So something you may not know about me unless you are one of my friends is that I love to host get-togethers. It can be a girls night with just a couple friends, or a birthday party with 20-30 people. I am no expert on event planning, but I love to welcome people into my home and create a comforting and warm atmosphere so that everyone feels comfortable and has fun.
I also think holding get-togethers (do I sound old saying get- togethers?) or inviting people over is also a great excuse to get those projects for your house or apartment that you have been putting off into action! Just sayin'. Maybe throw a party and you'll finally get those pictures hung or floors redone!
Anyways,I know for many, the idea of hosting something can seem daunting because you might not innately be interested in decor or cooking or presentation. I list these things because we all know someone in our circle that seems to do all of these things well! My twin sister is so good at all the details that it takes to throw a gorgeous and welcoming event. No pressure! Lol. She has taught me so much!
I thought I'd share my little cheat sheet on the short list I created for myself to make things look good, taste good, while still being easy on the prep side as well as share the other aspects like decor that I always go back to to make things easy. Also, I left off alcohol because everyone has their preference. But I have to say, if you love cocktails, Pinterest a fresh cocktail recipe and prep in advance. If you are into wine, a few reds and whites should cover it. I always count on two glasses per person and do the math on how many bottles I need because some people drink more and some don't drink at all. Always have a little more for good measure and if you live in LA, K&L Wines and Silverlake Wine has amazing selections!
5 things you need to throw a good party:
1. A (Beautiful) Cheeseboard- It goes a long way and if you assemble with care and add a few cute touches like dried fruits, rosemary sprigs, and display on some sort of pretty tray or rustic cheeseboard, it can be a centerpiece to the table! We make huge ones for our parties and I have copied pictures from pinterest and it ends up looking great! My sister is Queen of the cheeseboard. We go to Trader Joes a lot of the time and get all the ingredients there! Sometimes I go to Whole Foods if I want it to be extra fancy but for the most part, Trader Joes or a quality store will have all you need.
2. Candles- I always like to set a mood at my home because I want people to walk in and feel at ease. I do this in the most simple way by lighting candles in the bathrooms, entry, and main room where people will be hanging out. In the entry and bath, I use scented candles (Anthropologie, Diptyque, Trapp, or P.F. Candle Co. are my faves and are made with good quaity wax so they dont smell too much and give me a headache). I always try and use white non scented near the food or in the main area so the soft light sets a nice mood without overpowering the smell of the food.
shop the post
3. Music- A party without music just tends to feel boring and awkward. I hate to say it because everyone can be having a great time without it, but having the background music creates an atmosphere that feels special, festive, creats fluidity. I sometimes feel stuck in a conversation if its too quiet, even if the conversation has taken its course and ended naturally. For some reason it just makes it or awkward to move on. Music is a welcomed distraction and soundtrack in social settings, so I always love to have it on low in the background. My favorites are Bossa Nova, Classical Jazz, or in the rare occasion people are wanting to get rowdy (which never happens), a playlist of something modern and new from pop artists.
4. Decor- This area tends to be the easiest for me because I love interior design and have eclectic style, so my house usually has some design to it already. When I throw a party though, I like to add twinkly lights for atmosphere, greenery and flowers to soften things and make the house feel finished and pulled together. I literally go to Trader Joes (again) and buy their flowers and greenery to spread across my table, consoles, and put flowers in a few vases. I prefer all green monochromatic plants if possible to look more wild and lush.
5. Entree Salad- Okay this might seem strange to make this a must, but I swear by entree salads to go a long way when it comes to feeding your guests. I am the QUEEN of salad making. I have been eating healthy for years because I have always wanted to stay in shape for modeling, so I had to get creative. Salads are also easy to make, take very little time and feed lots of people. I always include filling ingredients that have lots of flavor as well so people think they are eating something unhealthy and rich when in reality most of the ingredients are clean and nutritious. Put the salad in a beautiful big bowl, I use a large low and wide white bowl from Crate and barrel with pretty salad utensils to make it look that much prettier.
P.S. I have a formula for always making popular salads again and again with different ingredients. For that Cheat sheet and grocery list example, just subscribe to the blog below and the pdf. will be sent to your inbox!
I really focus on this clear and easy list to make any party I hold seem doable and less stressful. As long as I can focus on small tasks, I wont get overwhelmed when I have people over. I hope this helps make hosting a party a little bit easier for you, and if you have any suggestions, I would love to know. Leave them in the comments below!