About two years ago, my husband and I bought our first place together. Ever since, we have been in full-fledged nesting mode. Now that we have a space to call our own, nesting has been accompanied by the “dinner party bug.” There is no mistake that I’ve been bitten and this summer so far, we have hosted countless gatherings. Which as of late, has lead to a certain amount of entertainment idea fatigue. It’s certainly not the people giving me pause and we have so many other friends that we want to entertain, but the pressure to host the perfect evening has had me weighed down… “Isn’t food supposed to bring people together, not apart?!” (Insert image of me shaking my fist towards the sky.)
All that said, I’ve been on a mission to simplify the food + friends = fun equation. Which got me thinking, how can I apply the food fun I experience daily at the Dreier & Company studio into activities to gather around the home with friends? When I boiled it down, I found three ingredients that make our studio stand out: the people. thoughtful details. being flexible.
With those three ingredients and recent photoshoots in mind, here are some ideas to jazz up “entertainment” at home. Join me in rebelling against the sit-down dinner!
During the hotter months, Dreier & Company will often make afternoon popsicle runs to Las Paletas to give clients and crew a sweet refresher on set. Why not have friends over for popsicles during the peak of a sunny day? Turn on the sprinkler or grab a kiddie pool, and let the fun begin! If it rains, let your inner kid splash the puddles with your popsicle in tow.
Neighborhood Block Party
We’ve got a friendly and welcoming crew here at the studio who know how to make clients feel at home. Embrace a “fast friends” motto, get outside and meet the neighbors! Use your driveway, porch or alley as the meeting point and serve simple dips, hotdogs and hamburgers. Invite your new neighbor friends to bring drinks, their favorite side or a yard chair to kick back and mingle.
It’s no secret that our team is full of animal lovers. (A dog or two may or may not have made appearances in the studio before, hehe!) Have a fenced in yard? Call the buddies on a week night, tell them to bring Fido over for a play date. While the dogs bark, sniff and play… catch up on the daily grind over a few beers at your new “dog park” watering hole.
Recently Dreier & Company has been experimenting with making food “fly” on camera and we tested on a southern, crawfish boil. It was so hilarious to see the little crustaceans soar on camera! So, what is easier than a one pot meal for a large group of guests?! (Hint: Nothing, hah!) Spread the meal out on newsprint and let your guests dive into the messy goodness and chat the evening away.
Backyard Movie Night
Grab a solid, light color bed sheet and hang it outside to project a movie on. (FYI: There are countless homemade smartphone projector hacks on Pinterest.) Spread out on the yard or porch and feast upon pizza, popcorn, M&Ms and mega gulp sodas… get lost in talking the finer points of “chick flicks” vs Quentin Tarantino vs Pixar’s greatest hits… much like we do in the office.
I hope you’re feeling as inspired as me!
Food Photography by Kyle Dreier | Styling Contributors Teresa Blackburn, Paul Grimes & Whitney Kemp