Monthly Archives: November 2020

Tips for Hosting a Small Party at Home

top tips for hosting a small party at home | holiday party ideas | party food snacks | Houston Lifestyle Blog Lady in Violet

With holiday gatherings possibly scaling down a bit this season, I wanted to share some of my best tips for hosting a small party at home.  Since I’ve always lived in small apartments and town homes, I’ve learned the best ways to successfully entertain a small group of people from what to serve, where to serve it, and other must know tips.

When I host a party, a big goal of mine is to be able to enjoy the party and my guests.  I don’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen working on food while my guests mix and mingle.  With the right planning and preparation, you can not only host a great party but also enjoy it!

My tips for hosting a small party at home will hopefully help you plan, prep and enjoy your next gathering.

best tips for hosting a small party at home | easy finger foods for a holiday gathering | party food ideas | Houston LIfestyle Blog Lady in Violet

plan easy to make and eat appetizers

I’m starting off with one of my go to tips for any party I host.  For a small party, I plan easy to prep and make appetizers.  I plan three different types of snacks, (1) chips and dip (2) finger foods and (3) something sweet.  You also want something easy to eat while possibly standing or also holding a beverage.  Think small 1-2 bite snacks, no silverware required, and something that won’t fall apart when eaten.

Queso and tortilla chips are one of my favorites to serve.  You can buy it ready made and just heat up.  If you want to make a dip, opt for something you can make ahead of time and store in the fridge or quickly re-heat.

For finger foods, a cheese board is really easy to put together. I usually put mine out at least 30 minutes prior to the party start time, so the cheese has time to soften and little.  Another easy finger food, yummy snacks in the frozen food aisle.  Trader Joe’s is my go to place for this to pick up flatbread pizzas, mini tacos, and other assorted goodies.  I try to pick ones that all have the same oven temperature cooking time, so I can cook all at once.

With all the salty snacks, I definitely love having something sweet.  Pick something that is an individual serving like cookies, cupcakes, or brownies.  This way guests can serve themselves.  If you want to serve a cake or pie, I recommend pre-slicing so guests can grab a piece when they want one, unless it’s a birthday cake of course.

tips for hosting a small party at home | what drinks to serve at a party | refreshment ideas | Top Lifestyle Blog Lady in Violet

plan 2-3 refreshment options

While the drink choices may depend on your guest list, 2-3 options is a good range for a small gathering.  When having my girlfriends over, I typically have a red and white wine option.  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are my go to choices since they are popular types of wine and pair well with party snacks.

Also, be sure to have a non-alcoholic beverage option like iced tea, sparking water, or soda.  I usually opt to have a flavored sparkling water option for my guests.  If you are going to have drinks that need ice, start prepping the ice early!  I will start creating bags from my ice maker a few days in advance and store in the freezer.

easy cheese and cracker board | party appetizer ideas | charcuterie board | Texas Lifestyle Blog Lady in Violet

plan two gathering areas

Large or small, all parties need some kind of space plan.  Think about where you want your guests to gather that will have enough space and seating.  We bring extra chairs to our patio and add a few folding chairs to our living and dining area to accommodate more people during a small party.  We also have a large kitchen island that can accommodate a large group of people all hanging out.

strawberry cupcakes | best desserts for a party | cupcake display | Popular US Lifestyle Blog Lady in Violet

put the food where you want people to gather

  People tend to gather near the food, so an easy way to ensure guests end up in your pre-planned gathering areas is to place the food there.  If I want my guests to feel welcome to hang out both outside and in our dining area, I will place snacks in both places along with plates and napkins.  For indoors, I typically place food on our kitchen island since our place is open concept.  It allows guests to gather around the island or sit at the dining table and still feel part of the conversation.  I will place a snack or two on the dining table too.

good appetizers to serve at a party | easy finger foods | party hosting tips | Southern LIfestyle Blog Lady in Violet

let guests help themselves

Set out all the serving tools necessary for guests to help themselves to the different food options.  You can also place name cards in front of the dishes, so guests will know what each item is.  If you have a guest with a food allergy or dietary restriction, you can use the name cards to let them know.

For drinks, I always offer and serve my guests a beverage upon arrival and then let them know to feel free to help themselves.  I re-check throughout the party to make sure the main beverages are good and open wine bottles, refill pitchers or coolers as necessary.  And even though, I let guests know they can help themselves. I will still offer refills when I see an empty glass.  Some people will feel more at home at my house, and others may need a bit to relax and start serving themselves.

tips for hosting a small holiday party at home | party host duties | party food | American Lifestyle Blog Lady in Violet

put on background music

Background music can help set the mood and ambiance of the party.  A few of my favorites depending on the party – 80s Music Collection, Acoustic Covers, Piano or Jazz Music. For the Holiday season, I sometimes opt for a Christmas movie in the background.  The Hallmark Christmas movies are great choice, or you can put on a dvd or stream a classic Christmas movie.

point out guest need to know items

Personally, I really like when someone lets me know where the bathroom is at their house when it’s my first visit.  This way I don’t have to interrupt a conversation or wander around later looking for it.  When a guest arrives, point out a few need to know things like bathroom locations or where they can store their coat or purse.  Basically anything that they need to know to feel welcome and at home.  Sometimes I have also been told of pets that may be walking around or stored in a locked bedroom.

