Housewarming Party, free online invitations
You've just moved in, so the pressure is off. Still, a housewarming party is your time to bask in compliments and delightful oohs and aahs as your guests revel in your catch. Candles set the mood, and an eclectic and punchy party playlist invites conversation and encourages relaxation. Leave a guest book by the front door, and encourage everyone to leave you little bits of wisdom before they leave. Make sure you have plenty of spots for people to perch, lean and sit. Set out little bowls of delectable treats around the house, and to make guests truly feel at home, never run out of food, drinks or music. Your mother was right: never show up empty handed. And a little inspiration kicks it up a notch. Splurge on accessories for the kitchen or bath — or if there's room for outdoor entertaining, go for citronella candles, a decorative wall-hanging or plastic glasses and plates for lazy afternoons. If you're the one having their house warmed, a small gift to guests is always appreciated, especially at a housewarming, when people are likely to be bringing you a gift too. But let's be realistic. You've just moved in — you're exhausted and strapped for cash. So keep it simple. Just leave a basket of good chocolates by the front door and a note thanking your guests for coming. Your guests can help themselves as they leave. Priority #1: Breaking in the new home, whatever that means to you and your friends — dinner party, game night, dancing until dawn. Up to you. To keep the focus on your fabulous new place, ditch a party theme and spend your time and money on good food, beverages and party music. Priority #2: Not breaking your new home. If floors are new, ask people to take their shoes off. Just put down white carpeting? Stick with white wine instead of the stain-likely red. Create a designated smoking area outside where errant ashes won't burn down the place. Spending time with friends and family is the reason you've invited everyone to your housewarming party. So bite-size, room-temp food will keep you out of the kitchen and in the mix. Start with assorted olives, nuts and cheeses (one goat, one sheep and one or two cow's milk). For a heartier, but still easy, meal, put out platters of meaty skewers and sandwiches. For dessert, stick with cookies or make a decadent cheesecake. Your best bet is keeping your meal informal and casual; you can have a more formal sit-down dinner once you've had a chance to fully stock the pantry and figure out all of your new appliances and kitchen accessories.