need to communicate before the event to set boundaries and ground rules so that there’s no awkward family conflict that gets in the way of the celebrations. Even older children will only be as calm as their parents. So make co-parenting a priority long before graduation day arrives.” Be present for your awesome grad and keep things light.  This event should be memorable and fun!  If you’re having fun, it’ll encourage them to have fun too.

Keep the Peace

This special time is not the time to bring up grievances or let resentment cloud your judgment.  Let your graduate have their shining moment without letting any conflict parents may have get in the way of that.  Surely any problems can be set aside for one graduation party (and hopefully beyond that!). Give your grad the gift of peace on this day. Show them how proud you all are and encourage them to be proud of themselves.  Graduating is an amazing achievement! Keep it peaceful.

Whether there is a graduation, a wedding, or any other family celebration, put conflicts aside and focus on the the reason for the gathering.  Healthy blended families take effort from everyone involved. 

Memorial Day guide

A Guide to Your Best Memorial Day BBQ

Memorial Day weekend is a popular weekend to camp or go to the beach, but that also means crowds and traffic.  Hosting a Memorial Day BBQ in your own backyard is a great way to seize the three day weekend without dealing with the crowds.  Below is a guide to your best Memorial Day BBQ.

Set the Tone

When imagining the sounds of a relaxing Memorial Day BBQ, the sizzle of the grill is often accompanied by good music.  Much like the food itself, music will set the tone for your at-home get together. If you want your guests to lounge, some easy listening stations on Pandora Radio such as John Mayer, Frank Ocean, or Erykah Badu will soften the space.  To encourage a more lively atmosphere at your Memorial Day soirette, upbeat and kid-friendly artists like Imagine Dragons, P!nk, or Kelly Clarkson may be preferable. Think about what kind of mood you want to set for your guests and let the music work its magic.

Gourmet Grill Master

Bar-b-que food is a staple of Memorial Day traditions, but it doesn’t have to be the same old hot dogs and hamburgers.  If you want some more complex flavors to delight your palate, a personal chef might actually be the grill master you’re looking for. Don’t get stuck behind the grill. Hang out with your guests, enjoy the music, and participate in the fun!  Let your personal chef take care of the menu planning, shopping and cooking.

In Good Company

What matters most, of course, is good company.  Surrounded by friends and family, everyone is sure to make some meaningful Memorial Day memories.  Casual get-togethers like these are also great opportunities to invite people you’d like to get to know better.  If there’s some of your kid’s friends’ parents, newcomers at church, or new neighbors you would like to know, invite them!  Creating a Facebook event is a great way to see who’s interested.  BBQ food can be a good crowd-pleaser, no matter who is invited. 

Skip the beach and campground crowds.  Stay home this year and have a stress-free Memorial Day BBQ in your own backyard.  Kick-back, relax, and enjoy your three day weekend!

4 Ways to Gather with the Gals for Galentine’s Day

Traditional holidays are being reclaimed by those who are tired of the same hum-drum or who simply do not subscribe to the commercialistic chaos which now characterizes many US holidays today. The term “Galentine’s Day” has now replaced the traditional “Valentine’s Day” for women who find much more enjoyment in gathering with their gals rather than face crowded, over-priced restaurants and cheap chocolates with their sweethearts.  Without further adieu, as a homage to sisterhood and solidarity, here are four ways to gather with the gals for Galentine’s Day.

1. Go to the Movies

Meet up with the gals to go see a corny movie!  Let’s face it, most of the movies that come out for Valentine’s Day are super cheesy.  So what?  Make the most of it!  Go make fun of a silly movie and laugh, laugh, laugh with your gal pals. Laughter really is the best medicine. Here’s Fandango’s list of movies coming out on Galentine’s Day.

2. Take a Spa Day

The practice of self-care and self-love are too often neglected.  Multi-task by going to the spa — practice self-care and hang with the gals!  It doesn’t have to break the bank either. Groupon has tons of spa deals.  Take a load off, be with your girls on Galentine’s Day, and treat yo-self.

3. Go Glamping

Speaking of coining words to transform a tradition — glamping is exactly what it sounds like:  Glamorous Camping.  Glamping is the perfect way to gather with your glamorous girlfriends for Galentine’s Day.  Whether you want to stay local or take an unforgettable journey somewhere, you can find your perfect destination using Glamping.com.  Be one with nature and one with your sisters without getting too much dirt in your hair.

