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10 Tips to make entertaining a little less stressful

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Say goodbye to hostessing stress with these 10 tips

Step away from the baked Alaska and the fine china. Stress-free entertaining is at your fingertips with these 10 simple tips.

1. Send an Evite

Ladies, there's no shame in sending an Evite rather than a formal invitation. An Evite will allow you to send out party invitations in less than 30 minutes, and you're also more likely to receive RSVPs in a timely manner.

2. Whip up a potluck

Say goodbye to hostessing stress with these 10 tips

The best way to stress about your party is to go it alone. Instead of bearing complete responsibility for the meal, ask your guests to bring their favorite dishes related to your party's theme. Guess what — most guests enjoy showing off their culinary skills anyway.

3. Choose make-ahead dishes

Say goodbye to hostessing stress with these 10 tips

If you must make all your own dishes, then plan to do them ahead of time. Choose appetizers, desserts and even entrées that freeze and reheat easily so you won't feel like a slave to the kitchen on party day. Check out these dishes to keep in your freezer for quick party prep.

4. Serve pre-mixed cocktails

Say goodbye to hostessing stress with these 10 tips

A trip to the liquor store for cocktail ingredients can set you back the equivalent of a mortgage payment. Just say no. Instead, serve pre-mixed cocktails like VitaFrute Cocktails™ by VEEV that are both affordable and fuss free for an easy buzz (which, obviously, is the best kind).

5. Call the caterer

Catering companies are here to make your life easy and enjoyable. If you're hostessing a big event or want your party to amaze, then call a local caterer to handle all the details for you — from food to decor.

6. Use paper plates and plastic cutlery

Say goodbye to hostessing stress with these 10 tips

Obviously paper plates are perfect for an outdoor barbecue, since they make cleanup a snap. But did you know you can buy plastic party supplies that look like fine china for your fancy soirees? You can serve your guests with pride by opting for a gorgeous china look-alike. (Party at Lewis, $14 for 12 dishes)

7. Go heavy on table linens

Cloth napkins and tablecloths sound like a nightmare, but bear with us for a second. Table linens really dress up a space, and they also allow a savvy hostess to easily throw them in the washing machine after the guests leave. Just think — no more scrubbing off stuck-on residue from your tables.

8. Create simple centerpieces

Say goodbye to hostessing stress with these 10 tips

Flower bouquets are expensive and challenging to create on the day of your party. Keep your centerpieces simple instead by filling serving dishes and bowls with fresh citrus fruits for an eye-catching pop of color. Or make your own simple centerpieces with jars of fresh-cut flowers.

9. Have a backup plan

Who are you going to call if you run out of food or liquor? Having a backup plan will put your mind at ease so you won't be sitting on pins and needles during the whole shindig.

10. Hire a maid for the morning after

When the guests leave, don't stay up until 2 a.m. to clean dishes, tables and leftover plates of food. Go to sleep, and rest easy knowing that a maid service will arrive in the morning to scrub away the vestiges of your epic night.

This post was sponsored by VitaFrute.

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