Tips to Help You Become the Ultimate Party Host This Summer

With a bank holiday ahead of us there’s nothing wrong with living for the weekends when your weekend plans are always on point. You know what they say… work hard, play harder.

What some people don’t realise, however, is that iconic weekend plans don’t always need to involve going out out. Why, when we can still get glammed up and enjoy immense vibes from the comfort of our own homes, avoiding expensive cocktails and busy bars?

Summer is right around the corner, which means endless opportunities to pour ourselves a drink in the sun and let our hair down.

Hosting doesn’t have to be stressful, either. Here are our top tips to help you become the ultimate hostess.

Step one: Planning

First things first: decide the perfect date and time for your party.

You could take things up a notch by creating traditional printed party invitations with pretty patterns and fancy font, but hey, we know time is precious. Creating a WhatsApp group with all the people you want to invite is just as good.

Next up in the planning stage is setting the right theme. Decorate your house and garden wisely, pick games and activities specific to the occasion, and set a strict dress code.

For example, if you want to create luxury vibes, everyone should be encouraged to wear their most glamorous fits – think red mini dresses, sequin maxi dresses, and drape arm playsuits.

Step two: Preparations

You want to be able to enjoy yourself at your own party, which means preparation beforehand is key. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider way ahead of the occasion:

Cleaning your home – Create a cleaning checklist to guarantee no job is forgotten about. Your list should include tasks such as cleaning the light fixtures, washing all glassware (especially important if you don’t plan on giving your guests plastic cups) and mowing the grass.

Shopping for food and drink – While it’s not uncommon to advise party guests to bring their own alcohol, a good host should still have some food and drink available. In advance of the big day, hit up your local supermarket for some beers, wine, soft drinks, BBQ food, and a few ‘picky bits’.

Rearranging the home or garden – Having multiple people in your home or garden means you need to be conscious about space. Is there ample seating? Enough room to dance? A table where food and drink can go?

Customised cocktails – Guests appreciate personal touches at parties because it makes them feel special and creates a more memorable event. Consider arranging a signature cocktail for each of your friends. ‘Gin-ger Spritz’ for your redhead pal; ‘The Rum Runner’ for the friend that loves running; ‘Bourbon Baker’ for the mate that works in a bakery. You get our drift.

Music playlist – Conversations should be flowing just as much as the prosecco, but good music is still a must. Create the best playlist by knowing who your audience is (consider the age and tastes of the party attendees) and thinking about the type of atmosphere you want to create.

Playing tunes by Rhianna and Beyonce will create sassy and empowering vibes, for example, whereas Avicii and David Guetta will set an energetic and upbeat atmosphere.

Step three: Hosting

Now comes the most important part… Successfully becoming the ‘hostess with the mostest.’

Make sure you’re available to welcome each person and group as they arrive at the party; show them where to put their stuff, point out where the toilet is, and introduce them to other guests.

Things might feel a little awkward at first, especially if you’re merging multiple friendship groups, but after a few cocktails and a couple of shots, people will soon warm up.

As the atmosphere begins to build, consider kicking off any games or activities you have planned. Be careful not to be too forceful with it (some people just want to chill and enjoy the vibes!), but let guests know they’re welcome to get involved with whatever you’ve got lined up.

Treating your guests to a BBQ feast in the summer sunshine? If you can’t give the responsibility to someone else completely (avoid smoke-smelling hair at all costs), here are a few tips to ensure you (wo)man the grill like an expert while still being the best host:

Prep, prep, prep: Before the party starts, make sure you have everything you need for the BBQ in one place, including utensils, charcoal, lighter fluid, and any seasonings or sauces.

Create a designated area: Make sure the grilling will be taking place away from other party activities. Not only is this safer for you and your guests, but it’ll also ensure you don’t get distracted and leave the sausages sizzling for too long.

Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to dish out tasks to guests or family members. For example, one friend could help with prepping the food, while another could assist with serving. Teamwork makes the BBQ work.

Cook in batches: If you have a lot of food to cook, consider cooking in batches to free up some time to socialise and enjoy yourself.

The most important step: Have fun!

Being a good host doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your own fun and memories. Sure, it can feel a little stressful at times, and you might experience some pressure in the build-up, but it will all work out in the end.

A little bit of prep goes a long, long way. Follow our guide and there’s no reason why you can’t host an amazing party that ticks all the right boxes!


Images by

Artem Beliaikin

Sixteen miles out

Kimson Doan

Ethan Hu

You’ll wanna be ONYX with this one – MCM ONYX

German luxury fashion house, MCM, introduces its first-ever fragrance for men, MCM ONYX Eau de Parfum. Synonymous with the powerful gemstone, MCM ONYX inspires energy, empowerment, and strength. A futuristic woody fougère born from the fusion between luxury craftsmanship and new-tech perfumery, the scent nurtures confidence and personal convictions – inviting you to dare to make a statement!

