Anatomy of a Casual Get Together

                                                        1 I 2 I 3 I 4 I 5

One of my favorite parts of getting married, and subsequently shacking up, has been entertaining in our home. Whether for dinner, or to celebrate a birthday, game night, or just hanging out, it is such a joy to have our friends in our apartment. John and I decided early on that we wanted to have the kind of home where our door is always open and we are ready to receive our friends at a moments notice, striving to always make them feel welcomed, cherished, and comfortable. We have been so blessed to have the space we have, and we want to share it. This means that often we invite people over spontaneously, and with little notice. I love impulsive and casual get togethers, but they don't leave me enough time to cook an elaborate meal or clean the house thoroughly. Because of this, I have established a little routine that I can manage with just 10 minutes notice, in order to pull the apartment together and set a fun and relaxed vibe. The anatomy of a casual get-together, if you will. 

1. I love candle light, especially opposed to harsh over head lights. At night I love to shut off our over head lights in our living room, turn on our lamps, and light tons of pretty gold votive candles we have both on our coffee table and our mantle, as well as lovely scented one on the bar. 

2. Good background music is an essential in our house. We cast Pandora to our TV with our Chromecast, which we love, but my parents also have a Jambox back home in Boston and it rocks. I try to have the candles lit and the music playing first so that at the very least our friends walk into that if they come early.

3. Who doesn't love something to munch on? To me, snacks are essential. I am a complete sucker for a good cheese plate, like the one I made for this birthday party, but when I only have 5 seconds to figure out a snack I just put out a bowl of pistachios. When time allows, I also like to mix it up with this recipe.

4. I may not have time to clean the bathroom or vacuum, but at the very least--I always fluff the pillows. I know, such a random and anal habit, but there is just something about a nicely fluffed up couch with fluffed pillows that looks so inviting and spiffy. Seriously, It can take a room from slightly messy and forgotten to comfy yet pulled together in split seconds. Trust me on that. 

5. Beverages, duh. This is both the final touch of the prepping and the opening act of a well-mannered hostess or host. If I know our guests might like an alcoholic beverage I have a bottle of wine open and ready to go, the bar organized, or beers in the fridge. If I know they would rather not drink alcohol, I take stock of what juice/soda we have so that I am ready to offer it as soon as we have hugged hello. 

And that is it! Obviously, sometimes I fail at even this small routine, but those are the moments when I realize that we love our friends and they love us, and no matter what our house looks like it is just fun to be together. 



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