This post was sponsored by Aladdin. All thoughts on hospitality and hosting friends are my own.
We moved into our house in December, and one of my New Year’s resolutions was to show hospitality. After a year of not having any company, we wanted to open the doors to our home and invite friends and kids over for dinner, inviting them to put their feet up and relax. Help themselves in the kitchen and let their kids run wild if they want to.
When Aladdin approached me about sending me some new mason jar products to use to throw a party, I was so excited. So I recently invited 20 of some of my closest friends over for a “Just Because” party and casual girls night. Most of them knew each other in some way, but I wanted to create an opportunity for everyone to get together, meet some new people, and to help warm the new house.
I sent out an email invitation and just asked them to come on a Sunday night. When all but two people said they could attend, I was so excited! I’m an introvert, but I love community and conversation.
I decided that I was going to make it pretty, but incredibly low key. I knew that I didn’t really need to decorate because it was a casual party for friends. And I knew that we’d mostly be standing around chatting and eating, so I didn’t need to serve a feast.
The day before the party, I made a grocery list and errand list and got it done! I fixed a 7-layer salad, but everything else was picked up at the store. I got my favorite chicken salad and croissants from a local restaurant, miniature pies and tarts from a local grocery store, pasta salad from a local deli, and fresh fruit. I fixed up some delicious, fresh fruit water in the 2-gallon Aladdin beverage server, and had water in the Aladdin pitcher.
My favorite quick party tip is to pick up fresh flowers from the grocery store, put them in a simple vase and put a bow around the vase to bring in more color. I have a huge stash of different ribbons, so this was the perfect way to use it.
I used simple plastic plates, but loved having the drinks in the Aladdin mason jars.
This party was so quick to pull together and stress-free. I picked up almost everything, set it out on the porch, and opened the doors for fun fellowship. And the conversation and friendships were the theme of the night. Connections were made, the home was filled with laughter and sweet friends and I was able to sit back and enjoy the moment without fussing over being a hostess.
The evening was simple and incredibly fun. The food was delicious, the flowers were beautiful, the Aladdin mason jars were a fun pop of color and a festive, casual way to serve drinks, and, most importantly, I was able to focus on the conversation and having a great time with friends.
And we had way too much fun to stop to take a full group picture of everyone, which is always a bummer. But I did get a photo with three of my dear friends who stayed just a little bit longer for girl talk and crazy laughter!