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!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Viva® Vantage®