An easy way to elevate a casual party

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on here, and I miss it! I miss you guys. But I’ve had lots of time to think about blogging topics, so here’s a quick one for today:

On Valentine’s Day I posted a photo on Instagram of my meager attempt to celebrate (yay, love). But someone asked a great question about the photo, and I realized I’ve never shared this idea here—and it’s something I use quite a bit for parties.

I don’t entertain often, but when I do, I want things to look good, nay, GOOOOOD. And one of the easiest ways to do this is with pretty beverages—you know, things like pretty drink dispensers or a fancy cooler (we have this one). I’ve had the drink dispenser below for years, and while it isn’t anything special, it is versatile.

But Lonnie and I had friends in Reno who liked to serve old-fashioned root beer in glass bottles when we visited, and he and I fell in love with the idea. It’s a major visual upgrade to aluminum cans, isn’t it? And with so many colors of pop on the market today, you can choose something that matches your party décor. (Yes, I’m from Idaho, and we call soda “pop”—unless we’re trying to sound cooler than we are).

One way to display pop bottles is in a vintage wire basket like the one you see here. It isn’t hard to find these (the image above is from Etsy); during the 1950s and ’60s, sets of glasses were sold with a tray like this, so when you’re estate sale-ing, keep an eye out. I’m not interested in the glasses made to go in these trays, and if there isn’t a complete set of glasses, the holder will be virtually free and ready for pop. I own two of these trays and will always be looking for more.

Aren’t they adorable?

When you entertain, what are your go-to ideas? What do you like to serve? What kind of dishes do you use? What about tables—do you use placemats and name cards or allow for more informal seating a la Thomas Jefferson? You know, he used to let guests choose their own seats, even as president hosting state dinners. That was virtually sacrilege back then. I just love the guy.

But I digress. Hope you have a great day, and I’ll be back soon. •

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