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Thanksgiving Day Games (that aren’t about football)

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all about Football, try some of these games to bring the family together without betting on a team!

DINNER TABLE GAMES

For Thanksgiving I Had Game: This memory game incorporates your Thanksgiving feast and can be played while everyone is eating. The first person starts by saying “For Thanksgiving dinner I had turkey,” and then each subsequent player adds a food and repeats the entire reel of dishes said prior to his or her turn. Each person who can’t remember the full list is out. But don’t concentrate too hard—you wouldn’t want the stuffing to get cold.

The Thankful Alphabet Game: This one’s pretty straightforward and is another one you can play while eating dinner—plus, it’s also a great way to get everyone talking about what they’re thankful for. All you have to do is have each person share one thing they’re thankful for, but the catch is, it has to start with the next letter of the alphabet, starting with A (the next person’s response will start with B, and so on). Go around the table until the alphabet’s been filled—yes, even X and Z.

Thanksgiving Mad Lib Game: Mad Libs are a great Thanksgiving game because they can pass the time while you wait for dinner, or you can even play while you eat and the whole family can participate. Have everyone take turns calling out words until the whole sheet is filled, then read what is sure to be a funny (and at least somewhat festive) story aloud. Download the card here https://smallstuffcounts.com/thanksgiving-mad-lib/ 

WHILE THEY WATCH FOOTBALL GAMES

Turkey Bowling Game: With the help of some brown plastic cups, some construction paper, and some googly eyes, you can challenge the family to a friendly Thanksgiving bowling tournament. Use mini pumpkins or a tennis ball to bowl with, and try to knock down these super cute DIY turkey pins. You can find the tutorial here https://www.theseasonedmom.com/thanksgiving-game-turkey-bowling/

Thanksgiving Pictionary Game: Pictionary is always fun and you don’t have to be a seasoned artist to play. This Thanksgiving version is great for families to play after dinner, before dinner, or any time during the Thanksgiving season! I mean who couldn’t use a little movement after eating a huge slice of Pumpkin Pie! Printable cards and instructions are here https://www.playpartyplan.com/thanksgiving-pictionary-game/

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, thank you for following my blog!

 

 

 

Teen Parties Volume II

Teen Parties Vol II

In this second post for teen parties I have uncluded two amazing events that your teen will love! The first party, and the most relaxed and easy to do is a “Bon Fire Party”.  Few things can beat the pleasure of a night out with friends, music, and a bonfire. It is also easy to set up outdoors rather than frantically cleaning every corner of the house. It’ll be a great idea during winters.

What you need:

Small chairs, sitting mats or hay bales, Bluetooth speakers or a guitar (optional), fairy lights, small candles. If you don’t have a fire pit already in your backyard there are many available at hardware and home stores.

What you can do:

  • Decorate the place with candles, fairy lights, small cushions, chairs or hay bales, and sitting mats.
  • If your teen’s friends love playing musical instruments, ask them to bring them. Maybe, they can all tune in together for a warm party.
  • Keep the s’mores, roasted marshmallows, cake, pizza and refreshing drinks ready.

The next party is a bit more challenging but if your child’s friends are fans of Cosplay this party will be something talked about for a long time. Here are some ideas for an “Anime Cosplay Party”. The term “cosplay” is a contraction of the words “costume” and “play” and simply means, “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genre of manga and anime.” If this group of friends have a particular game, comic book or movie they favor, make the party a single underlying theme: Examples: Dungeons & Dragons, The Avengers, My Hero Academia, Overwatch or Super Smash Brothers.

Decorations can be character specific or general. Decorate with Comic Book character posters, bright colored balloons, bright colored streamers, bright table covers for tables and wall décor and bright paper lanterns and tissue decorations. Incorporate Anime cutouts into centerpieces and table décor. Make sure you have an area that the guests can get together for photos. This is a must at every Anime Convention, so it will be at the party as well! Put anime in photo frames. Go to a craft store or dollar store and purchase a dozen or so photo frames. If you have photo frames around the house, you can use those instead and put the original photos back in them after the party. Print out some great anime screenshots or images that will fit in the frames. Place them around the party area.