Inspired by the brand’s iconic Stark backpack, MCM ONYX reimagined the original MCM award-winning fragrance bottle design in a modern, yet refined colorway, clad in black and dark gray Visetos paired with gunmetal accents.

The MCM ONYX scent emerges with a burst of striking fresh ginger and spices, a compelling yet individualistic accord carrying slightly earthy but smooth notes. At the core, crisply aromatic lavender arises, blurring the borders between fresh and floral, innovation and tradition. Beaming with light, ONYX’s woody notes leave a trail of incandescent warmth contrasted with an added long-lasting minerality. MCM ONYX’s vegan formula is made of over 79% biodegradable ingredients and over 89% of its ingredients are created using green chemistry principles – both key for a more sustainable fragrance future. With Top Notes of Ginger, Pink Pepper, Grapefruit. With a blend of Lavender NaturalsTogether, Basil, Violet Leaf Base for the Middle Notes together with Notes of Vetiver NaturalsTogether, Clearwood, and Tonka.

sur votre vélo – agnès b. x Café du Cycliste

French fashion house agnès b. and premium outdoor brand Café du Cycliste combine their expertise in responsible fashion and sportswear for a very French collaboration.

A manifestation of the two brand’s shared values of freedom, authenticity, environmental protection and responsible manufacturing at home in France and close-by in Europe, this capsule explores the possibilities of functional and responsible fashion, focused through a lens of bicycle culture and further adventures.

Launching this summer 2023, the premium collection for men and women includes outdoor clothing for everyday wear, inspired by the world of cycling. Two styles of zipped cardigan, a tank top, utility shorts, plus unisex t-shirts with hand-written messages by Agnès. These pieces are also joined by a silk scarf, cycling cap, musette and bidon.

And for more ambitious endeavours by bicycle, there is a technical uniform of road jersey and bib shorts featuring an exclusive colour print derived from a photograph taken by Agnès(see below). The photograph, taken with a Harinezumi onboard a TGV, illustrates the notion of speed, characteristic of cycle sport.

All agnès b. and Café du Cycliste products are made in France or in Europe by suppliers who have been partners of the two brands for many years.

The collection will be available for sale in agnès b. boutiques around the world and in Café du Cycliste stores and stockists, as well as on their respective websites from May 24, 2023. Both brands are thrilled to pedal into the hills together on this tantalising journey of French design, performance and style.

Expert reveals top tips for caring for your jewellery without resorting to online ‘hacks’

Jewellery can cost a lot of money and can be valuable for sentimental reasons. Wanting to make your jewellery last longer is natural, but there have been online hacks that have gained popularity recently that may not necessarily be good for your jewellery pieces.

With all this in mind, customised jewellery experts Glamirahave provided their top tips to care for your pieces which will help give them some longevity.

Get jewellery shining again by giving them a clean

One technique championed by the popular Mrs Hinch is to place silver jewellery in a mixture of hot water and baking soda, but while it seems to work in some cases, experts at Glamira have suggested that this hack may be tooharsh for some jewellery and it may cause scratches or other damage

For nearly all coloured gemstones, cleaning with warm water, a couple of drops of washing-up liquid, and a soft brush will do the trick. This will also work for gold and silver.

Some coloured gemstones have however been treated to enhance their appearance, and this treatment can be adversely altered by some cleaning products and damage the jewellery. If in doubt, see a professional before cleaning and avoid online hacks found on TikTok and Instagram when trying to revitalise your jewellery.

Store each piece separately

Ideally, you would do this in a soft-lined box or case, so that your favourite pieces do not tangle, rub or scratch one another. Chains and necklaces can be fastened when stored to avoid tangling. Pearls in particular should be kept separately as they have a tendency to be scratched by other hard gemstones.

Keep jewellery well away from chemicals, especially chlorine

If your jewellery does come into contact withchemicals, rinse it in water immediately (also consider using a drop or two of washing up liquid in this clean) and leave it to dry for about an hour before storing it again. Again, resorting to online ‘hacks’ such as using toothpaste or baking soda to revitalise your pieces can cause damage to your jewellery.

Additionally, if you are planning on going on holiday this summer, make sure to keep your jewellery away from sun cream. Although it can be aesthetically pleasing to wear jewellery for your holiday pictures, this is not recommended, as the ingredients in sun cream can affect the quality of your pieces.

Check your jewellery pieces regularly

Before you put on a piece, take a good look over the item. Then you can identify those pieces that need cleaning or repair before leaving the house. Questions you might ask yourself when looking over them could be:

  • Is the clasp secure?
  • Are the stones set firmly in place?
  • Is the piece sparkling, or is it starting to get dirty?
  • Are there any scratches on the piece?

Make a jewellery care kit

It will be useful to have all your jewellery care items in one place. You can create a simple jewellery care kit using a small plastic storage container. Here are items you may want to include in it:

  • A gentle, jewellery-safe silver polish for sterling silver or silver-plated items.
  • A soft-bristled brush for getting into crevices.
  • A soft lint-free cloth for polishing and drying.
  • Glue for reattaching gems to inexpensive costume jewellery.
  • Cotton buds for polishing hard-to-reach spots.
  • Tweezers for removing lint or resetting costume jewellery stones.