4. Have a Fanciful Feast

Obviously you won’t be getting a decent reservation anywhere worth going amidst all the congested couples, but if you hire a private chef you can gather with your gals at home and have a grand ol’ time!  You can confer with your chef about menu options and really personalize your Galentine’s Day experience.

If you’re tired of the boring traditions and over the commercialism, create your own traditions with your gal pals and do something fun and unique!  In the end, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about celebrating love.  Celebrate the love you have for your fellow sisters and have a light-hearted night of fun on Galentine’s Day.

wedding favors

6 Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Love

When it comes to the traditional selection of wedding favors out there, it can be easy to get something too cheesy or unoriginal.  It is important when choosing wedding favors to

  • pick something that will bring your guests a pleasant memory of your special day,
  • pick something they aren’t just going to throw away, and
  • pick something elegant that exudes class.

Here are six wedding favors that embody all of those qualities.

Eat, Drink, & Be Married

Personalized wine glasses, champagne flutes, and beer glasses – there’s a container to satisfy every guest! You can get inexpensive personalized beverage glasses at Cheap Favor Shop.  This gift is certainly useful and when your guests see the elegant inscription, they’ll have lovely memories to match for years to come.

Spread the Joy

What is more adorable than a tiny jam or honey jar?  With a personalized sticker on it with a phrase along the lines of “Spread the Love” or “Meant to Bee,” it’s impossible not to smile at these little guys.  Whether your guests use it to spread some jam on their toast the next morning or to have a little honey with their tea, these cuties will give them sweet memories of attending your elegant affair.

Love Starting to Grow

If you don’t want to pay extra of personalization, a super simple gift is tiny succulents or bags of seeds.  You can find small, two-inch assorted succulents in sets of twenty at Urban Outfitters.  Or, you can go to Home Depot to get an assortment of flower seeds, put them in separate envelopes, and write something such as “Let Love Grow” on the outside.  This would be a great task for a bridesmaid!

Brew up a Good Time

Similar to the seeds idea, you could also have a bridesmaid pick up a big pack of coffee beans at Costco, separate them into envelopes (enough for one cup of coffee each), and write something to the effect of “Love is Brewing” on the outside.  This wedding favor is a useful and unique gift for your adoring guests!

A Novel Idea

As an extremely cost-effective wedding favor, have everybody in your wedding party donate any books they’re no longer reading. Each guest can grab a book on their way out.  If you don’t end up with enough books, have a member or two of the wedding party scout used books at dollar bookstores or on Amazon.  On top of the book library, you could have a banner letting guests know to grab one on their way out maybe saying something like “Our Chapter is Just Beginning.”  For the couple who is into reading, or for a smaller budget wedding, a book library is a lovely wedding favor.

Infused with Love

Infused olive oil is a gift everyone can use.  All you need is some tiny, one to two-inch glass containers, some fresh herbs, and some olive oil.  Put the oil in the containers with the herbs and viola! An elegant wedding favor is born.

There are six wedding favors that are useful, elegant, and unique!  Each one can also be personalized or tweaked to fit the theme of your wedding.  No matter what your guests leave with, their memories of your special day are sure to be sweet.

personal chef Thanksgiving

How to Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Gathering at Home

With the whirlwind of the holidays, it’s not always everyone’s favorite time of year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a stressful time for folks.  The last two months of the year are nothing short of busy, but here are some ideas to make your Thanksgiving or “friendsgiving” gathering stress-free.

A Time for Relaxation

The Game

Thanksgiving is a time for family love, turkey love, and the love of the game.  There’s nothing more American than watching football and eating turkey with your family on Thanksgiving.  Even though I’m not a year ‘round football fan myself, the sounds of football on in the background is a Thanksgiving tradition that immediately sparks my soul with nostalgia.  Plus, the commercials are just as entertaining as the game itself!  Relaxing with the game on is a definite must for a true, stress-free Thanksgiving gathering.

The Parade

For any non-football lovers in the family, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is always a sure hit.  If you can’t be at the parade in person, you’ll definitely want to watch the giant floats and awesome performances from the comforts of your home.  You can learn about the history of the famous annual parade on the parade’s website.

