Essentials for Easy Entertaining

Place Setting

I’m super excited for the upcoming extended weekend, and I plan to have some friends over at some point. When we entertain, it’s usually impromptu. It’s just how we roll, and I like it that way. But I’ve learned that since I like to entertain this way, I need to keep a few entertaining essentials on hand. Oh, and I like to keep it casual and fun. Not surprising. Ha!

I like to have a few fun placements and cocktail napkins on hand. They serve as my casual yet fun jumping off point. I just picked up these paper palm leaf placemats from Weidner & Hasou & Co. in Houston. They add the perfect pop of color, they look great with my trusty white plates and white caterer’s napkins, and they add paper to the spot where you need it most- the drink spot.

cocktail napkins

Here are a few of my recent cocktail napkin purchases. When I’m using my standard brown linen placemats, I’ll add these fun cocktail napkins. What I really love is the acrylic cocktail napkin holders I recently picked up. Now I keep cocktail napkins out all the time. Before I would stash them away because they looked unkempt on the counter.


plastic cups

My friend brought me these plastic number cups when she came over for dinner. What a great hostess gift! Not even two weeks later, we were hosting a dinner, and I found myself scrambling for cocktail cups when I remembered I had these! No need to carve your initials in the styrofoam, just remember your number! You can throw them in the dishwasher to get more than one use out of them. You can also find these at Weidner & Hasou & Co. in Houston.

hand towels

I can never get my stuff together enough to iron my hand towels. Plus, by the end of the night, the hand towel is sopping wet! #aintnobodygottimeforthat These hand towels are absorbent and big! You can get your hands really dry with just one! P.S. Once the guests leave, I hide them back in my drawer. My boys would go through these towels in a day. Ha!

photos by: Traci Ling

How To Protect Your Suede Shoes Without Changing the Look

I recently had a situation where I ruined a new pair of suede shoes by spraying them with a suede protectant spray. The spray made my shoes almost two shades darker! AHHHHHHH!  I was devastated, but then I became determined to find a suede spray that would not change the color or texture of the suede! My friend Traci was a willing to participant with her new boots. Daring, I know, but she said she was going to spray them no matter what. So off we went, determined to find the best suede spray on the market. We ended up talking to a very knowledge shoe associate, Chris, at Nordstrom. He knew more about suede than I know about jeans -ha! He recommended Synovia Suede & Nubuck Protector spray and the results speak for themselves…

This was immediately after spraying the boot on the right. It’s still wet and you can barely tell a difference! We officially found the best Suede Spray EVER! Once dry, you can’t notice a difference at all!

Chris’ directions:

  1. Clean the suede with the Synovia Suede and Nubuck cleaner. Spot clean with the steel bristles of brush, but be careful because this will remove a little bit of the nap. If the shoes are new, there’s no need to clean them.
  2. Use the brush on the rubber hair side to lift the nap of the suede before spraying.
  3. Hold the shoe 8″ to 10″ away and spray everywhere. This is an aerosol spray so it will coat evenly, unlike the pump suede sprays.
  4. Let them dry.

A couple things to note: Spraying these boots used about 75% of the can. UGG spray is for utility suede, not for nice suede (I learned this the hard way). There are other more expensive sprays on the market, but Chris said this one works best.

And just in case you are wondering why on earth I am posting about suede when it’s about to be summer, the simple fact is that I have more suede shoes for the warmer seasons than I do for the cooler seasons! I wear suede shoes and accessories all the time in the summer! Check out my “Suede in the Summer?” post.

Boots- Christian Louboutin

Pictures by Traci Ling

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