April 20, 2011

Derby Party - Hostess Essentials (Part 2)

Clean Sweep: I'll be the first to admit that I'm a self-diagnosed, clean and control freak. It kind of drives my BF nuts, but I have a theory that if you do things as you go, you save time by not having to cut a huge chunk of time to do whatever it is you're putting off. My biggest annoyance is when a 'chef' makes a magnificent meal, but throughout dirties every dish in the kitchen and leaves it all for cleaning after the meal. Had the 'chef' washed dishes as they went or while the meal was cooking, it would've made the whole evening that much more enjoyable because it leaves nothing to worry about afterward.

This being said, I have already pre-warned BF of my intentions. He has generously offered to share his apartment for the festivities as it's 1.) in the city and therefore easier to attend by most of the guests and 2.) allows most guests to enjoy themselves instead of worrying how to get home after a day of imbibing. This being said, BF and I don't have the same standards when it comes to organization, so I plan to 'clean sweep' his place. Contrary to his friends' belief, I will NOT be just 'throwing everything out the windows'.

I believe a clean environment naturally puts everyone (most especially your guests) at ease and thereby making your party more enjoyable. Things to keep in mind:

- Layout of the room: a hostess may need to rearrange the furniture to better effect the flow of traffic. Being aware of your expected number of guests, activities you expect your guests to participate in, and the weather are all important things to note; better safe than sorry (a good example is that BF's apartment isn't the biggest, but he has a large balcony and outdoor patio, so we're hopeful for good weather to host the 20-30 some odd guests we're expecting).

- Food & Drink: Reviewing with the layout of the room, the flow of traffic to and from your refreshments is vital (Especially when Mint Juleps & BBQ are involved). Also making sure you have enough. If you plan to serve hot/warm food, unless you have a plate warmer or a crockpot (like my crockpot BBQ) you may want to bring things out as needed so that your guests enjoy your hard work. Adversely, if you expect to serve items chilled/cold, DON'T FORGET THE ICE. BF doesn't have an ice maker, so ensuring we pick up a couple bags of ice for drinks, coolers, etc is essential!

- Emergency kit, not just for safety: As any good hostess knows, accidents happen. Sometimes it's a nick or a scratch that needs a band aid, but more often then not it's the need for a Tide Pen or carpet cleaner. Fun Fact: Spilt RED wine can be lifted using WHITE wine. Always keep safety pins (for broken straps and tears), a first aide kit, and stain removers handy for your guests (these also make a nice vanity accessory in the restroom along with your decorative 'hand towels' such as the ones I'm drooling over at PartyCity!)

Do you have any suggestions I should share with my friends? Please let me know!

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