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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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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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The Burrito Bar-7 Days of Cinco de Mayo

7 days of Cinco

 

It’s time to fiesta like there is no manana! Cinco de Mayo is just a week away and we are gearing up with the 7 Days of Cinco de Mayo. 7 straight days dedicated to helping you get ready for an epic Cinco de Mayo fiesta that is muy facil (easy).

I’m headed off to Mexico for my own little fiesta and hopefully a very big siesta! Perfect timing if I do say so myself, I get to experience Cinco de Mayo weekend in Cabo!

Let the countdown begin!

Day 1= Burrito Bar

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When throwing  a party it is so hard to please everyone’s taste buds. Creating a burrito bar gives everyone the opportunity to create their own masterpiece…not to mention the time it saves you in cooking.

Grab your favorite meats (carne asada, pork, chicken. etc), some beans (whole, black, or refried), pair that with some rice and tons of fresh veggies and let your guests go crazy!

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Add in cute accent pieces like a sombrero, Mexican flags or a decorated chalkboard and you’re set.

Happy (almost) Cinco de Mayo!

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How to Make Limoncello

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We are loving lemons this week at Season in a Trunk!  So we decided to take it a step further and bring in our own personal hooch expert, the fabulous Valerie Reddemann!  She has prepared a fantastic step-by-step guide to making her delicious Limoncello. Thanks Valerie for sharing your recipe with us!

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I love lemons. In fact, I believe I may have a bit of a problem. From the time I was a small child I have been obsessed with this zinger of a fruit. At the tender age of 5 I’d pluck one off the tree, poke a hole using a sharp branch and then proceed to suck the living life out of it. My mother used to shake her head at me and warn that I’d wear the enamel off of my teeth if I continued to eat so many. Four decades later, my enamel is still standing and my love of all things tart hasn’t diminished a bit. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to lemon recipes.

You can imagine my excitement when our most recent home came with a Meyer lemon tree bursting with fruit. Nestled in a nook protected by two walls of the house, it flourishes. Then the inevitable happened: we found ourselves lemoned out. That’s when my husband came up with the idea of making our own limoncello. And lemon vodka. And….you get the idea. Next thing you know, we’ve turned into a regular hooch factory.

There are endless recipes of limoncello available on the web. Some claim you can make it from vodka. Don’t. If you are going to use vodka then make lemon vodka. If you want to make limoncello, make it the way the pros do by using pure grain alcohol (195 proof) as it best extracts the oils from the lemon zest. Trust me on this. The final alcohol proof of the limoncello is closer to vodka once you’ve mixed with the simple syrup so it packs a bit less punch.

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Supplies:

19 lemons (I prefer Meyer due to their slightly sweeter flavor and intense aroma)

1.75L Everclear (59 oz) or other pure grain alcohol

3.85lbs sugar

59 oz water

Wide mouth, sealable glass container (I like the 2.5Liter Weck jars)

Sealable bottles for finished product

Process:

This is a two-step process taking place over four weeks.

Step 1:

• Carefully zest all 19 lemons. Use a quality zester as it only captures the peel (the white pith will make your end product bitter) and makes the zesting process relatively effortless.

• Place all the zest in the glass container.

• Pour the pure grain alcohol over the zest.

• Seal the jar and place on a cool, dark shelf for 4 weeks swishing contents on occasion. At the end of the four weeks move on to step 2.

Step 2:

• Make a simple syrup by mixing all of the sugar (3.85lb) and water (59oz) together in a big soup pot. You are going to have close to a gallon of finished product so make sure your vessel is big enough. For maximum taste, make your simple syrup at room temperature instead of on the stove. It takes a bit longer, but the finished product is much better. Pour yourself a glass of wine and take your time stirring until all the sugar is completely dissolved. It should be clear when done. Set aside.

(*note: for our first batch, we used a raw cane sugar which gave it a gorgeous amber color and rich flavor. For our second batch, we used traditional white sugar giving it the more standard yellow color.)

• Strain your lemon alcohol twice through two layers of cheesecloth. This captures any of the small pieces of peel and prevents your limoncello from solidifying if frozen.

• Pour your twice strained lemon alcohol slowly into the simple syrup stirring constantly. Stir until it’s thoroughly mixed.

• Pour into bottles of your choice – see below. (For serving, I happen to be in love with the hobnail jars available at Season In a Trunk)

• Store at room temperature (shelf life = 1year) or for maximum enjoyment, keep an open bottle in your freezer.

• Enjoy!

Additional notes:

– Get creative with your bottles. You can repurpose any glass bottle you have by applying a section of chalkboard paint. Use a chalk)board pen (found at any craft store) to note the name, date and batch. I purchased bottles of smaller size (4 oz and 8 oz ) on Amazon to fill and give as gifts. I purchased larger 28 oz bottles at our local Home Brew shop.

– This recipe produces a limoncello that’s sweet. We enjoy a small digestif before bedtime or on a hot afternoon swinging in our hammock. Use a shot as a base for lemon drops or add a small shot to your iced tea.

