Archive | new years

the HEART of hospitality {holiday hospitality 101}

holiday hospitality 101For me the HEART of hospitality is to simply welcome people into our life in a casual & cozy way. We love to have friends over and we love to make people feel at home. If someone helps themselves to a cup of water and gets right in there in the kitchen with me I am thrilled. Even if the floor is not as clean as I would like it to be or the sink is full of dishes { and it usually is} who really cares. Perfection is not my thing. The point of being hospitable is to make people feel welcome, to have fun, laugh, share old memories & make new memories…that is our goal. Our hope is that when people walk through our door for a party or family dinner they know that if something spills or we forgot the bread and it burns or we run out of food…all will be forgiven. I am a girl and I want my home to look great, my decor to be special and my food to comfort people while tasting delicious…but at the end of the night I know that the most important thing is for my friends to leave with their hearts encouraged & full {not just their bellies}. That is the HEART of hospitality for us. With that in mind here are some tips on how we decorate & plan our parties. Hope they inspire you to welcome friends into your home this holiday season {even if things around your home are not perfect}.

hospitality

 ::a few decorating tips::

USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE:

There are often things already around your house or in your backyard that can work. Use ornaments, your favorite nativity scene, candles, kids crafts & even food {like fruit, cranberries or popcorn kernels} for centerpieces & table settings. Branches, evergreens, acorns, fall leaves, pine cones and flowers from your backyard work great too. Scatter on the table or arrange in a vase. Sometimes the Christmas tree lots will give their scrap branches away for free. Think outside the box. Wrapping paper is one of my all-time favorite table runners. Find something that matches your decor and can be easily discarded at the end of the party. My favorite things is a large roll of craft paper {it can be found at the Dollar Tree most of the year}. This works great on a buffet as well {use sharpies to write on the paper & point to what each dish has}. It’s cute and practical.

KEEP IT SIMPLE:

If you are fancy and like using china dishes and sleek stemware than do it. If you are not into fancy and would prefer paper plates~ do it. Make it fit for your season of life and your style. And consider your guests {if you are having a kid party you can get out your finest china and grandma’s tea-pot if you don’t mind them getting broken…or just use plastic and call it good}. There is no right or wrong way to do it. If you are at ease about the decorations and setting you will make your guests feel more at ease. Buffets, Brunches and Appetizer Parties tend to be more simple. It’s difficult to do fancy food and fancy decorations so pick one and do it well. If you want fancy decorations consider a menu that can be mostly made ahead or cater it. Potlucks can make things more simple as well. To make the day-of easier, set out and set up as many serving dishes & decorations the day or night before as is possible. If you are having a more elaborate party you need to ask for help {there are only so many things you can do on your own}. Also, don’t spend a ton of money. Borrow from friends {between all the ladies in my life there are a lot of nice entertaining dishes, coffee makers, mason jars, drink containers, tables, chairs, coolers and decorations…the list goes on}.

DETAILS GO A LONG WAY:

Small details can make all the difference {even while keeping things simple}. A nice scented candle, music that fits the setting, place cards, cloth napkins, framed photos or printed quotes celebrating the occasion are a few examples. Pandora has great “radio” stations for any occasion {Christmas Carols, Disney Music for a kids party, Classical Music for an intimate dinner}. Pinterest and many blogs have free printables of cool quotes that are both beautiful and fitting for every occasion. Place-cards are a breeze to make for place settings & to mark food.

A few examples of how I have decorated following these rules click on the partyTIME drop down above or check out some ideas HERE, HERE & HERE.

Oh and one more HERE.

::a few entertaining tips from my mom::

::plan ahead::

-Make a lot of LISTS

-Prep menu & shopping lists a few days before

-Make sure you have the right serving dishes, napkins, drinks, silverware, coffee and pantry staples a few days before your event {shop for or borrow what you need}

-Shop for food & decor

-Decorate, arrange flowers, clean house and set out platters and serving items the day/night before event

-Set table or set up the buffet the day/night before

-Check your lists again

-Purchase ice & any other last-minute items the day of the event

 ::a simple party idea::

One simple way to throw a New Years Eve Party {my mom has done this a few times} is to have each guest bring a dessert or appetizer. You can just give them an idea of what to bring {or ask them to sign up via an Evite or email} so the responsibilities are spread out and you don’t get too many of the same items {for example you can specify savory appetizers or dessert or a salad/veggie tray}. This makes planning and clean-up so simple. All you have to prepare is your home, some drinks and snacks. Providing games/activities is an added bonus. If it’s a New Years party be sure to remember some party hats & noisemakers and remember that decorating is simple because your Christmas decor is already up.These ideas can obviously be used for any holiday party or throughout the year {think evening baby showers or adult birthday parties}.

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What is the HEART of hospitality for you and your family? How do you like to entertain? What are some of your best tips? Share your ideas on Instagram with me. Just add the hash-tag #holidayhospitality and see what others are up to as well.

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happy new year {HELLO 13}

We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Southern California…it was a Disneyland Resort Extravaganza and visit with friends & family. I’m worn out…but my cup is running over with blessings! What a wonderful way to celebrate the season and to get our minds off of our sadness & loss of my Dad.  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram I apologize for the endless pics but I could not help myself.  We were having such a fun time that I wanted to capture as many moments as I could with my iPhone.  Here are a few of my favorite iPhone photos from our Disneyland trip! More to come but for now I hope you and your family are having a lovely New Year’s Day!  Cheers!

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HOLIDAY randomness {tea parties, birthdays, kids & new year fun}

christmasTRADITIONS
Christmas, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tremper Fam, Birthday Fun, a Hot Chocolate Tea Party & a little New Year’s dinner!
 
Here are some pics of Paige making cookies with Daddy!  They made them for Auntie Mishawn’s birthday request…Homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
 (try saying that 3 times fast)!
Don’t you love her apron (another great gift from Auntie Shannon)?
I made this crown with a $1 store paper crown that had a little girl princess design on it.  First I painted it and then while it was wet I covered it in glitter!  I added the flowers with rhinestone brads & the numbers are just a print out from our computer that I cut out with special scalloped scissors. This project is easy and quick and special!
To make the cookie sandwiches we used the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe {it is the BEST}…find it HERE! To make the sandwiches be sure to let the cookies cool to room temperature and then just add good vanilla ice cream (like Bryers) & chill!
 
We love Auntie Mishawn!
Annual Christmas Time with the Trempers! Wooohooo! We had so much fun (although getting a good picture was impossible)!
I even had time to squeeze in a little tea party for the girls…complete with PB&J sandwiches in Christmas shapes, Candy Cane Scones and Candy Cane Hot Chocolate! Yum! You could easily do this for Valentine’s Day with heart cookie cutters instead!  I told the girls to make sure they put their pinkies up…so cute!
I basically just put a bunch of red things that I had in the cupboards on their plates!
New Year’s Day “Fancy Dinner” with just the four of us!  Paige got all into it and helped me set the table…we talked about our “high’s & low’s” of 2010 and it was a great night!
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