may entertaining tips

Happy first day of May! It's my birthday month, so this edition of entertaining tips was especially fun to write. This is one of my very favorite months and not just because of my birthday! The weather has usually gotten really nice by now, the sun is out, and summer is right around the corner.

In my eyes, entertaining in May is all about decorating with Southern essentials like pink, gingham, and grosgrain ribbons and serving up cold drinks outdoors. The party I have in mind for May is, of course, a picnic or outdoor affair that takes advantage of perfect weather and blooming trees.

MAKE IT EASY: Dirty Dishes Bin
Since all summer parties are meant to take place outside, lean into the rustic vibe and set out a clearly marked galvanized aluminum bin for dirty dishes. You can mark it with a homemade sign or a little chalkboard. This will let your guests know where to put their dishes when they're done eating and help you, the host, get a head start on party clean up. 

DRINK OF CHOICE: Iced Southern Sweet Tea
Being from the South, I can tell you that sweet iced tea is the only iced tea I'm interested in. I remember when I lived in the city for a summer during college, I had several instances where I was served/traumatized by unsweetened tea. When I got home, I went to have lunch at the club with my best friend and they served the most amazing sweet tea. I don't know if it was really that great or if I had just missed it! Anyway, Southern Living's recipe is a safe bet!

HOSTESS GIFT: Shrub Syrup
With all of the amazing fruit coming back into season, what's better than a homemade shrub syrup as a hostess gift? They're easy to make and can be mixed into all sorts of cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, too. All you need is fresh ripe fruit of your choice, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Here's a guide on making your own shrub!

DECOR STAPLE: Grosgrain Ribbons
Pick out some grosgrain ribbon in a fun color or pattern and decorate to your heart's desire. Tie a bow around the biscuits you bake or tie long, colorful ribbons to the back of your chairs.

EASY APPETIZER: Homemade Biscuits with Butter + Honey
Just typing this out makes me crave a honey biscuit! These are so simple to make at home and you can follow this Minimalist Baker recipe to make them vegan. Serve simply with butter and honey or create a build-your-own biscuit bar with toppings like gravy, clotted cream, and various jams.

PARTY LOOK: