Written by: Lauren

Today you are all in for a treat … We are “hosting” a new series on our blog (consider this the trial run) filled with tips and tricks for hosting in your home. We tend to think that there are two types of extremes. The person who hates to host and gets scared at even the thought and the person who loves to do it, invites people over all the time, and feels truly complete when guests are over. You (like us) are probably somewhere in the middle. We happen to love to host. This sometimes comes with a little bit of a nervous feeling but nothing that we can’t get over. When we coordinate an event for a client, we go about it in a slightly different way than when entertaining in our own homes. The content of these “Hosting at Home” blog posts is meant to inspire each of you to throw an impromptu BBQ, to pull out dishes you haven’t used in a while, and to find that random accessory that helps create your table for your next meal. None of this is sponsored … It’s from the heart and straight to you from our very own homes. Enjoy!

As you all know, I recently renovated and moved into a new house. A certain friend of mine had been asking to see the house since even before we purchased it, but had still not been able to make their way over. After telling her and her family that they did not need an invitation more times than I could count, I finally decided to make the invitation official. I asked another family of mutual friends to come over as well and turned it into a “party”. That is how this whole Healthy Mex meal plan got started, but really it was just an excuse to get together with good friends. With only a few days left to prepare I made sure to gather all of the ingredients I needed, asked each guest to bring something small to share, and got to cooking. As my guests arrived, I gave them a tour of my new home and treated them to an appetizer of chips, salsas, and homemade guacamole. Here’s a tip … Try to have a little of something for everybody (i.e. mild, medium, and hot varieties for the various taste buds in your group and even something for the kids to nosh on too). 

One of my guests brought all of the ingredients to make awesome “skinny margaritas”. Her recipe was so easy to make, refreshing, and will now be in the rotation for cocktails served in our home. Funny how I didn’t even mention that the theme was Mexican and she came up with margaritas all on her own, but if you are trying to stick to a strict theme, make sure to make that known to your guests. 

I decided to make easy yet healthy items for dinner that most people love. My menu consisted of: chicken fajitas, fish tacos, rice, beans, salad, and all the fixin’s. 

I knew I wanted to set up the dinner buffet style and that I wanted it to feel festive but this sort of organically evolved throughout my setting up process. Like I mentioned, it’s fun to pull out dishes you haven’t used in a while like these glass footed ones and use them in a whole new way. I love how my taco toppings looked when set up this way.

I also whipped up some quesadillas (a staple for kids). One of the moms commented on how she loves going to houses where they have similar aged kids as they understand how to include child friendly items in the menu.


Lastly, be creative! I like to pull items from around my house to make my set up look different each time. For example, I needed a place to display all of the ingredients for my tacos so I put them in this fun basket, and when I saw that cute cactus sitting in a window I knew I had to include it as well. 

When hosting in your home, do what feels most natural to you while trying to push yourself a little each time to think outside the box. Until next time … Happy hosting from Side by Side Design!

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