Unexpected Guests? What to Have on Hand!

Unexpected

Friends and family members sometimes can pull a fast one on us and suddenly announce that they’ll be coming over within the hour or for the more spontaneous bunch – you’ll hear a knock at the door. So what do we feed and do for our unexpected guests who want to embrace us with their pressence? Check out our tips on what to have on hand!

Always keep a stalked bar
An idea I am not against! Sometimes you’ll want a glass of wine after work or perhaps you and beau want to cozy up with a nice cocktail on the weekend- so a stalked bar is always key, especially for the unexpected guests. You’ll have a variety of options to offer them on hand.

Veggies, dip and crackers oh my!
Nothing wrong with having some delicious assortment of veggies in fridge because regardless of who comes or (doesn’t) stop by, they will be used. Keep a yummy dip on hand and some delicious crackers to compliment them. My favourite crackers to have in stalk? Mary’s Organic Crackers.

Frozen cookies or cookie dough
In the winter I typically launch my Christmas menu with pretzels, bark cookies and carrot cake. A great tip I learned was freezing the short bread toblerone cookies for my own personal indulgence because already baked- they will last 2 months in the freezer! Saving freezer space? Roll the dough in balls and leave in the freeze, once thawed, bake for 15 minutes! A quick treat for your guests.

A deck of cards or a good board game
Nothing wrong with some good ol’ traditional gaming to add some fun to the evening. A deck of cards, cards against humanity or some jenga? Why not!

Great local take out menus
We have so many great local restaurants here in Toronto that offer delivery. We know from personal experience how delicious their food is so why not order some of our favourite dishes and allow our guests to experience it with us at home? After all, your guests will be understanding!

Dry pasta or frozen ravioli + a great sauce
Dry pastas are staples in many households but it’s extremely important to always have a great sauce on hand too. A traditional tomato sauce or one of my favourites from Classico, roasted red pepper Alfredo will make for a great last minute dish. Ravioli is another great frozen delight that you can have in the freezer for up to 2 months. It will add great flavour to a simple pasta dish to warm up your guests tummies!

So ladies and gents, any other tips and tricks you have up your sleeves when you have unexpected guests drop by? Let us know! Stay chic meninas.

 

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How To Spice Up Your At Home New Year’s Eve Party

Gone are the days of fancy hall celebrations and elaborate parties. I used to love planning New Year’s Eve with the girls but as I got older, at home gatherings have become my “thing”. Today I decided to share some fun ideas that you can incorporate if you are hosting an at home New Year’s Eve party! Enjoy chic meninas.

A photo booth
Photo booth props, printable props, black and gold props, new years eve party, printable party props, printable glasses, wedding props:
Photo source: Paper Sparkles Designs

Of course, I am all for a photo booth station regardless of the occasion! It’s a fun way to add entertainment and a great way for your guests to capture memories. Customize the props to add a personalized touch to your party!

A resolution or guestbook wall station25 Stylish Adult Birthday Party Ideas -   Guest books are boring. Let your guests go crazy and decorate a wall-sized piece of paper.:
Photo Source: Hostess with the Mostess

I love the idea of creating a guest book wall for birthdays and weddings. I thought adding a twist to this concept for New Year’s Ever and making it a “resolution wall”.  Have your guests write a message or their new years resolution, it adds a great entertainment element to your event!

An on the hour every hour bell

Photo Source: Etsy

Set up a timer so that every hour it goes off. Example if your party starts at 5:00pm, set an alarm for 6:00pm, 7:00pm and so on. Once the timer goes off ring a bell or a noise maker. At that point your guests will already know what they have to do when they hear the bell – let them know at the start of the evening. Ideas for when the “bell” rings? Take a shot, someone does a toast or think of a unique task for them to do, perhaps take turns and tell a confession ?). Repeat until 11:00pm!

DIY Bar Cart
Being hostess is a big job and sometimes you need a little help, even if it's from your guests. Have them serve themselves some peace, love and joy at your part…:
Photo source: Hometalk 

I think I’ve mentioned it a few times on the blog (so clearly it was a hit) that my cousin set up a DIY bar with beautiful menus that featured 4 popular cocktails / liquor recipes for her housewarming party. The idea was such a hit, people like G who normally opt for beer, were hovered over the DIY bar and unleashing their inner bar tending skills. This is a fantastic idea for a New Years Eve party as it not only adds a fun factor to your event but provides your guests with variety and the ability to control their drinks and switch it up half way through the night if need be! If setting up a full bar cart isn’t accessible to you, use a decorative tray and dedicate a section of your counter to the DIY bar. Want to step it up a notch? Create a featured drink and have it on the menu and on display for your guests to mimic!

DIY noise maker

Photo Source: Pinterest

Is your New Year’s Eve party starting early? Have a group of crafty folks? Once dinner is wrapped up, have a craft station set up with a few noise making craft options for your guests to put together! Who doesn’t want to make some noise when the ball drops and what better way than making it yourself?

 

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Gifts for the Hostess: The Foodie

Ola chic meninas! I was super excited to get this post together quickly but it was a lot more challenging than I expected. As a self proclaimed foodie, I live for anything and everything related to food. So narrowing down some gift ideas to only a handful felt like I was asked to pick between chocolate and crab dip. I was finally content with the unique options that I picked and I’m sure your foodie hostess will be too!

 

hostessgift_thefoodie

Why these gifts work:

I fell in love with the idea of gifting salt tubes when I came across these collections from The Spice Lab and without hesitation knew this would be a great gift option. This is the perfect gift for a true foodie who loves to get down in the kitchen and experiment – also, how cute of a counter piece would they be?

I feel as though you can never go wrong with jams or jellies. During the holiday season, many local jam companies do cute gift sets with different flavours (some seasonal) and sizes of jams and jellies. It’s a perfect gift that your foodie can indulge in during breakfast or when whipping up a snack.

