How to Host a Party at a Restaurant

There is nothing more frustrating than when you have an urge to plan a party and your lack of space hinders you from hosting one. I ran into this issue a few times during the four months that we occupied the Mouse House. As I’ve mentioned, party planning is in my blood and even the fact that we couldn’t host parties couldn't quiet that part of me. It just meant that I had to get creative with my party planning. One early idea was to convince a friend to host a party with me so that we could use their larger space. I nixed it almost immediately because it would mean co hosting with someone who might not be as party planning savvy as I like to think I am. Then I thought, why not host a party at a restaurant? This idea stuck and is just what I did for our Christmas party and my birthday party. DSC_0631

The biggest perk of planning a party at a restaurant is that after the initial planning stages, there isn’t much you have to do. The restaurant takes care of almost everything! I followed my usual six guidelines and added a few along the way to tailor it for planning a restaurant party.

1- The Cuisine

Just like when you plan the menu for a party at your home, you need to be aware of the foods that your guests like and dislike. This will help narrow down the search, especially in larger cities with an almost impossible choice of restaurants.

2- Reservations

Right along with the cuisine, picking a place that takes reservations is key. There is no quicker buzz kill to a party than having to wait 45+ minutes to get a table. You want your guests to be able to walk in, sit down and have a cocktail in their hands within minutes of arriving.

3- Payment

Eliminate the confusion and awkwardness at the end of the night as the group hems and haws over the bill and have a plan of action for payment. This could mean that you plan to cover the whole thing, or you plan to take cash from everyone and put it on your credit card, or plan for everyone to pay for their own portion. Bonus points if you let all your guests know before they arrive how payment will be handled so they can be prepared.

4- Personal Touches

Finally, remember that you can still add personal touches to a party at a restaurant. Goodie bags, flower arrangements, seating cards or simple games are all little things that can be done easily to add a bit of you to your party. For our holiday party we had a White Elephant Exchange. For my birthday party I had little goodies that I put at each person’s seat.

Goodies for my birthday guests!

I still prefer hosting parties at my own home, but it is nice to have a break from time to time and let other people do a lot of the work!

Musings on turning 30

First day of 1st grade, being sassy. Turning 30 has been in the back of my mind since I turned 21. At first it was a milestone I dreaded, mostly because that’s what I thought people in their 20s were supposed to do. But as the years went on, I quickly realized that I was not dreading it at all. I was nervous, but I was also excited and curious. So when I was 24 I started planning my 30th birthday. No joke. I wanted a big house, with a pool, on the beach, filled with my friends in it. My dream will become reality in two weeks when friends, family and I will be staying in two big houses, with pools, near the beach in Cabo.

I’m super excited about my party, but I’m more excited about what lies beyond the confetti and tequila of Cabo. I am leaving my 20s embracing and celebrating things about myself and my life that I spent a lot of time condemning myself for in the past. I found a love that is healthy, encouraging, and supportive and I love it. I am not truly passionate about anything, but there are a lot of things that I enjoy doing that bring meaning to my life. I absolutely can not live without sweets. I am a risk taker. I am a planner. I like to be in control. Most of my bad moods can be lifted by listening to music. My body is exactly what I need it to be. I want to be a mom someday and I want to stay at home with my kids. I succeed when I set multiple small goals for myself.

Rob and I.

As I pondered leaving one decade and entering a new one, a lot of ideas for guiding my 30s came to my mind. I whittled down the mass jumble of ideas into three concrete goals:

  • I will strive to be more positive, calm, patient, and less quick to anger. I have already started this change in attitude by being mindful of different little things each week that make me smile. I want to train my mind and eyes to see the positive in everything.
  • I will continue to work towards accepting myself--my body, my “slash” career path (nanny/interior designer/party planner/blogger/website owner/professional driver/whatever is next), and the fact that I don’t have one clear passion.
  • I will be present in my day to day life. I have a tendency to think about the future and unnecessarily stress myself out over things I have no control over. It is a waste of energy and it takes away from cherishing each moment I have in the present.

I will miss my 20s, but I am thoroughly excited to see what adventures this next decade has in store for me.

Having a bit of fun for my 24th birthday!