Entertaining with the Internet

Are you planning a party? Are there plenty of details to work out? Is there not enough time available for you to really put forth the effort needed? How about using the World Wide Web to help you entertain with a minimum of time, effort, and worry?

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS

Are you planning a party? Are there plenty of details to work out? Is there not enough time available for you to really put forth the effort needed? How about using the World Wide Web to help you entertain with a minimum of time, effort, and worry?

Invitations: Sites like Evite.com (www.evite.com) and Invitemetoo.com (www. invitemetoo.com) will send personalized invitations to your guests via e-mail. You choose an invitation; enter in details such as the date, time, place, and any personal messages; list your guests by their e-mail addresses; and the invitations are sent out via the Internet.

Party Theme: Having trouble coming up with an interesting and exciting theme for your party? Sites like Birthday Express (www.birthdayexpress.com), Great Entertaining (www. greatentertaining.com), Birthday USA (www.birthdayusa.com), and The Plunge (www.theplunge. com) will offer you many suggestions.

Decorations: Why run yourself ragged by scurrying around town picking up decorations for your party? Sites like Birthday in a Box (www.birthdayinabox.com), Party Finder (www.partyfinder.net), Great Entertaining (www.greatentertaining.com), iParty (www.iparty.com), and iCelebrate (www.icelebrate.com) can allow you to find paper goods, room and cake decorations, and party favors for just about any themed party you can create.

The Menu: The Internet is a great place to find Web sites that deal with food selection and recipes. Some of the previously mentioned party-planning sites will suggest menus to go with their suggested party themes. If you can`t find what you are looking for on those pages, then the following sites will be sure to help you: Epicurious (www.epicurious.com), iVillage (www. ivillage.com), CDKitchen (www.cdkitchen.com), Fatfree (www.fatfree.com), Chefonline (www.ichef.com), Webtender (www.webtender.com), Gourmet Spot (www.gourmetspot.com), Secret Recipes (www. topsecretrecipes.com/recipes.htm), Starchefs (www.starchefs.com), Kitchen Link (www.kitchenlink. com), and All Recipes (www.allrecipes.com).

Party Favors: What would a party be without party favors? Try visiting Do Me A Favor (www.domeafav.com) or All The Right Stuff (www.alltherightstuff. com/partystuff) for the gifts you are looking for.

Entertainment Online: So you have used the Internet to send out invitations, come up with a great theme for your party, purchased your decorations and party favors online, and developed a delicious menu for your guests. Why not go online with everyone around and use the Internet for entertainment for your party? These sites contain some great games that can be used to amuse you and your guests: Sony Station (www.station.sony.com), Uproar (www.uproar.com/ network.html), Riddler (www.riddler.com), Won.net (www.won. net/frames.html), and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (abc.go.com/ primetime/millionaire/mill_home. html).

From invitations to themes to decorations to recipes, the Web can help you plan and manage your entertaining needs. It`s just another example of just how useful the Internet can be every day.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FACD, FAGD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry Magazine and spokesperson and critical-issue-response-team chairperson for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. His address on the Internet is www.dfdasmiles.com. Contact him by e-mail at jeff@dfdasmiles.com, by phone at (314) 567-5612, or fax at (314) 567-9047.

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