Archives for July 2012

Keep Calm & Party On

Show:  The Today Show
Date:  July 12, 2012
Guest:  Sarah Humphreys, Real Simple Magazine

 

Keep Calm and Party On

Keep Calm and Party On (or how to be a more relaxed host)

Because throwing a party can be a lot of stress and work, Sarah Humphreys, Executive Editor from Real Simple magazine, was on the Today show to share her tips on staying relaxed when entertaining this summer.

Three Things to Include on the Invitations

Tell when you are grilling.  You can avoid having to re-fire the grill for late arrivals.
If you have a rain date, put it on the invite. You can also put “Rain or Shine”, so you won’t have to deal with people calling that day asking if the party is still going to happen).
Put the ‘dress code’ on it as well.  Some people have a different idea of what ‘casual’ means, so just be specific!
Invite

Think Piñatas

The next tip she had was to include a piñata for all ages.  You can get them from party supply stores.  Sarah suggests using a monochromatic colours scheme of candies to look more chic.,But some other ideas are lottery tickets, seed packets, water guns, fake moustaches, fortune telling fish (anyone know what these are?). The diamond piñata shown is from Confetti System.
Silver Piñata

Filling ideas:

Food – What to Serve

Since you don’t want to be  cooking all day, keep it simple.  Serve Hamburgers and Hot Dogs.  Just make sure to practice good food safety, and keep things like salads on ice.   Get fancier for the drinks and desserts.  Have a signature cocktail.  The one shown here is a Limeade Margarita – 2 cups of limeade along with some tequila and triple sec.  I wish she said how much liquor to put in,  I made the margaritas WAY too strong at my Cinco de Mayo party!  Put ice to the side so you don’t water down the drink.  If you don’t have a cooler,  get creative with how to store ice.  You can line a planter with plastic wrap and fill them with ice.  I like those galvanized containers to put drinks in.  The dessert shown is some type of pistachio parfait; with pistachio ice cream, hot fudge and chocolate cookies.  You can make it ahead of time, and take it out of the freezer just before serving.
Pistachio Parfaits    Hamburgers & Hot Dogs

Tip for when it is Hot Hot Hot

Get some dollar store towels, roll them up and put them in ice.  People can take them and put them on the backs of their necks if they are overheating.
Cool Towels

See the video from the Today Show:

Keep Calm poster generated at: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/

 

Fun Fourth of July for the Family

Show:  The Today Show
Date:  July 3, 2012
Guest:  Robyn Moreno

So you have only a day left to get ready for your 4th of July bash.  Lifestyle expert Robyn Moreno was on the Today show with some festive ideas (crafts, games and food) to set the mood when entertaining for Independence Day.  Her rules are to keep it fun and simple.  You shouldn’t have to work too hard.  Make sure you have something for everyone.

The first item Robyn showed was a fireworks mural, so you can enjoy the pyrotechnics, even if you are somewhere where they aren’t allowed, or if you have little kids and don’t think it is safe.  So this custom mural could work in a pinch, it comes with adhesive so you can stick it to the side of the house or on your garage.  Robyn’s idea was to take pictures in front of it.  So it makes a cute and reusable decoration.  Check out muralsyourway.com.

Fireworks Mural

Screenshot of Mural

Next, she showed some hanging decorations that she found at Party City.  She found banners, balloons, hanging lights, etc.  She noted that most times when you go shopping this late, you can often find stuff for half off (of course, you risk the stores being cleaned out though!).

Next were some old fashioned crafts for the kids, like the cute pinwheels from mysweetmuffin.com.  So summery.  Kids can make and play with them (great for small hands), you can use them later for decorations.

pinwheelcraft

Pinwheels

I really like this next craft,  animal balloons!   Who doesn’t love balloons?  This fun kit comes with 6 balloons, and the kids can construct animal faces, like the tiger and pig shown here.  There is also a red, white & blue set as well.

balloons

Animal Balloon Kit

Another retro craft is rockets.  So Robyn said she found a company called Kiwi Craft which will send you a different box of crafts every month, like the paper rockets. kiwicraft.com

For games,  there was a bean bag toss game.  A game everyone can play.Robyn says in Texas they call it corn hole-ing.  Weird  🙂   The game shown below is from hayneedle.com

 

Bean Bag Toss

Next up is Hula Hoops and Stilts.  The stilts shown were ergonomic ones from a company called Walk-A-Roo. You can get Walkaroo Stiltson on Amazon.  The hula hoop has lights on it, so you can keep hooping into the night. The WeGlow International Light Up Hula Hoop
looks pretty small, so may be better suited for younger kids.

I think this one looks like a better pick:

For food,  Robyn had a cute suggestion, a Hot Dog Bar.  With labelled condiments and different toppings, everyone can make it themselves.

hot dog bar

Hot Dog Bar

And for drinks, use a red Radio Flyer wagon as a cooler.

 

 

To Watch the video:

You can also watch this video on 4th of July crafts for kids: