You know me. You know I love to party. And you also know that I will start planning a party and then blow it way out of proportion! A simple bash becomes over-the-top and before you know it, I’m super stressed and regretting the decision to ever have a little shindig in the first place.
Since becoming pregnant, I’ve learned to relax a little more. I still love to party, oh yes, but I do things a little differently now. I like to keep it simple. Simple foods. Simple decor. It’s more about having a good time and being able to enjoy your guests. Which is always a caveat for me. I’m usually so busy playing host that I don’t get to mingle as much as I want. That all changed when we decided to throw a small dessert party for some new friends. Here are a few tips on how I saved time and sanity!
As with any bash, I like to use white plates and white serveware. It’s easy to add color with different bits of decor, but you can really keep things cohesive if you choose one or two main colors for your dishes. To add dimension to your tablescape, place foods at different heights. I used these Chinet square dinner plates and hot glued them on top of these Chinet 9 oz. & 14 oz. cut crystal cups. You can stack them with smaller dessert plates or just leave it at one and call it a day!
We had a little dessert bar complete with brownies (both sugared and covered in fudge). We served different toppings like caramel, hot fudge, and marshmallow whip. All those toppings? Store bought. A year ago, you would have found me slaving away in the kitchen trying to make my own marshmallow whip. No more! I’ve changed, I guess.
Adding small bunches of fresh-cut flowers to your table is a great way to add a little flair and fill up space! Again, we kept it simple with some white hydrangeas. These beauties will be disappearing from the floral section soon so I had to get my fix!!!
My absolute fave part of the party? These Chinet cut crystal champagne flutes. They’re plastic, but they don’t look it! They added some class to our little bash. I decorated a few with bistro chalk markers. We also left the markers out so guests could decorate their own champagne flutes. The geometric design made an appearance, of course!
I added a little color to the cake stands as well. These fun little touches are a neat surprise and help to personalize the party. It also helps when there’s a lot of chocolate.
Because brownies can be a hit-or-miss, I bought a few and made a few. These sugared brownie bites were from our local grocery store, but they’re always a hit in my house! Add some caramel and marshmallow whip and you’ve got yourself a future diabetic.
I usually like to make the beverages I serve to our guest, but again, we’re sticking with a simple theme here. I snatched up some delish sodas from Cost Plus World Market. The Limoncello is my absolute favorite.
These fudge brownies didn’t last long. When I bake in the kitchen, I tend to leave a huge mess. I try to clean as I go, but the DISHES! Oy! I’ve laxed on the cooking/baking these last few months because I’m sick of doing dishes. To cut down on the clutter when I baked up a storm, I used Chinet Bakeware. It’s disposable and sturdy. Two things you need when baking a serious brownie. Confession: Most of the time, the batter never makes it to the oven. I will lick the bowl clean. I can really do it. This was just an exception since we were having friends over!
Even though the table was filled with sweets, I had to add some kettle corn to add a little salt to the mix. You can pop your own or buy it from the store. Nobody will know the difference and you’ll be able to relax. I packaged the popcorn in these small treat bags so that everyone could have their own little snack. If I’m being honest though, I’ll tell you that I ate most of the popcorn bags myself. And I had to keep refilling them only to go and eat more!
After I posted about the most recent baby shower for BG-dub, I received a lot of messages and emails saying that people “understood why I always went all-in when throwing a party”. I come from a family that likes to do things over-the-top. We’re a very in-your-face type of people. But you don’t have to go crazy to have a good time. Whether you ask your guests to contribute to the menu, or pick most of it up at the store, you can have a great (and stress-free!) time!
*Chinet sent me product and a stipend for the food and decor in this post. All opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the brands that help keep us alive!
photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel