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6 Tips to keep entertaining easy

In the middle of the night, 
I woke up to the sound of rain drops falling on the roof.
Which I love. 

But if you don't know that rain is coming, 
can also cause your eyes to pop open  as you realize
all that party prep work you did earlier that day 
 is now getting soaked.

Like the dining chairs that just came back out after the last round of rain 
and the freshly washed and slipcovered cushions on the wicker sofa .

I thought about jumping out of bed and running around outside like a crazy woman in my pink slippers and leopard pajama pants to put everything away-
 but instead,
I just pulled the covers up and went back to sleep. 
A rebel, I tell you. 

Even as the rain soaked cushions and dining chairs are drying out a bit this morning,
 party prep is underway over here for the weekend.
It is going to be a busy few days 
with a hefty project getting started and family coming up for a visit.
 And since a long weekend is a perfect time for hosting a get together-
 I thought I would share a few of my favorite tips for super simple, easy and beautiful entertaining.
 Tips like ...
read the weather forecast before you set up your outdoor areas... 

Seriously though, entertaining doesn't have to be something that is stressful or that causes you to run around like crazy to get things ready. It should be an enjoyable experience and it is one that you can put together easily and make it look like a million bucks.

#1. Ahead of Time

One of the first things I do when thinking about what needs to be done for a party- is to notch off some of that stuff I can do ahead of time- because last minute chaos is going to happen either way- but at least some of it can be contained. 
Of course, things like mopping the floor and refreshing the already cleaned room are last minute items- but you can do a couple of things ahead that make party day easier. Make the dessert ahead of time and freeze it. Wash the slipcovers a couple days before hand so they are ready.  Pick up fresh flowers and any menu items TODAY for a party on Sunday or Monday. 
Basically, keep last minute chaos to a minimum by doing as much ahead of time as you can.

#2. Keep the menu easy

My advice for planning the menu? 
Keep it simple, easy to make and delicious all at the same time. 
Sounds like a difficult task right? 
It isn't hard, really. Think pasta, a baked dish or even some gourmet sandwiches.  
And for appetizers? 
Finger foods. Easy snackables.
Crackers and cheese which you can pick up already sliced if you want to.
Chips and hummus or salsa. 
Keep it stress free for hosting.

#3. A classic setting

Keep your table setting simple and classic AND easy-with white dishes. 
White plates don't have to be fancy and they don't even have to match. 
Gather your whites and either stack them in a serve yourself style or set a simple
 place setting with them.

Food always looks great on white dishes and doesn't compete with a pattern.

#4. Add something unexpected

I love to add something different or unexpected to a party- 
and it doesn't have to be difficult to do.

Whether it is paper lanterns in the trees in the yard, a strand of twinkle lights running down the center of the table, radiator screen lanterns lighting the steps or yes, even a chandelier on a branch.
 Think of something that might be unusual or unexpected and add that fun touch.

#5. Centerpiece

Of course, flowers for your centerpiece is always a first thought. But another favorite of mine is to trim greens and lay them down the center of the table in a garland style. Simple and easy to do. If you want something a touch more romantic- add small bouquets nestled into the greens.  

Keep your arrangements low enough that guests can see each other
and don't need to lean over to look around them.

#6. Party Favors

Along the memorable and talking about it lines- sending your guests home with a party favor is always fun. 
It makes me think of those childhood parties and how excited you would get to see 
what was waiting for you inside your party favor bag. 
For adults- party favors take on a different flavor. 
You go from whistles and whoopee cushions- 
to something a little indulgent and sweet
 like a bouquet of flowers.

One of my favorites is to use small cushioned mason jars. These jars come with darling little labels that you can write names on, and are a perfect size for adding a handful of dainty flowers to. They are definitely something your guests will appreciate taking home with them- and that they will enjoy.

Just a few tips for making entertaining easy AND beautiful at the same time.
For more ideas- you can find them in my EBay post HERE

Find my favorite fresh salsa recipe HERE   
and the DIY on the radiator screen lanterns HERE 

Happy Friday everyone!

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  1. I laughed out loud. Never EVER EVER EVER in Ohio may someone start pre-planning without checking the weather every hour on the hour and no WAY to leave it outside overnight. You Cali folks are so spoiled, haha.

    Your tips are wonderful and pics always outstanding.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, C!

  2. Enjoyed your post. if i would have been woke up by the rain after having finished getting the patio ready for the next day. I would have done the same like you did , I would have pulled the sheets up over my head and just dealt with in the morning. :) Thanks for the receip. :) Have a great Weekend.
    Be Blessed

  3. Wow, I love this set up! These tips are lovely, I've always dreamed of being able to host something like this in my place once I get one. I'll be moving into my own place this September and will definitely try to put together something like this when I can. Lovely flowers and decor!

    My Lovelier Days

  4. Comme ces roses sont belles !
    merci pour ces belles photos et l'amour que vous portez à mon pays la France
    douce pensées du Sud de la France

  5. Great tips, all so easy and make it more fun! Never really gave thought to party favors, but those little jar bouquets are so sweet I will defiantly be using that in the future!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs