MH-20150325-82Candice here – and I’m getting personal today, inviting you into my very unblog-worthy home for my Dinner With Friends feature.  The exterior paint colors could use an update, our backyard needs serious landscaping and none of our furniture matches.  But you know what?  I host here all of the time.  At least twice a week.  And here at LaurenKelp.com we want to encourage you to do the same – is your mattress still on box springs because you haven’t found a bed frame?  We say host anyway.  Is your kitchen gloriously unrenovated?  We say celebrate anyway.  And when you think about your friends do your insecurities whisper ‘They have the pretty house, they should be hosting?’

We say tell your insecurities to shut the hell up, order pizza, and invite over your favorite folks.

You see, most of my close friends have much, much cooler houses than me and plenty of more money.  BUT I still truly deeply believe that home is spiritual – and who I am becoming is more important than when I’ll be able to afford backyard landscaping.

So when Spring hit, I invited some friends over to celebrate just for celebration’s sake.  My husband started the grill, I prepped a few dishes ahead of time, and when the first guest knocked I whipped up my very favorite beer margaritas.

Because entertaining doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be thoughtful.

Beer Margaritas


{The easiest margaritas you’ll every make. There’s nothing fancy here – just beer, tequila, frozen lime and sprite. Seriously.}




{Our friends Mark and Zoe arrived, and we moved onto the back porch.  In all honesty, our dining area is too small for more than one or two, so we just prepare a table on the back porch instead.  See that long box behind the door?  That’s a curtain rod delivered for a project – I didn’t have time to put it away.  But when you’re greeted with a cocktail, who cares?! }



{Jen and Jonathan arrive, and before you know it, we’ve got a party!}

simple place settings


 {When you’re planning a tablescape, don’t forget practical items like water decanters and wine bottles will take up space.  I put these on pretty napkins, mixed in appetizers and some flowers and called  it done!}


{My husband, what a dream boat.}

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{We get started with some grilled elote.  If you’re not from a border state this simple dish may look a little different, but it’s so.damn.tasty.  I use Gwyneth Paltrow’s version from her cookbook It’s All Good. }



{We pass around the dishes, cheers, and enjoy!  Fajitas are a versatile dish because they can easily be made gluten free with corn tortillas or vegetarian with vegetables and yummy beans instead of meat.}


{I was so glad my friend Cameron could join us!  The best part about dinners together is that friends can come in and out.}

What do you say?

 Would you be willing to have friends over this weekend? Even with the office-turned-catch all room and crazy neighbors blasting radio jams?  My deep belief – which is that spaces are spiritual and so are what’s in them – will truly create happiness which is actually just a very full heart.

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