Charlie Brown

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is another Thanksgiving classic that puts me right in the autumn spirit.  This is usually an after dinner, pumpkin pie a-la-mode activity at our Thanksgivings.  If you don’t already own it, you can buy it on Amazon and get free two-day shipping if you have Amazon Prime.  At the end of a warm, cozy meal there’s nothing better than snuggling up with the kids in the family and sleeping off the turkey with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving lullaby.

Let’s Play

Board Games

Watching football and a parade on TV is not always sure to keep the kiddo’s entertained for long.  Having board games on hand is a great way to bond with the whole family on this day of gratitude.  Even if there are no kids at your family gathering or friendsgiving, board games bring folks together.  If there are new people at your gathering this year, board games are a great way to bond and get to know them.  If you’re looking for new games to bring out during your Thanksgiving gathering, Barnes & Noble has a brilliant assortment of new and classic games.

Outdoor Games

When people start getting restless watching football, playing your own game of touch-football is sure to make amazing memories.  If the weather permits, touch-football is a great way to get everybody up and connecting.  Whether your gathering has athletes or folks who prefer not to keep score, outdoor games get the good vibes going.  Getting outside is one part of the recipe to a stress-free Thanksgiving.

Crafts

Having a little craft station set up somewhere is always a hit with kids.  Whether they have pumpkins to paint, paper to print on, or masks to make, crafts can keep kids creating for hours.  If they seem really into it, you could even make an event about everybody showing off what they made after dinner!

The Main Event

Dinner

With all the fun relaxing and playing with your family, it seems like a shame to step away from all of that rare time together to make dinner.  When you hire a personal chef for Thanksgiving, you don’t have to.  Relax, play, and bond with your loved ones at your stress-free Thanksgiving gathering.  Let your personal chef from Hello Cheffy serve you all that warm comfort food.

Gratitude

In the end, Thanksgiving is a day for gratitude.  Going around the table and sharing what you are thankful for while enjoying a gourmet meal prepared by your personal chef will bring lasting memories.  When you share out loud what you’re grateful for, it truly echoes in your heart any and all abundance you have in your life.  It is important to consciously recognize that if not every day, then at least once a year.

Now that you’re filled with inspiration and resources, go have an amazing, stress-free Thanksgiving!  Whether you’re gathering with your family for a traditional Thanksgiving or your chosen family for a friendsgiving, remembering all that you’re grateful for is what will make this holiday a nostalgic one.

Personal chef cost

How Much Does a Personal Chef Cost?

If you are curious about hiring a Personal Chef but not sure if you can afford it, Hello Cheffy has your back.  We broke down the details of what exactly you’re getting when you hire a chef. Below we outline elements of a typical Personal Chef cost.

What is a Personal Chef?

Although the terms “Personal Chef” and “Private Chef” are often used interchangeably, they are actually distinctly different.

A Personal Chef may be hired for special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, or bachelor/bachelorette parties.  A Personal Chef can also be used for short term and long term assignments.  For instance, a family may not have time to do their own grocery shopping or cooking with the arrival of a new baby or when the a household member is recovering from surgery.  In this case, they hire a Personal Chef for a short term assignment.  A Personal Chef may also be hired for ongoing service.  Busy families, senior citizens, and folks with special dietary restrictions are likely to need a chef for long term assignments.  Personal Chefs are often paid a fee for service.  They can be hired through Hello Cheffy for special events or temporary assignments. 

Conversely, a Private Chef is typically hired to come to a family’s home and cook meals on a regular basis.  Private Chefs are normally employed by their client on a part-time or full-time basis and are often paid a fixed salary.

How Much Does a Personal Chef Cost?

The cost of personal chef services depends on a few factors.  Prices can be made:

  • per meal or per person (with kids usually at a lower price) and/or
  • at an hourly, monthly or event rate 

Keep in mind that for certain holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day–chefs are in higher demand.  Prices may be higher during these peak seasons.

The distance a chef is required to travel as well as the chef’s experience level are also factors affecting the Personal Chef cost.  Included in the cost of your Personal Chef is:

  • meal planning,
  • grocery shopping,
  • prepping,
  • cooking, and
  • serving, if needed

Hiring a chef is as affordable as dining out. Fees are generally similar to restaurant prices with a few noted benefits:

  • personalized service,
  • service in the comfort of your own home (or venue of your choosing), and
  • no markup for alcohol because you’re able to bring your own!

