Anyways....... My friend, Tiffany (aka T-Rog), is hosting a giveaway over on her blog, Life is Glamorous and Fabulous today. She wants us to talk about parties! And I LOVE throwing parties... dinner, cocktail, brunch, lunch, baby shower, wedding shower, Christmas breakfast... you name it, I love it. So, here are some of my strategies for creating the perfect party... and I'm sorry I don't have any pics! I get distracted and never take any pics during get-togethers! Which is a good excuse to come on over and let your hair down!):
Whether it's an Evite, Paperless Post, stock card, customized invitation or fully custom created by a friend (I have some FAB art designer friends)... the invitation truly sets the tone for the party.
Evite says "This party is probably casual and I may or may not really expect you to show up because an Evite RSVP doesn't feel very official." And there's always the go-to "I might be washing my hair" answer for "maybe".
Paperless Post says you're on the cutting edge of the trend because it's a tiny step up. Plus it LOOKS like an envelope and has that "wax" seal on it. Fancy.
Printed Invitations of any kind mean you MUST RSVP by phone or email because someone has paid to invite you to this party!
Fully Custom Invitations mean... this one's gonna be a doozy and you don't want to miss it!
The Guest List
My favorite gatherings typically are a mix of people that I know from all different places that I think will get along. I don't always like to have just one set of people over who all know each other. Sometimes, that's great because it takes ALL the pressure off. But I like it when two of my good friends who've never met make a connection and all my worlds start to tie together!
Now THIS is the real kicker. Food and Drinks will absolutely make or break your party. I've thrown all kinds of parties... from just cocktails/wine and cheese to gourmet feasts and they have all worked! It totally depends on the atmosphere you want to create, how long you want people to stick around and the level of work you want to put into it.
New Years Eve - Simple Appetizers that don't take a lot of work to reheat work best here. i.e. Lil' Smokes (with grape jelly and yellow mustard... don't ask, just eat) + cream cheese/raspberry chipotle with crackers + a huge chick fil a nugget tray + smores to be roasted on the firepit + queso + chips. (I'm not going to lie and say that THIS NYE wasn't slightly more glamorous and fabulous... because it was. But the years at home are great fun, too!)
Baby Shower Luncheon - A variety of small, ladylike things make girls feel like they've had a nice lunch but aren't stuffed. Pasta Salad from Central Market with Pesto Chicken + Homemade Fried Pickles (because the momma-to-be was craving them!) + fruit skewers + a green salad with homemade dressing + cake balls made by a friend.
Labor Day Impromptu Gathering - I saw the Pioneer Woman's recipes and decided I wanted to try them all and I couldn't possibly eat all that food for myself (I'm thinking this in the voice of "what? Little ol' Me?" and batting my eyelashes at you). Here's my recap of that get-together. Also, fajitas would have worked well here. I have a FAB marinade recipe... if you read this far and want it, let me know. :)
Daniel's 30th Birthday Dinner (Day Of Decision!) - I really wanted to do something for Daniel on his birthday, but we had just gotten back from Vegas and he didn't want to go out... so, I emailed a bunch of friends and told them to just stop by for a drink and Frito Pie for dinner after work or whenever. We had people in and out for about 4 hours and just visited individually and with groups. I left the chili on the stove and had all the fixings... two kinds of fritos, cheese, onions, jalapenos, sour cream, etc. It was a huge hit! And so easy.
This is ENTIRELY too long... so I will leave you with this... if YOU are relaxed and happy at your gathering, your friends will be, too! Party On!