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The Busy Girl’s Organization Guide

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The Busy Girl’s Organization Guide

Heyyy! We live in a world where everyone is super busy and on the go constantly. With phones ringing in your ear, emails to answer, and appointments to get to, it can sure seem hard to balance it all. Believe me, I get it. As a woman on the go myself, I would be nowhere without the organization techniques that I have used throughout the years to keep me on track. And, now, I’m here to share them with you! Check it out:

Invest In A Desk Calendar:

With my work appointments growing by the month, a normal wall calendar just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I needed something that was nice and big so that I could fit my daily tasks into each day comfortably on paper. Now, not only do I have plenty of room for work scheduling, but I am able to really see how much time I have left in the day to work with for the side hustle or drinks with friends. Whereas, with a wall calendar, your space is so cramped that you can’t see any free time at all. I paid seven bucks for a large desk calendar at Target, and I scoff at the fact that I used to use anything smaller.

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This would do nicely!

Color Coordinate:

The best part about a big desk calendar, though? THAT YOU CAN COLOR COORDINATE!! I have had a blast assigning a highlighter color to the person that I’m meeting with and using colored pencils to add in anything extra that I need reminders of. It makes planning your week or month a little more bright and fun, and sometimes you really need that extra boost to make your work schedule less stressful.

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That’s what I’m talking about!

Take Notes:

I am constantly taking notes throughout the day. Whether I come up with a new blog post idea in my head or hear about a new restaurant that I want to try, god knows that I will forget it minutes later. You can definitely carry around a notepad for such findings, but I prefer to just send texts to myself so that I always have my little reminders handy in text message form for when I need it again.

Have Backup Plans:

One of the worst things is having a meeting or an outing with friends cancelled and feeling like your time for the day is just going to be wasted. So, it’s always nice to have a Plan B. This could range from just having some you time and going for a walk or trying out the new restaurant that you text reminded yourself about. It’s good to have something to fall back on if you have something scheduled with a flaky friend or you have a work appointment that isn’t mandatory.

Take A Break:

It might seem like the best thing ever to spread yourself too thin during the work week and on the weekends. Extra moolah, potential for raises or promotions – I totally get it. But, don’t forget to schedule in some time to take a break, too. Going nonstop is a great way to fatten your wallet, but you also get very burned out in the process. Schedule a pedicure during your lunch break or dedicate your Sunday to finishing the book on your bedside table. Just make sure that you’re working in some R&R somewhere!

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On the go lifestyles are the norm, now. But with some top notch organization skills, you can make the most of your time whether it’s for work or play!

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Last Minute Gifts When You’re In A Bind

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Last Minute Gifts When You’re In A Bind

When life gets ahead of us thanks to a whirlwind schedule, gift purchasing can seem like the last thing on your mind. But, alas, birthdays and holidays still come and go, and gift buying is a necessary part of it. Whether you’re picking something up from a store or online shopping, last minute gift shopping isn’t always a bad thing – as long as you don’t make it glaringly obvious that you did, that is. Check out these tips for when you need to do the last minute gift hustle for your next get together:

Something Fast:

The first option to consider is one which is in place entirely for its speed. Amazon Prime Same Day delivery has started to cover a very wide range of products recently, opening the doors for those with phobias of the outside world to buy things without venturing out. And the best part of these services, is that you will often get your hands on the goods within hours of ordering them. This is perfect for when you have a bit of time at home before you need to present your gift. Of course, when it comes to Amazon, you can often choose to have items gift wrapped, too.

Something Personal:

There are plenty of personal gifts out there which you can give to someone and they will cherish it for a long time. That piece of jewelry or furniture they keep glancing at, for example, could be a great gift, and you don’t have to go and buy it. The odds are that you will own a good range of different items which could inherit heirloom status. Being passed down or across generations, items like these could stay with people you love for hundreds of years, and could even find themselves in the hands of great people down the line.

