Hardly Perfect Hostesses

7 girls learning to make life beautiful…

Hipsters and Dollies October 11, 2010

Filed under: Planning,Uncategorized — sarahfairah @ 10:13 am

What a night: our 1950s cocktail party was a blast! We drank tasty mocktails, feasted on delicious hors d’oeuvres, played “parlor room” games, and enjoyed the company of friends.  The atmosphere was classy, thanks to our back patio decor, authentic dinnerware, and our guests and hostesses who looked smashing in their era clothes!  Overall, this night was a success, but it would have been impossible without two hostessing essentials: preparation and delegation.

Preparation: My mom played a huge role in planning for this party, but the most important and useful thing she taught me was to create a control binder of all the information needed for the event.  With tabs like “recipes”, “mocktails”, and “1950s slang words”, everything I needed was all in one place and made the night and preceding day much less stressful!

Delegation: As much as you can prepare, when it comes down to D-day you will not be able to throw such a party all by yourself.  Luckily I have some amazing friends who make delegating tasks easy.  A few of the hostesses came several hours early to help and even stayed after all the guests had left to start tackling the disaster left behind.  Josue (one of our guests) also kindly manned the mocktail bar and impressed us with his skills, while Anna brought the 50s jazz music, and Jessica Lee led us in games like “fishbowl” (charades taken to the next level) and “four on a couch”.  I experienced first hand that you can’t throw an amazing party by yourself (while keeping our sanity at least), so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I used a “control binder” to organize the details and several extra hands to accomplish what I could not.  What about you?  Do you have an organizational system that helps you carry out events or even your day to day life?

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Thrifty Fifties! October 9, 2010

Filed under: Planning — sarahfairah @ 12:05 am

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I can hardly express how excited I am for tomorrow’s 1950s cocktail party! I have been anticipating and planning this party for weeks now in order to make this a night to remember, full of laughter, delicious food, and amazing style!  Along the way I have discovered what great resources thrift stores can be for throwing decade themed parties.  From dishes to dresses second-hand is definitely the way to go.  Almost all of the glass serving trays and cocktail glasses we will be using tomorrow night were found at thrift stores ranging in price from $1-$5 (by the way, Goo Gone was my best friend today as I spent an hour de-gooing price stickers). I also can’t wait to serve my cheese fondue out of an adorable fondue set I bought for $8! In addition to dinnerware, clothes can be a fantastic find, especially at thrift stores with vintage sections.  Today a few of the hostesses and our guests went on an adventure to a nearby second-hand clothing store in search for 1950s outfits.  Although second hand shopping can be hit or miss, a few of us found some great items that will really help pull together the night’s theme.  Gosh, this night will just be swell!

 

Hostessing Thought For The Day October 7, 2010

Filed under: Planning — lisiemarie @ 6:00 pm

When hosting a party, it is important to keep in mind who you are hosting for. If you have a guest of honor, such as a birthday girl, base all that you do off of what you know about them.  Also keep in mind the group that you have attending.  Yesterday was Roomie Kelsey’s 20th, and Crystal and I threw a little shindig for her last night. When in Wal-Mart picking up necessary items such as fondant and other various forms of sugar, Crystal asked if we should get matching cups.  And the answer was no, because it was Kelsey’s party.  She was more than content having the guests drink their milkshakes out of various shaped mugs and destroying her cake by cutting it with a light up sword.  And if I had made the Star Wars theme any more obvious, she would have just thought I was a little weird.  By the same token, however, if I threw a party for Sarah Elise, she would be distracted and most likely unable to enjoy herself if the room didn’t pull itself together well.  Hostessing is not about me, but about those I am welcoming.

 

Dinner Party Basics September 29, 2010

Filed under: Planning — Jessica Stephenson @ 9:52 pm

Dinner Party Basics.