I hope you find my tips for hosting a small party at home helpful.  These tips can work for holiday parties, birthday parties, book club gatherings, or just having your gal pals over to catch up.

Looking to create an epic charcuterie board for your next party?  Check out THIS POST where I break down how to build one step by step.

Five Ways to Wear a Graphic Tee

Hello Hello, back with a little fall fashion inspiration for you.  As I add more casual pieces to my closet, I really wanted to give a graphic tee a go.  Of course, I put my spin on it adding leather, heels, and a skirt to create five ways to wear a graphic tee in the fall.  It’s a mix of warm fall days to casual looks to a night out all featuring a band tee.

Also, the holiday gift guides are back!  I’m doing my guides a little different this year and adding them all to one page so you don’t have to scroll through different posts to find the best gift ideas.  You can find it all on my dedicated GIFT GUIDE PAGE.  Bookmark it to check back as I add gift ideas all month long.  You can also find a link on the menu bar of the blog.


with a long cardigan and booties

A classic fall outfit combo.  The olive green of the cardigan works really well with the ivory of the tee.  Since the cardigan is long, I opted to tie the tee at my waist.  This helps the two long tops from overwhelming my petite frame and can add a height illusion.

fall outfit | olive green long cardigan over graphic print tee | booties | Houston Fashion Blog Lady in Violet

long cardigan | graphic tee | blue jeans | booties | bracelet | earrings

with a leather jacket

A leather jacket adds an edgy and chic feel to the graphic tee.  The black jeans contrast well with the print on the tee, and my brown heeled boots add to the chic factor of the overall look.

fall outfit | tan leather jacket with graphic tshirt | tall brown boots | Texas Fashion Blog Lady in Violet

c/o leather jacket | graphic tee |black jeans | similar boots | earrings

with a denim jacket & leather leggings

For an ulimate comfy and casual look, toss on a pair of faux leather leggings, denim jacket and sneakers.  The jacket and sneakers help create a dressed down casual look, and the leggings add just a hint of edginess and comfort.

casual outfit | denim jacket with band tee | faux leather leggings | Petite Fashion Blog Lady in Violet

similar denim jacket | graphic tee | faux leather leggings | sneakers | earrings

with a leather skirt & booties

An easy way to dress up a graphic tee is with a chic leather or suede skirt and pair of heeled booties.  I opted for a warm brown leather to work with the warm colors in the tee, and a black bootie to contrast the skirt and pull out the faded black of the print on the tee.

fall outfit | graphic music tee | brown leather mini skirt | black booties | Everyday Fashion Blog Lady in Violet

graphic tshirt | similar skirt | similar booties | earrings | bracelet

with cutoff shorts & booties

Living in Texas, I’m always thinking up ways to dress for fall and deal with that early fall heat.  A pair of faded black jeans shorts are the perfect pair for early fall.  I tossed on my brown western style booties to bring this outfit even more into fall.

warm fall outfit | graphic tshirt | black jean shorts | Southern Style Blog Lady in Violet

graphic tee | faded jean shorts | similar booties | similar hat | stone bangles | earrings


different ways to wear a graphic tee in the fall | fall outfit ideas | casual outfits | Popular US Fashion Blog Lady in Violet

Fall Eye Makeup Tutorial

fall eye makeup tutorial | eyeshadow tutorial video | makeup routine | houston beauty blogger lady in violet

I’m so excited to share that I have ventured into the land of video tutorials over on Instagram! I’ve shared little mini tutorials in Stories, but I had been wanting to branch out to longer IGTV ones for awhile now.  I finally decided to just go for it and get one posted.  The longer format of IGTV over stories lets me go into more detail and not feel so rushed.  I also love that instagram lets me share the video into a blog post, so I can share these tutorials with everyone not just those on IG.

Today’s fall eye makeup tutorial features warm fall inspired colors with a touch of sparkle.  This eye shadow look will be great for holiday parties or a night out.  After I finish my eyes, I’m also sharing a look at how I complete my makeup with my full face routine.  All the products and shades are linked at the bottom of the post for easy reference.  I hope you enjoy and be sure to come follow on Instagram for more tutorials.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Karen • Petite Fashion Blogger (@karenkocich) on


SKINCARE: MoisturizerBronzing Drops

EYES: Matte Eye PaletteShimmer Eye Palette | EyelinerBrow PowderLiquid Eyeliner | MascaraEye Brush 32Eye Brush 39 Eye Brush 55

FACE: Foundation (Tan)Concealer (Light Sand)  | Setting Powder (Light Beige)Finishing Powder (Voile Rose)  | Contour Kit | Blush (Orgasm)

LIPS: Lipstick (Twig)Lipgloss (Turkish Delight)

fall eye makeup tutorial | makeup routine | houston beauty blogger lady in violet