November 23, 2017

15 Minute Party Planning Ideas


Wonderful quick party planning tips

There’s something about gathering with friends that I just adore.

Whether it’s friends that you’ve known for decades, who get you and love you regardless of the bedlam your life entails, or whether it’s new friends sharing their love of DIY and all things crafting over coffee and punch, women are meant to be in community together.

We are meant to share our stories and our history, to celebrate new projects, creativity and to just have fun together.

While we know in our hearts that life is meant to be shared, there are so many things that stand in our way of making that happen. Often, our lack of hospitality revolves around busy schedules, fear of opening our home because the decors not quite ready or the house isn’t clean enough, or even something as simple as stress over creating a menu.

We over-complicate something that is meant to be easy.

Ideas for Gathering with friends

We forget that if our focus is truly on others by forging community and authentic friendship,

It's about others

than it’s ok to invite people into your “it will never be perfect” home, complete with missing light switches and walls where the paint still hasn’t been finished.

Hospitality isn't about perfection

They will not care, and if they do, invite some new friends. 🙂

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had so much fun opening our home to friends, old and new, and what I realized is that hospitality is about putting aside the worries, saying “Yes” to that voice in your head that says “You know you want too,” and offering an invitation.

Easy 15 Minute Party Planning ideas with adorable mason jar party line

Approached by Aladdin to feature their new Aladdin Mason Entertaining Collection, they gave me the challenge of spending no more than 15 minute prepping and planning.

Even though they assured me it was doable, I had my suspicions, but it was going to be an outdoor “Welcome Spring” party and I knew that anything hosted on our porch that took 17 years to build would be a hit.   Crazy weather hit once again in NC’s 2014 Icemagedan, so my easy outdoor entertaining wish needed to be moved indoors.

The 15 minute challenge became a bit more daunting, but with the gorgeous beauty of Aladdin’s mix and match mason collection, it was simple to create beauty and this spontaneous tablescape.

Simple Spring Easter Cupcakes

One thing I realized though, the more engaged I became in the process, the more convinced I was that this was a wonderful challenge for everyone. 15 Minute Hospitality:  put aside this past notion of what we view entertaining to be or how the magazines portray it and focus on the important stuff – the inviting, the engaging, the community and the sharing of life together.

Yes, it’s all possible and I’m excited to share a 15 Minute Party Planning Series with you during the month of April.


Inspired by my Aladdin party, I’ve realized that over the years, I’ve created quite the arsenal of quick, easy and fun hospitality ideas that I’ve never shared with you, so I’m going to be highlighting food, cleaning, decor and practical party planning ideas.

If this is your passion, feel free to email me some of your ideas. I’d love to feature them.

Entertaining made easy

The Aladdin team hopes that they will inspire you to stress less and get together more: more impromptu patio parties, more at-home happy hours, more game nights and BBQs.

Easy Summer Entertaining Ideas

I couldn’t agree more!

Easy party planning ideas beverages

Now, I’m just praying the typical beautiful NC weather to finally break through, so I can enjoy hosting some simple gatherings outside on our homestead.

Isn’t this just gorgeous?

 Simple Summer Entertaining Ideas

Simple, elegant and its ambiance just calls us to come sit and relax for awhile.

There’s nothing better than that.

Entertaining with friends made so easyWon’t you join me?

What are some of your most memorable parties?

Do you have any tips or ideas you’d like to share with my readers? I’d love to hear them.

Outdoor entertaining with friends

We tried to make outdoor entertaining occur, but it was brisk. 🙂

dividerThank you to Aladdin for sponsoring this post and giving me such a wonderful excuse to gather. Check out their new Mason Jar Collection. It’s so versatile and fun, and since it’s now offered at Walmart, you know it’s wonderfully affordable.  The fact that this line is heavy duty BPA free plastic and not glass is a game changer for when I host large groups, especially with children.


  1. Beautiful collection – so glad there’s a Wal-mart right up the road!


    Jen Reply:

    My favorite is the large drink dispenser because it’s so much lighter than my large glass ones. It’s perfect for kids.


  2. Why haven’t I used wrapping paper as a runner? So many patterns to choose from & no worries for cleaning either. Looks great with layered burlap ribbon. I do lots of 15 minute parties – most often on our open-door Fridays when the menu is fixed on homemade pizza. I can walk in from work at 5 not having started a thing. I throw dough ingredients together based on # of people we’ve heard from. Guests get a kick out of pitching in to chop veggies, roll out dough & top the pies. I’ve reeealllyyy lowered my standard of expectation on a clean house for company. I might do a speedy pick-up, but no one cares about a well-swept floor or cob webs (or a few piles of stuff here & there). Looking forward to reading more in the series! I like it!


    Jen Reply:

    Thanks so much, Donna!! You are my kind of hostess. I know we would enjoy our 15 Minute PArties well together. 🙂


  3. Sorry about the ice storm–but you really know how to make lemonade out of lemons!


  4. My favorite takeaway: “… it’s ok to invite people into your “it will never be perfect” home, complete with missing light switches and walls where the paint still hasn’t been finished.” My mom and Dad always had a better Homes & Gardens cleanliness and feel. Homeschooling give kids, my house was never clean. … even moments after we cleaned. I regret not inviting then over more! Dad passed away this past January. Mom is now completely blind and deeply into dementia. We can’t turn back the hands of time! People who want to share time and love with us don’t expect perfect. Having a clean house is great, but chilly and friends knowing it’s okay to”drop in,” PRICELESS!

    LEARNING to enjoy “just as I am,”



    Jen Reply:

    ABsolutely!! There’s freedom in Just as I am. 🙂


  5. Sorry for those mobile phone auto correct typos. I’m glad you were able to decipher. I absolutely need an edit button. Lol



  1. […] accent pieces and candle sticks to match my color theme and then implement one of my best 15-minute party planning tip. Did you notice my colorful “table runner?” It’s wrapping paper. It sure is! No one would […]

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