Saturday, June 27, 2009

fun host = fun party

As you may or may not know, Mac and I entertain A LOT. Big parties for the Oscars, Cinco de Mayo and Halloween, small BBQs and "Tiki Theater" nights all summer long, and the occasional small dinner party. As such, we've kind of become the “Party Experts” within our circle of friends.

Dinah chopping limes for beer & cocktails
Chopping limes at the 2009 Oscar Party

In fact, just in the last couple months I've had a lot of people come to me for my advice on entertaining, specifically: two themed birthday parties, one backyard barbecue baby shower bash, and even a couple weddings. So, with the encouragement of my friends, I've decided to start blogging my advice and tips, and tagging it with "easy entertaining" so it's all very easy to find.

Disclaimer 1: As a busy girl, I have no idea how long this idea will last, but I already have a long list of ideas to write about. So cross your fingers. This could be really fun if I stay at it.

Disclaimer 2: Despite my experience with entertaining in my home, and my enjoyment of it, I honestly don't think of myself as particularly original or awesome at throwing parties. Like, I’m an okay cook, but two of my friends are professional chefs--one runs a restaurant and the other a catering company--and a third just got her pastry chef degree. I also watch a LOT of Food Network and read a lot of magazines (including Martha Stewart) all of which adds up to a lot of information and inspiration. The crazy multi-tab spreadsheet I developed for wedding planning evolved from one my friend Gretchen designed for her wedding—I just turned it up about 12 notches. I guess what I am offering with these blog entries is simply a map through the maze of all this information. Complete with shortcuts, of course.

The Spread
The shortcut-galore spread at Amanda's Valley Girl-themed bridal shower.

Disclaimer 3: When it comes to entertaining, the best successes come when the host and/or hostess approach any endeavor with their own style. By that I don’t just mean d├ęcor or menu. I also mean planning and organizational style. For example, I’ve shared my crazy planning spreadsheet with some people who have FREAKED OUT over it and thought it was the MOST USEFUL TOOL EVER. I have also sent it to people who just do not use Excel for anything, took one look at it and decided “not for me,” and went on to throw a fantastic wedding/party without it. Which is a long way of saying: if you read some advice and it seems like it’s not for you, then don’t follow it. I can hear you all saying “DUH!” from here, but believe me when I say that throwing parties can be stressful enough without trying to be something you’re not. A relaxed, comfortable host is a happy and FUN host, and fun host = fun party.

That’s all the disclaimers I can think of for now (could I BE any more nervous about giving out advice?). We’ll see how this goes…

DSC05745
A lattice-top apple pie from scratch, Thanksgiving 2008

1 comment:

Kate said...

I will obviously be commenting on your entertaining and cooking advice when I have time to sit down and read the whole thing because hosting/cooking is also one of my favorite things, but for now, I just had to say you look awesome in the picture from you Oscar party. Great dress.