Tutorial Series: Facebook Party Basics

Dear readers,

I was recently asked to help some of my fellow Tastefully Simple consultants learn more about how to put together a Facebook party. Since I think it's something that will be useful for them AND for some of you too, I figured here was the place to do it.

I am by no means an expert. Most of what I know about Facebook parties I've learned from attending them. They're very fun because they're versatile, have a broad reach, and let your guests see that you enjoy whatever your party is 'promoting'. Depending on what your needs are you can spread the fun out over several weeks or as little as an hour. But first you need to learn the most basic stuff so that's what today's post will do: give you the bare bones you need to get a party set up.

Please don't hesitate to ask questions or comment! I would love to have more useful tips and tricks to share if you know some and want to answer ALL questions you have.

-- Rhi

Some things to consider first...

These are specifically for hosting/consulting for TS Parties but may apply otherwise.

  1. You need to have a Facebook account.
  2. You can set up your event as yourself from your own profile or your Page though they work a little differently (the instructions here are for doing it from your profile save for the last one).
  3. Set up your event about 2 weeks before the actual Party to allow time to promote it.
  4. Decide if you are having the Party the whole time the event is up or if you are scheduling it for a specific day and time. Make sure guests know what time zone if a specific date and time apply.
As you go through each step you can enlarge the images by clicking on them.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Collection [+ promo code!]

Dear readers,
One of the very first books I have a strong memory of is THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR. I have this vague recollection of my kindergarten teacher reading it to us and being absolutely smitten with the funky style of the illustrations and just the journey of the caterpillar.
Earlier this week I received an email from a publicist at Chronicle Books, one of my favorite publishers, letting me know about this neat new collection of personalized stuff featuring my favorite little buggywuggy. So I had to pass the info along and let you know that there's a deal JUST FOR YOU because you're readers of my blog to save on these. I hope you'll check them out, my little girl was just squeeing over my shoulder at them!
-- Rhi

25% off all the Very Hungry Caterpillar Collection
Promotion Code:VHC2013
Valid until: April 7, 2013
MyChronicleBooks Launches the First Collection of Personalized Gifts, Room Decor and Party Stationery Featuring the Beloved Classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar
For more than forty years, young readers have been learning and laughing with Eric Carle’s TheVery Hungry Caterpillar. Now, for the first time, an exclusive collection of personalized gifts, room d├ęcor and party stationery featuring artwork from The World of Eric Carle is available on MyChronicleBooks.com.
Throw a colorful birthday party with invitations and thank-you notes ($19.99 for a set of 8) that can be personalized with all of the party details, the birthday child’s name and even a photo!
Welcome a new baby with birth announcements, shower invitations, thank-you notes ($19.99 for a set of 8) and a specialty baby journal ($34.99).
Decorate a nursery or child’s room with a customizable growth chart ($39.99) and wall clings ($69.99).
Make a meal more delicious with a personalized placemat ($11.99) or lunch box ($29.99).
With just a few clicks, the easy-to-use interactive MyChronicleBooks website allows users to enter their personal information into a simple form, and preview their products right on screen. Products are shipped within two weeks.
For more information visit mychroniclebooks.com
About The World of Eric Carle
The World of Eric Carle™ is a design-driven licensing and merchandising program based on the beloved picture books by Eric Carle. A prolific author and artist, Eric Carle has written and illustrated more than seventy books which have sold over 118 million copies worldwide. Like his books, The World of Eric Carle brand draws upon Eric Carle’s approach to creativity, discovery, play and development. Licensing and merchandising programs are ongoing in the US, Japan, UK, Australia and Europe. For more information, please visit: www.Facebook.com/theworldofEricCarle

About Chronicle Books

One of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the U.S., Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books. Recognized as one of the 50 best small companies to work for in the U.S. (and the only independent publisher to receive this award), the company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes illustrated titles in design, art, architecture, photography, food, lifestyle and pop culture, as well as much-admired books for children and ancillary products through its gift division. Chronicle Books’ objective is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that’s instantly recognizable for its spirit, creativity, and value. For more information about Chronicle Books, visit


Recipe: Familia Walker TACO SEASONING

A family member of mine recently discovered that one of her children has a couple of difficult food allergies: peanuts and eggs. Both common foods in the average American diet, so she's in the process of eliminating them from her home. As she spoke to me about the things she was having to find new options for she hypothetically commented "I wonder if you can make your own taco seasoning?", to which I laughed and replied, "Ha! You totally can, I've been making my own for ages. Once I get over being sick I'll sit down and blog about it for you.".
So here I am... I spent Friday night Spring cleaning my spice cupboard to make sure I had everything I needed. As I removed everything and wiped the shelf down I moaned to Adam about the lack of good way to organize said cupboard space to meet my needs as a cook. It might be time to hit up Pinterest for some helpful and creative ideas to make it less of a pain. But I digress... my Taco Seasoning is quite involved and has been heavily adapted from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com a long time ago.
I grew up where my parents used the packets you buy in the store and we ate tacos once a week so I used packets for years until I had the thought that they were sure getting expensive. Some things are just easier to make from a packet, like Hollandaise sauce, but trust me, this will save you time and money while letting you check each spice to make sure they meet your allergen-free needs. That said, please make sure you carefully examine the labels on the products you choose! The ones pictured have not been examined for this purpose as we don't have allergy concerns in our household.
I hope you enjoy this seasoning and that you'll feel free to adapt it as needed for your family. The heat level on this one is on the high end of mild thanks to the Crushed Red Pepper so if you like yours very mild you can easily omit it.
clockwise from top left: crushed red pepper | Garlic, Garlic™ | Onion, Onion™ | ground cumin


