Tag Archives: Liberian Blogger

Throw The Most Epic Christmas Party!

The ultimate guide to throwing an EPIC Christmas party

black-woman-holiday-party-

This is the time of year when we deck the halls, put up a tree, climb up in the attic or garage and bring out the ornaments and get everything ready for the holidays. This is also the time when everyone you know has a Christmas party and they all decide to hold them on the same night!

Come to think of it, a mobile app that shows when all of your friends are thinking about having a party so that you could schedule YOUR party some other time, would be a great new product. I’ll get on that just as soon as this blog is posted.

Have you ever noticed that some holiday parties are way more fun than others? Why? It’s really pretty simple. Some people are better at entertaining than others. They think creatively about the party experience. Conversely, some people are better at being entertained than others.

If you’re not that great at giving parties, there’s still hope. Like most things in life, all it takes is a good plan and the determination to execute it. Here are some ideas on ways to throw a better Christmas party.

First of all draw up a budget!
December is an expensive month. No-one wants to be broke before they pay bills, do the monthly food shop and buy presents for their loved ones, so know what you can afford and cut your coat according to your size.

throw-a-great-holiday-party-no-matter-the-size-of-your-home_1150_539777_0_14095808_500

Decide on the venue
You have to consider where you’d like to host the party, in my opinion the home, is more intimate. A Christmas party is a good opportunity to get people to know you better and what better way than to invite them into your personal space! There’s also something really warm about inviting people to your home.

christmas p a

Guest size/guest list:
After you have decided on the venue you have to consider the capacity and the number of guests. Make sure you don’t invite more people than the space can accommodate. This brings me to your guest list. Now you don’t want “drama” at your party if it is an intimate affair so make sure you invite people that like each other; family, close friends and their dates or spouses.

On the flipside, if you are having a jump-off then the more the merrier, invite everyone you know: Friends, co-workers, your BBM contact list, you decide…once that is clear the list becomes easy.

Personally, we never exclude the children from our gatherings with friends, especially at Christmas, but if you prefer not to, specify on the invitation that it is for adults only. This will give everyone enough time to counsel their nannies or organise the kids to be dropped off at grandma’s.

Alternatively, you could hire an entertainer for the day to take care of all the kids that attend. Again if your budget will not stretch that far then engage them with face painting, a Christmas raffle draw, musical chairs, and a dancing competition. Kids are really easy to please, and your friends will thank you for being so thoughtful.

Elegant  holiday table setting with red ribboned gift

Theme/décor:
There is so much inspiration at this time of the year. There are loads of Christmas decorations and accessories out there, and it’s easy to go to the stores and get what you need. But feel free to hire a decorator if you need help.

Set up the table and decorate a day in advance. This will give you time to purchase whatever is missing to make your table and rooms look beautiful. Leave glasses until the last minute so they don’t gather lint and dust particles overnight. After setting the table, check around to make sure everything is clean especially in the areas where guests will be mingling.

Don’t forget to spray your house with insecticide, nobody wants to be having dinner and also serve their ankles as dinner to a swarm of hungry mosquito’s who have strategically positioned themselves under the dining table.

Having the right look for the house is important in order to get your guests in the mood to be merry. While it’s not necessary to transform your home into a winter wonderland, tasteful Christmas decorations on a real tree will go a long way towards building ambiance. You don’t need a full-sized train that runs through the house carrying guests from room-to-room, but any cool, old toys add to the feeling of Christmas.

A few years ago, as couple that were known to give the best parties invited us for the Christmas shindig and they did a couple of things that were very cool. First, they had the classic black and white movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (with the volume down) running on their big screen TV in one room and “A Christmas Carol” (again, volume down) running on another TV. This was an immediate conversation starter because everyone has a story associated with either these stories or Christmases that they have had in the past.

The other thing they did was tie their party to a kid’s charity. Every guest was asked to bring an unwrapped gift for a specific age range of kids and all of these gifts were taken to the charity for kids that would have otherwise not had a great Christmas. Having all of these toys sitting under the tree was a very cool effect for the party.

christmas party

Save the date/ Invitation
Invite guests in advance. There’ll be lots of parties around this time, the Christmas engagement calendar fills up fast and you want to get your party on the roster. Send the ‘save the date’ well in advance so your party takes priority.