What Does Hello Cheffy Do?

Hello Cheffy connects you with a chef from an extensive network of Personal Chefs who provide services for special events and short-term assignments. You are even able to calculate a minimum budget on our request page to estimate the cost of an event.  The Personal Chef you select will create a custom menu for you and your guests, based on the quote details you provide.

Now that you know what’s included in the cost of a Personal Chef and what factors to consider, you can give us your event details, select your chef, and enjoy your restaurant-quality meal made at home!  Hello Cheffy has your back.

Visiting Disneyland

Visiting Disneyland – What’s Worth-it and What’s Not

Congratulations on planning your Disney adventure!  You are about to have the time of your life.  With so much to see and do, make sure you see and do the best things when visiting Disneyland.  Here’s some tips to help you squeeze the most happiness out of the happiest place on earth.

Totally Worth-It

California Adventure
If you’re debating on whether the park-hopper pass is worth the money when visiting Disneyland, the debate ends here.  Do it!  While Disneyland has been the classic, time-honored park since 1955, Disney does not make mistakes creating an experience.  They have done an amazing job on the California Adventure park.  California Adventure has perks Disneyland simply doesn’t offer:

  • California Screamin’ – An actual upside down roller coaster which is not available at Disneyland.
  • Alcohol – Disneyland does not have any alcohol available at the restaurants.  Don’t worry, California Adventure has your back.
  • Hyperion Theatre – A show unlike any other, you can watch a full production LIVE musical of Frozen in the beautiful Hyperion Theatre.
  • Food & Wine Festival – California Adventure also offers their annual Food & Wine Festival with wine tastings and unique food options.

Buy the park-hopper pass.  You won’t regret it.

Grand Californian Hotel
Being one of the three Disneyland resort hotels, this is definitely one of the more expensive places to stay when visiting Disneyland.  However, it is worth the cost.  The Grand Californian Hotel offers all the perks of any of the Disneyland resort hotels:

  • Magic hour – Every guest at the Disneyland resort hotels gets to enter the parks one hour earlier than everyone else.
  • Themed rooms – Each room is unique at all the resort hotels giving your family a personalized experience.  Plus if you let them know ahead of time you’re coming for a special occasion, the staff will decorate the room to suit the occasion.
  • Beyond room service – Any of your souvenir purchases in the parks or in Downtown Disney can be delivered directly to your hotel room so you don’t have to carry them around the park.

All of those benefits are amazing, but when choosing a resort hotel, there is no contest of beauty against the Grand Californian.  Modeled after the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite, the Grand Californian has a truly “grand” design.  With its rustic mountain feel, the Grand Californian’s architecture and design will win you over making this expense totally worth-it.

Mickey’s Halloween Party
If you’re visiting the happiest place on earth during the spookiest time of year, you’re in luck!  Mickey’s Halloween party does cost extra, but you’ll have so much fun you will definitely want to attend.  Disney does nothing dull.  This freaky festivity will blow you away with special music, decor, and activities:

  • Costumes – Normally Disney’s general rule is that no adults are allowed in costume, but the whole family can dress up for this one!
  • Candy – There are booths all around the park for trick-or-treaters to get their treats.
  • Special Events – There is a special Halloween-themed parade just for party-goers as well as a Halloween-themed  fireworks show and other various special events.

This event is becoming more popular every year, so make sure to get your tickets in advance.  It’s worth the money just to see everyone’s creative costumes!

Not Worth-It

Tiki Room
There always seems to be a line for the tiki room and it is simply not worth the wait.  If you want to see the show, go for it, but if there is a line just avoid it all together.  The Pineapple Dole Whip right next door, however, definitely worth standing in line for!

Parades
If you have kids and they really want to see a parade while visiting Disneyland, go see the Main Street parade.  That said, the parade is okay, but short lines are better.  While everyone is waiting hours for the parade to start, go on some rides!  Also, stay away from Main Street at this time.  With a lot of the pathways blocked off, it is very difficult to get anywhere quickly via Main Street.

