*This is a sponsored post for Harris Teeter and Procter and Gamble. All opinions and ideas are my own.*
It's hard to believe that it is already November! I've got all things holiday on the mind. Now is the time to look at the calendar, make lists and plan.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us. It's a wonderful time of the year when we are decorating our homes, baking, shopping and entertaining. The next couple of months ahead are quite fabulous, but can also be stressful!
After many years of stress and learning, I'm sharing a few tips and tricks for holiday party planning that work for me!
Great news is that you can apply these tips and tricks throughout the year no matter the holiday, season or event you may have planned.
Don't overlook the grocery store for your one-stop shop for parties!
Harris Teeter has you covered for your party planning from cleaning supplies to all of your recipe and decor needs!
These tips work for a small, intimate dinner party to a large gathering and beyond! The sooner you start planning, things will come together more efficiently without unnecessary stress and work. Organize and map out your strategy…..today!
Entertaining at home is my favorite thing. It's more intimate and memorable….in my opinion.
Let's get started!
Get your calendar and set the date ASAP.
- Calendars fill up fast for friends and family. You want to get in front of them early.
- Send invitations. Plain and simple…..if your guest has a mailed invitation or electronic invite, it's visual. Request an RSVP.
- Electronic invites are great because guests can respond in the invite as well. It will also send out a reminder.
Decide on the menu.
- The sky's the limit here. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
- Host an appetizer party and have everyone bring their favorite to share.
- Host a potluck where you prepare the turkey with everyone bringing sides. Create a sign-up list for sides through email or the invite website so you don't end up with 5 mac and cheese dishes!
- You can prepare the entire menu incorporating make ahead dishes for ease.
- Don't be afraid to use ready-made items from the grocery store.
Send out reminders via text, email, or through the electronic invite service.
If only the downstairs is going to host the event, I try to deep clean that area only unless there is time to really clean the entire house.
- Do this in advance. Don't try to deep clean the day before or the day of. It's just too much added stress on yourself!
- The day of wipe down any bathroom and kitchen surfaces.
Since I've already thoroughly cleaned my surfaces in advance including any furniture polishing, I run a quick Swiffer® in any room for the party the day of or before. It's so fast and really grabs any dust and dirt. I love the extended reach for out-of-the-way areas. It's also perfect for cleaning chandeliers and giving baseboards a quick dusting.
The efficient 360 degree cleaning surface of this Swiffer gets the job done fast! Fast is what we need right before our party!
Several days before take your glassware from your cabinet and wash them. I only use these crystal stems that were my mother's a couple of times per year. They get cloudy and dusty behind closed doors. I hand wash those so my table sparkles. I've always used Dawn dishwashing liquid. It's excellent at cutting grease and grime while being gentle on my hands and surfaces.
Hint: Several weeks before I like to wipe down the exterior of my kitchen cabinets. I do it over several days. It really takes no time if you do a section at a time. The kitchen always becomes the hub of any party we host. That's where the food and drink are set out. I want my cabinetry as clean-looking as possible.
Cabinet Cleaning Woodwork Recipe
- Fill a large bowl or pot with warm water. You just need a small amount – around 4 cups
- About 5 squirts of Dawn
- Take a sponge and dip in the mixture and squeeze several times to distribute the dishwashing liquid
- Test an area of cabinets first
- Wipe down the cabinets with your cleaning mixture
- Then rinse with a wet Bounty paper towel
- Then run a dry Bounty paper towel over the cabinets to dry the area. This will keep any water streaks from possibly showing.
- Stand back and be amazed at why you hadn't completed this simple task sooner!
I freshly launder my towels in the guest bathroom to be used the day before the party. They will look great and smell fresh! Tide Pods 3 in 1 are so simple to use!
If you have overnight guests, be sure to put fresh sheets on the bed as well. It's the little things that mean the most.
Create a small guest basket for any forgotten items
- full-sized or travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, and lotion
- add a few packaged snacks
This basket can be as simple or elaborate as you'd like. I store mine in the closet when not in use.
Shop the day before for any perishables and flowers. I'm a huge fan of grocery store flowers.
Set the table the day before the party. I always use my Swiffer on the table, around the chairs and the chandelier before setting it.
Did you know that you can create many tablescape looks just by visiting your local Harris Teeter! Think outside the box when planning. Here are a few items you can pick up to decorate with on the big day!
- coffee beans and dried beans are great around candles
- amazing floral department for a wealth of ideas
- small containers with flowers scattered about the center of the table can create big impact
- use vintage books to elevate flowers on the table
- mason jars are perfect for decorating and serving drinks
- mason jars make great vases and candle holders
- use seasonal fruits and vegetables to decorate your table
The day of the party rise and shine early. I'd rather get up early and get to work. Then maybe I can squeeze out a nice rest period right before the party even if just 15 minutes for a power nap!
Do any food prep, set up beverage bar, put fresh bags in the trash cans and any last-minute prep. Make a list so you don't forget anything!
Spray any pet beds, linens or furniture with Febreze ONE Fabric and Air Mist in various scents. We may not notice a smelly pet bed, but a guest just might.
Letter boards are all the rage these days and such a fun way to add a seasonal touch to your home. Guess what….you can get your own letterboard just like mine for FREE from Harris Teeter! From 11/14 – 12/11, receive a free letter board set via mail* when you purchase $30 of participating P&G products at Harris Teeter, your holiday solutions headquarters. (*Mail-in rebate coupon will print at checkout.)
Just remember to try to relax and enjoy the holiday season. Creating a plan, making lists and getting started early are very important.
For more information and to find a local Harris Teeter near you, check out www.harristeeter.com.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Procter & Gamble. The opinions and text are all mine.