Home Economics: How to be a Hostess with the Mostess!

imageToday I’m hosting a birthday lunch for my mom, so I thought I would share…

Heidi’s Top 10 Tips to be the Hostess with the Mostess

1. Consider Your Audience
• Drinkers/non-drinkers? Sitters/standers? Special diets?
• Location?

2. Develop a Concept
• Sip and See
• Lunch/Brunch/Dinner
• Sips and Dips
• Movie or Game Night
• Grande Finale (dessert party) or Ice Cream Social
• Charity Event
• Shower
• Celebration (b-day, promotion, going away)
• Pot luck

3. Pick a Theme
• Carry it throughout party – invitation, menu, place cards, décor, food, party favor
*see my friend Cheryl Steffan at Details Design Studio for all your design needs, of course!
• Color, Item, Food/Candy/Fruit/Vegetable, Flower, Idea

4. Limit Food and Drink Choices: Keep it Simple
• Theme: Italian, Mexican, Trader Joe’s, Wine Tasting
• Beverages:
o Water, ice tea/lemonade, coffee, beer, wine and 1 or 2 signature drinks (a specialty martini is always fun!)
• Food:
o Brunch menu: quiche, fruit salad, Cinnabuns
o Lunch menu: fancy salad (chicken on the side), fancy chips, pickles or a boxed lunch
o Dinner: salad, pasta, and bread or chili, cornbread, salad or grilled cheese bar with tomato soup
o Desserts: ice cream w/ fresh fruit, Root beer floats, or Cute cupcakes
o Appetizers: Trader Joe’s Honey wheat pretzels and any dip
3-somes: TJ’s Pecan Pralines, TJ’s Chocolate Pretzel Slims, and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds or Color-coordinated M&M’s, mixed nuts, pretzels

5. Prep, prep, prep
• Rent what you don’t own
• You don’t have to make everything… reheating or re-plating counts as “making” it!
• Have as many things as possible delivered – ice, heavy items, drinks
• Get ready at least an hour before the party and put your shoes by the front door….when the first guest arrives, slip your shoes on and you are set!

6. Hire help if you can
• You should be able to enjoy your party
• a teenager is perfect to help replenish, take the trash out, and load the dishwasher or assign friends specific jobs
• If you have more than 25 people, hire a bartender
• Hire a cleaning service for the day after your party

7. Encourage Interaction
• Food/gift exchange
• Name tags
• Credit card roulette
• Trivia game
• Assign jobs
• Pictures/videos for a guest of honor – Polaroid pictures or a video confessional room

8. Pay attention to the DETAILS
• Have a guest book by your front door so guests can sign in
• Use unconventional containers: buckets, baskets, jars, pails, pots
• Centerpieces
• Table décor – linens, serving ware, menus/place cards
• Music – load up your Ipod with a fun playlist or select a Pandora playlist
• Candles – more is better
• Garnishes
• To-go containers for guest to take home left-overs

9. Send guests off with a party favor
• Treats – chocolate dipped pretzels
• Ornaments
• Hang over kit – a small can of Coke with a 2-pack of Advil
• Bloody Mary Kit – Bev-Mo mini of vodka, small can of V-8, and mini Tobasco
• CD – a soundtrack of the night or year
• Donuts for the next morning with a small can of champagne
• Picture frame

10. Pay it forward!
• RSVP in a timely manner
• Bring a hostess gift
• Be a good guest
• Send you a thank you note


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