ftyXF_JVnJMQen0B-CINSJ0W4tSK3XN_5kCIuS-ZTScMeet my dear friend, Samantha Thompson. You might recognize her from our Well Dressed Creative feature or you might have her of her company – Standard Wax – mainly because we have a giant love affair with their candles and can’t get enough of them (seriously, get the White Tea & Thyme – it’s divine).

We started a new series called Dinner With Friends (you might remember #girlboss Candice kicking it off a few weeks ago). Think of this series as Tablemakers in practicum. We realize not everyone has a beautiful desert space to host their friends, or has access to exotic ingredients for unique recipes. But, that’s really not the point of all of this. At the end of the day our goal is to encourage you to invite people over. Impromptu dinner party, Bachelor watching party, it’s almost Friday and we had a shitty week party, whatever it is – gather up some folks and hang out!

That being said, we couldn’t think of anyone who exemplifies this better that Samantha. She is quick to host, always down for a dinner party, and doesn’t fret over a messy house – god love her, right? So dive in, scroll down, and check out what entertaining means to Sam and be inspired!


What does entertaining mean to you?

It means bringing people together. I never have people over to cook, or make the house cute, or decorate a table. I do it so I can see my friends and family and spend meaningful time together.


How do you like to make people feel welcome when they come over?

Food, drinks, music. That’s really all you need. I used to think a party had to have some sort of over-the-top theme or menu, but when it all boils down, people just want to spend time together. I also don’t like to be rushing around a kitchen when people come over. I try to do as much as I can so that when the first guest arrives, they aren’t shoved into a corner to sip a drink alone. They feel welcome because I’m genuinely excited to see them, instead of stressed about finishing an extravagant recipe.


What is your favorite “go-to”?

A party game, a recipe, favorite cocktail, etc. Recently it’s sangria. It’s delicious, I usually have the ingredients lying around, and it can be ready within an hour!


What makes you nervous about having people over?

Nothing! Are you supposed to be nervous? My house can be a mess and I can order takeout instead of cooking, but as long as my people are there I’m happy.


Tell us about tonight? How did you plan?

How did you come up with the recipes, etc? I just wanted to spend a low-key night with some girlfriends over dinner and drinks. The catch? I was right in the middle of the “whole 30” diet (if you don’t know, it’s no processed foods, no added sugar, no dairy, etc etc etc). It sounds crazy, especially since I’m a vegetarian, but I was feeling so amazing I didn’t want to break the diet just for the party. I also didn’t want to eat a “special” meal while everyone else had something mouth-watering and full of cheese and butter. So, I decided to experiment and plan the whole menu around the whole30 diet, but not tell anyone and see if they noticed. But like I’ve said, I don’t want to be tired and stressed from cooking, I want to spend time with my friends! So, all of the food was from a local restaurant. Blasphemous? Maybe. But it’s how I roll, and I would never try to hide it. We had hummus and fresh tomatoes, grilled chicken with garlic potato puree, tahini cauliflower, mixed beans, sautéed mushrooms, and then I made lots of sangria. LOTS of sangria.

Y4BAmoF5_HsyO4-BQFXXZesLB-ilPBfeat1ASd-VWK4,QSC82wTwrOWOdijkctF3ND0dfPsyQMih7qQ3ONNTOF4Give us your favorite entertaining tip!

I own a candle company, so I might be a little partial, but I think candles add a sense of “togetherness” to any room or table. Before people come over, I light a few around the house, and always have a few on the table with some flowers. Everything instantly looks put together with about 5 minutes of prep time.


Photography by Carlee Komar | Florals by Bask + Terra | Centerpiece Candles by Standard Waxlauren