Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tasting Parties

I was out of town two weeks ago and to kill some time one afternoon, I stopped by the local Pier 1 Imports store. I love this store because I always walk in and feel so inspired to entertain, and without fail, this visit created the same reaction. Or maybe it was worse this time. I. WANTED. IT. ALL. :-) In the words of Rachel Zoe, "I DIE!"

What's the big deal? See photo below. Pier 1 has a new line of tableware for tasting parties! 

What is a tasting party? This concept comes from the tapas and small plate trends in restaurants. I would personally host a tasting party and either a) have an excuse to make a bunch of different recipes that I love, or b) invite others to bring along their favorite dish to share with the rest of the party guests.

What makes this a fun concept is that a tasting party is meant to taste... so the portions are smaller, unluck a traditional potluck event. So if I love food so much, why would I want to eat less?? Hello, annual holiday season weight gain! :-) I love the tasting party concept especially for holiday celebrations for a few reasons...
  1. We all tend to groan at yet "another" holiday party.
  2. It will enable you to provide food for your guests without stressing over the party budget.
  3. It provides a variety of options for every palate.
  4. Since you will not be providing a full meal, you can host a tasting party at alternate time (like afternoon) which will help ease the stress for guests who have multiple holiday party invitations for the same evening. 
  5. You can elect to pair the food tasting with a beverage tasting as well. Try out some new concoctions or wines you've been wanting to try. Or, invite your guests to bring their favorite beverage to share since you'll be providing the food.
Photo courtesy of
What might possibly be the most fun part about a tasting party is the miniture dishware that Pier 1 Imports now offers for your convenience.... and just how CUTE are those mini spoons?? Click here to browse through Pier 1's online store to check them out for yourself.

Photo courtesy of
You don't need to limit yourself to hosting a tasting party solely during the holiday season. Use this concept for a chocolate tasting, a night with the girls (or guys), a child's birthday party, or a viewing party for the big game.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Masquerade Party Inspiration

I have some party inspiration to share with you! I was scrolling through some previous Hostess with the Mostess blog posts and came across this wonderful Sparkling Drink Station concept as part of a "Festival du Bebe" celebration.

Photo from Hostess with the Mostess

The sparkling drink station is a great concept in that guests can select from provided ingredients to mix their own beverages. This is a great way to satisfy many different tastes and also provide an interactive activity for your guests. The whimsy of the masquerade-inspired theme you'll see in the original post (click the link above) makes this concept a fun one to try for your own special occasion!

The link to the sparkling drink station above is Part 2 of the Festival du Bebe overview. Click here for Part 1 which shows the party decor (shown below).

Photo from Hostess with the Mostess

Also, you can purchase the printable party accents here. Yay!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Planning Ahead: Hostess Gifts

Photo from Soul of the Rose

I want to share with you a new discovery: Soul of the Rose Gifts. The photo above is of some gift items I received from them recently. The photo below is the super cute and fragrant packaging those gifts came in (they included a beautiful sachet that I could smell before I even got the box open!).

I highly encourage you to check out the link above to the Soul of the Rose blog. From there, you can visit the online shop, become a fan on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. When you visit the shop, click on "Gift Boutique," then select "Hostess Gifts" from the left hand sidebar. They have a variety of unique hostess treats that will surely be appreciated by any hostess.

Bookmark Soul of the Rose on your web browser. As you get into the busy holiday season, you'll appreciate having a go-to shop for your hostess (and holiday!) gift needs. :-)