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May Party Round Up

It’s already the beginning of another month.  Can you believe it?  We’re almost half way through the year, time is just flying!  Today is another party round up, this time featuring all the parties to celebrate the month of May.  It’s such a fun time of the year moving into summer, graduations, and the end of the school year.  Let’s party!

First up, is the 5th of May or Cinco de Mayo.  A day that’s often mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, but is really a celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French during the Battle of Pueblo.  In the US, it’s really just a celebration of Mexican and American culture.

I’ve recently started following a few people on Instagram that have been posting so much Cinco de Mayo inspiration it’s hard to overlook, so I had to check out their full blog post and I love what they’ve come up with for this special day.

This first party is kind of typical in it’s color scheme for Cinco de Mayo, but I love the addition of the cactus.  I mean those margarita glasses with cactus are too cute!  I also love that this party is totally doable with just some simple colored tablecloths and tassels.

On to another cactus theme, this pink and green cactus themed Cinco de Mayo party is so pretty.  I love the unexpected color scheme and the little cactus party favors.

If you’re not tired of margaritas, chips, and dip, then get ready to party again the very next day.  May 6th is the Kentucky Derby.  What a great reason to throw a party?  It’s a chance to get dressed up, wear a fun hat, and drink too many mint juleps.  I attended a Derby party last year, and get to do it again this year.  I’m really looking forward to it and the cupcakes.

I love Celebrations At Home take on doing a Derby party and the fact that her blog post gives you step by step ways to host your own party.  Plus, there are recipes, decor ideas, drink ideas, and favors for your guests to take home.

Who doesn’t love a party filled with red roses?

May 14th is an important day for pretty much everyone.  It’s Mother’s Day!  I love the idea of hosting your mom, grandma, mother-in-law, aunts, and anyone else that has been a mother to you, for an in home spa party.  Let’s be real, spas are great, but man they are expensive!  By whipping up a few homemade spa treatments or asking everyone to bring their favorite you’ll save a ton of money but still have a great time.

 

Pretty Mayhem does a great job of setting up a Spa Bar with treatments and typical spa snacks.  Plus the decor is simple and calming, just like a spa should be.  Spending quality time with the best women in your life pampering each other sounds like the perfect Mother’s Day.

After all of that fun, it’s the unofficial start of summer with Memorial Day on May 29th.  Memorial Day just isn’t complete without a backyard bar-b-que and lots of red, white, and blue.

A bar-b-que with fun lawn games like bocce ball, giant Jenga, or Cornhole, is just the thing to celebrate Memorial Day.

Lastly, May’s birthstone is emerald, so I did a quick search on emerald themed parties, and literally fell in love with the one that I found.  This birthday party is over the top amazing!

There are so many things I love about this party.  The giant emerald balloons with tassel strings, an overabundance of lush green foliage as centerpieces, emerald glassware, and did you see the food buffets?  They were absolutely amazing!  This would be a great theme for anyone celebrating a birthday in May.  I also love the idea of using it for a 40th over the hill birthday because of all the black in the color scheme.  You have to click on the link above and check out all of the party pics.

That’s the end of our party round up this month.  What are you looking forward to celebrating?

 

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How to Feed a Crowd

Pinterest Graphic-Feed a CrowdI hope everyone had a great 4th of July and spent time eating watermelon, barbeque, and spending time with family and friends.  We did all of those fun things, and made enough food to feed an army.

In order to spend time with your friends and family, smoking your meat is a great alternative to barbequing.  Here’s a tutorial on smoking a big brisket and getting to hang out with all of your friends.

My husband got an electric smoker several years ago, and has become obsessed with figuring out the best way to make tender, juicy, delicious brisket.  He’s tried several methods, but has settled on this one that has gotten rave reviews.

Step 1: Rub the Meat

My husband uses a Kansas City rub recipe. It’s smoky, not too spicy, and a little sweet.  Perfect!

Kansas City Rub Recipe

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup paprika

1 Tbsp black pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp cayenne

-Mix together in a bowl

-Rub onto all sides of the brisket

Smoked BrisketStep 2: Marinate

After rubbing the meat with the recipe in Step 1, cover the meat and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  I definitely recommend adding a second or third box of baking soda to your refrigerator to help with any strong smells.

