Friday, July 30, 2010

Fun Idea Friday! Another 10 Great Ideas for Great Summer Get-Togethers

A few weeks ago I listed 10 great ideas for great summer get-togethers that I found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, June 2010 issue. Here is a continuation from #11-#20 of that list :) Even more to come later!

11. A few extras can turn your basic backyard setup into summer party central. You probably already have a table, chairs, and umbrella. Now add melamine dishes in a fun pattern, stackable chairs to seat a crowd, and lanterns and citronella torches to light the night. Set a color palette to guide your purchases, but don't be afraid to go bolder and brighter than you would indoors. Summer gives license to play.

12. Use cloth napkins in dark patterns. Indian block prints are nice--if they get stained with barbecue sauce, you won't notice as much.

13. Raid your shed for a garden theme buffet. Use a tiered plant stand for glasses and plates, cachepots for utensils, and large plant saucers to serve burgers, sandwiches, chips, etc. Make sure they're all thoroughly clean or, even better, new.

14. Short on shade? Buy a 10' x 10' pop-up canopy. Hang sheer curtain panels at the corners and tie them back with ribbon. It's an outdoor eating pavilion for under $200.

15. Serve drinks in short Mason jars. That way, if bugs are a problem, you can screw on the lid between sips.

16. To keep pasta or potato salads cool for up to two hours, fill the largest of a set of nesting mixing bowls with ice, then nestle in a smaller bowl full of salad.

17. Sending party invites by e-mail saves times, money, and paper. Upgrade the experience with's sophisticated photos and extensive customization options. You e-invite can even play music.

18. Be ready for grill time anytime: Soak a big bath of bamboo skewers in water for an hour or so, drain, and freeze them in a plastic bag. When it's time to grill, pull out as many as you need.

19. Dress up store-bought frozen treats with cute drip catchers: Cut a small slit in the bottom of a cupcake liner and pull the stick through.

20. Grill burgers in advance, then regrill them quickly before serving. This way, you don't stress about making sure they're properly cooked when a hundred hungry hands are reaching for them.

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