how to host an easy weeknight happy hour.

Between work schedules, family schedules, and life in general, it seems like it's getting harder and harder to get everyone together for a cocktail and to just relax. and sometimes we need a reminder to slow down for a second and make the time to visit with family and friends. i often forget that, every time we have people over, it doesn't necessarily need to be a huge production. so when i was given the opportunity to host a little happy hour by bolthouse farms, i took it as the perfect occasion to show how you can scale back a bit and make gatherings easier on yourself!

i started with the necessities, cocktails! instead of going with complicated cocktails or homemade mixers, i picked up a variety of the bolthouse farms juices and drinks. i poured them in some of my glassware right before guests arrived and served with 2 options for mixing, champagne and vodka. there wasn't any prep needed, just pour and set out for guests to mix themselves. everyone loved all the flavors and had fun coming up with their own combinations! we had a spread of carrot juices, berry blends and even a mocha option. i set up a chalkboard sign with the selections on the bar cart and gave a quick description on how to mix.

for the happy hour snacks, i went with pre-made or pre-packaged items (shhh;)
veggie chips were bagged up so friends could grab and mingle, i prepped hot soup and kept in the oven until guests got there, and lastly, there were little pots of salad served with lids to keep them cool. simple sweets were placed in various glass bowls. and i even whipped up mini mocha's with a touch of kahlua and placed a donut hole on top for dessert! the hardest thing i did was place the soup in the microwave!

[ love using handmade fabric cocktail napkins for smaller parties! ]

[ i also incorporated veggies to the decor mix.. i thought it was a fun alternative and went along with the juice theme! and don't forget candle light, much more cozy and relaxing. perfect for a happy hour. ]

bolthouse even provided coupons for guests to get their own juices, so i threw together a quick favor to go with those and to get guests started with their own holiday entertaining!

[ all favor items from the dollar section at target! bags were hand lettered ]

and since i can't host a happy hour for everyone and hand out fun favors, bolthouse farms is having an instagram promotion where you can participate and get coupons for your own drinks to use at a happy hour (or any other occasion)! all you have to do is take a pic of a bolthouse farms bottle or ad, upload it to your (public) instagram account and tag the photo with #CarrotFarmers and #GotCoupon. You'll get a $1.50 off coupon from @BolthouseFarms in the comments field. enjoy!

[ this is a sponsored post on behalf of One2One Network. all opinions and ideas for this happy hour my own. images by and for a fabulous fete ]