Our NYE was pretty low key and relaxing this year. We had food, fun and family and it was perfect (although we would have liked for more fam to be around). We still set up everything like we were having a big party – it makes things more fun to do that! I have been fortunate enough to have learned from the best hostesses – my mom, my aunts and my cousins. There are two major parts of having a party – the setup and layout of the party and the food.

When thinking about the setup of having a party think about these things:

1. Where do you want people to be? Do you want everyone crowded in the kitchen getting both food and drinks? Do you want people spread throughout the house?

2. What are people going to eat on or with? Do you need little plates, forks, spoons, toothpicks?

3. What drinks are you serving? Are you serving beer and wine that need to be in coolers or do you have a full bar? What type of glasses will people need to use with your drinks?

4. How do you want the food to be displayed? Do you want one dish featured more than others? Do things need to be hot or cold? Are you going to have to refill any of the dishes?

This is how we set up our NYE party:

The bar –

the ice bucket was restocked regularly
the beer was in the fridge
the glasses were set out
limes were cut ahead of time

Festive and fun napkins!

Appetizer plates that went with color scheme and were not disposable. If you are having a lot of people it is easier to use disposable plates but with a smaller group it’s nice to use real plates – plus, it’s better for the environment!  Toothpicks or olive picks are used as utensils.

Using objects under your table cloth helps add dimension to your table. In this case we used an over turned clementine box under the black table cloth. The chip basket leaned on the box. Fun napkins should always line chip baskets to add color and prevent chips from coming out of the basket.

For the table, make sure you have it all set when your guests arrive. A tablecloth and a few candles are easy ways to dress up the table without any work.

Having a glass on the table for guests to have water with dinner is always nice.

Watch for what we ate…coming up!