Friday, December 30, 2016

Planning for 2017 Part 1

It is time to look at your 2017 calendar.  That's right, your next event is just around the corner. Whether it is a Queen of Hearts Valentine's party (OH YEAH, we do that!) or your best friend's wedding shower, knowing how much time to give yourself is essential.  So, we have put together a little something to help you with your planning.

Personal Planning

Wedding/Baby Showers, Graduation Parties, and Birthday Parties- We like to know that we have a good 90 days invested into small private parties like these.  If the party will be in your home or a home of someone else, there isn't quite as much planning involved. However, if you will be renting a venue, chairs, linens, etc, you definitely want to give yourself plenty of time to peruse your vendors.  Invitations should be mailed out 3 weeks in advance.  If you want, you can send out a Save the Date notification before you send out the formal invitations.  That gives you time to solidify your venue before committing to the location.

Murder Mystery Dinner Party-So much fun!  These parties are very involved and require a great deal of preparation.  However, there are some great box sets to help you in your planning process.  You an find them online or in most game stores.  If you want your guests to dress up, be sure to give them at least 4 weeks notice.  Give yourself  at least 2 months to be sure that all of your components are accounted for.

Sweet 16, Quinceaera, or Mitzvah -A coming of age party does not have to be the formal affair that we see on MTV.  It can be as easy and laid back as bonfire with s'mores or a red carpet event with your daughter winning the award for sweetest 16.  Whether you want it formal or informal, religious or not, DJ or Spotify, give yourself plenty of time to get all the details organized.  We recommend 4-6 months for a coming of age party. 

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner-Your son is getting married and you know that you will be planning the wedding rehearsal dinner.  While much of the plans rest on the size of the wedding party and your budget, start getting your ducks in a row at least 4-6 months out.  There is a lot to determine; location, type of service offered, menu, time frame, etc.  

Wedding-We all have 3 resources available to us; time, energy, and money.  When planning a wedding, pick two resources to deplete.  If you have all the time in the world then you can expend that and energy, making sure that your budget stays low.  If money is not an issue, then energy can be the thing you save on.  No time?  Then be sure that you have plenty of money and energy.  We really do recommend 12-18 months for your engagement.  Plenty of time means that you can relax a little on money or energy.

Of course, 73-Productions is always here to help.  Visit our website at and let us know how we can help with your next event.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Goodbye October, Hello November!

“Oh, Marilla,” she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill—several thrills? I’m going to decorate my room with them.”

Like my darling Anne Shirley, I too adore October.  One of the main reasons I moved from California was to experience this amazing season called Autumn that was so elusive in SOCAL. While maple boughs are not readily available in Kansas City, I get a thrill-several thrills, from October itself.  I revel in cats and bats, creepy black trees and squawking ravens, costumes and creativity. I love the color the sky becomes at dusk and I even love the wind through my sneezing and wheezing.  I love trick or treating, Halloween parades, and haunted amusement parks. I confess, it is with some heartache that I say “Goodbye” to it all and prepare myself for November.

I do not dislike November.  In fact, it carries with it nostalgia and beauty of its own.  Where October is crisp and bright November glistens in the chill.  November freezes kill off all the little buggies that I hate so much and I say “Salud” to my allergies until April.  I look forward to Daylight Savings in November because the evenings are long and my children don’t stay out so late in the neighborhood.  All our Fall shows have started and the kids fight over what we are watching (Thank you DVR.  We love you).
November 1st, though, means that my Halloween d├ęcor must come down to prepare for Thanksgiving.  My dearest hubby believes, mistakenly, that he will get to use our beautiful dining room table for game nights with the boys.  I think it means that I get to practice my table-scapes for the next holiday.  After all, he has a table in the basement that I promise not to decorate.  I do not, however, make the same declarations over the rest of the basement.  If I clean it, I decorate it. 