This Week's RhiAlistic Top Ten [03/03-03/09]

I have had such a rotten week. My son had been sick, then the hubs and tot got it the same night, and now I have it. *grrr* So here I am with chills and a raw throat with no one to help out because I'm taking care of everyone.

The week wasn't a total loss though. I got a lot accomplished at the book blog and some stuff in real life to. Read on to find out some of it through this week's top ten.

10. Thrift Shops. I grew up pretty poor. I've been homeless. I've Dumpster dived for clothing and blankets. Have vivid recollections of gigantic blocks of 'government cheese' being one of the only things in the fridge and watching my mom cut mold off it so we could eat the unmoldy part. My childhood poverty has always held some stigma, some shame. But I also know it made me appreciate things more than many of my friends and family who just had things handed to them.

I know someone who calls thrift shops 'dirt stores' and I've heard some racist nicknames I really dislike. Yet, I love them! I love donating things I don't wear anymore or couldn't use or just plain don't want so that others who need them can use them. I also love shopping in them. Sometimes I don't find any treasure. Othertimes I make off like a bandit. Yesterday I made off with a solid wood telephone table for $4 and two Pyrex pie pans for $1.50 each. I had to talk myself out of a few pricier old Pyrex pieces and a $15 clay urn with cranes painted on the side. But now I don't have to be wasteful and use foil pie pans and I finally have a table for collecting purses and such as we come in the front door.

Who loves thrift shopping?

9. Wreck-It Ralph. My elder kid is as much a gamer as his parents so he enjoyed this one. Alas, the tot got bored about 10 minutes in. Hubs was too sick to watch. I thought it was highly misrepresented in the trailer but it's cute and one of those fun kid movies you can just watch when you need a dose of giggles. Plus, there was a $7 off coupon I got for it thanks to a mention from a coupon blogger that made my DVD/Bluray combo pack only $12.99 at Target. Can't beat that for a brand new movie.

8. Target's Clearance Rack. I am one of those people that will pay full price for something I really want, if I can afford it. But most of the time I can't. So every time I'm in Target I scour the clearance areas. Beauty and accessories are always first. I found L'Oreal Infallible Lipsticks for $2.54!!! They're regularly $8.99 or more. I also love buying cute wallets cheap in this section because mine always get destroyed. I also try to check toddler clothes for the next size up and the health section for steals on hair dye, store brand medicine, and deodorants.

7. Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Moroccan Argan Styling Oil. I used to buy a pricey Redken product similar to this. Then I got some of this on Vine and OMG it is awesome! My hair smells so good when I first put it in. But the best part is how soft and shiny it is for the drugstore price. Try it!

6. All You Magazine. I used to stare at it in the check-out line and think unfriendly thoughts about what kind of person must read it. Something about the name just bugs me. Still. But the longer I've been a coupon clipper and looked for great ways to save money while still enjoying the things I want to spend money on the more it has worn on me. So when the kids had a magazine fundraiser I bought it. And I really like it. I love that bloggers get featured. That it covers a lot of areas I want to read about AND that it has lots of coupons to clip and sometimes promo codes too.

5. Monster High's Scaris Themed Stuff. I've mentioned my adoration of MH before but having DVRd the new Scaris movie last weekend I think this one is one of my favorites. The movie is really silly in some ways but I was obsessed with being a fashion designer when I was at the target age and the new characters are so awesome! I found the much sought after Catrine DeMew at Walmart and was scared a lady was gonna rip it out of my hands. I also got the Cafe Cart which I'm having to resist unboxing.

4. A Taste of Trouble. I'm honestly not a big fan of contemporary romances. But I've been reading a lot more of them lately, because of whom they've been coming from. Gina Gordon is one of my new favorites and A Taste of Trouble is one of those fun, sexy stories that leaves you happy with the outcome. And there's frosting... I won't spoil anything but I was in serious need of some buttercream after reading it!

3. Easter. I know. It's weird. I actually rank Easter down there with President's Day and Memorial Day as far as feeling like making a big deal about them. But for some reason all the cute bunnies (ThinkGeek has a seriously awesome zombie one!!!) and chicks and egg stuff are making me feel like giving a shit this year. It's weird and I don't know what to make of it.

2. Spring Cleaning. Again, weird. I hate cleaning. HATE IT. But here I was with the edge of a fever and a throat that feels like I swallowed a hedgehog that was dipped in battery acid and Sriracha going through boxes of stuff trying to worm my way into having a clean office area. Dead spiders were vacated. Empty boxes of boxes got the boot. I'm even close to chucking my beloved Real Simple magazine collection.

There's something cathartic on an emotional level when I do a big clean-up. It makes me feel just a little less grumpy and a little more motivated in other things. Crazy huh?

Have any of you started spring cleaning even though it's still winter?

1. My new business!!! So it's in the early stages. I have never done this kind of thing before and I'm both scared and thrilled to try something new. Plus it's consulting for a company I've grown to love over the past two years. I want to write something big about it next week when my sales kit arrives so I won't bore you yet but I just had to share how happy I am to be going on a new adventure.

Have a great weekend and a week filled with things worthy of your own top ten!


Beauty Rhi-flection: Schick Hydro Silk

It's far from shorts season here in Montana. Yesterday afternoon was sunny. Last night the dog's water froze into a solid cube. Bare legs are the last thing in my mind right now... and my husband hates it. What can I say? I'd rather 'wolf out' for weeks at a time during the winter than spend the extra time in the shower with a razor.

Y'all have read my razor reviews before... I'm a hairy beast. Nothing has yet managed to let me skip a day of shaving if I wanted to be smooth. Nothing until I found the Schick Hydro Silk last summer. I've tried others since then from both the Schick brand and other brands but I keep coming back to Hydro Silk.

Why? It's all about the moisturizing serum. I don't know how it works, I just know that it works. And it lasts longer than the blades!

When I got the opportunity to join the BzzCampaign for this I couldn't refuse because I love it so much I wanted to tell everyone.

Around here we all wish it was Spring or Summer long before they arrive because months of dead everything and being cold constantly kind of wears on the psyche. But I'm missing the warm weather just as much because I can't wait to get back out there to my garden in some shorts and put my wolfish habit away until next winter. ;)

What's the Bzz?
BzzAgent is a word-of-mouth social marketing company. Basically, I get invited to campaigns for products I fit a demographic for and get supplied with free products to try for which I give my honest opinion and spread the word about. Want to know more about how it works and find out how you can be a BzzAgent like me? Check out the BzzAgent FAQ.


Beauty Rhi-view: Shea Moisture Body Care

Last fall I won a Brand Challenge on Influenster. If you've been a follower of the blog a while you know how much I love doing word-of-mouth type marketing. It's a great chance to try new products, connect with and learn more about brands, and to do it without paying for it. They get promotion and reviews, I get to try something without investing my own money. A very win-win situation.
Every once in a while though I get a product that is so awesome I buy more from the brand (or in this case win some) and just have to write more.

While I liked the Shea Moisture Baby Soap we received as Influensters, it was geared toward kids so I 'tested' it on mine and didn't really use it for myself. When I finally received the collection of products above I was pretty excited. I had found that Target carries them but didn't want to buy any since I knew I'd be getting my prize eventually.

I am now a Shea Moisture convert! For the price and taking into account that these are eco-friendly products (the Shea Butter is organic) they're a budget friendly option that really works.

The Raw Shea Butter Soap has a nice gender-neutral fragrance that for some reason reminds me of my dad. It's one of those nice body bars that doesn't lather like crazy but gets the job done. Plus, it's not harsh and drying. With our dry climate and frigid winter weather it's been a blessing for the hubs.

The Facial Wash & Scrub is okay. I don't love it, because my skin breaks out easily but as a once in a while treatment when I'm very dry (I've used it only a couple of times now) it's soothing. If you have very oily skin or are prone to break-outs you might not care for it.

I'm not a big bar soap person so the Raw Shea Butter Wash is my new love. It smells AMAZING! Plus it leaves my skin feeling moist. It has anti-aging properties so I've been keeping an eye on my chest—an area where I'm suddenly noticing signs of aging and having break-outs—and so far I'm seeing a little improvement. Admittedly, I'm not using it in every shower because I'm trying to use up old products so hopefully once this is my full-time product I can report a dramatic result.

My favorite product of the lot though, is the Raw Shea Butter Lotion. It smells divine, is thick and luxurious feeling, rubs in without leaving a greasy residue, and keeps my skin moist from shower to shower. I've never had a lotion that could do that! Since I usually shower at night it has all night and day to disappear but my skin still feels good the next night. I would highly recommend this one if you live in a dry climate like I do.

The only product I haven't tried yet is the Facial Mask. With my skin sensitive and break-out prone I've just been holding off. I could use the moisture but not if it leaves me blemished for weeks afterward. If you've tried it leave a comment and let me know what you think of it!

I was going to link up to Amazon (as I usually do) but they only have resellers selling the products and for double Target's prices (from about $5-12) so be sure and head to your local Target store to pick these up. The past few times I've been they had a BOGO sale going on.
Love Bath & Body Works and other scented brands but trying to be more green? Shea Moisture has some lovely scents like Olive & Green Tea, Lavender & Orchid, Lemongrass & Ginger, and Coconut & Hibiscus.

The Rhialist (Rhianna Walker) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.