Avoiding The Physical:

When you’re in a rush, giving something physical may be a mistake. If they live too far away for you to visit, you will have to use the postal service to get their gift to them, and this could be a problem if you’re not careful. Avoiding this is simple, leaving you with loads of great options. For example, subscription services like Spotify, are becoming extremely popular. Giving you access to hundreds of gifts, looking down the digital route can be a great way to avoid missing the big day.

Professional Services:

Companies that are willing to bend over backwards to make you happy can be found everywhere. Professional services, like chocolate making and flower arrangement, are great when you’re looking for gifts for people you love. Companies like Camelback Flowershop have the skills and resources to be able to take and prepare custom orders to be delivered on the same day. Of course, this is based on location, and you will have to find a business close to you. Once you do, though, you will be able to start turning birthdays you miss or forget about into something very special. This sort of gift can be touching when you have it arrive for you.

Something Homemade:

Basing a gift on your hobbies is often a simple matter of putting yourself to work, and will only take a bit of effort once you get into it. Drawing, cooking, singing, and crafts are but a few examples of the choices you have here, giving you a huge range of different gift ideas to choose from. This is something that you will have to dedicate a lot of time to in the short window you have between remembering a birthday and seeing the person who is having it if you want to get it done in time. This will be hard to manage if you have a busy schedule to contend with, but the reaction of your loved one will be so worth it!

Printable Gifts:

If you own a printer, you have the makings for tons of easy gifts which most people will never try. Buying tickets to a musical performance, for example, will often give you the ability to print off the documents from home, rather than having to wait for them to come in the post. Using this sort of gift will give you the chance to choose something personal and well thought out, without having to have the time to spend on making it happen.

Last minute gift shopping can be totally stressful, so use this guide and breeze through your next occasion with ease!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

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A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

Homeowners need to get to grips with home maintenance if they’re going to keep their home running well and comfortable enough to live in. This quick home maintenance guide can give you a few useful tips that will help you to keep on top of things now and in the future:

Keep Your Furnace And HVAC Filters In Working Order:

If you don’t stay on top of your furnace and HVAC filters, dust and grime will accumulate and this will mean they run less efficiently, costing you more money. Allergens and pollutants can also get trapped, and you don’t want those being spread around your home. All you have to do is turn off the system and look at the filters to see if they are grimy. Check these over every year.

Recaulk Your Windows:

Heat loss in the winter happens due to cracks in the windows 80% of the time. Sealing the space around them will help you to solve this issue quickly, so you can keep your home warm and save money. Make sure that you choose the right caulk by speaking to a professional so that you can get it right the first time. If you book in a professional home inspection, they’ll look for this and give you tips on maintaining your home to help protect your investment.

Check Wooden Decks For Moisture:

Wooden decks must be sealed and stained to stop rot and permanent water damage. A splash test will give you a good idea if the sealant is still doing its job. You’ll see droplets on the deck if it’s working. If not, then you need to take the time to reseal your deck, doing this every 2-3 years in total.

Check For Water In The Crawl Space:

You want to avoid mold and water damage to your house as much as possible, so just grab a flashlight and take a look. Have a look for changes in color, the corners, and the edges. You can also use your fingers to see if you feel any dampness. You need to make sure this is fixed before rainy weather comes, as you don’t want to let any more moisture in.

Touching Up Your Exterior Paint:

Your paint greatly contributes to your curb appeal, and staining will help to protect your home from rusting and rotting. Take your time and look for chipping, peeling, blistering, or cracking on every part, every summer. You may, then, need to take your time sanding, scraping, patching, priming, and re-painting small areas.

Maintain Your Fireplace:

If your fire isn’t running the way it should, it could go as far as killing you with toxic gases. At the very least, it’ll take up a lot of energy. It’s always better to build a relationship with a professional that you trust to help you with this. If you have a wood burning fireplace, then it’s especially important to stay on top of maintenance. Creosote is a by-product of burning wood and this can build up in your chimney and create a fire hazard.

Keeping up with simple maintenance will keep your home running smoothly and will save you money in the long run.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

My Skin Care Routine

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My Skin Care Routine

Hellooo! I frequently get compliments on my complexion and questions on my skin care routine. So, today, I thought that I would share my daily regime with all of you. Of course, everyone’s skin is different so you can tailor your routine to the products that suit you best. The products that I use are all for a normal skin type and quite a few of them can be bought at your local drugstores.