 

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends September 26, 2010

Filed under: Planning — lisiemarie @ 10:00 pm

I think that when I imagined hosting my party, I pictured myself as well, the Hostess with the Mostest.  Wearing my apron and my pearls, my hair would be curled and it wouldn’t frizz out from the heat of the kitchen.  I would clean my kitchen to sparkling both before and after cooking.  I would have perfectly planned assembly lines and enough pans and the timing of all of the cooking would fit together nicely.  And through all of the hours of cooking and the party itself I would remain calm, with a welcoming smile on face.

However, my day looked much more like the hardly perfect part of this blog than the perfect hostess part.  My kitchen was a disaster.  I started to make the recipe without changing the proportions to the needed amount.  I didn’t have time to curl my hair.  I dropped a measuring cup full of cheese into my sink  (I put a lot of effort into that cheese.  Grating is much more difficult than one would think).  The timing of moving sandwiches in and out of the oven was off.  One of the hostesses (who shall remain nameless)  caught a baking sheet on the counter and sent bread, ham, and the precious grated cheese all over our living room carpet.  I was twenty minutes late to my own party.

(me in my kitchen frantically cooking.  even the picture is blurry! )

But it came together, and it came together beautifully.  The reason it came together?  My friends.  My wonderful friends.  The number one lesson I learned about hostessing today was to know your friends’ strengths, and to be willing to ask for help.  Anna came over and buttered bread slice after bread slice.  Amy took the opportunity to learn to flip a crepe and whipped some up for my dessert, after helping me plan and grocery shop.  Sarah not only made my invitations, she helped fill the crepes in Amy’s apartment, and then came to mine to help build sandwiches.  Jessica both transported food and threw together a fantastic salad.  Even people who were not hostesses helped – Amy’s roommate Amy helped fill crepes,  Aubreigh helped Alex shoot fantastic photos and Coley contributed one of my very favorite pieces of the party.  She took black Sharpie to my white paper cups and created art, personalizing each one with both the guest’s name and a lovely french inspired drawing.

The preparation hardly went as planned, but the party came together perfectly like I imagined, thanks to the incredible hostesses.

(more posts to come this week, including photos, recipes, and more!)

 

You’re invited! September 25, 2010

Filed under: Planning — sarahfairah @ 6:11 pm

When LisieMarie asked me to create invitations for her Parisian Picnic I was elated! Finally, I can use my skills learned in school to help my friends (I’m an industrial design major and use Adobe Photoshop and  Illustrator pretty often).  LisieMarie and AmyLucita gave me thier input and we chose the first of three invitations I made, as it encompassed the enchantment, beauty and femininity of our”Parisian Picnic” the best. I can’t wait to see it all come together tomorrow!

(more…)

 

Gettin Ready September 10, 2010

Filed under: Cooking,Dressing,Entertaining,Planning — sjanettep @ 9:30 pm

So I am an elementary education major and even if I never teach or never have a child of my own, children will always hold a very high place in my part. For this reason I picked “back to childhood” as my theme. Idealistically, childhood is a time of laughter, play and freedom. I think as adults we need a little more of all of those things in our lives. I hope tomorrow will be a day to bring us back to a simpler lighter time.

As a food item that personifies childhood for me is macaroni and cheese. As a kid, of course, I loved the kraft stuff. Whenever my mom and dad would leave me in charge I would always make it for my brothers and sister (it was all I knew). So since, as adults, we have to redefine ourselves I decided that it was time to redefine my taste in mac and cheese. So I typed macaroni and cheese recipe into Google and was greeted by about 10 million options.  There was seriously a whole blog devoted to different types of mac and cheese.  There was one that looked super yummy and called for half and half and bacon, but I decided to skip the calories. I finally settled on Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese. As much as I don’t like Martha you can’t really beat “Perfect Macaroni and Cheese”. Plus there was a write up about it in the New York times. We will see how it tastes. I am also super excited for the desert but I will keep that a surprise.

I asked all of my guests to wear something that either they actually wore as a child, they wish they wore as a child, or looks like something they would have worn. I have picked out one of my favorite school because it has tulle underneath and poofs out and reminds me of a party dress I wish I would have had. I can’t wait to see what the other girls will wear.

I am so excited and super nervous to see how the day goes.