After my sister’s engagement, I knew I wanted to host something special for her. She and I chatted about ways to celebrate the upcoming nuptials, and decided a “Stock the Bar” themed couples shower would be fun. Courtney and Matt have a close knit group of friends (something reminiscent of How I Met Your Mother) and we wanted the entire crew to be included in a shower.
George and I have always prided ourselves in making our home cozy and inviting to visitors, and that is especially true for parties. When it comes to hosting parties, I tend to overthink, and over plan minute details, most of which probably go unnoticed. Adding quadruplets to our family, made me rethink how I do many things to make life easier, and parties were no exception. As I prepared for this particular party, I changed my game plan, making things MUCH easier on myself, while still throwing the perfect party. It went so well, I’ll approach all future parties in this manner.
In the past, I’ve used various online stores to design and create customized invitations. After all, invitations typically set the tone for the party, and I personally love receiving party invitations. I’m usually satisfied with whatever invitations I’ve created, but almost every invitation consumes a disproportionate amount of time. Again, I over think details and spend time making too many tweaks. I’m D-O-N-E with that! Instead, I commission my friend, Amber, to design custom invitations that I either have printed at Costco on matte paper OR send electronically. I highly recommend visiting Amber’s Etsy shop, Texas Take when you are ready to order invitations for your next soiree. She has several ready to go designs in her shop, or she can create something based upon your preferences/ party theme.
2. Party Décor
This go round, I hit up Target’s One Spot, which was loaded with inexpensive yet trendy items that coordinated with the invitation. In fact…when I ordered the invitations I already spied the party goods and it helped me decide on the color scheme. Mini chalkboards, banners, and beverage straws helped bring the party together without much effort or expense on my end. I also bought a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers from Costco, which made things bright and cheery.
Former party hostess me, would spend days, if not longer scrubbing EVERY inch of the house. I’m talking, crazy stuff like wiping baseboards and dusting furniture in rooms people wouldn’t likely visit. I’ve finally learned there’s a better way- short cut cleaning! There’s no need to do heavy duty cleaning prior to a party because parties are messy (at least fun parties are). Extra traffic means extra use of facilities and such. I now spend most of my time touching up the bathroom by wiping surfaces with a Lysol wipe and cleaning the toilet the day of the party. I’ll also do a quick dusting of the main areas, wipe counter tops, then vacuum. That’s it! My cleaning regimen can be knocked out in an hour or less. I’ll then light candles so the house is filled with a warm aroma. Walmart sells delicious smelling jar candles for just $3.49 each! A few candles spread out strategically makes the house welcome guests.
4. Food Preparation
Food preparation is another area where I’ve labored too much. For this party, I pulled a classy spread together from ready made items found at Costco. Crudites with hummus, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers complimented the theme perfectly with very little work. My co-hostess and mom each brought a homemade dip too. I also bought my first ready made cake from the Costco Bakery- it looked pretty and tasted decadent.
In an effort to keep guests comfortable, I used to hustle around refilling food, tidying up, and fussing over things, which kept me from enjoying the party. This time, my food was all simple, and didn’t need much attention. I charged George as bartender, and my co-host offered to be our cocktail waitress. We used our own glassware and silverware, but used paper napkins and plates. Then, I strategically placed trash and recycle bins outside and guests helped keep things tidy. I left my camera on our bar, and let guests snap pictures during the party since I tend to struggle with photography during a party. For the first time, I really got to enjoy the party as much as our guests, and clean up was relatively simple too.
Courtney and Matt have a wonderful circle of friends, and we are all excitedly awaiting their big day in May.