summer drinks – labor day edition.

There’s nothing better than saying goodbye to summer by grilling out with your friends and enjoying good food and drinks.  What makes that even more fun is incorporating recipes that do not require much time or effort to prepare, yet taste just as good as something that took a long time to make.

Here are two of my favorite drink recipes I’ll be using this holiday weekend:

Frozen Limeade Margarita (recipe courtesy Saveur Magazine) Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup triple sec
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 12-oz. can frozen limeade
  • 6 cups crushed ice

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.
  2. Pour into a pitcher and serve in chilled salt-rimmed glasses garnished with sliced limes.

Raspberry Lemonade (recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman) Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 bag frozen raspberries
  • Ice cubes, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher.
  2. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it’s sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries.
  3. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so be sure to sweeten enough!) Note: If you don’t feel like making the lemonade from scratch, just buy a container of lemonade and mix with the raspberries.  If this is the route you go, mix the lemonade and raspberries and let it chill before adding any extra sugar as the store bought version is already sweetened.
  4. Fill mason jars with ice cubes and top them off with the lemonade.

Labor Day Party Tips

It’s hard to believe that the end of summer is quickly approaching; tonite was the first night I realized how dark it was at 8:30pm compared to several weeks ago.  While I do love summer, I also look forward to fall and cooler temps, and most importantly all things pumpkin!  Before I enter into “fall mode” I like to spend my Labor Day holiday with family, friends and good food.  I prefer to keep things simple and spend most of my time visiting and playing outside with the kids, so I’ve compiled a couple tips and tricks that I’ve used over the years to really enjoy my long weekend and some time off of work.

Tip 1: If having a theme for your party, make it something simple that allows you to use things that you have around the house.  Examples include red, white and blue (use leftovers from 4th of July and Memorial Day; american flags) and backyard bbq (mason jars, picnic table covers, water games, beach chairs).

Tip 2: Keep the food simple.  If the weather is nice, plan to grill out and make simple side dishes that can be made ahead and kept cold.  Make sure no matter what food you prepare that you have an option for kids and vegetarians to ensure no one is left out!

Tip 3: Plan activities for your guests.  If inviting people that do not know each other, have some sort of activity that can serve as an icebreaker.  Provided you have enough space, set up a volleyball court or set up a game of cornhole.  Lastly, if anyone you know is bringing children, make sure to have something to occupy the kids such as an arts and crafts table or outdoor toys.  The parents will appreciate it and the kids will behave better if they are entertained.

Tip 4: Make a budget and stick with it.  Most people are looking forward to an extra day off work and spending time with their family and friends; so don’t feel like you need to go over the top.  Once you establish a budget, create your menu and don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring a dish or beverage (just make sure you know who is bringing what so you don’t end up with 10 desserts and no sides!).  Once you determine the menu, divide the rest of the money up for decorations and activities.  This will help you to stay on track; and let’s face it, the food is the most important part anyways!

The next two days I will be posting easy food and drink recipes for your Labor Day bash. I hope everyone has a great Friday and are as excited about the weekend as I am!

Personalized Gift Idea

Personalized Gift Idea

If you’re looking for a fun and different gift idea for a birthday, party favor, bridesmaid gift or a family reunion this is a fun gift that everyone would love. While it may seem silly to some people, after spending the last couple days at the beach let’s just say those that did not have one were envious of those that did! You can find them on Etsy or at a local retailer that does monogramming; I purchased them for the girls in the family from Decal Innovations on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/DecalInnovations)

It’s always fun to think outside of the box and people always appreciate a personalized gift!

Vacation Time

Vacation Time

Sometimes I find it really hard to separate my family life from my work life.  While some people believe this is a bad thing, I think its the reason I continue to love what I do.  My family inspires me to do new things, which is especially important when trying to build up a business.  With this being said, I will definitely be incorporating aspects of my personal life on this blog as it will give you a great idea of who I am and where I come from.

Tomorrow we leave for our first vacation as a family of four.  After a busy last month with our new little man, I think we are all looking forward to heading to the beach and a nice change of scenery.  We will be meeting up with my mom, dad and sister and I could not be more excited for several days of sand, water, fishing, eating and relaxing!  Vacation and the upcoming Labor Day holiday will definitely provide a fun two weeks ahead.  Stay tuned next week for some great Labor Day party tips!

I am most excited to start working on a project for the Vend Raleigh Illuminate 2013 conference on September 13, 2013 ( http://vendraleigh.com/illuminate/ ).  Vend Raleigh is an amazing group of women that are all mompreneurs working hard to make a name for themselves all the while supporting their families and loved ones.  This conference provides a forum for networking, learning and general female camaraderie; one of the biggest thing a mom needs is a positive support group and this is the ideal place to find it!  Check it out and support local mompreneurs!

I hope everyone enjoys the beautiful weather for this upcoming weekend. It will definitely be much nicer than all the rain last weekend! Enjoy time with your family and friends, and I am excited for all the fun projects I have to share with you in the coming weeks.

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Here We Go….

Well, its taken some time but I’m finally entering the world of blogging.  I wish I had the amazing writing ability of my talented younger sister, but I hope that I can use this platform to share ideas, tips, pictures and stories on how to celebrate the big and small things in life!

To start from the beginning, my name is Kate.  I live in Raleigh, North Carolina with my husband Dustin and my two boys, Jake (2) and Tyler (1 month).  Growing up, I always loved holidays, parties and organizing; I was that girl that used different color pens for different events in my calendars and class notes!  I am a consummate planner and enjoy making a big deal of all of life’s events, big or small.  After successfully planning my Charleston wedding (without going over my budget!) I became interested in planning and organizing showers and parties. The details that seem to put everyone else over the edge are the things that I love!  Before long, my friends started asking me to help them plan parties and special events.  There is nothing I enjoy more than helping people plan events they will cherish and remember forever. Regardless of your budget, you can make every special day memorable.

Splendid Celebrations is the result of several years of brainstorming, hard work and a strong desire to be able to pursue what I love.  My family has truly pushed me to share what I am passionate about and I hope that I will be able to help you create memories from your special events.  There’s no event too big or too small, its the little details that people remember after the event is over. And it’s the little details that I excel at!  Let me help you plan an amazing and memorable event.  I’ll help you find the perfect theme for your special event and do the work for you, allowing you to truly enjoy and cherish every moment.

I hope you’ll enjoy following me along on this journey of learning, growth and exciting parties to come!  I look forward to learning from those around me and I’m excited to meet alot of new and wonderful people along my way.