A Girl's Guide to Simple Entertaining

I absolutely LOVE to host parties and have friends over for get-togethers..there's always a reason to celebrate, and life is waaaay more fun if you choose to have a party and enjoy it! I recently had some of my girlfriends over for a birthday celebration, and after getting many a question of 'how to' or 'where to find' things, it seemed like a good idea to put together some tips that I think about when hosting a sparkling soiree!

I am a flower enthusiast. Seriously. When decorating for parties, there's no such thing as too many flowers. For this party, I really wanted the flowers to take center stage in the table decor, and so I filled vases of differing heights to the brim with blooms. 

There's no need to spend exorbitant amounts on getting things professionally arranged; I thrifted a bunch of mason jars, vases and short, circular jars and then picked up bunches of spray roses and various other flowers from the farmer's market. Also, check your local grocery store for any floral deals; my local chain had a deal of 3 bunches of roses and assorted flowers for $12! If you do one thing for your table, it should be a good bunch of blooming beauties.
 When you first arrive to a party, there can sometimes be a bit of lag time while waiting for the others to show up. Give your guests something to do, which allows them to relax and mingle a little. The best way to do this is to have a drink station with a few options so people can mix flavors to make their favorite.

A few good additions to your table would be ice cubes with fresh cut lemon slices, berries or even mint leaves frozen into them, a variety of infused water, iced tea, lemonade or a fruit punch. Decorative ice cubes are an affordable and simple touch that makes everything look elegant! Take time to choose some fun drink containers as well! We sipped on French pink lemonade in pretty champagne flutes, and iced tea in mason jars.
A good meal always begins and ends well, so start things with a simple hors d'oeuvre. Cheese spreads are always a great option, and provide the perfect beginning to a savory meal. I would suggest a classic brie with some sweet oatcakes, pear or apricot paste and honey. 
This caprese flatbread comes together rather simply, yet tastes gourmet. Begin with some pre-made pizza dough, brush with pesto, layer on your tomato slices and mozzarella. Bake everything in the oven, drizzle with a balsamic glaze, and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. Voila! 
Leigh Growney, of The Short Giraffe, created this beautiful lavender honey cake with buttercream frosting which was the perfect finale to the evening! Choose a dessert from a local bakery, rather than the typical pick up from a grocery store. It's fun to support business in your town, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the confections you're able to find! Nothing says 'celebrate' like sparklers, so to add a touch of whimsy to the dessert, we added some! Too fun! 
Guests never leave my parties without a little take-home gift. Perhaps that's my generous nature speaking, but I think it's always a good idea to put together a little "thank you" gift. Trust me, you'll always have happy guests if you do! :) Take into consideration a small thing or two that would be useful and easy to find. Tiny jars of honey with handmade labels, a little notepad, lip balm or a few assorted teas are all things I've tucked into cute little bags. 

With these easy tips, you can simply entertain and enjoy, no matter the occasion, and you'll always have a bunch of happy guests who won't want to leave, and can't wait until your next party! 

Cheers to more simple celebrations!


Unknown said...

These are fantastic girl! I loved all the tips...especially freezing fruit in the ice! So creative!

*Ashley* said...

what a cute party! makes me want to host one now!

Jeneric Generation said...

What a great post! I would love it if you did more of these. I am so inspired to host my own little dinner party now. Great tips, Candice.

AMY PALMER said...

you are just too adorable. and love the local shout outs!


Unknown said...

What an amazing post! Love it :)

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Kristen said...

Love your blog! This is great advice! I love having people over and planning all the little details is so much fun! Following you now!

Taylor said...

you are like a little martha stewart, except a million times more chic and pretty and cute! i love all of your ideas for this type of girlie gathering! you definitely look straight out of a magazine :)))

Alyssa said...

This is amazing--I absolutely adore all of your ideas! I love throwing dinner parties with friends, and I'll definitely pop back for inspiration next time a party rolls around!

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Rhiannon Bosse said...

This is one amazing post, lady! What awesome tips :)

Mikelle Jade said...

oh my goodness Candice. You are amazing. Can I please come to your next party? I can't believe the detail and elegance you put into this. GREAT tips by the way--- I'm saving these... I don't know if I'll ever be brave enough to entertain quite like this...

I love the color theme you picked for this and the decor. Seriously, you could plan weddings... let's go back in time and you can plan mine :)

Anonymous said...

this is awesome! the ideas are great and i love the photography!

Mimi said...

thank you so much for this guide! this will definitely come in handy. :D

<3, Mimi
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Anonymous said...

What a darling post Candice... Looks like you are simply the hostest of the mostest!
Congratulations and thank you for the tips!

Brooke said...

So pretty!

I just started following your blog, its so cute!



Amanda English said...

I'm pretty sure I missed my invitation to the party!?!? JK It looks absolutely stunning! xoxo

Julia D. said...

Thanks for the tips! You sure know how to throw a beautiful party!

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