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AnnDinM&PHad to tell a little lie the other day…  but I can explain.  You see, my wonderful mom-in-law and dad-in-law were celebrating 55 years of wedded bliss, so we decided to have a little surprise dinner at our house in their honor.  Not a major event, just a small gathering of family to help them celebrate.  In the end, I think there were almost twenty of us gathered together, and it was an evening full of laughter, love and a lot of wine!

Now everyone has their secret tips for making events, like this, successful…  and I would love to know your secrets!!  Here are just a couple of mine.  #1  Delegate!  Let everyone contribute.  For those who don’t like to cook; no problem.  Assign them a store bought item or wine!  #2  Not everything has to be homemade!  If you are a baker and love to make desserts; Go for it – But then purchase a store bought appetizer!  #3 Prioritize and keep it simple!  This is a big one, and totally varies from person to person!!  Personally, I love the detail stuff – “themes” and table decorations, homemade tags on the dipping oil… But to take the time to dust before the party…?  Ya – Probably not gonna happen.  Like I said; this is an individual thing.  Everyone has a different set of priorities. Maybe dusting is your #1 priority!!   Just make sure that you make time to do the things that are important to you!! 

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We went with an Italian bistro theme…  complete with a little Frank Sinatra (of course!), red & white checked paper placemats (super easy clean up!) and some Chianti wine!  An Italian platter as an appetizer also made it super simple (no cooking!) – cheese, salami, Rosemary almonds, stuffed olives, crostini with goat cheese and bruschetta…  Our main course consisted of home-made lasagna, meatballs, oven roasted Italian green beans, Italian salad and warm, crusty bread with homemade Italian dipping oil.  (Dipping oil recipe was posted on my Facebook page; “Tasty Tuesday” Sept 3 – Click hereFor dessert we served Italian gelato with homemade biscotti, which I served in assorted hand-painted martini glasses (Biscotti recipe coming…  tomorrow!!)  And that, friends, is my final “tip of the day” – fun and super simple… I love using martini glasses for serving dessert!  I especially love that everyone’s glass was different (I did this on purpose – Not a matchy-matchy kinda gal!), but you can certainly use whatever martini glasses you have on hand!!  I have a huge advantage in the fact that I paint and sell cocktail glasses, so my “inventory” is probably a bit more extensive… Ha! 

So there we go.  My suggestions, in a nutshell, for hosting a little gathering of your own.  I realize now that I already gave you my “final tip”, but I just thought of one more… and it’s a BIGGIE, actually!  Chances are good that you will not complete your “things to do before the party” list.  Just sayin.  However, once the party starts… let it go.  Pour a glass of wine and join in the fun.  Whatever didn’t get done isn’t gonna get done… so never mind.  If you are having a good time at your party, so will your friends!!  And at the end of the day, isn’t that all that really matters…?  Bon Appetit!!

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