party in four steps

i'm all about simplicity these days for our casual get togethers. i make it a point to only focus on a few points that i know guests will appreciate (and maybe only one that i really will). those things usually end up being an app or dessert, cocktail, piece of decor and my outfit! it's better to do a few things well, than lots of things poorly.
i'm still not sure what we have planned for my bday celebration taking place next weekend. i've teetered back and forth between wanting people at our house for a dinner party or cocktail party, or going out and saving me the pain of cleaning, prepping, cooking and stressing. if we WERE to throw a simple get together in our home, these would be my picks for each of those categories i mentioned above.

i'd hang a simple floral garland. sip on one of my favorites, the moscow mule. wear a simple, neutral dress. eat an old school ice cream cake. sounds heavenly. mostly because of the ice cream cake ;)

do you guys like to pick a few things to focus on for your gatherings or do you go all out every single time?!