I know you may be thinking I have lost all of my marbles with putting gelato and ice cream on the list but hear me out! As a foodie, who wouldn’t want a delicious treat that they can snack on or pile on top of some warm pie or cake? Google some local gourmet brands near you, the packaging is more chic and they are more creative with flavour combinations, caramel and bacon bits? Your foodie will drool at the site of this gift. Tip: Can’t find a good brand at your grocery store? Stop by your all season gelato or ice cream parlours, most of them have their flavours available to take home.

I love when gifts act as two in ones. A beautiful herb plant not only will add some freshness to meals your foodie will create but it adds some greenery to their space. I personally would gift a basil or mint herb plant and throw it into a gorgeous clay pot. These two herbs are the most versatile in cooking but there are tons of options out there!

Most of the time we gift a bottle of wine (or 2) for our hostess. One to drink at dinner and one as a gift (important FYI) but why not change things up for the holidays? If your foodie hostess loves to entertain and gets creative with their drink menu, gift them a good bottle of liquor. I’d gear my selection towards an eastern European vodka, a gin or a rum. These liquors are the best selections to make a variety of drinks and they can even be used in cooking.

And last but certainly not least, homemade goodies- nothing more rewarding than the gift of food! During the holiday season, I roll up my sleeves and bake my little heart out. I purchase cute kraft boxes, FDA approved tissue paper and some twine from Creative Bag and start packaging my goodies for gifts. I usually opt for cookies that are shortbread (toffee, regular, nutella filled etc) as these can usually be frozen for months at a time so your foodie hostess can save them! If you want to try something different, make some chocolate covered pretzels, bark or a bar that they can warm up in the oven for the next day :)

 

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Gifts for the Hostess: The Entertainer

Greetings chic meninas! It’s that time of year where all of our lovely family and friends will be hosting special events and we get to stuff our bellies with delicious thoughtful menu items carefully planned by our ever so sweet hostesses! Okay, maybe not all of it will have a touch of Martha to it but it doesn’t mean that your gift can’t. I’m a huge believer in bringing a little something for the hostess no matter how small or big the event may be. With that being said, every hostess (or host) is different and may fancy certain things more than others so I decided to turn this into a …drum roll please…a series ;). Today we chat gifts for the hostess with the mostess who is forever hosting gatherings aka The Entertainer.

hostessgift_theentertainer

 

Why these gifts work:

A watering pitcher is a great gift for a hostess as most of the times they may have water out for their guests to sip on between courses and drinks.

Drink coasters are also a thoughtful gift because let us be real, can you have enough drink coasters? No. Pending on the event, hosts may change them out and sometimes they get ruined and lost so it’s always nice to have spares.

Wine charms are great for those who entertain! There is nothing more chaotic than raising a glass of wine after you put it down looking if the traces of lipstick and gloss match your tint. With wine charms, it eliminates the guessing game and helps with waste.

I specifically loved this cheese board because of the chalk board portion at the top. Spreads are the new appetizers and instead of leaving out a menu you can simply write down the types of cheese, fruits or dips you have out.

A cocktail bar tool…need we say more? We may not be professional bartenders (or perhaps we are) but we can always pretend to be. A great way to use this tool is to have a DIY bar and leave some coasters with bar recipes for your guests. My cousin did this for her housewarming and I could not get over how amazing of an idea it was!

Last but not least, a serving dish. The hostess who is always entertaining is always looking to use their fancy dishes and what better way to display their dishes than with your thoughtful serving dish? I always opt for something that is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. This eliminates stress for the hostess.

So ladies and gents, we hope that you enjoyed our hostess gift guide roundup for The Entertainer, tomorrow we’ll be back with another gift guide for your special hostess…the foodie! Stay tuned and stay chic.

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2016 Summer To Do List

2016SUmmerToDoList
Recently G and I have been exploring the city of Toronto  more than we used to. First it was the Mac N Cheese festival, which still has me craving the mouthwatering and to die for Cajun mac n cheese. Then it was the Little Taste of Italy, local dives, room escape at Casa Loma and neat soccer nooks to enjoy the Copa and Euro games.

Toronto is filled with multiculturalism and so much excitement that it had me wanting to put a list together of places and things to check off this summer.  Let me know if there is anything exciting that you’ll be doing in Toronto this summer, or anywhere for that matter– we love hearing about new things to explore.

1. Try a delicious Booyah ice cream taco. (This place is literally down the street, I’m disappointed that we have yet to go!)

2. Have a picnic at Colonel Samuel Smith Park

3. See John Fogerty live in concert at Molson Amphitheatre (July 11)

4. Attend the TO Food Fest (July 9-10)

5. Try jerk chicken off the grill at Raps on Eglinton

6. Dig into the Toronto Food Truck Festival (July 29)

7. Check out local farmer’s markets in town (St. Lawrence Market, Trinity Bellwoods, Dufferin Grove)

8. Sail-in Cinema at Sugar Beach in Toronto (August 18-20)

9. Host a summer themed BBQ (donut, western, flamingo, fiesta)

10. Have some “adult beverages” at the Porch

11. Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre

12. Finally get my hands on some axe throwing

13. Attend the Fit Bar’s 1 day outdoor charity bootcamp (more information to come)

14. Host a breakfast for dinner Friday night with mimosas and Spanish coffee as drink options

15. Binge shop at Honest Ed’s before they close at the end of this year

16. Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at Rooster Coffee House

17. Bike ride to the Junction and eat at Wallace & Co

18. Enjoy a full day at Kew Balmy beach

 19. Host a Nacho Bar Night

20. Host a DIY outdoor craft day with the ladies

 

 

 

Photo used from Booyahinc instagram.

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