Get insured

When investing in a new piece of jewellery, make sure you understand what the jewellery warranty and insurance covers. Repairs and replacements can be expensive, but an extended jewellery warranty gives you coverage to replace or repair any defects or breakdown that comes from wear and tear.

Keep jewellery away from direct sunlight

Prolonged exposure to light and heat can have an effecton the colour and durability of many gemstones. When you are not wearing your jewellery, be sure to store it in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.

Boost Your Employability: The Top 5 Soft Skills to Master

In today’s working landscape, employers are looking not just for someone who possesses the hard skills required for the job but a well-rounded personality that has mastered a range of soft skills.

Soft skills, also known as personal skills, point to one’s ability to navigate human interaction. A 2022 survey by the career site Zety found that soft skills are valued by 61% of employers.

The top five soft skills for 2022 are communication, creative thinking, interpersonal skills, analytical skills, and teamwork, based on data analysed by Interviewer.AI. If you’re looking to hone these skills to be a better fit for a job, these out-of-the-box suggestions will point you in the right direction.

1. Honing your communication skills by joining a club

‘Communication’ has become a buzzword in today’s world and is a highly valued soft skill.

At the workplace, you’re often required to communicate with your team or clients, and a mix of listening, verbal, and written communication skills come into play. Being able to articulate yourself, convey information, and engage in discussions is vital.

Not everyone is born a ‘communication guru’, but everyone can hone the skill of communication.

One great way to do so is by engaging in social interactions outside your comfort zone. For example, you can join a book club or any other club that bolsters your interests, where you get to practise your listening skills, verbalise your opinions, speak in front of an audience, and even write. Joining a club is a great way to overcome your fear of speaking in public if you have such and hone your communication skills.

2. Follow your creative pursuits to unlock your creative thinking

Creative thinking means your ability to think outside the box and ride the wave of innovation. Companies value employees who are able to come up with creative solutions, stepping out of the old and into the new.

There are a ton of ways you can enhance your creative thinking. Artistic endeavours, such as singing, dancing, painting, and sculpting, open you up to a new world of ideas nuanced in bright colours and present you with a vista you might have previously not thought of. That way, you can apply the newly perceived narrative to your work.

You can sign up for a course in any creative field or simply engage in adult colouring in your spare time. Photography is also a great way to open yourself to new perspectives, shapes, and angles.

The more you tap into your creative senses, the more brimming with ideas and solutions you will be in your workplace. Creative thinking doesn’t apply only to jobs in the creative field, and any industry can benefit from a bit of colour or a change of perspective from time to time. So be the person who brings it in.

3. Take a gap year to master your interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills might seem similar to communication skills but encompass many qualities. Active listening, empathy, and teamwork are all important for effective interaction in the workplace. Interpersonal skills point to our emotional intelligence and ability to work and communicate with others.

What can really help you develop the whole package of interpersonal skills is taking a gap year and going on an explorative journey of yourself and the world. Volunteering, teaching English abroad, or doing a gap year ski instructor course are great ways to interact with people in unfamiliar settings. That way, you’re challenging different aspects of yourself that require using various interpersonal skills.

By doing a ski instructor course, for example, you’re not only learning a new hard skill but also putting your listening, analytical, and communication skills into practice. While you’re teaching someone to ski, you’re applying your empathy and understanding of their level of abilities and doing your best to explain the technique.

4. Brain games for your analytical skills

Analytical skills are highly valued because they can be applied in a variety of situations in the workplace. They help you adeptly analyse the situation and make informed decisions on the issues you’re dealing with.

To improve your analytical skills and become a valuable asset to the company, you can spend your free time developing your brain through various mind games. Sudoku, crosswords, board games, and chess are great for that. Some of these games also help you improve your communication skills as you play against an opponent or within a team.

Learning a new language or a skill will also boost your analytical skills. Why not join a debate club where you have to prepare your thesis or start journalling to analyse your thoughts and establish patterns.

5. Teamwork makes the dream work

The skill that brings all the other soft skills together is teamwork. If you don’t have anyone to interact with and practise the rest of the skills, they will become amorphous.

Most jobs require us to work within a team to deliver the best. As we all know, teamwork makes the dream work.

Become a dream team player by engaging in team activities outside your workplace. Escape rooms, for example, can be a great way to learn how to collaborate and put your analytical skills into play. Another great way to enhance your teamwork is by joining a sports team. Working towards a communal goal and getting swamped up in the sports spirit, you will become an excellent team player in no time!

As you can see, all of the top soft skills are interconnected. One propels the other. Creative thinking, for example, goes hand in hand with analytical thinking and communication. Without the right analytical skills, you won’t be able to look at your creative idea with a crucial eye, while good communication skills help you convey your idea with your team. Mastering a mix of soft skills is key to your career development.