Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tips from Colin Cowie | Plan the perfect holiday soiree

As the holidays are inching closer, the anticipation of those final days of the semester is kicking in and you can’t help but look forward to the freedom of enjoying a stress-free break from school – not to mention sugar cookies and eggnog. It’s almost time for the season of festive celebrations, but with all the parties, people and delicious food comes a lot of planning. Although it may seem a bit overwhelming sometimes, don’t worry; all you need are some simple ideas and the energy to make it happen.

Colin Cowie, celebrity party planner extraordinaire, was in town a couple weeks ago and I was able to attend a special event at The Thompson Hotel, where he gave a suite a festive makeover and welcomed us with food, drinks, and tips for our own holiday soirees.  

Here is some of his awesome advice:
Music – Make a playlist of 80-85% of your favourite, non-Christmas songs, and then take 15-20% of your best Christmas songs and fit them in between.I think when you listen to holiday music all the time, you want to treat yourself.”

Food – “When it comes to what we eat, what we taste, no one has the time today to start cooking things by yourself.” Use store-bought gourmet food that you can put out for your guests. If you don’t have a lot of room, a great way to save space is by making a big dish, such as a turkey stew, and place coffee cups around it so the guests can help themselves. “That way, you don’t have to have a plate and a fork and a spoon for everyone, because sometimes when you’re young, you don’t exactly have a big two-bedroom apartment, you might be in studio.”

Décor – Start from the front door and work your way throughout the rest of the house. Choose a theme and stick with it. Mixed metals are popular this season, bringing together silvers, sparkles and even mirror panels. Red and gold are also perfect colours to incorporate into everything, from the invitations to decorations. “Dream with one big idea.”

Smell – “There is no such thing as too many candles.” Avoid placing fragrances near the food by spreading them throughout other areas of the house. Small candles also make great stocking stuffers that are easy to personalize. Colin suggests the limited edition Febreze Cranberries & Frost scented candles, that you can write someone’s name on and wrap as thoughtful party favours.

Colin’s Golden Rule – “Do as much as you can in advance. There’s nothing fun about running around when your guests arrive, thinking you’re left behind. Do it all the night before so it allows you to be a gracious host. Twenty minutes before your guests come, go put on a fresh outfit, lipstick, throw on a pair of heels, take 10 deep breaths and go enjoy yourself.”

Colin is such a charming man; he's classy, friendly and has a great eye for creating the perfect atmosphere for a fantastic party.

We even got to go home with gifts! Hooray for cleaning supplies (these are actually so handy).

I was definitely inspired after meeting Colin and seeing his beautiful holiday decorations!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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