Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Guest post: How to host a big family gathering

Today I'm featuring a guest post from reader Arianna. She's sharing some tips for hosting a big gathering, inspired by watching her sister seamlessly host their extended family. I thought it might be useful for some of you with Easter coming up. Hope you enjoy it!

It’s rare to get the majority of my family in one place. A few months ago, my sister hosted a huge family get-together.  Normally I get nervous planning for such a large crowd, but my sister made it look easy. I made sure to take notes on how she made it work so well. Here’s what I learned!

“X” marks the … cup?
You know the scenario – it’s a dinner party, there are a lot of people, and there are a lot of different cups floating around the room. This results in three things: people not knowing where their glass is, people pouring multiple drinks for themselves (dirtying more cups), or accidentally drinking someone else’s drink! My sister found the perfect solution with this cute DIY project with chalkboard paper to label disposable cups. Her guests could easily locate their drinks and cleaning up was a breeze!

Do it buffet-style

Normally I set the dining room table for when company comes over, but I loved that my sister set up a buffet! It got rid of the hassle of setting the table and the juggling act of passing around heavy dishes. She broke up the longest counter in her kitchen into mini “stations,” with the buffet organized by appetizers, sides, meats, and desserts. We could choose what we did and didn’t want, and customize our portion sizes.

Fine-tuning the timing
My sister didn’t want to still be in the kitchen when her guests were arriving, so she prepped the appetizers and desserts the night before, while the main dish was simply “heat and eat.” She laid out what could be served at room temperature and warmed up the other things while she got ready. When guests arrived, she was ready to mingle!

The Best Tip of All
Enjoy your family! Remember that it’s rare to have everyone in the same space for a weekend, so don’t get stuck in the kitchen. Instead, make sure you have time to focus on making memories!

Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at http://ariannaknowsbest.blogspot.com/ !

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