Ok, we've all been in that situation where you're thinking of something to do on a rainy Saturday night and the best idea is for someone to host a relaxing evening at their house, and everyone agrees that someone should be you (INSERT PANIC EMOTION HERE!). Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE hosting. I have the Monica Geller from Friends gene. However, I'm also a planner and before having people over I prefer to have my walls be washed, fresh sheets, fluffed pillows... the whole shebang. But you know what, sometimes it doesn't work out that way you have to say "Great! I'd love to host" (Again, insert more panic...) And get down to work.
I've come up with a few tricks that help me always stay "host ready":
1. Stocked bar: I've said it before and I'll say it again, too many options are just too many. A few staples I always have on hand that always prove to be crowd pleasers:
- Prosecco (or champagne) chilled in the fridge. Life is about celebrating, the big or little things - a first date to an engagement. Always best to have a chilled bottle of bubbly to pop!
- Hard Bar Staples: Vodka (in the freezer), Gin, Crown, Rum and Tequila, for good measure.
- MIX! My Soda Stream has saved my life (and dollars) to serve up Vodka sodas. I usually have cans of coke in the fridge because someone will always say yes to a rum and coke.
- Garnishes: Lemons and Limes. Cute to have on the counter, inexpensive and always adds a little zest (pun intended) to a drink.
2. Candles! Instantly creates an ambiance in the room and are easy to have on hand. A few flameless are great to have too.
3. Flowers! I love flowers and now that we're in tulip season I usually treat myself to a $6 bunch. An easy update to your place that doesn't take much time or money!
4. What are your go to favourite fridge staples? I would love to say that I am always equipped to put together an amazing charcuterie board at a moments notice, but I'm not. Guacamole is one of my favourites so I always have avocados on hand (find & master a great guac recipe like this one). I serve this with some salsa and some corn ships and watch them disappear! Or get fancy with a towering plate of nachos, but my nachos, unlike the restaurant's, are layered up on cheese and the guac won't be extra. I also love my hummus, bake pita chips and some veggies. Super Easy! Figure out your go-to recipes and make sure they are always on the grocery list!!
5. DELEGATE!!! This is the hardest one for me because I have control issues and I want to do everything, but I've learned that IT'S OK TO ASK FOR HELP! Especially if you're doing dinner. You made Lasagna? Get someone to grab a loaf of break for garlic bread! Dessert? Would love you do bring some. Make sure you're clear you'll have some booze but if there is anything specific your guests like to drink then encourage them to bring it along!
6. ICE! It seems obvious but it's so easy to forget. I try to stay on top of it but I will always have a bag ready to go, just in case.
7. Run the dishwasher/do a plate and glass check. On average people have 3 drinks in a night and can typically use 3 glasses. Another Martha tip I use is to have all my glasses accessible on the counter so guests don't have to go through my cupboards.
8. Entertainment. Whether it's a Throwback Thursday playlist or a classic board game, sometimes entertainment needs to be planned. Spotify is my go-to right now; who knows, it could be a game changer and spark an impromptu dance party. It's fun to find out who else has Bieleber fever (clue: everyone). Some classic board games to have on hand:
- Cards Against Humanity
- Heads UP!
- aaaaand Twister
9. Did you ever hear the saying, "Make sure you have clean underwear on so if you get into an accident you won't shame your family"? I try to keep the same mentality about the cleanliness of my home. Be prepared for the "pop by" and impromptu gatherings by tidying a bit every day; it is way less work than one massive clean up, and you'll have one less thing to stress about when hosting!
10. Just say YES and you'll figure it out; no one is expecting perfection so don't put that pressure on yourself. (I say this now, but my inner Monica Geller sometimes creeps in).
writing this post is inspiring me to host a gathering - anyone else? Twister and chili may be on the menu tonight...
Hope everyone had a good weekend and I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you!!