I've found that in this mid-stage life of mine there are plenty of opportunities to host a dinner party. Kids and their friends, extended family, church folks, missionaries . . . we've run the gamut of dinner guests. And since setting a nice table is one of my favorite things to do, I've learned a few tricks to keep the preparation simple.
- Fresh flowers. Pick some up at the grocery store. I'm a sucker for hydrangeas but always buy alstroemeria because they will stay fresh for TWO WEEKS (if you change the water, ahem). Keep some squat containers on hand and master one or two arrangements.
- Assortment of candles and seasonal deco for the table. I used to pour over Pinterest looking for great centerpieces, and honestly -- I rarely found one that I loved that wouldn't run me hundreds of dollars. Twenty dollars worth of flowers and candlelight can go a long, long way..
- Need a last minute runner? In the picture above I used a roll of craft paper and some Hearth and Hand wrapping paper leftover from the holidays. You can also pick up some yardage from Hobby Lobby and hem the edges . . . if you are feeling extremely motivated. But I'm getting old, so motivation is only coming in fits and spurts.
- Cloth napkins!!! This is my best piece of "dinner party" advice. Every dinner feels special with cloth napkins. We use them pretty regularly around here. I'd guess you could say that cloth napkins are my love language. Try them! You'll feel fancy, and cared for, and cozy. They are a dinner game changer!