Entries Tagged as 'holiday'
December 15th, 2014 · 1 Comment
As you guys know, I love to entertain.
Give me a free weekend with nothing on our agenda and I’ll figure out some excuse to have people over — sometimes with an hour or two of notice, sometimes with a month. When I have the time, energy, and resources, there’s nothing I like more.
And I’ve learned something really important from many years of obsessive hostessing: your guests want to see you. They’re not showing up to evaluate your home cooking or crafting as compared to Pinterest. They want to hang out; they want to catch up. They do not want you to be stuck in the kitchen whipping up homemade treats for them, all by yourself.
When we lived in New York, I learned this the hard way (sort of). I invited a dozen or so friends over to our apartment, and just placed a tray of toasted baguette slices into our oven when the doorbell rang with the first guest. Twenty minutes later, I had forgotten completely about those little toasts, and I was enjoying talking with a few friends when, suddenly, I smelled something… burning.
My homemade recipe was done-zo. Or, more accurately, ha ha, it was toast.
And, you know what? No one cared.
The party went on, I hung out with our friends, and the toasts were forgotten. No one starved.
And from that, I learned my lesson. The next time we invited friends over, I didn’t make everything from scratch. I bought some beautiful items, laid them out in a pretty way, and everyone ooh-ed and aah-ed the same as they always did.
I still love setting out the most beautiful dishes, and creating the prettiest table. But lately — especially with a new baby, when my time is not just limited but essentially nonexistant — I’ve been embracing the beautiful things that are also easy.
And on that note, let me introduce Shari’s Berries. These beautiful little treats are stunningly gorgeous, and they’re literally the perfect thing to break out when you want to present a beautiful table with very minimal effort.
Also, they make chocolate-covered Oreos with Christmas decorations on them. Are you sold yet?
I picked out some of my favorites for this post, but there are so many more beautiful options on their websites. From handmade snowmen brownie pops to cake truffles in gift boxes with quirky little sayings, their website has everything you need to be the ultimate holiday hostess.
So sit back, relax, and don’t burn the toast.
Tags: food · holiday · sponsored
Today on SheKnows, I wrote about a few do’s and don’ts when you’re shopping for holiday presents for new babies! As everyone starts getting into the holiday spirit, spend a little time thinking about the gifts that a baby will love… that won’t drive mom nuts!
Head over here to read the full piece!
Tags: holiday · sponsored
November 17th, 2014 · 5 Comments
The holidays are a wonderful time to catch up with family and friends, and one of the best ways to get into the spirit of the season is to throw a holiday party! Even if you don’t host friends regularly year-round, everyone’s inner host or hostess comes out as the holidays roll around. But the trick for entertaining with a smile is to keep things festive but still relaxed — so I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite tips for holiday hostessing!
Set the Tone with a Festive Theme
Holiday parties come in all shapes and sizes: from a fancy catered office party to having a few girls over at home. If cocktail parties are your thing, go right ahead, but also consider some outside-the-box that your friends will enjoy: anything from a cookie-decorating party, a tree-trimming bash, or a girls night in with your favorite holiday movies.
Think Beyond Saturday Night
Inevitably, everyone wants to throw their holiday party on the same Saturday night: before everyone goes out of town, but after everyone gets into the feel of the season. Unfortunately, that means that people get booked for those prime holiday weekends way in advance, and your guests will likely be party-hopping all night. My solution? Pick an “off” night — a Thursday or Friday evening or even a Sunday afternoon — to avoid fighting for prime holiday hours and ensure all your friends can be in attendance!
Serve a Signature Beverage
Sure, you can serve wine and beer and call it day… but this is a holiday party, so why not try something a little more creative? One way to enjoy festive drinks (but not turn yourself into a one-woman bartender all night) is to pick one signature beverage and do the prep work ahead of time. If you’re serving, say, mulled cider with cinnamon sticks and a splash of Kahlúa (and now that I’ve mentioned it, gosh, doesn’t that sound like the perfect thing to serve?), you can prep it a day in advance and then just warm it up before your guests arrive.
Get a Helping Hand
And on that note: if you’re having more than, say, twenty people, consider getting a little help. A helping hand can go a long way, whether it’s some prepared food that you pick up before the party, a bartender to make sure everyone’s glass is full throughout the night, or hiring a cleaning service to swing by the next morning.
When the Doorbell Rings, Enjoy Your Own Party!
It’s tempting to be the perfect hostess who stays up all night whipping up canapes from scratch, and some of us really enjoy spending time and energy on homemade treats. But, you know what? Your guests might oooh and aaah over those fancy dishes you spent hours on, but at the end of the day, what they really want is time with you. Not the exhausted, up-all-night, can’t-leave-the-table-unattended-for-ten-seconds you, but the you who’s ready to catch up, to ask them how work is going, and to sip a cocktail with a smile. Sure, parties take work, but they should be fun, too. Don’t be too busy throwing your holiday party to enjoy it.
You know my favorite part of every party? When there are a few friends left, at the very end of the night. When you’re done answering the door and refilling people’s drinks, and you can just sit down, relax and just talk. And you know what? That’s the best time for one last drink, that you can sip slowly and linger with over good conversation. So for that moment, when it’s just a few of your good friends left, when you want to keep the party going a little while longer, I give you: the Midnight Kiss.
The Midnight Kiss
4 parts hot coffee
1 part Kahlúa
1 part vanilla vodka
1 part skim milk
Stir together the Kahlúa, coffee, vodka, and milk and pour into teacups. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, and serve.
The best cocktails are sipped responsibly. When you’re hosting holiday parties and all year round, don’t overindulge and never drink and drive!
Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tags: cocktails · holiday