Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walmart. As always, all words and opinions are honest and my own.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed in recent weeks is getting together with friends and family again! We were able to have dinner with some friends on our trip to PA and we had a small get-together with family during our vacation in Isle of Palms. It got me thinking that it’s time to start easing back into hosting at home. I don’t know about you, but I have gotten out of the habit of hospitality. Not just having people over to our house, but seeking out opportunities to spend time with others. Actually in person, not just over Zoom! With the US opening up a bit more and restrictions easing, it’s a good time to seek out those opportunities again in ways that are welcoming, yet respectful to the comfort levels of each individual.
So, the idea I had for hosting a little dinner with friends is to set up a table inside with plates, glasses for drinks, some fresh, seasonal sides, etc. Everyone can serve up, put their food on a tray, pick up a piece of chicken off the grill, and then we can picnic in the yard. It’s a way to dine alfresco without having to haul everything outside or if you don’t have a great outdoor eating area. (We have a deck, but it is in need of replacing and the railings are getting iffier by the year.) Setting up a few folding chairs will allow us to enjoy the fellowship of friends and the late spring weather. (Although, it was 40 and rainy yesterday, so we had the fireplace on!)
For the table, I mostly used pieces from Walmart Home that I’ve had for a few years and I added in some new summery linens. I always enjoy browsing through the home & garden departments in my local Walmart store and online. I just never know what I’m going to find that might spark an idea.
One of the new additions is this blue and white checked tablecloth. I selected a square one, so I could use it on my round dining table, our round patio table on the deck, or could use it as an accent on our rectangular kitchen table. Since I don’t use tablecloths very often, I like to buy pieces that will be versatile and aren’t specifically sized for only one table.
I also bought a set of six matching napkins to create silverware bundles. It makes it easy for guests to grab it and go instead of having to pick out each piece. I simply tied the bundles with a little bit of grosgrain ribbon and lined them up on a platter.
For plates, I used the jadeite-like plates from the Pioneer Woman collection and also put out the matching bowls for fruit or a salad. It’s nice to give people the option of using a smaller bowl or plate for sides. Some people like to pile everyone on one plate and other people, even adults, don’t like their sides touching!
I love the fluted detail on these bowls. They are just so pretty and they are nice and deep – a great size for salads, soups, cereal, etc.
A woven tray could be used to carry pieces outside, but I used it (THIS ONE) under the salad bowl just to add a little texture and warmth to the table.
Some fresh flowers in a few small jars make the simple table setting look a bit more festive and special.
The key to this pretty table, though, is using a few pretty pieces that coordinate well and leave it at that. Just let it be simple and easy, which suits early summer, anyway.
It’s easy to overcomplicate hosting, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve had people over. In my experience, people rarely care about the decorating, dishes, and food being perfect. They just want to enjoy the time with you and your family, so don’t let perfectionism prevent that.
What are your thoughts on easing back into hosting? Or have you been doing it for a while? Any helpful tips to share about entertaining outside?