Africans by nature do not RSVP, so if everyone hasn’t responded a week from the date, contact them with a quick message. Make sure you prepare a few extras as people tend to bring friends along sometimes and if you’d rather they didn’t, please indicate it in the invitation in the best possible polite way. For sit-down formal dinners, having an accurate head count is necessary to be sure there is enough seating for everyone.

christmas party food

Catering:
Decide what kind of meal and the style of service, is it buffet? Sit down meal? Whatever you decide you have to plan for it in advance. Your budget will determine whether to cook or cater. Feel free to hire a catering company or get a friend or family member if you feel you need help with the cooking. Some people work till the last days of the holidays and may not have time to shop or cook, or let’s face it; you may not necessarily be able to cook everything on your menu, so get real!

If you chose to do the cooking yourself make sure you plan your menu in advance so when your guests arrive, everything is set. Keep the menu simple and opt for a buffet presentation instead of table service, allowing guests to “help” you this way.

To make your life simpler and make your guests comfortable, prepare a table with a beautiful tray with glasses, napkins and the drinks you’ll be serving. Serve your guests’ first glass to welcome them and let them know they can help themselves at any time.

screen-shot-2014-12-08-at-8-37-16-am

 

Fun

More often than not, Christmas parties are just “meet and greet” events with very little fun. Think about the birthday parties you went to as a kid. Would any mom or dad in their right mind throw a birthday party without planning some fun stuff to do? Of course not. OK, here are three ideas to get your holiday party started.

#1 Hire a Santa with a BIG personality. Encourage your guests to sit on his knee and tell him (a) if they’ve been naughty or nice (have him insist that they tell him why), (b) what they want for Christmas this year and why. Be sure that there is a microphone nearby so that everyone can hear everything that’s being said and set up a video camera on a tripod to tape every encounter. Then post the best of these videos on your Facebook page for all your friends to remember the party. Not surprisingly, the comments are often outrageous and always hysterical and they get better as the hour gets later!

#2 Have a contest for the ugliest Christmas sweater, tie or other apparel and be sure to include reference to the contest on the invitation. This will ensure that you will have plenty of contestants because everyone has a tasteless, but FESTIVE sweater, tie or shirt. This will also provide some great Facebook postings after the party.

#3 Give every guest their own stocking stuffed with party favors as they are leaving the party. You can find inexpensive Christmas stockings at any party store and the goodies can be anything from fruit, candy, little toys, pocketknives for the guys and diaries for the girls.

Holiday parties can be a blast and with digital cameras, the fun can keep going for days on your social networks. Let us know if you used any of these ideas and how your guests responded.

Ice breakers
Introduce your guests when they arrive, especially if you feel they don’t know each other “Shade meet Ngozi, you remember when you said you needed someone to bake your daughter’s cake? She bakes delicious cakes!” That usually helps to break the ice and encourages your shy guests to mingle.

Finally, get yourself ready a good hour before your guests are set to arrive. The last thing you want after so much preparation is to look stressed out when welcoming your friends and colleagues in.

Make sure you check your restroom and include a small candle or flower arrangement in there. Place a small basket with items that guest may need  – from personal care to over-the-counter pain relievers.

A Christmas party is a nice way to relax with family and friends you don’t see much of during the year. Everyone has a chance to show off their best holiday clothes and share good laughs.

Have fun, take lots of pictures, and enjoy the party!

