At Home with The Every Hostess, Kaitlin Moss
For our series Closet Confidential, we interview interesting and uber cool people in their homes wearing outfits from their closet. Esther Lee Leach caught up with Kaitlin Moss of The Every Hostess at her home in Bonnie Brae.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ESTHER LEE LEACH
Esther Lee Leach: Tell us about your background and how you developed your love for entertaining?
Kaitlin Moss: I was born in Calgary, Alberta, but my parents moved us to Dallas, Texas, when I was 4 years old. I absolutely loved growing up in Dallas! Being raised in Dallas, I developed an addiction to queso and grew a love for fashion - there was a lot of it! However, ever since I was born, my parents had a home in a small town in Northern Montana - Whitefish - here my older brother and I would spend all summer and winter breaks (and we still do to this day!) Spending so much time in Montana, I fell in love with the mountains, so I knew I had to go to college somewhere similar. This brought me to Fort Collins, Colorado, where I attended Colorado State University. I studied Fashion Merchandising, which was an incredible program, and belonged to Kappa Kappa Gamma with an amazing group of women. I met my now-husband in my junior year and after graduation we moved down to Denver and have lived here ever since. While I still miss the authentic tex-mex cuisine of Dallas, I truly could not imagine living anywhere else!
When I was a child, my mom used to throw me the best birthday parties; this inspired my love of entertaining. I would plan my entire party, from the food to the goodie bags, usually with a theme. My favorite party that we ever threw together was a Luau pool party. When I got to college, I loved attending the formals that our sorority would throw and would also host fun themed parties with my roommates over the years at the house we lived in. After college, I guess it still stuck! I loved the event planning aspect of the four internships I did after graduation, which later turned into working for an amazing freelance event production company, JBS A-la-mode, who I still work for today!
ELL: Why did you start your blog and what topics does it cover?
KT: As I mentioned before, I’ve always loved entertaining. Whether it's having our best friends over to binge watch a Netflix show and drink wine, having an over the top themed holiday party or throwing together a simple dinner party, I love entertaining people. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I can say that I truly enjoy food, wine and parties, so I thought I would share my wisdom (or at least try to!) by starting the blog. The Every Hostess began as a creative portfolio for me to style little party ideas. It’s funny looking back on my earlier content and seeing how much it’s evolved. The Every Hostess is now is a lifestyle and entertaining blog encompassing parties, recipes, what to wear and more! I strive to make what you see on the blog attainable for my readers by posting simple styled table settings, recipes and hosting tips that anyone can incorporate into their life.
ELL: What are your five top tips for entertaining in style?
KM: 1. Food is key! Always have little bites out, like cheese and charcuterie, for guests to munch on when they arrive. Having a treat for guests to mingle over also helps keep them occupied while you’re still in the kitchen cooking. With respect to the main course, simplicity goes a long way. Pick a protein and two sides or a pasta dish with a salad - done!
2. Just as with the food, a simple table setting can go a long way. Everyone should own a great white place setting, which you can make pop with colorful or printed napkins and interesting glassware. Single blooms, which you can find easily at the grocery store, are the perfect easy centerpiece. Pick something colorful to add some visual interest, or keep your setting neutral with white flowers that complement anything around them. Alongside my white tableware, I also invested in gold, black and silver flatware. This way, I have an array of basic, functional table settings over which I can layer other, more eye-catching details.
3. Keep your bar stocked! Always have a bottle of red and white wine on hand. Additionally, have an assortment of liquor and mixes in case your guests aren't in the mood for wine. My husband also always has beer in the fridge! Stick with the basics; just keep in mind that different guests have different tastes. Entertaining is about accommodating these tastes.
4. Prep as much as you can ahead of time. Set the table, chop your vegetables, and pre-cook anything that you can. The best thing you can do for yourself is reduce any potential stressors that might pop up in the final hours before the party. A relaxed hostess is a good hostess!
5. Lastly, wash as you go! Once things are in the oven or on the stovetop and don’t need to be tended to, take advantage of that time to wash up. Also, always start party preparations with an empty dishwasher, so you can load as you work. A clean kitchen will allow you to be more organized - which, again, means less stress for you. Plus, do you really want to spend time on a beautiful table setting just to have a dirty stack of dishes sitting in the background?
ELL: Describe your fashion style when you are entertaining.
KM: I do most of my entertaining at home so I am usually barefoot, in something comfortable, like a cozy sweater and pair of jeans. If it’s a more formal event at a venue, I love wearing a cocktail dress with either heels or flat booties (depending on how much running around I have to do!)
ELL: What are your three favorite entertaining cookbooks?
KM: The Skinnytaste Cookbook is usually my go to for healthier recipes! It has great low-calorie recipes that are surprisingly delicious for dinner parties. Another great one is Cravings by Chrissy Tiegen - she has such fun recipes that are unique and SO delicious. Her meatloaf and mashed garlic cauliflower is a weeknight favorite in our household, and her buffalo chicken spinach dip is the perfect appetizer to serve for a cocktail hour. Lastly, Barefoot Contessa Family Style… although I love ANY of Ina Garten’s recipes. This is one of my favorite of her books, particularly for entertaining, because she put menu ideas for different occasions in the back.
ELL: What is your number one cocktail that you serve at parties? Can we have the recipe?
KM: Lately, I have been on a dirty martini and red wine kick - they’re classic, obviously, and easy to put together while you’re entertaining. However, I recently hosted a cocktail hour with a Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita that was a huge hit! The recipe is as follows:
Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita
4 ½ cups water
1 large whole cucumber, peeled and chopped (plus an extra cucumber for garnish!)
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp agave
1 whole jalapeno + 2, sliced for garnish
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups Reposado Tequila
In a blender, in batches, combine water, cucumber, lime juice, agave, jalapeno, and salt. Blend on high until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. (It helps to use a spatula to get it through the strainer.) Add tequila and stir well. Chill for 1 hour before serving. Serve in individual glasses over ice. Garnish with jalapeno and cucumber slices.
ELL: What songs are on your playlist for background music while entertaining at home? Can you give us your top ten?
KM: It’s quite the array of genres. Coming Home - Leon Bridges, Radio GaGa - Queen (or any of their songs!), Imagine - Ariana Grande, Saved - Khalid, Tennessee Whiskey - Chris Stapleton, Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac, Dancing in the Moonlight - Toploader, Where Were You in The Morning - Shawn Mendes, Ocean Eyes - Billie Eilish.
ELL: Do you have any entertaining don’ts that you can share with us?
KM: Don’t be afraid to ask for help (and accept said help!) As much as I always want to do everything myself, it makes entertaining much easier and less stressful when you have some extra hands - especially to help with clean up! Also, don’t cook something for a large crowd that you have never cooked before. It’s best to try out new, more complicated recipes on a smaller group. Lastly, don’t overthink it! I’ve made many meals that weren’t a hit and set up many table settings that were underwhelming. What counts is that your guests are laughing and having a good time!
Kaitlin Moss: @theeveryhostess
In this week’s My Style Guide, Kaitlin Moss gives us five tips for entertaining in style.