As I take out the many, (and I mean MANY) Halloween boxes, pack away the gothic and creepy, and unload the Thanksgiving boxes, I find the November gift I left for myself last year.  It is a set of red and green plates that I got on Black Friday last year at my favorite hobby store.  While shopping with my daughter on Black Friday, I know each year that I must go home and begin the next stage in my Season of Celebration.  It means that my beloved Autumn is going… and…WINTER IS COMING (gratuitous G.O.T. reference for those that got it). Each year, though, I buy myself a gift on Black Friday that is properly marked to be sold immediately!  I wrap it and tuck it away between turkeys and scarecrows in my November box.  Inevitably, I forget all about it for the next year and then November 1st comes around again and there it is with a note that says, “Happy November”.   I cannot remember what I got, but the joy of something new awaits.  In my discovery, I stop looking at what is being put away and what I am saying “goodbye” to, and dream of what I will do next.  Like Anne Shirley, I also believe that “one can dream so much better in a room where there are pretty things.” 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

This is Halloween

"This is Halloween, This is Halloween." Do you recognize the tune? Of course you do! It's a favorite song from one of my favorite movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas. I'm overjoyed that it's almost time to bust out my well loved copy. It's an event for me. I like to watch with my friends and family around me and of course there must be awesomely spooky snacks to share. It's pretty safe to say that I love Halloween.
  Some of my happiest memories from childhood center on this holiday. My parents had me very late in life, so by the time I was old enough to really enjoy trick-or-treating, the job of escorting me all over town was passed on to my older sister, Melba. I'm not sure that she even knows just how much I loved it. I would go along with her and my only slightly younger niece and nephew every year.`It was also Melba who always made sure I had a wicked awesome costume. I remember one year she got us all these fantastic blow-up headpiece things and painted our faces to match. I was a pumpkin. We loved them because that year we could actually breathe! Weren't those plastic, sweat inducing masks terrible? Although, now when I see them in an antique or craft store, I always feel a rush of nostalgia.
 The three of us would dash around our little home town starting around dusk. I can still smell the autumn leaves and hear them crackle under our feet. I close my eyes and see the porch lights come on one by one to light our way .The glow from the candle-lit pumpkins that welcomed us at so many steps is etched in my memory. It was magical. We would bring our loot home at the end of the night, spread it out on the floor between us and let the trading commence.

 Those beautiful family memories are what lie at the heart of my love for Halloween. I admit that as an adult I haven't always given it the attention it deserved. Some years there wasn't even a nod in it's general direction. But I missed it. I missed the pure joy of imagination and creativity, A day when you can be anything your mind can dream up? Come on, that's just too wonderful to ignore! 

  So, imagine my delight when I made a friend whose love for Halloween might even surpass my own. My partner in mystery and mayhem, Noelle, is a true devotee. The fun we've had over the years is probably illegal, or at least frowned upon by polite society. And did I mention the shared love for throwing out-of-this world parties? There have been mad scientist lairs, Dia De Los Muertos grave yards and many a dry ice cocktail. But this year folks, will top the charts. It's an all out Poe party. Think Victorian goth and heart stopping stories read by firelight. I don't want to give too much away, but believe me, it will be the best yet.
  More fun had. More memories made. That sums up the heart of Halloween for us. And truly, the heart of all we do at 73-Productions. We want to share our love of life and celebration with everyone around us. So from our front porch  to yours, Happy Halloween! And if anyone knows where I can find one of those blow up pumpkin heads, please drop me a line!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Creating Memories for our Children

Doctor. Who-lloween party for the Dr. Who 50th Anniversary
When I was in middle school my mom and dad hosted a Halloween party for my friends and I.  Never mind the fact that my youngest brother decided to be Superman and try to fly from our tree,  landing himself in the hospital with a head full of stitches, an hour before people arrived.  Forgetting the fact that the woman my mom asked to chaperone, so she could take my brother to the hospital, was totally drunk upon arrival!  What I remember most are the hours spent, prior to my brother's escapade, to create a spiderweb encompassing the entire two-car garage that my friends would later un-weave to win a prize.

Before the days of Pinterest,  the Internet,  or 73-Productions,  my mom was the Queen of Parties and Holidays.   As a mother myself, I have tried to recreate those memories for my own children.  I will admit that the pull to save time and energy has sometimes left me wanting to spend money on pre-made parties at local designations.  Truth be told,  I have given in more than once.  Let's face it,  I send out the invitations,  people show up,  a party is had,  and I don't have to cook,  clean,  or decorate.   But am I just making it easier on myself or am I trying to keep up with the neighbors and their kids' awesome party to "such and such" location?

