First of all, thank you so much to those who have already taken my quick reader’s survey that was at the bottom of yesterday’s post. The responses are so helpful! If you missed yesterday’s post with answers to frequently asked blogging questions, click here. Thanks again!
Now on to today’s post topic: Entertaining!
One thing that entertaining party guests and painting your home have in common is that they both become very easy (and potentially inexpensive) to do if you already have a stockpile of the necessary staples on hand that you use over and over again. Both tasks used to cause me a decent amount of stress, but I’ve realized that once you’ve done both a number of times you find yourself reaching for the same staples to make the job easier every single time.
Ever since we were newlyweds, Jamie and I have always really enjoyed filling our home with friends and having a good time. We even had to consider how “entertainment friendly” each of the houses we looked at here in Kansas was before we considered purchasing it. It’s something that we share in common that we genuinely love to do.
Regardless of the type of event I’m throwing, the following staples always seem to come in handy and help make throwing together a shindig much more simple and fun.
A variety of white platters and serving bowls
Before I threw my first baby shower for a close friend several years ago I raided HomeGoods and purchased eight different types of plain white serving platters and bowls. White platters work really well for both more formal events as well as casual events. Regardless of what my menu is, I always seem to have an option to serve each item on based on the variety of platters and bowls I purchased way back when.
Pretty serving utensils
I’ve used this hostess set from Oneida repeatedly for years. It has all of the pieces that I need and use.
I like having a silverware caddy that also has a space for my napkins. I purchased mine on clearance for $12 years ago from a Pottery Barn outlet store, and I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of that silverware caddy tenfold. Though I couldn’t find mine available for purchase online, I really like this classic galvanized one pictured above from Crate and Barrel.
My mother-in-law gifted us this particular beverage dispenser before I threw a baby shower about a year ago, and we’ve used it for various events close to a half-dozen times since. It’s plastic and therefore lightweight, easy to fill and move around, and attractive. It’s currently available for purchase from Target. I highly recommend it!
Though three are pictured, only the beverage tub on the right is ours (I borrowed the other two for a larger event). Typically one is enough, and it usually holds either water bottles or beer bottles. We purchased ours from Target several years ago for cheap ($20) and have used it repeatedly. You can find it available here. Eventually I’d love to splurge on one like this that comes with a stand so that we don’t have to find a table or counter space to set it on.
We received this classic one as a wedding gift over five years ago, and it’s still in beautiful condition.
I like to put a scented candle in the kitchen and another in the bathroom. A house that smells good just feels more inviting.
I have a set of a dozen mason jars that I use to arrange small floral arrangements to sprinkle around the house, and I also use mason jars to hold straws. If the gathering is small, I may also using them as drinking glasses. Tie a ribbon around them in the colors of your event (if you’ve selected specific colors) to add an extra dash of character.
Though I keep the platters, bowls, serve ware, and mason jars tucked away in my kitchen cabinets, I keep the rest of our party supplies organized into two Rubbermaids in a spare bedroom closet. I always hold on to extra plastic silverware, plates, napkins, cups, and decor. I try to cut entertaining costs by scoping out what we have leftover from previous get-togethers and using what we have already first before purchasing more.
Once you have established your collection of staples, your needs for each individual function are minimal: food, beverages, and party-specific decor.
PS: My mom always says that a major perk to having people over is that it forces you to clean your house a little deeper than you normally would. I find this to be very true!
What staples do you have that you consider essential for throwing a social gathering? I’d love to hear what I should add to this collection!
You can follow my “Entertain” pinterest board below where I find a lot of fun inspiration.