Party To-Do List

Holiday Party

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Every year many organize and host a holiday party. Are you having one this year? If so, we want to help you have the perfect party and have everything run smoothly! Here is our to do list to help you think and cover everything to prepare for your party. If your party is soon you should have already done some of the first steps.

1. Create an invitation list and select the date, time and place. About 70-80% of your guest list will attend, so keep that in mind if you need to stay under a certain number of people.

2. Pick a theme and start purchasing or creating your decorations and other items to fit the theme.

3. Send out the invites whether it be by mail, email, phone call, text, or even Facebook.

4. Plan out what snacks or food you will serve and create a master shopping list. Tip: Organize the items by how far in advance you can make the item.

5. Plan out your party entertainment. What games, crafts or other fun things will you have for people to enjoy?

6. Line up as much help as you may need. Most of the time someone will offer to help out when they know you are having a party, take them up on the offer.

7. Prepare your linens, seating, dishes, silverware, serving utensils, and drinkware.

8. Decide if you are going to have party favors. If you are, purchase them or plan out when you will make/prepare them.

9. Decide on a playlist if you are going to have music playing.

10. Stock up on alcohol, wine, and beer if you haven’t made your party B.Y.O.B.

11. Make sure you have all grocery and other items needed.

12. Thoroughly clean the house if you are hosting it at your place. If you are having the party at another location make sure you set all the prepared items together in one area, this will help you not miss/forget anything. Tip: make sure you move personal items you don’t want guests to see in areas/rooms that will not be open to guests.

13. Decorate the area(s) and set it up for the event. Make sure you prepare your area where you will display the food.

14. Finalize the cooking/preparing. Make sure beverages are chilled. Prepare the bar area with drink garnishes. Do a last look over the guest bathroom to make sure the trash is empty, towels are clean, room smells clean, and have plenty of nice smelling soap out. Tip: Make sure everything is done and ready 45 minutes to an hour before the start time so you can relax and be ready to mingle with guests when they come.

Just make sure if you do end up realizing you forgot to do something or messed something up to let it go and just enjoy yourself and spend time with your guests!

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Holiday Party Themes

Need help trying to make your Holiday party one to remember? One of the best ways is to have a great theme!

Of course there is the obvious and wildly popular ugly sweater Christmas party theme but if you would like to do something new and different this year Marie Claire has “12 Christmas Party Themes You Haven’t Thought of Yet”. Here are some of my favorites:

4. The Christmas Cookie Swap, where everyone eats cookies and swaps recipes. Other scrumptious desserts can also be allowed to have more of a variety. I’m not sure how this party can go wrong unless people are on a diet.

9. Christmas Carol Karaoke Night, which can either be held at a karaoke bar or at home with a personal karaoke machine. Who doesn’t love Christmas songs and after a few drinks with friends & family everyone will be ready to sing their heart out!

10. Christmas Cast-Off Gift Exchange, is a great way to re-gift and not feel bad; if you are one of those people that do. It’s a party for gifting your unwanted gifts. You can then do the actual exchange however you want like a “White Elephant” exchange. You can even try to pick the most ridiculous of gifts to give for everyone’s enjoyment, while cleaning out your house!

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Why not go all out and have an ugly sweater Christmas cookie swap? You can add the ugly sweaters to any other theme to make it more interesting and have something to do at the party. Let us know what your favorite holiday party theme is!

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Party Lighting

Are you throwing a party soon? Whether it be a Christmas, New Years Eve, or whatever type of festivity we can help you prepare and set the best mood for your party!

Christmas Party Tips:

1. Replace some of your table lamp bulbs with red and green colored LED bulbs. During your party have the table lamps on to add color and the Christmas feel to the room without needing much decorating.

2. Do you have a down light over your tree, one lighting up your mantel, a couple above your couch, or some that light up the wall more than your room? Switch out the bulb for a red or green bulb to give the room a more festive and fun look for your party. Colored bulbs not only add festivity, they also put off less of a bright light to help set more of a party mood.

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3. For a formal party make sure the area is well lit by using higher lumen bulbs.

4. For a casual party use more lights on dimmers and dim the lights down so they are at 75-80% power. Don’t have dimmers? Don’t worry, just turn on fewer lights so the area feels more relaxing.