For games you can play charades, karaoke and maybe twister. Pick up a character pinata, every age kid loves candy after all! Maybe you want to play anime video games or trivia. You could also do a twist on Pictionary by playing an anime-based version. Another idea is to play card games, such as Beyblade or Yu-Gi-Oh! card games. Glow in the Dark items can be a great activity for this type of party too. Conventions usually have Glow Parties after the day’s events. Set out bowls of Glow Sticks, Glow Necklaces and Bracelets for guests to use when they want. Prepare music playlists. Find anime songs online. Make some playlists that will last about as long as you think the party might run. Set up speakers or plan to stream the music from a Smart TV with an internet connection. Consider playing anime on TV or DVD. You can play it with the sound low or off if you don’t want it to compete with the music. If you have a projector you can use with a DVD player or computer, you can project anime onto the wall. You may want to watch some classic anime shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z.

If you’re planning to have a large party, it might be easier to order food than make it. Find Japanese restaurants in local directories online or in the yellow pages. Ideas for main dishes include teriyaki meat or salmon, and stir fry with chicken or beef, noodles, vegetables, and toasted sesame seed sauce. Some examples of appetizers or side dishes are sushi, fried rice, soup, clams steamed in butter, and fried shrimp with dipping sauces. There are various Japanese-themed drinks you can serve at your party. Some examples are green tea, cherry blossom tea, soy milk, and Japanese sodas from a local Asian grocer. Use cake decorating supplies to draw anime faces or characters on mocha, cookies, donuts or cake pops. Make or buy cupcake picks of different characters for use on a cake or cupcakes. Enjoy your teen!

 

Tween/Teen Party Ideas

😜 Teens tend to be difficult to entertain. Because they are growing up the classic children’s party is way to “square” or “boring” to them. Teens love lively and happening birthday parties. But throwing the perfect party for a teen is no easy task. You need to plan and organize carefully to the satisfaction of your child. Your teen’s happy face at the end of the day will make all worth it. Here are of couple trending ideas for those hard to please Tween-Teens.

Bring in some social media into your savvy teen’s birthday party. It surely will be the most exciting and stylish birthday party of the year! Enter the “Instagram Theme Party”! You can purchase customized social media selfie frames on Amazon. This one prop will be the center of attention the entire night. Make sure you add plenty of photo props like funky glasses, hats, feather boas, 3D noses, fake teeth, banners and moustaches. Use shimmer curtains, balloons or a favorite fabric for the backdrop in the photo area.

There is actually a fun set of hashtag and camera balloons, plates and napkins available from Havercamp Products. Print out Instagram icons and place on the table and/or walls to decorate. Use a Black and White check table cover found in the car racing section of your local party store. String pennant banners, homemade or purchased, behind the cake/food table and pin photos of all the guests to them. Check with a local bakery to see if they can make Instagram Cookies or try yourself, baking them from sugar cookie dough and icing.

Since creative crafts are always a favorite, supply each guest with an old white dress shirt (the thrift store will have plenty). Set out markers, glitter pens and like. Let the teens create works of art on each other’s shirts. This will be a great souvenir and awesome photos for Instagram!

Another cool party that has a lot of product available to purchase is an “Emoji Theme Party”. What better way to share those radical teen emotions than with fun emojis? This event is a whole lotta yellow and happy. If you don’t want to go to the expense of printed plates and napkins just stock up on every yellow (and Black) thing in the solid colored party aisle. Decorate with an assortment of Emoji Foil Balloons and Smiley Face Latex Balloons. Make arrangements for around the room and on tables. Hang Yellow and Black tissue fans on the wall in back of the food/cake table. Add a huge OMG in black letters cut from construction paper. Bake Emoji cookies using a sugar cookie recipe and frosting.

Create a Photo Booth with a yellow background using plastic table covers. Have the kids make Emoji faces on yellow paper plates and tape to the wall. This activity not only makes a great backdrop but includes the teens in a creative craft. Set out plenty of paints, glitter, buttons, string and the like so they can really into it! Set out Emoji Photo Props for the kids to use in their Selfies. Have bowls filled with an assortment of Emoji toys for the youths to tinker with. Oriental Trading Company has a bunch of fun items like Balls, Clappers, Squishies, Dice and Wind-ups.

Fix your own food parties that involve each guest preparing his/her own meal are always a hit. Have ingredients for mini pizzas with toppings to create faces. Supply yellow or black aprons for each party-goer or, if your budget allows, emoji aprons found on many websites.

Fun Camp Out Party

Camp Out Party

Any scout can tell you what makes the great outdoors so great – the cool accommodations! At this party the action is centered around a large tent set up in the yard. It can be organized as a sleepover or just an afternoon/evening event. Now that fall is upon us, evening temperatures are not sweltering and more pleasant for this type of celebration.

Of course, the main décor item for this theme is the TENT, but you can spiff up the inside with crepe streamers and tie helium filled balloons on the fence surrounding your back yard. If there is a tree near the tent site, consider colorful pennant banners tied from the tree to the tent. A large Happy Birthday banner can be hung across the face of the tent. Tissue balls and party lights can be hung in all the trees surrounding the area. Make a fun “Camp *******” sign to stake in the grass. Make up animal tracks and place on the ground to guide guests to certain areas of the party. Set out tin cups with each camper’s name written in permanent marker at each place setting along with compasses, flashlights and/or binoculars. Use red gingham table covers or lumberjack designs.

Party activities can be classic camp games like one legged race game, nature scavenger hunt or flashlight tag. Having a real campfire is a plus. If you don’t have the capacity for a pit in your back yard use a hibachi or rent/buy an inexpensive fire pit. You can sit around the fire and tell spooky stories, sing songs or play an interesting I spy game. What could be better for kids than classic camp out crafts. Decorate t-shirts, make keychains and make popsicle stick picture frames. Designate an area for taking pictures. Purchase a Camp Out theme photo prop set along with fun hats, jackets, backpacks, lanterns and other camping props.

The highlight of the evening can be an outdoor Movie. Reclaim the spirit of old Drive-in theaters, it will be a unique experience for little ones. Borrow or buy an inexpensive projector (maybe on Craig’s List) and use a bed sheet for the screen. Have fun snacks like popcorn, smores and trail mix. The main meal can consist of Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, cook over the fire or on a barbeque. Bake up a Camp theme cake or cupcakes. Have fun and enjoy the outdoors!

Time for Oktoberfest!

Celebrate Fall and German Heritage with a fun Oktoberfest party.  This is a perfect celebration to sample various beers, listen to fun upbeat music and to enjoy good food with family and friends. This is also a great theme for Bachelor Parties, Male Birthdays, Fund Raisers and Sporting events as well.

Oktoberfest Facts:

  • Oktoberfest is a 16-day to 18-day festival held in Munich, Germany every year, from late September to early October.
  • The first Oktoberfest was on October 12, 1810 in Munich to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.
  • The event has been canceled 24 times due to cholera outbreaks and war.
  • Large amounts of German food and beer are consumed every year during the festival.
  • In 2007, the Oktoberfest in Germany attracted 6.2 Million visitors.
  • The colors of Oktoberfest are white and blue, the colors of the flag of Bavaria, Germany.

During Oktoberfest, large tents are set up and each one decorated according to their own theme and colors.  If you don’t have enough space indoors, set-up a pop-up tent  or pop-up canopy in your back yard or function space to mimic the Oktoberfest celebration and decorate with blue and white streamers, balloons, or themed gossamer.  For a party indoors, create a canopy over a dining room table with crepe streamers or Oktoberfest plastic décor tape available online or in some party stores.

White and light blue are the colors of the flag of the state of Bavaria, the largest state in Germany.  These colors are customary for Oktoberfest events but some people like to add a darker blue to the decorations. Get table cloths, plates and party supplies in white and blue, either solid colors or diamond pattern. Obtain posters from travel agencies to put all over the party room. A simple centerpiece to put together – get a dinner plate, place a beer stein in the middle.  Fill the stein with fresh flowers and add in small Oktoberfest or German flags.  Fill the plate around the stein with lots of large fresh pretzels.  Place on the party table with an Oktoberfest table cloth.  An instant simple, yet effective Oktoberfest centerpiece!  Make sure you have German music playing in the background by tuning into a Pandora station or picking up a German Polka CD. Have a Polka Dance lesson and contest for your guests. You can learn the steps with this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVnfVUWiBTU Have a German Costume contest too. Pass out German hats, blue beads and Oktoberfest theme horns to the party-goers to get in a festive mood.

Set up a table with a line-up of the beers available for tasting.  For each one, put out a place card with the name of the beer, origin, and any other trivia you may know about the beer and brewery. You can make up a simple food spread with assorted sausages, German potato salad, cooked Red Cabbage and lots of large warm pretzels. For dessert serve a German favorite Apple Strudel or Americanize the dessert and serve German Chocolate Cake (you know it was named after a person’s last name – not that is was a German recipe). “Prost”! (German for Cheers!)

