InIntroversion, Self-care

How to Host a Summer BBQ as an Introvert With Viva® & Kleenex®

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I grew up with a mom who is absolutely wonderful at hosting events. Our birthday parties were always every child’s dream. Holidays were (and still are) over the top… and even a simple dinner party felt like an extravagant event. The decorations were always top notch, the food was delicious, and most importantly, everyone invited felt welcomed and appreciated.

I inherited a lot of traits from my mom, but hosting events is not one of them.

Hosting a dinner “party” to my husband and I looks more like, “They’ve invited us over a couple of time so it’s probably the right thing to do to invite them over now.” And then comes the stress and panic.

I can honestly say that I LOVE the idea of hosting events. My Pinterest boards are full of the most adorable cupcake topper, tissue paper craft type ideas. But when it comes down to actually hosting an event, I panic. I overthink, worry about all the messes that are going to ensue, freak out about making sure everyone is going to have a good time, etc. It’s a literal mess (and not just the kind that ends up staining my couch.)

Can this thing be over yet?

Not to mention the fact that I can only take small doses of people at a time. That obviously doesn’t make for the best host in the world. After about an hour or so, I’m just about ready to kick everyone out and call it a day. Which, ya know… isn’t exactly… polite. And even if I don’t actually end up kicking anyone out, I become so emotionally drained from socializing that my hosting skills have gone down the tube by the time other people are starting to feel like the party is getting started.

Then why are you even writing this post? If you suck at hosting?… you might be thinking (or maybe I’m overthinking things and assuming, as usual lolol.)

Here’s the thing. I WANT to be a better host… because as much as I wish I could never invite a group of people over to our house again, it’s going to have to happen. So, I’d rather try to enjoy it instead of dreading it before and during the whole shabang. So, I did some research and deep soul searching introspection to figure out what us introverted souls could do to feel better about hosting events.

If you’re an introvert, hopefully, these tips will help you feel less stressed and more thrilled about hosting events! They really can be fun if you simplify and modify your strategy. For the sake of it being summer, this will be a BBQ edition, since most events held in the summer end up being BBQ’s. I should mention that my husband and I live in a duplex, so we don’t have a lot of space in our home… or a yard. That makes the whole event hosting thing doubly difficult, but I’ve decided to conquer it nonetheless. So, without further ado, here they are!

4 Ways to Make Hosting a Summer BBQ a Breeze (Introvert Edition)

1. Keep the food simple.

In our Pinterest, “Instagram Worthy” obsessed generation, it can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to make 20 different beautifully crafted dishes. Just watch almost any of Zoella’s Youtube videos for 5 minutes, and you’ll feel that pressure to create the “perfect” arrangement of food/drinks for your event.

As an introvert (or really, any person in general) this just isn’t realistic. Most of us are already stressed enough about the actual event that putting any more pressure on ourselves to have everything “perfect” is going to push us over the edge.

For my husband and I’s recent BBQ, I baked some premade store bought cookie dough (which tbh, taste almost as great, if not just as great, as homemade cookies to me) and cake mix cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I threw some chips into a bowl and then was able to focus the majority of my energy on making some delicious, yet easy-to-make ribs. Since I want your summer BBQ to be an easy breezy success, I’ll share the recipe with you!

It’s derived from a book on the Whole 30 Challenge that my husband and I attempted to complete, but I modified it to make it even more simple. It’s always my “go to” recipe for these types of events because it’s healthy, delicious, doesn’t require a grill, and most importantly it’s easy to make! If you want more grilling inspiration, you can visit the Kleenex® and Viva® Social Hub. You can also enter the #MakeYourSummer sweepstakes, beginning on June 11, 2018.

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Easy-to-Make Tangy BBQ Ribs

These healthy, easy-to-make tangy BBQ ribs will soon become your favorite BBQ dish for events, BBQ's, and even busy nights spent at home with the family. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ, Dinner Party, Quick Meal
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Marinate Time 3 hours
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the Rub

  • 4 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the Ribs

  • 2 lbs baby back ribs
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water

For the Sauce

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder

Instructions

For the Rub

  1. Mix the rub ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Set the ribs flesh-side up on a large piece of foil and coat evenly with the rub. Marinate in the refrigerator for 3-24 hours (You can marinate for less time than that, if you're in a hurry. But the longer you marinate, the better your ribs will be.)

