Tips for easy and stress-free entertaining

February 10, 2015

I love to entertain…LOVE it. The cleaning the entire house like a MAD CRAZY woman beforehand, notsomuch. I laughed when a reader commented a few weeks back about how she’s usually cleaning up to the last second and rushing to get ready and sweating as she answers the door because that is so me. 

I always underestimate how long it will take to get the house clean. And then I focus on the upstairs and the basement and then no one goes to those parts of the house and when I don’t worry about those areas everyone wants a whole house tour. ;) So I err on just cleaning the whole place. (I love when friends want to see our whole house!)

Because I always plan on getting the house cleaned up way ahead of time and that never happens, I always try to go with easy food and decor so I’m not stressing at the last minute. I shared how to make these tissue paper poofs years ago and they a staple for showers now. 

You can make a HUGE statement for less than ten bucks:
tissue paper poofs
I got the polka dot ones from Hobby Lobby already made – you just have to poof them out. But the rest my sis and I put together in less than an hour. And the Mama took them home to use in the nursery! It will be so cute! 

I spent about ten bucks on balloons for inside and out:
metal and wood etagere
I still haven’t decided what I want to put on this bookcase after Christmas so it was pretty empty – which was fine because we filled it up with one of the games which was SO CUTE I had to share it. One of my girlfriends who helped me host found this scavenger hunt game where you get all kinds of little baby things – headbands, socks, bibs, barrettes, etc. and put a few of each pair in the bags. Then you hide the match to the pairs around the house. 

The first person to find all of their matches wins – and the Mama gets to keep all of the items. :) This was a perfect game for this shower because it was for twins – the “pairs” theme was so cute. 

I always get fresh flowers for any party – they make the space even prettier without breaking the bank. Especially when you have a Trader Joe’s nearby with super cheap flowers!:
hydrangeas in pitcher
We had simple sherbet punch, pink lemonade from TJ’s, soda, wine and my homemade sangria to drink:
best sangria recipe

A friend of mine makes cakes and cupcakes and they were yummy! I was impressed because I don’t usually like frosting and hers was so good I think it was my favorite part:
cupcake stand

The other food was a mix of store bought and homemade:
baby girl shower
Caprese salad is always a hit and super easy. Cream puffs from the freezer section are a favorite of mine so they always end up at our parties. :) My friend made a scrumptious bruschetta dip (I need to get the recipe) and havarti dill cheese and apples on crackers – that was SO good. 

I found a Hawaiian roll sandwich recipe online but didn’t end up making the dressing that goes over it. I just put the bottom of each roll in a pan, layered black forest ham and provolone cheese on them, then smeared cream cheese on the bottoms of the tops of the rolls. I baked them at 350 for about ten minutes and they were yummy and so easy! I’ll be making these for dinner in the near future too. 

We had so much fun celebrating these baby girls and their Mama! I am SO thrilled for her. Isn’t she so beautiful??

I get to do it all over again next month for my sister – for a baby girl again! :) Do you have any staples when you entertain? Any easy recipes?
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  1. Fresh flowers are such a fantastic way to decorate and gift to the guest of honor after the party (plus no clean up or clutter afterwards)! I love a good charcuterie platter. I keep olives and nuts around all the time, some meats and cheese laid out on a large cutting board with some jams makes such a beautiful and large spread that everyone can find a small sample of something they may like.

  2. What a beautiful party, you are so inspiring! I have been searching all over your blog, can I ask where you got your table? I love it !

  3. If you did not add the sauce over the Hawaiian rolls, you have sinned. You must try them that way next time that you make them. And then be prepared to stand over the pan and lick it....

  4. Hi now I'm hungry uhh, it's cool and excited. I love it :)

  5. Gorgeous party. Great ideas!!! I am storing a few of those away for any party I host in teh future. Some go to recipes for me...I love the Costco chicken salad and will put them in mini fillo cups. Always a hit. Fruit shish kabobs are fun too.

  6. Your formula for a shower/party sounds similar to mine. Some homemade, some store bought. Coincidentally I just posted about a birthday party I just threw for our baby girl and did a similar run down of food and beverages.

    Cute cupcakes!

  7. Whenever I have a grownup or kid party, I always make fire crackers. So easy and dress up a plain ole saltine. I make them days ahead and serve in a tall footed bowl on a cutting board with different cheeses and grapes.
    4 sleeves saltines
    1 1/2 cups canola oil
    2 - 3 Tbsp red chili flakes
    1 pkg ranch dressing mix (not dip mix)
    put all in large bowl with tight fitting lid and shake, shake, shake. let sit for a while so the oil can absorb


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