How to Green Up Your Entertaining

Wine Charms to ReUse Go Gingham

Throw fabulous dinner parties without throwing anything away with these 6 tips for greening up your entertaining. They’re easy to implement and the result will leave you ready to entertain – and then entertain again. Everything is reusable so get out your social schedule and start planning when you’ll have guests over. You can save the environment in style – and save money, too.

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Easy Entertaining with a Dinner Group

Easy Entertaining with Go Gingham

Here’s what I love about being in a dinner group – it’s easy entertaining. It’s not elaborate. This is the key to stress free entertaining – keeping it simple.

Peppers for appetizer Go Gingham

When you have to cook everything – appetizers, entree, sides, and dessert – it’s a lot and for some people is too much. They skip entertaining all together.

Appetizers at Dinner Group

But there is another way to see your friends, slow down, and enjoy a great meal.

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Sustainable Holidays

Sustainable Holidays Go Gingham

Did you know that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the amount of trash we generate goes up by 25%? That’s a lot of stuff getting thrown out! From decorating our homes to gift giving and entertaining, we want to be festive but we don’t want to waste. Here are three easy methods to reduce the amount of trash getting generated – and saving money, too.

Sustainable holidays are good for the environment but they’re also good for the budget, too. When we slow down and think about our spending – ‘thoughtful spending’ I like to call it – and what we’re bringing into homes, we usually waste less. Do what I do and ask these questions: Do I really need it? Do I have something similar at home? Could I borrow an item rather than buying it myself? How will it get recycled?

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Home Organization Project 25

Flag Day Tablecloth
This tablecloth works for all of the patriotic holidays – and goes well with gingham.

After the blow-out yard sale we had last week, I needed an easy project for this week’s home organization project. The sale went well – in case you were wondering – not that we made loads of money – but we got rid of almost everything. Almost is the key word because Brad conveniently priced several of his items way too high, ‘forgot’ to put items out for several hours, and then when they didn’t sell, insisted on bringing them back inside. Does that sound sneaky to you? It does to me!

This week I sorted all of our table linens – cloth napkins and tablecloths. Tablecloths are my way of decorating for the different seasons and I’ve sewed many over the years. The reason I love decorating with tablecloths is that you buy them once – or sew them once – and you have them forever. When they only get trotted out once-a-year, they always look new! (How to sew your own patriotic tablecloth is here.)

Go Gingham How to Make Cloth Napkins

So, I sorted through all of the tablecloths and hung them up. That’s my big news – tablecloths are hanging in a closet and that means no ironing when I go to put them out. Because we cleared out so many coats and jackets (remember Home Organization Project #4 – coats and jackets?) we had space in our office closet to hang them. Since we live in a 100-year-old house, closet space is practically unheard of and we have to get creative with our lack of space. (Tips on having “Coat Closet Woes” can be found here.)

Home Organization Project Week #25

  1. Weekly. This week’s project: cloth napkins and tablecloths
  2. Small. This was an easy week. I do have a stack of cloth napkins that need mending. They’re down in the sewing area – which has yet to be tackled this year. I do have a mending stack and mend as many items as possible. (My pillow case mending project can be found here.)
  3. Clear and clean. After taking everything out of the drawer with cloth napkins and place mats, I did need to vacuum. Because I didn’t feel like lugging out the broken vacuum, I didn’t. My kids keep handing vacuum cleaner parts that have fallen off while they’re vacuuming and doing their chores. We should talk more about vacuums sometime. We’ve yet to own one that doesn’t cost a huge amount and then proceed to not work well and then fall apart – usually in that order.
  4. Get set. I rounded up all of my suit clip hangers from redoing my closet (find the details of sorting out my entire closet by checking here) and used those to hang all of the tablecloths. Love it!
  5. Pack it out. I’m donating all 7 of our little kid, plastic place mats – except one. The presidents of the United States is staying. We like to whip that out after dinner (when the teens don’t leave the table in 2.7 minutes flat) and see who can name all the presidents or at least name the 32nd one (Franklin D. Roosevelt) or perhaps the 11th (James K. Polk).
  6. Stop buying. Aside from sewing the cloth napkins for our kitchen – because we eliminated buying paper products including napkins and went to cloth instead – I haven’t bought any new items. I would like to sew a sweet little tablecloth for Easter but I never remember to do it until maybe Good Friday. Next year…
  7. Less is more. Less is more – yes, truly, this project has kept me from buying new stuff and from buying second-hand stuff but…I do have my eyes peeled for cute fabric for my new-to-me vintage travel trailer! We kept the flooring scraps from our bathroom re-do (find all of the bathroom re-do sources here) and they will look adorable in the ‘scamper!’ First, I have to get a title issued for it and am working on that.