Smoked BrisketStep 3: Make a Baste

To make the baste add some apple cider vinegar to whatever rub you have left over.  Baste periodically, about every two to three hours, by spooning the baste over the top of the brisket.  After the first few times of basting, you can just use the juice from the brisket pan to baste.

Smoked BrisketStep 4: Get the Smoker Ready

We use hickory or mesquite wood chips to get a smoky flavor.  Be sure to soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes to extract the flavor.

Step 5: Smoke the meat

My husband usually sets the smoker to 225 degrees when making brisket.  A good rule of thumb when smoking is to smoke the meat for an hour and a half per pound.

Smoked BrisketStep 6: Wrap up the Meat

Once the brisket is done in the smoker, wrap it up in aluminum foil, then (I know this sounds weird) place it in a cooler with a few old towels.  It keeps the heat in, allows the juices to redistribute, and makes it more tender.  My husband usually does this for about two hours, but if you have more time, it won’t hurt to leave the meat in the cooler longer.

Smoked BrisketStep 7: Slice it Up and Enjoy

After the brisket has hung out in the cooler for a few hours, it’s time to slice it up!  Typically there is a layer of fat on most briskets.  We always cut that off the top first, then cut up the rest of the meat.

Smoked BrisketThere is a little bit more work on the front end using this method.  However, it’s nice to be able to have the cooking done when your party starts and guests arrive.  All of the work is done ahead of time.  It doesn’t hurt that you end up with a delicious brisket.

Depending on the size of brisket, you can get a lot of bang for your buck and feed a lot of people.  I recommend purchasing a brisket that is half a pound to a pound a person.  That will be more than enough to feed everyone.

How do you feed a big crowd?  Do you want some meat now after reading this?

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What I Would Wear: 4th of July

Our country’s biggest celebration is coming up this weekend and what better way to celebrate than dressing for the occasion?  Today I’ve rounded up several pieces that will be great to wear on the 4th of July and all summer long.

I narrowed my search to Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic and found some great pieces.  Old Navy and Gap have a collection called the Americana collection that is perfect for the 4th of July.  The great thing is that Gap and Old Navy are running a 40-50% off sale right now.  So hurry to get these items at a discount.

This red and white striped T-shirt dress looks super comfortable to throw on and go watch fireworks on the 4th of July.

If this t-shirt doesn’t scream summer, then I don’t know what does.  It has all of your summer essentials listed right on the front.  Be sure to hurry though, there are only a few sizes left.

Throw this flag print scarf on over anything and you’ll be instantly ready to celebrate the 4th of July.

Pair this red maxi dress with a denim jacket on a cool night this weekend and you’ll have two of the three colors of the holiday covered.  Plus, who doesn’t love a good maxi dress?  This one comes in petite for us shorties, and the hemline looks like it wouldn’t get tripped over.

This denim dress might be my favorite look.  It may be a little dressy for a 4th of July celebration, but paired with some red wedges, it would be great for any party.  I just adore the back of this dress!

 

If you need a shirt to stay cool in the summer heat, you can’t beat this red plaid tank top.  You could pair it with either denim or white shorts.  Just be careful in white shorts if you’re eating anything with barbeque sauce, watermelon, or melting popsicles.

These red, white, and blue paisley shorts would be easy to dress down with a simple white t-shirt.

If you need any accessory this holiday weekend, make it this great striped clutch.  It would look awesome paired with any of the outfits above.

I hope you have a great time celebrating our country’s birth.  May your celebration include lots of bbq, time outside, fireworks, and great summer weather!  I also just want to say a quick thanks to those that serve our country and allow us to freely celebrate.  Thank you for all of your sacrifices!

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Real Life Party: A Rustic Backyard BBQ

The start of our summer included a trip home to see family and attend my best friend’s wedding, it was a great way to kick off summer!  While home, I got to attend a party hosted by my sister-in-law.  It was a great party with lots of great food and so beautifully decorated I just had to share it with all of you.

Pinterest Graphic-Rustic Backyard BBQMy sister-in-law and I are basically the same person when it comes to entertaining, she loves to do it and she loves to make everything extra pretty.  If you put us together to throw a party you can bet it’s going to be the best looking party around!  She has the best eye at finding amazing pieces at thrift stores, yard sales, and in the middle of random fields.  One of her awesome finds was the centerpiece for the entire party.

