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Always be prepared for the unexpected guest. Whether it is a friend stopping by after work or neighbors gathering on the front porch for an impromptu drink, here are a few tips so you are always party ready.

Whether you are entertaining overnight guests or friends just dropping by, the powder room is the one area all will ask to visit. Have you taken inventory of this part of your home lately? Make your bathroom boutique beautiful by implementing our top points below. 

May can be a crazy month with the chaos of end of school activities, home projects, and travel plans. But we need to hit pause for one day to celebrate the special mom in our life. With hearts of gold and putting others before themselves, we have gathered a list of ideas to help you honor the special lady in your life.

A few years back my husband and I attended a play that was an adaptation of the classical movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which originally starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy. It was a beautifully written, and quite comical, story based on the difficulties families faced in the 1960s with inter-racial marriage. The scene that stood out the most to me was when the son was trying to bring both families together for dinner. In the last line of the last act, he turns to his father and says, “Dad, we need you at the table.” With that, the father joined the others, and the audience was left with the understanding that healing had begun.

Giving a party requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost anywhere from $15-$100. What you spend will be determined by your relationship and the type of event. Is it a formal dinner? A backyard BBQ? Also, when possible, know the likes and dislikes of your hostess. If she is allergic to flowers, you probably will not arrive with a bouquet in hand.

1. Choose the table. Will you use a round that seats four or a rectangle that seats twelve? This decision will determine your centerpiece.

Warmer weather will be arriving soon, and I am seeing more of our four-legged members making an appearance in the dog parks and on walking trails. With pets taking more prominent roles in our lives, I thought it would be good to brush up on basic dog etiquette and ownership responsibilities.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition.

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

  • Writer's pictureLisa Lou

8 Quick Entertaining Must-Haves for the Impromptu Guest

Updated: Jun 12

Always be prepared for the unexpected guest. Whether it is a friend stopping by after work or neighbors gathering on the front porch for an impromptu drink, here are a few tips so you are always party ready.

Have these items on hand at all times: large tray; small bowls; paper cocktail napkins; mixed nuts; gourmet crackers; block of cheese; olives; chocolate; bottle of wine (always chilled and ready); coffee; sweetener; creamer (non-dairy pods); bottled water; candle. (These are all food items with a long shelf life.)

To include in your weekly cleaning routine: Keep front porch dusted; one sitting room in the house clutter free; powder room clean and stocked.

Here is how to quickly pull the above together (in this order) when you have guests drop in:

1. Lights off (this will reduce heat in the room; no overheads on also means dust is less visible).

2. Lamps on (gives low glowing ambient light).

3. Candle lit (doing this at the start allows the scent to begin permeating the room).

4. Music on.

5. Pull out tray, bowls and napkins.

6. Fill bowls with nuts, olives, and place on tray.

7. Place block of cheese, crackers, chocolate, and napkins on tray next to bowls

8. When guests arrive place the tray on the coffee table and offer drinks

Prepping the house before the food allows guests to immediately experience the ambiance you are creating when they come through the front door. Everyone knows it is a spontaneous gathering, so even if you are pulling out food with guests standing in the kitchen, no one cares.

If I had a little advance notice, I would add fruit to the tray, like grapes or strawberries. But remember this is for an impromptu gathering. Everything on this list is non-perishable or has a long shelf life. Keep this list handy and your home will always be drop-in ready!

Together with you,

Lisa Lou

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