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Oscar statues Courtesy Of: www.rogerebert.com

Globes, Grammys and Oscars, oh my! Awards season is back! It’s time to lose ourselves in designer gowns, sparkling jewelry, perfect smiles and good old fashioned Hollywood glamour. Awards season offers a great opportunity to host your very own viewing party at home. There are many different ways to host an awards party—perhaps you want to treat your closest friends to a cozy night in with simple hors d’oeuvres and your favorite wines as you watch Anne Hathaway and Beyoncé pose on the red carpet. Or, you could bring Hollywood home and make a formal evening out of it, treating your guests like movie stars themselves. Here are seven tips on how to host the latter kind of party in your home, courtesy of the top home décor blogs and magazines.

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DIY Invitations Image Courtesy Of: www.thesweetestoccasion.com

Invitations

Obviously only the crème de la crème in entertainment attend these awards ceremonies, so feel free to be exclusive with your guest list. You don’t need to feel obligated to invite your neighbor down the street or your best friend’s coworker’s friend. And if you decide to host a formal affair, you can make your guests feel extra special with real, live paper invitations. (What a novel idea in the age of Facebook!) Invitations should be simple yet sophisticated, advises The Nest. Why not try a plain black paper printed with gold writing and sealed in gold envelopes? Or if your friends are more casual, what about a DIY version in a simple paper bag?

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Oscar party table setting Courtesy Of: www.camillastyles.com

Décor

Why not have a little fun with your awards party décor?  Arrange gold star confetti on the tables and put out other glitzy accessories to help set the mood. Spruce up with elegant flower centerpieces in red or white. Red roses or white tulips are a nice touch. Dress up your tables with crisp white linens with black napkins for a black-tie effect. Find some red fabric and lay it out in your doorway so guests can “walk the red carpet.” You can also employ a younger family member to act as paparazzi and ask them to snap photos of your guests as they arrive.

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Drinks

Better Homes & Gardens recommends setting up separate stations for drinks and hors d’oeuvres and to use real silverware and barware. Make sure to offer non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic beverages. Put out cocktail napkins and various drink garnishes such as lemons, limes, olives, tiny pickled onions and maraschino cherries. Here are some award-worthy drink recipes:

  • The Cosmopolitan:
    • 1½ oz vodka
    • 1½ oz Grand Marnier
    • ½oz fresh lime juice
    • 1 to 2 oz cranberry juice
    • Garnish with lemon twist and cherry
  • The Gin Martini:
    • 2 oz gin
    • 2 to 3 oz dry vermouth
    • Garnish with lemon twist or green martini olive
  • The Sidecar:
    • 1½ oz cognac (or brandy)
    • ¾ oz orange liqueur
    • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
    • Super fine sugar around the rim of the glass
    • Garnish with lemon twist and lemon wedge

The Huffington Post offers numerous other classy cocktail recipes.

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Food

You don’t need to serve your guests a three-course gourmet meal to impress them—simply give them a taste of the good life by serving upscale appetizers. To keep costs under control, you can take everyday pantry items and turn them into gourmet appetizers in an instant. Here are a couple of ideas for delicious appetizers:

  • Outstanding Original Olives:
    • Mix 2 oz of cream cheese, 3 oz of Gorgonzola, thyme and black pepper and stuff green olives with mixture.
  • Bruschetta
    • Slice a French baguette into thick slices and toast.
    • In a separate bowl combine diced tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and basil
    • Spoon the mixture on top of the bread and drizzle balsamic vinaigrette on top
  • Caprese Salad Kabobs
    • On a wooden skewer alternately thread cherry tomatoes, mozzarella mini cheese balls and basil leaves.
    • In a separate bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over kabobs before serving.

Gourmet cheeses and a charcuterie plate, garnished with fresh grapes, also give your guests something easy to nibble on while they watch the show. The Nest offers several other bite-sized appetizer recipes.

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Tuxedo popcorn Courtesy Of: www.cdn.shopify.com

  

Dessert

What’s a party without dessert? If you find yourself running short on time or money, here are some easy finger-friendly dessert options to try:

  • Tuxedo Popcorn
    • Microwave 2 bags of plain popcorn
    • In separate bowls melt white chocolate and milk chocolate, respectively
    • Drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn
    • Let cool & harden before serving
  • Chocolate, Almond and Banana Parfaits
    • You will need half a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips, six tablespoons heavy whipping cream, three-fourths cup of mascarpone cheese, three tablespoons amaretto, two tablespoons sugar, eight half inch thick angel food cake slices, 24 one-third inch diagonal banana slices (about three bananas) and one-third cup toasted and sliced almonds.
    • Heat the chocolate chips and four tablespoons of cream in the microwave until the chocolate is melted. Stir to blend and cool until sauce is lukewarm.
    • Whisk mascarpone, amaretto, sugar and remaining cream in a bowl until it thickens.
    • Using a cookie cutter, cut out round slices of angel food cake and place each slice in a wine goblet or other decorative glass. Top each cake round with banana slices, a tablespoon of mascarpone mixture, the chocolate sauce and sprinkle with almonds. Repeat the layering one more time and serve!
  • Blockbuster Bread Pudding
    • You will need seven cups of French or Ciabatta bread, six eggs lightly beaten, two cups of milk, one cup dulce de leche (or butterscotch), half a cup of packed brown sugar, half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and half a teaspoon of vanilla.
    • Generously butter eight ramekins and divide the bread into the dishes.
    • Combine the eggs, milk, dulce de leche, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
    • Pour the mixture over the bread in the ramekins and press in to moisten to bread. Cover and chill for one to two hours.
    • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the dishes on a roasting pan and pour boiling water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
    • Remove the ramekins from the water and cool for 20 minutes. Remove bread pudding from dishes, serve and enjoy!

We also advise that you put out some fresh fruit with whipped cream, chocolate fondue or chopped nuts.

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Oscar bingo Courtesy Of: partyideas.craftgossip.com

Games

Make the night a little more fun by adding to the entertainment with some award-show friendly games. You can create (or print online) playful renditions of bingo, trivia or voting ballots. For example, you can play Oscar Bingo by creating playing cards with nominated movies, actors, actresses or directors. As host, you can pull the various names out of a hat and whoever gets the Bingo can win a mini statuette or a prize. If you’re feeling playful, you can even encourage your guests to give “acceptance speeches.”

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Party Favors

Wrap up the popcorn you made for the party and give it your guests on their way out. Or better yet…remember how you employed your youngest family member to take snapshots of your guests as they arrive to your awards party? Take that digital camera to any Walgreens and develop the pictures. You can either send your guests the picture by itself or you can splurge on some frames. What would be really fun is if you took Polaroid’s of the guests and hand out the pictures as they develop.

Awards season always seems to inspire a turn towards glamour. Whether you’re watching Taylor Swift perform at the Grammys or Anne Hathaway accept another award for her Les Misérables performance this year, it’s simply a reason to invite the favorite people in your life into your home and share an evening of camaraderie with them.  In the end, that’s what ‘home’ is all about—and that is the real star!