Pairing Night // CARES

As I shared in my Painting Party post, we're the CARES Team at our apartment, which means we get to throw two events a month for our residents to enjoy! One of our events last fall was a "Pairing Party." As a CARES Team, we're not permitted to purchase alcohol, but we had heard from residents that they'd love some "grown up events."

 Zachary and I love a good cheese board and wine pairing. There's nothing quite so welcoming to us as an overflowing cheese board and good wine with some candles lit and Spotify on. It's our go-to hospitality touch, so naturally, we knew we could put together a night that any resident could enjoy while encouraging guests who'd like to, to bring their own wine to share, too, to give that "grown up" event feel we had residents requesting.

Since we have two events a month and a limited budget, we have to get creative and reuse many of our decorations. For this event, for food tags, I simply folded a note card and used a permanent marker to label each snack.

These trusty chalkboard stands and mason jars go with us to nearly every event. I snagged the chalkboard stands at Hobby Lobby on a 50% off week for $5. I buy mason jars from basically any grocery store. They come in all sizes and usually run $10-$12 for a dozen jars.

These chalkboard trays have also been a go-to party staple and I happened to score them at the Target Dollar Aisle for 3 bucks a few years ago.
I wanted the event to have that "overflowing" feel of abundance so we stocked the counters with plenty of cheeses, crackers, sweets, meats, nuts, fruits and olives- all the make up of a good cheese board.
There's something about "the cheese board" that reminds me of the Lord's table. I don't know if it's simply because it is so dear to Zachary and I's hearts and how we tangibly love to welcome others into our home, but there's just something about it that draws me to God. It reminds me of His goodness and care for us.
You gotta love glasses pics- oh that glare. I feel like the majority of my current pictures of myself, with my big glasses on, look like this. He's a cutie anyway.
After everyone loaded their plates, some guests stuck around for some games. We played Loaded Questions which has turned out to be a great party game. Loaded Questions is similar to Apples to Apples but requires a bit more creativity and is over all more interesting. 

To play, you go around the circle and have someone draw a card & read it. For example, someone might draw and read a card that says, "What is not a good first date location?" After the card is read, everyone writes their answer on a piece of paper before passing it to the "reader." The reader reads out all of the answers and the person who drew the initial card picks their favorite one. Whoever had the favorited answer gets a point. This game is more interesting than Apples to Apples because you have to use your wits and humor to come up with a clever answer. To "What is not a good first date location?" someone could write, "Your mom's basement." "The hospital." "A funeral home" Etc. Most questions illicit hilarious answers and help you get to know each other's personalities and senses of humor, too.

The Pairing Night turned out to be a great success. While we had fewer residents attend than events in the past, it was a great event to connect with our neighbors in a smaller, more intimate setting.

What's your go-to treat when guests come over? 
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