Last Wednesday I hosted an Arbonne party for a friend who just became a rep. She was eager to get started so when she contacted me, we scheduled the event for about two weeks before the date. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem for me. But it just so happens that July was one of the wackiest months I’ve had at work in a long time. So I really had to do everything at the last minute!
I did leave work a little early that day (yes, with permission) so I could get things ready. I had already decided to do desserts because we were kicking things of at 7:00 pm. What goes well with sweets? Champagne, naturally!
With the limited time I had, I knew that most things would have to be from the store and not from my own two hands. I hit the jackpot with some specials one of the local grocery store chains was having!

My dessert table consisted of cherry and chocolate donut holes (10 cents each!!), some chocolate/cheesecake treats that were in the bakery case and a pudding/pound cake/strawberry/Cool whip dessert I made up. For as easy as it was the pudding and pound cake dessert looked impressive. I’ll add the super-simple directions at the end. But first, I want to let you know why this easy menu impressed my guests.

It’s all about the basics. Basic serveware, that is! Nice trays and bowls make an enormous difference in the presentation of food – no matter how easy the food was to make. If you enjoy entertaining, I believe serveware is essential to have in your party planning pantry. A couple platters and bowls will go a long way. Throw in a cake platter and a tiered buffet server and you’ll add some nice dimension to your table as well. If you’re just starting your collection, go with white and/or glass (clear). I like to use a mix of both. Later on, you can always purchase and add in pieces with a little more flair. Here are some great places to get started without breaking the bank:

Bed Bath & Beyond
CB2 (these are so on my wish list!)
Target 

Now onto that A-mazing dessert of mine! Here’s what I used:
Bakery fresh pound cake
Instant chocolate pudding mix (and the skim milk you would use to make it)
Strawberries
Cool whip

First, I made the pudding according to those handy directions on the package. I divided the finished product between five dessert cups and put those in the refrigerator to let the pudding set.
While waiting for the pudding to be ready, I sliced the pound cake into about 3/4 inch slices.
Then, I washed and sliced up most of the strawberries. I held a few back for garnish.
Out came the chilled and set pudding cups!
I put two slices of the pound cake in each cup, threw in some strawberries and topped with Cool Whip. I made a small cut in the remaining full strawberries and added one to the rim of each cup (you’ll see in the picture that I have a little bit to learn about the proper placement of garnishing cuts!).
Voila!

The compliments I received for the dessert were completely disproportionate for the amount of work it took me. I hope you get the same results!

There was (at least) one of thing I forgot to take a picture of at the Tickled Pink baby shower for my bestie Ashley. Hey, I said I did better – there’s still plenty of room for improvement!
Ashley’s sisters used the most fabulous epink and white serving set to display veggies and sandwich fixins’. For me, it was love at first sight. I immediately wanted to know who this belonged to and why I hadn’t spotted one anywhere yet.
Images via Etsy seller MarianneClare

It turns out, it was a vintage piece that their mom received “several” years ago as a wedding present. After some digging (thanks Google!) I found the set! It was made in the 1960s by the Frazier California Pottery company.

The set has one large bowl in the center of  three small serving dishes and three large serving dishes, all on a lazy susan. The set I saw in person was on a metal lazy susan but the sets I saw online all came with wood. The scalloped edge and raised dots just make my heart hurt!

Since it’s vintage, it costs a bit more than what I’m willing to spend on serving dishes. So, I need to come up with reasons I could use it. Showers, brunches, Valentine’s Day parties… What else do you think I could put on the list to justify buying it?