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As part of a new series, each Friday I’d like to share five of my current favorite things involving entertaining and party hosting. These will be grouped by category, so come back weekly to see my five entertaining favorites in serveware, music playlists, recipes, hostess gifts and much more. Enjoy the party!


ListI feel like providing a hostess gift is a classy and polite tradition that is unfortunately diminishing. I, myself, wasn’t offering a hostess gift until I hosted Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago for some friends, and one of them brought me a handwritten thank you card with some delightfully scented hand soap wrapped in a cute dish towel. It was such a simple but kind gesture that I’ve loved giving hostess gifts ever since. Because it is a forgotten manner, it’s often unexpected and can be meaningful regardless of the price tag. I’ve shared a few of my current favorite hostess gift ideas above, from vintage wall calendars for planning the next soirée to scented candles to fill the party room with. Anything you bring will be truly appreciated and show society that there still are manners among us.

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Have you ever walked into someone’s gathering and there’s no background music…and you noticed? Music not only sets the tone for an event and tells everyone what kind of night it will be, but is an immediate ice breaker. Eventually, as more guests arrive the chatter will increase but you don’t want those first few guests to feel awkward from the lack of noise at a party. Allow them to immediately feel comfortable and at ease, start conversations amongst each other over the playlist, confirm that the party has “started” and know what the feel of the night will be.

Here is a variety of my current favorite playlists for entertaining. It’s a solid range of styles from playful indie to lively jazz, modern pop to classic country and even some soothing Bon Iver (one of my favorite playlists to listen to at night!).

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Although I’m an endless water drinker, there is something about summer hosting that makes me crave fresh, crisp drinks. I clearly love anything with tangy lime and you can’t go wrong with crunchy ice in a fruity sipper. I served the above blackberry sangria at an outdoor wedding reception and we were refilling it by the buckets. For more drink inspiration, explore here.

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Summer is in full-swing and dining al fresco can be part of your hosting regimen. These are some of my current favorites in outdoor dining and serveware. From durable melamine plates & trays to the beautiful copper beverage tubs and tropical wooden salad bowls, eating outside can be colorful, fun and break-free. Also, who can resist pink flamingo salt & pepper shakers?

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One of the biggest aspects to focus on when entertaining is what food and drink to serve your guests. The menu should depend on the type of gathering (location, season, theme, purpose, etc.) but these five recipes are my general all-time favorite appetizers. I have received compliments every time I’ve served each of these dishes and they’re fairly simple to prepare. My personal favorite of these favorites is those tortellini bites. Crispy on the outside, soft and cheesy on the inside, deliciously seasoned and dipped in some Ranch…too yummy!

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This week’s gathering of my five entertaining favorites is centered on one of my favorite holidays to celebrate–Independence Day. Serve your guests a star-spangled berry tart, comfortably dressed in a casual but hostess-worthy shirt dress, allow friends to soak up dripping watermelon with Americana napkins and play yard games that you made yourself, all invited with patriotic custom invitations.

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Favorite Tea Towels

We’re beginning this series with my five favorite tea towels of the moment. Tea towels may be considered old fashioned to some but that is what give them their charm. They are a small and effortless way to decorate your kitchen or tablescape and offer utility to boot. This is a great list of unique ways to use a tea towel.

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