Throwing Together a Holiday Soiree – in a Pinch, on a Dime!

Is it me or is this holiday season particularly chaotic?!  There seems to be not enough time for anything these days and yet… I still need a good party to celebrate the holidays!

This season I’ve picked up some fabulous tips from some seasoned party planners, Debi Lilly and Jane Buckingham, to pull together a Holiday Soiree for the books — in a pinch and on a dime!  I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the results!

Debi Lilly had recently introduced me to her line of new affordable products and decorations for Safeway and I went GaGa over them!  The nearest Safeway is a bit of a trek for me, but no more than a trip to Stew Leonard’s is and we do that trip all the time!  Totally worth it if you’ve got grocery shopping still to do after all it’s a one stop shop.  I know what you’re thinking… don’t grocery store decorations usually classify as kitchy?  Well when Debi Lilly stamps her name to it, you know you’re in for a quality, stylish product.  I mean really, finding mercury glass in your grocery store?  Amazing!

First things first, use what you’re already got! Look at all the decorations you already have and see if you can recreate or take a twist on things!  Although my only set of cloth dinner napkins have seen better days and already have made their appearance, maybe one too many times at my parties, I whipped out my new cordless Panasonic 360° Freestyle Iron and lickity split I was ironing out all the creases and wrinkles and using them as decorative accents under my dish display.

Revamp your traditional glassware by customizing each glass with debi lilly design™ Double Faced Satin Ribbon in Taupe.   Taking that cue, I filled my glass bowls with unused ornaments and tied a ribbon around it just like the photo.

Finding ready to heat food items saves loads of time and are amazingly delicious too!  We got a chance to sample their baby maryland crab cakes , and scrumptiously addicting bumbleberry tarts.

With a few easy to make changes, they don’t have to look like something straight out of a freezer box.  Don’t just defrost and put out.  Debi Lilly makes presentation the focus and just elegantly displaying them on a plate with some garnish really makes it look like a world class dish.

Running around like a maniac with not enough time to cook.  The fabulous people at Panasonic and Jane Buckinghan showed some great dishes that are real crowd pleases to make in something as simple as their Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker!  I know you can’t imagine much more than rice being made, but we made …. You can set aside, and push the button at just the right time, or even pre-set the timer up to 24 hours in advance for a perfectly cooked dish!  Time schedule needs to be more flexible?  They’ve got you covered with a stay warm feature that doesn’t dry out your meal!

If you’re looking to redo your kitchen and plan on doing lots of entertaining, I’d recommend checking out the new Samsung Dual Oven Range.  Operating as a single cavity convection range or a double oven with independent temperature control when needed, with 5 burners and a warming compartment, you have the flexibility to create and entire holiday menu or just a small meal without wasting electricity.

A final spin around the room with my cordless Panasonic 360 Freestyle Iron, I iron out wrinkles in my curtains and table cloths on the fly.  It even let me vertically steam cloth too!  Great for steaming out my holiday dress in a pinch too.  Everything was picture perfect!

For some great inspiration, follow Debi Lilly on Pinterest, my new obsession.  Want to follow me too? You’ll see me pinning loads on my next project for the new year — finishing my basement and creating my dream laundry room… I know, how domesticated of me…  To shop Debi Lilly’s new collection for safeway and check out more tips for the holidays, visit at:

For all those last minute jams you might get into before the party, check out Jane Buckingham’s new book, The Modern Girls Guide to Sticky Situations.