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New Years Eve Party Tips:

1. We recommend watching the ball drop in a room where you can dim the lights. That way you can dim down the lights shortly before the ball drops so everyone can see the ball drop better and couples can have a nice kiss to welcome in the New Year.

2. Keep areas with games well lit to make playing easier. While keeping other areas illuminated but not bright.

No matter what type of party you are throwing make sure you have your outdoor area well lit so guests can safely get to their vehicle and move around outside.

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Do you know which light fits Just Right?

As the holiday approaches and you are looking forward to hosting family and friends from around the world, why not display your home in the best lighting possible. Did you know that certain light bulbs are made especially for certain light fixtures to showcase your home at its best?  Well, if not, let me shed some light on this topic for you.

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This seasons home renovation trends are all about adding value and creating fun and inviting spaces with your own unique twist. Does this HGTV Magazine remodel remind you of your current Bar or Rec room in your home? If not, this is what you want to aspire too. Recommended bulb choices for Pendant fixtures are any of the three bulbs shown here: Springlamp Spiral, A-Lamp, and Globe light bulbs make this pair picture perfect.

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What about the one room no family will escape this holiday, “The Kitchen”. This room is sure to be the talk of the family when featured with the best lighting options for the space. On trend lighting this season for kitchens would definitely be Recessed Can’s AKA “Pot lights” combined with Pendant lighting fixtures. Best bulb pairings are the Springlamp Spirals and the BR30’s. For more ideas on what bulbs and fixtures give your room the style and flare it needs for any day of the season see chart below or follow link.

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/products/fap/purchasing_checklist_revised.pdf?6a32-5337

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Creative Ideas for Holiday Baking

One of the best parts of the holiday season are the great recipes that are made and shared with friends and family – especially the desserts! Whether you are the baker at your house, or just the ever so important taste-tester, this article is for you! Look no further for new cookie recipes this year – here’s 75 cookie recipes to try this holiday.

One of the ideas I know I will try are to take a new approach at my traditional cookie recipes – dipping cookies in chocolates and caramels. What are your favorite cookies to enjoy during the holiday season?

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What are your go-to recipes for holiday desserts? Share a few in the comments below!

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‘Tis the Season for Spectacular Christmas Trees

There is just something about the glow from a beautiful Christmas tree that just gets me in the holiday spirit. When I think of memorable trees, I immediately think of the New York City Rockefeller Christmas Tree – this year’s tree stands an impressive 85 feet and has 45,000 multi-colored LED lights.

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Every country across the globe has their own memorable trees that are equally just as beautiful and grand. Here are a few of my favorites:

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil:

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Madrid, Spain:

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Check out this article from The Huffington Post to see more Christmas trees from around the world.

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Connecting your Home to Smart Lighting this Season

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Staying connected to home is easier than ever with lighting automation. Whether you are traveling during the holidays, or want to return home to a well lit home after a long day of gift shopping – Connected by TCP® is here to automate your lighting. Connected by TCP allows you to control your lighting from anywhere with just your smart phone or tablet. Not only does Connected by TCP allow you to have full control of your lighting, it does it with the highest quality, brilliant LED light bulbs that are designed to last over 22 years.

Connected by TCP is not only a great gadget for your home, but also a unique gift for your friends or family. The Connected system is the highest rated lighting automation system on the market, and is available to purchase through both Amazon and The Home Depot today (with free shipping, too!).

Amazon has a great special currently running for the holidays on a Connected Holiday Starter Kit that features six wi-fi enabled bulbs to automate your entire home.

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Check out the latest buzz on Connected by TCP: Featured on Do-it-Yourself.com’s ”Holiday Gift Guide” and Retail Me Not’s ”17 Christmas Gifts for Men 2014″.

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Behind the Scenes with Product Management

Here for another Behind the Scenes report with one of our favorite Product Managers, Shaun Piper to discuss his role at TCP, his adventures throughout his career and his advice for newcomers.

How long have you worked at TCP? And how did you get your start?

