(Post #4 of the #SimpleSummer series)
For overthinkers & perfectionists, throwing parties can be an exercise in frustration, turning us into one big bundle of nerves. I used to say that the only thing I liked about having a party is knowing my house would be completely clean beforehand. The concept of throwing simple summer parties sounds great, but is it really possible to achieve?
Truth bomb: I only sort of remember my older son’s graduation party. To be honest, I made it far too much work and I can’t even recall the enjoyable parts due to self-imposed stress. My husband doesn’t remember the day as a celebration either. Two years later, he still talks about how I was having a complete freak-out. How sad is that?
After that wake-up call, I knew it was time to figure out a lower-stress way to plan future parties.
I looked at a TON of party planning checklists on Pinterest. Some of them were pages and pages long. Which is great if you’re a professional party planner or something like that. But my goal is to keep things simple and stress-free, which means NOT spending months planning a 3-hour gathering.
It really doesn’t have to be that hard. Let’s shift our focus to “Release, Refresh, Relax” so that we can CELEBRATE all summer!
Related Post: 10 Ways to Begin Your Simple Summer
Is it really possible to throw simple summer parties? Yes! #SimpleSummer party tips > Click To Tweet
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YOUR CELEBRATION MINDSET
The details don’t have to be perfect.
So your sister-in-law throws amazing parties and you’re afraid you won’t measure up?
You have two choices:
Enlist her help
Don’t invite her
There, the pressure is off.
But, if neither of those options seems possible, then you need to Release the feeling that everyone has high expectations for your party.
Parties are a time to CELEBRATE, not STRESS TO IMPRESS. Remember — your joy at sharing happy times with your friends will shine through everything you do. Everyone will enjoy themselves, and SO WILL YOU.
Spiff up the house. And… your house doesn’t actually have to be THAT clean. Concentrate on the kitchen & bathrooms guests will see. Put family in charge of the rest and don’t worry about how it comes out.
Even if your party takes place outdoors, some people will need to be inside at times. Provide a comfortable seating area for them.
If you haven’t decluttered or done a super-deep clean recently, now is NOT the time! It’s okay to keep some areas of your home off-limits. Lock the doors if you have to.
Get your free #printable #checklist for #SimpleSummer parties > Click To Tweet
Summer is the time for simple food. The simplest plan of all is to have a potluck gathering. Every guest brings a dish to pass, and the result is plenty of food with great variety.
If you prefer something a little more structured, that’s fine. Plan a menu. Ask people to bring specific dishes, or purchase most of the food and prepare only the dishes you like to make yourself.
For the serving area, make use of crockpots, roaster ovens, and inflatable cooler tables. If your significant other loves to grill, make that part of the celebration.
Do not, under any circumstances, saddle yourself with preparing mountains of food on the day of the party — or even the night before the party. I know you THINK you need to stay up until 2:00 cooking and cleaning before a party. Stop it. Go to sleep!
Again, keep it simple. Twinkle lights and other Pinterest-perfect decor is pretty, but not necessary.
LED candles are great for outdoor use, plus you can use them inside to decorate your house — which means you don’t have to find a separate place to store them.
Citronella candles and torches help to keep mosquitoes away, but some people are sensitive to the scent. Be considerate of your guests.
If you don’t have enough seating, ask guests to bring their own. Be aware that some of them will forget, so plan for that.
Mow the lawn, but don’t decide to landscape your entire yard a week before a party.
If you’re super enviro-friendly, borrow regular plates, washable glasses, cloth napkins, and stainless utensils. Run it all through your dishwasher and washing machine the next day, then return to the owners with a sincere thank you and token of appreciation. (Bulk order $10 Amazon or Starbucks gift cards to make it easy.)
If you’re more into ultra-simple, buy some good heavy-duty paper plates, paper napkins, decent plasticware, and disposable cups. Have a permanent marker handy so guests can write their name on their cups. Restaurant supply stores like Gordon Food Service have everything you need in one aisle, or you can order online and have it delivered right to your door.
Yes, think about what you will wear. The best thing you can do for yourself is to create a signature party style from what you already own. Something comfortable that makes you feel confident. Don’t stress yourself out by having to clothes shop on top of everything else.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to throw parties this summer. It’s a time to Release the stress, Refresh your attitude, and Relax with friends. Don’t make it more complicated than that.
#SimpleSummer parties > refresh your attitude and relax with friends Click To Tweet
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