I was recently thinking about how much I love hosting get-togethers. I am someone who delights in connecting people who don’t know each other and seeing that spark when they find out something they have in common with one another. I mean you, being the host, are their common ground but that’s just the tip of the iceberg (or in this case ice luge).
First things first, let’s talk food! Personally I am not rolling in the dough, unless that dough is covered in flour, so I have found that keeping it potluck style has always suited me well. This does not mean that you as a host shouldn’t have a decent amount of your own goodies, and beverages of course, it just means that you won’t be guilt eating the whole night due to the fact you spent your whole paycheck at the store. My suggestion, for getting the most bang out of your buck, is to get creative with what you buy. As we all know Pinterest is the mecca for unique ideas, so peruse through the food section of it a bit before you go shopping. They have the best ways on how to be creative, yet money savvy. For instance, I recently did a guacamole bar. I did this for two reasons: One, my hubs likes things WAY too spicy for any “normal” person to still feel ok the next morning. Two, it allows people to mix and match their food just the way they like it. I mean, who doesn’t like playing with their food, right?! Beyond having fun with food though, there is also the subject of food allergies/preferences. The biggest one I have come across is infamous gluten-free diet. Luckily I have many friends who have chosen this lifestyle, so finding creative ways for my loved ones to be included via snack is becoming my forte. If you haven’t had much practice with cooking gluten-free, though, here are a few suggestions on how to substitute your ‘glutinous’ snacks for something more gluten friendly! For example, if you are doing something that involves chips you can create faux chips out of vegetables by frying them, or even cook cheese it in your oven and create cheese chips for your guests to use. If it’s pizza you are craving, you can solve your ‘doughlemma’ by making a crust out of quinoa in order to dodge a potential ‘glutastrophy!’ Point being, be versatile in your selections of cuisine! The more interchangeable the better!
Next, have games! Some of the best ways people connect, other than in conversation about your fantastic cheese chips, is through teaming up to play something fun. For us it is our Giant Jenga set, but it could be anything from Cranium, to Cards Against Humanity – which I am indeed a long standing winner of btw. Really, anything that keeps your guests laughing, talking, and let’s face it sometimes humiliated will keep everyone entertained, and schmoozing about your event for weeks.
Lastly, finish the night with a bit of coffee! It will help your guests feel alert and awake on their drive home, and help you wind down the night. Even decaf for some is the perfect way to end a fantastic night of high energy fun. Word to the wise – this whole caffeine business could work in the opposite way if proper verbiage isn’t used, to help aid the night’s exit so make sure your guest room is ready if in case someone goes caffeine crazy. Just make a mental note to not invite this friend to your next shindig and use the expression “It’s not you, it’s me.”
In a nutshell we have learned that successful entertaining means:
*Potlucks will keep your finances on the up and up, therefore you will create no guilt eaten food baby by the end of the night
*Games are a great way to bring people together, and spur conversation about how awesome of a host you are
*And caffeine….well caffeine can go either way, so if you do have an unwanted guest stay at your house because of this suggestion I send you my sincere apologies in advance!
Now, off you go! Create that event on Facebook with your amazing cover photo, and don’t forget to send an invite my way! My notification window will be standing by ;)