I’m a sucker for a nice dinner party with good friends. It gives me a reason to have my house sparking clean and use all of my fun hosting “toys” – cake platters, napkin rings, etc. etc.
In a perfect world I like to host friends once a week. It gives Garrett and I space to connect with our people and maintain relationships. Plus – I just have a blast doing it! And, he’s a trooper with my frantic details.
Before we go any further I should confess one thing – I really do not like cooking. I’m all about finding ways to make simple dishes or STORE BOUGHT things look pretty! So, here’s my list of top 10 necessities for hosting last minute gatherings:
A last minute run to the grocery store for grapes, Ritz crackers and a few cheese cubes goes from wrappers to fine dining with a go-to cheese board on hand.
Since we bought our first house, I’ve been splurging a little on fresh flowers when I go to the grocery store each week. It likely won’t last forever, but there’s something about fresh flowers in my kitchen when I make my morning coffee that gives me an extra pep in my step. But regardless, fresh flowers are a must for a dinner gathering.
Anyway, Ginger Jar is my favorite for fresh flowers because once the flowers die you can pop the lid back on and it still looks great!
Easiest way to dress up your place settings – and super cheap, too!
I had my grandmother hem some extra fabric from my kitchen chairs and turn them into cloth napkins. I love that they match my chairs! But, I’ve linked to a few others I love and that won’t break the bank.
A clean house is good, but a clean smellin’ house is even better! I make sure the candle wick is lit before the doorbell rings with guests. I’ve linked to my all time favorite (if i’ve got extra cash), but otherwise TJ Maxx is my go-to for cheap candles.
Float sliced limes or lemons in your ice water for a pretty touch and allow your guests to re-fill their glasses easily and without spills.
7. Salad Bowl
Literally, I use this thing for EVERYTHING. From chips for guacamole to my go-to summer salad. It’s the perfect size and easy to wash.
8. Serving Tray
I’m the queen of taking things from the wrapper and onto a fancy tray. It makes everything feel nicer and more prepared for your dinner guests, even if you didn’t spend the time in the kitchen. A white ceramic serving tray is sure to go with any party theme.
9. Cake Platter
I mentioned I don’t like cooking… that’s where this cake platter comes in handy! It’s a fabulous display that makes my store bought desserts look homemade and pretty
10. Wine Markers
These make a great gift idea! But they come in handy when you’ve got a few guests all drinking from the same type of glass.
It’s fun to make your home a retreat for friends! And this fun stuff makes it a blast to serve the people you love well.