Living Well

5 Things To Keep On Hand For Last-Minute Entertaining

There is nothing I love more than when friends or family stop by at a moment’s notice, and there are five things I like to keep on hand for when it happens.
Whether it’s catching up with a neighbor or an impromptu girls’ night, I savor these moments.   
It’s not about stressing over how clean your house is or the fact that you may still be in your workout clothes from the morning.  It’s about enjoying friends and family and the time you spend with them.
The key is to be prepared for unexpected company. 
Your guests will only be as relaxed as you are, so don’t fret over the things you can’t control.  But for the things that you can…..

5 of my tried and true tricks for last-minute entertaining:


1. Keep a delicious dip in your freezer and crackers in the pantry.

This way, all you have to do is pull it out and heat it in the oven. Not only will your home smell amazing, but you don’t have to fuss with any dishes or prep work.  
Here is my family’s favorite  dip recipe, courtesy of the Junior League of Birmingham’s Food For Thought cookbook.  FYI- it freezes wonderfully, too. 
Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, soften
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled,
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers 
Soften cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, Swiss chases, and green onions; mix well. Transfer to a baking dish. Top with bacon and crackers. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and serve with crackers or Fritos.

2. Have cloth napkins pressed and ready.

No thought or effort required – It is as simple as pulling them out and displaying with your hors d’oeuvre of choice and wine. 

Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography


3. Light a nice candle

 I love a good candle and am constantly changing out the one in my kitchen.  Find one that speaks to you and enjoy it.  

4. Keep a selection of simple, clear vases in different sizes tucked away for entertaining.

These are great for filling with grocery store flowers or branches from your yard for a last minute arrangement.  
Sprawling branches make such a beautiful, effortless statement, and according to my youngest, flowers make your house look cleaner.  Who knew!
Dana Wolter Interiors, Photography by Graham Yelton


Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

5. Slow down and give your guests your undivided attention.

Put down the cell phones, send the children off to play or to do homework, and make your guests feel like you have time for them (no matter what fire you might be in the middle of putting out). Be present and enjoy your visit!

I hope these tips help you enjoy a spur of the moment company when the opportunity arises.   I’d love to hear your tried and true hospitality tricks.

Cheers to living (and entertaining) well,

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