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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

::Outdoor Party Perfection::

Here are some wonderful tips to help you CELEBRATE the summer in style and comfort!  Thanks to our friends at Real Simple Magazine for these ideas!

  1. When you send out your invites, make sure to tell your guests when you will be serving food.  For example, "Food will be served from 6:00pm-8:00pm".  This way the food can be fresh for all guests attending with the intention to eat.  You will only have to start the grill once!
  2. Have enough seats!  Bring out chairs from the house or spread out blankets or quilts for people to picnic on.  
  3. Lighting!  Strings of lights, paper lanterns, or candles in mason jars always warm up the feeling of a party.  If you need to run extension cords across the yard, clip wire coat hangers into 3-4 inch sections and bend them into "U" shaped pegs and drive them into the lawn over the wires to prevent tripping.
  4. Mosquitoes Menace!   A week before the party, empty all sources of standing water (kiddie pools, old tires, gutters, etc).  Set up fans because mosquitoes don't fair well in the wind.  Set out a bowl of insect repellent wipes for guest to use if need be.
  5. Music!  Don't blast the music because it reduces conversation.  Place your speakers high above head level and turn the speakers towards the side of the house to help take advantage of better acoustics.  
  6. Kids!  If there are children at the party make sure they are entertained.  Have bottles of bubbles; turn on the sprinkler; hand out disposable cameras, etc.  
  7. Hot?  If the temperature is more than you can handle have a basket of hand fans available and have wash clothes (from the dollar store) soaked in ice water from people to place of their necks and wrists!
  8. Use disposable plates and cups to make things easier!  Separate your drink, food, and dessert stations.  This helps to prevent traffic jams and increase conversation!
  9. Keep the food simple and cold (if it needs to be)!  Create ice bowls by filling a larger bowl with water (which you can color or if you'd like). Next float a smaller empty bowl within the larger bowl weighting it down so it sinks slightly.  Place this into the freezer and freeze until solid (1-2 days).  Once frozen, pop the smaller bowl out of the now frozen form.  Fill it with your favorite mayonnaise/yogurt based salads and return to the ice bowl!  This will keep everything fresh, cold, and safe!
  10. Have some labels and a permanent marker on hand for guests to label their drinks to avoid confusion! You could even print out labels if you have a prearranged guest list in mind!
  11. Windy?  Use fruit such plums, oranges, etc to hold down plates on a windy day!  Tie or clip down your tablecloth to avoid fly aways.

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