Friday, September 16, 2016

Entertaining Inspiration -Friday Book Chat

Fall is just about here and with that are many chances to host gatherings, and impromptu get-togethers. One of my promises to myself when I turned 51 this year was to have more friends over and not waste time fretting about things being just so. Every time I make the leap and commit to having people here, I'm always so glad I did it. Gatherings at home are infinitely more fun and relaxing than going out as a group. Hosting is a gift you give to your friends and the more you do it the better you get at it and the more you relax!

My grandmother, who is 99 now, loved to host and had entertaining down after many years of doing it. Her organization allowed her to throw parties for any number, at any given moment. Drawers held napkins that were organized by color and sets and recipes were already in double and tripled versions for more guests.

I think keeping a little book where you can jot down notes of what worked or didn't, what was served, who came and how you decorated is a great thing to refer back to. You can even take photos and it can become sort of a scrapbook as well.

Another idea is an inspirational binder. I keep one with tear sheets from magazines of pretty tabletops, recipes I want to try, and seasonal menus and party suggestions. I always pull it out planning for Thanksgiving, Easter and and when I feeing in a rut and not creative. My binder always gets me in an entertaining mood.

Books especially inspire me and there are three super books that really got me jazzed about entertaining more that have recently come out.

First, this by the Kate Spade people...

All in Good Taste is packed with fun, fantastic ideas for enjoying your life and having friends over more. It includes pages to write yourself notes about menus, guests, playlists and such. Thanks to all the very cute ideas, I recently had a Chinese takeout dinner by the pool. (Top pic, kinda fuzzy and not perfect, but was I was having fun and forgot to take pictures.)

 This book touches on ideas for brunches, the perfect cheese plate, playlists, hostess gifts, and cute tips on how to put a quirky twist on any party. There's even how to serve takeout on fine china. The ideas and inspiration from this book are copious and I recommend this book if you're in a hosting slump. Love it.

Then I just got this..

Steven Stolman's Passion for Parties is a sweet book. Steven grew up in a family that knew how to celebrate. I just loved his funny family stories that are sprinkled throughout this book along with tried and true recipes, floral ideas and party themes. The stories of his youthful dinner parties, his own Bar Mitzvah and wedding are heartening and really inspire one to celebrate these milestones. 

Last, but not least, this gem by designer Lela Rose... If you aren't familiar with Lela check out her gorgeous clothing. She's all about pretty and her dresses are literally little works of art. They are special occasion and aspirational clothes for sure and her party book is along those lines....

Pret-A-Party is for those who appreciate over-the-top, all out parties. Lela is super creative and every one of her gatherings is an adventure in itself- bike parties, picnics, sewing circles and even a ladies' tea-quila party! I just wish I was one of her pals. She knows how to have some fun. The photos and parties are beyond beautiful. This is a gorgeous book.

 I went crazy for the fabric below for my Chinese takeout dinner. Sometimes just finding a really cool fabric is all you need to get going on a party theme. I added gold lanterns found at Orchard Supply of all places, and bought some small orchids in pink tones there as well. By the way, you need not sew the tablecloths. I have used Stitch-Witchery and ironed the hems, but this time I just cut the fabric and threw them on the tables. No one was judging I think.

As this was by the pool we ordered floating lanterns from Amazon. They came with tea lights and lasted about 2 hours.

There were more of them just forgot to take a picture. If you want to order them, they are $15 for 10 which isn't bad. I ordered 20 and they looked so festive! Link to them from Amazon here.

We bought a banana cake from my favorite bakery, Icing on the Cake and topped it with a dahlia bought for $4 at Bunches flower shop. It has an ombre look almost. I would do this again, so easy and lovely!

On another note, did you know the people who live longest in this world, from an island in Greece regularly get together with friends every night? They believe the nightly socialization is part of why the live so long!

Happy weekend and invite someone over...even if it's for takeout. :D



  1. What a fun post, Kim! I'm loving the adorable tea lanterns for your pool! I'm going to try to find those on Amazon. A lit up pool makes the entire yard look fabulous and adds a certain ambiance. Love it! Oh my gosh that banana cake from Icing on the Cake has me drooling! Worth every single calorie! April xo

    1. April, Thank you. Those lanterns are really fun for the price. Link is here: They are $15 for 10, which isn't bad! By the way have you been to Icing on the Cake? Cutest spot ever for decorations and seasonal things too! The banana cake is their specialty, but so many good things there it's hard to choose! xo

  2. Kim, what a beautiful setting and I love the fabric you used for the table. The dahlia was a great idea and I will keep that in mind the next time I order a cake. ( or make one) My daughter has a baby shower coming up in the near future!

    I have heard that being social is key to aging well. I try to get out with friends once in awhile since I don't work outside the home. Having dinner with a friend tonight actually!


  3. WE DO HOST A LOT...................and seldom are we invited OUT!As you stated people get nervous............or feel it has to be a catered event!IT IS A GIFT YOU GIVE YOURSELF and to the FRIENDS and FAMILY that ATTEND because you are making MEMORIES..........
    YOUR POOL PARTY sounded W O N D E R F U L.KEEP IT GOING!!!!!!!!