Monthly Archives: January 2015

Party Checklist

Five Steps to Planning a Football Party

Are you planning to host a party for the Big Game?  If so, take a look at our five steps and printable checklists to help you plan a great party.

Step 1:  Determine the Time and Location of the Party

The kickoff to the Big Game traditionally starts at 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on the first Sunday in February.  Since the date of the event has already been set, you just need to determine the start time and location of the party.  Five o’clock or five-thirty is a reasonable time.  You’ll want guests to arrive well before the kickoff, so they have time to settle in without missing any of the game.

Step 2:  Plan the menu

Some traditional foods include grinders, sandwiches, hot dogs, and chicken wings.  Not sure what to serve?  Click here for more football food ideas.

Are you ready to plan your menu?  We’ve included a printable menu for you to fill out for your party:

Party Menu - Blank Printable

Party Menu – Blank Printable

Step 3:  Invite Guests and track RSVPs

Use our guest tracker to make sure you’ve included everyone. Be sure to keep a phone number or email address handy, in case you need to contact them.

Guest Tracker

Guest Tracker

Some guests may to offer to bring a dish. You can ask guests to bring something from your menu, or just add their additional dish to your planner. We usually add their dish to our Menu, and write their name in parenthesis.

For example:  Veggie Tray (Jim and Tammy)   Brownies (Sam and Meg)

Step 4:  Clean home and set up for party

Do as much cleaning as you can ahead of time. It’s great if you can vacuum, dust, mop the floors, and finish your laundry a few days earlier.

You’ll want to reserve the 1-2 days before the party to complete your grocery shopping, and prepare the food.

Step 5:  Shop for supplies

If it’s a large party, consider using paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic utensils. If you’re using the grill, be sure to stock up on grilling supplies like wood or charcoal. For the Big Game, football decorations are in order.  Consider balloons, along with party supplies (plates and napkins) with your team colors.

Plan to do your grocery shopping one to two days before the event, and purchase your ice the day of the party.

Step-By-Step Party Checklist

Here’s a step-by-step party checklist for you to print:

Party Checklist

Party Checklist

Enjoy the game!

You may find the following articles from our website helpful:

Football Food Ideas

Grocery Shopping List by Department

Cleaning Up After a Dinner Party

The Party is Over and It’s Time to Assess


How to Organize and Display Your Science Fair Project

How to Organize and Display Your Science Fair Project

Part of running a household involves helping the kids with their homework and school assignments.  We recently pulled together a project for a first grade science fair.  Here are the details on how we gathered the information and organized the project.

How to Organize and Display Your Science Fair Project

Finding a topic for a science fair

We really thought it was important to let our child take the lead on the topic.  It needed to be something he was interested in, and wanted to learn more about.

Our dog was recently sprayed by a skunk, and ever since then, our son has been fascinated by skunks.  We took this opportunity to work with him to learn more about skunks, and document his findings.

Researching a topic for a science fair

There were several resources which we found helpful when researching skunks:

Library books – We read several books from the library.  Each one gave us interesting information.

Websites: We played it safe, and stuck with National Geographic for Kids.  We also found some helpful information at the San Diego Zoo website.

Videos: We actually found several videos on YouTube which showed rabid skunks.

Documenting information for science fair

Did you know there is a specific format to document your research and findings for a science fair?  We followed the steps outlined on

Since our son was only in first grade, we simplified some of the sections.  We followed the general format for reporting.  We drafted the information by talking with our son, and writing down what he said.  Then we put the information into a Powerpoint presentation with pictures.

To see our presentation slides, click on the link below:

Skunks Science Fair Project

Science Fair – Skunks


Organizing a display for a science fair

We opted to use the following materials to explain our research:

  1. Powerpoint Slides
  2. Display Board: We printed the slides, and glued them to the 36×48 Elmer’s Tri-Fold Display Board. We opted for this size because it could display all of our information. It was also manageable to carry in to school on the day of the project.
  3. Fiskars Tape Runner: The extra sticky glue stick did not seem to hold our paper to the display board.  Since we do a lot of scrapbooking, we opted to use our Fiskars Tape Runner.  It is a small orange tool that holds double-sided tape.  It worked like a charm, and held the paper in place.
  4. Model clay: We demonstrated the difference between a healthy skunk and a skunk with rabies. We used simple black and white model clay from Crayola, which we purchased at Michael’s craft store.

Pictures from our science fair

The final display board was set up on a table at the science fair.

Science Fair Display Skunks

Here’s a close up of our clay skunks on display at the science fair.  Can you spot the differences?

The skunk on the left is rabid.  It’s tail is down, it’s fur looks wrangled and it looks sick.

The skunk on the right is healthy.  It’s tail is up, and it looks healthy.

Science Fair Clay Skunks

Next Steps

For more ideas about science fairs, as well as Running A Household, be sure to follow us on Pinterest:  Click here

You may also enjoy the following articles from our website:

how to organize crayons

How to organize crayons

how to organize markers

How to organize markers

how to organize child's desk

Organizing A Child’s Desk

Need more organizing ideas?  Check out: Toolbox: Organization

Happy Organizing!

Gift and Thank You Note Tracker

You’re engaged! What’s next?

Did you just get engaged?  If so, congratulations are in order!  Once the initial excitement settles down, there are a few things you’ll want to do.

Share the News with Family and Friends

At first you’ll want to share this news with your friends and family.  Some may simply offer their congratulations, while others may give you a small gift.

Engagement Gift Ideas

Some of your close friends and family may want to give you a small gift.  If they ask what you need, here are a few ideas:

  • Wedding planner / binder with checklists
  • Subscription to a bridal magazine
  • Small memento (precious moments, paperweight)
  • Gift card to a restaurant (to celebrate the engagement or for those busy days planning the wedding)

Send Thank You Notes for Gifts

Be sure to send a prompt thank you note to each person.  To track your engagement gifts, we’ve provided Gift and Thank You Note Trackers.

Gift and Thank You Note Tracker

There are two options, and both offer a way to track the name, gift, and thank you card.  Just click on the link and print.

Option 1: Gift and Thank You Note Tracker

Gift and Thank You Note Tracker

Gift and Thank You Note Tracker

Option 2: Gift and Thank You Note Tracker with Address:

Gift and Thank You Note Tracker with Address

 Gift and Thank You Note Tracker with Address

Introduce the families

If your families haven’t met, you’ll want to schedule a lunch or dinner.  This is a great opportunity for the parents of the future bride and groom to meet.

Start Planning Your Wedding

Whether it’s looking through bridal magazines, looking a wedding websites or getting ideas on Pinterest, you’ll want to start getting things in order.  Think about:

  • setting a date
  • locating a reception hall
  • selecting your dress and
  • choosing your wedding party.

Next Steps

Be sure to print our simple wedding checklist, found in the following article:

There’s a wedding coming up!

For more wedding ideas, be sure to follow us on Pinterest:  Click here