Tag Archives: ina garten

4 Ways to Entertain With Ease

10 Jul

This quote is the key to entertaining. Memorize it.

I love to have people over.  The whole experience should be smooth, fun and lovely not only for your guests – but for you. Why? Because whether you are having friends over for dinner, your spouse’s colleagues around for a happy hour or a baby shower for 30 – the whole point of the event is meant to be… fun. You want your guests to be left with the feeling of inclusion, warmth, and happiness.

Good luck, I can hear some of you sigh with a harrumph. Entertaining freaks me out, some of you might say. Well, here are 4 things to remember:

1. START WITH WHAT YOU LIKE AND KNOW

It’s no secret that my husband likes cocktails. He likes planning out a signature drink for the evening, buying the ingredients, setting up a bar, getting the ice and serving our guests when they arrive. That’s just one of his things. He starts his dinner party prep there.

I like music and candles. I like creating playlists for the kind of mood I want to create. Maybe it’s a yoga night or we’re going up north or having drinks on the beach– I want to create a feeling with what people hear when they arrive and what they smell – that’s where I start.

Where do you start? Here are some examples to help you decide:

  • Cooking or baking
  • Cleaning and/or decorating
  • Paper and invites
  • Music
  • Place settings
  • Landscapes
  • Planning
  • Making cocktails

Figure out what you LOVE to do and start your planning there.

2. DON’T STRIVE FOR PERFECTION, NO ONE CARES AS MUCH AS YOU DO

Ina Garten said in one of her books something I’ll never forget.  She and Jeffery were young and broke but that didn’t stop her from having people over. She didn’t have the perfect napkins and matching place settings and her furniture was dated, but she confirmed that no one cares about stuff like that.

If you wait to have everything “perfect” you’ll let life pass you by.

Be driven by your guests need to feel welcome, not by your need to impress.

3. PLAN EVERY ASPECT IN ADVANCE + DON’T DO IT ALL

The more you plan, no matter how big or small the event, the easier it is to pull off an awesome party.  Take the time to think everything out – top to bottom – start to finish – write it all down, design a menu, make a grocery list.   I’ve designed an outline for you to use to help. 

Another tip is don’t feel like you have to do it all.  Have friends bring the drinks or food.  Get party platters for appetizers that are already made or just put out some nuts and cheese.  Check out some EPIC party platters here.  

4. YOU SET THE STAGE 

You can either be like this:

or like this:

I Love Lucy!

More reads on entertaining here, here and here.

Fun Stuff I Found!

14 Mar

I don’t know if you do this or not, but whenever I’m reading something or I see something online that I love, I screen grab it.  Are those two words or one?  Screengrab?

Anyway, I’ve been doing this for years and now that the iPhone actually separates your screengrabs out for you in iphoto – all the things I’ve been saving are right there in one handy album for me!  It’s the 2018 equiv to what I used to do in my teens and 20’s. I would read a shitton (that is a new word I’m making up) of magazines and rip out articles and ads that I liked.  Then I’d either pin them up on my wall (that would be directly on to the wall – no bulletin board or the like) or make photocopies of them and pass the article out to people at work with the date written in at the top.

I digress.  On to the stuff I found. 

This isn’t in any kind of special order because I’m too lazy to actually think about that.  I just uploaded these babies.  Ready for some fun?  ok… read on.

This first one is pretty self-explanatory.  Damn good.  Do you NOT want to make these right away?  Notice, it doesn’t say “yogurt,” it says “cheesecake”.  Get in my tum-tum right now!  The recipe can be found here.

If you know me, you know that the minute the Dane County Farmers Market opens up in Madison – this is me every Saturday morning gathering the homeland’s finest flowers and bringing them home.  Oh, I can’t wait.  I can smell the early morning lake scents wafting into the state capitol and feel the summer against my cheek!  <sigh> I love this photo, so I grabbed it but don’t know where it came from.  IG, I’m sure.

 

Girls, have you heard of this “capsule” idea?  Boys do this automatically, I believe. If I had the body for it, I would jump on this like white on rice.  Is that politically correct to say?  LOL, I don’t know anymore.  Geez.  Anyway, check this out!  For those of you that want to just throw something on and not think about it but still look super cute – get a capsule!  This is a curated bunch of basic clothes you can mix or match all season long.  I know who would like this of my friends (Megan & Connie?)  Read more about it here and here.

Do you know who this is?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo!  OMG (insert girly scream here) Click on the link if you didn’t catch that.

 

I grabbed this above because ROF and I play cards EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Not kidding.  and YES YOU ARE WINNING, ROF!  And to me, accessorizing is key.  Can you say WANT THIS?!

Someday, I will buy one of these kits and do it.  I really want one.

A long time ago, I bought my friend Susan a similar kit from Anthro and I’d love her tell the story of what happened with that birthday gift that I bought her.

Susan, if you’re reading, please comment below! xxoo

I didn’t have just one pair of these shoes, I had at least three pairs of these shoes.  Not at once but because I WORE THEM OUT!

Who knew?  By the way, you can do this OR pay over $500 for it to be done by a nutritionist. 

 

Mom?  Wouldn’t this be awesome?  Let someone else figure out the meds.  And yes, this would work perfectly for me too!

 

Ok, that’s it for now.  I haven’t even been able to make a dent in the things I’ve grabbed so more later.  What have you found?

Hi There! 

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