Entertaining for a large group can be intimidating and expensive. I was recently asked to host a blogger lunch with an Italian theme. I wanted to stage my kitchen, dining room, and living room to match the theme. In addition, I needed to create an Italian themed menu that would be easy for 12 women to enjoy a light lunch while still being able to socialize, take photos, and share information on social media.
The host brand for this event was Viva®, makers of the Viva® Vantage® paper towels, recently named a 2015 Product of the Year. I was given the product in advance for a “7-Day Switch Up” to experience the stretchy-strength and great scrubbing power for myself. We all can get stuck in a rut with our home products, especially our paper towels. I enjoyed taking on the #7DaySwitchUp challenge to see how the Viva® Vantage® towels preformed. This also served as my inspiration to switch up other things in my cooking and entertaining routine.
Here’s how my “7-Day Switch Up” helped me come up with these…
Tips to Make Entertaining Easy, Frugal and Fun!
Set Up In Advance
If at all possible, take some time to set up in advance. I made my dining room off limits to my family so that the main table setting was ready to go in advance.
The Viva® Vantage® towels were perfect to gently clean and dry my glassware before the event. I only needed a few towels to serve as a drying pad. They have sponge-like absorbency. Frankly, I think they are better than my sponge.
Event Décor – Create a Theme
Having a theme can really help an event come to life. Since my assigned theme was Italian cooking, I came up with vignettes around the space using items like pasta, cooking utensils, fresh herbs, and decorative bottles.
Since Viva@ Vantage® towels were meant to be highlighted, they were included in the decorations around the house. Consider adding a highlighted element of your own like a family photo, special heirlooms, etc.
Get Creative to Save Money
Use items you already own or can borrow to help you save money. For example, I used a cook pot and strainers to serve as flower pots. I borrowed an antique cheese grater, wooden cooking utensils and a decorative fruit bowl. I used flowers from my garden and purchased a few fresh herbs to plant in my garden after the event. They added a lovely aroma to the room as well.
Another cost saving idea was using the Viva® Vantage® paper towels as napkins and bathroom towels. I dressed them up with twine and dried lavender.
Fun with Finger Food
Finger foods are the way to go for an event in which attendees need to walk around and mingle. I decided to go with a cheese platter, bruschetta, antipasto skewers and biscotti. Instead of traditional bruschetta, my “switch up” was an apple, brie and prosciutto version. It was a huge hit. Everyone wanted the recipe. Having the antipasto on skewers made it easier to eat too.
I shared a few great uses for the Viva® Vantage® towels with my fellow bloggers. We found that a damp towel under a cutting board keeps it from slipping. This worked great to cut the bread for our bruschetta. The stretchy strength of the towels made it easy to strain fruit and wash veggies too. The sponge-like absorbency made them perfect for soaking up extra oils and liquids from the antipasto ingredients.
Easy Clean Up
Of course easy clean up is key to wrap up any event. I am truly impressed by the cleaning versatility and stretchy strength of the Viva® Vantage® towels. They stand up to cleaning and scrubbing my sink and counters like no other paper towel I have tried.
Who knew that trying a new paper towel would inspire me to try so many new things. I encourage you to “switch up” your current paper towel to Viva® Vantage®! What clever entertaining, cleaning or kitchen switches can you come up with? I can’t wait to hear!
Take your own 7-Day Switch Up challenge with Viva® Vantage®. Get a $1.00 off coupon and learn about how you can enter for a chance to win $100 gift card.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Viva® Vantage®
You look like a fantastic party planner, thanks for the great tips! I love the lavender in the paper towels in the bathroom!
What a fun and creative table setting…I love it and the different heights and fall color theme. Great look and great job on the prep from Viva…
I’ve been using Viva paper towels for several years. They are the best.
Great tips! I am all about having fun and being frugal! Your tip about borrowing supplies is perfect! I am lucky to live next to so much family and it is so nice be able to all share with each other.
That’s why I shy away from entertaining, but these are really good tips!
Aww i love hosting parties! Loving your set up and the finger foods! x
What a great post! I love the set up on your table and everything.
I love the beautiful spread you have created. I have a lot of fun decorating for events and parties too. This looks like a great product, I will have to check it out.
Love the idea of a table scape instead of just a centerpiece. This came out very pretty! Great ideas.
Creating a theme always helps me when I’m entertaining/hosting a get together. Thanks for the Viva® Vantage coupon (there’s my go-to brand!) <3
You are very welcome. They have certainly become my go-to brand from now on.
Such a pretty tablescape. Great tips.
Viva does seem to be a notch above the rest. I love entertaining and I like the appetizers you have here. I love bruschetta, and most things on a skewer.
Right? You can never go wrong with practically anything on a stick. LOL!
I always use Viva for tough clean ups! Sometimes I accidentally wash my paper towels, it is a bad habit just to grab stuff off the counter top and throw it in. Most paper towels fall apart and get all over my clothing, viva comes out in once piece!! I can’t get over how durable they are 🙂
A friend of mine was just telling me something similar. She washes her Viva and uses them again. Amazing!
Love your table runner set up! I’m not a frugal person but still cute options!
These are such great tips. Sticking to a budget and staying frugal when you entertain is so important because costs can definitely get out of control quickly!
Yes. I am the queen of bargain hunting for clothes. I’m glad this type of thinking “paid” off to save money in this situation as well.
Easy setup and easy clean-up are my 2 main rules when I throw a party. Your food looks amazing and I love your centerpiece.
Thank you so much!
Those mums in kitchen containers are gorgeous. What a fabulous way to arrange them!