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!