Summer's Last Hurrah

I know there are a couple of weeks to go but the writing is on the wall - summer is just about over. Mr. L has some relatives from the old country in town and threw out the possibility of hosting a little summer barbeque in their honor. Did someone say par-tay? Im game.

The hitch is that it would be this week! You can probably guess I'm not too keen on the last minute thing. It doesn't give me any time to whip up fun little details. Be that as it may, if we do have people over, I still want to add a few sparks to the day.

I have a small backyard - no trees,grass or view. Just a little postage stamp sized plot of land to host our guests. So it would be a casual indoor and outdoor mixing kind of thing. During the day so candles, twinkly lights or tiki torches are out.

The menu will be traditional American barbeque - steaks, corn, chicken, etc.. But what about the fun stuff?

Here are the last minute ideas I've managed to find as possibilities. Real pineapples as cocktail glasses, flowers in ball jars, frozen vodka, colorful cupcakes...
Real Pineapple Cup
photo credits: flickr, country living, martha stewart, phoenix times

After seeing this photo from Country Living, I just might have to buy a picnic table.

Do you have any other quick and easy ideas I can use? I'd love to hear/see them!


  1. crackthewhip10:43 AM

    Make cute little name tags for all the food (eg: steaks, corn, etc.). Also, a little homemade bunting really can add to the party feel. Cheap and easy!

  2. You could make some pendant banners out of coordinating colors with your decor -- they take no time to whip on the sewing machine!

  3. Anonymous10:53 AM

    You had me @ frozen vodka..........a recent bbq I went to had some fruit salsa with homemade cinnamon tortilla chips. OMG, yummy!

    I know you will make the event (even as short noticed as this) a huge success just don't forget to take pics for us!!

  4. I collect all of my vintage (blue tint) mason jars add sand in the bottom and then drop in the cintronella (sp) candles and scatter them all over the deck. Have fun, I too cannot wait to see the pictures, you throw such beautiful parites.

  5. Anonymous11:35 AM

    After dinner centerpiece: Cherries (don't know if they are in season up there) on ice in a Blue Willow bowl, lovely with a cheese course. Beautifully elegant and yummy! For dessert:Homemade Ice Cream cake..easy peasy. Use a large springform pan, Use a brownie mix, under cook a bit and once cool fill with your favorite ice cream or combinations of, (you can even add cookie crumbs, candy etc) freeze. Top off with fudge sauce (can make with melting good chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. Freeze again. Top with flowers and/or M&ms. Enjoy.

  6. There's always the spiked watermelon.

  7. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Take a watermelon...cut off the top, fill with ice and vodka. Put the top back on and stick a bunch of straws into it! So yummy and fun!

  8. We had a similar shindig this last weekend and it was a very casual outdoor BBQ. I kept the decor very simple and am going to post some pictures up on my blog later today. We had a huge glass drink dispenser full of sangria, which was easy to make ahead of time and was a huge hit. I used the recipe from Freckles Chick, but can't find the post on her blog for some reason. The homemade berry pies were the perfect dessert to add a nice comfy, homey all-american touch, too. I can't wait to see what you come up with and wish I had seen your results before we had our party, I am sure you will have great ideas!

  9. I love the idea of freezing fruit/flowers around vodka! Such a cute idea. I've had it stored up for a future party.

    I love lanterns for an outdoor get together...

  10. Oh, I'm sure you'll do such a fab job!!

    I love the flowers in old mason jars... they're great for coralling the silverware and other things too!
    Also, one of the cutest things I've seen (and they used a denim tablecloth, too) was a cookout where they used bandanas for napkins!

    Food-wise, we usually try and keep it simple - potato salad (I like the dill variety), fruit, chips. Try serving your fresh fruit salad with some drizzling of Cointreau over it. Delicious!!

  11. This is probably not such a wow idea, but I use cute flower pots to hold the silverware and a giant rooster basket for the napkins. I think this post has a picture:

    I know your party will look great. Remember to take pictures! I always forget. :)

  12. love that pineapple drink... could use one on this hot day!


  13. It's suppose to clear up by this weekend~ perfect BBQ weather! Love your ideas so far~ keep it sweet and simple;)

  14. Did someone say vodka..........I'll be right over.

    Though it's a daytime BBQ, I like the idea of stringing those Japanese paper lanterns up anyway. They look so festive & chic, even unlit.

    Have you seen this site? It's wedding related but the idea boards are geared towards outdoor setups. The ideas you mentioned made me think of this:

  15. I can definitely see flag banners draped.

  16. I'm with Ms. Bright - pennant garlands all around! One of my biggest party hits were rum runner grapes. Buy a bottle of rum, some purple grapes, and a tin of Stirrings Rum Runner rimming sugar. Fill a bowl with the rum. Wash the grapes and poke them with holes (I use a fork and poke a generous number of holes) Put the grapes in the bowl of rum and put the whole shebang in the freezer over night. Right before the party sprinkle a tray with the entire tin of rimming sugar and lay the frozen grapes in a single layer. It is so good! I served mine on a tiered cake platter with the grapes on top and full hydrangeas on the bottom for lushness. The frozen grapes are great and as they thaw the rum starts to seep out into the sugar. I just filled a glass bowl with cubes of pound cake to sop up the juicy sugary goodness. Since rum doesn't freeze serve the remainder in a mixed drink or infuse a watermelon. Enjoy!


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