Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mid-Week Social

Years ago, my close friends and I started a weekly get together we affectionally call Wine Wednesday.  Initially we used to gather around the TV and tune into one of our favorite shows like Project Runway or Top Chef.  Then we realized that we were not watching much of the show, and ended up just talking and catching up for a few hours (husbands included). With such busy schedules, it was a great way to stay connected and enjoy a mid-week mini-party. As we continue the tradition (it's my turn to have everyone over tonight) I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way to make the night easy, fun and stress-free!  Hopefully this will inspire you to host your own Wine Wednesday to get you through the work week!

  1. Clean the day before.  It's so much better to have your house clean so you can just prep the food before your guests arrive.  Since it's a mid-week party, you only have a few hours before people show up.  If you are pressed for time, at least clean your bathroom and the living area where people will hang out.  Shove everything else in drawers and under the bed so it looks like you power-cleaned. Yep, I've done this.
  2. Make the food and drinks simple.  Since it's wine night, everyone usually brings a bottle of wine and the host provides the food. I try to do at least one sweet and one savory appetizer. It also helps to get some appetizers that can just be assembled.  Some of my favorites: cheese stuffed dates, smoked Salmon on pumpernickel bread, or a mixture of olives. It's also nice to have a carafe of plain or flavored water on hand for those who don't want to have an alcoholic beverage. 
  3. Background sounds. Since we used to watch a TV show, sometimes we keep the TV on and tune in. Other times, I choose my favorite playlist or Pandora station and keep that playing softly in the background. One of my friends even have their grandparent's record player and we play some old favorites. 
  4. Flip the switch.  Light some candles (especially a nice smelling one for the bathroom), and make sure your lighting is complementary to the space.  It sounds kind of strange, but lighting can really help the mood of a party. I like to have lights on that are from the ground up (floor lamps, sconces, etc.) as they are less harsh on the eyes. 
  5. Try to incorporate some seasonal elements.  This can be anything from serving a sangria during the summer, or apple cider in the fall. If it's nice out, sit on the patio and enjoy the weather or a bonfire if it's chilly. If it's during the holidays, serve some holiday cookies or hot chocolate.  It's fun to come up with new ways to keep the party fun, simple and enjoy some time with each other. 

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