5 Entertaining Tips Everyone Should Know

Party season is right around the corner, and we have some great party tips to make your next get-together memorably festive. Whether it’s your turn to host an office party, a birthday celebration or just a good excuse to have fun with friends, these tips will provide you with what you need for success.

Tiki-torches 

Pick a Theme

Holiday parties have a built-in theme, but even if you’re hosting a mid-week gathering for no particular reason, coming up with a concept for decorations, drinks and food can help you create a festive atmosphere. Luau and tiki themes are always hits for backyard barbecues, but don’t feel constrained to popular party ideas; you can go as wild as you like with your concept. Guests will be charmed with a Mardi Gras masquerade or a retro party with dishes and drinks from vintage cookbooks.

 

 

Handled-bakers

Cook Ahead

When you get most of the cooking done ahead of time, you give yourself more freedom to enjoy entertaining. Instead of spending your party in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on some complicated dish, plan a simple, straightforward menu of foods you know your guests will love. You and they will remember the fun more than the food, so prepare something elegant and easy. Lasagna, roasted chicken and macaroni and cheese are a few possibilities.

Cookware that looks and performs beautifully, such as this set of three handled baking dishes, lets you assemble and store entrees or side dishes the night before and pop them in the oven shortly before guests arrive. They go straight from the oven to the dinner table, saving you another step and giving you more time to spend with your guests.

Pillar-candle-light-string

 

Make It Inviting with Light

What makes a chic nightclub or formal restaurant special? In many cases, it’s the lighting, not the decor, that makes the difference. Try some special effects with lighting to make your next get-together magical. Outside, try stringing colorful paper lanterns or white fairy lights above your deck or patio. Interior spaces take on a beautifully warm and welcoming glow with candles. Kids and pets don’t always get along with candles, though, so choose child-friendly alternatives such as this electric pillar candle light string for part of your table design.

 

 

Create a Play List

Create-list

Music makes a party, and you have more options than ever for music that complements your theme. Internet radio stations have hundreds of stations with dozens of exciting musical genres from which to choose. You can even find music from favorite television shows or movies to play as background music for a season finale party or Oscar night. For holiday parties, look for unique takes on classics; an album of vintage Christmas music, for example, makes your party memorable and will get people talking.

Candle-warmer

 

Appeal to All the Senses

You’ve already decorated, cooked and chosen the music, but don’t forget to make an impression on your guests’ noses. Bouquets of fresh flowers, incense or candle warmers have the staying power to perfume the air for hours without coming on too strong. For a dinner party, choose scents that go well with food and won’t overpower the meal, such as vanilla or spice fragrances. A summer cocktail party might call for something exotic and tropical.

Entertaining can be as much fun for you, the host, as it is for your guests when you plan. Start thinking about creative, fun party ideas today, and you’ll be set from now until the new year!

Interesting Picks for July

As July comes to a close and we move toward back-to-school season, we thought it would be fun to look at your pins and find out what you loved most about July. If Pinterest is any indication, you spent your July relaxing outdoors, beautifying your home and indulging your senses with wonderful scents. That sounds like a terrific idea to us, so in celebration of your favorites from July, let’s take a look at the month’s most interesting picks and pins. If you’re not yet ready to let go of summer, let these picks inspire you to make August special!

 

Candle-warmerAnything that delights the senses is perfect for summertime’s laid-back feel. Settling into a hammock while drinking something frosty and enjoying the warm breezes is a great way to spend a summer weekend, and one way to bring that lazy summer afternoon feeling indoors is with fragrance. Home fragrance has become a booming business, so it’s no surprise that items such as our Candle Warmers sets are big Pinterest hits. Candle Warmers’ two-piece stoneware melters use light to heat scented wax tablets and send summer-fresh fragrances throughout your home. They’re also great for making the most of scented candles. Unlike candles, these warmers are flameless, so they work well in homes with kids or curious pets. The most popular scents for summer are ocean-fresh aromas, delectable gourmand, or citrus scents and clean linen fragrances.

 

Flamingo-bird-bath

With the heat wave that struck the eastern seaboard in July, the usual ponds and creeks where birds stopped for a drink dried up, leaving them reliant on neighborhood bird baths for a cooling drink. You responded by pinning decorative and creative bird baths to encourage others to take care of their feathered friends. One that got a lot of notice was this  that added a decorative touch to the yard while allowing birds to seek relief from the heat. Flamingos are a classic kitsch lawn ornament, but this version is downright elegant in clear pink glass and metal accents. From hummingbird feeders filled with nectar to squirrel-proof seed feeders, bird feeding stations were popular too. Whether you like to watch native songbirds and hummingbirds from the window or on your deck or patio, supplying them with feeders and baths will encourage them to make your backyard a stopover during migrations.

 

Crayola-Garden-Grow-KitAnything related to gardening was another huge draw on Pinterest. The finest restaurants put a premium on freshness, and so do home cooks today. Cans and boxes are fine for quick meals, but few things satisfy the way a fresh garden-to-table salad will. For veteran gardeners, trellises, watering systems and gardening tools were popular pins, but novice gardeners also got into the spirit by pinning  garden grow kits and container gardens. With a kit, gardening is easy enough for children to help. There’s no better way to persuade a child to eat his or her vegetables than to have them help grow them. Kits aren’t just for kids, though; they also give new gardeners a head start on their first gardens.

 

 

We look forward to seeing what you’re going to pin for August!