With summer in full swing, I’ve asked a few really cool people to put together some great ideas to make your get-togethers and parties awesome. No more last minute rifling through magazines in the grocery aisle to come up with something to eat, or how to decorate, or the right wines for the occasion!
Check out the summer guide below for tips on
- Setting the Scene, from Interior Designer Carrie Hansen
- Great Summer Wines, from wine expert and author Mark Oldman
- Summer Party Recipes, from chef and author Aaron McCargo, JR.
These tips, wines, and recipes have been personally picked out for you by Carrie, Mark, and Aaron. I asked them to focus on tips for a barbecue or cocktail party. They all faithfully obliged and for that I am grateful!
Big thank you to them!!
Summer Entertaining 101
Before you get set to throw you and your friends or family a big shin-dig, here are some general tips for staying safe, healthy, and making sure that everyone has a good time!
If you’re throwing a pool party and you’re inviting families with young children, keep in mind that it’s not only the responsibility of the parents to keep their kids safe around pools. The biggest responsibility falls on you as the pool owner. In some states, you can be held legally responsible for an accident involving your pool. More tips: PoolSafely.gov
- Keep rescue equipment and a phone nearby the pool at all times.
- Assign yourself or someone else to doing a “pool check” at designated times, especially at night.
- Create a space for the kids to congregate that is not very near the pool, such as a sandbox, kids table, or a special picnic area just for them.
- Make sure that someone knows CPR.
- Request that parents or older siblings who know how to swim stay in contact with young swimmers at all times.
Make Sure Everyone Driving Leaves Sober
This is easier said than done, but I’ve seen it executed very well at parties I’ve thrown in the past as well as parties friends of mine have thrown. At a large New Year’s Eve party my then-roommates and I had in 2006, we simply took everyone’s keys. You would think it would have been an issue, but if your crowd is mature, it won’t be. And if it is, well, that person or couple can find another place to party.
- Put a basket for keys near all of the entrances.
- Don’t argue. Either they drop the keys or don’t drink.
- Don’t continue to serve someone who’s already drunk.
- Keep a number for a cab company nearby.
- Be ready to report a drunk driver who leaves your party.
Drunk driving is serious. It’s always a non-issue until it becomes an issue, and trust me, if someone leaves your party plastered and gets into an accident, it will quickly become your issue, too. Don’t risk it.
Have Something For Non-Drinkers
On that note, not everyone who attends your party wants to drink. Be kind and keep a number of non-alcoholic beverages on hand, and not just soda or plain iced tea. Flavored lemonades, sparkling juices, virgin cocktails, and smoothies make great choices.
Water, Water, Water
I don’t know about you, but it’s HOT here in Arizona. When people are having a great time at a party, it’s possible that hydration is the furthest thing from their minds. Beer is not hydration, by the way. Keep lots of water on hand, and push it. Yes, for the day, become a water pusher. De-hydration is serious.
Okay… On to the fun stuff! Enjoy the tips from everyone below!