I love having people over. Love, love, love it. Our new house (can I still call it new after almost a year?) is finally coming together. So much so that we aren’t asking people to sit on moving boxes with plates on their laps when they come over. It’s great. What’s NOT great is all of the prep that goes into entertaining. I’m just not into it sometimes – and that simply won’t do because if I leave the work up to my husband we will be serving our guests chicken nuggets, peanuts and ice cream cake. To answer your question, yes, this really did happen. Thank goodness for my lazy entertaining skills that I’ve been honing over the past eight years.
I have a couple tips and tricks to make entertaining easy when you’re just not about that life. Also, if you think “about that life” was an awkward thing for me to write, just imagine how weird it is to hear me say it (which I do, a lot.)
Here are the 6 things you need to do to flex your lazy entertaining muscles at your next party…and never have your guests be the wiser.
- Multi-Purpose Dishes w/ Lids for Make Ahead Options.
I know, this is a super simple recommendation, and I don’t mean to offend – but I can’t tell you how much easier it is a make stuff in advance and stash it in the fridge when your dish has a lid that fits it perfectly. Last weekend I made a cucumber dip an entire 24 hours before a party, pulled it out 15 minutes before guests arrived, and it saved.the.day. Truth be told, I actually didn’t even make it for guests, I made it for myself, but then we threw a party and it was already in the fridge ready to go like a gift from the entertaining goddesses.
- Veggie Trays. Yes, Veggie Trays.
Did I just see you yawn? Rude. This dish is a gold star crowd pleaser that everyone is always happy to see in the mix. It gives people the balance they are looking for so they can grab a piece of broccoli and then stuff themselves silly with chips and salsa. However, that said, I can’t get down with a grocery store tray. This is one of the only lazy shortcuts that makes me cringe. It only takes like 5 minutes to chop a couple veggies and arrange them by color. The veggies are MUCH fresher and always taste better. So save your judgement and do the right thing for the HEALTH of your guests (and honestly you could probably use more veggies in your life too, mmkay)?
- Make it bubbly and make it accessible.
Always have bubbles on hand. Someone at the party is going to wish you had some kind of flowing fizz. Trust me. It doesn’t have to be the expensive champagne. In fact, I recommend you go middle of the road here. Let’s not show our guests how much we care about them with a $10 bottle of Trader Joe’s finest – let’s opt for a slightly better vintage and serve the people what they WANT – prosecco! It tastes just as yummy but you can get WAY more bang for your buck. And don’t make the mistake of paying for a cute label. It’s only fun for a moment, until you taste what’s inside, and then the fun STOPS. Another sure fire way to bum out your guests: make refills difficult. You should absolutely pour the first glass for your guests if you can, but after that make it self-serve. You don’t want to be running all over the place freshening up cocktails, and your guests don’t want to feel judged for reaching for that 3rd glass, amiright?
- Pre-made Dips so When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip (sorry, had to!)
Fact: everyone loves dips. EVERYONE. In fact, if you’ve met someone that doesn’t like dips please send them my way because I don’t have time for liars. I also don’t have time to make dip from scratch all the time, so it’s critical to stock up on some readymade mixes. Remember how I mentioned the cucumber dip earlier? Yea, girl! I like this Not Your Mothers Cucumber Dip because it has a tiny touch of habanero in it. Not enough to make you run for the hills, but enough to pop the flavor up a notch. Deeeeelish. Pro tip: fin d a gluten-free base mix like this one so you can proactively impress guests by saying “and of course this dip is gluten free because I would never let that poison into my home.” Then proceed to dip a gluten-filled cracker into the dip and enjoy. These Tara at Home Rammies are some of my very very favorites because not only do they come with a lid, which rocks, but they can also be stashed in the refrigerator OR freezer. Leftovers love them and so do I!
- Stick to a couple colors to make things cohesive.
This is really my rule for all things – home décor, fashion, pets (right now we only have ginger colored animals. No, really.) Limiting the colors you introduce in your entertaining decor makes everything seem more intentional. As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of blue, white and gold. Pretty much everything I own is one of those colors. Even things like paper napkins and plastic cups look a little more upscale if they fit within a consistent color scheme. The veggie tray is from the Tara at Home Wavelength collection and I ADORE it. Confession – it isn’t actually a tray…it’s a LID to a dish from the same collection. I use it as a cutting board because that thing is indestructible and it also moonlights as a serving dish. Next weekend I’m going to toss that thing in the oven as well. Cue “here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down.”
- Put things in Jars.
Folks love jars. Like, LOVE jars. When I throw a party I get more compliments on throwing a couple lousy striped paper straws in a mason jar than I do for my antique silver trays covered in beautiful floral arrangements and party favors. Nothing you can top will top the appreciation for a jar with stuff in it. If you really want to give people a an entertaining heart attack put indoor sparklers in the jar and let people light them IN YOUR HOME. Give this a try, I guarantee it will be a highlight of the party. Humans…super weird.
Thanks to the amazing women of Tara at Home for sending us these incredibly beautiful stoneware pieces. These are the entertaining tools we never knew we always needed. The compliments we received on these pieces made these worth every penny – even though we didn’t have to spend a dime. We can’t wait to scoop up the rest of the Wavelength collection. All opinions, and lazy entertaining moments, are our own.