  2. Preheat the oven to 300ºF once you're almost ready to put your ribs in the oven.

  3. Place your ribs in a casserole or glass baking dish. Pour the chicken broth or water over the ribs and cover the container with foil. Bake for 1 hour, or until meat pulls back from the rib bones.

  4. If you have a grill, preheat it to medium heat (350ºF). Place the ribs directly over the heat and grill until nicely charred, 6 to 8 minutes on each side. If you don't have a grill, increase the oven temperature to 475ºF and cook the ribs for 10 minutes on each side.

For the Sauce

  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients together, blend together if you want a less chunky texture (because of the onions), and then smother ribs with sauce. 

2. Make it easy for people to clean up after themselves throughout the party.

Because many people in their 20’s don’t have an outdoor space to host a BBQ yet (shout out to duplex & apartment dwellers!), it can be especially nerve-wracking to invite a group of people into your home to eat a messy meal. Even if you have a place to host outdoors (or find a place), it’s super inconvenient to have everyone running back inside to wash their hands every few minutes- which is something that will happen when they’re eating something as delicious and messy as most BBQ type foods are.

Setting out a pack of the new Kleenex® Wet Wipes Gentle Clean and a roll of thick and sturdy Viva® Big Roll Paper Towels will make everything go 100% more smoothly. I bought both of these products in the paper towel/tissue section at my local Smith’s, but you can also find them at Kroger, Frys, King Soopers, Fred Meyers, Ralphs, or QFC. They’re both very affordable products and make it easier for everyone to clean up their messes throughout the party/for you to clean up any remaining messes after the party is over!

The Kleenex® Wet Wipes are perfect for adults because they’re specifically for your hands and face, rub everything (even the stickiest BBQ sauce) off of hands quickly, and are free from harsh chemicals. The Viva® Paper Towels are my “go to” paper towels because they’re strong, soft, and are honestly comparable to using a dishcloth (but without all the hassle of having to do laundry afterward.)

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Introverts are often, by nature, very independent. We’re so comfortable with doing things on our own that it can be hard for us to ask for help. But when it comes to hosting events, not asking for help can lead to a whole lot of unnecessary stress. When you send out your invites, ask people to bring a specific side or main dish to add to the meal. This will relieve a lot of your stress about the event (and let you focus more on preparing yourself to socialize, which if you’re like me, can take up a lot of time beforehand!)

It’s also okay to hint to people that they should be helping to keep things clean throughout the party. You shouldn’t turn into the “cleaning police” (that’s no fun), but by setting out your Kleenex® Wet Wipes and Viva® Paper Towels, you’re sending the message that you don’t want your home to turn into a complete pigsty. Leaving these things out also helps with the whole, “Where do you keep your washcloths?” and “Do you have any wet wipes?” type of questions that people are bound to ask during a BBQ.

4. Include a time frame for the party in your invites.

There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with including a time frame for your party, even if you’re hosting close friends/family. Since it’s not exactly polite to kick your party guests out of your house, it can be helpful if they at least know some sort of time frame for how long the party is supposed to last. That doesn’t mean they have to leave right when you stated the whole shabang should end, but it’ll help them “get the hint” that yes, this does party isn’t supposed to last ALL day.

I personally can’t stand being invited to events that don’t have an end time, because I feel awkward leaving before everyone else when the whole thing seems to be dragging on. I like knowing when things are supposed to end… and I’m sure that at least a few of your party guests will appreciate that kind of structure, as well!

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18 Comments

  • Caitlyn Browning

    Coral, your party looks so cute! I love all the decor you did! You are so right though, sometimes it is hard and people can feel pressure to go above and beyond for parties. For Lillian’s first birthday I had all these big plans and ended up just buying chips and stuff to make chicken salad sandwiches, lol. Timeframes on parties is a brilliant idea! I will have to use these tips, and that rib recipe, sometimes this summer!

    June 7, 2018 at 4:59 AM Reply
  • Kristin Cook

    I’m not an introvert, but I still think these are great tips. Parties or BBQs can be daunting to plan and host, even if planning and hosting is something you enjoy. I definitely agree about making it easy for people to clean up after themselves. That’s a huge help.

