Friday, 14 October 2011

Interview with Emma Forbes + giveaway of her brand new book!

I was recently given the opportunity to ask the very lovely Emma Forbes some questions about her soon-to-be-published book on entertaining.

Emma's new book "Life & Soul" published by Ivy Press, builds on her hugely successful website Forbes Style - a source of inspiration for stylish living covering a variety of subjects such as food, homes, fashion, parenting, travel health and well-being.

Keen to create something tangible to document her pearls of wisdom, Emma has built on the tips that have gained her devoted followers on the popular Forbes Style TV YouTube channel and created a glossy bible for entertaining. Emma invites the reader into her stunning home to share tips taken from the fabulous parties she is renowned for by her friends and family. The result is 192 pages of beautiful imagery, insightful advice and creative ideas that give even the smallest party a big personality, on any budget.

From choosing an inspiration theme and decorating the venue through to collating trinkets for guests to take away with them and, most importantly, Life & Soul draws on Emma's experience as a semi-finalist on BBC Masterchef to recommend recipes for mouth-watering food that will keep guests coming back for more.

Here, I chat to Emma about what inspired the book and her best party-planning tips.

Emma, what inspired you to write this book? Have you always loved throwing parties?
What inspired me to write this book was really off the back of my website - - as it's developing into more of a lifestyle website, and the book seemed a natural progression. That and the fact that I love throwing parties - I have always adored doing my kids parties and love putting together everything to do with them.

How do you come up with your party ideas?
Well, I love a theme - and if I have a theme whether it be someones age, or a subject, I then have something to work with. Themes are great - ones like Halloween or Christmas are a gift as you instantly have a theme!

Have you noticed any new party trends coming through?
Recent trends are things like fancy dress. I have noticed a lot more people have gone towards a retro theme - 60s and 70s.

If you could throw any type of party, what would be your dream event?
My dream event would be to organise a wedding - I think I could get truly carried away on the whole theme and have a ball!!!

What are the most important things to remember on the day of a party?
The most important thing to remember on the day of a party - timings. Plan your day out so that you know what should be done and when, and also make sure that you factor in your own time to get yourself ready!

Have you ever planned a particularly challenging party? What lessons have you learned?
I guess my most challenging party was my daughters 13th - the first teen party! A lesson that I have learned is that less is more with teens - they love to just get together and chat, so they don't need much entertainment - the days of entertainers end when they hit their teens.  I did a neon themed party and it worked a treat.

Do you have any cost-saving tips for people with limited budgets?
Plan out what you want to prioritise and work backwards. You can make some delicious food but with inexpensive ingredients and it goes a long way. If you want to save on things like canapes with drinks, then doing cool buckets of popcorn is effective and just as delicious.

What is the best party-planning tip you can offer?
The best tip I can offer is to not leave everything until the last minute. By planning ahead you save time, money and you get to enjoy the party yourself!

Now. How would you like to win a signed copy of Emma's new book?

How to enter...

If you'd like to get your hands on a copy of Emma's new book "Life & Soul"  all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me if you were holding your dream party what theme would you have?  Please could you also drop me a quick email me at so that I am able to contact the winner.

After the giveaway has ended your email address will be deleted and not used for any other purpose. This giveaway is only open to those in the UK. Sorry!

The giveaway closes on Friday 28th October 2011 at 5.00pm and the winner will be chosen at random.

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Emma Forbes is the founder of lifestyle website, the ultimate destination for gift inspiration.

Her new book, Life & Soul, is a bible for entertaining and is released in October.
Published by: Ivy Press
Price: £20.00
ISBN: 978-1-907332-86-9


  1. I would have a Fairy Tale party. Good excuse to dress up as a princess!

  2. My four year old son is a Henry the Hoover Fan and for his Birthday we had a Henry Theme which would be my dream theme. My husband baked a henry cake in the shape of henry the hoover and we all bought the desk top hoover with us to the party and my son sat all his wind up Henrys beside the cake. He got a couple of Argos books and cut out pictures of Henry and stuck them on the wall. It was a great theme and is still my dream theme.

  3. What a great theme Shannon! Really original.

  4. I would go for Princess and Princes Theme

  5. I would have a wedding themed party just for girls, where everyone gets to wear their wedding dress again. It's a shame to only wear it for one day! :)

  6. I'd hold a Alice in wonderland theme, with me being Alice (obviously... lol)


  7. My favourite theme for a party is racing cars.

    I am lucky enough to have great friends who threw a grand prix party for me - we had scaletrix, pass the parcel with toy cars & car shaped chocolate & sweets, a Ferrari themed giant Happy Birthday poster & a cake shaped like a helmet :)

  8. I'd love an elegant "dress in white" theme to a party, but suspect I'd be dressed in white with red wine and food stains after a few hours due to my inherent clumsiness!

  9. Thanks for the informative article, it was a good read and I hope its ok that I share this with some facebook friends. Thanks.

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I always like to hear your thoughts, so please do leave a comment!