– If you decide you want something less sweet, play with the intensity of your simple syrup. Be sure you make notes of what you altered so you can replicate your recipe in the future.

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Sip and Enjoy!

Valerie Reddemann

Guest Blogger

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20 ways to Celebrate Lemon

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This week at Season in a Trunk we are celebrating lemon. Whether we are cooking with it or captivated by the color, we are going to add a little lemony zest into your life this week.  So get ready to be inspired by the vibrant kick of lemon.

1.  Drink a cup of lemon water a day to keep the doctor away.  Great for aiding with digestion.

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2.  Plant a Meyer’s lemon in a container, learn how here.

3.  The delicious zip of Spring. Try your hand at making Lemon Sorbet without an ice cream maker.

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4.  Ride a lemon inspired bike.

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5.  Buy a lemon zester.  Believe us it makes cooking way more fun! Available at any kitchen store.

6. Make lemon bars, yum!

7.  Paint your front door lemon and gain some serious curb appeal.

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8. Pick yellow blooming branches and gather together for a monochromatic look.

9.  Simple accents make all the difference. Check out these lemon colored votives that brighten up any dinner party.

10.  Don’t let the April showers get you down. Spark it up with some yellow rain boots, they will be sure to put a spring in your step.

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11.  Paint an old vintage mirror a bright lemon yellow and brighten up your living space.

12.  Make Lemon Chicken, here’s my  favorite low-cal recipe, I make it in the Crock-pot, a family favorite!

13. Go modern with your wreath. Check out this limoncello lacquer magnolia wreath, very chic.

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14.  Starfish are all the rage this summer. Look for a starfish inspired trunk in the upcoming Summer Season in a Trunk.

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15.  Accent a wall in your home with these lemon colors.

16.  Cut up lemons and use in a clear vase to give a little pop to your floral arrangement. Great for parties or wedding centerpieces.

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17. Add lemon to your homemade pizza. I am not kidding, this is amazing!

18. DIY citrus candle centerpieces. All you need is a wick, some oil and a little carving expertise and you have a glowing masterpiece. Here’s the tutorial.

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19.  Have aching feet? Lemon Sugar Scrub will do the trick.

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20. Needs no explanation.

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May your day be zestful!

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How to create an Easter Mimosa Bar

Spring has Sprung! And we are celebrating the reason for the season….BRUNCH!

What is brunch without a mimosa? I’m not sure either.

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Here are some tips on how to create a mimosa bar for your brunch.

1. Grab your favorite champagne- We LOVE Prosecco! You really cannot go wrong, use the white bucket as an ice bucket to keep the champagne the perfect temperature all day!

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2. Add a variety of juices- Mimosas are no longer exclusive to orange juice, mix it up with cranberry or grapefruit. Using the hobbnail jars as juice containers adds a modern twist to plastic juice containers.

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3.Garnish with fruit- Slice up some fresh fruit for your guests to add to their cocktail. I put my fruit on the slate serving platter!

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4.Get crafty- Chalkboards are totally in right now. I’m an okay artist but my secret to creating amazing chalkboard art…a chalk pen! Grab it at any craft store and it will save your life.

5. Accent, accent, accent- The final touches to the mimosa bar are often what gets talked about most. Easter brunch? Add our bunny head statues. Our metal flower garland looks so cute woven through the set up or wrapped around the white bucket.

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Need some more instructions? Check out our step by step How to video using items from our Brunch Trunk!

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5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

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Happy March 17th! It’s St. Patrick’s Day and whether your Irish or not, it has a way of bringing the green out in all of us.  So it’s time to pull out your Irish garb and pour the Guinness, we are celebrating the luck o’ the Irish at  Season in a Trunk  today.

 

Here’s 5 ways to celebrate St. Paddy’s day in Style.

1. We like to roll with the big glasses, some press on tattoos, throw in a boa and that’s what we call St. Paddy’s Day. You got to dress the part, turn an ordinary day at work into a lively green celebration.

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We love the funky nails.

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2.  It’s so in style to be skinny…skinny in your cocktail! Try a Skinny Shamrock Shake today, save the calories and try this recipe  We like to add a little Irish Whiskey to spark it up a bit.

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3.  Chalkboards are Oh so stylish. We love this pub sign, turn your St. Patrick’s Day party into a pub style celebration.

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4.  Set the scene.  Create a St. Patrick’s Day themed tablescape.  Keep it simple, roll out the moss, accent with some lucky coins and line with some sparkly votives.  Don’t forget to serve the corned beef and cabbage.

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5.  Get creative with shamrock shaped tortilla chips. We love this idea!  Pick up some spinach tortillas at your local grocery store, you can find them pretty much everywhere these days.  Use a shamrock shaped cookie cutter and cut out the fun shapes.  Fry them up and serve with your favorite dip.  A simple and festive addition to your St. Patrick’s Day party.

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May the luck of the Irish be with y’all today! Happy St. Patrick’s Day.