Advertisements

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Pens Letter About Ebola Epidemic

Her excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  speaks out

download (11)

Ebola has become a huge disaster in West Africa especially in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The Ebola epidemic has is thought to have begun in Guinea and quickly spread to the neighboring Liberia in February. Since February thousands have died and many blame slow response of the Liberian government to the rapid spread of this horrible disease.At least a good 6 months went by while people in the poorer parts of Liberia died of this frightening disease, nothing was done by the government to eradicate the disease. Once Ebola hit the nation’s capital, Monrovia the disease spread like wild fire this is when serious action was taken by the Liberian government. Her excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf decided to pen a letter concerning her efforts in eradicating Ebola and bringing about a better Liberia. Her letter is as follows:

Dear World,

In just over six months, Ebola has managed to bring my country to a standstill. We have lost over 2,000 Liberians. Some are children struck down in the prime of their youth. Some were fathers, mothers, brothers or best friends. Many were brave health workers that risked their lives to save others, or simply offer victims comfort in their final moments.
There is no coincidence Ebola has taken hold in three fragile states – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – all battling to overcome the effects of interconnected wars. In Liberia, our civil war ended only eleven years ago. It destroyed our public infrastructure, crushed our economy and led to an exodus of educated professionals. A country that had some 3,000 qualified doctors at the start of the war was dependent by its end on barely three dozen. In the last few years, Liberia was bouncing back. We realized there was a long way to go, but the future was looking bright.

Now Ebola threatens to erase that hard work. Our economy was set to be larger and stronger this year, offering more jobs to Liberians and raising living standards. Ebola is not just a health crisis – across West Africa, a generation of young people risk being lost to an economic catastrophe as harvests are missed, markets are shut and borders are closed.

The virus has been able to spread so rapidly because of the insufficient strength of the emergency, medical and military services that remain under-resourced and without the preparedness to confront such a challenge. This would have been the case whether the confrontation was with Ebola, another infectious disease, or a natural disaster.

But one thing is clear. This is a fight in which the whole world has a stake. This disease respects no borders. The damage it is causing in West Africa, whether in public health, the economy or within communities – is already reverberating throughout the region and across the world. The international reaction to this crisis was initially inconsistent and lacking in clear direction or urgency. Now, finally, the world has woken up. The community of nations has realized they cannot simply pull up the drawbridge and wish this situation away.

This fight requires a commitment from every nation that has the capacity to help – whether that is with emergency funds, medical supplies or clinical expertise. I have every faith in our resilience as Liberians, and our capacity as global citizens, to face down this disease, beat it and rebuild. History has shown that when a people are at their darkest hour, humanity has an enviable ability to act with bravery, compassion and selflessness for the benefit of those most in need.

From governments to international organisations, financial institutions to NGOs, politicians to ordinary people on the street in any corner of the world, we all have a stake in the battle against Ebola. It is the duty of all of us, as global citizens, to send a message that we will not leave millions of West Africans to fend for themselves against an enemy that they do not know, and against whom they have littledefence.

The time for talking or theorizing is over. Only concerted action will save my country, and our neighbours, from experiencing another national tragedy. The words of Henrik Ibsen have never been truer: “A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.”

Yours sincerely,
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

sirleaf

 

What are your thoughts?

Real Housewives Of Atlanta Supertrailer

Finally the Drama Begins

real-housewives-of-atlanta-season-7-cast

 

Looks like RHOA fans have a lot of shennanigans to look forward to as Bravo premieres the Atlanta franchises 7th season. Kenya is still playing “messy boots” and a new player , Claudia Jordan is introduced to the game. Ms. Porsha Williams has also been demoted as a “friend” and is no longer a housewife although she will make frequent appearances throughout the season. Porsha claims she was blind sighted by the change and released a statement saying:

“This is not an easy time for me right now, but I want let everyone to know that I loved being a ‘Housewife’ on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and I am thankful for Bravo for the opportunity but it’s not goodbye, you will see me on the show throughout the season sharing and bonding with the other women and I promise to stay connected with my fans as I start an exciting new time in my life.

After a long season of filming, and giving my all, I was blindsided by the announcement from the network that I was demoted from ‘Housewife Status,’ but would remain on the show in a ‘Friend’ capacity.

Unfortunately, I can only be PORSHA, and portraying anything else, would not be genuine nor honest. This moment is bittersweet, but God has been so amazing to me, and I think this is a perfect time for me to spread my wings, and finally focus on all of my upcoming projects.

