It's time for a bit of a makeover, so the elves here at About.com have been busily working behind the scenes. As part of the imminent, updated design, this blog will be going away. In its place, you will still find the latest articles and most timely features to help you with your entertaining plans but, hopefully, in a more easily understandable layout. These changes will be rolling out in stages, with the disappearance of the blog as the first step you will notice.
I'll still be here writing the articles and presenting you with the resources you need from season to season and event to event. However, if you're still interested in continuing to follow my personal stories, you'll need to connect with me through my social media channels. Some of you have found me there already but, if you haven't, here are the links that will help you to continue the conversation: Facebook; Twitter; Pinterest; and Instagram. In fact, if you visit me there, you'll also see updates from my other, ongoing blog, The Delicious Dozen where I share my journey to create family memories, one meal at a time.
I look forward to seeing you there!
I find that at summer barbecues, hot dogs are usually relegated to the "just in case" platter. In other words, "just in case" somebody doesn't like the main dish that's being served, or "just in case" the kids won't eat anything else. But, I propose that it's time for the humble, but ubiquitous, hot dog be made the star of your next barbecue by planning a Make-It-Your-Own Hot Dog Party. If for no other reason, this theme captures the easy, light-hearted, spirit of the season.
Photo © David Paul Morris/Getty Images News
I hope everyone had a terrific Memorial Day weekend with lots of good food and fun. But, did you find that conversation began to slow down as the food ran low? If yes, what you may have needed was a few outdoor games to keep the fun going beyond the food and drink. Here is a list of some of the more popular games for adults at outdoor parties.
Is there really any point in going to work this week? There's a three day weekend right around the corner that kicks off the summer season, and most people I know are making plans to cut the week short by Friday. After all, there's a lot of preparation to do before a weekend of relaxation. You need to pull out the lawn chairs, chill the beer and cocktails, check on the condition of the grill, stock up on your sunscreen and, of course, Plan Your Memorial Day Barbecue. I wish I could write you an absence note for the office, but my work here is done.
Strawberries are the first of the summer fruit to show up in our yard. Over the weekend I noticed that our strawberry plants were flowering. I expect that all it will takes is a few warm days and strong sunshine, and before we know it, we'll be able to pick our own sweet berries. Even if you don't grow your own, it's only a matter of days before they appear in farmer's markets or even in the supermarket. With all of this berry goodness on the horizon, it's definitely time to think about planning a Strawberry Tea Party.
Photo © Donna Pilato
I'm in the final stages of deciding whether to sign up for a CSA this summer or stick to my farmer's market. Since shares are selling out at the CSAs, I can't wait much longer to make this decision. And this new release that was sent to me for review, isn't making it any easier. I feel the pressure to decide! Reviewing the pages of this combo gardening and recipe book has made me eager to start receiving something that's been picked fresh, locally. Between the photos and the recipes, the summer growing and harvesting season can't begin soon enough for me. Find out whether "Grow Harvest Cook" will have the same effect on you in this new review.
Photo © Rizzoli New York
There are a variety of factors that go into making a great party. Most people give thought to the decorations, the drinks, and the menu. But, there's one element that trumps all of the rest, and if there's a problem with this one thing, none of the rest really matters. I'm talking about the guest list, of course! Without giving enough thought to the guest list for your party, you could have problems ranging from a snooze fest to nasty fireworks. That's why you'll want to consider very carefully how you create your guest list, before any invitations are extended to your party.
Are you still trying to decide what to do to make your mom's day special on Sunday? How about starting off the day with some homemade cinnamon rolls and a nice hot cup of coffee or tea? Served in bed. With a flower on the tray. And a card that tells her what she means to you. I don't think there are many moms that wouldn't like to begin Mother's Day in this way.
Most people know to think about the food, drink and decorations when they plan a party. But often we forget to think about whether the group will be comfortable chatting with one another, which is really the most important ingredient in any successful party. That's why it's helpful to turn to conversation starters to help get the party started. Here's a list of conversation topics you might want to use at your next party. You're also invited to share conversation topics you've found to be successful at parties you've attended.
If there's one thing we all have in common, it's that everyone, at one point in their lives, has had a mom. This certainly explains the attention the media pays to Mother's Day next Sunday, reminding all of us not to forget the woman who brought us to life. For a mom, the journey begins even before we are born, since she is well aware of our presence for months before we appear - as are most of her friends and family. Her first celebration of motherhood is often in those pre-natal days at a baby shower filled with advice, food, fun, gifts, and games for her guests that should keep mom-to-be amused throughout the event.