French Country Cottage. Powered by Blogger.

5 secrets for easy and inspired entertaining

It is almost that time of year again...
that out under the twinkling stars relaxing and entertaining time of year.

With twinkle lights and warm sunshine dancing through the trees as the sun sets

pretty flowers and place settings
and of course... 
decadent delicious desserts.

Today I am talking about outdoor entertaining and sharing 5 tips to make 
your next get together so much easier to host.
Things like... setting the table ahead of time.
Picking up grocery store flowers 
and a dessert for nibbling.

Tip #1. Load up on market flowers

Table settings and parties deserve pretty- 
and what is prettier than bringing in bouquets of flowers?

Fresh flowers can get expensive- so one of the first stops I make 
when planning a get together is the market.
And by the market- I mean the everyday, regular old grocery store.
Yes indeed. 
You can find fresh roses, mixed bouquets even peonies and ranunculus- depending on where you are located and what types of markets you have in your area. 
While they may not always been much better priced than buying from a flower market
they often are- and they are readily available.

I do realize the lack of good floral options are a struggle in some areas- so another option?
Potted florals. Garden Clippings. 
I have bought potted hydrangeas and brought them home and clipped the flowers off for a beautiful
bouquet. Think outside the box (or house) and go out into your garden and clip something beautiful there as well.

Tip #2. Keep it Simple & Sweet

Something that always helps keep the chaos to a minimum- keeping it simple.
Easier said than done- I know
but there are some things you can definitely plan ahead on and keep on the simple side.
Like mixing the salad (other than dressing) earlier in the day
making something simple such as a pasta or even something that can be made ahead and baked when needed and picking up dessert to have on hand.

For warm weather entertaining - think something refreshing like a chilled dessert.
A caramel and pecan topped favorite...
EDWARDS® Turtle Pie  is a decadent delicious hit that everyone will love.

#3. Add Ambiance

I am a little obsessed with ambiance like twinkle lights and flickering candles.
But how can you not be when setting up for a party and thinking party 'mood'? 

One of my favorite tips is to load up on candles.
Just remember when using real candles - safety first.

Think about other areas you can add twinkle lights-
 to trees or above your patio area, etc.
and don't forget to place lanterns along walkways
if you will be entertaining late into the evening.
Aside from adding charm- those lanterns make it much easier for guests to navigate when going indoors or to their car.
No cell phone flashlight needed. 

A couple simple last minute tips for the road

4.  Remember to have plenty of ice ready in the freezer

I have forgotten and had to run to the market last minute.
 No one enjoys a warm lemonade on a hot evening...

5. Have Extras on hand.

Don't forget to have extra desserts and nibbles on hand for those late night conversations
that keep on going. Sometimes the party is just too good to wrap up early. So it is always a good idea to make sure you have extras just in case the clock is nearing midnight... and a midnight snack.
(And no, I won't tell if you have another serving of dessert.)

What about you? 
Do you have any tips for entertaining outdoors 
and keeping it simple ?

See you tomorrow for a bit more softer side of market inspiration.
I am enjoying fresh coastal air as I work this morning and am off to the flower market for a few greens and blooms for a busy week of photo shoots.
Tune into my stories on Instagram for a few behind the scenes of what inspires me there
(okay... it is pretty much everything...) 
and stay tuned for more sneak peeks from what I am working on.

Happy Tuesday everyone.

I partnered with EDWARDS® Desserts  to share outdoor entertaining ideas 

but all opinions and insane love of caramel, pecan and chocolate desserts
 are my own.


  1. Citronella candles to ward off mosquitos!
    I love your photos. You nailed the magical light, just enough to see the details and also feel the glimmer of the candles.

    1. Totally agree on the citronella!! Great idea!! Thank you so much for your compliment-mood lighting can be tricky to get just right.Too little or too much. I am a huge fan of candles. :)

  2. Your setting is gorgeous. Like FranceTaste, the citronella candles (or insect repellant) is a must. I too adhere to the KIS principle and also prepare ahead of time as much as possible. I prefer to over-cater. The leftovers can always be devoured during the following days. xxx

    1. Yes indeed!! Love over- catering or over making- and enjoying for several days after the get together. Makes is so much easier!! :)

  3. Love the flowers and purple glasses And the garden setting!

  4. You can use a Citronella plant which is a citrus-scented geranium which looks great and helps with the bugs. I love them and they seem to help with bugs.