It's been one of my resolutions (literally for years) to invite people over more often. And for some reason it just doesn't happen as often as I'd like. I've got tons of excuses: I'm tired, the place is dirty, I haven't hung artwork yet, work is busy, etc. But the bottom line is that I feel so much happier when I get a chance to entertain. Seeing friends and having them in my home does so much for my spirit and sense of community that no matter how I was feeling before people came over, I always feel totally inspired afterwards (even when there's a sink full of dishes to do). So here are 5 ways that I'm getting over the excuses and getting people over to hang out this summer:
It's important to me to sometimes get to plan a whole party and get really into the details and other times to have people over spontaneously because I made tea or something. Right now I'd say I average having people over about twice a month but I'd like to double that so that each week I'm doing something, even if it's really small. So here are 5 ways I plan to motivate myself to do both kinds of entertaining:
1. Clean the house: It's my number one excuse, so to get over it my plan is to just do it. Also I hired a cleaning person to help out twice a month. Now that there are 4 of us instead of just me, it's more cleaning than I can really stay on top of. So the hope is that if the house is clean, I'll be more likely to want to break out the platters and start serving. This also helps with the spontaneous get together.
2. Buy pretty invites: So often I wander into a stationery store or see a great invite online and think, oooh I'd love to send those out for a party. And then never do. Since I'm cheap, if I bite the bullet and buy the invites, I'm that much more likely to just make it happen. And once I set a date, I can't back out of it with lame excuses.
3. Make too much of something: I love baking and making desserts, so this one is easy. If I make a whole batch of creme brulée, people start coming out of the woodwork. Suddenly it's an easy way to entice people over at the last minute without it being a whole to-do. The same works for a batch of mint tea and a sunset or cake pops and an episode of Flight of the Conchords. Check out the kitchn for lots of recipe inspiration. Or if you really don't have the time or energy to make anything, stop by the farmers market and have a 'I bought lots of fresh peaches' party.
4. Decorate: this is in line with 'if you build it they will come". Keeping fresh flowers and fruit around starts making things feel festive but if I take it further and put up some streamers or a home made garland, I can't help but get in the party mood.
5. Pick a theme/celebration: This one is the most fun. Basically I round up a list of things I've been wanting to do: projects, activities, recipes, etc. Then, instead of doing it by myself, I invite others over to share. For instance: working on my garden. I can invite people over to do some planting and send everyone home with a plant. I've been wanting to take advantage of the swimming pool in our complex, so invite people over to share and do a whole pool party. The Kitchn has some great cocktail recipes I've been wanting an excuse to try. So I can invite people over for that. Maybe it's board games, an excuse to go for a walk, or host a breakfast. But if I think about the things I've been meaning to do for a while, it's always more fun with other people involved.
How do you get over the excuses and just get people over?
(Image: Paper and Canvas)