RSVP: The Forgotten Common Courtesy

RSVP comes from the French phrase, “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which means “please reply.” When it comes to event planning, the host would like the guests to reply and tell them whether or not they will attend.

In this day and age, with the exception of weddings, most people don’t see the value of a timely reply. Not only does it help the host prepare the party space and amount of food, replying is really common courtesy.

Other times, people reply with a “yes” and do not write the event onto a calendar. At the very last moment, there happens to be a scheduling conflict, and someone loses out. I completely understand since I too have a busy schedule, and I also fall prey to wanting to please everyone by saying “yes” to all the social events I am invited to. In reality, we have to say “no” to something! Please don’t say you’ll go out of guilt, when you know you really cannot. This will do more harm than good.

Here are a few tips that have helped me in recent years as far as keeping track of events and also what to do when you cannot attend, but are still feeling guilty.

1. Write events on more than one calendar. For me, this means placing on my mobile phone calendar and then also syncing it with my email calendar. For really important events, I also set two alerts, with one being a day or two on advance.

2. Reply by the deadline, not when you know for sure. If by the deadline you do not know, the answer is “no”.

3. Don’t reply with a “yes” to be nice. Reply because you actually plan to (and want to) go.

4. Don’t feel badly about what you cannot afford. Weddings, for instance can cost a lot to attend with hotels, flights, attire, and a gift. If this is out of budget, be honest and express your regrets. Save yourself hundreds or even thousands by staying home– but splurge a little on a very nice gift and a heartfelt card. I would rather spend $200 I can afford on a nice gift, than $1500 I cannot afford and will regret later!

5. Communicate. Maybe you could go before and things have changed. Even if this means ten minutes before the event, let the host know!

6. Ask if it is okay to bring additional guests. This one may be obvious to some, but let me add this: my home is my private and personal space. Uninvited guests shouldn’t be there by surprise. I would like to know in advance so I can decide if it is appropriate for additional people to be at my home (this really applies to any event, however).

7. Be on time, or warn the host you will be late.

I hope these tips can help you whether you’re in the position of being the guest or the host. You would be surprised and how positively a little courtesy can effect your relationships– personal, or business.

Xoxo,
Fifi

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10 Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party

Here are my top 10 tips for hosting a dinner party. The things on this list have helped me over the years and I hope they can help you too! These things can be stressful, but they don’t have to be.

 1. Sleep. The night before your event you will need plenty of rest. It will be tempting to stay up late working on tasks, but don’t do it! Go to bed early so you can wake up early and refreshed! What I do is set a bed time alarm and I stick to it. It is hard enough falling asleep with so much on my mind. No need to stay up even later!
2. Hydrate. We always need water, but try harder to remember as you’re running to and fro with your event. Headaches are often the cause of headaches, and this would really get in the way of your productivity– and make you cranky.

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 3. Cleaning supplies. I think we know we need to clean, but just do a quick inventory and make sure you have everything you need. Trash bags, carpet cleaner, etc. These are items that when you are all out at a party, it can become an emergency.
 4. Empty dishwasher. If you have dishwasher, make sure it is completely empty. You can slowly load the dishwasher as the dishes stack up at the party. Start the dishwasher as soon as the last guest leaves!
 5. Prep. Make as much as you can the night or day before if possible. I made a quinoa black bean salad at my last party. I made the quinoa the night before, which saved me 20 minutes, and freed up a pot the next day to do other cooking.

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 6. Ask for help. Do you have a close friend that is attending the party? Ask them to come early and help with set up. Or, if you need help with food, ask someone who is reliable and willing to come on time, to bring a dish. Don’t be afraid to ask!
 7. Make a menu. Planning and preparating is key. Write out a menu based on the guests, time of day, etc. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but this will also help you figure out your grocery list. No one likes making multiple trips to the store, afterall.
 8. Plan in advance. Where will you place furniture? Who are the guests that are attending? Do any guests have food allergies? Try to do a mental walk through of how the party will go and then take notes. It really helps!
 9. Practice. If any of the dishes are new or complicated, it is a good idea to practice the dish in advance. I can tell you from experience what a disaster it can be to try a new dish for the first time at an event and for it to not go well. You are generally safe trying an extremely simply dish out for the first time, but if the dish is complicated and also the main dish—this is too risky.

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 10. Eat! It seems obvious and silly to say this, but when I’m cooking and prepping food I do not always think to eat. Before my last party, I made a smoothie for energy and to get something in my stomach, as was recommended by my good friend Green Regimen. It really helped and I felt great! Check him out here: http://www.youtube.com/greenregimen

Check out my latest video which goes along with these easy dinner party tips here:

So you’ll notice 3 out of 10 on my list have to do with taking care of yourself! Don’t run yourself ragged planning your party. I want you to have a good time and enjoy your guests. Those are my ten tips, what are some things that have worked for you in the past? Let me know.

Xoxo
Fifi

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The Divine Hostess: A Guide to Cooking, Hosting, & Healthy Living

Front Cover

After a lot of hard work, I am happy to announce the arrival of my first book! Thank you everyone for your encouragement and sharing in my excitement on this journey. The book embodies my philosophy of eating well and living well. It’s not simply a cookbook-but it is instead a cooking handbook that assists with understanding herbs and spices, cooking techniques, and simple ways to entertain in groups.This book is great to have on hand when cooking and makes a fantastic gift. I hope you enjoy reading it!

With love,

Fifi

How to Get the Book

The book is now available in my eStore at www.divinehostess.bigcartel.com

*Signed copies available. 

The book is also available at www.createspace.com/3888911  (Best for international purchases)

Nook, Kindle and iPad versions will be available in the next 30 days.

More about the book: