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Style Your Home with Beach Decor

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The Summer Trunk has just been released from Season in a Trunk.  This summer I was inspired by starfish and the nautical color of navy. I love the playfulness of starfish and the feeling of casual living on the beach. If you can’t visit the beach this summer, you might as well bring it to you! I am all about outdoor living that is comfy and has some unique touches. The pieces have to be versatile to fit into my everyday life, so I designed something that can be used indoors, outdoors, on a covered porch, poolside, or anywhere you need a little summer time accent.

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First up the inspiration behind the whole trunk, the starfish pillow. 18 inches of soft feather down, this pillow is 100% cotton and adds the touch of the beach indoors or on a covered porch. I put mine on my front porch to welcome my guests and immediately make them feel the causal vibe of summer.

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I had to include some actual starfish, these are so fun!   They hang great on a wall, nestled into your decor or placed on a tray.  3 8-10″ starfish come in each trunk.

I love how the starfish are packaged in netting, a great gift.

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Hang on a wall

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An outdoor pitcher is a must for summer time entertaining. This one is unique and is great quality.  I like to fill mine up with orange infused water for hot summer days. Tie the fringed navy napkin around the handle of the pitcher for a nautical accent.

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The metal serving tray is the most versatile piece in the summer trunk. Obviously it makes a great serving tray, but check out all my ideas on how else you can use the scallop-edged accent.

As a table charger

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As a planter for succulents

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Wanna learn more ways to decorate with beach decor? Check out my video and learn how.

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The Summer Trunk can be purchased at Season in a Trunk.  It comes artfully packaged and delivered to your door for $85, plus I would like to gift you FREE SHIPPING, your welcome :)  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Grad Parties that GLOW

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Who doesn’t love a glow in the dark party? I think this is such a fun idea for a graduation party. It is great for all age groups and adds a bit of playful excitement to your graduation festivities.  From party favors to getting your guests to interact, here are a few crafty ideas to get your party started.

1. PARTY FAVORS-  You are headed for a bright future! Pick up a light bulb container at a local crafts store, Michael’s is my favorite. Fill up the light bulb with some neon skittles or M&M’s, any neon candy will do.  Make a fun sign with neon ink and attach to the light bulb with baker’s twine.  A festive and easy party favor for your graduation party.

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2. CENTERPIECES-Neon Vases- Head to the Dollar Store and pick up some inexpensive clear vases.  Fill them up with water and add a few drops of neon acrylic paint.  You could use either silk or real flowers. I prefer live flowers, a big white dahlia might be fun, it would help make the neon colors pop!

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3. CAKE TABLE- Make the cake table SPARKLE! Super Simple. Use an old Patron bottle  ( depending on the age of the graduate :) ) or any interesting shaped vase.   Light the sparklers and watch the cake table glow. This easy craft adds a celebratory vibe that is so magical.

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4. BALLOONS- Get your neon on!  I love these balloons, so festive and super easy! All you need is neon tape and stickers from any office supply store, attach to white helium balloons. Pick up some variegated neon string from any craft store, again I like Michael’s, attach to the balloon for your glow in the dark fun.

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5. FUN ACTIVITY- Glow in the Dark Hula Hoops!!! What grad would not love this? Have a hula hoop contest to get the guests into the theme and interacting with each other. Again, it’s pretty simple, all you have to do is get neon tape from any craft store and tape around the hula hoop. BOOM… instant fun!

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Light up your party and have a NEON GRAD DAY!

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Top 10 Graduation Ideas

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We are in the season of Graduation, it does not matter if it is college, high school or even preschool, it is always a special time to celebrate the achievements of hardworking individuals. This year I have two graduates, my daughter from junior high and my son from preschool. I am getting very familiar with graduation parties as last year my oldest son graduated from high school and my other daughter from junior high. So, I thought I’d share a few ideas to help make your graduation festivities a little more memorable.

1. My absolute favorite book! It does not matter what age you are, this book will be a tear to your eye.

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2.  A brilliant photo idea. Attach photos to balloons to create the story of the graduates journey to success.

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3.  Flowers are a necessity at any party. This is a simple and fun idea. Use a clear vase, I prefer the hobnail jars, but these work great too. Tie a chalkboard tag to the vase and label the graduating year.

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4.  Chalkboard banner. I use mine all the time.  Write a special saying, I’ve used…We LOVE THE GRAD.

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5.  Diploma Cookies. Thank you Oh Sugar Events for this great idea. I also love the Cinnamon Honor Rolls. Getting creative with food.

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6. Surprise the grad with breakfast in bed with the brunch trunk.  Write special notes to the grad  in chalk on the slate serving tray, loaded up with their favorite pastries. Fill the hobnail jars up with juice and maybe flowers in the white bucket. The chalkboard tags attach to just about anything and gives you the opportunity to leave them sweet little notes.

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7.  Who doesn’t love candy rings? What a a fun idea to load up candy rings in a big dish and label them “Class Rings”

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8. Love this idea for a graduation party – You can then sit around a table and play Jenga, and each time you pull a memory out, you can have the guest explain the memory and why it is so meaningful.

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9.  We all know our kids are totally into Instagram. So why not be part of their world with this idea.

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10. I am all about the photo booth. This is a playful way to get people to connect and create lasting memories. Fun props are a must!

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Happy Graduation to all your loved ones! Make the most out of their special day.

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Your Memorial Day Menu

I want to make things a little easier for you this Memorial Day, so I went ahead and planned your menu for you. I compiled my favorite recipes that are Memorial Day festive and a great kick off to summer living.

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Cocktail of Choice: 

Star Spangled Sangria- Sangria makes me smile. This is a great cocktail to kick off your party and light some fireworks.  I especially love that this Sangria recipe is made with white wine instead of red.

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Ingredients

pineapple- cut into star shapes.

strawberries

blueberries

4 oz vodka

2 oz triple sec

1 bottle of white wine

2 oz of simply syrup

Appetizer

Tortellini Kabobs- The bright red tomatoes accent your red, white and blue theme.

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Ingredients
Cheese Tri-color Tortellini-Cooked
Grape tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella balls marinaded in oil and herbs.
Wood Skewers
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Main Dish
Fancy Hot Dogs. It would not be American without a hot dog, but if you are anything like me, you have to gourmet it up a bit. Thank you Bon Appetit for these fun recipes.
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The Dogs

Garlic Mojo Hot Dogs

Muffuletta Hot Dogs

Hot Dogs with Poblanos, Pepper Jack, and Tomatillo

Hot Dogs with Dal and Red-Onion Raita

Beer-Braised Hot Dogs with Braised Sauerkraut

Grilled Hot Dogs with Mango Chutney and Red Onion Relish

Manchego Cheese and Garlic Dogs

Harissa-Onion Dogs with Preserved-Lemon Relish

Cheddar Dogs with Cider-Braised Leeks and Apples

The Toppings

Tricolor Pepper Relish

Pickled Baby Squash

Cauliflower Chowchow

Pickled Peppers

Quick-Pickled Onions

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Dessert
Stars and Stripes Cheesecake Shots- Serious YUM!
Recipe by Carrie Sellman
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Ingredients:

4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup + 1T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
8 to 10 graham cracker sheets, finely crushed
Fresh Berries

Instructions:

  1. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until smooth.  Gently stir in cool whip until well blended.
  2. Fill individual glasses half way with cream cheese mixture, either using a spoon or a piping bag fitted with a large round tip for a more polished presentation.  Top with 1 tsp graham cracker crumbs.  Shake glass to level crumbs.  Fill to the top with more of the cream cheese mixture.
  3. Lightly sprinkle with additional graham cracker crumbs and top with berries.  Add a star pastry for an extra fun little touch.
  4. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.  Serve chilled.  Makes roughly 16 mini servings, depending on the size of your serving glass.
I hope this made your day a little easier. Have a delicious and indulgent Memorial Day!

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The Memorial Day Party Guide

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We are gearing up for Memorial Day weekend, also known as the kick off weekend to summer living! So it’s time to dust off the patio furniture, pull out the red, white and blue and pay our respects to the men and women who have fought for our country.  So, as most Americans do, let’s throw a party!  Here’s my quick guide to making your memorial weekend extra special, let the 3 day weekend begin.

