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5 Easy Tips for Entertaining Like a Pro

5 Easy Tips for Entertaining like a PRO

Entertaining doesn’t have to be intimidating! Invite your favorite people over to celebrate with awesome food and drinks, and relish in the fact that you can spend time with your guests instead of setting up camp in the kitchen. Here’s my tips for EASY entertaining like a pro. 

1. Start with a clean slate

You don’t need to scrub, just make sure the areas that matter are looking great. Just keep bedroom doors closed if you can’t get to them and focus on common areas:


  • Change hand towels
  • Remove all laundry/dirty towels/clutter
  • Clean toilet with bleach (don’t forget behind the seat)
  • Windex Mirror
  • Wipe Floors with a damp rag
  • Light a candle


  • Clean/scour sink
  • Remove clutter/appliances for the day-of to maximize counter space
  • Throw out any old junk from the fridge (make room for leftovers!)
  • Empty the dishwasher/drying rack so they’re ready for dirty dishes

Living room 

  • Put away any throws/blankets
  • Straighten couch cushions/pillows
  • Dust common surfaces and TV
  • Vacuum

Photo credit: Julie Blanner

2. Keep Decor Fresh

Literally – low cost, fresh produce will look great and not break the bank. Decorating doesn’t have to be complicated to look beautiful. I love a simple runner with fresh garland and candles, or mason jars with floating tea lights and cranberries. Bonus – no need to box it up and store it for next year! And don’t forget – keep centerpieces low and spacious so your guests are able to make eye contact during dinner. 

I’m in love with this beautifully simple runner of greenery and tapers by Julie Blanner. With red, green and gold, what more do you need?

3. Simplify Your Menu

People arrive hungry, so picky foods are a must. Keep an eye out over the weeks leading up to your dinner for crackers, nuts and cookies on sale. That way if you run out, you’ll have some extra in the pantry.

Master a cheese board, make an easy hot spinach and artichoke dip, or put out a nice crudites spread. Beef up your appetizer offerings so you can keep your dinner menu simple! 

As far as the main dinner is concerned, I like to stick to the following:

1 Meat + 2 Starches + 2 Vegetables 

Add a hearty salad and fresh bread or rolls – and this will be plenty! Trust me, the less dishes you make, the easier the day will be. It’ll also cut down on waste!

Here’s some ideas: 

And don’t forget to delegate. Have a game plan of what you’re thinking you’d like to make so if someone offers to bring something, you can give them a solid answer on what you need. 

4. Choose an easy cocktail

Choose a light beer, a red and white wine, and one cocktail to avoid needing to stock an entire bar. Most picky people will bring their own beer/wine anyway – and catering to a full crowd can really get expensive! So, rather than buying a ton of liquor, choose a fun and festive cocktail instead! 

Here’s a few of my faves: Cranberry Moscow MuleBoozy Butterscotch Crock Pot CiderSalted Caramel White Russian

5. Don’t Over-Do Desserts

It’s easy to go overboard on desserts. I usually stick to making ONE thing – and allow my guests to volunteer otherwise. For example, these no-bake pumpkin custard jars are perfect! They come together simply and you can make a day or two ahead.

Apple crisp with vanilla ice cream or a decadent cheesecake are also great. People always end up bringing cookies and candy – so there’s usually plenty of sweets around. 

Don’t feel pressured to make something homemade either – save time by grabbing something from a bakery a day before you host. Even better, let someone else bring it for you!

Do you have a great tip to keep things simple when entertaining? Be sure to share below!

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  • Reply Rebecca Hicks December 17, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Awesome tips! I love the idea of starting with a clean slate when decorating. That is so important and really helps from getting overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done.

  • Reply Rebekah | My Circus, My Monkeys December 17, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I was with you until I read “Don’t overdo desserts” and I was like “But I love dessert!” But then I saw that you suggested OTHER people bring dessert. Totally on board with that! These are all great tips!

  • Reply Sara Garska December 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    What a great game plan for hosting a dinner! I really liked how you laid it out–especially keeping dinner fairly simple. Your pics are beautiful too.

  • Reply allaboutbabysworld December 14, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    I love the look! And the freshness!

  • Reply Veronika December 13, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Thanks for all the tips! I definitely need to get on this and finally start cleaning and prepping stuff. Every decoration looks so much better when you first clean your apartment well and I’m guilty of not doing that haha

  • Reply Amanda | Maple Alps December 12, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing! I love entertaining – especially during the holidays!

  • Reply Rochelle Fletcher December 12, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Great points here. I always do the opposite and find myself completely haggard when it’s all said and done. Now looking for ways to simplify the menu and remove about five of those extra unecessary desserts. Happy holidays!

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