Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Entertaining

Last Sunday's holiday soiree was a lot of fun. I am very grateful that 'J' and I are able to put this on every year. I planned my menu months ago and had been dreaming of what it would all look like and taste like. The best part of any party is the company but a close second would be the food. We had a total of 14 people over and I really couldn't have asked for a better night except one of the family members had flu-like symptoms and wasn't able to make it. We sure missed her but I made sure to pack up a small plate of food for her to have when she felt well enough to eat.

The first thing I do when I plan any event is figure out the location; this was easy since we always host this party at home. We enjoy entertaining at home; it allows us to share our world with those we love and not to mention it makes it easier for preparing the food. Speaking of food, I then decide on the menu and try to consider (or remember) any dietary needs of my guests. If you don't know it is always good to reach out and ask. I also like to send guests home at the end of the party with a gift, usually homemade, so cookies or a "sweet ending" is the route I usually take. This year it was "Marshmellow Bark". I have left over's so I will be bringing them into work tomorrow.

What's Cooking:
Pretzel sticks
Chipotle Honey Mustard dip from Target
Veggie tray: cucumber, celery and carrots with Onion Soup dip
Andes Mints (a must have in our house)
Main Course-
Pork Tenderloin
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Brussel Sprouts
Generic dinner rolls
Meatballs in BBQ sauce
Gluten Free yellow cake with chocolate frosting (for T-ugh, I hope it was decent)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I try to prepare items that I haven't ever made before but meatballs in BBQ sauce is also staple in our house. The Hubs would be entirely too upset if those didn't make the menu. In addition, I also try to keep it simple. You don't want a "stuffy" feeling party, especially in your own house, and leave guests feeling awkward. Also speaking of awkward, no matter how stressed you are and busy preparing for the shindig remember to greet each guest with a smile and a warm greeting. You don't want to give the impression that you are stressed and in turn make them feel uncomfortable and out of place. I know that this sounds like a no-brainer but I have to admit that I am not well at hiding how I am feeling (you can read it like a billboard across my forehead) and it takes a ton of effort to come back after you have given the impression that your guests are not welcomed.

This Christmas season really slipped away from me faster than Speedy Gonzales. I had so many intentions and ideas and when it came down to it I wasn't as prepared as I had hoped. Here is a picture of the buffet table before the food was served. This is our normal dining room table and we just moved it to the wall to provide a decorative area for food.

Here is a picture of the tables we used for dining that night. I jazzed them up with simple tablecloths from the grocery store (paper with a liner on the backside), my hurricane vases from the wedding stuffed with worship candles (also found at the grocery store, believe it or not) and some festive "diamonds" in my color scheme around the base of the hurricanes. Like I said before, I had tons of ideas to decorate but just simply ran.out.of.time.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I have an amazing, to.die.for (faux) fur vest that I can't wait to put on. I normally wouldn't talk about clothes on this blog (although I talk about clothes and shoes contantly) because that is not what this is about but I just couldn't contain myself. SQUEAL!! Here is a picture of it that I found at JCPenney's.

I have died and gone to heaven folks! I have sought after this vest for several months now and finally took the plunge. It's gorgeous but originally was for $90.00 (YAWOOZA) but it was my lucky day last Saturday because I got it for $45.00. Since I had saved a bundle I decided to get a sweater and pencil skirt to go with it. Why is it that because we saved on one item we feel it is necessary to buy more?!?! In all reality, I didn't save because the price of the whole outfit was the same total as the vest prior to the sale. Either way though I feel so fancy (said like "Foncy" for Isa). I hope that you are all spending time with loved ones and making memories to last and maybe you were able to snag a Christmas present for yourself like I did.


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