I hosted my very first dinner party recently. And I’m happy to report that it was fabulous! Everyone had fun: many hilarious stories were exchanged (Shay had lots about her recent trip to South Africa), folks reminisced (on everything from Penn Relays in ’96 to Mo’s wedding this past May), candid pics were taken to capture the event (gracias Eddy), good people broke bread together and gave thanks for friendship and life. Everything went perfectly then, right? Wrong. I panicked an hour before the party started that I wouldn’t have enough food. I actually had more than enough. I never did get to pick up the lavender (I keep it in a vase on my kitchen table.) to replace the current bunch that is at least 9 months old. No one noticed or cared. And my apartment was extremely hot. I had no A/C and it was unusually warm for late September. Many of my guests were uncomfortable at first but they got over it.
I learned so much from my little soiree. As I get older I realize how much I enjoy entertaining at home and attending shindigs in the home’s of others. Last weekend I attended a fund-raiser/backyard dinner party at the home of my co-worker and her husband. It was so grown and sexy and most importantly for a truly good cause. The crowded club scene is getting much too fast for this old lady.
Below are a few of the tips I picked up from my ‘Don’t Postpone Joy’ Dinner Party. These are items guaranteed to make any gathering a hit. Or at least they made mine memorable. Oh, good food doesn’t hurt either. (Everyone agreed that the red velvet cupcakes I ordered from Harlem's Make My Cake were de-li-cious!)
Unique Artwork - My father always said a picture is worth a thousand words. Well it certainly proved true at my little fiesta. I actually have a couple of his paintings (mostly oil on canvas) hanging up in my place. Obviously I’m partial to my dad’s work but there are so many dope artists just dying to hang in the home of worthy bachelorettes. One of my fave artists (he’s such good people too) is Jalani. The piece above is called Morning Gathering. You can view more of Jalani's work at: http://www.myspace.com/theartofja.
Plum Wine - I’m not a big alcohol drinker. That includes wine. It’s just not my thing. But, I asked my guests to bring a bottle of wine because so many of them drink it and I was not supplying alcohol. My girl Rah arrived with a bottle of plum wine (3 days early - long story…) and I think it might have changed my life. Seriously. It was so, so good. It’s sweet and felt good going down. Unlike other wines I’ve had before, it was truly tasty. I’m going to keep a bottle in my digs from now on.
Reed Diffusers - My plan was to burn candles in every room where guests were going to be. I had several sweet smelling scented ones set aside for the occasion. But as I mentioned earlier, it was hot. Very hot. The extra heat coming from the fire on the candles had to go. Thank goodness I had a trusty reed diffuser on hand. I’ve been in love with these fragrant suckers for a minute. They’re sold practically everywhere so the options are enormous these days but you can always pick them up from trusty Target. (Mine were a freebie from work.) I also like the fact that they’re safer for people with babies or pets than candles.
A Thought - Provoking Conversation Starter - My 'Colored Only' sign Practically everyone had a comment about this sign which I purchased on cushcity.com. For me, it’s a reminder of how things could be. Just to make sure I don’t stay at any pity parties too long.
In a few years, I just might be able to teach B.Smith a thing or two. HA!