In addition to having my recurring role on RHOA, I will be able to focus my attention on my career as an Entertainment Correspondent on DISH NATION on the Fox Network, recording my album, building my businesses, and taking baby steps towards nurturing my relationship with my new love!!!

This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and I will be giving my fans & supporters another chance to watch my growth as I take on the world in my own special way very soon!! I am so Thankful for all that #TEAMPORSHA does to keep me INSPIRED every day! Stay Tuned…”

porsha-williams

 

It’s going to be a roller coaster ride watching the changing relationships between cast mates especially Phaedra and Apollo. The show will be premiering on November 9th later on this year. Watch the exciting trailer above.

 

 

Outfit of the Day Featuring Balmain Embellished Leopard-Print Calf Hair and Leather Mini Skirt

Olivier Rousteing is a fashion genius!

Outfit of the day 9.24 tribe appeal

The above look is fun  and flirty with a cool balance. The balmain leopard print calf hair mini skirt is the focal point of this outfit, but paired with a bold orange top makes this ensemble and awesome one. I picked olive green as a contrast to bring the bright orange and leopard print into harmony. Marc Jacobs sunglasses top the look off along with the Burberry purse and JustFab.com heels.

img-thing

Balmain’s Pre-Fall 2014 collection features an embellished leopard print calf hair leather mini skirt that i fell in love with a while ago. The skirt retails for a whopping $10,800. Nicki Minaj can be seen rocking this beautiful piece in her sexy video for her hit single “Anaconda”. Mel B and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley can be seen rocking this vogue skirt below.

Nicki Balmain skirt tribe appeal rosie-huntington-whiteley-at-met-gala-2014-balmain-leopard-in-new-york_1  Olivier+Rousteing+Red+Carpet+Arrivals+Met+Ajzxrgno96slBalmain-Embellished-Leopard-Print-Calf-Hair-and-Leather-Mini-Skirt

Balmain Paris has been causing quite a stir in the fashion industry with the strong support of many celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Naomi Campbell and Nicki Minaj. Balmain’s young creative director, Olivier Rousteing might have a lot to do with Balmain’s growing popularity.

iman-rihanna-naomi-campbell-balmain-2-1542x1009 olivier

Extravagant Life Appeal: Let’s Make Some Liberian Pumpkin Cake!

Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!….

pumpkincake-300x200

This being the first day of Autumn, its only right that we share a recipe using one of Autumn’s staple foods, PUMPKIN! As we get ready to see leaves falling and pumpkins appearing on everyone’s lawns let’s make a great Liberian treat to celebrate the season. For a nice alternative to the usual “pie”, try this great West African recipe from Liberia.

What You Need:
1/2 Cup Butter
1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 Medium Eggs
2 Cups Flour
3 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Can Pumpkin
3/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Tsp Club Soda
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans – optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix pumpkin, club soda, and milk in 3rd bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Then add this mixture to the bowl with the butter, sugar and eggs. Blend well. Add nuts if desired. Pour into 9” X 13” baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Top it with your favorite icing and garnish (if desired). Serves approx. 6-8.

Social Appeal: Samaritan’s Purse Sending Medical Specialists to Liberia to Fight Deadly Ebola Virus

Let’s do what we can!

 

article-2593035-1CB5815900000578-272_634x643

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has taken place in West Africa. In February and March the outbreak surfaced in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone resulting in dozens of deaths in the countries. The  disease seemed to be under control only to come back with a vengeance in early June claiming more lives. Ebola is a highly contagious disease that causes massive internal bleeding and has an extremely high mortality rate of 60-90 percent.

ebola

The Christian relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse is aiding in the fight against Ebola and sending two or possibly more Canadian medical specialists to Liberia. A 14-member Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team of doctors and nurses from North America will be departing for Liberia this week along with the Canadian specialists.This group will provide medical care to those infected with Ebola and distribute protective clothing, medications, medical supplies and equipment.

SP logo   RGB

Donations are needed to continue in the efforts against Ebola in Liberia. If you would like to donate you may call 1-866-663-6500 or visit SamaritansPurse.ca. Prayers are also welcome!