Lifestyle

Holiday Essentials for Entertaining

 

Entertaining around the holiday season can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! In fact, these and tips and hacks will make you shine as the entertainer of the season 🌟 Don’t sweat the small stuff — in fact, find ways to simplify your next party. Here’s a pro-tip that will help: buy store bought, quality items while supporting your local restaurant or bakery, and outsource from them whenever you can. In fact, your guests will love that you’re enjoying yourself and visiting with them, rather than the opposite —  laboring in the kitchen and feeling stressed!

Follow these steps and your next holiday gathering will be not only festive and memorable, but FUN for everyone … including you. Remember, the party is a party because of you and the guests that gather to enjoy one another!

entertaining with ease. Cocktails that everyone loves

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Let’s be honest: good cocktails are a MUST. We like to squeeze all our fresh juices ahead of time, and store them in mason jars in the fridge. This way you have mixers on hand when party is in full swing! Other things for the bar: fresh garnishes! Prep herbs, berries on toothpicks, olives, etc. that may be needed for your recipe and store in ziploc bags in the fridge.

As I mentioned, supporting your local restaurant for appetizers or desserts is where you can save yourself some time and energy. Invest in good quality catering and it will be worth every penny! Things we’ve bought for parties in the past include thai lettuce wraps with peanut sauce, kobe beef sliders, and fondue ready to be reheated (pre-cut veggies and bread for an easy app). We’ve also picked up crostini with different toppings such as goat cheese and prosciutto or bruschetta, and mini cupcakes or pies for dessert.

Then, supplement the store bought items with some of your tried-and-true recipes to make it feel a little more personal. For instance, it’s a rare occasion that Derrick doesn’t make candied bacon (see recipe below) for every holiday gathering. Our kids love it, our guests love it — I mean, what’s not to love? Salty bacon with a sticky sweet, crunchy topping?!!?

Image: Barefoot Contessa

CARMELIZED BACON

1/2 CUP LIGHT BROWN SUGAR, lightly packed

1/2 CUP CHOPPED OR WHOLE PECANS

2 TEASPOONS OF KOSHER SALT

1 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER

1/8 TEASPOON GROUND CAYENNE PEPPER

2 TABLESPOONS OF MAPLE SYRUP

1/2 POUND OF THICK-SLICED APPLEWOOD-SMOKED BACON

 

Here is the recipe for this delicious and easy appetizer — it’s perfect for nibbling during cocktail hour!


Our list of entertaining essentials is below … these are our Clouz Houz favorites! ♥️ They keep us from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted during this busy time of year. There are also pretty things keep the holiday vibes festive and fun!

 

 

1

Hand Press Juicer

We bought our hand press juicer years ago. We leave it out on the counter at the bar for easy access and convenience when we need fresh juice for cocktails and cooking. It looks great there, and we highly recommend owning one. It makes everything taste better to have fresh juice! This would make a great gift for the mixologist in your life.
Hand Press Juicer
2

Champagne Coupes

Cute glassware makes for a better tasting cocktail! It's all about the experience, right?! In fact, drinking from these darling coupes would make any holiday concoction feel more festive. I love the mint green color -- these would actually work year round. And. how cute would they be for Easter? I found Estelle glasses online, and now I'm so excited to learn that they sell them through West Elm. All the colors are so pretty -- I hope to collect an assortment to have at our bar!
Mint Green Champagne Coupes
3

Brass Taper Holders

Candles make every party special. Derrick likes to joke with me that I'm going to burn the house down with all the candles I light! Personally, I prefer the real deal. Yes, the battery operated ones have come a long way, but there's something about natural candle light that gives a warm glow to the room. These brass holders would be beautiful in an entryway, down the center of your dining table, or anywhere you really want to add a little extra ambience.
Brass Taper Holders
4

Mirrored Tray

This tray checks all the boxes: good size for displaying glassware and accoutrements, pretty mirrored top for great reflection of candle light, versatile (would look pretty on a coffee table for styling). We purchased this tray for our bar this year and love it!
Mirrored Tray
5

Champagne Bucket

I fell in love with the Tina Frey line when I worked at Design Bar. I found it online and have been obsessed ever since! Her simple yet elegant designs are worth the splurge, trust me. The leather handles on this resin bucket are just so COOL. She now sells select items on Shopbop, so they will arrive fast. This bucket will be a staple in your entertaining arsenal.
Champagne Bucket
6

Bamboo Folding Chair

So ... there's nothing worse than not having enough seating for those last minute guests -- maybe your daughter brings home her boyfriend unexpectedly?! These chairs are a great value for the look, and they beat the "office looking" alternative of metal chairs with polyester cushions.
Bamboo Folding Chair
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What’s everyone doing this weekend? When Spring finally rolls around in Bend, we have the sudden urge to sit on the patio and have a little drink. Derrick is a fantastic mixologist and we are always on the hunt for new ways to whip up something tasty. If you are in the mood, here’s a tasty Bourbon Sour we found on Pinterest! Comes together in under 5 and will soon become your new favorite. Cheers to warmer weather and nights outside!

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Okay guys… here’s a look at some of my fits throughout the week… yep, it’s usually casual Mondays and Fridays for me 🙂 Bend is super chill, but I love dressing up and feeling good about myself and ready to tackle my to-do’s. Do you follow @shop.with.caroline? I absolutely adore her… talk about a boss babe killing it in her 50’s! Her mantra: Choose Happy! Choose You! Yes You Can! Get Up. Get Dressed. Let’s Do This!” has transformed me. 

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So if you are new here, welcome to our monthly edit! Every month we share what we are coveting and feeling inspired by over on our blog. Sometimes it is that “one special piece” that sparks our creativity! And we aren’t just talking home design… how we look makes us feel good too (cue more self care). It’s the little things - whether buying yourself a new pair of shoes or investing in a key piece for your home, our hope is these edits bring you some joy too! To SHOP these items, type “LINKS” in the comments below or shop our LTK (link in bio)!