Here’s my Checklist:

Party Prep

  • Plan your guest list. Send out the Evite. Online invitations are a quick way to get the job done.  I especially love how easy it is to send out last minute reminders and track RSVP’s.
  • Check the weather forecast to plan for bad (or amazing) weather.
  • Plan the location. Make sure there is plenty of room to house all your guests.  I prefer to party outdoors for Memorial Day as it lends to outdoor BBQ’s and all American fun.

Decorations

  • Think red, white and blue!  Red napkins and red Solo cups are a perfect pop of color.  Use navy blue paper plates and plastic utensils tied up with a navy stripe ribbon  to accent your decor.  Place in a bright white bucket to keep everything together and uniquely organized.
  • American flags, hanging lights, tiki torches, floating candles, and paper lanterns are great for setting the mood of the party.
  • Running out of time? Get the Stars & Stripes trunk, everything you need to host an all American party.
  • Use simple flowers like daisies, cut them short, and place them in mason jars for a little southern feel.
  • Balloons, streamers and pinatas add decoration and double as party activities for the kids.

Pillows are a great way to add texture and a pop of color to your event!

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Food

  • Party rule #1: Ice, ice, and more ice
  • Typical BBQ always does the trick (hamburgers, hotdogs) is always delicious, but you can also try ribs, pork tenderloin, chicken, and a grilled vegetable assortment.
  • I love supplying the main dish and having my guests bring their favorite red, white and blue dish!  A fun idea is skewering blueberries,strawberries and mini chocolate brownies on a shish kabob stick.
  • Stock the cooler and beverage station with plenty to drink: ice cold water, lemonade, soda and adult beverages keep the partiers happy and refreshed!
  • When setting the menu, plan to have food for vegetarians as well.
  • Sides like veggies, fruits, salads, chips, dips, and desserts like cookies, brownies, and cupcakes are convenient. Be mindful of the weather – you don’t want anything sitting out in the hot sun that could spoil or melt.
  • If possible, place food under a covering such as an umbrella or overhang.
  • Set up food buffet-style and arrange plates and utensils at the start of the line to keep it moving quickly.
  • Have separate seasoning and beverage stations with condiments and such to avoid delays in the buffet line.
  • Stock plenty of napkins at the drink station, along with stirrers and straws.

Festive Party Straws tie the look together!

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Set up

  • Move indoor furniture outside for additional surface space and seating. Benches, chairs, stools, and side tables are versatile.
  • Have clearly labeled trash and recycle cans.
  • Leave sunscreen and bug spray out for guests to use.
  • Have plenty of umbrellas or canopy tents for shade.
  • Lay rugs or outdoor pillows on the ground for additional seating.
  • I love having a basket of throws available in case it gets a little chilly.
  • Be eco-friendly with reusable plates.  I love Susty party, they have festive colors!
  • Make sure to have outdoor activities for kids, Stencil Stars is one of my favorites.
Now get to it! It’s time to plan a party and pay tribute to our American heroes.

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Mexican Flag – 7 Days of Cinco De Mayo

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Day 7:

Cinco de Mayo is almost here! There is nothing more festive than turning your food into a Mexican flag, plus it’s super simple!

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The Mexican flag is a vertical striped tricolor flag. It has green, white and red stripes. Make kaboobs using green grapes, marshmallows and strawberries for your first themed treat.

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Rice krispy treats with mexican flag frosting will go perfectly with your oreo tacos! The dessert table will be the talk of the party with these fun treats.

You can also get creative with sweet green and red peppers. Separate them with a line of white cheese and you have another delicious flag treat!

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All of these sweet treats will accent your amazing party decor making this the best fiesta yet! Very little prep time required for these treats which means more time for you to sip on a marg and enjoy connecting with your friends and family!

Time to celebrate!

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Glitz & Gold Fiesta- 7 days of Cinco de Mayo

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Day 6:

In true Season in a Trunk fashion it’s time to get a little glitzy with our Cinco de Mayo fiesta! I love adding a little…who am I kidding, A LOT of sparkle to any occasion. I mean what’s a party if you aren’t vacuuming up sparkles for the next week?

