I love to entertain, not just during the Holidays but all year round. I look for an excuse to throw a party, a get-together or an event regularly. But here is the thing, I simplify it and have it down to a science. Much like everything in life, every event I plan has a purpose and intention behind it. Sometimes it is for work, sometimes charity and sometimes just because I want all of my favourite girls in the same space at the same time. Whatever the event or Holiday – I start by creating an intention and purpose.
When Kitchen Stuff Plus asked if I would ever be interested in sharing my ideas on Holiday entertaining…..well, they probably had no idea what they were about to unleash. My entertaining ways are definitely not typical and anything other than traditional, which makes us a perfect fit. Because my entertaining ways go well beyond the Holiday season, I like to invest in things that will transition my entertaining decor from Holiday to everyday. Simple yet sophisticated and classic enough are my key ingredients when it comes to setting the stage for any entertaining endeavour. In fact, I think you could ask anyone who attended the Isla Pearl White Party (Summer) and Isla Pearl Shine Bright Party (Holiday) and they will tell you that the foundation of it was the same when it came to set serving and glassware – the difference was the extra layer of accessories.
Like I mentioned earlier, my entertaining style is anything but traditional. So much so that when we remodelled our kitchen a few years ago we designed it to have a 12 ft. island right in the middle of it – like a hub where people come to gather. Oh, and that traditional Dining Room? we got rid of that too in exchange for an office/gathering room. Everything about our house and entertaining vibe is casual with the purpose of people coming to socialize and have a good time. The funny thing is, I still use all of the same traditional place settings, just not in a traditional way. Glitter charger plates are used as platters for appetizers, Name Card Holders are used to describe the delicious food that adorns those glittery chargers and instead of individual serving plates or settings I opt for mini Tiered Platters full of a mixture of everything on the menu and scatter them throughout my house. Moral of the story? You can still use traditional pieces, just in a non-traditional way. Don’t get stuck thinking you have to do or use things a certain way – for entertaining and in life.
One of the best things I did a few years ago was kick our everyday dishes to the curb and reinvest in plain white ones (gasp!). Hear me out. They go with everything from all things silver and gold or Holiday plaid (if that is your thing), are reasonably priced (unlike the ones I had on our wedding registry 14 years ago – but I digress) and will serve as a foundation to the future celebrations and Holidays that you will layer them with in the years to come. This also goes for glassware, um – except for these gold rimmed martini glasses, this is where all logic is thrown out the window and you say yes to the things that you are drawn to. Side note: they are fabulous and you need them in your life…especially if Martini’s are your thing….which for me they are.
Alright, so let’s get to it – the real reason you either googled “Holiday to Everyday Entertaining” or clicked on the Facebook link I shamelessly shared left, right and centre. My tips and rules that I live by when it comes to all things Holiday (and every other time of year) Entertaining:
- What is your purpose, intention and/or theme? um, in this case probably “Holiday” I get that part, but get more specific than that. Is it to gather friends, family, raise money, contribute towards something? I mean, the ideas are endless. Whatever it is, give it purpose and bring it to life. Your guest list will thank you.
- Hand pick your guest list. Seriously, if there is someone that doesn’t ever add to your get togethers, maybe it’s time to scratch their name off of the list(s) once and for all (yikes). Maybe it means a smaller list, or a huge one – make sure whoever you invite you really want there, not because you feel obligated to invite them.
- The food. I never serve a meal. Seriously, are you hosting to have fun or show off your culinary skills? My favourite go-to is apps and desserts. Beyond the fact that people would more than likely rather fill up on all things coated in sugar, it means no cutlery (i.e. less clean up) and you can buy – or source out – most or all of it.
- Beverages. Pre-make them and have them ready-to-pour. You’d be surprised at how quickly people will deviate from their chardonnay the minute you throw a colourful concoction into a glass dispenser with garnishes. My personal favourites? One for water, one for non-alcoholic punch and one for your favourite drink which will undoubtably become everyone else’s favourite drink too. Don’t believe me? tell it to the empty bottle(s) (ah hm) of vodka from my last party.
- Have fun and enjoy yourself. What is the point of entertaining if you aren’t going to have a good time? Its not about the best decor, food or drinks – its about bringing your favourite people together. If you focus on that and make that your foundation you can’t go wrong…..well, that is unless you mix snowflakes and Holiday plaid – just kidding…I mean, what doesn’t go together at the Holidays?
What are some of your favourite tricks for Holiday to everyday entertaining?
p.s. Want to see this all go live? Join me on the Kitchen Stuff Plus Facebook Page on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 @ 1 pm!