By Nancy Johnson Horn —
We love to entertain, but with three small children and working full time from home, it doesn’t happen nearly as much as I’d like. When Aladdin was gracious enough to send me a selection of their new mason jars, I decided it was time to entertain a little.
The occasion was my inlaws’ return from a 2 week vacation in Spain (okay, we were looking for any excuse). I broke out the Aladdin Mason Jars (which you can get at Walmart right now). We had been using them for smoothies, but they were perfect with our big family dinner.
The smaller jars with the screw on tops were genius for my three kids (no spilling!).
My husband bought take out from the Columbian restaurant down the street (the perks of living in NYC!). Usually I would cook, but this was really an impromptu party and I had nothing in the house.
I did glam up the table with fancy platters, our good wedding china (I still love the floral pattern we picked) and I used a blue pashmina as a table runner. I usually have a fitted tablecloth protecting my table, but my three year old just drew all over it.
The Aladdin Mason Jars were the perfect accent. We served grape juice for my husband, father-in-law and kids, water for my mother-in-law and diet cola for me (a rare treat).
How to Entertain Last Minute.. When You Have Kids:
1. Have a quick pickup around the house. Kids can help put things away quickly. Get everything off the floor (at least). No one coming over is going to expect perfection (especially if you have little kids). Even little kids can help pick up things. We have lots of bins and baskets at my home and everything does have its place (even though my children prefer the store it all over the den/playroom floor method). And yes, I feel like we clean up constantly and it’s still a mess. But I try to make an effort.
2. Pull out the better dishes (for the adults at least). Kids can use your every day china or paper plates.
3. Throw a festive tablecloth or a scarf on your table to add a pop of color
4. Takeout is perfectly fine. Add something kid friendly, like chicken drumsticks and mac and cheese if possible, so picky kids have something they like. If possible, use plate your takeout on nice platters. It looks so much better.
5. The Aladdin Mason Jars we used were great because they were sturdy and we used the screw on lids for the kids (with a straw). The bright colors looked great on my table and I was able to clean them in my dishwasher after.
6. Dessert can be simple (we served ice cream).
Find Aladdin’s Mason Jars at Walmart.
Thank you to Aladdin for sending us these fab mason jars to party with. We were not compensated for this post.