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Hosting A Garden Party

One of your highlights this summer could be a garden party organized by you. My partner enjoys hosting and over the years we have managed to get into a routine that works for us. We hosted our first garden party of the year recently and had a great time, which is a big contrast to how stressed out and tired we normally would be at the first few parties we have hosted. Anyway here are some ideas that should keep you on top of things

1. Round up the number of people likely to show up and add some extra for the last minute gate crashers. There is simply nothing as embarrassing as having guests turn up with nothing to offer. It's a party so make sure you have enough.

2. Decide on food and drinks
Cater for the vegetarians or Vegans and if you are getting alcohol, make provisions for the non alcoholics. Draw up a checklist before going to the store. One of the things that did stress me out was the number of times I had to dash back to get the little things - quick run back to Tesco to get some salt after going back a second time for the olive oil.

3. Try Plastic Plates, Cutlery and bin bags
Definitely not a popular option if you are going green and considering the environment. But this is the quickest way to clean up after the party and an affordable option for having enough crockery for your guests.

4. Prepare the venue
Give your outdoor furniture a face lift, check sitting arrangements. If you don't have enough chairs, consider spreading out picnic blankets, or throwing a rug over any stony or wooden slabs for a Moroccan theme.

Clean the grill - a greasy grill is a big put off.

Clear your hallway as guests are likely to make a beeline for the garden through the hall. This shouldn't be a problem if your garden has it's own side gate. Also set yourself near the kitchen so you don't wade through guests when trying to serve.

5. Tell the neighbours
All the cars parked in their spaces and the noise your guests are likely to make, also if it is a gated community, the new faces will need explaining so do the courteous thing and warn the neighbours before the party.

6. Get rid of pests
Bees and flies are regular but unwelcome visitors in the summer. A lot of stores have insecticides and pesticides that can be sprayed.

7. Shade
Check the weather forecast and have a backup plan. If it rains your guests may have to move indoors so prepare some space. However if it stays sunny consider some shade. Parasols and canopies are the easier options.

9. As the evening comes
Consider lighting. I love lanterns and stringing trees and bushes with twinkle lights in the dark areas......tea lights also make a pretty addition.

10. Decorations
I love Fabric bunting. and summer flowers. For Centrepieces consider fruit bowls for a splash of bright colour and if you are creative carve something nice.

11. Don't forget the music
Some feel good tunes and uplifting music will liven up your guests. Right now I've got Katy Perry's - California Girls playing in my head.

12. Have a good time
After all that's what the party is about, pop the bubbly, let your hair down and have a good laugh... one life, live it.

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