Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Five Favorites: Tips for Simple Hosting

Hi there! I'm sharing five ways on how I keep hosting simple and fun (for me) on those days that you just need to keep hosting easy!

First up, my apron! After reading this post from Like Mother, Like Daughter, I decided to be more intentional about sporting this lovely apron my husband got for me way back when. 

The lovely Leila shared about how there's something transforming about wearing an apron. After the first few times I wore it while in the kitchen, I fell in love and was kicking myself for not wearing it all times prior! I feel so domestically successful while wearing it, even if my domesticity ends up not being a success.

Non-successes don't affect me because I was wearing my apron. And, that to me is winning! My little visual representation of success is always a good way to start off a hosting day. 
It also keeps me clean, which is a major win! Honestly, there's probably a whole post I could write about apron-wins. But, for now, clean-mama is unicorn-mama. Especially while doing the dishes, cooking, baking, or cleaning! No sopping-wet-stain-filled shirts or jeans or leggings or sweaters because I'm wearing my trusty apron.

I love it!

You may be asking why the apron helps keep hosting simple? Well, I don't have to change after I finish up setting everything out! After getting all the foods on your serving table (and/or cooking all the foods!), company is normally arriving and the last thing I ever want to do is leave because I have to change my food-ridden, sopping wet, stinky clothes! Aprons keep hosting a little easier and keep me a little more present.

Next up, simple salad, fruit, and veggies. These fillers are awesome and perfect and easy-peasy for keeping hosting simple. I always set out one salad (During hectic seasons, I buy the pre-made ones.). Carrots and tomatoes or broccoli and cauliflower with some ranch dressing is also always a must.

These are all fillers that I normally have in our fridge and are easy to set out. The fruit is also something I normally have on hand and also so easy to set out. I love all of these because they fill bellies, are easy on our budget, and takes a good 10 minutes to put out - tops!
During really hectic times, you gotta do what you gotta do. This last hosting round, with my back issues and having two young ones running around, the main course needed to be as easy as possible. Thank you, pizza for $5/box! This is always an easy main course, but if you'd rather keep it homemade, crockpot meals go a long way and are also easy to make and serve.

Also, no matter what I'm serving as a main course, I always make chicken nuggets for the kids. You can never go wrong with nuggets or any sort of frozen kiddie to-do. Pop it in the oven 15-20 minutes before guests are to arrive and you have a little something for any and all kids.
Onto dessert! I always include a dessert because it's fun for me. I love to bake. So, in turn, baking isn't much of a chore to me since I delight in it so much. I normally make two things: one dessert that is mostly or all dairy free for anyone with food allergies and something without food restrictions.

But, the alternative to baking if it's not your thing, is while you're picking up your pizza or other main meal of pick-up-choice, swing buy and pick up some cookies from  your nearby bakery. Cookies are as simple as you can get and always a hit!


Last favorite way to keep hosting simple is easy clean-up! Always be sure to use dishes that can fit in your dishwasher. Anything else that you are using, make sure they can be thrown away: paper plates, plastic silverware, and napkins.

Also, we normally keep the drink options simple. If you come to our home you are more than likely to be greeted with a nice ice-filled cup o' water. We're kind of lame like that, but it's easy clean-up (you don't have to worry about kids spilling it anywhere. Because, water.) and it makes serving your guests efficient and easy to upkeep. Also, water is just good for everyone so we're really doing our guests a favor, right? Haha, I'm sure some of our guests would beg to differ, but I appreciate them obliging us and our typically limited drink option.

There you have it friends! These are my five favorite hosting hacks that keep our busy weeks or seasons much more manageable.

How do you keep hosting simple? Certain recipes? Certain foods? I'd love to hear about them!

10 comments:

  1. Such great tips, Amanda. I love Little Caesars for last minute meals, too. And your apron! I love it! I look HILARIOUS in mine right now, but I hope that after baby is born, I'll make it a habit. I never have before, but hopefully I can start?

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    1. Yay! Thanks, Micaela! I'm a fan of my apron too and love how it's holding out! I have one so it's precious! So excited for another baby Darr! Y'alls kids are all just beautiful! Let me know if you end up making it a habit. I have and there's definitely no turning back for me :)

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  2. Don't forget that an apron will serve nicely as a towel to dry your hands - a never ending aspect of being the hostess with the mostess!

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    1. They are! and for random wipe downs when needed! There really are so many great things about sporting the apron!

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  3. I've gotten away from wearing aprons but I should remedy that! I've gotten comfortable with asking for people to bring something or accepting help when offered. I used to say no but most of the people we know are all families and it's really the only way to make it feasible and since doing that, we've been able to do so many more get togethers because it's not so overwhelming. I've also learned not to go crazy with cleaning if a family with young kids is coming over because in about five minutes it's all moot...for me it's better to save my energy to clean up AFTER :) Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a dishwasher. Everything goes right in so there's no huge mess after.

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    1. Yes to the cleaning! I used to go a little crazy trying to clean-up before friends came over, but I've definitely learned to save the cleaning for after! And, the dishwasher is for sure a lifesaver when it comes to hosting! Love how y'all do hosting too! I kind of fell into this little gig since we came into our bible study after they had already been doing their thang for at least 3 years. :)

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  4. Wow, I love this post! I've been wanting to invite my husband's fellow residents + families over, and so intimidated! This might be a good boost. And now I want pizza.

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    1. So glad you love it, Julie! It's so do-able! And ya, I will never say no to pizza. In fact, now I want some too lol

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  5. I'm wearing an apron EVERY night now because it prevents me from getting that line of wetness under my belly when I do the dishes! :) And do you just have that table as a built-in? What a great place to have a buffet.

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    1. I love not getting wet anymore while doing dishes! That's one of my pet-peeves! Moist clothes from dirty dishwater! Just another reason me and my apron are homies now! And, yes! They are built-ins! My eyes went cartoon funny when we first came to see this house while we were looking! I was so excited and still am!

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