I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t been doing much entertaining lately.  Over the course of this last year, much of my time has been spent developing and designing the blog, writing relevant content for you and increasing my consulting business as a virtual event planner.  I haven’t found much time to have people over or throw a good party, which is totally unacceptable!

So, when I invited a good friend over for lunch with her new baby girl, I found myself getting a little excited about the prospect of pulling a little event together. But then my week got really busy and I was working and doing so much that I kinda lost track of time. And then it was already the middle of the week she was coming over the next day!

Here I am espousing about the need to keep on track and to make sure to block time to get certain things done, and I can’t even do that myself!  What kind of event planner am I?!!

Well, the kind that, unfortunately, sometimes, very rarely (wink, wink) takes the event planner hat off and forgets all that she’s taught.

So, with not much time to spare, I needed to get down to business and focus. And that’s just what I did.  I thought about what to make and I wanted to be realistic about how much time I actually could afford to prepare things.

Okay, so…. no time=a great salad! I could prepare everything, like cutting all the veggies, washing the lettuce, even cooking a chicken breast, the night before as I watched reality T.V., and then just assemble everything the next day.  Throw in some amazing focaccia bread from our local baker and I would be set.

The next day came and about a half hour before she arrived I tossed all the ingredients together in a great bowl, sliced the focaccia and made individual dippers of olive oil and balsamic. I set two places at our table, and I even set us up in the dining room. I didn’t mean to be formal but the sun was streaming through our kitchen window making eating in there virtually impossible, so the dining room it was. But it was kinda of nice, giving ourselves an excuse to be a little fancy, and as we were eating our salad, one that I had made without thought many times before, my friend is like “this salad is great”. And I’m like “oh, it’s nothing really” and this time, that’s actually true.  A few minutes later and she says, “no Allyson, seriously, this salad is fantastic.” “Would you like more,” I ask. “Um, well, yeah, if that’s okay”.

So we chatted some more, cooed at the baby, chastised the dog from taking her blanket, and had a relaxing afternoon.

Then I ask if she’d like some of my chocolate pie (a really simple one that takes no time to make) and she’s totally in. Sitting casually at the table it’s another “Wow, I love this pie, so good!”

I have never had so many compliments! But, maybe I just never really noticed before.

The one thing that our little lunch did, besides give me a great ego boost, was point something out to me, very clearly.  Maybe, just maybe, it’s okay to loosen the reigns a bit. Maybe a little goes a long way. Maybe keeping it simple is a good idea.

Because I didn’t give myself the opportunity to stew about things, or worry about what to do, I just forged ahead and did it and didn’t second guess myself. I didn’t have the luxury of changing my mind because time was of the essence. Perhaps I should approach every party or event I do with such gusto, even if I have weeks to prepare. While you should always look to the details, the main event can be something simple and easy.

That way we spend time talking and really connecting, rather than worrying about having a gastronomic feast.

I prefer the chats, how about you?


 photo source: citrus and orange


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