May 29, 2015

Summer entertaining

Everyone entertains differently. Pending multiple constraints: money, time, amount of effort you'd like to put in, size of home, type of guests, type of event....your style can be dramatically different.

Mark and I used to try to "do it all" but by the time the party would actually start, we'd be so wiped out we wouldn't have any fun. I am amazing at providing an excellent pool party playlist, but not so much with cooking up a fancy meal. Mark loves splashing and entertaining the kids, but doesn't enjoy manning the grill full-time. We like to leave the food to the pros. :)

So we started implementing a new style of summer entertaining. A much, much lower key lifestyle.
My personal get-ready routine is a quick shower, bikini and cover-up on, sunscreen applied, wet hair twirled up in a bun to become loose waves later on, no make-up, and freshly painted toe nails.

Summer is our jam, and we want to see all of our friends and family as much as possible, but it can be disappointing and time consuming to try and invite everyone over each weekend.

In lieu of begging, we sent out a "blanket invite" to friends and family that simply stated, You want to swim, tan, and drink? Great! So do we. On the weekends, text or call and we'll try to accommodate. We pride ourselves for the work we have put in to upgrade and maintain our home, our land, and our pool area. Please come share your time with us as you can. All we ask is to pitch in and bring some snacks, food, and/or beer if you want it. It is unrealistic and expensive to try and maintain a stocked party fridge each and every weekend, and people are typically more than willing to help out.

My husband and I feel it is an equal trade off. The last thing we want to do after cleaning a pool, mowing, picking up the house, charging the golf cart, sweeping/mopping/dusting/stocking, setting up croquet/chairs/tables/etc for hours is to have to also provide a lavish spread of food and drinks.
These are casual affairs with less than a dozen people at any given time.

That isn't to say we will be bone dry. You will always find some sort of alcoholic beverage, sodas, waters, popsicles and snacks available. Just not everything.

We want people to use our space like they would use their home, and enjoy their time, not only with us, but with their own families, knowing our space is as nice as we can make it.
We want to connect with our guests too, not constantly catering to them.
A team effort is key. People should feel comfortable in our home, using our things as needed.

My grandfather passed a few years ago. He was a strong, laid back man from Tennessee and this is exactly how he entertained. It, to me, was magical. His home was fabulous. Large space, beautifully manicured lawn, big blue pool, with lounge chairs set up.
We would show up with food and drinks and make ourselves at home.
There was no agenda, no stress, you just did what you wanted to do and came and went as you pleased.

Obviously, if we are planning a big party, you can bet your ass we will do all of the heavy lifting.
And I might have a fun cocktail on the ready from time to time.
It's fun to do what you can without feeling like to have to do everything.

Relishing in this lifestyle makes it easier to deal with unexpected issues.
My dogs are no angels, but typically there are enough hands on deck if one of them gets too excited (which is ALWAYS the case. But they are a part of our family so we go with the flow.)
People get banged up. Recently, I may have attempted to pull some toys out of the pool, only to misstep and smash my knee to the concrete.
(Yes, I bled, but cleaned it up and kept going. Nothing a beer and a band-aid couldn't fix!)
Kids will bicker, someone may get too drunk, but it's best to take things in stride.
It happens. Life happens. It's not perfect, but we strive to make entertaining a group effort with a mutual understanding that everyone helps out and everyone has a good time.

So what about you? How do you party-hardy? Do you do it all or dole it out?
Thanks for reading!


  1. Exactly how we do it. We are the only ones in our friend group who entertain and it gets tiring to be the only ones to provide. So...we strated telling everyone to bring something or two and BYOB. Then we can party!!

  2. I loved reading this post! You guys totally match and bring out that laid back and welcoming vibe your home and pool offers. :)