Lauren Conrad on Home Entertaining: Designer Shares Favorite Party Ideas

Lauren Conrad on March 8, 2014 in Los Angeles
Lauren Conrad (here at a Malibu Rum event in Los Angeles) tells Us Weekly she loves to invite friends over for "bring your favorite cocktail" parties. Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Malibu Island Spiced

She's an author, fashion designer, blogger and bride-to-be, and while many may assume Lauren Conrad's days are stretched to the minute, Conrad tells Us Weekly she always makes time to cook and entertain at home. In fact, it's how the 28-year-old (engaged to William Tell) relaxes after her packed days. "I've been really busy, but I enjoy cooking. It's nice to spend 30 minutes to an hour just having a drink, making dinner and listening to music," the former reality star says. "It's my wind-down for the day."

A fan of quick meals, Conrad tells Us her dinner staples include caesar salads with homemade dressing and — her specialty — chicken with artichokes and white wine sauce over pasta. "I usually try and do new stuff or tweak [recipes] — nothing crazy, I am not a chef," Conrad explains of the meals she prepares for her and fiance Tell. "The craziest I get is swapping out ingredients or trying to make delicious recipes a little healthier."

When it comes to home entertaining, presentation is always key for Conrad, who owns properties in both her hometown of Laguna Beach, Calif., and L.A.'s Brentwood neighborhood. In fact, the foodie and style aficionado collaborated with BlueAvocado to launch XO(eco), a line of cosmetic and travel accessories that include items like insulated wine, pie and casserole carriers in a variety of unisex designs. "I am all about presentation. I really enjoy baking, and if I go somewhere and bring a dessert, I always bake a pie. That was the idea behind [my XO(eco) carriers]. I was always balancing a pie in my lap on the car ride there and trying not to spill it," she recalls.

One of Conrad's preferred warm weather theme parties is a "bring your favorite cocktail" bash, where she invites attendees to share their favorite wine and spirits to sip while noshing on the party dishes. "That way, everyone brings something different and you're left with a fully stocked bar!" Conrad enthuses.

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