4 Theme Parties Ideas You’ve (Probably) Never Tried

I am huge, huge fan of theme parties. Everything’s better when you’re wearing a costume and listening to costume-related music right? Here are a few of my favorites:


Toast party

What? Yes. If we want to be fancy, we’ll call these ‘tartines‘ but let’s be real – this is toast with fancy stuff on it. This is the perfect party if a) you’re feeling lazy b) it’s hot. You just buy up  a million baguettes or loaves of french bread and ask your guests to bring a topping of their choice!

Food: things that go on toast – Nutella, avocados, hummus, bleu cheese + peaches + honey, balsamic mushrooms + fontina
Music: Bread (GET IT!!!!???)


Famous Mustaches Throughout History

Mustaches are to the 00s what goatees were to the 90s, and why not celebrate their popularity with party? Your guests can come clad as their favorite mustache owner and you can even served themed food! We threw a party like this for our housewarming in Wellington, New Zealand – I was a Frenchman and The Mister was Charlie from Lost. Which is to say he made his hair greasy, parted it unflatteringly and wrapped bits of paper towel around his fingers.

Possible Costumes: Dali, Frida Kahlo, Magnum PI, Hulk Hogan
Food:mustache cupcakesgummy mustaches, milkshakes (increases likelihood of milk mustaches)
Music: Frank Zappa, Gogol Bordello, The Killers, Queen


What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up

Oh, we’ve come so far from our fantasies of old, haven’t we? I’m not tall enough to be a ballerina, or math-tastic enough to be an architect but we could surely overlook these realities for one night. Imagine a party stuffed with people dressed in their childhood dreams, noshing on the food of 1987. Awesome, yes? A friend of mine attended one of these parties dressed as a Star Wars Trooper!?

Possible Costumes: singer, veterinarian, pro basketball player, um, tiger?
Food: Cheesy Poofs, Big League Chew, Kool aid, popsicles
Music: New Kids on the Block, Bon Jovi, The Bangles, anything circa Elementary School


Rubik’s Cube Party

Warning: this party is best for those who are single/under 25. It might just be embarrassing for us old fogies. The theme here is pretty straight forward, everybody arrives at the party in ensembles made up of pieces of clothing in the different colors of the Rubik’s cube squares – you know, red hoodie, blue t-shirt, green skirt, yellow tights. During the course of the evening the goal is to switch clothes with your buddies to assemble an outfit that’s monochromatic. I imagine this switching of clothing might be accompanied by some making out and flashing of underwear. Maybe.

Possible Costumes: solid-colored clothing of your choice in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and white
Food: jello shots, nibs, cheddar cheese cubes, those square Japanese watermelons
Music: Ice Cube (HA!)

What’s the best theme party that you’ve been to? Tell us all about it in the comments!

photo credits: teapot queen // NASA // rolex blog // krista

Celebrities I’ve seen in real life

You guys. The first episode of The Flight of The Conchords, Season 2 is available online! For free! The whole thing!But only for Yanks. Sorry Kiwis and Aussies. Not that you guys are particularly fussed about Bret and Jemaine anyway.Did I ever tell you that I saw Jemaine in real life? Twice?!

Sighting One: My flatmate and I are in line at the insanely overpriced Reading Cinema in Wellington, New Zealand. I am very busy rummaging in my purse for enough change to buy some popcorn when Jess begins whisper at me without moving her lips, whilst making intense eye contact and occasionally winking.

I obviously interpret this a cue to slyly look over my shoulder. Where I see Jemaine and Loren Horsley. So we do the only natural thing: try very hard to ignore them and then run up the escalator in an attempt to get away from them.

Sighting Two: I am at Reading Cinema, again, walking through the food court. And there, wearing a purple velvet jacket and eating a corn dog, is Jemaine.

Seriously, dude. Stop following me. It’s getting awkward.

Have you ever seen anyone famous in real life?

Unique Like a Snowflake. Right? Right?!

