Alphabet Dating S is for Stranger Things

Alphabet Dating – S is for Stranger Things

How to host your own Stranger Things themed party

I’m a bit late writing about this now the hype around season 2 has kind of ended, but in a similar vein to the Elf night we hosted the other Christmas, we thought we’d invite people over and host a Stranger Things themed party.

So, if you fancy doing it yourself or perhaps want a head start before season 3, here’s how to host your own Stranger Things themed party…

Step 1: Channel Joyce channeling Will
Take a queue from Joyce Byers and string up a whole bunch of fairy lights. You don’t have to go as crazy as she did but at least get some nice coloured ones on your wall. We also hung some from the ceiling in our hallway too which culminated into a ball of light, you know, incase Will got in touch.

As for painting the alphabet on the wall like Joyce did, we just cut out some big black paper letters and taped them to the wire on the fairy lights so as not to damage the paint work. If you don’t want to draw your own letters, you can buy printable replicas of the tv alphabet here.

Host your own Stranger Things night

Step 2: Add some decorative touches
We printed out a couple of posters to stick up, one of which was Will’s missing poster, the other an E.T. inspired Stranger Things poster designed by my very talented husband. We also gave everyone temporary tattoos of the number 11, just like Eleven had.

Another idea would be to create a Stranger Things playlist (such as the theme tune and ‘Should I stay or should I go’ by The Clash) to play while you’re greeting your guests and eating dinner, kind of as a prelude before watching the show.

Turn your home into 80s Hawkins, Indiana with these Stranger Things inspired posters

Step 3: Create a menu
You can go even more extra than sticking ’11’ tattoos on your guests, by printing your own Benny’s Burgers stickers and then sticking them onto a retro style ketchup bottle and burger bar style food baskets. Not only did we do this, but my husband also designed a menu which consisted of Stranger Things themed food: Benny’s Build a Burger (burgers and fries served in baskets, add your own toppings such as onion rings, gherkins etc), Elle’s Eggo Delight (waffles, obviously, except we don’t have Eggos in England) and then to wash it down “Hawkin’s Lab Cola” aka cans of coca cola.

His creativity puts me to shame.

Be sure to create a Stranger Things inspired menu for your theme night

Step 4: Sit back and enjoy the show
In all the excitement of making everything themed around Stranger Things, don’t forget to actually sit down and watch the show!

"Will? Are you there?"

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How to host your own Stranger Things themed party

How to: Host your own Elf Movie Night

My step by step guide to hosting your own festive Elf night!

It just isn’t Christmas without the movie Elf (believe it or not, I actually know some people who have never even seen this movie, it’s crazy!) so rather than just watching it in your PJs and scoffing a bag of popcorn, why not have some friends round and host your own Elf Night?

Step 1: Decorate your house
You don’t have to go all-out drawing the Mona Lisa on an etch-a-sketch like Buddy the Elf did (but if you could do that then you would totally WIN at Elf Night!) but a Christmas tree is a must and some twinkly fairy lights wouldn’t go amiss too. Paper snowflakes are also pretty cool – or you could just add a hint of Elf magic with an ‘itinerary’ of the evening.

How to: host your own Elf movie night

Step 2: Dress up
Elf hat or full on Santa costume – whatever takes your fancy! But practically everyone these days has a tacky Christmas jumper, so there’s no excuse. You can even get some Will Ferrell/Elf themed ones!

Step 3: The menu
Well obviously the food of choice has to be spaghetti! It’s up to you if you want to crumble Pop Tarts over the top of it and drizzle it with maple syrup. I personally would choose to serve a nice spaghetti bolognese for main and then ice cream for dessert with a selection of toppings for your guests to choose from (M&Ms, syrup, Pop Tarts etc). Remember that the four main food groups for elves are candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

Elf food

Step 4: The music
As your guests arrive, it’s a good idea to have the Elf soundtrack playing in the background, it gives your dinner party a pleasant ambience. Perhaps you could even have a little sing-a-long, after all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

Step 5: The movie
Snuggle up on the sofa and watch the movie. Just make sure that you have a copy of Elf on dvd to watch or you will look like a right cotton-headed ninny-muggins if you forgot that!

Bonus points
+100 if you decorate your whole house like Gimbels department store
+150 if you can draw the Mona Lisa on an etch-a-sketch as well
+20 if you know and invite someone named Francisco (that’s fun to say!)
+10 if it snows
+ 20 if you have a wicked snowball fight
+10 if you saw a dog today
+10 if smiling’s your favourite
+30 if you bake your own Christmas cookies

Melted snowman cookies
My melted snowman cookies!

Have yourself a Merry Christmas!

How to make a fool of yourself on the Paris Metro

Paris - Franklin D. Roosevelt Métro station
photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

A few years ago, my boyfriend and I took a trip to Paris. It was a bank holiday weekend, first time in Paris and only the second time we’d holidayed together alone. I was excited, I had even bought a stylish little weekend-size suitcase to take with me.

So we caught the Eurostar train over from Kent and arrived in Paris in less than 2 hours. Fantastic! I’ve been sat in traffic jams for longer than that, so to think we could arrive in the capital city of another country in that time was pretty pleasing. When we arrived, it took a few moments for us to get our bearings at Paris Gare du Nord and we trundled our little suitcases behind us in search of the correct metro train to our final destination.

We reached the little gates and put our tickets in but as I happily strolled through, something halted me. My suitcase had only gone and got bloody stuck between the two barrier gates! I gave it a pull but it wouldn’t budge – those things are strong! So I was stood there, like a total idiot, clutching onto the handle of my suitcase while everyone else around me avoided my gate and went on their merry way. Eventually a nice passenger had the sense to put his ticket into my gate, thus freeing my little suitcase from the vice-like grip of the gates (and also freeing me from my idiot abroad agony).

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only incident to occur on the metro that weekend, although second time round it wasn’t me who was the fool. Once again, I was putting my ticket into the barrier gate (no suitcase this time!), and as I pulled my ticket out at the other end I found that the person behind me had been far too eager to get through the gate and their ticket popped out milliseconds after mine. I shrugged my shoulders and skipped through the gate. When I turned around I noticed that said person was still at the barrier – their ticket wasn’t working (that thing they do to stop you sharing one ticket and passing it back to your travel companions). Oopsy! Patience is a virtue…

…but then taking your time isn’t exactly a surefire way to success either!