Q: What was the aha! moment when you knew you had a book that just HAD to be published?
A: Over the years, my friends had encouraged me to write a book. I felt sincerely flattered, however, I really never gave it much thought (although I did take photographs of my parties over the years--just in case). Having three babies in 13 months kept me really busy and I could never imagine doing much of anything. When we took a sabbatical in Europe for seven months, the children were nine, ten and ten and I was free from the typical stresses of extracurricular activities, charity work and daily 'chores.' So I set out on my iMac and wrote a book proposal.
Q: Do you go to a lot of parties? Do you more often say, “Gotta try that!” or “NEVER gonna happen!”
A: I'm really not a party snob. In fact, I rarely notice what goes 'awry' at other peoples homes. And that is why I am so adamant about my philosophy on entertaining: The people you invite over are typically your biggest fans. They want you to succeed. They are thrilled to be invited. So if you channel your energy into making certain the guest are laughing and having fun, and avoid the focus on trying to be the perfect host, then those moments where you feel 'you could have done it better' are never noticed by others.
Q: Is there an optimum number of guests for a dinner party?
A: For a dinner party, I say six to ten. I know most people have service for twelve (I always buy everything in 13 in case one breaks—which it always does), however, I often find the addition of those two extra people tend to make the evening feel less intimate. Q: I know you love raffia, burlap, and boas, but what’s the one type of store you can never pass without going in and almost always finding great stuff to keep on hand? A: For pantry must-haves I stock up on novelty items from a specialty market like Trader Joe's. I like keeping frozen mini quiches, caramelized walnuts and cheeses, a frozen lasagna , and fancy cookies and ice cream on hand so that I always have an appetizer, meal and dessert at bay for those unexpected dinner guests. For my decorating must-haves, I can never pass up going into a stationary shop. I tend to stock my closet with fun handmade paper, card stock and colored ink pens. Ribbon is also a weakness of mine. And last, but certainly not least, I can never pass up an opportunity to get Christmas ornaments on sale. I use ornaments as napkin treatments (rings).
Q: What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened at one of your parties? I love the “Sticky Situation/Hostess Recovery” part of YOU’RE SO INVITED—you don’t see that often in entertaining books.
A: The funniest thing that has ever happened is in the Joy-tini party in the book. I was walking with the birthday cake and tripped. The cake fell into the dome. But instead of it being a 'cringe moment' I laughed it off and asked my guest to pick up their spoons and dig in!
Q: You encourage us to use pink lightbulbs and look seriously at overall lighting a day or so before the party in order for the guests to feel comfortable. Very thoughtful, but what are we gonna do with compact flourescents?
A: UGH! I feel this is an opportunity to incorporate an ton of candle light and a couple lamps. Lighting sets a mood, so unless you are wanting your party to feel like it is being held at the office, I would consider an alternative light source ;)!
Every day should be fun and Cheryl Najafi is here to help you infuse humor, creativity, and your own personal style into events as simple as meeting a new neighbor or as important as milestone anniversaries. You're invited to ten beautifully photographed parties—from a chic surprise birthday to an irreverent going-away roast to an indulgent men-only cigar evening. You don't need to make yourself crazy to throw a get-together everyone will love. With all the great ideas inside You're So Invited for stress-free planning, simple (and simply fabulous) cocktails and small bites, creative party themes and easy-to-make, easy-to-love decorations, you'll be able to enjoy your next gathering as much as your guests do. Color photos.
Hardcover Book : 192 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press Inc. ( May 01, 2012 )
Item #: 13-502481
Product Dimensions: 7.25 x 9.625 inches
Product Weight: 32.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This book was a complete disappointment.
Unfortunately, it's quite uninspiring.