Friday, September 3, 2010

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

Continuing on with #21-#30 of the 40 Fun Ideas for Great Summer Get-Togethers which I have been posting all summer. Still some summer left so take advantage :)

21. You don't need a pool or a fountain for have a water feature. Galvanized drink buckets with floating candles, flower head, or glass balls do the trick--a lot of impact for a little money.

22. Pack madeleine cookies, which are shaped like seashells, in cellophane bags, or fill votive candle holders with saltwater taffy or jelly beans in tropical flavors. Set one at each place setting as dessert or a sweet take-home gift.

23. For each table setting, cut the stem entirely off a huge mum and center the flower on the dining plate. Stand a place card up within the petals.

24. For some good old-fashioned fun, break out the lawn games. Croquet, horseshoes, and lawn bowling are good no-sweat options. Award prizes to the winners.

25. Load dog and burger fixings in a tote that goes from fridge to table and back again. Extra credit: Decant ketchup, mustard, mayo, and BBQ sauce into clear squeeze bottles.

26. For a no-stress centerpiece that looks good all season long, pot warm-season annuals in a low colorful bowl (6 inches tall or less that has drainage holes. I recommend a combo of geraniums and spotted deadnettle--the nettle for its chartreuse leaves and the geraniums because they're long bloomers.

27. Even dessert can take a turn on the grill. Place whole or sliced bananas, some butter, brown sugar and a splash of rum on large individual squares of foil. Fold and seal into packets and drill until bananas are soft and caramelized; serve with ice cream.

28. Upgrade a plain patio umbrella. Stencil on a random design using different colors of outdoor paint (find it at crafts stores). The same trick works on canvas director's chair covers and outdoor pillow covers.

29. Forgot to chill the wine? Try this new gadget: Ravi wine chiller ( It fits into the neck of the bottle and chills as you pour. PS: When stocking the wine bar, estimate about two glasses for each guest.

30. Instead of place mats, put each place setting on its own tray. It looks great, plus it makes cleanup so much easier. When dinner is done, just carry the whole tray from the patio table to the kitchen.

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