As R. Kelly once said, "It's the freakin' weekend baby, I'm about to have me some fun." This statement holds true for all weekends, but long weekends especially. One extra day away from the desk and one extra day to enjoy friends, family, and loved ones -- what could be better?
If you're getting out of town this weekend and hosting people as well, relaxtion isn't the only thing on your mind. There's the planning: What to cook? How much ice do we need (a lot)? What happens if it rains? All valid and important questions to be considered so the weekend can go as smoothly as possible.
To help you out, we asked Tara Sachs, catering coordinator at Parts & Labour Catering a Toronto-based restaurant. From picking a playlist to having enough coolers, her tips will get you ready to rock the weekend and achieve the state of relaxation you're dreaming of.
Here are Sachs' 10 tips for hosting the perfect cottage weekend. Do you have a tip of your own? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter:
Stock Up: "There are some things you can never have have too many of for a party, namely plates, cups, cutlery and napkins," says Tara Sachs of Parts & Labour Catering in Toronto. "It's also good to have enough ice to last you until the end of the world."
Assemble A Team:This part is easy, according to Sachs. "For cottage events, it's always easy to find help -- someone will want to work the bbq, someone will always be willing to stock the bar, it won't be difficult to find someone to refill the salad bowls -- all you have to do is ask!"
Plan Your Menu: "Get all the prep work you can done a day in advance (make sauces, chop veggies, wash your greens, make iced tea)," Sachs says. "Know which bowls and platters you will be serving each menu item in. Do whatever you can to make your menu items quick and easy to put out."
Prepare Your Party Space: "On the deck, on the dock or on the forest floor, wherever you are planning on having guests congregate should be nice and tidy. Ensure you have enough seating and tables set out and that it is arranged in a way that promotes comfortable gathering and socializing."
Have A Back-Up Plan: "Should mother nature rain on your parade and you have to move the party indoors, know where you will have everything set up in the cottage - bar, food, extra seating and decor items. A little rain should never dampen a good time."
Spoil Your Guests:"Set up baskets in the washrooms with personal care items (sunscreen, dental floss, mints, gum, lip balms, feminine products, lotion, etc.)," Sachs says. "This is a small gesture that is easy to assemble and guests always appreciate."
Make A Playlist: "Set it and forget it!"
Don't Forget Coolers: "Set up coolers or bins of ice around the party so guests can stash and grab their drinks with ease."
Keep It Simple:At the end of it all, it is a cottage. "From the food to the decor to the overall planning, don't make it unnecessarily hard on yourself. People appreciate a no-fuss approach," Sachs says.