Tag Archives: dinner party ideas

10 tidbits about throwing a dinner party.

13 Aug

i love giving dinner parties.

it’s not as trite a love as you might think …loving throwing dinner parties.  after all, author hermann hesse wrote in his novel klingsor’s last summer:

“this day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity.  the sun will never shine as it does today…but you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best.”

that’s kinda how i feel about having good friends over, cooking for them, clinking glasses, laughing, sharing and making memories.

here are 10 tidbits that have stuck in my head from the experts (or just mom) when entertaining.

#1  don’t wait until everything is perfect to have people over.  things will never be perfect.  your guests aren’t looking for perfect, they’re looking to hang out with you.  don’t wait until you have a perfect matching set of dishes or replace that chandelier that is lopsided. don’t wait until you have enough money to serve fancy wine or cook a julia child french dinner.  just do it.  the most important part is the togetherness.

#2. linens don’t have to be perfectly ironed and matchy matchy.  i learned that from ina.  she said it’s much more casual to have unironed cloth napkins folded simply than perfectly starched ones.  if she said so, then that works for me.

#3. have a dinner box.

#4.  arrange small but multiple centerpieces of flowers all the same color – or a mix of 2.  and design it so your guests and see each other over the flowers.  best to always do an odd number.  don’t ask me why.  everyone knows that. i just use water glasses.  big whip.  

#5.  people always end up in the kitchen so fix a small bar there so people can help themselves. we have a tiny back porch that we dress up as a bar:

#6 consider music.  you can find my playlists on spotify.  i have playlists for specific dinner parties and for general dinner parties.  you can pandora it as well.  good pandora mixes for dinner: john mayer, ella fitzgerald, frank sinatra and some dinner parties:  beastie boys.  i’m just sayin’. 

#7.  think about having a signature party.  you know, one you throw every year at the same time.  ROF and i started a post-thanksgiving chili party in honor of my aunt’s traditions in so-cal.  

#8 ponder having a theme.  i’d love to take credit for this, but we threw a birthday party for suzanne last year and she suggested making it a wig party and that was quite the fun time:


#9 use the whole house and be creative!  we love entertaining outside during those 2 days in dallas when it is under 80 degrees.  we have also used our garage.  we’ve put a band in the back yard and “the burger man” in the driveway.  he flipped the best burgers for my mom’s 70th birthday party which we had at the house:




#10.  i can’t think of anything else.  oh yeah i can- mix up the guests.  we haven’t done this as much as we’ve wanted to but would love to have a “random friend” party.  i actually attended one once and it was a blast.  lots to learn about from new people!

what are your favorite parties to throw?  and are you due for throwing one?  over and out.  hope you enjoyed!

fun dinner box

19 May

so i had this idea

the other day to put together a fun dinner party box.  this would be a box that you bring out when you’re having a dinner party.  duh.  because here is the thing.  you can have a fun dinner party where you sit around, clink glasses, oooh and ahhh about the food, get caught up on pleasantries and all that.  and that is fun.  not saying it isn’t.

OR you can have a memorable dinner party.  here are some things i’ve learned about doing that:

1. friend kat glass had a fun memorable dinner party and the one thing she did was buy a sheet of brown craft paper (i think at home depot?) and lay it across the dinner table and put crayons in glasses out.  just like at restaurants.  i remember ROF and alex harland drawing adult pictures around their dinner plates.  it made for a fun something different.

2. at my mom’s 70th birthday weekend, we had some really fun times with wax lips and mustaches.  even my aunt and uncle and friends all got into the fun.  strange how a small purchase can turn into fits of giggles.  the candy smokes add to the action as well!  

3. i read a tweet that talked about breaking out a box of removable, cool tattoos transformed a regular dinner party into a memorable dinner party.

4. my standby for years has been table topic question cards.

i’ve used these a million different ways.  from sliding a card under a dinner plate as post-dinner discussions to just plopping the box down on a table and everyone taking turns asking and answering.

i found this creative idea here:


The secret message  This is an excellent ice breaker between guests that don’t know each other well. Write a different sentence on pieces of paper you slip under each person’s plate. Off-beat examples like ‘I recently ate a wheel of cheese’ or ‘I’m genuinely worried by turtles’ should keep relative strangers guessing. When your guests arrive, get them to secretly read their phrase. At some point in the evening they have to get their comment into conversation and pass it off as fact. Over coffee have everyone guess which phrase they think was phoney. 

what other ideas/thoughts can be put in the box?

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