Step One: Beauty Bar

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I start off my skin care routine by washing my face with a beauty bar. I take care of this in the shower, because I hate getting water all over my sink. And, a sink doesn’t give you all of that fantastic steam that helps open your pores for a deep clean.

I love to use bars with charcoal in them to help clear blackheads around my nose. But, for now, I am using one of my favorites from Appalachian Naturals, a homemade soap store in North Carolina where my family vacations. This bar is great, because it has some grit in it to exfoliate, but is overall very gentle and also removes makeup, which is another added bonus.

Step Two: Exfoliate

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After I finish washing my face, I use a scrub to get rid of anything that my beauty bar left behind – dry skin, blackheads, makeup, etc. I usually always use a St. Ives scrub and am currently finishing up their Oatmeal Scrub & Mask. I love this mask because it smells delicious and it has a creamy texture with a fair amount of grit in it for a gentle but effective clean. My skin always looks so much fresher and brighter after I use a good scrub, and I would never go a day without one.

Step Three: Toner

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Before I moisturize or use any treatments, I always apply witch hazel as a toner. I first use the witch hazel to clean my nose piercings, as it’s a great antiseptic. Then, I apply it all over my face to prep my skin for my moisturizer and to remove any final crud that washing left behind. Witch hazel minimizes my pores and leaves my skin feeling so clean. I also get fantastic value for the bottle, as it lasts me well over four months.

Step Four: Moisturize & Treatments

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To complete the process, I use a moisturizer and two treatments to get my skin ready for the day. After applying my witch hazel, I use:

  • Nutriganics eye cream from The Body Shop. I have been using this product for close to five years and, at twenty-three, any traces of eye wrinkles are nonexistent.
  • Then, I apply my moisturizer, which I got at Walgreen’s for THIRTY THREE CENTS thanks to their rewards program. I normally use the Vitamin E moisturizer from The Body Shop, but this Olay one works just as well and has lasted me over two months. The texture is light, but it provides a lush hydration and it absorbs well.
  • And, finally, I finish up by using Vital C’s Vitamin C Brightening Face Serum. I always use something with Vitamin C in it to give my skin a radiant glow and this serum is the truth. It gives my skin a smooth finish, perfect for applying makeup, and leaves my skin looking bright and refreshed.

I have been using a skin care routine to the likes of the one seen above since I was about fifteen. Now, as a twenty-something, I have it perfected and could not live without my favorite products!

What is one of your must have skin care products? How do you achieve a flawless complexion? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Pibiplast

Say Yes To The Guest (Appropriate Wedding Attire)

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Say Yes To The Guest (Appropriate Wedding Attire)

Hello hello everyone and happy Monday! With summer drawing to a close, the familiar crisp rush of autumn air comes swooping in with one thing for certain in store: Fall weddings. The autumn season is such a gorgeous time to host a marriage ceremony that can range from whimsical fall fun to a more dark, romantic approach in the style of your big day. Of course, the wedding is all about the bride and the groom but that doesn’t mean that you should be slacking in the style department as a guest.

Being invited to a wedding is and should be held as an esteemed honor. The new couple likes you enough to want you there on their special day – this is a big deal and should be respected as such. This means that a dowdy dress or suit simply won’t do. Let’s take a look at The Black Tux’s wedding guest style guide and then stick around to chat with Lil Red for some more pro tips:

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^^^ Who knew that there were so many different styles of wedding attire?!

The first thing that we’re going to talk about when it comes to dressing as a wedding guest ties into the guide seen above. It is so SO important as a guest to respect the vibe of the wedding. It shouldn’t have to be said, but it is such an obvious DO to accommodate to the dress code if it’s listed.

If there is no dress code on the invitation, then it is in good taste to dress appropriately for the type of wedding that you are attending. Is it an early afternoon church ceremony? A knee length dress for the ladies and a semi-formal suit for the gents will do. Or are we attending a rustic style wedding with outdoor vows? Remember, it’s autumn and there might be a chill in the air. A smart suit set for the ladies with trousers or a skirt with thick tights underneath is a chic take on outdoor wedding style. For the guys, you can get away with a more casual look, as well, with a nice pair of slacks and a suit jacket or blazer on top.

It is always worth mentioning, again, that the weather is subject to change during fall weddings. Be prepared. Being stuck with the sniffles all day because you failed to bring a cardi or a blazer for over your dress is nobody’s fault but your own, because I’m literally warning you right here. Despite this warning, I just know that it will not be heeded by everyone, which gives the rest of us a chance to score some brownie points. Guys, wear a cardigan under your jacket in case you see a damsel in distress with the shivers. Ladies, if you’re wearing a thicker dress or suit set, offer your extra blazer to a gal in need. You’ll be a wedding hero, trust me.

And, finally, if you’re in doubt about what to wear, just ask! It is so much better to shoot a quick text to the bride or groom and get their opinion instead of showing up to the wedding looking like a straight up goon. That suit or dress that you’ve been feeling wishy washy about wearing might work, after all. But, if that isn’t the case, then do be sure to check out The Black Tux’s suit and tuxedo rentals page for all of your gentlemen attire needs. And, as for us girls, I think that we can swing some wedding guest dress shopping with a trip to the mall or an online shopping sesh – Hello, Modcloth!

With The Black Tux’s style guide and Lil Red’s pro tips, you should have no problem Saying Yes To The Guest (Appropriate Wedding Attire)! What is your favorite part about attending a wedding? How do you style a wedding guest appropriate look for fall? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Giphy

Movie Maven: A Lil Red Guide To Film Festival Etiquette

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Movie Maven: A Lil Red Guide To Film Festival Etiquette

Hello everyone and happy Hump Day! Summer brings about a variety of activities that some people spend the whole year looking forward to. Vacations, concerts, baseball games, and film festivals. I am sure that most of you already know that I am an avid movie lover. Of course, my favorite genre is horror by far but I love it all. Psychological thrillers, foreign films, comedies, rom-coms, the occasional Western, action, documentaries – you name it. The world of film is an all inclusive, creative, free for all with something for everyone, which is what makes it so beautiful.

Asking me about my favorite films always results in a five minute babble of my “I could watch this every day and not get bored” flicks. Every movie that you watch has the potential to become your new favorite and that’s what makes going out to the cinema, renting from the RedBox, and attending film festivals so exciting. You are twenty minutes in previews away with entering a new world for an hour or two. And even if the flick was the worst thing ever, you still got to eat popcorn and candy for the duration of the film. It’s a win/win for everyone.

A night at the movies is fun – but could you imagine a day at a film festival? A day devoted entirely to the up and coming films for the year? Talk about heaven! And another cool part about attending a film festival? The traveling! July 19th through the 22nd is the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas. And the movies that are seen in Vegas are sure to not stay there for long! Be sure to check out Vegas.com for the best hotel and flight packages for your stay and then let’s talk some film festival pro tips:

Be A Social Butterfly!

You already have one thing in common with literally every single person at the festival – a love for film. This sounds like the perfect icebreaker to me! Chat it up with anyone and everyone after the credits have rolled because you never know who you’re going to meet. From directors and actors to behind the scenes workers and industry professionals, a film festival is the best place to network if you are interested in any aspect of the vast world of cinema. Get your business cards ready and spread your wings, you beautiful and capable butterfly.

Dress To Impress:

You know how I said that you never know who you’re going to meet at a film festival? If not, let me repeat it: YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU’RE GOING TO MEET AT A FILM FESTIVAL!!! Dressing to impress is absolutely crucial for this reason. During the day, you can get away with a comfy cool look – an oversized button down, skinny jeans, and ankle booties are a great start. And don’t forget to bring a cardi for those chilly showing rooms!

The evening is a different story, though. Let your night time look transform you just as if you were walking the red carpet at a major premiere (Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the point!). Wear your best LBD and a killer pair of heels and then top it off with a bold red lip and a bejeweled clutch. And remember, it’s all about confidence and class with a heaping helping of personality when you’re strutting your stuff in your evening attire, honey.

Take Notes:

Having a notepad and a pen on you is a must. Keeping track of the films that you saw during your whirlwind of a day is vastly important when it comes to networking and the post film Q & A sessions. Write down your likes and dislikes, questions that you had throughout the screening, and important themes that you picked up on during the movie. All of your thoughts will make excellent conversation starters at the refreshment stand or while hanging around for the next film to start. Not only that, but surely you will want to remember such an exciting day, anyways, and jotting down notes throughout your experience is a great way to keep your memories fresh.

Tearjerker Tissues:

Alright, let’s get one thing straight: Literally no one wants to hear you with the sniffles after ugly crying when the handsome lead bites the dust, Linda. Do us all a favor and bring a travel tissue packet. THANKS!! (This goes for everyone – not just Linda!!)

A Good Attitude:

Are you going to love every film that you see? No. But raving negativity after the film ends is certainly frowned upon in such an esteemed setting. Differing opinions are fine, but voice your love or distaste appropriately. The movie that you hated could be the favorite film of the person sitting beside you. An appreciation for film in general and the time, money, and talent that’s involved in that world goes a long way during your chats in line at the ladies, the refreshment booth, or the post film Q & A. Remember that you’re in a professional environment and showing respect is always going to be a do as you go about your day at the festival.
If you’ve never attended a film festival before, the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas is a great place to start! What are your film festival do’s and don’ts? What are a few of your favorite flicks? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Featured Image By: JoeyBLS Photography

The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

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The Ultimate Dinner Party Guide

From tableware to menus and seating arrangements, throwing a dinner party is never easy. Not only do you have to create the perfect ambient setting to enjoy a meal, but you also have to plan, prepare, cook, and serve the food! It can sound like more trouble than it’s worth but don’t be put off. Dinner parties are an amazing way to get family and friends together.

If you struggle to find the time to catch up with loved ones individually it can be a great way to get everyone in the room for a wonderful evening. It’s also a good test of your organizational skills and hosting abilities! Above everything else, it’s a lot of fun. As long as you have a plan in place, the evening will be a huge success. This dinner party guide takes you from the menu planning process to the dinner table decors, all the way to puddings and party favors:

The Guest List: The first thing that you need to decide is who you’re inviting. If you’re co-hosting the dinner party with a friend, partner, or family member, sit down together and work out a list. You need to work out what you want out of the dinner party. A big celebration with friends, intimate family meal, or perhaps an open-to-all buffet style event. Whatever the occasion is, this will indicate who you should invite.

Of course, the amount of space you have around the table will also dictate the number of guests. If you’re inviting more than eight people, a sit-down meal might not be the best idea. First of all, who has a table big enough for over eight? Also, you might want to consider a more fluid set up. For large numbers open up the garden and kitchen to guests, too. That way people can mingle without feeling cramped and confined to one room.

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Partayyy

Creating The Menu: If you’re having a sit-down soiree you’ll need to prepare a menu. If you’re having six people or under round for dinner you can probably cook individual courses. If you’re having more than six people or over, sharer style dishes and one-pot recipes are the way to go. If you’re having a huge gathering, then a buffet station set up in the garden or kitchen for food is best. You’ll have to determine whether any of the guests have allergies or intolerances before you come up with a menu. Also come up with some vegetarian and vegan options, too.

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     YUM

     For Smaller Groups:

Get your prep done before guests arrive, this goes for all group sizes. If you’re hosting for a smaller group of people you can afford to have more attention to detail and more ambitious dishes. Prawns are a good starter because they’re easy to prepare in advance. Buy prawns which have been cooked, cleaned, and peeled already. This will save time. There are so many different ways to serve prawns. A fail-safe option is a simple grilled prawn with a pre-prepared sauce. Get some char on your prawns to increase the smokey flavors in the dish. This goes particularly well with a romesco sauce.