    June 7, 2018 at 2:14 PM Reply
  • Kiara

    Choosing simple and easy recipes is so important! We have been hosting a lot now that we own a house, and easy recipes are always what people love more anyway. There’s no need to stress over Pinterest to make it all perfect. Loved reading your tips here.

    June 7, 2018 at 2:49 PM Reply
  • Beth

    Your decorations are really cute!

    I’m also an introvert, and the idea of having a lot of people over can be intimidating! We usually only invite family and close friends, so that does cut down on the stress for me. These are great ideas to simplify the host role too.

    June 7, 2018 at 4:30 PM Reply
  • Natalie @ A Tiny Traveler Blog

    These are great tips! I LOVE hosting parties and get togethers but I’m also an introvert so about halfway through I always think “wait what did I do?” Hahaha

    June 7, 2018 at 4:33 PM Reply
    • thedetermineddreamer

      Haha YES. Exactly! 🙂

      June 14, 2018 at 9:11 AM Reply
  • Denise

    I feel like you wrote this post for me! I’m always wanting to have guest over then my introvert tendencies take over. LOL Awesome tips!

    Denise // http://theelleaesthetic.com/

    June 7, 2018 at 7:58 PM Reply
    • thedetermineddreamer

      I’m so glad you liked this! My introvert tendencies take over all the time, as well. I totally get that!

      June 14, 2018 at 9:11 AM Reply
  • Savannah

    I’m an introvert too, but I actually LOVE hosting people in my home. I think that’s mostly because it gives me an excuse to cook lots of food, which is really enjoyable for me. I totally agree with the whole, “So when are you all going to go home…?” sort of thing though! I saw a party banner on Pinterest with fancy gold cutout letters that said “Please leave by 9”, and it was just hilariously perfect!

    June 7, 2018 at 8:52 PM Reply
    • thedetermineddreamer

      That’s awesome! I wish I had that desire to host people. I think I would if it didn’t overwhelm me so much. I actually used to want to run a bed & breakfast, so I guess the desire is in me somewhere haha! That would make sense that you like it a lot because you like cooking! That would make it a lot more bearable, if there was a part of it that calmed you down that you enjoyed. But YES, I totally get the, “So, when are you all going home?” thing HA! Oh my goodness, that’s hilarious. I NEED a sign like that for our house!

      June 14, 2018 at 9:10 AM Reply
  • Rachel R Ritlop

    ahh i haven’t hosted a party in foreverrr! I guess the last one was our wedding? lol and i loved having a really hard end time since our wedding was outside and noise ordinances meant we had to have music off by a certain time. It was sooo nice to have things come to an end so i could get my rest haha

    June 8, 2018 at 11:20 AM Reply
    • thedetermineddreamer

      You’re like me! It’s fun to be at an event but always nice when it ends, as well haha. I don’t host very many events at all and the last one we hosted was probably our wedding, as well. It’s fun to do from time to time, but also A LOT of work haha! 🙂

      June 14, 2018 at 9:07 AM Reply
  • kallie

    Including a timeframe is like, the smartest thing I’ve ever heard. Bravo! I love it

    June 8, 2018 at 1:03 PM Reply
    • thedetermineddreamer

      Aw thanks, Kallie! I’m so glad you liked that tip! 🙂

      June 14, 2018 at 9:06 AM Reply
  • Taylor Mobley

    I am also an introvert (kind of – an introverted extrovert) but these are such awesome tips! Thanks girlfriend!

    June 8, 2018 at 2:20 PM Reply
    • thedetermineddreamer

      No problem! I’m glad you liked them 🙂

      June 14, 2018 at 9:06 AM Reply
  • Kellie Monahan

    I love that you made this post because it’s rare that you see event tips being made specifically for introverts. I don’t have my own place to host anything, but I do look forward to it in the future and I will for sure be using your tips then!

    June 12, 2018 at 5:33 PM Reply
    • thedetermineddreamer

      Yay, that’s awesome! Yeah, there aren’t many tips about events geared towards introverts now that I think of it. This was a really fun post to write because I know introverts need these types of tips for when they host events. I definitely learned a lot while writing it, as well! I’m glad you’ll be using my tips. You’re so sweet!

      June 14, 2018 at 9:04 AM Reply

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