Entertaining can go from an absolute pleasure to a downright nightmare fast! Having a little arsenal of entertaining essentials on hand keeps me calm and cool under even the most stressful situations! With holiday entertaining quickly approaching I thought I’d share my top ten must-haves with you:
1. Wine Away is an absolute godsend! It removes red wine stains from table linens that have gone unnoticed, or the few drops of vino your guest spilled on her cashmere sweater. I’m a bit of a klutz, so I use it pretty regularly – I even carry a mini bottle in my handbag!
2. While we’re on the topic of beverages, I think this barware deserves a mention. I’m not going to lie, if we have a ton of people over (or a decent percentage of kids) I’m guilty of using clear plastic disposable cups, and have come to terms with it (unless it’s catered with servers, in which case I don’t have to clean up so bring on the real stuff!). But if the party’s under 20-25 guests, I love using CB2’s Marta Barware for cocktails and beer. At $1.50-$2.50 per glass, they’re actually cheaper to buy then rent, and simple shape and paper-thin glass blends seamlessly with so many styles of dinnerware! I often use them for casual flower arrangements as well.
3. Simple white plates are a must to mix with fancier china, doubling the average 12-person table setting. I received a Fishs Eddy gift card from a lovely friend recently and picked up these scalloped plates, which I absolutely adore!
4. Good tunes are a must to set the mood for a great party – and accommodate any dance parties that might break out! Our house isn’t wired with speakers, and I don’t think it’s necessary now that we have the Bose SoundLink. The sound performance is excellent, it can move wirelessly from inside to out, the battery life last forever and can connect to any bluetooth device – allowing guests to add their own playlists to the mix! Oh, and it comes in a mini version as well – would be great for traveling!
5. I love using these little cheese markers to display the type and origin of the various items! Try and find the finest point dry erase marker you can, for clean and elegant penmanship.
6. I never use scented candles on a dinner table (interferes with people’s taste buds), but like to have one burning in the entry to create an impact when people arrive, and another in the living room to create a nice ambience while people enjoy their cocktails. I have so many favorites, but NEST Pumpkin Chai takes the cake this time of year – and it doesn’t smell like food, one of my biggest pet peeves with candles!
7. Making my guests comfortable in our home is so important to us, and a good board game is a great way to break the ice between anyone who may not know each other well. Cards Against Humanity is a hilarious game of comparisons – similar to Apples to Apples (but for adults only!) – demanding equal participation from each player.
8. These little stainless steel picks are great for appetizers and cocktails! Their sleek simple design lends nicely to any style dinnerware, allowing you to switch up patterns as often as you want, without having to buy an entirely new set of serveware!
9. A few things that go without saying (but are almost always the items I seem to forget!) – make sure you have enough toilet paper, paper towels, mixers and ice on hand. Nothing’s worse than running out for something so silly, but ultimately very necessary!
10. Finally, I am not usually a fan of disposable water bottles – I prefer the reuseable kind – but for guests that aren’t staying over, I think it’s nice to send them home with a bottle of cold H2O for the drive. So simple, but you’d be surprised by how many people really appreciate it!
What’s on your entertaining must-have list? Anything I need to check out?