 

Wedding Style Inspiration

Wedding Style

The biggest mistake a Bride can make is obsessing over a detail you have set in your mind, whether it be a specific color or look of a venue. Coming up with a wedding style should begin with the question: “how do I want myself and my guests to feel”?  Then envision big puzzle pieces like your dress and venue. Will a princess gown or stuffy ballroom fit the low-key dinner party vibe you hope to achieve? Not likely. Next think about what excites you visually. Maybe it’s a favorite movie or work of art. You might adopt the hues or design from these things to incorporate into your own dream wedding.  You want the mood to feel like a natural extension of you as a couple. This is essentially the biggest dinner party you’ll ever throw, so stick to what you know and love. Whether your hostess style is a fancy sit-down dinner or a casual hang with guests up and mingling, channel that at your reception. You both love waffles and mimosas? Exchange vows in the morning, then host a boozy brunch reception. Focus attention and budget on a few hero elements of those inspirations instead of “scattering your efforts” by forcing every aspect to fall in line.

Build a “Wedding Vision Board” using a large piece of foam core so you can add and take off items that don’t work. Gathering photos of venues, swatches of color, ribbons, fabrics, flowers or stationery can give you a much needed visual of what your mind is putting together. You may be obsessed with Blush and Gold but it might clash with your venue or the season you are planning your nuptials. Once you’ve made the physical display, a ready-to-send digital version keeps vendors working toward the same vision.

Choosing colors for your event can be a daunting task. This decision effects so many parts of your wedding, from stationery to décor to bridesmaids’ dresses. Start with what’s in your home and closet. Think about what colors you and your fiancé feel good in, whether it’s neutrals, jewel tones, pastels, or bright and bold all the way. If you don’t have a planner or designer (they should have a Pantone book) you can find the Pantone color book online at Pantone.com – scroll down to Color Tools and click on “find a Pantone color”.  You can purchase individual swatches online. I suggest getting a physical sample because digital hues will vary across screens. You should stick with a maximum of three statement colors and one neutral. When choosing colors consider your venue. Go with shades that complement the surroundings but aren’t to matchy-matchy.

FIVE POPULAR WEDDING MOODS

CLASSIC: Timeless, Elegant, Traditional = romantic roses or peonies and soft colors like cream & blush.

MODERN: Minimalist, Chic, Contemporary = clean lines, black & white, geometric décor

RUSTIC: Outdoorsy, Vintage, Natural = earthy, elegant candle, lace & floral accents on wooden pallets

BOHO: Trendy, Colorful, Unconventional = drawn to patterns and pampas grass, casual

GARDEN PARTY: Charming, Pastel, Whimsical = lush botanical touches, outdoor tents

Stay on point and budget. Identify nonnegotiables: once you have your guest list, narrow down priorities and high-ticket items. Research pays off: Do lots up front to avoid any latent sticker shock. Feel confident about your decisions by comparing prices online and searching for in-person discounts, in department store clearance sections and consignment shops. Don’t be afraid to DIY: If you can’t find the exact décor item you desire, consider making it yourself. You can save lots of money and create meaningful memories with your wedding party and family.

Tell your signature story using the right mix of colors décor, and personalized touches. Remember this is all about you and your soon to be husband! Congratulations!

Circus Theme Carnival/Party

A Carnival can be for a family Birthday Party, a School/Church Carnival or Neighborhood Get-together. A Circus Theme is favorite of mine. So colorful and entertaining. Try some of these ideas in your planning.

Balloons, Concessions and games all make a Circus/Carnival theme fun for everyone.

A “must” is hiring (or if a friend is able) a Clown to make Balloon Animals and other creations for the kiddos. If you have some children that are afraid of clowns many professionals offer friendly clowns. Some of these companies can offer Face Painting as well, which is a much-loved activity. Otherwise, you can have some of the older kids set up their own booth. You can see a tutorial on what you need to “do it yourself” here: https://www.howcast.com/videos/418834-how-to-set-up-a-face-painting-booth

Some games you might want to set up are a Bean Bag Throw and a Circus Shootout. For the bean bag throw, make a target out of plywood or foamcore. Paint the board with a circus related design and cut out holes large enough for the beanbags to go through. Each player gets to throw three beanbags at the target. You can make a shootout game by setting out ping pong balls decorated like clowns or circus animals on top of weighted 2-liter pop bottles. The player must shoot the ball off the bottle using a water or nerf gun. If you want to offer prizes for the game booths you can choose instant prizes that all the players win for participating or organize a Redemption system, where players earn tickets or punches on a card that they can redeem for larger prizes.

