Please excuse my lack of posts in August. With custom furniture building, an office move for my job, weekends packed full of family and friends time, I've been struggling to find time to blog and topics to write about. We hosted a wine and cheese night two weekends ago though, and I've been meaning to blog on that ever since. A few years ago, I was a part-time wedding planner (with a full-time corporate job) because I have loved planning parties since I was young! I used to plan my own birthday parties, right down to the theme and invitation design, from about the age of 6. Which is both a good and bad thing as an adult. It means I'm always looking for a reason to plan a party and I spend weeks (or months) planning every detail so our guests will have a wonderful time. It also means I drive myself crazy with the details and guest list, and therefore make Keith a little nuts as well.
In fact, a few years ago after one too many weekends of me agonizing over my over-the-top party plans, Keith and I reached some party-oriented compromises.
1. I will only plan guest-invited birthday parties for each of us every other year (that includes a future child's birthdays too).
2. When larger groups are involved, I will make less of the food and drink items myself to relieve stress.
3. I will not take out my stress on Keith in advance. And will not stay up all night worrying if everyone had a good time after.
I told you - I'm clearly a bit crazy about event planning if I had to make those kinds of agreements. So when Keith came up with the idea (yes - Keith) of us hosting a wine and cheese night, I reminded myself of these rules and didn't allow myself to over-plan as I typically would. We limited it to a few couples that all know each other, I ordered a meat and cheese platter from a local cheese shop, and asked everyone to bring a bottle of wine. Unfortunately Pinterest exists so I did get a few creative ideas from there, but nothing that took more than an hour to put together. I bought a roll of black craft paper from Jo-Ann's to lay across the table for quick clean-up and to write on with chalk for descriptions. We also bought a variety of breads, crackers, fruits and veggies from our local grocer the morning of and then I set everything up while Keith cleaned house.
I had originally planned to make an appetizer and a mousse for dessert, but decided the day before, that fruit and chocolate covered nuts and espresso beans were enough. A few of our friends also brought along additional foods to share so we had an abundance of options and a very filling meal. I certainly still stressed a bit beforehand about having enough food, if we needed more wine, if everyone would have fun, etc etc. But in the end, everything turned out nicely, the clean-up was pretty quick and easy, and I'd happily host another wine and cheese night!