Monday, November 10, 2014

Thrifty No Stress Entertaining Tips!

The Baby Shower in honor of the soon to arrive 
Sweetwater Grandbaby was so much fun!

As usual....I didn't take very many pictures!
I suppose THAT is because the party was SO MUCH FUN!

Instead of beautiful pictures of all the perfectly arranged tables and decor.....
I thought you might be interested in the way this party went together with almost NO stress!
So here is the stress free party planning edition of:

 Decorations don't need to be decorations!
HUH?
Running all over to buy or make kitchy decorations is expensive and time consuming!
 Now...I like to craft as much as the next woman...but adding that to party prep isn't necessary!
  I spent 10 minutes searching for cute ideas for baby themed blackboards....and a little time copying it....big impact.....no money!

For sure this is staying up well past when the baby actually  arrives!

This baby buggy is actually the one MY MOM was wheeled around in....a far cry from the high tech strollers of today....but way more charming as the spot to collect the shower gifts!  Another decor statement for no cost.....unless you count the cost of Mr. S having to wrestle it out of mom's basement, into the truck and into the house!  So maybe NO stress doesn't actually work here!!!!
The two enlarged photos of the new parents was the simple decor in the diningroom/beverage center!  Simple and easy to do ahead of time!



To COOK or NOT TO COOK!

Sometimes using prepared food is actually cheaper than making it!


Since this was an "Happy Hour Baby Shower"...the menu was hearty appetizers! The thrifty/no stress approach here....buy it almost ready made!


Imagine buying and grilling and marinating 8 different vegetables...
Imagine buying and cutting up fancy cheeses and the fruit and nuts to make it pretty!
That would actually be a lot more expensive and add a lot more stress than ordering the trays already made.  The two trays from Whole Foods made four big platters for the buffet. Since people arrived over a span of time....it was great to be able to bring out totally fresh platters mid-way through the evening.

Cost Co has an amazing (and cheap) array of frozen appetizers....again cheaper than making them!  72 little quiches for $9 and 48 Spanakopita for $5....and they are really tasty. 
The ready made Artichoke dip is also a steal....buying the ingredients...much less mixing it up would be at least as expensive....and of course...more stressful!



I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends!

This party was not a one woman show!
The Sweetwater fiancĂ©e was instrumental in planning and orchestrating the event.  Not only does that reduce stress....it makes it a lot more fun!  

She was in charge of the desserts....so I can't speak for her....but it was stress free for me when this array of yummy treats arrived!
The miniature Red Velvet Whoopie Pies were the star of the show!
Who doesn't love lemon bars?
The super skinny little cookies came from Trader Joe's....these are something I keep stocked in the gift cupboard...they make perfect hostess gifts!

Of course....I have no pictures of the little red dessert cups that went with the black and white striped ones...but trust me....they were very very cute!  
Putting the desserts in the little cups made it easy for people to "graze" and enjoy them without a plate!

Speaking of PLATES!

 




There is no need to keep shopping and buying paper party goods that end of in the trash...I would find THAT stressful....

This stack of dessert plates came from the whole collection of china that was purchased from Goodwill for the Sweetwater Daughter's wedding.  
Instead of renting dishes and glassware for a couple of hundred dollars...we spent fun times buying them at the thrift store!


They are unique and infinitely more interesting than catering dishes....and the best part is that now these dishes can be reused for lots of parties!  A couple of loads in the dishwasher has to be better for the environment than all that paper trash!  


Have Wine Glasses....Will Travel!

I don't know about you....but I HATE drinking wine out of plastic glasses!  Again....I have purchased a bunch of small sized wine glasses at the thrift store over the years!  They are perfect for parties....but would take up lots of space in the cupboard....that space is reserved for the BIG wine glasses.

Instead of storing them in a box on the shelf.....I keep them wrapped in a towel in a picnic basket that actually sits out as display in the family room! 
HUH?  Why is that better than a box on the shelf?
  • Because the picnic basket has handles and is easy to carry around!
  • Because you can set a few glasses out on the table....and set the basket aside to add more fresh glasses as the party goes on!
  • Because the basket isn't taking up shelf space!
  • Because my friends know that I have these glasses and I can deliver them to parties on request!


Use What You Have....Thank You Favors!

How clever of the Sweetwater Daughter....this is sooo thrifty...but I am not sure about the stress...I will have to ask her!

  • she knew the succulent pallet garden on her deck would fall victim to the winter frost....
  • she had a bunch of little glasses from Good Will...
  • She wanted something to use as a favor to thank her guests for coming....
Her solution....these clever little miniature gardens!

Sitting on the table in the entryway....they were the perfect send off for everyone!

I am thinking that most people would trade this for a formal thank you note.....that would reduce some stress!


Choose Your Guests Wisely!

The guests really are the most important ingredient for any party!
I am not being funny when I say to choose them wisely!
One of the reasons that this party was so much fun....the people!

The mix of friends from different areas of life....family...and some pretty cute kids....made the atmosphere entirely stress free.....so stress free that it went well beyond the advertised time frame!  That is my idea of a party!


Have A Wonderful Day!
Link Party Goodness
Coastal Charm   House on the Way  

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