House Party makes it easy to have a party in your own home and get exclusive access to awesome products for you and your friends. We provide the fun, you provide food, your friends and feedback and promise to have an amazing time.

Honoring Autism: How to throw a Light it Up Blue Cocktail Party

Today's post comes from our special guest, Marisa, the Special Events Coordinator at Autism Speaks. In honor of Autism Awareness month and House Party's work with Autism Speaks, we asked her give us some insight about how to have a blue-themed party. April is Autism Awareness month so I thought it would be fitting to tell you how to throw a killer blue- themed bash. Before we get to the cute blue ideas though, it's important to understand the necessity of spreading the word about this spectrum disorder. Autism now affects 1 in 88 children with 1 in 54 being boys. It's been labeled a national epidemic that requires immediate action. So why should you spread awareness? Not only is it important to try to raise funds for research, services for affected families and political initiative, we need to recognize the social aspects of autism.

In a study performed by the Interactive Autism Network last month, 1,167 children ages 6-15 were surveyed, and 63% of them said they had been bullied at some point in their lives. By raising Autism Awareness, I'm confident we can help decrease that number significantly. Now to be brutally honest, although I find them fascinating, I'm not one to rattle off statistics and lengthy medical jargon to my friends in a social setting (or most settings for that matter). We need to make this initiative accessible to all and get the major facts out there. So when hosting your Autism Awareness party keep it short and sweet. Too many details could be a little overwhelming; you want your guests to walk away with some quick facts that will be easy for them to repeat.

Try these:

1. Autism now affects 1 in 88 children with 1 in 54 being boys 2. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the US 3. Autism costs the nation $126 billion per year 4. There's no medical detection or cure for autism

Now, how do you keep a blue theme at your party? Try to come up with a signature cocktail. Grab some vodka or rum; add a splash of blue Curacao, some seltzer, garnish and you're set. If you want to get fancy a hypnotiq martini will certainly do the trick! For those not into alcoholic libations, freeze some blueberries in your ice cubes! You can ask your guests to come dressed in their favorite shade of blue and provide puzzle piece pins upon arrival. Be sure to encourage friends to come up with creative appetizers and desserts. Whether they experiment with puzzle shapes or blue shades, the dishes will help make the atmosphere truly BLUE! Lastly, when planning your party, be sure to check out this new site from Autism Speaks Happy planning, happier partying and don't forget to Light It Up Blue!

Are you affected by autism? Share your story and tell us how you plan to Light It Up Blue.


[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Marisa is the Special Events Coordinator at Autism Speaks working out of their NYC office. When she is not planning dinner galas, golf outings and cocktail parties she loves dining out, hanging on the beach and travelling around the world! She is also a soccer hooligan who can be found at the nearest pub cheering on her favorite team, Liverpool! Marisa's favorite party tip: Good Friends, Good Food, Good Time! [/author_info] [/author]

House Party pet contest: cast your votes!

Cooking with Larry: Sweet & Savory