We’ve had a steady influx of friends and family swing by for dinners and visits since our return from travels. Barely unpacked, limited on time, and aware that our home was hardly ready for guests, I did my best to spruce up and add a few simple pleasantries for our special guests.
ENTERTAINING ON THE FLY…
Most of us juggle a career, kids, heck just life, so entertaining is not always the easiest thing. I’m in that boat ; ) But we surely don’t want to miss out on friend and family time….so keeping things simple when entertaining is best.
Thought I’d share with you the THREE basics I always aim to provide when hosting guests:
1. Fancy treats and refreshers. Gets the mood going in the right direction. I’m partial to bubbles, so I love to serve champagne with strawberries and brie on a tray or après le dîner, a pot of hot tea with a tray of shortbread cookies or cake. Our friends, Tamara and Brett, brought over this tasty Schramsberg Rosé on one of our nights to compliment dinner – our first time to taste it. Delish.
2. Fresh home fragrance. This really sets the tone as soon as your guests walk in your home. I’m obsessed with a “good house smell.” My current fave is this delightful Mango Tangerine scented candle by Ritz Carlton. It’s been our signature scent this summer. I stumbled upon it it in the gift shop when we celebrated our anniversary. Have to say I’ve enjoyed it so much – the fragrance is sweet yet light enough to not overwhelm a sensitive nose. It conjures up the image of lazy island afternoons spent on a faraway beach surrounded by tropical fruit trees and flowers.
3. Fresh flowers and/or snippets in pretty vignettes. I love to go for walks along our yard and find unassuming pretties that can be quickly snipped – Magnolia, Palms, even weeds can be charming. Since I currently have a limited source of flowers in our yard, I like to pick up little arrangements to embellish a tray, dining table, or entry chest for a pretty vignette. I think vignettes add such a layer of elegance to a room. It displays a visual of beauty that adds to the ambience.
Loved this inexpensive little flower arrangement I found at the market…
The flowers sit atop this gorgeous new tray I spotted at Tracery a few weeks ago and couldn’t part with – decided to make it my birthday gift. I love the classic design, versatility, modern brass handles, and overall size – it’s one of those forever pieces. The detailed inlay is beautifully crafted and looks perfect with any and every color (believe me I played with it for hours like a new toy). And yes, more are available at Tracery ; ) Just email or call them here.
The white dish holding seashells was a gift from artist friend Patricia of pve design – she picked it up in Paris. I have treasured that beautiful dish for years and love, love, love that I finally have the perfect spot for it. The magnifying glass I found months ago at Marshall’s of all places.
Ultimately, I try to keep entertaining simple so that everyone can relax and just enjoy each other’s company. I always like to remind myself that nobody wants to be with a stressed hostess who’s trying to make it all perfect. And 99.9% of the time, our children are here to enjoy and receive guests with us, so it’s great training for them to mind their manners and help provide a lovely experience for company. And help in the preparation, which is always a colorful experience. Reality moment: One time I unknowingly undercooked the pierogies because I was so caught up in making sure the main dish was cooked. I served everyone’s plates and we sat down to eat. Just before I could take a bite, our eight-year-old screamed “mom, these pierogies are cold in the middle!!” We all laughed. Yep, forget perfection, it’s all about the simple pleasures, laughs…and great memories.