We all have 3 resources at our disposal; Time, Energy, or Money.  Typically, one of these is more prominent than the others.  Growing up we didn't have much money, so my parents used their time and energy to create memories for myself and my siblings.  This may have been done out of necessity, but I don't know if my memories of my childhood would be as sweet without those efforts. My memories aren't just allocated to the party itself, but made up of a million different aspects leading up to the day.  The cake my mother made, the pinata we made from chicken wire and papier-mache, or the streamers and balloons that filled the living room. I remember my Monster Mash record playing during the Freeze Dance and the ooh's and ahh's as the garage door was opened to reveal the giant spider (made from trash bags) and spider web (made from rolls and rolls of yarn) in the garage (Boy I wish we had pictures of that!).  Those are the memories that I want to leave my children with.  Will they remember anything beyond the event?  Do they have memories of games and music and decor or just that we went "somewhere" and did "something"?
Gage's 3rd birthday

Chastity and I started 73-Productions because the memories that we leave behind us don't stop with us, but continue to the next generation.  I know that my love of parties and celebrations come from the legacy that my mother left me.  My children love parties and costumes and all things nerdy and magical (see Doctor. Who-lloween photos).  I have given them that.  I hope that one day, it will be passed on to my grandchildren.  Life is too short to not celebrate every milestone and success.  Births, graduations, holidays, and special achievements should be rejoiced in and made to be memories.  

Don't let Time, Energy, or Money stand in the way of making life worth celebrating.  Rejoice in the resources you have and maximize them.  And, call 73-Productions if you would like some help.  Chastity and I would love to help you turn your moments into memories that will last for generations.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."  Lewis Carroll-Alice in Wonderland.

I love the Queen's response to Alice in this quote.  Dreaming must be practiced.  The greatest inventions, stories, or illustrations were once merely dreams by someone that practiced this marvelous art.  

I recently took my son to see the Leonardo DaVinci exhibit that was on display at Kansas City's Union Station.  I thought that I knew a good extent of what he did, but was, in fact, astonished at the amount of creation, invention and ingenuity that he brought to the world, not as merely an artist, but as an inventor, a scientist, and a weapons master.  Many of his inventions are still bigger than the technology of today.  Incredible!  I think that Leo might have believed as many as 10 impossible things before breakfast on a daily basis.

Don Quixote was a dreamer of dreams.  Walt Disney said that if you can dream it, you can achieve it.  Einstein said that the person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts. 

I love to plan events and parties for this reason.  Life can be tiring and it can be hard.  There is sorrow and pain in the world and if we let these be the ruling forces in our lives, we lose our dreams.  But what if we knew there was a time set aside for us to enjoy the camaraderie of family and friends and make new friends at the same time?  What if we opened the doors of our cars, committing to put aside work, stress, and worry and opened the door to a home filled with laughter, life and dreams instead?  

Let's dream impossible dreams and turn them into possible parties and events...together.  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Putting Away the Fear of Childishness

There was something magical about being a child.  Imagination was not something we had to give up, but something that was nurtured.  We played dress up and dreamed of our futures.  Tiaras were worn with holey jeans and stick guns.  Sadly much has changed in the world for our children in the realm of pretend, but I firmly believe as CS Lewis did when he said, "When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up!"

Every year that I grow older, I long more for the days of make believe and pretend.  I think that I probably have more dress up clothes now than I did as I child.  Whether it is for my steam punk costume with corset and parasol, or my flamenco skirt for a Dia de los Muertos Halloween party, or my fantastically fun 50's dress for a Mad Men New Years cocktail party,  I am constantly adding pieces and accessories to my ever growing costume closet, (yes, I have a costume closet, much to my husband's chagrin).

And while my husband is a great lover of me and rolls his eyes and shakes his head at my crazy schemes, my partner in crime is my dear friend, Chastity who takes my crazy and runs naked down the street with it!  She doesn't balance me out, but tips me off the edge.  We have spouses to bring us back down to earth, but together her and I will conquer the world in corsets and lace gloves.
And so, when it was suggested that we start our own party planning company, we said, "Heck ya.  We have to support our costume habit somehow!"

Join us, would you?  This journey is going to be a blast and there is so much we want to do for you!  Let's chat together and share ideas!  Let's put away the fear of childishness and have some fun!