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Entertain on a moments notice

Full disclosure here; I love to entertain.

A house full of people all in my way, driving me crazy is actually my happy place. I do understand that for many people though, entertaining at home is stressful and something they truly dread. Many avoid it altogether and that’s unfortunate because it doesn’t have to be so hard.

We tend to put way too much emphasis on what we are going to serve or what our living space looks like. I have found that people really just like to be invited over for a fun evening. If they’re judgemental of what you serve or of having to sit in a stadium chair, would you really want them as guests anyway? Let all that go.

I used to prepare things way above my skill level or far too time consuming to make it worth it for anyone because I was so stressed by the time I sat down.Looking back, I see how unnecessary it was.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to throw a fancy dinner party more than anybody, but let’s face it, most of the time it’s just friends on a random thursday night after work that we are wanting to see, right? 

I’ve learned alot and now keep what I call a “party drawer”.

I keep it stocked and try to only get into it when I have last minute guests. It’s filled with yummy crackers and unusual chips and nuts (like flavored pistachios) and things I pick up here and there when I am out shopping. Places like Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx can have lots of interesting things on their food aisles. I keep a block or two of good cheese in my fridge which, depending on the variety, will keep for a good while. Throw in some grapes or apple slices and there you go. You can always ask your guests to bring their own beverage, which eliminates some of the expense and decision making. (party started)

If it's dinner you need, and don’t have the time or skill set to cook like the Barefoot Contessa, who doesn’t LOVE a great thin crust pizza, honestly.

You could order one from a favorite restaurant or dress up a frozen one with some fresh veggies and herbs. Grab a prewashed container of mixed greens, a bottle of a yummy vinaigrette dressing, throw in some of those chopped nuts or a veggie and voila, you’re done. (dinner served)

Pick up a cake from the bakery at your local grocery.

I like to buy those little individual serving ice creams in different flavors and let my guests choose which ones they want. It’s interactive and fun. (dessert anyone?)

Don’t overthink it.

Remember, the hostess sets the tone of any get together. Don’t stress. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. If you’re calm, relaxed and enjoying yourself, your guests will be too.

So turn that music up a notch, find a spot to sit down and enjoy your your guests......those dirty dishes and take out containers will be there in the morning. I promise!