Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Planning a Special Occasion: a Dinner Party

Last weekend we celebrated my awesome sister in law, Lindsay's birthday with a little dinner party at our house.  She and I both love to have people over for a home cooked meal, and I was thrilled to pull out all the stops to make it a special dinner for her.  

On a normal day--let's just be honest here-- we use our basic plates, eat in front of the TV, and half the time use paper towels for napkins.  But when we have friends over for dinner Jady and I love to pull out a tablecloth, light the candles and use our fancier table settings.  Why only use things like china and crystal once or twice a year?  While I don't reinvent the wheel or do anything particularly creative, I like expressing through a pretty table that we're happy that you're here, and you coming to dinner makes this a special occasion.  

Another element of dinner party prep that I love is choosing and arranging the flowers.  Because I'm always busy grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up the house before everyone arrives, I like to go with pretty simple, easy arrangements that aren't going to stress me out. 

 I happened to know that Lindsay loves the combination of pale pink and bright green, so while at Trader Joe's I picked up a bunch of stargazer lilies, some pink roses and a few hydrangeas in a fresh chartreuse.  At home I soaked a foam oasis in water for a few minutes before positioning it in a silver bowl and cutting and sticking in each stem.

The flowers looked lovely all night, but on day two I noticed that two of the three hydrangeas had already begun drooping, and before long they had totally given out.  Ugh, what is the deal?  I'm clearly doing something wrong, since I have only a 50/50 record with keeping hydrangeas alive for very long.  I clearly need a tutorial from Mel, the flower whisperer, 'cause this is just sad:

Desserts are usually something that I personally like to delegate or buy for dinner parties, since I prefer to spend my time on other areas, and birthday cakes I definitely leave to the professionals.  While I *can* bake, I like to keep events like this fun for myself (so that I'll be excited to do them again), and that involves learning what I want to tackle and what to outsource.  How fun is this polka dotted birthday cake?  I definitely made the right decision with this one, and I was able to enjoy the night along with everyone else.

Happy partying!



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