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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

What to Write on a Party Invitation

Every party needs an invitation, and there are certain guidelines that need to be followed. You have made your guest list and chosen your theme, so the next step is creating or purchasing invitations.

There are different forms of communication you can choose, from evites to hand-written notes. For a special evening, I recommend staying with an invitation that requires a stamp. For something quick and easy, an evite might be a suitable choice. No matter what you decide the information included will remain the same. The Why - Explain why you are having the party. Is it a birthday bash for a friend? A graduation celebration for your niece? Whatever the reason, this should be stated boldly.

List the Guest of Honor - If you are honoring someone at the event, you should list their name close to the top where you explain what type of party you are hosting.

Date and Time – Writing the date and time on the third row ensures this information can be quickly read. I spell out the month unless it is a casual gathering: Saturday, March 3. When deciding whether to list the year, this is not necessary for an informal invitation. For a formal event, spell out the year. The same holds true with the time. Use a numerical version for less formal: 7:00 p.m. But spell out for more formal: seven o’clock in the evening.

Location - If your party is a place other than your home, list the name of the place along with the address. In today’s age of GPS, zip codes are not necessary and only occupy space on the invitation.

Hosts - Next you will list the hosts for the event.

Response Guide – How do you want guests to reply to your party? Is it by email, phone, or both? List this here. If you are including a deadline for response, state it next to the email/phone number. You may call any guest that has not replied by your requested date to ask if they will be attending. Do not feel badly about doing this. Just be gracious! Most of us have been guilty of not responding to an invitation. Side note: Do not write “regrets only.” There is a great deal of complacency by people when responding to invitations and if you put “regrets only” you have no way of knowing who will show up. Always ask for a reply and always put a deadline.

Attire - List any dress code or suggested attire. It is unkind to leave guests wondering what they should wear as no one likes showing up dressed inappropriately. A party should be fun and stressing over what to wear is not fun.

Address - When addressing an invitation, I prefer to use titles. This shows respect to the person on the receiving end: Mr. and Mrs. Joe Cooper. A less formal way would be to say: Sally and Joe Cooper. If you really want to start your party off with a bang, hand deliver your invitation and attach a small gift. Example: An invitation to a birthday party might be delivered to your guests with a balloon.

Putting this together a typical invitation will look like this:

Together with you,

Lisa Lou

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