Entertaining Birthday Party Ideas
How much to cook?
Party Menu Ideas
Party Games
Which Wine?
Whether planning a casual dinner, a kids party or a formal dinner, Entertaining can be intimidating and a lot stressful. You need to remember that this party is for you and others to enjoy and have fun and not to get boggled down by the amount of work it involves. I am not saying that its less work. But you can plan it in such a way that it becomes a fun thing for you. The more you keep stress out of the picture, the more relaxed and easygoing your event will be. These are some of the tips I keep in mind when organizing any get-together.

Plan : Its all about planning whether its food, decorating or invitations. I am sure you have the event in your head atleast 1-2 months in advance. Just use this time effectively. Start thinking of a menu, whom to invite, party games etc., before you actually send out the invitations.

Invitations : If you are having a casual get-together, you can telephone your friends. I use Evite most of the times. This is a website from where you can send invitations, guests can respond, you can send thank you notes and photos after the party. It has a lot of options that are very useful. • Length of the Party : The total time for the party should be such that your guests do not get bored at any time and have something to do.

Menu : Think of menu items within your skill level. Come up with a list of recipes you are good with. If you want to try out a new recipe, try it out before hand. Work out a schedule so you know in what order to prepare the food. Pick some recipes which you can prepare 2-3 days in advance and store in refrigerator. There will always be things you will have to do on the day of the event. • Kitchen Space : Make sure your oven, refrigerator, and freezer will hold everything as needed including left-overs. A couple of days before the party is not the time to stock-up on your groceries.

Party Games : If its a kids party then you need to definitly plan this otherwise the kids will go out of hand. For an adults party, you needn't plan much. If its close family and friends then it can be a decision you all can make together after they arrive. We mostly play cards.

Something flops? It happens to the best of hosts -- the soup scorches, the desserts too sweet, the kids sprayed paint on the dining wall. Don't get hassled. Its OK. If you don't let it ruin your evening, neither will your guests. Remember, entertaining isn't about perfection. Most people are happy to simply be part of the fun.

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