Entertaining Tips from our Team!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and hosting guests can be such a fun and gratifying experience, albeit stressful. So we all got together with some of our favorite entertaining tips, from centerpieces to recipes to music. Get inspired from some of the Gardenology team’s favorite hosting ideas, we hope it lightens the load!

THE DECOR

TJ (Visual Merchandiser/Buyer) :  For a table idea, I like using real flowers when I have a dinner and Fall has some beautiful colors. Deep burgundy, plum, rich gold and red tones. The magnolia leaves that are displayed on the table can be used during both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am a big fan of using gold as an accent color too.

image via Apartment 34

image via Apartment 34

Laurie (Sales Associate Newport Beach) :  I love the idea of using one of our garlands as a centerpiece…running it down the center of the table and then adding all the different white ceramic pots we have in the store right now, small and large.  I would probably fill the smaller pots with small, live Poinsettias and use fresh cut, white flowers in the taller vases (Hydrangeas, Roses, Mums, Snapdragons, and any other variety of white flower that is available). 

Cher (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  A great centerpiece is always ideal for a holiday gathering. For a multidimensional arrangement, I like to use a pumpkin in place of a vase and build from there. I love the softness of persimmons and baby’s breath. And it’s all about those little details! In the days before the madness of baking and cooking, I like to create place cards for a more personal touch.

images via A Cozy Kitchen

images via A Cozy Kitchen

THE FOOD

Cyndi (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  My favorite appetizer is always a giant cheese tray, I use a beautiful wood board that my aunt made for me years ago (always save for special occasion), I choose three different kinds of cheese, whatever looks good, put some sort of greenery on the tray for color, add a couple of different varieties of nuts and dried fruit and usually a chutney…Always a big hit!! 

Dani (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  Growing up Italian, I embraced carbs and cheese, among other ingredients. So naturally these staples need to be included in my own holiday entertaining. My favorite appetizer to serve this time of the year is a little spin on a classic Italian appetizer: mushroom, goat cheese and roasted red pepper crostini. It’s also a crowd pleaser for the vegetarians! (click image for full recipe)

{  Bonus reading tip! } Hop on over to Dani’s blog for a fun and witty look at California living here.

Image via Goldwire

Image via Goldwire

Lauren (Visual Merchandiser Newport Beach) :  I think a hot cocoa bar is really fun for entertaining. If it’s mostly adults you add some peppermint schnapps or chocolate liqueur to add a little zip or keep it PG for the children and leave out the alcohol.

image via Elli

image via Elli

THE AMBIENCE

Lala (Sales Associate Encinitas) : Before the wining and dining, I like to jam out to the Mariah Carey Christmas collection, while putting on makeup or cooking away before the guests arrive. Having a soundtrack for these moments allows you to create wonderful new memories and that’s really what the most festive time of the year is all about.

Jessica (Marketing) :  As the holidays approach, it reminds me of getting together with the family to watch old movies and wishing I could go back in time. I love to recreate the old-timey feel with a little Al Jolson music. It’s happy and melancholy at the same time yet soft enough to allow for conversation while everyone arrives.

And with that, we’re off to enjoy the start of the holiday season- jamming out to some tunes, whipping up some goodies and creating new memories with loved ones. Feel free to share some of your own holiday entertaining tips in the comments below!