“How To Be A Chic Hostess” By Sharon Carpenter

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It’s fun to hit the streets for a night out but as the weather gets cooler, entertaining in the comfort of your own home seems even more tempting. Whether you’re throwing a killer cocktail party, an all-night chill session with your girls, or a sexy dinner for your hot date, here are my tips on how to be the perfect in-house host.

Host A Chic Cocktail Party:

1) Choose your guests with caution! Those e-vites should only go to people who will respect your home and each other. Don’t invite your old college roommate who still gets sloppy drunk or your best friend’s ex.

2) Move breakables and your MVP (most valuable property) into the bedroom and out of harm’s way. It’s not fun spending your entire night worrying about whose Moscato could end up all over your Macbook!

3) Greet your guests at the door. Giving each person some one-on-one attention from the get-go makes him or her feel welcome right away.

4) Select a playlist that reflects the tastes of your friends. Diverse crew? Create a range of stations on Pandora and hit shuffle.

5) Why worry about cooking an entire meal when fun finger food is the perfect fare? Think jerk shrimp, mini grilled-cheese sandwiches and red velvet cupcakes.

6) Impress your guests with a drinks menu offering 3 to 4 season-friendly cocktails that can be pre-made. Simple for you; chic to them!

7) If the energy begins to decline, bust out the Pictionary or suggest a game of ‘truth or dare’. See? Way more fun than eating out!

Host A Girls’ Night In:

1) Why not make a whole night of it with a pajama party? Bring out the sleeping bags and have the girls stay over.

2) Throw on Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream – the perfect background music for girl talk.

3) Order in or stock-up on groceries that you can cook together. Pizza’s always fun and easy. Offer a variety of toppings for friends to choose from. Wine, hot chocolate and ice cream are all essentials.

4) Make it a night of pampering. You ladies deserve it! Surprise each of your BFFs with goodie bags containing facial masks and pedicure kits. Then give your complexions and tootsies some good lovin’.

5) It’s chick flick time. Put on Love & Basketball or make it a Sex And the City marathon (we’ll never get tired of that show!).

6) Break out the photo albums and reminisce on the good ol’ days. High school crushes and bad hairstyles make for guaranteed laughs.

Host A Date Night Dinner:

1) Set the tone before your man arrives using sound and scent. If he’s a hip-hop lover, throw on the new Kendrick Lamar album. Light some scented candles – woody and fresh fragrances are male favorites and the lighting will set the mood.

2) Dress the part. You may be in the comfort of your own crib, but you’re still on a date so wear an outfit you know your man will appreciate.

3) Turn of your cell phones…both of you! No Twitter or texts. This is bonding time for you and your honey.

4) Have a meal ready for your man – try a dish you’ve never made before to make him feel special. There are tons of simple but delicious recipes to guide you online. Use ingredients that are aphrodisiacs – basil, garlic, oysters, bananas, figs. Then satisfy his sweet tooth with chocolate fondue for two.

5) Remind your man how cool you are by challenging him to play his favorite video game. You’ll ignite his competitive spirit and get him hot and bothered – exactly how you like him.

6) This is his night so be prepared to watch a guy flick. No complaining if he opts for Scarface for the fiftieth time. Just break out the popcorn and a blanket and snuggle up with him in front on of the big screen.

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