How to Host a Stress-Free Party

I love any excuse to get friends & family together.  I especially love hosting a good party.  Unfortunately, hosting doesn’t always mean I get to enjoy the party itself.  Today I’m sharing with you guys some little tricks I’ve learned throughout the years that have helped me to stay stress-free with a drink in my hand & a smile on my face.

Getting started…

What are you celebrating?  Are you hosting a holiday dinner, a family BBQ or a game night with friends?  Whatever the reason for inviting people over you want to create a welcoming environment that makes your guests want to come back.  I always start by making a list of possible food & drink options.  You want to have something for everyone, so create a spread that will make both your carnivores & veggie lovers happy.  I’ve always heard you shouldn’t try a new recipe when having people over, but I’ve never been one to follow the rules.  If there’s a recipe on Pinterest or in your Food Network Magazine that you’ve been dying to make, go ahead & give it a try!

Setting the scene…

Once you’ve nailed down the menu it’s time to set the scene.  I’ve found that it’s easier to put up any decorations the day before, and set the table or gathering area the morning of.  I typically find my guests gathering around the kitchen island but you may have a diner table that needs to be set.  I also lay out my serving dishes & platters to ensure I have enough room for everything I’m serving.

Incorporating a theme…

A themed party is a great way to liven things up!  Holidays like Halloween & Thanksgiving are easy to incorporate a theme, I mean who doesn’t love the holidays?!  But, a family dinner on a Tuesday in mid-January isn’t as easy.  Some of my favorite go-to themes are Taco Tuesday with a make-it-yourself taco bar & margarita napkins, a wine & cheese party where guests bring their favorite bottle of wine to share over a charcuterie board & tapas, or a good old fashion BBQ with checkered tablecloths & matching papers plates, a fully stocked inflated beverage bar & everyone’s favorite food on a stick like meat & veggie kabobs (easily prepped the day before), corn on the cob & watermelon spheres.

This past Halloween, I hosted a pre-Trick or Treat get together for our friends that included finger foods, drinks & a scavenger hunt for the kids.  Being that it was Halloween I made sure I had festive tableware, snacks & décor.  Hosting a party doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank either; I snagged these plates from Target and the spooky glitter animals from the Dollar Store.

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I am also hosting my first Friendsgiving dinner in a week and I’ve already started to set the scene.  I know it’s a little early but being that it’s my first time hosting a Thanksgiving style dinner for 10 adults & 4 kids, I want everything to be perfect!  I picked up a colorful tablecloth from Marshalls and found matching fall-inspired paper plates from Walmart.  To make the patterns stand out I picked up gold charger plates, making the total cost of my table setting under $40.  Like I said, hosting a get together doesn’t have to break the bank!

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You don’t have to assign seats for a sit down dinner, but putting name cards around the table adds a little extra flare and allows your guests to avoid worrying about where to sit.  For our Friendsgiving, I decided to use spray-painted leaves from the yard & leftover gourds from Halloween; I love how they turned out!  I will also place wine glasses at each place setting & have red & white options on the table.

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At the end of the day, as long as you’re enjoying yourself your guests will too.  So pour a glass of wine or open a cold beer & have fun!  I hope that these little tips & tricks have inspired you for your next get together.

As always – the Wexford Housewife xoxx

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Coffee & Kimonos

Two things I can’t get enough of…fresh brewed coffee & lightweight kimonos.  This morning while little man was at school I met a friend for breakfast at one of my favorite local spots Walnut Grill.  We enjoyed our kids-free meal with Baileys filled coffee and uninterrupted conversation.  Even though temps hit 80° here in Pittsburgh I couldn’t wait to wear this long sleeve kimono from Marshalls.  I stayed cool & stylish by layering it with a cotton-blend tank and my breathable Kensie Jeans.

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As always – comfortable & effortless housewife style xoxx

I couldn’t link the kimono I purchased from Marshalls but here a few similar styles great for fall.

Amazon – Floral Print Kimono

Forever21 – Sheer Floral Kimono

Nordstrom – Treasure & Bond Print Kimono

Fashion, Depression & Motherhood

Well, once again, life happened & the blog took a backseat.  It’s been one hell of a busy summer full of camping, swimming, traveling etc. etc. When I’ve managed to get some “me” time I haven’t felt fully motivated to write anything besides a quick Instagram post.  However, as I sit here on this beautiful Sunday morning with the windows open & coffee in hand I find myself inspired to write something. 

On one of my recent Instagram posts I reintroduced myself and why I started blogging.  As much as I tend to overshare with my friends & family, I am not always as open about my life on social media, besides what I’m wearing/eating.  Today I am taking a little bit of a risk & opening up about myself….

My name is Laura & I live in Wexford, PA with my husband & little man, hence the name The Wexford Housewife.  I recently turned 33 & although my 30’s scared me when I was younger, I am embracing the hell out of them now!  With age comes experience and I’ve learned to keep close the ones you love & rid life of toxicity including people, habits and feelings.

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I went to school for Fashion which gave me the opportunity to live in LA & NYC but in the end I put down my roots in Pittsburgh which is where I met my husband.  Long story short, we met on Match.com, got married 2 years later & now have an energetic, full of life 4 year old boy named Stone.

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After having our son I had post partum depression which I didn’t acknowledge until a year later.  Looking back it was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced.  I was overwhelmed with my new role as a mother & didn’t talk about it in fear of being viewed as a failure.  Excuse my language, but motherhood is fucking hard!  The anxiety I felt put pressure on my marriage, causing my husband & I to constantly argue and be at odds.  He tried to understand what I was going through, but I couldn’t help but feel alone, unappreciated, and angry.  I was mad at myself for leaving my full-time job & becoming a stay at home mom, I was mad at my husband for, well everything, I was made at my son for not sleeping or nursing…. I was just mad.  I finally met with my doctor and was put on medication which to be honest was a godsend.  I had experienced depression & anxiety previously but nothing like this.  I know medication isn’t for everyone but it works for me.  I finally felt like I could breath again, that a dark cloud was lifted & I could finally be me.

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Being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had.  Once I finally got the hang of it, a year later lol, I needed something to regain my identity & call my own which is why I started The Wexford Housewife.  Throughout the years I have found other creative outlets like being a  member of Style Collective & GrlPwrPgh, I am also a Senior Stylist for Stitch Fix & will soon be helping my husband with his landscaping business.  They say idle hands are the devils playground, and I’ve learned the hard way I need to stay busy or my mind runs wild.

Through all of this madness I have learned that it’s okay to ask for help.  It’s okay to talk about things that aren’t normally discussed.  It’s okay to open up about feelings of failure, depression & anxiety.  At 33, I finally feel like I know who I am and what I want from life.  I feel healthy & happy.  I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband, a strong-willed little man, family that loves me continuously regardless of my mood, and a tribe of friends that are ride or die!

If you’ve made it through this entire post, I thank you!  If anything, I hope that me opening up helps someone else reading this and to know that you are not alone.