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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Mother’s Day Weekend Style

In the (almost) 4 years I’ve been a mamma bear, this was the best Mother’s Day thus far.  Each year it just keeps getting better & better.  Partly because little man is getting older and our interaction & communication with one another has grown.  We kicked off the weekend with a Mother’s Day Tea at his preschool where we made handprint art together, enjoyed tea & cookies and his class performed songs they had practiced for weeks; seriously the cutest thing ever!

For the Tea, I wore my favorite black shift dress from Stitch Fix along with a lightweight Kimono I recently purchased on sale at Target for under $20 and my black high heeled ankle booties.

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The weekend continued with my quarterly Style Collective meeting which encouraged us to celebrate the women in our lives by bringing them with us.  My mom is everything to me, so I was so excited when I could include her.  She’s been my biggest supporter with every new venture I take so it was nice to have her by my side.  Mom, if you’re reading this I Love You ♥

The event was hosted at a local Pittsburgh boutique called Vintage Grace Boutique.  I’ve followed them on IG for a while but this was my first time in their store & I am obsessed!  Their clothes & accessories are on-trend and priced fairly well.  I ended up purchasing the cutest blouse dress and lightweight jumpsuit.  For the event, I decided to wear my new kimono again layered over top a vintage-inspired lace detail knit, my black cropped trousers & strappy high heels.

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Each Mother’s Day I host a brunch at our house.  I love any excuse to host a get together & Mother’s Day gives us a chance to bring our families together which is always a plus.  We put together a breakfast-inspired spread along with mimosas & a giant cream puff.  I decided to wear my new Blouse Dress from Vintage Grace Boutique as a tunic with my plum skinnies & black pumps.  The dress was under $50; I’ve attached the link for you to shop.

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Whether you’re a mom yourself or just celebrated the women in your life, I hope everyone had a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend.

As always – comfortable & effortless housewife style xoxx

Celebrating Easter in Style

Well another month has past & I finally find myself paying attention to The Wexford Housewife.  I don’t know how I let time pass by so quickly without posting anything on the blog.  I know I should be smart by planning ahead & mapping out my month, but I always end up putting everything else first…my son & husband, friends & family, hosting holidays, Stitch Fix, etc. etc. My Blog seems to always take a back seat.  Does anyone else have/had this problem?  How do you make time for everything & your blog, please share!

Speaking of sharing, I am so excited to share details from our Easter celebration!  Ever since our son was born, we’ve hosted a Sunday Funday brunch for our family & friends consisting of yummy finger foods, endless mimosas for the adults & a scavenger hunt for the kids.  This year I tried a new recipe, Hot Ham & Cheese Party Rolls, which were a huge hit!  I’ve linked the recipe here in case you’re in need of a new, easy appetizer.

Below I’ve included some pictures of my stylish little family on Easter Sunday.  My husband kept things casual with a Vineyard Vines Polo & AE Jeans, while my son rocked a look from Gymboree complete with bug printed suspenders & a linen vest (not pictured).  My outfit is from my favorite place, Marshalls, and was under $50.

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I am so blessed that our families get along & we’re able to celebrate together.  Nothing is better than being surrounded by loved ones during the holidays.

As always – comfortable & effortless housewife style xoxx