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The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the party sea­son is upon us. It’s the per­fect time of year to in­vite a few friends over and en­joy the sun­shine and good com­pany.

But while hav­ing guests over can be a lot of fun, for many peo­ple the ex­pe­ri­ence can also be stress­ful.

Plan­ning is key

Fig­mint Cater­ing owner Julie Wil­son has helped plan hun­dreds of events. She has writ­ten a book about the art of en­ter­tain­ing at home, The HighHeeled Host­ess, and she says plan­ning ahead is the key to suc­cess.

“The more you can get things ready be­fore your guests ar­rive, the more re­laxed you’re go­ing to be — and so will your guests,” she says.

There are sev­eral things you can do ahead in­clud­ing buy­ing drinks and snacks one or two weeks ahead.

You can have your food prepped up to the morn­ing be­fore, or even some things the day be­fore or two days be­fore.

“Don’t over ex­tend your­self, just do what you feel com­fort­able do­ing. Don’t try any­thing new,” she says.

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