Shaun’s fast moving and impressive journey began over seven years ago in the warehouse of TCP’s North American headquarters. After graduating college he took on the role of loading trucks and within five years has progressed to Product Manager revealing, “I moved through the ranks – from loading trucks, to shipping coordinator and up to product management”. He attributed his career path to the unique atmosphere that is TCP – the fast pace, ever-evolving and expanding environment, “the opportunity to define your own role and to move up in the company is unlike any other I’ve ever seen.”

What is your current role here at TCP as a Product Manager?

We know Shaun can use a forklift but did you know he is both a Product Manager for Exit and Emergency lighting as well as Assistant Product Manager of LEDs? Shaun expanded on his role by stating, “I serve two different roles as Assistant Product Manager of LEDs [and also] the Product Manager for Exit and Emergency Lighting”. Utilizing market information and research, Shaun investigates the competition’s’ capabilities and ensures that TCP is ahead of the game. As the Product Manager of Exit and Emergency Lighting, “I run the whole category – whether it’s teaching our salesmen how to sell our products, looking for competitive information, working with engineering, and much more.”  You could say that Shaun wears several hats as Product Manager and he makes it look effortless.

What’s one of your favorite memories of working here at TCP?

“So when I first started, the first year I was here, the day after Thanksgiving we had a huge, HUGE shipment that came in and it had to be unloaded.  We usually have the day after Thanksgiving off so me and one other guy…came in and we spent eight hours here and we unloaded all of the trucks. [It’s] one of my favorites because we are still friends and that’s where it got started.”

What’s the best perk of working at TCP?

“Working here for seven years, I’ve got to see a lot! I got to see it when it was [just] one building. We didn’t have the California office or warehouse so I’ve seen it grow. The seven years I’ve been here have been explosive…the place has gotten bigger, we’ve gone public…to watch a company grow from being a baby to being an adult is interesting.”  And while Shaun’s experience here is unique, he also had this to say, “I like that there is not a defined [step-up] program… I’ve learned a lot about business here because we’re growing with the company and not at a company that is already established. I think that’s really the best perk is that it has really given me the experience to run a business segment”.

Thanks for sharing a little about you and what you do Shaun, we hope you enjoy our Behind the Scenes look at TCP.

Are you looking to start your career at TCP? With endless opportunities and numerous ways to get involved, dive into unique projects and be a part of an exciting and fun team of individuals, check out the careers page to learn more about the current positions available at our TCP locations.

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Trim Your Tree with Personalized Ornaments

Want to add some new budget friendly ornaments to your tree this year? Give DIY a try! Here’s nine ornament ideas from Real Simple created from things you most likely already have in your home.

Here’s a few that we love – and bonus, most of these are kid friendly!

Wine Cork reindeer: Great idea to get the entire family involved – have everyone make their own reindeer and have a reindeer family on your tree this year.

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Wooden Spoon Santa: The possibilities are endless with this one! Instead of Santa, you can try an elf or snowman, and even personalize it with your favorite sports team colors or match the theme of your tree.

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See more ornament ideas from Real Simple. Have you taken the DIY route with some of your ornaments? Share some of your creations below!

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4 Tips to Conserve Energy During the Holidays

The holiday’s are notorious for increased spending that can easily get anyone’s budget off track. Here’s four tips to help conserve energy and save money during the holiday season.

1. Set your holiday lights on timers: This is an inexpensive addition that can save you some serious money on your electric bills – great for both indoor and outdoor lights!

2. Make the Switch to LED: Think outside of just the holiday lights – update lights in your entire home! Those holiday lights are only here for a few weeks out of the year, but switching your everyday lights to LED can save you hundreds of dollars on energy costs in the long run. LEDs also are available in festive colors that are perfect to add some extra flair to your outdoor holiday displays.

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3. Plan your shopping trips: This not only will save you a few bucks in gas, but can really help with the stress of the holidays. Have a game plan – make a list and know what you need to get so you are avoiding a bunch of last minute trips to the store.

4. Reduce the size of your lighting displays: Instead of lighting your entire yard with small string lights –incorporate some LED colored spot lights. This can lower energy costs and still be festive for the holiday season.

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What are you doing to help conserve energy during the holidays? Have you taken the ENERGY STAR pledge to take energy saving actions in your home this year? Click here to take the pledge with TCP!

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