For the main course, food preferences permitted, herb crusted lamb is a real show stopper. To make the crust, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, mint, and oil. Smear some mustard over the fatty side of the lamb and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to brown your lamb before cooking. www.StoneFryingPans.com/the-best-stainless-steel-cookware has some great stainless steel cookware, perfect for searing and deglazing to make a jus for the lamb. Finally, make sure you leave your lamb to rest for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure that the meat is nice and tender and the juices won’t leak onto the plate. Dessert needs to be something that can be prepared in advance and left to chill. Cheesecake is a good idea, because you can make one large one and portion it before serving. It’s also a great ‘blank canvas’ dessert, so you can add your own preferences, too. Lemon, chocolate, hazelnut, berries, and basically any topping ever work well with a cheesecake.

     For Larger Groups:

Cooking for larger groups needn’t be challenging, you’ll just need to tweak the menu accordingly. Choose some large platters or boards and arrange some cured meats and cheeses on them. Serve olives over ice and sourdough bread, too. Balsamic vinegar and oil make a great dip to go alongside this sharing starter, as does tapenade. For the main dish, consider doing a one-pot wonder. A homemade curry or a big paella served straight from the pan works really well for larger groups. You can stick these on and leave them to cook with minimal effort, apart from stirring. Serve curries with homemade flatbreads, onion salad, and a yogurt dip. For dessert opt for an easy crowd pleaser like ice cream or mousse. This can also be made ahead of time and left to chill.

     For Vegetarians:

Buy some spelt pasta from a health food store and use this as the base of your dish. Blend spinach and basil in a blender with some oil, seasoning, and pine nuts. This will create a pesto to use as a sauce over your pasta. Cook some courgettes and asparagus, too. Toss the pesto through the pasta and top with the cooked courgettes and asparagus.

Which Drinks To Serve: Setting up a drinks tray is the best idea. Nobody wants to have to make drinks all night for their guests. Prepare a table in the living room or kitchen with a variety of soft drinks and alcohol for guest to pick and choose. Another good idea is to make one signature drink. Making jugs of cocktails is an especially good idea if it’s a summer party which spills out into the garden.

To make a mojito simply mix lime juice, mint, and sugar in a large jug or bowl. Mash these gently to let the flavors start to seep out and sugar dissolve. Top with rum, soda, and plenty of ice. Put slices of mint and lime to garnish in little bowls next to the jug.

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My kind of party!

Setting The Scene: Whenever you go to a great dinner party, the atmosphere is one of the things that makes it so special. Creating the perfect atmosphere is partly down to planning. If you are having a sit-down meal you’ll need to dress the table. It can be tempting to go overboard with accessories and cram the table but try to avoid this. Guests want to be able to talk, share food, and relax without having to navigate lots of decorative pieces. A few tea light candles with lantern-style covers are a pared back but sophisticated touch. Fresh flowers are also a great centerpiece, but if you have a small table don’t clutter it. Station a drinks table with an ice bucket nearby so that you don’t have to keep rushing backward and forwards.

A seating plan shouldn’t be necessary and can feel a bit too formal. Adding a little gift for each person is a nice touch, too. They don’t have to be expensive, in fact, the more whimsical the better. Masks or joke shop presents are a great idea for a group of friends. Family members may appreciate birthstones or small bags of truffles. These tokens will help to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, plus they’ll lift your guest’s mood!

After Party? Some dinner parties can continue long into the night and become a party as well as dinner. Make it clear to guests on the invite whether you’re open to that. There’s nothing worse than wanting to go to bed but still having a few guests. If you’re having people stay over, set up the guest bedroom early on in the day. By the end of the night, you won’t feel like changing bed linen and arranging flowers!

Nobody wants to clean up after a party, either, but facing all the debris in the morning is probably worse. Compromise and go around with a bin liner and chuck in any bottles or plastic cups. Wash up your plates and cutlery and leave them to dry. Leave larger pans to soak overnight, and head to bed. That way there will be a manageable amount to tackle in the morning.

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Cheers!!

Featured Image By: Pixabay