Party Planning Madness

Wowees it’s been a whole week already since my last post.

Haha it’s not that I’ve been doing much lately, mostly on my couch at home scrolling through Instagram.Cooking,running,yoga, working outish(does pilates once a week count haha?)

Sigh. I have an on/off relationship with this particular social media branch. I go through weeks where I’m OBSESSED. Like constantly on my explore feed or certain tags(hello #spring) and my home feed. It’s kinda like Facebook. And then I go through weeks of withdrawal, like ew I’m never opening the app again/ ain’t nobody got time.  Now I’m off school for a little bit, I have a lot of time on my hands ^_^ I guess part of the reasons why I’m not particularly active on Instagram is because when I’m scrolling through feeds of beautiful and elegant recipes, it’s not like I can go ahead and make that cake tomorrow because you know I have like an essay to finish by tomorrow…ha. But when I do have time, like the summer, I have the capacity to bake/make/decorate/exercise to my little heart’s content and Instagram is like a daily inspiration board. Don’t even get me started on Pinterest.

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Anyways, this week I’ve also been busy planning my Saint Pat’s Potluck. This was my first time hosting a potluck, and I invited about 8 friends over to eat some food and hang out. I figure since the end of our highschool days are approaching faster than we expect, we wouldn’t get that much time to spend together anymore.

As a semi perfectionist, I like to say, I have a billion thoughts and tasks that run through my mind. Like do I want this party to be pinterest worthy? What am I going to make? Is it going to taste good? What the heck is worcheshire sauce!? Should I half this recipe?

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It gets overwhelming at times… I ended up making my main dish at like 10:30pm the night before after my shower. Thank goodness my mom helped with prep the ingredients.

In a few days time I was scrambling around for the right ingredients trying(but always failing) not to forget anything. I hate it when I miss an ingredient or a step =_=

And decor. Well no one is getting that despite the hints so I guess I’m getting that too!
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Drinks. I went with homemade baileys in celebration of an Irish holiday. Jeez I don’t even know what that stuff taste like. I spent two days trying to figure out/convince myself if bourbon would work in place of Irish whiskey. Again, a little perfectionist on following recipes to the T. I even made the condensed milk myself and got two different kinds of creams on two different days. One for the drink and one for the dessert truffles.

Anyways, hosting a party/potluck/event can be stressful. Here are some tips to make your experience more memorable and nice rather than frustrating.

1.Keep your goals in check

I know sometimes you just want everything to be perfect. But realize sometimes things may go wrong or turn out not exactly the way you wanted to. That’s okay. It’s not all or nothing. And no you cannot just give up, the show goes on. You got an event to run. Try to find a solution.Ask someone for help or an opinion. Sometimes it may just turn out that things turned out better than you’ve expect.

I know all those Pinterest boards and Lauren Conrad seems to plan the most beautiful, glamorous,elegant yet simple-esque parties but remember those set ups and perfect pictures have a whole team behind them. You’re just on your own. And you don’t have a professional photographer and a food styler..so lower your expectations.

2.Prep

Write or type out what you want at your event. What things you are making, what other people are bringing, what theme, decor..ect. Write up a to-buy list. Try to get everything in one or two goes so you don’t have to run back and forth which is annoying. I recommend planning it out a week or at least a few days in advance if it’s  a small event so it won’t be stressful two days before. For example, I like to chop up on the ingredients for a dish  I’m making before ,if I know it’s going to take a long time. That way everything just goes into the pot, cooks and simmer or bakes. No mess=no stress.

3.Focus on the important stuff

Sometimes we get so caught up in making things go smooth sailing we forget what we’re doing is all about. If you’re hosting a dinner party, yes the food is important, but really it’s about this golden time when you get to spend time with your friends/family, share a few drinks,talks and laughs. You don’t want to get to the table all stressed and flustered; the key is to have a good time too;)

4.Communication

Checking in on your guests a week or days prior to the event is very important. You want to know where everyone is at,how many people are coming and if they’re bringing something so you can avoid repeats and time. You may sound a little naggy, but it’s worth it;)

5.Ask for help

This.is.essential. I know you think you’re independent and you got this whole thing down. But sometimes, we all need a little help to make our lives easier. I’m so glad for events like this potluck I had and past dinner get togethers and birthday parties I had the help of my mom. It just decreases the stress ten fold when you can focus on getting down one thing without scrambling around trying to do everything. Saving time and high blood pressure people. I also had the help of the lovely Arathy to help me make the dessert. I learned to love cooking/baking with people because I can take things slowly and have conversation in the kitchen rather than being alone and trying to everything fast-fast-fast.
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These tips are pretty basic, but I hoped some of them can serve as a reminder the next time you ever have to plan something for people.

Remember, when you’re inviting people over, whether for a party or food related,  most of the time, the guests are going to be happy. They don’t really have to do anything except come or receive free food. You may be ultra picky on your planning or cooking skills, but they are probably going be more lenient.
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At the end of the day, I was thrilled with what everyone brought to the potluck.I had a blast minus the stress and it was honestly just nice to chill with a group of friends; food a bonus;) Instead of burning out in the end, though I did suffer food coma haha, I actually went to the gym for a short workout! #grateful

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Until next time,

Feel free to ask me for advice or share your tips. And how do you feel about the Instagrams..do you have one?

Toodles

Naomi

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