Celebrity event planner, Cathy Riva stopped by this week to share her favorite holiday entertaining tips! From fun appetizers to delicious cocktails and festive DIY decor, Cathy has everything you need to ensure your next party looks great and is a hit with your guests!
Candace Rose: What are the first steps we need to plan a great holiday party?
Cathy Riva: "You know, the first step you need to do is have fun. You need to bring the fun spirit into your celebration, so I've got some tips that hopefully will inspire people to do just that and have an affordable holiday celebration this season."
Candace Rose: And how about when it comes to the food?
Cathy Riva: "When it comes to the food, you know, look again, it should be simple, it should be affordable, it should be easy; so my first trick is to create kind of a fun food dipping station that also serves as your centerpiece for the table. And you can do this like we've done pita chips here. We take pita bread, a holiday cookie cutter and we make these pita chips- very simple.
You can add your favorite dip, your favorite vegetables and you have a nice crudite that serves as a functional centerpiece and is also a healthy treat for the holidays."
Candace Rose: And how about cocktails?
Cathy Riva: "Well, Candace, cocktails are one of my favorite things, so you want to save room for a signature cocktail. You want to again, keep it simple. I've partnered with Sauza tequila to bring you some of my favorite recipes for the season. I suggest this year the 'Sparkling Apple Margarita', it's going to knock your socks off. It's basically a margarita base with sparkling apple juice which you can find at almost any grocery store. You can rim it with sweet sugar or savory salts (it's your choice) and then for a pop of color a 'Pomegranate Margarita' looks great on the table."
Candace Rose: And for dessert?
Cathy Riva: "You know, listen, Sauza's created these really tasty S'mores drinks and you're going to want s'more, Candace after I tell you the ingredients. It's chocolate liqueur, milk, cream. You want to serve it in a martini glass (don't forget the Sauza tequila) and then you're going to rim the martini glass with a little bit of marshmallow cream, some chocolate shavings and garnish it with a little candy cane; little mints, it's so adorable. And then Sauza makes the freshest tasting drinks because they use 100% fresh pressed agave in every bottle, so it's really easy to have a great tasting cocktail that's affordable. And for more of these recipes and the exact amounts, you can check out Sauza's Facebook page: Sauzatequila at Facebook."
Candace Rose: Do you have any tips when it comes to decor?
Cathy Riva: "You know, use everyday items that you have in your own home and kind of re-purpose them. Create a table from craft paper and make it look like a present. So we have the craft paper- you'll need two rolls; I've taken three inch ribbon (red, bright ribbon works really well) I've done a bow here with pine cones and disco balls- something really easy that you might have leftover or some ornaments from last season work well as well.
And then I've got this cute little decorate your own tree that's a family activity. Go get some branches from the backyard, use some white sponge paint, decorate with monofilament and candy and then if you have guests coming over you can take their picture, print it beforehand, decorate it with some tinsel and have them add it to the tree when they arrive. So it's a little personalization for your party."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Cathy Riva: "You know, I think that the holidays are about spending time with family and friends, so if there's anything that I can do to help inspire people to have more time with the people they love then that makes me happy and then the flip side of that, for more information and to make your life less stressful, go check out Sauza Tequila Faceobok or check out SauzaTequila.com."