I decided that I wanted to spend some time looking at pretty table settings and party ideas…there are so many out there that I thought I would share my favorites and just dream of the day that I can host one.
Some beautiful table settings -
Oh Martha, we can always count on great DIY idea’s from you!
I found this one on Pinterest, it was just linked to a blank page and I didn’t see it anywhere else…
This one is from Pier 1, so pretty…
There is so much else out there but I am a bit of a traditionalist…I am a red and green Christmas kind of gal but this year I am branching out a bit and adding silver and gold!
Some Christmas party ideas that I found were -
- How the Grinch stole Christmas…wouldn’t that be fun! I wish that there were pictures but there were some games and ideas...I think great with kids as you would have to dress up a bit to make it work.
- White Trash Christmas – would probably be fun but not my kind of party.
- Christmas sweater Party – I’ve heard of these where the person with the worst holiday sweater wins a prize, I think this would be a fun party.
- Christmas in July – where you serve drinks and food to make everyone thing is it July.
- Or just a nice and fancy party – this is the kind of party I would love to one day host, one with just adults and some fancy food and drinks and good company…dress up would be optional but nice as I rarely get to do it.
Don’t forget to make sure you have good music and that your place smells great, if the food you prepared doesn’t overwhelm the house then you could add other nice scents like placing a small pot on the stove with a little water, orange and lemon rind and some cloves and cinnamon and boil it for a bit…so nice. (I have done this before I have a house showing…makes a nice homey smell.)
And beverages, decide in advance if you have the budget to provide the beverage or, to save a few dollars, choose a theme drink and let everyone know what it is and that anything else wanted by the guest they will have to bring with them.
(Isn’t that Santa wine holder awesome! I want one SSSOOO bad but it is from this fancy store and costs $350 so it isn’t going to happen.)
Some party tips -
- Do shopping for non perishables a few days ahead. Buy all fresh ingredients the day before the party.
- Make ahead any dishes the recipes allows for 1-2 days ahead, or even further ahead if you can freeze it!
- Do as much prep work the day/night before to limit the amount of work the day of the party.
- Clean the house a few days before the party so all you have to do the day of the party is light clean up.
- During the party, have an area for the dirty dishes to go, have a couple of boxes (or recycle bins) – one for glassware and the other for dishes. This keeps them out of the way until you can deal with the dirty dishes.
- I love this last tip…this is what I do when unexpected visitors come or I have a house showing - Put pots and pans back in the cold oven and in the morning move everything to the dishwasher or hand wash.
Some Dinner menus ideas that can basically be made ahead of time and reheated before the party are (beside the main dish which generally needs to be cooked the day of the party) -
- Appetizers – find ones that can be made the day before
- A cream cheese spread (like surprise spread or chipotle-apricot spread) can be made the afternoon/evening before and just refridgerated until you bring it out for an appetizer.
- Cheese, meat and vege tray are also great for appetizers and you can prepare ahead or easily purchase them to pick up the day of the party
- Some mixed nuts are a Christmas favorite too
- Salads – prepare everything the day before but don’t mix it together until right before serving them
- Citrus salad with red onion and bacon is always a favorite for people I know
- Spring salad for those non-adventurous people
- Sides – These item generally needs to be cooked the day of the party but you can do all the pre-work the day before
- cooked vegetable like balsalmic glazed carrots or green bean casserole
- some sort of potato, like mashed or scalloped
- fancy rice, but that usually takes a lot of time to prepare
- Main Dish – Generally the meat dish (check if you invited any vegetarians!)
- Around Christmas this tends to be a turkey, ham or roast. Not too much work into these and needs to be cooked the day of the party.
- Dessert – my favorite this time of year…so many awesome ones to pick that I tend to make 2 or 3…definitely too much but I don’t care, I want them AAAALLLLL!!!
- I always make a cheese cake (baked cheese cake is super easy even though it took me years to even try them as they seem so hard), this year I want to make a White Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake. Another cute thing to do is bake a normal cheese cake (would work with a no-bake one as well) and mark out your squares and decorate each one differently with a Christmasy theme, just use gel icing tubes.
- Make a cake, any kind, and you can use chocolate to make things like Christmas trees or snow flakes and use them to decorate the cake.
- Put out your holiday cookies, squares and chocolate
(Doesn’t this look fantastic! Found it on Pinterest but here is the site with more details)
Mmmmm, now I want to throw a party! Last year we did a pot-luck party and it was a lot of fun…we will have to do it again this year unless someone else wants to host it this year! One day I WILL host a nice and fancy party!
Next I will share some of my families favorite cookies and some little tricks I have picked up over the last few years…so until next post, happy planning and baking!