Sometimes you end up entertaining and it’s more of a surprise more or less. Maybe your husband or boyfriend invites people over without warning you first. What if you’re out with friends and decide you all should bring the gathering to a more comfortable location. Cue panic mode and every thought similar to “did I fold the laundry dumped on the living room chair this morning?!”. Or, the original host’s plans fell through and your home is plan B. You got this. Whatever the reason, I’m here for you. Make it look easy, effortless, and like you’re so good at entertaining and hosting that it was seemingly planned as long as you keep these items to keep on hand for last minute entertaining.
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Items I Always Keep on Hand for Entertaining
Disposable Hand Towels for the Bathroom
I love this trick because not only is it professional status, but by doing this you’ll give off the impression you are 100% prepared for life. You are pretty much shouting that your home is always a clean, lovely, perfect home (despite the massive reality) and that they are being taken care of as a guest in your home. It’s kind of like a hotel, or a nice event like a wedding, or so you want them to be reminded of. They don’t have to be anything crazy, even these disposable towels by Magnolia will do the job. Display them nicely and your guests will be like woah, she gets special napkins for the bathrooms around here?! Jeesh, this place is great…
Reminder: Let the fam know they are off-limits unless you have company. Stick to a regular towel the rest of the week, it’s much more eco-friendly.
Favorite Disposable Towels:
Favorite Napkin Holders:
Giant Ice Cubes
These items to keep on hand for last minute entertaining will get you up on that professional hosting tier, especially if it happens to be one of those “husband or boyfriend invites people over without warning” type situations. Having the giant round or square ice cubes ready in the freezer. Serving whiskey, bourbon, even a trendy mixed cocktail over a giant ice cube is just so much better than a million refrigerator ice cubes. With such a restaurant vibe soon you’ll start seeing them drink with their pinkies up. Success.
Shop the Coolest (get it) Ice Cubes Around:
Alright, to go along with the ice cubes and just you being the ultimate, most professional host ever, enter the decanter. Mind you, there is the decanter you should always have filled with your finest whiskey or bourbon or scotch. But don’t forget that it’s also incredibly sharp to keep a wine decanter in your back pocket. Now, there is a lot of work behind using decanters for your finest vintage. Be sure you are storing, cleaning, and of course serving correctly if you are stepping up to that level. Of all the items to keep on hand for last minute entertaining, this tends to really steal the show.
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This is because you never really know. If at the last minute you have a whole group coming over for pizza (soccer team won the championship) or maybe Aunt Sheila’s house isn’t going to work anymore for Grammy’s birthday dinner and everyone else in the family has given every excuse in the book. Well, you’re going to have to have a plan. Typically, this will work itself out over time, you start to accumulate more seating or you know the quickest rearrangement for large groups, but it never hurts to be proactive. Just keep a couple folding chairs in the basement. Or, my favorite items to keep on hand for last minute entertaining as of late is the pouf trend. From table to seat in seconds, and adds to your decor too!
Charged Music Player
Believe me, you don’t want to go to grab your favorite music stereo and it be dead and the rest of the night is, well, awkward. Keep it on the dock or on the charge when you aren’t using it, and I’m telling you the easiest way to do that is create a charging station. It doesn’t look awkward in some random area and it will remind you to plug it back in. So I guess some other items to keep on hand for last minute entertaining would be an iPad display (great go-to speaker) to give a more impressive setup.
Staple Food & Beverages
Finally, the most obvious but the most important. You can slide with everything else, though they will make you look like a fantastic host, but the food and drinks beat all. Here I’m just going to list the staples you should always keep, just in case.
Easy Apps to Keep on Hand:
- Avocado’s for easy guacamole
- Pretzels and Peanuts are a healthier alternative to chips
- Trader Joe’s Pre-Made Dips and Gluten Free Chips
- Amy’s Pizzas, cut into squares and you’ve got cute pizza hors d’oeuvres
- Block of cheddar, mozzarella and specialty cheese, pesto, bruschetta, crackers etc.
- Hummus and Pita/Veggies
- Apples and peanut butter, yogurt fruit dip, or caramel
Bare Minimum Must-Have at All Times Beverage List:
- Water Bottles (For company only)
- Pellegrino or Favorite Sparkling Water
- Flavored Seltzer Waters for mixers
- Red and White Wine
- Light Beer, Regular Beer, Craft Beer
- Vodka, Whiskey, Bourbon
- Margarita Makings of Course (Recipe Here)
Disposable Plates, Silverware, and Cups
To go along with the food and beverages, it’s always a good, sensible thing to keep disposable products on hand. Though I try to stick to real as much as I can, there are situations where it’s just easier. I highly, highly suggest you keep the most of cocktail plates and napkins plus a nice disposable cup than a red solo cup in your cupboards. Plastic wine glasses, champagne flutes, mini silverware for hors d’oeuvres never hurt either!
I’m obsessed with Harlow and Grey for all disposable flatware and serving ware. You could seriously set an entire tablescape and it would look better than using your real china. I mean look how beautiful their Instagram is?! What’s better than a beautiful party with an easy clean-up?!
So, if you take a step back and look at the big picture, it’s really all about staying ahead of the game. If you run out of water bottles during the week, get some more, don’t wait until Saturday when you last minute commit to hosting and have nothing in the house. I want to know what your big tips are for last minute entertaining! What do you to make life easier?? I’m always down for great tips. I’ll be sure to share them on my stories if you have any good ones!
Happy Entertaining! Xo, Liv