Springtime Entertaining

Springtime Entertaining

Let's talk entertaining!

Spring and summer months always seem to be so busy with social events, especially as the weather gets nice! From family events to showers and celebrations to last-minute front porch gatherings, there's always something going on!

I genuinely LOVE to host and entertain, but my outlook on it has changed quite a bit over the last few years, especially after having children. I have become way more relaxed when it comes to hosting after children, than before and I think I've learned that simple is (yet again!) better. 

Before having kids, I felt that everything had to be absolutely perfect and done "to the nine's" when we had company over, even if it was family. The food had to be perfect, the house had to look perfect, I had to be perfectly put together. Last-minute get togethers at our home stressed me out big time! Whether it was just embracing the chaos of children or figuring out some tricks to simplifying hosting, I've let go of all of that "perfection" and have discovered what works best for me to be able to enjoy being hostess! Now, I can even have last-minute, day-of company without going into full panic mode (although I still do a 'rapid-fire' clean around the house).

Here are some of my personal tips or thoughts behind entertaining:

  • Don't overthink, don't over-spend, don't over-complicate. Keep your food simple, don't spend a bunch of unnecessary money just to 'impress' and don't create more work for yourself than what's necessary! 

  • Use a variety of materials! I love to use disposable cocktail napkins, a mixture of porcelain, ceramic, glass or melamine pieces, nice table linens and pretty paper plates! My table ranges vastly when it comes to quality and cost.

  • Don't be embarrassed to use disposable plates and flatware! Seriously! If you want to make the paper goods a little fancier, you can find some great options. Replacements, Ltd. specializes in China, flatware and crystal but I think they're amazing because they sell paper plates that are printed to match some of the most beautiful China sets and brands! Spode, Lennox, Portmeirion and more.. all available as paper plates! We've even matched my mother-in-law's Woodland Spode China set with paper plates from Replacements, Ltd. for holiday events when we'd rather talk and enjoy our family than be doing dishes. I've bought antique-style disposable flatware from Amazon that also made plastic forks feel a little nicer. 

  • No matter the season, have fresh flowers!

  • Incorporate color! From your linens and dishes to the food you're serving, color makes everything feel warm, happy and inviting. 

  • Don't stray from what you know and feel comfortable preparing and serving. Hosting is probably not the best time to try something you've never made before! You want to be confident in what you're serving and familiar, tried-and-true dishes bring that confidence. 

  • When it comes to food, think about what's in season, what's easy for you to prepare and what's something your guests will enjoy! Whether you're hosting a sit-down meal or a finger-food buffet, don't add fuss that isn't necessary. Tea sandwiches or "celebration sandwiches" as I've shared, a big charcuterie board, a simple green or pasta salad are all easy for spring entertaining. 

  • Take your guests into consideration when planning your menu. Are you hosting a bunch of women or helping to host a shower? A spread of finger-food is perfect. Women spend so much time talking, they won't eat as much as you think, so don't go overboard on the food. Celebration sandwiches, a charcuterie spread, pasta salad, little bites are all great to nibble on throughout conversation. Hosting family with little ones? Have some kid-friendly snacks available in the form of cheddar bunnies, pouches, juice boxes and fruit. Planning an intimate dinner with a small group of friends? Plan a menu that's hungry-husband friendly (aka something with protein and cheese) and keep it simple! 

  • Keep some pantry items and basic refrigerator items on hand for those last-minute get togethers! This has made me so much more relaxed when we have unplanned front porch gatherings at our house. A box of crackers (even as simple as Wheat Thins), some olives, a block of cheese, beef sticks, fruit on hand, a few pieces of chocolate, pretzels, nuts, nonperishable dips and spreads such as tapenade, hummus... all these items are easy to keep on hand and can be quickly thrown together for a simple cheese board!

These are just some of my personal tips for entertaining! I hope you enjoy the upcoming months and remember to have FUN hosting!