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the sweet homesweet life blog

Get your porch party on this summer with these ideas that will make your friends feel relaxed and let you enjoy it too. Every year I always say that I am going to entertain more. Then I think about guest lists, invites, decor, menus, cleaning, music, after party mess and I talk myself right out of it. Why do we put all the pressure on ourselves to have it perfect. What is perfect? Really we want to see our friends, catch up on their lives, hear about interesting things they are doing or involved in and get ideas for our own lives.

Spontaneous and Impromptu

Here is where we tend to go all wrong in party planning....Too much prep. My best get togethers have been pretty impromptu. We saw some friends at our sons basketball game one morning and we were grilling out that night. They brought some steaks over to grill, we had hot dogs and burgers for the kids and no one cared that I bought a pasta salad from Fresh Market and we threw together ice cream sundaes with what we had in the pantry.

Be a Part of the Party

People are so appreciative that you are hosting they always want to bring something and they often do even when you say not to. I find people bring random things all the time, why not just give them a little direction so it can take some of the work off of you.

Be the cocktail host and hostess. This is absolutely the easiest job. No oven! Just ice and drinks. Time to pull all that weird random stuff you have in the bar out in hopes someone will drink it.

Set it up as a self serve bar. Don't stick yourself behind a bar or you will never get time to enjoy a drink yourself or carry on any meaningful conversations with anyone. No bar? No problem! A couple types of wine and beer and you will have enough to appeal to the masses. Obviously some non-alcoholic options and water are always needed.

Formal Party & Themes

Of course there are always times when you need to set up a more formalized or scheduled party. In this case you can still find ways to simplify.

1. Don't make all the food yourself

2. If serving food keep the menu easy...KID FARE, DON'T CARE... {KIDS DON'T CARE}

3. Kids' birthdays have become these elaborate long events. Keep it to cake and punch. The kids just want to play anyway

4. Have a couple neighbor girls help. Lots of teens need service hours and even if you have to pay them it will be well worth it.

5. Cupcakes are easier to serve than cake

6. Pre-scoop ice-cream scoops in cupcake holders and put on cookie sheet in freezer. This is super quick and less messy to serve

7. Designate another parent or teenager to take pics so you don't miss the moments and can actually be in some pics with your kids. 8. Don't buy themed paper products. Solids carry over for other parties.

9. If you must have a theme, make the cake in the theme or have balloons that represent the theme of the party

Open House

As a realtor I often offer to host my clients housewarming party once they move into their new place. It is a great way to thank them for trusting me to help find their new home as well as meet their friends and family. The setting is always casual and it is an open house with no set start time (but always an end time!)

You might consider an open house for your next party. It is easy casual and no one expects a set time for a meal, so snacks or light hors d'oeuvres are perfect. It can help accommodate lots of schedules. It is also easier to expand your guest list to invite more since they won't all be there at one time.

Time to ‘Flamingle’

When all is said and done the success of the party isn't about how beautiful your house looked, if you had enough decorations, or if your food was perfect. It's a success if you as a host had fun, re-connected with friends or maybe even made new ones.

So get out the flamingos, open your home to a party, and enjoy your sweet home~sweet life!


Stacey Willis

Lifestyle Realtor





Stacey Willis | Westfield Indiana Realtor

Hi, I'm Stacey! Welcome the Sweet Home Sweet Life Blog. This is a place for me to share real estate and interior design advice, plus a little behind the scenes. Come say hi >

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