Monday, April 24

Last Minute Party Preparations

I always joke that the better the party I throw, the worse I look when my guests show up. I’ve gotten better at getting ready way in advance so I don’t look like a madwoman. However, I do have a little routine I go through before the party starts. Even though I make sure the house is clean the day before, right before the guests begin showing up, I will do a quick “walk through.” Basically, I pretend I am a guest in my own home. I try to think about what would make people more comfortable and then go around sprucing things up.
Here are my Top Ten Last Minute Party Preps:

1. I start at the front door and do a quick once-over with fresh eyes. I clean up the entryway, tuck mail away. I check the bathroom to make sure it is guest-ready and there are fresh hand towels out and extra toilet paper.
2. I sit in different spots around the house, looking around to see if I missed any cobwebs or dust. You'd be surprised!
3. Make it smell good! I open windows for a few minutes to let in fresh air. In the spring and summer, I light Clean Linen candles; and in the fall and winter I fill a saucepan with cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, and a drop of vanilla extract... bring it to a boil and turn low to simmer. This goes a long way to set the mood. I even use fabric sprays if something is smelling unpleasant.
4. If we are having a garden party or cook-out, I light candles to hang from the trees and a few Citronella candles to keep the Texas mosquitoes at bay. Indoor party? Dim the chandelier and light candles of all kinds; tapers, votives and pillars.  
5. Mr.P takes the trash out! We are going to need the space later. 
6. I clear a spot for guests coats, purses, umbrellas... etc. 
7. I place my camera out so that I don't forget to take a few snap shots. This just might be one of those memorable parties!
8. Put out a few tray of appetizers, nibbles and drinks. This will keep my guest satisfied until dinner is served. 
9. I take one last look in the dining room to make sure my place settings are straight, silver is sparkling and the centerpiece still looks vibrant. 
10. Music! I always put on music right before the party. I am a big fan of Napster. I have handpicked songs that make up different playlists. I think they are really good - we enjoy them. I make sure that whatever playlist I use will last until the last guest has made their farewells. I also pick music according to the type of party we are throwing. Sit down dinner vs a casual outdoor BBQ. 

AND... last but certainly NOT least, I sit down, put my feet up for 5 minutes and enjoy the beauty of my hard work. It gives me the extra boost I will need to be the best hostess I can possibly be. 

Get out of the kitchen and enjoy your guests!!

The Domestic Curator

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