If you have the budget Petting Zoos and/or Pony Rides are an outstanding and memorable experience for party-goers. If you are lucky you may have a willing horse and/or animal owner in your group of friends that might volunteer. If not and you do not have the budget to hire, how about creating a petting zoo with stuffed animals? Find or borrow animals found in the circus – Lions, Elephants, Monkeys, Horses, Tigers, Giraffes, Zebras, Llamas, Birds, Bears, Sea Lions, Cats and Dogs. Surround the stuffed animals with a plastic fence, add some hay bales for effect and the kids will love it!

Food choices for this party scream Concession Machines. You can find Popcorn Machines, Cotton Candy Machines and Sno Cone Machines available for rental at your local Party Rental Company. Add Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Peanuts, Candy Apples and Cup Cakes and everyone will get their fill of  “Junk Food”!

And last but not least, Balloons! What Circus/Carnival would be without them. If the budget allows, hire a balloon decorator for Balloons Arches, Centerpieces and special Circus Theme Décor. Helium and Air-filled designs are perfect and the overall impact will make an event to remember. Be sure to add colorful plastic table-covers or linens to the tables and use Streamers, Pennant Banners and Paper Decorations throughout the areas for a color overload! Enjoy and come back to see our next post! We’ll surprise you!

How to throw a Cocktail Party!

Cocktail Party 101

The cocktail party is a perfect way of entertaining for occasions as diverse as a casual after work get-together to a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Even though these types of parties are a throwback from the 50’s they are still popular and a staple in the hospitality industry. A perfect adult event that can be fun and rewarding.

Taking advice from caterers as to how they plan on the amount for drinks and how much to buy for cocktail parties, they use a formula that roughly estimates 10 people will consume 20 drinks at the average cocktail party. Make that 40 drinks if it’s a full evening affair, usually including dinner. This is based on a typical 1.5 Ounce shot of hard liquor.

So, how many drinks can you get out of a bottle? A 750 ml. bottle will yield about 17 cocktails. A liter bottle will yield 22. A 1.75-liter bottle will yield 39. For a party of wine drinkers, plan on stocking 5 bottles (750 ml) for 10 people. You should get roughly 5 servings per bottle. For beer drinkers, stock 5 six-packs for ten people, based on a twelve-ounce serving. If you have the budget and inclination, you can stock a full bar. However, a more economical idea is to offer a selection of cocktails that can be made from one or two primary types of liquor or to limit yourself to a wine and/or beer party.

If you do want to stock a full bar, you could go wild purchasing all kinds of exotic liqueurs and alcoholic concoctions, but most people’s imbibing needs can be met by having the following on hand: Vodka, Rum, Gin, Scotch, Bourbon, Blended Whiskey & Tequila. The mixers necessary for these alcohols will depend on the cocktails you plan on offering. I would suggest Juices (Orange, Grapefruit, Tomato Juice), Club Soda, Tonic Water, Cola, Lemon Lime Soda, Ginger Ale. Make sure you have Lemon and Lime slices and Olives available. Always have bottled water on hand.

If you’ve still got budget and want to offer more cocktail choices, consider choosing 5 of the most popular creations (maybe one’s your friends ask for) and stock ingredients to make them. According to bartenders 5 of the top sellers are Dry Martini (flavored one’s too), Old Fashioned, Margarita, Manhattan & Daiquiri.

Now that we have covered what to drink, how about some food? Most Cocktail parties are short and include snack food. Choose one recipe that requires cooking, add one or two that only require simple assembly. The rest of the snacks can be store-bought. And look for recipes that you can make in advance. A platter of crudités is always a good idea along with bowls of mixed nuts & pretzels. Oh, and skip the cheese board—it’ll just get messy. If you want to put out one nice cheese, though, go for it with some nice crackers and maybe some olives and salami. A nice finishing touch to an evening of cocktails is a dessert buffet and selection of coffee and teas. (btw if you need a large coffee machine we have them for rent!)

Enjoy Hosting!

Cake Baking Tips!

Here are some great tips for better cake baking.

Always preheat your oven at least 12 to 15 minutes before baking your cake. To ensure an easy release coat your pan with cooking spray and flour. For an extra smooth top cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the pan, grease the paper too. Bake on the middle rack and do not crowd if if you are cooking multiple pans.

It is a good idea to bake your cake a day in advance, fresh cakes can be to soft to work with. You can freeze your cake up to three months in advance if you wrap the cooled cake in a layer of plastic and a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Defrost completely in your refrigerator before frosting.