Go Gingham: Cloth napkins

I hope your clean out projects are going well. Next week marks 6-months of this year-long crazy, hair-brained idea of mine to organize and/or clear out our house. After 19-years in our home, we needed it!

How are your projects coming along? What area did you clean out this week?

Go Gingham related links:

A dining room table table-cloth for Flag Day – or another summer holiday
Thanksgiving table-cloth made for our dining room table
Matching napkins for the table-cloth – made from an old skirt
Want to learn to sew? Start here with easy cloth napkins
Homemade Halloween decorations – sewing tablecloths for Halloween transforms a room quickly

As part of our New Year’s resolution, we’re cleaning out a different area of our house every week this year. Find all of the “weekly home organization projects” – or click the image below.
Home Organization in 52 weeks from Go Gingham

Summer Time Coffee Break

This post is sponsored by International Delight Iced Coffee.

While I like to make my own drinks when entertaining, when I’m running short on time, convenience matters. This International Delight Iced Coffee is just right for summer especially when afternoon guests are arriving on short notice.

Served with plenty of ice cubes, the International Delight Iced Coffee drinks are super refreshing and has me relaxing with friends rather than waiting for homemade hot coffee to brew and then chill.

My idea of summer entertaining involves festive glasses and fresh flowers from the garden – and the ability to be spontaneous. I love how these glasses look with their woven holders bursting with ice cubes! Served on a silver platter – and gingham napkins, of course – who wouldn’t feel welcomed at your home?

When else does the “International Delight Iced Coffee” come in handy for summer?

  • I like them when we’re road tripping. This container, which has a screw-top lid, can fit in a little cooler and power you down the road.
  • Need an afternoon iced coffee boost while camping or at a picnic? So often, the single serve coffee drinks aren’t quite enough. This half-gallon is just right for sharing.
  • For a quick dessert after a dinner party, a small cup of ice cream with a splash of the International Delight Iced Coffee (vanilla flavor is my favorite) on top is just right. It gives ice cream a flavor boost.
  • What would be wrong with a little milk shake of Iced Coffee and ice cream? Probably nothing!

And, you can recycle the cardboard container when you’re done.

Whether you’re entertaining at home or hosting a picnic at the park, International Delight Iced Coffee drinks are the ticket for hot summer days. Ice, pretty glasses, and gingham napkins – cheers!

Want to win a reusable tumbler for your iced coffee drinks? Check out the International Delight Iced Coffee contest on Facebook! You can enter to win one – and enjoy a summer time coffee break yourself.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine. var ts=document.getElementById(‘ti-pixel-tracker’); var ti=document.createElement(“img”);”none”; ti.src=”” + String.fromCharCode(38) + “i=zVPiC” + String.fromCharCode(38) + “s=” + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer); ts.parentNode.replaceChild(ti,ts); new TAP.CogFrame(‘/v1/cogs/85ff8330-ea74-11e3-83dc-22000af93a2d/comments’).drop({“program_id”:”85fc3234-ea74-11e3-83dc-22000af93a2d”,”post_id”:”11ae8cbe-f0ce-11e3-842e-22000afd2dc7″,”host”:””,”apiHost”:””,”sort_order”:”desc”,”limit”:”20″,”offset”:”0″,”sort_by”:”created_at”,”protocol”:”https://”});

How to Pack for a Picnic Dinner

Picnic dinners from Go Gingham

Ah, summer – I’m so glad you’re here! Nothing says summer fun like an outdoor concert in the park with a picnic dinner and when summer arrives, I like to be ready for simple dining outside. Having a picnic routine is helpful – it takes the guess work out of organizing a meal on the go and makes dining away from home easy. Here are my tips for packing a picnic dinner and embracing dining outdoors.

Picnic dinners from Go Gingham
Having wine at a picnic? Don’t spill!

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