Aviation for Women

MAY-JUN 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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44 AviationforWomen M A Y / J U N E 2 0 1 8 Let's Have a Party! P A T R I C I A L U E B K E W AI allows me to decide what to write about for my column, but the other day when Aviation for Women Ed- itor Kelly Murphy asked me what I was going to write about for this issue, I con- fessed I didn't know. I like when topics find me and that's what I assured Kelly: "A topic will find me within the week." And so it did. My paths crossed with Kristen Koly Blanks, owner and founder of PartyEase (www.Party Ease.com). Kristin works with hosts to deter- mine a theme for their party, set a menu, create shopping and to-do lists, and connect with ven- dors. On the day of the party, Kristen and her team help prep in the hours before the party, help throughout the party, and stay until everything is cleaned up. That made me think about parties —and how we need more of them in our lives. Who wants to join me and leave our very seri- ous, somber, oh-so-important work lives, all the challenges and projects that work puts our way, to the side for a bit and think about having a par- ty? It's the beginning of the summer; we can all find something to celebrate, so put on your party pants and let's have some fun. Okay, I know what you're thinking: "But put- ting on a party is so much work," you say. "I'd rather collapse on the sofa with a pint of Ben & Jerry's." It's true: Parties are a lot of work, but Kristen counsels, "Just remind yourself that the purpose of any party is to celebrate something. It's supposed to be fun! And there will likely be peo- ple at your party who could use a good dose of fun in their lives, so keep that in mind." When I run through a mental scan of the people in my life, I can't think of anyone I know who couldn't use Kristen's "good dose of fun," and thinking about those friends, people whose lives I could add joy to —well, that's a huge motivation to get partying. Here's a challenge for some of us in hosting a party: taking it all on ourselves. Kristen says, "A big mistake people make is trying to do everything themselves. Enlist the help of friends and family to bring a dish, help you prep, and help you clean." If your mother-in-law wants to bring her potato salad, let her. If your college roommate wants to sweep your patio, let her. Ask for and accept help. Then there's the matter of budget, but Kristen has some advice here too. Once you've picked a theme for your party, she says, "A great playlist goes a long way. If you have a music-streaming subscription, you can create a custom playlist ahead of time to match the theme of your party." (How many songs are there about airplanes and flying?) She also says you can invest in unique glassware on sale or in thrift stores. She sug- gests: "Check out the dollar section at your lo- cal Target for cool cocktail napkins and straws to match any color scheme. When you find them, stock up! Have a couple of go-to appetizer reci- pes that are tried and true." A 21st century party responsibility is to make sure you take into account any dietary restric- tions of your guests. Kristen says, "Make sure to have some vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and alcohol-free options at your party. People with food sensitivities generally eat before showing up to a party, but are always pleasantly surprised when they discover they're able to join the fun." You can make your party memorable by con- cocting a party-themed signature cocktail. If you're not that creative and are having a bunch of pilots as guests, you might try a very old, little- known cocktail called "Aviation," which is sky blue, thanks to the ingredients. You can find the recipe online, and Aviation cocktails will be a memorable addition to your party. Kristen adds, "A fun mocktail [alcohol-free cocktail] is great for the bar area, too." I asked Kristen what her one best tip is for having a party—and just like a flight, it's prepa- ration. She says, "Start your prep early! Set your table up to three days in advance, choose some food items that can be made ahead, and stock your freezer with ice!" If you've done a good job, both you and your guests will have fun. In short, Kristen says, "A good party is stress-free, enter- taining, and lively." You know what's running through my mind right now? That great Sam Cooke classic, "We're Having a Party." Yeah, "dancin' to the music… on the radio…the Cokes are in the icebox." The song is ancient, for sure, but if you've nev- er heard the song, it's on YouTube. Find it, and you'll be singing along with me as you plan your own party. ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patricia Luebke, WAI 1954, is a New York City- based freelance writer, editor, and marketing consultant. Just remind yourself that the purpose of any party is to celebrate something. It's supposed to be fun! And there will likely be people at your party who could use a good dose of fun in their lives, so keep that in mind. P E R S O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T

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