I love entertaining and having friends over to my house. Most of the time the gatherings happen at my house on a whim. Being prepared makes entertaining on short notice a breeze. Just a little preparation and you can be the hostess with the mostess.
Organization is always key! We often entertain on the fly, so having extra glasses, napkins, plates and forks in plastic storage containers makes entertaining “grab and go”. Don’t forget to label the outside of the container.
Keep it simple
Some of the best gatherings I’ve had with friends are those times when I’ve simply put out appies and wine. It gives me a chance to spend time with my guests (which is why they are there).
Keep the party flowing
At any party, everyone tends to gather in the same place. To keep the flow, set up different areas (chairs and tables) for people to gather. Putting the food and drinks in different areas will encourage people to mix and mingle.
Nothing dampens the party mood like running out of food. Simple backups like frozen pizza, chicken wings, and frozen appies are easy to pull out in a pinch.
Get a little crafty
Brown craft paper or black chalkboard paper makes a great rustic tablecloth, it also offers a place for kids to draw (big or small) and makes clean up a breeze. Win, win, win!
Warm up by the fire
When the nights grow cooler, there is nothing better than a patio fire. Don’t forget the marshmallows and the pack of hot dogs I am told that if you are using the fire to cook, the fireman doesn’t get upset.