I have been super busy this week preparing for my big summer party that's going down on Sunday. I have about 80 Rsvp's so far! Remember my post How to Throw a Party? Well, I'm referring back to it this week as I prepare to rock and roll with my friends.
Here is a bit of what I've been working on...
Entertainment - Music is a huge part of my life and always a central theme in all my parties. I have hired an acoustic duo to play for a few hours, but before and after that I have my iPod! Music selection requires some thought, but it can make or break a party. What is the vibe you want to relate to your guests? Me? I'm going to start with an island /reggae feel with some Bob Marley and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole mixed with some 80's and country tunes. I want a real eclectic, summer time feeling that builds until the band begins.
After the band stops I want to kick it up a notch and have a playlist of dancy songs straight from Evolution of Dance (per my kids' request):
Did you know you can play DJ at your own parties by downloading iTunes DJ? Or, for a really cool dynamic music mix without any fuss, try downloading Pandora Radio for free. You simply enter in a song or artist that has the vibe you're looking for and the program does all the work. Cool.
Food- Some things I'm making (Tangy Coleslaw and a giant Cheesy Potato Casserole) but I've enlisted a local caterer to cook off my shredded pork. I ordered it without sauce and will add my own North Carolina style sauce once I get it home. Easy peasy!
**Here is my North Carolina BBQ sauce recipe for pulled pork:
2 c. cider vinegar
1 1/3 c. water
2/3 c. ketchup
¼ c. brown sugar
4 t. pepper flakes
5 t. salt
2 t. pepper
Mix with a whisk and pour some over the pork as it reheats, set the rest out as a condiment.
Atmosphere- I've talked before about the merits of dimmers on your light fixtures at home, but don't forget the lighting outside! I string my woods full of Christmas lights and hang paper lanterns everyplace I can. The result is two-fold: a cool twinkling spot to hang and chat, AND I get an additional place for the children to play once the sun sets, since the wooded area is lit. Bonus!
Don't forget to build a fire at sunset! This creates the atmosphere and provides lighting, too! Don't know how? Ok, you can learn How to Build a Great Fire.
Kids- Speaking of kids...there will be a LOT of them here on Sunday, about 50 or so! You have to put some thought into entertaining them. Your guests will be more relaxed and stay longer if their kids are having fun. It's a fact. For reals. I will have several stations set up to entertain the kidlets:
Tattoo station (a simple table with buckets of water, sponges, and temporary tattoos)
Games (corn hole, sandbox, volleyball, chalk, basketball, bubbles...)
Glow sticks (dude, this will buy you endless amounts of time after dark.)
Some new things I have this year are Beach Balls I ordered online. They will serve to decorate as I will have them scattered around when guests arrive and the kids can play with them. I got about 50 of them for about $25.
Fireflies are mesmerizing, so I'm capitalizing on that and setting up a firefly catching table. Inexpensive containers from the dollar store (5/$1) with a firefly photo explains what to do:
Well, that's what I've been up to so far! I'll check back here Monday with a run down and maybe some more details and recipes from my party..