Tuesday, April 19, 2011

parTAY: 6 easy tips for a memorable event

     If you are planning an event larger that you've ever done, remember these key steps.
First, relax and breathe. You'll do just fine. Now, let's plan:
     *THEME
     *MENU
     *SHOPPING
     *TIMELINE
     *DELEGATE
     *DRESS
     Make up your mind now to enjoy yourself. Follow a few simple steps, be ready for the unexpected and you'll be just fine.
     Everything I have learned to do has been by trial and error... and I do mean lots of error. And remember that the World won't stop turning, even if things go horribly wrong. Hahaha... don't you feel better?
     First, after planning the date, location and time, identify the reason for this event. Come up with a THEME. Some of you theme lovers out there are doing a little happy dance right now, aren't you?
     Now, mentally study your guest list. Who are they? How well do you know them and their food preferences? Are there vegans or allergy sufferers on that list? Plan your MENU accordingly. Consider the current season of the year as well.
     Utilize free food websites and food blogs for menu and planning ideas. Food Network has menus grouped by type of event already made up. Their expertise can make your life so much easier! If you need to enlarge a recipe, go to allrecipes.com or just do the math. 
     Next, get out your recipes and write the ingredients down in list form. This way, you can be ready to go shopping. Take inventory of what you have on hand to avoid duplicating. This will save money while rotating pantry staples.
     Write out the quantities beside each item and where you plan to buy it. Consider items that are pre-made or easy to assemble, like salad mixes, frozen or bakery-made desserts. This gives you more time to concentrate on the main course.
    Set a day or two for SHOPPING. Consider where you will store items bought in advance. Around my house, freezer space is prime real estate! Do you have an extra fridge or freezer, or a trustworthy neighbor with a little room to spare?
     Make a TIMELINE, traveling from the present day, up to the date of the event. List tasks beginning with anything that could be made a month or so ahead and frozen, maybe part of the main course or a dessert.
     Work toward the date of the event, breaking down every job and maybe delegating a few things, if you can. Include everything on your timeline... sending invitations, housekeeping, decorating, setting the table and making YOURSELF party ready.
     Do you remember the old adage that said, "How do you eat and elephant?... One bite at a time?" Now that you have made your timeline, relax and follow the schedule. Breaking event tasks into tiny bits makes life more manageable.

     On the day of the event, remember to clean as you go. If you have someone to DELEGATE the serving and cleanup duties to, enlist them early in the planning stages. This will certainly pay off at the end of the day.
     I have hosted plenty of events that I never got to enjoy because I was refilling dishes or washing them. After enlisting some help, be sure to find some way to thank them afterward as well. A thank you note, a Starbucks gift card or volunteering to return the favor will be greatly appreciated.
     Leave time to DRESS prior to the event. No one will be impressed if you attend your own function looking like a scullery maid, disheveled and stained with the food you're serving.
     Fix your hair. Powder your nose and add some color to your face. Wear something clean and please... comfortable, but stylish shoes. 
 Now, go have fun! You deserve it, you fabulous thing, you!

2 comments:

  1. In have now decided that you are writing this blog just for me. How kind of you. But please stop reading my mind, it is most unnerving.

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  2. i am so glad to be of service to SOMEONE out in the vast blogosphere!
    as for the mind reading, what did marie used to say? "two donkeys with but a single thought."

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