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New York, New York
I enjoy simple things: solitude, cheap sheet cake, and sunlight. I also believe that white is, in fact, a color. Bring me fresh flowers and we can be friends.

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February 23, 2012

How To: Throw a Simple Dinner Party

There are so many amazing and fun restaurants in the city that it is easy to try a new place every time you want to catch up with friends (I have an endless list of restaurants I want to try growing on my phone by the minute).  Unfortunately, going out to dinner is never cheap, especially when you (and your friends) have a liking to spicy cucumber gin cocktails.  Sometimes it's also nice to be able to gather around the dining table, sit Indian style on the couch, eat without any regard for manners, and not worry about getting rushed out.


It is surprisingly easy to throw together a simple dinner party for your friends, and it never fails to be a good time.

Here are my must haves:

Paperless Post is so fun and free. It allows you to really set a date - and somehow, it makes your guests more excited for your get together!

Fresh Flowers and Candles:
Fresh flowers on a table are really a game changer.  They add such a pretty touch but also make people feel like they are really at a dinner party, not just sitting around your apartment like any other day.  Candles also add to the mood and light scents when guests first walk into your home are comforting, so your guests will immediately relax.

Pandora is your best friend. I have been obsessed with the Van Morrison Pandora station ever since my friend made it (at her own summertime dinner party) last summer. Make sure the volume is loud enough that everyone can catch their favorite tunes, but low enough that your guests don't have to scream to hear each other.

Abundant Alcohol:
Ask your friends to each bring a bottle of wine. If you have friends like mine, you will end up with more than enough extra large bottles. Have a variety of reds and whites so that everyone can enjoy their favorite kind.

Cheese Plate:
Cheese plates are so easy to prepare (because there is no preparing) and everyone loves the luxury of trying different types of cheeses. I love my slate cheese plate from crate and barrel because I can label cheeses with chalk!

I can't take the credit for this one. My friend Caitie is the pizza master, and has kind of brought about this phenomenon of homemade gourmet pizzas for dinner. Pizza is a crowd pleaser and it is so quick and easy to make that you don't have to prep anything for your dinner party (and you can get dough at Trader Joe's for 99 cents!)  Last night, I didn't even have a clue what I was going to make. I just asked everyone what they felt like and we were able to make two great pizzas that satisfied everyone's tastes with what was in the fridge.

Always have something for the friend who is watching what she's eating. A fresh salad is a great compliment to any meal and it's good to have options to keep everyone happy.