I love a good party, and I especially love when I get to host the party. The one challenge I have is pulling it all off in the midst of a busy week at my 9 to 5 (which is really 8 to 7) job. I recently hosted a birthday dessert celebration at my apartment, and realize that many of the tricks I used to pull it all off are applicable to any holiday parties you may be planning! For this party, I used a lot of silver and gold decor and had fun “accessorizing” both the room and what I was serving. My tips to planning and hosting a party in the midst of a busy work week are below!
About ten days before a party, I like to plan out what I plan to be serving. Why? So I can order as much ahead of time from Amazon as possible. At this party, I served chocolate milk shots and cookies, which wouldn’t have been possible without these disposable plastic shot glasses from Amazon. By planning out exactly what you will have to prepare, you will avoid that last minute run to the grocery store an hour before your guests arrive. I also find that when I plan in advance I am more creative and cost effective.
This is critical. If I had all the time in the world, I would love to make everything from scratch, but sometimes, it is just not feasible. Therefore, it is critical to use as many shortcuts as possible. However, there are plenty of ways to buy something pre-made and turn it into your own! A simple example is creating a fruit bowl. You could buy strawberries, oranges, or a watermelon that need to be washed, peeled and sliced, or you can choose to buy berries that just need to be washed and dumped into a bowl. Why spend the extra effort peeling oranges or slicing strawberries, if a bowl of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries could have the same effect and cost you 1/4th of the time?
Oh what a difference balloons make! A few hours before my party, I ran into a local party supply store and decided to get 20 balloons to float in the entry way of the apartment. Balloons could make a party feel like it is for a child, especially if they are bundled together and put in the middle of a table as a centerpiece. For a more modern approach, try filling a small area (or the whole ceiling if you are feeling crazy) with floating balloons and cut the strings short so people could walk underneath. It looks best when the balloons are dense. I filled an 8×6 area with 20 and it looked great! I also had fun with silver polka dot plastic plates and playful cocktail napkins. I thought these “save water, drink champagne” cocktail napkins were so cute! I had a bunch leftover and will definitely be using them again soon!
Even if most of the food you serve is store bought, you could make it look your own by the way you present it. For example, don’t just serve cookies, try placing them on top of shot glasses filled with milk chocolate, or choose a plate with a fun pattern or shape to display a treat! One of the greatest wedding gifts we received was this Georg Jenson three tier server. I use it whenever we have people over for either appetizers or desserts! Doesn’t it look like it belongs in a fancy tea shop in Paris?