Do you ever walk into a party and realize that the super unique, carefully crafted look that you spent hours putting together has been replicated by every other girl in the room? The skinny jeans/scarf/graphic tee/cardigan combo? The vintage dress/colorful shoes/red lipstick ensemble? The converse sneakers/concert tee/hoodie/jelly bracelets look?
Ari Verslius and Ellie Uyttenbroek were interested in the unspoken dress codes of different social groups and began systematically documenting these groups over the course of 14 years. Nobody escaped the camera – indie boys, dapper gentlemen, even shaved-headed track suit wearers.
I’m certainly there, circa 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2040. These days I think I look closest to these girls. What?!

Which one are you?

It was not without disappointment that I saw the various incarnations of myself tucked in with all those other women. I think it’s quite normal to want to believe we’re each a little bit special, and a little bit different than everybody else. The crux is not equating that individuality with the clothes we choose to wear. Of course – I’m all over fashion that expresses who I am and how I want to portray myself (I am, after all, the owner of an Eskimo coat) but, after seeing this exhibit, I think it’s worth remembering that it is the lovely, amazing, unique person beneath the clothes that makes the look work, not the other way around.

How To Cure Homesickness

How to Cure Homesickness

Homesickness can be a serious downer in the face of all your globe-trotting and passport-stamping. Curing homesickness isn’t easy but there are a few things you can do to help your homesickness. I will give this my best shot – but I may need your help, friends. Homesickness hasn’t been a huge problem for me.

Maybe because I’m dead on the inside.
Okay. Not dead. Just slightly rotting? But I’ve never been totally immune. Here are the things that worked for me.

Ways to Cure Homesickness

Homesickness Cure #1: Stay in touch with peeps from home.

No, I mean really stay in touch with them. Not just the ‘once a month’ update stay in touch, but the ‘several times a week, hey remember how I told you about that guy?’ stay in touch. This will really help ease you into your new home, before you’ve made any new friends or really gotten accustomed to your surroundings. It is not an exaggeration to say that when I move to a new place, The BFF can expect daily emails, detailing the weird new food I’ve eaten, my most recent cultural faux pas and the caliber of fashion in my new home. Good friends will probably be really excited/intrigued by your new adventure and email you back pretty quickly. You won’t feel so alone in this strange new place, knowing that someone knows exactly what you’re up to.

Homesickness Cure #2: Think about what you’re really homesick for

Are you homesick for your friends? Your family? Food, language, weather, hobbies? Of course, you probably miss all of these things in varying amounts, but it can be helpful to parcel them out and decide what you miss the most. If you really miss your friends and family, get a camera on your computer and skype it up. Find an expat group, travel somewhere that has the snow/beaches/maple trees that you’ve been missing, find some restaurants that serve a reasonable facsimile of your homeland’s food.

Homesickness Cure #4: Create a go-to homesickness ‘first-aid kit’

When you feel a bout of homesickness coming on (mine usually came around 2 pm on overcast Sundays) turn to your fail proof treatment. This might be a comfort food from home coupled with familiar TV shows or movies and a call home. Or it might be a visit to a mall or an ice skating rink or a national park. When I was living in Taiwan, my triage plan was 1) go to the import store and buy refried beans and salsa a) eat burritos with Tamara while watching SATC c) go to the upscale bookstore and pay $7 for a copy of Glamour. This got me through the two typhoon seasons.

Homesickness Cure #5: Try to push through it

I think it’s also important not to indulge your homesickness too much. Just as we often sugarcoat our time abroad, it’s easy to view home through rose colored glasses and lose sight of all the amazing things going on around you. Get out an explore your new home, even if it’s just for a few hours at a time. Limit yourself to a few phone calls per week and one session of emailing per day. Try not to compare this new place to home. More likely than not, they’re apples and oranges.

Homesickness Cure #6: Realize that homesickness is an inevitable part of travel

Just like there will be days where you hate your job and nights when you question your decision to be with your partner, there will be times that you are fed up with being away from home. You can’t read the signs, everyone stares at you and you can’t find clothes that fit to save your life. That being said, I know that one of the proudest days in my life was the day that I had to send in my passport to get more pages added. You never hear people say “God, you know I really wish I hadn’t spent that summer volunteering in Africa.” Travel isn’t always easy, but if you realize that there will be tough days, you will be less likely to take them to heart. And you can always, always go home.
What would you guys recommend? How do you deal with homesickness?Got the travel bug? Check out my ebooks and podcasts on making long-term travel a reality! Only $15 forpetessake!

Photo by cihan // cc