Happy Hour: The Reluctant Hostess

I wish I was the person who loved having people over and hosting events.  I’m not.  I don’t.  I would rather invite friends to a restaurant and pick up the check than plan, cook, and bake for gatherings.  But my husband likes to host, so we are hosting a baby shower this Sunday and that means cocktails.

The key to hosting a cocktail party where you don’t spend all of your time behind the bar is to put out drinks people can serve themselves.  Canned cocktails in a metal bin are fine, but mixing up a big batch to fill a dispenser or punch bowl is better.

And my favorite batch cocktail, because it’s the easiest, most visually stunning, and tastiest is Sangria.

For this weekends party, I am making two kinds of Sangria: Classic and Rose.  The Classic comes from Jose Andres’ recipe, and the rose comes from Barley and Sage.

The thing that’s great about Sangria is that it looks fancy and pretty, but it’s really easy.  Just pour in the booze, wash and cut fruit, and let sit for a day.  We’ll mix the booze together tonight, add the fruit tomorrow night, and serve on Sunday.

The beverage dispenser I use has a spigot, so to get fruit in people’s drinks, I add a slotted spoon and a spoon rest.  Guests can just lift the lid and scoop out as much or as little as they want.  Keep ice nearby for those who might like to add it.  (It’s sacrilege to some, I know, but it’s hot outside.)

And that’s all she wrote.  You make drinks once (maybe fill a plastic pitcher with batch two and keep it in the fridge if you’re having lots of people), and you’re all done.

I am sad to report that there was not much in the way of good news on the maternity clothing front.  I’m so excited to be headed back to misses sizes in a few months, I could cry.  (I wish that were an exaggeration.)  But Seraphine had great dresses.  I bought a half dozen during my maternity time, and they’re all great.

This sage floral dress is perfect for a relaxed party.  It’s also good for postpartum Moms who are nursing.  This striped shirt dress was also a favorite.  And I will probably wear this red wrap dress for quite some time postpartum.

The Seraphine outlet section was also a source of many fabulous frocks.  And the best part was, once I learned my size (Seraphine runs a 1/2 size small), I could buy the pieces on Poshmark and Thredup.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}



  1. Sarah says:

    I also don’t like having people to our house. I will meet you for coffee, lunch, dinner, a walk, whatever. Just please don’t ask to come over.

    August 12, 2022/Reply
  2. Anna says:

    Oh man, that Seraphine dress did NOT work for me. Sadly a lot of their stuff didn’t fit my body shape/style, but they were definitely closer to a lot of the other maternity stuff out there.

    August 14, 2022/Reply
  3. Jenn S. says:

    While I like the IDEA of hosting and providing hospitality, I find that I am often exhausted and frustrated by the reality. Most often, the frustration is due to what can best be described by a misalignment of values/expectations/etiquette; my husband and I have a friend who chronically shows up early – so if we set the ‘start’ time of whatever occasion at 6pm, he’s often there by 4pm. I find this infuriating – we set a time for a reason, and planned our day and prep activities in line with that plan. I’m not ready to entertain while I’m vacuuming or giving the bathrooms another pre-company once over, damn it, and I’d like twenty minutes to myself to breathe and reset between prep and needing to be, “on.”

    Simultaneously, we have another who is chronically late – and then is inclined to stay well past when things should naturally conclude.


    August 14, 2022/Reply