To cut a baked cake into a shape, use a serrated knife in a gentle sawing motion. To prevent the cake from slipping while you frost it, dab a little frosting onto the platter or cake board before you place the cake down. For a crumb-free frosting, crumb-coat your cake. To do this, spread a very thin layer of frosting on the cake, then refrigerate it. When the frosting is hard, frost and decorate the cake.

For a standard smooth frosted cake always start on the top with a straight-edged metal spatula. Begin with a pile of frosting in the center and spread to the sides. Next, frost the sides of the cake, working from the top to bottom. Smooth the frosting by dipping the spatula into a glass of hot water and running it at a slight angle across the top and sides. The trick is to use a single motion across the cake, rather than several small ones.

If you are adventurous, I am including two fun cakes that you can try your hand at. The first is a Hot Dog and Fries cake. Make this by using a baked loaf pan cake. Cut out the center of the cake and place two Twinkies in the center. Frost them with red frosting (mix red and brown together to make hot dog red). Add a squirt of mustard (yellow frosting) and some relish (diced gumdrops or fruit slices). For the fries cut off the outer brown edges of the loaf cake and use the reserved center piece you cut out for the Twinkies. Slice into French fry pieces and brown on all sides under a broiler. After they are cooled drizzle them with ketchup (red frosting).

Another fun cake is a Sleepover cake. Bake a 13-by-9-by-2 cake. Turn the cake upside down and slightly frost it. Cut Twinkies in half lengthwise and place the tops cut side down on the cake bed. Frost a pink sheet on the top third of the cake. Place a marshmallow at the top of each twinkie and flatten (pillow) then position a vanilla or chocolate wafer on each pillow (faces). Frost a light pink blanket over the Twinkies and use gel icing or sprinkles to decorate the blanket. Let the party goers decorate their own face using gel icing (hair) and mini jawbreakers (eyes).

Enjoy and have fun baking!

Shangri-la-de-da Adult Pool Party

PoolPartyCollage

As an adult we all have some memory of a sun-drenched beach, tropical cocktails and feeling like we are at some exotic embassy party. Whether it was a cruise you took, a foreign vacation or just pretend at your own pool. Here is an opportunity to have some adult fun, without the kids. Time to enjoy friendships and the sultry summer weather.

Invite your friends to your Shangi-La-De-Da Pool Party. The event will start in the late afternoon with some swimming and sunning, perhaps some light pool games and plenty of Tropical Drinks and/or Punch. As the sun sets your guests will change into something linen and cool, ready for a meal and some socializing and entertainment.

The best part about being at the pool in the evening is the foreign, luxurious atmosphere. Create this by putting small lights in trees around the area. You can use mini Christmas lights or the big round bulbs available in many stores summer sections. Load up on floating candles and place them in the pool. Purchase and place tiki torches or freestanding candle lanterns around the area. Make or buy Luminaries to place around the pool and walking areas. Buy inexpensive three tired vegetable and fruit baskets and hang them from the outer branches of trees that are further out, place a small glass container with a candle set in sand on each tier. You might consider using battery operated candles for less maintenance during the night. If you have room (and it is legal in your community) build or purchase a ready made open fire pit.

For Food and Beverage service use unbreakable colorful glasses and plates. Discover an abundance of these at the dollar stores during the summer. Just mix and match whatever colors makes you happy. However, use your best linens and silverware to make the affair elegant. If you don’t have them, rent some Umbrella Tables for around the pool with linens and some Bistro/Cocktail tables with linens for people to stand at. For the buffet area bring out (or borrow) some house plants to place on the table with some up lighting. Sprinkle with flowers. Place trays of cut fruit and vegetables for the afternoon, along with some small cakes. Purchase some inflatable buffet ice trays that will keep the food cool. Dinner is grilled (on your own BBQ) Panini Sandwiches. Choose from beef, turkey, ham or even fish; find recipes and “how to’s” here https://www.cooking-outdoors.com/make-panini-sandwich-grill/  Have a tray of sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and served with fresh basil and slices of mozzarella. Make a seasonal salad with lots of fresh greens. A cool refreshing Dessert is Gelato (Italian Ice).

Entertainment easily consist of putting together a playlist of your favorite beach tunes. XM Radio and Pandora both have stations during the summer called Yacht Rock. It is soft rock hits, perfect for this type of gathering. Have a clear area by the pool set aside for dancing. Enjoy the evening and your friends and family! Happy Summer!