How We Spiced Up Our Last Dinner Party

By Shannon Gurnee
In home parties
March 18, 2014



Around three months ago, myself and a bunch of my closest friends were sitting together at our favorite coffee shop in the mall. The conversation kind of went around and eventually it landed on the topic of our dinner parties. We agreed that our dinner parties had become a little same-y of late. We’d usually just turn up in our best clothes, sit and talk, eat dinner, sit and talk, eat dessert, sit and talk, sit and talk some more, then go home. It was getting a little boring.

So, we came up with the idea of themed evenings. As luck would have it, I was next on the dinner party rota, so it was up to me to come up with the theme for the next little get-together. I had four days in which to get ready, but after two I remained as clueless as a beaver trying to rebuild the Hoover Dam.

Then, one evening, I was flicking through HBO when I noticed Ocean’s Eleven was on. I’d never seen it, and George Clooney was in it, so what other excuse does a girl need? I was halfway through when a metaphorical light-bulb snapped on over my head. I’d turn my next dinner party into an inspired, casino-themed evening!

My hubby, Dan, knew someone – called Buddy – who had a set of poker chips. I asked Buddy if I could borrow the set, but when I saw Buddy, I knew I had to hire Buddy as well! He was six feet three and two hundred and thirty pounds of muscle and I wanted him to act as doorman and dealer. I offered him $40 but Buddy said he’d do it for free. I’d no idea how to play poker and Buddy was a great help – Full Tilt have a great resource here if you are looking to do your own night.

I tried something a little different with dinner – just offering an Italian style buffet with thin slices of margherita pizza, bruschetta, a few anitpasto items, cruditiés and dips. It went down really well, and as a bonus I wasn’t over-stressed in the kitchen cooking a meal for a dozen people, as what usually happens when I host a dinner party!

After my guests had arrived, we had a few nibbles and opened bottles of prosecco for the ladies and peroni for gents, then we settled around the table for a game of poker. Thankfully Buddy was on hand to explain Texas Hold ’em to us and after a couple of practice hands, we were well into the swing of things.

Poker was much easier than I thought, but sadly it didn’t mean I was an instant expert! We’d been all allocated the same amount of chips, and I was bereft of my share after three quarters of an hour! Dan quickly cleaned up, but lost most his stack on the last hand to my friend Alicia. Dan went all in with a pair of Jacks but Alicia hit a Queen-high straight on the river and won!

After the game there was plenty of time for chatting, and everyone seemed to have had a good time – even Buddy! We’re all already looking forwards to our next Casino Night, when it comes to my turn to host again. 

About Has 2085 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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