So I am having a small dinner party at my house tonight and as a person who loves to entertain, I have learned a few tricks of the trade over the years....
1. If possible, always go with paper plates...I know I know, it is NOT great for the environment, but I promise I am pretty green most of the time. But this is excellent when having a bunch of people over because no one feels like they have to "do the dishes" after its all over. You have the luxury of sitting around and actually spending time with your guests!
2. Do as much as you can AHEAD of time. I like to set out my plates and set up the table the night before if possible, then when I get home from work, all I have to focus on is the cooking!
3. Crock Pot it if you can. Since I NEVER get home before 5:30 and often sometimes as late as 6. I like to try to have the meal cooking while I am at the office. So I crock pot the main dish, then all I have to do when I get home is heat the bread, make the salads, and fit in the finishing touches.
4. Learn to delegate and FAST! If someone offers to bring something, LET THEM! Do not try to do it all yourself, you will be stressed!
5. Make it memorable. I always try to think of a way to have something for people to take with them so they can remember the evening...tonight it is small candles as their place card holder!
6. Most importantly, enjoy the time yourself with your friends, what is the fun in having a party if you can't have fun too!
Here is my tablescape for my dinner tonight...Thanks to Sandra Lee for colorful ideas, Target for awesome paper products, and pinterest for some cute ideas!