Want to host your besties without spending all day in the kitchen? With a few easy steps a ladies lunch is a perfect weekday get-together.
Setting a pretty table helps to set the tone for your time together and makes your guests feel special. Here are some easy tips to pulling this off with ease.
TIP #1: Mix Old and New
I wanted to infuse a bit of vintage by starting with my grandmother's china I inherited when I got married. The Noritake Messina pattern is a bit too "florally" for my taste, but it's so special to me. It has traveled the globe from Australia, to Spain, to China, and Korea, etc. as we moved around the world to follow hubby's career with General Motors. We lost a few dishes along the way from breakage, but luckily I was able to replace them through Replacements Ltd. If you haven't heard of them, they are a fantastic online resource for vintage and discontinued patterns that are hard to find.
I modernized my grandmother's very traditional pattern by adding fun and colorful lusterware salad plates that I've collected over the years and these painted Antelope Chargers.
TIP #2: Use Jewelry Instead of Traditional Napkin Rings
I finished off the settings with jewelry from Croghan's Jewel Box. My guests were delighted to see the Gold Bug Collection bracelets used as napkin rings-- so fun! Rhett Outten is a third generation owner of this very special place, and they carry the most beautiful treasures inside. If you are visiting Charleston, their store on King Street is a must see!
So many of our meals these days are with paper napkins, and for this fun event I wanted to use nice monogrammed linens. Lettermade makes the most beautiful linens, and the aubergine and navy threads we chose for the dinner napkins were the perfect complement to our fall themed table.
TIP #3: Make an Easy Magnolia Centerpiece
I created an easy and inexpensive arrangement for the center of the table by using Magnolia branches from our neighborhood trees. We added fresh figs, kumquats, purple alstroemeria and coral ranunculas for our fall themed table.
To assemble, gather large clusters of magnolia leaves, small metal bowls, and small vases to hold fresh fruit and small bunches of flowers. Position the magnolia clusters so that the green leafy side faces up on your table. Place the fruit bowls and flowers in a random pattern between the magnolia leaves on your table. Voila!
Make Those Leaves Shine!
A can of Leaf Spray will definitely come in handy if you are using natural foliage. It really made our magnolia leaves bright and shiny for our centerpiece.
TIP #4: Keep the Food Simple
Let's talk about the food as this is something that can stress anyone out even on a good day! I like to keep my events simple, and I'm a huge fan of "semi-homemade" goodies. I wanted to keep the menu items light for lunch, but filling enough that guests wouldn't go away hungry.
Chicken & Waffles
Tomato & Basil Bites
Easy Chicken & Waffles
Chicken & Waffles sounds time consuming, but it was so easy to prepare! The kids and I made Belgian waffles for dinner the night before with bacon, and I made an extra batch for lunch the next day. I picked up chicken tenders and sliced Provolone cheese from the Publix deli and assembled open faced sandwiches with a honey mustard drizzle. This was a true crowd pleaser.
Tomato & Basil Bites
The kids helped me cut out the center of white sandwich bread slices the night before by using a round glass. We stored those in a ziplock bag until we assembled our tomato sandwiches the next day. A dollop of mayonnaise, a sliced Roma tomato, and a fresh sprig of basil is all these little beauties need. Easy to pick up, and easy to eat.
I rounded out the menu with a fresh salad we tossed a few minutes before the guests arrived, and added yummy sweets from the Publix bakery. The ease of this menu allowed me to focus on my guests instead of spending time sweating in the kitchen.
Looking for more inspiring tablescape ideas? Check out these posts:
TIP #5: Send Guests Home with a Treat
I sent each of the ladies out the door with a little gift bag from my friends at Moon & Lola. Everyone loves to receive a cute pair of earrings on a random Thursday, right?!
So, go ahead! Host your friends for lunch during the week. With a few easy make ahead items even busy Moms like me can pull this off!
This post is in partnership with Replacements Ltd and Jayes Studio. The opinions are 100% my own.