Hosting a stress Free party

November 21, 2013

With party season approaching you really want to stay as calm and stress free as possible.  What's the point of hosting a party if your so stressed out about it that it is not even enjoyable?   I came up with a few ideas and hints to helping you plan, and enjoy your party.  

I know, I know, it seems early to be discussing the holiday season, but I want to share a few things that I find help tremendously helpful thru this time of the year!  Stress free Party Strategies! That’s right!  Getting your party started before the party starts!
If you are the hostess, then you will want to be prepared with an emergency entertainment kit.  The best hostess always keeps these essentials on hand:
  •  Carpet and fabric stain removers, because let’s face it, someone is going to spill something
  •   Pain relievers for pre and post party headaches
  •  Make sure to stock up on toilet paper, and a plunger in the bathroom
  •  Stock up on extra candles and tea lights to keep the mood lighting flickering all thru the party
  •  Matches (duh)
  •   Clear nail polish for snags in tights or stockings
  • An extra bottle opener handy
  • Folding chairs in the garage are always handy to bring in for last minute seating

 Before the party you will want to prepare as much as possible. 
Buy bags of ice, or start bagging what your fridge makes in resalable Ziploc baggies and storing them.
Dig out of the back of your cabinet or buffet your serving dishes and decide what dish will go in what serving piece.  Label the dishes with a sticky note so any helpers will know the plan.   Also, now is a good time to find the serving ware as well.  Nothing like scrambling to find a large slotted spoon with hungry peeps lined up!
Go ahead and get to baking cookies.  They freeze great, and the day of the party just pull them out to thaw and serve!  
If mixed drinks are your gig, then simple syrup can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few weeks prior to the party.  To make: Add one cup sugar to one cup water in a saucepan, let boil until the sugar dissolves; cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
The day before the party, make one appetizer that can be heated and served warm. Prep your hor d’oeuvres in advance and make extra plates ready to serve in the fridge so you are available to great your guest as they arrive.
During the Party
Swap out any empty platters with full ones in the fridge. (See above for hor d’oeuver prep)
Recruit your kids (given they are old enough) to help with mid party cleanup. Ie: stray cups, plates, and occasional checking the bathroom! They can also keep the chip bowls full!
Choose side dishes that don’t require constant tending. They may be made ahead and served closer to room temperature. Roasted vegetables are great! Also, anything in a crockpot!
So the party is over, and everyone had a great time, but you’re exhausted from being the hostess with the mostess!
Any pots needing to be cleaned fill with water and a squirt of soap and simmer on the stove to loosen stuck on food or sauces.  If you can handle waking in the morning to the mess, let them soak overnight. Not on the hot stove of course!
Fill your washer with cold water and place your linens in the cold water to soak.  Pretreat any stains, and in the morning you can give attention to the stains before finishing the cycle.
Oh, and one last thing...... don't forget to invite me!  I love a good party! 

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