Guest Post, Inspirations

Holiday How-to’s: Party Resources

If we were to hire someone to cater our next holiday get together (or any other celebration throughout the year) we’d want the very talented Dixie Todd from Connecticut-based Party Resources.  Known far and wide as the creator of unique and memorable events filled with flawless style, Dixie has a passion for parties that she’s passed down to her lovely daughter, Kate, who pens the company’s blog and whom we’ve gotten to know over the years.  It is with great pleasure that we have Kate here as a guest today sharing her tips on how to entertain with festive flair.

Introducing Kate…

What fun to be a guest at one of my favorite blogs – The Buzz.  These ladies have such great style!  This time of year is so festive with twinkling lights, garlands galore, and time with family and friends.  But it is also hectic and so I wanted to pass along a few tips for stress-free entertaining.

Setting the Mood

The very best thing is to plan ahead and the key to a memorable event is in the details.  I always do the cooking myself but usually hire someone to help serve and clean up at the end of the evening.

First set the tone – you want even your first guest to feel like it is a party when they walk in to your home.  Make a fire and light a luscious candle.  My new favorite for the holidays is THIS ONE from Archipelago.

Joy of the Season

I always make a custom playlist for a party – so make a mix of holiday classics.  Some of my favorite holiday albums include

Michael Buble’s Christmas

Tony Bennett’s Christmas Album

Nat King Cole’s Christmas Song

Beautiful seasonal flowers – go ahead and arrange them yourself!  This is a holiday arrangement I did with flowers from a local market mixed with berries and fresh rosemary.

Winter Whites

Of course you need a fully stocked bar.  But also make a tray of signature cocktails and impress your guests!  I love the cran-tinis from our good friend celebrity caterer Peter Callahan. RECIPE 

Fun and Festive

Send each guest home with a favor and even better if you make it yourself!  I like making BOOZY OLIVES


Or fill mason jars with SPICED NUTS and finish them with a custom tag.

Double Yum!

Make menu cards for each place like this one.

Holiday Menu

Even an elegant dinner can be prepared in advance.  Who wants to be in the kitchen when you should be enjoying a glass of holiday cheer with your friends?  My favorite recipe for the winter months is BEEF BOURGUIGNON 

A Savory Stew

Another make ahead favorite?  Individual molten lava cakes.  You can make them ahead, freeze them and then pop them in the oven to cook when you serve the main course. RECIPE

Molten Goodnes

I always serve champagne with dessert.  Always.

A Bit of Bubbly

Happy holidays to all of you!

And cheers to you, Kate!  Thank you for your wonderfully festive post.  Your recipe for Beef Bourgignon is our absolute favorite as well and guess what we’re serving Christmas Eve?  Our champagne is chilled, our candles are lit and we’re ready for guests thanks to you!
Photos via Carolyn Roehm, Archipelago, Amazon, Peter Callahn, Bon Appetit, Smitten Kitchen, Tumblr, Food Network, Zoon Yummy and Grant Gibson Blog

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  • Reply Kate @ Party Resources December 19, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for having me! Happy holidays. xx

  • Reply Phyllis December 19, 2012 at 10:23 am


  • Reply designchic December 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    So hoping for an invitation from Kate – love her style and her dinner sounds fabulous!!

  • Reply Leslie December 19, 2012 at 11:46 am

    So many wonderful ideas here! Love the boozy olives 🙂 and the mason jars filled with nuts is always a hit. BEEF BOURGUIGNON is something I make a lot of in the winter.. especially around the holidays. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas!

  • Reply Lisa Fernandez December 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    What a great idea and wonderful post. Wish I had read it before my party. Hee Hee.

  • Reply Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita December 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    great tips! thanks for sharing!

  • Reply splendid market December 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Plenty of great ideas here, I love the giveaway gifts, what a nice touch to offer something homemade and delicious!

  • Reply theenchantedhome December 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Yum!! I am feeling very hungry right now. Candles, flowers, music..yep those are defintely right at the top of my list of what helps make a great party. I love setting up for a party and creating the feeling that you are many wondeful ideas here from a wonderful tastemaker! Thanks and Merry Christmas to all of you!

  • Reply pve December 20, 2012 at 3:08 am

    the best parties! party resources!
    one important thing is to make sure that one always watches candles burning….a dear friend just gave a dinner party and the tapered candles on the mantel caught fire, well the pine boughs did… was scary and a sad way to end…..smoke and damage. so votives or small candles in safe spots….!

  • Reply Teresa @ Splendid Sass December 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

    This is such a beautiful post full of wonderful ideas and delicious food. Happy to see you on one of my favorite blogs!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Thursday.

  • Reply Emma December 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Love this post Kate!

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