With summer now in mostly full swing, it creates the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and family. When you have little kids, it can be so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of everyday life: preschool drop off, rush off to work, race to get dinner on the table before the kiddos (or mama) lose their bananas. So why not slow things down and throw a little party. Summer entertaining can be easy!
A little background on me: I tend to like things the way I like them and, more importantly, like to have a plan for pretty much everything. That being said, the idea of throwing even a casual BBQ can give me ALL the anxieties and make me crazy. So, when it was suggested to me recently that I host a little shindig I tried to play it cool and keep my crazy in. Instead of going all “it has to be perfect,” and getting stressed, I decided to do everything I could to stay calm and actually enjoy my time with good friends.
How to Successfully Host a Stress-Free Event
- Take the help
I am not one that takes help easily. I’m very much the person that when asked, “what can I bring?” usually answers “nothing, I got it.” The best advice I can give is take the help. Have some people bring sides, some bring drinks, some bring desserts. No one wants to come to a party empty handed, no why not divide out what is actually needed.
- Handle the main dish and plan ahead
With the extras taken care of, I feel like it is the host job to handle the main part of the meal. Whether that is simply hotdogs and hamburgers or something fancier…plan ahead. Get things done the night before or the morning before people show up. No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen or at the grill while everyone else is enjoying themselves. Some of my go to meal ideas are: Tequila Lime Chicken and Carne Asada, both of which are marinated the night before, or take-out BBQ from my favorite local joint. They are always a crowd-pleaser, easy to do in bulk, and make for yummy leftovers!
- Entertaining and simple activies
Whether it is yard games, swimming or inside activities, I like to have at least something planned that is casual and easily enjoyed for all ages. Invest in yard games—i.e. cornhole, bocce ball, or water balloons. If kids are involved, I like having bubbles on hand, or chalk for some outdoor art action. I have also done cookie decorating for the kiddos, just something to give everyone something to do, without the pressure of a schedule. Side note: Target has some really affordable and stinkin’ cute options right now! (Shocking, I know.)
- Background noise
Background music via a really solid playlist can really go a long way. I usually go the Pandora route (“Queen Radio” is my jam). Have you ever been to a get together with no background noise? It can get really awkward really quickly. Bluetooth speakers make this super easy to bring the music to the people—again Target, Costco or Amazon have some great and affordable options. We also tend to have whatever sporting event is on the TV this time of year, usually baseball, with the volume low or off.
- Forgo décor
I tend to play it simple when it comes to decor for casual events. 1. It’s one less thing for me to put up and take down. 2. Who really cares? Not my friends, I will tell you that much.
There you have it friends: keep it simple and fun. Slow down and don’t stress! Last minute summer (or anytime) entertaining can be easy! Enjoy time with friends and family!
What are your go-to casual get together tips?