Weekend Presentation at the Country Living Fair

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This weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to speak at a the Country Living fair.  Please excuse the iPhone photos, but I thought I’d share a few of the photos with you today and give you a little bit of information on what I spoke about.

I was asked to do a DIY and speak on a topic related to entertaining.  I chose to share with the crowd how I brainstorm and prepare for a party – one of my favorite things to do.

I’m sure you guys wouldn’t be surprised to learn that my #1 piece of advice for everyone was to have a ‘theme’.  Although I don’t like themes that scream (very obvious themes), I honestly think that having an idea of your direction is imperative for having a party with a consistent vibe.  You wouldn’t want to serve margaritas for drinks and sushi for food!  Having a ‘theme’ keeps your vision in check and helps when you’re creating a menu to make sure everything stays on the same wavelength. A theme can be as easy as ‘tuscan wine night’ or ‘tex mex’ so long as it helps you choose accessories and food that all work together.

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My number two piece of advice is to diversify your menu.  Don’t serve 5 things that have to all be baked and served warm.  If you do, chances are that one of those dishes will be cold before your guests are ready to eat.  Mix ready made goodies (cheese, cured meats, fruits, veggies) and made ahead food with the items you want to make and serve hot.

5 more quick tips:

1. Lay out your platters and serving bowls on the table or buffet the night or morning before your event.

2. Use post-it notes to label which serving platters will be filled with what food.

3. Lay out anything that is shelf stable (chips, crackers, nuts)

4.  Use fresh flowers or greenery.  It really makes a huge difference and you can keep them around your house after the party!

5. Make yourself a ‘day-of’ schedule to keep the preparations on track and give yourself enough time to get ready.

I showed the crowd how to set up a table that is pretty and adheres to the theme and how to do a little drink stirrer DIY (similar to this one).

I won’t be at the next Country Living Fair in Atlanta, but if you’re close, you should go!  I was an amazing time and the vendors were awesome as well (tons of really fabulous antiques and handmade goods).

Have a great Tuesday!

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