So lets bust out our glitter maracas and twinkle lights to get this party started!

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First of all, it is not a fiesta without a pinata! No matter how old you are a pinata is always a good idea, one that is gold and sparkly…even better.

Add sparkle to your champagne or shot glasses! It’s simple, just add a sticky rhinestone strip onto any party glasses you have. I got my strips from Michaels.

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I LOVE tequila but that’s no secret! A tequila bar is a must at any fiesta I throw.

Use gold mylar fringe, patterned runners and bright flowers or ribbons to complete the party.

This fiesta is just another excuse to break out our chalkboard! Glitter the frame and then add clever sayings! My favorite is “Fiesta like there is no manana!”

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Gold spray paint a sombrero, glitter your maracas, and get ready to party hard!

Cinco de Mayo is almost here!

Salud!

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P.S. Share this with your favorite DIY party host. There is never a bad time for a fiesta!

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Oreo Taco Cookies- 7 Days of Cinco de Mayo

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Day 5:

I love to play with my food and I believe your food can be just as creative and unique as the decor at your party. Plus for this Cinco de Mayo bash I need a little substance to help soak up all those margaritas.

With my kids it’s all about dessert so I have found a treat that is as appealing to eye as it is to the stomach!

Oreo Cookie Tacos 

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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This recipe is so simple because there is no technical baking skills involved. The process is extremely similar to making real tacos. Except way more fun and yummy.

Get the step by step directions from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

I can’t say that all together this recipe was delicious… I mean hot tamales do not really go with lemon starburst or truffles but the visual effect is more than worth it!

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Get out there and honor your sweet tooth! This fiesta is a great excuse to indulge a little!

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Cerveza Por Favor! – 7 Days of Cinco de Mayo

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Day 4: 

There is nothing more refreshing on a warm May afternoon than a cold cerveza! Yesterday we celebrated a great bottle of tequila, now let’s hand it off to a great beer. If you are looking for an awesome centerpiece for your Cinco de Mayo party look no farther than the cold beer in your hand!

Coronas make both the perfect beer to pair with a fresh taco and the perfect bottle to create a variety of centerpieces, here’s two options to WOW your guests:

Colorful Water in Corona Bottles 

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This way is easy and quick! Perfect for a last minute centerpiece. Just add some food dye to the water, pair with some beautiful flowers and you’re done! It takes longer to drink the beer than it does to create and you would not believe how many compliments I got!

Now on to the dificil (hard) way…

Painted Corona Bottles

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Painted Corona bottles takes your centerpiece to the next level. This version of the centerpiece just takes a little more time and patience!

Step 1: Pick out your favorite paint colors to match your party decor. Then drip paint inside, turn and roll bottle around until all sides are covered.

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Step 2: Place the bottles upside down so the excess paint can run out. Let the paint dry, this may take a few hours, then add a few more coats. Add as many or as few coats as you would like, the more coats the brighter the colors!

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Once they are all dry, add some water and flowers!

Now go out and FIESTA!

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How to Make a Patron Solar Light

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Day 3: 

In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, I had to drink a little tequila!  I could not sip the nectar of the agave plant without celebrating the beautiful bottle, right?  In Season in a Trunk style, we never let a pretty item got to waste, so let’s put the charming bottle to good use, we’re going SOLAR with it! This project is super simple and very impressive for your Cinco de Mayo festivities.

Here’s how I did it…

1.  Pick up a bottle of Patron, I prefer Responsdo, the oaky flavor is smooth and way too easy to drink. Any Patron tequila will do the trick, the main goal is to polish off the bottle.

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2.  Clean out your Patron bottle thoroughly, rinse it out a few times, tequila can get a little stinky.

3.  Head on over to Walmart, I am not a big Walmart shopper, but they have solar lights in their gardening section for $4.97. Can’t beat that. Here’s what they look like.

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4.  Pop off the long piece that sticks into the ground, the top part fits right into a Patron bottle perfectly.

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5.  Here’s your finished product.  Use as a centerpiece, line your steps to light your guests way or accent your tequila bar. There are many ways to use your Patron solar light. Have some fun with it.

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VIVA!

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