Inspiration Thursdays…Creative Ways to Label Food at a Party

Beyond the Essentials Event Blog - Creative Ways to Label Food at a PartyAs the host of a party, we deserve to have a good time too! But as someone commented on my recent post regarding hiring a bartender, sometimes our enjoyment is boggled down with serving our guests and answering a slew of questions, including, ” what is this? ” and ” what does this have in it?”.

When hosting an event in your home, usually you are familiar with the likes, dislikes and allergies of your guest list. If I have a guest who is allergic to a particular food item, when greeting them I tell them what on the menu was created with them in mind, and what items they should stay away from. There are usually only one or two guests with severe allergies, so it isn’t a major inconvenience on your part.

On the other hand, ” what is this?” will be asked by everyone. Here are a few creative (and fun) ways to label food for your guests. Continue reading

Designing Your Event Around A Unique and Bold Color: Tiffany Blue

Every woman smiles at the sight of Tiffany Blue. I am sure any woman would get excited to attend or even plan a Tiffany Blue themed event. But let me tell you, it sure is a hard color to find, and even harder to match.

Tiffany Blue is just one of a few unique colors that are hard to match exactly. Sometimes you fall in love with a color, whether its from a paint swatch, bottle of nail polish or Pinterest that you just have to use! Maybe it’s that perfect shade of emerald green, or that mix between pink and raspberry that you can’t just seem to find all your decor items to match.

Don’t let that burst your bubble. You can still have the perfect color themed event, without the stress of hunting for the exact color. 

Here are a few ways to put together the perfect event with that perfectly unique color, whatever it may be.

Invest in Key Pieces 

Tiffany Blue Cake

When you decide to design your event around a unique and specific color such as Tiffany Blue, you don’t need to go overboard. Before you Google Renting Tiffany Blue linens, take a step back and think about different ways to bring the color in. Instead of Tiffany Blue linens, make the impact with white or black linens and pop it Tiffany Blue napkins, chair covers or chair sashes.

The key is to not overwhelm your guests with the color theme. You don’t have to purchase everything you can find in the color. Be selective and pick out the pieces that will bring the most impact. Impactful pieces include the cake, favor packaging, flowers, signature cocktails and additional decor. (Photo: cakealicious.net) Continue reading

Hosting an Upscale Cookout

The weather is warmer, spring is officially here and it is time for cookouts! Cookouts  are always a great way to catch up with friends and family in a relaxing and casual setting. As a host, of course the great part of a cookout is the low maintenance in the planning and execution of it all. However, while it is a low maintenance event, there’s always room to scale it up, make it a cookout that stands out among the many we will all be attending this season.

No matter the occasion, graduations, Father’s day, birthday or just a get together with friends and family you can turn your cookout into a upscale yet casual event!

When planning your next cookout, keep these simple enhancement techniques in mind:

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation

Keep food cold and decorative using planters.

Keep food cold and decorative using planters.

Continue reading

If you’re going to do…Hosting a Co-ed Event Edition

Beyond the Essentials Blog - Hosting a Coed Shower

Bun in the Oven Baby Party
This theme creates the menu for you! Sandwiches and Burgers in Buns!

More and more you’re finding co-ed baby showers and wedding showers being hosted for expecting and engaged couples. Typically, baby showers and bridal showers are geared towards women guests of honor but every now and then you come across the couple that wants to celebrate together, which a great thing! Beginning parenthood or a marriage together with friends is certainly a great way to share your life milestone.

Whether your hosting a co-ed event for yourself or for friends here are a few tips on making sure everyone has a good time. Continue reading

Entertaining at Home: How to Maximize Comfort and Conversation

Third Stop: Maximizing Comfort and Conversation
On our journey to planning a Cookie Exchange Party

The invitations can be great, the food can be delicious, but you must make your guests feel comfortable. Here are a few tips on how to make sure your guests are comfortable, everyone is having good conversation  and your party is a success!

– Never place the food or bar near an entrance or exit. Guests always congregate near the food and/or drinks causing a block from the other guests trying to move about. Focus the food and drink in a central area such as the kitchen or dining room.

– You don’t need seating for everyone. If there’s nowhere to sit, it encourages your guest to walk around and mingle with everyone in attendance. The industry standard would tell you to have seating for a third of your guest list, but in the home, I would say half is safe. The key is to not aim to have a seat for everyone.

– Spread out the food and drink. When entertaining at home you don’t need to fill the kitchen counter or have one long buffet table. Spread everything around your home, one corner for drinks, another for food and another for dessert. This eliminates everyone crowding around the food and drinks, and gets everyone moving around and mingling.

– Section it off. Chances are your guest list is a combination of different people. Some people will like to sit and engage in conversation, others will like to walk around and meet new people. Try arranging different sections for your guest. A nice sitting area of a couch and chairs on one side, a clear area near the food and drinks for those who want to mingle and don’t forget the children, a nice clear floor area near a tv may be best for them.

– Help them help you. Even though you’re the host, you want to enjoy yourself too. Which for me means, eliminating the constant questions of, where do I throw this away?, Do you recycle? and the I can’t finds…. Have ample amounts of plates and napkins out and do a quick eye check every so often to see if anything needs to be replenished. Make sure you have everything in plain sight for guests. Your trash can should be in a central location, if you recycle place a nice bin near the trash. A tip for the recycling bin: put an empty can or bottle in there already, so your guests can catch the clue.

I’ll definitely be using these tips for my annual ” cookie party “, make sure you do too!

Cookie Party Planning Posts Here and Here.

Look out for photos of how I maximize comfort and conversation in my open concept home.

Next Stop: The Fun Stuff! Decor, Props and more…

If you’re going to do…A ” Dry ” Reception

You don’t always need a cocktail or beer to have a good time. Many people opt to have dry receptions for their weddings, corporate events, and especially at baby showers (we don’t want the mom-to-be to feel left out). If you’re going to do a dry reception there are some creative and easy ways to bring some wow to an otherwise dry reception.

Make it fun. A dry reception is the perfect opportunity to think outside the wine glass! Go nostalgic with root beer or coke floats. Go young and fun with milkshakes. Go seasonal with lemonade and iced tea. As long as it fits with the theme or has an element of wow, got for it! (Photo: iloveswmag.com)

Make it sparkle. Who doesn’t love a sparkling, bubbly drink? Sparkling cider and sparkling water are great to add to a nice fruit juice and gives the same effect of a sparkling cocktail. Make sure to serve them in a wine or champagne glass and top it off with a slice of lemon. Perfection!

Have a ” mocktail ” instead. A mocktail is a cocktail that doesn’t contain alcohol, but is just as delicious and fancy as a cocktail. Mocktails are perfect for ladies events, such as a girls night in  or evening baby shower. They let us enjoy the cute and girly drink we all love to enjoy on those nights out.  Check this out for 10 delicious mocktail recipes.

Please join me in raising your sparkling mocktails! Cheers!