Now that summer has pretty much arrived, it has brought along with it a seemingly endless stream of parties and get togethers with friends and family. But I’m not complaining because I truly love spending time with my closest and most favourite people!
There’s just something about warm summer air and green grass that makes people want to spend time together over great food…and often times these shin digs are impromptu. I actually like last minute get togethers a lot more than the ones you take forever to plan. I think it’s because when you’re planning on the fly, somehow the pressure is off because you don’t have a lot of time to stress about the details, and so it seems more casual? Who knows. But I do know parties are fun!
The key to entertaining (and enjoying it) is to keep it simple. The more easy going my approach, the better time it is for everyone. With a few simple decorations, a lot of good food and great company you are guaranteed to have a good time! I took my own advice when planning my daughter’s 12th birthday last weekend…simple food, simple decorations and a lot of giggling!
So how do I keep my party planning simple? Here are 10 tips for easy summer entertaining:
- When I’m preparing a get together for friends & family, I put my cleaning focus on the main floor of my home: the living room, the bathroom and my kitchen. If you wander off anywhere else in my home during one of these impromptu gatherings you can expect to see quite a few messy bedrooms upstairs…you’ve been warned! I focus on making sure that the areas where my guests will be spending their time are spic and span. So this means sparkling bathrooms, a tidy main floor and a shiny kitchen! I have to have a kitchen that sparkles, because every good party ends up in the kitchen! With my Frigidaire Gallery® appliances, my kitchen has never been easier to keep clean because of their Smudge-Proof™ Stainless Steel technology. A simple wipe down of the counters and appliances and my kitchen is ready. I figure as long as the bathrooms and my kitchen are spic and span, and the main area of my home is clean and tidy, it’s all good! No one cares that your bed isn’t made…at least they shouldn’t. ;)
- I keep our get togethers contained to one the main area. I like to set up our kitchen table in a buffet style arrangement…it’s where we lay out all the food, drinks and utensils so our guests can serve themselves. That way everything is in one place so it’s easy to find, and easy to keep tabs on refills!
- If the weather is good, we take it outside! Everyone loves to eat outdoors so if you can, do it! Transform your deck or patio space into an outdoor oasis with some candles, flowers, patio lights and comfy cushions. If you can, set up your buffet table on the patio too. And don’t forget to have some throw blankets on hand in case your guests feel chilly!
- For impromptu gatherings I keep the food simple! You don’t have to be Martha and make everything yourself. Buy pre-made desserts or salads or fruit & veggie trays. Fill a pretty drink dispenser with pre-made lemonade and a few slices of fresh lemon. Put out bowls of chips and dip. Serve up a good old fashioned BBQ of hotdogs and hamburgers.
- If possible, ask for help! Consider having a potluck! Guests love being able to contribute to a party, and most people are more than willing to help you out! Just ask.
- I keep a stash of simple and festive party decorations on hand. I especially love to hang paper lanterns and honeycomb balls, because they add instant pretty to any get together. Honestly, they are the easiest way to decorate…2 seconds of hanging and your home looks party ready!
- Mix & match fun and colourful dishes to create a festive table setting! Over the years I’ve gathered quite a collection of dishes, as you can probably imagine, which come in handy for get togethers!
- Put out fresh flowers and candles. You can never go wrong with these simple decorations!
- Turn on music. Music is the universal language that fills silences and makes everyone feel comfortable!
- Relax and have fun! If you’re having fun, your guests will too!
Disclosure: I am part of the Frigidaire Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.