Rustic Backyard BBQShe used an old door that she found lying in the middle of a field as her buffet station.  Genius!  After cleaning it up and sanding it down, she perched it on top of two lovely, versatile wine barrels.  To make the buffet a smooth counter top, she added a piece of plexiglas on top of the door.

Rustic Backyard BBQIf you can get your hands on a pair of wine or whiskey barrels, do it!  They work for so many things.  Use them as a buffet station just like this, or cocktail tables at a wine themed party, as a gift table, and even as a flower planter on a patio.

Rustic Backyard BBQ Labeling food is a must, especially if something isn’t exactly what it looks like.  Those look like bratwursts, but they were pineapple and jalapeno flavored bratwursts.

Rustic Backyard BBQ

Rustic Backyard BBQMy sister-in-law, the former produce manager at a large grocery store, always has the best fruit, fruit salad, and fruit displays.  They always look great, but taste even better.

Rustic Backyard BBQI loved her use of galvanized buckets to keep the rustic theme throughout the party.  These cute little buckets were the perfect size for napkins and cutlery.

Rustic Backyard BBQGalvanized tubs were also used to hold drinks.  The host purchased them at a farm/feed store, which just goes to show you that sometimes you need to think outside the box on where to get party supplies.  I thought it was really smart to use two tubs stacked to raise the drinks up, but she had also planned on having the bottom tub next to the drinks so party goers could recycle their drink bottles.

Rustic Backyard BBQ

Rustic Backyard BBQUsing vintage looking glass soda bottles helped carry the rustic theme throughout the party.  Plus there were some really fun flavors mixed in there.

Rustic Backyard BBQFor those not interested in the fun soda options, there was also a drink station set up with lemonade and tea.  Using two small milk glasses to hold the straws was really cute.  I actually found some small milk bottles recently at Dollar Tree of all places.  You can bet that I loaded up on them because they can be used for so many things, and they were only $1.

Rustic Backyard BBQAnother great find was this three section galvanized tray my sister-in-law found at a thrift store for only $8!  It was perfect to hold chips and condiments.

Rustic Backyard BBQI can’t forget dessert!  I can personally attest that those brownies were amazing!  If you do plan on having desserts that could melt in the sun, be sure to keep them indoors or a cool area until right before you plan to serve them.

So what did you think of this rustic backyard bbq?  Don’t you just love all of the thrifted, found, and gathered pieces that took the decor to the next level?  Which was your favorite, the galvanized tubs, or the vintage door?

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Also linked up with: Decor to Adore

 

 

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2016 Summer Bucket List

Although it’s only been a few months, living in Denver has made me really excited for the summer. After moving from San Diego where it’s always warm and the weather is nice enough to do whatever you want outside anytime of year, I think I’m really going to appreciate the summer here. That’s why I want to spend the next few months really celebrating the nice weather by getting outside and doing all things summer.  I’ve created a Summer Bucket List to do just that!

The best news is that you can have it too!  There are about 20 fun things to try to fit in this summer, and space for you to add your own creative ideas to stay busy and celebrate the warmth and good weather summer has to offer.  Just click on the picture below to download and print out this year’s summer bucket list, then start having a blast!

SummerBucketListPicture

We’ve already done several of these things thanks to a fun-filled trip to see family and friends, but there’s nothing holding us back from doing them again!  Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any parades, festivals, or summer time activities in your area.  If you don’t want to spend too much money on these activities, check with businesses to see if they offer a group rate, if so, gather together a bunch of your friends and their kids to spread out the cost.  Lots of museums, zoos, and water parks offer discount programs for military, AAA, or senior citizens.  If Grandma or Grandpa want to do something with the kids, ask them to use their senior citizen discount.  Your local library is another great resource during the summer, most offer summer reading programs, camps, and classes that are typically free, all you usually have to have is your library card.

Now that Memorial Day is over and summer has officially started, be sure not to waste any of that good weather and start having fun!  Make it a summer to remember with fun experiences, new traditions, and quality time together.  We’ve got a lot of fun things planned this summer and now that the Colorado winter is over (I think), we will definitely be enjoying the beautiful weather.  I’m hoping to have several parties this summer using our almost finished patio and backyard, so be sure to keep coming back all summer to see how we use our new space to celebrate.

Don’t forget to click on the bucket list or here to print it out and use it all summer long.

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Celebrating everyday!