I love to play hostess. Inviting people into my home and welcoming them with food and drink is my love language. But not everyone feels natural in that role–I totally get it. In fact, for many of you, the idea of all that planning, prepping, and entertaining might make you feel completely overwhelmed. Heck, that’s the reason I started this blog back in 2007! I want to share tips and inspiration that takes out the overwhelm and leaves you confident and excited to send out those invites or to cook up a special weeknight meal.
But, even I am guilty of the occassional overthinking, overplanning, and overextending myself (just ask my husband and kids!). And I’ll admit I may have had my share of “company is coming” freak-out moments. But despite the slip ups, overall, I like to keep things simple which translates into a less-stressed hostess and a more welcoming atmosphere for your guests.
So, as you start planning those inevitable holiday gatherings I urge you to try your best to keep things as simple as you can and take pressure off of yourself to “do it all” or make everything “prefect.”
Believe me, you’ll be a better hostess and your guests will have an even better time. In fact, here are a few things your guests wish you knew.
1. They are thankful you are hosting (and they don’t have to)
They didn’t have to make sure their toilets were clean, they had drink ice on hand, or have to be the ones cleaning up tonight’s mess, tomorrow. So basically you’re already their favorite person because you’re willing to host at your home.
2. They can’t tell if you baked the pie or if it came from the store
They won’t be able to tell one way or the other so make it easy on yourself and grab food at the market. Just take it out of the packaging and present it in a thoughtful way. (You know, like Sarah Jessica Parker did in I Don’t Know How She Does It.)
Looking for a fun family game? This DIY cactus ring toss was a huge hit with my family! We like to play games together often (and we’re also a pretty competitive group so it gets interesting), indoors or out. Since summer is winding down, we’ve been trying to play more outdoor games and that’s what inspired this DIY cactus ring toss game.
The cactus trend is still going strong and I thought making a cactus ring toss game just screamed summer–so viola! It was really easy to make. We were playing within 30 minutes of putting it together (it’s triple digits with a dry heat so the spray paint basically instantly dried). We put ours in a pot so you can technically play this indoors or out (or even take it to the park for a picnic). (more…)
I’ve been dreaming up my next summer party and of course my mind goes to all the great cocktails I could make. Last week I shared this Pomegranate + Raspberry Champagne Float and my mind keeps going back to frosty cool drinks (it must be the hot weather!).
This new recipe will be perfect for your next patio or pool party because it will keep you icy-cool!
Confession: I have about 500 wine corks that I’ve saved over the years. What does that mean? Well, I am always looking for new wine cork projects to do so when Evite and Cavit Wines reached out with this wine cork DIY, I knew I had to share it with you!
Time: 15 minutes for 5 charms Level of Difficulty: Medium
Fine-point permanent marker
Brass beading hoops or wine glass charms wire (available at craft stores or online)
Directions: Step 1: Cut cork into thin circular slices.
Step 2: Using a stencil and marker, write numbers on the cork slices.
After our recent patio transformation, I was eager to invite a few friends over for a simple evening dining alfresco. Our new outdoor dining furniture and garden-inspired accents set the stage perfectly. I love how the space is pretty neutral with a few pops of color. The furniture and decor lets our backyard really shine. This time of year, we’re in full bloom with lots of greens, pinks, and yellows.
I set the table for four and got ready for a casual early evening (light) dinner. These acrylic glasses were perfect for citrus infused water (and wine later in the evening). I love their light green color and the fact that I don’t have to worry about breaking them.
I kept the food light and served salads and cheese and crackers. I love serving salads in these disposable berry baskets. And the gold plated cutlery from Pier 1 Imports added a nice touch of elegance to an otherwise, really casual tablescape.
For me, dining alfresco is all about embracing the weather and keeping things really simple. Some flowers, food, and friends are really all that is required to host a nice evening. When you have an inviting outdoor space, you’ll be able to entertain in a moment’s notice.
I served cheese and crackers on these wooden coasters. I spotted them and thought they looked just like mini cheese boards. I loved that I could put one at each place setting (I can re-purpose them later indoors as coasters –bonus!).
We had a great evening. Simple food, an inviting space, and great company –the perfect recipe for dining alfresco this summer. Will you be entertaining soon? I’d love to hear about your outdoor space.
The minute the weather warms up and the evenings get longer, I start dreaming up the first summer party of the year. I absolutely love to entertain in our backyard but our space really needed an update. In fact, our old outdoor dining table had all but fallen apart so we had to build our entertaining space back up, from scratch. Working with a blank slate is always exciting to me. A must-have for us was well made outdoor furniture.
Before we could set the stage for summer entertaining, we had to lay the foundation –and this dining collection was the perfect choice!
Today I’m sharing with you how we took this foundation, added a few of my go-to summer party essentials, and transformed our space to one fit for guests. These pieces will help you create an inviting (and functional) space to gather with family and friends –this summer and beyond.
Outdoor furniture: Create an inviting space to dine and relax. A nice outdoor dining table can be used regularly by your family and also when entertaining. My tip is to invest in a good quality table and chairs (I am loving these outdoor stacking chairs) to be sure they stand up against the sun and weather. Be sure to grab a couple colorful pillows to add a pop of color!