Paying for Pictures
There are Disney photographers all over who will try to convince you it’s worth it to pay for a professional picture of you and your family – it’s not.  You probably have a camera phone.  Even though the quality won’t be as nice on your phone, the cost does not outweigh the quality.  If you really want a professional picture while visiting Disneyland, go for the pictures that are taken while rides are “in flight”.  If your family took a truly priceless ride pic that you can’t live without, maybe it’ll be worth it to you.  But, as a general rule, don’t pay for the pictures!

There you go, a comprehensive list of what is and is not worth-it when visiting Disneyland.  Have fun on your Disney Adventure, and remember, “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney

Visit Palm Springs

Palm Springs Vacation – A Unique Desert Getaway

Palm Springs is a must-see city with tons of ways to keep you and your loved ones busy.  With plenty to do during all seasons, you can truly have a unique experience any time of year.  Below are just some of the ways to enjoy your desert adventure.

Aerial Tramway

There is no way to beat the breathtaking views than when embarking on this journey thousands of feet above the ground.  Palm Springs’ famous Aerial Tramway takes passengers on a 2.5 mile, 10 minute trip with stunning panoramic views.  The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was completed in 1963 and underwent a modernization in 2000 to accommodate a unique rotating tram car design.  If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience on your Palm Springs vacation, the Aerial Tramway is sure to deliver.

Art Museum

Palm Springs doesn’t stop with its uniquely designed experiences and the Palm Springs Art Museum is no exception.  With diverse exhibitions, tours, workshops, lectures, and education programs, the PSAM has something to do for all ages and interests.  What makes this museum stand out, however, is the Annenberg Theatre built right into the museum itself.  Various film screenings and performances happen every month making this a must-see attraction on your Palm Springs Vacation.

Windmill Tour

Have you ever wondered how energy is converted from wind?  You can find out how the impressive windmills on the hillsides of Palm Springs use wind energy as a sustainable resource on the windmill tour.  You’ll travel on a tour bus to see beautiful desert views and, of course, those magnificent windmills while learning all about renewable energy.  Private tours are also available.

Living Social

If you’re still unsure about what to do on your Palm Springs vacation, check out deals on sites like Living Social.  Choose from a variety of discounted experiences such as luxury spa services, tours, and fitness classes.  If you need something to do on your vacation, there is no shortage of fun on Living Social.

Whether you want an action-packed, adventurous vacation or a kick-back, relaxing vacation Palm Springs has something for you.  What will you do on your unique desert getaway?

Halloween party

Halloween Party Planning for the Party Monster in You

That time of the year is finally here – pumpkin spice themed drinks, sweaters and scarves, cool weather – fall is here!  ‘Tis the season for butternut squash soup, hot buttered rum, and yes, Halloween parties! Everyone is pumped for pumpkin season. Here are some tips for your ghoulish gathering this year.

Get Creative with Theatrical Themes

It may seem like a Halloween party theme is obvious, but there is so much room for creativity!  There are, of course, certain obvious and kid-friendly options such as a Harvest Festival or Nightmare Before Christmas.  These types of Halloween parties are a blast and have so many creative possibilities.  If you’re a more die-hard day of the dead fan, you could base you party off of a more adult movie such as The Shining or Carrie.  However, a Halloween party can really hop with interactive themes such as Murder Mystery or Haunted House.  Theme possibilities are abundant and Pinterest has the motherload!

Enjoy Festive Food

After choosing a festive theme for your Halloween party, you may be wondering what wicked food will match it.  Search no further than your party’s very own private chef.  When you hire a chef using Hello Cheffy, you can discuss a menu sure to make all your party monsters mad with merriment.  Plan everything with your chef from eerie appetizers to devilish desserts – even some creepy cocktails!  The possibilities are endless with a private chef.

Use Décor to Die For

Of course your décor depends on your theme, but once you’ve chosen a theme for your Halloween party, head on over to your favorite discount store!  Pinterest is often the #1 go-to for any DIY party décor.  If you’re not feeling very do-it-yourselfy, places like World Market and Target definitely have your back. World Market always has unique décor for any occasion, especially holidays. Target also has amazing décor and can sometimes surprise you with the treasures to be found in their dollar section!

Whatever your Hallow’s Eve theme, there is food and décor to match.  Now you’re equipped with inspiration!  Stay spooky, party monsters.