How to Throw a Party (and get dressed on time)

One of the questions that I got on my instagram earlier this week was how do you throw a party, prep, and get ready when you are hosting a party.  I love to entertain so much!  My grandmother always told me – your goal is to make sure everything comes out of the oven hot!  As I am building my house I have seriously considered adding a couple of warming drawers because everything coming out hot is hard! But, I thought I would answer the question and give you a simple infographic to screenshot or save so that next to you are entertaining you know exactly what to do!

Now, this isn’t my Thanksgiving or Christmas Meal timeline.  This timeline is for holiday parties where you are only serving appetizers, heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts.

Before I ever start cooking, I take my shower and semi do my hair and get dressed to a point.  If I’m wearing a cute dress or if I’m making something that I know will get everywhere, I usually put on my jeans, my shoes, and a random top.  That way I can just change my top when I go back and change.

I wait to put my makeup on though until it is time to get ready.

When you begin to prep things to consider are:

  1. How long does everything need to go in the oven.
  2. What temps does everything go in the oven on. Add 5 minutes for every 25 degree of change. For instance if you have cheese balls that go in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 and a pizza that needs to go in at 425 for 15 minutes – do them both at 350 and increase the time of the pizza.  The degree change is 75 – so add 15 minutes (5 minutes for every 25 degrees).  Depending on your oven that should be accurate, but just make sure to watch it
  3. What can be prepped before so you don’t have to spend time cutting veggies or prepping the pie. I have even been known to prep 2-3 days in advance depending on the item!
  4. To keep things warm after you have cooked them, cover them with foil and stick them in the oven at 100-125.

Let me know if you have any questions – but this should be a pretty tried and true timeline to follow.


If you do not have 2 hours to prep for your party, you need to get ready prior to prepping.

Let me know what you think about this timeline and as always I would love to see your creations on Facebook and Instagram – just tag #AtableTopAffair.

Interested in seeing more of my recipes and entertaining inspiration?  Check out my blog and stop by Instagram and say hey!

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welcome to my table

I’m Abby, and I’m all about setting the table every day and making a simple dinner with easy recipes to enjoy with friends. The inspiration you’ll find here are simple and meant to encourage you to declutter your table and invite friends over! I spend my days working as a marketer for a retail company and dreaming of dinner time. I really hope that through A Table Top Affair you will find a newfound love for your kitchen and that relationships would be formed around your table.

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